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8/24/2017
1 Kings 15:25-16:34
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Nadab Reigns over Israel

1 Kings 15:25     Nadab son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of King Asa of Judah; he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, walking in the way of his ancestor and in the sin that he caused Israel to commit.

     27 Baasha son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon. 28 So Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of King Asa of Judah, and succeeded him. 29 As soon as he was king, he killed all the house of Jeroboam; he left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed, until he had destroyed it, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite— 30 because of the sins of Jeroboam that he committed and that he caused Israel to commit, and because of the anger to which he provoked the Lord, the God of Israel.

     31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel? 32 There was war between Asa and King Baasha of Israel all their days.

Second Dynasty: Baasha Reigns over Israel

     33 In the third year of King Asa of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel at Tirzah; he reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, walking in the way of Jeroboam and in the sin that he caused Israel to commit.


1 Kings 16:1     The word of the Lord came to Jehu son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, 2 “Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam, and have caused my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, 3 therefore, I will consume Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat. 4 Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the air shall eat.”

     5 Now the rest of the acts of Baasha, what he did, and his power, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel? 6 Baasha slept with his ancestors, and was buried at Tirzah; and his son Elah succeeded him. 7 Moreover the word of the Lord came by the prophet Jehu son of Hanani against Baasha and his house, both because of all the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and also because he destroyed it.

Elah Reigns over Israel

     8 In the twenty-sixth year of King Asa of Judah, Elah son of Baasha began to reign over Israel in Tirzah; he reigned two years. 9 But his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him. When he was at Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was in charge of the palace at Tirzah, 10 Zimri came in and struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa of Judah, and succeeded him.

     11 When he began to reign, as soon as he had seated himself on his throne, he killed all the house of Baasha; he did not leave him a single male of his kindred or his friends. 12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke against Baasha by the prophet Jehu— 13 because of all the sins of Baasha and the sins of his son Elah that they committed, and that they caused Israel to commit, provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols. 14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?

Third Dynasty: Zimri Reigns over Israel

     15 In the twenty-seventh year of King Asa of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days in Tirzah. Now the troops were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, 16 and the troops who were encamped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired, and he has killed the king”; therefore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. 17 So Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. 18 When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king’s house; he burned down the king’s house over himself with fire, and died— 19 because of the sins that he committed, doing evil in the sight of the Lord, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and for the sin that he committed, causing Israel to sin. 20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and the conspiracy that he made, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?

Fourth Dynasty: Omri Reigns over Israel

     21 Then the people of Israel were divided into two parts; half of the people followed Tibni son of Ginath, to make him king, and half followed Omri. 22 But the people who followed Omri overcame the people who followed Tibni son of Ginath; so Tibni died, and Omri became king. 23 In the thirty-first year of King Asa of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel; he reigned for twelve years, six of them in Tirzah.

Samaria the New Capital

     24 He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; he fortified the hill, and called the city that he built, Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill.

     25 Omri did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; he did more evil than all who were before him. 26 For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and in the sins that he caused Israel to commit, provoking the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols. 27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri that he did, and the power that he showed, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel? 28 Omri slept with his ancestors, and was buried in Samaria; his son Ahab succeeded him.

Ahab Reigns over Israel

     29 In the thirty-eighth year of King Asa of Judah, Ahab son of Omri began to reign over Israel; Ahab son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 Ahab son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him.

Ahab Marries Jezebel and Worships Baal

     31 And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, he took as his wife Jezebel daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshiped him. 32 He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made a sacred pole. Ahab did more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than had all the kings of Israel who were before him. 34 In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho; he laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Joshua son of Nun.


Jehoshaphat’s Reign

2 Chronicles 17:1     His son Jehoshaphat succeeded him, and strengthened himself against Israel. 2 He placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim that his father Asa had taken. 3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father; he did not seek the Baals, 4 but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the ways of Israel. 5 Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. All Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. 6 His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord; and furthermore he removed the high places and the sacred poles from Judah.

     7 In the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah. 8 With them were the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah; and with these Levites, the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9 They taught in Judah, having the book of the law of the Lord with them; they went around through all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.

     10 The fear of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms of the lands around Judah, and they did not make war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and silver for tribute; and the Arabs also brought him seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred male goats. 12 Jehoshaphat grew steadily greater. He built fortresses and storage cities in Judah. 13 He carried out great works in the cities of Judah. He had soldiers, mighty warriors, in Jerusalem. 14 This was the muster of them by ancestral houses: Of Judah, the commanders of the thousands: Adnah the commander, with three hundred thousand mighty warriors, 15 and next to him Jehohanan the commander, with two hundred eighty thousand, 16 and next to him Amasiah son of Zichri, a volunteer for the service of the Lord, with two hundred thousand mighty warriors. 17 Of Benjamin: Eliada, a mighty warrior, with two hundred thousand armed with bow and shield, 18 and next to him Jehozabad with one hundred eighty thousand armed for war. 19 These were in the service of the king, besides those whom the king had placed in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.

The Holy Bible: containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books [New Revised Standard Version]



What I'm Reading

Unbelievable? Is There Enough Evidence Beyond the Gospels to Make Their Testimony Reliable?

