Psalms 57; Psalms 58; Psalms 59; Romans 4

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Psalms 57

1 Have pity on me, O God. Have pity on me, because my soul takes refuge in you. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until destructive storms pass by.
2 I call to God Most High, to the God who does everything for me.
3 He sends his help from heaven and saves me. He disgraces the one who is harassing me. Selah God sends his mercy and his truth!
4 My soul is surrounded by lions. I must lie down with man-eating lions. Their teeth are spears and arrows. Their tongues are sharp swords.
5 May you be honored above the heavens, O God. Let your glory extend over the whole earth.
6 [My enemies] spread out a net to catch me. (My soul is bowed down.) They dug a pit to trap me, but then they fell into it. Selah
7 My heart is confident, O God. My heart is confident. I want to sing and make music.
8 Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I want to wake up at dawn.
9 I want to give thanks to you among the people, O Lord. I want to make music to praise you among the nations
10 because your mercy is as high as the heavens. Your truth reaches the skies.
11 May you be honored above the heavens, O God. Let your glory extend over the whole earth.

Psalms 58

1 Do you rulers really give fair verdicts? Do you judge Adam's descendants fairly?
2 No, you invent new crimes on earth, and your hands spread violence.
3 [Even] inside the womb wicked people are strangers [to God]. From their birth liars go astray.
4 They have poisonous venom like snakes. They are like a deaf cobra that shuts its ears
5 so that it cannot hear the voice of a snake charmer or of anyone trained to cast spells.
6 O God, knock the teeth out of their mouths. Break the young lions' teeth, O LORD.
7 Let them disappear like water that drains away. When they aim their bows, let their arrows miss the target.
8 Let them become like a snail that leaves behind a slimy trail or like a stillborn child who never sees the sun.
9 Let [God] sweep them away faster than a cooking pot is heated by burning twigs.
10 Righteous people will rejoice when they see [God] take revenge. They will wash their feet in the blood of wicked people.
11 Then people will say, "Righteous people certainly have a reward. There is a God who judges on earth."

Psalms 59

1 Rescue me from my enemies, O my God. Protect me from those who attack me.
2 Rescue me from troublemakers. Save me from bloodthirsty people.
3 They lie in ambush for me right here! Fierce men attack me, O LORD, but not because of any disobedience,
4 or any sin, or any guilt on my part. They hurry to take positions against me. Wake up, and help me; see [for yourself].
5 O LORD God of Armies, God of Israel, arise to punish all the nations. Have no pity on any traitors. Selah
6 They return in the evening. They howl like dogs. They prowl the city.
7 See what pours out of their mouths-- swords from their lips! [They think,] "Who will hear us?"
8 O LORD, you laugh at them. You make fun of all the nations.
9 O my strength, I watch for you! God is my stronghold, my merciful God!
10 God will come to meet me. He will let me gloat over those who spy on me.
11 Do not kill them. Otherwise, my people may forget. Make them wander aimlessly by your power. Bring them down, O Lord, our shield,
12 [because of] the sins from their mouths and the words on their lips. Let them be trapped by their own arrogance because they speak curses and lies.
13 Destroy them in your rage. Destroy them until not one of them is left. Then they will know that God rules Jacob to the ends of the earth. Selah
14 They return in the evening. They howl like dogs. They prowl the city.
15 They wander around to find something to eat. If they are not full enough, they will stay all night.
16 But I will sing about your strength. In the morning I will joyfully sing about your mercy. You have been my stronghold and a place of safety in times of trouble.
17 O my strength, I will make music to praise you! God is my stronghold, my merciful God!

Romans 4

1 What can we say that we have discovered about our ancestor Abraham?
2 If Abraham had God's approval because of something he did, he would have had a reason to brag. But he could not brag to God about it.
3 What does Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and that faith was regarded by God to be his approval of Abraham."
4 When people work, their pay is not regarded as a gift but something they have earned.
5 However, when people don't work but believe God, the one who approves ungodly people, their faith is regarded as God's approval.
6 David says the same thing about those who are blessed: God approves of people without their earning it. David said,
7 "Blessed are those whose disobedience is forgiven and whose sins are pardoned.
8 Blessed is the person whom the Lord no longer considers sinful."
9 Are only the circumcised people blessed, or are uncircumcised people blessed as well? We say, "Abraham's faith was regarded as God's approval of him."
10 How was his faith regarded as God's approval? Was he circumcised or was he uncircumcised at that time? He had not been circumcised.
11 Abraham's faith was regarded as God's approval while he was still uncircumcised. The mark of circumcision is the seal of that approval. Therefore, he is the father of every believer who is not circumcised, and their faith, too, is regarded as God's approval of them.
12 He is also the father of those who not only are circumcised but also are following in the footsteps of his faith. Our father Abraham had that faith before he was circumcised.
13 So it was not by obeying Moses' Teachings that Abraham or his descendants received the promise that he would inherit the world. Rather, it was through God's approval of his faith.
14 If those who obey Moses' Teachings are the heirs, then faith is useless and the promise is worthless.
15 The laws in Moses' Teachings bring about anger. But where laws don't exist, they can't be broken.
16 Therefore, the promise is based on faith so that it can be a gift. Consequently, the promise is guaranteed for every descendant, not only for those who are descendants by obeying Moses' Teachings but also for those who are descendants by believing as Abraham did. He is the father of all of us,
17 as Scripture says: "I have made you a father of many nations." Abraham believed when he stood in the presence of the God who gives life to dead people and calls into existence things that don't even exist.
18 When there was nothing left to hope for, Abraham still hoped and believed. As a result, he became a father of many nations, as he had been told: "That is how many descendants you will have."
19 Abraham didn't weaken. Through faith he regarded the facts: His body was already as good as dead now that he was about a hundred years old, and Sarah was unable to have children.
20 He didn't doubt God's promise out of a lack of faith. Instead, giving honor to God [for the promise], he became strong because of faith
21 and was absolutely confident that God would do what he promised.
22 That is why his faith was regarded as God's approval of him.
23 But the words "his faith was regarded as God's approval of him" were written not only for him
24 but also for us. Our faith will be regarded as God's approval of us who believe in the one who brought Jesus, our Lord, back to life.
25 Jesus, our Lord, was handed over to death because of our failures and was brought back to life so that we could receive God's approval.