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2 Chronicles 28
2 Kings 16-17
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Reign of Ahaz (2 Kings 16.1—4)

2 Chronicles 28:1     Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign; he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord, as his ancestor David had done, 2 but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made cast images for the Baals; 3 and he made offerings in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and made his sons pass through fire, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 4 He sacrificed and made offerings on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

Aram and Israel Defeat Judah (2 Kings 16.5—6; Isa 7.1)

     5 Therefore the Lord his God gave him into the hand of the king of Aram, who defeated him and took captive a great number of his people and brought them to Damascus. He was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who defeated him with great slaughter. 6 Pekah son of Remaliah killed one hundred twenty thousand in Judah in one day, all of them valiant warriors, because they had abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 7 And Zichri, a mighty warrior of Ephraim, killed the king’s son Maaseiah, Azrikam the commander of the palace, and Elkanah the next in authority to the king.

Intervention of Oded

     8 The people of Israel took captive two hundred thousand of their kin, women, sons, and daughters; they also took much booty from them and brought the booty to Samaria. 9 But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded; he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria, and said to them, “Because the Lord, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah, he gave them into your hand, but you have killed them in a rage that has reached up to heaven. 10 Now you intend to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem, male and female, as your slaves. But what have you except sins against the Lord your God? 11 Now hear me, and send back the captives whom you have taken from your kindred, for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you.” 12 Moreover, certain chiefs of the Ephraimites, Azariah son of Johanan, Berechiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai, stood up against those who were coming from the war, 13 and said to them, “You shall not bring the captives in here, for you propose to bring on us guilt against the Lord in addition to our present sins and guilt. For our guilt is already great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.” 14 So the warriors left the captives and the booty before the officials and all the assembly. 15 Then those who were mentioned by name got up and took the captives, and with the booty they clothed all that were naked among them; they clothed them, gave them sandals, provided them with food and drink, and anointed them; and carrying all the feeble among them on donkeys, they brought them to their kindred at Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria.

Assyria Refuses to Help Judah (2 Kings 16.7—9)

     16 At that time King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria for help. 17 For the Edomites had again invaded and defeated Judah, and carried away captives. 18 And the Philistines had made raids on the cities in the Shephelah and the Negeb of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages; and they settled there. 19 For the Lord brought Judah low because of King Ahaz of Israel, for he had behaved without restraint in Judah and had been faithless to the Lord. 20 So King Tilgath-pilneser of Assyria came against him, and oppressed him instead of strengthening him. 21 For Ahaz plundered the house of the Lord and the houses of the king and of the officials, and gave tribute to the king of Assyria; but it did not help him.

Apostasy and Death of Ahaz (2 Kings 16.12—20)

     22 In the time of his distress he became yet more faithless to the Lord—this same King Ahaz. 23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which had defeated him, and said, “Because the gods of the kings of Aram helped them, I will sacrifice to them so that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. 24 Ahaz gathered together the utensils of the house of God, and cut in pieces the utensils of the house of God. He shut up the doors of the house of the Lord and made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 In every city of Judah he made high places to make offerings to other gods, provoking to anger the Lord, the God of his ancestors. 26 Now the rest of his acts and all his ways, from first to last, are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 Ahaz slept with his ancestors, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem; but they did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah succeeded him.

Ahaz Reigns over Judah (2 Chr 28.1—27)

2 Kings16:1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, King Ahaz son of Jotham of Judah began to reign. 2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign; he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had done, 3 but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even made his son pass through fire, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 4 He sacrificed and made offerings on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

     5 Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel came up to wage war on Jerusalem; they besieged Ahaz but could not conquer him. 6 At that time the king of Edom recovered Elath for Edom, and drove the Judeans from Elath; and the Edomites came to Elath, where they live to this day. 7 Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up, and rescue me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.” 8 Ahaz also took the silver and gold found in the house of the Lord and in the treasures of the king’s house, and sent a present to the king of Assyria. 9 The king of Assyria listened to him; the king of Assyria marched up against Damascus, and took it, carrying its people captive to Kir; then he killed Rezin.

     10 When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. King Ahaz sent to the priest Uriah a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details. 11 The priest Uriah built the altar; in accordance with all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, just so did the priest Uriah build it, before King Ahaz arrived from Damascus. 12 When the king came from Damascus, the king viewed the altar. Then the king drew near to the altar, went up on it, 13 and offered his burnt offering and his grain offering, poured his drink offering, and dashed the blood of his offerings of well-being against the altar. 14 The bronze altar that was before the Lord he removed from the front of the house, from the place between his altar and the house of the Lord, and put it on the north side of his altar. 15 King Ahaz commanded the priest Uriah, saying, “Upon the great altar offer the Morning burnt offering, and the Evening grain offering, and the king’s burnt offering, and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, their grain offering, and their drink offering; then dash against it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice; but the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.” 16 The priest Uriah did everything that King Ahaz commanded.

     17 Then King Ahaz cut off the frames of the stands, and removed the laver from them; he removed the sea from the bronze oxen that were under it, and put it on a pediment of stone. 18 The covered portal for use on the sabbath that had been built inside the palace, and the outer entrance for the king he removed from the house of the Lord. He did this because of the king of Assyria. 19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? 20 Ahaz slept with his ancestors, and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David; his son Hezekiah succeeded him.

Hoshea Reigns over Israel

2 Kings 17:1     In the twelfth year of King Ahaz of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel; he reigned nine years. 2 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, yet not like the kings of Israel who were before him. 3 King Shalmaneser of Assyria came up against him; Hoshea became his vassal, and paid him tribute. 4 But the king of Assyria found treachery in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to King So of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year; therefore the king of Assyria confined him and imprisoned him.