By J. Warner Wallace 2 Years Ago

     During an interview on Unbelievable? with Justin Brierley, a caller asked about corroboration and wanted to know if there was enough evidence beyond the Gospels to verify the reliability of their testimony. I began by helping him understand the nature of evidential corroboration and the limited information typically offered by such evidence. Every piece of corroborative evidence typically addresses (and verifies) only a “touchpoint”, a small aspect of the testimony from which we infer the “reasonability” of the larger account. Corroborative evidence is always limited; it only addresses a small aspect of the event under consideration. Even with these limits, however, the Gospels are still well corroborated. I’ve written a chapter about this in my book, Cold-Case Christianity, but here is a brief summary of the evidence “beyond the Gospels”:

     Ancient “Reluctant Admissions” | Non-Christian authors and historians from antiquity mentioned Jesus or His followers repeatedly, even as they denied His Deity or the claims of His supporters. While these ancient sources were hostile to the claims of the New Testament, they reluctantly confirmed key elements of the Gospel narrative.

     Josephus (37-101AD) | Even when examining the a modest, redacted version of Josephus’ ancient account, it’s clear that this Jewish historian reluctantly affirmed the following: Jesus lived in Palestine, was a wise man and a teacher, worked amazing deeds, was accused by the Jews, crucified under Pilate and had followers called Christians.

     Thallus (52AD) | While Thallus appeared to deny the supernatural aspect of the gospel narratives, he did reluctantly repeat and affirm the following: Jesus lived, was crucified, and there was an earthquake and darkness at the point of his crucifixion.

     Tacitus (56-120AD) | Cornelius Tacitus (known for his analysis and examination of historical documents and among the most trusted of ancient historians) described Nero’s response to the great fire in Rome and reluctantly affirmed the following: Jesus lived in Judea, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and had followers who were persecuted for their faith in Christ.

Click here to go to source

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of:

The Prayer and the Cry (Luther on Psalm 102)

By Fred Sanders 8/14/2017

     The first line of Psalm 102 asks God the same thing twice: “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.”

     Or does it? Martin Luther, commenting on the psalm, takes the two requests as really distinct from each other: on the one hand there’s a prayer, and on the other hand there’s a cry. On this reading, the Psalmist asks God to hear his prayer, and also to let his cry ascend.

     What’s the difference between a prayer and a cry? Luther explains it in term of intellect and feeling: “The intellect makes the prayer, but the feeling makes the cry.” The feeling is the impulse of desire: vague, unstructured, nonthematic. But the prayer is formed, directed, and instructed: it shows the feeling “what it should desire, and how and whence.”

     He then plays this distinction out in Paul’s terms, “praying with the spirit, and praying with the understanding” (1 Cor 14). Prayer with the spirit, Luther says, is “strictly speaking, not a prayer but a cry.” On the other hand,

     to pray with the mind, that is, with meaning, is to have the meaning of the words which one reads or speaks. And according to this form the cry and desire is shaped, according to which prudence and thought forms every act of the will.

Click here to go to source

Fred Sanders is Professor of Theology at Biola University's Torrey Honors Institute. He has an MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary and PhD from Graduate Theological Union. He is the co-editor of Christology, Ancient and Modern: Explorations in Constructive Dogmatics (Los Angeles Theology Conference Series).

Fred Sanders Books:

Massive Crowd of 14,000 Christians Gather in Times Square for Event Dedicated to Prayer and Scripture

By Meg Storm 6/9/2017

     Typically known for its bright lights and costumed characters, Times Square became the meeting place for an inspiring gathering of Christians from all walks of life last weekend.

     Despite not exactly being a hotbed for people of faith, on June 3, some 14,000 people gathered at the so-called crossroads of the world for the conclusion of “Jesus Week”—a week-long series of events around Manhattan and the outer boroughs organized by Concerts of Prayer Greater New York (COPGNY), a network of pastors and churches who seek to encourage prayer across “ethnic, economic and denominational lines.”

     According to Christian Today, Jesus Week began on May 27 and saw members of Concerts of Prayer ministering to and praying alongside the poor in needy throughout the city. Some $3 million in resources—including multi-lingual children’s books and DVDs—were also donated. The week culminated with the Times Square event that featured an afternoon of live music, scripture readings, and reflections led by various pastors and religious.

     “People said it was the boldest thing they’ve ever seen,” Pastor Dimas Salaberrios, head of COPGNY, told the Christian Post of the gathering.

     During the event, Salaberrios shared his own story of redemption with the massive crowd, explaining how he transformed from being a major drug lord to a man of God. Faithwire covered his amazing story late last year – watch:

Click here to go to source

     Meg Storm has written for several different online sites. For more of her articles click here.

Hope for the Unhappily Single

By Marshall Segal 8/11/2015

     There is a new and widespread epidemic in our nation and even in our churches. It’s called the not-yet-married life.

     Sure, there have always been unmarried people longing for marriage, but the statistics suggest that this group is growing at an unprecedented rate in American history. In 1956, according to the United States Census Bureau, the average age at which a man was married for the first time was 22.5. For women, it was 20.1. Those numbers climbed steadily for years, then more dramatically beginning in the 1970s. Recently, they reached the ages of 29.0 for men and 26.6 for women.

     Now, singleness itself, for the Christian, is not necessarily something to be lamented. After all, Paul sings the praise of singleness when he lists the spiritual benefits of being spouse-free in 1 Corinthians 7. The single life can be (relatively) free from relational anxieties (1 Corinthians 7:32), worldly distractions (1 Corinthians 7:33), and wide open for worship, devotion, and ministry (1 Corinthians 7:35). If we have the gift, Paul says to skip the ceremony, literally, and enjoy “your undivided devotion to the Lord.”

