The Servant of the LORD
Video Isaiah 49:1 1 Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The LORD called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.
3 And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
4 But I said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the LORD,
and my recompense with my God.”
5 And now the LORD says,
he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
and that Israel might be gathered to him—
for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,
and my God has become my strength—
6 he says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
7 Thus says the LORD,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
the servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise;
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
because of the LORD, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
The Restoration of Israel
8 Thus says the LORD:
“In a time of favor I have answered you;
in a day of salvation I have helped you;
I will keep you and give you
as a covenant to the people,
to establish the land,
to apportion the desolate heritages,
9 saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’
to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’
They shall feed along the ways;
on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
10 they shall not hunger or thirst,
neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
and by springs of water will guide them.
11 And I will make all my mountains a road,
and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Behold, these shall come from afar,
and behold, these from the north and from the west,
and these from the land of Syene.”
13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the LORD has comforted his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted.
14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
17 Your builders make haste;
your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.
18 Lift up your eyes around and see;
they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, declares the LORD,
you shall put them all on as an ornament;
you shall bind them on as a bride does.
19 “Surely your waste and your desolate places
and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children of your bereavement
will yet say in your ears:
‘The place is too narrow for me;
make room for me to dwell in.’
21 Then you will say in your heart:
‘Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
exiled and put away,
but who has brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone;
from where have these come?’ ”
22 Thus says the Lord GOD:
“Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,
and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their arms,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23 Kings shall be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the LORD;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”
24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty,
or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?
25 For thus says the LORD:
“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,
for I will contend with those who contend with you,
and I will save your children.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
that I am the LORD your Savior,
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience
Video Isaiah 50 1 Thus says the LORD:
“Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce,
with which I sent her away?
Or which of my creditors is it
to whom I have sold you?
Behold, for your iniquities you were sold,
and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.
2 Why, when I came, was there no man;
why, when I called, was there no one to answer?
Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?
Or have I no power to deliver?
Behold, by my rebuke I dry up the sea,
I make the rivers a desert;
their fish stink for lack of water
and die of thirst.
3 I clothe the heavens with blackness
and make sackcloth their covering.”
4 The Lord GOD has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
6 I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.
7 But the Lord GOD helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.
9 Behold, the Lord GOD helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;
the moth will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears the LORD
and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness
and has no light
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God.
11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
who equip yourselves with burning torches!
Walk by the light of your fire,
and by the torches that you have kindled!
This you have from my hand:
you shall lie down in torment.
The LORD’s Comfort for Zion
Video Isaiah 51 1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
you who seek the LORD:
look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug.
2 Look to Abraham your father
and to Sarah who bore you;
for he was but one when I called him,
that I might bless him and multiply him.
3 For the LORD comforts Zion;
he comforts all her waste places
and makes her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the LORD;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.
4 “Give attention to me, my people,
and give ear to me, my nation;
for a law will go out from me,
and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.
5 My righteousness draws near,
my salvation has gone out,
and my arms will judge the peoples;
the coastlands hope for me,
and for my arm they wait.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment,
and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;
but my salvation will be forever,
and my righteousness will never be dismayed.
7 “Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
the people in whose heart is my law;
fear not the reproach of man,
nor be dismayed at their revilings.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
and the worm will eat them like wool,
but my righteousness will be forever,
and my salvation to all generations.”
9 Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the LORD;
awake, as in days of old,
the generations of long ago.
Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
who pierced the dragon?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
the waters of the great deep,
who made the depths of the sea a way
for the redeemed to pass over?
11 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
12 “I, I am he who comforts you;
who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,
of the son of man who is made like grass,
13 and have forgotten the LORD, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth,
and you fear continually all the day
because of the wrath of the oppressor,
when he sets himself to destroy?
And where is the wrath of the oppressor?
14 He who is bowed down shall speedily be released;
he shall not die and go down to the pit,
neither shall his bread be lacking.
15 I am the LORD your God,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
the LORD of hosts is his name.
16 And I have put my words in your mouth
and covered you in the shadow of my hand,
establishing the heavens
and laying the foundations of the earth,
and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’ ”
17 Wake yourself, wake yourself,
stand up, O Jerusalem,
you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD
the cup of his wrath,
who have drunk to the dregs
the bowl, the cup of staggering.
18 There is none to guide her
among all the sons she has borne;
there is none to take her by the hand
among all the sons she has brought up.
19 These two things have happened to you—
who will console you?—
devastation and destruction, famine and sword;
who will comfort you?
20 Your sons have fainted;
they lie at the head of every street
like an antelope in a net;
they are full of the wrath of the LORD,
the rebuke of your God.
21 Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted,
who are drunk, but not with wine:
22 Thus says your Lord, the LORD,
your God who pleads the cause of his people:
“Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more;
23 and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
who have said to you,
‘Bow down, that we may pass over’;
and you have made your back like the ground
and like the street for them to pass over.”
The LORD’s Coming Salvation
Video Isaiah 52 1 Awake, awake,
put on your strength, O Zion;
put on your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city;
for there shall no more come into you
the uncircumcised and the unclean.
2 Shake yourself from the dust and arise;
be seated, O Jerusalem;
loose the bonds from your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion.
7 How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
8 The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;
together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see
the return of the LORD to Zion.
