The avenger of blood- It didn't sit well with Joab when he learned that David had made peace with Abner, the man who killed his brother Asahel. How could David do that? Were Joab and Abishai justified to murder Abner in revenge for their brother?
With family: 1 Chronicles 19–20; 1 Peter 1 1 Chronicles 19–20 (Listen) The Ammonites Disgrace David's Men 19 Now after this Nahash the king of the Ammonites died, and his son reigned in his place. 2 And David said, “I will deal kindly with Hanun the son of Nahash, for his father dealt kindly with me.” So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. And David's servants came to the land of the Ammonites to Hanun to console him. 3 But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” 4 So Hanun took David's servants and shaved them and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away; 5 and they departed. When David was told concerning the men, he sent messengers to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.” 6 When the Ammonites saw that they had become a stench to David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent 1,000 talents1 of silver to hire chariots and horsemen from Mesopotamia, from Aram-maacah, and from Zobah. 7 They hired 32,000 chariots and the king of Maacah with his army, who came and encamped before Medeba. And the Ammonites were mustered from their cities and came to battle. 8 When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the mighty men. 9 And the Ammonites came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the city, and the kings who had come were by themselves in the open country. Ammonites and Syrians Defeated 10 When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the best men of Israel and arrayed them against the Syrians. 11 The rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai his brother, and they were arrayed against the Ammonites. 12 And he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will help you. 13 Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.” 14 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near before the Syrians for battle, and they fled before him. 15 And when the Ammonites saw that the Syrians fled, they likewise fled before Abishai, Joab's brother, and entered the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem. 16 But when the Syrians saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they sent messengers and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the Euphrates,2 with Shophach the commander of the army of Hadadezer at their head. 17 And when it was told to David, he gathered all Israel together and crossed the Jordan and came to them and drew up his forces against them. And when David set the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him. 18 And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David killed of the Syrians the men of 7,000 chariots and 40,000 foot soldiers, and put to death also Shophach the commander of their army. 19 And when the servants of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became subject to him. So the Syrians were not willing to save the Ammonites anymore. The Capture of Rabbah 20 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, Joab led out the army and ravaged the country of the Ammonites and came and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. And Joab struck down Rabbah and overthrew it. 2 And David took the crown of their king from his head. He found that it weighed a talent3 of gold, and in it was a precious stone. And it was placed on David's head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount. 3 And he brought out the people who were in it and set them to labor4 with saws and iron picks and axes.5 And thus David did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem. Philistine Giants Killed 4 And after this there arose war with the Philistines at Gezer. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Sippai, who was one of the descendants of the giants, and the Philistines were subdued. 5 And there was again war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair struck down Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. 6 And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. 7 And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David's brother, struck him down. 8 These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. Footnotes  19:6 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms  19:16 Hebrew the River  20:2 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms  20:3 Compare 2 Samuel 12:31; Hebrew he sawed  20:3 Compare 2 Samuel 12:31; Hebrew saws (ESV) 1 Peter 1 (Listen) Greeting 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. Born Again to a Living Hope 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time1 the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. Called to Be Holy 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,2 and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. Footnotes  1:11 Or what time or circumstances  1:13 Greek girding up the loins of your mind (ESV) In private: Jonah 3; Luke 8 Jonah 3 (Listen) Jonah Goes to Nineveh 3 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city,1 three days' journey in breadth.2 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. The People of Nineveh Repent 6 The word reached3 the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, 8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. Footnotes  3:3 Hebrew a great city to God  3:3 Or a visit was a three days' journey  3:6 Or had reached (ESV) Luke 8 (Listen) Women Accompanying Jesus 8 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them1 out of their means. The Parable of the Sower 4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” The Purpose of the Parables 9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.' 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. A Lamp Under a Jar 16 “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 17 For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. 18 Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” Jesus' Mother and Brothers 19 Then his mother and his brothers2 came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. 20 And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” 21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” Jesus Calms a Storm 22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?” Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon 26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes,3 which is opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesus4 had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” 29 For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) 30 Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. 32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned. 34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36 And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed5 man had been healed. 37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus's Daughter 40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus' feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians,6 she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter7 said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” 49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler's house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened. Footnotes  8:3 Some manuscripts him  8:19 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 20, 21  8:26 Some manuscripts Gadarenes; others Gergesenes; also verse 37  8:27 Greek he; also verses 38, 42  8:36 Greek daimonizomai (demonized); elsewhere rendered oppressed by demons  8:43 Some manuscripts omit and though she had spent all her living on physicians  8:45 Some manuscripts add and those who were with him (ESV)
In this Bible Story, we see the end of Sheba's rebellion. Sheba spread lies all throughout Israel about David's character. Eventually, the people begin to see his evil for what it is. This story is inspired by 2 Samuel 19:13, 20 & 1 Chronicles 2:16-17. Go to BibleinaYear.com and learn the Bible in a Year.Today's Bible verse is 2 Samuel 20:21 from the King James Version.Episode 109: Sheba, causing chaos throughout the country, made his way to Abel and began to fortify the city. Joab and Abishai sat outside the city thinking of how they could take Sheba without harming any of the people of the city. While their army was bettering the gate of the city, a woman came out looking for Joab. The woman wanted peace for her city, and Joab, wanting the same said he would happily leave if they give him the rebel Sheba. So the woman returned to the city, threw the head of Sheba out of a window, and Joab, Abishai, and their men left.Hear the Bible come to life as Pastor Jack Graham leads you through the official BibleinaYear.com podcast. This Biblical Audio Experience will help you master wisdom from the world's greatest book. In each episode, you will learn to apply Biblical principles to everyday life. Now understanding the Bible is easier than ever before; enjoy a cinematic audio experience full of inspirational storytelling, orchestral music, and profound commentary from world-renowned Pastor Jack Graham.Also, you can download the Pray.com app for more Christian content, including, Daily Prayers, Inspirational Testimonies, and Bedtime Bible Stories.Visit JackGraham.org for more resources on how to tap into God's power for successful Christian living.This episode is sponsored by Medi-Share, an innovative health care solution for Christians to save money without sacrificing quality.Pray.com is the digital destination of faith. With over 5,000 daily prayers, meditations, bedtime stories, and cinematic stories inspired by the Bible, the Pray.com app has everything you need to keep your focus on the Lord. Make Prayer a priority and download the #1 App for Prayer and Sleep today in the Apple app store or Google Play store.Executive Producers: Steve Gatena & Max BardProducer: Ben GammonHosted by: Pastor Jack GrahamMusic by: Andrew Morgan SmithBible Story narration by: Todd HaberkornSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this Bible Story, we witness the short-lived coupe of Absalom. Having just taken over the throne of David, Absalom's army is defeated in battle by David's mighty men and Absalom is killed. This story is inspired by 2 Samuel 17:24-19:8. Go to BibleinaYear.com and learn the Bible in a Year.Today's Bible verse is 2 Samuel 18:9 from the King James Version.Episode 107: David and his commanders went to gather the army, but Abishai told David that it would be better for the army if he stayed behind and recruited more soldiers. David sent the army off and asked them to deal gently with Absalom for His sake. But during the battle, Absalom got caught in some branches and was killed by David's men. When David heard about his death, he mourned for his son. But his mourning would lead to shame for the entire army and a confrontation from Joab.Hear the Bible come to life as Pastor Jack Graham leads you through the official BibleinaYear.com podcast. This Biblical Audio Experience will help you master wisdom from the world's greatest book. In each episode, you will learn to apply Biblical principles to everyday life. Now understanding the Bible is easier than ever before; enjoy a cinematic audio experience full of inspirational storytelling, orchestral music, and profound commentary from world-renowned Pastor Jack Graham.Also, you can download the Pray.com app for more Christian content, including, Daily Prayers, Inspirational Testimonies, and Bedtime Bible Stories.Visit JackGraham.org for more resources on how to tap into God's power for successful Christian living.This episode is sponsored by Medi-Share, an innovative health care solution for Christians to save money without sacrificing quality.Pray.com is the digital destination of faith. With over 5,000 daily prayers, meditations, bedtime stories, and cinematic stories inspired by the Bible, the Pray.com app has everything you need to keep your focus on the Lord. Make Prayer a priority and download the #1 App for Prayer and Sleep today in the Apple app store or Google Play store.Executive Producers: Steve Gatena & Max BardProducer: Ben GammonHosted by: Pastor Jack GrahamMusic by: Andrew Morgan SmithBible Story narration by: Todd HaberkornSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Trials of Faith Prepare Us For Battle (2) (audio) David Eells - 10/22/23 The Desert Shed Anonymous 4/20/23 (David's notes in red) I dreamed that I was given an opportunity to go stay at an Airbnb for a few weeks for free, and I was going to spend that time fasting and focusing 100% on God to get closer to Him. (It is good to fast from the world and the flesh to seek God. An Airbnb represents trusting in the heavenly provision for food and covering.) I wasn't sure where the Airbnb was because someone took care of all the details and paid for it so it was free for me. (This is a spiritual place where Jesus paid for everything and has taken care of every detail of our lives with His life.) I had to go on a small private plane (representing being led into the wilderness through heavenly places in Christ.) to get there, and the plane flew into a desert (wilderness) where there was literally no one else. (It is our individual fellowship with the Lord like a feast of individual tabernacles.) There were barely any trees and the dirt was a bright orange color. (The dirt represents the flesh and its bright orange because of the burning heat of the sun/Son in the fiery trials of the wilderness.) As we flew further out into the barren desert, I started feeling God's presence stronger and stronger; I assume it was because it's more into God's creation and there are less spirits out there. (When we go into the wilderness, that's where the Lord reveals Himself to each of us personally. The desert is where we learn to trust and be dependent on God only. Moses (a type of the Man-child) fled Egypt into the desert and was there 40 years (1st time), which was his tribulation before he was qualified to lead the Israelites through the desert (2nd time) for another 40 years. Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert where He was tempted by satan, and He spent much time alone in the desert mountains fasting and praying. The apostle Paul received the revelation of Jesus Christ and the Gospel from the Lord while he was alone in Arabia.) As I was looking down, my flesh had slight fear of how strong God's presence was and I knew that the old man was dying just by being here and the Holy Spirit was rising. Pro 9:10 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Psa 119:120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; And I am afraid of thy judgments. The plane landed in the desert area next to a silver shed. (The silver shed represents our spiritual tabernacle in the wilderness. Silver is the refining and purifying away of the dross (flesh). Pro 17:3 The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold; But Jehovah trieth the hearts. Psa 12:6 The words of Jehovah are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, Purified seven times.) There was a small old-looking house not far from the shed that looked abandoned. (The small old, abandoned house represents our old carnal life which we gave up to follow the Lord into our spiritual wilderness.) I got out, and the pilot said he would pick me up in a few weeks, and he went back into the air, and I went and walked around the shed. There was no internet service for reception (no worldly electronic distractions) and no way to get help from man or self-works. The Airbnb was a large open plain shed without a door. (The veil has been torn by what Jesus did at the cross so we can come directly into the presence of our Father in the Holy of Holies.) Inside, it had a table with chairs, (to partake of the Table of the Lord) there was a small room with a door, and inside to the right there was a bed. (to enter the rest) Located outside the shed was an outdoor shower and toilet. (This represents cleansing our soul of the defilements of flesh and spirit; our sanctification. It is done outside because nothing unclean can come into the Holy of Holies.) Although there wasn't much there, I was completely satisfied. (The soul is satisfied and sustained with the Word in the presence of the Lord. Isa 58:11 and Jehovah will guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in dry places, and make strong thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.) This is a place in the wilderness with no distractions of the world. (Rev 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that there they may nourish her a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (3 ½ years) I explored the area and found that there was a cliff edge over the ocean and the land was so very high up. (This represents Mt. Zion and the promised land high above the ocean representing the peoples tribes etc..) The temperatures were not as hot as I was expecting but it was still warm with a nice breeze. (When we go willingly into our own wilderness to let the Lord do His refining work in us, the trials are not as hot as they could be if we resist what God wants to do in our sanctification process. 