     So this relatively new demographic of not-yet-married men and women in their mid-to-late twenties has the real potential to be a potent vehicle for the worship of God and the spread of his gospel. This potential means we don’t necessarily need to sound an alarm as our young people get married later and later. Without a doubt, within this trend there will be complacencies to confront and immaturities to manage and even evils to fight. But ultimately it might merely be God’s means of freeing up a generation to take their devotion to Christ deeper and further into the broken world in which we live.

     Will I Be Single Forever? | The hope for a freshly mobilized unmarried demographic is real, and singleness really can and should be celebrated when God uses it to win worship and joy and life in himself. But one of the implications of these recent statistics is that a growing number of people in the church desire marriage — even feel called to marriage — and yet they have to wait longer to experience it. As Christians, we believe the vast majority of people are wired by God to receive and express love in the context of a covenant, so we shouldn’t be surprised that this growing phenomenon is hard on lots of our young men and women.

Click here to go to source

     Marshall Segal is a writer and managing editor at desiringGod.org. He’s the author of Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating. He graduated from Bethlehem College & Seminary. He and his wife Faye have a son and live in Minneapolis.

Living in the Shallows: The Decline of Thought

By John Horvat 8/12/2017

     As I look upon the desolate landscape of sound bites, tweets and other social media, I cannot help but lament what has happened to our culture.

     Almost all Americans have a high school education. And today more people than ever have college degrees. One would expect reading levels to be increasing. Real culture should be flourishing. Yet it’s no secret that people are connecting in ever more primitive ways. Everything must be quick and impulsive. It must be short and abbreviated. We prefer many short bursts back and forth. The message is: Let nothing be profound. Let everything be forgettable.

     I blame this trend on the decline of thought.There’s plenty to blame for the downward trend. We’ve dumbed down education. The media have sped up. The culture suffers from the frenetic intemperance of promising everything instantly and easily. It all ends up creating a childish society that tries to avoid effort and depth.

     Thought involves the calm observation of reality. A person ponders the surroundings and comes to conclusions that reflect a truth about the nature of things. Thought is profound. It requires an ability to look deeply at things and synthesize what one has seen with clarity and precision. Thought is logically built upon an edifice of premises and conclusions that allow us to take things to their final consequences.

     Childish Behavior | Thought has declined because our habits have declined. We rarely ponder things in our fast-paced world. Everyone wants things now, without thought. The motto of so many virtual platforms today is: Don’t make me think. There’s no time to read, no time to write, no time to organize thoughts.

Click here to go to source

     John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker and author of the book Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society--Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go. His writings have appeared worldwide including in The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Post, American Thinker, TheBlaze, Crisis, FOX News and The Washington Times, as well as other publications and websites. He gives more than 150 radio and TV interviews annually.

     For more than two decades he has been researching and writing about what’s gone wrong with America’s culture and economy, an effort that culminated in the ground-breaking release of his award-winning book Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society--Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go.

     Mr. Horvat is vice president and a member of the board of directors for the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), head of the TFP Commission for American studies, a TFP Sedes Sapientiae Institute instructor, and webmaster of the American TFP website (www.tfp.org). Additionally, Mr. Horvat is a member of the Association of Christian Economists, The Philadelphia Society, the National Association of Scholars and the Catholic Writers Guild, as well as an Acton University participant.

     His research began in 1986 when he was invited by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, founder of the Brazilian TFP, to study the crisis of modern economy and to prepare a conservative response. Mr. Horvat continues studying and writing and is now one of the most sought after experts on the subject.

     When he’s not writing, Mr. Horvat enjoys jogging and fencing. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania.

Empirical Evidence Finds Prayer Improves Intimate Relationships

By Joe Carter 8/9/2017

     The Story: New research finds that petitionary prayer can improve intimate relationships with a spouse or friend. Should Christians consider such empirical evidence useful?

     The Background: Several researchers led by Frank Fincham at Florida State University’s Family Institute wanted to learn whether petitionary prayer (i.e., a prayer where you request something) for someone’s romantic partner or close friend has “any objectively measurable effects on couples.” According to a summary of the evidence by Thomas Burnett, an assistant director of public engagement for the John Templeton Foundation, “Praying daily for one’s partner has been linked to numerous positive outcomes: increased relationship satisfaction, greater trust, cooperation, forgiveness and marital commitment. Many of these benefits apply both to the prayer as well as the one being prayed for.”

     “The power of petitionary prayer applies not only to romantic partners but to close friends as well,” Burnett adds. “For instance, in experiments with undergraduates, researchers found that those who had been assigned to pray regularly with a close friend showed greater levels of trust, compared to control groups. Multiple studies suggest a causal relationship, not just correlational. Partner-focused prayer apparently causes people to become more satisfied with their marriages.”

     Why It Matters: There will be many people who read only the headline of this article or a description of it and claim, “We don’t need scientific research to tell us that.” (Think I’m kidding? Look at the comments on Facebook and Twitter when this article is posted on social media.) Are they right?

     Yes and no.

Click here to go to source

Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition, the editor of the NIV, Lifehacks Bible, Hardcover: Practical Tools for Successful Spiritual Habits, and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator. He serves as an elder at Grace Hill Church in Herndon, Virginia. You can follow him on Twitter.

Frustrated with your spouse? These scientists suggest a specific kind of prayer

By Thomas Burnett 8/7/2017

     oes prayer affect our intimate relationships? Frank Fincham at Florida State University’s Family Institute, along with several collaborators, has conducted a series of empirical studies of how prayer can impact romantic couples. Fincham wanted to learn whether petitionary prayer—a prayer where you request something—for someone’s partner has any objectively measurable effects on couples. After numerous studies that spanned two decades and published in top journals like “Psychological Science,” the answer appears to be yes.

