56 Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled on me;
All day long the adversary oppresses and torments me.
My enemies have trampled upon me all day long,
For they are many who fight proudly against me.
When I am afraid,
I will put my trust and faith in You.
In God, whose word I praise;
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not fear.
What can mere man do to me?
All day long they twist my words and say hurtful things;
All their thoughts are against me for evil.
They attack, they hide and lurk,
They watch my steps,
As they have [expectantly] waited to take my life.
Cast them out because of their wickedness.
In anger bring down the peoples, O God!
You have taken account of my wanderings;
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not recorded in Your book?
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call;
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,
In God have I put my trust and confident reliance; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Your vows are binding upon me, O God;
I will give thank offerings to You.
For You have rescued my soul from death,
Yes, and my feet from stumbling,
So that I may walk before God
In the light of life.
57 Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious and merciful to me,
For my soul finds shelter and safety in You,
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge and be confidently secure
Until destruction passes by.
I will cry to God Most High,
Who accomplishes all things on my behalf [for He completes my purpose in His plan].
He will send from heaven and save me;
He calls to account him who tramples me down. Selah.
God will send out His lovingkindness and His truth.
My life is among lions;
I must lie among those who breathe out fire—
The sons of men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
And their tongue a sharp sword.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
Let Your glory and majesty be over all the earth.
They [a]set a net for my steps;
My very life was bowed down.
They dug a pit before me;
Into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Selah.
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast and confident!
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises [to You]!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise and give thanks to You, O Lord, among the people;
I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your faithfulness and lovingkindness are great, reaching to the heavens,
And Your truth to the clouds.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
Let Your glory and majesty be over all the earth.
58 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O gods (heavenly beings)?
Do you judge fairly, O sons of men?
No, in your heart you devise wrongdoing;
On earth you deal out the violence of your hands.
The wicked are estranged from the womb;
These go astray from birth, speaking lies [even twisted partial truths].
Their poison is like the venom of a serpent;
They are like the deaf horned viper that stops up its ear,
So that it does not listen to the voice of charmers,
Or of the skillful enchanter casting [cunning] spells.
O God, break their teeth in their mouth;
Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord.
Let them flow away like water that runs off;
When he aims his arrows, let them be as headless shafts.
Let them be as a snail which melts away (secretes slime) as it goes along,
Like the miscarriage of a woman which never sees the sun.
Before your cooking pots can feel the fire of thorns [burning under them as fuel],
He will sweep them away with a whirlwind, the green and the burning ones alike.
The [unyieldingly] righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance [of God];
He will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
Men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
Surely there is a God who judges on the earth.”
64 Hear my voice, O God, in my [a]complaint;
Guard my life from the terror of the enemy.
Hide me from the secret counsel and conspiracy of the ungodly,
From the scheming of those who do wrong,
Who have sharpened their tongues like a sword.
They aim venomous words as arrows,
To shoot from ambush at the blameless [one];
Suddenly they shoot at him, without fear.
They encourage themselves in [their pursuit of] an evil agenda;
They talk of laying snares secretly;
They say, “Who will discover us?”
They devise acts of injustice, saying,
“We are ready with a well-conceived plan.”
For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep (mysterious, unsearchable).
But God will shoot them with an [unexpected] arrow;
Suddenly they will be wounded.
So they will be caused to stumble;
Their own tongue is against them;
All who gaze at them will shake the head [in scorn].
Then all men will fear [God’s judgment];
They will declare the work of God,
And they will consider and wisely acknowledge what He has done.
The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in Him;
All the upright in heart will glory and offer praise.
65 To You belongs silence [the submissive wonder of reverence], and [it bursts into] praise in Zion, O God;
And to You the vow shall be performed.
O You who hear prayer,
To You all mankind comes.
Wickedness and guilt prevail against me;
Yet as for our transgressions,
You forgive them [removing them from Your sight].
Blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near
To dwell in Your courts.
We will be filled with the goodness of Your house,
Your holy temple.
