With family: Numbers 34; Psalm 78:38–72 Numbers 34 (Listen) Boundaries of the Land 34 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the people of Israel, and say to them, When you enter the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan as defined by its borders), 3 your south side shall be from the wilderness of Zin alongside Edom, and your southern border shall run from the end of the Salt Sea on the east. 4 And your border shall turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and cross to Zin, and its limit shall be south of Kadesh-barnea. Then it shall go on to Hazar-addar, and pass along to Azmon. 5 And the border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and its limit shall be at the sea. 6 “For the western border, you shall have the Great Sea and its1 coast. This shall be your western border. 7 “This shall be your northern border: from the Great Sea you shall draw a line to Mount Hor. 8 From Mount Hor you shall draw a line to Lebo-hamath, and the limit of the border shall be at Zedad. 9 Then the border shall extend to Ziphron, and its limit shall be at Hazar-enan. This shall be your northern border. 10 “You shall draw a line for your eastern border from Hazar-enan to Shepham. 11 And the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain. And the border shall go down and reach to the shoulder of the Sea of Chinnereth on the east. 12 And the border shall go down to the Jordan, and its limit shall be at the Salt Sea. This shall be your land as defined by its borders all around.” 13 Moses commanded the people of Israel, saying, “This is the land that you shall inherit by lot, which the LORD has commanded to give to the nine tribes and to the half-tribe. 14 For the tribe of the people of Reuben by fathers' houses and the tribe of the people of Gad by their fathers' houses have received their inheritance, and also the half-tribe of Manasseh. 15 The two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan east of Jericho, toward the sunrise.” List of Tribal Chiefs 16 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “These are the names of the men who shall divide the land to you for inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun. 18 You shall take one chief from every tribe to divide the land for inheritance. 19 These are the names of the men: Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 20 Of the tribe of the people of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud. 21 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon. 22 Of the tribe of the people of Dan a chief, Bukki the son of Jogli. 23 Of the people of Joseph: of the tribe of the people of Manasseh a chief, Hanniel the son of Ephod. 24 And of the tribe of the people of Ephraim a chief, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan. 25 Of the tribe of the people of Zebulun a chief, Elizaphan the son of Parnach. 26 Of the tribe of the people of Issachar a chief, Paltiel the son of Azzan. 27 And of the tribe of the people of Asher a chief, Ahihud the son of Shelomi. 28 Of the tribe of the people of Naphtali a chief, Pedahel the son of Ammihud.” 29 These are the men whom the LORD commanded to divide the inheritance for the people of Israel in the land of Canaan. Footnotes  34:6 Syriac; Hebrew lacks its (ESV) Psalm 78:38–72 (Listen) 38 Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath.39 He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert!41 They tested God again and again and provoked the Holy One of Israel.42 They did not remember his power1 or the day when he redeemed them from the foe,43 when he performed his signs in Egypt and his marvels in the fields of Zoan.44 He turned their rivers to blood, so that they could not drink of their streams.45 He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them.46 He gave their crops to the destroying locust and the fruit of their labor to the locust.47 He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamores with frost.48 He gave over their cattle to the hail and their flocks to thunderbolts.49 He let loose on them his burning anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels.50 He made a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death, but gave their lives over to the plague.51 He struck down every firstborn in Egypt, the firstfruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.52 Then he led out his people like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.53 He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid, but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.54 And he brought them to his holy land, to the mountain which his right hand had won.55 He drove out nations before them; he apportioned them for a possession and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents. 56 Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God and did not keep his testimonies,57 but turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers; they twisted like a deceitful bow.58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places; they moved him to jealousy with their idols.59 When God heard, he was full of wrath, and he utterly rejected Israel.60 He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh, the tent where he dwelt among mankind,61 and delivered his power to captivity, his glory to the hand of the foe.62 He gave his people over to the sword and vented his wrath on his heritage.63 Fire devoured their young men, and their young women had no marriage song.64 Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation.65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, like a strong man shouting because of wine.66 And he put his adversaries to rout; he put them to everlasting shame. 67 He rejected the tent of Joseph; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,68 but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loves.69 He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever.70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds;71 from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance.72 With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand. Footnotes  78:42 Hebrew hand (ESV) In private: Isaiah 26; 1 John 4 Isaiah 26 (Listen) You Keep Him in Perfect Peace 26 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks.2 Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.5 For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust.6 The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.” 7 The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous.8 In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul.9 My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.10 If favor is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly and does not see the majesty of the LORD.11 O LORD, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed. Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.12 O LORD, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works.13 O LORD our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone we bring to remembrance.14 They are dead, they will not live; they are shades, they will not arise; to that end you have visited them with destruction and wiped out all remembrance of them.15 But you have increased the nation, O LORD, you have increased the nation; you are glorified; you have enlarged all the borders of the land. 16 O LORD, in distress they sought you; they poured out a whispered prayer when your discipline was upon them.17 Like a pregnant woman who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near to giving birth, so were we because of you, O LORD;18 we were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind. We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.19 Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by.21 For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain. (ESV) 1 John 4 (Listen) Test the Spirits 4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. God Is Love 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot1 love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. Footnotes  4:20 Some manuscripts how can he (ESV)
6 Easter First Psalm: Psalm 78:1–39 Psalm 78:1–39 (Listen) Tell the Coming Generation A Maskil1 of Asaph. 78 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,3 things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.4 We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. 5 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children,6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,7 so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;8 and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God. 9 The Ephraimites, armed with2 the bow, turned back on the day of battle.10 They did not keep God's covenant, but refused to walk according to his law.11 They forgot his works and the wonders that he had shown them.12 In the sight of their fathers he performed wonders in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.13 He divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap.14 In the daytime he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a fiery light.15 He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.16 He made streams come out of the rock and caused waters to flow down like rivers. 17 Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert.18 They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved.19 They spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?20 He struck the rock so that water gushed out and streams overflowed. Can he also give bread or provide meat for his people?” 21 Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob; his anger rose against Israel,22 because they did not believe in God and did not trust his saving power.23 Yet he commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven,24 and he rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven.25 Man ate of the bread of the angels; he sent them food in abundance.26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by his power he led out the south wind;27 he rained meat on them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas;28 he let them fall in the midst of their camp, all around their dwellings.29 And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.30 But before they had satisfied their craving, while the food was still in their mouths,31 the anger of God rose against them, and he killed the strongest of them and laid low the young men of Israel. 32 In spite of all this, they still sinned; despite his wonders, they did not believe.33 So he made their days vanish like3 a breath,4 and their years in terror.34 When he killed them, they sought him; they repented and sought God earnestly.35 They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer.36 But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues.37 Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not faithful to his covenant.38 Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath.39 He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again. Footnotes  78:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term  78:9 Hebrew armed and shooting  78:33 Hebrew in  78:33 Or vapor (ESV) Second Psalm: Psalm 78:40–72 Psalm 78:40–72 (Listen) 40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert!41 They tested God again and again and provoked the Holy One of Israel.42 They did not remember his power1 or the day when he redeemed them from the foe,43 when he performed his signs in Egypt and his marvels in the fields of Zoan.44 He turned their rivers to blood, so that they could not drink of their streams.45 He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them.46 He gave their crops to the destroying locust and the fruit of their labor to the locust.47 He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamores with frost.48 He gave over their cattle to the hail and their flocks to thunderbolts.49 He let loose on them his burning anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels.50 He made a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death, but gave their lives over to the plague.51 He struck down every firstborn in Egypt, the firstfruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.52 Then he led out his people like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.53 He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid, but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.54 And he brought them to his holy land, to the mountain which his right hand had won.55 He drove out nations before them; he apportioned them for a possession and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents. 56 Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God and did not keep his testimonies,57 but turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers; they twisted like a deceitful bow.58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places; they moved him to jealousy with their idols.59 When God heard, he was full of wrath, and he utterly rejected Israel.60 He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh, the tent where he dwelt among mankind,61 and delivered his power to captivity, his glory to the hand of the foe.62 He gave his people over to the sword and vented his wrath on his heritage.63 Fire devoured their young men, and their young women had no marriage song.64 Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation.65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, like a strong man shouting because of wine.66 And he put his adversaries to rout; he put them to everlasting shame. 