A Prayer for Vengeance

941 O God, in whose hands is punishment, O God of punishment, let your shining face be seen. 2 Be lifted up, O judge of the earth; let their reward come to the men of pride. 3 How long will sinners, O Lord, how long will sinners have joy over us? 4 Words of pride come from their lips; all the workers of evil say great things of themselves. 5 Your people are crushed by them, O Lord, your heritage is troubled, 6 They put to death the widow and the guest, they take the lives of children who have no father; 7 And they say, Jah will not see it, the God of Jacob will not give thought to it. 8 Give your mind to my words, you who are without wisdom among the people; you foolish men, when will you be wise? 9 Has he by whom your ears were planted no hearing? or is he blind by whom your eyes were formed? 10 He who is the judge of the nations, will he not give men the reward of their acts, even he who gives knowledge to man? 11 The Lord has knowledge of the thoughts of man, for they are only a breath.

12 Happy is the man who is guided by you, O Jah, and to whom you give teaching out of your law; 13 So that you may give him rest from the days of evil, till a hole is made ready for the destruction of the sinners. 14 The Lord will not give up his people, or take away his support from his heritage; 15 But decisions will again be made in righteousness; and they will be kept by all whose hearts are true. 16 Who will give me help against the sinners? and who will be my support against the workers of evil? 17 If the Lord had not been my helper, my soul would quickly have gone down into death. 18 If I say, My foot is slipping; your mercy, O Lord, is my support. 19 Among all my troubled thoughts, your comforts are the delight of my soul. 20 What part with you has the seat of sin, which makes evil into a law? 21 They are banded together against the soul of the upright, to give decisions against those who have done no wrong. 22 But the Lord is my safe resting-place; my God is the Rock where I am safe. 23 And he has made their evil designs come back on themselves, cutting them off in their sin; the Lord our God will put an end to them.

A Song of Praise and Worship

951 O come, let us make songs to the Lord; sending up glad voices to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his face with praises; and make melody with holy songs. 3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King over all gods. 4 The deep places of the earth are in his hand; and the tops of the mountains are his. 5 The sea is his, and he made it; and the dry land was formed by his hands. 6 O come, let us give worship, falling down on our knees before the Lord our Maker.

7 For he is our God; and we are the people to whom he gives food, and the sheep of his flock. Today, if you would only give ear to his voice! 8 Let not your hearts be hard, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the waste land; 9 When your fathers put me to the test and saw my power and my work. 10 For forty years I was angry with this generation, and said, They are a people whose hearts are turned away from me, for they have no knowledge of my ways; 11 And I made an oath in my wrath, that they might not come into my place of rest.

A Song of Praise

961 O make a new song to the Lord; let all the earth make melody to the Lord. 2 Make songs to the Lord, blessing his name; give the good news of his salvation day by day. 3 Make clear his glory to the nations, and his wonders to all the peoples. 4 For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised; he is more to be feared than all other gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are false gods; but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Honour and glory are before him: strong and fair is his holy place. 7 Give to the Lord, O you families of the peoples, give to the Lord glory and strength. 8 Give to the Lord the glory of his name; take with you an offering and come into his house. 9 O give worship to the Lord in holy robes; be in fear before him, all the earth.

10 Say among the nations, The Lord is King; yes, the world is ordered so that it may not be moved; he will be an upright judge of the peoples. 11 Let the heavens have joy and the earth be glad; let the sea be thundering with all its waters; 12 Let the field be glad, and everything which is in it; yes, let all the trees of the wood be sounding with joy, 13 Before the Lord, for he is come; he is come to be the judge of the earth; the earth will be judged in righteousness, and the peoples with unchanging faith.

14 And I myself am certain of you, brothers, that you are full of what is good, complete in all knowledge, able to give direction to one another. 15 But I have, in some measure, less fear in writing to you to put these things before you again, because of the grace which was given to me by God, 16 To be a servant of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, doing the work of a priest in the good news of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles might be pleasing to God, being made holy by the Holy Spirit.

