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ESV: Through the Bible in a Year
In this online version of the popular tract, each day includes a reading from the Old Testament and New Testament. Starting in Genesis and Matthew, the readings continue sequentially. Over the course of a year, you will never read the same passage twice.

  • July 27: Psalms 50-52; Acts 27:1-25

    Morning: Psalms 50-52 Psalms 50-52

    Psalms 50-52

    God Himself Is Judge

    A Psalm of Asaph.

    50   The Mighty One, God the LORD,
        speaks and summons the earth
        from the rising of the sun to its setting.
      Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
        God shines forth.
      Our God comes; he does not keep silence;1
        before him is a devouring fire,
        around him a mighty tempest.
      He calls to the heavens above
        and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
      “Gather to me my faithful ones,
        who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
      The heavens declare his righteousness,
        for God himself is judge! Selah
      “Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
        O Israel, I will testify against you.
        I am God, your God.
      Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
        your burnt offerings are continually before me.
      I will not accept a bull from your house
        or goats from your folds.
      For every beast of the forest is mine,
        the cattle on a thousand hills.
      I know all the birds of the hills,
        and all that moves in the field is mine.
      “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
        for the world and its fullness are mine.
      Do I eat the flesh of bulls
        or drink the blood of goats?
      Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,2
        and perform your vows to the Most High,
      and call upon me in the day of trouble;
        I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
      But to the wicked God says:
        “What right have you to recite my statutes
        or take my covenant on your lips?
      For you hate discipline,
        and you cast my words behind you.
      If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
        and you keep company with adulterers.
      “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
        and your tongue frames deceit.
      You sit and speak against your brother;
        you slander your own mother's son.
      These things you have done, and I have been silent;
        you thought that I3 was one like yourself.
      But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
      “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
        lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
      The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
        to one who orders his way rightly
        I will show the salvation of God!”

    Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

    To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

    51   Have mercy on me,4 O God,
        according to your steadfast love;
      according to your abundant mercy
        blot out my transgressions.
      Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
        and cleanse me from my sin!
      For I know my transgressions,
        and my sin is ever before me.
      Against you, you only, have I sinned
        and done what is evil in your sight,
      so that you may be justified in your words
        and blameless in your judgment.
      Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
        and in sin did my mother conceive me.
      Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
        and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
      Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
        wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
      Let me hear joy and gladness;
        let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
      Hide your face from my sins,
        and blot out all my iniquities.
      Create in me a clean heart, O God,
        and renew a right5 spirit within me.
      Cast me not away from your presence,
        and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
      Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
        and uphold me with a willing spirit.
      Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
        and sinners will return to you.
      Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
        O God of my salvation,
        and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
      O Lord, open my lips,
        and my mouth will declare your praise.
      For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
        you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
      The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
        a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
      Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
        build up the walls of Jerusalem;
      then will you delight in right sacrifices,
        in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
        then bulls will be offered on your altar.

    The Steadfast Love of God Endures

    To the choirmaster. A Maskil6 of David, when Doeg, the Edomite, came and told Saul, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.”

    52   Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
        The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
      Your tongue plots destruction,
        like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
      You love evil more than good,
        and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah
      You love all words that devour,
        O deceitful tongue.
      But God will break you down forever;
        he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
        he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
      The righteous shall see and fear,
        and shall laugh at him, saying,
      “See the man who would not make
        God his refuge,
      but trusted in the abundance of his riches
        and sought refuge in his own destruction!”7
      But I am like a green olive tree
        in the house of God.
      I trust in the steadfast love of God
        forever and ever.
      I will thank you forever,
        because you have done it.
      I will wait for your name, for it is good,
        in the presence of the godly.


    [1] 50:3 Or May our God come, and not keep silence
    [2] 50:14 Or Make thanksgiving your sacrifice to God
    [3] 50:21 Or that the I am
    [4] 51:1 Or Be gracious to me
    [5] 51:10 Or steadfast
    [6] 52:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
    [7] 52:7 Or in his work of destruction


    Evening: Acts 27:1-25 Acts 27:1-25

    Acts 27:1-25

    Paul Sails for Rome

    27 And when it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort named Julius. And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. The next day we put in at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him leave to go to his friends and be cared for. And putting out to sea from there we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. And when we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing for Italy and put us on board. We sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, and as the wind did not allow us to go farther, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone. Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near which was the city of Lasea.

    Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast1 was already over, Paul advised them, saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.

    The Storm at Sea

    Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore. But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land. And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. Running under the lee of a small island called Cauda,2 we managed with difficulty to secure the ship's boat. After hoisting it up, they used supports to undergird the ship. Then, fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the gear,3 and thus they were driven along. Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo. And on the third day they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.

    Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.


    [1] 27:9 That is, the Day of Atonement
    [2] 27:16 Some manuscripts Clauda
    [3] 27:17 That is, the sea-anchor (or possibly the mainsail)


  • July 26: Psalms 47-49; Acts 26

    Morning: Psalms 47-49 Psalms 47-49

    Psalms 47-49

    God Is King over All the Earth

    To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

    47   Clap your hands, all peoples!
        Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
      For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
        a great king over all the earth.
      He subdued peoples under us,
        and nations under our feet.
      He chose our heritage for us,
        the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah
      God has gone up with a shout,
        the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
      Sing praises to God, sing praises!
        Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
      For God is the King of all the earth;
        sing praises with a psalm!1
      God reigns over the nations;
        God sits on his holy throne.
      The princes of the peoples gather
        as the people of the God of Abraham.
      For the shields of the earth belong to God;
        he is highly exalted!

    Zion, the City of Our God

    A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

    48   Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
        in the city of our God!
      His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
        is the joy of all the earth,
      Mount Zion, in the far north,
        the city of the great King.
      Within her citadels God
        has made himself known as a fortress.
      For behold, the kings assembled;
        they came on together.
      As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
        they were in panic; they took to flight.
      Trembling took hold of them there,
        anguish as of a woman in labor.
      By the east wind you shattered
        the ships of Tarshish.
      As we have heard, so have we seen
        in the city of the LORD of hosts,
      in the city of our God,
        which God will establish forever. Selah
      We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,
        in the midst of your temple.
      As your name, O God,
        so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.
      Your right hand is filled with righteousness.
        Let Mount Zion be glad!
      Let the daughters of Judah rejoice
        because of your judgments!
      Walk about Zion, go around her,
        number her towers,
      consider well her ramparts,
        go through her citadels,
      that you may tell the next generation
        that this is God,
      our God forever and ever.
        He will guide us forever.2

    Why Should I Fear in Times of Trouble?

    To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

    49   Hear this, all peoples!
        Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
      both low and high,
        rich and poor together!
      My mouth shall speak wisdom;
        the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
      I will incline my ear to a proverb;
        I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.
      Why should I fear in times of trouble,
        when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,
      those who trust in their wealth
        and boast of the abundance of their riches?
      Truly no man can ransom another,
        or give to God the price of his life,
      for the ransom of their life is costly
        and can never suffice,
      that he should live on forever
        and never see the pit.
      For he sees that even the wise die;
        the fool and the stupid alike must perish
        and leave their wealth to others.
      Their graves are their homes forever,3
        their dwelling places to all generations,
        though they called lands by their own names.
      Man in his pomp will not remain;
        he is like the beasts that perish.
      This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;
        yet after them people approve of their boasts.4 Selah
      Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
        death shall be their shepherd,
      and the upright shall rule over them in the morning.
        Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
      But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
        for he will receive me. Selah
      Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,
        when the glory of his house increases.
      For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
        his glory will not go down after him.
      For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed
        —and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—
      his soul will go to the generation of his fathers,
        who will never again see light.
      Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.


    [1] 47:7 Hebrew maskil
    [2] 48:14 Septuagint; another reading is (compare Jerome, Syriac) He will guide us beyond death
    [3] 49:11 Septuagint, Syriac, Targum; Hebrew Their inward thought was that their homes were forever
    [4] 49:13 Or and of those after them who approve of their boasts


    Evening: Acts 26 Acts 26

    Acts 26

    Paul's Defense Before Agrippa

    26 So Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:

    “I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews, especially because you are familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.

