SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
14:1 For the music director, by David.
Fools say to themselves, “There is no God.”
They sin and commit evil deeds;
none of them does what is right.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven at the human race,
to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God.
3 Everyone rejects God;
they are all morally corrupt.
None of them does what is right,
not even one.
4 All those who behave wickedly do not understand—
those who devour my people as if they were eating bread
and do not call out to the Lord.
5 They are absolutely terrified,
for God defends the godly.
6 You want to humiliate the oppressed,
even though the Lord is their shelter.
7 I wish the deliverance of Israel would come from Zion!
When the Lord restores the well-being of his people,
may Jacob rejoice,
may Israel be happy!
15:1 A psalm of David.
Lord, who may be a guest in your home?
Who may live on your holy hill?
2 Whoever lives a blameless life,
does what is right,
and speaks honestly.
3 He does not slander,
or do harm to others,
or insult his neighbor.
4 He despises a reprobate,
but honors the Lord’s loyal followers.
He makes firm commitments and does not renege on his promise.
5 He does not charge interest when he lends his money.
He does not take bribes to testify against the innocent.
The one who lives like this will never be shaken.
16:1 A prayer of David.
Protect me, O God, for I have taken shelter in you.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are the Lord,
my only source of well-being.”
3 As for God’s chosen people who are in the land,
and the leading officials I admired so much—
4 their troubles multiply;
they desire other gods.
I will not pour out drink offerings of blood to their gods,
nor will I make vows in the name of their gods.
5 Lord, you give me stability and prosperity;
you make my future secure.
6 It is as if I have been given fertile fields
or received a beautiful tract of land.
7 I will praise the Lord who guides me;
yes, during the night I reflect and learn.
8 I constantly trust in the Lord;
because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 So my heart rejoices
and I am happy;
my life is safe.
10 You will not abandon me to Sheol;
you will not allow your faithful follower to see the Pit.
11 You lead me in the path of life.
I experience absolute joy in your presence;
you always give me sheer delight.
17:1 A prayer of David.
Lord, consider my just cause.
Pay attention to my cry for help.
Listen to the prayer
I sincerely offer.
2 Make a just decision on my behalf.
Decide what is right.
3 You have scrutinized my inner motives;
you have examined me during the night.
You have carefully evaluated me, but you find no sin.
I am determined I will say nothing sinful.
4 As for the actions of people—
just as you have commanded,
I have not followed in the footsteps of violent men.
5 I carefully obey your commands;
I do not deviate from them.
6 I call to you because you will answer me, O God.
Listen to me!
Hear what I say!
7 Accomplish awesome, faithful deeds,
you who powerfully deliver those who look to you for protection from their enemies.
8 Protect me as you would protect the pupil of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
9 Protect me from the wicked men who attack me,
my enemies who crowd around me for the kill.
10 They are calloused;
they speak arrogantly.
11 They attack me, now they surround me;
they intend to throw me to the ground.
12 He is like a lion that wants to tear its prey to bits,
like a young lion crouching in hidden places.
13 Rise up, Lord!
Confront him. Knock him down.
Use your sword to rescue me from the wicked man.
14 Lord, use your power to deliver me from these murderers,
from the murderers of this world.
They enjoy prosperity;
you overwhelm them with the riches they desire.
They have many children,
and leave their wealth to their offspring.
15 As for me, because I am innocent I will see your face;
when I awake you will reveal yourself to me.
18:1 For the music director, by the Lord’s servant David, who sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord rescued him from the power of all his enemies, including Saul.
“I love you, Lord, my source of strength!
2 The Lord is my high ridge, my stronghold, my deliverer.
My God is my rocky summit where I take shelter,
my shield, the horn that saves me, and my refuge.
3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I was delivered from my enemies.
4 The waves of death engulfed me,
the currents of chaos overwhelmed me.
5 The ropes of Sheol tightened around me,
the snares of death trapped me.
6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried out to my God.
From his heavenly temple he heard my voice;
he listened to my cry for help.
7 The earth heaved and shook.
The roots of the mountains trembled;
they heaved because he was angry.
8 Smoke ascended from his nose;
fire devoured as it came from his mouth.
He hurled down fiery coals.
9 He made the sky sink as he descended;
a thick cloud was under his feet.
10 He mounted a winged angel and flew;
he glided on the wings of the wind.
11 He shrouded himself in darkness,
in thick rain clouds.
12 From the brightness in front of him came
hail and fiery coals.
13 The Lord thundered in the sky;
the Most High shouted.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered them,
many lightning bolts and routed them.
15 The depths of the sea were exposed;
the inner regions of the world were uncovered
by your battle cry, Lord,
by the powerful breath from your nose.
16 He reached down from above and took hold of me;
he pulled me from the surging water.
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy,
from those who hate me,
for they were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in my day of calamity,
but the Lord helped me.
19 He brought me out into a wide open place;
he delivered me because he was pleased with me.
20 The Lord repaid me for my godly deeds;
he rewarded my blameless behavior.
21 For I have obeyed the Lord’s commands;
I have not rebelled against my God.
22 For I am aware of all his regulations,
and I do not reject his rules.
23 I was innocent before him,
and kept myself from sinning.
24 The Lord rewarded me for my godly deeds;
he took notice of my blameless behavior.
25 You prove to be loyal to one who is faithful;
you prove to be trustworthy to one who is innocent.
26 You prove to be reliable to one who is blameless,
but you prove to be deceptive to one who is perverse.
27 For you deliver oppressed people,
but you bring down those who have a proud look.
28 Indeed, you light my lamp, Lord.
My God illuminates the darkness around me.
29 Indeed, with your help I can charge against an army;
by my God’s power I can jump over a wall.
30 The one true God acts in a faithful manner;
the Lord’s promise is reliable.
He is a shield to all who take shelter in him.
31 Indeed, who is God besides the Lord?
Who is a protector besides our God?
32 The one true God gives me strength;
he removes the obstacles in my way.
33 He gives me the agility of a deer;
he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend even the strongest bow.
35 You give me your protective shield;
your right hand supports me.
Your willingness to help enables me to prevail.
36 You widen my path;
my feet do not slip.
37 I chase my enemies and catch them;
I do not turn back until I wipe them out.
38 I beat them to death;
they fall at my feet.
39 You give me strength for battle;
you make my foes kneel before me.
40 You make my enemies retreat;
I destroy those who hate me.
41 They cry out, but there is no one to help them;
they cry out to the Lord, but he does not answer them.
42 I grind them as fine windblown dust;
I beat them underfoot like clay in the streets.
43 You rescue me from a hostile army.
You make me a leader of nations;
people over whom I had no authority are now my subjects.
44 When they hear of my exploits, they submit to me.
Foreigners are powerless before me.
45 Foreigners lose their courage;
they shake with fear as they leave their strongholds.
46 The Lord is alive!
My Protector is praiseworthy.
The God who delivers me is exalted as king.
47 The one true God completely vindicates me;
he makes nations submit to me.
48 He delivers me from my enemies.
You snatch me away from those who attack me;
you rescue me from violent men.
49 So I will give you thanks before the nations, O Lord.
I will sing praises to you.
50 He gives his king magnificent victories;
he is faithful to his chosen ruler,
to David and his descendants forever.”