Psalms 26–28

A Psalm of David.

1 Judge me, O Lord,

for I have walked in my integrity.

I have trusted in the Lord;

I will not slip.

2 Examine me, O Lord, and test me;

try my affections and my heart.

3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,

and I have walked in Your truth.

4 I have not sat with the worthless,

nor will I go with hypocrites.

5 I have hated the congregation of evildoers,

and will not sit with the wicked.

6 I will wash my hands in innocence;

thus I will go around Your altar, O Lord,

7 that I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,

and tell of all Your wondrous works.

8 Lord, I have loved the refuge of Your house,

and the place where Your honor dwells.

9 Do not gather my soul with sinners,

nor my life with murderers,

10 in whose hands is wickedness,

and their right hand is full of bribes.

11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity;

redeem me and be gracious to me.

12 My foot stands in an even place;

with the congregations I will bless the Lord.

Psalm 27

A Psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;

whom will I fear?

The Lord is the strength of my life;

of whom will I be afraid?

2 When the wicked came against me

to eat my flesh—

my enemies and my foes—

they stumbled and fell.

3 Though an army should encamp against me,

my heart will not fear;

though war should rise against me,

in this will I be confident.

4 One thing I have asked from the Lord,

that will I seek after—

for me to dwell in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life,

to see the beauty of the Lord,

and to inquire in His temple.

5 For in the time of trouble

He will hide me in His pavilion;

in the shelter of His tabernacle He will hide me;

He will set me up on a rock.

6 Now my head will be lifted up

above my enemies encircling me;

therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;

I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!

Be gracious to me and answer me.

8 When You said, “Seek My face,”

my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

9 Do not hide Your face far from me;

do not thrust Your servant away in anger;

You have been my help.

Do not leave me nor forsake me,

O God of my salvation.

10 If my father and my mother forsake me,

then the Lord will take me in.

11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,

and lead me in an upright path,

because of my enemies.

12 Do not deliver me to the will of my enemies;

for false witnesses have risen against me,

and they breathe out violence.

13 I believe

I will see the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord;

be strong, and may your heart be stout;

wait on the Lord.

Psalm 28

A Psalm of David.

1 To You, O Lord, will I cry;

my Rock, do not be silent to me;

lest if You were silent to me,

then I would become like those who go down to the pit.

2 Hear the voice of my supplications

when I cry to You,

when I lift up my hands

toward Your most holy place.

3 Do not draw me away with the wicked

and with the workers of iniquity,

who speak peace to their neighbors,

but mischief is in their hearts.

4 Give them according to their deeds,

and according to the wickedness of their endeavors;

give them according to the work of their hands;

return to them what they deserve.

5 Because they do not regard the works of the Lord,

nor the work of His hands,

He will destroy them

and not build them up.

6 Blessed be the Lord,

because He has heard the voice of my supplications.

7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;

my heart trusted in Him, and I was helped;

therefore my heart rejoices,

and with my song I will thank Him.

8 The Lord is the strength of His people,

and He is the saving strength of His anointed.

9 Save Your people,

and bless Your inheritance;

feed them and lift them up forever.

Acts 21:40–22:30

40 When he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. When there was great silence, he addressed them in the Hebrew language, saying,

22:1 “Brothers and fathers, hear my defense which I now make to you.”

2 When they heard that he addressed them in the Hebrew language, they became even more quiet.

Then he said, 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was trained in the strict tradition of the law of the fathers, being zealous toward God as you all are today. 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, arresting and imprisoning both men and women, 5 as even the high priest and the council of elders bear witness of me. From them I received letters to the brothers in Damascus, where I went to take even those who were there and lead them in chains to Jerusalem to be punished.

6 “As I journeyed and came near Damascus, about noon suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’

8 “I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’

“He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 Those who were with me saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who was speaking to me.

10 “I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’

“The Lord said to me, ‘Rise and go into Damascus. There you will be told what you have been appointed to do.’ 11 Since I was blinded by the glory of that light, those who were with me led me by the hand into Damascus.

12 “Ananias, a devout man according to the law, who was well spoken of by all the Jews living there, 13 came and stood by me, and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that moment I looked up at him.

14 “Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Just One and to hear His voice, 15 for you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? Rise, be baptized and wash away your sins, and call on the name of the Lord.’

17 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw Him saying to me, ‘Hurry! Get out of Jerusalem immediately, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’

19 “I said, ‘Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat those who believed in You in every synagogue. 20 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I was standing by consenting to his death, guarding the clothes of those who killed him.’

21 “Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”

22 They listened to him up to this word, and then they lifted up their voices and said, “Away with such a man from the earth, for he is not fit to live!”

23 As they shouted and threw off their garments and threw dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks and examined with scourging, so that he might learn what crime they were alleging against him. 25 As they stretched him forward with straps, Paul said to the centurion standing by, “Is it legal for you to flog an uncondemned Roman citizen?”

26 On hearing this, the centurion reported to the commander, saying, “What are you doing? This man is a Roman citizen.”

27 The commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”

He said, “Yes.”

28 The commander answered, “I bought my citizenship for a large sum.”

So Paul said, “But I was born a citizen.”

29 Therefore those who were about to examine Paul immediately backed away from him. And the commander feared, knowing that he was a Roman citizen and because he had bound him.

30 On the next day, desiring to know exactly why he was accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the Sanhedrin to assemble, and he brought Paul down to stand before them.