95 O come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord;
Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with a song of thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with songs.
For the Lord is a great God
And a great King above all gods,
In whose hand are the depths of the earth;
The peaks of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it [by His command];
And His hands formed the dry land.
O come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker [in reverent praise and prayer].
For He is our God
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts and become spiritually dull as at Meribah [the place of strife],
And as at Massah [the place of testing] in the wilderness,
“When your fathers tested Me,
They tried Me, even though they had seen My work [of miracles].
“For forty years I was grieved and disgusted with that generation,
And I said, ‘They are a people who err in their heart,
And they do not acknowledge or regard My ways.’
“Therefore I swore [an oath] in My wrath,
‘They absolutely shall not enter My rest [the land of promise].’”
40 I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of a horrible pit [of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock, steadying my footsteps and establishing my path.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear [with great reverence]
And will trust confidently in the Lord.
Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who makes the Lord his trust,
And does not regard the proud nor those who lapse into lies.
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonderful works which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of your wonders,
They would be too many to count.
Sacrifice and meal offering You do not desire, nor do You delight in them;
You have opened my ears and given me the capacity to hear [and obey Your word];
Burnt offerings and sin offerings You do not require.
Then I said, “Behold, I come [to the throne];
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
“I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your law is within my heart.”
I have proclaimed good news of righteousness [and the joy that comes from obedience to You] in the great assembly;
Behold, I will not restrain my lips [from proclaiming Your righteousness],
As You know, O Lord.
I have not concealed Your righteousness within my heart;
I have proclaimed Your faithfulness and Your salvation.
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly.
Do not withhold Your compassion and tender mercy from me, O Lord;
Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
For innumerable evils have encompassed me;
My sins have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see.
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head,
And my heart has failed me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to save me;
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let those be ashamed and humiliated together
Who seek my life to destroy it;
Let those be turned back [in defeat] and dishonored
Who delight in my hurt.
Let those be appalled and desolate because of their shame
Who say to me, “Aha, aha [rejoicing in my misfortune]!”
Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
Even though I am afflicted and needy,
Still the Lord takes thought and is mindful of me.
You are my help and my rescuer.
O my God, do not delay.
54 Save me, O God, by Your name;
And vindicate me by Your [wondrous] power.
Hear my prayer, O God;
Listen to the words of my mouth.
For strangers have risen against me
And violent men have sought my life;
They have not set God before them. Selah.
Behold, God is my helper and ally;
The Lord is the sustainer of my soul [my upholder].
He will pay back the evil to my enemies;
In Your faithfulness destroy them.
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to You;
I will give thanks and praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good.
For He has rescued me from every trouble,
And my eye has looked with satisfaction (triumph) on my enemies.
51 Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness and guilt
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them;
My sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned
And done that which is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak [Your sentence]
And faultless in Your judgment.
I was brought forth in [a state of] wickedness;
In sin my mother conceived me [and from my beginning I, too, was sinful].
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part [of my heart] You will make me know wisdom.
Purify me with [a]hyssop, and I will be clean;
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness and be satisfied;
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right and steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted and return to You.
Rescue me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will sing joyfully of Your righteousness and Your justice.
O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
My [only] sacrifice [acceptable] to God is a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart [broken with sorrow for sin, thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.
By Your favor do good to Zion;
May You rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then will You delight in the sacrifices of righteousness,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.
12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear [and worship] the Lord your God [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect], to walk [that is, to live each and every day] in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul [your choices, your thoughts, your whole being], 13 and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? 14 Behold, the heavens and the highest of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth and all that is in it. 15 Yet the Lord [a]had a delight in loving your fathers and set His affection on them, and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. 16 So circumcise [that is, remove sin from] your heart, and be stiff-necked (stubborn, obstinate) no longer. 17 For the Lord your [b]God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, the awesome God who does not show [c]partiality nor take a bribe. 18 He [d]executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and [e]shows His love for the stranger (resident alien, foreigner) by giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore, show your love for the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear [and worship] the Lord your God [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect]; you shall serve Him and cling to Him [hold tightly to Him, be united with Him], and you shall swear [oaths] by His name. 21 He is your praise and glory; He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which you have seen with your own eyes. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt, seventy persons [in all], and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.
11 Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience [as those who died in the wilderness]. 12 For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged [a]sword, penetrating as far as the division of the [b]soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.
14 Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior]. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16 Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].
22 After these things Jesus and His disciples went into the land of Judea, and there He spent time with them and baptized. 23 Now John was also baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there; and people were coming and were being baptized— 24 for John had not yet been thrown into prison.
25 Therefore there arose a controversy between John’s disciples and a Jew in regard to [a]purification (ceremonial washing). 26 So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi (Teacher), the Man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan [at the Jordan River crossing]—and to whom you have testified—look, He is baptizing too, and everyone is going to Him!” 27 John replied, “A man can receive nothing [he can claim nothing at all] unless it has been granted to him from heaven [for there is no other source than the sovereign will of God]. 28 You yourselves are my witnesses that I stated, ‘I am not the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ but, ‘I have [only] been sent ahead of Him [as His appointed forerunner and messenger to announce and proclaim His coming].’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands by and listens to him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this pleasure and joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase [in prominence], but I must decrease.
31 “He who comes from [heaven] above is above all others; he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks [about things] of the earth [his viewpoint and experience are earthly]. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 What He has [actually] seen and heard, of that He testifies; and yet no one accepts His testimony [as true]. 33 Whoever receives His testimony has set his seal [of approval] to this: God is true [and he knows that God cannot lie]. 34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God [proclaiming the Father’s own message]; for God gives the [gift of the] Spirit without measure [generously and boundlessly]! 35 The Father loves the Son and has given and entrusted all things into His hand. 36 He who believes and trusts in the Son and accepts Him [as Savior] has eternal life [that is, already possesses it]; but he who does not believe the Son and chooses to reject Him, [disobeying Him and denying Him as Savior] will not see [eternal] life, but [instead] the wrath of God hangs over him continually.”