9 Break forth together into singing,
you waste places of Jerusalem,
for the LORD has comforted his people;
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
11 Depart, depart, go out from there;
touch no unclean thing;
go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves,
you who bear the vessels of the LORD.
12 For you shall not go out in haste,
and you shall not go in flight,
for the LORD will go before you,
and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
He Was Pierced for Our Transgressions
13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
he shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations.
Kings shall shut their mouths because of him,
for that which has not been told them they see,
and that which they have not heard they understand.
Video Isaiah 53 1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
It is, however, from Isaiah 53 that Jesus seems to have derived the clearest forecast not only of his sufferings, but also of his subsequent glory. For there the servant of Yahweh is first presented as ‘despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering’ (v. 3), on whom the Lord laid our sins, so that ‘he was pierced for our transgressions’ and ‘crushed for our iniquities’ (vv. 5–6), and then, at the end of both chapters 52 and 53, is ‘raised and lifted up and highly exalted’ (52:13) and receives ‘a portion among the great’ (53:12), as a result of which he will ‘sprinkle many nations’ (52:15) and ‘justify many’ (53:11). The only straight quotation which is recorded from Jesus’ lips is from verse 12, ‘he was numbered with the transgressors’. ‘I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me,’ he said (Luke 22:37). Nevertheless, when he declared that he ‘must suffer many things’ and had ‘not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mark 8:31; 10:45), although these are not direct quotations from Isaiah 53, yet their combination of suffering, service and death for the salvation of others points straight in that direction. Moreover Paul, Peter, Matthew, Luke and John – the major contributors to the New Testament – together allude to at least eight of the chapter’s twelve verses. What was the origin of their confident, detailed application of Isaiah 53 to Jesus? They must have derived it from his own lips. It was from this chapter more than from any other that he learnt that the vocation of the Messiah was to suffer and die for human sin, and so be glorified. The Cross of Christ
English Standard Version Bible with Apocrypha
What I'm Reading
Cumulative Evidence and the Case for God’s Existence
By J. Warner Wallace 10/1/2013
My cold cases are typically built on circumstantial evidence. Cumulative circumstantial cases are incredibly powerful when considered in their totality; the more diverse the forms of evidence (and the more abundant their existence), the more reasonable the conclusion. As jurors consider these large collections of evidence implicating a particular suspect, they must ask themselves a simple question: “Could this guy just be incredibly unlucky, or is he the cause of all this evidence because he is truly guilty?” The more the evidence repeatedly points to the defendant, the less likely it is merely a matter of coincidence. The cumulative case for God’s existence is similarly powerful. There are a number of circumstantial lines of evidence pointing to the existence of God, and the diverse, collective nature of this evidence is most reasonably explained by the existence of a Creator. This month, we’re featuring a free downloadable Bible insert summarizing a brief cumulative case for God’s existence, built on just five lines of circumstantial evidence:
(1) The Temporal Nature of the Cosmos (Cosmological) (a) The Universe began to exist
(b) Anything that begins to exist must have a cause
(c) Therefore, the Universe must have a cause
(d) This cause must be eternal (uncaused), non-spatial, immaterial, atemporal, and personal (having the ability to willfully cause the beginning of the universe)
(e) The cause fits the description we typically assign to God
(2) The Appearance of Design (Teleological)
(a) Human artifacts (like watches) are products of intelligent design
(b) Many aspects and elements of our universe resemble human artifacts
(c) Like effects typically have like causes
(d) Therefore, it is highly probable the appearance of design in the Universe is simply the reflection of an intelligent designer
(d) Given the complexity and expansive nature of the Universe, this designer must be incredibly intelligent and powerful (God)
(3) The Existence of Objective Moral Truth (Axiological)
(a) There is an objective (transcendent) moral law
(b) Every law has a law giver
(c) Therefore, there is an objective (transcendent) moral law giver
(d) The best explanation for this objective (transcendent) law giver is God
J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of:
Do You Look Like Your Father?
By Jon Bloom 10/7/2017
Each of us who is reconciled to God through Jesus Christ is a unique child of God. Each of us is conformed to the glorious image of God the Son, the very image of the invisible God, in unique ways (Romans 8:29; Hebrews 1:3).
But all of us are meant to bear the glorious family resemblance.
How God Reveals His Glory
“Please show me your glory,” Moses pled with God (Exodus 33:18). God granted Moses this request saying, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord’”(Exodus 33:19). Then God called Moses to ascend Mount Sinai and he hid Moses in a cleft of a rock, shielding him from a lethal dose of his holy glory and proclaiming,
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6–7)
Jon Bloom serves as author, board chair, and co-founder of Desiring God. He and his wife live in the Twin Cities with their five children.
Jon Bloom Books:
Scripture: Our Inerrant and Infallible Authority
By Dr. Stephen J. Nichols 10/6/2017
It’s one of those moments we wish we could have seen firsthand. It took place in the square before the Water Gate. At daybreak, Ezra brought out the law. He unrolled the scroll and began reading. He kept on until noon, and all the while the great crowd gave their rapt attention. The law was read, interpreted, and studied. Nehemiah 8, which records this event, also tells us that this Bible study session resulted in worship. The people were humbled, and their faces looked to the ground. They bowed before God as He revealed Himself in His holy Word.
