13 How much longer, Lord, will you forget about me? Will it be forever? How long will you hide? 2 How long must I be confused and miserable all day? How long will my enemies keep beating me down?
3 Please listen, Lord God, and answer my prayers. Make my eyes sparkle again, or else I will fall into the sleep of death. 4 My enemies will say, “Now we’ve won!” They will be greatly pleased when I am defeated.
5 I trust your love, and I feel like celebrating because you rescued me. 6 You have been good to me, Lord, and I will sing about you.
(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
No One Can Ignore the Lord
14 Only a fool would say, “There is no God!” People like that are worthless; they are heartless and cruel and never do right.
2 From heaven the Lord looks down to see if anyone is wise enough to search for him. 3 But all of them are corrupt; no one does right.
4 Won’t you evil people learn? You refuse to pray, and you gobble down the Lord’s people. 5 But you will be frightened, because God is on the side of every good person. 6 You may spoil the plans of the poor, but the Lord protects them.
7 I long for someone from Zion to come and save Israel! Our Lord, when you bless your people again, Jacob’s family will be glad, and Israel will celebrate.
(A psalm by David.)
Who May Worship the Lord?
15 Who may stay in God’s temple or live on the holy mountain of the Lord?
2 Only those who obey God and do as they should. They speak the truth 3 and don’t spread gossip; they treat others fairly and don’t say cruel things.
4 They hate worthless people, but show respect for all who worship the Lord. And they keep their promises, no matter what the cost. 5 They lend their money without charging interest, and they don’t take bribes to hurt the innocent.
21 After all of this had happened, Paul decided[a] to visit Macedonia and Achaia on his way to Jerusalem. Paul had said, “From there I will go on to Rome.” 22 So he sent his two helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia. But he stayed on in Asia for a while.
23 At that time there was serious trouble because of the Lord’s Way.[b]24 A silversmith named Demetrius had a business that made silver models of the temple of the goddess Artemis. Those who worked for him earned a lot of money. 25 Demetrius brought together everyone who was in the same business and said:
Friends, you know that we make a good living at this. 26 But you have surely seen and heard how this man Paul is upsetting a lot of people, not only in Ephesus, but almost everywhere in Asia. He claims that the gods we humans make are not really gods at all. 27 Everyone will start saying terrible things about our business. They will stop respecting the temple of the goddess Artemis, who is worshiped in Asia and all over the world. Our great goddess will be forgotten!
28 When the workers heard this, they got angry and started shouting, “Great is Artemis, the goddess of the Ephesians!” 29 Soon the whole city was in a riot, and some men grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, who had come from Macedonia with Paul. Then everyone in the crowd rushed to the place where the town meetings were held.
30 Paul wanted to go out and speak to the people, but the Lord’s followers would not let him. 31 A few of the local officials were friendly to Paul, and they sent someone to warn him not to go.
32 Some of the people in the meeting were shouting one thing, and others were shouting something else. Everyone was completely confused, and most of them did not even know why they were there.
33 Several of the Jewish leaders pushed a man named Alexander to the front of the crowd and started telling him what to say. He motioned with his hand and tried to explain what was going on. 34 But when the crowd saw that he was Jewish, they all shouted for two hours, “Great is Artemis, the goddess of the Ephesians!”
35 Finally, a town official made the crowd be quiet. Then he said:
People of Ephesus, who in the world doesn’t know that our city is the center for worshiping the great goddess Artemis? Who doesn’t know that her image which fell from heaven is right here? 36 No one can deny this, and so you should calm down and not do anything foolish. 37 You have brought men in here who have not robbed temples or spoken against our goddess.
38 If Demetrius and his workers have a case against these men, we have courts and judges. Let them take their complaints there. 39 But if you want to do more than that, the matter will have to be brought before the city council. 40 We could easily be accused of starting a riot today. There is no excuse for it! We cannot even give a reason for this uproar.
41 After saying this, he told the people to leave.
19.21Paul decided: Or “Paul was led by the Holy Spirit.”
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