Psalms 26–28; Acts 22

I Will Bless the Lord

Of David.

26  qVindicate me, O Lord,

for I have rwalked in my integrity,

and I have strusted in the Lord without wavering.

tProve me, O Lord, and try me;

test my heart and umy mind.1

For your vsteadfast love is before my eyes,

and I wwalk in your vfaithfulness.

I do not xsit with men of yfalsehood,

nor do I consort with hypocrites.

I zhate the assembly of evildoers,

and I will not sit with the wicked.

I awash my hands in innocence

and go around your altar, O Lord,

proclaiming thanksgiving aloud,

and telling all your bwondrous deeds.

O Lord, I clove the habitation of your house

and the place where your glory dwells.

dDo not sweep my soul away with sinners,

nor my life with bloodthirsty men,

10  in whose hands are evil devices,

and whose right hands are full of ebribes.

11  But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;

redeem me, and be gracious to me.

12  My foot stands on flevel ground;

in gthe great assembly I will bless the Lord.

The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation

Of David.

27  The Lord is my hlight and my isalvation;

jwhom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold2 of my life;

of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me

to keat up my flesh,

my adversaries and foes,

it is they who stumble and fall.

lThough an army encamp against me,

my heart shall not fear;

though war arise against me,

yet3 I will be confident.

mOne thing have I asked of the Lord,

that will I seek after:

that I may ndwell in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life,

to gaze upon othe beauty of the Lord

and to inquire4 in his temple.

For he will phide me in his shelter

in the day of trouble;

he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;

he will qlift me high upon a rock.

And now my rhead shall be lifted up

above my enemies all around me,

and I will offer in his tent

sacrifices with shouts of sjoy;

tI will sing and make melody to the Lord.

uHear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;

be gracious to me and answer me!

You have said, vSeek5 my face.

My heart says to you,

Your face, Lord, do I seek.6

wHide not your face from me.

Turn not your servant away in anger,

O you who have been my help.

Cast me not off; forsake me not,

xO God of my salvation!

10  For ymy father and my mother have forsaken me,

but the Lord will ztake me in.

11  aTeach me your way, O Lord,

and lead me on ba level path

because of my enemies.

12  cGive me not up to the will of my adversaries;

for dfalse witnesses have risen against me,

and they ebreathe out violence.

13  I believe that I shall look7 upon fthe goodness of the Lord

in gthe land of the living!

14  hWait for the Lord;

ibe strong, and let your heart take courage;

wait for the Lord!

The Lord Is My Strength and My Shield

Of David.

28  To you, O Lord, I call;

jmy rock, be not deaf to me,

lest, if you kbe silent to me,

I become like those who lgo down to the pit.

mHear the voice of my pleas for mercy,

when I cry to you for help,

when I nlift up my hands

otoward your most holy sanctuary.8

Do not pdrag me off with the wicked,

with the workers of evil,

qwho speak peace with their neighbors

while evil is in their hearts.

rGive to them according to their work

and according to the evil of their deeds;

give to them according to the work of their hands;

srender them their due reward.

Because they tdo not regard the works of the Lord

or the work of his hands,

he will tear them down and build them up no more.

Blessed be the Lord!

For he has uheard the voice of my pleas for mercy.

The Lord is my strength and vmy shield;

in him my heart wtrusts, and I am helped;

my heart exults,

and with my xsong I give thanks to him.

The Lord is the strength of his people;9

he is ythe saving refuge of his anointed.

Oh, save your people and bless zyour heritage!

aBe their shepherd and bcarry them forever.


22 wBrothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make before you.

And when they heard that he was addressing them in xthe Hebrew language,1 they became even more quiet. And he said:

yI am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated zat the feet of aGamaliel2 baccording to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, cbeing zealous for God das all of you are this day. eI persecuted fthis Way gto the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as hthe high priest and ithe whole council of elders can bear me witness. From them I received letters to jthe brothers, and I journeyed toward Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.

kAs I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? And I answered, Who are you, Lord? And he said to me, I am lJesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting. mNow those who were with me saw the light but did not understand3 the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, nWhat shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do. 11 And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.

12 And oone Ananias, a devout man paccording to the law, qwell spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 rcame to me, and standing by me said to me, Brother Saul, receive your sight. And sat that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, tThe God of our fathers uappointed you to know his will, vto see wthe Righteous One and xto hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for yyou will be a witness for him to everyone of what zyou have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? aRise and be baptized and bwash away your sins, ccalling on his name.

17 dWhen I had returned to Jerusalem and ewas praying in the temple, I fell into fa trance 18 and saw him saying to me, gMake haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me. 19 And I said, Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another hI imprisoned and ibeat those who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of Stephen jyour witness was being shed, kI myself was standing by and lapproving and kwatching over the garments of those who killed him. 21 And he said to me, Go, for I will send you mfar away to the Gentiles.

Paul and the Roman Tribune

22 Up to this word they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, nAway with such a fellow from the earth! For ohe should not be allowed to live. 23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the tribune ordered him to be brought into pthe barracks, saying that he should be qexamined by flogging, to find out why they were shouting against him like this. 25 But when they had stretched him out for the whips,4 Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, Is it lawful for you to flog ra man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned? 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune and said to him, What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen. 27 So the tribune came and said to him, Tell me, are you a Roman citizen? And he said, Yes. 28 The tribune answered, I bought this citizenship for a large sum. Paul said, But I am a citizen by birth. 29 So those who were about sto examine him withdrew from him immediately, and the tribune also twas afraid, ufor he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that vhe had bound him.

Paul Before the Council

30 But on the next day, wdesiring to know the real reason why he was being accused by the Jews, he unbound him and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.