Saturday

August 20, 2022

Section 1 of 4

1 Samuel 12

About 3.3 Minutes

12 Then Samuel addressed all Israel: “I have done as you asked and given you a king. Your king is now your leader. I stand here before you—an old, gray-haired man—and my sons serve you. I have served as your leader from the time I was a boy to this very day. Now testify against me in the presence of the Lord and before his anointed one. Whose ox or donkey have I stolen? Have I ever cheated any of you? Have I ever oppressed you? Have I ever taken a bribe and perverted justice? Tell me and I will make right whatever I have done wrong.”

“No,” they replied, “you have never cheated or oppressed us, and you have never taken even a single bribe.”

“The Lord and his anointed one are my witnesses today,” Samuel declared, “that my hands are clean.”

“Yes, he is a witness,” they replied.

“It was the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron,” Samuel continued. “He brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt. Now stand here quietly before the Lord as I remind you of all the great things the Lord has done for you and your ancestors.

“When the Israelites were in Egypt and cried out to the Lord, he sent Moses and Aaron to rescue them from Egypt and to bring them into this land. But the people soon forgot about the Lord their God, so he handed them over to Sisera, the commander of Hazor’s army, and also to the Philistines and to the king of Moab, who fought against them.

10 “Then they cried to the Lord again and confessed, ‘We have sinned by turning away from the Lord and worshiping the images of Baal and Ashtoreth. But we will worship you and you alone if you will rescue us from our enemies.’ 11 Then the Lord sent Gideon, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel to save you, and you lived in safety.

12 “But when you were afraid of Nahash, the king of Ammon, you came to me and said that you wanted a king to reign over you, even though the Lord your God was already your king. 13 All right, here is the king you have chosen. You asked for him, and the Lord has granted your request.

14 “Now if you fear and worship the Lord and listen to his voice, and if you do not rebel against the Lord’s commands, then both you and your king will show that you recognize the Lord as your God. 15 But if you rebel against the Lord’s commands and refuse to listen to him, then his hand will be as heavy upon you as it was upon your ancestors.

16 “Now stand here and see the great thing the Lord is about to do. 17 You know that it does not rain at this time of the year during the wheat harvest. I will ask the Lord to send thunder and rain today. Then you will realize how wicked you have been in asking the Lord for a king!”

18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day. And all the people were terrified of the Lord and of Samuel. 19 “Pray to the Lord your God for us, or we will die!” they all said to Samuel. “For now we have added to our sins by asking for a king.”

20 “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel reassured them. “You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him. 21 Don’t go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you—they are totally useless! 22 The Lord will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the Lord to make you his very own people.

23 “As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you. 25 But if you continue to sin, you and your king will be swept away.”

Section 2 of 4

Romans 10

About 2.7 Minutes

10 Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.

For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says,

“The message is very close at hand;
    it is on your lips and in your heart.”

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

16 But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. 18 But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have:

“The message has gone throughout the earth,
    and the words to all the world.”

19 But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said,

“I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation.
    I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles.”

20 And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying,

“I was found by people who were not looking for me.
    I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.”

21 But regarding Israel, God said,

“All day long I opened my arms to them,
    but they were disobedient and rebellious.”

Section 3 of 4

Jeremiah 49

About 9.5 Minutes

49 This message was given concerning the Ammonites. This is what the Lord says:

“Are there no descendants of Israel
    to inherit the land of Gad?
Why are you, who worship Molech,
    living in its towns?
In the days to come,” says the Lord,
    “I will sound the battle cry against your city of Rabbah.
It will become a desolate heap of ruins,
    and the neighboring towns will be burned.
Then Israel will take back the land
    you took from her,” says the Lord.

“Cry out, O Heshbon,
    for the town of Ai is destroyed.
Weep, O people of Rabbah!
    Put on your clothes of mourning.
Weep and wail, hiding in the hedges,
    for your god Molech, with his priests and officials,
    will be hauled off to distant lands.
You are proud of your fertile valleys,
    but they will soon be ruined.
You trusted in your wealth,
    you rebellious daughter,
    and thought no one could ever harm you.
But look! I will bring terror upon you,”
    says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“Your neighbors will chase you from your land,
    and no one will help your exiles as they flee.
But I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites
    in days to come.
    I, the Lord, have spoken.”

This message was given concerning Edom. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:

“Is there no wisdom in Teman?
    Is no one left to give wise counsel?
Turn and flee!
    Hide in deep caves, you people of Dedan!
For when I bring disaster on Edom,
    I will punish you, too!
Those who harvest grapes
    always leave a few for the poor.
If thieves came at night,
    they would not take everything.
10 But I will strip bare the land of Edom,
    and there will be no place left to hide.
Its children, its brothers, and its neighbors
    will all be destroyed,
    and Edom itself will be no more.
11 But I will protect the orphans who remain among you.
    Your widows, too, can depend on me for help.”

