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Amos 1-5
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Amos 1:1     The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of King Uzziah of Judah and in the days of King Jeroboam son of Joash of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors

2     And he said:
The Lord roars from Zion,
and utters his voice from Jerusalem;
the pastures of the shepherds wither,
and the top of Carmel dries up.
3     Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Damascus,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have threshed Gilead
with threshing sledges of iron.
4     So I will send a fire on the house of Hazael,
and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.
5     I will break the gate bars of Damascus,
and cut off the inhabitants from the Valley of Aven,
and the one who holds the scepter from Beth-eden;
and the people of Aram shall go into exile to Kir,
says the Lord.
6     Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Gaza,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they carried into exile entire communities,
to hand them over to Edom.
7     So I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza,
fire that shall devour its strongholds.
8     I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod,
and the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;
I will turn my hand against Ekron,
and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,
says the Lord God.
9     Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Tyre,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they delivered entire communities over to Edom,
and did not remember the covenant of kinship.
10     So I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre,
fire that shall devour its strongholds.
11     Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Edom,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because he pursued his brother with the sword
and cast off all pity;
he maintained his anger perpetually,
and kept his wrath forever.
12     So I will send a fire on Teman,
and it shall devour the strongholds of Bozrah.
13     Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of the Ammonites,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead
in order to enlarge their territory.
14     So I will kindle a fire against the wall of Rabbah,
fire that shall devour its strongholds,
with shouting on the day of battle,
with a storm on the day of the whirlwind;
15     then their king shall go into exile,
he and his officials together,
says the Lord.

Amos 2:1     Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Moab,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because he burned to lime
the bones of the king of Edom.
2     So I will send a fire on Moab,
and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth,
and Moab shall die amid uproar,
amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;
3     I will cut off the ruler from its midst,
and will kill all its officials with him,
says the Lord.

Judgment on Judah

4     Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Judah,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have rejected the law of the Lord,
and have not kept his statutes,
but they have been led astray by the same lies
after which their ancestors walked.
5     So I will send a fire on Judah,
and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.

Judgment on Israel

6     Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Israel,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they sell the righteous for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals—
7     they who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth,
and push the afflicted out of the way;
father and son go in to the same girl,
so that my holy name is profaned;
8     they lay themselves down beside every altar
on garments taken in pledge;
and in the house of their God they drink
wine bought with fines they imposed.
9     Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them,
whose height was like the height of cedars,
and who was as strong as oaks;
I destroyed his fruit above,
and his roots beneath.
10     Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
and led you forty years in the wilderness,
to possess the land of the Amorite.
11     And I raised up some of your children to be prophets
and some of your youths to be nazirites.
Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?
says the Lord.
12     But you made the nazirites drink wine,
and commanded the prophets,
saying, “You shall not prophesy.”
13     So, I will press you down in your place,
just as a cart presses down
when it is full of sheaves.
14     Flight shall perish from the swift,
and the strong shall not retain their strength,
nor shall the mighty save their lives;
15     those who handle the bow shall not stand,
and those who are swift of foot shall not save themselves,
nor shall those who ride horses save their lives;
16     and those who are stout of heart among the mighty
shall flee away naked in that day,
says the Lord.

Israel’s Guilt and Punishment

Amos 3:1     Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt:

2     You only have I known
of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
for all your iniquities.
3     Do two walk together
unless they have made an appointment?
4     Does a lion roar in the forest,
when it has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from its den,
if it has caught nothing?
5     Does a bird fall into a snare on the earth,
when there is no trap for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground,
when it has taken nothing?
6     Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster befall a city,
unless the Lord has done it?

7     Surely the Lord God does nothing,
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets.

     I have always wondered about this verse. It leads me to think there will always be a prophetic warning before a great disaster. Was there a prophecy regarding the holocaust of WW!!? I have asked a couple of Jewish friends and both said no. I have never been able to find anything regarding a prophesy and yet this verse makes me think there would be one.

8     The lion has roared;
who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
who can but prophesy?
9     Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod,
and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
and say, “Assemble yourselves on Mount Samaria,
and see what great tumults are within it,
and what oppressions are in its midst.”
10     They do not know how to do right, says the Lord,
those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.
11     Therefore thus says the Lord God:
An adversary shall surround the land,
and strip you of your defense;
and your strongholds shall be plundered.

     12 Thus says the Lord: As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who live in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.

13     Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,
says the Lord God, the God of hosts:
14     On the day I punish Israel for its transgressions,
I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
and fall to the ground.
15     I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end,
says the Lord.

