Deliver Me, O Lord, from Evil Men
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
140 yDeliver me, O Lord, from evil men;
preserve me from zviolent men,
2 who plan evil things in their heart
and astir up wars continually.
4 Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
preserve me from zviolent men,
who have planned to trip up my feet.
5 The arrogant have fhidden a trap for me,
beside the way they have set hsnares for me. Selah
6 iI say to the Lord, You are my God;
give ear to jthe voice of my pleas for mercy, O Lord!
7 O Lord, my Lord, kthe strength of my salvation,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8 lGrant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;
9 As for the head of those who surround me,
let nthe mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
10 Let oburning coals fall upon them!
Let them be cast into fire,
into miry pits, no more to rise!
11 Let not the slanderer be established in the land;
let evil hunt down the violent man speedily!
12 I know that the Lord will pmaintain the cause of the afflicted,
and qwill execute justice for the needy.
13 Surely rthe righteous shall give thanks to your name;
sthe upright shall dwell in your presence.
Give Ear to My Voice
A Psalm of David.
141 O Lord, I call upon you; thasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to you!
2 Let umy prayer be counted as incense before you,
3 xSet a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
ykeep watch over the door of my lips!
4 zDo not let my heart incline to any evil,
to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with men who awork iniquity,
and blet me not eat of their delicacies!
5 cLet a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head;
let my head not refuse it.
Yet dmy prayer is continually against their evil deeds.
then they shall hear my words, for they are pleasant.
7 As when one plows and breaks up the earth,
8 But gmy eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord;
9 Keep me from ithe trap that they have laid for me
and from the snares of evildoers!
10 Let the wicked jfall into their own nets,
while I pass by safely.
You Are My Refuge
142 With my voice I lcry out to the Lord;
with my voice I mplead for mercy to the Lord.
2 I npour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him.
3 When my spirit ofaints within me,
you know my way!
In the path where I walk
they have phidden a trap for me.
sthere is none who takes notice of me;
tno refuge remains to me;
no one cares for my soul.
5 I cry to you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my urefuge,
6 xAttend to my cry,
for yI am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors,
zfor they are too strong for me!
7 aBring me out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me,
for you will bdeal bountifully with me.
Paul's Visions and His Thorn
12 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and xrevelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man yin Christ who fourteen years ago was zcaught up to athe third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, bGod knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into cparadise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, bGod knows— 4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, dexcept of my weaknesses— 6 though if I should wish to boast, eI would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So fto keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,1 ga thorn was given me in the flesh, ha messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 iThree times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, j“My grace is sufficient for you, for kmy power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that lthe power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 mFor the sake of Christ, then, nI am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For owhen I am weak, then I am strong.
Concern for the Corinthian Church
11 pI have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was qnot at all inferior to these super-apostles, reven though I am nothing. 12 sThe signs of a true apostle were performed among you twith utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that uI myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!
14 Here vfor the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for wI seek not what is yours but you. For xchildren are not obligated to save up for their parents, but yparents for their children. 15 zI will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If aI love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But granting that bI myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. 17 Did I take advantage of you cthrough any of those whom I sent to you? 18 dI urged Titus to go, and sent ethe brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?
19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is fin the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and gall for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I fear that perhaps hwhen I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those iwho sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, jsexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.