Restore Our Fortunes, O Lord
A Song of mAscents.
126 When the Lord srestored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who tdream.
2 Then our umouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
v“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad.
4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like streams in the Negeb!
5 wThose who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
6 He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
Unless the Lord Builds the House
A Song of mAscents. Of Solomon.
127 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord xwatches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious ytoil;
3 Behold, bchildren are a heritage from the Lord,
cthe fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of da warrior
are the children1 of one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
Blessed Is Everyone Who Fears the Lord
A Song of mAscents.
128 fBlessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
who gwalks in his ways!
2 You hshall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife will be like ia fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like jolive shoots
around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the Lord.
May you see mthe prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life!
6 May you see your nchildren's children!
oPeace be upon Israel!
Encouragement to Give Generously
8 We want you to know, brothers,1 about the grace of God that has been hgiven among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and itheir extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave jaccording to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly kfor the favor2 of taking part in lthe relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they mgave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6 Accordingly, nwe urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you othis act of grace. 7 But as pyou excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you3—qsee that you excel in this act of grace also.
8 rI say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that sthough he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter tI give my judgment: uthis benefits you, who va year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable waccording to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply xtheir need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, y“Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
Commendation of Titus
16 But zthanks be to God, awho put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For bhe not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going4 to you of his own accord. 18 With him we are sending5 cthe brother who is famous among dall the churches for his preaching of the gospel. 19 And not only that, but he has been eappointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of fgrace that is being ministered by us, gfor the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. 20 We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, 21 for hwe aim at what is honorable inot only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man. 22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is jmy partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers6 of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of kour boasting about you to these men.