Amos 4:1     Hear this word, you cows of Bashan
who are on Mount Samaria,
who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
who say to their husbands, “Bring something to drink!”
2     The Lord God has sworn by his holiness:
The time is surely coming upon you,
when they shall take you away with hooks,
even the last of you with fishhooks.
3     Through breaches in the wall you shall leave,
each one straight ahead;
and you shall be flung out into Harmon,
says the Lord.
4     Come to Bethel—and transgress;
to Gilgal—and multiply transgression;
bring your sacrifices every Morning,
your tithes every three days;
5     bring a thank offering of leavened bread,
and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them;
for so you love to do, O people of Israel!
says the Lord God.

Israel Rejects Correction

6     I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
and lack of bread in all your places,
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.
7     And I also withheld the rain from you
when there were still three months to the harvest;
I would send rain on one city,
and send no rain on another city;
one field would be rained upon,
and the field on which it did not rain withered;
8     so two or three towns wandered to one town
to drink water, and were not satisfied;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.
9     I struck you with blight and mildew;
I laid waste your gardens and your vineyards;
the locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.
10     I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt;
I killed your young men with the sword;
I carried away your horses;
and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.
11     I overthrew some of you,
as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
and you were like a brand snatched from the fire;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.
12     Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel;
because I will do this to you,
prepare to meet your God, O Israel!
13     For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind,
reveals his thoughts to mortals,
makes the Morning darkness,
and treads on the heights of the earth—
the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

A Lament for Israel’s Sin

Amos 5:1     Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:
2     Fallen, no more to rise,
is maiden Israel;
forsaken on her land,
with no one to raise her up.
3     For thus says the Lord God:
The city that marched out a thousand
shall have a hundred left,
and that which marched out a hundred
shall have ten left.
4     For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:
Seek me and live;
5     but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
or cross over to Beer-sheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
and Bethel shall come to nothing.
6     Seek the Lord and live,
or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire,
and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.
7     Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood,
and bring righteousness to the ground!
8     The one who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the Morning,
and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea,
and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the Lord is his name,
9     who makes destruction flash out against the strong,
so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
10     They hate the one who reproves in the gate,
and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.
11     Therefore because you trample on the poor
and take from them levies of grain,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
but you shall not live in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
but you shall not drink their wine.
12     For I know how many are your transgressions,
and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
and push aside the needy in the gate.
13     Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time;
for it is an evil time.
14     Seek good and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
just as you have said.
15     Hate evil and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
16     Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord:
In all the squares there shall be wailing;
and in all the streets they shall say, “Alas! alas!”
They shall call the farmers to mourning,
and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing;
17     in all the vineyards there shall be wailing,
for I will pass through the midst of you,
says the Lord.

The Day of the Lord a Dark Day

18     Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord!
Why do you want the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, not light;
19     as if someone fled from a lion,
and was met by a bear;
or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
and was bitten by a snake.
20     Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light,
and gloom with no brightness in it?
21     I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22     Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.
23     Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24     But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

     25 Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 26 You shall take up Sakkuth your king, and Kaiwan your star-god, your images, which you made for yourselves; 27 therefore I will take you into exile beyond Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.

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

  • Chapel
  • Bridges Or Walls
  • Under The Overpass

#1 Greg Carmer  
Gordon College


#2 Richard Hughes   
Gordon College


#3 Mike Yankoski   
Gordon College


  Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

UCB The Word For Today
     (Sept 13)    Bob Gass

(1 Pe 3:7) 7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. ESV

     You must get to know your wife and respect her needs. When God made woman, He made her to be a receiver and responder. He made her a little softer, a little warmer, a little more emotional in order to respond to you. A woman responds to a man in such a way that the very thing he wants, he will receive by giving instead of demanding. When your wife feels truly loved and secure you won’t have to worry about her fulfilling her responsibility in the home. You won’t have to wonder if you’ll have an active, intimate, physical relationship. She’ll be right there responding to your needs. But that means you must put your wife and family first. Sometimes that means saying, ‘Sorry, guys, I can’t go out with you tonight because I’m taking my wife on a date.’ When you’re that kind of husband, you’ll get the kind of response you want without demanding it. But be prepared; there may be issues festering under the surface that need to be dealt with before you can move forward as a couple. If so, be humble enough to say, ‘I’m sorry I’ve failed you. I haven’t loved you the way I was supposed to and I know it has affected our relationship. I haven’t given you the time and attention you need. But starting today I’m going to change. With God’s help, I’m going to try to love you the way you deserve to be loved.’ Now, sir, your wife may faint when she first hears it, but if you follow through, you can have the marriage you always dreamed of.

