Woe to Those Who Go Down to Egypt
video Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
and rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
or consult the LORD!
2 And yet he is wise and brings disaster;
he does not call back his words,
but will arise against the house of the evildoers
and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.
3 The Egyptians are man, and not God,
and their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the LORD stretches out his hand,
the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall,
and they will all perish together.
4 For thus the LORD said to me,
“As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey,
and when a band of shepherds is called out against him
he is not terrified by their shouting
or daunted at their noise,
so the LORD of hosts will come down
to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill.
5 Like birds hovering, so the LORD of hosts
will protect Jerusalem;
he will protect and deliver it;
he will spare and rescue it.”
8 “And the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of man;
and a sword, not of man, shall devour him;
and he shall flee from the sword,
and his young men shall be put to forced labor.
9 His rock shall pass away in terror,
and his officers desert the standard in panic,”
declares the LORD, whose fire is in Zion,
and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.
A King Will Reign in Righteousness
video Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
and princes will rule in justice.
2 Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
a shelter from the storm,
like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
3 Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will give attention.
4 The heart of the hasty will understand and know,
and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.
5 The fool will no more be called noble,
nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
6 For the fool speaks folly,
and his heart is busy with iniquity,
to practice ungodliness,
to utter error concerning the LORD,
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
7 As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil;
he plans wicked schemes
to ruin the poor with lying words,
even when the plea of the needy is right.
8 But he who is noble plans noble things,
and on noble things he stands.
Complacent Women Warned of Disaster
9 Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice;
you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.
10 In little more than a year
you will shudder, you complacent women;
for the grape harvest fails,
the fruit harvest will not come.
11 Tremble, you women who are at ease,
shudder, you complacent ones;
strip, and make yourselves bare,
and tie sackcloth around your waist.
12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,
for the fruitful vine,
13 for the soil of my people
growing up in thorns and briers,
yes, for all the joyous houses
in the exultant city.
14 For the palace is forsaken,
the populous city deserted;
the hill and the watchtower
will become dens forever,
a joy of wild donkeys,
a pasture of flocks;
15 until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.
16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
17 And the effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
18 My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
19 And it will hail when the forest falls down,
and the city will be utterly laid low.
20 Happy are you who sow beside all waters,
who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.
O LORD, Be Gracious to Us
video Isaiah 33:1 Ah, you destroyer,
who yourself have not been destroyed,
whom none has betrayed!
When you have ceased to destroy,
you will be destroyed;
and when you have finished betraying,
they will betray you.
2 O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
Be our arm every morning,
our salvation in the time of trouble.
3 At the tumultuous noise peoples flee;
when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered,
4 and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
as locusts leap, it is leapt upon.
5 The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,
6 and he will be the stability of your times,
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure.
7 Behold, their heroes cry in the streets;
the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
8 The highways lie waste;
the traveler ceases.
Covenants are broken;
cities are despised;
there is no regard for man.
9 The land mourns and languishes;
Lebanon is confounded and withers away;
Sharon is like a desert,
and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.
10 “Now I will arise,” says the LORD,
“now I will lift myself up;
now I will be exalted.
11 You conceive chaff; you give birth to stubble;
your breath is a fire that will consume you.
12 And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,
like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.”
13 Hear, you who are far off, what I have done;
and you who are near, acknowledge my might.
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
trembling has seized the godless:
“Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire?
Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?”
15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
who despises the gain of oppressions,
who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
and shuts his eyes from looking on evil,
16 he will dwell on the heights;
his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;
his bread will be given him; his water will be sure.
17 Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty;
they will see a land that stretches afar.
18 Your heart will muse on the terror:
“Where is he who counted, where is he who weighed the tribute?
Where is he who counted the towers?”
19 You will see no more the insolent people,
the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,
stammering in a tongue that you cannot understand.
20 Behold Zion, the city of our appointed feasts!
Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
an untroubled habitation, an immovable tent,
whose stakes will never be plucked up,
nor will any of its cords be broken.
21 But there the LORD in majesty will be for us
a place of broad rivers and streams,
where no galley with oars can go,
nor majestic ship can pass.
22 For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver;
the LORD is our king; he will save us.
23 Your cords hang loose;
they cannot hold the mast firm in its place
or keep the sail spread out.
Then prey and spoil in abundance will be divided;
even the lame will take the prey.
24 And no inhabitant will say, “I am sick”;
the people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity.
Judgment on the Nations
video Isaiah 34:1 Draw near, O nations, to hear,
and give attention, O peoples!
Let the earth hear, and all that fills it;
the world, and all that comes from it.
2 For the LORD is enraged against all the nations,
and furious against all their host;
he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter.
3 Their slain shall be cast out,
and the stench of their corpses shall rise;
the mountains shall flow with their blood.
4 All the host of heaven shall rot away,
and the skies roll up like a scroll.
All their host shall fall,
as leaves fall from the vine,
like leaves falling from the fig tree.
5 For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;
behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom,
upon the people I have devoted to destruction.
6 The LORD has a sword; it is sated with blood;
it is gorged with fat,
with the blood of lambs and goats,
with the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
7 Wild oxen shall fall with them,
and young steers with the mighty bulls.
Their land shall drink its fill of blood,
and their soil shall be gorged with fat.
8 For the LORD has a day of vengeance,
a year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
9 And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch,
and her soil into sulfur;
her land shall become burning pitch.
10 Night and day it shall not be quenched;
its smoke shall go up forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste;
none shall pass through it forever and ever.
11 But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it,
the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.
He shall stretch the line of confusion over it,
and the plumb line of emptiness.
12 Its nobles—there is no one there to call it a kingdom,
and all its princes shall be nothing.
