Readings from the Old Testament / Hebrew Scriptures
Many of the psalms offer words of comfort and the assurance that we are in God’s loving care.
The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me
to quiet pools of fresh water. He gives me new strength.
He guides me in the right paths, as he has promised.
Even if I go through the deepest darkness,
I will not be afraid, LORD, for you are with me.
Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.
You prepare a banquet for me, where all my enemies can see me;
you welcome me as an honored guest and fill my cup to the brim.
I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life;
and your house will be my home as long as I live.
I praise the LORD, because he guides me,
and in the night my conscience warns me.
I am always aware of the LORD’s presence;
he is near, and nothing can shake me.
And so I am thankful and glad, and I feel completely secure,
because you protect me from the power of death.
I have served you faithfully, and you will not abandon me
to the world of the dead. You will show me the path that
leads to life; your presence fills me with joy
and brings me pleasure forever.
The LORD is my protector; he is my strong fortress.
My God is my protection, and with him I am safe.
He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe.
This God — how perfect are his deeds! How dependable his words!
He is like a shield for all who seek his protection.
The LORD alone is God; God alone is our defense.
He is the God who makes me strong, who makes my pathway safe.
He makes me sure-footed as a deer; he keeps me safe on the mountains.
He trains me for battle, so that I can use the strongest bow.
O LORD, don’t stay away from me! Come quickly to my rescue!
Save me from the sword; save my life from these dogs.
Rescue me from these lions; I am helpless before these wild bulls.
I will tell my people what you have done;
I will praise you in their assembly:
“Praise him, you servants of the LORD!
Honor him, you descendants of Jacob!
Worship him, you people of Israel!
He does not neglect the poor
or ignore their suffering;
he does not turn away from them,
but answers when they call for help.”
I love the LORD, because he hears me; he listens to my prayers.
He listens to me every time I call to him.
The danger of death was all around me; the horrors of the grave closed
in on me; I was filled with fear and anxiety.
Then I called to the LORD, “I beg you, LORD, save me!”
The LORD is merciful and good; our God is compassionate.
The LORD protects the helpless; when I was in danger, he saved me.
Be confident, my heart, because the LORD has been good to me.
The LORD saved me from death; he stopped my tears and kept me from defeat.
And so I walk in the presence of the LORD in the world of the living.
I kept on believing, even when I said, “I am completely crushed,”
even when I was afraid and said, “No one can be trusted.”
From the depths of my despair I call to you, LORD.
Hear my cry, O LORD; listen to my call for help!
If you kept a record of our sins, who could escape being condemned?
But you forgive us, so that we should stand in awe of you.
I wait eagerly for the LORD’s help, and in his word I trust.
I wait for the LORD more eagerly than sentries wait
for the dawn — than sentries wait for the dawn.
Israel, trust in the LORD, because his love is constant
and he is always willing to save.
He will save his people Israel from all their sins.
A heavenly banquet awaits those who trust in God’s everlasting care.
Here on Mount Zion the LORD Almighty will prepare a banquet for all the nations of the world – a banquet of the richest food and the finest wine. Here he will suddenly remove the cloud of sorrow that has been hanging over all the nations. The Sovereign LORD will destroy death forever! He will wipe away the tears from everyone’s eyes and take away the disgrace his people have suffered throughout the world. The LORD himself has spoken.
When it happens, everyone will say, “He is our God! We have put our trust in him, and he has rescued us. He is the LORD! We have put our trust in him, and now we are happy and joyful because he has saved us.”