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Psalm 69

Prayer for Deliverance from Persecution

To the leader: according to Lilies. Of David.
1 Save me, O God,
   for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in deep mire,
   where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
   and the flood sweeps over me.
3 I am weary with my crying;
   my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
   with waiting for my God.


4 More in number than the hairs of my head
   are those who hate me without cause;
many are those who would destroy me,
   my enemies who accuse me falsely.
What I did not steal
   must I now restore?
5 O God, you know my folly;
   the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.


6 Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me,
   O Lord God of hosts;
do not let those who seek you be dishonoured because of me,
   O God of Israel.
7 It is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
   that shame has covered my face.
8 I have become a stranger to my kindred,
   an alien to my mother’s children.


9 It is zeal for your house that has consumed me;
   the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
10 When I humbled my soul with fasting,*
   they insulted me for doing so.
11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,
   I became a byword to them.
12 I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate,
   and the drunkards make songs about me.


13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
   At an acceptable time, O God,
   in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.
With your faithful help 14rescue me
   from sinking in the mire;
let me be delivered from my enemies
   and from the deep waters.
15 Do not let the flood sweep over me,
   or the deep swallow me up,
   or the Pit close its mouth over me.


16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;
   according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
17 Do not hide your face from your servant,
   for I am in distress—make haste to answer me.
18 Draw near to me, redeem me,
   set me free because of my enemies.


19 You know the insults I receive,
   and my shame and dishonour;
   my foes are all known to you.
20 Insults have broken my heart,
   so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none;
   and for comforters, but I found none.
21 They gave me poison for food,
   and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.


22 Let their table be a trap for them,
   a snare for their allies.
23 Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
   and make their loins tremble continually.
24 Pour out your indignation upon them,
   and let your burning anger overtake them.
25 May their camp be a desolation;
   let no one live in their tents.
26 For they persecute those whom you have struck down,
   and those whom you have wounded, they attack still more.*
27 Add guilt to their guilt;
   may they have no acquittal from you.
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
   let them not be enrolled among the righteous.
29 But I am lowly and in pain;
   let your salvation, O God, protect me.


30 I will praise the name of God with a song;
   I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31 This will please the Lord more than an ox
   or a bull with horns and hoofs.
32 Let the oppressed see it and be glad;
   you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
33 For the Lord hears the needy,
   and does not despise his own that are in bonds.


34 Let heaven and earth praise him,
   the seas and everything that moves in them.
35 For God will save Zion
   and rebuild the cities of Judah;
and his servants shall live* there and possess it;
36   the children of his servants shall inherit it,
   and those who love his name shall live in it.

BOOK III

(Psalms 73-89)

Psalm 73

Plea for Relief from Oppressors

A Psalm of Asaph.
1 Truly God is good to the upright,*
   to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
   my steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant;
   I saw the prosperity of the wicked.


4 For they have no pain;
   their bodies are sound and sleek.
5 They are not in trouble as others are;
   they are not plagued like other people.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
   violence covers them like a garment.
7 Their eyes swell out with fatness;
   their hearts overflow with follies.
8 They scoff and speak with malice;
   loftily they threaten oppression.
9 They set their mouths against heaven,
   and their tongues range over the earth.


10 Therefore the people turn and praise them,*
   and find no fault in them.*
11 And they say, ‘How can God know?
   Is there knowledge in the Most High?’
12 Such are the wicked;
   always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 All in vain I have kept my heart clean
   and washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all day long I have been plagued,
   and am punished every morning.


15 If I had said, ‘I will talk on in this way’,
   I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.
16 But when I thought how to understand this,
   it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;
   then I perceived their end.
18 Truly you set them in slippery places;
   you make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment,
   swept away utterly by terrors!
20 They are* like a dream when one awakes;
   on awaking you despise their phantoms.


21 When my soul was embittered,
   when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was stupid and ignorant;
   I was like a brute beast towards you.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with you;
   you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
   and afterwards you will receive me with honour.*
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
   And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
   but God is the strength* of my heart and my portion for ever.


27 Indeed, those who are far from you will perish;
   you put an end to those who are false to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God;
   I have made the Lord God my refuge,
   to tell of all your works.

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Ecclus. 45:6-16

Aaron


6 He exalted Aaron, a holy man like Moses*
   who was his brother, of the tribe of Levi.
7 He made an everlasting covenant with him,
   and gave him the priesthood of the people.
He blessed him with stateliness,
   and put a glorious robe on him.
8 He clothed him in perfect splendour,
   and strengthened him with the symbols of authority,
   the linen undergarments, the long robe, and the ephod.
9 And he encircled him with pomegranates,
   with many golden bells all round,
to send forth a sound as he walked,
   to make their ringing heard in the temple
   as a reminder to his people;
10 with the sacred vestment, of gold and violet
   and purple, the work of an embroiderer;
with the oracle of judgement, Urim and Thummim;
11   with twisted crimson, the work of an artisan;
with precious stones engraved like seals,
   in a setting of gold, the work of a jeweller,
to commemorate in engraved letters
   each of the tribes of Israel;
12 with a gold crown upon his turban,
   inscribed like a seal with ‘Holiness’,
a distinction to be prized, the work of an expert,
   a delight to the eyes, richly adorned.
13 Before him such beautiful things did not exist.
   No outsider ever put them on,
but only his sons
   and his descendants in perpetuity.
14 His sacrifices shall be wholly burned
   twice every day continually.
15 Moses ordained him,
   and anointed him with holy oil;
it was an everlasting covenant for him
   and for his descendants as long as the heavens endure,
to minister to the Lord* and serve as priest
   and bless his people in his name.
16 He chose him out of all the living
   to offer sacrifice to the Lord,
incense and a pleasing odour as a memorial portion,
   to make atonement for the* people.

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2 Cor. 12:11-21

Paul’s Concern for the Corinthian Church

11 I have been a fool! You forced me to it. Indeed you should have been the ones commending me, for I am not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. 12The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, signs and wonders and mighty works. 13How have you been worse off than the other churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!

14 Here I am, ready to come to you this third time. And I will not be a burden, because I do not want what is yours but you; for children ought not to lay up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15I will most gladly spend and be spent for you. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16Let it be assumed that I did not burden you. Nevertheless (you say) since I was crafty, I took you in by deceit. 17Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct ourselves with the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?

19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves before you? We are speaking in Christ before God. Everything we do, beloved, is for the sake of building you up. 20For I fear that when I come, I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish; I fear that there may perhaps be quarrelling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21I fear that when I come again, my God may humble me before you, and that I may have to mourn over many who previously sinned and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and licentiousness that they have practised.

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Luke 19:41-48

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

41 As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. 44They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.’*

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

45 Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; 46and he said, ‘It is written,
“My house shall be a house of prayer”;
   but you have made it a den of robbers.’

47 Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; 48but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.

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