Israel Carried Captive to Assyria

     5 Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria; for three years he besieged it. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria captured Samaria; he carried the Israelites away to Assyria. He placed them in Halah, on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

     7 This occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They had worshiped other gods 8 and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had introduced. 9 The people of Israel secretly did things that were not right against the Lord their God. They built for themselves high places at all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city; 10 they set up for themselves pillars and sacred poles on every high hill and under every green tree; 11 there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them. They did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger; 12 they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this.” 13 Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the law that I commanded your ancestors and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.” 14 They would not listen but were stubborn, as their ancestors had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 15 They despised his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their ancestors, and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false; they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do as they did. 16 They rejected all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves cast images of two calves; they made a sacred pole, worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17 They made their sons and their daughters pass through fire; they used divination and augury; and they sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight; none was left but the tribe of Judah alone.

     19 Judah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. 20 The Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel; he punished them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had banished them from his presence.

     21 When he had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat king. Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord and made them commit great sin. 22 The people of Israel continued in all the sins that Jeroboam committed; they did not depart from them 23 until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had foretold through all his servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.

Assyria Resettles Samaria

     24 The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria in place of the people of Israel; they took possession of Samaria, and settled in its cities. 25 When they first settled there, they did not worship the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 26 So the king of Assyria was told, “The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land; therefore he has sent lions among them; they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land.” 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, “Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there; let him go and live there, and teach them the law of the god of the land.” 28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel; he taught them how they should worship the Lord.

     29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the shrines of the high places that the people of Samaria had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived; 30 the people of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the people of Cuth made Nergal, the people of Hamath made Ashima; 31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 They also worshiped the Lord and appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. 33 So they worshiped the Lord but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away. 34 To this day they continue to practice their former customs.

     They do not worship the Lord and they do not follow the statutes or the ordinances or the law or the commandment that the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 35 The Lord had made a covenant with them and commanded them, “You shall not worship other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, 36 but you shall worship the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm; you shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. 37 The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall always be careful to observe. You shall not worship other gods; 38 you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not worship other gods, 39 but you shall worship the Lord your God; he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” 40 They would not listen, however, but they continued to practice their former custom.

     41 So these nations worshiped the Lord, but also served their carved images; to this day their children and their children’s children continue to do as their ancestors did.

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

What I'm Reading

Is The Bible Relevant Today?

By J. Warner Wallace 9/11/2017

     I have a drawer in my desk that’s filled with manuals and instruction guides. Every time I purchase a new device (whether it’s an electric garden tool or a smart phone), I store the original instruction manual in this drawer. I occasionally return to these guides when I have a problem or need an answer. But, about once a year, I sift through these documents and throw many of them away. The discarded manuals are still true and skillfully written, but they’re now irrelevant; I’ve mastered the devices they describe, and I’m able to overcome any problem I may encounter on my own. But, while my collection of instruction manuals shrinks every year, my collection of Bibles and related study materials increases. Why? Because the Bible continues to answer life’s most important questions. It solves the most pressing problem we face as humans; a problem we simply can’t resolve on our own.

     My experience as a cold-case homicide detective is partially to blame for my growing Biblical library. The instruction manuals in my desk drawer would never have become part of my collection if they didn’t correctly describe the devices they claimed to support. Their accuracy is the key to their relevancy. When I first investigated the claims of the New Testament accounts, I knew their relevancy would be similarly dependent upon the degree to which they were true. I was thirty-five years old and a seasoned detective when I first began to evaluate the reliability of the Gospels using the same skill set I applied to my criminal investigations. Were the accounts written early enough to have been produced by eyewitnesses? Could they be corroborated by additional early witnesses, external archaeological or internal linguistic evidence? Were the accounts corrupted or changed over time? Did the authors possess a bias that would motivate them to lie? I investigated these attributes of the gospels and became convinced they were telling me the truth about Jesus of Nazareth. But their reliability and truthfulness were only part of the story. The gospels also accurately described something I observed in murderers.

     I’ve arrested my fair share of cold-case killers, and most of them were law-abiding, upstanding citizens by the time I met them, many years after they brutally killed their victims. The more I spoke with these murderers, the more I realized they were just like… me. And you. And everyone else on the planet. Some had become fire captains, some teachers, some businessmen. They were good parents, reliable family members, and trustworthy employees. But they were all protecting a dark secret from their past; striving daily to convince a watching world they were good people, even though they had done something unspeakable. None of these killers committed more than one murder, and none would likely commit another. But each bore the burden of knowing who they really were, despite appearances.

     As I investigated each cold-case homicide, I came to realize these murderers weren’t unlike the rest of us. If you think you’re incapable of committing such a crime, you’ve likely underestimated the possible scenarios you might face, and overestimated how you might respond. Even if you don’t think you’re capable of such atrocities, I bet there’s still some secret you don’t want others to discover; we’re all moral law-breakers of one kind or another. The penal code in my state describes crimes that are as old as human history. In fact, many of our statutes still reflect the Biblical language of the Old Testament. Some things change, but our fallen, base desires grudgingly remain. We are moral outlaws to one degree or another.

Click here to read all of the article

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

Reading Is Believing

By Mark Bauerlein 10/2017

     I’ve been tracking youth reading habits and test scores for a long time, but I’ve never asked this question: What becomes of a faith that places a book at the center of worship if the rising generation doesn’t read? I don’t mean illiteracy. The problem is what reading researchers call a-literacy—being able to read but not wanting to.

