Lord, hear my words, my groaning lament; I pray to You, my King and my God. In the morning, I prepare a sacrifice for You, and watch. You are holy; no wickedness, no evil can be near You. Boastful ones cannot abide in Your sight; You hate all who do evil. You destroy liars and abhor the bloodthirsty and deceitful. I will enter Your house through Your abundant, steadfast love; I worship in awe of Your holiness and might. Lord, lead me in and into Your righteousness; make a straight path for me to follow You Home. Let the wicked face the consequences of their sins and idolatries, their rebellion against You. And let all rejoice who take refuge in You; defend us, so that we who love Your Name may exult in You. Cover us with Your favor as with a shield. Help me abide the wait as I long for You to vindicate and deliver me. I cannot praise You from Sheol; there is no worship from one who is dead. Let all workers of evil depart from me! YHWH hears and accepts my prayer, and He will deal with my enemies. Lord, draw near; let the arrogant be caught in the traps they have devised for others; let the godless face their desolation. They deny God and fear no adversity; they smirk and plot; they crush the helpless and expect no divine retribution. Rise up, Lord; let holy judgment fall on those who deny You and abuse Your creatures and creation. Nations rise and fall, but YHWH rules forever! Let God hear the cries of the meek; let Him strengthen their hearts and vindicate the fatherless and oppressed, so that mortals of the earth may strike terror no more. YHWH tests righteous and wicked alike; He hates those who love violence. The upright will behold His face; the wicked will suffer coals of fire and brimstone!
YHWH's word came to Jonah son of Amittai: 'Get up and go to Nineveh and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.' But Jonah ran the other way--to Joppa and a ship bound for Tarshish. ThenYHWH hurled a great wind, and stirred a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship Jonah had boarded was in danger of breaking up. The mariners tried to lighten the ship; meanwhile, Jonah was asleep in the steerage. The captain roused and interrogated him, and the crew cast lots to discover the cause of their hardship. The lot fell on Jonah, and he fessed up: 'I'm a Hebrew, fearer of YHWH, the God of heaven, Maker of earth and sea alike.' They all realized their predicament was the result of Jonah's flight from God, as he had confessed as much to them. They asked him what they should do, and he told them, 'Throw me overboard; then the sea will quiet for you.' They tried to avoid this solution, but the storm worsened; at last, they acknowledged God's right and authority. In the end, they cast Jonah into the raging seas, and the sea grew quiet again. Seeing this, the men feared YHWH exceedingly and offered a sacrifice to Him and made vows accordingly.
Paul had spoken in his own defense before King Agrippa and the Roman Porcius Festus. Festus thought that Paul was insane. But Paul denied this: 'I speak the sober truth; King Agrippa knows what I'm saying.' And he addressed the king: 'King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you believe!' The king temporized: 'In a short time, do you think to make me a Christian?' Paul replied, 'Long time or short, I would to God that you and all who hear me today might become as I am--expect for these chains.' Festus, Agrippa and his queen Bernice withdrew and conferred: 'This man is doing nothing deserving death or prison. He could have been released, had he not appealed to Caesar.' And so Paul sailed for Rome, accompanied by Dr. Luke, author of Acts, among others, including the Macedonian Aristarchus from Thessalonica. Paul was one of several prisoners in custody under Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Cohort. Their ship passed through Sidon, then in the lee of Cyprus to Myra in Lycia, where they transshipped to an Alexandrian vessel bound for Italy. With difficulty from bad weather, they came upon Fair Havens, a port near Lasea.
Jesus also was on the waters, and He calmed a storm on the Sea of Galilee, enabling his vessel and companions to arrive safely in the territory of the Gerasenes on the eastern side of the lake. As Jesus stepped from the boat, He was accosted by a Gerasene man possessed by demons. He had long lived naked, among the tombs. The spirits threw him down before Jesus, and spoke loudly: 'What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beseech You, don't torment me!' Jesus had already commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man; it had often seized the man; he had been kept under guard, in chains, but he broke the bonds and the demon drove him into the desert. Jesus asked: 'What is your name?' The reply: 'Legion, for we are many,' since many demons had entered the man. They begged Jesus not to send them into the abyss, but rather into a large herd of pigs feeding on a nearby hillside. Jesus gave this permission, and the demons came out of the man and entered the swine. Consequently, the entire herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and drowned there. Seeing all this, the herdsmen fled into the city and countryside, reporting what had happened. Then people went out to see what had happened; they found Jesus and the man now freed from the demons, sitting dressed, at Jesus' feet, and in his right mind. They became frightened, and the witnesses recounted told the newcomers how the formerly-possessed man had been healed. Then all the Gerasenes asked Jesus to depart from them, for they were seized with a great fear. So Jesus got into the boat to sail away. The man whom Jesus had exorcised begged to remain with Jesus; but He sent the man away, saying 'Go back to your home and tell how much God has done for you.' And he did that, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.