July 17

Psalms 18–19

For the Music Director. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord. He spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

1 I love You, O Lord, my strength.

2 The Lord is my pillar, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;

my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower.

3 I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,

and I will be saved from my enemies.

4 The cords of death encircled me,

and the torrents of destruction terrified me.

5 The cords of Sheol surrounded me;

the snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called on the Lord,

and cried for help to my God;

He heard my voice from His temple,

and my cry for help came before Him to His ears.

7 Then the earth shook and quaked;

the foundations of the hills also moved;

they reeled because His anger burned.

8 Smoke went up out of His nostrils,

and fire from His mouth devoured;

coals were kindled by it.

9 He bent the heavens and came down,

and darkness was under His feet.

10 He rode on a cherub, and flew;

He flew swiftly on the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness His secret place;

His pavilion was surrounding Him,

dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

12 At the brightness before Him His thick clouds passed by,

hailstones and coals of fire.

13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens,

and the Most High gave His voice,

hailstones and coals of fire.

14 He sent out His arrows and scattered them,

and He shot out lightning and distressed them.

15 Then the channels of waters appeared,

and the foundations of the world were discovered

at Your rebuke, O Lord,

at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

16 He sent from above, He took me;

He drew me out of many waters.

17 He delivered me from my strong enemy,

and from those who hated me,

for they were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,

but the Lord was my support.

19 He also brought me forth into a large place;

He delivered me because He delighted in me.

20 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;

according to the cleanness of my hands He has repaid me.

21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,

and have not wickedly departed from my God.

22 For all His judgments were before me,

and I did not put away His statutes from me.

23 I was also upright before Him,

and I kept myself from my iniquity.

24 Therefore the Lord has repaid me according to my righteousness,

according to the cleanness of my hands in His view.

25 With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;

with the blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;

26 with the pure You will show Yourself pure;

and with the crooked You will show Yourself crooked.

27 For You will save the afflicted people,

but will bring down prideful eyes.

28 For You will cause my lamp to shine;

the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.

29 For by You I can run through a troop,

and by my God I can leap a wall.

30 As for God, His way has integrity;

the word of the Lord is proven;

He is a shield

to all those who take refuge in Him.

31 For who is God except the Lord?

Or who is a rock besides our God?

32 It is God who clothes me with strength,

and gives my way integrity.

33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,

and causes me to stand on my high places.

34 He trains my hands for war,

so that my arms bend a bow of bronze.

35 You have given me the shield of Your salvation,

and Your right hand has held me up,

and Your gentleness has made me great.

36 You have lengthened my stride under me,

so that my feet did not slip.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;

I did not return until they were destroyed.

38 I wounded them, and they were not able to rise;

they are fallen under my feet.

39 For You clothed me with strength for the battle;

You subdued under me those who rose up against me.

40 You gave me the necks of my enemies,

and I destroyed those who hate me.

41 They cried for help, but there was none to save them;

even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.

42 Then I beat them small as the dust before the wind;

I cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

43 You have delivered me from the hostilities of the people,

and You have made me the head of nations;

a people whom I have not known serve me.

44 At hearing a report, they obey me;

foreigners come cringing to me.

45 Foreigners fade away,

and come quaking out of their prisons.

46 The Lord lives! And blessed be my Rock!

May the God of my salvation be exalted.

47 It is God who avenges me

and subdues the people under me;

48 He delivers me from my enemies.

You lift me up above those who rise up against me;

You have delivered me from the violent man.

49 Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the nations,

and sing praises to Your name.

50 He gives great deliverance to His king,

and shows lovingkindness to His anointed,

to David and to his descendants for evermore.

Psalm 19

For the Music Director. A Psalm of David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the firmament shows His handiwork.

2 Day unto day utters speech,

and night unto night declares knowledge.

3 There is no speech and there are no words;

their voice is not heard.

4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,

and their words to the end of the world.

In them has He set a tent for the sun,

5 which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;

it rejoices as a strong man to run a race.

6 Its going forth is from one end of the heavens,

and its circuit extends to the other end,

and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

7 The law of the Lord is perfect,

converting the soul;

the testimony of the Lord is sure,

making wise the simple;

8 the statutes of the Lord are right,

rejoicing the heart;

the commandment of the Lord is pure,

enlightening the eyes;

9 the fear of the Lord is clean,

enduring forever;

the judgments of the Lord are true

and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold,

yes, than much fine gold;

sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

11 Moreover by them is Your servant warned,

and by keeping them comes great reward.

12 Who can understand his errors?

Cleanse me from secret faults.

13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;

may they not rule over me.

Then I will be upright

and innocent from great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable in Your sight,

O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Acts 20:17–38

17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they came to him, he said to them, “You know how I always lived among you from the first day that I came to Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with many tears and trials which befell me through the plots of the Jews. 20 I did not keep from declaring what was beneficial to you, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, 21 testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

22 “Now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what shall befall me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But none of these things deter me. Nor do I count my life of value to myself, so that I may joyfully finish my course and the ministry which I have received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

25 “Now I know that all you, among whom I went proclaiming the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I did not keep from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to the entire flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know that after my departure, dreadful wolves will enter among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Even from among you men will arise speaking perverse things, to draw the disciples away after them. 31 Therefore watch, remembering that for three years night and day I did not cease to warn everyone with tears.

32 “Now, brothers, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities and for those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you how, working like this, you must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

36 Having said these things, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. 37 They all wept much and embraced Paul’s neck and kissed him, 38 grieving most over the words he spoke, that they were to see his face no more. Then they escorted him to the ship.