Psalms 37–39; Acts 26

He Will Not Forsake His Saints

1 Of David.

37  uFret not yourself because of evildoers;

be not venvious of wrongdoers!

For they will soon wfade like xthe grass

and wither ylike the green herb.

zTrust in the Lord, and do good;

adwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.2

bDelight yourself in the Lord,

and he will cgive you the desires of your heart.

dCommit your way to the Lord;

ztrust in him, and he will act.

eHe will bring forth your righteousness as the light,

and your justice as fthe noonday.

gBe still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;

hfret not yourself over the one who iprospers in his way,

over the man who carries out evil devices!

jRefrain from anger, and forsake wrath!

hFret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

kFor the evildoers shall be cut off,

but those who wait for the Lord shall linherit the land.

10  In mjust a little while, the wicked will be no more;

though you look carefully at nhis place, he will not be there.

11  But othe meek shall inherit the land

and delight themselves in pabundant peace.

12  The wicked qplots against the righteous

and rgnashes his teeth at him,

13  but the Lord slaughs at the wicked,

for he sees that his tday is coming.

14  The wicked draw the sword and ubend their bows

to bring down the poor and needy,

to slay those whose vway is upright;

15  their sword shall enter their own heart,

and their wbows shall be broken.

16  xBetter is the little that the righteous has

than the abundance of many wicked.

17  For ythe arms of the wicked shall be broken,

but the Lord zupholds the righteous.

18  The Lord aknows the days of the blameless,

and their bheritage will remain forever;

19  they are not put to shame in evil times;

in cthe days of famine they have abundance.

20  But the wicked will perish;

the enemies of the Lord are like dthe glory of the pastures;

they vanishlike esmoke they vanish away.

21  The wicked borrows but does not pay back,

but the righteous fis generous and gives;

22  for those blessed by the Lord3 shall ginherit the land,

but those cursed by him hshall be cut off.

23  The isteps of a man are jestablished by the Lord,

when he delights in his way;

24  kthough he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,

for the Lord lupholds his hand.

25  I have been young, and now am old,

yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken

or his children mbegging for bread.

26  He is ever nlending generously,

and his children become a blessing.

27  oTurn away from evil and do good;

so shall you pdwell forever.

28  For the Lord qloves justice;

he will not forsake his rsaints.

They are preserved forever,

but the children of the wicked shall be scut off.

29  The righteous shall inherit the land

and pdwell upon it forever.

30  The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,

and his tongue speaks justice.

31  tThe law of his God is in his heart;

his usteps do not slip.

32  The wicked vwatches for the righteous

and seeks to put him to death.

33  The Lord will not wabandon him to his power

or let him xbe condemned when he is brought to trial.

34  yWait for the Lord and keep his way,

and he will exalt you to inherit the land;

you will look on zwhen the wicked are cut off.

35  aI have seen a wicked, ruthless man,

spreading himself like ba green laurel tree.4

36  But he passed away,5 and behold, che was no more;

though I sought him, he could not be found.

37  Mark the blameless and behold the upright,

for there is a future for the man of dpeace.

38  But etransgressors shall be altogether destroyed;

the future of the wicked fshall be cut off.

39  gThe salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;

he is their stronghold in hthe time of trouble.

40  The Lord helps them and idelivers them;

jhe delivers them from the wicked and saves them,

because they ktake refuge in him.

Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord

A Psalm of David, lfor the memorial offering.

38  O Lord, mrebuke me not in your anger,

nor discipline me in your wrath!

For your narrows have sunk into me,

and your hand ohas come down on me.

There is pno soundness in my flesh

because of your indignation;

there is no health in my qbones

because of my sin.

For my riniquities have gone over my head;

like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

My wounds stink and fester

because of my foolishness,

I am sutterly bowed down and tprostrate;

all the day I ugo about mourning.

For my sides are filled with burning,

and there is pno soundness in my flesh.

I am feeble and crushed;

I vgroan because of the tumult of my heart.

O Lord, all my longing is before you;

my wsighing is not hidden from you.

