1Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?2In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.3He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.4In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.5His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies.6He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”7His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.8He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims;9like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.10His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength.11He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.”12Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.13Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”?14But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.15Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.16The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.17You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,18defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.
1In the LORD I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain.2For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.3When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”4The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.5The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.6On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot.7For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.
1Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.2Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts.3May the LORD silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue—4those who say, “By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”5“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.”6And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.7You, LORD, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked,8who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race.
16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.17So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.18A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.19Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?20You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.”21(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.26From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.27God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.28‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’29“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.”33At that, Paul left the Council.34Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.