2Co 12:9 And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.) I spent the time here growing closer to the Lord and staying here was a big help to crucify my flesh spiritually and physically. Saved From Leviathan Marie Kelton 7/10/23 (David's notes in red) During the meeting I had an open vision of a desert place. (The wilderness) I saw a stone or concrete slide that was next to a small body of water. The water was a turquoise color. (Turquoise is a blue-green color and often associated with “waters of the Caribbean.” These waters appear very clear and blue because they are shallow, and there is a lack of Plankton, which are a crucial source of food in the sea. These waters could represent taking a vacation, which the world does. It represents a distraction from the daily grind. But the Body of Christ should stay focused on eating the Word of God and continuing to serve the Lord.) I saw my spirit man get on a slide and slide into the water. When my spirit man went into the water, it was very deep. In the water was a huge, long black creature; I knew it was Leviathan. Leviathan (the serpent) swam around my spirit man, like it was about to attack her. My spirit reached up like she was trying to escape. I then saw the hand of Lord come down and pull my spirit man out of the water and placed her on the land that was on the other side of the body of water. (Psa 18:16-17 He sent from on high, he took me; He drew me out of many waters. 17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from them that hated me; for they were too mighty for me. Psa 31:8 And thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; Thou hast set my feet in a large place. Psa 94:18 When I said, My foot slippeth; Thy lovingkindness, O Jehovah, held me up.) My spirit man then turned toward the desert with her back toward the body of water. (I knew that meant that I had to continue to walk through the wilderness.) (We should not entertain vacations from the wilderness training grounds for the promised land is where that leads.) I asked the Lord what the body of water was, the Leviathan was in. I heard Him say, "Waters of deception." (These are fleshly appealing luxuries we cannot afford if we want to win the race.) Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with empty words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience. Col 2:4 This I say, that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech. The Lord will destroy the old serpent when He's done tempting us. Psa 74:14 Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces; Thou gavest him to be food to the people inhabiting the wilderness. (Babylon is being plundered to build the Kingdom.) Isa 27:1 In that day Jehovah with his hard and great and strong sword will punish leviathan the swift serpent, and leviathan the crooked serpent; and he will slay the monster that is in the sea.) Light Track Samuel Fire 1/11/23 (David's notes in red) I saw a tall mountain (Mt Zion) from a distance. Then I saw many people making a journey to the top. (Many people start out with us on the Way to holiness and maturity.) However, most of the people took different paths to get there. Some did follow the same parts of another's path but took diversions and added length and time to the journey. (We are to follow Jesus and keep His ways, not turning to the left or the right. When we try to go another way, it takes more time and effort, and if we are diverted we have to start over. The Israelites' journey through the wilderness could have been a very short journey to the Promised Land but sin, rebellion and unbelief made it longer and some died there.) Deu 5:32-33 Ye shall observe to do therefore as Jehovah your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 33 Ye shall walk in all the way which Jehovah your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess. I then saw who resembled to be the Lord Jesus at the very peak and there was a path He made for them to follow along the mountain. (The Lord leads us up to high places; He is calling many to come and follow Him.) (Isa 30:21 and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it; when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Psa 23:1-3 A Psalm of David. Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: He guideth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.) Psa 5:8 Lead me, O Jehovah, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; Make thy way straight before my face. Pro 8:20 I walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice; It seemed that each of the people making the trek up the mountain had a map and some ignored it, and some followed as close as possible. (The Word of God (Jesus) is our map. When Jesus called His disciples, He said, “Follow Me” and “I am the way”. Some follow Jesus closely and others ignore what God has said.) Joh 1:1 In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life:… (Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And light unto my path. Psa 43:3 Oh send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me: Let them bring me unto thy holy hill, And to thy tabernacles. Pro 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; And reproofs of instruction are the way of life) It felt that all these people making the journey to the top are brethren with different trials and types of life (And different callings), that's why there were different paths. NENT Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the world's foundation, that we be holy and without blemish before him in love: Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations. Then I saw in another vision, individual light rays coming from a lightbulb, illuminating a room. All the light rays travelled outwardly separately and independent of one another and filled the room with the light source. (The source of Light that filled the room is the Lord Jesus, and the room represents each individual who make up the one Body of Christ.) Joh 8:12 Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life. (Joh 12:36 While ye have the light, believe on the light, that ye may become sons of light. 2Co 4:6 Seeing it is God, that said, Light shall shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.) NENT Rom 12:4-5 For even as we have many members in one body, but all the members have not the same office: 5 so we, the many, are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another. Then I saw how if the direction of the light rays were to return to the source, the quickest path is to go directly in a straight path. But each ray was never in the same spot as another, and none would reach the source if being diverted or blocked. (Jesus said His words are spirit and life and our born-again spirit returns to the Lord.) (Joh 3:13 And no one hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended out of heaven, even the Son of man, who is in heaven. Eph 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. Ecc 12:7 and the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it.) Isa 40:3 The voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for our God. Psa 107:7 He led them also by a straight way, That they might go to a city of habitation. Seeking In Secret Anonymous 12/17/22 (David's notes in red) I heard in prayer and The Lord spoke: He said, “Shut out everything.” (Close off all distractions, the enemy always uses everything he can to distract us from seeking God's presence and to distract us from staying in God's rest.) (Seeking His will through the trials is a test of Faith and devotion to the Word. Just as Job gave acknowledgement and glory to God during his trials. Job 1:8 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil.) He said, “Prayer closet.” (Dedicate more of your time to God and His Spirit, not the flesh.) (“You have not because you ask not.” Being intimate with God in prayer has eternal rewards. Distractions will try to steal this time with God.) He said, “Have patience.” (Knowing that your prayers will be answered in His perfect time.) Jas 1:3-4 knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience. 4 And let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing. Rom 5:3-5 And not only so, but we also rejoice in our tribulations: knowing that tribulation worketh stedfastness; 4 and stedfastness, approvedness; and approvedness, hope: 5 and hope putteth not to shame; because the love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit which was given unto us. (“He that endureth to the end shall be saved.”) He said, “Speak out when you can see the enemy attack, call out to Me.” (Alert the Saints and respond to duty. God sends these tests to cause us to get in line with His Word so the enemy has no advantage.) (There is safety in numbers because some brethren may have overcome some specifics that we have not encountered. It is not only Christ in you, but in your brothers and sisters too.) He said, “Turn up the heat, get into deep, fervent and desperate prayer!” (“The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much.” “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”) He said, “Laugh the enemy to scorn for he does this all the time.” (Calling out the enemy's bluff and stay in the resolve of Jesus and the truth of the Word.) (The majority of trials are enemy lies, or a twisted truth to deceive. Symptoms, curses and afflictions – never last. Only Jesus is the everlasting!) He said, “That test is to turn it all back for what it is.” (Refute and retake the stolen things back from the enemy.) (Act 3:20-21 and that he may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus: 21 whom the heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, whereof God spake by the mouth of his holy prophets that have been from of old.) He said, “In humility give all gratefulness that nothing is done for you or to you, unless I allow it.” (Praise God in all things, praise Him for He is in control, and we can trust Him only.) (Psa 149:6-9 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand; 7 To execute vengeance upon the nations, And punishments upon the peoples; 8 To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute upon them the judgment written: This honor have all his saints. Praise ye Jehovah.) He said, “Seek Me in fear and gladness for everything.” He said, “Bring the life of Christ into the open.” (Reveal the greatest of things for all to experience.) (Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.) He said, “Love all and be showing the example of Him.” (God through us to others.) (Rom 13:8 ASV Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law.) He said, “See that nothing is allowed into Me unless passes the test of being in the image of My Son.” (Nothing of self or evil can ever imitate.) (A final result of our trials is more of Christ revealed. “Christ in you the hope of glory.”) He said, “As you look to Me by the Word and heart, you can see I look through all things.” (There is nothing that can be hidden from God.) (Only the wicked do not believe He sees all and will do anything about it.) He said, “When you see that you need Me in everything and when you are that desperate, you can see Me in others too.” (Everyone is in dire need for more of the Lord Jesus and His salvation.) He said, “Pray in tongues and write down interpretation you get.” (Exercising the gifts to be trained and gain experience.) He said, “Seeking the Lord in servitude and want.” (Nothing for selfish gain) (But to serve the Kingdom.) He said, “Draw close to Him” (Honestly and sincerely prefer The Lord as priority always.) (Talk to Him for He desires our fellowship.) He said, “Fan the flames that burn the traps and attacks.” (Nothing can withhold you when the fire of the Lord burns everything evil. Praise and worship engulfs the evil.) He said, “Add to the fire the fuel of the Word and continue to add each verse in thought as it burns.” (Keep the fire burning with explosive power) He said, “The light shines as the flames burn brighter in the zeal and desire of the Father.” (Love burns so hot, it eliminates all darkness.) (Return us Lord into Your wonderful garden and keep us hedged around and protected from all evil, under Your wings, in Your promises.) The Fiery Trial to Overcome the Flesh David Eells You know, we have to make decisions. Every day we're faced with a decision. If you decide the easy way, which is the flesh way, then you say, “Okay, devil, you can rule over this flesh.” That's what you're really saying. Of course, we can see it across the country, too – people who are so-called Christians rising up against the government and actually being used of the enemy who is going to invade this country. But God said, My power is made perfect in weakness (2Co.12:9). (9) And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for [my] power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (10) Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. We need to see how the power of God comes to those who will enter into weakness of self. The commands, many of the principles, but also the commands of God, are to put us into a position of weakness. If you obey the commands of Christ, you will be weak and you'll cease from your works. You will not be able to handle the situation yourself. You will have to trust in God to do it, if you obey His commands. (2Co.13:4) For he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth through the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him through the power of God toward you. Weakness brings the power of God. Weakness brings crucifixion in the flesh, but it also brings the power of God to bring resurrection. Resurrection life is what we've all wanted from God, but many times we won't pay the price for it. We ask God for the fruit of Jesus to live in us, but before you can have the fruit, you have to give up the lust. The two war against one another, they seek to occupy the same territory in your life. They can't both live together. The lust must be crucified in order for the new man to live in you and for the fruit to be borne. Anger and forgiveness can't be in the same place. You can do one or you can do the other, but you won't do both. Christ was crucified through weakness. He obeyed God's word to Him. As a matter of fact, it appears to be a command to Him and He passed on that command to us. To me, it's one the most important commands in all of the Scriptures for those who want to bring forth fruit. (Isa.50:5) The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away backward. (6) I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (7) For the Lord God will help me; therefore have I not been confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. You'll recognize this as a prophecy about Jesus. But His ears were open to the Lord's command and His command to Jesus was that He was to give His back to the smiters and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. That command has been passed on to us. It wasn't a request; it was a command. (Mat.5:38) Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: (39) but I say unto you, Resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (40) And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. (41) And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two. (42) Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. The reason I say that this is such an important command of Jesus is because of our human nature. The lusts of the flesh rise up against a person who wants to obey these Scriptures. You can imagine in your mind turning the other cheek, either in word or in deed or in action of some kind, and you know what kind of lusts rise up inside of you when you try to do this. There's a war that goes on inside you when you do this. Jesus fought that war. (Gal.5:19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these:] fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20) idolatry, sorcery (from here on you can identify these as having to do with this command), enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, (21) envyings (maybe some of these don't apply so much), drunkenness, revelings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. These things must be put to death. You know, the Lord has given us a method to put these works of the flesh to death. He spoke to me one time and He said, “You don't get resurrection life before you get death.” That was at a time I was trying to bring some people into resurrection life and they weren't entering into the death part. If you want fruit, these lusts have to die. They have to die on this side of Heaven. That's the purpose of God. God's grace delivers from sin; it doesn't just cover sin. Yes, it's wonderful that it covers sin, but that's just for the meantime so that you can have fellowship with God until you manifest its full deliverance. Jesus came to do away, to destroy the works of the devil and that's what we're talking about here. Most of these lusts are affected by just one command of Jesus and they're put to death by obedience to just one command of Jesus, and that is, “Resist not him that is evil.” It's one of the most important and most neglected doctrines in all of the Scriptures. This regards bearing our cross of death to self. We are to resist the Devil and to defend the weak. Let's read on. (Gal.5:22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) meekness, self-control; against such there is no law. (24) And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof. Well, the Lord said that we had to take up our cross and follow Him as in Matthew 16:24. We just saw that “he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth through the power of God” (2Co.13:4). If we're going to enter into the resurrection life of Jesus in the earth, we have to enter into this death. We have to take up our cross. I don't think many people realize that Jesus always bore a cross. It wasn't just at the end of His life. He bore a cross His whole life by denial of self. He “hath been in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin” (Heb.4:15). And “each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed” (Jas.1:14). Jesus was “of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom.1:3). I know a lot of people don't believe that, but I'm just quoting what the Bible says. According to the Spirit, He was the Son of God (Romans 1:4), but according to the flesh, He was of the seed of David. You know what? He was tempted. That flesh Jesus had was real flesh. He was a great God because He came down