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Word for Today | July 26

 

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Read the Bible in a Year | July 26

Psalms 47-49

God Is King over All the Earth

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

47:1 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.

48:1 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.
10 As your name, O God,
 so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.
Your right hand is filled with righteousness.
 11 Let Mount Zion be glad!
Let the daughters of Judah rejoice
 because of your judgments!

12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
 number her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
 go through her citadels,
that you may tell the next generation
 14 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.

49:1 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.

10 For he sees that even the wise die;
 the fool and the stupid alike must perish
 and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their homes forever, [3]
 their dwelling places to all generations,
 though they called lands by their own names.
12 Man in his pomp will not remain;
 he is like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;
 yet after them people approve of their boasts. [4] Selah
14 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.
15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
 for he will receive me. Selah

16 Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,
 when the glory of his house increases.
17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
 his glory will not go down after him.
18 For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed
 —and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—
19 his soul will go to the generation of his fathers,
 who will never again see light.
20 Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

Acts 26

Paul's Defense Before Agrippa

26:1 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. 10 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. 11 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

12 “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 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. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, [5] ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 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, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 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.’

19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 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. 21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 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: 23 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.”

24 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.” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. 26 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. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” [6] 29 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.”

30 Then the king rose, and the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. 31 And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

Footnotes

[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
[5] 26:14 Or the Hebrew dialect (that is, Aramaic)
[6] 26:28 Or In a short time you would persuade me to act like a Christian!

(ESV)