Is 20-22
Gal 6

UCB The Word For Today

American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     Sent to negotiate the release of an American doctor, the enemy detained him all night on a ship. It was September 13, 1814. He watched the British fleet mercilessly bombarded Fort McHenry from a distance, as Chesapeake Bay had been blocked by sunken ships. This was just two weeks after the British burned the Capitol. The next Morning, “through the dawn’s early light,” this young lawyer, Francis Scott Key, saw the American flag still flying. Elated, he penned the Star-Spangled Banner, which states in its fourth verse: “May the Heav’n-rescued land Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!”

American Minute

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams

“No circumstances can make it necessary for a man
to burst in sunder all the ties of humanity.
It can never be necessary for a rational being
to sink himself below a brute.”
--- from Thoughts upon Slavery in the Works of John Wesley

Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it.
--- Henri J.M. Nouwen

God is so great that he works out a plan, a plan to work everything out for your good if you belong to him, and his glory, which takes into consideration your choices, and still works his plan out infallibly.
--- Timothy Keller

... from here, there and everywhere

History of the Destruction of Jerusalem
     Thanks to Meir Yona

     5. Whereupon the zealots, out of the dread they were in of his attacking them, and being willing to prevent one that was growing up to oppose them, went out against him with their weapons. Simon met them, and joining battle with them, slew a considerable number of them, and drove the rest before him into the city, but durst not trust so much upon his forces as to make an assault upon the walls; but he resolved first to subdue Idumea, and as he had now twenty thousand armed men, he marched to the borders of their country. Hereupon the rulers of the Idumeans got together on the sudden the most warlike part of their people, about twenty-five thousand in number, and permitted the rest to be a guard to their own country, by reason of the incursions that were made by the Sicarii that were at Masada. Thus they received Simon at their borders, where they fought him, and continued the battle all that day; and the dispute lay whether they had conquered him, or been conquered by him. So he went back to Nain, as did the Idumeans return home. Nor was it long ere Simon came violently again upon their country; when he pitched his camp at a certain village called Thecoe, and sent Eleazar, one of his companions, to those that kept garrison at Herodium, and in order to persuade them to surrender that fortress to him. The garrison received this man readily, while they knew nothing of what he came about; but as soon as he talked of the surrender of the place, they fell upon him with their drawn swords, till he found that he had no place for flight, when he threw himself down from the wall into the valley beneath; so he died immediately: but the Idumeans, who were already much afraid of Simon's power, thought fit to take a view of the enemy's army before they hazarded a battle with them.

     6. Now there was one of their commanders named Jacob, who offered to serve them readily upon that occasion, but had it in his mind to betray them. He went therefore from the village Alurus, wherein the army of the Idumeans were gotten together, and came to Simon, and at the very first he agreed to betray his country to him, and took assurances upon oath from him that he should always have him in esteem, and then promised him that he would assist him in subduing all Idumea under him; upon which account he was feasted after an obliging manner by Simon, and elevated by his mighty promises; and when he was returned to his own men, he at first belied the army of Simon, and said it was manifold more in number than what it was; after which, he dexterously persuaded the commanders, and by degrees the whole multitude, to receive Simon, and to surrender the whole government up to him without fighting. And as he was doing this, he invited Simon by his messengers, and promised him to disperse the Idumeans, which he performed also; for as soon as their army was nigh them, he first of all got upon his horse, and fled, together with those whom he had corrupted; hereupon a terror fell upon the whole multitude; and before it came to a close fight, they broke their ranks, and every one retired to his own home.

     7. Thus did Simon unexpectedly march into Idumea, without bloodshed, and made a sudden attack upon the city Hebron, and took it; wherein he got possession of a great deal of prey, and plundered it of a vast quantity of fruit. Now the people of the country say that it is an ancienter city, not only than any in that country, but than Memphis in Egypt, and accordingly its age is reckoned at two thousand and three hundred years. They also relate that it had been the habitation of Abram, the progenitor of the Jews, after he had removed out of Mesopotamia; and they say that his posterity descended from thence into Egypt, whose monuments are to this very time showed in that small city; the fabric of which monuments are of the most excellent marble, and wrought after the most elegant manner. There is also there showed, at the distance of six furlongs from the city, a very large turpentine tree 17 and the report goes, that this tree has continued ever since the creation of the world. Thence did Simon make his progress over all Idumea, and did not only ravage the cities and villages, but lay waste the whole country; for, besides those that were completely armed, he had forty thousand men that followed him, insomuch that he had not provisions enough to suffice such a multitude. Now, besides this want of provisions that he was in, he was of a barbarous disposition, and bore great anger at this nation, by which means it came to pass that Idumea was greatly depopulated; and as one may see all the woods behind despoiled of their leaves by locusts, after they have been there, so was there nothing left behind Simon's army but a desert. Some places they burnt down, some they utterly demolished, and whatsoever grew in the country, they either trod it down or fed upon it, and by their marches they made the ground that was cultivated harder and more untractable than that which was barren. In short, there was no sign remaining of those places that had been laid waste, that ever they had had a being.

     8. This success of Simon excited the zealots afresh; and though they were afraid to fight him openly in a fair battle, yet did they lay ambushes in the passes, and seized upon his wife, with a considerable number of her attendants; whereupon they came back to the city rejoicing, as if they had taken Simon himself captive, and were in present expectation that he would lay down his arms, and make supplication to them for his wife; but instead of indulging any merciful affection, he grew very angry at them for seizing his beloved wife; so he came to the wall of Jerusalem, and, like wild beasts when they are wounded, and cannot overtake those that wounded them, he vented his spleen upon all persons that he met with. Accordingly, he caught all those that were come out of the city gates, either to gather herbs or sticks, who were unarmed and in years; he then tormented them and destroyed them, out of the immense rage he was in, and was almost ready to taste the very flesh of their dead bodies. He also cut off the hands of a great many, and sent them into the city to astonish his enemies, and in order to make the people fall into a sedition, and desert those that had been the authors of his wife's seizure. He also enjoined them to tell the people that Simon swore by the God of the universe, who sees all things, that unless they will restore him his wife, he will break down their wall, and inflict the like punishment upon all the citizens, without sparing any age, and without making any distinction between the guilty and the innocent. These threatenings so greatly affrighted, not the people only, but the zealots themselves also, that they sent his wife back to him; when he became a little milder, and left off his perpetual blood-shedding.

     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 24:21-22
     by D.H. Stern

23     These also are sayings of the wise:
     Showing partiality in judgment is not good.
24     He who tells the guilty, “You are innocent,”
     will be cursed by peoples, reviled by nations;
25     but with those who condemn him, things will go well,
     and a good blessing will come upon them.

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

                After surrender—what?

     I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.
--- John 17:4.

     There are times in spiritual life when there is confusion, and it is no way out to say that there ought not to be confusion. It is not a question of right and wrong, but a question of God taking you by a way which in the meantime you do not understand, and it is only by going through the confusion that you will get at what God wants.

     The Shrouding of His Friendship.

Luke 11:5–8     
And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7 And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. NRSV. 1989..

     Jesus gave the illustration of the man who looked as if he did not care for his friend, and He said that that is how the Heavenly Father will appear to you at times. You will think He is an unkind friend, but remember He is not; the time will come when everything will be explained. There is a cloud on the friendship of the heart, and often even love itself has to wait in pain and tears for the blessing of fuller communion. When God looks completely shrouded, will you hang on in confidence in Him?

     The Shadow on His Fatherhood.

Luke 11:11–13     Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
NRSV 1989

     Jesus says there are times when your Father will appear as if He were an unnatural father, as if He were callous and indifferent, but remember He is not; I have told you —“Everyone that asketh receiveth.” If there is a shadow on the face of the Father just now, hang onto it that He will ultimately give His clear revealing and justify Himself in all that He permitted.

     The Strangeness of His Faithfulness.

Luke 18:1–8     Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3 In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4 For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’ ”  6 And the Lord said,  “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8 I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” NRSV 1989

Will He find the faith which banks on Him in spite of the confusion? Stand off in faith believing that what Jesus said is true, though in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you ask.

My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition

Funeral (The Bread of Truth)
     the Poetry of RS Thomas

                Funeral (The Bread of Truth)

They stand about conversing
  In dark clumps, less beautiful than trees.
  What have they come here to mourn?
  There was a death, yes; but death's brother.
  Sin, is of more importance.
  Shabbily the teeth gleam,
  Sharpening themselves on reputations
  That were firm once. On the cheap coffin
  The earth falls more cleanly than tears.
  What are these red faces for ?
  This incidence of pious catarrh
  At the grave's edge? He has returned.
  Where he belongs; this is acknowledged
  By all but the lonely few
  Making amends for the heart's coldness
  He had from them, grudging a little
  The simpler splendour of the wreath
  Of words the church lays on him.

Selected poems, 1946-1968

Searching For Meaning In Midrash

     A child asks her mother, “Mommy, where did I come from?” And the mother understands that it’s time for the sex talk. “Well, when the sperm from a man fertilizes the egg from a woman …”

     “Oh, Mommy, I know that already. We learned about sex a long time ago in school. I meant ‘Where did I come from?’ Debbie comes from Massachusetts!”

     “Where do we come from?” can mean many different things. The phrase “Throw a stick into the air—it falls to where it came from” assumes that where we come from determines where we will end up. This maxim reflects the age-old prejudice that results in racism, chauvinism, misogyny—that a person’s ancestry, place of residence, or cultural background will ultimately affect, or even determine, her character. Sometimes, one affects the other. Other times, one has no bearing on the other at all.

Deuteronomy 23:4–5, 7 specifically records:

     No Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted into the congregation of the Lord; none of their descendants, even in the tenth generation, shall ever be admitted into the congregation of the Lord, because they did not meet you with food and water on your journey after you left Egypt.… You shall never concern yourself with their welfare or benefit as long as you live.

     This despite the fact that Ruth the Moabite became one of the great heroes of the Bible, the exemplar of a righteous proselyte. How is this possible? How could the prohibition of
Deuteronomy be ignored?

     The Rabbis of the Talmud and the Midrash explained away the contradiction through various homiletic means. (The prohibition refers to a Moabite, that is, a male, and not to a Moabitess, a female.) In the end, they understood that the story of Ruth was a beautiful and meaningful one, and that Ruth’s past was less significant than her future. Ruth married Boaz, and their son was Obed, father of Jesse, father of David, king of Israel.

     Some people, like an arrow, follow the path that has been set out for them. Others create their own unique course through life. “Throw a stick into the air—it falls where it came from” is an incomplete view of life because we shouldn’t judge people by their past. Rather, we should stick around long enough to see their future.


     Does a thrown stick ever fall back to the spot from which it came? Not unless that stick was brought back by a dog who was told “Go fetch!” What the proverb must refer to is a piece of wood that was thrown straight up into the air. Long before Isaac Newton, people understood that “what goes up must come down.” And it comes down, unless gale-force winds blow it somewhere else, to the spot from which it was thrown.

     A well-known proverb says that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” The apple, like the stick, is controlled by gravity and is pulled down to earth. The meaning of the adage is that the child (= the apple) behaves in ways markedly similar to those of the parent (= the tree). The Midrash wanted to make a similar point about the Moabite women: They were pulled by a force of nature (= heredity?) to behave like their ancestor, the daughter of Lot.

     But no one says that a stick can be thrown only straight up. It is possible to throw it in a particular direction and, depending upon how hard it is thrown, the stick can travel quite a bit of distance. And it doesn’t come back on its own (unless that stick happens to be a boomerang!).

     People often debate the relative merits of various sporting games. One of the arguments made against basketball is that the ordinary fan has a hard time relating to the players because they are “giants.” Baseball players are superb athletes, but generally they are of average height and weight; basketball players, on the other hand, have in recent decades tended to be men approaching or surpassing seven feet tall and 250 pounds. If the point of the game is to put a ball through a hoop that is ten feet off the ground, then the taller the player, the greater the advantage.

     Then along came “Spud.” Anthony Jerome Webb, known to all by his nickname Spud, played guard for the Atlanta Hawks and the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association. In the 1994–95 season, he led the entire league with the best free-throw percentage. He gained national attention in 1986 when he won the NBA slam dunk competition. (A slam dunk is a shot made by a player who, instead of throwing the ball toward the basket, jumps up and stuffs it through the basket with great force and dramatic style.) What is so remarkable about Spud Webb is that he is only 5′7″ tall and weighs only 133 pounds.

     Heredity plays a huge role in determining how tall a person will grow. And height is a major consideration that general managers and coaches think about when deciding who will make their team. But players like Spud Webb are reminders that a (relatively) small man can compete against, and even beat, much bigger men. Ancestry may be important, but it is not the final word. Tendencies may be present, but the individual, with hard work, can rise to almost any height.

     Spud Webb comes down the court. He dribbles, looks right, fakes left, he spins. He throws himself into the air, toward the basket. Up, up, higher and higher. He raises the ball above his head. He slams it through the hoop. The backboard rocks. Tiny Spud Webb has scored again!

Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living

Take Heart
     September 13

     “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the LORD Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”
Zechariah 13:7

     Did the sheep fly when the shepherd was struck? (Works of John Flavel (6 Vol. Set)) How sad a thing it is to be left to our own carnal fears in a day of temptation. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare” (
Prov. 29:25). In that snare these good souls were taken and for a time held fast.

     Isn’t it a shame to Christians to see themselves outdone by a heathen? The emperor Vespasian had commanded Fluidius Priscus not to come to the senate or, if he did, to speak nothing but what he would have him. The senator returned this brave and noble answer, that as he was a senator it was fit he should be at the senate and if, being there, he were required to give his advice, he would speak freely that which his conscience commanded him. The emperor threatening that then he would die, he returned thus, “Do what you will, and I will do what I ought. It is in your power to put me to death unjustly and in me to die faithfully.” Learn to trust God with your lives, liberties, and comforts in the way of your duty, and when you are afraid, trust in him, and do not magnify poor dust and ashes as to be scared from your God and your duty by their threat.

