Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither,like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret - it leads only to evil. 9 For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. 11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; 13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright. 15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; 17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.
18 The days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever. 19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish: The Lord's enemies will be like the beauty of the fields, they will vanish - vanish like smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; 22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be cut off.
23 If the Lord delights in a man's way,he makes his steps firm; 24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsake nor their children begging bread. 26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.
27 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. 28 For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off; 29 the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.
30 The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, seeking their very lives; 33 but the Lord will not leave them in their power or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil, 36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;there is a future for the man of peace. 38 But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.
39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. 40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,because they take refuge in him.
Psalm 38 A psalm of David. A petition.
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. 2 For your arrows have pierced me,and your hand has come down upon me. 3 Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin. 4 My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.
5 My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. 6 I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. 7 My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. 8 I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.
9 All my longings lie open before you, O Lord;my sighing is not hidden from you. 10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. 11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away. 12 Those who seek my life set their traps,those who would harm me talk of my ruin;all day long they plot deception.
13 I am like a deaf man, who cannot hear, like a mute, who cannot open his mouth; 14 I have become like a man who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply. 15 I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God. 16 For I said, "Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my foot slips."
17 For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me. 18 I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. 19 Many are those who are my vigorous enemies; those who hate me without reason are numerous. 20 Those who repay my good with evil slander me when I pursue what is good.
21 O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. 22 Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.
Psalm 39 For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
I said, "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence." 2 But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good,my anguish increased. 3 My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:
4 "Show me, O Lord, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. 5 You have made my days a mere hand breadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you.Each man's life is but a breath. Selah
6 Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
7 "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. 8 Save me from all my transgressions;do not make me the scorn of fools. 9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for you are the one who has done this. 10 Remove your scourge from me; I am overcome by the blow of your hand. 11 You rebuke and discipline men for their sin; you consume their wealth like a moth - each man is but a breath. Selah
12 "Hear my prayer, O Lord, listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping. For I dwell with you as an alien,a stranger, as all my fathers were. 13 Look away from me, that I may rejoice again before I depart and am no more." (NIV)
Acts 26 Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You have permission to speak for yourself." So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense: 2 "King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 "The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. 6 And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today. 7 This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me. 8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?
9 "I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.
12 "On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ' Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
15 "Then I asked, 'Who are you, Lord?' "'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,' the Lord replied. 16 'Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
19 "So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. 21 That is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. 22 But I have had God's help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen- 23 that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles."
24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul's defense. "You are out of your mind, Paul!" he shouted. "Your great learning is driving you insane."
25 "I am not insane, most excellent Festus," Paul replied. "What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do."
28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?"
29 Paul replied, "Short time or long - I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains."
30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 They left the room, and while talking with one another, they said, "This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment."
32 Agrippa said to Festus, "This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar." (NIV)