89 I will sing of the goodness and lovingkindness of the Lord forever;
With my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness from generation to generation.
For I have said, “Goodness and lovingkindness will be built up forever;
In the heavens [unchangeable and majestic] You will establish Your faithfulness.”
[God has said] “I have made a covenant with My chosen one;
I have sworn to David My servant,
I will establish your seed forever
And I will build up your throne for all generations.” Selah.
The heavens (angels) praise Your wonders, O Lord,
Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord?
Who among the divine beings is like the Lord,
A God greatly feared and reverently worshiped in the council of the holy [angelic] ones,
And awesome above all those who are around Him?
O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord?
Your faithfulness surrounds You [as an intrinsic, unchangeable part of Your very being].
You rule the swelling of the sea;
When its waves rise, You still them.
You have crushed Rahab (Egypt) like one who is slain;
You have scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm.
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;
The world and all that is in it, You have founded and established them.
The north and the south, You have created them;
Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon shout for joy at Your name.
You have a strong arm;
Mighty is Your hand, Your right hand is exalted.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
Lovingkindness and truth go before You.
Blessed and happy are the people who know the joyful sound [of the trumpet’s blast]!
They walk, O Lord, in the light and favor of Your countenance!
In Your name they rejoice all the day,
And in Your righteousness they are exalted.
For You are the glory of their strength [their proud adornment],
And by Your favor our horn is exalted.
For our shield belongs to the Lord,
And our king to the Holy One of Israel.
Once You spoke in a vision to Your godly ones,
And said, “I have given help to one who is mighty [giving him the power to be a champion for Israel];
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
“I have found David My servant;
With My holy oil I have anointed him,
With whom My hand shall be established and steadfast;
My arm also shall strengthen him.
“The enemy will not outwit him,
Nor will the wicked man afflict or humiliate him.
“I will crush his adversaries before him,
And strike those who hate him.
“My faithfulness and My steadfast lovingkindness shall be with him,
And in My name shall his horn be exalted [great power and prosperity shall be conferred upon him].
“I will also [a]set his hand on the [Mediterranean] sea,
And his right hand on the rivers [the tributaries of the Euphrates].
“He will cry to Me, ‘You are my Father,
My God, and the rock of my salvation.’
“I will also make him My firstborn (preeminent),
The highest of the kings of the earth.
“My lovingkindness I will keep for him forevermore,
And My covenant will be confirmed to him.
“His descendants I will establish forever,
And his throne [will endure] as the days of heaven.
“If his children [b]turn away from My law
And do not walk in My ordinances,
If they break My statutes
And do not keep My commandments,
Then I will punish their transgression with the rod [of discipline],
And [correct] their wickedness with stripes.
“Nevertheless, I will not break off My lovingkindness from him,
Nor allow My faithfulness to fail.
“My covenant I will not violate,
Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.
“Once [for all] I have sworn by My holiness, [My vow which cannot be violated];
I will not lie to David.
“His [c]descendants shall endure forever
And his throne [will continue] as the sun before Me.
“It shall be established forever like the moon,
And the witness in the heavens is ever faithful.” Selah.
But [in apparent contradiction of all this] You [the faithful Lord] have cast off and rejected;
You have been full of wrath against Your anointed.
You have spurned and repudiated the covenant with Your servant;
You have profaned his crown [by casting it] in the dust.
You have broken down all his [city] walls;
You have brought his strongholds to ruin.
All who pass along the road rob him;
He has become the scorn of his neighbors.
You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
You have made all his enemies rejoice.
Also, You have turned back the edge of his sword
And have not made him [strong enough] to stand in battle.
You have put an end to his splendor
And have hurled his throne to the ground.
You have shortened the days of his youth;
You have covered him with shame. Selah.
How long, O Lord?
Will You hide Yourself forever?
Will Your wrath burn like fire?
Remember how fleeting my lifetime is;
For what vanity, [for what emptiness, for what futility, for what wisp of smoke] You have created all the sons of men!
What man can live and not see death?
Can he rescue his soul from the [powerful] hand of Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead)? Selah.
O Lord, where are Your former lovingkindnesses [so abundant in the days of David and Solomon],
Which You swore to David in Your faithfulness?
Remember, O Lord, the reproach of Your servants [scorned, insulted, and disgraced];
How I bear in [d]my heart the reproach of all the many peoples,
With which Your enemies have taunted, O Lord,
With which they have mocked the footsteps of Your anointed.
Blessed be the Lord forevermore!
Amen and Amen.
24 The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon and from Cuthah and from Avva and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the sons (people) of Israel. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 25 Now when they began to live there, they did not fear the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them which killed some of them. 26 So the king of Assyria was told, “The nations whom you have sent into exile and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the custom of the god of the land; so He has sent lions among them, and they are killing them because they do not know the manner of [worship demanded by] the god of the land.”
27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, “Take back [to Samaria] one of the priests whom you brought from there, and have him go and live there; and have him teach the people the custom of the god of the land.” 28 So one of the priests whom they had exiled from Samaria came [back] and lived in Bethel and taught them how they should fear [and worship] the Lord.
29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the houses (shrines) of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they lived. 30 The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 They also feared the Lord and appointed from among themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They feared the Lord, yet served their own gods, following the custom of the nations from among whom they had been sent into exile.
34 To this day they act in accordance with their former [pagan] customs: they do not [really] fear the Lord, nor do they obey their statutes and ordinances, nor the law, nor the commandments which the Lord commanded the sons (descendants) of Jacob, whom He named Israel; 35 with whom the Lord had made a covenant and commanded them, saying, “You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them. 36 But the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, and to Him you shall bow yourselves down, and to Him you shall sacrifice. 37 The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you [by the hand of Moses], you shall observe and do forever. You shall not fear (worship, serve) other gods. 38 The covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget; you shall not fear other gods. 39 But the Lord your God you shall fear [and worship]; then He will rescue you from the hands of all your enemies.” 40 However, they did not listen, but they acted in accordance with their former custom. 41 So these nations [superficially] feared the Lord; they also served their idols, as did their children and their children’s children, just as their fathers did, so do they to this day [the date of this writing].
25 Now concerning the virgins [of marriageable age] I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think then that because of the impending distress [that is, the pressure of the current trouble], it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you [a]unmarried? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned [in doing so]; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned [in doing so]. Yet those [who marry] will have troubles (special challenges) in this life, and I am trying to spare you that. 29 But I say this, believers: the [b]time has been shortened, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they did not; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess [anything]; 31 and those who use the world [taking advantage of its opportunities], as though they did not make full use of it. For the outward form of this world [its present social and material nature] is passing away.
25 “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by worrying can add one [a]hour to [the length of] his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ 32 For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.