     This is not an exaggeration. The 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts found that only half of eighteen- to twenty-four-year-olds read a book in leisure hours in the preceding twelve months. The same lack of interest shows up in the annual CIRP Freshman Survey, a large questionnaire administered to undergraduates a short time into their college career. Recently, it tallied one-third of college freshmen racking up zero (!) hours of “reading for pleasure” during an average week in the previous year. Another one-quarter of them did less than one hour—at most, seven or eight minutes a day. And these are four-year college students pursuing a bachelor’s degree, not vocational and two-year college students.

     When they do read, they don’t do it very well. Currently, just a bit more than one-third (37 percent) of twelfth-graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress reach “proficiency” in reading, while SAT reading results in 2015 were the lowest in more than forty years. On last year’s ACT exam, fully 56 percent of test-takers fell short of “college readiness” in reading, which means that they had only a 50 percent chance of earning a B in a basic civics class.

     Before I came to First Things in the summer of 2014, these results meant the same thing to me that they did to other concerned observers. They are an economic and civic calamity. In writing about them, I cited a 2004 College Board report that stated that “remedying deficiencies in writing may cost American firms as much as $3.1 billion annually” (good writing skills are correlated with strong reading habits), along with a National Association of Manufacturers survey that had more than one-quarter of manufacturers (29 percent) place “inadequate reading/writing/communication skills” among “the most serious skill deficiencies in your current employees” (take a look at the daunting manuals and catalogs in a car repair shop).

     As for civics, I collected statements like Peggy Noonan’s Wall Street Journal column on the decay of reading among the political class, subtitled “What ails American democracy? Too much information and too little thought.” The “young of politics and journalism . . . have received most of what they know about political history through screens,” she remarked. It seems that “they have seen the movie and not read the book. They have heard the sound bite but not read the speech.”

Click here to read all of the article

     Mark Bauerlein is Senior Editor at First Things and Professor of English at Emory University, where he has taught since earning his PhD in English at UCLA in 1989. For two years (2003-05) he served as Director of the Office of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. His essays have appeared in PMLA, Partisan Review, Wilson Quarterly, Commentary, and New Criterion, and his commentaries and reviews in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Weekly Standard, The Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, and other national periodicals. Mark Bauerlein Books:

  • History Of Canon Law Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5

#1 Ken Pennington  Catholic University


#2 Ken Pennington   Catholic University


#3 Ken Pennington   Catholic University


  Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

UCB The Word For Today
     Free from people’s approval
     (Sept 19)    Bob Gass

(1 Th 2:4) 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. ESV

     There’s a world of difference between performing for people’s approval, and being free to minister to their needs because you know you already have God’s approval. Striving for approval is like any other drug; you can never get enough of it. And like all drug addicts you go crazy when it’s withheld. It places you at the mercy of other people’s opinions, and as a result you live on an emotional roller coaster. That’s not how God wants you to live! Paul was free to speak the truth in love: to confront people or to be gentle with them. When someone told Paul they didn’t like him, he didn’t lose sleep over it because his security and self-worth weren’t built on their acceptance. ‘We speak as those approved by God’ (v. 4 NIV 2011 Edition). Paul didn’t go around comparing himself with others, demonstrating his superiority by trying to be top dog or the one who’s always in charge. Knowing he already had God’s approval set him free from such anxiety and meant he could enjoy the life God called him to. When we’re immature, we worry about what others think of us. But as we become more mature, we realise that most of the time they aren’t thinking about us at all. They’re too busy thinking about themselves - or worrying about what we think of them! Knowing you have God’s approval gives you the strength to deal with criticism and conflict because you’re secure in your identity. And your identity is this: you’re redeemed, called, and approved by God.

Is 32-33
Eph 5:1-16

UCB The Word For Today

American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     Like the Roman leader Cincinnatus, who twice led the Roman Republic to victory in battle and then resigned and returned to farming, George Washington led America to victory over the British, then served two terms as President, only to resign and return to manage his farm at Mount Vernon. The world stood in awe as Washington delivered his Farewell Address on this day, September 19, 1796. He stated: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars.”

American Minute

The Soul of Prayer
     by P.T. Forsyth, (1848-1921)

               Practical theology / PREFACE

     For the sake of completeness, Chapters V and VI are reprinted from another little book1 of which they make a part, and I have to thank Messrs. Hodder Stoughton for ready leave to do so.

     Parts have also appeared in the London Quarterly Review, and I gladly acknowledge the complaisance of its Editor.

     Dedication: TO MRS. WATERHOUSE / Lomberdale Hall, in the High Peak

     There is, high among the hills, a garden with a walk—a terraced walk. The moors lie round it, and the heights face it; and below the village drowses; while far, far afield, the world agonizes in a solemn tragedy of righteousness (where you, too, have your sepulchres)—a tragedy not quite divorced from the war in heaven, nor all unworthy of the glorious cusp of sky that roofs the riot of the hills.

     The walk begins with a conservatory of flowers and it ends in an old Gothic arch—rising, as it were, from beauty natural and frail to beauty spiritual and eternal. And it curves and twines between rocky plants, as if to suggest how arduous the passage from the natural to the spiritual is. And it has, half-way, a little hermitage on it, like a wayside chapel, of old carved and inscribed stones. And the music and the pictures! Close by, the mowers whir upon the lawn, and the thrust flutes in the birch hedge; beyond, in the gash of the valley, the stream purrs up through the steep woods; still farther, the limestone rocks rise fantastic, like castles in the air; and, over all, the lark still soars and sings in the sun (as he does even in Flanders), and makes melody in his heart to the Lord.

