Proud Edom Will Be Brought Low
Obadiah 1:1 The vision of Obadiah.
Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom:
We have heard a report from the Lord,
and a messenger has been sent among the nations:
“Rise up! Let us rise against it for battle!”
2 I will surely make you least among the nations;
you shall be utterly despised.
3 Your proud heart has deceived you,
you that live in the clefts of the rock,
whose dwelling is in the heights.
You say in your heart,
“Who will bring me down to the ground?”
4 Though you soar aloft like the eagle,
though your nest is set among the stars,
from there I will bring you down,
says the Lord.
Pillage and Slaughter Will Repay Edom’s Cruelty
5 If thieves came to you,
if plunderers by night
—how you have been destroyed!—
would they not steal only what they wanted?
If grape-gatherers came to you,
would they not leave gleanings?
6 How Esau has been pillaged,
his treasures searched out!
7 All your allies have deceived you,
they have driven you to the border;
your confederates have prevailed against you;
those who ate your bread have set a trap for you—
there is no understanding of it.
8 On that day, says the Lord,
I will destroy the wise out of Edom,
and understanding out of Mount Esau.
9 Your warriors shall be shattered, O Teman,
so that everyone from Mount Esau will be cut off.
Edom Mistreated His Brother
10 For the slaughter and violence done to your brother Jacob,
shame shall cover you,
and you shall be cut off forever.
11 On the day that you stood aside,
on the day that strangers carried off his wealth,
and foreigners entered his gates
and cast lots for Jerusalem,
you too were like one of them.
12 But you should not have gloated over your brother
on the day of his misfortune;
you should not have rejoiced over the people of Judah
on the day of their ruin;
you should not have boasted
on the day of distress.
13 You should not have entered the gate of my people
on the day of their calamity;
you should not have joined in the gloating over Judah’s disaster
on the day of his calamity;
you should not have looted his goods
on the day of his calamity.
14 You should not have stood at the crossings
to cut off his fugitives;
you should not have handed over his survivors
on the day of distress.
15 For the day of the Lord is near against all the nations.
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
your deeds shall return on your own head.
16 For as you have drunk on my holy mountain,
all the nations around you shall drink;
they shall drink and gulp down,
and shall be as though they had never been.
Israel’s Final Triumph
17 But on Mount Zion there shall be those that escape,
and it shall be holy;
and the house of Jacob shall take possession of those who dispossessed them.
18 The house of Jacob shall be a fire,
the house of Joseph a flame,
and the house of Esau stubble;
they shall burn them and consume them,
and there shall be no survivor of the house of Esau;
for the Lord has spoken.
19 Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau,
and those of the Shephelah the land of the Philistines;
they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria,
and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
20 The exiles of the Israelites who are in Halah
shall possess Phoenicia as far as Zarephath;
and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
shall possess the towns of the Negeb.
21 Those who have been saved shall go up to Mount Zion
to rule Mount Esau;
and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.
A Plea for Justice
A Psalm of Asaph.
1 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk around in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 I say, “You are gods,
children of the Most High, all of you;
7 nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
and fall like any prince.”
8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
for all the nations belong to you!
Prayer for Judgment on Israel’s Foes
A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.
1 O God, do not keep silence;
do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
2 Even now your enemies are in tumult;
those who hate you have raised their heads.
3 They lay crafty plans against your people;
they consult together against those you protect.
4 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
let the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
5 They conspire with one accord;
against you they make a covenant—
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assyria also has joined them;
they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah
9 Do to them as you did to Midian,
as to Sisera and Jabin at the Wadi Kishon,
10 who were destroyed at En-dor,
who became dung for the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take the pastures of God
for our own possession.”
13 O my God, make them like whirling dust,
like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest,
as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
< 15 so pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your hurricane.
16 Fill their faces with shame,
so that they may seek your name, O Lord.
17 Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
let them perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you alone,
whose name is the Lord,
are the Most High over all the earth.
The Holy Bible: containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books [New Revised Standard Version]
What I'm Reading
Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity?
By J. Warner Wallace 9/30/2016
Much has been written about both the illiteracy of teenage believers and the flight of young people from the Church. Many have observed this trend, and I too have witnessed it anecdotally as a youth pastor (and shamefully, I contributed to the trend for some time before I changed course). Some writers and Christian observers deny the flight of young people altogether, but the growing statistics should alarm us enough as Church leaders to do something about the dilemma. My hope in this post is to simply consolidate some of the research (many of the summaries are directly quoted) so you can decide for yourself. I’m going to organize the recent findings in a way that illuminates the problem:
Research Related to Spiritual Life of Teenagers:
Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers
Book Findings: The majority of teenagers are incredibly inarticulate about their faith, religious beliefs and practices, and its place in their lives. The de facto dominant religion among contemporary U.S. teenagers is what they call ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Deism’: A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth; God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions; the central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself; God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem; and good people go to heaven when they die.
Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church
Book Findings: Dean affirms what Soul Searching called ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Deism’ “If teenagers lack an articulate faith, it may be because the faith we show them is too spineless to merit much in the way of conversation.”
J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of:
Where to Bring Your Broken Heart
By Josh Squires 8/12/2017
“Help. My heart is broken.”
This is one of the most common refrains in my counseling ministry. There are many causes: love unrequited, jobs lost, dreams quashed, spouses and children taken. No matter its roots, the pain is unbearably similar for its sufferers. And the question that hangs over it all is this: “Now what?”
Weep Well | Grief is an act as well as a feeling. When hearts are broken, cheeks should be wet. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. There is something about weeping that is incredibly scary. It’s a vulnerable act that floods our thoughts and feelings, leaving us fatigued. Little wonder then that people avoid it like the plague, or feel that they need to make an excuse for it.
