Thursday, November 14, 2013

Psalm 83

A song, a psalm of Asaph.

O God, do not be silent!
Do not ignore us! Do not be inactive, O God!
For look, your enemies are making a commotion;
those who hate you are hostile.
They carefully plot against your people,
and make plans to harm the ones you cherish.
They say, “Come on, let’s annihilate them so they are no longer a nation!
Then the name of Israel will be remembered no more.”
Yes, they devise a unified strategy;
they form an alliance against you.
It includes the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites,
Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek,
Philistia and the inhabitants of Tyre.
Even Assyria has allied with them,
lending its strength to the descendants of Lot. (Selah)
Do to them as you did to Midian—
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River!
They were destroyed at Endor;
their corpses were like manure on the ground.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
and all their rulers like Zebah and Zalmunna,
who said, “Let’s take over the pastures of God!”
O my God, make them like dead thistles,
like dead weeds blown away by the wind!
Like the fire that burns down the forest,
or the flames that consume the mountainsides,
chase them with your gale winds,
and terrify them with your windstorm.
Cover their faces with shame,
so they might seek you, O Lord.
May they be humiliated and continually terrified!
May they die in shame!
Then they will know that you alone are the Lord,
the sovereign king over all the earth.

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.
He takes me to lush pastures,
he leads me to refreshing water.
He restores my strength.
He leads me down the right paths
for the sake of his reputation.
Even when I must walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff reassure me.
You prepare a feast before me
in plain sight of my enemies.
You refresh my head with oil;
my cup is completely full.
Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days,
and I will live in the Lord’s house for the rest of my life.

Psalm 27

By David.

The Lord delivers and vindicates me!
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!
Even if my father and mother abandoned me,
the Lord would take me in.
Teach me how you want me to live;
lead me along a level path because of those who wait to ambush me!
Do not turn me over to my enemies,
for false witnesses who want to destroy me testify against me.
Where would I be if I did not believe I would experience
the Lord’s favor in the land of the living?
Rely on the Lord!
Be strong and confident!
Rely on the Lord!

Psalm 85

For the music director; written by the Korahites, a psalm.

O Lord, you showed favor to your land;
you restored the well-being of Jacob.
You pardoned the wrongdoing of your people;
you forgave all their sin. (Selah)
You withdrew all your fury;
you turned back from your raging anger.
Restore us, O God our deliverer!
Do not be displeased with us!
Will you stay mad at us forever?
Will you remain angry throughout future generations?
Will you not revive us once more?
Then your people will rejoice in you!
O Lord, show us your loyal love!
Bestow on us your deliverance!
I will listen to what God the Lord says.
For he will make peace with his people, his faithful followers.
Yet they must not return to their foolish ways.
Certainly his loyal followers will soon experience his deliverance;
then his splendor will again appear in our land.
Loyal love and faithfulness meet;
deliverance and peace greet each other with a kiss.
Faithfulness grows from the ground,
and deliverance looks down from the sky.
Yes, the Lord will bestow his good blessings,
and our land will yield its crops.
Deliverance goes before him,
and prepares a pathway for him.

Psalm 86

A prayer of David.

Listen O Lord! Answer me!
For I am oppressed and needy.
Protect me, for I am loyal!
O my God, deliver your servant, who trusts in you!
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for I cry out to you all day long!
Make your servant glad,
for to you, O Lord, I pray!
Certainly O Lord, you are kind and forgiving,
and show great faithfulness to all who cry out to you.
O Lord, hear my prayer!
Pay attention to my plea for mercy!
In my time of trouble I cry out to you,
for you will answer me.
None can compare to you among the gods, O Lord!
Your exploits are incomparable!
All the nations, whom you created,
will come and worship you, O Lord.
They will honor your name.
For you are great and do amazing things.
You alone are God.
O Lord, teach me how you want me to live!
Then I will obey your commands.
Make me wholeheartedly committed to you!
O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks with my whole heart!
I will honor your name continually!
For you will extend your great loyal love to me,
and will deliver my life from the depths of Sheol.
O God, arrogant men attack me;
a gang of ruthless men, who do not respect you, seek my life.
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God.
You are patient and demonstrate great loyal love and faithfulness.
Turn toward me and have mercy on me!
Give your servant your strength!
Deliver your slave!
Show me evidence of your favor!
Then those who hate me will see it and be ashamed,
for you, O Lord, will help me and comfort me.

Revelation 19:1-10

After these things I heard what sounded like the loud voice of a vast throng in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
because his judgments are true and just.
For he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality,
and has avenged the blood of his servants poured out by her own hands!”

Then a second time the crowd shouted, “Hallelujah!” The smoke rises from her forever and ever. The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures threw themselves to the ground and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne, saying: “Amen! Hallelujah!”

Then a voice came from the throne, saying:

“Praise our God
all you his servants,
and all you who fear Him,
both the small and the great!”

The Wedding Celebration of the Lamb

Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a vast throng, like the roar of many waters and like loud crashes of thunder. They were shouting:

“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God, the All-Powerful, reigns!
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him glory,
because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
She was permitted to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen” (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints).

Then the angel said to me, “Write the following: Blessed are those who are invited to the banquet at the wedding celebration of the Lamb!” He also said to me, “These are the true words of God.” So I threw myself down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “Do not do this! I am only a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony about Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Matthew 16:1-12

The Demand for a Sign

Now when the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He said, “When evening comes you say, ‘It will be fair weather, because the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, because the sky is red and darkening.’ You know how to judge correctly the appearance of the sky, but you cannot evaluate the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away.

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

When the disciples went to the other side, they forgot to take bread. “Watch out,” Jesus said to them, “beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” So they began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “It is because we brought no bread.” When Jesus learned of this, he said, “You who have such little faith! Why are you arguing among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand and how many baskets you took up? How could you not understand that I was not speaking to you about bread? But beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!” Then they understood that he had not told them to be on guard against the yeast in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.