The Insecurity of the Wicked

371 Do not be angry because of the wrongdoers, or have envy of the workers of evil. 2 For they will quickly be cut down like grass, and become dry like the green plants. 3 Have faith in the Lord, and do good; be at rest in the land, and go after righteousness. 4 So will your delight be in the Lord, and he will give you your heart's desires. 5 Put your life in the hands of the Lord; have faith in him and he will do it. 6 And he will make your righteousness be seen like the light, and your cause like the shining of the sun.

7 Take your rest in the Lord, waiting quietly for him; do not be angry because of the man who does well in his evil ways, and gives effect to his bad designs. 8 Put an end to your wrath and be no longer bitter; do not give way to angry feeling which is a cause of sin. 9 For the evil-doers will be cut off: but those who have faith in the Lord will have the earth for their heritage. 10 For in a short time the evil-doer will be gone: you will go searching for his place, and it will not be there. 11 But the gentle will have the earth for their heritage; they will take their delight in peace without measure. 12 The sinner has evil designs against the upright, lifting up the voice of wrath against him. 13 He will be laughed at by the Lord, who sees that his day is coming. 14 The evil-doers have taken out their swords, their bows are bent; for crushing the poor, and to put to death those who are upright in their ways. 15 But their swords will be turned into their hearts, and their bows will be broken. 16 The little which the good man has is better than the wealth of evil-doers. 17 For the arms of the evil-doers will be broken: but the Lord is the support of the good. 18 The days of the upright are numbered by the Lord, and their heritage will be for ever. 19 They will not be shamed in the evil time, and in the days when all are in need of food they will have enough. 20 But the wrongdoers will come to destruction, and the haters of the Lord will be like the fat of lambs, they will be burned up; they will go up in smoke, and never again be seen.

21 The sinner takes money and does not give it back; but the upright man has mercy, and gives to others. 22 Those who have his blessing will have the earth for their heritage; but those who are cursed by him will be cut off. 23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he takes delight in his way. 24 Even if he has a fall he will not be without help: for the hand of the Lord is supporting him. 25 I have been young, and now am old, but I have not seen the good man without help, or his children looking for bread. 26 All the day he is ready to have mercy and to give; his children are a blessing. 27 Be turned from evil, and do good; and your place will be for ever. 28 For the Lord is a lover of righteousness, and takes care of his saints; they will be kept safe for ever; but the seed of the evil-doers will be cut off. 29 The upright will have the earth for their heritage, and will go on living there for ever. 30 The mouth of the good man says words of wisdom; the talk of his tongue is of righteousness. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; he will never make a false step. 32 The sinners are watching the upright man, desiring to put him to death. 33 The Lord will not give him into their hands, or be against him when he is judged.

34 Be waiting for the Lord, and keep his way; and you will be lifted up, and have the land for your heritage: when the evil-doers are cut off, you will see it. 35 I have seen the evil-doer in great power, covering the earth like a great tree. 36 But he came to an end, and there was no sign of him; I made a search for him and he was not there. 37 Give attention to the good man, and take note of the upright; because the end of that man is peace. 38 But as for the sinners, they will be cut off together; the end of the wrongdoers is destruction. 39 But the Lord is the saviour of the upright: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the Lord will be their help, and keep them safe: he will take them out of the hands of the evil-doers, and be their saviour, because they had faith in him.

The Prayer of a Suffering Penitent

381 O Lord, be not bitter with me in your wrath; let not your hand be on me in the heat of your passion. 2 For your arrows have gone into my flesh, and I am crushed under the weight of your hand. 3 My flesh is wasted because of your wrath; and there is no peace in my bones because of my sin. 4 For my crimes have gone over my head; they are like a great weight which is more than my strength. 5 My wounds are poisoned and evil-smelling, because of my foolish behaviour. 6 I am troubled, I am made low; I go weeping all the day. 7 For my body is full of burning; all my flesh is unhealthy. 8 I am feeble and crushed down; I gave a cry like a lion because of the grief in my heart. 9 Lord, all my desire is before you; my sorrow is not kept secret from you. 10 My heart goes out in pain, my strength is wasting away; as for the light of my eyes, it is gone from me. 11 My lovers and my friends keep away from my disease; my relations keep far away.

12 Those who have a desire to take my life put nets for me; those who are designing my destruction say evil things against me, all the day their minds are full of deceit. 13 But I kept my ears shut like a man without hearing; like a man without a voice, never opening his mouth. 14 So I was like a man whose ears are shut, and in whose mouth there are no sharp words. 15 In you, O Lord, is my hope: you will give me an answer, O Lord, my God. 16 I said, Let them not be glad over me; when my foot is moved, let them not be lifted up with pride against me. 17 My feet are near to falling, and my sorrow is ever before me. 18 I will make clear my wrongdoing, with sorrow in my heart for my sin. 19 But they are strong who have hate for me without cause: those who are against me falsely are increased in numbers. 20 They give me back evil for good; they are my haters because I go after the thing which is right. 21 Do not give me up, O Lord; O my God, be near to me. 22 Come quickly to give me help, O Lord, my salvation.