    “My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jews, O king! Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?

    “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

    Paul Tells of His Conversion

    “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language,1 ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

    “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”

    And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”2 And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.”

    Then the king rose, and the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.” And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”


    [1] 26:14 Or the Hebrew dialect (probably Aramaic)
    [2] 26:28 Or In a short time you would persuade me to act like a Christian!


  • July 25: Psalms 44-46; Acts 25

    Morning: Psalms 44-46 Psalms 44-46

    Psalms 44-46

    Come to Our Help

    To the choirmaster. A Maskil1 of the Sons of Korah.

    44   O God, we have heard with our ears,
        our fathers have told us,
      what deeds you performed in their days,
        in the days of old:
      you with your own hand drove out the nations,
        but them you planted;
      you afflicted the peoples,
        but them you set free;
      for not by their own sword did they win the land,
        nor did their own arm save them,
      but your right hand and your arm,
        and the light of your face,
        for you delighted in them.
      You are my King, O God;
        ordain salvation for Jacob!
      Through you we push down our foes;
        through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.
      For not in my bow do I trust,
        nor can my sword save me.
      But you have saved us from our foes
        and have put to shame those who hate us.
      In God we have boasted continually,
        and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah
      But you have rejected us and disgraced us
        and have not gone out with our armies.
      You have made us turn back from the foe,
        and those who hate us have gotten spoil.
      You have made us like sheep for slaughter
        and have scattered us among the nations.
      You have sold your people for a trifle,
        demanding no high price for them.
      You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,
        the derision and scorn of those around us.
      You have made us a byword among the nations,
        a laughingstock2 among the peoples.
      All day long my disgrace is before me,
        and shame has covered my face
      at the sound of the taunter and reviler,
        at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.
      All this has come upon us,
        though we have not forgotten you,
        and we have not been false to your covenant.
      Our heart has not turned back,
        nor have our steps departed from your way;
      yet you have broken us in the place of jackals
        and covered us with the shadow of death.
      If we had forgotten the name of our God
        or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
      would not God discover this?
        For he knows the secrets of the heart.
      Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long;
        we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
      Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?
        Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
      Why do you hide your face?
        Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
      For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
        our belly clings to the ground.
      Rise up; come to our help!
        Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!

    Your Throne, O God, Is Forever

    To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Maskil3 of the Sons of Korah; a love song.

    45   My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
        I address my verses to the king;
        my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
      You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
        grace is poured upon your lips;
        therefore God has blessed you forever.
      Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
        in your splendor and majesty!
      In your majesty ride out victoriously
        for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
        let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
      Your arrows are sharp
        in the heart of the king's enemies;
        the peoples fall under you.
      Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
        The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
        you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
      Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
        with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
        your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
      From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
        daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
        at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
      Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
        forget your people and your father's house,
        and the king will desire your beauty.
      Since he is your lord, bow to him.
        The people4 of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
        the richest of the people.5
      All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
        In many-colored robes she is led to the king,
        with her virgin companions following behind her.
      With joy and gladness they are led along
        as they enter the palace of the king.
      In place of your fathers shall be your sons;
        you will make them princes in all the earth.
      I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;
        therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.

    God Is Our Fortress

    To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth.6 A Song.

    46   God is our refuge and strength,
        a very present7 help in trouble.
      Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
        though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
      though its waters roar and foam,
        though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
      There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
        the holy habitation of the Most High.
      God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
        God will help her when morning dawns.
      The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
        he utters his voice, the earth melts.
      The LORD of hosts is with us;
        the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
      Come, behold the works of the LORD,
        how he has brought desolations on the earth.
      He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
        he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
        he burns the chariots with fire.
      “Be still, and know that I am God.
        I will be exalted among the nations,
        I will be exalted in the earth!”
      The LORD of hosts is with us;
        the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah


    [1] 44:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
    [2] 44:14 Hebrew a shaking of the head
    [3] 45:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
    [4] 45:12 Hebrew daughter
    [5] 45:12 Or The daughter of Tyre is here with gifts, the richest of people seek your favor
    [6] 46:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
    [7] 46:1 Or well proved


    Evening: Acts 25 Acts 25

    Acts 25

    Paul Appeals to Caesar

    25 Now three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, asking as a favor against Paul1 that he summon him to Jerusalem—because they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. “So,” said he, “let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.”

