1 Save me, O Eternal One, from the evil men who seek my life. Shield me from this band of violent men. 2 Their hearts devise evil! They conspire against me; they are constantly causing a storm of war. 3 These snakes have sharpened their tongues; viper venom hides beneath their lips.[a]
4 Keep me from the grip of these cruel men, O Eternal One. Shield me from this band of violent men whose only intention is to trip me up and undermine all I do. 5 Those arrogant people are trying to catch me; they’ve laid their trap, hiding a net along my path; their traps are set, and I am the prey.
6 “Eternal One,” I said, “You are my one and only God. Hear me, O Eternal, hear my humble cry for rescue. 7 O Lord, Eternal One, power of my deliverance, You are my helmet in the day of battle. 8 So do not fulfill the desires of these evildoers, Eternal One; do not advance their evil schemes, lest they brag about their successes.
9 “As for the gang leader of those who surround me, let their mischievous words cover them; smother them in trouble. 10 Let hot coals fall from heaven upon them and cast them into the roaring fires. May they sink into the muddy marsh from which there is no return. 11 Let no liar find a home anywhere in the land; let evil hunt down the violent man and do him in quickly.”
12 I am certain the Eternal supports the cause of the distressed; the poor will receive the justice they deserve. 13 Indeed, the just-living will glorify Your name, and honorable people will be at home in Your presence.
15 “Then I will give you shepherds who trust and know Me, wise teachers who will impart knowledge and understanding to you. 16 In those days, after your people have grown and increased in the land, they will no longer talk about the covenant chest of the Eternal. They won’t think about it, remember it, or even miss it. There will be no need for it to be made again. 17 In this coming age, Jerusalem will be known as the throne of the Eternal. All the nations of the world will be drawn there to her, to honor the name of the Eternal. The days of people insisting on their own stubborn ways dictated by their own evil hearts will be gone. 18 In that day, the split between My people will be mended. Judah and Israel will walk together again. From a land to the north, they will come to this land I gave only to your ancestors.
6 Don’t be fooled by people whose sentences are compounded with useless words, empty words—they just show they are empty souls. For, in His wrath, God will judge all the children of disobedience for these kinds of sins. 7 So don’t be persuaded into their ignorance; and don’t cast your lot with them 8 because, although you were once the personification of darkness, you are now light in the Lord. So act like children of the light. 9 For the fruit of the light is all that is good, right, and true. 10 Make it your aim to learn what pleases our Lord. 11 Don’t get involved with the fruitless works of darkness; instead, expose them to the light of God.12 You see, it’s a disgrace to speak of their secrets (so don’t even talk about what they do when no one is looking). 13-14 When the light shines, it exposes even the dark and shadowy things and turns them into pure reflections of light. This is why they sing,
Awake, you sleeper! Rise from your grave, And the Anointed One will shine on you.
15 So be careful how you live; be mindful of your steps. Don’t run around like idiots as the rest of the world does. Instead, walk as the wise! 16 Make the most of every living and breathing moment because these are evil times. 17 So understand and be confident in God’s will, and don’t live thoughtlessly. 18 Don’t drink wine excessively. The drunken path is a reckless path. It leads nowhere. Instead, let God fill you with the Holy Spirit. 19 When you are filled with the Spirit, you are empowered to speak to each other in the soulful words of pious songs, hymns, and spiritual songs; to sing and make music with your hearts attuned to God; 20 and to give thanks to God the Father every day through the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed for all He has done.
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