13 Thorns shall grow over its strongholds,
nettles and thistles in its fortresses.
It shall be the haunt of jackals,
an abode for ostriches.
14 And wild animals shall meet with hyenas;
the wild goat shall cry to his fellow;
indeed, there the night bird settles
and finds for herself a resting place.
15 There the owl nests and lays
and hatches and gathers her young in her shadow;
indeed, there the hawks are gathered,
each one with her mate.
16 Seek and read from the book of the LORD:
Not one of these shall be missing;
none shall be without her mate.
For the mouth of the LORD has commanded,
and his Spirit has gathered them.
17 He has cast the lot for them;
his hand has portioned it out to them with the line;
they shall possess it forever;
from generation to generation they shall dwell in it.
What I'm Reading
Are There “Limits” to God’s Power?
By J. Warner Wallace 9/27/2017
Christians claim God is “all-powerful”. Does this mean He can accomplish anything? Skeptics often test this notion by offering the following challenge: “Can the all-powerful Christian God create a stone so heavy he cannot lift it?” The question highlights an apparent dilemma: If God cannot create such a stone (or cannot lift what He has created), He is not all-powerful. Does this apparent paradox prove an all-powerful Being cannot exist in the first place?
It’s true the Bible describes God as an all-powerful Being and often uses language that suggests that “nothing” is impossible for Him (as in Luke 1:37). At the same time, there are many places in Scripture where certain behaviors or conditions are described as “impossible” for God to accomplish. This apparent contradiction is inexplicable until we examine the nature of the activities (or behaviors) described as “impossible” for God:
The Bible also clearly indicates that there are a number of things that God cannot accomplish based on logical necessity. For example, it is impossible for God to change (Malachi 3:6, James 1:17) or to deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13). According to the Bible, God always acts and behaves with certain logical considerations in mind and it is impossible for Him to do otherwise. The laws of logic are, once again, a reflection of God’s unchanging nature.
These “Divine Impossibilities” provide us with insight into God’s character and power. Objective moral truths and transcendent laws of logic are simply a reflection of God’s eternal being. They are not rules or laws God has created (and could therefore alter recklessly), but are instead immutable, dependable qualities of his nature reflected in our universe. They exist because God exists (not because God created them). In addition, the Bible describes God as omnipotent and capable of doing anything he sets out to do. God’s choices, however, are always consistent with His moral and logical nature; He never sets out to do something contrary to who He is as God.
J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of:
The Gathering Storm: Religious Liberty in the Wake of the Sexual Revolution
By Albert Mohler 3/21/2017
These are days that will require courage, conviction, and clarity of vision. We are in a fight for the most basic liberties God has given humanity, every single one of us, made in his image.
In the first volume of his history of World War II, Winston Churchill looked back at the storm clouds that gathered in the 1930s portending war and the loss of human freedom. Churchill wisely and presciently warned Britain of the tragedy that would ensue if Hitler were not stopped. His actions were courageous and the world was shaped by his convictional leadership. We are not facing the same gathering storm, but we are now facing a battle that will determine the destiny of priceless freedoms and the very foundation of human rights and human dignity.
Speaking thirty years ago, Attorney General Meese warned that “there are ideas which have gained influence in some parts of our society, particularly in some important and sophisticated areas that are opposed to religious freedom and freedom in general. In some areas there are some people that have espoused a hostility to religion that must be recognized for what it is, and expressly countered.”
Those were prophetic words, prescient in their clarity and foresight. The ideas of which Mr. Meese warned have only gained ground in the last thirty years, and now with astounding velocity. A revolution in morality now seeks not only to subvert marriage, but also to redefine it, and thus to undermine an essential foundation of human dignity, flourishing, and freedom.
Religious liberty is under direct threat. During oral arguments in the Obergefell case, the Solicitor General of the United States served notice before the Supreme Court that the liberties of religious institutions will be an open and unavoidable question. Already, religious liberty is threatened by a new moral regime that exalts erotic liberty and personal autonomy and openly argues that religious liberties must give way to the new morality, its redefinition of marriage, and its demand for coercive moral, cultural, and legal sovereignty.
- 1 God and the Transgender Debate
- 2 The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters
- 3 Live Smart: Preparing for the Future God Wants for You
- 4 God's Word Alone---The Authority of Scripture: ...and Why It Still Matters
- 5 Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America
- 6 Echoes of the Reformation
- 7 The Call to Ministry
- 8 A Guide to Church Revitalization
- 9 Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism
- 10 Living The Cross Centered Life Keeping The Gospel The Main Thing
- 11 Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching
- 12 Essential Reading on Preaching (Volume 1)
- 13 Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy
- 14 The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters
- 15 Unashamed of the Gospel
- 16 Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance
- 17 Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America
- 18 Gods of This Age Or... God of the Ages?
- 19 Acts 1-12: The Church is Born
- 20 More Faithful Service
- 21 The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness
- 22 Preaching: The Centrality of Scripture
- 23 Theological Education in the Evangelical Tradition
- 24 More Faithful Service
Nabeel Qureshi's Wife Reflects on God's Faithfulness Amid Pain: 'He Will Use This Death to a More Glorious End'
By Leah Marieann Klett 9/27/2017
Michelle Qureshi, the wife of late apologist Nabeel Qureshi, has opened up about God's faithfulness in the days following her husband's death and expressed confidence that He will "use this death to a more glorious end than we would have seen if Nabeel were still alive."
In a video update titled "A More Glorious End," Michelle, who shares a daughter, Ayah, with her late husband, said that while she didn't anticipate making a video, she felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to share what He has been teaching her over the past week.
