Friday

August 19, 2022


Section 1 of 4

1 Samuel 11

About 1.8 Minutes

11 About a month later, King Nahash of Ammon led his army against the Israelite town of Jabesh-gilead. But all the citizens of Jabesh asked for peace. “Make a treaty with us, and we will be your servants,” they pleaded.

“All right,” Nahash said, “but only on one condition. I will gouge out the right eye of every one of you as a disgrace to all Israel!”

“Give us seven days to send messengers throughout Israel!” replied the elders of Jabesh. “If no one comes to save us, we will agree to your terms.”

When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the people about their plight, everyone broke into tears. Saul had been plowing a field with his oxen, and when he returned to town, he asked, “What’s the matter? Why is everyone crying?” So they told him about the message from Jabesh.

Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became very angry. He took two oxen and cut them into pieces and sent the messengers to carry them throughout Israel with this message: “This is what will happen to the oxen of anyone who refuses to follow Saul and Samuel into battle!” And the Lord made the people afraid of Saul’s anger, and all of them came out together as one. When Saul mobilized them at Bezek, he found that there were 300,000 men from Israel and 30,000 men from Judah.

So Saul sent the messengers back to Jabesh-gilead to say, “We will rescue you by noontime tomorrow!” There was great joy throughout the town when that message arrived!

10 The men of Jabesh then told their enemies, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you can do to us whatever you wish.” 11 But before dawn the next morning, Saul arrived, having divided his army into three detachments. He launched a surprise attack against the Ammonites and slaughtered them the whole morning. The remnant of their army was so badly scattered that no two of them were left together.

12 Then the people exclaimed to Samuel, “Now where are those men who said, ‘Why should Saul rule over us?’ Bring them here, and we will kill them!”

13 But Saul replied, “No one will be executed today, for today the Lord has rescued Israel!”

14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us all go to Gilgal to renew the kingdom.” 15 So they all went to Gilgal, and in a solemn ceremony before the Lord they made Saul king. Then they offered peace offerings to the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites were filled with joy.


Section 2 of 4

Romans 9

About 4.3 Minutes

With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

Well then, has God failed to fulfill his promise to Israel? No, for not all who are born into the nation of Israel are truly members of God’s people! Being descendants of Abraham doesn’t make them truly Abraham’s children. For the Scriptures say, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted,” though Abraham had other children, too. This means that Abraham’s physical descendants are not necessarily children of God. Only the children of the promise are considered to be Abraham’s children. For God had promised, “I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

10 This son was our ancestor Isaac. When he married Rebekah, she gave birth to twins. 11 But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; 12 he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.” 13 In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.”

14 Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! 15 For God said to Moses,

“I will show mercy to anyone I choose,
    and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”

16 So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.

17 For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” 18 So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen.

19 Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?”

20 No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? 22 In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. 23 He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory. 24 And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles.

25 Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea,

“Those who were not my people,
    I will now call my people.
And I will love those
    whom I did not love before.”

26 And,

“Then, at the place where they were told,
    ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called
    ‘children of the living God.’”

27 And concerning Israel, Isaiah the prophet cried out,

“Though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore,
    only a remnant will be saved.
28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth
    quickly and with finality.”

29 And Isaiah said the same thing in another place:

“If the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    had not spared a few of our children,
we would have been wiped out like Sodom,
    destroyed like Gomorrah.”

30 What does all this mean? Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place. 31 But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded. 32 Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. 33 God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said,

“I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble,
    a rock that makes them fall.
But anyone who trusts in him
    will never be disgraced.”


Section 3 of 4

Jeremiah 48

About 9.2 Minutes

48 This message was given concerning Moab. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says:

“What sorrow awaits the city of Nebo;
    it will soon lie in ruins.
The city of Kiriathaim will be humiliated and captured;
    the fortress will be humiliated and broken down.
No one will ever brag about Moab again,
    for in Heshbon there is a plot to destroy her.
‘Come,’ they say, ‘we will cut her off from being a nation.’
    The town of Madmen, too, will be silenced;
    the sword will follow you there.
Listen to the cries from Horonaim,
    cries of devastation and great destruction.
All Moab is destroyed.
    Her little ones will cry out.
Her refugees weep bitterly,
    climbing the slope to Luhith.
They cry out in terror,
    descending the slope to Horonaim.
Flee for your lives!
    Hide in the wilderness!
Because you have trusted in your wealth and skill,
    you will be taken captive.
Your god Chemosh, with his priests and officials,
    will be hauled off to distant lands!

“All the towns will be destroyed,
    and no one will escape—
either on the plateaus or in the valleys,
    for the Lord has spoken.
Oh, that Moab had wings
    so she could fly away,
for her towns will be left empty,
    with no one living in them.
10 Cursed are those who refuse to do the Lord’s work,
    who hold back their swords from shedding blood!

11 “From his earliest history, Moab has lived in peace,
    never going into exile.
He is like wine that has been allowed to settle.
    He has not been poured from flask to flask,
    and he is now fragrant and smooth.
12 But the time is coming soon,” says the Lord,
    “when I will send men to pour him from his jar.
They will pour him out,
    then shatter the jar!
13 At last Moab will be ashamed of his idol Chemosh,
    as the people of Israel were ashamed of their gold calf at Bethel.