By awesome and wondrous things You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation,
You who are the trust and hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea;
Who creates the mountains by His strength,
Being clothed with power,
Who stills the roaring of the seas,
The roaring of their waves,
And the tumult of the peoples,
So they who dwell at the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs [the evidence of Your presence].
You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.
You visit the earth and make it overflow [with water];
You greatly enrich it;
The stream of God is full of water;
You provide their grain, when You have prepared the earth.
You water its furrows abundantly,
You smooth its ridges;
You soften it with showers,
You bless its growth.
You crown the year with Your bounty,
And Your paths overflow.
The pastures of the wilderness drip [with dew],
And the hills are encircled with joy.
The meadows are clothed with flocks
And the valleys are covered with grain;
They shout for joy and they sing.
21 Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, close beside the [winter] palace of Ahab king of Samaria; 2 Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, so that I may have it for a garden of vegetables and herbs, because it is near my house. I will give you a better vineyard for it, or, if you prefer, I will give you what it is worth in money.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid me that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you.” 4 So Ahab [already upset by the Lord’s message] came into his house [feeling more] resentful and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him; for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face, and would not eat any food.
5 Then Jezebel his wife came to him and asked him, “Why is your spirit so troubled that you have not eaten?” 6 And he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ But he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” 7 Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now reign over Israel? Get up, eat food, and let your heart rejoice; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived with Naboth in his city. 9 Now in the letters she wrote, “Proclaim a [a]fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; 10 and seat two worthless and unprincipled men opposite him, and have them testify against him, saying, ‘You [b]cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”
11 So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived there, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. 13 Two worthless and unprincipled men came in and sat down opposite him; and they testified against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed and renounced God and the king.” Then they brought him outside the city and stoned him to death. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned to death.”
15 When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, she said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite which he refused to sell you, because Naboth is no longer alive, but dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
1 Paul, called as an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and our brother [a]Sosthenes,
2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified (set apart, made holy) in Christ Jesus, who are selected and called as saints (God’s people), together with all those who in every place call on and honor the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
3 Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 so that in everything you were [exceedingly] enriched in Him, in all speech [empowered by the spiritual gifts] and in all knowledge [with insight into the faith]. 6 In this way our testimony about Christ was confirmed and established in you, 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift [which comes from the Holy Spirit], as you eagerly wait [with confident trust] for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ [when He returns]. 8 And He will also confirm you to the end [keeping you strong and free of any accusation, so that you will be] blameless and beyond reproach in the day [of the return] of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 But I urge you, believers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in full agreement in what you say, and that there be no divisions or factions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your way of thinking and in your judgment [about matters of the faith]. 11 For I have been informed about you, my brothers and sisters, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are quarrels and factions among you. 12 Now I mean this, that each one of you says, “I am [a disciple] of Paul,” or “I am [a disciple] of Apollos,” or “I am [a disciple] of Cephas (Peter),” or “I am [a disciple] of Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided [into different parts]? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul? [Certainly not!] 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one would say that you were baptized into my name. 16 Now I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know if I baptized anyone else. 17 For Christ did not send me [as an apostle] to baptize, but [commissioned and empowered me] to preach the good news [of salvation]—not with clever and eloquent speech [as an orator], so that the cross of Christ would not be [b]made ineffective [deprived of its saving power].
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God. 19 For it is written and forever remains written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise [the philosophy of the philosophers],
And the cleverness of the clever [who do not know Me] I will nullify.”
4 Then Jesus was led by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After He had gone without food for forty days and forty nights, He became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But Jesus replied, “It is written and forever remains written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took Him into the holy city [Jerusalem] and placed Him on the pinnacle (highest point) of the temple. 6 And he said [mockingly] to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command His angels concerning You [to serve, care for, protect and watch over You]’;
‘They will lift you up on their hands,
So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall not test the Lord your God.’”
8 Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory [splendor, magnificence, and excellence] of them; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” 11 Then the devil left Him; and angels came and ministered to Him [bringing Him food and serving Him].