As reported, Nabeel, a Muslim convert to Christianity who previously served with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, passed away last week at 34 after a year-long battle with stomach cancer.
Michelle first thanked everyone who has prayed for her family: "I am seeing through your generosity and faithfulness just pieces of the generosity and faithfulness of our God," she said.
She said she's chosen not to place upon herself the burdens associated with the terms "widow" and "single mom," instead identifying herself as a "Child of the Most High King."
Too Little Knowledge or Infinite Potential for Discovery?
By Dr. Anjeanette "AJ" Roberts
How much does any one of us know?
Even the brightest, like a Hawking, an Einstein, or a Ross only knows a fraction of what can be known. Do we corporately even possess knowledge of 0.01% of what can be known of reality?
When it comes to knowledge, and our ongoing acquisition of it, defeasible reasoning is the play of the day. Defeasible reasoning is basically belief revision—necessitated because we know so very little about what can be known of the reality that surrounds us—a reality through which we navigate life despite our pervasive ignorance.
This concept and the following series of questions go much deeper than the apologetic tactic of trying to get an atheist to transition to an agnostic by asking him how much he thinks he knows of reality and what there is to know. Or by asking him how much the most intelligent person he is aware of might know about reality. One percent? One tenth of a percent? Even less? Then following up with the concept, that if there is 99% or 99.9% or greater percent unknown, isn’t it at least reasonable to consider that God may exist as part of that unknown reality?
There Is So Much More to Know! | In conjunction with considering our pervasive ignorance and the need for defeasible reasoning, I have been contemplating the ever-increasing, often surprising, and unimagined complexity of the human genome, its controlling epigenetic molecules and signals, the diversity and complexity of protein modifications (e.g., post-translational modifications, including information-bearing glycosylations), and the striking complexity of cellular systems, pathways, networks, and signaling mechanisms (biochemical, electrochemical, mechanotransduction, etc.). We collectively know quite a bit about many intricacies of well-studied genomes, signaling and regulatory molecules, protein modifications, cellular systems, and organismic development, but the extent of what we don’t yet know is so unimaginably more in regard to these things. I am overwhelmed at the complexity of these systems and wonder how long it will take us to unpack them.
Devotionals, notes, poetry and more
You can change
(Sept 29) Bob Gass
‘We are the clay, and you are the potter.’
(Is 64:8) 8 But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. ESV
Ever watch a lump of clay being transformed into something beautiful? The clay can’t change itself; the power to do that lies in the hands of the potter. Isaiah says, ‘We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand.’ That means you don’t have to live the rest of your life with your phobias and hang-ups; God can change you. Even if you’ve been a worrier all your life, you don’t have to worry for the rest of your life. So, what if you were born in poverty or prejudice? You don’t have to die that way. Where did you get the idea that you can’t change? What’s the source of comments such as ‘It’s just my nature to worry,’ or ‘I’ll always be pessimistic; I’m just that way,’ or ‘I come from a family of alcoholics and addicts so I’ll never be free’? Would you make the same statement about your physical body? ‘It’s just my nature to have a broken leg. I can’t do anything about it.’ Of course not. If your body malfunctions, you seek help. Shouldn’t you do the same with your sinful appetites, sour attitudes, and selfish tirades? What the world sees as rubbish, God sees as treasure. And like the potter, He can take you, mould you, and make you into a vessel of honour (see 2 Timothy 2:21). All you have to do is place your life in His hands. We sing, ‘Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way. Thou art the potter, I am the clay.’ When you stop trying to change yourself and surrender to God, true and lasting change takes place.
UCB The Word For Today
by Bill Federer
Late September, in the year 1622, Squanto died. He had helped the Pilgrims’ survive in the new world, as “A special instrument sent of God.” Governor Bradford wrote: “The winds drove [their boat] in; Captain Standish fell ill with fever… they could not get round the shoals of Cape Cod, for flats and breakers… so they put into Manamoick Bay… Here Squanto fell ill of Indian fever, bleeding much at the nose, - which the Indians take for a symptom of death… He begged the Governor to pray for him, that he might go to the Englishmen’s God in Heaven, and bequeathed several of his things to… his English friends… His death was a great loss.”
by P.T. Forsyth, (1848-1921)
After adoration, therefore, prayer is thanksgiving and petition. When we thank God our experience “arrives”. It finds what it came for. It fulfills the greatest end of experience. It comes to its true self, comes to its own, and has its perfect work. It breathes large, long, and free, sublimi anbelitu. The soul runs its true normal course back to God its Creator, who has stamped the destiny of this return upon it, and leaves it no peace till it finds its goal in Him. The gift we thank for becomes sacramental because it conveys chiefly the Giver, and is lost in Him and in His praise. It is He that chiefly comes in His saints and His boons. In real revelation we rise for above a mere interpretation of life, a mere explanation of events; we touch their Doer, the Life indeed, and we can dispense with interpretations, having Him. An occurrence thus becomes a revelation. It gives us God, in a sacrament. And where there is real revelation there is thanksgiving, there is eucharist; for God Himself is in the gift, and strikes His own music from the soul. If we think most of the gift, prayer may subtly increase our egoism. We praise for a gift to us. We are tempted to treat God as an asset, and to exploit him. But true prayer, thinking most of the Giver, quells the egoism and dissolves it in praise. What we received came for another end than just to gratify us. It came to carry God to us, and to lift us to Him and to the consent of His glory. The blessing in it transcends the enjoyment of it, and the Spirit of the outgoing God returns to Him not void, but bringing our souls as sheaves with Him.
