Day 204

Daily Bible Reading

(ESV: Through The Bible)

Psalms 38-40 (Listen)

Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord

A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.

38:1 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.

39:1 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 nothing [1] 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.

40:1 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 deliverance [3]
  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!

Acts 23:12-35 (Listen)

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. [4] 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] 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
[4] 23:23 That is, 9 p.m.



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