Through The Bible Tuesday 05-15-18 Devotions
David’s Song of Praise
22 David sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. 2 He sang:
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
3 my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
He is my refuge, my savior,
the one who saves me from violence.
4 I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.
5 “The waves of death overwhelmed me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
6 The grave[a] wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
7 But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I cried to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry reached his ears.
8 “Then the earth quaked and trembled.
The foundations of the heavens shook;
they quaked because of his anger.
9 Smoke poured from his nostrils;
fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
10 He opened the heavens and came down;
dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
11 Mounted on a mighty angelic being,[b] he flew,
soaring[c] on the wings of the wind.
12 He shrouded himself in darkness,
veiling his approach with dense rain clouds.
13 A great brightness shone around him,
and burning coals[d] blazed forth.
14 The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot arrows and scattered his enemies;
his lightning flashed, and they were confused.
16 Then at the command of the Lord,
at the blast of his breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.
17 “He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
19 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the Lord supported me.
20 He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.
21 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
he restored me because of my innocence.
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
23 I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
24 I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
25 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.
26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.
27 To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
28 You rescue the humble,
but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them.
29 O Lord, you are my lamp.
The Lord lights up my darkness.
30 In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.
31 “God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
32 For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
33 God is my strong fortress,
and he makes my way perfect.
34 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
36 You have given me your shield of victory;
your help[e] has made me great.
37 You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.
38 “I chased my enemies and destroyed them;
I did not stop until they were conquered.
39 I consumed them;
I struck them down so they did not get up;
they fell beneath my feet.
40 You have armed me with strength for the battle;
you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
41 You placed my foot on their necks.
I have destroyed all who hated me.
42 They looked for help, but no one came to their rescue.
They even cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer.
43 I ground them as fine as the dust of the earth;
I trampled them[f] in the gutter like dirt.
44 “You gave me victory over my accusers.
You preserved me as the ruler over nations;
people I don’t even know now serve me.
45 Foreign nations cringe before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they submit.
46 They all lose their courage
and come trembling[g] from their strongholds.
47 “The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted!
48 He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
he brings down the nations under me
49 and delivers me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
you save me from violent opponents.
50 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
I will sing praises to your name.
51 You give great victories to your king;
you show unfailing love to your anointed,
to David and all his descendants forever.”
David’s Last Words
23 These are the last words of David:
“David, the son of Jesse, speaks—
David, the man who was raised up so high,
David, the man anointed by the God of Jacob,
David, the sweet psalmist of Israel.[h] 2 “The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me;
his words are upon my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke.
The Rock of Israel said to me:
‘The one who rules righteously,
who rules in the fear of God,
4 is like the light of morning at sunrise,
like a morning without clouds,
like the gleaming of the sun
on new grass after rain.’
5 “Is it not my family God has chosen?
Yes, he has made an everlasting covenant with me.
His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail.
He will ensure my safety and success.
6 But the godless are like thorns to be thrown away,
for they tear the hand that touches them.
7 One must use iron tools to chop them down;
they will be totally consumed by fire.”
David’s Mightiest Warriors
8 These are the names of David’s mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite,[i] who was leader of the Three[j]—the three mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle.[k]
9 Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. 10 He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder!
11 Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, 12 but Shammah[l] held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.
13 Once during the harvest, when David was at the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there. 14 David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem.
15 David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” 16 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. 17 “The Lord forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men[m] who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three.
David’s Thirty Mighty Men
18 Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty.[n] He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three. 19 Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty[o] and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three.
20 There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warriorfrom Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions[q] of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. 21 Once, armed only with a club, he killed an imposing Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. 22 Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the Three mightiest warriors. 23 He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard.