So also with the petition in our prayer. It also is purified by adoration, praise, and thanksgiving. We know better what to pray for as we ought. We do not only bring to God desires that rise apart from Him, and that we present by an act of our own; but our desires, our will, as they are inspired are also formed in God’s presence, as requests. They get shape. In thanks we spread out before Him and offer Him our past and present, but in petition it is our future.
But has petition a true place in the highest and purest prayer? Is it not lost in adoration and gratitude? Does adoration move as inevitably to petition as petition rises to adoration? In reply we might ask whether the best gratitude and purest thanks are not for answered petitions. Is there not this double movement in all spiritual action which centres in the Incarnation, where man ascends as God comes down? Does not man enlarge in God as God particularizes upon men? But, putting that aside, is the subsidence of petition not due to a wrong idea of God; as if our only relation were dependence, as if, therefore, will-lessness before Him were the devout ideal—as if we but acknowledge Him and could not act on Him? Ritschl, for example, following Schleiermacher, says, “Love to God has no sphere of action outside love to our brother.” If that were so, there would be no room for petition, but only for worship of God and service of man without intercession. The position is not unconnected with Ritschl’s neglect of the Spirit and His intercession, or with his aversion to the Catholic type of piety. If suffering were the only occasion and promptuary of prayer, then resignation, and not petition, might be the true spirit of prayer. But our desires and wills do not rise out of our suffering only, nor out of our passivity and dependence, but also out of our duty and our place in life; and therefore our petition is as due to God and as proper as our life’s calling. If we may not will nor love, no doubt petition, especially for others, is a mistake. Of course, also, our egoism, engrossed with our happiness influences our prayer too often and too much. But we can never overcome our self-will by will-lessness, nor our greed of happiness by apathy. Petitions that are less than pure can only be purified by petition. Prayer is the salvation of prayer. We pray for better prayer. We can rise above our egoism only as we have real dealing with the will of God in petitionary prayer which does change His detailed intentions toward us though not His great will of grace and Salvation.
The element of adoration has been missed from worship by many observers of our public prayer. And the defect goes with the individualism of the age just past. Adoration is a power the egoist and individualist loses. He loses also the power both of thanksgiving and of petition, and sinks, through silence before God, to His neglect. For our blessings are not egoistically meant, nor do they remain blessings if so taken. They contemplate more than ourselves, as indeed does our whole place and work in the gift of life. We must learn to thank God not only for the blessings of others, but for the power to convey to others gifts which make them happier than they make us—as the gifts of genius so often do. One Church should praise Him for the prosperity of other Churches, for that is to the good of the Gospel. And, as for petition, how can a man or a Church pray for their own needs to the omission of others? God’s fundamental relation to us is one that embraces and blesses all. We are saved in a common salvation. The atmosphere of prayer is communion. Common prayer is the inevitable fruit of a Gospel like Christ’s.
Public prayer, therefore, should be in the main liturgical, with room for free prayer. The more it really is common prayer, and the more our relation with men extend and deepen (as prayer with and for men does extend them), the more we need forms which proceed from the common and corporate conscience of the Church. Even Christ did. As He rose to the height of His great world-work on the cross His prayer fell back on the liturgy of His people—on the Psalms. It is very hard for the ordinary minister to come home to the spiritual variety of a large congregation without those great forms which arose out of the deep soul of the Church before it spread into sectional boughs or individual twigs.
--- Forsyth, P. T. (1848-1921).
The Soul of Prayer
Compiled by Richard S. Adams
Suppose our failures occur,
not in spite of what we are doing,
but precisely because of it.
--- Dallas Willard The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God
They that know God will be humble; they that know themselves cannot be proud.
--- John Flavel
Find your purpose and fling your life out into it; and the loftier your purpose is, the more sure you will be to make the world richer with every enrichment of yourself!
--- Phillips Brooks
Learn to know Christ and him crucified. Learn to sing to him and say “Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, I am your sin. You took on you what was mine; yet set on me what was yours. You became what you were not, that I might become what I was not”.
--- Martin Luther Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel (Library of Christian Classics)
... from here, there and everywhere
Thanks to Meir Yona
3. However, John staid behind, out of his fear of Simon, even while his own men were earnest in making a sally upon their enemies without. Yet did not Simon lie still, for he lay near the place of the siege; he brought his engines of war, and disposed of them at due distances upon the wall, both those which they took from Cestius formerly, and those which they got when they seized the garrison that lay in the tower Antonia. But though they had these engines in their possession, they had so little skill in using them, that they were in great measure useless to them; but a few there were who had been taught by deserters how to use them, which they did use, though after an awkward manner. So they cast stones and arrows at those that were making the banks; they also ran out upon them by companies, and fought with them. Now those that were at work covered themselves with hurdles spread over their banks, and their engines were opposed to them when they made their excursions. The engines, that all the legions had ready prepared for them, were admirably contrived; but still more extraordinary ones belonged to the tenth legion: those that threw darts and those that threw stones were more forcible and larger than the rest, by which they not only repelled the excursions of the Jews, but drove those away that were upon the walls also. Now the stones that were cast were of the weight of a talent, and were carried two furlongs and further. The blow they gave was no way to be sustained, not only by those that stood first in the way, but by those that were beyond them for a great space. As for the Jews, they at first watched the coming of the stone, for it was of a white color, and could therefore not only be perceived by the great noise it made, but could be seen also before it came by its brightness; accordingly the watchmen that sat upon the towers gave them notice when the engine was let go, and the stone came from it, and cried out aloud, in their own country language, The Stone Cometh 15 so those that were in its way stood off, and threw themselves down upon the ground; by which means, and by their thus guarding themselves, the stone fell down and did them no harm. But the Romans contrived how to prevent that by blacking the stone, who then could aim at them with success, when the stone was not discerned beforehand, as it had been till then; and so they destroyed many of them at one blow. Yet did not the Jews, under all this distress, permit the Romans to raise their banks in quiet; but they shrewdly and boldly exerted themselves, and repelled them both by night and by day.
