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Psalm 33-34 Acts 24 (Easy-to-Read Version)

Psalm 33-34

33 Rejoice in the Lord, good people!
    It is only right for good people to praise him.
Play the lyre and praise the Lord.
    Play the ten-stringed harp for him.
Sing a new song[a] to him.
    Play it well and sing it loud!
The Lord’s word is true,
    and he is faithful in everything he does.
He loves goodness and justice.
    The Lord’s faithful love fills the earth.
The Lord spoke the command, and the world was made.
    The breath from his mouth created everything in the heavens.
He gathered together the water of the sea.
    He put the ocean in its place.
Everyone on earth should fear and respect the Lord.
    All the people in the world should fear him,
because when he speaks, things happen.
    And if he says, “Stop!”—then it stops.[b]
10 The Lord can ruin every decision the nations make.
    He can spoil all their plans.
11 But the Lord’s decisions are good forever.
    His plans are good for generation after generation.
12 Great blessings belong to those who have the Lord as their God!
    He chose them to be his own special people.
13 The Lord looked down from heaven
    and saw all the people.
14 From his high throne he looked down
    at all the people living on earth.
15 He created every person’s mind,
    and he knows what each one is doing.
16 A king is not saved by the power of his army.
    A soldier does not survive by his own great strength.
17 Horses don’t really bring victory in war.
    Their strength cannot help you escape.
18 The Lord watches over his followers,
    those who wait for him to show his faithful love.
19 He saves them from death.
    He gives them strength when they are hungry.
20 So we will wait for the Lord.
    He helps us and protects us.
21 He makes us happy.
    We trust his holy name.
22 Lord, we worship you,
    so show your great love for us.

[c] A song of David when he pretended to be crazy so that Abimelech would send him away, which he did.

34 I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will never stop singing his praises.
Humble people, listen and be happy,
    while I brag about the Lord.
Praise the Lord with me.
    Let us honor his name.
I went to the Lord for help, and he listened.
    He saved me from all that I fear.
If you look to him for help,
    he will put a smile on your face.
    You will have no need to be ashamed.
As a poor, helpless man I prayed to the Lord,
    and he heard me.
    He saved me from all my troubles.
The Lord’s angel builds a camp around his followers,
    and he protects them.
Give the Lord a chance to show you[d] how good he is.
    Great blessings belong to those who depend on him!
The Lord’s holy people should fear and respect him.
    Those who respect him will always have what they need.
10 Even strong lions get weak and hungry,
    but those who go to the Lord for help will have every good thing.
11 Children, come and listen to me;
    I will teach you to respect the Lord.
12 Do you want to enjoy life?
    Do you want to have many happy days?
13 Then avoid saying anything hurtful,
    and never let a lie come out of your mouth.
14 Stop doing anything evil, and do good.
    Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully.
15 The Lord watches over those who do what is right,
    and he hears their prayers.
16 But the Lord is against those who do evil,
    so they are forgotten soon after they die.

17 Pray to the Lord, and he will hear you.
    He will save you from all your troubles.
18 The Lord is close to those who have suffered disappointment.
    He saves those who are discouraged.
19 Good people might have many problems,
    but the Lord will take them all away.
20 He will protect them completely.
    Not one of their bones will be broken.
21 But troubles will kill the wicked.
    The enemies of those who live right will all be punished.
22 The Lord saves his servants.
    All who go to him for protection will escape punishment.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 33:3 new song Whenever God did a new and wonderful thing for his people, they would write a new song about it.
  2. Psalm 33:9 And if … stops Or “He gives the command, and it stands!” The word “stand” can mean “stand forever” or “stop.”
  3. Psalm 34:1 Psalm 34 In Hebrew, each verse in this psalm begins with the next letter of the alphabet.
  4. Psalm 34:8 Give … show you Literally, “Taste and see.”
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Acts 24

Some Jews Accuse Paul

24 Five days later Ananias, the high priest, went to the city of Caesarea. He brought with him some of the older Jewish leaders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They went to Caesarea to make charges against Paul before the governor. 2-3 Paul was called into the meeting, and Tertullus began to make his accusations.

Tertullus said, “Most Honorable Felix, our people enjoy much peace because of you, and many wrong things in our country are being made right through your wise help. For this we all continue to be very thankful. But I don’t want to take any more of your time. So I will say only a few words. Please be patient. This man is a troublemaker. He causes trouble with the Jews everywhere in the world. He is a leader of the Nazarene group. 6-8 Also, he was trying to make the Temple unclean, but we stopped him.[a] You can decide if all this is true. Ask him some questions yourself.” The other Jews agreed and said it was all true.

Paul Defends Himself Before Felix

10 The governor made a sign for Paul to speak. So Paul answered, “Governor Felix, I know that you have been a judge over this nation for a long time. So I am happy to defend myself before you. 11 I went to worship in Jerusalem only twelve days ago. You can learn for yourself that this is true. 12 These Jews who are accusing me did not find me arguing with anyone at the Temple or making trouble with the people. And I was not making trouble or arguing in the synagogues or any other place in the city. 13 These men cannot prove the things they are saying against me now.

14 “But I will tell you this: I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which these Jews say is not the right way, and I believe everything that is taught in the Law of Moses and all that is written in the books of the prophets. 15 I have the same hope in God that these Jews have—the hope that all people, good and bad, will be raised from death. 16 This is why I always try to do what I believe is right before God and before everyone.

17-18 “I was away from Jerusalem for many years. I went back there to take money to help my people. I also had some gifts to offer at the Temple. I was doing this when some Jews saw me there. I had finished the cleansing ceremony.[b] I had not made any trouble, and no one was gathering around me. 19 But some Jews from Asia were there. They should be here, standing before you. If I have really done anything wrong, they are the ones who should accuse me. They were there! 20 Ask these men here if they found any wrong in me when I stood before the high council meeting in Jerusalem. 21 I did say one thing when I stood before them and shouted, ‘You are judging me today because I believe that people will rise from death!’”

22 Felix already understood a lot about the Way. He stopped the trial and said, “When commander Lysias comes here, I will decide what to do with you.” 23 Felix told the army officer to keep Paul guarded but to give him some freedom and to let his friends bring whatever he needed.

Paul Speaks to Felix and His Wife

24 After a few days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jew. Felix asked for Paul to be brought to him. He listened to Paul talk about believing in Christ Jesus. 25 But Felix became afraid when Paul spoke about things like doing right, self-control, and the judgment that will come in the future. He said, “Go away now. When I have more time, I will call for you.” 26 But Felix had another reason for talking with Paul. He hoped Paul would pay him a bribe, so he sent for Paul often and talked with him.

27 But after two years, Porcius Festus became governor. So Felix was no longer governor. But he left Paul in prison to please the Jews.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 24:6 Some Greek copies add 6b-8a: “And we wanted to judge him by our own law. But the officer Lysias came and used great force to take him from us. And Lysias ordered those who wanted to accuse him to come to you.”
  2. Acts 24:17 cleansing ceremony The special things Jews did to end the Nazirite vow. See “ Nazirite” in the Word List.
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Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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