29 All of you angels[a] in heaven, honor the glory and power of the Lord! 2 Honor the wonderful name of the Lord, and worship the Lord most holy and glorious.[b]
3 The voice of the Lord echoes over the oceans. The glorious Lord God thunders above the roar of the raging sea, 4 and his voice is mighty and marvelous. 5 The voice of the Lord destroys the cedar trees; the Lord shatters cedars on Mount Lebanon. 6 God makes Mount Lebanon skip like a calf and Mount Hermon jump like a wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord makes lightning flash 8 and the desert tremble. And because of the Lord, the desert near Kadesh shivers and shakes.
9 The voice of the Lord makes deer give birth before their time.[c] Forests are stripped of leaves, and the temple is filled with shouts of praise.
10 The Lord rules on his throne, king of the flood[d] forever. 11 Pray that our Lord will make us strong and give us peace.
(A psalm by David for the dedication of the temple.)
A Prayer of Thanks
30 I will praise you, Lord! You saved me from the grave and kept my enemies from celebrating my death. 2 I prayed to you, Lord God, and you healed me, 3 saving me from death and the grave.
4 Your faithful people, Lord, will praise you with songs and honor your holy name. 5 Your anger lasts a little while, but your kindness lasts for a lifetime. At night we may cry, but when morning comes we will celebrate.
6 I was carefree and thought, “I’ll never be shaken!” 7 You, Lord, were my friend, and you made me strong as a mighty mountain. But when you hid your face, I was crushed.
8 I prayed to you, Lord, and in my prayer I said, 9 “What good will it do you if I am in the grave? Once I have turned to dust, how can I praise you or tell how loyal you are? 10 Have pity, Lord! Help!”
11 You have turned my sorrow into joyful dancing. No longer am I sad and wearing sackcloth.[e] 12 I thank you from my heart, and I will never stop singing your praises, my Lord and my God.
23 Paul looked straight at the council members and said, “My friends, to this day I have served God with a clear conscience!”
2 Then Ananias the high priest ordered the men standing beside Paul to hit him on the mouth. 3 Paul turned to the high priest and said, “You whitewashed wall![a] God will hit you. You sit there to judge me by the Law of Moses. But at the same time you order men to break the Law by hitting me.”
4 The men standing beside Paul asked, “Don’t you know you are insulting God’s high priest?”
5 Paul replied, “Oh! I didn’t know he was the high priest. The Scriptures do tell us not to speak evil about a leader of our people.”
6 When Paul saw that some of the council members were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he shouted, “My friends, I am a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee. I am on trial simply because I believe that the dead will be raised to life.”
7 As soon as Paul said this, the Pharisees and the Sadducees got into a big argument, and the council members started taking sides. 8 The Sadducees do not believe in angels or spirits or that the dead will rise to life. But the Pharisees believe in all of these, 9 and so there was a lot of shouting. Some of the teachers of the Law of Moses were Pharisees. Finally, they became angry and said, “We don’t find anything wrong with this man. Maybe a spirit or an angel really did speak to him.”
10 The argument became fierce, and the commander was afraid that Paul would be pulled apart. So he ordered the soldiers to go in and rescue Paul. Then they took him back into the fortress.
11 That night the Lord stood beside Paul and said, “Don’t worry! Just as you have told others about me in Jerusalem, you must also tell about me in Rome.”
A Plot To Kill Paul
12-13 The next morning more than forty Jewish men got together and vowed that they would not eat or drink anything until they had killed Paul. 14 Then some of them went to the chief priests and the nation’s leaders and said, “We have promised God that we would not eat a thing until we have killed Paul. 15 You and everyone in the council must go to the commander and pretend that you want to find out more about the charges against Paul. Ask for him to be brought before your court. Meanwhile, we will be waiting to kill him before he gets there.”
23.3whitewashed wall: Someone who pretends to be good, but really isn’t.
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