80 Hear us O Shepherd of Israel,
You who lead Joseph like a flock;
You who sit enthroned above the cherubim [of the ark of the covenant], shine forth!
Before [a]Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up Your power
And come to save us!
Restore us, O God;
Cause Your face to shine on us [with favor and approval], and we will be saved.
O Lord God of hosts,
How long will You be angry with the prayers of Your people?
You have fed them the bread of tears,
And You have made them drink [bitter] tears in abundance.
You make us an object of contention to our neighbors,
And our enemies laugh [at our suffering] among themselves.
Restore us, O God of hosts;
And cause Your face to shine on us [with favor and approval], and we will be saved.
You uprooted a vine (Israel) from Egypt;
You drove out the [Canaanite] nations and planted the vine [in Canaan].
You cleared away the ground before it,
And it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shadow,
And its branches were like the cedars of God.
Israel sent out its branches to the [Mediterranean] Sea,
And its branches to the [Euphrates] River.
Why have You broken down its [b]walls and hedges,
So that all who pass by pick its fruit?
A boar from the woods eats it away,
And the insects of the field feed on it.
Turn again [in favor to us], O God of hosts;
Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine,
Even the stock which Your right hand has planted,
And [look down on] the son that You have reared and strengthened for Yourself.
It is burned with fire, it is cut down;
They perish at the rebuke of Your [angry] appearance.
Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
Upon the son of man whom You have made strong for Yourself.
Then we shall not turn back from You;
Revive us and we will call on Your name.
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
Cause Your face to shine on us [in favor and approval], and we shall be saved.
77 My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud;
My voice rises to God, and He will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I [desperately] sought the Lord;
In the night my hand was [a]stretched out [in prayer] without weariness;
My soul refused to be comforted.
I remember God; then I am disquieted and I groan;
I sigh [in prayer], and my spirit grows faint. Selah.
You have held my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I have considered the ancient days,
The years [of prosperity] of long, long ago.
I will remember my song in the night;
I will meditate with my heart,
And my spirit searches:
Will the Lord reject forever?
And will He never be favorable again?
Has His lovingkindness ceased forever?
Have His promises ended for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Selah.
And I said, “This is my grief,
That the right hand of the Most High has changed [and His lovingkindness is withheld].”
I will [solemnly] remember the deeds of the Lord;
Yes, I will [wholeheartedly] remember Your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all Your works
And thoughtfully consider all Your [great and wondrous] deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy [far from sin and guilt].
What god is great like our God?
You are the [awesome] God who works [powerful] wonders;
You have demonstrated Your power among the people.
You have with Your [great] arm redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
The waters [of the Red Sea] saw You, O God;
The waters saw You, they were in anguish;
The deeps also trembled.
The clouds poured down water;
The skies sent out a sound [of rumbling thunder];
Your arrows (lightning) flashed here and there.
The voice of Your thunder was in the [b]whirlwind;
The lightnings illumined the world;
The earth trembled and shook.
Your way [of escape for Your people] was through the sea,
And Your paths through the great waters,
And Your footprints were not traceable.
You led Your people like a flock
By the hand of Moses and Aaron [to the promised goal].
79 O God, the nations have invaded [the land of Your people] Your inheritance;
They have defiled Your sacred temple;
They have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the dead bodies of Your servants as food to the birds of the heavens,
The flesh of Your godly ones to the beasts of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem,
And there was no one to bury them.
We have become an object of taunting to our neighbors [because of our humiliation],
A derision and mockery to those who encircle us.
How long, O Lord? Will You be angry forever?
Will Your jealousy [which cannot endure a divided allegiance] burn like fire?
Pour out Your wrath on the [Gentile] nations that do not know You,
And on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name.
For they have devoured Jacob
And made his pasture desolate.
O do not remember against us the sins and guilt of our forefathers.
Let Your compassion and mercy come quickly to meet us,
For we have been brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name;
Rescue us, forgive us our sins for Your name’s sake.
Why should the [Gentile] nations say, “Where is their God?”
Let there be known [without delay] among the nations in our sight [and to this generation],
Your vengeance for the blood of Your servants which has been poured out.
Let the groaning and sighing of the prisoner come before You;
According to the greatness of Your power keep safe those who are doomed to die.
And return into the lap of our neighbors sevenfold
The taunts with which they have taunted You, O Lord.