24 Other members of the Thirty included:
Asahel, Joab’s brother;
Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem;
25 Shammah from Harod;
Elika from Harod;
26 Helez from Pelon[r];
Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa;
27 Abiezer from Anathoth;
Sibbecai[s] from Hushah;
28 Zalmon from Ahoah;
Maharai from Netophah;
29 Heled[t] son of Baanah from Netophah;
Ithai[u] son of Ribai from Gibeah (in the land of Benjamin);
30 Benaiah from Pirathon;
Hurai[v] from Nahale-gaash[w];
31 Abi-albon from Arabah;
Azmaveth from Bahurim;
32 Eliahba from Shaalbon;
the sons of Jashen;
Jonathan 33 son of Shagee[x] from Harar;
Ahiam son of Sharar from Harar;
34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai from Maacah;
Eliam son of Ahithophel from Giloh;
35 Hezro from Carmel;
Paarai from Arba;
36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah;
Bani from Gad;
37 Zelek from Ammon;
Naharai from Beeroth, the armor bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah;
38 Ira from Jattir;
Gareb from Jattir;
39 Uriah the Hittite.
There were thirty-seven in all.
David Takes a Census
24 Once again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he caused David to harm them by taking a census. “Go and count the people of Israel and Judah,” the Lord told him.
2 So the king said to Joab and the commanders[y] of the army, “Take a census of all the tribes of Israel—from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south—so I may know how many people there are.”
3 But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God let you live to see a hundred times as many people as there are now! But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this?”
4 But the king insisted that they take the census, so Joab and the commanders of the army went out to count the people of Israel. 5 First they crossed the Jordan and camped at Aroer, south of the town in the valley, in the direction of Gad. Then they went on to Jazer, 6 then to Gilead in the land of Tahtim-hodshi[z] and to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon. 7 Then they came to the fortress of Tyre, and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went south to Judah[aa] as far as Beersheba.
8 Having gone through the entire land for nine months and twenty days, they returned to Jerusalem. 9 Joab reported the number of people to the king. There were 800,000 capable warriors in Israel who could handle a sword, and 500,000 in Judah.
Judgment for David’s Sin
10 But after he had taken the census, David’s conscience began to bother him. And he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt, Lord, for doing this foolish thing.”
11 The next morning the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, who was David’s seer. This was the message: 12 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.’”
13 So Gad came to David and asked him, “Will you choose three[ab] years of famine throughout your land, three months of fleeing from your enemies, or three days of severe plague throughout your land? Think this over and decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.”
14 “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.”
15 So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel that morning, and it lasted for three days.[ac] A total of 70,000 people died throughout the nation, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south. 16 But as the angel was preparing to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” At that moment the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 When David saw the angel, he said to the Lord, “I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? Let your anger fall against me and my family.”
David Builds an Altar
18 That day Gad came to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.”
19 So David went up to do what the Lord had commanded him. 20 When Araunah saw the king and his men coming toward him, he came and bowed before the king with his face to the ground. 21 “Why have you come, my lord the king?” Araunah asked.
David replied, “I have come to buy your threshing floor and to build an altar to the Lord there, so that he will stop the plague.”
22 “Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David. “Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and you can use the threshing boards and ox yokes for wood to build a fire on the altar. 23 I will give it all to you, Your Majesty, and may the Lord your God accept your sacrifice.”
24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” So David paid him fifty pieces of silver[ad] for the threshing floor and the oxen.
25 David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the Lord answered his prayer for the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.
22:6 Hebrew Sheol.
22:11a Hebrew a cherub.
22:11b As in some Hebrew manuscripts (see also Ps 18:10); other Hebrew manuscripts read appearing.
22:13 Or and lightning bolts.
22:36 As in Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text reads your answering.
22:43 As in Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Ps 18:42); Masoretic Text reads I crushed and trampled them.
22:46 As in parallel text at Ps 18:45; Hebrew reads come girding themselves.
23:1 Or the favorite subject of the songs of Israel; or the favorite of the Strong One of Israel.
23:8a As in parallel text at 1 Chr 11:11; Hebrew reads Josheb-basshebeth the Tahkemonite.
23:8b As in Greek and Latin versions (see also 1 Chr 11:11); the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
23:8c As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 1 Chr 11:11); the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain, though it might be rendered the Three. It was Adino the Eznite who killed 800 men at one time.
23:12 Hebrew he.
23:17 Hebrew Shall I drink the blood of these men?