10  My heart throbs; my strength fails me,

and xthe light of my eyesit also has gone from me.

11  My yfriends and companions zstand aloof from my aplague,

and my nearest kin bstand far off.

12  Those who seek my life clay their snares;

those who seek my hurt dspeak of ruin

and meditate etreachery all day long.

13  But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,

like fa mute man who does not open his mouth.

14  I have become like a man who does not hear,

and in whose mouth are no grebukes.

15  But for hyou, O Lord, do I wait;

it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.

16  For I said, Only ilet them not rejoice over me,

who jboast against me when my kfoot slips!

17  For I am lready to fall,

and my pain is ever before me.

18  I mconfess my iniquity;

I am nsorry for my sin.

19  But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty,

and many are those who hate me owrongfully.

20  Those who prender me evil for good

qaccuse me because I rfollow after good.

21  Do not forsake me, O Lord!

O my God, be not sfar from me!

22  tMake haste to help me,

O Lord, my usalvation!

What Is the Measure of My Days?

To the choirmaster: to vJeduthun. A Psalm of David.

39  I said, I will wguard my ways,

that I xmay not sin with my tongue;

I will yguard my mouth with a muzzle,

so long as the wicked are in my presence.

I was zmute and silent;

I held my peace to no avail,

and my distress grew worse.

My aheart became hot within me.

As I mused, the fire burned;

then I spoke with my tongue:

O Lord, bmake me know my end

and what is the measure of my days;

let me know how fleeting I am!

Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,

and cmy lifetime is as nothing before you.

Surely dall mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah

Surely a man egoes about as a shadow!

Surely for nothing6 they are in turmoil;

man fheaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?

gMy hope is in you.

Deliver me from all my transgressions.

hDo not make me the scorn of the fool!

iI am mute; I do not open my mouth,

jfor it is you who have done it.

10  kRemove your stroke from me;

I am spent by the hostility of your hand.

11  When you discipline a man

with lrebukes for sin,

you mconsume like a nmoth what is dear to him;

osurely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah

12  pHear my prayer, O Lord,

and give ear to my cry;

hold not your peace at my tears!

For I am qa sojourner with you,

qa guest, like all my fathers.

13  rLook away from me, that I may smile again,

sbefore I depart and tam no more!


Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa

26 So lAgrippa said to Paul, You have permission to speak for yourself. Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:

I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today magainst all the accusations of the Jews, especially because you are familiar with all the ncustoms and ocontroversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.

pMy manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among qmy own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that raccording to the strictest sparty of our treligion I have lived as ua Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in vthe promise made by God to our fathers, wto which xour twelve tribes hope to yattain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope zI am accused by Jews, O king! Why is it thought aincredible by any of you that God raises the dead?

bI myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of cJesus of Nazareth. 10 dAnd I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority efrom the chief priests, but fwhen they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And gI punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them hblaspheme, and iin raging fury against them I jpersecuted them even to foreign cities.

Paul Tells of His Conversion

12 In this connection kI journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me lin the Hebrew language,1 Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads. 15 And I said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and mstand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, nto appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 odelivering you from your people and from the Gentilespto whom I qam sending you 18 rto open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from sthe power of Satan to God, that they may receive tforgiveness of sins and ua place among those who are sanctified vby faith in me.

19 Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to wthe heavenly vision, 20 but declared first xto those in Damascus, ythen in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also zto the Gentiles, that they should arepent and bturn to God, performing deeds cin keeping with their repentance. 21 For this reason dthe Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 eTo this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so fI stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what gthe prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 hthat the Christ imust suffer and that, jby being the first kto rise from the dead, lhe would proclaim mlight both to our people and to the Gentiles.

24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, nyou are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind. 25 But Paul said, I am not out of my mind, omost excellent Festus, but I am speaking ptrue and qrational words. 26 For rthe king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe. 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, In a short time would you persuade me to be sa Christian?2 29 And Paul said, Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day tmight become such as I amexcept for uthese chains.

30 Then the king rose, and vthe governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. 31 And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, wThis man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment. 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, xThis man could have been set yfree if he had not appealed zto Caesar.