67 He rejected the tent of Joseph; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,68 but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loves.69 He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever.70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds;71 from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance.72 With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand. Footnotes  78:42 Hebrew hand (ESV) Old Testament: Leviticus 26:1–20 Leviticus 26:1–20 (Listen) Blessings for Obedience 26 “You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the LORD your God. 2 You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. 3 “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, 4 then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely. 6 I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove harmful beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land. 7 You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 I will turn to you and make you fruitful and multiply you and will confirm my covenant with you. 10 You shall eat old store long kept, and you shall clear out the old to make way for the new. 11 I will make my dwelling1 among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. 13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. Punishment for Disobedience 14 “But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, 15 if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you. 18 And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, 19 and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit. Footnotes  26:11 Hebrew tabernacle (ESV) New Testament: 1 Timothy 2:1–6 1 Timothy 2:1–6 (Listen) Pray for All People 2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man1 Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. Footnotes  2:5 men and man render the same Greek word that is translated people in verses 1 and 4 (ESV) Gospel: Matthew 13:18–23 Matthew 13:18–23 (Listen) The Parable of the Sower Explained 18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.1 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” Footnotes  13:21 Or stumbles (ESV)
With family: Numbers 32; Psalm 77 Numbers 32 (Listen) Reuben and Gad Settle in Gilead 32 Now the people of Reuben and the people of Gad had a very great number of livestock. And they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for livestock. 2 So the people of Gad and the people of Reuben came and said to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the chiefs of the congregation, 3 “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, 4 the land that the LORD struck down before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” 5 And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.” 6 But Moses said to the people of Gad and to the people of Reuben, “Shall your brothers go to the war while you sit here? 7 Why will you discourage the heart of the people of Israel from going over into the land that the LORD has given them? 8 Your fathers did this, when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. 9 For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the people of Israel from going into the land that the LORD had given them. 10 And the LORD's anger was kindled on that day, and he swore, saying, 11 ‘Surely none of the men who came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, because they have not wholly followed me, 12 none except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the LORD.' 13 And the LORD's anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone. 14 And behold, you have risen in your fathers' place, a brood of sinful men, to increase still more the fierce anger of the LORD against Israel! 15 For if you turn away from following him, he will again abandon them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all this people.” 16 Then they came near to him and said, “We will build sheepfolds here for our livestock, and cities for our little ones, 17 but we will take up arms, ready to go before the people of Israel, until we have brought them to their place. And our little ones shall live in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our homes until each of the people of Israel has gained his inheritance. 19 For we will not inherit with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has come to us on this side of the Jordan to the east.” 20 So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will take up arms to go before the LORD for the war, 21 and every armed man of you will pass over the Jordan before the LORD, until he has driven out his enemies from before him 22 and the land is subdued before the LORD; then after that you shall return and be free of obligation to the LORD and to Israel, and this land shall be your possession before the LORD. 23 But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out. 24 Build cities for your little ones and folds for your sheep, and do what you have promised.” 25 And the people of Gad and the people of Reuben said to Moses, “Your servants will do as my lord commands. 26 Our little ones, our wives, our livestock, and all our cattle shall remain there in the cities of Gilead, 27 but your servants will pass over, every man who is armed for war, before the LORD to battle, as my lord orders.” 28 So Moses gave command concerning them to Eleazar the priest and to Joshua the son of Nun and to the heads of the fathers' houses of the tribes of the people of Israel. 29 And Moses said to them, “If the people of Gad and the people of Reuben, every man who is armed to battle before the LORD, will pass with you over the Jordan and the land shall be subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession. 30 However, if they will not pass over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.” 31 And the people of Gad and the people of Reuben answered, “What the LORD has said to your servants, we will do. 32 We will pass over armed before the LORD into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us beyond the Jordan.” 33 And Moses gave to them, to the people of Gad and to the people of Reuben and to the half-tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land and its cities with their territories, the cities of the land throughout the country. 34 And the people of Gad built Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35 Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36 Beth-nimrah and Beth-haran, fortified cities, and folds for sheep. 37 And the people of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38 Nebo, and Baal-meon (their names were changed), and Sibmah. And they gave other names to the cities that they built. 39 And the sons of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead and captured it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 40 And Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he settled in it. 41 And Jair the son of Manasseh went and captured their villages, and called them Havvoth-jair.1 42 And Nobah went and captured Kenath and its villages, and called it Nobah, after his own name. Footnotes  32:41 Havvoth-jair means the villages of Jair (ESV) Psalm 77 (Listen) In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph. 77 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me.2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.3 When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah 4 You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.5 I consider the days of old, the years long ago.6 I said,1 “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search:7 “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable?8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time?9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah 10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”2 11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.12 I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.13 Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God?14 You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.15 You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah 16 When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled.17 The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side.18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook.19 Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen.320 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. Footnotes  77:6 Hebrew lacks I said  77:10 Or This is my grief: that the right hand of the Most High has changed  77:19 Hebrew unknown (ESV) In private: Isaiah 24; 1 John 2 Isaiah 24 (Listen) Judgment on the Whole Earth 24 Behold, the LORD will empty the earth1 and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the slave, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor.3 The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered; for the LORD has spoken this word. 4 The earth mourns and withers; the world languishes and withers; the highest people of the earth languish.5 The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.6 Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, and few men are left.7 The wine mourns, the vine languishes, all the merry-hearted sigh.8 The mirth of the tambourines is stilled, the noise of the jubilant has ceased, the mirth of the lyre is stilled.9 No more do they drink wine with singing; strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.10 The wasted city is broken down; every house is shut up so that none can enter.11 There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine; all joy has grown dark; the gladness of the earth is banished.12 Desolation is left in the city; the gates are battered into ruins.13 For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done. 14 They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west.215 Therefore in the east3 give glory to the LORD; in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise, of glory to the Righteous One. But I say, “I waste away, I waste away. Woe is me! For the traitors have betrayed, with betrayal the traitors have betrayed.” 17 Terror and the pit and the snare4 are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!18 He who flees at the sound of the terror shall fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble.19 The earth is utterly broken, the earth is split apart, the earth is violently shaken.20 The earth staggers like a drunken man; it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again. 21 On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth.22 They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished.23 Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, for the LORD of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders. Footnotes  24:1 Or land; also throughout this chapter  24:14 Hebrew from the sea  24:15 Hebrew in the realm of light, or with the fires  24:17 The Hebrew words for terror, pit, and snare sound alike (ESV) 1 John 2 (Listen) Christ Our Advocate 2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. The New Commandment 7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because1 the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him2 there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father.14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do Not Love the World 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life3—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. Warning Concerning Antichrists 18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.4 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us5—eternal life. 26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. Children of God 28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. Footnotes  2:8 Or that  2:10 Or it  2:16 Or pride in possessions  2:20 Some manuscripts you know everything  2:25 Some manuscripts you (ESV)