     Praying daily for one’s partner has been linked to numerous positive outcomes: increased relationship satisfaction, greater trust, cooperation, forgiveness and marital commitment. Many of these benefits apply both to the prayer as well as the one being prayed for.

     But to experience these benefits, not just any kind of prayer will do—it has to be praying specifically for one’s partner. Of course, prayer can take many forms: ritual, petitionary, colloquial and meditative, among others. The form studied by the researchers was petitionary, making specific requests during prayer. The focus of these prayers was for one’s partner, specifically for divine love, well-being and blessings. (Disclosure: The John Templeton Foundation, where I work, has funded some of Fincham’s studies.)

     The positive effect of prayer was measured both in undergraduate, mostly white students in exclusive relationships, as well as African American couples who have been married for many years. To be confident that their findings would be accurate, researchers carefully designed experiments by randomly assigning their participants to treatment and control groups. Differences between the two groups could thereby be attributed to the effects of partner-focused prayer rather than to other factors. The control groups engaged in other activities that could theoretically improve relationships, such as self-focused prayer, self-help books, marriage enrichment programs and positive social interactions with one’s partner. Compared to these control groups, those who prayed for their partners consistently saw the greatest positive impact on their relationship.

     In addition to these randomized control trials, Fincham and his collaborators added another feature to strengthen their findings. Social science research often relies on self-reporting, in which participants respond to surveys after engaging in an activity. But what if the participants are mistaken or don’t answer truthfully? To control for these factors, Fincham included third-party observers to watch the behavior of participants before and after testing. The observers found that those who prayed regularly for their spouses experienced better outcomes.

Click here to go to source

     Thomas Burnett is assistant director of public engagement for the John Templeton Foundation.



  • Biopolitics Challenges
  • Humanities Today?
  • Neolifism

#1 Thomas Lemke  
Trinity College, Dublin


 

#2 Rosi Bradotti   
Trinity College, Dublin


 

#3 Oron Catts   
Trinity College, Dublin


 


  Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     Gutenberg means “Beautiful mountain.” An appropriate name Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the first moveable type printing press. His masterpiece was the Gutenberg Bible, around this day, August 24, 1455. No longer were Bibles painstakingly copied by hand and chained to pulpits. They were mass produced and accessible to the masses. Though millions were grateful, his business partner sued him and took his rights. Of his press, Gutenberg said: “Let us break the seal which seals up holy things and give wings to Truth in order that she may win every soul that comes into the world.”

American Minute

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams


Our hearts will be so resty or listless
that hardly we shall be induced to perform it [devotion]
when it is most necessary or useful for us.
--- Isaac Barrow


The questions that matter in life are remarkably few, and they are all answered by these words ‘Come unto Me.’ Not—‘Do this’ and ‘Don’t do that,’ but ‘Come.
--- Oswald Chambers   Our Brilliant Heritage / If You Will Be Perfect / Disciples Indeed: The Inheritance of God's Transforming Mind & Heart (OSWALD CHAMBERS LIBRARY)


     I want to cultivate my relationship with God. I want all of life to be intimate – sometimes consciously – sometimes unconsciously – with the God who made , directs and loves me… I don’t want to live as a parasite on the first hand spiritual life of others, but to be personally involved with all my senses, tasting and seeing that the Lord is good… Usually for that to happen there must be a deliberate withdrawal from the noise of the day, a disciplined detachment from the insatiable self.
--- Eugene Peterson  The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction

     Resurrection . . . means that every horrible thing that ever happened will not only be undone and repaired but will in some way make the eventual glory and joy even greater.
--- Tim Keller


... from here, there and everywhere

History of the Destruction of Jerusalem
     Thanks to Meir Yona

     CHAPTER 10.

     How Taricheae Was Taken. A Description Of The River Jordan, And Of The Country Of Gennesareth.

     1. And now Vespasian pitched his camp between this city and Taricheae, but fortified his camp more strongly, as suspecting that he should be forced to stay there, and have a long war; for all the innovators had gotten together at Taricheae, as relying upon the strength of the city, and on the lake that lay by it. This lake is called by the people of the country the Lake of Gennesareth. The city itself is situated like Tiberias, at the bottom of a mountain, and on those sides which are not washed by the sea, had been strongly fortified by Josephus, though not so strongly as Tiberias; for the wall of Tiberias had been built at the beginning of the Jews' revolt, when he had great plenty of money, and great power, but Taricheae partook only the remains of that liberality, Yet had they a great number of ships gotten ready upon the lake, that, in case they were beaten at land, they might retire to them; and they were so fitted up, that they might undertake a Sea-fight also. But as the Romans were building a wall about their camp, Jesu and his party were neither affrighted at their number, nor at the good order they were in, but made a sally upon them; and at the very first onset the builders of the wall were dispersed; and these pulled what little they had before built to pieces; but as soon as they saw the armed men getting together, and before they had suffered any thing themselves, they retired to their own men. But then the Romans pursued them, and drove them into their ships, where they launched out as far as might give them the opportunity of reaching the Romans with what they threw at them, and then cast anchor, and brought their ships close, as in a line of battle, and thence fought the enemy from the sea, who were themselves at land. But Vespasian hearing that a great multitude of them were gotten together in the plain that was before the city, he thereupon sent his son, with six hundred chosen horsemen, to disperse them.

