Person in the bible
The poet, writer and activist Benjamin Zephaniah sadly passed away this week, aged 65. In this archive discussion from 2019, journalist Samira Ahmed speaks with Zephaniah about his life's work and the journey that took him from his youth in Birmingham to becoming one of the UK's most distinct and relevant voices harnessing the power of poetry and the spoken word. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The British poet Benjamin Zephaniah died this week after a short illness. Here we revisit a conversation between Zephaniah and George the Poet from 2020. They discussed why, having been born a generation apart, their work was exposing racial injustice. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
Zephaniah 1 – 1:09 . Zephaniah 2 – 5:02 . Zephaniah 3 – 8:47 . 2 Thessalonians 1 – 14:41 . 2 Thessalonians 2 – 16:55 . 2 Thessalonians 3 – 19:59 . Psalm 148 – 22:56 . The prophet Zephaniah extends an urgent invitation to seek the Lord and only the Lord. At the time of Zephaniah's prophecy, even the priests in the house of the Lord were worshipping other gods. He predicts that a day of the Lord is approaching to eliminate those who rebel against Him, but in His grace, he will leave a meek and humble remnant. Later, in 2 Thessalonians, Paul writes to the church concerning how they should live in light of Christ's impending return. Rather than live idle lives, they are encouraged to work until that day comes, giving glory to God by loving each other well and committing themselves to faithful obedience. ::::::Christian Standard Bible translation.All music written and produced by John Burgess Ross.Co-produced by Bobby Brown, Katelyn Pridgen, Eric Williamson & the Christian Standard Biblefacebook.com/commuterbibleinstagram.com/commuter_bibletwitter.com/CommuterPodpatreon.email@example.com
Scripture Reading: Acts 3 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time for prayer, at three o'clock in the afternoon. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried up, who was placed at the temple gate called “the Beautiful Gate” every day so he could beg for money from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple courts, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked directly at him (as did John) and said, “Look at us!” 5 So the lame man paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, stand up and walk!” 7 Then Peter took hold of him by the right hand and raised him up, and at once the man's feet and ankles were made strong. 8 He jumped up, stood and began walking around, and he entered the temple courts with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and they recognized him as the man who used to sit and ask for donations at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with astonishment and amazement at what had happened to him.11 While the man was hanging on to Peter and John, all the people, completely astounded, ran together to them in the covered walkway called Solomon's Portico. 12 When Peter saw this, he declared to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us as if we had made this man walk by our own power or piety? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate after he had decided to release him. 14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a man who was a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the Originator of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this fact we are witnesses! 16 And on the basis of faith in Jesus' name, his very name has made this man—whom you see and know—strong. The faith that is through Jesus has given him this complete health in the presence of you all. 17 And now, brothers, I know you acted in ignorance, as your rulers did too. 18 But the things God foretold long ago through all the prophets—that his Christ would suffer—he has fulfilled in this way. 19 Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out, 20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and so that he may send the Messiah appointed for you—that is, Jesus. 21 This one heaven must receive until the time all things are restored, which God declared from times long ago through his holy prophets. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must obey him in everything he tells you. 23 Every person who does not obey that prophet will be destroyed and thus removed from the people.' 24 And all the prophets, from Samuel and those who followed him, have spoken about and announced these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.' 26 God raised up his servant and sent him first to you, to bless you by turning each one of you from your iniquities.”Main ThemesThe MiracleThe SettingWe learn in chapter 2 that believers pray daily in the temple. (This means they prayed in the temple courts, not literally inside the temple.) So, chapter 3 opens with a predictable scene—Peter and John find themselves going to the temple to pray (3:1). We can safely assume they were going to participate in a corporate prayer meeting (as opposed to a time of personal prayer).We are aware that at some point synagogues established three prayer times during the day. We have evidence from early Christian writers that Christians continued this practice for a while. Even in Acts we read of three times of prayer: 9:00 AM (Acts 2:15), noon (Acts 10:9), and 3:00 PM (Acts 3:1). There is some doubt that the synagogue tradition was firmly in place at the time of Acts chapter 3, but most agree that was the case.We might ask ourselves: What did these times of corporate prayer look like? It may have included corporate singing of Psalms and other worship, a person leading everyone in prayer, and everyone praying differently but simultaneously.We might also ask ourselves: How long did the miracle and Peter's preaching (which we are about to discuss) take? We learn at the beginning of chapter 4 that Peter and John are arrested towards evening, and recall that Peter and John head towards the temple around 3 PM. So, the miracle and subsequent preaching probably lasted about 3 hours. Although this may be obvious to the reader already, we should note that the speeches we read in Acts are obviously summaries. Luke records the main points made by Peter.The Lame Man and the GateAs the believers head to the temple to pray, they run across a lame man who was placed at the temple gate daily. As a quick historical note, we are not certain at which gate he was placed. Ancient sources do not specify which gate was popularly called “the Beautiful Gate.” We are able to ascertain that it referred to either the Nicanor Gate (which led from the Court of the Gentiles into the Court of Women) or the Shushan Gate at the eastern wall. Since the fifth century, the tradition has been that “the Beautiful Gate” referred to the Shushan Gate, but that tradition may not be reliable.Of more relevance than which gate is being described is the fact that the lame man was at a gate. Because of his defect, he may not have been allowed to go any further into the temple. Also, temple gates were useful for begging since they were frequented by many people. Moreover, one may assume that people at the temple were a more charitable audience than elsewhere. Finally, we must keep in mind the lame man's dismal situation. Begging (considered highly shameful) would have been his only way to provide for himself. There was no other social safety net. As a scholar points out, the poor in ancient cities were “ill-fed, housed in slums or not at all, ravaged by sickness,” and with little hope of social betterment.The ExchangeThe lame man begins the exchange with the apostles on the basis of his need—he requests money. Truly, he requested alms—money given to the poor as an act of charity—but our translation uses money because the term alms is unfamiliar to current readers. Giving alms was viewed as honorable by Judaism.The lame man's request opens the door for a dramatic demonstration of the gospel. The Old Testament strongly emphasized the charitable treatment of the disabled. Consider, for example:You must not curse a deaf person or put a stumbling block in front of a blind person. You must fear your God; I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:14“Cursed is the one who misleads a blind person on the road.” Then all the people will say, “Amen!” Deuteronomy 27:18Like I have pointed out many times before, the gospels are replete with commands to help the poor.Most importantly, according to the Old Testament, healing of the sick would be a sign of the messianic era. Consider Isaiah:Tell those who panic, “Be strong! Do not fear! Look, your God comes to avenge; with divine retribution he comes to deliver you.” Then blind eyes will open, deaf ears will hear. Then the lame will leap like a deer, the mute tongue will shout for joy; for water will burst forth in the wilderness, streams in the arid rift valley. Isaiah 35:4-6)In the Old Testament, the lame also work as a type for the mistreated people of God:Look, at that time I will deal with those who mistreated you. I will rescue the lame sheep and gather together the scattered sheep. I will take away their humiliation and make the whole earth admire and