SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
33:1 You godly ones, shout for joy because of the Lord!
It is appropriate for the morally upright to offer him praise.
2 Give thanks to the Lord with the harp.
Sing to him to the accompaniment of a ten-stringed instrument.
3 Sing to him a new song.
Play skillfully as you shout out your praises to him.
4 For the Lord’s decrees are just,
and everything he does is fair.
5 He promotes equity and justice;
the Lord’s faithfulness extends throughout the earth.
6 By the Lord’s decree the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all the starry hosts.
7 He piles up the water of the sea;
he puts the oceans in storehouses.
8 Let the whole earth fear the Lord.
Let all who live in the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it came into existence.
He issued the decree, and it stood firm.
10 The Lord frustrates the decisions of the nations;
he nullifies the plans of the peoples.
11 The Lord’s decisions stand forever;
his plans abide throughout the ages.
12 How blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen to be his special possession.
13 The Lord watches from heaven;
he sees all people.
14 From the place where he lives he looks carefully
at all the earth’s inhabitants.
15 He is the one who forms every human heart,
and takes note of all their actions.
16 No king is delivered by his vast army;
a warrior is not saved by his great might.
17 A horse disappoints those who trust in it for victory;
despite its great strength, it cannot deliver.
18 Look, the Lord takes notice of his loyal followers,
those who wait for him to demonstrate his faithfulness
19 by saving their lives from death
and sustaining them during times of famine.
20 We wait for the Lord;
he is our deliverer and shield.
21 For our hearts rejoice in him,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May we experience your faithfulness, O Lord,
for we wait for you.
34:1 By David, when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, causing the king to send him away.
I will praise the Lord at all times;
my mouth will continually praise him.
2 I will boast in the Lord;
let the oppressed hear and rejoice.
3 Magnify the Lord with me.
Let us praise his name together.
4 I sought the Lord’s help and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Look to him and be radiant;
do not let your faces be ashamed.
6 This oppressed man cried out and the Lord heard;
he saved him from all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord camps around
the Lord’s loyal followers and delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
How blessed is the one who takes shelter in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you chosen people of his,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 Even young lions sometimes lack food and are hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come children. Listen to me.
I will teach you what it means to fear the Lord.
12 Do you want to really live?
Would you love to live a long, happy life?
13 Then make sure you don’t speak evil words
or use deceptive speech.
14 Turn away from evil and do what is right.
Strive for peace and promote it.
15 The Lord pays attention to the godly
and hears their cry for help.
16 But the Lord opposes evildoers
and wipes out all memory of them from the earth.
17 The godly cry out and the Lord hears;
he saves them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
he delivers those who are discouraged.
19 The godly face many dangers,
but the Lord saves them from each one of them.
20 He protects all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Evil people self-destruct;
those who hate the godly are punished.
22 The Lord rescues his servants;
all who take shelter in him escape punishment.
35:1 By David.
O Lord, fight those who fight with me.
Attack those who attack me.
2 Grab your small shield and large shield,
and rise up to help me.
3 Use your spear and lance against those who chase me.
Assure me with these words: “I am your deliverer.”
4 May those who seek my life be embarrassed and humiliated.
May those who plan to harm me be turned back and ashamed.
5 May they be like wind-driven chaff,
as the angel of the Lord attacks them.
6 May their path be dark and slippery,
as the angel of the Lord chases them.
7 I did not harm them, but they hid a net to catch me
and dug a pit to trap me.
8 Let destruction take them by surprise.
Let the net they hid catch them.
Let them fall into destruction.
9 Then I will rejoice in the Lord
and be happy because of his deliverance.
10 With all my strength I will say,
“O Lord, who can compare to you?
You rescue the oppressed from those who try to overpower them,
the oppressed and needy from those who try to rob them.”
11 Violent men perjure themselves,
and falsely accuse me.
12 They repay me evil for the good I have done;
I am overwhelmed with sorrow.
13 When they were sick, I wore sackcloth,
and refrained from eating food.
(If I am lying, may my prayers go unanswered.)
14 I mourned for them as I would for a friend or my brother.
I bowed down in sorrow as if I were mourning for my mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they rejoiced and gathered together;
they gathered together to ambush me.
They tore at me without stopping to rest.
16 When I tripped, they taunted me relentlessly,
and tried to bite me.
17 O Lord, how long are you going to watch this?
Rescue me from their destructive attacks;
guard my life from the young lions.
18 Then I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
I will praise you before a large crowd of people.
19 Do not let those who are my enemies for no reason gloat over me.
Do not let those who hate me without cause carry out their wicked schemes.
20 For they do not try to make peace with others,
but plan ways to deceive those who live peacefully in the land.
21 They are ready to devour me;
they say, “Aha! Aha! We’ve got you!”
22 But you take notice, Lord; do not be silent!
O Lord, do not remain far away from me.
23 Rouse yourself, wake up and vindicate me.
My God and Lord, defend my just cause.
24 Vindicate me by your justice, O Lord my God.
Do not let them gloat over me.
25 Do not let them say to themselves, “Aha! We have what we wanted!”
Do not let them say, “We have devoured him.”
26 May those who rejoice in my troubles be totally embarrassed and ashamed.
May those who arrogantly taunt me be covered with shame and humiliation.
27 May those who desire my vindication shout for joy and rejoice.
May they continually say, “May the Lord be praised, for he wants his servant to be secure.”
28 Then I will tell others about your justice,
and praise you all day long.
36:1 For the music director, an oracle, written by the Lord’s servant David.
An evil man is rebellious to the core.
He does not fear God,
2 for he is too proud
to recognize and give up his sin.
3 The words he speaks are sinful and deceitful;
he does not care about doing what is wise and right.
4 While he lies in bed he plans ways to sin.
He is committed to a sinful lifestyle;
he does not reject what is evil.
5 O Lord, your loyal love reaches to the sky,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your justice is like the highest mountains,
your fairness like the deepest sea;
you, Lord, preserve mankind and the animal kingdom.
7 How precious is your loyal love, O God!
The human race finds shelter under your wings.
8 They are filled with food from your house,
and you allow them to drink from the river of your delicacies.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
10 Extend your loyal love to your faithful followers,
and vindicate the morally upright.
11 Do not let arrogant men overtake me,
or let evil men make me homeless.
12 I can see the evildoers! They have fallen.
They have been knocked down and are unable to get up.