But Scripture itself does not take such a negative view on mourning. God does not tell his children to “dry it up!” Rather, God stores our tears in his bottle (Psalm 56:8). In an ancient, arid land where bottles were not a dime a dozen, only precious things were kept in bottles. Even more, God himself weeps and makes no apology for it (Luke 19:41–44; John 11:35). When God finds his heart hurting, his cheeks are not dry, and you should not be ashamed if yours aren’t either.
It’s not enough to merely give our emotions vent; they need to be shepherded (Psalm 120:1; 130:1). Christians are not merely those who weep, but those who weep well. It is not true that our stress, sadness, anger, and negative emotions just need an emotional outlet to release the pressure. This “hydraulic” view of the affections often does more harm than good — before we know it, we can barely put our emotional kettle on the burner before the whistle begins to wail for relief.
What Can Christians Learn from the Apostolic Fathers? Interview with Author Ken Berding
By Sean McDowell 8/3/2017
Dr. Ken Berding is a colleague of mine at Biola University. Like me, he is very interested in the Apostolic Fathers. He recently wrote a brief and interesting introduction to the Apostolic Fathers called The Apostolic Fathers: A Narrative Introduction, which is different from any other book of its kind. Professor Berding was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about some of the earliest church fathers and his recent book. Enjoy!
SEAN MCDOWELL: I've been reading your new book on the Apostolic Fathers. Can you tell us who the Apostolic Fathers are and why they are important?
KEN BERDING: I’m so glad you’re reading the book! The Apostolic Fathers are a name given in the modern era to the earliest Christian writers who wrote just after the age of the apostles. Their writings span A.D. 95-160. They include 1 Clement, the letters of Ignatius, Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians, The Didache, fragments from Papias, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Letter of Barnabas (not Paul’s co-worker), 2 Clement, Diognetus, and The Martyrdom of Polycarp. Why are they important? The reason they’re important is because of how early they were written. Some of these authors actually knew apostles or companions of apostles. If we could talk to them, they could answer many questions (and actually did answer a few of them in their writings!) that get asked about the apostolic age. They also help us observe early developments in Christian doctrine and church polity. Besides, they’re really interesting…for the most part…
MCDOWELL: The back cover of your book claims, "The Apostolic Fathers: A Narrative Introduction is the most engaging introduction to the Apostolic Fathers you will ever read." Most introductions to ancient texts aren't very interesting. What makes this different?
BERDING: There are two things that make this introduction to the Apostolic Fathers different from anything else out there. First, and perhaps most important, it’s short! The crucial things you need to know about these writings, including key excerpts from their writings, are included in the book. Second, it’s a story—and everyone loves a story. We know that Polycarp hid from the police in a country-house just outside Smyrna during the week before he was captured and burned at the stake in Smyrna. This book imagines the conversations he had with his friends about the Christian writings composed during Polycarp’s lifetime. (He lived through the entire period.) This book is different because it’s easy to read since it is written in story form.
Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, a best-selling author of over 18 books, an internationally recognized speaker, a part-time high school teacher, and the Resident Scholar for Summit, California. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.Books By Sean McDowell
Sean McDowell Books:
Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists
A New Kind of Apologist: *Adopting Fresh Strategies *Addressing the Latest Issues *Engaging the Culture
The Beauty of Intolerance: Setting a Generation Free to Know Truth and Love
Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage (Thoughtful Response)
ETHIX: Being Bold in a Whatever World
More Than a Carpenter
Unclean: Leviticus and Total Depravity
By Steven Lawson 8/12/2017
The word unclean is used more than one hundred times in Leviticus 11–15. It is an apt description of the condition of the people; they were morally unclean because of their failure to obey God’s commands. The law of Moses was issued, first and foremost, to reveal the holiness of God. The Ten Commandments, as well as the ceremonial and civil laws, were designed to keep God’s people distinct from the surrounding idolatrous nations. These laws made a clear distinction between what was clean and unclean. But Israel could not keep these laws perfectly. As a result, the people were spiritually unclean, each and every one of them:
For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” This is the law about beast and bird and every living creature that moves through the waters and every creature that swarms on the ground, to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean and between the living creature that may be eaten and the living creature that may not be eaten. —Leviticus 11:44–47.
In this representative text, God called His people to be holy, separated from all that is unclean (19:2; 20:7, 26). Through dietary laws and religious rituals, God was teaching them the necessity of being set apart from the defilements of the world. MacArthur comments, “Sacrifices, rituals, diet, and even clothing and cooking are all carefully ordered by God to teach them that they are to live differently from everyone else. This is to be an external illustration for the separation from sin in their hearts.” But no one could keep these laws and regulations perfectly; to break one point of the law was to be guilty of it all (James 2:10). The law was a continual reminder to the Israelites of their uncleanness as they stood before their holy God. Every part of the divine law was an indictment of their sinfulness. Thus, the law testified to their moral separation from God.