     That terrace was made with a purpose and a welcome at will. And it is good to pace the Italian paving, to tread the fragrance from the alyssum in the seams, to brood upon the horizons of the far, long wolds, with their thread of road rising and vanishing into busy Craven, and all the time to think greatly of God and kindly of men—faithfully of the past, lovingly of the present, and hopefully of the future.

     So in our soul let us make a cornice road for God to come when He will, and walk upon our high places. And a little lodge and shelter let us have on it, of sacred stones, a shrine of ancient writ and churchly memories. Let us make an eyrie there of large vision and humane, a retreat of rest and refitting for a dreadful world. May He show us, up there apart, transfigured things in a noble light. May He prepare us for the sorrows of the valley by a glorious peace, and for the action of life by a fellowship gracious, warm, and noble (as even earthly friendships may be). So may we face all the harsh realisms of Time in the reality, power, and kindness of the Eternal, whose Mercy is as His Majesty forever.

The Soul of Prayer

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams

The men who followed Him were unique in their generation.
They turned the world upside down because their hearts
had been turned right side up.
The world has never been the same.
--- Billy Graham

Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters.
--- Isaac Bashevis Singer

Only a very bad theologian would confuse the certainty that follows revelation with the truths that are revealed. They are entirely different things.
--- Denis Diderot

... from here, there and everywhere

History of the Destruction of Jerusalem
     Thanks to Meir Yona

     4. And now there were three treacherous factions in the city, the one parted from the other. Eleazar and his party, that kept the sacred first-fruits, came against John in their cups. Those that were with John plundered the populace, and went out with zeal against Simon. This Simon had his supply of provisions from the city, in opposition to the seditious. When, therefore, John was assaulted on both sides, he made his men turn about, throwing his darts upon those citizens that came up against him, from the cloisters he had in his possession, while he opposed those that attacked him from the temple by his engines of war. And if at any time he was freed from those that were above him, which happened frequently, from their being drunk and tired, he sallied out with a great number upon Simon and his party; and this he did always in such parts of the city as he could come at, till he set on fire those houses that were full of corn, and of all other provisions. 4 The same thing was done by Simon, when, upon the other's retreat, he attacked the city also; as if they had, on purpose, done it to serve the Romans, by destroying what the city had laid up against the siege, and by thus cutting off the nerves of their own power. Accordingly, it so came to pass, that all the places that were about the temple were burnt down, and were become an intermediate desert space, ready for fighting on both sides of it; and that almost all that corn was burnt, which would have been sufficient for a siege of many years. So they were taken by the means of the famine, which it was impossible they should have been, unless they had thus prepared the way for it by this procedure.

     5. And now, as the city was engaged in a war on all sides, from these treacherous crowds of wicked men, the people of the city, between them, were like a great body torn in pieces. The aged men and the women were in such distress by their internal calamities, that they wished for the Romans, and earnestly hoped for an external war, in order to their delivery from their domestical miseries. The citizens themselves were under a terrible consternation and fear; nor had they any opportunity of taking counsel, and of changing their conduct; nor were there any hopes of coming to an agreement with their enemies; nor could such as had a mind flee away; for guards were set at all places, and the heads of the robbers, although they were seditious one against another in other respects, yet did they agree in killing those that were for peace with the Romans, or were suspected of an inclination to desert them, as their common enemies. They agreed in nothing but this, to kill those that were innocent. The noise also of those that were fighting was incessant, both by day and by night; but the lamentations of those that mourned exceeded the other; nor was there ever any occasion for them to leave off their lamentations, because their calamities came perpetually one upon another, although the deep consternation they were in prevented their outward wailing; but being constrained by their fear to conceal their inward passions, they were inwardly tormented, without daring to open their lips in groans. Nor was any regard paid to those that were still alive, by their relations; nor was there any care taken of burial for those that were dead; the occasion of both which was this, that every one despaired of himself; for those that were not among the seditious had no great desires of any thing, as expecting for certain that they should very soon be destroyed; but for the seditious themselves, they fought against each other, while they trod upon the dead bodies as they lay heaped one upon another, and taking up a mad rage from those dead bodies that were under their feet, became the fiercer thereupon. They, moreover, were still inventing somewhat or other that was pernicious against themselves; and when they had resolved upon any thing, they executed it without mercy, and omitted no method of torment or of barbarity. Nay, John abused the sacred materials, 5 and employed them in the construction of his engines of war; for the people and the priests had formerly determined to support the temple, and raise the holy house twenty cubits higher; for king Agrippa had at a very great expense, and with very great pains, brought thither such materials as were proper for that purpose, being pieces of timber very well worth seeing, both for their straightness and their largeness; but the war coming on, and interrupting the work, John had them cut, and prepared for the building him towers, he finding them long enough to oppose from them those his adversaries that thought him from the temple that was above him. He also had them brought and erected behind the inner court over against the west end of the cloisters, where alone he could erect them; whereas the other sides of that court had so many steps as would not let them come nigh enough the cloisters.