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 29–31 1 Samuel 29–31 (Listen) The Philistines Reject David 29 Now the Philistines had gathered all their forces at Aphek. And the Israelites were encamped by the spring that is in Jezreel. 2 As the lords of the Philistines were passing on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were passing on in the rear with Achish, 3 the commanders of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me now for days and years, and since he deserted to me I have found no fault in him to this day.” 4 But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him. And the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him. He shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here? 5 Is not this David, of whom they sing to one another in dances, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands'?” 6 Then Achish called David and said to him, “As the LORD lives, you have been honest, and to me it seems right that you should march out and in with me in the campaign. For I have found nothing wrong in you from the day of your coming to me to this day. Nevertheless, the lords do not approve of you. 7 So go back now; and go peaceably, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines.” 8 And David said to Achish, “But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” 9 And Achish answered David and said, “I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God. Nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.' 10 Now then rise early in the morning with the servants of your lord who came with you, and start early in the morning, and depart as soon as you have light.” 11 So David set out with his men early in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to Jezreel. David's Wives Are Captured 30 Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire 2 and taken captive the women and all1 who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. 3 And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. 5 David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul,2 each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. 7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 And David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.” 9 So David set out, and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men. Two hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor. 11 They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink, 12 and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 And David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. 14 We had made a raid against the Negeb of the Cherethites and against that which belongs to Judah and against the Negeb of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15 And David said to him, “Will you take me down to this band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this band.” David Defeats the Amalekites 16 And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. 18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all. 20 David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him,3 and said, “This is David's spoil.” 21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the brook Besor. And they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near to the people he greeted them. 22 Then all the wicked and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may lead away his wife and children, and depart.” 23 But David said, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. 24 Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.” 25 And he made it a statute and a rule for Israel from that day forward to this day. 26 When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the LORD.” 27 It was for those in Bethel, in Ramoth of the Negeb, in Jattir, 28 in Aroer, in Siphmoth, in Eshtemoa, 29 in Racal, in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, in the cities of the Kenites, 30 in Hormah, in Bor-ashan, in Athach, 31 in Hebron, for all the places where David and his men had roamed. The Death of Saul 31 Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. 3 The battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by the archers. 4 Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. 5 And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. 6 Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together. 7 And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley and those beyond the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and fled. And the Philistines came and lived in them. 8 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 So they cut off his head and stripped off his armor and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to the house of their idols and to the people. 10 They put his armor in the temple of Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. 11 But when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men arose and went all night and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. 13 And they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted seven days. Footnotes  30:2 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks and all  30:6 Compare 22:2  30:20 The meaning of the Hebrew clause is uncertain (ESV) New Testament: Acts 13–14 Acts 13–14 (Listen) Barnabas and Saul Sent Off 13 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger,1 Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord. Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia 13 Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem, 14 but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” 16 So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: “Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18 And for about forty years he put up with2 them in the wilderness. 19 And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.' 23 Of this man's offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.' 26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.' 34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.' 35 Therefore he says also in another psalm, “‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.' 36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed3 from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: 41 “‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.'” 42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. 43 And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. 44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews4 saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'” 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Paul and Barnabas at Iconium 14 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.5 3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. 5 When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, 6 they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, 7 and there they continued to preach the gospel. Paul and Barnabas at Lystra 8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well,6 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them. Paul Stoned at Lystra 19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria 24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples. Footnotes  13:1 Niger is a Latin word meaning black, or dark  13:18 Some manuscripts he carried (compare Deuteronomy 1:31)  13:39 Greek justified; twice in this verse  13:45 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verse 50  14:2 Or brothers and sisters  14:9 Or be saved (ESV) Psalm: Psalm 119:97–104 Psalm 119:97–104 (Listen) Mem 97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.100 I understand more than the aged,1 for I keep your precepts.101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.102 I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Footnotes  119:100 Or the elders (ESV) Proverb: Proverbs 16:10–11 Proverbs 16:10–11 (Listen) 10 An oracle is on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment.11 A just balance and scales are the LORD's; all the weights in the bag are his work. (ESV)
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 139 Psalm 139 (Listen) Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. 139 O LORD, you have searched me and known me!2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,”12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. 13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.1 Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. 19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me!20 They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain.221 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?22 I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!324 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!4 Footnotes  139:14 Or for I am fearfully set apart  139:20 Hebrew lacks your name  139:23 Or cares  139:24 Or in the ancient way (compare Jeremiah 6:16) (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Numbers 23–24 Numbers 23–24 (Listen) Balaam's First Oracle 23 And Balaam said to Balak, “Build for me here seven altars, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.” 2 Balak did as Balaam had said. And Balak and Balaam offered on each altar a bull and a ram. 3 And Balaam said to Balak, “Stand beside your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet me, and whatever he shows me I will tell you.” And he went to a bare height, 4 and God met Balaam. And Balaam said to him, “I have arranged the seven altars and I have offered on each altar a bull and a ram.” 5 And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.” 6 And he returned to him, and behold, he and all the princes of Moab were standing beside his burnt offering. 7 And Balaam took up his discourse and said, “From Aram Balak has brought me, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains: ‘Come, curse Jacob for me, and come, denounce Israel!'8 How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced?9 For from the top of the crags I see him, from the hills I behold him; behold, a people dwelling alone, and not counting itself among the nations!10 Who can count the dust of Jacob or number the fourth part1 of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, and let my end be like his!” 11 And Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have done nothing but bless them.” 12 And he answered and said, “Must I not take care to speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?” Balaam's Second Oracle 13 And Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place, from which you may see them. You shall see only a fraction of them and shall not see them all. Then curse them for me from there.” 14 And he took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15 Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here beside your burnt offering, while I meet the LORD over there.” 16 And the LORD met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak.” 17 And he came to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the LORD spoken?” 18 And Balaam took up his discourse and said, “Rise, Balak, and hear; give ear to me, O son of Zippor:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?20 Behold, I received a command to bless: he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.21 He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob, nor has he seen trouble in Israel. The LORD their God is with them, and the shout of a king is among them.22 God brings them out of Egypt and is for them like the horns of the wild ox.23 For there is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel; now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel, ‘What has God wrought!'24 Behold, a people! As a lioness it rises up and as a lion it lifts itself; it does not lie down until it has devoured the prey and drunk the blood of the slain.” 25 And Balak said to Balaam, “Do not curse them at all, and do not bless them at all.” 26 But Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘All that the LORD says, that I must do'?” 27 And Balak said to Balaam, “Come now, I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there.” 28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which overlooks the desert.2 29 And Balaam said to Balak, “Build for me here seven altars and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.” 30 And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. Balaam's Third Oracle 24 When Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. 2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, 3 and he took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,34 the oracle of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered:5 How lovely are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel!6 Like palm groves4 that stretch afar, like gardens beside a river, like aloes that the LORD has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters.7 Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters; his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.8 God brings him out of Egypt and is for him like the horns of the wild ox; he shall eat up the nations, his adversaries, and shall break their bones in pieces and pierce them through with his arrows.9 He crouched, he lay down like a lion and like a lioness; who will rouse him up? Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you.” 10 And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. And Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them these three times. 