A A A A A
Bible Book List

Psalm 35-36The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

35 1-3 Harass these hecklers, God,
    punch these bullies in the nose.
Grab a weapon, anything at hand;
    stand up for me!
Get ready to throw the spear, aim the javelin,
    at the people who are out to get me.
Reassure me; let me hear you say,
    “I’ll save you.”

4-8 When those thugs try to knife me in the back,
    make them look foolish.
Frustrate all those
    who are plotting my downfall.
Make them like cinders in a high wind,
    with God’s angel working the bellows.
Make their road lightless and mud-slick,
    with God’s angel on their tails.
Out of sheer cussedness they set a trap to catch me;
    for no good reason they dug a ditch to stop me.
Surprise them with your ambush—
    catch them in the very trap they set,
    the disaster they planned for me.

9-10 But let me run loose and free,
    celebrating God’s great work,
Every bone in my body laughing, singing, “God,
    there’s no one like you.
You put the down-and-out on their feet
    and protect the unprotected from bullies!”

11-12 Hostile accusers appear out of nowhere,
    they stand up and badger me.
They pay me back misery for mercy,
    leaving my soul empty.

13-14 When they were sick, I dressed in black;
    instead of eating, I prayed.
My prayers were like lead in my gut,
    like I’d lost my best friend, my brother.
I paced, distraught as a motherless child,
    hunched and heavyhearted.

15-16 But when I was down
    they threw a party!
All the nameless riffraff of the town came
    chanting insults about me.
Like barbarians desecrating a shrine,
    they destroyed my reputation.

17-18 God, how long are you going
    to stand there doing nothing?
Save me from their brutalities;
    everything I’ve got is being thrown to the lions.
I will give you full credit
    when everyone gathers for worship;
When the people turn out in force
    I will say my Hallelujahs.

19-21 Don’t let these liars, my enemies,
    have a party at my expense,
Those who hate me for no reason,
    winking and rolling their eyes.
No good is going to come
    from that crowd;
They spend all their time cooking up gossip
    against those who mind their own business.
They open their mouths
    in ugly grins,
Mocking, “Ha-ha, ha-ha, thought you’d get away with it?
    We’ve caught you hands down!”

22 Don’t you see what they’re doing, God?
    You’re not going to let them
Get by with it, are you? Not going to walk off
    without doing something, are you?

23-26 Please get up—wake up! Tend to my case.
    My God, my Lord—my life is on the line.
Do what you think is right, God, my God,
    but don’t make me pay for their good time.
Don’t let them say to themselves,
    “Ha-ha, we got what we wanted.”
Don’t let them say,
    “We’ve chewed him up and spit him out.”
Let those who are being hilarious
    at my expense
Be made to look ridiculous.
    Make them wear donkey’s ears;
Pin them with the donkey’s tail,
    who made themselves so high and mighty!

27-28 But those who want
    the best for me,
Let them have the last word—a glad shout!—
    and say, over and over and over,
God is great—everything works
    together for good for his servant.”
I’ll tell the world how great and good you are,
    I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.

A David Psalm

36 1-4 The God-rebel tunes in to sedition—
    all ears, eager to sin.
He has no regard for God,
    he stands insolent before him.
He has smooth-talked himself
    into believing
That his evil
    will never be noticed.
Words gutter from his mouth,
    dishwater dirty.
Can’t remember when he
    did anything decent.
Every time he goes to bed,
    he fathers another evil plot.
When he’s loose on the streets,
    nobody’s safe.
He plays with fire
    and doesn’t care who gets burned.

5-6 God’s love is meteoric,
    his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
    his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
    nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
    slips through the cracks.

7-9 How exquisite your love, O God!
    How eager we are to run under your wings,
To eat our fill at the banquet you spread
    as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water.
You’re a fountain of cascading light,
    and you open our eyes to light.