17 So I have pride in Christ Jesus in the things which are God's. 18 And I will keep myself from talking of anything but those things which Christ has done by me to put the Gentiles under his rule in word and in act, 19 By signs and wonders, in the power of the Holy Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have given all the good news of Christ; 20 Making it my purpose not to take the good news where Christ was named, so that my work might not be resting on that of others; 21 But as it is said in the holy Writings, They will see, to whom the news of him had not been given, and those to whose ears it had not come will have knowledge.

Paul Plans to Visit Rome

22 For which reason I was frequently kept from coming to you: 23 But now, having no longer any place in these parts and having had for a number of years a great desire to come to you, 24 Whenever I go to Spain (for it is my hope to see you on my way, and to be sent on there by you, if first I may in some measure have been comforted by your company)— 25 But now I go to Jerusalem, taking help for the saints. 26 For it has been the good pleasure of those of Macedonia and Achaia to send a certain amount of money for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27 Yes, it has been their good pleasure; and they are in their debt. For if the Gentiles have had a part in the things of the Spirit which were theirs, it is right for them, in the same way, to give them help in the things of the flesh. 28 So when I have done this, and have given them this fruit of love, I will go on by you into Spain. 29 And I am certain that when I come, I will be full of the blessing of Christ.

30 Now I make request to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that you will be working together with me in your prayers to God for me; 31 So that I may be kept safe from those in Judaea who have not put themselves under the rule of God, and that the help which I am taking for Jerusalem may be pleasing to the saints; 32 So that I may come to you in joy by the good pleasure of God, and have rest with you. 33 Now may the God of peace be with you all. So be it.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Romans 15:14-33

Commentary on Romans 15:14-21

(Read Romans 15:14-21)

The apostle was persuaded that the Roman Christians were filled with a kind and affectionate spirit, as well as with knowledge. He had written to remind them of their duties and their dangers, because God had appointed him the minister of Christ to the Gentiles. Paul preached to them; but what made them sacrifices to God, was, their sanctification; not his work, but the work of the Holy Ghost: unholy things can never be pleasing to the holy God. The conversion of souls pertains unto God; therefore it is the matter of Paul's glorying, not the things of the flesh. But though a great preacher, he could not make one soul obedient, further than the Spirit of God accompanied his labours. He principally sought the good of those that sat in darkness. Whatever good we do, it is Christ who does it by us.

Commentary on Romans 15:22-29

(Read Romans 15:22-29)

The apostle sought the things of Christ more than his own will, and would not leave his work of planting churches to go to Rome. It concerns all to do that first which is most needful. We must not take it ill if our friends prefer work which is pleasing to God, before visits and compliments, which may please us. It is justly expected from all Christians, that they should promote every good work, especially that blessed work, the conversion of souls. Christian society is a heaven upon earth, an earnest of our gathering together unto Christ at the great day. Yet it is but partial, compared with our communion with Christ; for that only will satisfy the soul. The apostle was going to Jerusalem, as the messenger of charity. God loves a cheerful giver. Every thing that passes between Christians should be a proof and instance of the union they have in Jesus Christ. The Gentiles received the gospel of salvation from the Jews; therefore were bound to minister to them in what was needed for the body. Concerning what he expected from them he speaks doubtfully; but concerning what he expected from God he speaks confidently. We cannot expect too little from man, nor too much from God. And how delightful and advantageous it is to have the gospel with the fulness of its blessings! What wonderful and happy effects does it produce, when attended with the power of the Spirit!

Commentary on Romans 15:30-33

(Read Romans 15:30-33)

Let us learn to value the effectual fervent prayers of the righteous. How careful should we be, lest we forfeit our interest in the love and prayers of God's praying people! If we have experienced the Spirit's love, let us not be wanting in this office of kindness for others. Those that would prevail in prayer, must strive in prayer. Those who beg the prayers of others, must not neglect to pray for themselves. And though Christ knows our state and wants perfectly, he will know them from us. As God must be sought, for restraining the ill-will of our enemies, so also for preserving and increasing the good-will of our friends. All our joy depends upon the will of God. Let us be earnest in prayer with and for each other, that for Christ's sake, and by the love of the Holy Spirit, great blessings may come upon the souls of Christians, and the labours of ministers.