11 Therefore now flee to your own place. I said, ‘I will certainly honor you,' but the LORD has held you back from honor.” 12 And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, 13 ‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the LORD, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the LORD speaks, that will I speak'? 14 And now, behold, I am going to my people. Come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days.” Balaam's Final Oracle 15 And he took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,16 the oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered:17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead5 of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.18 Edom shall be dispossessed; Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed. Israel is doing valiantly.19 And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion and destroy the survivors of cities!” 20 Then he looked on Amalek and took up his discourse and said, “Amalek was the first among the nations, but its end is utter destruction.” 21 And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said, “Enduring is your dwelling place, and your nest is set in the rock.22 Nevertheless, Kain shall be burned when Asshur takes you away captive.” 23 And he took up his discourse and said, “Alas, who shall live when God does this?24 But ships shall come from Kittim and shall afflict Asshur and Eber; and he too shall come to utter destruction.” 25 Then Balaam rose and went back to his place. And Balak also went his way. Footnotes  23:10 Or dust clouds  23:28 Or Jeshimon  24:3 Or closed, or perfect; also verse 15  24:6 Or valleys  24:17 Hebrew corners [of the head] (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Isaiah 60 Isaiah 60 (Listen) The Future Glory of Israel 60 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.3 And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.5 Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult,1 because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.6 A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you; the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall come up with acceptance on my altar, and I will beautify my beautiful house. 8 Who are these that fly like a cloud, and like doves to their windows?9 For the coastlands shall hope for me, the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your children from afar, their silver and gold with them, for the name of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because he has made you beautiful. 10 Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you; for in my wrath I struck you, but in my favor I have had mercy on you.11 Your gates shall be open continually; day and night they shall not be shut, that people may bring to you the wealth of the nations, with their kings led in procession.12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.13 The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious.14 The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 15 Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you majestic forever, a joy from age to age.16 You shall suck the milk of nations; you shall nurse at the breast of kings; and you shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. 17 Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver; instead of wood, bronze, instead of stones, iron. I will make your overseers peace and your taskmasters righteousness.18 Vi
With family: Numbers 27; Psalms 70–71 Numbers 27 (Listen) The Daughters of Zelophehad 27 Then drew near the daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, from the clans of Manasseh the son of Joseph. The names of his daughters were: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 2 And they stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest and before the chiefs and all the congregation, at the entrance of the tent of meeting, saying, 3 “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah, but died for his own sin. And he had no sons. 4 Why should the name of our father be taken away from his clan because he had no son? Give to us a possession among our father's brothers.” 5 Moses brought their case before the LORD. 6 And the LORD said to Moses, 7 “The daughters of Zelophehad are right. You shall give them possession of an inheritance among their father's brothers and transfer the inheritance of their father to them. 8 And you shall speak to the people of Israel, saying, ‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter. 9 And if he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 And if he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father's brothers. 11 And if his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to the nearest kinsman of his clan, and he shall possess it. And it shall be for the people of Israel a statute and rule, as the LORD commanded Moses.'” Joshua to Succeed Moses 12 The LORD said to Moses, “Go up into this mountain of Abarim and see the land that I have given to the people of Israel. 13 When you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, 14 because you rebelled against my word in the wilderness of Zin when the congregation quarreled, failing to uphold me as holy at the waters before their eyes.” (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.) 15 Moses spoke to the LORD, saying, 16 “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation 17 who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the LORD may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.” 18 So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him. 19 Make him stand before Eleazar the priest and all the congregation, and you shall commission him in their sight. 20 You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the people of Israel may obey. 21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the LORD. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he and all the people of Israel with him, the whole congregation.” 22 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua and made him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole congregation, 23 and he laid his hands on him and commissioned him as the LORD directed through Moses. (ESV) Psalms 70–71 (Listen) O Lord, Do Not Delay To the choirmaster. Of David, for the memorial offering. 70 Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!2 Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek my life! Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt!3 Let them turn back because of their shame who say, “Aha, Aha!” 4 May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”5 But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay! Forsake Me Not When My Strength Is Spent 71 In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me!3 Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.6 Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you. 7 I have been as a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.8 My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.10 For my enemies speak concerning me; those who watch for my life consult together11 and say, “God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is none to deliver him.” 12 O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!13 May my accusers be put to shame and consumed; with scorn and disgrace may they be covered who seek my hurt.14 But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone. 17 O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.21 You will increase my greatness and comfort me again. 22 I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.23 My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.24 And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long, for they have been put to shame and disappointed who sought to do me hurt. (ESV) In private: Isaiah 17–18; 1 Peter 5 Isaiah 17–18 (Listen) An Oracle Concerning Damascus 17 An oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins.2 The cities of Aroer are deserted; they will be for flocks, which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.3 The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus; and the remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, declares the LORD of hosts. 4 And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low, and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.5 And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain and his arm harvests the ears, and as when one gleans the ears of grain in the Valley of Rephaim.6 Gleanings will be left in it, as when an olive tree is beaten— two or three berries in the top of the highest bough, four or five on the branches of a fruit tree, declares the LORD God of Israel. 7 In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. 8 He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the Asherim or the altars of incense. 9 In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation. 10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge; therefore, though you plant pleasant plants and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,11 though you make them grow1 on the day that you plant them, and make them blossom in the morning that you sow, yet the harvest will flee away2 in a day of grief and incurable pain. 12 Ah, the thunder of many peoples; they thunder like the thundering of the sea! Ah, the roar of nations; they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!13 The nations roar like the roaring of many waters, but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind and whirling dust before the storm.14 At evening time, behold, terror! Before morning, they are no more! This is the portion of those who loot us, and the lot of those who plunder us. An Oracle Concerning Cush 18 Ah, land of whirring wings that is beyond the rivers of Cush,32 which sends ambassadors by the sea, in vessels of papyrus on the waters! Go, you swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, to a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide. 3 All you inhabitants of the world, you who dwell on the earth, when a signal is raised on the mountains, look! When a trumpet is blown, hear!4 For thus the LORD said to me: “I will quietly look from my dwelling like clear heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”5 For before the harvest, when the blossom is over, and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks, and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.6 They shall all of them be left to the birds of prey of the mountains and to the beasts of the earth. And the birds of prey will summer on them, and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them. 7 At that time tribute will be brought to the LORD of hosts from a people tall and smooth, from a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the LORD of hosts. Footnotes  17:11 Or though you carefully fence them  17:11 Or will be a heap  18:1 Probably Nubia (ESV) 1 Peter 5 (Listen) Shepherd the Flock of God 5 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,1 not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;2 not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Final Greetings 12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ. Footnotes  5:2 Some manuscripts omit exercising oversight  5:2 Some manuscripts omit as God would have you (ESV)