- 1 The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile)
- 2 The Kind of Preaching God Blesses
- 3 The Daring Mission of William Tyndale (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile)
- 4 The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile)
- 5 The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile)
- 6 Holman Old Testament Commentary - Psalms 76-150
- 7 The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile)
- 8 Holman Old Testament Commentary - Psalms
- 9 Famine in the Land
- 10 The Expository Genius of John Calvin (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile)
- 11 The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile)
- 12 Pillars of Grace
- 13 Made in Our Image: The Fallacy of the User-Friendly God
- 14 Foundations of Grace
- 15 The Attributes of God Study Guide
- 16 Pillars of Grace (A Long Line of Godly Men, Volume Two)
- 17 When All Hell Breaks Loose: You May Be Doing Something Right : Surprising Insights from the Life of Job
- 18 The Legacy: Ten Core Values Every Father Must Leave His Child
- 19 In It to Win It: Pursuing Victory in the One Race that Really Counts
- 20 As Firmes Resoluções de Jonathan Edwards (Portuguese Edition)
- 21 Faith Under Fire: Standing Strong When Satan Attacks
- 22 Absolutely Sure: Settle the Question of Eternal Life
- 23 Men Who Win: Pursuing the Ultimate Prize
- 24 Final Call
- 25 Heaven Help Us!: Truths About Eternity That Will Help You Live Today Insights from the Book of Rev Elation (Christian living)
The Human Condition And Christian Psychology
By Andrew Fulford 7/8/2017
Since Jay Adams and no doubt earlier, the Christian world has been arguing amongst itself over the relationship between its faith and the modern science of psychology. And this is not only a disciplinary division issue, for the modern field of inquiry has experienced a history of its own, with influential luminaries who not only searched for answers, but promulgated ones they thought they found. Many of those answers were not in agreement with the Christian faith, though some were. So the church finds itself needing to do critical and correlational work with the situation.
Beyond this question, Christianity makes claims about the human soul and its experience. And since the religion is doctrinally diverse, with pluriformity and even famous disagreement, its not surprising to find that specific Christians and Christian traditions make very different claims about the human condition. This is done both in a catechetical context and in apologetic, or evangelistic ones. Yet, we think that as ever, all our communication, even catechetical and apologetic, needs to be examined in light of reality and of scripture, and that not every past or contemporary commonplace can survive that scrutiny. Below we discuss both of these issues in brief.
The Real Experienced Condition Of The Human Race
Assuming a natural law and biblical approach to ethics, a fundamental axiom would be that the right and the good are identical, and that in principle we are directed toward what is good for us, with good being understood at base as “that which is desirable.” Yet, these traditions also acknowledge that it is possible for our desires to be twisted, such that we anticipate and receive pleasure in things that are ultimately not good for us in the objective sense. When Christians interact on issues of ethics, we sometimes don’t acknowledge this point, or if we do, we don’t do it very clearly. Sometimes we can switch into a kind of Kantian mode, where we simply issue prohibitions toward behaviour that people find pleasure in, without any acknowledgement or sense that the right is supposed to be ultimately the most pleasurable thing to do (at least, if things are functioning properly). A big scandal of Christian moral teaching is the secret Kantianism (what’s fun is bad) of much of it, which shrewd unbelievers are very quick to discern and understandably reject.
But the Christian claim is not simply that refraining from sin in the face of strong desires will bring more joy than engaging in sin. It is rather more specific: it’s that if one is regenerate, and if one is living out that regeneration with a fundamental psychological desire for God, and if one is walking with Christ in such a way that that desire is stoked (and by God’s grace, satisfied), then one would be happier in refraining from sin than in practicing it. But we’re not required to make a definitive claim about what would make people happier apart from those conditions being met.
email@example.com | Andrew Fulford (McGill University) received his MA in Theology from the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, where his research focused on contemporary theological approaches to the interpretation of the Bible. His current research interests are in the relationship between the Anglican theologian Richard Hooker and several subjects of contemporary interest: “the secular”, the use of reason in religion and religious disputes, and the psychology of radicalization and deradicalization. He will be presenting a paper on Hooker’s religious epistemology and apologetical method at the upcoming Sixteenth Century Society meeting.
You Will Never See Death
By John Piper 5/14/2011
God directed you to this sermon, I believe, so that you would know, first, that you don’t have to die, and, second, so that you would know that Jesus, who makes this promise to you, is God — the God of Israel, the God of all. And, third, you are here because God wants you to see the implication for your life of knowing you will not die.
Out of Tragedy, Greatness | There is another great reality in John 8:48–59 — namely, the opposition Jesus gets from the Jews.
The purpose of showing the opposition in this text is not because it’s pleasant to watch. It is tragic to watch. These are his own people calling him demonized. The reason for describing the opposition is that it’s the opposition that brings out the greatness — the mystery — of who Jesus is. They demand it. Look at the end of verse 53: “Who do you make yourself out to be?” And it’s the final answer to that question that brings this story to a fierce conclusion, because they take up stones — their form of capital punishment for blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16) — and Jesus hid himself, because his time was not yet come, and stoning was not the way he must die.
Deity and Deathlessness | So let’s take two of the great realities in this text — the deity of Jesus and the deathlessness of his followers — and open them up with the help of the opposition that they receive in this text. And let’s discover the astonishing implication of our deathlessness for our lives.
The text starts with opposition because the conflict in the first part of the chapter has already been intense. It ends in verse 47 with Jesus’s words: “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” So they have already shown themselves deaf to the meaning of Jesus’s words. His words only offend them.
- Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture
- Don't Waste Your Life
- Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist
- When I Don't Desire God (Redesign): How to Fight for Joy
- A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness
- Future Grace, Revised Edition: The Purifying Power of the Promises of God
- When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God--and Joy
- This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence
- Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God's Grace
- Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ (Revised Edition)
- Living in the Light: Money, Sex and Power
- The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God
- Taste and See: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life
- A Camaraderie of Confidence: The Fruit of Unfailing Faith in the Lives of Charles Spurgeon, George Müller, and Hudson Taylor
- A Camaraderie of Confidence: The Fruit of Unfailing Faith in the Lives of Charles Spurgeon, George Müller, and Hudson Taylor
- Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions
- God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself
- Rethinking Retirement: Finishing Life for the Glory of Christ
- The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God's Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin
- Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks From a Lifetime of Preaching
- A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
- The Dangerous Duty of Delight: The Glorified God and the Satisfied Soul
- Battling Unbelief: Defeating Sin with Superior Pleasure
- Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry, Updated and Expanded Edition
- The Supremacy of God in Preaching
- Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Redesign): A Response to Evangelical Feminism
- Risk Is Right: Better to Lose Your Life Than to Waste It
- Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ: The Cost of Bringing the Gospel to the Nations in the Lives of William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson, and John Paton (The Swans Are Not Silent)
- A Godward Heart: Treasuring the God Who Loves You
- The Roots of Endurance: Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce
- Don't Waste Your Cancer
- Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian
- The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd
- Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully: The Power of Poetic Effort in the Work of George Herbert, George Whitefield, and C. S. Lewis
- Suffering and the Sovereignty of God
- Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist
- The Justification of God: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23
- Finally Alive
- A Godward Life: Seeing the Supremacy of God in All of Life
- Spectacular Sins (Redesign): And Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ
- Pierced by the Word: Thirty-One Meditations for Your Soul
- God's Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards (With the Complete Text of The End for Which God Created the World)
- Life as a Vapor: Thirty-One Meditations for Your Faith
- Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
- 50 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood
- What Jesus Demands from the World (Paperback Edition)
- What's the Difference?: Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible
- Contending for Our All: Defending Truth and Treasuring Christ in the Lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen
- Finish the Mission: Bringing the Gospel to the Unreached and Unengaged
- John Calvin and His Passion for the Majesty of God
- A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
- Does God Desire All to Be Saved?
- Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples
- The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent
- The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright
- The Satisfied Soul: Showing the Supremacy of God in All of Life
- Thinking. Loving. Doing.: A Call to Glorify God with Heart and Mind
- A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
- Quest for Joy (Pack of 25) (Proclaiming the Gospel)
- Ruth: Under the Wings of God
- Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth
Taking God’s Keys The keys of the kingdom also unlock the joys of your calling.
By Dallas Willard 8/28/2017
Editor's note: | Acknowledging the tension between a professional life and a ministerial one for many pastors, Dallas Willard offers some counsel today to reignite the energy and joy of serving in the kingdom. We think that his words transcend the pastoral vocation and speak to all of us who serve the Lord wherever the byways and hedges happen to be.
“Imagine,” Dallas writes, “a man who carefully kept his doors locked and his keys in hand but who never went into his house! Having access to the kingdom, living in it, is what matters.” May you unlock that door with confidence and joy this week! —Renovaré Team
Every pastor, sooner or later, faces the contradictory demands of being a professional and being in ministry.
A professional has a schedule to keep, credentials to maintain, a career ladder to ascend. Urgent details crowd out solitude, service, and the deepening of a relationship with God. A life of simplicity and ministry to souls is elbowed aside by ambition and expectation.
Like doctors, lawyers, and other professionals today, pastors often feel their working conditions conflict with their calling. Heightened frustration leads to decreasing strength, peace, and joy.
The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God
The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives
Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God
How God is in Business
Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ
The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus
Living in Christ's Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God
The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus&8217;s Essential Teachings on Discipleship
Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ (Designed for Influence)
Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks
The Kingdom Life: A Practical Theology of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation
Knowing Christ Today
Getting Love Right
Devotionals, notes, poetry and more
by Bill Federer
Imprisoned for twelve years, his crime: preaching without a license from the Anglican Church. But injustice turned to good for during this time the classic book ISBN-13: 978-0141439716 was penned by John Bunyan, who died this day, August 31, 1688. It’s a story of a man who flees the City of Destruction, and is directed by Evangelist to follow a narrow path to the City of Zion. The friends and dangers he meets along the way inspired the modern story of the Wizard of Oz. Translated into over one hundred languages, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress was found in every home in colonial America, along with the Bible.
Compiled by Richard S. Adams
Trust God, who is one,
and not the world because it is many.
--- J.B. Lightfoot
My heart hath often been deeply afflicted under a feeling that the standard of pure righteousness is not lifted up to the people by us, as a society, in that clearness which it might have been, had we been as faithful as we ought to be to the teachings of Christ.
--- John Woolman
A proud faith is as much a contradiction as a humble devil.
--- Stephen Charnock
Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.
--- John Wooden
... from here, there and everywhere
Thanks to Meir Yona
Concerning John Of Gischala. Concerning The Zealots And The High Priest Ananus; As Also How The Jews Raise Seditions One Against Another [In Jerusalem].
1. Now upon John's entry into Jerusalem, the whole body of the people were in an uproar, and ten thousand of them crowded about every one of the fugitives that were come to them, and inquired of them what miseries had happened abroad, when their breath was so short, and hot, and quick, that of itself it declared the great distress they were in; yet did they talk big under their misfortunes, and pretended to say that they had not fled away from the Romans, but came thither in order to fight them with less hazard; for that it would be an unreasonable and a fruitless thing for them to expose themselves to desperate hazards about Gischala, and such weak cities, whereas they ought to lay up their weapons and their zeal, and reserve it for their metropolis. But when they related to them the taking of Gischala, and their decent departure, as they pretended, from that place, many of the people understood it to be no better than a flight; and especially when the people were told of those that were made captives, they were in great confusion, and guessed those things to be plain indications that they should be taken also. But for John, he was very little concerned for those whom he had left behind him, but went about among all the people, and persuaded them to go to war, by the hopes he gave them. He affirmed that the affairs of the Romans were in a weak condition, and extolled his own power. He also jested upon the ignorance of the unskillful, as if those Romans, although they should take to themselves wings, could never fly over the wall of Jerusalem, who found such great difficulties in taking the villages of Galilee, and had broken their engines of war against their walls.
2. These harangues of John's corrupted a great part of the young men, and puffed them up for the war; but as to the more prudent part, and those in years, there was not a man of them but foresaw what was coming, and made lamentation on that account, as if the city was already undone; and in this confusion were the people. But then it must be observed, that the multitude that came out of the country were at discord before the Jerusalem sedition began; for Titus went from Gischala to Cesates, and Vespasian from Cesarea to Jamnia and Azotus, and took them both; and when he had put garrisons into them, he came back with a great number of the people, who were come over to him, upon his giving them his right hand for their preservation. There were besides disorders and civil wars in every city; and all those that were at quiet from the Romans turned their hands one against another. There was also a bitter contest between those that were fond of war, and those that were desirous for peace. At the first this quarrelsome temper caught hold of private families, who could not agree among themselves; after which those people that were the dearest to one another brake through all restraints with regard to each other, and every one associated with those of his own opinion, and began already to stand in opposition one to another; so that seditions arose every where, while those that were for innovations, and were desirous of war, by their youth and boldness, were too hard for the aged and prudent men. And, in the first place, all the people of every place betook themselves to rapine; after which they got together in bodies, in order to rob the people of the country, insomuch that for barbarity and iniquity those of the same nation did no way differ from the Romans; nay, it seemed to be a much lighter thing to be ruined by the Romans than by themselves.
3. Now the Roman garrisons, which guarded the cities, partly out of their uneasiness to take such trouble upon them, and partly out of the hatred they bare to the Jewish nation, did little or nothing towards relieving the miserable, till the captains of these troops of robbers, being satiated with rapines in the country, got all together from all parts, and became a band of wickedness, and all together crept into Jerusalem, which was now become a city without a governor, and, as the ancient custom was, received without distinction all that belonged to their nation; and these they then received, because all men supposed that those who came so fast into the city came out of kindness, and for their assistance, although these very men, besides the seditions they raised, were otherwise the direct cause of the city's destruction also; for as they were an unprofitable and a useless multitude, they spent those provisions beforehand which might otherwise have been sufficient for the fighting men. Moreover, besides the bringing on of the war, they were the occasions of sedition and famine therein.
4. There were besides these other robbers that came out of the country, and came into the city, and joining to them those that were worse than themselves, omitted no kind of barbarity; for they did not measure their courage by their rapines and plunderings only, but preceded as far as murdering men; and this not in the night time or privately, or with regard to ordinary men, but did it openly in the day time, and began with the most eminent persons in the city; for the first man they meddled with was Antipas, one of the royal lineage, and the most potent man in the whole city, insomuch that the public treasures were committed to his care; him they took and confined; as they did in the next place to Levias, a person of great note, with Sophas, the son of Raguel, both which were of royal lineage also. And besides these, they did the same to the principal men of the country. This caused a terrible consternation among the people, and everyone contented himself with taking care of his own safety, as they would do if the city had been taken in war.
5. But these were not satisfied with the bonds into which they had put the men forementioned; nor did they think it safe for them to keep them thus in custody long, since they were men very powerful, and had numerous families of their own that were able to avenge them. Nay, they thought the very people would perhaps be so moved at these unjust proceedings, as to rise in a body against them; it was therefore resolved to have them slain accordingly, they sent one John, who was the most bloody-minded of them all, to do that execution: this man was also called "the son of Dorcas," 3 in the language of our country. Ten more men went along with him into the prison, with their swords drawn, and so they cut the throats of those that were in custody there. The grand lying pretence these men made for so flagrant an enormity was this, that these men had had conferences with the Romans for a surrender of Jerusalem to them; and so they said they had slain only such as were traitors to their common liberty. Upon the whole, they grew the more insolent upon this bold prank of theirs, as though they had been the benefactors and saviors of 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)
by D.H. Stern
Who fights and complains all the time?
Who gets bruised for no good reason?
Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who spend their time over wine,
those always trying out mixed drinks.
31 Don’t gaze at the red wine
as it gives its color to the cup.
It may glide down smoothly now;
32 but in the end, it bites like a serpent—
yes, it strikes like a poisonous snake.
33 Your eyes will see peculiar things,
your mind will utter nonsense.
34 You will feel as if lying on the waves of the sea
or sprawled on top of the mast—
35 “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it!
They beat me up, and I didn’t even know it!
When will I wake up?…
I’ll go get another drink.”
Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers
My joy … your joy
That My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. --- John 15:11.
What was the joy that Jesus had? It is an insult to use the word happiness in connection with Jesus Christ. The joy of Jesus was the absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice of Himself to His Father, the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do. “I delight to do Thy will.” Jesus prayed that our joy might go on fulfilling itself until it was the same joy as His. Have I allowed Jesus Christ to introduce His joy to me?
The full flood of my life is not in bodily health, not in external happenings, not in seeing God’s work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the communion with Him that Jesus Himself had. The first thing that will hinder this joy is the captious irritation of thinking out circumstances. The cares of this world, said Jesus, will choke God’s word. Before we know where we are, we are caught up in the shows of things. All that God has done for us is the mere threshold; He wants to get us to the place where we will be His witnesses and proclaim Who Jesus is.
Be rightly related to God, find your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. Be a centre for Jesus Christ to pour living water through. Stop being self-conscious, stop being a sanctified prig, and live the life hid with Christ. The life that is rightly related to God is as natural as breathing wherever it goes. The lives that have been of most blessing to you are those who were unconscious of it.
My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition
the Poetry of RS Thomas
No Through Road
All in vain. I will cease now
My long absorption with the plough,
With the tame and the wild creatures
And man united with the earth.
I have failed after many seasons
To bring truth to birth,
And nature's simple equations
In the mind's precincts do not apply.
But where to turn? Earth endures
After the passing, necessary shame
Of winter, and the old lie
Of green places beckons me still
From the new world, ugly and evil,
That men pry for in truth's name.
Selected poems, 1946-1968
Roy B. Zuck
”… the Lord’s judgment would also be perfectly appropriate. He would repay Edom for her evil deeds
Because the Edomites showed no mercy to Israel’s “survivors” (v. 14), they would have no “survivors” of their own v. 18). Because Edom “cut down” (kārat) Israel’s fugitives (v. 14) she would be “destroyed” (lit. “cut off,” kārat) forever (v. 10). The very people Edom attempted to wipe out would take possession of the mountains of Esau (vv. 18–21). The Phoenicians and Philistines, who had sold God’s people into distant lands as slaves (Joel 3:6), would also be appropriately repaid (3:5, 7). Eventually God’s exiled and enslaved people will return to their land, conquer their ancient enemies, and sell them into slavery to far off lands (3:7–8). In fact all the nations who had plundered Jerusalem would themselves be plundered (Zech. 2:9). Because they had participated in Jerusalem’s “day of misfortune / destruction / trouble / disaster / calamity” (Obad. 10–14), the Day of the Lord would fall upon them with full force (vv. 15–16).
A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament
All Israel are guarantors one for the other.
BIBLE TEXT / Leviticus 26:36–37 / As for those of you who survive, I will cast a faintness into their hearts in the land of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight. Fleeing as though from the sword, they shall fall though none pursues. With no one pursuing, they shall stumble over one another as before the sword. You shall not be able to stand your ground before your enemies.…
MIDRASH TEXT / Sifra Be-ḥukkotai 7:4–5 / The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥah said, “Once we were sitting among the trees, and the wind blew and smacked the leaves one against the other. We stood up and ran, saying, ‘Woe to us! The horsemen will catch us!’ After some time, we turned around and saw there was no one. We sat in our places and cried, saying, ‘Woe to us! The verse “the sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight. Fleeing as though from the sword, they shall fall though none pursues” has been fulfilled through us, due to our lack of power.’ ”
They shall stumble over one another. Over one another’s sins, teaching that all Israel are guarantors one for the other.
Chapter 26 of the Book of Leviticus contains blessings and curses. The Bible promises that these will come upon the Israelite nation depending on whether they have followed, or deviated from, the laws of the Torah. Verses 14–38 lay out what God will bring upon Israel “if you do not obey Me and do not observe all these commandments”—famine, drought, wild beasts, pestilence, and enemy armies shall destroy the land and its inhabitants. We are then told that fear will overwhelm the people, so that they will imagine all manner of horrors even when these are not real.
Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥah lived in the second half of the second century. He was witness to the terrors that followed the Bar Kokhba rebellion against the Romans (132–135 C.E.). Rome cracked down harshly on the Jews following this second major armed uprising (the first coming in the year 70, resulting in the destruction of the Temple). Rabbi Yehoshua was among the younger students of Rabbi Akiva, a leader of the rebellion who was, according to Rabbinic tradition, tortured and executed by the Romans. According to one tradition (likely apocryphal), Yehoshua was the son of Akiva. We can understand the fear he must have felt during this period, always imagining that the Romans were after him. A reader of the verse in the Torah—“The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight”—might say, “How can anyone be frightened by the sound of a leaf?” Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥah comes to tell us, “Believe it! That exact scenario once happened to me.”
The Midrash then goes on to give an explanation of another phrase from the next verse, “They shall stumble over one another.” The contextual meaning of this verse is that, in the great panic that ensues from the fear caused by the sound of the leaves, people will trample one another. The Rabbis give this verse a very different understanding: People will fall and stumble not physically, but metaphorically—over one another’s sins. One person will commit a sin; the punishment for the sin is the horrors listed in Leviticus 26. But other people, aware of their “neighbor’s” sin, will also be punished for not having prevented the wrong. The conclusion drawn from this interpretation is that we are judged not merely as individuals, but also as a community. Each of us is responsible for what every other member of our group does. All Israel are guarantors one for the other. The Hebrew word עֲרֵבִים/areivim is a term signifying a surety, something held in pledge, or a bond. It is not simply as Jews that we are responsible one for another; we are “co-signers” of a promise. If a fellow Jew cannot pay what he owes, we—every other member of the Jewish people—are obligated to make good on it. The same is true in the moral sphere. We may not close our eyes to what is happening around us. We cannot say, “What other people do is none of my business.” It is our business. If our neighbor does wrong and we do nothing about it, then we are the ones who will stumble and fall.
Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living
He spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. --- Psalm 33:9.
[The power of God appears] in supporting the human nature of Christ and keeping it from sinking under the terrible weight of divine wrath that came on him for our sins and in making him victorious over the Devil and all the powers of darkness. (Thomas Boston, “Of God and His Perfections,” downloaded from The Boston Homepage at www.geocities.com/~thomasboston, accessed Aug. 21, 2001.) His human nature could not possibly have borne up under the wrath of God and the curse of the law nor held out under such fearful contests with the powers of hell and the world, if it had not been upheld by infinite power. Thus, his Father says concerning him: “Here is my servant, whom I uphold”
The divine power appeared in raising Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:19). The unlocking the belly of the whale for the deliverance of Jonah, the rescue of Daniel from the den of lions and restraining the fire from burning the three children were striking declarations of the divine power and were foreshadows of the resurrection of our Redeemer. But all these are nothing to what is represented by them, for these showed a power over natural causes and curbing of beasts and restraining of elements. But in the resurrection of Christ, God exercised a power over himself and quenched the flames of his own wrath, which was hotter than millions of Nebuchadnezzar’s furnaces. He unlocked the prison doors in which the curses of the law had lodged our Savior, stronger than the belly and ribs of a leviathan. How admirable it was that he should be raised from under the curse of the law and the infinite weight of our sins and brought forth with success and glory after his sharp encounter with the powers of hell! In this the power of God was gloriously manifested. Hence he is said to be raised from the dead “through the glory of the Father,” and “declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). All the miraculous proofs by which God acknowledged him for his Son during his life were ineffective without this. If he had remained in the grave, it had been reasonable to believe him only an ordinary person and that his death had been the just punishment of his presumption in calling himself the Son of God. But his resurrection from the dead was the most illustrious and convincing evidence that really he was what he declared himself to be.
Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers
Solidarity August 31
No one played a larger role in the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe than Karol Wojtyla of Krakow. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, Wojtyla had attended an underground Catholic seminary by dodging military patrols and taking secret classes in convents, churches, and homes. At length he graduated, donned clerical robes, and traveled to a small Polish village to serve as priest. Communists, meanwhile, were replacing Nazis as the oppressors of Eastern Europe; but with intrepidity, Wojtyla performed baptisms, heard confessions, offered Mass, foiled the secret police, and thwarted authorities.
The years passed, and by 1978, the village priest had advanced to become the first non-Italian pope in 456 years—John Paul II. On one of his first outings, the new pope heard someone in the crowd shout, “Don’t forget the Church of Silence!” (that is, the church under Communism). John Paul replied, “It’s not a Church of Silence anymore, because it speaks with my voice.”
John Paul soon returned in triumph to Warsaw where his plane landed over the protests of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Oceans of faces met him everywhere, weeping, praying, shouting. Communist leaders in Russia and Poland trembled as they listened to his words: “Dearest brothers and sisters! You must be strong with the strength that flows from faith! There is no need to be afraid. The frontiers must be opened.”
Within a year, spontaneous strikes occurred throughout Poland; and in Gdansk, Lech Walesa stood atop an excavator and announced a strike in the shipyards. Back at the Vatican, John Paul watched, prayed, and spoke to a group of Polish pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square. “All of us here in Rome are united with our compatriots in Poland,” he said, signaling his blessings on the strikers. Within a week the Communists made historic concessions, and on August 31, 1980 the Gdansk Accords were signed, permitting the first independent union in Eastern Europe. There was no mistaking the role of the Polish pope, for Lech Walesa signed the papers using a brightly colored Vatican pen featuring a picture of John Paul II.
The Iron Curtain was crumbling.
I’ll tell you what it really means to worship the LORD.
Remove the chains of prisoners who are chained unjustly.
Free those who are abused!
Share your food with everyone who is hungry;
Share your home with the poor and homeless.
Give clothes to those in need;
Don’t turn away your relatives.
On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes
Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON
Morning - August 31
“On mine arm shall they trust.” --- Isaiah 51:5.
In seasons of severe trial, the Christian has nothing on earth that he can trust to, and is therefore compelled to cast himself on his God alone. When his vessel is on its beam-ends, and no human deliverance can avail, he must simply and entirely trust himself to the providence and care of God. Happy storm that wrecks a man on such a rock as this! O blessed hurricane that drives the soul to God and God alone! There is no getting at our God sometimes because of the multitude of our friends; but when a man is so poor, so friendless, so helpless that he has nowhere else to turn, he flies into his Father’s arms, and is blessedly clasped therein! When he is burdened with troubles so pressing and so peculiar, that he cannot tell them to any but his God, he may be thankful for them; for he will learn more of his Lord then than at any other time. Oh, tempest-tossed believer, it is a happy trouble that drives thee to thy Father! Now that thou hast only thy God to trust to, see that thou puttest thy full confidence in him. Dishonour not thy Lord and Master by unworthy doubts and fears; but be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Show the world that thy God is worth ten thousand worlds to thee. Show rich men how rich thou art in thy poverty when the Lord God is thy helper. Show the strong man how strong thou art in thy weakness when underneath thee are the everlasting arms. Now is the time for feats of faith and valiant exploits. Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord thy God shall certainly, as surely as he built the heavens and the earth, glorify himself in thy weakness, and magnify his might in the midst of thy distress. The grandeur of the arch of heaven would be spoiled if the sky were supported by a single visible column, and your faith would lose its glory if it rested on anything discernible by the carnal eye. May the Holy Spirit give you to rest in Jesus this closing day of the month.
Evening - August 31
“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light.”
--- John 1:7.
As he is in the light! Can we ever attain to this? Shall we ever be able to walk as clearly in the light as he is whom we call “Our Father,” of whom it is written, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all?” Certainly, this is the model which it set before us, for the Saviour himself said, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect;” and although we may feel that we can never rival the perfection of God, yet we are to seek after it, and never to be satisfied until we attain to it. The youthful artist, as he grasps his early pencil, can hardly hope to equal Raphael or Michael Angelo, but still, if he did not have a noble beau ideal before his mind, he would only attain to something very mean and ordinary. But what is meant by the expression that the Christian is to walk in light as God is in the light? We conceive it to import likeness, but not degree. We are as truly in the light, we are as heartily in the light, we are as sincerely in the light, as honestly in the light, though we cannot be there in the same measure. I cannot dwell in the sun, it is too bright a place for my residence, but I can walk in the light of the sun; and so, though I cannot attain to that perfection of purity and truth which belongs to the Lord of hosts by nature as the infinitely good, yet I can set the Lord always before me, and strive, by the help of the indwelling Spirit, after conformity to his image. That famous old commentator, John Trapp, says, “We may be in the light as God is in the light for quality, but not for equality.” We are to have the same light, and are as truly to have it and walk in it as God does, though, as for equality with God in his holiness and purity, that must be left until we cross the Jordan and enter into the perfection of the Most High. Mark that the blessings of sacred fellowship and perfect cleansing are bound up with walking in the light.
Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
ONLY ONE LIFE
Avis B. Christiansen, 1895–1985
And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:15)
Find your purpose and fling your life out into it; and the loftier your purpose is, the more sure you will be to make the world richer with every enrichment of yourself!