     We may differ from ourselves, according as the Lord is with us or withdrawn from us. Yes, the difference between myself and myself is as great as if I were not the same person. Sometimes bold and courageous, despising dangers, bearing down all discouragement in the strength of zeal and love to God; at another time faint, feeble, and discouraged at every petty thing. From where is this except from the different administrations of the Spirit, who sometimes gives forth more and sometimes less of his gracious influence. These very men who flinched now, when the Spirit was more abundantly poured out on them could boldly own Christ before the council and despised all dangers for his sake.

     We are strong or weak according to the degrees of assisting grace. As we cannot take the just measure of Christians by single acts, so neither must we judge them by what they sometimes feel.

     But when their spirits are low and their hearts discouraged, they should rather say to their souls, Hope in God, for I will yet praise him; it is low with me now, but it will be better.
--- John Flavel

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

On This Day
     Jesus’ Kinsmen  September 13

     Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had neither wife nor children. But he did have brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews. Have you ever wondered what happened to his family, the descendants of Joseph and Mary? They are not entirely lost to history. His brothers, James and Judas, after initially rejecting his ministry, were converted, became leaders in the early church, and wrote the New Testament epistles that bear their names—James and Jude.

     But there’s more.

     On September 13, 81 the Roman emperor Titus died at age 40 after a two-year reign. He was replaced by his brother, Titus Flavius Domitianus, 29, who reigned until 96 as Domitian. As a youth, Domitian was handsome and tall and modest. In later years he developed a protruding belly, spindle legs, and a bald head (though he had written a book, On the Care of the Hair).

     The historian Pliny described Domitian as the beast from hell who sat in its den, licking blood. He relished sadistic cruelty. He caught flies just so he could stab them with his knife and entertained himself with gladiatorial fights between women and dwarfs.

     He was the first Roman emperor to title himself God the Lord, and insisted others cheer him with the phrases Lord of the earth! Invincible! Glory! Thou Alone! The Jews and Christians refused to utter such blasphemy and were targeted for intense persecution.

     Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, the “Father of Church History,” cites Hegesippus, a church historian from the second century, as saying that among the oppressed were the great-grandsons of Joseph and Mary: Domitian brought from Palestine to Rome two kinsmen of Jesus, grandsons of Judas, the brother of the Lord, but seeing their poverty and rustic simplicity, and hearing their explanation of the kingdom of Christ as not earthly, but heavenly, to be established by the Lord at the end of the world, when he should come to judge the quick and the dead, he let them go.

     He taught in their meeting place, and the people were so amazed that they asked, “Where does he get all this wisdom and the power to work these miracles? Isn’t he the son of the carpenter? Isn’t Mary his mother, and aren’t James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? Don’t his sisters still live here in our town?”
--- Matthew 13:54b-56a.

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

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - September 13

     "Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well, the rain also filleth the pools." --- Psalm 84:6.

     This teaches us that the comfort obtained by one may often prove serviceable to another; just as wells would be used by the company who came after. We read some book full of consolation, which is like Jonathan’s rod, dropping with honey. Ah! we think our brother has been here before us, and digged this well for us as well as for himself. Many a “Night of Weeping,” “Midnight Harmonies,” an “Eternal Day,” “A Crook in the Lot,” a “Comfort for Mourners,” has been a well digged by a pilgrim for himself, but has proved quite as useful to others. Specially we notice this in the Psalms, such as that beginning, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” Travellers have been delighted to see the footprint of man on a barren shore, and we love to see the waymarks of pilgrims while passing through the vale of tears.

     The pilgrims dig the well, but, strange enough, it fills from the top instead of the bottom. We use the means, but the blessing does not spring from the means. We dig a well, but heaven fills it with rain. The horse is prepared against the day of battle, but safety is of the Lord. The means are connected with the end, but they do not of themselves produce it. See here the rain fills the pools, so that the wells become useful as reservoirs for the water; labour is not lost, but yet it does not supersede divine help.

     Grace may well be compared to rain for its purity, for its refreshing and vivifying influence, for its coming alone from above, and for the sovereignty with which it is given or withheld. May our readers have showers of blessing, and may the wells they have digged be filled with water! Oh, what are means and ordinances without the smile of heaven! They are as clouds without rain, and pools without water. O God of love, open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing!

          Evening - September 13

     “This man receiveth sinners.” --- Luke 15:2.

