August 20, 2024

Section 1 of 4

1 Samuel 13

About 2.8 Minutes

Saul was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty-two years over Israel.

Saul chose for himself 3,000 men of Israel; of whom 2,000 were with him in Michmash and in the hill country of Bethel, while 1,000 were with Jonathan at Gibeah of Benjamin. But he sent the rest of the people away, each one to his own tent. Jonathan attacked and defeated the Philistine garrison which was at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” All Israel heard that Saul had defeated the Philistine garrison, and also that Israel had become despicable to the Philistines. And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.

Now the Philistines gathered to fight against Israel, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and troops in multitude, like sand on the seashore. They came up and camped at Michmash, east of Beth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in a tight situation (for their troops were hard-pressed), they hid in caves, in thickets, in cellars, and in [dry] cisterns (pits). Also some of the Hebrews had crossed the [river] Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him, trembling [in fear and anticipation].

Now Saul waited seven days, according to the appointed time which Samuel had set, but Samuel had not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering away from Saul. So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering [which he was forbidden to do]. 10 As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel finally came; Saul went out to meet and to welcome him. 11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul said, “Since I saw that the people were scattering away from me, and that you did not come within the appointed time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, 12 therefore, I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked for the Lord’s favor [by making supplication to Him].’ So I forced myself to offer the burnt offering.” 13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for [if you had obeyed] the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man (David) after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as leader and ruler over His people, because you have not kept (obeyed) what the Lord commanded you.”

15 Then Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul assembled and counted the people who were still with him, [only] about six hundred [fighting] men. 16 Saul and his son Jonathan and the people with them were staying in Geba of Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Michmash. 17 And the raiding party came from the Philistine camp in three companies: one company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual, 18 another company turned toward Beth-horon, and another toward the border overlooking the Valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.

19 Now no blacksmith (metal-worker) could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears.” 20 So all [the men of] Israel went down to the Philistines, each to get his plowshare, pick, axe, or sickle sharpened. 21 The fee [for sharpening] was a pim (two-thirds of a shekel) for the plowshares, the picks, the pitchforks, and the axes, and to straighten the goads (cattle prods). 22 So it came about on the day of battle that neither sword nor spear was found in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and Jonathan his son had them. 23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass at Michmash.

Section 2 of 4

Romans 11

About 4.8 Minutes

I say then, has God rejected and disowned His people? Certainly not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His [chosen] people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left [of the prophets], and they are seeking my life.” But what is God’s response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too then, at the present time there has come to be a remnant [a small believing minority] according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace [God’s unmerited favor], it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace [it would not be a gift but a reward for works].

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking [that is, God’s favor by obedience to the Law], but the elect [those chosen few] obtained it, while the rest of them became hardened and callously indifferent; just as it is written [in Scripture],

God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear,
[a spiritual apathy that has continued] to this very day.”

And David says,

Let their table (abundance) become a snare and a trap,
A stumbling block and a retribution to them.
Let their eyes be darkened so that they do not see,
And make their backs bend [under their burden] forever.”

11 So I say, have they stumbled so as to fall [to spiritual ruin]? Certainly not! But by their transgression [their rejection of the Messiah] salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel jealous [when they realize what they have forfeited]. 12 Now if Israel’s transgression means riches for the world [at large] and their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment and reinstatement be! 13 But now I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 in the hope of somehow making my fellow countrymen jealous [by stirring them up so that they will seek the truth] and perhaps save some of them. 15 For if their [present] rejection [of salvation] is for the reconciliation of the world [to God], what will their acceptance [of salvation] be but [nothing less than] life from the dead? 16 If the first portion [of dough offered as the first fruits] is holy, so is the whole batch; and if the root (Abraham, the patriarchs) is holy, so are the branches (the Israelites).

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you [Gentiles], being like a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them to share with them the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not boast over the [broken] branches and exalt yourself at their expense. If you do boast and feel superior, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root that supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by your faith [as believers understanding the truth of Christ’s deity]. Do not be conceited, but [rather stand in great awe of God and] fear [Him]; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches [because of unbelief], He will not spare you either. 22 Then appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: to those who fell [into spiritual ruin], severity, but to you, God’s gracious kindness—if you continue in His kindness [by faith and obedience to Him]; otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they [the unbelieving Jews], if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these who are the natural branches back into [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree?

25 I do not want you, believers, to be unaware of this mystery [God’s previously hidden plan]—so that you will not be wise in your own opinion—that a partial hardening has [temporarily] happened to Israel [to last] until the full number of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so [at that time] all Israel [that is, all Jews who have a personal faith in Jesus as Messiah] will be saved; just as it is written [in Scripture],

The Deliverer (Messiah) will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
This is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

28 From the standpoint of the gospel, the Jews [at present] are enemies [of God] for your sake [which is for your benefit], but from the standpoint of God’s choice [of the Jews as His people], they are still loved by Him for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call]. 30 Just as you once were disobedient and failed to listen to God, but have now obtained mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient so that they too may one day receive mercy because of the mercy shown to you. 32 For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all [Jew and Gentile alike].