This event from the Old Testament is a precedent-setting moment. God’s people gather, they hear God’s Word read, they hear God’s Word interpreted and taught, and they worship. This is how it’s supposed to be. As the decades pass and generations come and go, however, God’s Word sadly recedes from the center of His people’s lives and from prominence in His congregation. The Old Testament prophets spoke of a famine of the Word of God. As we look through the pages of the Bible and through church history, we find such times of famine. One of the severest of these times of famine came on the eve of the Reformation.
Martin Luther originally launched his protest against the church over the issue of indulgences. He wanted a debate. While he was involved in various disputations in the wake of posting the Ninety-Five Theses, he finally got a real and true debate at Leipzig. Over the summer months, Luther squared off with Johann Eck, Rome’s premier theologian. Over the course of the debate, Luther declared the Reformation plank of sola Scriptura, the firm and unwavering commitment to the absolute authority of Scripture. Luther’s writings and the reports of these debates convinced Pope Leo X that this German monk was a heretic. The date and the time was set for the ultimate showdown: April 17–18, 1521, at the Imperial Diet, or meeting, at Worms.
Worms is another one of those moments that we all wish we could have seen first-hand. Luther, adorned in his simple monk’s garb, stood before—and against—princes and nobles, cardinals and priests, all wearing the trappings of their offices. On the throne sat the twenty-one-year-old Charles V, the Holy Roman emperor. Luther’s books were spread out on a table before him. He was commanded, “Revoco!” —to recant his writings, to recant his views of sola fide (faith alone as the instrument of justification) and of sola Scriptura. That was April 17. Luther asked for a day to consider, and he was granted it. He spent the night in prayer and appeared again the next day. Then, he delivered his famous speech:
I am bound to the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise. Here I stand. May God help me. Amen.
Dr. Stephen J. Nichols Books (some):
- 1 The Church History ABCs: Augustine and 25 Other Heroes of the Faith
- 2 The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World
- 3 Calvin on the Christian Life: Glorifying and Enjoying God Forever
- 4 Wesley on the Christian Life: The Heart Renewed in Love
- 5 Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life: From the Cross, for the World
- 6 For Us and for Our Salvation: The Doctrine of Christ in the Early Church
- 7 Jesus Made in America: A Cultural History from the Puritans to "The Passion of the Christ"
- 8 The Kingdom of God
- 9 Getting the Blues: What Blues Music Teaches Us about Suffering and Salvation
- 10 For the Fame of God's Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper
- 11 Jonathan Edwards: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought
- 12 Owen on the Christian Life: Living for the Glory of God in Christ
- 13 Warfield on the Christian Life (Redesign): Living in Light of the Gospel
- 14 Welcome to the Story: Reading, Loving, and Living God's Word
- 15 Schaeffer on the Christian Life: Countercultural Spirituality
- 16 Ancient Word, Changing Worlds: The Doctrine of Scripture in a Modern Age
Devotionals, notes, poetry and more
(Oct 7) Bob Gass
‘A man of too many friends comes to ruin.’
(Pr 18:24) 24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ESV
With few exceptions, your success in life depends on your ability to establish and maintain relationships with the right people. According to a report by the American Management Association the overwhelming consensus of two hundred managers who participated in a survey, was that the most important skill of an executive is his or her ability to get along with people. They rated this ability as more vital than intelligence, decisiveness, knowledge, or job skills. Quite frankly, none of us makes very many true friends in life - at least, we better not! Solomon warns, ‘A man of too many friends comes to ruin.’ Friendship requires time, energy, sacrifice, and investing yourself. And not every so-called friend will prove to be one, as Jeremiah warned King Zedekiah: ‘They misled you and overcame you - those trusted friends of yours. Your feet are sunk in the mud; your friends have deserted you’ (Jeremiah 38:22 NIV 2011 Edition). The wrong friend will betray you, as Judas proved with Jesus. So, here’s a good rule of thumb: ‘Be friendly to everyone, but don’t have everyone as a friend.’ Solomon said, ‘The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray’ (Proverbs 12:26 NLT). Charles Spurgeon said, ‘A man is known by the company he shuns, as well as the company he keeps.’ The Hebrew word for ‘choose’ is tur, and in the Old Testament it refers to a man like a surveyor who searches out land. So, if you’re wise, you’ll explore and evaluate your friendships before you enter into them. You say, ‘But I’m lonely.’ As George Washington said, ‘It is better to be alone than in bad company.’
2 Thess 1
UCB The Word For Today
by Bill Federer
Henry Muhlenberg died this day, October 7, 1787. He was one of the founders of the Lutheran Church in America. His son John Peter became a U.S. Senator and son Frederick became the first Speaker of the House. Henry Muhlenberg pastored near Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War. He commented: “I heard a fine example today, namely that His Excellency General Washington rode around among his army yesterday and admonished each and every one to fear God, to put away wickedness… and to practice Christian virtues… The Lord God has… marvelously preserved him from harm in the midst of countless perils.”
by P.T. Forsyth, (1848-1921)
CHAPTER V / The Ceaselessness of Prayer
Prayer as Christian freedom, and prayer as Christian life—these are two points I would now expand.
I. First, as to the moral freedom involved and achieved in prayer.
Prayer has been described as religion in action. But that as it stands is not a sufficient definition of the prayer which lives on the Cross. The same thing might be said about the choicest forms of Christian service to humanity. It is true enough, and it may carry us far; but only if we become somewhat clear about the nature of the religion at work. Prayer is certainly not the action of a religion mainly subjective. It is the effective work of a religion which hangs upon the living God, of a soul surer of God than of itself, and living not its own life, but the life of the Son of God. To say prayer is faith in action would be better; for the word “faith” carries a more objective reference than the word “religion.” Faith is faith in another. In prayer we do not so much work as interwork. We are fellow workers with God in a reciprocity. And as God is the freest Being in existence, such co-operant prayer is the freest things that man can do. It we were free in sinning, how much more free in the praying which undoes sin! If we were free to break God’s will, how much more free to turn it or to accept it! Petitionary prayer is man’s cooperation in kind with God amidst a world He freely made for freedom. The world was made by a freedom which not only left room for the kindred freedom of prayer, but which so ordered all things in its own interest that in their deepest depths they conspire to produce prayer. To pray in faith is to answer God’s freedom in its own great note. It means we are taken up into the fundamental movement of the world. It is to realize that for which the whole world, the world as a whole, was made. It is an earnest of the world’s consummation. We are doing what the whole world was created to do. We overleap in the spirit all between now and then, as in the return to Jesus we overleap the two thousand years that intervene. The object the Father’s loving purpose had in appointing the whole providential order was intercourse with man’s soul. That order of the world is, therefore, no rigid fixture, nor is it even a fated evolution. It is elastic, adjustable, flexible, with margins for freedom, for free modification in God and man; always keeping in view that final goal of communion, and growing into it be a spiritual interplay in which the whole of Nature is involved. The goal of the whole cosmic order is the “manifestation of the sons of God,” the realization of complete sonship, its powers and its confidences.
Thus we rise to say that our prayer is the momentary function of the Eternal Son’s communion and intercession with the Eternal Father. We are integrated in advance into the final Christ, for whom, and to whom, all creation moves. Our prayer is more than the acceptance by us of God’s will; it is its assertion in us. The will of God is that men should pray everywhere. He wills to be entreated. Prayer is that will of God’s making itself good. When we entreat we give effect to His dearest will. And in His will is our eternal liberty. In this will of His our finds itself, and is at home. It ranges the liberties of the Father’s house. But here prayer must draw from the Cross, which is the frontal act of our emancipation as well as the central revelation of God’s own freedom in grace. The action of the Atonement and of its release of us is in the nature of prayer. It is the free return of the Holy upon the Holy in the Great Reconciliation.
--- Forsyth, P. T. (1848-1921).
The Soul of Prayer
Compiled by Richard S. Adams
People who look on others’ puzzled lives with reverence and pity see God there behind the lives they are looking at. People who look at others’ restless lives with contempt see no God there, but [only] vain and aimless dissatisfaction. If there is no God, whose life and presence, dimly felt, is making people toss and complain, then their tossing and complaining is a contemptible thing. If there is a God to whom they belong, whom they feel through the thinnest of veils, whom they feel even when they do not know that it is he whom they feel—then their restlessness, their hope, their dreams and doubts become solemn and significant.
--- Phillips Brooks
Two things a master commits to his servant’s care–the child and the child’s clothes. It will be a poor excuse for the servant to say, at his master’s return, “Sir, here are all the child’s clothes, neat and clean, but the child is lost.” Much so of the account that many will give to God of their souls and bodies at the great day. “Lord, here is my body; I am very grateful for it; I neglected nothing that belonged to its contents and welfare; but as for my soul, that is lost and cast away forever. I took little care and thought about it.
--- John Flavel
Liberty, when it takes root, is a plant of rapid growth.
--- George Washington
... from here, there and everywhere
Thanks to Meir Yona
Titus Thought Fit To Encompass The City Round With A Wall; After Which The Famine Consumed The People By Whole Houses And Families Together.
1. And now did Titus consult with his commanders what was to be done. Those that were of the warmest tempers thought he should bring the whole army against the city and storm the wall; for that hitherto no more than a part of their army had fought with the Jews; but that in case the entire army was to come at once, they would not be able to sustain their attacks, but would be overwhelmed by their darts. But of those that were for a more cautious management, some were for raising their banks again; and others advised to let the banks alone, but to lie still before the city, to guard against the coming out of the Jews, and against their carrying provisions into the city, and so to leave the enemy to the famine, and this without direct fighting with them; for that despair was not to be conquered, especially as to those who are desirous to die by the sword, while a more terrible misery than that is reserved for them. However, Titus did not think it fit for so great an army to lie entirely idle, and that yet it was in vain to fight with those that would be destroyed one by another; he also showed them how impracticable it was to cast up any more banks, for want of materials, and to guard against the Jews coming out still more impracticable; as also, that to encompass the whole city round with his army was not very easy, by reason of its magnitude, and the difficulty of the situation, and on other accounts dangerous, upon the sallies the Jews might make out of the city. For although they might guard the known passages out of the place, yet would they, when they found themselves under the greatest distress, contrive secret passages out, as being well acquainted with all such places; and if any provisions were carried in by stealth, the siege would thereby be longer delayed. He also owned that he was afraid that the length of time thus to be spent would diminish the glory of his success; for though it be true that length of time will perfect every thing, yet that to do what we do in a little time is still necessary to the gaining reputation. That therefore his opinion was, that if they aimed at quickness joined with security, they must build a wall round about the whole city; which was, he thought, the only way to prevent the Jews from coming out any way, and that then they would either entirely despair of saving the city, and so would surrender it up to him, or be still the more easily conquered when the famine had further weakened them; for that besides this wall, he would not lie entirely at rest afterward, but would take care then to have banks raised again, when those that would oppose them were become weaker. But that if any one should think such a work to be too great, and not to be finished without much difficulty, he ought to consider that it is not fit for Romans to undertake any small work, and that none but God himself could with ease accomplish any great thing whatsoever.
2. These arguments prevailed with the commanders. So Titus gave orders that the army should be distributed to their several shares of this work; and indeed there now came upon the soldiers a certain divine fury, so that they did not only part the whole wall that was to be built among them, nor did only one legion strive with another, but the lesser divisions of the army did the same; insomuch that each soldier was ambitious to please his decurion, each decurion his centurion, each centurion his tribune, and the ambition of the tribunes was to please their superior commanders, while Caesar himself took notice of and rewarded the like contention in those commanders; for he went round about the works many times every day, and took a view of what was done. Titus began the wall from the camp of the Assyrians, where his own camp was pitched, and drew it down to the lower parts of Cenopolis; thence it went along the valley of Cedron, to the Mount of Olives; it then bent towards the south, and encompassed the mountain as far as the rock called Peristereon, and that other hill which lies next it, and is over the valley which reaches to Siloam; whence it bended again to the west, and went down to the valley of the Fountain, beyond which it went up again at the monument of Ananus the high priest, and encompassing that mountain where Pompey had formerly pitched his camp, it returned back to the north side of the city, and was carried on as far as a certain village called "The House of the Erebinthi;" after which it encompassed Herod's monument, and there, on the east, was joined to Titus's own camp, where it began. Now the length of this wall was forty furlongs, one only abated. Now at this wall without were erected thirteen places to keep garrison in, whose circumferences, put together, amounted to ten furlongs; the whole was completed in three days; so that what would naturally have required some months was done in so short an interval as is incredible. When Titus had therefore encompassed the city with this wall, and put garrisons into proper places, he went round the wall, at the first watch of the night, and observed how the guard was kept; the second watch he allotted to Alexander; the commanders of legions took the third watch. They also cast lots among themselves who should be upon the watch in the night time, and who should go all night long round the spaces that were interposed between the garrisons.
3. So all hope of escaping was now cut off from the Jews, together with their liberty of going out of the city. Then did the famine widen its progress, and devoured the people by whole houses and families; the upper rooms were full of women and children that were dying by famine, and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged; the children also and the young men wandered about the market-places like shadows, all swelled with the famine, and fell down dead, wheresoever their misery seized them. As for burying them, those that were sick themselves were not able to do it; and those that were hearty and well were deterred from doing it by the great multitude of those dead bodies, and by the uncertainty there was how soon they should die themselves; for many died as they were burying others, and many went to their coffins before that fatal hour was come. Nor was there any lamentations made under these calamities, nor were heard any mournful complaints; but the famine confounded all natural passions; for those who were just going to die looked upon those that were gone to rest before them with dry eyes and open mouths. A deep silence also, and a kind of deadly night, had seized upon the city; while yet the robbers were still more terrible than these miseries were themselves; for they brake open those houses which were no other than graves of dead bodies, and plundered them of what they had; and carrying off the coverings of their bodies, went out laughing, and tried the points of their swords in their dead bodies; and, in order to prove what metal they were made of they thrust some of those through that still lay alive upon the ground; but for those that entreated them to lend them their right hand and their sword to despatch them, they were too proud to grant their requests, and left them to be consumed by the famine. Now every one of these died with their eyes fixed upon the temple, and left the seditious alive behind them. Now the seditious at first gave orders that the dead should be buried out of the public treasury, as not enduring the stench of their dead bodies. But afterwards, when they could not do that, they had them cast down from the walls into the valleys beneath.
4. However, when Titus, in going his rounds along those valleys, saw them full of dead bodies, and the thick putrefaction running about them, he gave a groan; and, spreading out his hands to heaven, called God to witness that this was not his doing; and such was the sad case of the city itself. But the Romans were very joyful, since none of the seditious could now make sallies out of the city, because they were themselves disconsolate, and the famine already touched them also. These Romans besides had great plenty of corn and other necessaries out of Syria, and out of the neighboring provinces; many of whom would stand near to the wall of the city, and show the people what great quantities of provisions they had, and so make the enemy more sensible of their famine, by the great plenty, even to satiety, which they had themselves. However, when the seditious still showed no inclinations of yielding, Titus, out of his commiseration of the people that remained, and out of his earnest desire of rescuing what was still left out of these miseries, began to raise his banks again, although materials for them were hard to be come at; for all the trees that were about the city had been already cut down for the making of the former banks. Yet did the soldiers bring with them other materials from the distance of ninety furlongs, and thereby raised banks in four parts, much greater than the former, though this was done only at the tower of Antonia. So Caesar went his rounds through the legions, and hastened on the works, and showed the robbers that they were now in his hands. But these men, and these only, were incapable of repenting of the wickednesses they had been guilty of; and separating their souls from their bodies, they used them both as if they belonged to other folks, and not to themselves. For no gentle affection could touch their souls, nor could any pain affect their bodies, since they could still tear the dead bodies of the people as dogs do, and fill the prisons with those that were sick.
The War of the Jews: The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem (complete edition, 7 books)
by D.H. Stern
if nobody gossips, contention stops.
21 As coals are to embers and wood to fire
is a quarrelsome person to kindling strife.
Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers
For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
--- 2 Cor. 5:21.
Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God. The Christian religion bases everything on the positive, radical nature of sin. Other religions deal with sins; the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ faced in men was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the Gospel that the message of the Gospel has lost its sting and its blasting power.
The revelation of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took upon Himself our fleshly sins, but that He took upon Himself the heredity of sin which no man can touch. God made His own Son to be sin that He might make the sinner a saint. All through the Bible it is revealed that Our Lord bore the sin of the world by identification, not by sympathy. He deliberately took upon His own shoulders, and bore in His own Person, the whole massed sin of the human race—“He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin,” and by so doing He put the whole human race on the basis of Redemption. Jesus Christ rehabilitated the human race; He put it back to where God designed it to be, and anyone can enter into union with God on the ground of what Our Lord has done on the Cross.
A man cannot redeem himself; Redemption is God’s ‘bit,’ it is absolutely finished and complete; its reference to individual men is a question of their individual action. A distinction must always be made between the revelation of Redemption and the conscious experience of salvation in a man’s life.
My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition
the Poetry of RS Thomas
The flies walk upon the roof top.
The student's eyes are too keen
To miss them. The young girls walk
In the roadway; the wind ruffles
Their skirts. The student does not look.
He sees only the flies spread their wings
And take off into the sunlight
Without sound. There is nothing to do
Now but read in his book
Of how young girls walked in the roadway
In Tyre, and how young men
Sailed off into the red west
For gold, writing dry words
To the music the girls sang.
Selected poems, 1946-1968
Maimonides: Torah and Philosophic Quest
One can meet the new threat and challenge of alien truths by refusing to take them seriously. This other life-style, since it is different, is considered insignificant. An attempt to explain and justify one’s own values within the categories of another culture presupposes that the rational framework of the other must be taken seriously by one committed to intellectual honesty. However, if by definition that which is outside one’s culture is considered to have no legitimate claim, then the necessity for justification and explanation ceases: I meet the challenge by justifying the right to ignore it. I feel no compulsion to justify myself in a strange language. I need not explain my spiritual world view within categories which are not born of my tradition.
This method of exclusion insulates an entire body of knowledge from all serious challenges. All problems are answered by denying legitimacy to the questions. In order to make this move of cultural insulation, one has to claim that one’s culture not only defines what a person should do but also what is to count as genuine knowledge—a logical move of one who maintains that his body of knowledge and his way of life are guaranteed authenticity by divine revelation. If God is on his side, then lending significance to alien human claims is the height of irrationality. How can the intelligence of puny man challenge the wisdom and way of God? By committing oneself to a mode of living dictated by God, one excludes any possible claims which human reason can make unaided by divine revelation. Prophets do not have to explain themselves to philosophers. Prophets do not have to give reasons for their claims. They need but announce, “Thus has God spoken.” Since God’s thoughts are not man’s thoughts, no common language exists between the human and the divine. There are no common criteria which enable one to question or to require of God that He justify Himself before a human tribunal. Contemporary experience shows that this cultural insulation, this way of exclusion, need not be supported by a divine revelatory claim. There are secular cultures which claim similar insulations from attack and need for justification for their systems of knowledge and values. Reference to God in a religious world can justify insulation; in a secular world naked claims of absolute power and superior-race theories can serve the same end.
Maimonides: Torah and Philosophic Quest
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. --- Ecclesiastes 11:4.
I like to apply our text to the difficulties that beset our daily work, for we may so fix our eyes on these difficulties that all the strength is taken from the arm. (Wings of the Morning, The (Kregel Classic Sermons)) A person may ruin any work by rashness, as Simon Peter would have ruined the work of Jesus, but remember that if the rash have their perils, there are also perils for the overcautious. Do you remember the parable of the talents? Do you remember why the person with the one talent failed? He said, “I knew that you are a hard man.… So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground” (Matt. 25:24–25). The other servants took the common risks in giving out their money to the changers, but this man would risk absolutely nothing, and, willing to risk nothing, he lost all. Do you imagine it is just a chance that this individual had the one talent? We talk about the perils of genius, but our Savior talked of those of mediocrity. Great men and women have their glow and inspiration; things are worth doing when you can do them greatly. Genius is prodigal and scatters its pearls abroad; genius, like childhood, is equal to its problem. It is those of the one talent and mediocre minds who are tempted to the sin of being overcautious. I have known so many average people who failed because they were waiting for an impossible perfection. They said, “Tomorrow—by and by—I’ll be ready; I’ll have all the information in ten years”—and the ten years hurried by, and they did nothing, except to wish that they had started earlier. Do you think we ministers could ever preach to you if we watched the wind and looked at the clouds? If we waited for inspiration and a glowing brain, could we ever face the inevitable Sunday? The hours will come, and come to everyone, when taskwork quivers and palpitates with life, but perhaps they only come because we have been faithful, with a certain grimness, through the days of gloom. Let people hold to their lifework through mood and melancholy. Let them hold to it through headache and through heartache. For whoever watches the wind will never plant, and whoever looks at the clouds will never reap.
--- George H. Morrison
Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers
From The Narratives of George Mueller
When at the end of the year 1829, I left London to labour in the Gospel, a brother in the Lord gave to me a card containing the address of a well-known Christian lady, Miss Paget, who then resided in Exeter, in order that I should call on her. Three weeks I carried this card in my pocket without making an effort to see this lady; but at last I was led to do so. Miss Paget gave me the address of a Christian brother, Mr. Hake, who had a Boarding School for young ladies and gentlemen at Northernhay House. To this place I went. Miss Groves, afterwards my beloved wife, was there. I went week after week. At this time my purpose had been not to marry at all, but to remain free for traveling about in the service of the Gospel; but after some months I saw, for many reasons, that it was better for me as a young pastor under 25 to be married. The question now was, to whom shall I be united? Miss Groves came before my mind; but the prayerful conflict was long before I came to a decision. At last this decided me, I had reason to believe I had gotten an affection in the heart of Miss Groves for me, and therefore I ought to make a proposal of marriage to her. On Aug. 15th, I wrote to her proposing to her to become my wife, and on Aug. 19th, she accepted me. The first thing we did after I was accepted was to fall on our knees and to ask the blessing of the Lord on our intended union. On October 7, 1830, we were united in marriage. Our marriage was of the most simple character. We walked to church, had no wedding breakfast, but in the afternoon had a meeting of Christian friends in Mr. Hake’s house and commemorated the Lord’s death; and then I drove off in the stagecoach with my beloved wife to Teignmough, and the next day we went to work for the Lord.
This was God’s way of giving me an excellent wife.
With all your heart you must trust the LORD
And not your own judgment.
Always let him lead you,
And he will clear the road for you to follow.
--- Proverbs 3:5,6.
On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes
The arrangement adopted by this commentary places this passage in a specific historical setting. But from that specific setting emerges a universal truth about God and his ways that is vital for the faith of Jew and Christian: the principle of substitutionary atonement, not only through animal sacrifice as in the day of atonement, but supremely through a willing person.
This is effective atonement when the recipients of the benefits gained through the sacrifice confess their guilt and recognize that one has died for them (53:4–6) and when the sovereign agrees to recognize the atoning effect (53:10–12). Christians have viewed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in these terms and used this passage to interpret and appropriate that meaning (compare Luke 22:37; Mark 10:45 = Matt 20:28; Mark 14:24 = Matt 26:28 = Luke 22:20; and the discussion by R. T. France, ISBN-13: 978-1573830065
This passage illustrates how past wrongs (the rebellion of Jerusalemites and the death of the sufferer) are hindrances to appropriation of something new and good (the favor of the new emperor). It shows how good can come from something that was wrong. This is only possible when all parties are humbled in recognition of the wrongs and of higher authority and goals. It is further possible because God is prepared to endorse the arrangement. Justice is served, not through vengeance and retribution, but by allowing the death to be a means of atoning reconciliation in order to build a foundation for cooperation, peace, and salvation.
God is shown to be goal-oriented. His justice looks forward, not backward. His drive toward deliverance and salvation, toward restoration and fellowship, can use innocent death to achieve these goals for others.
Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON
Morning - October 7
“Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant?” --- Numbers 11:11.
Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden. A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him,” is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts his servants to glorify himself, for he is greatly glorified in the graces of his people, which are his own handiwork. When “tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope,” the Lord is honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which his vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth? Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day long.
Evening - October 7
“Now on whom dost thou trust?” --- Isaiah 36:5.
Reader, this is an important question. Listen to the Christian’s answer, and see if it is yours. “On whom dost thou trust?” “I trust,” says the Christian, “in a triune God. I trust the Father, believing that he has chosen me from before the foundations of the world; I trust him to provide for me in providence, to teach me, to guide me, to correct me if need be, and to bring me home to his own house where the many mansions are. I trust the Son. Very God of very God is he—the man Christ Jesus. I trust in him to take away all my sins by his own sacrifice, and to adorn me with his perfect righteousness. I trust him to be my Intercessor, to present my prayers and desires before his Father’s throne, and I trust him to be my Advocate at the last great day, to plead my cause, and to justify me. I trust him for what he is, for what he has done, and for what he has promised yet to do. And I trust the Holy Spirit—he has begun to save me from my inbred sins; I trust him to drive them all out; I trust him to curb my temper, to subdue my will, to enlighten my understanding, to check my passions, to comfort my despondency, to help my weakness, to illuminate my darkness; I trust him to dwell in me as my life, to reign in me as my King, to sanctify me wholly, spirit, soul, and body, and then to take me up to dwell with the saints in light for ever.”
Oh, blessed trust! To trust him whose power will never be exhausted, whose love will never wane, whose kindness will never change, whose faithfulness will never fail, whose wisdom will never be nonplussed, and whose perfect goodness can never know a diminution! Happy art thou, reader, if this trust is thine! So trusting, thou shalt enjoy sweet peace now, and glory hereafter, and the foundation of thy trust shall never be removed.
Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
STAND UP AND BLESS THE LORD
James Montgomery, 1771–1854
Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. (Nehemiah 9:5)
Many excellent opportunities to witness for the Lord are lost each day simply because of our timidity. Or perhaps we are with a group of colleagues when the Lord’s name is blasphemed, the Gospel derided, the church’s hypocrites ridiculed … and we remain silent. How tragic that our noble words of praise on Sunday often leave us during the week when they are needed most.
Ye call Me Master and obey not, Ye call Me Light and see Me not, Ye call Me Way and walk not, Ye call Me Life and desire Me not, Ye call Me Wise and follow Me not, Ye call Me Fair and love Me not, Ye call Me rich and ask Me not, Ye call Me Eternal and see Me not, Ye call Me Noble and serve Me not, Ye call Me Mighty and honor Me not, Ye call Me just and fear Me not.
--- Found on an old slab in the Cathedral of Lubeck, Germany
“Stand Up and Bless the Lord” was written by James Montgomery in 1824 especially for a Sunday school anniversary in Sheffield, England. It was based on Nehemiah 9:5. Montgomery was the editor of a newspaper in Sheffield and was known as an outspoken advocate for many humanitarian causes, especially abolition of slavery. His ideas for social reform were considered so radical that he was imprisoned two times. Other causes he championed included hymn singing in the Anglican church services, foreign missions, and the British Bible Society. James Montgomery wrote more than 400 hymns, earning him a lasting place as one of England’s finest hymn writers. May this challenge help you today.
Stand up and bless the Lord, ye people of His choice; stand up and bless the Lord your God with heart and soul and voice.
Though high above all praise, above all blessing high, who would not fear His holy name and laud and magnify?
O for the living flame, from His own altar brought, to touch our lips, our minds inspire, and wing to heav’n our thought!
God is our strength and song, and His salvation ours; then be His love in Christ proclaimed with all our ransomed pow’rs.
Stand up and bless the Lord— the Lord your God adore; stand up and bless His glorious name henceforth forevermore.
For Today: 1 Chronicles 23:30; Psalm 51:15; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Hebrews 12:28
Refuse to be intimidated by those who seem hostile or indifferent to our Lord. Speak His praise graciously but boldly. Use this musical truth to help ---
Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions
Saturday, October 7, 2017 | After Pentecost
Proper 21, Saturday
Psalms (Morning) Psalm 107:33–43, 108:1–6 (7–13)
Psalms (Evening) Psalm 33
Old Testament 2 Kings 19:21–36
New Testament 1 Corinthians 10:1–13
Gospel Matthew 8:18–27
Index of Readings
Psalm 107:33–43, 108:1–6 (7–13)
33 He turns rivers into a desert,
springs of water into thirsty ground,
34 a fruitful land into a salty waste,
because of the wickedness of its inhabitants.
35 He turns a desert into pools of water,
a parched land into springs of water.
36 And there he lets the hungry live,
and they establish a town to live in;
37 they sow fields, and plant vineyards,
and get a fruitful yield.
38 By his blessing they multiply greatly,
and he does not let their cattle decrease.
39 When they are diminished and brought low
through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
40 he pours contempt on princes
and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
41 but he raises up the needy out of distress,
and makes their families like flocks.
42 The upright see it and are glad;
and all wickedness stops its mouth.
43 Let those who are wise give heed to these things,
and consider the steadfast love of the LORD.
1 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make melody.
Awake, my soul!
2 Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn.
3 I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples,
and I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4 For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
and let your glory be over all the earth.
6 Give victory with your right hand, and answer me,
so that those whom you love may be rescued.
[ 7 God has promised in his sanctuary:
“With exultation I will divide up Shechem,
and portion out the Vale of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet;
Judah is my scepter.
9 Moab is my washbasin;
on Edom I hurl my shoe;
over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
10 Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Have you not rejected us, O God?
You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
12 O grant us help against the foe,
for human help is worthless.
13 With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes. ]
1 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous.
Praise befits the upright.
2 Praise the LORD with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
4 For the word of the LORD is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;
he put the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.
13 The LORD looks down from heaven;
he sees all humankind.
14 From where he sits enthroned he watches
all the inhabitants of the earth—
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all,
and observes all their deeds.
16 A king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
and by its great might it cannot save.
18 Truly the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 to deliver their soul from death,
and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD;
he is our help and shield.
21 Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
2 Kings 19:21–36
21 This is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him:
She despises you, she scorns you—
virgin daughter Zion;
she tosses her head—behind your back,
22 “Whom have you mocked and reviled?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and haughtily lifted your eyes?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers you have mocked the Lord,
and you have said, ‘With my many chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon;
I felled its tallest cedars,
its choicest cypresses;
I entered its farthest retreat,
its densest forest.
24 I dug wells
and drank foreign waters,
I dried up with the sole of my foot
all the streams of Egypt.’
25 “Have you not heard
that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
what now I bring to pass,
that you should make fortified cities
crash into heaps of ruins,
26 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,
are dismayed and confounded;
they have become like plants of the field
and like tender grass,
like grass on the housetops,
blighted before it is grown.
27 “But I know your rising and your sitting,
your going out and coming in,
and your raging against me.
28 Because you have raged against me
and your arrogance has come to my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth;
I will turn you back on the way
by which you came.
29 “And this shall be the sign for you: This year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that; then in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30 The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward; 31 for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
32 “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, shoot an arrow there, come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege ramp against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return; he shall not come into this city, says the LORD. 34 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”
35 That very night the angel of the LORD set out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; when morning dawned, they were all dead bodies. 36 Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left, went home, and lived at Nineveh.
1 Corinthians 10:1–13
10 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.
6 Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. 10 And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
18 Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19 A scribe then approached and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 21 Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. 27 They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”
The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church