     Observe the condescension of this fact. This Man, who towers above all other men, holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners—this Man receiveth sinners. This Man, who is no other than the eternal God, before whom angels veil their faces—this Man receiveth sinners. It needs an angel’s tongue to describe such a mighty stoop of love. That any of us should be willing to seek after the lost is nothing wonderful— they are of our own race; but that he, the offended God, against whom the transgression has been committed, should take upon himself the form of a servant, and bear the sin of many, and should then be willing to receive the vilest of the vile, this is marvellous.

     “This Man receiveth sinners”; not, however, that they may remain sinners, but he receives them that he may pardon their sins, justify their persons, cleanse their hearts by his purifying word, preserve their souls by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and enable them to serve him, to show forth his praise, and to have communion with him. Into his heart’s love he receives sinners, takes them from the dunghill, and wears them as jewels in his crown; plucks them as brands from the burning, and preserves them as costly monuments of his mercy. None are so precious in Jesus’ sight as the sinners for whom he died. When Jesus receives sinners, he has not some out-of-doors reception place, no casual ward where he charitably entertains them as men do passing beggars, but he opens the golden gates of his royal heart, and receives the sinner right into himself—yea, he admits the humble penitent into personal union and makes him a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. There was never such a reception as this! This fact is still most sure this Evening, he is still receiving sinners: would to God sinners would receive him.

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

Amazing Grace
     September 13


     Edward Perronet, 1726–1792
     Altered by John Rippon, 1751–1836

     You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being. --- Revelation 4:11

     Sometimes called the “National Anthem of Christendom,” this is one of the truly great worship hymns of the church. Written by a young English minister, it was published in 1779 and has been translated into almost every language where Christianity is known. The strong exuberant lines lead us to heartfelt worship of God each time we sing them. But what does it mean to worship?

     It is a quickening of the conscience by the holiness of God; a feeding of the mind with the truth of God; an opening of the heart to the love of God; and a devoting of the will to the purpose of God.
--- Unknown

     We can be thankful that God moved an 18th century pastor to write this stirring hymn text that reminds us so forcibly that the angels in heaven and ransomed souls from “every kindred, every tribe” on earth are worshiping with us even now. And we will one day all join together in singing “the everlasting song”—when Christ is crowned “Lord of all.”

     Edward Perronet came from a family of distinguished French Huguenots who had fled to Switzerland and then England to escape religious persecution. He was ordained to the ministry of the Anglican church but was always more sympathetic to the evangelical movement led by John and Charles Wesley. Soon Edward left the state church to join the Wesleys in their evangelistic endeavors. Although he wrote a number of other hymns, this is the only one for which he will be remembered.

     All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ name!
     Let angels prostrate fall;
     bring forth the royal diadem,
     and crown Him Lord of all!

     Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race,
     ye ransomed from the fall,
     hail Him who saves you by His grace,
     and crown Him Lord of all!

     Let ev’ry kindred, ev’ry tribe,
     on this terrestrial ball,
     to Him all majesty ascribe,
     and crown Him Lord of all!

     O that with yonder sacred throng
     ye at His feet may fall!
     We’ll join the everlasting song,
     and crown Him Lord of all!

     For Today: Colossians 1:15–19; Philippians 2:9–11; Hebrews 2:7, 8

     Reflect with joyous anticipation upon that time in heaven when our “everlasting song” will be shared throughout eternity with those from “every kindred and every tribe.” Prepare even now by singing this hymn ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Book Of Common Prayer
     Wednesday, September 13, 2017 | After Pentecost

Proper 18, Wednesday
Year 1

Psalms (Morning)     Psalm 119:49–72
Psalms (Evening)     Psalm 49 (53)
Old Testament     1 Kings 17:1–24
New Testament     Philippians 2:1–11
Gospel     Matthew 2:1–12

Index of Readings

Psalms (Morning)
Psalm 119:49–72

49 Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my distress,
that your promise gives me life.
51 The arrogant utterly deride me,
but I do not turn away from your law.
52 When I think of your ordinances from of old,
I take comfort, O LORD.
53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
those who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been my songs
wherever I make my home.
55 I remember your name in the night, O LORD,
and keep your law.
56 This blessing has fallen to me,
for I have kept your precepts.

57 The LORD is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.
58 I implore your favor with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 When I think of your ways,
I turn my feet to your decrees;
60 I hurry and do not delay
to keep your commandments.
61 Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,
I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to praise you,
because of your righteous ordinances.
63 I am a companion of all who fear you,
of those who keep your precepts.
64 The earth, O LORD, is full of your steadfast love;
teach me your statutes.

