Psalm 31-32 The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
31 1-2 I run to you, God; I run for dear life.
3-5 You’re my cave to hide in,
6-13 I hate all this silly religion,
14-18 Desperate, I throw myself on you:
19-22 What a stack of blessing you have piled up
23 Love God, all you saints;
24 Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.
A David Psalm
32 Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—
2 Count yourself lucky—
3 When I kept it all inside,
4 The pressure never let up;
5 Then I let it all out;
Suddenly the pressure was gone—
6 These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
7 God’s my island hideaway,
8 Let me give you some good advice;
9 “Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule
10 God-defiers are always in trouble;
11 Celebrate God.
Acts 23:16-35 The Message (MSG)
16-17 Paul’s nephew, his sister’s son, overheard them plotting the ambush. He went immediately to the barracks and told Paul. Paul called over one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the captain. He has something important to tell him.”
18 The centurion brought him to the captain and said, “The prisoner Paul asked me to bring this young man to you. He said he has something urgent to tell you.”
19 The captain took him by the arm and led him aside privately. “What is it? What do you have to tell me?”
20-21 Paul’s nephew said, “The Jews have worked up a plot against Paul. They’re going to ask you to bring Paul to the council first thing in the morning on the pretext that they want to investigate the charges against him in more detail. But it’s a trick to get him out of your safekeeping so they can murder him. Right now there are more than forty men lying in ambush for him. They’ve all taken a vow to neither eat nor drink until they’ve killed him. The ambush is set—all they’re waiting for is for you to send him over.”
22 The captain dismissed the nephew with a warning: “Don’t breathe a word of this to a soul.”
23-24 The captain called up two centurions. “Get two hundred soldiers ready to go immediately to Caesarea. Also seventy cavalry and two hundred light infantry. I want them ready to march by nine o’clock tonight. And you’ll need a couple of mules for Paul and his gear. We’re going to present this man safe and sound to Governor Felix.”
25-30 Then he wrote this letter:
From Claudius Lysias, to the Most Honorable Governor Felix:
I rescued this man from a Jewish mob. They had seized him and were about to kill him when I learned that he was a Roman citizen. So I sent in my soldiers. Wanting to know what he had done wrong, I had him brought before their council. It turned out to be a squabble turned vicious over some of their religious differences, but nothing remotely criminal.
The next thing I knew, they had cooked up a plot to murder him. I decided that for his own safety I’d better get him out of here in a hurry. So I’m sending him to you. I’m informing his accusers that he’s now under your jurisdiction.
31-33 The soldiers, following orders, took Paul that same night to safety in Antipatris. In the morning the soldiers returned to their barracks in Jerusalem, sending Paul on to Caesarea under guard of the cavalry. The cavalry entered Caesarea and handed Paul and the letter over to the governor.
34-35 After reading the letter, the governor asked Paul what province he came from and was told “Cilicia.” Then he said, “I’ll take up your case when your accusers show up.” He ordered him locked up for the meantime in King Herod’s official quarters.