63 O God, You are my God; with deepest longing I will seek You;
My [a]soul [my life, my very self] thirsts for You, my flesh longs and sighs for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have gazed upon You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
So will I bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My [b]soul [my life, my very self] is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises [to You] with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate and thoughtfully focus on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings [where I am always protected] I sing for joy.
My [c]soul [my life, my very self] clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.
But those who seek my life to destroy it
Will [be destroyed and] go into the depths of the earth [into the underworld].
They will be given over to the power of the sword;
They will be a prey for foxes.
But the king will rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him [honoring the true God, acknowledging His authority and majesty] will glory,
For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.
103 Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name.
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits;
Who forgives all your sins,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle.
The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all the oppressed.
He made known His ways [of righteousness and justice] to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in compassion and lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins [as we deserve],
Nor rewarded us [with punishment] according to our wickedness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear and worship Him [with awe-filled respect and deepest reverence].
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father loves his children,
So the Lord loves those who fear and worship Him [with awe-filled respect and deepest reverence].
For He knows our [mortal] frame;
He remembers that we are [merely] dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
Like a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it and it is no more,
And its place knows it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who [reverently] fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To those who honor and keep His covenant,
And remember to do His commandments [imprinting His word on their hearts].
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all [the universe].
Bless the Lord, you His angels,
You mighty ones who do His commandments,
Obeying the voice of His word!
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You who serve Him and do His will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion;
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul!
21 Now when Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he assembled all the [fighting men from the] house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors, to fight against the house of Israel to bring the kingdom back to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 23 “Tell Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and all the house (fighting men) of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people, 24 ‘Thus says the Lord, “You shall not go up and fight against your brothers, the sons of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing has come about from Me.”’” So they listened to the word of the Lord and returned to go home, in accordance with the word of the Lord.
25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem [as his royal city] in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. He went out from there and rebuilt Penuel [as a stronghold]. 26 Jeroboam [doubted God’s promise to him and] said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. 27 If these people go up to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices, then their heart will turn to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king took counsel [and followed bad advice] and made two [a]calves of gold. And he said to the people, “It is too much for you to go [all the way] up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” 29 He set the one [golden calf] in Bethel, and the other he put in [b]Dan. 30 Now this thing became a sin [for Israel]; because the people went to worship before the one [or the other of them] as far as Dan. 31 And Jeroboam also made houses on high places, and he made priests from [c]all people who were not of the sons (descendants) of Levi. 32 Jeroboam held a feast on the fifteenth day of the [d]eighth month, like the feast which is kept in Judah, and he went up to the altar; he did this in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 So he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart [in defiance of God’s commandments]; and he held a feast for the Israelites and he went up to the altar to burn [e]incense [in defiance of God’s law.]
18 So they sent for them, and commanded them not to speak [as His representatives] or teach at all in the name of Jesus [using Him as their authority]. 19 But Peter and John replied to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you and obey you rather than God, you must judge [for yourselves]; 20 for we, on our part, cannot stop telling [people] about what we have seen and heard.” 21 When the rulers and Council members had threatened them further, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because [of their fear] of the people, for they were all praising and glorifying and honoring God for what had happened; 22 for the man to whom this sign (attesting miracle) of healing had happened was more than forty years old.
23 After Peter and John were released, they returned to their own [people] and reported everything that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they raised their voices together to God and said, “O Sovereign Lord [having complete power and authority], it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything that is in them, 25 who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David, Your servant, said,
‘Why did the nations (Gentiles) become arrogant and rage,
And the peoples devise futile things [against the Lord]?
‘The kings of the earth took their stand [to attack],
And the rulers were assembled together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed (the Christ, the Messiah).’
27 For in this city there were gathered together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined [before the creation of the world] to occur [and so without knowing it, they served Your own purpose]. 29 And now, Lord, observe their threats [take them into account] and grant that Your bond-servants may declare Your message [of salvation] with great confidence, 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders (attesting miracles) take place through the name [and the authority and power] of Your holy Servant and Son Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were meeting together was shaken [a sign of God’s presence]; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness and courage.
31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works [and many acts of mercy] from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, “We are not going to stone You for a good work, but for blasphemy, because You, a mere man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods [human judges representing God, not divine beings]’? 35 If He [a]called them gods, men to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be undone or annulled or broken), 36 [if that is true] then do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and set apart for Himself and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father [that is, the miracles that only God could perform], then do not believe Me. 38 But if I am doing them, even if you do not believe Me or have faith in Me, [at least] believe the works [that I do—admit that they are the works of God], so that you may know and keep on knowing [clearly—without any doubt] that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father [that is, I am One with Him].” 39 So they tried again to seize Him, but He eluded their grasp.
40 He went back again across the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there. 41 Many came to Him, and they were saying, “John did not perform a single sign (attesting miracle), but everything John said about this Man was true and accurate.” 42 And many there believed and confidently trusted in Him [accepting Him as Savior, and following His teaching].