     6. Thus did John hope to be too hard for his enemies by these engines constructed by his impiety; but God himself demonstrated that his pains would prove of no use to him, by bringing the Romans upon him, before he had reared any of his towers; for Titus, when he had gotten together part of his forces about him, and had ordered the rest to meet him at Jerusalem, marched out of Cesarea. He had with him those three legions that had accompanied his father when he laid Judea waste, together with that twelfth legion which had been formerly beaten with Cestius; which legion, as it was otherwise remarkable for its valor, so did it march on now with greater alacrity to avenge themselves on the Jews, as remembering what they had formerly suffered from them. Of these legions he ordered the fifth to meet him, by going through Emmaus, and the tenth to go up by Jericho; he also moved himself, together with the rest; besides whom, marched those auxiliaries that came from the kings, being now more in number than before, together with a considerable number that came to his assistance from Syria. Those also that had been selected out of these four legions, and sent with Mucianus to Italy, had their places filled up out of these soldiers that came out of Egypt with Titus; who were two thousand men, chosen out of the armies at Alexandria. There followed him also three thousand drawn from those that guarded the river Euphrates; as also there came Tiberius Alexander, who was a friend of his, most valuable, both for his good-will to him, and for his prudence. He had formerly been governor of Alexandria, but was now thought worthy to be general of the army [under Titus]. The reason of this was, that he had been the first who encouraged Vespasian very lately to accept this his new dominion, and joined himself to him with great fidelity, when things were uncertain, and fortune had not yet declared for him. He also followed Titus as a counselor, very useful to him in this war, both by his age and skill in such affairs.

     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)

The Apostles' Creed
     Creed Of The ‘King's Book’

     I beleve in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth; and in Iesu Christe, his only sonne our Lorde; whiche was conceived by the Holy Goste, borne of the Virgine Mary, suffred under Ponce Pylate, was crucified, dead, buried, and descended into hell; and the third day he rose agen from deth; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thens he shall come to judge the quicke and the deade. I beleve in the Holy Goste; the holy Catholike Churche; the communyon of sayntes; the forgyveness of synnes, the resurrection of the body; and the lyfe everlastynge. Amen.

Swete, H. B. (1899). The Apostles' Creed: Its Relation to Primitive Christianity

Proverbs 25:15
     by D.H. Stern

15     With patience a ruler may be won over,
     and a gentle tongue can break bones.

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

                Do you continue to go with Jesus?

     Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptations. --- Luke 22:28.

     It is true that Jesus Christ is with us in our temptations, but are we going with Him in His temptations? Many of us cease to go with Jesus from the moment we have an experience of what He can do. Watch when God shifts your circumstances, and see whether you are going with Jesus, or siding with the world, the flesh and the devil. We wear His badge, but are we going with Him? “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him.” The temptations of Jesus continued throughout His earthly life, and they will continue throughout the life of the Son of God in us. Are we going with Jesus in the life we are living now?

     We have the idea that we ought to shield ourselves from some of the things God brings round us. Never! God engineers circumstances, and whatever they may be like we have to see that we face them while abiding continually with Him in His temptations. They are His temptations, not temptations to us, but temptations to the life of the Son of God in us. The honour of Jesus Christ is at stake in your bodily life. Are you remaining loyal to the Son of God in the things which beset His life in you?

     Do you continue to go with Jesus? The way lies through Gethsemane, through the city gate, outside the camp; the way lies alone, and the way lies until there is no trace of a footstep left, only the voice,
“Follow Me.”

My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition

The Visit (Pieta)
     the Poetry of RS Thomas

                The Visit (Pieta)

She was small;
  Composed in her way
  Like music. She sat
  In the chair I had not
  Offered, smiling at my left
  Shoulder. I waited on
  For the sentences her smile
          That the tongue
  Is a whip needed no
  Proving. And yet her eye
  Fondled me. It was clear
  What anger brought her
  To my door would not unleash
  The coils. Instead she began
  Rehearsing for her
  Departure. As though ashamed
  Of a long stay, she rose,
  Touched the tips of my cold
  Hand with hers and turned
  To the closed door. I remember
  Not opening it.

Selected poems, 1946-1968

Searching For Meaning In Midrash

     Our Midrash says, “The servant of a king is a king: Stick to the captain and they will bow down to you.” In other words, if you stay among the great and powerful, some of their prestige will rub off on you; others will treat you with deference and honor.

     But in the Talmud, Zevaḥim 96b, it says, “The nobleman has taken us [by the hand], and his scent lingers on the hand.” That is to say, the only benefit that accrues to you in seeking the company of the great and powerful is the lingering scent of their perfume; it will be gone in a moment’s time and then you will be left with nothing.

     How is this contradiction to be explained? Are we to understand that these are opposing teachings? And if that is the case, how are we supposed to know to whom we should listen? Or is it possible that these two sections can be reconciled and are not in opposition? Let us suggest a possible reading; whether it reflects historic truth, we cannot say. But it shows a way of understanding Rabbinic texts and deriving meaningful lessons from them.

     Note that the Midrash Sifrei was composed in Israel at a time when the Romans were occupying the land and ruling over a people not their own. They were very much interested in maintaining order and keeping the lid on a potentially explosive situation. Like other occupying powers in history, the Romans probably set Jews up in positions of authority to be their middlemen, to be on the front line in dealing with the masses. The Romans had to make it worthwhile for the Jews to take on those roles. Anyone willing to pledge loyalty and to cooperate with Rome was rewarded with a modicum of power and privilege. The common people thus saw that there were real rewards for playing along.

     The Talmud selection from Zevaḥim, in contrast, was composed in Babylonia, where there was a very different political reality. The Jews were not in the majority there, as they were in Israel, and they were not living on their “own” soil. The Persian authorities were not foreign occupiers. They did not have to look for ways to win over the Jews. They had the power, and probably had little or no fear of the Jews. Coming close to the “nobleman” (alkafta, the title of a high Persian dignitary) brought only the illusion of power; it didn’t bring with it any real or lasting advantages.

