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Old Testament:  Psalms 4-6

Psalms 4

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.
 1  Answer me when I call to you,
  O God who declares me innocent.
Free me from my troubles.
  Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

 2  How long will you people ruin my reputation?
  How long will you make groundless accusations?
  How long will you continue your lies?    Interlude
 3  You can be sure of this:
  The LORD set apart the godly for himself.
  The LORD will answer when I call to him.

 4  Don't sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.  5  Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,
  and trust the LORD.

 6  Many people say, "Who will show us better times?"
  Let your face smile on us, LORD.
 7  You have given me greater joy
  than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
 8  In peace I will lie down and sleep,
  for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.

Psalms 5

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by the flute.
 1  O LORD, hear me as I pray;
  pay attention to my groaning.
 2  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
  for I pray to no one but you.
 3  Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.  4  O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
  you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
 5  Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
  for you hate all who do evil.
 6  You will destroy those who tell lies.
  The LORD detests murderers and deceivers.

 7  Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
  I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
 8  Lead me in the right path, O LORD,
  or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.

 9  My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
  Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
  Their tongues are filled with flattery. [9] 
 10  O God, declare them guilty.
  Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
  for they have rebelled against you.

 11  But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.  12  For you bless the godly, O LORD;
  you surround them with your shield of love.

Psalms 6

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by an eight-stringed instrument. [1] 
 1  O LORD, don't rebuke me in your anger
  or discipline me in your rage.
 2  Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak.
  Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
 3  I am sick at heart.
  How long, O LORD, until you restore me?

 4  Return, O LORD, and rescue me.
  Save me because of your unfailing love.
 5  For the dead do not remember you.
  Who can praise you from the grave? [5] 

 6  I am worn out from sobbing.
  All night I flood my bed with weeping,
  drenching it with my tears.
 7  My vision is blurred by grief;
  my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.

 8  Go away, all you who do evil,
  for the LORD has heard my weeping.
 9  The LORD has heard my plea;
  the LORD will answer my prayer.
 10  May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified.
  May they suddenly turn back in shame.
<<  5:9 Greek version reads with lies. Compare Rom 3:12.
<<  6:<%=ftSC%>TITLE Hebrew with stringed instruments; according to the sheminith.
<<  6:5 Hebrew from Sheol?

New Testament:  Acts 17:16-34

Acts 17 : 16-34

Paul Preaches in Athens
 16  While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city.  17  He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.
   18  He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, "What's this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he's picked up?" Others said, "He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods."
   19  Then they took him to the high council of the city. [19]  "Come and tell us about this new teaching," they said.  20  "You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it's all about."  21  (It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)
   22  So Paul, standing before the council, [22]  addressed them as follows: "Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way,  23  for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: `To an Unknown God.' This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I'm telling you about.
   24  "He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn't live in man-made temples."  25  and human hands can't serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.  26  From one man [26]  he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
   27  "His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.  28  For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your [28]  own poets have said, `We are his offspring.'  29  And since this is true, we shouldn't think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.
   30  "God overlooked people's ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him.  31  For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead."
   32  When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, "We want to hear more about this later."  33  That ended Paul's discussion with them,  34  but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, [34]  a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
<<  17:19 Or the most learned society of philosophers in the city. Greek reads the Areopagus.
<<  17:22 Traditionally rendered standing in the middle of Mars Hill; Greek reads standing in the middle of the Areopagus.
<<  17:26 Greek From one; other manuscripts read From one blood.
<<  17:28 Some manuscripts read our.
<<  17:34 Greek an Areopagite.

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