respect them. Zephaniah 3:19So, Peter healing a lame man works on a literal level—it is an astonishing miracle that validates his credentials as one sent by God—and on a narrative level—the story of redemption has reached the messianic era in which the people of God will be gathered.The Disclaimer—No MoneyUpon the lame man's request, Peter and John clarify that they do not have any money. (The phrase “silver and gold” simply means money, “minted coins.”) Although this is nothing but a footnote in the story, we should notice that as the believers shared all their possessions with one another (see chapter 2), the apostles do not seem to have been enriched. Also, this distinguishes Peter and John from magicians of that time, who took payment for their services.The MiracleJesus' NamePeter begins the miracle by giving credit to Jesus Christ. Jesus's name is a key element that recurs throughout this section. It is repeated many times in chapter 3, and its mention continues into chapter 4. This leaves no doubt that the apostles are acting only as agents for the one who sent them—Jesus.We should notice that Peter specifies that he speaks of Jesus “the Nazarene.” This shows a reference to a real, historical figure, and it operates as defiance to popular expectations of greatness. Being from Nazareth was certainly nothing to brag about.How should we understand the use of Jesus' name? For example, in the context of prayer, calling God's name generally means one is addressing God. For example:Now Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he stopped, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2 So he said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, may your name be honored; may your kingdom come. . . .” Luke 11:1-2But in prayer, one is also calling on the Lord himself to act. Consider how the Lord's prayer continues:Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And do not lead us into temptation. Luke 11:3-4Invocations of God's name could be directed at people or at least with people as the intended audience to prove who is acting. Consider Elijah challenging the prophets of Baal:“Then you will invoke the name of your god, and I will invoke the name of the Lord. The god who responds with fire will demonstrate that he is the true God.” All the people responded, “This will be a fair test.” 1 Kings 18Consider also David's blessing of the people of God in the name of the Lord. This probably means he was calling on the Lord to the bless them.When David finished offering burnt sacrifices and peace offerings, he pronounced a blessing over the people in the Lord's name. 1 Chronicles 16:2So, when Peter asks the lame man to walk “in the name of Jesus Christ,” he may be pointing to who is doing the miracle.We could also understand calling on the Lord's name slightly differently. Both in Jewish and Gentile tradition, we can find brokers (i.e., representatives or messengers) using the name of their patron to denote on whose authority they speak or act. So, to say “in the name of Jesus Christ” is to say, “as a representative of Jesus Christ.” We find this (or a very similar) use of the expression in the Gospel of John when praying in Jesus' name (John 14:13; 15:16; 16:23-24). In John, praying “in one's name” evokes praying “on the merits of,” or because of, another's status before the one entreated (much like Israel seeking favor before God on account of their ancestors' favor).Notice that under either interpretation of using the Lord's name, it is Jesus or through the power of Jesus that the miracle happens. The difference is whether the apostle works as an announcer of what Jesus is doing or as the agent through whom Jesus acts.We should also notice that Peter does not use a particular ritual. For pagans, God's favor could be sought by using very specific rituals that needed perfect execution. Jewish ritual was less particular, but correctly implementing the ritual remained important, leading to conflicts between, for example, Pharisees and Sadducees. Peter also does not employ techniques or ingredients that would lend themselves to be interpreted as magic. The only ingredient, so to speak, is the power and authority of Jesus.The HealingPeter clasps the lame man's right hand—typically a sign of agreement or covenant in the ancient world. Given the man's low social status, this denotes acceptance and kindness on Peter's part. Peter helps him up.The miracle is emphatically evident. The man jumps up and immediately walks. Then we are told repeatedly that he “walks around,” walks and leaps,” and all saw him “walking.” The miracle works as a sign that draws attention to the message about to be preached.Why is the miracle so effective? Those at the temple recognized this man as the one “who used to sit and ask for donations.” Since he had been lame from birth, we can conclude he had been placed there daily for a very long time.Moreover, if we are correct in concluding that the lame man could venture no further into the temple due to his disability, the fact that the man enters the temple courts to praise God is significant. His barrier to experience God has been removed by the power and grace of Jesus.The SpeechThe SettingPetter delivers his speech at Solomon's Portico. It was a long outdoor hallway supported by pillars on the east of a pre-Herodian structure, which overlooked the steep Kidron Valley. Apparently Solomon's Portico was a traditional place for Christians to meet and preach; we read about it in Acts (Acts 3:11; 5:12) and in John 10:23.The MessageWhodunit?Peter begins his sermon by correcting an apparent misunderstanding by the crowd. He makes clear that the cause of the healing is Jesus, not himself.Wonder-workers were common at the time, and they were often understood as sorcerers. Clarifying that Jesus was the source of the miracle, along with other passages in Acts (e.g., Acts 8:7-13, 18-24; 19:11-20) work as an antimagical apologetics. These are miracles done by God, Peter is pointing out, not magical works done by Peter's power or cunning. Moreover, Peter is separating himself from certain Jewish traditions that held holy men had power to make certain things happen. (Pagans had a similar notion, believing that piety could lead to spiritual power. For example, Romans believed that their sacrifices could expiate the gods and that their continued worship could even make the gods embarrassed to continue in anger against Rome.)Unlike a sorcerer or a man acting by his own piety-fueled power, Peter points to Jesus and immediately says the following::The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate after he had decided to release him.In other words, the main proposition of the speech is that the God of Israel who acted to resurrect Jesus is continuing to act.The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob“The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” was a familiar Jewish expression, derived from the biblical revelation to Moses recorded in the book of Exodus. It appears multiple times in Exodus and the Old Testament, but probably the most memorable mention is in the scene of the burning bush.Now Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from within a bush. He looked, and the bush was ablaze with fire, but it was not being consumed! So Moses thought, “I will turn aside to see this amazing sight. Why does the bush not burn up?” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to look, God called to him from within the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” God said, “Do not approach any closer! Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” He added, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:1-6This title for God was common in Jesus' time, appearing in Jewish prayers and benedictions, making it one of the most familiar titles for God. Someone who had read both of Luke's works would remember that Jesus had used this title before—once before. Jesus defended the resurrection of the dead with this very title and the very scene of the burning bush, concluding:But even Moses revealed that the dead are raised in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live before him.” Then some of the experts in the law answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well!” For they did not dare any longer to ask him anything. Luke 20:37-40There seems to be no coincidence that Peter uses that same title for God to preach about restoration as Jesus did to preach about resurrection. The God who demonstrated his faithfulness to the patriarchs in the exodus would be faithful to his promise to raise them from the dead; God demonstrated that faithfulness in raising Jesus from the dead; so, one can expect God to deliver on his promises of restoration as well.The Servant, the Holy and Righteous One, the Originator of LifeBecause I have discussed some of these Old Testament allusions in many occasions, I will provide only a brief summary of what the titles used for Jesus are meant to evoke in the listeners' minds.The term servant along with the theme of glorification almost inarguably points to Isaiah' servant.Look, my servant will succeed! He will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted—(just as many were horrified by the sight of you) he was so disfigured he no longer looked like a man; his form was so marred he no longer looked human—so now he will startle many nations. Kings will be shocked by his exaltation, for they will witness something unannounced to them, and they will understand something they had not heard about. Who would have believed what we just heard? When was the Lord's power revealed through him? He sprouted up like a twig before God, like a root out of parched soil; he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, no special appearance that we should want to follow him. He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. Isaiah 52:13 – 53-5“The Holy One” was especially a title for God himself in both the Old Testament and in early Judaism. In a context that draws heavily on Isaiah, the “holy one” title could imply deity (“Holy One” appears thirty times in Isaiah, including for God as Israel's savior and “redeemer” in the servant contexts). The title could also function as an acceptable title for one of God's servants when conjoined with “of God.” In the case of Acts 3, that seems like a difficult interpretation to hold.“Righteous one” is not a common expression for Christ later in the New Testament. (Although we see some uses, such as in 1 John 1-2. It says, “But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One, and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.”) So why is this title for Jesus used in Acts?In Acts, the title of righteous one is used exclusively when preaching to Jerusalem audiences, which is perhaps a clue as to its intended meaning. Calling Jesus the “righteous one” heightens both the contrast with Barabbas the “murderer” and the guilt of those who denied Jesus. It also fits one of Luke's central themes: Jesus was innocent. Moreover, the term “righteous servant” appears in the servant song of Isaiah (Isaiah 53:11), solidifying the connection between the term “servant” and Isaiah's servant.“Prince of life,” “Founder of life,” or as our translation puts it, “Originator of life” is antonomasia—a title that substitutes the name of a person. Examples in other contexts would be referring to Shakespeare as the Bard or to Lebron James as the GOAT.In Peter's speech, we see a recurring contrast between life and death, including between he who raised to life and those who kill. Calling Jesus the Originator of life is a great rhetorical device to emphasize that contrast. Also, a biblically literate listener would probably recall Deuteronomy 30:“Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. What I am commanding you today is to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are about to possess. However, if you turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods, I declare to you this very day that you will certainly perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess. Today I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live! I also call on you to love the Lord your God, to obey him and be loyal to him, for he gives you life and enables you to live continually in the land the Lord promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30:15-20There is much debate about exactly to interpret the word translated as prince, founder, or originator (ἀρχηγός). The term appears frequently in the Septuagint to refer to heads of clans—hence the translations prince and founder. The term could apply to authors or originators of something, or the “initiator” of something. However, for readers steeped more in biblical Greek than in Greek tradition, the image of leadership would be dominant. Jesus is thus the hero leading the way to the historic goal of achieving eternal life, and as such fulfills the promises and inaugurates the opportunity for the eschatological era of blessing. In the words of other New Testament passages, he is the “firstborn” from the dead, who thereby guarantees life to the rest of his people. Perhaps a great translation of ἀρχηγός is “pioneer,” but modern scholars find “pioneer” to be on the list of icky words (for reasons I am sure you could guess).Believe, Repent, and Then . . . The Messiah's ReturnVerses 15 through 21 sounds quite similar to the speech in chapter 2, so I will not discuss them in detail except for the conspicuous differences. By differences, I do not mean inconsistencies. I mean the two speeches are not identical and we learn some distinct information.As in the prior chapter, Peter tells the Jewish audience that they killed Jesus, their divine king sent by God, yet God raised him from the dead, a fact to which the apostles are witnesses. In chapter 2 Peter points to the audience as witnesses of God's miracles (as opposed to the apostles). But in chapter 3 Peter quickly points out that the audience has now witnessed a miracle. The crowd was familiar with the lame man who was healed, making this charge effective. All in all, the setup of the message in chapter 3 is similar to that of chapter 2.The first distinction, albeit in tone and not theology, is in how Peter addresses the crowd's culpability. In chapter 2, Peter emphasizes the guilt of the crowd. In chapter 3, Peter minimizes (although does not remove) their guilt by highlighting their ignorance.Then just like in chapter 2, Peter then clarifies that Jesus' death was according to scripture. Finally, Peter calls the crowd to repentance.The real difference between the two speeches begins in verse 20. What are the fruits of repentance in chapter 2? “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'” (Acts 2:38). Peter also tells them to “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!” (Acts 2:40). In short, the result of repentance is forgiveness of sins, receiving the Holy Spirit, and salvation (which in the context of chapter 2 means avoiding judgment).What are the fruits of repentance in chapter 3? “[S]o that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and so that he may send the Messiah appointed for you—that is, Jesus. This one heaven must receive until the time all things are restored, which God declared from times long ago through his holy prophets” (Acts 3:20b-21). Repentance will be followed by “times of refreshing” or what may also be called restoration; and, once sufficient restoration has occurred (“the time all things are restored”) then Jesus will return.This idea of restoration is found throughout the Old Testament prophets. Perhaps the best known passage is in Ezekiel:“‘I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries; then I will bring you to your land. I will sprinkle you with pure water, and you will be clean from all your impurities. I will purify you from all your idols. I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you; I will take the initiative, and you will obey my statutes and carefully observe my regulations. Then you will live in the land I gave to your fathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and multiply it; I will not bring a famine on you. I will multiply the fruit of the trees and the produce of the fields, so that you will never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil behavior and your deeds that were not good; you will loathe yourselves on account of your sins and your abominable deeds. Ezekiel 36:24-31Jews during Jesus' day and thereafter linked the idea of turning to God with the restoration of Israel. Many Jewish sources show an expectation that Israel would return to God's law in the last days. Often Jewish teachers, particularly in later rabbinic texts, predicated the end's arrival and Israel's restoration as chronologically contingent on Israel's repentance.Summary and ConclusionsWhat does this tell us about the current age? The opportunity to turn to God is now. The good news is going out to all the nations (see verse 25) that the Lord has already raised the firstborn from the dead. Anyone who trusts the “Pioneer of life” shall reach the same destination. And, one day, when all the people of God have turned to Him, Jesus will return to judge, to heal, to restore, and to reign a world that will be filled with love, peace, and joy.The concept of restoration and Jesus' return also prompts a few questions. Peter's speech claiming that heaven would receive Jesus until the period of restoration echoes Psalm 110:1, which Peter quoted in chapter 2. The psalm says:Here is the Lord's proclamation to my lord: “Sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” The Lord extends your dominion from Zion. Rule in the midst of your enemies. Your people willingly follow you when you go into battle. On the holy hills at sunrise the dew of your youth belongs to you. The Lord makes this promise on oath and will not revoke it: “You are an eternal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.” O Lord, at your right hand he strikes down kings in the day he unleashes his anger. He executes judgment against the nations. He fills the valleys with corpses; he shatters their heads over the vast battlefield. From the stream along the road he drinks; then he lifts up his head. Psalm 110:1b-7So, will all enemies of Christ be defeated and then Jesus will return? Should we expect the church to advance and (peacefully) conquer all the world, every institution, and every person? Will nearly everyone become a follower of Christ? Some believe this. Other passages in scripture have led most Christian throughout history to temper those expectations, with some taking an opposite, extremely negative view of history's arch. But regardless of how we harmonize scripture, the theme of an advancing church (whether ultimately victorious or not) seems inarguable. Many will come to Christ. The enemies of the church will not prevail against the plan of salvation.The second question we might ask is whether Acts 3 (and other texts, such as Romans 11) means that it is the conversion of Jews (not Gentiles) that will trigger the end—the return of Jesus. Many Christians in the United States hold this view today. Often times, although not always, this view includes the belief that national Israel will be restored and blessed before the final judgment. In other words, that Acts 3 is talking specifically about the ethnic nation of Israel. This partially explains why many conservatives in the United States are committed to supporting the nation of Israel. One may also take a passage like Acts 3 and argue that, for example, Peter seems to intentionally omit the more Israel-centric portions of the Old Testament text he cites, and that at the end of chapter 3 Peter again highlights that the promise of salvation is for all nations. Therefore, restoration involves all the people of God—the Church—and not specifically Jews. (Of course, the arguments for the different theological positions look for evidence all over the Bible. I give examples only from the texts we have recently read so as not to derail our conversation.)So far I have avoided these eschatological topics because people feel very strongly about them. Discussion can easily get heated. My intention behind these brief comments is simply to introduce some of the options available.
He was a Galilean of the tribe of Simeon. The Old Testament book that bears his name foretells the destruction of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, by the Medes, and the restoration of the Kingdom of Judah; all of this came to pass. Nahum is counted as the seventh of the Minor Prophets. He reposed in peace. His name means 'consolation' or 'repose.' Five of the Prophets (Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and Daniel) are commemorated in December. At one time a Feast of the Twelve Prophets was celebrated on December 4 at the Church of the Resurrection, but this feast is no longer on the calendar. The days leading up to Christ's Nativity contain many commemorations of the faithful remnant of Israel, all of whose hopes were fulfilled in the birth of the Messiah.
“Nobody can tell me what to do!” is a slogan of our time.Thursday • 11/30/2023 •Thursday of the Twenty-sixth Week After Pentecost (Proper 29) This morning's Scriptures are: Psalm 131; Psalm 132; Psalm 133; Zephaniah 3:1–13; 1 Peter 2:11–25; Matthew 20:1–16 On 1 Peter 2:11–25, see also https://tinyurl.com/2htusat8, from 4/23/2020 On Matthew 20:1–16, see also https://tinyurl.com/2dmdzrzh, from 6/24/2020 This morning's Canticles are: following the OT reading, Canticle 8 (“The Song of Moses,” Exodus 15, BCP, p. 85); following the Epistle reading, Canticle 19 (“The Song of the Redeemed,” Revelation 15:3–4, BCP, p. 94)
Proper 29 First Psalm: Psalms 131–133 Psalms 131–133 (Listen) I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul A Song of Ascents. Of David. 131 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. 3 O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. The Lord Has Chosen Zion A Song of Ascents. 132 Remember, O LORD, in David's favor, all the hardships he endured,2 how he swore to the LORD and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,3 “I will not enter my house or get into my bed,4 I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,5 until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” 6 Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar.7 “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!” 8 Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.9 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy.10 For the sake of your servant David, do not turn away the face of your anointed one. 11 The LORD swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: “One of the sons of your body1 I will set on your throne.12 If your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their sons also forever shall sit on your throne.” 13 For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place:14 “This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.15 I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread.16 Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.17 There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.18 His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine.” When Brothers Dwell in Unity A Song of Ascents. Of David. 133 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!22 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore. Footnotes  132:11 Hebrew of your fruit of the womb  133:1 Or dwell together (ESV) Second Psalm: Psalms 134–135 Psalms 134–135 (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! 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) Old Testament: Zephaniah 3:1–13 Zephaniah 3:1–13 (Listen) Judgment on Jerusalem and the Nations 3 Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city!2 She listens to no voice; she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the LORD; she does not draw near to her God. 3 Her officials within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves that leave nothing till the morning.4 Her prophets are fickle, treacherous men; her priests profane what is holy; they do violence to the law.5 The LORD within her is righteous; he does no injustice; every morning he shows forth his justice; each dawn he does not fail; but the unjust knows no shame. 6 “I have cut off nations; their battlements are in ruins; I have laid waste their streets so that no one walks in them; their cities have been made desolate, without a man, without an inhabitant.7 I said, ‘Surely you will fear me; you will accept correction. Then your1 dwelling would not be cut off according to all that I have appointed against you.'2 But all the more they were eager to make all their deeds corrupt. 8 “Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD, “for the day when I rise up to seize the prey. For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all my burning anger; for in the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be consumed. The Conversion of the Nations 9 “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord.10 From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones, shall bring my offering. 11 “On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain.12 But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD,13 those who are left in Israel; they shall do no injustice and speak no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall graze and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.” Footnotes  3:7 Hebrew her  3:7 Hebrew her (ESV) New Testament: 1 Peter 2:11–25 1 Peter 2:11–25 (Listen) 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. Submission to Authority 13 Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution,1 whether it be to the emperor2 as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants3 of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. Footnotes  2:13 Or every institution ordained for people  2:13 Or king; also verse 17  2:16 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface (ESV) Gospel: Matthew 20:1–16 Matthew 20:1–16 (Listen) Laborers in the Vineyard 20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius1 a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.' 5 So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?' 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.' 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.' 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?'2 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.” Footnotes  20:2 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer  20:15 Or is your eye bad because I am good? (ESV)
John 12:1-19 (ESV)Andrew and Edwin consider why Jesus rode a donkey. It's more than fulfilling a prophetic promise. Jesus is making a declaration.Read the written devo that goes along with this episode by clicking here. Let us know what you are learning or any questions you have. Email us at TextTalk@ChristiansMeetHere.org. Join the Facebook community and join the conversation by clicking here. We'd love to meet you. Be a guest among the Christians who meet on Livingston Avenue. Click here to find out more. Michael Eldridge sang all four parts of our theme song. Find more from him by clicking here. Thanks for talking about the text with us today.________________________________________________If the hyperlinks do not work, copy the following addresses and paste them into the URL bar of your web browser: Daily Written Devo: https://readthebiblemakedisciples.wordpress.com/?p=14720The Christians Who Meet on Livingston Avenue: http://www.christiansmeethere.org/Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TalkAboutTheTextFacebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/texttalkMichael Eldridge: https://acapeldridge.com/
Instead of rushing to the nativity this year, we are spending a time with the prophets. Which isn't exactly everyone's favorite! They can be a downer. But the joy the prophets speak about is a hope that we can cling to in the darkness, in good times and in bad. A joy that is unshakable. Zephaniah 3:14-20 fmhouston.com
Ken tells a story of a Christmas party that didn't go according to plan to remind us how we behave when things go wrong - and all the things we miss out on when we do that. Zephaniah 3:14-20 fmhouston.com
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 117 Psalm 117 (Listen) The Lord's Faithfulness Endures Forever 117 Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!2 For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! (ESV) Pentateuch and History: 2 Kings 24:18–25:21 2 Kings 24:18–25:21 (Listen) Zedekiah Reigns in Judah 18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For because of the anger of the LORD it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. Fall and Captivity of Judah 25 And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it. 2 So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 4 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king's garden, and the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. 6 Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they passed sentence on him. 7 They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon. 8 In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month—that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9 And he burned the house of the LORD and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. 10 And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 And the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the multitude, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile. 12 But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen. 13 And the pillars of bronze that were in the house of the LORD, and the stands and the bronze sea that were in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke in pieces and carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 And they took away the pots and the shovels and the snuffers and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service, 15 the fire pans also and the bowls. What was of gold the captain of the guard took away as gold, and what was of silver, as silver. 16 As for the two pillars, the one sea, and the stands that Solomon had made for the house of the LORD, the bronze of all these vessels was beyond weight. 17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits,1 and on it was a capital of bronze. The height of the capital was three cubits. A latticework and pomegranates, all of bronze, were all around the capital. And the second pillar had the same, with the latticework. 18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold; 19 and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and five men of the king's council who were found in the city; and the secretary of the commander of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the city. 20 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land. Footnotes  25:17 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Isaiah 19–20 Isaiah 19–20 (Listen) An Oracle Concerning Egypt 19 An oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.2 And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, each against another and each against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom;3 and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound1 their counsel; and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the necromancers;4 and I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master, and a fierce king will rule over them, declares the Lord GOD of hosts. 5 And the waters of the sea will be dried up, and the river will be dry and parched,6 and its canals will become foul, and the branches of Egypt's Nile will diminish and dry up, reeds and rushes will rot away.7 There will be bare places by the Nile, on the brink of the Nile, and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched, will be driven away, and will be no more.8 The fishermen will mourn and lament, all who cast a hook in the Nile; and they will languish who spread nets on the water.9 The workers in combed flax will be in despair, and the weavers of white cotton.10 Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed, and all who work for pay will be grieved. 11 The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish; the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel. How can you say to Pharaoh, “I am a son of the wise, a son of ancient kings”?12 Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you that they might know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt.13 The princes of Zoan have become fools, and the princes of Memphis are deluded; those who are the cornerstones of her tribes have made Egypt stagger.14 The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion, and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.15 And there will be nothing for Egypt that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do. Egypt, Assyria, Israel Blessed 16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts shakes over them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the LORD of hosts has purposed against them. 18 In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.2 19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21 And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them. 22 And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them. 23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. 24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.” A Sign Against Egypt and Cush 20 In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and captured it—2 at that time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet,” and he did so, walking naked and barefoot. 3 Then the LORD said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush,3 4 so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt. 5 Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. 6 And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?'” Footnotes  19:3 Or I will swallow up  19:18 Dead Sea Scroll and some other manuscripts City of the Sun  20:3 Probably Nubia (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: John 17 John 17 (Listen) The High Priestly Prayer 17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.1 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them2 in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,3 that they also may be sanctified4 in truth. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Footnotes  17:15 Or from evil  17:17 Greek Set them apart (for holy service to God)  17:19 Or I sanctify myself; or I set myself apart (for holy service to God)  17:19 Greek may be set apart (for holy service to God) (ESV)
Readings: Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17 Psalm 23:1-3, 5-6 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28 Matthew 25:31-46 The Church year ends today with a vision of the end of time. The scene in the Gospel is stark and resounds with Old Testament echoes. The Son of Man is enthroned over all nations and peoples of every language (see Daniel 7:13–14). The nations have been gathered to see His glory and receive His judgment (see Isaiah 66:18; Zephaniah 3:8). The King is the divine shepherd Ezekiel foresees in today's First Reading, judging as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. Each of us will be judged upon our performance of the simple works of mercy we hear in the Gospel today. These works, as Jesus explains today, are reflections or measures of our love for Him, our faithfulness to His commandment that we love God with all our might and our neighbor as ourselves (see Matthew 22:36–40). Our faith is dead, lifeless, unless it be expressed in works of love (see James 2:20; Galatians 5:6). And we cannot say we truly love God, whom we cannot see, if we don't love our neighbor, whom we can (see 1 John 4:20). The Lord is our shepherd, as we sing in today's Psalm. And we are to follow His lead, to imitate His example (see 1 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 5:1). He healed our sickness (see Luke 6:19), freed us from the prison of sin and death (see Romans 8:2, 21), welcomed us who were once strangers to His covenant (see Ephesians 2:12, 19). He clothed us in baptism (see Revelation 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:3–4), and feeds us with the food and drink of His own body and blood. At “the end,” He will come again to hand over His kingdom to His Father, as Paul says in today's Epistle. Let us strive to be following Him in right paths, that this kingdom might be our inheritance, that we might enter into the eternal rest promised for the people of God (see Hebrews 4:1, 9–11).
Recorded November 19, 2023 PM
Bliss Spillar, our Senior Pastor, preaches from Matthew 25:14-30 on the Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Zephaniah 1:7,12-18Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 121 Thessalonians 5:1-11Matthew 25:14-30Intro for Sermon Podcasts Outro for Sermon AudioWe are a community hoping to live the Jesus-way in our city as a people of God's hospitality, God‘s restoration, and God's shalom. Learn more about All Souls Charlottesville: www.allsoulscville.com
Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18; Psalm 90:1-8, 12; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30Phil AudSeason of Ordinary Time: Proper 28www.allsoulsknoxville.comAll Souls Substack865-214-6682100 W 5th Ave., KnoxvilleService time 5pm each SundaySupport the show
A new MP3 sermon from Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Costa Mesa is now available on SermonAudio with the following details: Title: All the Nations Shall Bow Down Speaker: David Thibault Broadcaster: Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Costa Mesa Event: Sunday Service Date: 11/5/2023 Bible: Zephaniah 2:4-15 Length: 39 min.
November 20, 2023Today's Reading: Zephaniah 1:7-16Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 1:1-19, Matthew 21:23-46 Be silent before the Sovereign Lord, for the day of the Lord is near. The Lord has prepared a sacrifice; he has consecrated those he has invited. (Zephaniah. 1:7)In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Imagine if your pastor started his sermon with “Be quiet!” It would get your attention. This is how Zephaniah speaks in today's reading. Zephaniah tells the people of God to be quiet, in other words, “Hush up, you're in the presence of the Lord.” Thanks be to God?What Zephaniah says is meant to strike fear in the hearts of God's people. The day of our Lord's return is nearer today than it was yesterday. We do not know when it will happen and this time of year we are shaken up by the reminder of his return. This shaking up is a reminder to repent, confess your sins. Where is the Gospel in all of this? It's all about Jesus! Jesus, is the one who is returning to judge the living and dead. But remember Jesus is the one who takes the judgment promised by Zephaniah onto himself. He is judged with your sins in our place on Good Friday. The day of the Lord's return can be scary stuff! In Christ, however, it becomes good news for you and we pray for His return as soon as possible. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.The night will soon be ending; the dawn cannot be far. Let songs of praise ascending now greet the Morning Star! All you whom darkness frightens with guilt or grief or pain, God's radiant Star now brightens and bids you sing again. (LSB 337:1)- Pastor Kent Schaaf is pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Little Rock. AR.Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.Study Christ's words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.
This morning we have reached Part 3 of our series on the minor prophets of the Old Testament. We began with Jonah two weeks ago and studied the story of Hosea last week. Zephaniah, was a priest who ministered to Israel at about the same time as the prophet Jeremiah. The first two chapters of […]
https://www.bible.com/events/49169508 Church of the Nazarene – Harrisonburg Minor Prophets – Zephaniah What is God like? Today we continue our series entitled ‘Minor Prophets’. We are taking a deep dive into 4 of the minor prophets from the Old Testament scriptures. They are full of redemptive themes that should convict us, equip us, challenge us, and […]
Adam Griffin, Chelsea Griffin, and Cassie Bryant discuss how we can fight against indifference and care about the things God cares about.Questions Covered in This Episode:What comes to mind when you think about indifference?Where do you see indifference in your home?Is it possible for us to care about all things God cares about?Where do you care rightly in your home?What does the bible have to say about indifference?If someone is struggling with indifference, how would you counsel them?Resources Mentioned in this Episode:Deuteronomy 30, Zephaniah, Matthew 7:13-14, 1 Samuel 2:12-36, Matthew 5Sponsors:To learn more about our sponsors please visit our website.Follow Us:Instagram | Facebook | TwitterOur Sister Shows:Knowing Faith | Confronting Christianity | Starting Place | Tiny TheologiansThe Family Discipleship Podcast is a podcast of Training the Church. For ad-free episodes and more content check out our Patreon.
A new MP3 sermon from Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Costa Mesa is now available on SermonAudio with the following details: Title: The Great Day of the Lord Speaker: David Thibault Broadcaster: Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Costa Mesa Event: Sunday Service Date: 10/29/2023 Bible: Zephaniah 1:14-2:3 Length: 48 min.
A new MP3 sermon from Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Costa Mesa is now available on SermonAudio with the following details: Title: From Philistine Land to Pasture Land Speaker: David Thibault Broadcaster: Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Costa Mesa Event: Sunday Service Date: 11/12/2023 Bible: Zephaniah 2:4-7 Length: 39 min.
A new MP3 sermon from Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Costa Mesa is now available on SermonAudio with the following details: Title: Moab, Ammon, and the Star of Jacob Speaker: David Thibault Broadcaster: Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Costa Mesa Event: Sunday Service Date: 11/19/2023 Bible: Zephaniah 2:8-11 Length: 43 min.
Support Common Prayer Daily @ PatreonVisit our Website for more www.commonprayerdaily.com_______________Introduction:Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen. Come, let us worship God our King.Come, let us worship Christ, our King and our God.Come, let us worship Christ among us, our King and our God. Holy God,holy and mighty,holy immortal one,have mercy upon us.(3x) Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. The Invitatory:The Lord is our refuge and strength: O come, let us worship. Psalm 51:1-18Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; in your great compassion blot out my offenses.Wash me through and through from my wickedness and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight. And so you are justified when you speak and upright in your judgement. Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, a sinner from my mother's womb. For behold, you look for truth deep within me, and will make me understand wisdom secretly. Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; wash me, and I shall be clean indeed. Make me hear of joy and gladness, that the body you have broken may rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your holy Spirit from me. Give me the joy of your saving help again and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit. I shall teach your ways to the wicked, and sinners shall return to you. Deliver me from death, O God, and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness, O God of my salvation. Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice, but you take no delight in burnt-offerings. The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. The PsalmPsalm 123Ad te levavi oculos meos1To you I lift up my eyes, *to you enthroned in the heavens.2As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, *and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,3So our eyes look to the Lord our God, *until he show us his mercy.4Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy, *for we have had more than enough of contempt,5Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, *and of the derision of the proud. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. The Proclamation of the WordZephaniah 1:7English Standard VersionBe silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is near;the Lord has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.Zephaniah 1:12-18English Standard VersionAt that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the menwho are complacent, those who say in their hearts,‘The Lord will not do good, nor will he do ill.'Their goods shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste.Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them;though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them.”The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast;the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there.A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish,a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom,a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cryagainst the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.I will bring distress on mankind, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the Lord;their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the Lord.In the fire of his jealousy, all the earth shall be consumed;for a full and sudden end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.1 Thessalonians 5:1-11English Standard VersionNow concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.Matthew 25:14-30English Standard Version“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.' His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.' His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.' But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' The Word of the Lord.Thanks Be To God. Song of ThanksgivingIsaiah 12:2-6Surely, it is God who saves me; I will trust in him and not be afraid. For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, and he will be my Savior. Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation. And on that day you shall say, Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name; make his deeds known among the peoples; see that they remember that his name is exalted. Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, and this is known in all the world. Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel. The Symbol of FaithThe Nicene CreedWe believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. The Litany(In peace let us pray to the Lord, saying, “Lord, have mercy.”)For peace from on high and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For our bishops, and for all the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For the leaders of our nation and others, and for all in authority, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For every city and community, and for those who live in them in faith, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.For good weather, and for abundant harvests for all to share, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For those who travel by land, water, or air, for the sick and the suffering, for prisoners and captives, and for their safety, health, and salvation, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For our deliverance from all affliction, strife, and need, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For the absolution and remission of our sins and offenses, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For all who have died, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. Remembering all the saints, we commit ourselves, one another, and our whole life to Christ our God. To you, O Lord.Let us take a moment of silence at this time to reflect, and lift up the names of those on our hearts in prayer. Responding with Lord, have mercy. (A Time of Silence)For all of the needs made known and for those unknown. Lord, have mercy.A Prayer of St. John ChrysostomAlmighty God, you have given us grace at this time, with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will grant their requests: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen. The CollectProper 28Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.The Lord's PrayerOfficiant: And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen. The DismissalOfficiant: Let us bless the Lord. People: Thanks be to God.The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face shine on us and be gracious to us. The Lord look upon us with favor and grant us peace. Amen.
While conservative interpreters might believe that prophets were predictors and progressives tend to believe the prophets to be simply social advocates, Dr. Walter Brueggemann argues that the prophets were “emancipated imaginers of alternative.” Emancipated from the dominant thinking of their societies, the prophets imagined an alternative reality and invited listeners to join them in their commitment to that new reality. This four-week worship series in November at The Table will invite our community of faith to reflect upon the themes
Readings for November 19, 2023 Judges 4:1-7 (Semi-Continuous) Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31 (Catholic Mass) Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18 Psalm 90:1-12 Psalm 123 (Semi-Continuous) Psalm 128 (Catholic Mass) 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Matthew 25:14-30
With family: 1 Chronicles 5–6; Hebrews 10 1 Chronicles 5–6 (Listen) Descendants of Reuben 5 The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn, but because he defiled his father's couch, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, so that he could not be enrolled as the oldest son; 2 though Judah became strong among his brothers and a chief came from him, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph), 3 the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 4 The sons of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son, 5 Micah his son, Reaiah his son, Baal his son, 6 Beerah his son, whom Tiglath-pileser1 king of Assyria carried away into exile; he was a chief of the Reubenites. 7 And his kinsmen by their clans, when the genealogy of their generations was recorded: the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah, 8 and Bela the son of Azaz, son of Shema, son of Joel, who lived in Aroer, as far as Nebo and Baal-meon. 9 He also lived to the east as far as the entrance of the desert this side of the Euphrates, because their livestock had multiplied in the land of Gilead. 10 And in the days of Saul they waged war against the Hagrites, who fell into their hand. And they lived in their tents throughout all the region east of Gilead. Descendants of Gad 11 The sons of Gad lived over against them in the land of Bashan as far as Salecah: 12 Joel the chief, Shapham the second, Janai, and Shaphat in Bashan. 13 And their kinsmen according to their fathers' houses: Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia and Eber, seven. 14 These were the sons of Abihail the son of Huri, son of Jaroah, son of Gilead, son of Michael, son of Jeshishai, son of Jahdo, son of Buz. 15 Ahi the son of Abdiel, son of Guni, was chief in their fathers' houses, 16 and they lived in Gilead, in Bashan and in its towns, and in all the pasturelands of Sharon to their limits. 17 All of these were recorded in genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel. 18 The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had valiant men who carried shield and sword, and drew the bow, expert in war, 44,760, able to go to war. 19 They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. 20 And when they prevailed2 over them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him. 21 They carried off their livestock: 50,000 of their camels, 250,000 sheep, 2,000 donkeys, and 100,000 men alive. 22 For many fell, because the war was of God. And they lived in their place until the exile. The Half-Tribe of Manasseh 23 The members of the half-tribe of Manasseh lived in the land. They were very numerous from Bashan to Baal-hermon, Senir, and Mount Hermon. 24 These were the heads of their fathers' houses: Epher,3 Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel, mighty warriors, famous men, heads of their fathers' houses. 25 But they broke faith with the God of their fathers, and whored after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. 26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, the spirit of Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and he took them into exile, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day. 4 Descendants of Levi 6 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 2 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 3 The children of Amram: Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. The sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 4 Eleazar fathered Phinehas, Phinehas fathered Abishua, 5 Abishua fathered Bukki, Bukki fathered Uzzi, 6 Uzzi fathered Zerahiah, Zerahiah fathered Meraioth, 7 Meraioth fathered Amariah, Amariah fathered Ahitub, 8 Ahitub fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Ahimaaz, 9 Ahimaaz fathered Azariah, Azariah fathered Johanan, 10 and Johanan fathered Azariah (it was he who served as priest in the house that Solomon built in Jerusalem). 11 Azariah fathered Amariah, Amariah fathered Ahitub, 12 Ahitub fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Shallum, 13 Shallum fathered Hilkiah, Hilkiah fathered Azariah, 14 Azariah fathered Seraiah, Seraiah fathered Jehozadak; 15 and Jehozadak went into exile when the LORD sent Judah and Jerusalem into exile by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. 16 5 The sons of Levi: Gershom, Kohath, and Merari. 17 And these are the names of the sons of Gershom: Libni and Shimei. 18 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. 19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of the Levites according to their fathers. 20 Of Gershom: Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son, 21 Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son, Jeatherai his son. 22 The sons of Kohath: Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son, 23 Elkanah his son, Ebiasaph his son, Assir his son, 24 Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son, and Shaul his son. 25 The sons of Elkanah: Amasai and Ahimoth, 26 Elkanah his son, Zophai his son, Nahath his son, 27 Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son. 28 The sons of Samuel: Joel6 his firstborn, the second Abijah.7 29 The sons of Merari: Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzzah his son, 30 Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, and Asaiah his son. 31 These are the men whom David put in charge of the service of song in the house of the LORD after the ark rested there. 32 They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting until Solomon built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they performed their service according to their order. 33 These are the men who served and their sons. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman the singer the son of Joel, son of Samuel, 34 son of Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Eliel, son of Toah, 35 son of Zuph, son of Elkanah, son of Mahath, son of Amasai, 36 son of Elkanah, son of Joel, son of Azariah, son of Zephaniah, 37 son of Tahath, son of Assir, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah, 38 son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, son of Israel; 39 and his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, namely, Asaph the son of Berechiah, son of Shimea, 40 son of Michael, son of Baaseiah, son of Malchijah, 41 son of Ethni, son of Zerah, son of Adaiah, 42 son of Ethan, son of Zimmah, son of Shimei, 43 son of Jahath, son of Gershom, son of Levi. 44 On the left hand were their brothers, the sons of Merari: Ethan the son of Kishi, son of Abdi, son of Malluch, 45 son of Hashabiah, son of Amaziah, son of Hilkiah, 46 son of Amzi, son of Bani, son of Shemer, 47 son of Mahli, son of Mushi, son of Merari, son of Levi. 48 And their brothers the Levites were appointed for all the service of the tabernacle of the house of God. 49 But Aaron and his sons made offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense for all the work of the Most Holy Place, and to make atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded. 50 These are the sons of Aaron: Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son, 51 Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son, 52 Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son, 53 Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son. 54 These are their dwelling places according to their settlements within their borders: to the sons of Aaron of the clans of Kohathites, for theirs was the first lot, 55 to them they gave Hebron in the land of Judah and its surrounding pasturelands, 56 but the fields of the city and its villages they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 57 To the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of refuge: Hebron, Libnah with its pasturelands, Jattir, Eshtemoa with its pasturelands, 58 Hilen with its pasturelands, Debir with its pasturelands, 59 Ashan with its pasturelands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasturelands; 60 and from the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon,8 Geba with its pasturelands, Alemeth with its pasturelands, and Anathoth with its pasturelands. All their cities throughout their clans were thirteen. 61 To the rest of the Kohathites were given by lot out of the clan of the tribe, out of the half-tribe, the half of Manasseh, ten cities. 62 To the Gershomites according to their clans were allotted thirteen cities out of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and Manasseh in Bashan. 63 To the Merarites according to their clans were allotted twelve cities out of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun. 64 So the people of Israel gave the Levites the cities with their pasturelands. 65 They gave by lot out of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin these cities that are mentioned by name. 66 And some of the clans of the sons of Kohath had cities of their territory out of the tribe of Ephraim. 67 They were given the cities of refuge: Shechem with its pasturelands in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer with its pasturelands, 68 Jokmeam with its pasturelands, Beth-horon with its pasturelands, 69 Aijalon with its pasturelands, Gath-rimmon with its pasturelands, 70 and out of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Aner with its pasturelands, and Bileam with its pasturelands, for the rest of the clans of the Kohathites. 71 To the Gershomites were given out of the clan of the half-tribe of Manasseh: Golan in Bashan with its pasturelands and Ashtaroth with its pasturelands; 72 and out of the tribe of Issachar: Kedesh with its pasturelands, Daberath with its pasturelands, 73 Ramoth with its pasturelands, and Anem with its pasturelands; 74 out of the tribe of Asher: Mashal with its pasturelands, Abdon with its pasturelands, 75 Hukok with its pasturelands, and Rehob with its pasturelands; 76 and out of the tribe of Naphtali: Kedesh in Galilee with its pasturelands, Hammon with its pasturelands, and Kiriathaim with its pasturelands. 77 To the rest of the Merarites were allotted out of the tribe of Zebulun: Rimmono with its pasturelands, Tabor with its pasturelands, 78 and beyond the Jordan at Jericho, on the east side of the Jordan, out of the tribe of Reuben: Bezer in the wilderness with its pasturelands, Jahzah with its pasturelands, 79 Kedemoth with its pasturelands, and Mephaath with its pasturelands; 80 and out of the tribe of Gad: Ramoth in Gilead with its pasturelands, Mahanaim with its pasturelands, 81 Heshbon with its pasturelands, and Jazer with its pasturelands. Footnotes  5:6 Hebrew Tilgath-pilneser; also verse 26  5:20 Or they were helped to prevail  5:24 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew and Epher  5:26 Ch 5:27 in Hebrew  6:16 Ch 6:1 in Hebrew  6:28 Septuagint, Syriac (compare verse 33 and 1 Samuel 8:2); Hebrew lacks Joel  6:28 Hebrew and Abijah  6:60 Septuagint, Syriac (compare Joshua 21:17); Hebrew lacks Gibeon (ESV) Hebrews 10 (Listen) Christ's Sacrifice Once for All 10 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Consequently, when Christ1 came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me;6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'” 8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ2 had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. The Full Assurance of Faith 19 Therefore, brothers,3 since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. Footnotes  10:5 Greek he  10:12 Greek this one  10:19 Or brothers and sisters (ESV) In private: Psalms 148–150; Amos 4 Psalms 148–150 (Listen) Praise the Name of the Lord 148 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights!2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! 3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!4 Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created.6 And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.1 7 Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps,8 fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! 9 Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!10 Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds! 11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!12 Young men and maidens together, old men and children! 13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD! Sing to the Lord a New Song 149 Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!3 Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.5 Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds.6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands,7 to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples,8 to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,9 to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the LORD! Let Everything Praise the Lord 150 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!22 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! 3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! Footnotes  148:6 Or it shall not be transgressed  150:1 Hebrew expanse (compare Genesis 1:6–8) (ESV) Amos 4 (Listen) 4 “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, ‘Bring, that we may drink!'
In this episode, we consider the readings for Proper 28, Year A:Judges 4:1-7 & Psalm 123; Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18 & Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 12; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthews 25:14-30.We discuss the account of Israel's judge, Deborah, Zephaniah's prophecy about the day of the Lord, Paul's reminder to stay alert, and Jesus' Parable of the Talents.Notes:--The Ask NT Wright Anything Podcast--Dorothy Sayers on theodicy--The Bible Project--Bible Project video on reading the Parables of Jesus--Bible Project video on 1 Thessalonians--Bible Project video on themes in MatthewOther Resources:--Dwell App--Metrical Collects0:44 Collect1:23 Judges 4:1-7 & Psalm 12317:29 Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18 & Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 1234:52 1 Thessalonians 5:1-1144:02 Matthews 25:14-30 Our outro music is an original song by our friend Dcn. Jeremiah Webster, a poet and professor whose giftedness is rivaled by his humbleness. You can find his published works, including After So Many Fires, with a quick Google.
This is a message from our Senior Pastor, Norman Sullivan. If you'd like to learn more about our church, you can visit us at www.livingtruthchurch.comAdditional Resources:GivingOnline Connect Card (At the bottom of the page)You can also find us on social media:FacebookInstagram