in the likeness of sinful flesh and overcame sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3). But He bore a cross all of His life and that cross was to deny self, to deny the old man to live through Him. He wouldn't permit the lusts of the flesh to speak or to live through Him. And we have to take up our cross and follow Him or we cannot be His disciple. Taking up our cross is to walk as He walked. We probably won't be called upon to bear the physical cross of Jesus, but we're definitely called upon to bear this spiritual cross that He always bore as to the denying of self. The commands of Jesus put you in a position of weakness. If you obey them, your flesh is going to squirm and it's going to writhe and it's going to try to rise up on the inside of you. It's going to tell you, “No, don't believe that doctrine,” but it's just too prevalent, too common in the Scriptures to deny it. Jesus said, “resist not him that is evil” (Mat.5:39). I tell you, your flesh rises up on the inside of you and it says, “No, no, no! Hit back, talk back, do something, get even!” That flesh just doesn't want to die. It's a crucifixion. You can always tell when the flesh is in trouble because it squeals like a stuck pig. If you don't ever go against it, you don't ever hear it squeal, but I can tell you that the commands of Jesus are going to put you at variance with the flesh. They're going to cause the flesh to be seen by you very plainly. It's easy, before you read the Scriptures, to think you're doing pretty well, that everything's alright. Then you start reading the Scriptures and you see commands like this and, if you start to obey them, you'll find out what lives in you. You'll find out what's way down inside of you when it shows its ugly head and when you go against it, that's where the power of God takes over. We want the fruit of the Spirit, but before the fruit of the Spirit comes the crucifixion of the lusts. Jesus taught us. He was an example to us. A lot of people think He was an example so that we wouldn't have to die. No, Jesus didn't die so that we wouldn't have to die. Jesus died so that we could die. I'm talking about dying spiritually, dying to self, not about dying physically, but dying to self. He died to make it possible for us to die. Those who refuse to take up their cross and follow Him, those who refuse to obey His commands, are refusing to be disciples. It doesn't matter that they call themselves Christians. I want to show you that Jesus turned the other cheek, but He did it as an example to us. When Jesus was before Pilate and the Sanhedrin He resisted not the evil. He did turn the other cheek. (Mat 27:12-13 ASV And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. 13 Then saith Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?) He had the power to say “No” to the flesh. He had more power than the disciples understood He had because they thought they were going to save Him with the sword. (Mat.26:52) Then saith Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. He said, “Don't you know I could call more than 12 legions of angels (Matthew 26:53)?” Look, Jesus had power they didn't know of to keep from going to the cross. He didn't have to resort to man's arm of the flesh. One angel in the Old Testament killed 185,000 men in 2 Kings 19:35, and Jesus is talking about calling 72,000 angels here. That's power! Christians need to realize that their power is not in the arm of the flesh. Their power is in the Kingdom of Heaven, but that power shouldn't be used when you're going to the cross. That power should be used to fulfill God's Will. In the very next verse after Jesus said, “Don't you know I could call more than 12 legions of angels?” He said, “how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be” (Mat.26:54)? We want the Scriptures to be fulfilled in us, which is the manifestation of Christ; however, they won't be fulfilled, if you refuse to go to your cross. Just as Jesus had a free will and He could have called the 12 legions of angels, we have a free will and we could, in many cases, walk away from our cross. But that doesn't mean we won't be faced with it again. We will be faced with it again and again because God is merciful. And we'll be faced with it until we get it right or just run out of time because we are running out of time. We've been put here to bear fruit and we've been given a certain amount of time to do that. There's a door closing on the other end of this life. My wife saw a vision like that, on a treadmill. The door ahead was closing. We had to run faster and faster in order to get through the door before it closed. The treadmill was imperceptibly picking up speed going in the opposite direction and we had to run faster and faster. That's the way the world is. The world is picking up speed going in the opposite direction, but there's a door closing. We're running a race but, let me say, this is not a race against one another; this is a race against time. There's a door closing. You have to bear fruit or else you'll be called what the Scripture and Jesus called an “unprofitable servant” cast forth into outer darkness (Matthew 25:30). There's no such thing as bearing fruit without the cross. I'm going to point out just a few of Jesus' commands and show you that when you obey them, they put you in a position of weakness. You cannot defend yourself. You cannot hit back. You cannot do any of the things that your flesh wants because, if you do, your flesh will live and it will get stronger. (Rom.8:13) For if ye live after the flesh (in other words, if you walk in submission to the flesh), ye must die; but if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live. We want the new man to live and there's only one way that can happen – the old man has to die. They live in the same house. The spiritual man was supposed to go into the Promised Land and kill that enemy and live in his house and we are, in one parallel, that promised land. That spiritual man is Christ in us and He's the spiritual man in every one of us Who seeks to take over this vessel. (1Pe.2:18) Servants, [be] in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. (19) For this is acceptable (the literal translation is actually “grace”), For this is grace, if for conscience toward God a man endureth griefs, suffering wrongfully. Grace? That's right. God sends us through grace down here on this earth. Sometimes we don't look on it as grace, but it's wrongful suffering. He calls it grace. That's the original word there. We have to go through suffering. (Act.14:22) … Through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God. We must go through suffering because the flesh doesn't die without suffering. If you're not suffering, then you're not ceasing from sin. Peter said, He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin (1Pe.4:1). That's because when you're suffering, when the flesh is suffering – and I'm talking about that entity of the old man in you, the mind of the flesh in you – when that old man is suffering, it means that he's not getting his way. I'm not talking about this physical flesh suffering, you understand. I'm talking about that entity that lives in us that wants to gratify self. If he's not suffering, you're not bearing the cross; you're not obeying the commands of Jesus. So Peter called it “grace” here. (1Pe.2:20) For what glory is it, if, when ye sin, and are buffeted [for it,] ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it,] ye shall take it patiently, this is grace with God. The last thing we want is to do right and to have wrong done to us in return. We want justice. We want our rights. The flesh demands its rights, but the flesh is a dead man. We reckon the old man to be dead unto sin (Romans 6:11) and dead men don't demand rights. Dead men don't have rights. You can slap them on one cheek and they'll turn the other one every time. That's the way Jesus commanded us. If you want that old man to die, then don't feed him. Just don't obey him and he'll die. This is grace with God. (1Pe.2:21) For hereunto were ye called…. We were called to suffer wrongfully, to suffer in what the world would call “wrongfully.” In other words, we're called to suffer when we do right. (1Pe.2:21) For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (23) who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously. But when we are called to defend the flock from wolves we should point out their sin as was done in scripture. In other words, Jesus left judgment, wrath and payback in the hands of God, concerning self. Peter said Jesus left this example to us so that we should follow in His steps. Every day we're going to have an opportunity to do this. There's just no way you could live in this life without having an opportunity to do this. Don't waste your time. Redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16), the Scripture says. This is what we're here for. Suffering is one of God's greatest methods, to put to death your flesh so that Christ can live in you. (1Pe.3:13) And who is he that will harm you, if ye be zealous of that which is good? (14) But even if ye should suffer for righteousness' sake, blessed [are ye:] and fear not their fear, neither be troubled; (15) but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: [being] ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear: (16) having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ. (17) For it is better, if the will of God should so will, that ye suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing. (18) Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. We can see a spiritual type there in the life of Christ. When he resisted not the evil, he was put to death in the flesh, but he was made alive in the spirit. This is a spiritual type for us because, if we want to be made alive in the spirit, we must be put to death in the flesh. (1Pe.4:14) If ye are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed [are ye;] because the [Spirit] of glory and the Spirit of God resteth upon you. (15) For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a meddler in other men's matters: but if [a man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name. (17) For the time [is come] for judgment to begin at the house of God: and if [it begin] first at us, what [shall be] the end of them that obey not the gospel of God? (18) And if the righteous is scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear? (19) Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God (That doesn't fit the prosperity doctrine very well, does it?) commit their souls in well-doing unto a faithful Creator. Commit your soul unto a faithful creator. Jesus obeyed His own command in Matthew 5:39 and He was crucified for it. I can imagine several places where He could have interjected just a little bit of truth and totally turned the situation around, such as when He talked about, “destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (Joh.2:19). Of course, he spake of the temple of his body (21), but that's not what was brought out at the trial by the Sanhedrin and I never saw Him even objecting to it, though He knew what He was meaning. He didn't bother to stick up for Himself. There's one person from the Old Testament who really impressed me with his understanding of not resisting him that is evil and that's David. He obeyed this. I've seen probably a half-dozen to a dozen good examples of where David obeyed this doctrine. He seemed to be way ahead of his time in an understanding of what it was that pleased God. He seemed to be almost walking in New Testament revelation in some areas of this resisting not evil and it definitely bore fruit in his soul. (Psa.38:12) They also that seek after my life lay snares [for me,] And they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and meditate deceits all the day long. (13) But I, as a deaf man, hear not; And I am as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. (14) Yea, I am as a man that heareth not, And in whose mouth are no reproofs. (15) For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: Thou wilt answer, O Lord my God. David put his trust in God to bring about justice, just as the Lord did (1 Peter 2:23), and not with his own tongue, nor in his own strength. In fact, as we read on here, you'll see that David knew and understood God's purpose. You know, it's a fiery trial when you resist not the evil, no matter what form it is. This so-called righteous indignation rises up on the inside of you wanting justice, but listen, folks, we can't afford justice. Nobody reading this can afford justice. We want mercy. With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful (Psa.18:25). If you get justice, you're in trouble. Did you know that? God gives justice to some and He gives mercy to others (Romans 9:21-23). Christians get mercy. The world doesn't always get mercy. But, I'll tell you what, the only thing we better show to the world is mercy because God's going to be merciful and forgiving to those who are merciful and forgiving. And to those who are not merciful, He's going to give justice. Mat 18:34-35 ASV And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due. 35 So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not everyone his brother from your hearts. Justice is not what we can afford. Everybody doesn't even get a revelation of God in this world, but they get justice because every man is going to reap what he sows (Galatians 6:7). People ask, “What do you do with the wicked who never hear the name of Christ?” No problem. They're going to get justice being judged by their own conscience. Everybody in this world is going to at least get justice, but the Christians, the true Christians, are going to get mercy and grace. God's not doing wrong by doing that because He's at the very least giving justice to people. But we better pray that we don't get justice because that means we'll pay for what we've done and what we are doing that is wrong. David understood this and Jesus understood this. So David says, “for I said, Lest they rejoice over me: When my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me” (Psa.38:16). (17) For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me. (18) For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. (19) But mine enemies are lively, [and] are strong; And they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. (20) They also that render evil for good Are adversaries unto me, because I follow the thing that is good. (21) Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me. (22) Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation. (39:1) I said, I will take heed to my ways, That I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, While the wicked is before me. (2) I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; And my sorrow was stirred. (3) My heart was hot within me; While I was musing the fire burned; [Then] spake I with my tongue: (4) Lord, make me to know mine end, And the measure of my days, what it is; Let me to know how frail I am. You know, when David resisted not the evil, when he kept his mouth shut when he was really being pressured to speak up, he said the fire burned in him. Have you ever felt that fire? I have. It's just like a real fire burning in you. It's a fiery trial that's come to prove you and to burn up the wood, hay and stubble. You know, we've been told that the fiery trial is in the next life, but that's as big a lie as has ever been told. (1Co.3:12) But if any man buildeth on the foundation gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble; (13) each man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself shall prove each man's work of what sort it is. Here is where you go through the fiery trial to burn up the wood, hay and stubble, not in the next life. The Bible says “the day shall declare it.” There are no days in eternity. This is where the fiery trial comes. But you can avoid the fiery trial very easily. All you have to do is not obey the commands of Jesus. If you don't obey Him, it's easy to avoid those kinds of trials and quite often we'll go around them, but what we're doing is putting off the day of crucifixion and the day of bearing fruit. God wants to motivate us with many, many Scriptures that today is the day of salvation. Today is God's day of deliverance 2Co 6:2 (for he saith, At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee, And in a day of salvation did I succor thee: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation): I found many places where David understood this. One of them is when Nabal's herds had been protected by David and his men out in the wilderness (1 Samuel 25:16). By the way, Nabal means “fool.” And David's men were sent to Nabal to get some supplies for his men, who were living in the wilderness, and Nabal answered them very roughly and sent them back without any help (1 Samuel 25:10,11,14). So David had decided, “I'll just go over there and take his head off” (1 Samuel 25:22). Meanwhile, Nabal's wife, who was a very understanding and wise woman, decided she was going to go meet David and ask his forgiveness and she did (1 Samuel 25:24). And one thing she said is, “Thank God that the Lord has withheld you from avenging yourself at your own hand” (1 Samuel 25:26,31). She said that twice. Then David thanked her for her part in bringing that to pass (1 Samuel 25:32,33). You know, there's something wrong about us avenging ourselves with our own hand. (Rom.12:19) Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath [of God:] for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord. He said, if you do this, “thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head” (20). In other words, it's God's job to repay. If we repay, then God has to whip us because we've been commanded over and over not to repay. If we do it, He's going to whip us, but He doesn't