    After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him that they could not prove. Paul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.” But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?” But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.” Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.”

    Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice

    Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus. And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, “There is a man left prisoner by Felix, and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him. So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar.” Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” said he, “you will hear him.”

    So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. And Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. But I found that he had done nothing deserving death. And as he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him. But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.”


    [1] 25:3 Greek him


  • July 24: Psalms 41-43; Acts 24

    Morning: Psalms 41-43 Psalms 41-43

    Psalms 41-43

    O Lord, Be Gracious to Me

    To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

    41   Blessed is the one who considers the poor!1
        In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him;
      the LORD protects him and keeps him alive;
        he is called blessed in the land;
        you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.
      The LORD sustains him on his sickbed;
        in his illness you restore him to full health.2
      As for me, I said, “O LORD, be gracious to me;
        heal me,3 for I have sinned against you!”
      My enemies say of me in malice,
        “When will he die, and his name perish?”
      And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words,
        while his heart gathers iniquity;
        when he goes out, he tells it abroad.
      All who hate me whisper together about me;
        they imagine the worst for me.4
      They say, “A deadly thing is poured out5 on him;
        he will not rise again from where he lies.”
      Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
        who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
      But you, O LORD, be gracious to me,
        and raise me up, that I may repay them!
      By this I know that you delight in me:
        my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.
      But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
        and set me in your presence forever.
      Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
        from everlasting to everlasting!
          Amen and Amen.

    Book Two

    Why Are You Cast Down, O My Soul?

    To the choirmaster. A Maskil6 of the Sons of Korah.

    42   As a deer pants for flowing streams,
        so pants my soul for you, O God.
      My soul thirsts for God,
        for the living God.
      When shall I come and appear before God?7
      My tears have been my food
        day and night,
      while they say to me all the day long,
        “Where is your God?”
      These things I remember,
        as I pour out my soul:
      how I would go with the throng
        and lead them in procession to the house of God
      with glad shouts and songs of praise,
        a multitude keeping festival.
      Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
      Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation8 and my God.
      My soul is cast down within me;
        therefore I remember you
      from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
        from Mount Mizar.
      Deep calls to deep
        at the roar of your waterfalls;
      all your breakers and your waves
        have gone over me.
      By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
        and at night his song is with me,
        a prayer to the God of my life.
      I say to God, my rock:
        “Why have you forgotten me?
      Why do I go mourning
        because of the oppression of the enemy?”
      As with a deadly wound in my bones,
        my adversaries taunt me,
      while they say to me all the day long,
        “Where is your God?”
      Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
      Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation and my God.

    Send Out Your Light and Your Truth

    43   Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
        against an ungodly people,
      from the deceitful and unjust man
        deliver me!
      For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
        why have you rejected me?
      Why do I go about mourning
        because of the oppression of the enemy?
      Send out your light and your truth;
        let them lead me;
      let them bring me to your holy hill
        and to your dwelling!
      Then I will go to the altar of God,
        to God my exceeding joy,
      and I will praise you with the lyre,
        O God, my God.
      Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
      Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation and my God.


    [1] 41:1 Or weak
    [2] 41:3 Hebrew you turn all his bed
    [3] 41:4 Hebrew my soul
    [4] 41:7 Or they devise evil against me
    [5] 41:8 Or has fastened
    [6] 42:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
    [7] 42:2 Revocalization yields and see the face of God
    [8] 42:5 Hebrew the salvation of my face; also verse 11 and 43:5


    Evening: Acts 24 Acts 24

    Acts 24

    Paul Before Felix at Caesarea

    24 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 detain1 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.2 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.