     One lesson that we learn is that no one rule or piece of advice operates in every circumstance. The Midrash and the Talmud present two different approaches to politics and power, each anchored in its own separate reality. Teachings do not come in a vacuum; it is our task to search for the context so that we know if and when those teachings might apply to us.


     We live in a world inundated with publicity. When a rock star has a platinum record, a member of her staff will distribute a press release. This not only acknowledges the achievement; it also attempts to capitalize on it, thereby selling even more records on the heels of success. A business mogul who successfully acquires a new holding for his company will publicize his accomplishment widely, thus assuring not only a good name for himself but also the possibility of further acquisitions.

     This is the way of our modern times. “Run it up the flagpole” is as well known a platitude as we have. Yet, the story of the Euphrates says something else: It [the Euphrates] said to them, “My deeds testify about me.” The personified river states that it doesn’t need to run anything up the flagpole, or through its press agent, or on its website. The river’s accomplishments, its “track record,” are its own best publicity.

     We may be surprised to learn that the wisdom of the Rabbis, put into the “mouth” of the river Euphrates, has been proven by contemporary studies on publicity. What is the best way of advertising a product? Is it through television, radio, or newspaper? A combination of these?

     What the pros found should not surprise us: The best source of publicity is word of mouth. A movie will receive a greater boost in sales from people telling their friends how great the film was than through any other form of advertising. An inferior product will meet certain doom on the shelves of America’s marketplaces when one person relates to another, who informs a third, who lets the word out to a fourth, that this item is of shoddy design, inferior quality, questionable use—or all of these.

     And what’s true of movies and widgets is also true about people. Media hype and press agents can be helpful, but ultimately it is our deeds that testify most about us. In the end, PR does matter—if that PR is not Public Relations but Performance Record.

Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living

Take Heart
     September 19

     For the transgression of my people he was stricken.
--- Isaiah 53:8.

     The benefit of Christ’s sufferings depends almost entirely on people coming to a true knowledge of themselves. ( The Precious and Sacred Writings of Martin Luther Based on the Kaiser Chronological: Edition, With References to the Erlangen and Walch Editions, Vol. 11 (Classic Reprint) ) Where people do not come to this point, the sufferings of Christ have no benefit to them. For the characteristic, natural work of Christ’s sufferings is that they make all people equal and alike, so that as Christ was horribly martyred, we must also be martyred in our consciences by our sins. This does not take place by means of words but by means of deep thoughts and a profound realization of our sins.

     Take an illustration: If an evildoer were judged because he or she had murdered the child of a monarch, and someone convinced you that you had enabled the wicked person to do the act—then you would be in the greatest straits, especially if your conscience also revolted against you. Much more anxious than this you should be when you consider Christ’s sufferings. For you are truly the one who strangled and crucified the Son of God through your sins.

     Whoever perceive themselves to be so hard that they are not terror stricken by Christ’s sufferings and led to a knowledge of him, they should fear and tremble. For it cannot be otherwise; you must become like the picture and sufferings of Christ, whether in life or in hell. You must at the time of death, if not sooner, fall into terror, tremble, quake, and experience all Christ suffered on the cross. It is truly terrible to attend to this on your deathbed; therefore you should pray God to soften your heart and permit you fruitfully to meditate on Christ’s suffering. For it is impossible for us profoundly to meditate on the sufferings of Christ of ourselves unless God sink them into our hearts. But first you are to seek and long for the grace of God, that you may accomplish it through God’s grace and not through your own power. Some people never treat the sufferings of Christ aright, for they never call on God for that purpose but devise out of their own ability their own way and treat those sufferings entirely in a human and an unfruitful manner.

     Such a meditation changes a person’s character, and almost as in baptism he or she is born anew. Then Christ’s suffering accomplishes its true and noble work; it slays the old Adam, banishes all lust, pleasure, and security that one may obtain from God’s creatures, just like Christ was forsaken by all, even by God.
--- Martin Luther

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

On This Day
     Glory, Laud, and Honor  September 19

     As the 700s rolled into the 800s, the greatest man in the world was Charlemagne, king of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor. Having gained control of most of Western Europe, he set himself to reform the legal, judicial, and military systems of his empire. He established schools and promoted Christianity; and in his capital, scholars and saints gathered from across Europe.

     Among them was Theodulf. He was about 50 years old in 800, and he possessed an established reputation as churchman, poet, and scholar. Charlemagne made him bishop of Orleans in Spain, and Theodulf traveled widely, taking part in the great events of the empire. Upon the death of Alcuin, Charlemagne’s “Secretary of Education,” Theodulf advanced to that position. Unfortunately, Theodulf’s fortunes died when Charlemagne did. Accused by the new emperor of treason, he was imprisoned. He maintained his innocence and was pardoned in 818; but he died shortly afterward and was buried on September 19, 821.

     Theodulf worked vigorously to provide the clergy with a good education. Among his books is Directions to the Priests of the Diocese, in which he issued maxims such as these:

•     No woman is allowed to live in the house with a priest.
•     Priests must not get drunk or frequent taverns.
•     Priests must teach everyone the Lord’s Prayer and the
     Apostle’s Creed. (See below)
•     Daily, honest confession of sins to God ensures pardon.
•     True charity consists in the union of good deeds with a
     virtuous life.

