God Himself Is Judge
A Psalm of nAsaph.
50 oThe Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
pfrom the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, qthe perfection of beauty,
rGod shines forth.
before him is a devouring tfire,
around him a mighty tempest.
4 uHe calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made va covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6 wThe heavens declare his righteousness,
for xGod himself is judge! Selah
7 y“Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you.
zI am God, your God.
8 Not for your sacrifices ado I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9 I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 bI know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
cfor the world and its fullness are mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
and eperform your vows to the Most High,
15 and fcall upon me in the day of trouble;
16 But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 iFor you hate discipline,
jand you cast my words behind you.
18 If you see a thief, kyou are pleased with him,
land you keep company with adulterers.
19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
mand your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother;
you slander your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I nhave been silent;
you thought that I3 was one like yourself.
22 “Mark this, then, you who qforget God,
lest I tear you apart, and there be rnone to deliver!
23 The one who soffers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who torders his way rightly
I will show the usalvation of God!”
Seven Chosen to Serve
6 Now in these days kwhen the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists1 arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in lthe daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 mTherefore, brothers,2 pick out from among you seven men nof good repute, ofull of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But pwe will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, qa man full of faith and rof the Holy Spirit, and sPhilip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, ta proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and uthey prayed and vlaid their hands on them.
Stephen Is Seized
8 And Stephen, full of grace and zpower, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But athey could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then bthey secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, 13 and they cset up false dwitnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against ethis holy place and the law, 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth fwill destroy this place and will gchange hthe customs that Moses delivered to us.” 15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face iwas like the face of an angel.