69 Save me, O God,
For the waters have threatened my life [they have come up to my neck].
I have sunk in deep mire, where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters, where a flood overwhelms me.
I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched;
My eyes fail while I wait [with confident expectation] for my God.
Those who hate me without cause are more than the hairs of my head;
Those who would destroy me are powerful, being my enemies wrongfully;
I am forced to restore what I did not steal.
O God, You know my folly;
My wrongs are not hidden from You.
Do not let those who wait [confidently] for You be [a]ashamed through me, O Lord [b]God of hosts;
Do not let those who seek You [as necessary for life itself] be dishonored through me, O God of Israel,
Because for Your sake I have borne reproach;
Confusion and dishonor have covered my face.
I have become estranged from my brothers
And an alien to my mother’s sons.
For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
And the [mocking] insults of those who insult You have fallen on me.
When I wept and humbled myself with fasting,
It became my reproach.
When I made sackcloth my clothing [as one in mourning],
I became a byword [a mere object of scorn] to them.
They who sit in the [city’s] gate talk about me and mock me,
And I am the song of the drunkards.
But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, at an acceptable and opportune time;
O God, in the greatness of Your favor and in the abundance of Your lovingkindness,
Answer me with truth [that is, the faithfulness of Your salvation].
Rescue me from the mire and do not let me sink;
Let me be rescued from those who hate me and from the deep waters.
Do not let the floodwater overwhelm me,
Nor the deep waters swallow me up,
Nor the pit [of Sheol] shut its mouth over me.
Answer me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is sweet and good and comforting;
According to the greatness of Your compassion, turn to me.
Do not hide Your face from Your servant,
For I am in distress; answer me quickly.
Draw near to my soul and redeem it;
Ransom me because of my enemies [so that they do not delight in my distress].
You know my reproach and my shame and my dishonor [how I am insulted];
My adversaries are all before You [each one fully known].
Reproach and insults have broken my heart and I am so sick.
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
And for comforters, but I found none.
They (self-righteous hypocrites) also gave me gall [poisonous and bitter] for my food,
And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
May their table [with all its abundance and luxury] become a snare [to them];
And when they are in peace [secure at their sacrificial feasts], may it become a trap.
May their eyes be dimmed so that they cannot see,
And make their loins shake continually [in terror and weakness].
Pour out Your indignation on them,
And let [the fierceness of] Your burning anger overtake them.
May their encampment be desolate;
May no one dwell in their tents.
For they have persecuted him whom You have struck,
And they tell of the pain of those whom You have pierced and wounded.
Add [unforgiven] iniquity to their iniquity [in Your book],
And may they not come into Your [c]righteousness.
May they be blotted out of the book of life [and their lives come to an end]
And may they not be recorded with the righteous (those in right standing with God).
But I am sorrowful and in pain;
May Your salvation, O God, set me [securely] on high.
I will praise the name of God with song
And magnify Him with thanksgiving.
And it will please the Lord better than an ox
Or a young bull with horns and hoofs.
The humble have seen it and are glad;
You who seek God [requiring Him as your greatest need], let your heart revive and live.
For the Lord hears the needy
And does not despise His who are prisoners.
Let heaven and earth praise Him,
The seas and everything that moves in them.
For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah,
That His servants may remain there and possess it.
The descendants of His servants will inherit it,
And those who love His name will dwell in it.
73 Truly God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no pains in their death,
Their body is fat and pampered.
They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
Violence covers them like a garment [like a long, luxurious robe].
Their eye bulges from fatness [they have more than the heart desires];
The imaginations of their mind run riot [with foolishness].
They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak loftily [with malice].
They set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue swaggers through the earth.
Therefore his people return to this place,
And waters of abundance [offered by the irreverent] are [blindly] drunk by them.
They say, “How does God know?
Is there knowledge [of us] with the Most High?”
Behold, these are the ungodly,
Who always prosper and are at ease [in the world]; they have increased in wealth.
Surely then in vain I have cleansed my heart
And washed my hands in innocence.
For all the day long have I been stricken,
And punished every morning.
If I had said, “I will say this,” [and expressed my feelings],
I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
When I considered how to understand this,
It was too great an effort for me and too painful
Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood [for I considered] their end.
Surely You set the wicked-minded and immoral on slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are completely swept away by sudden terrors!
Like a dream [which seems real] until one awakens,
O Lord, when stirred, [You observe the wicked], You will despise their image.
When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within [as with the fang of an adder],
Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to honor and glory.
Whom have I in heaven [but You]?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the rock and strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful and have abandoned You.
But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him,
That I may tell of all Your works.
2 Ahaziah [the king of Israel] fell through the lattice (grid) in his upper chamber which was in Samaria, and became sick [from the injury]. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of [a]Ekron, if I will recover from this sickness.” 3 But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the [b]Tishbite, “[c]Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?’ 4 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘You [Ahaziah] will not leave the bed on which you lie, but you will certainly die.’” So Elijah departed.
5 When the messengers returned to Ahaziah, he said to them, “Why have you returned [so soon]?” 6 They replied, “A man came up to meet us and said to us, ‘Go, return to the king who sent you and tell him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you send to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you will not leave the bed on which you lie, but you will certainly die.’”’” 7 The king asked them, “What was the appearance of the man who came up to meet you and said these things to you?” 8 They answered him, “He was a [d]hairy man with a [wide] leather [e]band bound around his loins.” And Ahaziah said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”
9 Then the king sent to Elijah a captain of fifty with his fifty [fighting men to seize the prophet]. And he went up to him, and behold, he was sitting on the top of a hill. And the captain said to him, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’” 10 Elijah replied to the captain of fifty, “So if I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty [fighting men].” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
11 So King Ahaziah again sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty [fighting men]. And he said to him, “Man of God, thus says the king, ‘Come down quickly.’” 12 Elijah answered them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty [fighting men].” And the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
13 So Ahaziah again sent a captain of a third fifty with his fifty [fighting men]. And the third captain of fifty went up and came bowed down on his knees before Elijah, and begged him [for compassion] and said to him, “O man of God, please let my life and the lives of your servants, these fifty, be precious in your sight. 14 Behold, fire came down from heaven and consumed the first two captains of fifty with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight.” 15 The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he stood and went down with him to the king. 16 Then Elijah said to Ahaziah, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Since you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, god of Ekron—is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of His word?—therefore you will not leave the bed on which you lie, but will certainly die.’”
17 So Ahaziah [the son of King Ahab] died in accordance with the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken. And because he had no son, Jehoram [his younger brother] became king [of Israel, the northern kingdom] in his place in the [f]second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah [the southern kingdom].
16 [a]Do you not know and understand that you [the church] are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells [permanently] in you [collectively and individually]? 17 If anyone destroys the temple of God [corrupting it with false doctrine], God will destroy the destroyer; for the temple of God is holy (sacred), and that is what you are.
18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool [discarding his worldly pretensions and acknowledging his lack of wisdom], so that he may become [truly] wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness (absurdity, stupidity) before God; for it is written [in Scripture], “[He is] The one who catches the wise and clever in their craftiness;” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the [humanly] wise, that they are useless.” 21 So let no one boast in men [about their wisdom, or of having this or that one as a leader]. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas (Peter) or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things are yours, 23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.
11 “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. 12 Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 “You are the [a]salt of the earth; but if the salt has [b]lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery].
14 “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.