12 And this is what the Lord says: “If the innocent must suffer, how much more must you! You will not go unpunished! You must drink this cup of judgment! 13 For I have sworn by my own name,” says the Lord, “that Bozrah will become an object of horror and a heap of ruins; it will be mocked and cursed. All its towns and villages will be desolate forever.”

14 I have heard a message from the Lord
    that an ambassador was sent to the nations to say,
“Form a coalition against Edom,
    and prepare for battle!”

15 The Lord says to Edom,
“I will cut you down to size among the nations.
    You will be despised by all.
16 You have been deceived
    by the fear you inspire in others
    and by your own pride.
You live in a rock fortress
    and control the mountain heights.
But even if you make your nest among the peaks with the eagles,
    I will bring you crashing down,”
    says the Lord.

17 “Edom will be an object of horror.
    All who pass by will be appalled
    and will gasp at the destruction they see there.
18 It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
    and their neighboring towns,” says the Lord.
“No one will live there;
    no one will inhabit it.
19 I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan,
    leaping on the sheep in the pasture.
I will chase Edom from its land,
    and I will appoint the leader of my choice.
For who is like me, and who can challenge me?
    What ruler can oppose my will?”

20 Listen to the Lord’s plans against Edom
    and the people of Teman.
Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep,
    and their homes will be destroyed.
21 The earth will shake with the noise of Edom’s fall,
    and its cry of despair will be heard all the way to the Red Sea.
22 Look! The enemy swoops down like an eagle,
    spreading his wings over Bozrah.
Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish
    like a woman in labor.

23 This message was given concerning Damascus. This is what the Lord says:

“The towns of Hamath and Arpad are struck with fear,
    for they have heard the news of their destruction.
Their hearts are troubled
    like a wild sea in a raging storm.
24 Damascus has become feeble,
    and all her people turn to flee.
Fear, anguish, and pain have gripped her
    as they grip a woman in labor.
25 That famous city, a city of joy,
    will be forsaken!
26 Her young men will fall in the streets and die.
    Her soldiers will all be killed,”
    says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
27 “And I will set fire to the walls of Damascus
    that will burn up the palaces of Ben-hadad.”

28 This message was given concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which were attacked by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. This is what the Lord says:

“Advance against Kedar!
    Destroy the warriors from the East!
29 Their flocks and tents will be captured,
    and their household goods and camels will be taken away.
Everywhere shouts of panic will be heard:
    ‘We are terrorized at every turn!’
30 Run for your lives,” says the Lord.
    “Hide yourselves in deep caves, you people of Hazor,
for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has plotted against you
    and is preparing to destroy you.

31 “Go up and attack that complacent nation,”
    says the Lord.
“Its people live alone in the desert
    without walls or gates.
32 Their camels and other livestock will all be yours.
    I will scatter to the winds these people
    who live in remote places.
I will bring calamity upon them
    from every direction,” says the Lord.
33 “Hazor will be inhabited by jackals,
    and it will be desolate forever.
No one will live there;
    no one will inhabit it.”

34 This message concerning Elam came to the prophet Jeremiah from the Lord at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah. 35 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:

“I will destroy the archers of Elam—
    the best of their forces.
36 I will bring enemies from all directions,
    and I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds.
    They will be exiled to countries around the world.
37 I myself will go with Elam’s enemies to shatter it.
    In my fierce anger, I will bring great disaster
    upon the people of Elam,” says the Lord.
“Their enemies will chase them with the sword
    until I have destroyed them completely.
38 I will set my throne in Elam,” says the Lord,
    “and I will destroy its king and officials.
39 But I will restore the fortunes of Elam
    in days to come.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Section 4 of 4

Psalms 26-27

About 4.9 Minutes

Declare me innocent, O Lord,
    for I have acted with integrity;
    I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me.
    Test my motives and my heart.
For I am always aware of your unfailing love,
    and I have lived according to your truth.
I do not spend time with liars
    or go along with hypocrites.
I hate the gatherings of those who do evil,
    and I refuse to join in with the wicked.
I wash my hands to declare my innocence.
    I come to your altar, O Lord,
singing a song of thanksgiving
    and telling of all your wonders.
I love your sanctuary, Lord,
    the place where your glorious presence dwells.

Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners.
    Don’t condemn me along with murderers.
10 Their hands are dirty with evil schemes,
    and they constantly take bribes.
11 But I am not like that; I live with integrity.
    So redeem me and show me mercy.
12 Now I stand on solid ground,
    and I will publicly praise the Lord.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.

The one thing I ask of the Lord
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
    Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on me.
    Do not reject your servant in anger.
    You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
    O God of my salvation!
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
    the Lord will hold me close.

11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
    Lead me along the right path,
    for my enemies are waiting for me.
12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
    For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
    with every breath they threaten me with violence.
13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I am here in the land of the living.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.


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