Morning: 2 Kings 20–22 2 Kings 20–22 (Listen) Hezekiah's Illness and Recovery 20 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.'” 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, saying, 3 “Now, O LORD, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: 5 “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD, 6 and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David's sake.” 7 And Isaiah said, “Bring a cake of figs. And let them take and lay it on the boil, that he may recover.” 8 And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the LORD on the third day?” 9 And Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he has promised: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?” 10 And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to lengthen ten steps. Rather let the shadow go back ten steps.” 11 And Isaiah the prophet called to the LORD, and he brought the shadow back ten steps, by which it had gone down on the steps of Ahaz. Hezekiah and the Babylonian Envoys 12 At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 And Hezekiah welcomed them, and he showed them all his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” And Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, from Babylon.” 15 He said, “What have they seen in your house?” And Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.” 16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD: 17 Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the LORD. 18 And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?” 20 The rest of the deeds of Hezekiah and all his might and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 21 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and Manasseh his son reigned in his place. Manasseh Reigns in Judah 21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah. 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 4 And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem will I put my name.” 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 6 And he burned his son as an offering1 and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger. 7 And the carved image of Asherah that he had made he set in the house of which the LORD said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. 8 And I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander anymore out of the land that I gave to their fathers, if only they will be careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the Law that my servant Moses commanded them.” 9 But they did not listen, and Manasseh led them astray to do more evil than the nations had done whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel. Manasseh's Idolatry Denounced 10 And the LORD said by his servants the prophets, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done things more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols, 12 therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster2 that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria, and the plumb line of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 And I will forsake the remnant of my heritage and give them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies, 15 because they have done what is evil in my sight and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.” 16 Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. 17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh and all that he did, and the sin that he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 18 And Manasseh slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son reigned in his place. Amon Reigns in Judah 19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20 And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, as Manasseh his father had done. 21 He walked in all the way in which his father walked and served the idols that his father served and worshiped them. 22 He abandoned the LORD, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the LORD. 23 And the servants of Amon conspired against him and put the king to death in his house. 24 But the people of the land struck down all those who had conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place. 25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 26 And he was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son reigned in his place. Josiah Reigns in Judah 22 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left. Josiah Repairs the Temple 3 In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of the LORD, saying, 4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may count the money that has been brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people. 5 And let it be given into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the LORD, and let them give it to the workmen who are at the house of the LORD, repairing the house 6 (that is, to the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons), and let them use it for buying timber and quarried stone to repair the house. 7 But no accounting shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.” Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law 8 And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9 And Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the LORD.” 10 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, 13 “Go, inquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” 14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter), and they talked with her. 15 And she said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 Thus says the LORD, Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have forsaken me and have made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched. 18 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, 19 because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the LORD, when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the LORD. 20 Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place.'” And they brought back word to the king. Footnotes  21:6 Hebrew made his son pass through the fire  21:12 Or evil (ESV) Evening: John 6:45–71 John 6:45–71 (Listen) 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread1 the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus2 said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. The Words of Eternal Life 60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him. Footnotes  6:58 Greek lacks the bread  6:59 Greek He (ESV)
Morning: 2 Kings 18–19 2 Kings 18–19 (Listen) Hezekiah Reigns in Judah 18 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. 3 And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. 4 He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan).1 5 He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. 6 For he held fast to the LORD. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the LORD commanded Moses. 7 And the LORD was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. 8 He struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city. 9 In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it, 10 and at the end of three years he took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 The king of Assyria carried the Israelites away to Assyria and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not obey the voice of the LORD their God but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded. They neither listened nor obeyed. Sennacherib Attacks Judah 13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you impose on me I will bear.” And the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents2 of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king's house. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria. 17 And the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway to the Washer's Field. 18 And when they called for the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder. 19 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 20 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 21 Behold, you are trusting now in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 22 But if you say to me, “We trust in the LORD our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem”? 23 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 24 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master's servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Moreover, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it.”'” 26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and to drink their own urine?” 28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my3 hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.' 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me4 and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, that you may live, and not die. And do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?'” 36 But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of the Rabshakeh. Isaiah Reassures Hezekiah 19 As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the LORD. 2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz. 3 They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. 4 It may be that the LORD your God heard all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the LORD your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.” 5 When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. 7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.'” Sennacherib Defies the Lord 8 The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he heard that the king had left Lachish. 9 Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, “Behold, he has set out to fight against you.” So he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?'” Hezekiah's Prayer 14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD and spread it before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said: “O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 17 Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 19 So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone.” Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib's Fall 20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. 21 This is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him: “She despises you, she scorns you— the virgin daughter of Zion; she wags her head behind you— the daughter of Jerusalem. 22 “Whom have you mocked and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes to the heights? Against the Holy One of Israel!23 By your messengers you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, ‘With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon; I felled its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses; I entered its farthest lodging place, its most fruitful forest.24 I dug wells and drank foreign waters, and I dried up with the sole of my foot all the streams of Egypt.' 25 “Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass, that you should turn fortified cities into heaps of ruins,26 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength, are dismayed and confounded, and have become like plants of the field and like tender grass, like grass on the housetops, blighted before it is grown. 27 “But I know your sitting down and your going out and coming in, and your raging against me.28 Because you have raged against me and your complacency has come into my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will turn you back on the way by which you came. 29 “And this shall be the sign for you: this year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs of the same. Then in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD will do this. 32 “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the LORD. 34 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.” 35 And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 36 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh. 37 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place. Footnotes  18:4 Nehushtan sounds like the Hebrew for both bronze and serpent  18:14 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms  18:29 Hebrew his  18:31 Hebrew Make a blessing with me (ESV) Evening: John 6:22–44 John 6:22–44 (Listen) I Am the Bread of Life 22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” 41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven'?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (ESV)
Have you ever heard of the gift of letting go? Well, this gift of letting go isn't found in the Bible per se, but certainly the Bible is full of admonitions to let go. I want to talk about letting go of the controls of your life—and this applies to all of us control-freaks! Proverbs 3:5-6 makes it very clear that we are to turn over the controls to the Lord: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” And again in Isaiah 48:17: “This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.'” It's easy to quote these verses, but when it comes to giving up your plans and asking God to direct you in the way you should go, well, that's not quite so easy, is it? Maybe you do what I've often done—you come up with your plans and then you ask God to bless them. Lord, here is what I want to do; it's a really good plan; I've thought it through very carefully and I'm sure you agree that this is the way I should go. So, please bless my plans. Are you guilty of that kind of control tendency, as I often am? When will we learn that God's ways are best? As we just read from Isaiah, God teaches us what is best for us. He's not trying to make your way hard; he's not trying to steal your joy. He simply knows what is best for you. He is far better at controlling your life than you are! So, please give him the blank piece of paper and ask him to write the plan. And here's the thing: this gift of letting go of the controls of your life and giving God permission to run your show is not a once and for all thing. It's pretty much a daily attitude, an on-going commitment, an intentional decision you will have to make on a regular basis. Your days need to begin with relinquishing the controls of your life to God for that day, admitting your inadequacy to control your own lives, and once again acknowledging that you belong to God and he is in control. I urge you to let go of the controls of your life—give them over to God. And then do it again tomorrow and tomorrow—and all the tomorrows of your life. You'll never regret it.