have to whip them. I'll give you an example. If you have two kids and you tell them, “Now, look, don't you hit back. If so-and-so does something to you, you come and tell me; I'll take care of it. If one of them hits back, then the other one has already gotten his punishment. In that case, why should I hit him again? I'm going to have to hit you since you're the one who needs the whipping because you disobeyed me.” Here's the point. This is the way God does things. If He tells us. “Don't do it,” there's a purpose in it. (Eph.6:12) For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places]. What we can do must be done in the spirit; it must be done through the power of faith. It can't be done in the flesh. We can be used of God to speak prophetic words that bring judgment on those who harm and kill his people but this should not be personal vengeance. Let me show you a really good example of this from David. (2Sa.16:5) And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, there came out thence a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he came out, and cursed still as he came. (6) And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. (7) And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Begone, begone, thou man of blood, and base fellow: (8) the Lord hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned … Well, I don't know if Shimei knew it or not, but David had opportunity about three times to kill Saul. It was in his hand to do it and he wouldn't do it. He wouldn't resist the evil. He wouldn't repay. He left that to the Lord and the Lord took care of that. The Lord used the Philistines to take Saul and almost his whole family out (1 Samuel 31:6), but He didn't blame David for it. David even had to dodge some of Saul's spears and his evil spirits (1 Samuel 18:11, 19:10). And Shimei continued his railing… And the Lord hath delivered the kingdom unto the hand of Absolom thy son; and, behold, thou art [taken] in thine own mischief, because thou art a man of blood. (2Sa.16:9) Then said Abishai the son of Zeruah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse the lord my king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head. (10) And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? Because he curseth, and because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David … Do you see that? “The Lord hath said unto him, ‘Curse David.'” David wasn't wrong here. The Lord works all things after the counsel of His Own Will (Ephesians 1:11). He sends wicked people to us to crucify this flesh. It's His purpose to do that, just as He sent and used the hand of wicked men to crucify the Lord. (Act.2:23) Him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay. God used these vessels of dishonor. He used the people of Israel and He used the wicked Roman empire to crucify the Lord, as the Scripture says. It's the same way with us. He put us here in the midst of a bunch of wolves. Jesus said, “I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves” (Luk.10:3). We have been put here for crucifixion and the world is designed to crucify us. If you don't understand that, you don't understand the sovereignty of God. God designed this world to crucify us. Jesus was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Stop and think. The lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Before Adam fell, God designed a Savior. Do you think we're in Plan B? Nope. We're in Plan A. There never has been a Plan B because God is sovereign. He designed this world to manifest sons and to do that you have to have a fallen nature to begin with. You have to have somebody who does not deserve God's goodness. That's where you have to start out because God wasn't creating angels. If He was creating angels, He wouldn't have had to make man at all. God didn't want angels. He wanted somebody who was fallen and picked up by the grace of God. You remember what Jesus said to one of the Pharisees? (Luk.7:40) And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Teacher, say on. (41) A certain lender had two debtors: the one owed five hundred shillings, and the other fifty. (42) When they had not [wherewith] to pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most? (43) Simon answered and said, He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. (47) Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loveth little. In other words, “Who is forgiven much, loveth much.” See, we're going to know how to love God because we don't deserve anything. We have fallen and have been picked up by grace, not by our works, by grace. We don't deserve anything but justice, but pray you don't get it because God's grace and mercy is far above justice. That's why we have to be graceful with other people. Don't give them what they deserve; you may get what you deserve. (Mat.7:2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you. Don't think that you're going to give somebody justice because you'll get it back. Give them mercy. Give them grace. God will judge them. God may even judge them out of your mouth, but understand that it won't be with your flesh. The prophets spoke judgments. In the book of Revelation, prophets speak judgment (Revelation 11:6). I'm convinced that everything that happens in the book of Revelation comes out of the mouth of God's children. Many of the curses today that are coming upon this world are coming out of the mouth of God's children. In fact, I'm convinced that all of them do. God is bringing judgment and He's doing it through His people. They're speaking that judgment, but they're not doing it with the arm of the flesh. You know, we can't rise up against this government (Romans 13). If you do, God promises, “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (26:52). But, we can tear down this government because God has a Kingdom that's coming. The saints are going to possess the Kingdom and they're going to take it from the beast. And they're going to do it in the spirit realm. They are not going to do it in the flesh. In the flesh, they must be crucified. In the flesh, you must cease. You must desist. You must resist not him who is evil. In the spirit realm, we can do many mighty things. God has planned it that way so that your spirit man will be strong, but your flesh will be weak. That's the way God's salvation, God's deliverance, is going to come. David understood that the Lord had commanded this and we need to understand this, too. All we have to do is read Job to see that circumstances are the same today as they were back then. (Job 2:10) … What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?…. And you know what? Job repented after God answered him in chapters 38-40. He repented of his self-righteousness. He repented in Job 42:1-6 and God gave him back what he'd lost in Job 42:10. But God used crucifixion in Job's life. Job wasn't physically doing wrong things; he wasn't in outward immoral disobedience. His problem was self-righteousness. He had to repent and God brought this against him to bring him to repentance. David, too, was put in a position of crucifixion by God. God sent this enemy against him and David understood that. And he said, (2Sa.16:10) And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? Because he curseth, and because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David; who then shall say, Wherefore hast thou done so? (11) And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, who came forth from my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more [may] this Benjamite now [do it]? let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him. “The Lord hath bidden him.” Think about that the next time people come against you and want to put you on the cross but you keep wanting to climb down. We do want to climb down off that cross, but you can't drive the nails. God has designed the wicked to put the cross in the ground and drive the nails. That's their calling in this world. God has vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. He has vessels of grace and vessels of wrath. They're all going to do His Will, one way or the other. All things serve the Lord and He works all things after the counsel of His Own Will (Ephesians 1:11). If you understand this, you can walk in grace and peace in this world, no matter what comes against you, because God put you there for a purpose. He put you there to be crucified and He put you there so that you would learn to use the weapons of your warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4). You know, sometimes the Lord sends the devil against you just so you can defeat him. He'll send him against you. He'll send the enemy against you but He doesn't want you to go against him by wrestling with flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). Remember that the Bible says, “resist not him that is evil” (Mat.5:39). On the other hand, it says “resist the devil” (Jas.4:7). “Resist not him that is evil” is talking about man. We don't wrestle with flesh and blood. When they wrestled with flesh and blood in the Old Testament, that was a type and shadow of them wrestling with principalities and powers. Go back over there and read the names of those kings and the names of those tribes that were conquered and study in the Hebrew what those names mean. You're going to find out they're all the lusts of the flesh and demon spirits. That's who the Israelites were spiritually wrestling with and everything that happened to them was a type and a shadow for us. (1Co.10:11) Now these things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come. So go back to the Old Testament and look at it carefully. You'll see what they wrestled with. Today we think we're supposed to carry on an Old Testament-type warfare in the way we war with people, but you can't grow if you do that and God will chasten you if you do that because you're rebelling against His Word. And David said, “the Lord hath bidden him” (2Sa.16:11). (12) It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me, and that the Lord will requite me good for [his] cursing of me this day. David is saying that the Lord will pay him back good for his resisting not evil. If the Lord's going to bless you for it, go ahead and let them curse. Didn't Jesus say you'd be blessed when men would curse you? Absolutely (Matthew 5:11). Didn't He say the spirit of grace and the Spirit of God would rest upon you? Have you ever experienced that? I have. When I first learned of this doctrine, the Lord put me in situations where I did, by His grace, turn the other cheek and I felt the power of God on me for going through that. It's just a great anointing that comes upon you when you obey God in the place where you want to defend yourself and you refuse to do it. You, instead, leave it in the hands of God and you won't defend yourself. If you do defend self, then the old man will live; he'll climb down off that cross. Even though he's crucified, he's not totally dead yet, so he can still climb down. It's true that we have to reckon him dead (Romans 6:11), but until he is dead, don't let him live; don't feed him. Do you know what fasting is a type of? Well, when you fast, you're not feeding the flesh. What does it do when you don't feed it? It gets weak. What does that do? It makes the spiritual man strong. There's a reason for fasting and there's a spiritual type. The whole chapter of Isaiah 58 is talking about spiritual fasting, about denying yourself, so we see that they had a revelation of that in the Old Testament, too. (2Sa.16:13) So David and his men went by the way; and Shimei went along on the hillside over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust. (14) And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary; and he refreshed himself there. Well, that wasn't the end of the story. David never did do anything to Shimei but his son Solomon had him killed because he rebelled against his commands and left the city. It's hard to comprehend why Shimei was so against David. My guess is he was a low-life who just didn't want to understand the situation here. Anybody who was on Absalom's side and saw righteousness in Absalom and not in David, and saw righteousness in Saul, and not in David, was in trouble. He was a sick son of the devil.
In this Bible Story, Gideon leads Israel's people into victory over the Midianites with only 300 men. Peace then reigns in the land for over forty years. This story is inspired by Judges 7-8. Go to BibleinaYear.com and learn the Bible in a Year.Today's Bible verse is Judges 7:7 from the King James Version.Episode 63: The once cowardly Gideon is now commander of a rather large Israelite army. So large in fact, that God refuses to use the whole army, lest they think it was their might that saved the day. Soon God had whittled down the army to a mere 300 men and with that 300 men we see a reminder that it is not by our might but by God's that rescue and salvation happen.Hear the Bible come to life as Pastor Jack Graham leads you through the official BibleinaYear.com podcast. This Biblical Audio Experience will help you master wisdom from the world's greatest book. In each episode, you will learn to apply Biblical principles to everyday life. Now understanding the Bible is easier than ever before; enjoy a cinematic audio experience full of inspirational storytelling, orchestral music, and profound commentary from world-renowned Pastor Jack Graham.Also, you can download the Pray.com app for more Christian content, including, Daily Prayers, Inspirational Testimonies, and Bedtime Bible Stories.Visit JackGraham.org for more resources on how to tap into God's power for successful Christian living.This episode is sponsored by Medi-Share, an innovative health care solution for Christians to save money without sacrificing quality.Pray.com is the digital destination of faith. With over 5,000 daily prayers, meditations, bedtime stories, and cinematic stories inspired by the Bible, the Pray.com app has everything you need to keep your focus on the Lord. Make Prayer a priority and download the #1 App for Prayer and Sleep today in the Apple app store or Google Play store.Executive Producers: Steve Gatena & Max BardProducer: Ben GammonHosted by: Pastor Jack GrahamMusic by: Andrew Morgan SmithBible Story narration by: Todd HaberkornSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we will finish Psalm 101. Remember it is a psalm written by David who had just recently become King of Israel. The nation was broken, and he had a tremendous task and challenge before him as he had to deal with both internal corruption and foreign adversaries. David's was determined to lead the nation with integrity and “drain the swamp” in Jerusalem of its deceitful liars, wicked and evil people that were in the seats of power and authority. David was determined to follow the instructions of God's Word and be a king of “mercy and justice” (v. 1), which is a reflection of the character of God. David desired to have a “perfect heart” (v. 2). He was devoted to worship of the only true God. David also was committed to having eyes of discernment (v. 3), as to what he would and would not be looking at and for. And finally, David now could make good decisions about the kind of people that would serve in his administration (vv. 6-8). We have moved from the leader's heart to the leader's eyes, and now we look at the leader's will. The repeated "I will" statements in the psalm give evidence of David's determination to serve God and God's people successfully and be a man of decision. He would not make excuses and he would not delay making decisions. But some of those decisions would be difficult to make and perhaps more difficult to implement. He wanted associates who were not defiled by sin, whose walk was blameless, and who would treat people with fairness. He knew that no king could build a lasting government on lies (Psalms 31:5; 43:3; 57:10). Deception is the devil's tool, and Satan goes to work whenever a lie moves in (2 Cor. 11:1-3). Eastern kings often administered justice in the mornings at the city gate (2 Samuel 15:1-2; Jer. 21:12), so David promised to listen to these cases patiently, consider them carefully, and render judgment wisely. He vowed to God that he would punish offenders according to God's law, silencing the liars and expelling the evildoers. Jerusalem was known as "the city of God," (Psalm 46:4; 48:1) "the city of the great King," (Psalm 48:2) and the city God loved the most (Psalm 87:1-3), and David did not want to blemish that reputation. Was David successful in maintaining the high standard of this declaration? No, not completely; but what leader besides Jesus Christ has ever maintained an unblemished record? David failed in his own family. His sin with Bathsheba set a bad example for his sons and daughters (2 Sam. 11-12), and David failed to discipline Amnon and Absalom for their sins (2 Sam. 13-15). He had problems with his generals Joab and Abishai, and his trusted counselor Ahithophel betrayed him. Yet David reigned for forty years, during which time he expanded the borders of the kingdom, defeated Israel's enemies, gathered the wealth used to build the temple, wrote the psalms, and established the dynasty that eventually brought Jesus Christ into the world. Like us, he had his weaknesses and failings, but overall, he sought to honor the Lord and be a good leader. Jerusalem is known as "the city of David" and Jesus as "the Son of David." Could any compliment be higher than that? Especially in this day of darkness and despair in the world, we need to pray for leaders in our homes, in our churches, in our communities, and in our state and national government, that will be decisive and determined to make decisions based on truth and not lies. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Will you join me in prayer today for the leaders in our nation and in our world? God bless!