4. And now, upon the finishing the Roman works, the workmen measured the distance there was from the wall, and this by lead and a line, which they threw to it from their banks; for they could not measure it any otherwise, because the Jews would shoot at them, if they came to measure it themselves; and when they found that the engines could reach the wall, they brought them thither. Then did Titus set his engines at proper distances, so much nearer to the wall, that the Jews might not be able to repel them, and gave orders they should go to work; and when thereupon a prodigious noise echoed round about from three places, and that on the sudden there was a great noise made by the citizens that were within the city, and no less a terror fell upon the seditious themselves; whereupon both sorts, seeing the common danger they were in, contrived to make a like defense. So those of different factions cried out one to another, that they acted entirely as in concert with their enemies; whereas they ought however, notwithstanding God did not grant them a lasting concord, in their present circumstances, to lay aside their enmities one against another, and to unite together against the Romans. Accordingly, Simon gave those that came from the temple leave, by proclamation, to go upon the wall; John also himself, though he could not believe Simon was in earnest, gave them the same leave. So on both sides they laid aside their hatred and their peculiar quarrels, and formed themselves into one body; they then ran round the walls, and having a vast number of torches with them, they threw them at the machines, and shot darts perpetually upon those that impelled those engines which battered the wall; nay, the bolder sort leaped out by troops upon the hurdles that covered the machines, and pulled them to pieces, and fell upon those that belonged to them, and beat them, not so much by any skill they had, as principally by the boldness of their attacks. However, Titus himself still sent assistance to those that were the hardest set, and placed both horsemen and archers on the several sides of the engines, and thereby beat off those that brought the fire to them; he also thereby repelled those that shot stones or darts from the towers, and then set the engines to work in good earnest; yet did not the wall yield to these blows, excepting where the battering ram of the fifteenth legion moved the corner of a tower, while the wall itself continued unhurt; for the wall was not presently in the same danger with the tower, which was extant far above it; nor could the fall of that part of the tower easily break down any part of the wall itself together with it.
5. And now the Jews intermitted their sallies for a while; but when they observed the Romans dispersed all abroad at their works, and in their several camps, [for they thought the Jews had retired out of weariness and fear,] they all at once made a sally at the tower Hippicus, through an obscure gate, and at the same time brought fire to burn the works, and went boldly up to the Romans, and to their very fortifications themselves, where, at the cry they made, those that were near them came presently to their assistance, and those farther off came running after them; and here the boldness of the Jews was too hard for the good order of the Romans; and as they beat those whom they first fell upon, so they pressed upon those that were now gotten together. So this fight about the machines was very hot, while the one side tried hard to set them on fire, and the other side to prevent it; on both sides there was a confused cry made, and many of those in the forefront of the battle were slain. However, the Jews were now too hard for the Romans, by the furious assaults they made like madmen; and the fire caught hold of the works, and both all those works, and the engines themselves, had been in danger of being burnt, had not many of these select soldiers that came from Alexandria opposed themselves to prevent it, and had they not behaved themselves with greater courage than they themselves supposed they could have done; for they outdid those in this fight that had greater reputation than themselves before. This was the state of things till Caesar took the stoutest of his horsemen, and attacked the enemy, while he himself slew twelve of those that were in the forefront of the Jews; which death of these men, when the rest of the multitude saw, they gave way, and he pursued them, and drove them all into the city, and saved the works from the fire. Now it happened at this fight that a certain Jew was taken alive, who, by Titus's order, was crucified before the wall, to see whether the rest of them would be affrighted, and abate of their obstinacy. But after the Jews were retired, John, who was commander of the Idumeans, and was talking to a certain soldier of his acquaintance before the wall, was wounded by a dart shot at him by an Arabian, and died immediately, leaving the greatest lamentation to the Jews, and sorrow to the seditious. For he was a man of great eminence, both for his actions and his conduct also.
The War of the Jews: The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem (complete edition, 7 books)
by D.H. Stern
or to seek honor after honor.
Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers
The consciousness of the call
For necessity is laid upon me: yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel! --- 1 Cor. 9:16.
We are apt to forget the mystical, supernatural touch of God. If you can tell where you got the call of God and all about it, I question whether you have ever had a call. The call of God does not come like that, it is much more supernatural. The realization of it in a man’s life may come with a sudden thunder-clap or with a gradual dawning, but in whatever way it comes, it comes with the undercurrent of the supernatural, something that cannot be put into words, it is always accompanied with a glow. At any moment there may break the sudden consciousness of this incalculable, supernatural, surprising call that has taken hold of your life—“I have chosen you.” The call of God has nothing to do with salvation and sanctification. It is not because you are sanctified that you are therefore called to preach the Gospel; the call to preach the Gospel is infinitely different. Paul describes it as a necessity laid upon him.
If you have been obliterating the great supernatural call of God in your life, take a review of your circumstances and see where God has not been first, but your ideas of service, or your temperamental abilities. Paul said—“Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!” He had realized the call of God, and there was no competitor for his strength.
If a man or woman is called of God, it does not matter how untoward circumstances are, every force that has been at work will tell for God’s purpose in the end. If you agree with God’s purpose He will bring not only your conscious life, but all the deeper regions of your life which you cannot get at, into harmony.
My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition
the Poetry of RS Thomas
This is pain's landscape.
A savage agriculture is practiced
Here; every farm has its
Grandfather or grandmother, gnarled hands
On the cheque-book, a long, slow
Pull on the placenta about the neck.