10-12 Keep on loving your friends;
    do your work in welcoming hearts.
Don’t let the bullies kick me around,
    the moral midgets slap me down.
Send the upstarts sprawling
    flat on their faces in the mud.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Acts 25The Message (MSG)

An Appeal to Caesar

25 1-3 Three days after Festus arrived in Caesarea to take up his duties as governor, he went up to Jerusalem. The high priests and top leaders renewed their vendetta against Paul. They asked Festus if he wouldn’t please do them a favor by sending Paul to Jerusalem to respond to their charges. A lie, of course—they had revived their old plot to set an ambush and kill him along the way.

4-5 Festus answered that Caesarea was the proper jurisdiction for Paul, and that he himself was going back there in a few days. “You’re perfectly welcome,” he said, “to go back with me then and accuse him of whatever you think he’s done wrong.”

6-7 About eight or ten days later, Festus returned to Caesarea. The next morning he took his place in the courtroom and had Paul brought in. The minute he walked in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem were all over him, hurling the most extreme accusations, none of which they could prove.

Then Paul took the stand and said simply, “I’ve done nothing wrong against the Jewish religion, or the Temple, or Caesar. Period.”

Festus, though, wanted to get on the good side of the Jews and so said, “How would you like to go up to Jerusalem, and let me conduct your trial there?”

10-11 Paul answered, “I’m standing at this moment before Caesar’s bar of justice, where I have a perfect right to stand. And I’m going to keep standing here. I’ve done nothing wrong to the Jews, and you know it as well as I do. If I’ve committed a crime and deserve death, name the day. I can face it. But if there’s nothing to their accusations—and you know there isn’t—nobody can force me to go along with their nonsense. We’ve fooled around here long enough. I appeal to Caesar.”

12 Festus huddled with his advisors briefly and then gave his verdict: “You’ve appealed to Caesar; you’ll go to Caesar!”

13-17 A few days later King Agrippa and his wife, Bernice, visited Caesarea to welcome Festus to his new post. After several days, Festus brought up Paul’s case to the king. “I have a man on my hands here, a prisoner left by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem, the high priests and Jewish leaders brought a bunch of accusations against him and wanted me to sentence him to death. I told them that wasn’t the way we Romans did things. Just because a man is accused, we don’t throw him out to the dogs. We make sure the accused has a chance to face his accusers and defend himself of the charges. So when they came down here I got right on the case. I took my place in the courtroom and put the man on the stand.

18-21 “The accusers came at him from all sides, but their accusations turned out to be nothing more than arguments about their religion and a dead man named Jesus, who the prisoner claimed was alive. Since I’m a newcomer here and don’t understand everything involved in cases like this, I asked if he’d be willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried there. Paul refused and demanded a hearing before His Majesty in our highest court. So I ordered him returned to custody until I could send him to Caesar in Rome.”

22 Agrippa said, “I’d like to see this man and hear his story.”

“Good,” said Festus. “We’ll bring him in first thing in the morning and you’ll hear it for yourself.”

23 The next day everybody who was anybody in Caesarea found his way to the Great Hall, along with the top military brass. Agrippa and Bernice made a flourishing grand entrance and took their places. Festus then ordered Paul brought in.

24-26 Festus said, “King Agrippa and distinguished guests, take a good look at this man. A bunch of Jews petitioned me first in Jerusalem, and later here, to do away with him. They have been most vehement in demanding his execution. I looked into it and decided that he had committed no crime. He requested a trial before Caesar and I agreed to send him to Rome. But what am I going to write to my master, Caesar? All the charges made by the Jews were fabrications, and I’ve uncovered nothing else.

26-27 “That’s why I’ve brought him before this company, and especially you, King Agrippa: so we can come up with something in the nature of a charge that will hold water. For it seems to me silly to send a prisoner all that way for a trial and not be able to document what he did wrong.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Bible Gateway Recommends

The Message Gift and Award Bible, Imitation Leather, Black
The Message Gift and Award Bible, Imitation Leather, Black
Retail: $7.99
Our Price: $6.49Save: $1.50 (19%)Buy Now
Message Slimline Bible--soft leather-look, brown/tan
Message Slimline Bible--soft leather-look, brown/tan
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $29.99Save: $10.00 (25%)Buy Now
  Back

1 of 1

You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes