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2 Chronicles 6-7
Psalm 136
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2 Chronicles 6:1     Then Solomon spoke:

“The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud.
2 I have surely built You an exalted house,
And a place for You to dwell in forever.”

Solomon’s Speech Upon Completion of the Work

     3 Then the king turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. 4 And he said: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who has fulfilled with His hands what He spoke with His mouth to my father David, saying, 5 ‘Since the day that I brought My people out of the land of Egypt, I have chosen no city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house, that My name might be there, nor did I choose any man to be a ruler over My people Israel. 6 Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’ 7 Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. 8 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well in that it was in your heart. 9 Nevertheless you shall not build the temple, but your son who will come from your body, he shall build the temple for My name.’ 10 So the Lord has fulfilled His word which He spoke, and I have filled the position of my father David, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised; and I have built the temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. 11 And there I have put the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord which He made with the children of Israel.”

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

     12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands 13 (for Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court; and he stood on it, knelt down on his knees before all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven); 14 and he said: “Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or on earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. 15 You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father; You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day. 16 Therefore, Lord God of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if ( only if ) your sons take heed to their way, that they walk in My law as you have walked before Me.’ 17 And now, O Lord God of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David.

     18 “But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! 19 Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You: 20 that Your eyes may be open toward this temple day and night, toward the place where You said You would put Your name, that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place. 21 And may You hear the supplications of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and when You hear, forgive.

     22 “If anyone sins against his neighbor, and is forced to take an oath, and comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this temple, 23 then hear from heaven, and act, and judge Your servants, bringing retribution on the wicked by bringing his way on his own head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.

     24 “Or if Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and return and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication before You in this temple, 25 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to them and their fathers.

     26 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, 27 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.

     28 “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; 29 whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands to this temple: 30 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men), 31 that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways as long as they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.

     32 “Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for the sake of Your great name and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm, when they come and pray in this temple; 33 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.

     34 “When Your people go out to battle against their enemies, wherever You send them, and when they pray to You toward this city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name, 35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.

     36 “When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to a land far or near; 37 yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, and have committed wickedness’; 38 and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been carried captive, and pray toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and toward the temple which I have built for Your name: 39 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive Your people who have sinned against You. 40 Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place.

41 “Now therefore,
Arise, O Lord God, to Your resting place,
You and the ark of Your strength.
Let Your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation,
And let Your saints rejoice in goodness.
42 “O Lord God, do not turn away the face of Your Anointed;
Remember the mercies of Your servant David.”

Solomon Dedicates the Temple

2 Chronicles 7:1     When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. 3 When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying:

“For He is good,
For His mercy endures forever.”

     4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord. 5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand bulls and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6 And the priests attended to their services; the Levites also with instruments of the music of the Lord, which King David had made to praise the Lord, saying, “For His mercy endures forever,” whenever David offered praise by their ministry. The priests sounded trumpets opposite them, while all Israel stood.

     7 Furthermore Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was in front of the house of the Lord; for there he offered burnt offerings and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat.

     8 At that time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt. 9 And on the eighth day they held a sacred assembly, for they observed the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. 10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their tents, joyful and glad of heart for the good that the Lord had done for David, for Solomon, and for His people Israel. 11 Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house; and Solomon successfully accomplished all that came into his heart to make in the house of the Lord and in his own house.

God’s Second Appearance to Solomon

     12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, 18 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.’

     19 “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, 20 then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

     21 “And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and this house?’ 22 Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.’ ”

Psalm 136

Thanksgiving to God for His Enduring Mercy

1     Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
2     Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
3     Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever:
4     To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His mercy endures forever;
5     To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,
For His mercy endures forever;
6     To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,
For His mercy endures forever;
7     To Him who made great lights,
For His mercy endures forever—
8     The sun to rule by day,
For His mercy endures forever;
9     The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His mercy endures forever.

10     To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn,
For His mercy endures forever;
11     And brought out Israel from among them,
For His mercy endures forever;
12     With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm,
For His mercy endures forever;
13     To Him who divided the Red Sea in two,
For His mercy endures forever;
14     And made Israel pass through the midst of it,
For His mercy endures forever;
15     But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
For His mercy endures forever;
16     To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
For His mercy endures forever;
17     To Him who struck down great kings,
For His mercy endures forever;
18     And slew famous kings,
For His mercy endures forever—
19     Sihon king of the Amorites,
For His mercy endures forever;
20     And Og king of Bashan,
For His mercy endures forever—
21     And gave their land as a heritage,
For His mercy endures forever;
22     A heritage to Israel His servant,
For His mercy endures forever.

23     Who remembered us in our lowly state,
For His mercy endures forever;
24     And rescued us from our enemies,
For His mercy endures forever;
25     Who gives food to all flesh,
For His mercy endures forever.
26     Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever.

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

  • Lect 26 1-2 Cor
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#2    Dr. Herb Bateman


#3    Dr. Herb Bateman


  Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon chose to resign, the first ever to do so, rather than put the country through the ordeal of an impeachment. In a televised address, he said: “To continue to fight… for my personal vindication would… totally absorb the time and attention of… the President and the Congress.” In a private farewell to his Cabinet, President Nixon stated: “Mistakes, yes… for personal gain, never… I can only say to each… one of you… we come from many faiths… but really the same God… You will be in our hearts and… in our prayers.”

American Minute

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams

As recorded by James Madison,
In the… Contest with Great Britain…
we had daily prayer in this room for Divine protection.

- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, &…
graciously answered….
And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend?
or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?
--- Benjamin Franklin

Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.
--- Henri J.M. Nouwen

God sometimes shuts the door and shuts us in,
That He may speak, perchance through grief or pain;
And softly, heart to heart, above the din
May teach some precious truth to us again.
--- Unknown

... from here, there and everywhere

History of the Destruction of Jerusalem
     Thanks to Meir Yona

     CHAPTER 3.

     A Description Of Galilee, Samaria, And Judea.

     1. Now Phoenicia and Syria encompass about the Galilees, which are two, and called the Upper Galilee and the Lower. They are bounded toward the sun-setting, with the borders of the territory belonging to Ptolemais, and by Carmel; which mountain had formerly belonged to the Galileans, but now belonged to the Tyrians; to which mountain adjoins Gaba, which is called the City of Horsemen, because those horsemen that were dismissed by Herod the king dwelt therein; they are bounded on the south with Samaria and Scythopolis, as far as the river Jordan; on the east with Hippeae and Gadaris, and also with Ganlonitis, and the borders of the kingdom of Agrippa; its northern parts are hounded by Tyre, and the country of the Tyrians. As for that Galilee which is called the Lower, it, extends in length from Tiberias to Zabulon, and of the maritime places Ptolemais is its neighbor; its breadth is from the village called Xaloth, which lies in the great plain, as far as Bersabe, from which beginning also is taken the breadth of the Upper Galilee, as far as the village Baca, which divides the land of the Tyrians from it; its length is also from Meloth to Thella, a village near to Jordan.

     2. These two Galilees, of so great largeness, and encompassed with so many nations of foreigners, have been always able to make a strong resistance on all occasions of war; for the Galileans are inured to war from their infancy, and have been always very numerous; nor hath the country been ever destitute of men of courage, or wanted a numerous set of them; for their soil is universally rich and fruitful, and full of the plantations of trees of all sorts, insomuch that it invites the most slothful to take pains in its cultivation, by its fruitfulness; accordingly, it is all cultivated by its inhabitants, and no part of it lies idle. Moreover, the cities lie here very thick, and the very many villages there are here are every where so full of people, by the richness of their soil, that the very least of them contain above fifteen thousand inhabitants.

     3. In short, if any one will suppose that Galilee is inferior to Perea in magnitude, he will be obliged to prefer it before it in its strength; for this is all capable of cultivation, and is every where fruitful; but for Perea, which is indeed much larger in extent, the greater part of it is desert and rough, and much less disposed for the production of the milder kinds of fruits; yet hath it a moist soil [in other parts], and produces all kinds of fruits, and its plains are planted with trees of all sorts, while yet the olive tree, the vine, and the palm tree are chiefly cultivated there. It is also sufficiently watered with torrents, which issue out of the mountains, and with springs that never fail to run, even when the torrents fail them, as they do in the dog-days. Now the length of Perea is from Machaerus to Pella, and its breadth from Philadelphia to Jordan; its northern parts are bounded by Pella, as we have already said, as well as its Western with Jordan; the land of Moab is its southern border, and its eastern limits reach to Arabia, and Silbonitis, and besides to Philadelphene and Gerasa.

     4. Now as to the country of Samaria, it lies between Judea and Galilee; it begins at a village that is in the great plain called Ginea, and ends at the Acrabbene toparchy, and is entirely of the same nature with Judea; for both countries are made up of hills and valleys, and are moist enough for agriculture, and are very fruitful. They have abundance of trees, and are full of autumnal fruit, both that which grows wild, and that which is the effect of cultivation. They are not naturally watered by many rivers, but derive their chief moisture from rain-water, of which they have no want; and for those rivers which they have, all their waters are exceeding sweet: by reason also of the excellent grass they have, their cattle yield more milk than do those in other places; and, what is the greatest sign of excellency and of abundance, they each of them are very full of people.

     5. In the limits of Samaria and Judea lies the village Anuath, which is also named Borceos. This is the northern boundary of Judea. The southern parts of Judea, if they be measured lengthways, are bounded by a Village adjoining to the confines of Arabia; the Jews that dwell there call it Jordan. However, its breadth is extended from the river Jordan to Joppa. The city Jerusalem is situated in the very middle; on which account some have, with sagacity enough, called that city the Navel of the country. Nor indeed is Judea destitute of such delights as come from the sea, since its maritime places extend as far as Ptolemais: it was parted into eleven portions, of which the royal city Jerusalem was the supreme, and presided over all the neighboring country, as the head does over the body. As to the other cities that were inferior to it, they presided over their several toparchies; Gophna was the second of those cities, and next to that Acrabatta, after them Thamna, and Lydda, and Emmaus, and Pella, and Idumea, and Engaddi, and Herodium, and Jericho; and after them came Jamnia and Joppa, as presiding over the neighboring people; and besides these there was the region of Gamala, and Gaulonitis, and Batanea, and Trachonitis, which are also parts of the kingdom of Agrippa. This [last] country begins at Mount Libanus, and the fountains of Jordan, and reaches breadthways to the lake of Tiberias; and in length is extended from a village called Arpha, as far as Julias. Its inhabitants are a mixture of Jews and Syrians. And thus have I, with all possible brevity, described the country of Judea, and those that lie round about it.

          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 22:15
     by D.H. Stern

15     Doing wrong is firmly tied to the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline will drive it far away from him.

Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
Mushrooms On The Moor
     by Frank W. Boreham


     'First officers are often worse than skippers,' remarked the night watchman in Mr. W. W. Jacobs' Light Freights. 'In the first place, they know they ain't skippers, and that alone is enough to put 'em in a bad temper, especially if they've 'ad their certificate a good many years, and can't get a vacancy.' I fancy there is something in the night watchman's philosophy; and I am therefore writing a word or two for the special benefit of first mates. I am half inclined to address it 'to first mates only,' for to second mates, third mates, and other inferior officers I have nothing to say. But the first mate evokes our sympathy on the ground that the night watchman states so forcibly, 'First mates know they ain't skippers, and that alone is enough to put 'em in a bad temper.' It is horribly vexatious to be next door to greatness. An old proverb tells us that a miss is as good as a mile; but like most proverbs, it is as false as false can be. A mile is ever so much better than a miss.

     I am fond of cricket, and am president of a certain club. I invariably attend the matches unless the house happens to be on fire. I have enough of the sporting instinct to be able to take defeat cheerfully—if the defeat falls within certain limits. It must not be so crushing as to be a positive humiliation, nor must it be by so fine a margin as to constitute itself a tantalization. Of the two, I prefer the former to the latter. The former can be dismissed under certain recognized forms. 'The glorious uncertainty of cricket!' you say to yourself. 'It's all in the game; and the best side in the world sometimes has an off day!' But, if, after a great struggle, you lose by a run, you go home thinking uncharitable thoughts of the bowler who might have prevented the other fellow from making a certain boundary hit, of the wicket-keeper who might have saved a bye, or of the batsman who might easily have got a few more runs if he hadn't played such a ridiculously fluky stroke. To be beaten by a hundred runs is bad, but bearable; to be beaten by an innings and a hundred runs is humiliating and horrible; to be beaten by a single run is exasperating and intolerable.

     The same thing meets us at every turn. A few minutes ago I picked up the Life of Lord Randolph Churchill, by his son. In the very first chapter there is a letter written by Dr. Creighton to the Duchess of Marlborough commiserating her ladyship on the fact that Lord Randolph had been placed in the second class at the December examinations at Oxford. 'I must own,' the Bishop writes, 'that I was sorry when I heard how narrowly Lord Randolph missed the first class; a few more questions answered, and a few more omissions in some of his papers, and he would have secured it. He was, I am told by the examiners, the best man who was put into the second class; and the great hardship is, as your Grace observes, that he should be in the same class with so many who are greatly his inferior in knowledge and ability. It is rather tantalizing to think that he came so near; if he had been farther off I should have been more content.' Now that is exactly the misery of the first mate. He is so near to being a skipper, so very near. He even carries continually in his pocket the official papers that certify that he is fully qualified to be a skipper. And yet, for all that, he is not a skipper. Sometimes, indeed, he fancies that he will never be a skipper. It is very trying. I am sorry—genuinely sorry—for the first mate. What can I say to help him?

     Perhaps the thing that he will most appreciate is a reminder of the tremendous debt that the world owes to its first mates. I was reading the other day Dasent's great John Thadeus Delane, Editor of "The Times": His Life and Correspondence, Volume 1. Among the most striking documents printed in these five volumes are the letters that Delane wrote from the seat of war during the struggle in the Crimea to the substitute who occupied his own editorial chair in the office of The Times. And the whole burden of those letters is to show that England was saved in those days by a first mate. 'The admiral,' he says in one letter, 'is by no means up to his position. The real commander is Lyons, who is just another Nelson—full of energy and activity.' Two days later, he says again, 'Nothing but the energy and determination of Sir E. Lyons overcame the difficulties and "impossibilities" raised by those who seem to have always a consistent objection to doing anything until their "to-morrow" shall arrive. All the credit is due to him, and to him alone, for our admiral never left his ship, which was anchored three miles from the shore, and contented himself with sending the same contingent of men and boats as the other ships.' And, writing again after the landing had been effected, Delane says, 'Remember always, that, in the great credit which the success of this landing deserves, Dundas has no share. Lyons has done all, and this in spite of discouragement such as a smaller man would have resented. Nelson could not have done better, and, indeed, his case at Copenhagen nearly resembles this.' Here, then, is a feather in the cap of the first mate. He may often save a vital situation which, in the hands of a dilatory skipper, might easily have been lost. The skipper is skipper, and knows it. He is at the top of the tree, and there remains nothing to struggle after. He is apt to rest on his laurels and lose his energy. This subtle tendency is the first mate's opportunity. The ship must not be lost because the skipper goes to sleep. Everything, at such an hour, depends on the first mate.

     Nor is it only in time of war and of crisis that the first mate comes to his own. In the arts of peace the selfsame principle holds good. What could our literature have done without the first mate? And in the republic of letters the first mate is usually a woman. It is only quite lately that women have, to any appreciable extent, applied themselves to the tasks and responsibilities of authorship. Until well into the eighteenth century, Mrs. Grundy scowled out of countenance any intrepid female who threatened to invade the sacred domain. In 1778, however, Miss Fanny Burney braved the old lady's wrath, published Evelina, and became the pioneer of a new epoch. One of these days, perhaps on the bi-centenary of that event, the army of women who wield the pen will erect a statue to the memory of that courageous and brilliant pathfinder. When they do so, two memorable scenes in the life of their heroine will probably be represented in bas-relief upon the pedestal. The one will portray Miss Burney, hopeless of ever inducing a biased public to read a woman's work, making a bonfire of the manuscripts to which she had devoted such patient care. The other will illustrate the famous scene when Miss Burney danced a jig to Daddy Crisp round the great mulberry-tree at Chessington. It was, her diary tells us, the uncontrollable outcome of her exhilaration on learning of the praise which the great Dr. Johnson bestowed on Evelina. 'It gave me such a flight of spirits,' she says, 'that I danced a jig to Mr. Crisp, without any preparation, music, or explanation, to his no small amazement and diversion.' Macaulay declared that Miss Burney did for the English novel what Jeremy Collier did for the English drama; and she did it in a better way. 'She first showed that a tale might be written in which both the fashionable and the vulgar life of London might be exhibited with great force, and with broad comic humour, and which should yet contain not a single line inconsistent with rigid morality, or even with virgin delicacy. She took away the reproach which lay on a most useful and delightful species of composition.' Prejudice, however, dies hard; and the same writer tells us in another essay that seventy years later, some reviewers were still of opinion that a lady who dares to publish a book renounces by that act the franchises appertaining to her sex, and can claim no exemption from the utmost rigour of critical procedure.

     But, however strong may have been the prejudice against a woman becoming captain, and taking her place upon the bridge, nobody could object to her becoming first mate; and it is as first mate that woman has rendered the most valuable service. A few, like Fanny Burney and Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot, may have become skippers; but we could better afford to lose all the works of such writers than lose the influence which women have exerted over captains whom they served in the capacity of first mate. It was a saying of Emerson's that a man is entitled to credit, not only for what he himself does, but for all that he inspires others to do. To no subject does this axiom apply with greater force than to this. It would be a fatal mistake to suppose that the contribution of women to the republic of letters begins and ends with the works that bear feminine names upon their title-pages. Our literature is adorned by a few examples of acknowledged collaboration between a man and a woman, and only in very rare instances is the woman the minor contributor. But, in addition to these, there are innumerable records of men whose names stand in the foremost rank among our laureates and teachers yet whose work would have been simply impossible but for the woman in the background. From a host of examples that naturally rush to mind we may instance, almost at random, the cases of Wordsworth, Carlyle, and Robert Louis Stevenson. In the days of his restless youth, when Wordsworth was in danger of entangling himself in the military and political tumults of the time, it was his sister who recalled him to his desk and pointed him along the road that led to destiny. 'It is,' Miss Masson remarks, 'in moments such as this that men, especially those who feed on their feelings, become desperate, and think and do desperate acts. It was at this critical moment for Wordsworth that his sister Dorothy stepped into his life and saved him.' 'She soothed his mind,' the same writer says again, banished from it both contemporary politics and religious doubts, and infused instead love of beauty and dependence on faith, and so she re-awoke craving for poetic expression.'

She, in the midst of all, preserved him still
  A poet; made him seek beneath that name,
  And that alone, his office upon earth.

     Poor Dorothy! She accompanied her brother on more than half his wanderings; she pointed out to him more than half the loveliness that is embalmed in his verses; she suggested to him half his themes. As the poet himself confessed:

She gave me eyes, she gave me ears,
  And humble cares, and delicate fears;
  A heart, the fountain of sweet tears;
  And love, and thought, and joy.

     Yes, the world owes more than it will ever know to first mates as loyal and true and helpful as Dorothy Wordsworth. The skipper stands on the bridge and gets all the glory, but only he and the first mate know how much was due to the figure in the background. Think, too, of that bright spring day, nearly fifty years ago now, when a lady, driving through Hyde Park to see the beauty of the crocuses and the snowdrops, was seen to lurch suddenly forward in her carriage, and a moment after was found to be dead. 'It was a loss unspeakable in its intensity for Carlyle,' Mr. Maclean Watt says in his monograph. 'This woman was one of the bravest and brightest influences in his life, though, perhaps, it was entirely true that he was not aware of his indebtedness until the Veil of Silence fell between.' The skipper never is aware of his indebtedness to the first mate; that is an essential feature of the relationship. It is the glory of the first mate that he works without thought of recognition or reward; glad if he can keep the ship true to her course; and ever proud to see the skipper crowned with all the glory. Carlyle's debt to his wife is one of the most tragic stories in the history of letters. 'In the ruined nave of the old Abbey Kirk,' the sage tells us, 'with the skies looking down on her, there sleeps my little Jeannie, and the light of her face will never shine on me more. I say deliberately her part in the stern battle (and except myself none knows how stern) was brighter and braver than my own.'

     And in Stevenson's case the obligation is even more marked. 'What a debt he owed to women!' one of his biographers exclaims. 'In his puny, ailing infancy, his mother and his nurse Cummie had soothed and tended him; in his troubled hour of youth he had found an inspirer, consoler, and guide in Mrs. Sitwell to teach him belief in himself; in his moment of failure, and struggle with poverty and death itself, he had married a wife capable of being his comrade, his critic, and his nurse.' We owe all the best part of Stevenson's work to the presence by his side of a wife who possessed, as Sir Sidney Colvin testifies, 'a character as strong, interesting, and romantic as his own. She was the inseparable sharer of all his thoughts; the staunch companion of all his adventures; the most open-hearted of friends to all who loved him; the most shrewd and stimulating critic of his work; and in sickness, despite her own precarious health, the most devoted and most efficient of nurses.'

     Dorothy Wordsworth, Jane Carlyle, and Fanny Stevenson are representatives of a great host of brave and brilliant women without whom our literature would have been poor indeed. Some day we shall open a Pantheon in which we shall place splendid monuments to our first mates. At present we fill our Westminster Abbeys with the statues of skippers. But, depend upon it, injustice cannot last for ever. Some day the world will ask, not only, 'Was this man great?' but also, 'Who made this man so great?' And when this old world of ours takes it into its head to ask such questions, the day of the first mate will at last have dawned.

     One other word ought to be said, although it seems a cruel kindness to say it. It is this. There are people who succeed brilliantly as first mates, but who fail ignominiously as skippers. Aaron is, of course, the classical example. As long as Moses was skipper, and Aaron first mate, everything went well. But Moses withdrew for awhile, and then Aaron took command. 'And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt!' As long, I say, as Moses was skipper and Aaron first mate, Aaron did magnificently. But when Aaron took command, he was, as Dr. Whyte says, 'a mere reed shaken with the wind; as weak and as evil as any other man. Those forty days that Moses spent on the mount brought out, among other things, both Moses' greatness and Aaron's littleness and weakness in a way that nothing else could have done. "Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for, as for this Moses, we know not what is become of him." And Aaron went down like a broken reed before the idolatrous clamour of the revolted people.' The day of judgement, depend upon it, will be a day of tremendous surprises. And not least among its astonishments will be the disclosure of the immense debt that the world owes to its first mates. And the first mates who never become skippers will in that great day understand the reason why. And when they know the reason why, they will be among the most thankful of the thankful. It will be so much better for me to be applauded at the last as a good and faithful first mate than to have to confess that, as skipper, I drove the vessel on the rocks.

Mushrooms on the Moor
My Utmost For The Highest
     A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers

                Prayer in the Father’s house

     That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. --- Luke 1:35.

     If the Son of God is born into my mortal flesh, is His holy innocence and simplicity and oneness with the Father getting a chance to manifest itself in me? What was true of the Virgin Mary in the historic introduction of God’s Son into this earth is true in every saint. The Son of God is born into me by the direct act of God; then I as a child of God have to exercise the right of a child, the right of being always face to face with my Father. Am I continually saying with amazement to my commonsense life—‘Why do you want to turn me off here? Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business?’ Whatever the circumstances may be, that Holy, Innocent, Eternal Child must be in contact with His Father.

     Am I simple enough to identify myself with my Lord in this way? Is He getting His wonderful way in me? Is God realizing that His Son is formed in me, or have I carefully put Him on one side? Oh the clamour of these days! Everyone is clamouring—for what? For the Son of God to be put to death. There is no room here for the Son of God just now, no room for quiet holy communion with the Father.

     Is the Son of God praying in me or am I dictating to Him? Is He ministering in me as He did in the days of His flesh? Is the Son of God in me going through His passion for His own purposes? The more one knows of the inner life of God’s ripest saints, the more one sees what God’s purpose is—“filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ.” There is always something to be done in the sense of “filling up.”

My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition

     the Poetry of RS Thomas


You say the word
  'God'. I cancel
  It with a smile.
  You make the smile proof
  That God is. I try
  A new gambit. Look,
  I say, the wide air ---
  Empty. You listen
  To it as one hearing
  The God breathe.
          Shout, then,
  I cry; waken
  The unseen sleeper; let
  Him come forth, history
  Yearns for him.
          You smile
  Now in your turn,
  Putting a finger
  To my lips, not cancelling
  My cry, pardoning it
  Under the green tree
  Where history nailed him.


Searching For Meaning In Midrash

     Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Zakkai once asked his five disciples to name the most important quality toward which a person should strive. Generosity, friendliness, kindness, and helpfulness were four of the answers offered. Rabbi Shimon had a very different response: Foresight or (to use his unusual idiom) “the ability to see the not-yet-born” (Avot 2:13). He believed that it was imperative to think ahead, consider all the things that could go wrong, and—in the words of the Boy Scout motto—” Be prepared.”

     When people are taught how to drive a car, they learn “defensive driving.” That means anticipating what might happen and planning how to deal with it if it does. While driving through a residential neighborhood, the eye registers a group of children playing ball on the sidewalk, about fifty yards ahead and to the right. A defensive driver thinks, “What if one of those kids misses the ball and runs into the street to chase after it, without looking? What if he rushes right out in front of my car?” In a split second, the defensive driver takes her foot off the gas pedal, positions it over the brake, checks the rearview and side mirrors to see if there will be room to swerve to the left, grasps the steering wheel a little tighter, and moves her left thumb to where it can quickly sound the horn. Nine hundred ninety-nine times out of one thousand, the ball is caught and the kids remain safely on the sidewalk. But when that one time comes when the little boy is in the street, the driver is prepared and ready to avoid hitting him. It’s merely a matter of having “the healing ready even before you need it.”

     The Book of Proverbs offers a very strange observation: “Happy is the man who is always afraid” (
28:14, authors’ translation). How can someone who is eternally nervous, anxious, or worried be happy? Rashi comments that one who is afraid of punishment will avoid sinning. The implication is that if you are fearful in this world, you will end up being happy in the world-to-come. A more contemporary explanation would be: Every time you get behind the wheel of your car, be afraid of what damage and harm it—and you—can do. That way, when you arrive at your destination safe and sound, you will be happy.

     When many people drive, they are in a reactive mode. They aren’t “afraid”; they don’t see the “not-yet-born.” They wait for something to happen, and then they react. Sadly, it may be too late.

     At the Sea of Reeds, God said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to go forward.” Rabbi Elazar ben Pedat, were he living today, might add, “When you step on the gas and go forward, be proactive; drive defensively!”


     Anne and her husband joined a synagogue when their son was old enough for Hebrew School. The family wasn’t very observant; they were mainly interested in a Bar Mitzvah for their child. They attended services three times a year; beyond that, Anne’s only contact with her religion was carpooling her son to temple. She never learned to read Hebrew, so at the Bar Mitzvah, she settled for opening the ark instead of taking an Aliyah.

     When the service was over, the family pretty much left the synagogue for good. Ten years passed; the family didn’t even attend High Holy Day services. All connections to the Jewish religion were severed. And then, suddenly, Anne’s husband had a heart attack and died at the age of forty-eight. The family didn’t belong to a synagogue, and the funeral chapel hired a rabbi for the service. Since the rabbi didn’t know Anne’s husband, the eulogy seemed rather generic and impersonal. During shivah, friends filed in and out of the house, but because the family wasn’t connected to a Jewish community, there were no services or spiritual guidance. A neighbor offered to bring Anne to his synagogue for Evening services one night so she could at least recite the Kaddish. For whatever reason, Anne thought that a good idea. Perhaps she was looking for a way to connect with God and understand her husband’s death. Perhaps she thought that saying Kaddish was what she was supposed to do, or that reciting the mourner’s prayer would somehow bring her closer to her husband.

     She came for Ma’ariv and was handed a siddur. The cantor announced the page, and the ten-minute Evening service began. But Anne was lost. She had no idea about the order of the service or the meaning of the prayers. The Hebrew might as well have been Chinese or Greek, and even the English translation seemed like a foreign language. She had no idea when the mourner’s prayer would come or what she was supposed to do when it did. The cantor noticed her black ribbon, came over and showed her the proper page, and even recited the Kaddish with her in a slower than usual pace. While appreciative of his kindness, she left the synagogue not having found what she had come for.

     Rabbi Elazar ben Pedat’s advice was: Be on good terms with your doctor. Your welfare may be in his or her hands. You want someone you can trust, someone who knows and cares for you, someone you can talk to and, in an emergency, someone you can call at two o’clock in the Morning.

     Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish would add: The same is true about God.

Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living

Take Heart
     August 8

     This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. --- Ephesians 5:32.

     There is a conjugal union between Christ and believers. From that we may draw many inferences. (The Essential Works of Thomas Watson

     See the dignity of all true believers. They are joined in marriage with Christ. There is not only assimilation but union—they are not only like Christ but one with Christ. When a king marries a beggar, by virtue of the union she is made of the blood royal. So the godly are divinely united to Christ, who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. By virtue of this sacred union the saints are given distinction above the angels. Christ is the Lord of the angels but not their husband.

     See how rich believers are. They have married into the crown of heaven, and by virtue of the union all Christ’s riches go to them. Christ communicates his graces, and he communicates his privileges—justification, glorification. He settles a kingdom on his spouse as her inheritance
Heb. 12:28). This is a key to the apostle’s riddle, “having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Cor. 6:10). By virtue of the marriage union, the saints have an interest in all Christ’s riches.

     See how fearful a sin it is to abuse the saints. It is an injury done to Christ, for believers are spiritually one with him: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (
Acts 9:4). When the body was wounded, the Head, in heaven, cried out. In this sense, people crucify Christ afresh, because what is done to his members is done to him. Will a king tolerate having his treasure rifled, his crown thrown in the dust, his queen beheaded? The saints are the apple of Christ’s eye, and let those who strike at his eye answer for it.

     See the reason why the saints so rejoice in the Word and sacrament, because here they meet with their husband, Christ. The wife desires to be in the presence of her husband. The Lord’s Supper is nothing other than a pledge and token of that eternal communion which the saints will have with Christ in heaven. Then he will take the spouse to his bosom. If Christ is so sweet in an ordinance, when we have only short glances and dark glimpses of him by faith, oh, then, how delightful and captivating will his presence be in heaven when we see him face-to-face and are forever in his loving embraces!
--- Thomas Watson

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

On This Day
     Winds of Providence  August 8

     King Philip II of Spain, a Catholic, wanted to topple Queen Elizabeth of England, a Protestant. In 1586 he conspired to assassinate her. When that failed, he readied his navy, the largest and strongest on earth, to invade her land. It was a critical hour for Protestantism. Elizabeth’s defeat would mean ultimate disaster for Protestants in England and everywhere in Europe.

     Philip was trusting God, he said, to send him favorable weather, as he would be fighting a divine cause. On May 30, 1588 he fell to his knees before his “Invincible Armada,” prayed for victory, and watched it disappear over the horizon.

     But providence sided with the English. The Spanish Armada was quickly hurled in every direction by a violent storm. The beleaguered fleet regrouped, pressed on, and was spotted by the British on July 19. Winds turned against the Armada, slowing its progress. When the battle was joined on July 21, weather again aided the English. Heavy winds favored their smaller, more manageable ships. The English outmaneuvered the Spanish, and at just the right moment the weather shifted, always in England’s favor.

     By July 31 the Duke of Parma had informed Philip of likely defeat: “God knows how grieved I am at this news at a time when I hoped to send Your Majesty congratulations. I will only say that this must come from the hand of the Lord, who knows well what He does. … ”

     On August 8, 1588 Elizabeth visited her military headquarters at Tilbury and was told there that the danger of invasion was past. The relieved queen addressed her forces, saying: I know that I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king.

     Philip’s tattered ships, limping back to Spain, were caught in another deadly squall. Less than half the vessels and a third of the troops survived the storms and battles. But back in London, the queen went to St. Paul’s Cathedral and “with her own princely voice, she most christianly urged the people to give thanks unto God.”

     England and Protestantism were saved.

   Have you been to the places where I keep snow and hail,
   Until I use them to punish and conquer nations?
   From where does lightning leap, or the east wind blow?
   Who carves out a path for thunderstorms?
   Who sends torrents of rain?
   --- Job 38:22-25.

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

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - August 8

     “They weave the spider’s web.” --- Isaiah 59:5.

     See the spider’s web, and behold in it a most suggestive picture of the hypocrite’s religion. It is meant to catch his prey: the spider fattens himself on flies, and the Pharisee has his reward. Foolish persons are easily entrapped by the loud professions of pretenders, and even the more judicious cannot always escape. Philip baptized Simon Magus, whose guileful declaration of faith was so soon exploded by the stern rebuke of Peter. Custom, reputation, praise, advancement, and other flies, are the small game which hypocrites take in their nets. A spider’s web is a marvel of skill: look at it and admire the cunning hunter’s wiles. Is not a deceiver’s religion equally wonderful? How does he make so barefaced a lie appear to be a truth? How can he make his tinsel answer so well the purpose of gold? A spider’s web comes all from the creature’s own bowels. The bee gathers her wax from flowers, the spider sucks no flowers, and yet she spins out her material to any length. Even so hypocrites find their trust and hope within themselves; their anchor was forged on their own anvil, and their cable twisted by their own hands. They lay their own foundation, and hew out the pillars of their own house, disdaining to be debtors to the sovereign grace of God. But a spider’s web is very frail. It is curiously wrought, but not enduringly manufactured. It is no match for the servant’s broom, or the traveller’s staff. The hypocrite needs no battery of Armstrongs to blow his hope to pieces, a mere puff of wind will do it. Hypocritical cobwebs will soon come down when the besom of destruction begins its purifying work. Which reminds us of one more thought, viz., that such cobwebs are not to be endured in the Lord’s house: he will see to it that they and those who spin them shall be destroyed for ever. O my soul, be thou resting on something better than a spider’s web. Be the Lord Jesus thine eternal hiding-place.

          Evening - August 8

     “All things are possible to him that believeth.” --- Mark 9:23.

     Many professed Christians are always doubting and fearing, and they forlornly think that this is the necessary state of believers. This is a mistake, for “all things are possible to him that believeth”; and it is possible for us to mount into a state in which a doubt or a fear shall be but as a bird of passage flitting across the soul, but never lingering there. When you read of the high and sweet communions enjoyed by favoured saints, you sigh and murmur in the chamber of your heart, “Alas! these are not for me.” O climber, if thou hast but faith, thou shalt yet stand upon the sunny pinnacle of the temple, for “all things are possible to him that believeth.” You hear of exploits which holy men have done for Jesus; what they have enjoyed of him; how much they have been like him; how they have been able to endure great persecutions for his sake; and you say, “Ah! as for me, I am but a worm; I can never attain to this.” But there is nothing which one saint was, that you may not be. There is no elevation of grace, no attainment of spirituality, no clearness of assurance, no post of duty, which is not open to you if you have but the power to believe. Lay aside your sackcloth and ashes, and rise to the dignity of your true position; you are little in Israel because you will be so, not because there is any necessity for it. It is not meet that thou shouldst grovel in the dust, O child of a King. Ascend! The golden throne of assurance is waiting for you! The crown of communion with Jesus is ready to bedeck your brow. Wrap yourself in scarlet and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day; for if thou believest, thou mayst eat the fat of kidneys of wheat; thy land shall flow with milk and honey, and thy soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. Gather golden sheaves of grace, for they await thee in the fields of faith. “All things are possible to him that believeth.”

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

Amazing Grace
     August 8


     Words and Music by ManseIl Ramsey, 1849–1923

     Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path. (Psalm 27:11)

     I have held many things in my hands,
     and I have lost them all;
     but whatever I have placed in God’s hands,
     that I still possess.

--- Martin Luther

     I thank God for my handicaps, for, through them,
I have found myself, my work, and my God.
--- Helen Keller

     Whatever absorbs our thinking will ultimately control our actions. It is so important for a Christian, then, to let the ways of the Lord become the controlling force in life. It was C. S. Lewis who reminded us that we are becoming now what we will be in eternity—either something beautiful and full of glory or something hideous and full of darkness.

     A spiritual knowledge of Christ is always a personal knowledge. It is not gained through the experiences of others. Knowing the Lord in all of His fullness for every situation we encounter is a lifetime pursuit. Discipleship involves a willingness to be taught and then a desire to follow the ways of the Lord—to go with Him in the same direction He is going. We must be willing to say with David Livingstone, the noted missionary statesman of the past century, “I will place no value on anything I have or may possess except in relation to the kingdom of Christ.”

     This hymn first appeared in 1920 in England. The author and composer, Benjamin Ramsey, was a well-known local church musician in the Bournemouth area of England. It has since had a wide use by student groups as well as by sincere believers everywhere who genuinely desire to have a greater knowledge of their Lord.

     Teach me Thy Way, O Lord, teach me Thy way! Thy guiding grace afford—teach me Thy way! Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight; lead me with heav’nly light—teach me Thy Way!
     When I am sad at heart, teach me Thy Way! When earthly joys depart, teach me Thy Way! In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress, in failure or success, teach me Thy Way.
     When doubts and fears arise, teach me Thy Way! When storms o’er spread the skies, teach me Thy Way! Shine thru the cloud and rain, thru sorrow, toil and pain; make Thou my pathway plain—teach me Thy Way!

     Long as my life shall last, teach me Thy Way! Where’er my lot be cast, teach me Thy Way! Until the race is run, until the journey’s done, until the crown is won, teach me Thy Way!

     For Today: Psalm 25:4, 5; 86:11; 90:12; Matthew 11:29; Romans 12:2

     Ask God to teach you some fresh insight from the Scriptures about Himself. Use this musical prayer to help ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Book Of Common Prayer
     Tuesday, August 8, 2017 | After Pentecost

Proper 13, Tuesday
Year 1

Psalms (Morning)     Psalm 78:1-39
Psalms (Evening)     Psalm 78:40–72
Old Testament     2 Samuel 7:18–29
New Testament     Acts 18:12–28
Gospel     Mark 8:22–33

Index of Readings

Psalms (Morning)
Psalm 78:1–39

1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3 things that we have heard and known,
that our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.

5 He established a decree in Jacob,
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach to their children;
6 that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and rise up and tell them to their children,
7 so that they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
8 and that they should not be like their ancestors,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.

9 The Ephraimites, armed with the bow,
turned back on the day of battle.
10 They did not keep God’s covenant,
but refused to walk according to his law.
11 They forgot what he had done,
and the miracles that he had shown them.
12 In the sight of their ancestors he worked marvels
in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and let them pass through it,
and made the waters stand like a heap.
14 In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
and all night long with a fiery light.
15 He split rocks open in the wilderness,
and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
16 He made streams come out of the rock,
and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

17 Yet they sinned still more against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18 They tested God in their heart
by demanding the food they craved.
19 They spoke against God, saying,
“Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
20 Even though he struck the rock so that water gushed out
and torrents overflowed,
can he also give bread,
or provide meat for his people?”

21 Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of rage;
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
his anger mounted against Israel,
22 because they had no faith in God,
and did not trust his saving power.
23 Yet he commanded the skies above,
and opened the doors of heaven;
24 he rained down on them manna to eat,
and gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Mortals ate of the bread of angels;
he sent them food in abundance.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
and by his power he led out the south wind;
27 he rained flesh upon them like dust,
winged birds like the sand of the seas;
28 he let them fall within their camp,
all around their dwellings.
29 And they ate and were well filled,
for he gave them what they craved.
30 But before they had satisfied their craving,
while the food was still in their mouths,
31 the anger of God rose against them
and he killed the strongest of them,
and laid low the flower of Israel.

32 In spite of all this they still sinned;
they did not believe in his wonders.
33 So he made their days vanish like a breath,
and their years in terror.
34 When he killed them, they sought for him;
they repented and sought God earnestly.
35 They remembered that God was their rock,
the Most High God their redeemer.
36 But they flattered him with their mouths;
they lied to him with their tongues.
37 Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
they were not true to his covenant.
38 Yet he, being compassionate,
forgave their iniquity,
and did not destroy them;
often he restrained his anger,
and did not stir up all his wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh,
a wind that passes and does not come again.

Psalms (Evening)
Psalm 78:40–72

40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved him in the desert!
41 They tested God again and again,
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not keep in mind his power,
or the day when he redeemed them from the foe;
43 when he displayed his signs in Egypt,
and his miracles in the fields of Zoan.
44 He turned their rivers to blood,
so that they could not drink of their streams.
45 He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them,
and frogs, which destroyed them.
46 He gave their crops to the caterpillar,
and the fruit of their labor to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail,
and their sycamores with frost.
48 He gave over their cattle to the hail,
and their flocks to thunderbolts.
49 He let loose on them his fierce anger,
wrath, indignation, and distress,
a company of destroying angels.
50 He made a path for his anger;
he did not spare them from death,
but gave their lives over to the plague.
51 He struck all the firstborn in Egypt,
the first issue of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52 Then he led out his people like sheep,
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53 He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid;
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 And he brought them to his holy hill,
to the mountain that his right hand had won.
55 He drove out nations before them;
he apportioned them for a possession
and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.

56 Yet they tested the Most High God,
and rebelled against him.
They did not observe his decrees,
57 but turned away and were faithless like their ancestors;
they twisted like a treacherous bow.
58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places;
they moved him to jealousy with their idols.
59 When God heard, he was full of wrath,
and he utterly rejected Israel.
60 He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh,
the tent where he dwelt among mortals,
61 and delivered his power to captivity,
his glory to the hand of the foe.
62 He gave his people to the sword,
and vented his wrath on his heritage.
63 Fire devoured their young men,
and their girls had no marriage song.
64 Their priests fell by the sword,
and their widows made no lamentation.
65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
like a warrior shouting because of wine.
66 He put his adversaries to rout;
he put them to everlasting disgrace.

67 He rejected the tent of Joseph,
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68 but he chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion, which he loves.
69 He built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
like the earth, which he has founded forever.
70 He chose his servant David,
and took him from the sheepfolds;
71 from tending the nursing ewes he brought him
to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
of Israel, his inheritance.
72 With upright heart he tended them,
and guided them with skillful hand.

Old Testament
2 Samuel 7:18–29

18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and said, “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19 And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD; you have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come. May this be instruction for the people, O Lord GOD! 20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord GOD! 21 Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have wrought all this greatness, so that your servant may know it. 22 Therefore you are great, O LORD God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23 Who is like your people, like Israel? Is there another nation on earth whose God went to redeem it as a people, and to make a name for himself, doing great and awesome things for them, by driving out before his people nations and their gods? 24 And you established your people Israel for yourself to be your people forever; and you, O LORD, became their God. 25 And now, O LORD God, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, confirm it forever; do as you have promised. 26 Thus your name will be magnified forever in the saying, ‘The LORD of hosts is God over Israel’; and the house of your servant David will be established before you. 27 For you, O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house’; therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant; 29 now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you; for you, O Lord GOD, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”

New Testament
Acts 18:12–28

12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal. 13 They said, “This man is persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to the law.” 14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of crime or serious villainy, I would be justified in accepting the complaint of you Jews; 15 but since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves; I do not wish to be a judge of these matters.” 16 And he dismissed them from the tribunal. 17 Then all of them seized Sosthenes, the official of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of these things.

18 After staying there for a considerable time, Paul said farewell to the believers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had his hair cut, for he was under a vow. 19 When they reached Ephesus, he left them there, but first he himself went into the synagogue and had a discussion with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay longer, he declined; 21 but on taking leave of them, he said, “I will return to you, if God wills.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.

22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time there he departed and went from place to place through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

24 Now there came to Ephesus a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria. He was an eloquent man, well-versed in the scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord; and he spoke with burning enthusiasm and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross over to Achaia, the believers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. On his arrival he greatly helped those who through grace had become believers, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Messiah is Jesus.

Mark 8:22–33

22 They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” 24 And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”

27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church

Lecture 13 NT Survey Luke Parables
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 14 NT Survey Luke
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 15 NT Survey Synoptic Problem
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 16 NT Survey Synoptic Sources
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 17 NT Survey Introduction to John
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 18 NT Survey John Cont
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 19 NT Survey John-Acts
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 20 NT Survey Acts Intrro
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 21 NT First Missionary Journey
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 22 NT Survey Acts, 2-3 Missionary Journeys
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 23 NT Survey Romans Part 1
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 24 NT Survey Romans Part 2
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

Lecture 25 NT Survey 1 Corinthians
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt