Through the Bible – Day 207

Bible text(s)

(By David for the music leader. To the tune “Lilies”.)

God can be trusted

1Save me, God!

I am about to drown.

2I am sinking deep in the mud,

and my feet are slipping.

I am about to be swept under

by a mighty flood.

3I am worn out from crying,

and my throat is dry.

I have waited for you

till my eyes are blurred.

4There are more people

who hate me for no reason

than there are hairs

on my head.

Many terrible enemies

want to destroy me, God.

Am I supposed to give back

something I didn't steal?

5You know my foolish sins.

Not one is hidden from you.

6LORD God All-Powerful,

ruler of Israel,

don't let me embarrass anyone

who trusts and worships you.

7It is for your sake alone

that I am insulted

and blush with shame.

8I am like a stranger

to my relatives

and like a foreigner

to my own family.

9My love for your house

burns in me like a fire,

and when others insulted you,

they insulted me as well.

10I cried and went without food,

but they still insulted me.

11They sneered at me

for wearing sackcloth

to show my sorrow.

12Rulers and judges gossip

about me,

and drunkards make up songs

to mock me.

13But I pray to you, LORD.

So when the time is right,

answer me and help me

with your wonderful love.

14Don't let me sink in the mud,

but save me from my enemies

and from the deep water.

15Don't let me be

swept away by a flood

or drowned in the ocean

or swallowed by death.

16Answer me, LORD!

You are kind and good.

Pay attention to me!

You are truly merciful.

17Don't turn away from me.

I am your servant,

and I am in trouble.

Please hurry and help!

18Come and save me

from my enemies.

19You know how I am insulted,

mocked, and disgraced;

you know every one

of my enemies.

20I am crushed by insults,

and I feel sick.

I had hoped for mercy and pity,

but there was none.

21Enemies poisoned my food,

and when I was thirsty,

they gave me vinegar.

22Make their table a trap

for them and their friends.

23Blind them with darkness

and make them tremble.

24Show them how angry you are!

Be furious and catch them.

25Destroy their camp

and don't let anyone live

in their tents.

26They cause trouble for people

you have already punished;

their gossip hurts those

you have wounded.

27Make them guiltier than ever

and don't forgive them.

28Wipe their names from the book

of the living;

remove them from the list

of the innocent.

29I am ill-treated and in pain.

Protect me, God,

and keep me safe!

30I will praise the LORD God

with a song

and a thankful heart.

31This will please the LORD

better than offering an ox

or a full-grown bull.

32When those in need see this,

they will be happy,

and the LORD's worshippers

will be encouraged.

33The LORD will listen

when the homeless cry out,

and he will never forget

his people in prison.

34Heaven and earth

will praise our God,

and so will the oceans

and everything in them.

35God will rescue Jerusalem,

and he will rebuild

the towns of Judah.

His people will live there

on their own land,

36and when the time comes,

their children will inherit

the land.

Then everyone who loves God

will also settle there.

(By David for the music leader. To be used when an offering is made.)

God is wonderful

1Save me, LORD God!

Hurry and help.

2Disappoint and confuse

all who want to kill me.

Turn away and disgrace

all who want to hurt me.

3Embarrass and shame those

who say, “We told you so!”

4Let your worshippers celebrate

and be glad because of you.

They love your saving power,

so let them always say,

“God is wonderful!”

5I am poor and needy,

but you, the LORD God,

care about me.

You are the one who saves me.

Please hurry and help!

Psalms 69:1-70:5CEVOpen in Bible reader

Paul's defence before Agrippa

1Agrippa told Paul, “You may now speak for yourself.”

Paul stretched out his hand and said:

2King Agrippa, I am glad for this chance to defend myself before you today on all these charges that my own people have brought against me. 3You know a lot about our religious customs and the beliefs that divide us. So I ask you to listen patiently to me.

4-5All the Jews have known me since I was a child. They know what kind of life I have lived in my own country and in Jerusalem. And if they were willing, they could tell you that I was a Pharisee, a member of a group that is stricter than any other. 6Now I am on trial because I believe the promise God made to our people long ago.

7Day and night our twelve tribes have earnestly served God, waiting for his promised blessings. King Agrippa, because of this hope, the Jewish leaders have brought charges against me. 8Why should any of you doubt that God raises the dead to life?

9I once thought that I should do everything I could to oppose Jesus from Nazareth. 10I did this first in Jerusalem, and with the authority of the chief priests I put many of God's people in jail. I even voted for them to be killed. 11I often had them punished in our meeting places, and I tried to make them give up their faith. In fact, I was so angry with them, that I went looking for them in foreign cities.

12King Agrippa, one day I was on my way to Damascus with the authority and permission of the chief priests. 13About midday I saw a light brighter than the sun. It flashed from heaven on me and on everyone travelling with me. 14We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice say to me in Aramaic, “Saul, Saul, why are you so cruel to me? It's foolish to fight against me!”

15“Who are you?” I asked.

Then the Lord answered, “I am Jesus! I am the one you are so cruel to. 16Now stand up. I have appeared to you, because I have chosen you to be my servant. You are to tell others what you have learnt about me and what I will show you later.”

17The Lord also said, “I will protect you from the Jews and from the Gentiles that I am sending you to. 18I want you to open their eyes, so that they will turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then their sins will be forgiven, and by faith in me they will become part of God's holy people.”

19King Agrippa, I obeyed this vision from heaven. 20First I preached to the people in Damascus, and then I went to Jerusalem and all over Judea. Finally, I went to the Gentiles and said, “Stop sinning and turn to God! Then prove what you have done by the way you live.”

21That is why some men grabbed me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22But all this time God has helped me, and I have preached both to the rich and to the poor. I have told them only what the prophets and Moses said would happen. 23I told them how the Messiah would suffer and be the first to be raised from death, so that he could bring light to his own people and to the Gentiles.

24Before Paul finished defending himself, Festus shouted, “Paul, you're mad! Too much learning has driven you out of your mind.”

25But Paul replied, “Honourable Festus, I am not mad. What I am saying is true, and it makes sense. 26None of these things happened off in a corner somewhere. I am sure that King Agrippa knows what I am talking about. That's why I can speak so plainly to him.”

27Then Paul said to Agrippa, “Do you believe what the prophets said? I know you do.”

28Agrippa asked Paul, “In such a short time do you think you can talk me into being a Christian?”

29Paul answered, “Whether it takes a short time or a long time, I wish you and everyone else who hears me today would become just like me! Except, of course, for these chains.”

30Then King Agrippa, Governor Festus, Bernice, and everyone who was with them got up. 31But before they left, they said, “This man isn't guilty of anything. He doesn't deserve to die or to be put in jail.”

32Agrippa told Festus, “Paul could have been set free, if he had not asked to be tried by the Roman Emperor.”

Acts 26:1-32CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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