Read the Bible | July 22nd
How Precious Is Your Steadfast Love
To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the LORD.
 Transgression speaks to the wicked
deep in his heart;
there is no fear of God
before his eyes.
 For he flatters himself in his own eyes
that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
 The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
 He plots trouble while on his bed;
he sets himself in a way that is not good;
he does not reject evil.
 Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, O LORD.
 How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
 They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
 Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
 Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
 There the evildoers lie fallen;
they are thrust down, unable to rise. (ESV)
He Will Not Forsake His Saints
 Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
 For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
 Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
 For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
 But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.
 The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,
 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.
 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose way is upright;
 their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.
 Better is the little that the righteous has
than the abundance of many wicked.
 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the LORD upholds the righteous.
 The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will remain forever;
 they are not put to shame in evil times;
in the days of famine they have abundance.
 But the wicked will perish;
the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures;
they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.
 The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
but the righteous is generous and gives;
 for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.
 The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
when he delights in his way;
 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the LORD upholds his hand.
 I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or his children begging for bread.
 He is ever lending generously,
and his children become a blessing.
 Turn away from evil and do good;
so shall you dwell forever.
 For the LORD loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
 The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell upon it forever.
 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks justice.
 The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.
 The wicked watches for the righteous
and seeks to put him to death.
 The LORD will not abandon him to his power
or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.
 Wait for the LORD and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
 But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
though I sought him, he could not be found.
 Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.
 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
 The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him. (ESV)
Do Not Forsake Me, O LORD
A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.
 O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath!
 For your arrows have sunk into me,
and your hand has come down on me.
 There is no soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
 For my iniquities have gone over my head;
like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
 My wounds stink and fester
because of my foolishness,
 I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all the day I go about mourning.
 For my sides are filled with burning,
and there is no soundness in my flesh.
 I am feeble and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
 O Lord, all my longing is before you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
 My heart throbs; my strength fails me,
and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
 My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague,
and my nearest kin stand far off.
 Those who seek my life lay their snares;
those who seek my hurt speak of ruin
and meditate treachery all day long.
 But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,
like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
 I have become like a man who does not hear,
and in whose mouth are no rebukes.
 But for you, O LORD, do I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
 For I said, “Only let them not rejoice over me,
who boast against me when my foot slips!”
 For I am ready to fall,
and my pain is ever before me.
 I confess my iniquity;
I am sorry for my sin.
 But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty,
and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
 Those who render me evil for good
accuse me because I follow after good.
 Do not forsake me, O LORD!
O my God, be not far from me!
 Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation! (ESV)
Paul Before Felix at Caesarea
 And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before the governor their case against Paul.  And when he had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying:
“Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight, most excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation,  in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude.  But, to detain you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly.  For we have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.  He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him.  By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.”
 The Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that all these things were so.
 And when the governor had nodded to him to speak, Paul replied:
“Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense.  You can verify that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem,  and they did not find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the temple or in the synagogues or in the city.  Neither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me.  But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets,  having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.  So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.  Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings.  While I was doing this, they found me purified in the temple, without any crowd or tumult. But some Jews from Asia— they ought to be here before you and to make an accusation, should they have anything against me.  Or else let these men themselves say what wrongdoing they found when I stood before the council,  other than this one thing that I cried out while standing among them: ‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.’”
Paul Kept in Custody
 But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.”  Then he gave orders to the centurion that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs.
 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.  And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.”  At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him.  When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. (ESV)