140 Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men;
Protect me from violent men.
They devise evil things in their hearts;
They continually [gather together and] stir up wars.
They sharpen their tongues like a serpent’s;
Poison of a viper is under their lips. Selah.
Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
Protect me from violent men
Who intend to trip up my steps.
The proud have hidden a trap for me, and cords;
They have spread a net by the wayside;
They have set traps for me. Selah.
I said to the Lord, “You are my God;
Listen to the voice of my supplications, O Lord.
“O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation,
You have covered my head in the day of battle.
“Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;
Do not further their evil device, that they not be exalted. Selah.
“Those who surround me raise their heads;
May the mischief of their own lips come upon them.
“Let burning coals fall upon them;
Let them be thrown into the fire,
Into deep [water] pits from which they cannot rise.
“Do not let a slanderer be established in the earth;
Let evil quickly hunt the violent man [to overthrow him and stop his evil acts].”
I know [with confidence] that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted,
And [will secure] justice for the poor.
Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name;
The upright will dwell in Your presence.
142 I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord;
I make supplication with my voice to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare my trouble before Him.
When my spirit was overwhelmed and weak within me [wrapped in darkness],
You knew my path.
In the way where I walk
They have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right [the point of attack] and see;
For there is no one who has regard for me [to act in my favor].
Escape has failed me and I have nowhere to run;
No one cares about my life.
I cried out to You, O Lord;
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
“Give attention to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Rescue me from my persecutors,
For they are stronger than I.
“Bring my soul out of prison (adversity),
So that I may give thanks and praise Your name;
The righteous will surround me [in triumph],
For You will look after me.”
141 Lord, I call upon You; hurry to me.
Listen to my voice when I call to You.
Let my prayer be counted as incense before You;
The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips [to keep me from speaking thoughtlessly].
Do not incline my heart to [consent to or tolerate] any evil thing,
Or to practice deeds of wickedness
With men who plan and do evil;
And let me not eat of their delicacies (be tempted by their gain).
Let the righteous [thoughtfully] strike (correct) me—it is a kindness [done to encourage my spiritual maturity].
It is [the choicest anointing] oil on the head;
Let my head not refuse [to accept and acknowledge and learn from] it;
For still my prayer is against their wicked deeds.
Their [wicked, godless] judges are thrown down the sides of the rocky cliff,
And they [who followed them] will hear my words, for they are pleasant (just).
As when the one plows and breaks open the ground [and the soil scatters behind him],
Our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol [by the injustices of the wicked].
For my eyes are toward You, O God, the Lord;
In You I take refuge; do not pour out my life nor leave me defenseless.
Keep me from the jaws of the trap which they have set for me,
And from the snares of those who do evil.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
While I pass by and safely escape [from danger].
143 Hear my prayer, O Lord,
Listen to my supplications!
Answer me in Your faithfulness, and in Your righteousness.
And do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
For in Your sight no man living is righteous or justified.
For the enemy has persecuted me,
He has crushed my life down to the ground;
He has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have been long dead.
Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed and weak within me [wrapped in darkness];
My heart grows numb within me.
I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that You have done;
I ponder the work of Your hands.
I reach out my hands to You;
My throat thirsts for You, as a parched land [thirsts for water]. Selah.
Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails;
Do not hide Your face from me,
Or I will become like those who go down into the pit (grave).
Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For I trust in You.
Teach me the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.
Rescue me, O Lord, from my enemies;
I take refuge in You.
Teach me to do Your will [so that I may please You],
For You are my God;
Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Save my life, O Lord, for Your name’s sake;
In Your righteousness bring my life out of trouble.
In your lovingkindness, silence and destroy my enemies
And destroy all those who afflict my life,
For I am Your servant.
They [who have escaped and remain] raise their voices, they shout for joy;
They rejoice from the [Mediterranean] Sea in the majesty of the Lord.
Therefore honor and glorify the Lord in the east [in the region of light],
The name of the Lord, the God of Israel [honor His name],
In the coastlands and islands of the [Mediterranean] Sea.
