Psalms 35–36
A Psalm of David.
1 Plead my cause, O Lord, with my adversaries;
fight those who fight me.
2 Take hold of the large shield and small shield,
and rise up for my help.
3 Draw the spear and javelin
against those who pursue me.
Say to my soul,
“I am Your salvation.”
4 May those who seek my life
be ashamed and humiliated;
may those who plan my injury
be turned back and put to shame.
5 May they be as chaff before the wind,
and may the angel of the Lord cast them down.
6 May their way be dark and slippery,
and may the angel of the Lord pursue them.
7 For without cause they have hidden their net for me in a pit,
which they have dug without cause for my soul.
8 Let destruction come on him without warning,
and let the net that he hid ensnare him;
let him fall into it, to his destruction.
9 My soul will be joyful in the Lord;
it will rejoice in His salvation.
10 All my bones will say,
“Lord, who is like You,
who delivers the poor from a stronger one,
the poor and the needy from the one who robs them?”
11 Witnesses intent on violence rose up;
they accused me of things I knew nothing about.
12 They rewarded me evil for good,
the bereavement of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled my soul with fasting;
and my prayer returns to my own heart.
14 I paced as though he were my friend or brother;
I bowed down lamenting,
as one who mourns for a mother.
15 But in my adversity they rejoiced and gathered together;
assailants gathered together against me, though I was unaware;
they tore me apart and did not stop;
16 with hypocritical mockers in feasts,
they gnashed on me with their teeth.
17 Lord, how long will You look on?
Rescue my soul from their destructions,
my life from the lions.
18 I will give You thanks in the great congregation;
I will praise You among a mighty people.
19 May my deceitful enemies
not rejoice over me;
nor may those who hate me without cause
wink with their eye.
20 For they do not speak peace,
but they devise deceitful matters
against the restful ones in the land.
21 They opened their mouth wide against me,
and said, “Aha, aha, our eye has seen it.”
22 This You have seen, O Lord; do not be silent;
O Lord, be not far from me.
23 Rouse Yourself and awake for my judgment,
for my cause, my God and my Lord.
24 Judge me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness,
and may they not rejoice over me.
25 May they not say in their hearts, “Ah, we have our soul’s desire.”
May they not say, “We have swallowed him up.”
26 May those who rejoice at my harm be ashamed
and altogether put to shame;
may they be clothed with shame and dishonor
who magnify themselves against me.
27 May those who favor my righteous cause
shout for joy and be glad;
may they say continually, “The Lord be magnified,
who delights in the peace of His servant.”
28 My tongue will speak of Your righteousness
and of Your praise all the day long.
Psalm 36
For the Music Director. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord.
1 An oracle within my heart
about the transgression of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
before their eyes.
2 For they flatter themselves in their own eyes,
that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
3 The words of their mouth are wickedness and deceit;
they have ceased to be wise and to do good.
4 They devise mischief on their bed;
they set themselves on a path that is not good;
they do not reject evil.
5 Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens,
and Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains,
Your judgments like the great deep;
O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
7 How excellent is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore mankind
seeks refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
8 They will drink their fill from the abundance of Your house,
and You will cause them to drink from the river of Your pleasures.
9 For with You is the fountain of life;
in Your light we see light.
10 Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You,
and Your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11 Do not let the foot of the arrogant come against me,
and do not let the hand of the wicked cause me to wander.
12 There the workers of iniquity have fallen;
they are cast down and not able to rise.
Acts 25
1 Now three days after Festus had come into the province, he went from Caesarea up to Jerusalem. 2 The high priest and the elders of the Jews spoke to him against Paul. And they begged him, 3 asking as a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem, plotting to kill him along the way. 4 Festus said that Paul should be kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. 5 He also said, “Let the men in authority go down with me. If there is anything wrong in the man, let them accuse him.”
6 Having stayed among them more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he sat on the judgment seat and ordered that Paul be brought in. 7 When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him and brought many serious charges against him which they could not prove, 8 while he defended himself, saying, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I sinned at all.”
9 Desiring to do the Jews a favor, Festus answered, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem to be judged concerning these charges before me?”
10 Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you know very well. 11 If I am doing wrong or have done anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die. But if these are empty charges of which these men accuse me, no one may deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar.”
12 When Festus had conferred with the council, he then answered, “To Caesar you have appealed. To Caesar you shall go.”
13 After several days King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to welcome Festus. 14 When they had been there many days, Festus stated Paul’s case to the king, saying, “There is a man left as a prisoner by Felix. 15 When I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me about him, asking for a sentence against him.
16 “I answered, ‘It is not the custom of the Romans to deliver any man to die before he who is accused meets the accusers face to face and has the opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge brought against him.’ 17 So when they assembled here, without delay I sat on the judgment seat the next day and ordered that the man be brought in. 18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation against him of such crimes as I had supposed. 19 But they had disagreements with him about their own religion and about a Man named Jesus, who had died, but whom Paul asserted was alive. 20 Being perplexed about such questions, I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried there concerning these charges. 21 But when Paul had appealed to be under guard for the decision of Caesar, I ordered that he be secured until I could send him to Caesar.”
22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.”
He said, “Tomorrow you shall hear him.”
23 The next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the hall with the commanders and the leading men of the city. When Festus gave the order, Paul was brought in. 24 Festus said, “King Agrippa, and all the men who are present with us, you see this man, concerning whom the whole assembly of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. 25 I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death. But when he himself appealed to Caesar, I decided to send him. 26 But I have nothing to write to His Majesty concerning him. Therefore I have brought him before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that upon examination, I might have something to write. 27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without signifying the charges against him.”