14 “You used to boast, ‘We are heroes,
    mighty men of war.’
15 But now Moab and his towns will be destroyed.
    His most promising youth are doomed to slaughter,”
    says the King, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
16 “Destruction is coming fast for Moab;
    calamity threatens ominously.
17 You friends of Moab,
    weep for him and cry!
See how the strong scepter is broken,
    how the beautiful staff is shattered!

18 “Come down from your glory
    and sit in the dust, you people of Dibon,
for those who destroy Moab will shatter Dibon, too.
    They will tear down all your towers.
19 You people of Aroer,
    stand beside the road and watch.
Shout to those who flee from Moab,
    ‘What has happened there?’

20 “And the reply comes back,
‘Moab lies in ruins, disgraced;
    weep and wail!
Tell it by the banks of the Arnon River:
    Moab has been destroyed!’
21 Judgment has been poured out on the towns of the plateau—
    on Holon and Jahaz and Mephaath,
22 on Dibon and Nebo and Beth-diblathaim,
23     on Kiriathaim and Beth-gamul and Beth-meon,
24 on Kerioth and Bozrah—
    all the towns of Moab, far and near.

25 “The strength of Moab has ended.
    His arm has been broken,” says the Lord.
26 “Let him stagger and fall like a drunkard,
    for he has rebelled against the Lord.
Moab will wallow in his own vomit,
    ridiculed by all.
27 Did you not ridicule the people of Israel?
    Were they caught in the company of thieves
    that you should despise them as you do?

28 “You people of Moab,
    flee from your towns and live in the caves.
Hide like doves that nest
    in the clefts of the rocks.
29 We have all heard of the pride of Moab,
    for his pride is very great.
We know of his lofty pride,
    his arrogance, and his haughty heart.
30 I know about his insolence,”
    says the Lord,
“but his boasts are empty—
    as empty as his deeds.
31 So now I wail for Moab;
    yes, I will mourn for Moab.
    My heart is broken for the men of Kir-hareseth.

32 “You people of Sibmah, rich in vineyards,
    I will weep for you even more than I did for Jazer.
Your spreading vines once reached as far as the Dead Sea,
    but the destroyer has stripped you bare!
    He has harvested your grapes and summer fruits.
33 Joy and gladness are gone from fruitful Moab.
    The presses yield no wine.
No one treads the grapes with shouts of joy.
    There is shouting, yes, but not of joy.

34 “Instead, their awful cries of terror can be heard from Heshbon clear across to Elealeh and Jahaz; from Zoar all the way to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up now.

35 “I will put an end to Moab,” says the Lord, “for the people offer sacrifices at the pagan shrines and burn incense to their false gods. 36 My heart moans like a flute for Moab and Kir-hareseth, for all their wealth has disappeared. 37 The people shave their heads and beards in mourning. They slash their hands and put on clothes made of burlap. 38 There is crying and sorrow in every Moabite home and on every street. For I have smashed Moab like an old, unwanted jar. 39 How it is shattered! Hear the wailing! See the shame of Moab! It has become an object of ridicule, an example of ruin to all its neighbors.”

40 This is what the Lord says:

“Look! The enemy swoops down like an eagle,
    spreading his wings over Moab.
41 Its cities will fall,
    and its strongholds will be seized.
Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish
    like a woman in labor.
42 Moab will no longer be a nation,
    for it has boasted against the Lord.

43 “Terror and traps and snares will be your lot,
    O Moab,” says the Lord.
44 “Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap,
    and those who escape the trap will step into a snare.
I will see to it that you do not get away,
    for the time of your judgment has come,”
    says the Lord.
45 “The people flee as far as Heshbon
    but are unable to go on.
For a fire comes from Heshbon,
    King Sihon’s ancient home,
to devour the entire land
    with all its rebellious people.

46 “What sorrow awaits you, O people of Moab!
    The people of the god Chemosh are destroyed!
Your sons and your daughters
    have been taken away as captives.
47 But I will restore the fortunes of Moab
    in days to come.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

This is the end of Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning Moab.


Section 4 of 4

Psalms 25

About 3.2 Minutes

O Lord, I give my life to you.
    I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
    or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
    but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Show me the right path, O Lord;
    point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
    which you have shown from long ages past.
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.

The Lord is good and does what is right;
    he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
He leads the humble in doing right,
    teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,
    forgive my many, many sins.
12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
    He will show them the path they should choose.
13 They will live in prosperity,
    and their children will inherit the land.
14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
    He teaches them his covenant.
15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
    for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

16 Turn to me and have mercy,
    for I am alone and in deep distress.
17 My problems go from bad to worse.
    Oh, save me from them all!
18 Feel my pain and see my trouble.
    Forgive all my sins.
19 See how many enemies I have
    and how viciously they hate me!
20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
    Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
21 May integrity and honesty protect me,
    for I put my hope in you.

22 O God, ransom Israel
    from all its troubles.

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