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Psalm 38

Psalm 38

A Penitent Sufferer’s Plea for Healing

A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
    or discipline me in your wrath.
For your arrows have sunk into me,
    and your hand has come down on me.

There is no soundness in my flesh
    because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
    because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
    they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.

My wounds grow foul and fester
    because of my foolishness;
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
    all day long I go around mourning.
For my loins are filled with burning,
    and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am utterly spent and crushed;
    I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

O Lord, all my longing is known to you;
    my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
    as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
11 My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction,
    and my neighbors stand far off.

12 Those who seek my life lay their snares;
    those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin,
    and meditate treachery all day long.

13 But I am like the deaf, I do not hear;
    like the mute, who cannot speak.
14 Truly, I am like one who does not hear,
    and in whose mouth is no retort.

15 But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
    it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
16 For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me,
    those who boast against me when my foot slips.”

17 For I am ready to fall,
    and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
    I am sorry for my sin.
19 Those who are my foes without cause[a] are mighty,
    and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20 Those who render me evil for good
    are my adversaries because I follow after good.

21 Do not forsake me, O Lord;
    O my God, do not be far from me;
22 make haste to help me,
    O Lord, my salvation.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 38:19 Q Ms: MT my living foes
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Psalm 119:25-48

25 My soul clings to the dust;
    revive me according to your word.
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
    teach me your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
    and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.
29 Put false ways far from me;
    and graciously teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I set your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to your decrees, O Lord;
    let me not be put to shame.
32 I run the way of your commandments,
    for you enlarge my understanding.

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes,
    and I will observe it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
    and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
    for I delight in it.
36 Turn my heart to your decrees,
    and not to selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes from looking at vanities;
    give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise,
    which is for those who fear you.
39 Turn away the disgrace that I dread,
    for your ordinances are good.
40 See, I have longed for your precepts;
    in your righteousness give me life.

41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
    your salvation according to your promise.
42 Then I shall have an answer for those who taunt me,
    for I trust in your word.
43 Do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
    for my hope is in your ordinances.
44 I will keep your law continually,
    forever and ever.
45 I shall walk at liberty,
    for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your decrees before kings,
    and shall not be put to shame;
47 I find my delight in your commandments,
    because I love them.
48 I revere your commandments, which I love,
    and I will meditate on your statutes.

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Isaiah 44:24-45:7

24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
    who formed you in the womb:
I am the Lord, who made all things,
    who alone stretched out the heavens,
    who by myself spread out the earth;
25 who frustrates the omens of liars,
    and makes fools of diviners;
who turns back the wise,
    and makes their knowledge foolish;
26 who confirms the word of his servant,
    and fulfills the prediction of his messengers;
who says of Jerusalem, “It shall be inhabited,”
    and of the cities of Judah, “They shall be rebuilt,
    and I will raise up their ruins”;
27 who says to the deep, “Be dry—
    I will dry up your rivers”;
28 who says of Cyrus, “He is my shepherd,
    and he shall carry out all my purpose”;
and who says of Jerusalem, “It shall be rebuilt,”
    and of the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”

Cyrus, God’s Instrument

45 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
    whose right hand I have grasped
to subdue nations before him
    and strip kings of their robes,
to open doors before him—
    and the gates shall not be closed:
I will go before you
    and level the mountains,[a]
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
    and cut through the bars of iron,
I will give you the treasures of darkness
    and riches hidden in secret places,
so that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
For the sake of my servant Jacob,
    and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
    I surname you, though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    besides me there is no god.
    I arm you, though you do not know me,
so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
    and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness,
    I make weal and create woe;
    I the Lord do all these things.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 45:2 Q Ms Gk: MT the swellings
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Ephesians 5:1-14

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us[a] and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Renounce Pagan Ways

But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be associated with them. For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Sleeper, awake!
    Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ephesians 5:2 Other ancient authorities read you
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Mark 4:1-20

The Parable of the Sower

Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

The Purpose of the Parables

10 When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret[a] of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12 in order that

‘they may indeed look, but not perceive,
    and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”

13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.[b] 18 And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20 And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

Footnotes:

  1. Mark 4:11 Or mystery
  2. Mark 4:17 Or stumble
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New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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