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Psalm 75-76

Psalm 75

Thanksgiving for God’s Wondrous Deeds

To the leader: Do Not Destroy. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.

We give thanks to you, O God;
    we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds.

At the set time that I appoint
    I will judge with equity.
When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,
    it is I who keep its pillars steady.Selah
I say to the boastful, “Do not boast,”
    and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horn;
do not lift up your horn on high,
    or speak with insolent neck.”

For not from the east or from the west
    and not from the wilderness comes lifting up;
but it is God who executes judgment,
    putting down one and lifting up another.
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
    with foaming wine, well mixed;
he will pour a draught from it,
    and all the wicked of the earth
    shall drain it down to the dregs.
But I will rejoice[a] forever;
    I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.

10 All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
    but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Psalm 76

Israel’s God—Judge of All the Earth

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.

In Judah God is known,
    his name is great in Israel.
His abode has been established in Salem,
    his dwelling place in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows,
    the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.Selah

Glorious are you, more majestic
    than the everlasting mountains.[b]
The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil;
    they sank into sleep;
none of the troops
    was able to lift a hand.
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
    both rider and horse lay stunned.

But you indeed are awesome!
    Who can stand before you
    when once your anger is roused?
From the heavens you uttered judgment;
    the earth feared and was still
when God rose up to establish judgment,
    to save all the oppressed of the earth.Selah

10 Human wrath serves only to praise you,
    when you bind the last bit of your[c] wrath around you.
11 Make vows to the Lord your God, and perform them;
    let all who are around him bring gifts
    to the one who is awesome,
12 who cuts off the spirit of princes,
    who inspires fear in the kings of the earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 75:9 Gk: Heb declare
  2. Psalm 76:4 Gk: Heb the mountains of prey
  3. Psalm 76:10 Heb lacks your
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Psalm 23

Psalm 23

The Divine Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;[a]
    he restores my soul.[b]
He leads me in right paths[c]
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[d]
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely[e] goodness and mercy[f] shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.[g]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 23:2 Heb waters of rest
  2. Psalm 23:3 Or life
  3. Psalm 23:3 Or paths of righteousness
  4. Psalm 23:4 Or the valley of the shadow of death
  5. Psalm 23:6 Or Only
  6. Psalm 23:6 Or kindness
  7. Psalm 23:6 Heb for length of days
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Psalm 27

Psalm 27

Triumphant Song of Confidence

Of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
    to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
    they shall stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
    yet I will be confident.

One thing I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
    and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will set me high on a rock.

Now my head is lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
    be gracious to me and answer me!
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, do I seek.
    Do not hide your face from me.

Do not turn your servant away in anger,
    you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
    O God of my salvation!
10 If my father and mother forsake me,
    the Lord will take me up.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies.
12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
    for false witnesses have risen against me,
    and they are breathing out violence.

13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 27:1 Or refuge
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Esther 2:5-8

Now there was a Jew in the citadel of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei son of Kish, a Benjaminite. Kish[a] had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with King Jeconiah of Judah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried away. Mordecai[b] had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, his cousin, for she had neither father nor mother; the girl was fair and beautiful, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter. So when the king’s order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in the citadel of Susa in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king’s palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women.

Footnotes:

  1. Esther 2:6 Heb a Benjaminite who
  2. Esther 2:7 Heb He
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Esther 2:15-23

15 When the turn came for Esther daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had adopted her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was admired by all who saw her. 16 When Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in his royal palace in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, 17 the king loved Esther more than all the other women; of all the virgins she won his favor and devotion, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 Then the king gave a great banquet to all his officials and ministers—“Esther’s banquet.” He also granted a holiday[a] to the provinces, and gave gifts with royal liberality.

Mordecai Discovers a Plot

19 When the virgins were being gathered together,[b] Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 20 Now Esther had not revealed her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had charged her; for Esther obeyed Mordecai just as when she was brought up by him. 21 In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and conspired to assassinate[c] King Ahasuerus. 22 But the matter came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. 23 When the affair was investigated and found to be so, both the men were hanged on the gallows. It was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.

Footnotes:

  1. Esther 2:18 Or an amnesty
  2. Esther 2:19 Heb adds a second time
  3. Esther 2:21 Heb to lay hands on
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Acts 17:16-34

Paul in Athens

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace[a] every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities.” (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) 19 So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.

22 Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23 For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26 From one ancestor[b] he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27 so that they would search for God[c] and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28 For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,

‘For we too are his offspring.’

29 Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30 While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

32 When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 At that point Paul left them. 34 But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 17:17 Or civic center; Gk agora
  2. Acts 17:26 Gk From one; other ancient authorities read From one blood
  3. Acts 17:27 Other ancient authorities read the Lord
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John 12:44-50

Summary of Jesus’ Teaching

44 Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. 47 I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, 49 for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.”

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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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