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 135 Psalm 135 (Listen) Your Name, O Lord, Endures Forever 135 Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD, give praise, O servants of the LORD,2 who stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God!3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing to his name, for it is pleasant!14 For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession. 5 For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.6 Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses. 8 He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and of beast;9 who in your midst, O Egypt, sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants;10 who struck down many nations and killed mighty kings,11 Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan,12 and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel. 13 Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown,2 O LORD, throughout all ages.14 For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants. 15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.16 They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see;17 they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths.18 Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them. 19 O house of Israel, bless the LORD! O house of Aaron, bless the LORD!20 O house of Levi, bless the LORD! You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!21 Blessed be the LORD from Zion, he who dwells in Jerusalem! Praise the LORD! Footnotes  135:3 Or for he is beautiful  135:13 Or remembrance (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Numbers 16–17 Numbers 16–17 (Listen) Korah's Rebellion 16 Now Korah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men. 2 And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men. 3 They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?” 4 When Moses heard it, he fell on his face, 5 and he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the LORD will show who is his,1 and who is holy, and will bring him near to him. The one whom he chooses he will bring near to him. 6 Do this: take censers, Korah and all his company; 7 put fire in them and put incense on them before the LORD tomorrow, and the man whom the LORD chooses shall be the holy one. You have gone too far, sons of Levi!” 8 And Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: 9 is it too small a thing for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the LORD and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, 10 and that he has brought you near him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And would you seek the priesthood also? 11 Therefore it is against the LORD that you and all your company have gathered together. What is Aaron that you grumble against him?” 12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and they said, “We will not come up. 13 Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us? 14 Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.” 15 And Moses was very angry and said to the LORD, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, and I have not harmed one of them.” 16 And Moses said to Korah, “Be present, you and all your company, before the LORD, you and they, and Aaron, tomorrow. 17 And let every one of you take his censer and put incense on it, and every one of you bring before the LORD his censer, 250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.” 18 So every man took his censer and put fire in them and laid incense on them and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19 Then Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation. 20 And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” 22 And they fell on their faces and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?” 23 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.” 25 Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins.” 27 So they got away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones. 28 And Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been of my own accord. 29 If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then the LORD has not sent me. 30 But if the LORD creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the LORD.” 31 And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. 32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 34 And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!” 35 And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men offering the incense. 36 2 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 37 “Tell Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to take up the censers out of the blaze. Then scatter the fire far and wide, for they have become holy. 38 As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, for they offered them before the LORD, and they became holy. Thus they shall be a sign to the people of Israel.” 39 So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned had offered, and they were hammered out as a covering for the altar, 40 to be a reminder to the people of Israel, so that no outsider, who is not of the descendants of Aaron, should draw near to burn incense before the LORD, lest he become like Korah and his company—as the LORD said to him through Moses. 41 But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the LORD.” 42 And when the congregation had assembled against Moses and against Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting. And behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared. 43 And Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting, 44 and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Get away from the midst of this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces. 46 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, and put fire on it from off the altar and lay incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from the LORD; the plague has begun.” 47 So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped. 49 Now those who died in the plague were 14,700, besides those who died in the affair of Korah. 50 And Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting, when the plague was stopped. Aaron's Staff Buds 17 3 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel, and get from them staffs, one for each fathers' house, from all their chiefs according to their fathers' houses, twelve staffs. Write each man's name on his staff, 3 and write Aaron's name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each fathers' house. 4 Then you shall deposit them in the tent of meeting before the testimony, where I meet with you. 5 And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout. Thus I will make to cease from me the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against you.” 6 Moses spoke to the people of Israel. And all their chiefs gave him staffs, one for each chief, according to their fathers' houses, twelve staffs. And the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. 7 And Moses deposited the staffs before the LORD in the tent of the testimony. 8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. 9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the LORD to all the people of Israel. And they looked, and each man took his staff. 10 And the LORD said to Moses, “Put back the staff of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept as a sign for the rebels, that you may make an end of their grumblings against me, lest they die.” 11 Thus did Moses; as the LORD commanded him, so he did. 12 And the people of Israel said to Moses, “Behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone. 13 Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the LORD, shall die. Are we all to perish?” Footnotes  16:5 Septuagint The Lord knows those who are his  16:36 Ch 17:1 in Hebrew  17:1 Ch 17:16 in Hebrew (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Isaiah 55 Isaiah 55 (Listen) The Compassion of the Lord 55 “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.3 Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. 6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: 1 Thessalonians 2:17–3:13 1 Thessalonians 2:17–3:13 (Listen) Paul's Longing to See Them Again 17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy. 3 Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker1 in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, 3 that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. 4 For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. 5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain. Timothy's Encouraging Report 6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you—7 for this reason, brothers,2 in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. 8 For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? 11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. Footnotes  3:2 Some manuscripts servant  3:7 Or brothers and sisters (ESV)
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 134 Psalm 134 (Listen) Come, Bless the Lord A Song of Ascents. 134 Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD!2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD! 3 May the LORD bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth! (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Numbers 15 Numbers 15 (Listen) Laws About Sacrifices 15 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving you, 3 and you offer to the LORD from the herd or from the flock a food offering1 or a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering or at your appointed feasts, to make a pleasing aroma to the LORD, 4 then he who brings his offering shall offer to the LORD a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah2 of fine flour, mixed with a quarter of a hin3 of oil; 5 and you shall offer with the burnt offering, or for the sacrifice, a quarter of a hin of wine for the drink offering for each lamb. 6 Or for a ram, you shall offer for a grain offering two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a third of a hin of oil. 7 And for the drink offering you shall offer a third of a hin of wine, a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 8 And when you offer a bull as a burnt offering or sacrifice, to fulfill a vow or for peace offerings to the LORD, 9 then one shall offer with the bull a grain offering of three tenths of an ephah of fine flour, mixed with half a hin of oil. 10 And you shall offer for the drink offering half a hin of wine, as a food offering, a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 11 “Thus it shall be done for each bull or ram, or for each lamb or young goat. 12 As many as you offer, so shall you do with each one, as many as there are. 13 Every native Israelite shall do these things in this way, in offering a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 14 And if a stranger is sojourning with you, or anyone is living permanently among you, and he wishes to offer a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the LORD, he shall do as you do. 15 For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the LORD. 16 One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.” 17 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land to which I bring you 19 and when you eat of the bread of the land, you shall present a contribution to the LORD. 20 Of the first of your dough you shall present a loaf as a contribution; like a contribution from the threshing floor, so shall you present it. 21 Some of the first of your dough you shall give to the LORD as a contribution throughout your generations. Laws About Unintentional Sins 22 “But if you sin unintentionally,4 and do not observe all these commandments that the LORD has spoken to Moses, 23 all that the LORD has commanded you by Moses, from the day that the LORD gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations, 24 then if it was done unintentionally without the knowledge of the congregation, all the congregation shall offer one bull from the herd for a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma to the LORD, with its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the rule, and one male goat for a sin offering. 25 And the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the people of Israel, and they shall be forgiven, because it was a mistake, and they have brought their offering, a food offering to the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD for their mistake. 26 And all the congregation of the people of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who sojourns among them, because the whole population was involved in the mistake. 27 “If one person sins unintentionally, he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering. 28 And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven. 29 You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them. 30 But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.” A Sabbathbreaker Executed 32 While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. 34 They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. 35 And the LORD said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the LORD commanded Moses. Tassels on Garments 37 The LORD said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. 39 And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow5 after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. 40 So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. 41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the LORD your God.” Footnotes  15:3 Or an offering by fire; so throughout Numbers  15:4 An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters  15:4 A hin was about 4 quarts or 3.5 liters  15:22 Or by mistake; also verses 24, 27, 28, 29  15:39 Hebrew to spy out (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Isaiah 54 Isaiah 54 (Listen) The Eternal Covenant of Peace 54 “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the LORD.2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities. 4 “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.5 For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.6 For the LORD has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God.7 For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you.8 In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD, your Redeemer. 9 “This is like the days of Noah1 to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you.10 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. 11 “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires.212 I will make your pinnacles of agate,3 your gates of carbuncles,4 and all your wall of precious stones.13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.14 In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.15 If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you.16 Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy;17 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication5 from me, declares the LORD.” Footnotes  54:9 Some manuscripts For this is as the waters of Noah  54:11 Or lapis lazuli  54:12 Or jasper, or ruby  54:12 Or crystal  54:17 Or righteousness (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: 1 Thessalonians 2:1–16 1 Thessalonians 2:1–16 (Listen) Paul's Ministry to the Thessalonians 2 For you yourselves know, brothers,1 that our coming to you was not in vain. 2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. 3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery,2 as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle3 among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. 13 And we also thank God constantly4 for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men5 but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,6 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!7 Footnotes  2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 9, 14, 17  2:5 Or with a flattering speech  2:7 Some manuscripts infants  2:13 Or without ceasing  2:13 The Greek word anthropoi can refer to both men and women  2:14 The Greek word Ioudaioi can refer to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, who opposed the Christian faith in that time  2:16 Or completely, or forever (ESV)
(English) In this message Ps Lewis talks about Why God, Why? in these 3 points: (Psalm 22:1-2 NIV) My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? (2) My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. (Matthew 27:46 NIV) About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 1. Remember Who God Is (Psalm 22:3-5 NIV) Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. 2. Keep Trusting Him (Psalm 22:4 NIV) In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. (5) To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 3. Keep Praising Him (Psalm 22:22 NIV) I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you.
With family: Numbers 22; Psalms 62–63 Numbers 22 (Listen) Balak Summons Balaam 22 Then the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. 2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 And Moab was in great dread of the people, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel. 4 And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” So Balak the son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, 5 sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River1 in the land of the people of Amaw,2 to call him, saying, “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me. 6 Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.” 7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam and gave him Balak's message. 8 And he said to them, “Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the LORD speaks to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9 And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 10 And Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, 11 ‘Behold, a people has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Now come, curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out.'” 12 God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” 13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your own land, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you.” 14 So the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.” 15 Once again Balak sent princes, more in number and more honorable than these. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Let nothing hinder you from coming to me, 17 for I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Come, curse this people for me.'” 18 But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the LORD my God to do less or more. 19 So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the LORD will say to me.” 20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. Balaam's Donkey and the Angel 22 But God's anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26 Then the angel of the LORD went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.” 31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse3 before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.” 34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” 35 And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak. 36 When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, on the border formed by the Arnon, at the extremity of the border. 37 And Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?” 38 Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak.” 39 Then Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 40 And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent for Balaam and for the princes who were with him. 41 And in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw a fraction of the people. Footnotes  22:5 That is, the Euphrates  22:5 Or the people of his kindred  22:32 Or reckless (ESV) Psalms 62–63 (Listen) My Soul Waits for God Alone To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. 62 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. 3 How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Selah 5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.7 On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah 9 Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.10 Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them. 11 Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,12 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work. My Soul Thirsts for You A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. 63 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. 9 But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth;10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals.11 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped. (ESV) In private: Isaiah 11–12; James 5 Isaiah 11–12 (Listen) The Righteous Reign of the Branch 11 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.2 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear,4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. 6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.7 The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.9 They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. 10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush,1 from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. 12 He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.13 The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim.14 But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west, and together they shall plunder the people of the east. They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them.15 And the LORD will utterly destroy2 the tongue of the Sea of Egypt, and will wave his hand over the River3 with his scorching breath,4 and strike it into seven channels, and he will lead people across in sandals.16 And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant that remains of his people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt. The Lord Is My Strength and My Song 12 You5 will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. 2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD6 is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” 3 With joy you7 will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. 5 “Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known8 in all the earth.6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your9 midst is the Holy One of Israel.” Footnotes  11:11 Probably Nubia  11:15 Hebrew devote to destruction  11:15 That is, the Euphrates  11:15 Or wind  12:1 The Hebrew for you is singular in verse 1  12:2 Hebrew for Yah, the Lord  12:3 The Hebrew for you is plural in verses 3, 4  12:5 Or this is made known  12:6 The Hebrew for your in verse 6 is singular, referring to the inhabitant of Zion (ESV) James 5 (Listen) Warning to the Rich 5 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you. Patience in Suffering 7 Be patient, therefore, brothers,1 until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. 12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. The Prayer of Faith 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.2 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. 19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. Footnotes  5:7 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 9, 10, 12, 19  5:16 Or The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power (ESV)
With family: Numbers 21; Psalms 60–61 Numbers 21 (Listen) Arad Destroyed 21 When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negeb, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. 2 And Israel vowed a vow to the LORD and said, “If you will indeed give this people into my hand, then I will devote their cities to destruction.”1 3 And the LORD heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah.2 The Bronze Serpent 4 From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 6 Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7 And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze3 serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. The Song of the Well 10 And the people of Israel set out and camped in Oboth. 11 And they set out from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness that is opposite Moab, toward the sunrise. 12 From there they set out and camped in the Valley of Zered. 13 From there they set out and camped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that extends from the border of the Amorites, for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the LORD, “Waheb in Suphah, and the valleys of the Arnon,15 and the slope of the valleys that extends to the seat of Ar, and leans to the border of Moab.” 16 And from there they continued to Beer;4 that is the well of which the LORD said to Moses, “Gather the people together, so that I may give them water.” 17 Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well!—Sing to it!—18 the well that the princes made, that the nobles of the people dug, with the scepter and with their staffs.” And from the wilderness they went on to Mattanah, 19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 and from Bamoth to the valley lying in the region of Moab by the top of Pisgah that looks down on the desert.5 King Sihon Defeated 21 Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 22 “Let me pass through your land. We will not turn aside into field or vineyard. We will not drink the water of a well. We will go by the King's Highway until we have passed through your territory.” 23 But Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his territory. He gathered all his people together and went out against Israel to the wilderness and came to Jahaz and fought against Israel. 24 And Israel defeated him with the edge of the sword and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as to the Ammonites, for the border of the Ammonites was strong. 25 And Israel took all these cities, and Israel settled in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages. 26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and taken all his land out of his hand, as far as the Arnon. 27 Therefore the ballad singers say, “Come to Heshbon, let it be built; let the city of Sihon be established.28 For fire came out from Heshbon, flame from the city of Sihon. It devoured Ar of Moab, and swallowed6 the heights of the Arnon.29 Woe to you, O Moab! You are undone, O people of Chemosh! He has made his sons fugitives, and his daughters captives, to an Amorite king, Sihon.30 So we overthrew them; Heshbon, as far as Dibon, perished; and we laid waste as far as Nophah; fire spread as far as Medeba.”7 King Og Defeated 31 Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites. 32 And Moses sent to spy out Jazer, and they captured its villages and dispossessed the Amorites who were there. 33 Then they turned and went up by the way to Bashan. And Og the king of Bashan came out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 34 But the LORD said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have given him into your hand, and all his people, and his land. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.” 35 So they defeated him and his sons and all his people, until he had no survivor left. And they possessed his land. Footnotes  21:2 That is, set apart (devote) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verse 3  21:3 Hormah means destruction  21:9 Or copper  21:16 Beer means well  21:20 Or Jeshimon  21:28 Septuagint; Hebrew the lords of  21:30 Compare Samaritan and Septuagint; Hebrew and we laid waste as far as Nophah, which is as far as Medeba (ESV) Psalms 60–61 (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. Lead Me to the Rock To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David. 61 Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer;2 from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,3 for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. 4 Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah5 For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. 6 Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations!7 May he be enthroned forever before God; appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him! 8 So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day. 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) In private: Isaiah 10:5–34; James 4 Isaiah 10:5–34 (Listen) Judgment on Arrogant Assyria 5 Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury!6 Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.7 But he does not so intend, and his heart does not so think; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few;8 for he says: “Are not my commanders all kings?9 Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Samaria like Damascus?10 As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols, whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,11 shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols as I have done to Samaria and her images?” 12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he1 will punish the speech2 of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. 13 For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I remove the boundaries of peoples, and plunder their treasures; like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones.14 My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing or opened the mouth or chirped.” 15 Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!16 Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors, and under his glory a burning will be kindled, like the burning of fire.17 The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame, and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day.18 The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land the LORD will destroy, both soul and body, and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.19 The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few that a child can write them down. The Remnant of Israel Will Return 20 In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For the Lord GOD of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth. 24 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: “O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did. 25 For in a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. 26 And the LORD of hosts will wield against them a whip, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb. And his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt. 27 And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat.”3 28 He has come to Aiath; he has passed through Migron; at Michmash he stores his baggage;29 they have crossed over the pass; at Geba they lodge for the night; Ramah trembles; Gibeah of Saul has fled.30 Cry aloud, O daughter of Gallim! Give attention, O Laishah! O poor Anathoth!31 Madmenah is in flight; the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.32 This very day he will halt at Nob; he will shake his fist at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33 Behold, the Lord GOD of hosts will lop the boughs with terrifying power; the great in height will be hewn down, and the lofty will be brought low.34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe, and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One. Footnotes  10:12 Hebrew I  10:12 Hebrew fruit  10:27 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain (ESV) James 4 (Listen) Warning Against Worldliness 4 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions1 are at war within you?2 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people!3 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. 11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.4 The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? Boasting About Tomorrow 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. Footnotes  4:1 Greek pleasures; also verse 3  4:1 Greek in your members  4:4 Or You adulteresses!  4:11 Or brothers and sisters (ESV)