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it would be paid back to him? 36 For from Him [all things originate] and through Him [all things live and exist] and to Him are all things [directed]. To Him be glory and honor forever! Amen.

Section 3 of 4

Jeremiah 50

About 9.4 Minutes

The word that the Lord spoke concerning Babylon and concerning the land of the Chaldeans through Jeremiah the prophet:

“Declare among the nations.
Lift up a signal [to spread the news]—publish and proclaim it,
Do not conceal it; say,
‘Babylon has been taken,
Bel [the patron god] has been shamed, Marduk (Bel) has been shattered.
Babylon’s images have been shamed, her [worthless] idols have been thrown down.’

For out of the north a nation (Media) has come against her which will make her land desolate, and no one will live there. They have fled, they have gone away—both man and animal.

“In those days and at that time,” says the Lord, “the children of Israel will come, they and the children of Judah together; they will come up weeping [in repentance] as they come and seek the Lord their God [inquiring for and of Him]. They will ask the way to Zion, with their faces in that direction, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.’

“My people have become lost sheep;
Their shepherds have led them astray.
They have made them turn aside [to the seductive places of idolatry] on the mountains.
They have gone along [from one sin to another] from mountain to hill;
They have forgotten their [own] resting place.

“All who found them have devoured them;
And their adversaries have said, ‘We are not guilty,
Because they have sinned against the Lord [and are no longer holy to Him], their [true] habitation of righteousness and justice,
Even the Lord, the [confident] hope of their fathers.’

“Wander away from the midst of Babylon
And go out of the land of the Chaldeans;
Be like the male goats [who serve as leaders] at the head of the flocks.

“For behold, I will stir up and bring up against Babylon
An assembly of great nations from the north country.
They will equip themselves and set up the battle lines against her;
From there she will be taken captive.
Their arrows will be like an expert warrior
Who will not return empty-handed.
“Chaldea will become plunder;
All who plunder her will be satisfied,” says the Lord.

“Though you are glad, though you rejoice,
O you who plunder My heritage,
Though you are wanton and skip about like a heifer in the grass
And neigh like stallions,
Your mother [Babylon] shall be greatly shamed;
She who gave you birth will be ashamed.
Behold, she will be the least of the nations,
A wilderness, a parched land and a desert.
“Because of the wrath of the Lord she will not be inhabited
But she will be completely desolate;
Everyone who goes by Babylon will be appalled
And will hiss (mock) at all her wounds and plagues.
“Set yourselves in battle formation against Babylon on every side,
All you archers.
Shoot at her! Do not spare the arrows,
For she has sinned against the Lord.
“Raise the battle cry against her on every side!
She has given her hand [in agreement] and has surrendered; her pillars have fallen,
Her walls have been torn down.
For this is the vengeance of the Lord:
Take vengeance on her;
As she has done [to others], do to her.
“Cut off the sower from Babylon
And the one who handles the sickle at the time of harvest.
For fear of the sword of the oppressor
Everyone will return to his own people
And everyone will flee to his own land.

17 Israel is a hunted and scattered flock [driven here and there as prey]; the lions have chased them away. First the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has broken (gnawed) his bones. 18 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I will visit (inspect, examine) and punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I visited and punished the king of Assyria. 19 And I will bring Israel [home] again to his pasture and he will graze on [the most fertile lands of] Carmel [in the west] and Bashan [in the east], and his soul will be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead. 20 In those days and at that time,’ says the Lord, ‘a search will be made for the wickedness of Israel, but there will be none and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.’

“Go against [Babylon] the land of Merathaim (Double Rebellion),
Go up against it and against the people of Pekod (Punishment).
Kill and utterly destroy them,” says the Lord,
“And do everything that I have commanded you.”
“The noise of battle is in the land,
And [the noise of] great destruction.
“How the hammer of the whole earth
Is crushed and broken!
How Babylon has become
A horror [of desolation] among the nations!
“I set a trap for you and you also were caught, O Babylon,
And you did not know it;
You have been found and also seized
Because you have struggled against the Lord.”
The Lord has opened His armory
And has brought out [the nations who unknowingly are] the weapons of His indignation (wrath),
For it is a work of the Lord God of hosts
In the land of the Chaldeans.
Come against her from the farthest border.
Open her storehouses;
Pile it up like heaps of rubbish.
Burn and destroy her completely;
Let nothing be left of her.
Kill all her young bulls [her strength—her young men];
Let them go down to the slaughter!
Woe (judgment is coming) to the Chaldeans, for their day has come,
The time of their punishment.

