August 19, 2024

Section 1 of 4

1 Samuel 12

About 3.5 Minutes

Samuel said to all Israel, “I have done everything you requested. I have given you a king. Now look! This king walks before you. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have walked before you from the time of my youth till the present day. Here I am. Bring a charge against me before the Lord and before his chosen king. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I wronged? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I taken a bribe so that I would overlook something? Tell me, and I will return it to you!”

They replied, “You have not wronged us or oppressed us. You have not taken anything from the hand of anyone.” He said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and his chosen king is witness this day, that you have not found any reason to accuse me.” They said, “He is witness!”

Samuel said to the people, “The Lord is the one who chose Moses and Aaron and who brought your ancestors up from the land of Egypt. Now take your positions, so I may confront you before the Lord regarding all the Lord’s just actions toward you and your ancestors. When Jacob entered Egypt, your ancestors cried out to the Lord. The Lord sent Moses and Aaron, and they led your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.

“But they forgot the Lord their God, so he gave them into the hand of Sisera, the general in command of Hazor’s army, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 Then they cried out to the Lord and admitted, ‘We have sinned, for we have forsaken the Lord and have served the Baals and the images of Ashtoreth. Now deliver us from the hands of our enemies so that we may serve you.’ 11 So the Lord sent Jerub Baal, Barak, Jephthah, and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hands of the enemies all around you, and you were able to live securely.

12 “When you saw that King Nahash of the Ammonites was advancing against you, you said to me, ‘No! A king will rule over us’—even though the Lord your God is your king. 13 Now look! Here is the king you have chosen—the one that you asked for! Look, the Lord has given you a king. 14 If you fear the Lord, serving him and obeying him and not rebelling against what he says, and if both you and the king who rules over you follow the Lord your God, all will be well. 15 But if you don’t obey the Lord and rebel against what the Lord says, the hand of the Lord will be against both you and your king.

16 “So now, take your positions and watch this great thing that the Lord is about to do in your sight. 17 Is this not the time of the wheat harvest? I will call on the Lord so that he makes it thunder and rain. Realize and see what a great sin you have committed before the Lord by asking for a king for yourselves.”

18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord made it thunder and rain that day. All the people were very afraid of both the Lord and Samuel. 19 All the people said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God on behalf of us—your servants—so we won’t die, for we have added to all our sins by asking for a king.”

20 Then Samuel said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. You have indeed sinned. However, don’t turn aside from the Lord. Serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 You should not turn aside after empty things that can’t profit and can’t deliver, since they are empty. 22 The Lord will not abandon his people because he wants to uphold his great reputation. The Lord was pleased to make you his own people. 23 As far as I am concerned, far be it from me to sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you! I will instruct you in the way that is good and upright. 24 However, fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Just look at the great things he has done for you! 25 But if you continue to do evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”

Section 2 of 4

Romans 10

About 2.2 Minutes

Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God on behalf of my fellow Israelites is for their salvation. For I can testify that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not in line with the truth. For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes.

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is by the law: “The one who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. 11 For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

14 How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.” 16 But not all have obeyed the good news, for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ.

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Yes, they have: Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. 19 But again I ask, didn’t Israel understand? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous by those who are not a nation; with a senseless nation I will provoke you to anger.” 20 And Isaiah is even bold enough to say, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I became well known to those who did not ask for me.” 21 But about Israel he says, “All day long I held out my hands to this disobedient and stubborn people!

Section 3 of 4

Jeremiah 49

About 7.5 Minutes

The Lord spoke about the Ammonites:

“Do you think there are not any people of the nation of Israel remaining?
Do you think there are not any of them remaining to reinherit their land?
Is that why you people who worship the god Milcom
have taken possession of the territory of Gad and live in his cities?
Because you did that,
I, the Lord, affirm that a time is coming
when I will make Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon,
hear the sound of the battle cry.
It will become a mound covered with ruins.
Its villages will be burned to the ground.
Then Israel will take back its land
from those who took their land from them.
I, the Lord, affirm it!
Wail, you people in Heshbon, because Ai in Ammon is destroyed.
Cry out in anguish, you people in the villages surrounding Rabbah.
Put on sackcloth and cry out in mourning.
Run about covered with gashes.
For your god Milcom will go into exile
along with his priests and officials.
Why do you brag about your great power?
Your power is ebbing away, you rebellious people of Ammon,
who trust in your riches and say,
‘Who would dare to attack us?’
I will bring terror on you from every side,”
says the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“You will be scattered in every direction.
No one will gather the fugitives back together.
Yet in days to come
I will reverse Ammon’s ill fortune.”
says the Lord.

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies spoke about Edom:

“Is wisdom no longer to be found in Teman?
Can Edom’s counselors not give her any good advice?
Has all their wisdom turned bad?
Turn and flee! Take up refuge in remote places,
you people who live in Dedan.
For I will bring disaster on the descendants of Esau.
I have decided it is time for me to punish them.
If grape pickers came to pick your grapes,
would they not leave a few grapes behind?
If robbers came at night,
would they not pillage only what they needed?
10 But I will strip everything away from Esau’s descendants.
I will uncover their hiding places so they cannot hide.
Their children, relatives, and neighbors will all be destroyed.
Not one of them will be left!
11 Leave your orphans behind and I will keep them alive.
Your widows, too, can depend on me.”

12 For the Lord says, “If even those who did not deserve to drink from the cup of my wrath must drink from it, do you think you will go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must certainly drink from the cup of my wrath. 13 For I solemnly swear,” says the Lord, “that Bozrah will become a pile of ruins. It will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example to be used in curses. All the towns around it will lie in ruins forever.”

14 I said, “I have heard a message from the Lord.
A messenger has been sent among the nations to say,
‘Gather your armies and march out against her!
Prepare to do battle with her!’”
15 The Lord says to Edom,
“I will certainly make you small among nations.
I will make you despised by all humankind.
16 The terror you inspire in others
and the arrogance of your heart have deceived you.
You may make your home in the clefts of the rocks;
you may occupy the highest places in the hills.
But even if you made your home where the eagles nest,
I would bring you down from there,”
says the Lord.
17 “Edom will become an object of horror.
All who pass by it will be filled with horror;
they will hiss out their scorn
because of all the disasters that have happened to it.
18 Edom will be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah
and the towns that were around them.
No one will live there.
No human being will settle in it,”
says the Lord.
19 “A lion coming up from the thick undergrowth along the Jordan
scatters the sheep in the pastureland around it.
So too I will chase the Edomites off their land.
Then I will appoint over it whomever I choose.
For there is no one like me, and there is no one who can call me to account.
There is no ruler who can stand up against me.
20 So listen to what I, the Lord, have planned against Edom,
what I intend to do to the people who live in Teman.
Their little ones will be dragged off.
I will completely destroy their land because of what they have done.
21 The people of the earth will quake when they hear of their downfall.
Their cries of anguish will be heard all the way to the Gulf of Aqaba.
22 Look! Like an eagle with outspread wings,
a nation will soar up and swoop down on Bozrah.
At that time the soldiers of Edom will be as fearful
as a woman in labor.”

23 The Lord spoke about Damascus:

“The people of Hamath and Arpad will be dismayed
because they have heard bad news.
Their courage will melt away because of worry.
Their hearts will not be able to rest.
24 The people of Damascus will lose heart and turn to flee.
Panic will grip them.
Pain and anguish will seize them
like a woman in labor.
25 How deserted will that once-famous city be,
that city that was once filled with joy!
26 For her young men will fall in her city squares.
All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
27 “I will set fire to the walls of Damascus;
it will burn up the palaces of Ben Hadad.”

28 The Lord spoke about Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered:

“Army of Babylon, go and attack Kedar.
Lay waste those who live in the eastern desert.
29 Their tents and their flocks will be taken away.
Their tent curtains, equipment, and camels will be carried off.
People will shout to them,
‘Terror is all around you!’”
30 The Lord says, “Flee quickly, you who live in Hazor.
Take up refuge in remote places.
For King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has laid out plans to attack you.
He has formed his strategy on how to defeat you.”
31 The Lord says, “Army of Babylon, go and attack
a nation that lives in peace and security.
They have no gates or walls to protect them.
They live all alone.
32 Their camels will be taken as plunder.
Their vast herds will be taken as spoil.
I will scatter to the four winds
those desert peoples who cut their hair short at the temples.
I will bring disaster against them
from every direction,” says the Lord.
33 “Hazor will become a permanent wasteland,
a place where only jackals live.
No one will live there.
No human being will settle in it.”

34 This was the Lord’s message to the prophet Jeremiah about Elam, which came early in the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah.

35 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies said:

“I will kill all the archers of Elam,
who are the chief source of her military might.
36 I will cause enemies to blow through Elam from every direction
like the winds blowing in from the four quarters of heaven.
I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds.
There will not be any nation where the refugees of Elam will not go.
37 I will make the people of Elam terrified of their enemies,
who are seeking to kill them.
I will vent my fierce anger
and bring disaster upon them,” says the Lord.
“I will send armies chasing after them
until I have completely destroyed them.
38 I will establish my sovereignty over Elam.
I will destroy their king and their leaders,” says the Lord.
39 “Yet in future days
I will reverse Elam’s ill fortune,”
says the Lord.

Section 4 of 4

Psalms 26-27

About 3.4 Minutes

Vindicate me, O Lord,
for I have integrity,
and I trust in the Lord without wavering.
Examine me, O Lord, and test me.
Evaluate my inner thoughts and motives.
For I am ever aware of your faithfulness,
and your loyalty continually motivates me.
I do not associate with deceitful men,
or consort with those who are dishonest.
I hate the mob of evil men,
and do not associate with the wicked.
I maintain a pure lifestyle,
so I can appear before your altar, O Lord,
to give you thanks,
and to tell about all your amazing deeds.
O Lord, I love the temple where you live,
the place where your splendor is revealed.
Do not sweep me away with sinners,
or execute me along with violent people,
10 who are always ready to do wrong
or offer a bribe.
11 But I have integrity.
Rescue me and have mercy on me!
12 I am safe,
and among the worshipers I will praise the Lord.

The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I fear no one.
The Lord protects my life.
I am afraid of no one.
When evil men attack me
to devour my flesh,
when my adversaries and enemies attack me,
they stumble and fall.
Even when an army is deployed against me,
I do not fear.
Even when war is imminent,
I remain confident.
I have asked the Lord for one thing—
this is what I desire!
I want to live in the Lord’s house all the days of my life,
so I can gaze at the splendor of the Lord
and contemplate in his temple.
He will surely give me shelter in the day of danger;
he will hide me in his home.
He will place me on an inaccessible rocky summit.
Now I will triumph
over my enemies who surround me.
I will offer sacrifices in his dwelling place and shout for joy.
I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear me, O Lord, when I cry out.
Have mercy on me and answer me.
My heart tells me to pray to you,
and I do pray to you, O Lord.
Do not reject me.
Do not push your servant away in anger.
You are my deliverer.
Do not forsake or abandon me,
O God who vindicates me.
10 Even if my father and mother abandoned me,
the Lord would take me in.
11 Teach me how you want me to live, Lord;
lead me along a level path because of those who wait to ambush me.
12 Do not turn me over to my enemies,
for false witnesses who want to destroy me testify against me.
13 Where would I be if I did not believe I would experience
the Lord’s favor in the land of the living?
14 Rely on the Lord!
Be strong and confident!
Rely on the Lord!

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