Lesson 7 and 8 Notes Download Worship Yahweh Music Playlist We have seen in previous sessions how extraordinary David was as a man after God's own heart. His love and devotion to Yahweh were beyond compare. 2 Samuel 23:14-17 David was in the battlefield with his men for years. The significance of David's refusal to drink the water is an example of David's leadership and the deep bonds he shared with his warriors. It highlights themes of sacrifice, loyalty, and honor that committed and seasoned soldiers share. 2 Samuel 23:18 Joab is the son of Zeruiah, David's sister; this was his nephew. Abishai was Joab's brother and another nephew; 24 Asahel was another brother to Joab and another nephew to David; 34 Eliam the son of Ahithophel; 39 Uriah the Hittite. Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah the Hittite. The Hittites were a neighboring nation known for their fierce warriors. Uriah was one of David's 30 elite warriors. Bathsheba's father was Eliam (2 Samuel 11:3; 1 Chronicles 3: 5) who was also among the elite. Eliam was the son of Ahithophel (2 Samuel 23:34). Ahithophel was the grandfather of Bathsheba. He was one of David's counselors who sided with Absalom. (See 1 Chronicles 27:33; 2 Samuel 15:31.) 2 Samuel 11:14-27 David took advantage of the no questions asked loyalty of Joab and involved him in the murder of this noble man. Later, Joab would kill David's son, Absalom. 2 Samuel 12:1-9 Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor." Why is this included in the Scriptures? 1) So that we take heed and be on alert, 2) understand God's forgiveness, 3) understand salvation by grace. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Peter 5:8-9 Psalm 51:1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. David is again leaning on his understanding of Exodus 34. He had no grounds to ask forgiveness other than the words of Yahweh he knew from the Torah. He asked forgiveness knowing he deserved death. Yahweh's grace, compassion, and lovingkindness were why David received forgiveness and not because of his good works. We are blessed to live after Jesus' sacrifice for our sins. If we have a penitent heart like David, we too can receive forgiveness and cleansing. If God forgave David, He can forgive you too! 2-4 His contriteness is evident as he is accepting full responsibility for his sin without blaming anyone else or God. Romans 3:1-25 Romans 3:10-12 Psalm 14:1-3; 53:1-3 Romans 3:13 Psalm 5:9; 140:1-3 Romans 3:14 Psalm 10:4-11; 59:12 Romans 3:15-16 Isaiah 59:7-8 Romans 3:18 Psalm 36:1-4 If you have songs you would like to add to the Worship Yahweh playlist, send a YouTube link to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 60 Psalm 60 (Listen) He Will Tread Down Our Foes To the choirmaster: according to Shushan Eduth. A Miktam1 of David; for instruction; when he strove with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and when Joab on his return struck down twelve thousand of Edom in the Valley of Salt. 60 O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; oh, restore us.2 You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open; repair its breaches, for it totters.3 You have made your people see hard things; you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger. 4 You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow.2 Selah5 That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer us! 6 God has spoken in his holiness:3 “With exultation I will divide up Shechem and portion out the Vale of Succoth.7 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet; Judah is my scepter.8 Moab is my washbasin; upon Edom I cast my shoe; over Philistia I shout in triumph.”4 9 Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom?10 Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go forth, O God, with our armies.11 Oh, grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man!12 With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes. Footnotes  60:1 Probably musical or liturgical terms  60:4 Or that it may be displayed because of truth  60:6 Or sanctuary  60:8 Revocalization (compare Psalm 108:10); Masoretic Text over me, O Philistia, shout in triumph (ESV) Pentateuch and History: 2 Samuel 20 2 Samuel 20 (Listen) The Rebellion of Sheba 20 Now there happened to be there a worthless man, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite. And he blew the trumpet and said, “We have no portion in David, and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse; every man to his tents, O Israel!” 2 So all the men of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the Jordan to Jerusalem. 3 And David came to his house at Jerusalem. And the king took the ten concubines whom he had left to care for the house and put them in a house under guard and provided for them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up until the day of their death, living as if in widowhood. 4 Then the king said to Amasa, “Call the men of Judah together to me within three days, and be here yourself.” 5 So Amasa went to summon Judah, but he delayed beyond the set time that had been appointed him. 6 And David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take your lord's servants and pursue him, lest he get himself to fortified cities and escape from us.”1 7 And there went out after him Joab's men and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men. They went out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 When they were at the great stone that is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was wearing a soldier's garment, and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheath fastened on his thigh, and as he went forward it fell out. 9 And Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa did not observe the sword that was in Joab's hand. So Joab struck him with it in the stomach and spilled his entrails to the ground without striking a second blow, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 And one of Joab's young men took his stand by Amasa and said, “Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab.” 12 And Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the highway. And anyone who came by, seeing him, stopped. And when the man saw that all the people stopped, he carried Amasa out of the highway into the field and threw a garment over him. 13 When he was taken out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. 14 And Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of Beth-maacah,2 and all the Bichrites3 assembled and followed him in. 15 And all the men who were with Joab came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maacah. They cast up a mound against the city, and it stood against the rampart, and they were battering the wall to throw it down. 16 Then a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab, ‘Come here, that I may speak to you.'” 17 And he came near her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your servant.” And he answered, “I am listening.” 18 Then she said, “They used to say in former times, ‘Let them but ask counsel at Abel,' and so they settled a matter. 19 I am one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the heritage of the LORD?” 20 Joab answered, “Far be it from me, far be it, that I should swallow up or destroy! 21 That is not true. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, called Sheba the son of Bichri, has lifted up his hand against King David. Give up him alone, and I will withdraw from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the trumpet, and they dispersed from the city, every man to his home. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king. 23 Now Joab was in command of all the army of Israel; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 and Adoram was in charge of the forced labor; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; 25 and Sheva was secretary; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 and Ira the Jairite was also David's priest. Footnotes  20:6 Hebrew and snatch away our eyes  20:14 Compare 20:15; Hebrew and Beth-maacah  20:14 Hebrew Berites (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Ezekiel 21 Ezekiel 21 (Listen) The Lord Has Drawn His Sword 21 1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries.2 Prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the LORD: Behold, I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. 4 Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. 5 And all flesh shall know that I am the LORD. I have drawn my sword from its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again. 6 “As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes. 7 And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?' you shall say, ‘Because of the news that it is coming. Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled,'” declares the Lord GOD. 8 And the word of the LORD came to me: 9 “Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say: “A sword, a sword is sharpened and also polished,10 sharpened for slaughter, polished to flash like lightning! (Or shall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, with everything of wood.)3 11 So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished to be given into the hand of the slayer. 12 Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. Strike therefore upon your thigh. 13 For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise the rod?”4 declares the Lord GOD. 14 “As for you, son of man, prophesy. Clap your hands and let the sword come down twice, yes, three times,5 the sword for those to be slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter, which surrounds them, 15 that their hearts may melt, and many stumble.6 At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; it is taken up7 for slaughter. 16 Cut sharply to the right; set yourself to the left, wherever your face is directed. 17 I also will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury; I the LORD have spoken.” 18 The word of the LORD came to me again: 19 “As for you, son of man, mark two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come. Both of them shall come from the same land. And make a signpost; make it at the head of the way to a city. 20 Mark a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah, into Jerusalem the fortified. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults the teraphim;8 he looks at the liver. 22 Into his right hand comes the divination for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth with murder, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build siege towers. 23 But to them it will seem like a false divination. They have sworn solemn oaths, but he brings their guilt to remembrance, that they may be taken. 24 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have made your guilt to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in hand. 25 And you, O profane9 wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment, 26 thus says the Lord GOD: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him. 28 “And you, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter. It is polished to consume and to flash like lightning—29 while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. 30 Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you. 31 And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of brutish men, skillful to destroy. 32 You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall be no more remembered, for I the LORD have spoken.” Footnotes  21:1 Ch 21:6 in Hebrew  21:2 Some Hebrew manuscripts, compare Septuagint, Syriac against their sanctuary  21:10 Probable reading; Hebrew The rod of my son despises everything of wood  21:13 Or For it is a testing; and what if even the rod despises? It shall not be!  21:14 Hebrew its third  21:15 Hebrew many stumbling blocks  21:15 The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered taken up is uncertain  21:21 Or household idols  21:25 Or slain; also verse 29 (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: Luke 22:1–46 Luke 22:1–46 (Listen) The Plot to Kill Jesus 22 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people. Judas to Betray Jesus 3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. 4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd. The Passover with the Disciples 7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 So Jesus1 sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” 9 They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” 10 He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters 11 and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' 12 And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” 13 And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. Institution of the Lord's Supper 14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it2 until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.3 21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 23 And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this. Who Is the Greatest? 24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves. 28 “You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, 29 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus Foretells Peter's Denial 31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,4 that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter5 said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus6 said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” Scripture Must Be Fulfilled in Jesus 35 And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.' For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.” Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives 39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.7 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Footnotes  22:8 Greek he  22:16 Some manuscripts never eat it again  22:20 Some manuscripts omit, in whole or in part, verses 19b-20 (which is given . . . in my blood)  22:31 The Greek word for you (twice in this verse) is plural; in verse 32, all four instances are singular  22:33 Greek He  22:34 Greek He  22:44 Some manuscripts omit verses 43 and 44 (ESV)
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 59 Psalm 59 (Listen) Deliver Me from My Enemies To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam1 of David, when Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him. 59 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me;2 deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men. 3 For behold, they lie in wait for my life; fierce men stir up strife against me. For no transgression or sin of mine, O LORD,4 for no fault of mine, they run and make ready. Awake, come to meet me, and see!5 You, LORD God of hosts, are God of Israel. Rouse yourself to punish all the nations; spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah 6 Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city.7 There they are, bellowing with their mouths with swords in their lips— for “Who,” they think,2 “will hear us?” 8 But you, O LORD, laugh at them; you hold all the nations in derision.9 O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress.10 My God in his steadfast love3 will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies. 11 Kill them not, lest my people forget; make them totter4 by your power and bring them down, O Lord, our shield!12 For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride. For the cursing and lies that they utter,13 consume them in wrath; consume them till they are no more, that they may know that God rules over Jacob to the ends of the earth. Selah 14 Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city.15 They wander about for food and growl if they do not get their fill. 16 But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love. Footnotes  59:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term  59:7 Hebrew lacks they think  59:10 Or The God who shows me steadfast love  59:11 Or wander (ESV) Pentateuch and History: 2 Samuel 19 2 Samuel 19 (Listen) Joab Rebukes David 19 It was told Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 2 So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” 3 And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle. 4 The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 5 Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6 because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you, for today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7 Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the LORD, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.” 8 Then the king arose and took his seat in the gate. And the people were all told, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” And all the people came before the king. David Returns to Jerusalem Now Israel had fled every man to his own home. 9 And all the people were arguing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?” 11 And King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar the priests: “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his house, when the word of all Israel has come to the king?1 12 You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?' 13 And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me and more also, if you are not commander of my army from now on in place of Joab.'” 14 And he swayed the heart of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, “Return, both you and all your servants.” 15 So the king came back to the Jordan, and Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and to bring the king over the Jordan. David Pardons His Enemies 16 And Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, from Bahurim, hurried to come down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 And with him were a thousand men from Benjamin. And Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, with his fifteen sons and his twenty servants, rushed down to the Jordan before the king, 18 and they crossed the ford to bring over the king's household and to do his pleasure. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross the Jordan, 19 and said to the king, “Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore, behold, I have come this day, the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.” 21 Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD's anointed?” 22 But David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?” 23 And the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king gave him his oath. 24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came back in safety. 25 And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself,2 that I may ride on it and go with the king.' For your servant is lame. 27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. 28 For all my father's house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?” 29 And the king said to him, “Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land.” 30 And Mephibosheth said to the king, “Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home.” 31 Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim, and he went on with the king to the Jordan, to escort him over the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. He had provided the king with food while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. 33 And the king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I will provide for you with me in Jerusalem.” 34 But Barzillai said to the king, “How many years have I still to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am this day eighty years old. Can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or what he drinks? Can I still listen to the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant will go a little way over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? 37 Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him go over with my lord the king, and do for him whatever seems good to you.” 38 And the king answered, “Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good to you, and all that you desire of me I will do for you.” 39 Then all the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over. And the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own home. 40 The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him. All the people of Judah, and also half the people of Israel, brought the king on his way. 41 Then all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away and brought the king and his household over the Jordan, and all David's men with him?” 42 All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is our close relative. Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king's expense? Or has he given us any gift?” 43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king, and in David also we have more than you. Why then did you despise us? Were we not the first to speak of bringing back our king?” But the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel. Footnotes  19:11 Septuagint; Hebrew to the king, to his house  19:26 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate Saddle a donkey for me (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Ezekiel 20 Ezekiel 20 (Listen) Israel's Continuing Rebellion 20 In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me. 2 And the word of the LORD came to me: 3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD, Is it to inquire of me that you come? As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you. 4 Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Let them know the abominations of their fathers, 5 and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day when I chose Israel, I swore1 to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am the LORD your God. 6 On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. 7 And I said to them, ‘Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.' 8 But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. “Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live. 12 Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned. “Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them. 14 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands, 16 because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless, my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or make a full end of them in the wilderness. 18 “And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, 20 and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.' 