     Theodulf of Orleans is best remembered, however, for his beautiful hymn Gloria, Laus et Honor, which has been sung every Palm Sunday for over 1,000 years in churches around the world: All glory, laud, and honor / To Thee, Redeemer, King, / To whom the lips of children / Make sweet hosannas ring: / Thou art the King of Israel, / Thou David’s royal Son, / Who in the Lord’s name comest, / The King and blessed one!

     Many people spread clothes in the road, while others put down branches which they had cut from trees. Some people walked ahead of Jesus and others followed behind. They were all shouting, “Hooray for the Son of David! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hooray for God in heaven above!”
--- Matthew 21:8,9.

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

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - September 19

     "The liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free." --- Galatians 5:1.

     This “liberty” makes us free to heaven’s charter—the Bible. Here is a choice passage, believer, “When thou passest through the rivers, I will be with thee.” You are free to that. Here is another: “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee”; you are free to that. You are a welcome guest at the table of the promises. Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without let or hindrance. Come in faith and you are welcome to all covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word which shall be withheld. In the depths of tribulations let this freedom comfort you; amidst waves of distress let it cheer you; when sorrows surround thee let it be thy solace. This is thy Father’s love-token; thou art free to it at all times. Thou art also free to the throne of grace. It is the believer’s privilege to have access at all times to his heavenly Father. Whatever our desires, our difficulties, our wants, we are at liberty to spread all before him. It matters not how much we may have sinned, we may ask and expect pardon. It signifies nothing how poor we are, we may plead his promise that he will provide all things needful. We have permission to approach his throne at all times—in midnight’s darkest hour, or in noontide’s most burning heat. Exercise thy right, O believer, and live up to thy privilege. Thou art free to all that is treasured up in Christ—wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. It matters not what thy need is, for there is fulness of supply in Christ, and it is there for thee. O what a “freedom” is thine! freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises, freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven!

          Evening - September 19

     “For this child I prayed.” --- 1 Samuel 1:27.

     Devout souls delight to look upon those mercies which they have obtained in answer to supplication, for they can see God’s especial love in them. When we can name our blessings Samuel, that is, “asked of God,” they will be as dear to us as her child was to Hannah. Peninnah had many children, but they came as common blessings unsought in prayer: Hannah’s one heaven-given child was dearer far, because he was the fruit of earnest pleadings. How sweet was that water to Samson which he found at “the well of him that prayed!” Quassia cups turn all waters bitter, but the cup of prayer puts a sweetness into the draughts it brings. Did we pray for the conversion of our children? How doubly sweet, when they are saved, to see in them our own petitions fulfilled! Better to rejoice over them as the fruit of our pleadings than as the fruit of our bodies. Have we sought of the Lord some choice spiritual gift? When it comes to us it will be wrapped up in the gold cloth of God’s faithfulness and truth, and so be doubly precious. Have we petitioned for success in the Lord’s work? How joyful is the prosperity which comes flying upon the wings of prayer! It is always best to get blessings into our house in the legitimate way, by the door of prayer; then they are blessings indeed, and not temptations. Even when prayer speeds not, the blessings grow all the richer for the delay; the child Jesus was all the more lovely in the eyes of Mary when she found him after having sought him sorrowing. That which we win by prayer we should dedicate to God, as Hannah dedicated Samuel. The gift came from heaven, let it go to heaven. Prayer brought it, gratitude sang over it, let devotion consecrate it. Here will be a special occasion for saying, “Of thine own have I given unto thee.” Reader, is prayer your element or your weariness? Which?

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

Amazing Grace
     September 19


     Johann C. Schwedler, 1672–1730
     Translated by Benjamin H. Kennedy, 1804–1889

     For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)

     A question that many struggle with today is “What is the real purpose of living?” Or, “What is the ultimate reality or joy in life?” The testimony of the author of the book of Ecclesiastes would no doubt echo the frustrations of many in contemporary society—“All is vanity, empty and meaningless.”

     The author of this hymn text, Johann Schwedler, a prominent German minister and hymn writer of his era, discovered quite a different answer for his life—“Jesus Christ, the Crucified”—the consoler, reviver, healer, and final rewarder. For the apostle Paul, all of life also revolved around a personal relationship with Jesus Christ—“For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:2l).

     C. S. Lewis has written: “Either Jesus Christ was what He claimed or He was a liar and we should repudiate Him. Or if He was not what He claimed to be and not a liar, He was a madman, and we should treat Him as such. Or He was what He claimed to be and we should fall at His feet and worship Him.”

     With doubting Thomas, the apostle Paul, and devout followers of Christ through the centuries, may our purpose in life be expressed in a devoted, daily relationship with our Lord. May we speak out with clarity and conviction: “My Lord and God—my highest joy!”

     Ask ye what great thing I know that delights and stirs me so? What the high reward I win? Whose the name I glory in? Jesus Christ, the Crucified.
     Who defeats my fiercest foes? Who consoles my saddest woes? Who revives my fainting heart, healing all its hidden smart? Jesus Christ, the Crucified.
     Who is life in life to me? Who the death of death will be? Who will place me on His right, with the countless hosts of light? Jesus Christ, the Crucified.
     This is that great thing I know—This delights and stirs me so: Faith in Him who died to save, Him who triumphed o’er the grave, Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

     For Today: Acts 2:36; Romans 5:1; Galatians 2:20; 6:14; Philippians 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 3:15

     Be prepared to speak out if someone should ask about your real purpose in life. Carry this hymn as a help ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Book Of Common Prayer
     Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | After Pentecost

Proper 19, Tuesday
Year 1

Psalms (Morning)     Psalm 61, 62
Psalms (Evening)     Psalm 68:1–20 (21–23) 24–35
Old Testament     1 Kings 21:17–29
New Testament     1 Corinthians 1:20–31
Gospel     Matthew 4:12–17

Index of Readings

Psalms (Morning)
Psalm 61, 62

To the leader: with stringed instruments. Of David.