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 6–8 1 Samuel 6–8 (Listen) The Ark Returned to Israel 6 The ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months. 2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us with what we shall send it to its place.” 3 They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but by all means return him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why his hand does not turn away from you.” 4 And they said, “What is the guilt offering that we shall return to him?” They answered, “Five golden tumors and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines, for the same plague was on all of you and on your lords. 5 So you must make images of your tumors and images of your mice that ravage the land, and give glory to the God of Israel. Perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you and your gods and your land. 6 Why should you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? After he had dealt severely with them, did they not send the people away, and they departed? 7 Now then, take and prepare a new cart and two milk cows on which there has never come a yoke, and yoke the cows to the cart, but take their calves home, away from them. 8 And take the ark of the LORD and place it on the cart and put in a box at its side the figures of gold, which you are returning to him as a guilt offering. Then send it off and let it go its way 9 and watch. If it goes up on the way to its own land, to Beth-shemesh, then it is he who has done us this great harm, but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it happened to us by coincidence.” 10 The men did so, and took two milk cows and yoked them to the cart and shut up their calves at home. 11 And they put the ark of the LORD on the cart and the box with the golden mice and the images of their tumors. 12 And the cows went straight in the direction of Beth-shemesh along one highway, lowing as they went. They turned neither to the right nor to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh. 13 Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. And when they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, they rejoiced to see it. 14 The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh and stopped there. A great stone was there. And they split up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD. 15 And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD and the box that was beside it, in which were the golden figures, and set them upon the great stone. And the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices on that day to the LORD. 16 And when the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned that day to Ekron. 17 These are the golden tumors that the Philistines returned as a guilt offering to the LORD: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron, 18 and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both fortified cities and unwalled villages. The great stone beside which they set down the ark of the LORD is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh. 19 And he struck some of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they looked upon the ark of the LORD. He struck seventy men of them,1 and the people mourned because the LORD had struck the people with a great blow. 20 Then the men of Beth-shemesh said, “Who is able to stand before the LORD, this holy God? And to whom shall he go up away from us?” 21 So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, “The Philistines have returned the ark of the LORD. Come down and take it up to you.” 7 And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD and brought it to the house of Abinadab on the hill. And they consecrated his son Eleazar to have charge of the ark of the LORD. 2 From the day that the ark was lodged at Kiriath-jearim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD. Samuel Judges Israel 3 And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the LORD only. 5 Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.” 6 So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the LORD and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah. 7 Now when the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 And the people of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the LORD our God for us, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. And Samuel cried out to the LORD for Israel, and the LORD answered him. 10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the LORD thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth-car. 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen2 and called its name Ebenezer;3 for he said, “Till now the LORD has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 The cities that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath, and Israel delivered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites. 15 Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 And he went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. And he judged Israel in all these places. 17 Then he would return to Ramah, for his home was there, and there also he judged Israel. And he built there an altar to the LORD. Israel Demands a King 8 When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3 Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice. 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9 Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.” Samuel's Warning Against Kings 10 So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking for a king from him. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men4 and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.” The Lord Grants Israel's Request 19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the LORD. 22 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.” Footnotes  6:19 Most Hebrew manuscripts struck of the people seventy men, fifty thousand men  7:12 Hebrew; Septuagint, Syriac Jeshanah  7:12 Ebenezer means stone of help  8:16 Septuagint cattle (ESV) New Testament: Acts 2 Acts 2 (Listen) The Coming of the Holy Spirit 2 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested1 on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” Peter's Sermon at Pentecost 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.2 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.' 22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—23 this Jesus,3 delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.' 29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand,35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”' 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. The Fellowship of the Believers 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe4 came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Footnotes  2:3 Or And tongues as of fire appeared to them, distributed among them, and rested  2:15 That is, 9 a.m.  2:23 Greek this one  2:43 Or fear (ESV) Psalm: Psalm 119:9–16 Psalm 119:9–16 (Listen) Beth 9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.12 Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!13 With my lips I declare all the rules1 of your mouth.14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Footnotes  119:13 Or all the just decrees (ESV) Proverb: Proverbs 15:22–23 Proverbs 15:22–23 (Listen) 22 Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.23 To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! (ESV)
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 130 Psalm 130 (Listen) My Soul Waits for the Lord A Song of Ascents. 130 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! 3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. 5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Numbers 10:11–36 Numbers 10:11–36 (Listen) Israel Leaves Sinai 11 In the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, the cloud lifted from over the tabernacle of the testimony, 12 and the people of Israel set out by stages from the wilderness of Sinai. And the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran. 13 They set out for the first time at the command of the LORD by Moses. 14 The standard of the camp of the people of Judah set out first by their companies, and over their company was Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 15 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Issachar was Nethanel the son of Zuar. 16 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon. 17 And when the tabernacle was taken down, the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, who carried the tabernacle, set out. 18 And the standard of the camp of Reuben set out by their companies, and over their company was Elizur the son of Shedeur. 19 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 20 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel. 21 Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy things, and the tabernacle was set up before their arrival. 22 And the standard of the camp of the people of Ephraim set out by their companies, and over their company was Elishama the son of Ammihud. 23 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 24 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni. 25 Then the standard of the camp of the people of Dan, acting as the rear guard of all the camps, set out by their companies, and over their company was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 26 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ochran. 27 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan. 28 This was the order of march of the people of Israel by their companies, when they set out. 29 And Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you.' Come with us, and we will do good to you, for the LORD has promised good to Israel.” 30 But he said to him, “I will not go. I will depart to my own land and to my kindred.” 31 And he said, “Please do not leave us, for you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will serve as eyes for us. 32 And if you do go with us, whatever good the LORD will do to us, the same will we do to you.” 33 So they set out from the mount of the LORD three days' journey. And the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them three days' journey, to seek out a resting place for them. 34 And the cloud of the LORD was over them by day, whenever they set out from the camp. 35 And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.” 36 And when it rested, he said, “Return, O LORD, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel.” (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Isaiah 48–49 Isaiah 48–49 (Listen) Israel Refined for God's Glory 48 Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and who came from the waters of Judah, who swear by the name of the LORD and confess the God of Israel, but not in truth or right.2 For they call themselves after the holy city, and stay themselves on the God of Israel; the LORD of hosts is his name. 3 “The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.4 Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass,5 I declared them to you from of old, before they came to pass I announced them to you, lest you should say, ‘My idol did them, my carved image and my metal image commanded them.' 6 “You have heard; now see all this; and will you not declare it? From this time forth I announce to you new things, hidden things that you have not known.7 They are created now, not long ago; before today you have never heard of them, lest you should say, ‘Behold, I knew them.'8 You have never heard, you have never known, from of old your ear has not been opened. For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously, and that from before birth you were called a rebel. 9 “For my name's sake I defer my anger; for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off.10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried1 you in the furnace of affliction.11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name2 be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. The Lord's Call to Israel 12 “Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last.13 My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together. 14 “Assemble, all of you, and listen! Who among them has declared these things? The LORD loves him; he shall perform his purpose on Babylon, and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans.15 I, even I, have spoken and called him; I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.16 Draw near to me, hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there.” And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit. 17 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.18 Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;19 your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains; their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before me.” 20 Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea, declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it, send it out to the end of the earth; say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob!”21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and the water gushed out. 22 “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “fo