     2. But when Titus perceived that the enemy was very numerous, he sent to his father, and informed him that he should want more forces. But as he saw a great many of the horsemen eager to fight, and that before any succors could come to them, and that yet some of them were privately under a sort of consternation at the multitude of the Jews, he stood in a place whence he might be heard, and said to them, "My brave Romans! for it is right for me to put you in mind of what nation you are, in the beginning of my speech, that so you may not be ignorant who you are, and who they are against whom we are going to fight. For as to us, Romans, no part of the habitable earth hath been able to escape our hands hitherto; but as for the Jews, that I may speak of them too, though they have been already beaten, yet do they not give up the cause; and a sad thing it would be for us to grow wealthy under good success, when they bear up under their misfortunes. As to the alacrity which you show publicly, I see it, and rejoice at it; yet am I afraid lest the multitude of the enemy should bring a concealed fright upon some of you: let such a one consider again, who we are that are to fight, and who those are against whom we are to fight. Now these Jews, though they be very bold and great despisers of death, are but a disorderly body, and unskillful in war, and may rather be called a rout than an army; while I need say nothing of our skill and our good order; for this is the reason why we Romans alone are exercised for war in time of peace, that we may not think of number for number when we come to fight with our enemies: for what advantage should we reap by our continual sort of warfare, if we must still be equal in number to such as have not been used to war. Consider further, that you are to have a conflict with men in effect unarmed, while you are well armed; with footmen, while you are horsemen; with those that have no good general, while you have one; and as these advantages make you in effect manifold more than you are, so do their disadvantages mightily diminish their number. Now it is not the multitude of men, though they be soldiers, that manages wars with success, but it is their bravery that does it, though they be but a few; for a few are easily set in battle-array, and can easily assist one another, while over-numerous armies are more hurt by themselves than by their enemies. It is boldness and rashness, the effects of madness, that conduct the Jews. Those passions indeed make a great figure when they succeed, but are quite extinguished upon the least ill success; but we are led on by courage, and obedience, and fortitude, which shows itself indeed in our good fortune, but still does not for ever desert us in our ill fortune. Nay, indeed, your fighting is to be on greater motives than those of the Jews; for although they run the hazard of war for liberty, and for their country, yet what can be a greater motive to us than glory? and that it may never be said, that after we have got dominion of the habitable earth, the Jews are able to confront us. We must also reflect upon this, that there is no fear of our suffering any incurable disaster in the present case; for those that are ready to assist us are many, and at hand also; yet it is in our power to seize upon this victory ourselves; and I think we ought to prevent the coming of those my father is sending to us for our assistance, that our success may be peculiar to ourselves, and of greater reputation to us. And I cannot but think this an opportunity wherein my father, and I, and you shall be all put to the trial, whether he be worthy of his former glorious performances, whether I be his son in reality, and whether you be really my soldiers; for it is usual for my father to conquer; and for myself, I should not bear the thoughts of returning to him if I were once taken by the enemy. And how will you be able to avoid being ashamed, if you do not show equal courage with your commander, when he goes before you into danger? For you know very well that I shall go into the danger first, and make the first attack upon the enemy. Do not you therefore desert me, but persuade yourselves that God will be assisting to my onset. Know this also before we begin, that we shall now have better success than we should have, if we were to fight at a distance."

     3. As Titus was saying this, an extraordinary fury fell upon the men; and as Trajan was already come before the fight began, with four hundred horsemen, they were uneasy at it, because the reputation of the victory would be diminished by being common to so many. Vespasian had also sent both Antonius and Silo, with two thousand archers, and had given it them in charge to seize upon the mountain that was over against the city, and repel those that were upon the wall; which archers did as they were commanded, and prevented those that attempted to assist them that way; And now Titus made his own horse march first against the enemy, as did the others with a great noise after him, and extended themselves upon the plain as wide as the enemy which confronted them; by which means they appeared much more numerous than they really were. Now the Jews, although they were surprised at their onset, and at their good order, made resistance against their attacks for a little while; but when they were pricked with their long poles, and overborne by the violent noise of the horsemen, they came to be trampled under their feet; many also of them were slain on every side, which made them disperse themselves, and run to the city, as fast as every one of them were able. So Titus pressed upon the hindmost, and slew them; and of the rest, some he fell upon as they stood on heaps, and some he prevented, and met them in the mouth, and run them through; many also he leaped upon as they fell one upon another, and trod them down, and cut off all the retreat they had to the wall, and turned them back into the plain, till at last they forced a passage by their multitude, and got away, and ran into the city.

     The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, by Flavius Josephus Translator: William Whiston

The War of the Jews: The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem (complete edition, 7 books)

Proverbs 23:17-18
     by D.H. Stern

17     Don’t envy sinners, but follow the example
     of those who always fear God;
18     for then you will have a future;
     what you hope for will not be cut off.

Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
My Utmost For The Highest
     A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers


                The spiritual index

     Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? --- Matthew 7:9.

     The illustration of prayer that Our Lord uses here is that of a good child asking for a good thing. We talk about prayer as if God heard us irrespective of the fact of our relationship to Him (cf. Matthew 5:45.) Never say it is not God’s will to give you what you ask, don’t sit down and faint, but find out the reason, turn up the index. Are you rightly related to your wife, to your husband, to your children, to your fellow-students—are you a ‘good child’ there? ‘Oh, Lord, I have been irritable and cross, but I do want spiritual blessing.’ You cannot have it, you will have to do without until you come into the attitude of a good child.

     We mistake defiance for devotion; arguing with God for abandonment. We will not look at the index. Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want when there is something I have not paid for? Have I been asking God for liberty while I am withholding it from someone who belongs to me? I have not forgiven someone his trespasses; I have not been kind to him; I have not been living as God’s child among my relatives and friends (see v. 12).

     I am a child of God only by regeneration, and as a child of God I am good only as I walk in the light. Prayer with most of us is turned into pious platitude, it is a matter of emotion, mystical communion with God. Spiritually we are all good at producing fogs. If we turn up the index, we will see very clearly what is wrong—that friendship, that debt, that temper of mind. It is no use praying unless we are living as children of God. Then, Jesus says—“Everyone that asketh receiveth.”

My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition

Other
     the Poetry of RS Thomas


                Other

It was perfect. He could do
  Nothing about it. Its waters
  Were as clear as his own eye. The grass
  Was his breath. The mystery
  Of the dark earth was what went on
  In himself. He loved and
  Hated it with a parent's
  Conceit, admiring his own
  Work, resenting its
  Independence. There were trysts
  In the greenwood at which
  He was not welcome. Youths and girls,
  Fondling the pages of
  A strange book, awakened
  His envy. The mind achieved
  What the heart could not. He began planning
  The destruction of the long peace
  Of the place. The machine appeared
  In the distance, singing to itself
  Of money. Its song was the web
  They were caught in, men and women
  Together. The villages were as flies
  To be sucked empty.
          God secreted
  A tear. Enough, enough,
  He commanded, but the machine
  Looked at him and went on singing.


H'm: Poems by R. S. Thomas

Searching For Meaning In Midrash
     D’RASH


     Hillel is an example of a man who practiced what he preached. He reputedly came from humble origins, and even after he rose to greatness, he never lost the virtue of humility that he speaks about in our Midrash.

     Hillel had a reputation for patience and gentleness. Once, the story goes, a man resolved to try to get Hillel to lose his temper. Arriving at Hillel’s house on a Friday afternoon, just when Hillel was shampooing his hair, the man approached him with a question: “Why are the heads of the Babylonians so round?” (Since Hillel himself was from Babylonia, this was meant as an insult.) Instead of yelling at the man for his insolence or chasing him away, Hillel provided a reasonable response: “Because the midwives there aren’t so skilled in delivering babies.”

     The man left, returned a little while later, and again interrupted Hillel’s “shower”: “Why are the eyes of Palmyrians so bleary?” Again, Hillel offered a logical answer: “Because they live in a place that has sandstorms.”

     The man came back a third time with another of his questions: “Why do Ethiopians have big feet?” One more time Hillel took the question seriously and provided a plausible response: “Because they live near swamps.”

     Finally the man gave up, having learned that Hillel would not lose his temper, would not be insulted, and would not disparage another human being.

     On another occasion, a non-Jew came to Shammai and Hillel with a request: “Teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.” Shammai saw the question as a sign that the man was not serious, and he drove him away with a stick. Hillel, on the other hand, saw the question as an opportunity. His answer is well known: “What is hateful to you, don’t do to someone else. All the rest is commentary. Go and learn.”

     A second non-Jew came to Hillel with the intention of converting to Judaism as long as he could one day become Kohen Gadol, High Priest. A third non-Jew also came with a condition: He would accept only the Written Torah, not the Oral Torah. To each of these men, Hillel patiently explained Judaism and Jewish law and why their conditions couldn’t be honored. All three found their way to Judaism, and later said of their teacher: “Hillel’s gentleness brought us under the wings of the Divine Presence” [Shabbat 30b–31a].

     Another time, Hillel met a poor man who had come from a family of some means. Hillel provided material support, and more: He saw to it that the man would live at the level to which he had been accustomed. That included a horse to ride on and a servant to run before him. Once, Hillel couldn’t find a servant; he himself ran before the man [Ketubot 67b].

     In our world, we often think that you have to fight your way to the top, stepping on people along the way. Hillel, remembered as one of the greatest of our sages, reminds us that patience, gentleness, and humility are also roads to the summit. By lowering himself time after time, he was ultimately raised to the highest heights.

     ANOTHER D’RASH / Humility may well be a virtue, but on the individual level it often falls short. What politician was elected (at least in the last fifty years) by being meek and unassuming? Does the timid and submissive high school student end up at the head of the class, offered a full scholarship to a leading university? Usually not. Quite the contrary: The person who gets ahead in real life is often the one who claws himself to the top of the heap.

     Therefore, the Hillel story may be here to serve another purpose. Hillel lived during the second century C.E., a time of great political upheaval for the Jews of Israel. Perhaps Hillel is talking not about individual humility but of national humility. What the question that Hillel is answering is: “Why have the Jews, the ‘Chosen People,’ lost ‘favorednation status’ and a special place with God, living instead as a subjugated, persecuted people?” Hillel’s answer of “When I lower myself, I am raised, and when I raise myself, I am lowered” reflects that Rabbinic view that persecution and suffering are punishments from God for the nation’s sin of hubris.

     Hillel taught: “It is better for a person to be told, ‘Go up!’ than to be told, ‘Go down!’ ” Going up is often a metaphor for going to Israel. Thus, a person moving to Israel “makes aliyah,” that is, goes up. Going down refers to leaving Israel. Hillel, who himself made aliyah, may also be warning the people not to do those things that will cause God to exile the Jewish people from their homeland. Thus seen, Hillel’s words may reflect a Rabbinic theology of the history of the Jewish people: God will ultimately redeem us, if—and only if—we are of the proper character, humble and modest.


Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living

Take Heart
     August 24

     The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. --- John 3:35.

     Having everything, [Christ] has all the justice of God and all the righteousness of God in him.
(The RS Thomas And Other Practical Works Of The Late Reverend And Learned Mr. Ralph Erskine V9)You shall, in Christ, be more righteous in God’s sight than ever you were guilty in his sight—yes, you shall be the very righteousness of God in him. You shall not only be justified but find God to be just in justifying you, because the justice of God is in Christ, and it is satisfied, glorified, in him.

     Having everything, he has all the mercy of God in his hands; all the infinite love, pity, and compassion of God. What is Christ but the love of God in flesh and blood? “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9–10). Do you wish to find mercy in the moment of death and mercy at the great day? Know that there is no mercy to be expected from God’s hands unless you look to his mercy in the hands of Christ, for he will never show mercy at the expense of his justice, and it is only in Christ that mercy and justice meet and embrace.

     Having everything, he has all the faithfulness and truth of God. O, faithless and unfaithful sinner, who has many times lied to the God of truth—would you have your falsehood all done away and swallowed up in the truth of God and your salvation secured notwithstanding your falsehood? Here is a pillar on which you may stand fixed, amidst all changes, whether in your outward lot or your inward frame, for, “All men are like grass… but the word of our God stands forever” (Isa. 40:6, 8). The truth of God stands unalterably the same.

     In a word, having everything, [Christ] has all the fullness of God in his hands. “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him” (Col. 1:19). Not only all the attributes of God, but all the fullness of all the divine attributes—not only the wisdom of God, but all the fullness of divine wisdom; not only the power of God, but all the fullness of divine power; all the fullness of divine holiness; divine righteousness; divine mercy; divine faithfulness; divine authority—not only is God in him, but all the fullness of the deity. Poor empty sinner! Here are unsearchable riches, everlasting salvation for you.
--- Ralph Erskine


Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers

On This Day
     The Tale of Two Cities  August 24

     Barbarian invaders stampeded across Europe like herds of elephants, trampling everything in their path. Roman legions, unable to defend their 10,000-mile frontier, collapsed; the intruders penetrated Italy to the gates of Rome itself. And on August 24, 410 the Eternal City fell to Alaric and his swarms. For three days Rome was plundered. Women were attacked, the wealthy slaughtered, art destroyed, and the city battered beyond recognition.

     The world reeled in shock, and Christians suddenly found themselves blamed. The empire had, after all, been an invincible fortress of iron before becoming “Christianized” with Constantine’s conversion in 312. Now, less than a century later, the greatest city and empire in history were no more. The old gods had been offended and had withdrawn their protection.

     Across the Mediterranean the world’s greatest theologian listened to the reports, saw the refugees, heard the charges, and spent 13 years writing a response. Augustine’s 22-volume The City of God was written as a defense of Christianity, and it became the first great work to shape and define the medieval mind.

     The first volumes of The City of God declare that Rome was being punished, not for her new faith, but for her old sins—immorality and corruption. Augustine admitted that he himself had indulged in depravity before coming to Christ. But, he said, the original sin could be traced back to Adam and Eve, and we have but inherited the sinful nature unleashed by them.

     Mary’s child, Jesus Christ, offers forgiveness, and Christ alone provides eternal salvation. “Through a woman we were sent to destruction; through a woman salvation was restored to us. Mankind is divided into two sorts: such as live according to man, and such as live according to God. These we call the ‘two cities,’ the one predestined to reign eternally with God, and the other condemned to perpetual torment with Satan.”

     “The Heavenly City outshines Rome,” Augustine wrote. “There, instead of victory, is truth; instead of high rank, holiness; instead of life, eternity.”

     Because Abraham had faith, he lived as a stranger in the promised land. … Abraham did this, because he was waiting for the eternal city that God had planned and built.
--- Hebrews 11:9,10.


On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - August 24

     “The breaker is come up before them.”
--- Micah 2:13.

     Inasmuch as Jesus has gone before us, things remain not as they would have been had he never passed that way. He has conquered every foe that obstructed the way. Cheer up now thou faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ travelled the road, but he has slain thine enemies. Dost thou dread sin? He has nailed it to his cross. Dost thou fear death? He has been the death of Death. Art thou afraid of hell? He has barred it against the advent of any of his children; they shall never see the gulf of perdition. Whatever foes may be before the Christian, they are all overcome. There are lions, but their teeth are broken; there are serpents, but their fangs are extracted; there are rivers, but they are bridged or fordable; there are flames, but we wear that matchless garment which renders us invulnerable to fire. The sword that has been forged against us is already blunted; the instruments of war which the enemy is preparing have already lost their point. God has taken away in the person of Christ all the power that anything can have to hurt us. Well then, the army may safely march on, and you may go joyously along your journey, for all your enemies are conquered beforehand. What shall you do but march on to take the prey? They are beaten, they are vanquished; all you have to do is to divide the spoil. You shall, it is true, often engage in combat; but your fight shall be with a vanquished foe. His head is broken; he may attempt to injure you, but his strength shall not be sufficient for his malicious design. Your victory shall be easy, and your treasure shall be beyond all count.

     “Proclaim aloud the Saviour’s fame,
     Who bears the Breaker’s wond’rous name;
     Sweet name; and it becomes him well,
     Who breaks down earth, sin, death, and hell.”


          Evening - August 24

     “If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.” --- Exodus 22:6.

