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Old Testament:  Psalms 57-59

Psalms 57

For the choir director: A psalm [1]  of David, regarding the time he fled from Saul and went into the cave. To be sung to the tune "Do Not Destroy!"
 1  Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
  I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
  until the danger passes by.
 2  I cry out to God Most High, [2] 
  to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
 3  He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
  disgracing those who hound me.    Interlude
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

 4  I am surrounded by fierce lions
  who greedily devour human prey—
whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
  and whose tongues cut like swords.

 5  Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!
  May your glory shine over all the earth.

 6  My enemies have set a trap for me.
  I am weary from distress.
They have dug a deep pit in my path,
  but they themselves have fallen into it.    Interlude

 7  My heart is confident in you, O God;
  my heart is confident.
  No wonder I can sing your praises!
 8  Wake up, my heart!
  Wake up, O lyre and harp!
  I will wake the dawn with my song.
 9  I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
  I will sing your praises among the nations.
 10  For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
  Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

 11  Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
  May your glory shine over all the earth.

Psalms 58

For the choir director: A psalm* of David, to be sung to the tune "Do Not Destroy!"
 1  Justice—do you rulers [1]  know the meaning of the word?
  Do you judge the people fairly?
 2  No! You plot injustice in your hearts.
  You spread violence throughout the land.
 3  These wicked people are born sinners;
  even from birth they have lied and gone their own way.
 4  They spit venom like deadly snakes;
  they are like cobras that refuse to listen,
 5  ignoring the tunes of the snake charmers,
  no matter how skillfully they play.

 6  Break off their fangs, O God!
  Smash the jaws of these lions, O LORD!
 7  May they disappear like water into thirsty ground.
  Make their weapons useless in their hands. [7] 
 8  May they be like snails that dissolve into slime,
  like a stillborn child who will never see the sun.
 9  God will sweep them away, both young and old,
  faster than a pot heats over burning thorns.

 10  The godly will rejoice when they see injustice avenged.
  They will wash their feet in the blood of the wicked.
 11  Then at last everyone will say,
  "There truly is a reward for those who live for God;
  surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth."

Psalms 59

For the choir director: A psalm [1]  of David, regarding the time Saul sent soldiers to watch David's house in order to kill him. To be sung to the tune "Do Not Destroy!"
 1  Rescue me from my enemies, O God.
  Protect me from those who have come to destroy me.
 2  Rescue me from these criminals;
  save me from these murderers.
 3  They have set an ambush for me.
  Fierce enemies are out there waiting, LORD,
  though I have not sinned or offended them.
 4  I have done nothing wrong,
  yet they prepare to attack me.
  Wake up! See what is happening and help me!
 5  O LORD God of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel,
  wake up and punish those hostile nations.
  Show no mercy to wicked traitors.    Interlude

 6  They come out at night,
  snarling like vicious dogs
  as they prowl the streets.
 7  Listen to the filth that comes from their mouths;
  their words cut like swords.
  "After all, who can hear us?" they sneer.
 8  But LORD, you laugh at them.
  You scoff at all the hostile nations.
 9  You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me,
  for you, O God, are my fortress.
 10  In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me.
  He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies.

 11  Don't kill them, for my people soon forget such lessons;
  stagger them with your power, and bring them to their knees,
  O Lord our shield.
 12  Because of the sinful things they say,
  because of the evil that is on their lips,
let them be captured by their pride,
  their curses, and their lies.
 13  Destroy them in your anger!
  Wipe them out completely!
Then the whole world will know
  that God reigns in Israel. [13]     Interlude

 14  My enemies come out at night,
  snarling like vicious dogs
  as they prowl the streets.
 15  They scavenge for food
  but go to sleep unsatisfied. [15] 

 16  But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.  17  O my Strength, to you I sing praises,
  for you, O God, are my refuge,
  the God who shows me unfailing love.
<<  57:<%=ftSC%>TITLE Hebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term.
<<  57:2 Hebrew Elohim-Elyon.
<<  58:<%=ftSC%>TITLE Hebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term. 58:1 Or you gods.
<<  58:7 Or Let them be trodden down and wither like grass. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
<<  59:<%=ftSC%>TITLE Hebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term.
<<  59:13 Hebrew in Jacob. See note on 44:4.
<<  59:15 Or and growl if they don't get enough.

New Testament:  Romans 4

Romans 4

The Faith of Abraham
 1  Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God?  2  If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God's way.  3  For the Scriptures tell us, "Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith." [3] 
   4  When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned.  5  But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.  6  David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it:

 7  "Oh, what joy for those
  whose disobedience is forgiven,
  whose sins are put out of sight.
 8  Yes, what joy for those
  whose record the LORD has cleared of sin." [8] 

   9  Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles? [9]  Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith.  10  But how did this happen? Was he counted as righteous only after he was circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? Clearly, God accepted Abraham before he was circumcised!
   11  Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith.  12  And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised.
   13  Clearly, God's promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God's law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.  14  If God's promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless.  15  For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)
   16  So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham's. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.  17  That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, "I have made you the father of many nations." [17]  This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.
   18  Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping — believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, "That's how many descendants you will have!"  19  And Abraham's faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah's womb.
   20  Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.  21  He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.  22  And because of Abraham's faith, God counted him as righteous.  23  And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn't just for Abraham's benefit. It was recorded  24  for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  25  He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
<<  4:3 Gen 15:6.
<<  4:7-8 Ps 32:1-2 (Greek version).
<<  4:9 Greek is this blessing only for the circumcised, or is it also for the uncircumcised?
<<  4:17 Gen 17:5.
<<  4:18 Gen 15:5.

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