23:18 As in a few Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac version; most Hebrew manuscripts read the Three.
23:19 As in Syriac version; Hebrew reads the Three.
23:20a Or son of Jehoiada, son of Ish-hai.
23:20b Hebrew two of Ariel.
23:26 As in parallel text at 1 Chr 11:27 (see also 1 Chr 27:10); Hebrew reads from Palti.
23:27 As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 1 Chr 11:29); Hebrew reads Mebunnai.
23:29a As in some Hebrew manuscripts (see also 1 Chr 11:30); most Hebrew manuscripts read Heleb.
23:29b As in parallel text at 1 Chr 11:31; Hebrew reads Ittai.
23:30a As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 1 Chr 11:32); Hebrew reads Hiddai.
23:30b Or from the ravines of Gaash.
23:33 As in parallel text at 1 Chr 11:34; Hebrew reads Jonathan, Shammah; some Greek manuscripts read Jonathan son of Shammah.
24:2 As in Greek version (see also 24:4 and 1 Chr 21:2); Hebrew reads Joab the commander.
24:6 Greek version reads to Gilead and to Kadesh in the land of the Hittites.
24:7 Or they went to the Negev of Judah.
24:13 As in Greek version (see also 1 Chr 21:12); Hebrew reads seven.
24:15 Hebrew for the designated time.
24:24 Hebrew 50 shekels of silver, about 20 ounces or 570 grams in weight.
A psalm[a] of Ethan the Ezrahite.
1 I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever!
Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.
2 Your unfailing love will last forever.
Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.
3 The Lord said, “I have made a covenant with David, my chosen servant.
I have sworn this oath to him:
4 ‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever;
they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.’” Interlude
5 All heaven will praise your great wonders, Lord;
myriads of angels will praise you for your faithfulness.
6 For who in all of heaven can compare with the Lord?
What mightiest angel is anything like the Lord?
7 The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God.
He is far more awesome than all who surround his throne.
8 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies!
Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord?
You are entirely faithful.
9 You rule the oceans.
You subdue their storm-tossed waves.
10 You crushed the great sea monster.[b] You scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours;
everything in the world is yours—you created it all.
12 You created north and south.
Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon praise your name.
13 Powerful is your arm!
Strong is your hand!
Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne.
Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.
15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship,
for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
16 They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation.
They exult in your righteousness.
17 You are their glorious strength.
It pleases you to make us strong.
18 Yes, our protection comes from the Lord,
and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king.
89:Title Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
89:10 Hebrew Rahab, the name of a mythical sea monster that represents chaos in ancient literature.
8 Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen.
Persecution Scatters the Believers
A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. 2 (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) 3 But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.
Philip Preaches in Samaria
4 But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. 5 Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah. 6 Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. 7 Many evil[a] spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.
9 A man named Simon had been a sorcerer there for many years, amazing the people of Samaria and claiming to be someone great. 10 Everyone, from the least to the greatest, often spoke of him as “the Great One—the Power of God.” 11 They listened closely to him because for a long time he had astounded them with his magic.
12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the signs and great miracles Philip performed.
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. 15 As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. 16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. 19 “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!”
20 But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! 21 You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God. 22 Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, 23 for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.”
24 “Pray to the Lord for me,” Simon exclaimed, “that these terrible things you’ve said won’t happen to me!”
25 After testifying and preaching the word of the Lord in Samaria, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem. And they stopped in many Samaritan villages along the way to preach the Good News.
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
26 As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south[b] down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.
29 The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”
30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.
32 The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter.
And as a lamb is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
33 He was humiliated and received no justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”[c] 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” 35 So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.
36 As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?”[d] 38 He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Meanwhile, Philip found himself farther north at the town of Azotus. He preached the Good News there and in every town along the way until he came to Caesarea.
8:7 Greek unclean.
8:26 Or Go at noon.
8:32-33 Isa 53:7-8 (Greek version).
8:36 Some manuscripts add verse 37, “You can,” Philip answered, “if you believe with all your heart.” And the eunuch replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
How long will you look the other way?
2 How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
3 Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
4 Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
6 I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018