10 Why are you far away, Lord? Why do you hide yourself when I am in trouble? 2 Proud and brutal people hunt down the poor. But let them get caught by their own evil plans!
3 The wicked brag about their deepest desires. Those greedy people hate and curse you, Lord. 4 The wicked are too proud to turn to you or even think about you. 5 They are always successful, though they can’t understand your teachings, and they keep sneering at their enemies.
6 In their hearts they say, “Nothing can hurt us! We’ll always be happy and free from trouble.” 7 They curse and tell lies, and all they talk about is how to be cruel or how to do wrong.
8 They hide outside villages, waiting to strike and murder some innocent victim. 9 They are hungry lions hiding in the bushes, hoping to catch some helpless passerby. They trap the poor in nets and drag them away. 10 They crouch down and wait to grab a victim. 11 They say, “God can’t see! He’s got on a blindfold.”
12 Do something, Lord God, and use your powerful arm to help those in need. 13 The wicked don’t respect you. In their hearts they say, “God won’t punish us!”
14 But you see the trouble and the distress, and you will do something. The poor can count on you, and so can orphans. 15 Now break the arms of all merciless people. Punish them for doing wrong and make them stop.
16 Our Lord, you will always rule, but nations will vanish from the earth. 17 You listen to the longings of those who suffer. You offer them hope, and you pay attention to their cries for help. 18 You defend orphans and everyone else in need, so that no one on earth can terrify others again.
(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
Trusting the Lord
11 The Lord is my fortress! Don’t say to me, “Escape like a bird to the mountains!” 2 You tell me, “Watch out! Those evil people have put their arrows on their bows, and they are standing in the shadows, aiming at good people. 3 What can an honest person do when everything crumbles?”
4 The Lord is sitting in his sacred temple on his throne in heaven. He knows everything we do because he sees us all. 5 The Lord tests honest people, but despises those who are cruel and love violence. 6 He will send fiery coals[a] and flaming sulfur down on the wicked, and they will drink nothing but a scorching wind.
7 The Lord always does right and wants justice done. Everyone who does right will see his face.
12 Please help me, Lord! All who were faithful and all who were loyal have disappeared. 2 Everyone tells lies, and no one is sincere. 3 Won’t you chop off all flattering tongues that brag so loudly? 4 They say to themselves, “We are great speakers. No one else has a chance.”
5 But you, Lord, tell them, “I will do something! The poor are mistreated and helpless people moan. I’ll rescue all who suffer.”
6 Our Lord, you are true to your promises, and your word is like silver heated seven times in a fiery furnace.[c] 7 You will protect us and always keep us safe from those people. 8 But all who are wicked will keep on strutting, while everyone praises their shameless deeds.[d]
19 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled across the hill country to Ephesus, where he met some of the Lord’s followers. 2 He asked them, “When you put your faith in Jesus, were you given the Holy Spirit?”
“No!” they answered. “We have never even heard of the Holy Spirit.”
4 Paul replied, “John baptized people so that they would turn to God. But he also told them that someone else was coming, and that they should put their faith in him. Jesus is the one that John was talking about.” 5 After the people heard Paul say this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 Then Paul placed his hands on them. The Holy Spirit was given to them, and they spoke unknown languages and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in this group.
8 For three months Paul went to the Jewish meeting place and talked bravely with the people about God’s kingdom. He tried to win them over, 9 but some of them were stubborn and refused to believe. In front of everyone they said terrible things about God’s Way. Paul left and took the followers with him to the lecture hall of Tyrannus. He spoke there every day 10 for two years, until every Jew and Gentile[b] in Asia had heard the Lord’s message.
The Sons of Sceva
11 God gave Paul the power to work great miracles. 12 People even took handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched Paul’s body, and they carried them to everyone who was sick. All of the sick people were healed, and the evil spirits went out.
13 Some Jewish men started going around trying to force out evil spirits by using the name of the Lord Jesus. They said to the spirits, “Come out in the name of that same Jesus that Paul preaches about!”
14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this, 15 when an evil spirit said to them, “I know Jesus! And I have heard about Paul. But who are you?” 16 Then the man with the evil spirit jumped on them and beat them up. They ran out of the house, naked and bruised.
17 When the Jews and Gentiles[c] in Ephesus heard about this, they were so frightened that they praised the name of the Lord Jesus. 18 Many who were followers now started telling everyone about the evil things they had been doing. 19 Some who had been practicing witchcraft even brought their books and burned them in public. These books were worth about fifty thousand silver coins. 20 So the Lord’s message spread and became even more powerful.
19.3Then why were you baptized?. . . Because of what John taught: Or “In whose name were you baptized?. . . We were baptized in John’s name.”
19.10,17Gentile(s): The text has “Greek(s)” (see the note at 14.1).
19.10,17Gentile(s): The text has “Greek(s)” (see the note at 14.1).
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