21 But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths. “Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols. 25 Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, 26 and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the LORD. 27 “Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me. 28 For when I had brought them into the land that I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings. 29 (I said to them, ‘What is the high place to which you go?' So its name is called Bamah2 to this day.) 30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things? 31 When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire,3 you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you. 32 “What is in your mind shall never happen—the thought, ‘Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.' The Lord Will Restore Israel 33 “As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you. 34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord GOD. 37 I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38 I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 39 “As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord GOD: Go serve every one of you his idols, now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols. 40 “For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. There I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings. 41 As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers. 43 And there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. 44 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.” 45 4 And the word of the LORD came to me: 46 “Son of man, set your face toward the southland;5 preach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb. 47 Say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it. 48 All flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.” 49 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! They are saying of me, ‘Is he not a maker of parables?'” Footnotes  20:5 Hebrew I lifted my hand; twice in this verse; also verses 6, 15, 23, 28, 42  20:29 Bamah means high place  20:31 Hebrew and make your children pass through the fire  20:45 Ch 21:1 in Hebrew  20:46 Or toward Teman (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: Luke 20:45–21:38 Luke 20:45–21:38 (Listen) Beware of the Scribes 45 And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” The Widow's Offering 21 Jesus1 looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.2 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple 5 And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said, 6 “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” 7 And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” 8 And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!' and, ‘The time is at hand!' Do not go after them. 9 And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.” Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers3 and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name's sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives. Jesus Foretells Destruction of Jerusalem 20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23 Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. The Coming of the Son of Man 25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” The Lesson of the Fig Tree 29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Watch Yourselves 34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 37 And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. 38 And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him. Footnotes  21:1 Greek He  21:2 Greek two lepta; a lepton was a Jewish bronze or copper coin worth about 1/128 of a denarius (which was a day's wage for a laborer)  21:16 Or parents and brothers and sisters (ESV)
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 58 Psalm 58 (Listen) God Who Judges the Earth To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam1 of David. 58 Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?2 Do you judge the children of man uprightly?2 No, in your hearts you devise wrongs; your hands deal out violence on earth. 3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.4 They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear,5 so that it does not hear the voice of charmers or of the cunning enchanter. 6 O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD!7 Let them vanish like water that runs away; when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.8 Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime, like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.9 Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns, whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!3 10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.11 Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth.” Footnotes  58:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term  58:1 Or you mighty lords (by revocalization; Hebrew in silence)  58:9 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain (ESV) Pentateuch and History: 2 Samuel 17:24–18:33 2 Samuel 17:24–18:33 (Listen) 24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel. 25 Now Absalom had set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite,1 who had married Abigal the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab's mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead. 27 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans and lentils,2 29 honey and curds and sheep and cheese from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat, for they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.” Absalom Killed 18 Then David mustered the men who were with him and set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. 2 And David sent out the army, one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the men, “I myself will also go out with you.” 3 But the men said, “You shall not go out. For if we flee, they will not care about us. If half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us. Therefore it is better that you send us help from the city.” 4 The king said to them, “Whatever seems best to you I will do.” So the king stood at the side of the gate, while all the army marched out by hundreds and by thousands. 5 And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom. 6 So the army went out into the field against Israel, and the battle was fought in the forest of Ephraim. 7 And the men of Israel were defeated there by the servants of David, and the loss there was great on that day, twenty thousand men. 8 The battle spread over the face of all the country, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword. 9 And Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak,3 and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on. 10 And a certain man saw it and told Joab, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” 11 Joab said to the man who told him, “What, you saw him! Why then did you not strike him there to the ground? I would have been glad to give you ten pieces of silver and a belt.” 12 But the man said to Joab, “Even if I felt in my hand the weight of a thousand pieces of silver, I would not reach out my hand against the king's son, for in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘For my sake protect the young man Absalom.' 13 On the other hand, if I had dealt treacherously against his life4 (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood aloof.” 14 Joab said, “I will not waste time like this with you.” And he took three javelins in his hand and thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the oak. 15 And ten young men, Joab's armor-bearers, surrounded Absalom and struck him and killed him. 16 Then Joab blew the trumpet, and the troops came back from pursuing Israel, for Joab restrained them. 17 And they took Absalom and threw him into a great pit in the forest and raised over him a very great heap of stones. And all Israel fled every one to his own home. 18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself the pillar that is in the King's Valley, for he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” He called the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom's monument5 to this day. David Hears of Absalom's Death 19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run and carry news to the king that the LORD has delivered him from the hand of his enemies.” 20 And Joab said to him, “You are not to carry news today. You may carry news another day, but today you shall carry no news, because the king's son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed before Joab, and ran. 22 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “Come what may, let me also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, seeing that you will have no reward for the news?” 23 “Come what may,” he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and outran the Cushite. 24 Now David was sitting between the two gates, and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and when he lifted up his eyes and looked, he saw a man running alone. 25 The watchman called out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there is news in his mouth.” And he drew nearer and nearer. 26 The watchman saw another man running. And the watchman called to the gate and said, “See, another man running alone!” The king said, “He also brings news.” 27 The watchman said, “I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said, “He is a good man and comes with good news.” 28 Then Ahimaaz cried out to the king, “All is well.” And he bowed before the king with his face to the earth and said, “Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king.” 29 And the king said, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king's servant, your servant, I saw a great commotion, but I do not know what it was.” 30 And the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still. David's Grief 31 And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “Good news for my lord the king! For the LORD has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.” 32 The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.” 33 6 And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” Footnotes  17:25 Compare 1 Chronicles 2:17; Hebrew Israelite  17:28 Hebrew adds and parched grain  18:9 Or terebinth; also verses 10, 14  18:13 Or at the risk of my life  18:18 Or Absalom's hand  18:33 Ch 19:1 in Hebrew (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Ezekiel 19 Ezekiel 19 (Listen) A Lament for the Princes of Israel 19 And you, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2 and say: What was your mother? A lioness! Among lions she crouched; in the midst of young lions she reared her cubs.3 And she brought up one of her cubs; he became a young lion, and he learned to catch prey; he devoured men.4 The nations heard about him; he was caught in their pit, and they brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt.5 When she saw that she waited in vain, that her hope was lost, she took another of her cubs and made him a young lion.6 He prowled among the lions; he became a young lion, and he learned to catch prey; he devoured men,7 and seized1 their widows. He laid waste their cities, and the land was appalled and all who were in it at the sound of his roaring.8 Then the nations set against him from provinces on every side; they spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit.9 With hooks they put him in a cage2 and brought him to the king of Babylon; they brought him into custody, that his voice should no more be heard on the mountains of Israel. 10 Your mother was like a vine in a vineyard3 planted by the water, fruitful and full of branches by reason of abundant water.11 Its strong stems became rulers' scepters; it towered aloft among the thick boughs;4 it was seen in its height with the mass of its branches.12 But the vine was plucked up in fury, cast down to the ground; the east wind dried up its fruit; they were stripped off and withered. As for its strong stem, fire consumed it.13 Now it is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land.14 And fire has gone out from the stem of its shoots, has consumed its fruit, so that there remains in it no strong stem, no scepter for ruling. This is a lamentation and has become a lamentation. Footnotes  19:7 Hebrew knew  19:9 Or in a wooden collar  19:10 Some Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts in your blood  19:11 Or the clouds (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: Luke 19:47–20:44 Luke 19:47–20:44 (Listen) 47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words. The Authority of Jesus Challenged 20 One day, as Jesus1 was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up 2 and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” 3 He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, 4 was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” 5 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,' he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?' 6 But if we say, ‘From man,' all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” The Parable of the Wicked Tenants 9 And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. 10 When the time came, he sent a servant2 to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.' 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.' 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” 17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone'?3 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” Paying Taxes to Caesar 19 The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. 20 So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality,4 but truly teach the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” 23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius.5 Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar's.” 25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent. Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection 27 There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, 28 and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man6 must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the second 31 and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. 32 Afterward the woman also died. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.” 34 And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons7 of the resurrection. 37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” 39 Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” 40 For they no longer dared to ask him any question. Whose Son Is the Christ? 41 But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David's son? 42 For David himself says in the Book of Psalms, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand,43 until I make your enemies your footstool.”' 44 David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?” Footnotes  20:1 Greek he  20:10 Or bondservant; also verse 11  20:17 Greek the head of the corner  20:21 Greek and do not receive a face  20:24 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer  20:28 Greek his brother  20:36 Greek huioi; see Preface (ESV)
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 56 Psalm 56 (Listen) In God I Trust To the choirmaster: according to The Dove on Far-off Terebinths. A Miktam1 of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath. 56 Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me;2 my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly.3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? 5 All day long they injure my cause;2 all their thoughts are against me for evil.6 They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life.7 For their crime will they escape? In wrath cast down the peoples, O God! 8 You have kept count of my tossings;3 put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that4 God is for me.10 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise,11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.13 For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. Footnotes  56:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term  56:5 Or they twist my words  56:8 Or wanderings  56:9 Or because (ESV) Pentateuch and History: 2 Samuel 15:13–16:14 2 Samuel 15:13–16:14 (Listen) David Flees Jerusalem 13 And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.” 14 Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 And the king's servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.” 16 So the king went out, and all his household after him. And the king left ten concubines to keep the house. 17 And the king went out, and all the people after him. And they halted at the last house. 18 And all his servants passed by him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath, passed on before the king. 19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your home. 20 You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, since I go I know not where? Go back and take your brothers with you, and may the LORD show1 steadfast love and faithfulness to you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.” 22 And David said to Ittai, “Go then, pass on.” So Ittai the Gittite passed on with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23 And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people passed on toward the wilderness. 24 And Abiathar came up, and behold, Zadok came also with all the Levites, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God until the people had all passed out of the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. 26 But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,' behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.” 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Go back2 to the city in peace, with your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there. 30 But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went. 31 And it was told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.” 32 While David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and dirt on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father's servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,' then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. 35 Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So whatever you hear from the king's house, tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold, their two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok's son, and Jonathan, Abiathar's son, and by them you shall send to me everything you hear.” 37 So Hushai, David's friend, came into the city, just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem. David and Ziba 16 When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, bearing two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of summer fruits, and a skin of wine. 2 And the king said to Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king's household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who faint in the wilderness to drink.” 3 And the king said, “And where is your master's son?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he remains in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my father.'” 4 Then the king said to Ziba, “Behold, all that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.” And Ziba said, “I pay homage; let me ever find favor in your sight, my lord the king.” Shimei Curses David 5 When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera, and as he came he cursed continually. 6 And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7 And Shimei said as he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! 8 The LORD has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and the LORD has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood.” 9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” 10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD has said to him, ‘Curse David,' who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?'” 11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. 12 It may be that the LORD will look on the wrong done to me,3 and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing today.” 13 So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went and threw stones at him and flung dust. 14 And the king, and all the people who were with him, arrived weary at the Jordan.4 And there he refreshed himself. Footnotes  15:20 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks may the Lord show  15:27 Septuagint The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Look, go back  16:12 Septuagint, Vulgate will look upon my affliction  16:14 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks at the Jordan (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Ezekiel 17 Ezekiel 17 (Listen) Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine 17 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, propound a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel; 3 say, Thus says the Lord GOD: A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, rich in plumage of many colors, came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar. 4 He broke off the topmost of its young twigs and carried it to a land of trade and set it in a city of merchants. 5 Then he took of the seed of the land and planted it in fertile soil.1 He placed it beside abundant waters. He set it like a willow twig, 6 and it sprouted and became a low spreading vine, and its branches turned toward him, and its roots remained where it stood. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out boughs. 7 “And there was another great eagle with great wings and much plumage, and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him and shot forth its branches toward him from the bed where it was planted, that he might water it. 8 It had been planted on good soil by abundant waters, that it might produce branches and bear fruit and become a noble vine. 9 “Say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers, so that all its fresh sprouting leaves wither? It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it from its roots. 10 Behold, it is planted; will it thrive? Will it not utterly wither when the east wind strikes it—wither away on the bed where it sprouted?” 11 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 12 “Say now to the rebellious house, Do you not know what these things mean? Tell them, behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took her king and her princes and brought them to him to Babylon. 13 And he took one of the royal offspring2 and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath (the chief men of the land he had taken away), 14 that the kingdom might be humble and not lift itself up, and keep his covenant that it might stand. 15 But he rebelled against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt, that they might give him horses and a large army. Will he thrive? Can one escape who does such things? Can he break the covenant and yet escape? 16 “As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant with him he broke, in Babylon he shall die. 17 Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not help him in war, when mounds are cast up and siege walls built to cut off many lives. 18 He despised the oath in breaking the covenant, and behold, he gave his hand and did all these things; he shall not escape. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: As I live, surely it is my oath that he despised, and my covenant that he broke. I will return it upon his head. 20 I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there for the treachery he has committed against me. 21 And all the pick3 of his troops shall fall by the sword, and the survivors shall be scattered to every wind, and you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken.” 22 Thus says the Lord GOD: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. 24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it.” Footnotes  17:5 Hebrew in a field of seed  17:13 Hebrew seed  17:21 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Targum; most Hebrew manuscripts all the fugitives (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: Luke 18:31–19:27 Luke 18:31–19:27 (Listen) Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time 31 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33 And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” 34 But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said. Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar 35 As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. Jesus and Zacchaeus 19 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” The Parable of the Ten Minas 11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants,1 he gave them ten minas,2 and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.' 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.' 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.' 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant!3 Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.' 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.' 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.' 20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.' 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?' 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.' 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!' 26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.'” Footnotes  19:13 Or bondservants; also verse 15  19:13 A mina was about three months' wages for a laborer  19:17 Or bondservant; also verse 22 (ESV)
