Psalm 35 (CSB)
PRAYER FOR VICTORY
1 Oppose my opponents, Lord;
fight those who fight me.
2 Take your shields—large and small—
and come to my aid.
3 Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers,
and assure me: “I am your deliverance.”
4 Let those who intend to take my life
be disgraced and humiliated;
let those who plan to harm me
be turned back and ashamed.
5 Let them be like chaff in the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them away.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
7 They hid their net for me without cause;
they dug a pit for me without cause.
8 Let ruin come on him unexpectedly,
and let the net that he hid ensnare him;
let him fall into it—to his ruin.
9 Then I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will delight in his deliverance.
10 All my bones will say,
“Lord, who is like you,
rescuing the poor from one too strong for him,
the poor or the needy from one who robs him?”
11 Malicious witnesses come forward;
they question me about things I do not know.
12 They repay me evil for good,
making me desolate.
13 Yet when they were sick,
my clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled myself with fasting,
and my prayer was genuine.,
14 I went about mourning as if for my friend or brother;
I was bowed down with grief,
like one mourning for a mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
they gathered against me.
Assailants I did not know
tore at me and did not stop.
16 With godless mockery
they gnashed their teeth at me.
17 Lord, how long will you look on?
Rescue me from their ravages;
rescue my precious life from the young lions.
18 I will praise you in the great assembly;
I will exalt you among many people.
19 Do not let my deceitful enemies rejoice over me;
do not let those who hate me without cause
wink at me maliciously.
20 For they do not speak in friendly ways,
but contrive fraudulent schemes
against those who live peacefully in the land.
21 They open their mouths wide against me and say,
“Aha, aha! We saw it!”,
22 You saw it, Lord; do not be silent.
Lord, do not be far from me.
23 Wake up and rise to my defense,
to my cause, my God and my Lord!
24 Vindicate me, Lord my God,
in keeping with your righteousness,
and do not let them rejoice over me.
25 Do not let them say in their hearts,
“Aha! Just what we wanted.”
Do not let them say,
“We have swallowed him up!”
26 Let those who rejoice at my misfortune
be disgraced and humiliated;
let those who exalt themselves over me
be clothed with shame and reproach.
27 Let those who want my vindication
shout for joy and be glad;
let them continually say,
“The Lord be exalted.
He takes pleasure in his servant’s well-being.”
28 And my tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
your praise all day long.
Mark 4:21–34 (CSB)
USING YOUR LIGHT
21 He also said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand?22 For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be brought to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and more will be added to you. 25 For whoever has, more will be given to him, and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
THE PARABLE OF THE GROWING SEED
26 “The kingdom of God is like this,” he said. “A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day; the seed sprouts and grows, although he doesn’t know how. 28 The soil produces a crop by itself—first the blade, then the head, and then the full grain on the head. 29 As soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
THE PARABLE OF THE MUSTARD SEED
30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it? 31 It’s like a mustard seed that, when sown upon the soil, is the smallest of all the seeds on the ground. 32 And when sown, it comes up and grows taller than all the garden plants, and produces large branches, so that the birds of the sky can nest in its shade.”
33 He was speaking the word to them with many parables like these, as they were able to understand. 34 He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, he explained everything to his own disciples.