Psalm 57; Psalm 58; Psalm 59; Romans 4

1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful, because I come to you for safety. In the shadow of your wings I find protection until the raging storms are over. 2 I call to God, the Most High, to God, who supplies my every need. 3 He will answer from heaven and save me; he will defeat my oppressors. God will show me his constant love and faithfulness. 4 I am surrounded by enemies, who are like lions hungry for human flesh. Their teeth are like spears and arrows; their tongues are like sharp swords. 5 Show your greatness in the sky, O God, and your glory over all the earth. 6 My enemies have spread a net to catch me; I am overcome with distress. They dug a pit in my path, but fell into it themselves. 7 I have complete confidence, O God; I will sing and praise you! 8 Wake up, my soul! Wake up, my harp and lyre! I will wake up the sun. 9 I will thank you, O Lord, among the nations. I will praise you among the peoples. 10 Your constant love reaches the heavens; your faithfulness touches the skies. 11 Show your greatness in the sky, O God, and your glory over all the earth.
1 Do you rulers ever give a just decision? Do you judge everyone fairly? 2 No! You think only of the evil you can do, and commit crimes of violence in the land. 3 Evildoers go wrong all their lives; they tell lies from the day they are born. 4 They are full of poison like snakes; they stop up their ears like a deaf cobra, 5 which does not hear the voice of the snake charmer, or the chant of the clever magician. 6 Break the teeth of these fierce lions, O God. 7 May they disappear like water draining away; may they be crushed like weeds on a path. 8 May they be like snails that dissolve into slime; may they be like a baby born dead that never sees the light. 9 Before they know it, they are cut down like weeds; in his fierce anger God will blow them away while they are still living. 10 The righteous will be glad when they see sinners punished; they will wade through the blood of the wicked. 11 People will say, "The righteous are indeed rewarded; there is indeed a God who judges the world."
1 Save me from my enemies, my God; protect me from those who attack me! 2 Save me from those evil people; rescue me from those murderers! 3 Look! They are waiting to kill me; cruel people are gathering against me. It is not because of any sin or wrong I have done, 4 nor because of any fault of mine, O Lord, that they hurry to their places. 5 Rise, Lord God Almighty, and come to my aid; see for yourself, God of Israel! Wake up and punish the heathen; show no mercy to evil traitors! 6 They come back in the evening, snarling like dogs as they go about the city. 7 Listen to their insults and threats. Their tongues are like swords in their mouths, yet they think that no one hears them. 8 But you laugh at them, Lord; you mock all the heathen. 9 I have confidence in your strength; you are my refuge, O God. 10 My God loves me and will come to me; he will let me see my enemies defeated. 11 Do not kill them, O God, or my people may forget. Scatter them by your strength and defeat them, O Lord, our protector. 12 Sin is on their lips; all their words are sinful; may they be caught in their pride! Because they curse and lie, 13 destroy them in your anger; destroy them completely. Then everyone will know that God rules in Israel, that his rule extends over all the earth. 14 My enemies come back in the evening, snarling like dogs as they go about the city, 15 like dogs roaming about for food and growling if they do not find enough. 16 But I will sing about your strength; every morning I will sing aloud of your constant love. You have been a refuge for me, a shelter in my time of trouble. 17 I will praise you, my defender. My refuge is God, the God who loves me.
1 What shall we say, then, of Abraham, the father of our race? What was his experience? 2 If he was put right with God by the things he did, he would have something to boast about - but not in God's sight. 3 The scripture says, "Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous." 4 A person who works is paid wages, but they are not regarded as a gift; they are something that has been earned. 5 But those who depend on faith, not on deeds, and who believe in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is this faith that God takes into account in order to put them right with himself. 6 This is what David meant when he spoke of the happiness of the person whom God accepts as righteous, apart from anything that person does: 7 "Happy are those whose wrongs are forgiven, whose sins are pardoned! 8 Happy is the person whose sins the Lord will not keep account of!" 9 Does this happiness that David spoke of belong only to those who are circumcised? No indeed! It belongs also to those who are not circumcised. For we have quoted the scripture, "Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous." 10 When did this take place? Was it before or after Abraham was circumcised? It was before, not after. 11 He was circumcised later, and his circumcision was a sign to show that because of his faith God had accepted him as righteous before he had been circumcised. And so Abraham is the spiritual father of all who believe in God and are accepted as righteous by him, even though they are not circumcised. 12 He is also the father of those who are circumcised, that is, of those who, in addition to being circumcised, also live the same life of faith that our father Abraham lived before he was circumcised. 13 When God promised Abraham and his descendants that the world would belong to him, he did so, not because Abraham obeyed the Law, but because he believed and was accepted as righteous by God. 14 For if what God promises is to be given to those who obey the Law, then faith means nothing and God's promise is worthless. 15 The Law brings down God's anger; but where there is no law, there is no disobeying of the law. 16 And so the promise was based on faith, in order that the promise should be guaranteed as God's free gift to all of Abraham's descendants - not just to those who obey the Law, but also to those who believe as Abraham did. For Abraham is the spiritual father of us all; 17 as the scripture says, "I have made you father of many nations." So the promise is good in the sight of God, in whom Abraham believed - the God who brings the dead to life and whose command brings into being what did not exist. 18 Abraham believed and hoped, even when there was no reason for hoping, and so became "the father of many nations." Just as the scripture says, "Your descendants will be as many as the stars." 19 He was then almost one hundred years old; but his faith did not weaken when he thought of his body, which was already practically dead, or of the fact that Sarah could not have children. 20 His faith did not leave him, and he did not doubt God's promise; his faith filled him with power, and he gave praise to God. 21 He was absolutely sure that God would be able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why Abraham, through faith, "was accepted as righteous by God." 23 The words "he was accepted as righteous" were not written for him alone. 24 They were written also for us who are to be accepted as righteous, who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from death. 25 Because of our sins he was given over to die, and he was raised to life in order to put us right with God.
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