Well hey there, hello to ya and welcome to this episode. Today we will be taking a look at 2 Samuel, studying the word of God to find out what it has to say to us right here, right now, today, in the very place we find ourselves. There is no part of your life that God is careless about. He cares, and His care runs deep. And today, we're going to see heartbreak versus loyalty within the pages of our Bible. I'm so glad you're here! ROAR Virtual Marketing Conference Link You're listening to The Burt (Not Ernie) Show, part of the Spark Network, now playing via the Edifi app. Today's episode is sponsored by the third annual ROAR Virtual Marketing Conference (happening online October 12-14, 2023…if you are a writer, speaker, podcaster, in some type of ministry or are thinking about beginning a podcast or hosting an online summit or other event, in women's ministry perhaps, this event could be just the thing you've been looking for. I'll be attending and it is something I am very excited about.) For information or to register just click the link in the show notes, or go to roarmarketingconference.com ROAR marketing conference dot com. Seriously, if you're looking for marketing info from a Christian perspective, you gotta check it out. Now, on with the show! This is episode number 162. Way, way back in the earliest episodes of this podcast, I remember mentioning that people's last words are often chosen carefully and are paid close attention to. When we know someone is sharing their last words, we listen much more closely and with greater intention than our normal state of listening. Which is kind of like listening…kind of? With a question mark more than a period, if we're honest. And sometimes we just don't know that the words someone is sharing are their final ones, and when we don't know, then we don't know to listen closely. Chapter 23 of 2 Samuel contains David's last words. When it came to this remarkable king, this man after God's own heart, do you think those around him and those within his kingdom and even those outside of his kingdom whom he had influenced and impacted, do you think they listened to what he had to say? How much weight do you imagine David's last words carried? In a handful of verses from the pages of my Bible, the life of arguably one of the most well-known and admired figures from God's word comes to a close. I'm reading from the NLT today. 2 Samuel, chapter 23 - These are the last words of David: “David, the son of Jesse, speaks— David, the man who was raised up so high, David, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, David, the sweet psalmist of Israel.[a] 2 “The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; his words are upon my tongue. 3 The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me: ‘The one who rules righteously, who rules in the fear of God, 4 is like the light of morning at sunrise, like a morning without clouds, like the gleaming of the sun on new grass after rain.' 5 “Is it not my family God has chosen? Yes, he has made an everlasting covenant with me. His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail. He will ensure my safety and success. 6 But the godless are like thorns to be thrown away, for they tear the hand that touches them. 7 One must use iron tools to chop them down; they will be totally consumed by fire.” (David knew who he was, as indicated by what was just read. He knew how greatly the Lord had blessed him. He knew the Spirit of the Lord spoke through him. And he knew the difference between the godly and the godless. These really are lovely words to speak at the end of your days.) Continuing in chapter 23 - David's Mightiest Warriors 8 These are the names of David's mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite,[b] who was leader of the Three[c]—the three mightiest warriors among David's men. He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle.[d] 9 Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. 10 He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder! 11 Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, 12 but Shammah[e] held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory. 13 Once during the harvest, when David was at the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David's fighting men) went down to meet him there. 14 David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem. 15 David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” 16 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. 17 “The Lord forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men[f] who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three. (Remarkable! The battles these three, David's top three warriors among his thirty mighty men, the mighty men of David, doing exploits that leave us astounded and wondering, “How can this be true?” And yet, true it is. Let God be true and every man a liar - His word is true. These things really did happen. What about you? What great exploits can you do for the kingdom of your God? Are you a prayer warrior? Then do it with all your heart, working as unto the Lord, expecting great results and powerful answers to those prayers. Never stop praying - never stop seeking the Lord's will to be done right here on earth just as it is in heaven. And one day, your faith will become sight and you'll find out how your prayers impacted people for all eternity. There is no doubt that a praying man or woman holds great sway in the Lord's throne room of grace, where we boldly approach His throne to obtain grace and mercy in our time of need. When He looks, does He find one who stands in the gap? Who intercedes for others? Are you that one? Don't stop praying. Never stop praying.) David's Thirty Mighty Men 18 Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty.[g] He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three. 19 Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty[h] and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three. 20 There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior[i] from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions[j] of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. 21 Once, armed only with a club, he killed an imposing Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with it. 22 Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the Three mightiest warriors. 23 He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard. 24 Other members of the Thirty included: Asahel, Joab's brother; Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem; 25 Shammah from Harod; Elika from Harod; 26 Helez from Pelon[k]; Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa; 27 Abiezer from Anathoth; Sibbecai[l] from Hushah; 28 Zalmon from Ahoah; Maharai from Netophah; 29 Heled[m] son of Baanah from Netophah; Ithai[n] son of Ribai from Gibeah (in the land of Benjamin); 30 Benaiah from Pirathon; Hurai[o] from Nahale-gaash[p]; 31 Abi-albon from Arabah; Azmaveth from Bahurim; 32 Eliahba from Shaalbon; the sons of Jashen; Jonathan 33 son of Shagee[q] from Harar; Ahiam son of Sharar from Harar; 34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai from Maacah; Eliam son of Ahithophel from Giloh; 35 Hezro from Carmel; Paarai from Arba; 36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah; Bani from Gad; 37 Zelek from Ammon; Naharai from Beeroth, the armor bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah; 38 Ira from Jattir; Gareb from Jattir; 39 Uriah the Hittite. There were thirty-seven in all. (That was a list of names. Why is that important? Because you're important to the Lord. Important enough that your name is written in the Lamb's book of life, if you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Reading a list like this reminds us that people matter so very much to our God. And that means everyone you encounter matters to God. He cares about them, He cares about what happens to them, He cares where they spend eternity. And while I butchered some of those for sure, there were some tough ones on that list, God never gets our name wrong. He knows who you are. He knows where you are. And He knows where you fall in history. You matter, your place matters, and you are not forgotten. Your name is on a list, and once it's written there it cannot be erased because the precious blood of Jesus bought you with a price. And if you don't know that your name is written in Jesus' Book of Life, you can know it immediately by praying by faith for Jesus to forgive your sins, by accepting His payment on the cross as the full payment for all your sins, and then give your life to Him fully and completely. If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved - that's Romans 10:9 and it is God's honest truth. You can know immediately that your name is written in the book of life, and when the roll is called up yonder, you'll be there.) Can I mention that this chapter ends with the mention of Uriah the Hittite. There's a story there, one of heroism on Uriah's part and great heartbreak as well. Godly people really do ungodly things sometimes, as was the case with the death of Uriah as ordered by King David. One of his mighty men, as listed here. When you have an in-the-spotlight kind of life, as David certainly did, there is added possibility of great heartbreaks. Is it fair? Well, I suppose life isn't fair, honestly. And so, if you are in some sort of a spotlight type of role, be sure to pray and ask the Lord to give you discernment, conviction, grace, compassion, empathy, wisdom and His protection in that role. That is a prayer you won't ever regret taking time to pray. And you know, for those of us living a “small” life, not one in the spotlight, just kind of normal (which we may feel is boring, but normal or small does not have to equate to boring!) - a small life may just be good for you. A blessing from the Lord. Don't assume that a small life, a small ministry, a small role is a curse. I'm very serious when I say it may be the biggest blessing you never knew you had. In the spotlight, it gets warm. The spotlight is the hot light. And it can be so very hard. There is no shame in a small life lived well for God's glory, for a small ministry that serves others and honors the King of kings. Maybe social media says it's not big enough to be good enough. But that's not what God says, and His opinion really is the only opinion that matters since it's the only opinion that will stand at the end of all time. Uriah's life was cut far too short, and it serves as an example for us to daily rely on the Holy Spirit.
With family: 2 Samuel 20; 2 Corinthians 13 2 Samuel 20 (Listen) The Rebellion of Sheba 20 Now there happened to be there a worthless man, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite. And he blew the trumpet and said, “We have no portion in David, and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse; every man to his tents, O Israel!” 2 So all the men of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the Jordan to Jerusalem. 3 And David came to his house at Jerusalem. And the king took the ten concubines whom he had left to care for the house and put them in a house under guard and provided for them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up until the day of their death, living as if in widowhood. 4 Then the king said to Amasa, “Call the men of Judah together to me within three days, and be here yourself.” 5 So Amasa went to summon Judah, but he delayed beyond the set time that had been appointed him. 6 And David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take your lord's servants and pursue him, lest he get himself to fortified cities and escape from us.”1 7 And there went out after him Joab's men and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men. They went out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 When they were at the great stone that is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was wearing a soldier's garment, and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheath fastened on his thigh, and as he went forward it fell out. 9 And Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa did not observe the sword that was in Joab's hand. So Joab struck him with it in the stomach and spilled his entrails to the ground without striking a second blow, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 And one of Joab's young men took his stand by Amasa and said, “Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab.” 12 And Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the highway. And anyone who came by, seeing him, stopped. And when the man saw that all the people stopped, he carried Amasa out of the highway into the field and threw a garment over him. 13 When he was taken out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. 14 And Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of Beth-maacah,2 and all the Bichrites3 assembled and followed him in. 15 And all the men who were with Joab came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maacah. They cast up a mound against the city, and it stood against the rampart, and they were battering the wall to throw it down. 16 Then a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab, ‘Come here, that I may speak to you.'” 17 And he came near her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your servant.” And he answered, “I am listening.” 18 Then she said, “They used to say in former times, ‘Let them but ask counsel at Abel,' and so they settled a matter. 19 I am one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the heritage of the LORD?” 20 Joab answered, “Far be it from me, far be it, that I should swallow up or destroy! 21 That is not true. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, called Sheba the son of Bichri, has lifted up his hand against King David. Give up him alone, and I will withdraw from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the trumpet, and they dispersed from the city, every man to his home. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king. 23 Now Joab was in command of all the army of Israel; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 and Adoram was in charge of the forced labor; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; 25 and Sheva was secretary; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 and Ira the Jairite was also David's priest. Footnotes  20:6 Hebrew and snatch away our eyes  20:14 Compare 20:15; Hebrew and Beth-maacah  20:14 Hebrew Berites (ESV) 2 Corinthians 13 (Listen) Final Warnings 13 This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 2 I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them—3 since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 4 For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God. 5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. 7 But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. 10 For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down. Final Greetings 11 Finally, brothers,1 rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another,2 agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you. 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Footnotes  13:11 Or brothers and sisters  13:11 Or listen to my appeal (ESV) In private: Psalms 75–76; Ezekiel 27 Psalms 75–76 (Listen) God Will Judge with Equity To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song. 75 We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We1 recount your wondrous deeds. 2 “At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity.3 When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars. Selah4 I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,' and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn;5 do not lift up your horn on high, or speak with haughty neck.'” 6 For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,7 but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs. 9 But I will declare it forever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.10 All the horns of the wicked I will cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up. Who Can Stand Before You? To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song. 76 In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel.2 His abode has been established in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion.3 There he broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah 4 Glorious are you, more majestic than the mountains full of prey.5 The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil; they sank into sleep; all the men of war were unable to use their hands.6 At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both rider and horse lay stunned. 7 But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?8 From the heavens you uttered judgment; the earth feared and was still,9 when God arose to establish judgment, to save all the humble of the earth. Selah 10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise you; the remnant2 of wrath you will put on like a belt.11 Make your vows to the LORD your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared,12 who cuts off the spirit of princes, who is to be feared by the kings of the earth. Footnotes  75:1 Hebrew They  76:10 Or extremity (ESV) Ezekiel 27 (Listen) A Lament for Tyre 27 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Now you, son of man, raise a lamentation over Tyre, 3 and say to Tyre, who dwells at the entrances to the sea, merchant of the peoples to many coastlands, thus says the Lord GOD: “O Tyre, you have said, ‘I am perfect in beauty.'4 Your borders are in the heart of the seas; your builders made perfect your beauty.5 They made all your planks of fir trees from Senir; they took a cedar from Lebanon to make a mast for you.6 Of oaks of Bashan they made your oars; they made your deck of pines from the coasts of Cyprus, inlaid with ivory.7 Of fine embroidered linen from Egypt was your sail, serving as your banner; blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah was your awning.8 The inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad were your rowers; your skilled men, O Tyre, were in you; they were your pilots.9 The elders of Gebal and her skilled men were in you, caulking your seams; all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in you to barter for your wares. 10 “Persia and Lud and Put were in your army as your men of war. They hung the shield and helmet in you; they gave you splendor. 11 Men of Arvad and Helech were on your walls all around, and men of Gamad were in your towers. They hung their shields on your walls all around; they made perfect your beauty. 12 “Tarshish did business with you because of your great wealth of every kind; silver, iron, tin, and lead they exchanged for your wares. 13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech traded with you; they exchanged human beings and vessels of bronze for your merchandise. 14 From Beth-togarmah they exchanged horses, war horses, and mules for your wares. 15 The men of Dedan1 traded with you. Many coastlands were your own special markets; they brought you in payment ivory tusks and ebony. 16 Syria did business with you because of your abundant goods; they exchanged for your wares emeralds, purple, embroidered work, fine linen, coral, and ruby. 17 Judah and the land of Israel traded with you; they exchanged for your merchandise wheat of Minnith, meal,2 honey, oil, and balm. 18 Damascus did business with you for your abundant goods, because of your great wealth of every kind; wine of Helbon and wool of Sahar 19 and casks of wine3 from Uzal they exchanged for your wares; wrought iron, cassia, and calamus were bartered for your merchandise. 20 Dedan traded with you in saddlecloths for riding. 21 Arabia and all the princes of Kedar were your favored dealers in lambs, rams, and goats; in these they did business with you. 22 The traders of Sheba and Raamah traded with you; they exchanged for your wares the best of all kinds of spices and all precious stones and gold. 23 Haran, Canneh, Eden, traders of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad traded with you. 24 In your market these traded with you in choice garments, in clothes of blue and embroidered work, and in carpets of colored material, bound with cords and made secure. 25 The ships of Tarshish traveled for you with your merchandise. So you were filled and heavily laden in the heart of the seas. 26 “Your rowers have brought you out into the high seas. The east wind has wrecked you in the heart of the seas.27 Your riches, your wares, your merchandise, your mariners and your pilots, your caulkers, your dealers in merchandise, and all your men of war who are in you, with all your crew that is in your midst, sink into the heart of the seas on the day of your fall.28 At the sound of the cry of your pilots the countryside shakes,29 and down from their ships come all who handle the oar. The mariners and all the pilots of the sea stand on the land30 and shout aloud over you and cry out bitterly. They cast dust on their heads and wallow in ashes;31 they make themselves bald for you and put sackcloth on their waist, and they weep over you in bitterness of soul, with bitter mourning.32 In their wailing they raise a lamentation for you and lament over you: ‘Who is like Tyre, like one destroyed in the midst of the sea?33 When your wares came from the seas, you satisfied many peoples; with your abundant wealth and merchandise you enriched the kings of the earth.34 Now you are wrecked by the seas, in the depths of the waters; your merchandise and all your crew in your midst have sunk with you.35 All the inhabitants of the coastlands are appalled at you, and the hair of their kings bristles with horror; their faces are convulsed.36 The merchants among the peoples hiss at you; you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever.'” Footnotes  27:15 Hebrew; Septuagint Rhodes  27:17 The meaning of the Hebrew word is unknown  27:19 Probable reading; Hebrew wool of Sahar19and Dan and Javan (ESV)