     But what restitution can he make who casts abroad the fire-brands of error, or the coals of lasciviousness, and sets men’s souls on a blaze with the fire of hell? The guilt is beyond estimate, and the result is irretrievable. If such an offender be forgiven, what grief it will cause him in the retrospect, since he cannot undo the mischief which he has done! An ill example may kindle a flame which years of amended character cannot quench. To burn the food of man is bad enough, but how much worse to destroy the soul! It may be useful to us to reflect how far we may have been guilty in the past, and to enquire whether, even in the present, there may not be evil in us which has a tendency to bring damage to the souls of our relatives, friends, or neighbours.

     The fire of strife is a terrible evil when it breaks out in a Christian church. Where converts were multiplied, and God was glorified, jealousy and envy do the devil’s work most effectually. Where the golden grain was being housed, to reward the toil of the great Boaz, the fire of enmity comes in and leaves little else but smoke and a heap of blackness. Woe unto those by whom offences come. May they never come through us, for although we cannot make restitution, we shall certainly be the chief sufferers if we are the chief offenders. Those who feed the fire deserve just censure, but he who first kindles it is most to blame. Discord usually takes first hold upon the thorns; it is nurtured among the hypocrites and base professors in the church, and away it goes among the righteous, blown by the winds of hell, and no one knows where it may end. O thou Lord and giver of peace, make us peacemakers, and never let us aid and abet the men of strife, or even unintentionally cause the least division among thy people.

Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

Amazing Grace
     August 24

          O TO BE LIKE THEE!

     Thomas O. Chisholm, 1866–1960

     For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10)

     Great Master, teach us with Your skillful hand;
     Let not the music that is in us die!
     Great Sculptor, hew and polish us; nor let
     Hidden and lost, Your form within us lie!

--- Horatius Bonar

     The Bible teaches that God’s goal for His people is that they “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). We are to daily “put on Christ”—His love and character—even as we put on our garments (Romans 13:14). Christ-likeness is more than a religious profession or a weekly visit to church. It must become our total way of life. The Scriptures further teach that we are to carry the fragrance of Christ wherever we go—to unbelievers, the smell of death and to fellow believers, the fragrance of life (2 Corinthians 2:14–16).

     Our society is in desperate need of more Christ-like believers. The only thing many people will ever know about God is what they see of His radiance reflected in our daily lives. Our ability to represent our Lord worthily is only possible through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.

     This hymn text by Thomas Chisholm is one of his more than 1,200 fine poems, many of which have been set to music and have become enduring hymns of the church. This one, published in 1897, was his first hymn to be widely received.

     O to be like Thee! blessed Redeemer. This is my constant longing and prayer; gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures, Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
     O to be like Thee! full of compassion, loving, forgiving, tender and kind; helping the helpless, cheering the fainting, seeking the wand’ring sinner to find.
     O to be like Thee lowly in spirit, holy and harmless, patient and brave; meekly enduring cruel reproaches, willing to suffer others to save.
     O to be like Thee! while I am pleading, pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love; make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling; fit me for life and heaven above.
     Chorus: O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art! Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.


     For Today: Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Titus 3:3

     Reflect on this statement: “He who does not long to know more of Christ really knows nothing of Him yet!” Carry this musical message with you ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Book Of Common Prayer
     Thursday, August 24, 2017 | After Pentecost

St. Bartholomew
Years 1 & 2

Morning Prayer

Psalms     Psalm 86
Old Testament     Genesis 28:10–17
New Testament     John 1:43–51

Index of Readings

Psalms
Psalm 86

A Prayer of David.

1 Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to you do I cry all day long.
4 Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
listen to my cry of supplication.
7 In the day of my trouble I call on you,
for you will answer me.

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come
and bow down before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, the insolent rise up against me;
a band of ruffians seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;
give your strength to your servant;
save the child of your serving girl.
17 Show me a sign of your favor,
so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame,
because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

Old Testament
Genesis 28:10–17

10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12 And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And the LORD stood beside him and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; 14 and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. 15 Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place—and I did not know it!” 17 And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

New Testament
John 1:43–51

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Evening Prayer

Psalms     Psalm 15, 67
Old Testament     Isaiah 66:1–2, 18–23
New Testament     1 Peter 5:1–11

Index of Readings

Psalms
Psalm 15, 67

A Psalm of David.

1 O LORD, who may abide in your tent?
Who may dwell on your holy hill?

2 Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
and speak the truth from their heart;
3 who do not slander with their tongue,
and do no evil to their friends,
nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
4 in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
but who honor those who fear the LORD;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
5 who do not lend money at interest,
and do not take a bribe against the innocent.

Those who do these things shall never be moved.

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,     Selah
2 that your way may be known upon earth,
your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.     Selah
5 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

6 The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, has blessed us.
7 May God continue to bless us;
let all the ends of the earth revere him.

Old Testament
Isaiah 66:1–2, 18–23

66 Thus says the LORD:
Heaven is my throne
and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and what is my resting place?
2 All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things are mine,
says the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look,
to the humble and contrite in spirit,
who trembles at my word.

18 For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud—which draw the bow—to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring a grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. 21 And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the LORD.

22 For as the new heavens and the new earth,
which I will make,
shall remain before me, says the LORD;
so shall your descendants and your name remain.
23 From new moon to new moon,
and from sabbath to sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
says the LORD.

New Testament
1 Peter 5:1–11

5 Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you 2 to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it—not for sordid gain but eagerly. 3 Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away. 5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for

     “God opposes the proud,
     but gives grace to the humble.”

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

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