Listen to the voice of the refugees who flee and escape from the land of Babylon,
Proclaiming in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God,
The vengeance [of the Lord against the Chaldeans] for [plundering and destroying] His temple.

“Call together many [archers] against Babylon,
All those who bend the bow.
Encamp against her on every side;
Let no one from there escape.
Repay her according to her actions;
Just as she has done, do to her.
For she has been proudly defiant and presumptuous against the Lord,
Against the Holy One of Israel.
“Therefore her young men will fall in her streets,
And all her soldiers will be destroyed on that day,” says the Lord.
“Behold, I am against you, [O Babylon, you] arrogant one, [you who are pride and presumption personified],”
Says the Lord God of hosts,
“For your day has come,
The time when I will punish you.
“The arrogant (proud) one will stumble and fall
With no one to raise him up;
And I will set fire to his cities
And it will devour all who are around him.”

Thus says the Lord of hosts,
“The children of Israel are oppressed,
And the children of Judah as well;
And all who took them captive have held them tightly,
They have refused to let them go.
“Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is His name.
He will most certainly plead their case and defend their cause
So that He may bring rest to their land,
But turmoil to the inhabitants of Babylon.
“A sword against the Chaldeans,” says the Lord,
“And against the inhabitants of Babylon
And against her princes (officials, civic rulers) and against her wise men (astrologers, religious rulers)!
“A sword against the oracle priests (the babbling liars), and they will become fools!
A sword against her mighty warriors, and they will be shattered and destroyed!
“A sword against their horses and against their chariots
And against all the foreign troops that are in her midst,
And they will become [as weak and defenseless as] women!
A sword against her treasures, and they will be plundered!
“A drought on her waters, and they will dry up!
For it is a land of [worthless] idols,
And they are mad over fearsome idols [those objects of terror in which they foolishly trust].

“Therefore wild beasts of the desert will live there [in Babylon] with the jackals;
The ostriches also will live there,
And it will never again be inhabited [with people]
Or lived in from generation to generation.
“As when God overthrew Sodom
And Gomorrah and their neighboring cities,” says the Lord,
“So no man will live there;
Nor shall any son of man live there.”

“Behold, a people is coming from the north,
And a great nation and many kings
Will be stirring from the remote parts of the earth.
“They seize their bow and spear;
They are cruel and have no compassion.
They sound like the roaring of the sea;
They ride on horses,
Every man equipped like a man [ready] for the battle
Against you, O Daughter of Babylon.
“The king of Babylon has heard the report about them,
And his hands fall limp and helpless;
Anguish has seized him,
And agony like that of a woman in childbirth.

44 “See, one will come up like a lion from the thicket of the Jordan against the enduring habitation [of Babylon] and its watered pastures; for in an instant I will make Babylon run from his land. I will appoint over Babylon the one whom I choose. For who is like Me, and who will summon Me [into court] and prosecute Me [for this]? Who is the [earthly] shepherd who can stand [defiantly] before Me?” 45 Therefore hear the plan of the Lord which He has devised against Babylon, and hear what He has purposed against [the inhabitants of the land of] the Chaldeans: surely they will be dragged away, [even] the little ones of the flock; surely He will make their habitation desolate because of them. 46 At the shout, “Babylon has been seized!” the earth quakes, and an outcry is heard among the nations.

Section 4 of 4

Psalms 28-29

About 3.3 Minutes

To you I call, O Lord,
My rock, do not be deaf to me,
For if You are silent to me,
I will become like those who go down to the pit (grave).

Hear the voice of my supplication (specific requests, humble entreaties) as I cry to You for help,
As I lift up my hands and heart toward Your innermost sanctuary (Holy of Holies).

Do not drag me away with the wicked
And with those who do evil,
Who speak peace with their neighbors,
While malice and mischief are in their hearts.

Repay them according to their work and according to the evil of their practices;
Repay them according to the deeds of their hands;
Repay them what they deserve.

Because they have no regard for the works of the Lord
Nor the deeds of His hands,
He will tear them down and not rebuild them.

Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplication.

The Lord is my strength and my [impenetrable] shield;
My heart trusts [with unwavering confidence] in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I shall thank Him and praise Him.

The Lord is their [unyielding] strength,
And He is the fortress of salvation to His anointed.

Save Your people and bless Your inheritance;
Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.

Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty and majesty of His holiness [as the creator and source of holiness].

The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
The Lord is over many waters.

The voice of the Lord is powerful;
The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
And Sirion (Mount Hermon) like a young, wild ox.

The voice of the Lord rakes flames of fire (lightning).

The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord makes the doe labor and give birth
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple all are saying, “Glory!”

The Lord sat as King at the flood;
Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.
The Lord will give [unyielding and impenetrable] strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.

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