Old lips monopolise the talk
When a friend calls. The children listen
From the kitchen; the children march
With angry patience against the dawn.
They are waiting for someone to die
Whose name is as bitter as the soil
They handle. In clear pools
In the furrows they watch themselves grow old
To the terrible accompaniment of the song
Of the blackbird, that promises them love.
Selected poems, 1946-1968
The Teacher's Commentary
* Woe to those who rely on Egypt (Isa. 31).
When people have turned from God, in what will they trust? The people of Isaiah’s day trusted the military might of their ally, Egypt, and fastened on emptiness.
The Egyptians are men and not God; their horses are flesh and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out His hand, he who helps will stumble, he who is helped will fall; both will perish together.
When we lose sight of God, our perception of reality gets distorted. The fact is that the unseen things are far more real than the seen. The material things on which we fix our hope when we wander from God are bound to disappoint—and to bring woe.
Salvation’s certainty (Isa. 32–35). Isaiah affirmed that God is Salvation:
Isaiah told the fruit God’s righteousness will produce and reviewed the work of the destroyer. He described the judgments that would finally overthrow the oppressor nations. Then Isaiah pictured the joy of the whole world breaking into bloom, warmed by the glory and splendor of our God. And the fruit will be righteousness.
In the early chapters of his book Isaiah focused on the corruption and unrighteousness that marked the people’s lifestyle. Now he portrayed the righteousness that will mark the lifestyle of the redeemed. When the Spirit of God is poured out on humankind:
Justice will dwell in the desert and righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
Those who draw on God’s rich store of salvation can live in the presence of the consuming fire. Who can reside with the Holy One?
He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil—this is the man who will dwell on the heights.
The Teacher's Commentary
“Happy is one who dies this kind of death!” How can death be happy?
There are two ways. First, death can be a “friend” that releases a person from suffering. As Tennyson put it, “Sweet is death who puts an end to pain.” Sweet is a death that releases a loved one from torturous suffering, that allows us to remember the strong, active person rather than the tormented skeleton that illness has created.
Death can also be happy because it forces us to face life. Our mortality prevents us from putting off things that have to be done. We must accomplish what we envision in life now because life does not last forever. Death happily pushes us to do what we would otherwise delay, and perhaps avoid altogether.
Thus, death is not necessarily something to be feared. It is not the enemy. We, like Moses, can see death as a friend. Rather than thinking “If only I could live forever …,” we should say, “I’m happy to live this kind of life, and I’d be happy then to die that kind of death!”
The Yiddish proverb states that “even in dying, you need mazel (luck).”
One man dies at the ripe old age of ninety-one; a teenager is killed in a car crash at seventeen.
A woman lies down in bed at night and peacefully passes away in her sleep; another woman suffers for years through cancer, heart disease, and kidney failure before finally succumbing in agony.
One man’s funeral takes place during a ferocious blizzard, and no one but a few immediate family members attend the service; a woman’s funeral is held on a glorious Sunday in the fall and hundreds pack the chapel.
A saintly nun in India who has tended to the poor passes away five days after the sudden death of a glamorous British princess, and a lifetime of good work is almost forgotten in the media frenzy.
Even in dying, you need mazel.
As Moses approaches the end of his life, he thinks back on his brother Aaron and remarks, “Happy is one who dies that kind of death. How lucky he was: his family by his side, his people there to show their love, and the final moment coming painlessly, with a kiss from God. I wish I had the mazel of such a death.”
The irony is that throughout their lives, it was probably Aaron who was envious of Moses. “I wish I had the mazel of his life,” Aaron may have said to himself on a hundred occasions. Aaron was the older brother, yet Moses became the more famous of the two, the one whose name would go down in history: Moses the Liberator, Moses the Law-Giver. People would even question Aaron’s supporting role: “The only reason that he became Kohen Gadol, High Priest, is nepotism! He got the job because of who his brother was!” Aaron was brought up in slavery; Moses was raised as the son of privilege in the house of Pharaoh’s daughter. Aaron was supposed to be the religious authority, yet God chose to speak only to Moses. Moses abandoned the people for forty days, leaving Aaron to deal with the panic and a riot, and then when he returned, Moses blamed Aaron for allowing the construction of the Golden Calf. Moses got to see the Promised Land; Aaron did not. Moses’ children outlived him; Aaron had to bury two of his children, who died tragically.
An individual has very little control over death. It is not in our hands how we die, or when. As the Yiddish proverb reminds us, dying is a matter of luck—or perhaps, more correctly, a matter for God. What we do have some control over is how we live. Moses should have learned a lesson from his older brother. Instead of envying Aaron for his death, Moses should have realized, at the end of his life, how fortunate, how lucky, how blessed he had been. The proverb that he should have spoken, that all of us need to keep on our lips, is “Happy is the one who lived this kind of life!”
Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living
So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.
--- Genesis 22:14.
Note what we are to do with the provision when we get it. (Expositions of Holy Scripture Volume 1)
Abraham christened the anonymous mountaintop, not by a name that reminded him or others of his trial, but by a name that proclaimed God’s deliverance. He did not say anything about his agony or about his obedience. God spoke about that, not Abraham. Abraham did not want these to be remembered, but what he desired to hand on to later generations was what God had done for him. Oh, dear friends, is that the way in which we look back on life? Many a bare, bald mountaintop in your career and mine we have names for. Are they names that commemorate our sufferings—or God’s blessings? When we look back on the past, what do we see? Times of trial or times of deliverance?
This name enshrines the duty of commemoration—yes! and the duty of expectation. “The Lord Will Provide.” How do you know that, Abraham? And his answer is, “Because the Lord did provide.” That is a shaky argument if we use it about one another. Our resources may give out, our patience may weary. If we go to a storehouse, all the corn in it will be eaten up some day, but if we go to some boundless plain that grows it, we can be sure that there will be a harvest next year as there has been a harvest last.
