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Psalm 56-58

Psalm 56

Trust in God under Persecution

To the leader: according to The Dove on Far-off Terebinths. Of David. A Miktam, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.

Be gracious to me, O God, for people trample on me;
    all day long foes oppress me;
my enemies trample on me all day long,
    for many fight against me.
O Most High, when I am afraid,
    I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
    in God I trust; I am not afraid;
    what can flesh do to me?

All day long they seek to injure my cause;
    all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They stir up strife, they lurk,
    they watch my steps.
As they hoped to have my life,
    so repay[a] them for their crime;
    in wrath cast down the peoples, O God!

You have kept count of my tossings;
    put my tears in your bottle.
    Are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will retreat
    in the day when I call.
    This I know, that[b] God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
    in the Lord, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; I am not afraid.
    What can a mere mortal do to me?

12 My vows to you I must perform, O God;
    I will render thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered my soul from death,
    and my feet from falling,
so that I may walk before God
    in the light of life.

Psalm 57

Praise and Assurance under Persecution

To the leader: Do Not Destroy. Of David. A Miktam, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
    for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
    until the destroying storms pass by.
I cry to God Most High,
    to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me,
    he will put to shame those who trample on me.Selah
God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness.

I lie down among lions
    that greedily devour[c] human prey;
their teeth are spears and arrows,
    their tongues sharp swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
    Let your glory be over all the earth.

They set a net for my steps;
    my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my path,
    but they have fallen into it themselves.Selah
My heart is steadfast, O God,
    my heart is steadfast.
I will sing and make melody.
    Awake, my soul!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
    I will awake the dawn.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
    I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens;
    your faithfulness extends to the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
    Let your glory be over all the earth.

Psalm 58

Prayer for Vengeance

To the leader: Do Not Destroy. Of David. A Miktam.

Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?[d]
    Do you judge people fairly?
No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
    your hands deal out violence on earth.

The wicked go astray from the womb;
    they err from their birth, speaking lies.
They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
    like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
    or of the cunning enchanter.

O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
    tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
Let them vanish like water that runs away;
    like grass let them be trodden down[e] and wither.
Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime;
    like the untimely birth that never sees the sun.
Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
    whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!

10 The righteous will rejoice when they see vengeance done;
    they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 People will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
    surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 56:7 Cn: Heb rescue
  2. Psalm 56:9 Or because
  3. Psalm 57:4 Cn: Heb are aflame for
  4. Psalm 58:1 Or mighty lords
  5. Psalm 58:7 Cn: Meaning of Heb uncertain
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Psalm 64-65

Psalm 64

Prayer for Protection from Enemies

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
    preserve my life from the dread enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
    from the scheming of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords,
    who aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from ambush at the blameless;
    they shoot suddenly and without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose;
    they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see us?[a]
    Who can search out our crimes?[b]
We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.”
    For the human heart and mind are deep.

But God will shoot his arrow at them;
    they will be wounded suddenly.
Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin;[c]
    all who see them will shake with horror.
Then everyone will fear;
    they will tell what God has brought about,
    and ponder what he has done.

10 Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord
    and take refuge in him.
Let all the upright in heart glory.

Psalm 65

Thanksgiving for Earth’s Bounty

To the leader. A Psalm of David. A Song.

Praise is due to you,
    O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed,
    O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
    you forgive our transgressions.
Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
    to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
    your holy temple.

By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
    O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas.
By your[d] strength you established the mountains;
    you are girded with might.
You silence the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples.
Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it,
    you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
    you provide the people with grain,
    for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
    settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
    and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty;
    your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
    the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
    the valleys deck themselves with grain,
    they shout and sing together for joy.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 64:5 Syr: Heb them
  2. Psalm 64:6 Cn: Heb They search out crimes
  3. Psalm 64:8 Cn: Heb They will bring him to ruin, their tongue being against them
  4. Psalm 65:6 Gk Jerome: Heb his
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Jeremiah 1:11-19

11 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.”[a] 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching[b] over my word to perform it.” 13 The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, tilted away from the north.”

14 Then the Lord said to me: Out of the north disaster shall break out on all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For now I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord; and they shall come and all of them shall set their thrones at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have made offerings to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, gird up your loins; stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not break down before them, or I will break you before them. 18 And I for my part have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 1:11 Heb shaqed
  2. Jeremiah 1:12 Heb shoqed
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Romans 1:1-15

Salutation

Paul, a servant[a] of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit[b] of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit by announcing the gospel[c] of his Son, is my witness that without ceasing I remember you always in my prayers, 10 asking that by God’s will I may somehow at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[d] that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as I have among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish 15 —hence my eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 1:1 Gk slave
  2. Romans 1:4 Or Spirit
  3. Romans 1:9 Gk my spirit in the gospel
  4. Romans 1:13 Gk brothers
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John 4:27-42

27 Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” 28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah,[a] can he?” 30 They left the city and were on their way to him.

31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. 36 The reaper is already receiving[b] wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

39 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”

Footnotes:

  1. John 4:29 Or the Christ
  2. John 4:36 Or 35 . . . the fields are already ripe for harvesting. 36 The reaper is receiving
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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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