    [1] 24:4 Or weary
    [2] 24:6 Some manuscripts add and we would have judged him according to our law. 7But the chief captain Lysias came and with great violence took him out of our hands, 8commanding his accusers to come before you.


  • July 23: Psalms 38-40; Acts 23:12-35

    Morning: Psalms 38-40 Psalms 38-40

    Psalms 38-40

    Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord

    A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.

    38   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!

    What Is the Measure of My Days?

    To the choirmaster: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

    39   I said, “I will guard my ways,
        that I may not sin with my tongue;
      I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
        so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
      I was mute and silent;
        I held my peace to no avail,
      and my distress grew worse.
        My heart became hot within me.
      As I mused, the fire burned;
        then I spoke with my tongue:
      “O LORD, make me know my end
        and what is the measure of my days;
        let me know how fleeting I am!
      Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
        and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
      Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
        Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
      Surely for nothing1 they are in turmoil;
        man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
      “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
        My hope is in you.
      Deliver me from all my transgressions.
        Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
      I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
        for it is you who have done it.
      Remove your stroke from me;
        I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
      When you discipline a man
        with rebukes for sin,
      you consume like a moth what is dear to him;
        surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah
      “Hear my prayer, O LORD,
        and give ear to my cry;
        hold not your peace at my tears!
      For I am a sojourner with you,
        a guest, like all my fathers.
      Look away from me, that I may smile again,
        before I depart and am no more!”

    My Help and My Deliverer

    To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

    40   I waited patiently for the LORD;
        he inclined to me and heard my cry.
      He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
        out of the miry bog,
      and set my feet upon a rock,
        making my steps secure.
      He put a new song in my mouth,
        a song of praise to our God.
      Many will see and fear,
        and put their trust in the LORD.
      Blessed is the man who makes
        the LORD his trust,
      who does not turn to the proud,
        to those who go astray after a lie!
      You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
        your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
        none can compare with you!
      I will proclaim and tell of them,
        yet they are more than can be told.
      In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
        but you have given me an open ear.2
      Burnt offering and sin offering
        you have not required.
      Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
        in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
      I delight to do your will, O my God;
        your law is within my heart.”
      I have told the glad news of deliverance3
        in the great congregation;
      behold, I have not restrained my lips,
        as you know, O LORD.
      I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
        I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
      I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
        from the great congregation.
      As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain
        your mercy from me;
      your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
        ever preserve me!
      For evils have encompassed me
        beyond number;
      my iniquities have overtaken me,
        and I cannot see;
      they are more than the hairs of my head;
        my heart fails me.
      Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me!
        O LORD, make haste to help me!
      Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
        who seek to snatch away my life;
      let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
        who delight in my hurt!
      Let those be appalled because of their shame
        who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”
      But may all who seek you
        rejoice and be glad in you;
      may those who love your salvation
        say continually, “Great is the LORD!”
      As for me, I am poor and needy,
        but the Lord takes thought for me.
      You are my help and my deliverer;
        do not delay, O my God!


    [1] 39:6 Hebrew Surely as a breath
    [2] 40:6 Hebrew ears you have dug for me
    [3] 40:9 Hebrew righteousness; also verse 10


    Evening: Acts 23:12-35 Acts 23:12-35

    Acts 23:12-35

    A Plot to Kill Paul

    When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”

    Now the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.” So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.” The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?” And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent.” So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of these things.”

    Paul Sent to Felix the Governor

    Then he called two of the centurions and said, “Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night.1 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” And he wrote a letter to this effect:

    “Claudius Lysias, to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings. This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman citizen. And desiring to know the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their council. I found that he was being accused about questions of their law, but charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. And when it was disclosed to me that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.”

    So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. And on the next day they returned to the barracks, letting the horsemen go on with him. When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. On reading the letter, he asked what province he was from. And when he learned that he was from Cilicia, he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.” And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod's praetorium.


    [1] 23:23 That is, 9 p.m.



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