Psalms 33–34

The Sovereignty of the Lord.

1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,

for praise is fitting for the upright.

2 Give thanks to the Lord with the harp;

make music to Him with an instrument of ten strings.

3 Sing to Him a new song;

play an instrument skillfully with a joyful shout.

4 For the word of the Lord is upright,

and all His work is done in truth.

5 He loves righteousness and justice;

the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.

6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,

and all their host by the breath of His mouth.

7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;

He puts the depths in storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;

let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.

9 For He spoke, and it was done;

He commanded, and it stood fast.

10 The Lord frustrates the counsel of the nations;

He restrains the purposes of the people.

11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,

the purposes of His heart to all generations.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,

the people whom He has chosen as His inheritance.

13 The Lord looks from heaven;

He sees all the sons of men.

14 From the place of His habitation He gazes

on all the inhabitants of the earth;

15 He fashions their hearts alike;

He considers all their works.

16 No king is saved by a great army;

a mighty man is not delivered by great strength.

17 A horse is a vain hope for safety;

it will not deliver by its great strength.

18 The eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,

on those who hope in His lovingkindness,

19 to deliver their soul from death,

and to keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;

He is our help and our shield.

21 For our heart will rejoice in Him,

because we have trusted in His holy name.

22 Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be on us,

just as we hope in You.

Psalm 34

A Psalm of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he departed.

1 I will bless the Lord at all times;

His praise will continually be in my mouth.

2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord;

the humble will hear of it and be glad.

3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,

and let us exalt His name together.

4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me,

and delivered me from all my fears.

5 They looked to Him and became radiant,

and their faces are not ashamed.

6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard,

and saved him out of all his troubles.

7 The angel of the Lord camps around those who fear Him,

and delivers them.

8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;

blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.

9 Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints;

for the ones who fear Him will not be in need.

10 The young lions are in want and suffer hunger,

but the ones who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing.

11 Come, you children, listen to me;

I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12 Who is the man who desires life,

and loves a long life in order to see good?

13 Keep your tongue from evil,

and your lips from speaking deceit.

14 Turn away from evil, and do good;

seek peace, and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

and His ears are open to their cry.

16 The face of the Lord is against the ones doing evil,

to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,

and delivers them out of all their troubles.

18 The Lord is near to the broken-hearted,

and saves the contrite of spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,

but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

20 A righteous one keeps all his bones;

not one of them is broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked,

and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22 The Lord redeems the life of His servants,

and all who take refuge in Him will not be punished.

Acts 24

1 After five days Ananias the high priest arrived with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They brought before the governor their charges against Paul. 2 When he was summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, “Since through you we enjoy much peace, and your foresight is bringing reforms to this nation, 3 with all thankfulness, most excellent Felix, we always welcome it everywhere. 4 But not to detain you further, I beg you to briefly hear us in your patience.

5 “We have found this man a troublemaker, instigating riots among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He even tried to profane the temple. So we seized him and wanted to judge him according to our law. 7 But the commander, Lysias, came to us and forcefully took him out of our hands, 8 ordering his accusers to come before you. By examining him yourself you will be able to learn about all these things concerning which we accuse him.”

9 The Jews assented, alleging these things to be true.

10 After the governor motioned to him to speak, Paul answered, “Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully defend myself. 11 You may verify that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 They did not find me in the temple or in the synagogues or in the city disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd. 13 They cannot prove the things concerning which they now accuse me. 14 However, I affirm that in accordance with the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of my fathers and believe everything written in the Law and in the Prophets. 15 I have hope in God that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, which they also expect. 16 In this do I always strive to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men.

17 “Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation, 18 when some Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with a crowd nor an uproar. 19 They ought to be here before you to accuse me if they have any charges. 20 Or let these men say what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin, 21 unless it is concerning this one statement which I cried out while standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead, I am being judged by you this day.’”

22 When Felix, who had more exact knowledge concerning the Way, had heard this, he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander arrives, I will decide your case.” 23 Then he ordered the centurion to guard Paul, and to let him have liberty, and to forbid none of his own people from attending to him.

24 After several days, when Felix arrived with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess, he sent for Paul and heard him speak concerning faith in Christ. 25 As he lectured about righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix was afraid and answered, “For now, leave! When time permits, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. So he sent for him more often and conversed with him.

27 But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix. And Felix, desiring to do the Jews a favor, left Paul imprisoned.