Hope in the LORD

391 I said, I will give attention to my ways, so that my tongue may do no wrong; I will keep my mouth under control, while the sinner is before me. 2 I made no sound, I said no word, even of good; and I was moved with sorrow. 3 My heart was burning in my breast; while I was deep in thought the fire was lighted; then I said with my tongue, 4 Lord, give me knowledge of my end, and of the measure of my days, so that I may see how feeble I am. 5 You have made my days no longer than a hand's measure; and my years are nothing in your eyes; truly, every man is but a breath. (Selah.) 6 Truly, every man goes on his way like an image; he is troubled for no purpose: he makes a great store of wealth, and has no knowledge of who will get it.

7 And now, Lord, what am I waiting for? my hope is in you. 8 Make me free from all my sins; do not let me be shamed by the man of evil behaviour. 9 I was quiet, and kept my mouth shut; because you had done it. 10 No longer let your hand be hard on me; I am wasted by the blows of your hand. 11 By the weight of your wrath against man's sin, the glory of his form is wasted away; truly every man is but a breath. (Selah.) 12 Let my prayer come to your ears, O Lord, and give attention to my cry, make an answer to my weeping: for my time here is short before you, and in a little time I will be gone, like all my fathers. 13 Let your wrath be turned away from me, so that I may be comforted, before I go away from here, and become nothing.

Paul's Defense before Agrippa

261 And Agrippa said to Paul, You may put your cause before us. Then Paul, stretching out his hand, made his answer, saying: 2 In my opinion I am happy, King Agrippa, to be able to give my answer before you today to all these things which the Jews say against me: 3 The more so, because you are expert in all questions to do with the Jews and their ways: so I make my request to you to give me a hearing to the end. 4 All the Jews have knowledge of my way of life from my early years, as it was from the start among my nation, and at Jerusalem; 5 And they are able to say, if they would give witness, that I was living as a Pharisee, in that division of our religion which is most regular in the keeping of the law. 6 And now I am here to be judged because of the hope given by God's word to our fathers; 7 For the effecting of which our twelve tribes have been working and waiting night and day with all their hearts. And in connection with this hope I am attacked by the Jews, O king! 8 Why, in your opinion, is it outside belief for God to make the dead come to life again? 9 For I, truly, was of the opinion that it was right for me to do a number of things against the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And this I did in Jerusalem: and numbers of the saints I put in prison, having had authority given to me from the chief priests, and when they were put to death, I gave my decision against them. 11 And I gave them punishment frequently, in all the Synagogues, forcing them to say things against God; and burning with passion against them, I went after them even into far-away towns.

Paul Tells of His Conversion

12 Then, when I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and orders of the chief priests, 13 In the middle of the day, on the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining round me and those who were journeying with me. 14 And when we had all gone down on the earth, a voice came to me, saying in the Hebrew language, Saul, Saul, why are you attacking me so cruelly? It is hard for you to go against the impulse which is driving you. 15 And I said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you are attacking. 16 But get up on your feet: for I have come to you for this purpose, to make you a servant and a witness of the things in which you have seen me, and of those in which you will see me; 17 And I will keep you safe from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom I send you, 18 To make their eyes open, turning them from the dark to the light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may have forgiveness of sins and a heritage among those who are made holy by faith in me.

Paul's Witness to Jews and Gentiles

19 So, then, King Agrippa, I did not go against the vision from heaven; 20 But I went about, first to those in Damascus and Jerusalem, and through all the country of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, preaching a change of heart, so that they, being turned to God, might give, in their works, the fruits of a changed heart. 21 For this reason, the Jews took me in the Temple, and made an attempt to put me to death. 22 And so, by God's help, I am here today, witnessing to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come about; 23 That the Christ would go through pain, and being the first to come back from the dead, would give light to the people and to the Gentiles.

Paul Appeals to Agrippa to Believe

24 And when he made his answer in these words, Festus said in a loud voice, Paul, you are off your head; your great learning has made you unbalanced. 25 Then Paul said, I am not off my head, most noble Festus, but my words are true and wise. 26 For the king has knowledge of these things, to whom I am talking freely; being certain that all this is common knowledge to him; for it has not been done in secret. 27 King Agrippa, have you faith in the prophets? I am certain that you have. 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, A little more and you will be making me a Christian. 29 And Paul said, It is my prayer to God that, in little or great measure, not only you, but all those hearing me today might be even as I am, but for these chains. 30 And the king and the ruler and Bernice and those who were seated with them got up; 31 And when they had gone away they said to one another, This man has done nothing which might give cause for death or prison. 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, This man might have been made free, if he had not put his cause before Caesar.