With family: 2 Samuel 19; 2 Corinthians 12 2 Samuel 19 (Listen) Joab Rebukes David 19 It was told Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 2 So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” 3 And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle. 4 The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 5 Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6 because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you, for today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7 Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the LORD, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.” 8 Then the king arose and took his seat in the gate. And the people were all told, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” And all the people came before the king. David Returns to Jerusalem Now Israel had fled every man to his own home. 9 And all the people were arguing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?” 11 And King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar the priests: “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his house, when the word of all Israel has come to the king?1 12 You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?' 13 And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me and more also, if you are not commander of my army from now on in place of Joab.'” 14 And he swayed the heart of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, “Return, both you and all your servants.” 15 So the king came back to the Jordan, and Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and to bring the king over the Jordan. David Pardons His Enemies 16 And Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, from Bahurim, hurried to come down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 And with him were a thousand men from Benjamin. And Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, with his fifteen sons and his twenty servants, rushed down to the Jordan before the king, 18 and they crossed the ford to bring over the king's household and to do his pleasure. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross the Jordan, 19 and said to the king, “Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore, behold, I have come this day, the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.” 21 Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD's anointed?” 22 But David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?” 23 And the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king gave him his oath. 24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came back in safety. 25 And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself,2 that I may ride on it and go with the king.' For your servant is lame. 27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. 28 For all my father's house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?” 29 And the king said to him, “Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land.” 30 And Mephibosheth said to the king, “Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home.” 31 Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim, and he went on with the king to the Jordan, to escort him over the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. He had provided the king with food while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. 33 And the king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I will provide for you with me in Jerusalem.” 34 But Barzillai said to the king, “How many years have I still to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am this day eighty years old. Can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or what he drinks? Can I still listen to the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant will go a little way over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? 37 Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him go over with my lord the king, and do for him whatever seems good to you.” 38 And the king answered, “Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good to you, and all that you desire of me I will do for you.” 39 Then all the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over. And the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own home. 40 The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him. All the people of Judah, and also half the people of Israel, brought the king on his way. 41 Then all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away and brought the king and his household over the Jordan, and all David's men with him?” 42 All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is our close relative. Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king's expense? Or has he given us any gift?” 43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king, and in David also we have more than you. Why then did you despise us? Were we not the first to speak of bringing back our king?” But the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel. Footnotes  19:11 Septuagint; Hebrew to the king, to his house  19:26 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate Saddle a donkey for me (ESV) 2 Corinthians 12 (Listen) Paul's Visions and His Thorn 12 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,1 a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Concern for the Corinthian Church 11 I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. 12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong! 14 Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. 17 Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps? 19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced. Footnotes  12:7 Or hears from me, even because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations. So to keep me from becoming conceited (ESV) In private: Psalm 74; Ezekiel 26 Psalm 74 (Listen) Arise, O God, Defend Your Cause A Maskil1 of Asaph. 74 O God, why do you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?2 Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old, which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage! Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt.3 Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins; the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary! 4 Your foes have roared in the midst of your meeting place; they set up their own signs for signs.5 They were like those who swing axes in a forest of trees.26 And all its carved wood they broke down with hatchets and hammers.7 They set your sanctuary on fire; they profaned the dwelling place of your name, bringing it down to the ground.8 They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”; they burned all the meeting places of God in the land. 9 We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long.10 How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever?11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the fold of your garment3 and destroy them! 12 Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.13 You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the sea monsters4 on the waters.14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.15 You split open springs and brooks; you dried up ever-flowing streams.16 Yours is the day, yours also the night; you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.17 You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter. 18 Remember this, O LORD, how the enemy scoffs, and a foolish people reviles your name.19 Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts; do not forget the life of your poor forever. 20 Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.21 Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame; let the poor and needy praise your name. 22 Arise, O God, defend your cause; remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!23 Do not forget the clamor of your foes, the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually! Footnotes  74:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term  74:5 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain  74:11 Hebrew from your bosom  74:13 Or the great sea creatures (ESV) Ezekiel 26 (Listen) Prophecy Against Tyre 26 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, because Tyre said concerning Jerusalem, ‘Aha, the gate of the peoples is broken; it has swung open to me. I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste,' 3 therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. 4 They shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers, and I will scrape her soil from her and make her a bare rock. 5 She shall be in the midst of the sea a place for the spreading of nets, for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. And she shall become plunder for the nations, 6 and her daughters on the mainland shall be killed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the LORD. 7 “For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar1 king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers. 8 He will kill with the sword your daughters on the mainland. He will set up a siege wall against you and throw up a mound against you, and raise a roof of shields against you. 9 He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. 10 His horses will be so many that their dust will cover you. Your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen and wagons and chariots, when he enters your gates as men enter a city that has been breached. 11 With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. He will kill your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground. 12 They will plunder your riches and loot your merchandise. They will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters. 13 And I will stop the music of your songs, and the sound of your lyres shall be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the LORD; I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. 15 “Thus says the Lord GOD to Tyre: Will not the coastlands shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan, when slaughter is made in your midst? 16 Then all the princes of the sea will step down from their thrones and remove their robes and strip off their embroidered garments. They will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground and tremble every moment and be appalled at you. 17 And they will raise a lamentation over you and say to you, “‘How you have perished, you who were inhabited from the seas, O city renowned, who was mighty on the sea; she and her inhabitants imposed their terror on all her inhabitants!18 Now the coastlands tremble on the day of your fall, and the coastlands that are on the sea are dismayed at your passing.' 19 “For thus says the Lord GOD: When I make you a city laid waste, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I bring up the deep over you, and the great waters cover you, 20 then I will make you go down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of old, and I will make you to dwell in the world below, among ruins from of old, with those who go down to the pit, so that you will not be inhabited; but I will set beauty in the land of the living. 21 I will bring you to a dreadful end, and you shall be no more. Though you be sought for, you will never be found again, declares the Lord GOD.” Footnotes  26:7 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar; so throughout Ezekiel (ESV)
With family: 2 Samuel 18; 2 Corinthians 11 2 Samuel 18 (Listen) Absalom Killed 18 Then David mustered the men who were with him and set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. 2 And David sent out the army, one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the men, “I myself will also go out with you.” 3 But the men said, “You shall not go out. For if we flee, they will not care about us. If half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us. Therefore it is better that you send us help from the city.” 4 The king said to them, “Whatever seems best to you I will do.” So the king stood at the side of the gate, while all the army marched out by hundreds and by thousands. 5 And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom. 6 So the army went out into the field against Israel, and the battle was fought in the forest of Ephraim. 7 And the men of Israel were defeated there by the servants of David, and the loss there was great on that day, twenty thousand men. 8 The battle spread over the face of all the country, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword. 9 And Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak,1 and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on. 10 And a certain man saw it and told Joab, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” 11 Joab said to the man who told him, “What, you saw him! Why then did you not strike him there to the ground? I would have been glad to give you ten pieces of silver and a belt.” 12 But the man said to Joab, “Even if I felt in my hand the weight of a thousand pieces of silver, I would not reach out my hand against the king's son, for in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘For my sake protect the young man Absalom.' 13 On the other hand, if I had dealt treacherously against his life2 (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood aloof.” 14 Joab said, “I will not waste time like this with you.” And he took three javelins in his hand and thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the oak. 15 And ten young men, Joab's armor-bearers, surrounded Absalom and struck him and killed him. 16 Then Joab blew the trumpet, and the troops came back from pursuing Israel, for Joab restrained them. 17 And they took Absalom and threw him into a great pit in the forest and raised over him a very great heap of stones. And all Israel fled every one to his own home. 18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself the pillar that is in the King's Valley, for he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” He called the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom's monument3 to this day. David Hears of Absalom's Death 19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run and carry news to the king that the LORD has delivered him from the hand of his enemies.” 20 And Joab said to him, “You are not to carry news today. You may carry news another day, but today you shall carry no news, because the king's son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed before Joab, and ran. 22 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “Come what may, let me also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, seeing that you will have no reward for the news?” 23 “Come what may,” he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and outran the Cushite. 24 Now David was sitting between the two gates, and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and when he lifted up his eyes and looked, he saw a man running alone. 25 The watchman called out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there is news in his mouth.” And he drew nearer and nearer. 26 The watchman saw another man running. And the watchman called to the gate and said, “See, another man running alone!” The king said, “He also brings news.” 27 The watchman said, “I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said, “He is a good man and comes with good news.” 28 Then Ahimaaz cried out to the king, “All is well.” And he bowed before the king with his face to the earth and said, “Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king.” 29 And the king said, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king's servant, your servant, I saw a great commotion, but I do not know what it was.” 30 And the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still. David's Grief 31 And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “Good news for my lord the king! For the LORD has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.” 32 The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.” 33 4 And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” Footnotes  18:9 Or terebinth; also verses 10, 14  18:13 Or at the risk of my life  18:18 Or Absalom's hand  18:33 Ch 19:1 in Hebrew (ESV) 2 Corinthians 11 (Listen) Paul and the False Apostles 11 I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 5 Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. 6 Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things. 7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God's gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! 12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. Paul's Sufferings as an Apostle 16 I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would1 but as a fool. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! 20 For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. 21 To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that! But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food,2 in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands. Footnotes  11:17 Greek not according to the Lord  11:27 Or often in fasting (ESV) In private: Psalm 73; Ezekiel 25 Psalm 73 (Listen) Book Three God Is My Strength and Portion Forever A Psalm of Asaph. 73 Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.3 For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek.5 They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.7 Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.10 Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them.111 And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.14 For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. 16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. 18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,22 I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. 23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength2 of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. Footnotes  73:10 Probable reading; Hebrew the waters of a full cup are drained by them  73:26 Hebrew rock (ESV) Ezekiel 25 (Listen) Prophecy Against Ammon 25 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face toward the Ammonites and prophesy against them. 3 Say to the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Because you said, ‘Aha!' over my sanctuary when it was profaned, and over the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and over the house of Judah when they went into exile, 4 therefore behold, I am handing you over to the people of the East for a possession, and they shall set their encampments among you and make their dwellings in your midst. They shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk. 5 I will make Rabbah a pasture for camels and Ammon1 a fold for flocks. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 6 For thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet and rejoiced with all the malice within your soul against the land of Israel, 7 therefore, behold, I have stretched out my hand against you, and will hand you over as plunder to the nations. And I will cut you off from the peoples and will make you perish out of the countries; I will destroy you. Then you will know that I am the LORD. Prophecy Against Moab and Seir 8 “Thus says the Lord GOD: Because Moab and Seir2 said, ‘Behold, the house of Judah is like all the other nations,' 9 therefore I will lay open the flank of Moab from the cities, from its cities on its frontier, the glory of the country, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. 10 I will give it along with the Ammonites to the people of the East as a possession, that the Ammonites may be remembered no more among the nations, 11 and I will execute judgments upon Moab. Then they will know that I am the LORD. Prophecy Against Edom 12 “Thus says the Lord GOD: Because Edom acted revengefully against the house of Judah and has grievously offended in taking vengeance on them, 13 therefore thus says the Lord GOD, I will stretch out my hand against Edom and cut off from it man and beast. And I will make it desolate; from Teman even to Dedan they shall fall by the sword. 14 And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my wrath, and they shall know my vengeance, declares the Lord GOD. Prophecy Against Philistia 15 “Thus says the Lord GOD: Because the Philistines acted revengefully and took vengeance with malice of soul to destroy in never-ending enmity, 16 therefore thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I will stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites and destroy the rest of the seacoast. 17 I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I lay my vengeance upon them.” Footnotes  25:5 Hebrew and the Ammonites  25:8 Septuagint lacks and Seir (ESV)