--- Phillips Brooks
How tragic it is to see the great number of talented young people who waste their lives on transient things instead of investing them in that which is eternal. Yet this choice must be made by every individual: Will I commit my life to the highest and best—God and His service—or will I settle for that which is self-seeking and cheap? The results of these two styles of living are obvious; merely observe the difference between the quality of life of those who have engaged in self-indulgent, useless living and those who have spent their time faithfully serving God with a concern for the spiritual and physical needs of others. One leads to disillusionment and the other to contentment.
Since it was published in 1937, this thoughtful hymn by Avis B. Christiansen and Merrill Dunlop has been widely used of God to challenge scores of young believers with the importance of committing their lives completely to God’s glory and service. Both Mrs. Christiansen and Mr. Dunlop have made other notable contributions to Gospel hymnody with their many fine hymns.
These words reinforce and amplify the oft-quoted statement: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Only one life to offer—Jesus, my Lord and King; only one tongue to praise Thee and of Thy mercy sing; only one heart’s devotion—Savior, O may it be consecrated alone to Thy matchless glory, yielded fully to Thee.
Only this hour is mine, Lord—May it be used for Thee; may ev’ry passing moment count for eternity; souls all about are dying, dying in sin and shame; help me bring them the message of Calv’ry’s redemption in Thy glorious name.
Only one life to offer—Take it, dear Lord, I pray; nothing from Thee withholding, Thy will I now obey; thou who hast freely given Thine all in all for me, claim this life for Thine own to be used, my Savior, ev’ry moment for Thee.
For Today: Matthew 10:39; Luke 12:15, 34; Romans 12:1, 2; Philippians 1:20, 21; 3:8
Seriously ponder: Do I really have something beyond myself that gives real meaning and purpose to my life? Is that something God and His service? Breathe this musical prayer ---
Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions
Thursday, August 31, 2017 | After Pentecost
Proper 16, Thursday
Psalms (Morning) Psalm 18:1–19
Psalms (Evening) Psalm 18:20–50
Old Testament 1 Kings 3:16–28
New Testament Acts 27:27–44
Gospel Mark 14:12–26
Index of Readings
1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
so I shall be saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
5 the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called upon the LORD;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
7 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8 Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9 He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
12 Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice.
14 And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of mighty waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity;
but the LORD was my support.
19 He brought me out into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
20 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his ordinances were before me,
and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23 I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from guilt.
24 Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25 With the loyal you show yourself loyal;
with the blameless you show yourself blameless;
26 with the pure you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you show yourself perverse.
27 For you deliver a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28 It is you who light my lamp;
the LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 By you I can crush a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30 This God—his way is perfect;
the promise of the LORD proves true;
he is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God except the LORD?
And who is a rock besides our God?—
32 the God who girded me with strength,
and made my way safe.
33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer,
and set me secure on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand has supported me;
your help has made me great.
36 You gave me a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
and did not turn back until they were consumed.
38 I struck them down, so that they were not able to rise;
they fell under my feet.
39 For you girded me with strength for the battle;
you made my assailants sink under me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
and those who hated me I destroyed.
41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them;
they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them.
42 I beat them fine, like dust before the wind;
I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
43 You delivered me from strife with the peoples;
you made me head of the nations;
people whom I had not known served me.
44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
foreigners came cringing to me.
45 Foreigners lost heart,
and came trembling out of their strongholds.
46 The LORD lives! Blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation,
47 the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me;
48 who delivered me from my enemies;
indeed, you exalted me above my adversaries;
you delivered me from the violent.
49 For this I will extol you, O LORD, among the nations,
and sing praises to your name.
50 Great triumphs he gives to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.
1 Kings 3:16–28
16 Later, two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Please, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were together; there was no one else with us in the house, only the two of us were in the house. 19 Then this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your servant slept. She laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, I saw that he was dead; but when I looked at him closely in the morning, clearly it was not the son I had borne.” 22 But the other woman said, “No, the living son is mine, and the dead son is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead son is yours, and the living son is mine.” So they argued before the king.
23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; while the other says, ‘Not so! Your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’ ” 24 So the king said, “Bring me a sword,” and they brought a sword before the king. 25 The king said, “Divide the living boy in two; then give half to the one, and half to the other.” 26 But the woman whose son was alive said to the king—because compassion for her son burned within her—“Please, my lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him!” The other said, “It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it.” 27 Then the king responded: “Give the first woman the living boy; do not kill him. She is his mother.” 28 All Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered; and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him, to execute justice.
27 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were drifting across the sea of Adria, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. 28 So they took soundings and found twenty fathoms; a little farther on they took soundings again and found fifteen fathoms. 29 Fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30 But when the sailors tried to escape from the ship and had lowered the boat into the sea, on the pretext of putting out anchors from the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the boat and set it adrift.
33 Just before daybreak, Paul urged all of them to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have been in suspense and remaining without food, having eaten nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take some food, for it will help you survive; for none of you will lose a hair from your heads.” 35 After he had said this, he took bread; and giving thanks to God in the presence of all, he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then all of them were encouraged and took food for themselves. 37 (We were in all two hundred seventy-six persons in the ship.) 38 After they had satisfied their hunger, they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat into the sea.
39 In the morning they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned to run the ship ashore, if they could. 40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea. At the same time they loosened the ropes that tied the steering-oars; then hoisting the foresail to the wind, they made for the beach. 41 But striking a reef, they ran the ship aground; the bow stuck and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the force of the waves. 42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, so that none might swim away and escape; 43 but the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, 44 and the rest to follow, some on planks and others on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.
12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 13 So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” 16 So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
17 When it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.”
22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
26 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church