65 You have dealt well with your servant,
O LORD, according to your word.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe in your commandments.
67 Before I was humbled I went astray,
but now I keep your word.
68 You are good and do good;
teach me your statutes.
69 The arrogant smear me with lies,
but with my whole heart I keep your precepts.
70 Their hearts are fat and gross,
but I delight in your law.
71 It is good for me that I was humbled,
so that I might learn your statutes.
72 The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Psalms (Evening)
Psalm 49 (53)

To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.

1 Hear this, all you peoples;
give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor together.
3 My mouth shall speak wisdom;
the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.

5 Why should I fear in times of trouble,
when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life,
there is no price one can give to God for it.
8 For the ransom of life is costly,
and can never suffice,
9 that one should live on forever
and never see the grave.

10 When we look at the wise, they die;
fool and dolt perish together
and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their homes forever,
their dwelling places to all generations,
though they named lands their own.
12 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
they are like the animals that perish.

13 Such is the fate of the foolhardy,
the end of those who are pleased with their lot.     Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd;
straight to the grave they descend,
and their form shall waste away;
Sheol shall be their home.
15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
for he will receive me.     Selah

16 Do not be afraid when some become rich,
when the wealth of their houses increases.
17 For when they die they will carry nothing away;
their wealth will not go down after them.
18 Though in their lifetime they count themselves happy
—for you are praised when you do well for yourself—
19 they will go to the company of their ancestors,
who will never again see the light.
20 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
they are like the animals that perish.

[     To the leader: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David.
1 Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they commit abominable acts;
there is no one who does good.

2 God looks down from heaven on humankind
to see if there are any who are wise,
who seek after God.

3 They have all fallen away, they are all alike perverse;
there is no one who does good,
no, not one.

4 Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon God?

5 There they shall be in great terror,
in terror such as has not been.
For God will scatter the bones of the ungodly;
they will be put to shame, for God has rejected them.

6 O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.     ]

Old Testament
1 Kings 17:1–24

17 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” 2 The word of the LORD came to him, saying, 3 “Go from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4 You shall drink from the wadi, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD; he went and lived by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the wadi. 7 But after a while the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 9 “Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the LORD the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the LORD sends rain on the earth.” 15 She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.

17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill; his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 She then said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!” 19 But he said to her, “Give me your son.” He took him from her bosom, carried him up into the upper chamber where he was lodging, and laid him on his own bed. 20 He cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I am staying, by killing her son?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” 22 The LORD listened to the voice of Elijah; the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 Elijah took the child, brought him down from the upper chamber into the house, and gave him to his mother; then Elijah said, “See, your son is alive.” 24 So the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.”

New Testament
Philippians 2:1–11

2 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

6    who, though he was in the form of God,
      did not regard equality with God
      as something to be exploited,
7    but emptied himself,
      taking the form of a slave,
      being born in human likeness.
      And being found in human form,
8    he humbled himself
      and became obedient to the point of death—
      even death on a cross.

9    Therefore God also highly exalted him
      and gave him the name
      that is above every name,
10   so that at the name of Jesus
      every knee should bend,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11   and every tongue should confess
      that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

Matthew 2:1–12

2 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6    ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
      are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
      for from you shall come a ruler
      who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ”

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

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

Book Of Common Prayer
     On The Same Day | Vigil | Holy Day

Eve Of Holy Cross
Evening Prayer
Years 1 & 2

On the same date: 9/13/17 Proper 18, Friday

Psalms     Psalm 46, 87
Old Testament     1 Kings 8:22–30
New Testament     Ephesians 2:11–22

Index of Readings

Psalm 46, 87

To the leader. Of the Korahites. According to Alamoth. A Song.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.     Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.     Selah

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD;
see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.     Selah

Of the Korahites. A Psalm. A Song.

1 On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
2 the LORD loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
3 Glorious things are spoken of you,
O city of God.     Selah

4 Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
Philistia too, and Tyre, with Ethiopia—
“This one was born there,” they say.

5 And of Zion it shall be said,
“This one and that one were born in it”;
for the Most High himself will establish it.
6 The LORD records, as he registers the peoples,
“This one was born there.”     Selah

7 Singers and dancers alike say,
“All my springs are in you.”

Old Testament
1 Kings 8:22–30

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. 23 He said, “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart, 24 the covenant that you kept for your servant my father David as you declared to him; you promised with your mouth and have this day fulfilled with your hand. 25 Therefore, O LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children look to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ 26 Therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you promised to your servant my father David.

27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! 28 Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, O LORD my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today; 29 that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. 30 Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling place; heed and forgive.

New Testament
Ephesians 2:11–22

11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21 In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

The Episcopal Church. (2010). Book of Common Prayer Lectionary. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

The Episcopal Church. Book of Common Prayer Lectionary

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