Psalm 68; Psalm 69; Romans 8:1-21

1 God rises up and scatters his enemies. Those who hate him run away in defeat. 2 As smoke is blown away, so he drives them off; as wax melts in front of the fire, so do the wicked perish in God's presence. 3 But the righteous are glad and rejoice in his presence; they are happy and shout for joy. 4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name; prepare a way for him who rides on the clouds. His name is the Lord - be glad in his presence! 5 God, who lives in his sacred Temple, cares for orphans and protects widows. 6 He gives the lonely a home to live in and leads prisoners out into happy freedom, but rebels will have to live in a desolate land. 7 O God, when you led your people, when you marched across the desert, 8 the earth shook, and the sky poured down rain, because of the coming of the God of Sinai, the coming of the God of Israel. 9 You caused abundant rain to fall and restored your worn-out land; 10 your people made their home there; in your goodness you provided for the poor. 11 The Lord gave the command, and many women carried the news: 12 "Kings and their armies are running away!" The women at home divided what was captured: 13 figures of doves covered with silver, whose wings glittered with fine gold. (Why did some of you stay among the sheep pens on the day of battle?) 14 When Almighty God scattered the kings on Mount Zalmon, he caused snow to fall there. 15 What a mighty mountain is Bashan, a mountain of many peaks! 16 Why from your mighty peaks do you look with scorn on the mountain on which God chose to live? The Lord will live there forever! 17 With his many thousands of mighty chariots the Lord comes from Sinai into the holy place. 18 He goes up to the heights, taking many captives with him; he receives gifts from rebellious people. The Lord God will live there. 19 Praise the Lord, who carries our burdens day after day; he is the God who saves us. 20 Our God is a God who saves; he is the Lord, our Lord, who rescues us from death. 21 God will surely break the heads of his enemies, of those who persist in their sinful ways. 22 The Lord has said, "I will bring your enemies back from Bashan; I will bring them back from the depths of the ocean, 23 so that you may wade in their blood, and your dogs may lap up as much as they want." 24 O God, your march of triumph is seen by all, the procession of God, my king, into his sanctuary. 25 The singers are in front, the musicians are behind, in between are the young women beating the tambourines. 26 "Praise God in the meeting of his people; praise the Lord, all you descendants of Jacob!" 27 First comes Benjamin, the smallest tribe, then the leaders of Judah with their group, followed by the leaders of Zebulun and Naphtali. 28 Show your power, O God, the power you have used on our behalf 29 from your Temple in Jerusalem, where kings bring gifts to you. 30 Rebuke Egypt, that wild animal in the reeds; rebuke the nations, that herd of bulls with their calves, until they all bow down and offer you their silver. Scatter those people who love to make war! 31 Ambassadors will come from Egypt; the Ethiopians will raise their hands in prayer to God. 32 Sing to God, kingdoms of the world, sing praise to the Lord, 33 to him who rides in the sky, the ancient sky. Listen to him shout with a mighty roar. 34 Proclaim God's power; his majesty is over Israel, his might is in the skies. 35 How awesome is God as he comes from his sanctuary - the God of Israel! He gives strength and power to his people. Praise God!
1 Save me, O God! The water is up to my neck; 2 I am sinking in deep mud, and there is no solid ground; I am out in deep water, and the waves are about to drown me. 3 I am worn out from calling for help, and my throat is aching. I have strained my eyes, looking for your help. 4 Those who hate me for no reason are more numerous than the hairs of my head. My enemies tell lies against me; they are strong and want to kill me. They made me give back things I did not steal. 5 My sins, O God, are not hidden from you; you know how foolish I have been. 6 Don't let me bring shame on those who trust in you, Sovereign Lord Almighty! Don't let me bring disgrace to those who worship you, O God of Israel! 7 It is for your sake that I have been insulted and that I am covered with shame. 8 I am like a stranger to my relatives, like a foreigner to my family. 9 My devotion to your Temple burns in me like a fire; the insults which are hurled at you fall on me. 10 I humble myself by fasting, and people insult me; 11 I dress myself in clothes of mourning, and they laugh at me. 12 They talk about me in the streets, and drunkards make up songs about me. 13 But as for me, I will pray to you, Lord; answer me, God, at a time you choose. Answer me because of your great love, because you keep your promise to save. 14 Save me from sinking in the mud; keep me safe from my enemies, safe from the deep water. 15 Don't let the flood come over me; don't let me drown in the depths or sink into the grave. 16 Answer me, Lord, in the goodness of your constant love; in your great compassion turn to me! 17 Don't hide yourself from your servant; I am in great trouble - answer me now! 18 Come to me and save me; rescue me from my enemies. 19 You know how I am insulted, how I am disgraced and dishonored; you see all my enemies. 20 Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I had hoped for sympathy, but there was none; for comfort, but I found none. 21 When I was hungry, they gave me poison; when I was thirsty, they offered me vinegar. 22 May their banquets cause their ruin; may their sacred feasts cause their downfall. 23 Strike them with blindness! Make their backs always weak! 24 Pour out your anger on them; let your indignation overtake them. 25 May their camps be left deserted; may no one be left alive in their tents. 26 They persecute those whom you have punished; they talk about the sufferings of those you have wounded. 27 Keep a record of all their sins; don't let them have any part in your salvation. 28 May their names be erased from the book of the living; may they not be included in the list of your people. 29 But I am in pain and despair; lift me up, O God, and save me! 30 I will praise God with a song; I will proclaim his greatness by giving him thanks. 31 This will please the Lord more than offering him cattle, more than sacrificing a full-grown bull. 32 When the oppressed see this, they will be glad; those who worship God will be encouraged. 33 The Lord listens to those in need and does not forget his people in prison. 34 Praise God, O heaven and earth, seas and all creatures in them. 35 He will save Jerusalem and rebuild the towns of Judah. His people will live there and possess the land; 36 the descendants of his servants will inherit it, and those who love him will live there.
1 There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin. 4 God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature. 5 Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. 6 To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. 7 And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God's law, and in fact they cannot obey it. 8 Those who obey their human nature cannot please God. 9 But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to - if, in fact, God's Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin. 11 If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you. 12 So then, my friends, we have an obligation, but it is not to live as our human nature wants us to. 13 For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. 14 Those who are led by God's Spirit are God's children. 15 For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's children, and by the Spirit's power we cry out to God, "Father! my Father!" 16 God's Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God's children. 17 Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ's suffering, we will also share his glory. 18 I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. 20 For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope 21 that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God.
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