So think of God not as a storehouse but as the soil from which there comes forth, year by year and generation after generation, the same crop of rich blessings for the needs and the hungers of every soul.
“You have been with me in six troubles, and in seven you will not forsake me,” is a bad conclusion to draw about one another, but it is the right conclusion to draw about God.
And so, as we look back on our past lives and see many a peak gleaming in the magic light of memory, let us name them all by names that will throw a radiance of hope on the unknown and unclimbed difficulties before us and say, as the patriarch did when he went down from the mount of his trial and deliverance, “The Lord Will Provide.”
--- Alexander Maclaren
Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers
The Candle Burns Out
Evangelist George Whitefield longed to die preaching, and he almost did. In 1770, on a final tour through the American colonies, he ignored the pleas of doctors and friends to rest. When too tired to preach, he lifted his voice all the more. When asthmatic colds caused breathing crimps, he ignored them. He claimed that a good “pulpit sweat” was beneficial. But the vomiting, diarrhea, and shivering increased as autumn arrived.
On Saturday, September 29, 1770, Whitefield rode to Exeter, New Hampshire, where someone, seeing his appearance, told him he was more fit to go to bed than to preach. “It’s true,” Whitefield replied, then he burst into prayer: “Lord, I am weary in thy work, but not of it. If I have not yet finished my course, let me speak for Thee once more and come home and die.”
A crowd assembled and Whitefield stood precariously atop a barrel. He quoted 2 Corinthians 13:5—Test yourselves and find out if you really are true to your faith—then began to preach. “He rose up sluggishly and wearily,” reported an eyewitness, “as if exhausted by his labors. His face seemed bloated, his voice hoarse, his enunciation heavy. But then his mind kindled, and his lionlike voice roared to the extremities of his audience.” He told the crowd he would rather climb to the moon by a rope of sand than try to achieve heaven by works. Whitefield kept his audience spellbound for two hours. Then he suddenly cried, “I go! I have outlived many on earth but they cannot outlive me in heaven. My body fails, my spirit expands.”
Finishing his sermon, he was helped from the barrel to his horse and he continued to Newburyport. That Evening a group of friends gathered and asked Whitefield to speak to them. He begged off, citing asthma. But then he rose and took a lighted candle, starting up the steps. Turning, he delivered a brief but moving message. When the candle died out, he continued up the stairs and went on to his bed where he died during the night.
Test yourselves and find out if you really are true to your faith. If you pass the test, you will discover that Christ is living in you. But if Christ isn’t living in you, you have failed. I hope you will discover that we have not failed.
2 Corinthians 13:5,6.
On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes
Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON
Morning - September 29
“Behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague.” --- Leviticus 13:13.
Strange enough this regulation appears, yet there was wisdom in it, for the throwing out of the disease proved that the constitution was sound. This Morning it may be well for us to see the typical teaching of so singular a rule. We, too, are lepers, and may read the law of the leper as applicable to ourselves. When a man sees himself to be altogether lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and no part free from pollution; when he disclaims all righteousness of his own, and pleads guilty before the Lord, then is he clean through the blood of Jesus, and the grace of God. Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy, but when sin is seen and felt it has received its death blow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul afflicted with it. Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness, or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are “nothing else but sin,” for no confession short of this will be the whole truth, and if the Holy Spirit be at work with us, convincing us of sin, there will be no difficulty about making such an acknowledgment—it will spring spontaneously from our lips. What comfort does the text afford to those under a deep sense of sin! Sin mourned and confessed, however black and foul, shall never shut a man out from the Lord Jesus. Whosoever cometh unto him, he will in no wise cast out. Though dishonest as the thief, though unchaste as the woman who was a sinner, though fierce as Saul of Tarsus, though cruel as Manasseh, though rebellious as the prodigal, the great heart of love will look upon the man who feels himself to have no soundness in him, and will pronounce him clean, when he trusts in Jesus crucified. Come to him, then, poor heavy-laden sinner,
Come needy, come guilty, come loathsome and bare;
You can’t come too filthy—come just as you are.
Evening - September 29
“I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go.” --- Song of Solomon 3:4.
Does Christ receive us when we come to him, notwithstanding all our past sinfulness? Does he never chide us for having tried all other refuges first? And is there none on earth like him? Is he the best of all the good, the fairest of all the fair? Oh, then let us praise him! Daughters of Jerusalem, extol him with timbrel and harp! Down with your idols, up with the Lord Jesus. Now let the standards of pomp and pride be trampled under foot, but let the cross of Jesus, which the world frowns and scoffs at, be lifted on high. O for a throne of ivory for our King Solomon! Let him be set on high for ever, and let my soul sit at his footstool, and kiss his feet, and wash them with my tears. Oh, how precious is Christ! How can it be that I have thought so little of him? How is it I can go abroad for joy or comfort when he is so full, so rich, so satisfying. Fellow believer, make a covenant with thine heart that thou wilt never depart from him, and ask thy Lord to ratify it. Bid him set thee as a signet upon his finger, and as a bracelet upon his arm. Ask him to bind thee about him, as the bride decketh herself with ornaments, and as the bridegroom putteth on his jewels. I would live in Christ’s heart; in the clefts of that rock my soul would eternally abide. The sparrow hath made a house, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God; and so too would I make my nest, my home, in thee, and never from thee may the soul of thy turtle dove go forth again, but may I nestle close to thee, O Jesus, my true and only rest.
“When my precious Lord I find,
All my ardent passions glow;
Him with cords of love I bind,
Hold and will not let him go.”
Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
HOLY BIBLE, BOOK DIVINE
John Burton, Sr., 1773–1822
Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long. (Psalm 119:97)
Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the Book widens and deepens with our years. —Charles H. Spurgeon
The Bible is truly an amazing book. It has rightfully been called “The Book of Books.” The first book ever printed was the Bible—the German Gütenberg Bible between the years 1450–1455. Today, it is printed in more than 600 languages, and portions of it are printed in more than 1,000 tongues and dialects. It has long been the world’s best seller.
In addition to being God’s love letter and self-disclosure of Himself, the Bible clearly spells out His plan for our redemption and restored fellowship. It is also our final authority for all matters of faith, morals, and practice. Through the inspired Word, God the Holy Spirit illuminates and guides believers in their Christian walk and also prepares them for their future heavenly destination.
Our finite minds will never be able to comprehend all of the teaching of Scripture, but the essential truths related to our redemption and Christ-like living cannot be misunderstood. It was Abraham Lincoln who once observed: “Read the Bible for whatever reason you can accept and take the rest on faith, and you will live and die a better man.”
John Burton, author of “Holy Bible, Book Divine,” was an English Sunday school teacher with a concern for teaching spiritual truths to children. This text appeared in 1806 in Burton’s Sunday school hymnal, which was titled Incentives for Early Piety. These words have since been spiritually profitable for both young and old:
Holy Bible, Book divine, precious treasure, thou art mine; mine to tell me whence I came, mine to teach me what I am;
Mine to chide me when I rove, mine to show a Savior’s love; mine thou art to guide and guard, mine to punish or reward;
Mine to comfort in distress—Suff’ring in this wilderness; mine to show, by living faith, man can triumph over death;
Mine to tell of joys to come and the rebel sinner’s doom: O thou holy Book divine, precious treasure, thou art mine.
For Today: Matthew 24:35; John 15:7; 2 Timothy 3:15–17; Hebrews 4:12
It was George Mueller who said: “The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Word in our life and thoughts.” Determine to give the Bible a greater place in your life. Sing this child-like hymn as you go ---
Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions
Friday, September 29, 2017 | Holy Day
St. Michael And All Angels
Years 1 & 2
On the same date: St. Michael and All Angels, Evening Prayer
Psalms Psalm 8, 148
Old Testament Job 38:1–7
New Testament Hebrews 1:1–14
Index of Readings
Psalm 8, 148
To the leader: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David.
1 O LORD, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
5 Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
1 Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his host!
3 Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for he commanded and they were created.
6 He established them forever and ever;
he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his faithful,
for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the LORD!
38 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:
2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up your loins like a man,
I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone
7 when the morning stars sang together
and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?
1 Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3 He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
today I have begotten you”?
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”?
6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
7 Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds,
and his servants flames of fire.”
8 But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
“In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like clothing;
12 like a cloak you will roll them up,
and like clothing they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will never end.”
13 But to which of the angels has he ever said,
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
14 Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church
On The Same Date | Holy Day
St. Michael And All Angels
Years 1 & 2
On the same date: St. Michael and All Angels, Morning Prayer
Psalms Psalm 34, Psalm 150 or Psalm 104
Old Testament Daniel 12:1–3 or 2 Kings 6:8–17
New Testament Mark 13:21–27 or Revelation 5:1–14
Index of Readings
Of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.
1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Look to him, and be radiant;
so your faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD,
and was saved from every trouble.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 O taste and see that the LORD is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him.
9 O fear the LORD, you his holy ones,
for those who fear him have no want.
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Which of you desires life,
and covets many days to enjoy good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil,
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against evildoers,
to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears,
and rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD rescues them from them all.
20 He keeps all their bones;
not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil brings death to the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
Choose from the following:
1 Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that breathes praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
2 wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
3 you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot,
you ride on the wings of the wind,
4 you make the winds your messengers,
fire and flame your ministers.
5 You set the earth on its foundations,
so that it shall never be shaken.
6 You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7 At your rebuke they flee;
at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
8 They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
to the place that you appointed for them.
9 You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth.
10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills,
11 giving drink to every wild animal;
the wild asses quench their thirst.
12 By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;
they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14 You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to use,
to bring forth food from the earth,
15 and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
and bread to strengthen the human heart.
16 The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has its home in the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.
19 You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
21 The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they withdraw
and lie down in their dens.
23 People go out to their work
and to their labor until the evening.
24 O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
creeping things innumerable are there,
living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
27 These all look to you
to give them their food in due season;
28 when you give to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works—
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the LORD, O my soul.
Praise the LORD!
12 “At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
2 Kings 6:8–17
8 Once when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he took counsel with his officers. He said, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” 9 But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Take care not to pass this place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10 The king of Israel sent word to the place of which the man of God spoke. More than once or twice he warned such a place so that it was on the alert.
11 The mind of the king of Aram was greatly perturbed because of this; he called his officers and said to them, “Now tell me who among us sides with the king of Israel?” 12 Then one of his officers said, “No one, my lord king. It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel, who tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber.” 13 He said, “Go and find where he is; I will send and seize him.” He was told, “He is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent horses and chariots there and a great army; they came by night, and surrounded the city.
15 When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. His servant said, “Alas, master! What shall we do?” 16 He replied, “Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed: “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
21 And if anyone says to you at that time, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘Look! There he is!’—do not believe it. 22 False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be alert; I have already told you everything.
24 “But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
5 Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; 2 and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. 4 And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. 8 When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 They sing a new song:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;
10 you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,
and they will reign on earth.”
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 singing with full voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,
“To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might
forever and ever!”
14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church