So we Your people, the sheep of Your pasture,
Will give You thanks forever;
We will declare and publish Your praise from generation to generation.
5 Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram (Syria), was considered a great man by his king, and was highly respected because through Naaman the Lord had given victory to Aram (Syria). He was also a man of courage, but he was a [a]leper. 2 The Arameans (Syrians) had gone out in bands [as raiders] and had taken captive a little girl from the land of Israel; and she waited on Naaman’s wife [as a servant]. 3 She said to her mistress, “I wish that my master [Naaman] were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would heal him of his leprosy.” 4 Naaman went in and told his master [the king], “The girl who is from the land of Israel said such and such.” 5 Then the king of Aram (Syria) said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel (Jehoram the son of Ahab).” So he left and took with him ten talents of silver and 6,000 shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing.
6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel. It said, “And now when this letter comes to you, I will have sent my servant Naaman to you, so that [b]you may heal him of his leprosy.” 7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he [c]tore his clothes [in shock and outrage at the request] and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends to me [a request] to heal a man of his leprosy? Just consider [what he is asking] and see how he is seeking an opportunity [for a battle] with me.”
8 Now when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent word to the king, asking, “Why have you torn your clothes? Just let Naaman come to me, and he shall know that there is a [true] prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stopped at the entrance of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean.” 11 But Naaman was furious and went away and said, “Indeed! I thought ‘He would at least come out to [see] me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place [of leprosy] and heal the leper.’ 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus [in Aram], better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 Then his servants approached and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he has said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’” 14 So he went down and plunged himself into the Jordan seven times, just as the man of God had said; and his flesh was restored like that of a little child and he was clean.
15 Then Naaman returned to the man of God, he and all the people in his group, and stood before him. He said, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; so now accept a blessing and gift from your servant.” 16 But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will accept nothing.” He urged him to take it, but Elisha refused. 17 Naaman said, “If not, then please, let your servant be given a load of [d]earth for a team of mules; for [from this day on] your servant will no longer offer a burnt offering nor a sacrifice to other gods, but only to the Lord, [the God of Israel]. 18 In this matter may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master [the king] goes into the house of [his god] Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand and I bow in the house of Rimmon, when I bow down in the house of Rimmon, may the Lord pardon your servant in this matter [of attending the king when he worships].” 19 Elisha said to him, “Go in peace.” So Naaman departed and was a good distance away from him,
8 [You behave as if] you are already filled [with spiritual wisdom and in need of nothing more]. Already you have become rich [in spiritual gifts]! You [in your conceit] have ascended your thrones and become kings without us; and how I wish [that it were true and] that you did reign as kings, so that we might reign with you. 9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles at the end of the line, like men sentenced to death [and paraded as prisoners in a procession], because we have become a spectacle to the world [a show in the world’s amphitheater], both to angels and to men. 10 We are [regarded as] fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are highly esteemed, but we are dishonored. 11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty; we are continually poorly dressed, and we are roughly treated, and wander homeless. 12 We work [for our living], working hard with our own hands. When we are reviled and verbally abused, we bless. When we are persecuted, we take it patiently and endure. 13 When we are slandered, we try to be conciliatory and answer softly. We have become like the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to warn and advise you as my beloved children. 15 For even if you were to have ten thousand teachers [to guide you] in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers [who led you to Christ and assumed responsibility for you], for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the good news [of salvation]. 16 So I urge you, be imitators of me [just as a child imitates his father]. 17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my way of life in Christ [my conduct and my precepts for godly living], just as I teach everywhere in every church. 18 Now some of you have become arrogant and pretentious, as though I were not coming to see you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing, and I will find out not just the talk of these arrogant people, but [evaluate] their [spiritual] power [whether they live up to their own claims]. 20 For the kingdom of God is not based on talk but on power. 21 Which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod [of discipline and correction], or with love and a gentle spirit?
21 “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever murders shall be [a]guilty before the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice against him shall be guilty before the court; and whoever speaks [contemptuously and insultingly] to his brother, [b]‘Raca (You empty-headed idiot)!’ shall be guilty before the supreme court (Sanhedrin); and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the [c]fiery hell. 23 So if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and while there you remember that your brother has something [such as a grievance or legitimate complaint] against you, 24 leave your offering there at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 Come to terms quickly [at the earliest opportunity] with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way [to court], so that your opponent does not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you are thrown into prison. 26 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid the last [d]cent.