1 Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth I call to you,
when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I;
3 for you are my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.

4 Let me abide in your tent forever,
find refuge under the shelter of your wings.     Selah
5 For you, O God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

6 Prolong the life of the king;
may his years endure to all generations!
7 May he be enthroned forever before God;
appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

8 So I will always sing praises to your name,
as I pay my vows day after day.

To the leader: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

1 For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

3 How long will you assail a person,
will you batter your victim, all of you,
as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4 Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse.     Selah

5 For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.     Selah

9 Those of low estate are but a breath,
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
10 Put no confidence in extortion,
and set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

11 Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12 and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all
according to their work.

Psalms (Evening)
Psalm 68:1–20 (21–23) 24–35

1 Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
let those who hate him flee before him.
2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
as wax melts before the fire,
let the wicked perish before God.
3 But let the righteous be joyful;
let them exult before God;
let them be jubilant with joy.

4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds—
his name is the LORD—
be exultant before him.

5 Father of orphans and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
6 God gives the desolate a home to live in;
he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
but the rebellious live in a parched land.

7 O God, when you went out before your people,
when you marched through the wilderness,     Selah
8 the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain
at the presence of God, the God of Sinai,
at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
9 Rain in abundance, O God, you showered abroad;
you restored your heritage when it languished;
10 your flock found a dwelling in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.

11 The Lord gives the command;
great is the company of those who bore the tidings:
12 “The kings of the armies, they flee, they flee!”
The women at home divide the spoil,
13 though they stay among the sheepfolds—
the wings of a dove covered with silver,
its pinions with green gold.
14 When the Almighty scattered kings there,
snow fell on Zalmon.

15 O mighty mountain, mountain of Bashan;
O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan!
16 Why do you look with envy, O many-peaked mountain,
at the mount that God desired for his abode,
where the LORD will reside forever?

17 With mighty chariotry, twice ten thousand,
thousands upon thousands,
the Lord came from Sinai into the holy place.
18 You ascended the high mount,
leading captives in your train
and receiving gifts from people,
even from those who rebel against the LORD God’s abiding there.
19 Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.     Selah
20 Our God is a God of salvation,
and to GOD, the Lord, belongs escape from death.

[     21 But God will shatter the heads of his enemies,
the hairy crown of those who walk in their guilty ways.
22 The Lord said,
“I will bring them back from Bashan,
I will bring them back from the depths of the sea,
23 so that you may bathe your feet in blood,
so that the tongues of your dogs may have their share from the foe.”     ]

24 Your solemn processions are seen, O God,
the processions of my God, my King, into the sanctuary—
25 the singers in front, the musicians last,
between them girls playing tambourines:
26 “Bless God in the great congregation,
the LORD, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!”
27 There is Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead,
the princes of Judah in a body,
the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.

28 Summon your might, O God;
show your strength, O God, as you have done for us before.
29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem
kings bear gifts to you.
30 Rebuke the wild animals that live among the reeds,
the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples.
Trample under foot those who lust after tribute;
scatter the peoples who delight in war.
31 Let bronze be brought from Egypt;
let Ethiopia hasten to stretch out its hands to God.

32 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth;
sing praises to the Lord,     Selah
33 O rider in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
listen, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
34 Ascribe power to God,
whose majesty is over Israel;
and whose power is in the skies.
35 Awesome is God in his sanctuary,
the God of Israel;
he gives power and strength to his people.

Blessed be God!

Old Testament
1 Kings 21:17–29

17 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying: 18 Go down to meet King Ahab of Israel, who rules in Samaria; he is now in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. 19 You shall say to him, “Thus says the LORD: Have you killed, and also taken possession?” You shall say to him, “Thus says the LORD: In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, dogs will also lick up your blood.”

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you. Because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD, 21 I will bring disaster on you; I will consume you, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel; 22 and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked me to anger and have caused Israel to sin. 23 Also concerning Jezebel the LORD said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the bounds of Jezreel.’ 24 Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the air shall eat.”

25 (Indeed, there was no one like Ahab, who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the LORD, urged on by his wife Jezebel. 26 He acted most abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD drove out before the Israelites.)

27 When Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth over his bare flesh; he fasted, lay in the sackcloth, and went about dejectedly. 28 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster on his house.”

New Testament
1 Corinthians 1:20–31

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

26 Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29 so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Matthew 4:12–17

12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

15     “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
     on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16     the people who sat in darkness
     have seen a great light,
     and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
     light has dawned.”

17 From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

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

Microfinance and Following Jesus    
Leslie Engelsen   Gordon College

The Revival We Need     
Billy Kim   Gordon College

A Conversation with Pat Gelsinger     
Michael Lindsay   Gordon College

The Evangelical Left: Oxymoron or Opportunity?     
David Swartz   Gordon College

Expositors Summit 2013 6
Albert Mohler   SBTS

Follow the Light     
Bob Whittet   Gordon College

Following Jesus To Your Neighbors     
Zakiya Jackson   Gordon College

History of Canon Law. Day 1    
Ken Pennington   Catholic University

History of Canon Law. Day 2     
Ken Pennington   Catholic University

Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse at Church
Darrell Bock, Greg Love & Jay Sedwick   
Dallas Theological Seminary

Job, L12, Role of wife & friends
Dr. John Walton