1 God blesses those people who refuse evil advice and won’t follow sinners or join in sneering at God. 2 Instead, the Law of the Lord makes them happy, and they think about it day and night.
3 They are like trees growing beside a stream, trees that produce fruit in season and always have leaves. Those people succeed in everything they do.
4 That isn’t true of those who are evil, because they are like straw blown by the wind. 5 Sinners won’t have an excuse on the day of judgment, and they won’t have a place with the people of God. 6 The Lord protects everyone who follows him, but the wicked follow a road that leads to ruin.
The Lord’s Chosen King
2 Why do the nations plot,[a] and why do their people make useless plans?[b] 2 The kings of this earth have all joined together to turn against the Lord and his chosen one. 3 They say, “Let’s cut the ropes and set ourselves free!”
4 In heaven the Lord laughs as he sits on his throne, making fun of the nations. 5 The Lord becomes furious and threatens them. His anger terrifies them as he says, 6 “I’ve put my king on Zion, my sacred hill.”
7 I will tell the promise that the Lord made to me: “You are my son, because today I have become your father. 8 Ask me for the nations, and every nation on earth will belong to you. 9 You will smash them with an iron rod and shatter them like dishes of clay.”
10 Be smart, all you rulers, and pay close attention. 11 Serve and honor the Lord; be glad and tremble. 12 Show respect to his son because if you don’t, the Lord might become furious and suddenly destroy you.[c] But he blesses and protects everyone who runs to him.
(Written by David when he was running from his son Absalom.)
An Early Morning Prayer
3 I have a lot of enemies, Lord. Many fight against 2 me and say, “God won’t rescue you!”
3 But you are my shield, and you give me victory and great honor. 4 I pray to you, and you answer from your sacred hill.
5 I sleep and wake up refreshed because you, Lord, protect me. 6 Ten thousand enemies attack from every side, but I am not afraid.
7 Come and save me, Lord God! Break my enemies' jaws and shatter their teeth, 8 because you protect and bless your people.
2.1Why. . . plot: Or “Why are the nations restless?”
17 After Paul and his friends had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they went on to Thessalonica. A Jewish meeting place was in that city. 2 So as usual, Paul went there to worship, and on three Sabbaths he spoke to the people. He used the Scriptures 3 to show them that the Messiah had to suffer, but that he would rise from death. Paul also told them that Jesus is the Messiah he was preaching about. 4 Some of them believed what Paul had said, and they became followers with Paul and Silas. Some Gentiles[a] and many important women also believed the message.
5 The Jewish leaders were jealous and got some worthless bums who hung around the marketplace to start a riot in the city. They wanted to drag Paul and Silas out to the mob, and so they went straight to Jason’s home. 6 But when they did not find them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the Lord’s followers. They took them to the city authorities and shouted, “Paul and Silas have been upsetting things everywhere. Now they have come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his home. All of them break the laws of the Roman Emperor by claiming that someone named Jesus is king.”
8 The officials and the people were upset when they heard this. 9 So they made Jason and the other followers pay bail before letting them go.
People in Berea Welcome the Message
10 That same night the Lord’s followers sent Paul and Silas on to Berea, and after they arrived, they went to the Jewish meeting place. 11 The people in Berea were much nicer than those in Thessalonica, and they gladly accepted the message. Day after day they studied the Scriptures to see if these things were true. 12 Many of them put their faith in the Lord, including some important Greek women and several men.
13 When the Jewish leaders in Thessalonica heard that Paul had been preaching God’s message in Berea, they went there and caused trouble by turning the crowds against Paul.
14 Right away the followers sent Paul down to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea. 15 Some men went with Paul as far as Athens, and then returned with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
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