From the ends of the earth we hear songs, “Glory and honor to the Righteous One,”
But I say, “I waste away, I waste away. Woe to me!
The treacherous deal treacherously,
Indeed, the treacherous deal very treacherously.”
Terror and pit [of destruction] and snare
Confront you, O inhabitant of the earth.
Then it will be that he who flees at the sound of terror will fall into the pit,
And he who comes up out of the pit will be caught in the snare;
For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble.
The earth is broken completely apart,
The earth is split apart,
The earth is shaken violently.
The earth reels back and forth like a drunkard
And sways like a shack;
Its transgression lies heavily upon it,
And it will fall and not rise again.
So it will happen in that day
That the Lord will visit and punish the host (fallen angels) of heaven on high,
And the kings of the earth on the earth.
They will be gathered together
As prisoners [are gathered] in a dungeon;
They will be shut up in prison,
And after many days they will be visited and punished.
Then the full moon will be embarrassed and the sun ashamed,
For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
And His glory and brilliance will shine before His elders.
13 Now who is there to hurt you if you become enthusiastic for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness [though it is not certain that you will], you are still blessed [happy, to be admired and favored by God]. Do not be afraid of their intimidating threats, nor be troubled or disturbed [by their opposition]. 15 But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect. 16 And see to it that your conscience is entirely clear, so that every time you are slandered or falsely accused, those who attack or disparage your good behavior in Christ will be shamed [by their own words]. 17 For it is better that you suffer [unjustly] for doing what is right, if that should be God’s will, than [to suffer justly] for doing wrong. 18 For indeed Christ died for sins once for all, the Just and Righteous for the unjust and unrighteous [the Innocent for the guilty] so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit; 19 in which He also went and preached to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the great patience of God was waiting in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons [Noah’s family], were brought safely through the water. 21 Corresponding to that [rescue through the flood], baptism [which is an expression of a believer’s new life in Christ] now [a]saves you, not by removing dirt from the body, but by an appeal to God for a good (clear) conscience, [demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God [that is, the place of honor and authority], with [all] angels and authorities and powers made subservient to Him.
4 Therefore, since [b]Christ suffered in the flesh [and died for us], arm yourselves [like warriors] with the same purpose [being willing to suffer for doing what is right and pleasing God], because whoever has suffered in the flesh [being like-minded with Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [having stopped pleasing the world], 2 so that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living for human appetites and desires, but [lives] for the will and purpose of God. 3 For the time already past is [more than] enough for doing what the [unsaved] Gentiles like to do—[c]living [unrestrained as you have done] in a course of [shameless] sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, and wanton idolatries. 4 In [connection with] all this, they [the unbelievers] are resentful and surprised that you do not [think like them, value their values and] run [hand in hand] with them into the same excesses of dissipation and immoral freedom, and they criticize and abuse and ridicule you and make fun of your values. 5 But they will [have to] give an account to Him who is ready to judge and pass sentence on the living and the dead. 6 For this is why the good news [of salvation] was preached [in their lifetimes] even to those who are dead, that though they were judged in the flesh as men are, they may live in the spirit according to [the will and purpose of] God.
17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve [disciples] aside, and along the way He said to them, 18 “Listen carefully: we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), and they will [judicially] condemn Him and sentence Him to death, 19 and will hand Him over to the Gentiles (Roman authorities) to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and He will be raised [to life] on the third day.”
20 Then [Salome] the [a]mother of Zebedee’s children [James and John] came up to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down [in respect], asked a favor of Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit [in positions of honor and authority] one on Your right and one on Your left.” 22 But Jesus replied, “You do not realize what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup [of suffering] that I am about to drink?” They answered, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink My cup [of suffering]; but to sit on My right and on My left this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”
24 And when the [other] ten heard this, they were resentful and angry with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles have absolute power and lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them [tyrannizing them]. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your [willing and humble] slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [paying the price to set them free from the penalty of sin].”