March 4, 2016

Psalm 95

Come! Let’s sing for joy to the Lord!
Let’s shout out praises to our protector who delivers us!
Let’s enter his presence with thanksgiving!
Let’s shout out to him in celebration!
For the Lord is a great God,
a great king who is superior to all gods.
The depths of the earth are in his hand,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land.
Come! Let’s bow down and worship!
Let’s kneel before the Lord, our Creator!
For he is our God;
we are the people of his pasture,
the sheep he owns.
Today, if only you would obey him!
He says, “Do not be stubborn like they were at Meribah,
like they were that day at Massah in the wilderness,
where your ancestors challenged my authority,
and tried my patience, even though they had seen my work.
For forty years I was continually disgusted with that generation,
and I said, ‘These people desire to go astray;
they do not obey my commands.’
So I made a vow in my anger,
‘They will never enter into the resting place I had set aside for them.’”

Psalm 88

A song, a psalm written by the Korahites; for the music director; according to the machalath-leannoth style; a well-written song by Heman the Ezrachite.

O Lord God who delivers me!
By day I cry out
and at night I pray before you.
Listen to my prayer!
Pay attention to my cry for help!
For my life is filled with troubles
and I am ready to enter Sheol.
They treat me like those who descend into the grave.
I am like a helpless man,
adrift among the dead,
like corpses lying in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
and who are cut off from your power.
You place me in the lowest regions of the Pit,
in the dark places, in the watery depths.
Your anger bears down on me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves. (Selah)
You cause those who know me to keep their distance;
you make me an appalling sight to them.
I am trapped and cannot get free.
My eyes grow weak because of oppression.
I call out to you, O Lord, all day long;
I spread out my hands in prayer to you.
Do you accomplish amazing things for the dead?
Do the departed spirits rise up and give you thanks? (Selah)
Is your loyal love proclaimed in the grave,
or your faithfulness in the place of the dead?
Are your amazing deeds experienced in the dark region,
or your deliverance in the land of oblivion?
As for me, I cry out to you, O Lord;
in the morning my prayer confronts you.
O Lord, why do you reject me,
and pay no attention to me?
I am oppressed and have been on the verge of death since my youth.
I have been subjected to your horrors and am numb with pain.
Your anger overwhelms me;
your terrors destroy me.
They surround me like water all day long;
they join forces and encircle me.
You cause my friends and neighbors to keep their distance;
those who know me leave me alone in the darkness.

Psalm 91

As for you, the one who lives in the shelter of the sovereign One,
and resides in the protective shadow of the mighty king—
I say this about the Lord, my shelter and my stronghold,
my God in whom I trust—
he will certainly rescue you from the snare of the hunter
and from the destructive plague.
He will shelter you with his wings;
you will find safety under his wings.
His faithfulness is like a shield or a protective wall.
You need not fear the terrors of the night,
the arrow that flies by day,
the plague that comes in the darkness,
or the disease that comes at noon.
Though a thousand may fall beside you,
and a multitude on your right side,
it will not reach you.
Certainly you will see it with your very own eyes—
you will see the wicked paid back.
For you have taken refuge in the Lord,
my shelter, the sovereign One.
No harm will overtake you;
no illness will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
to protect you in all you do.
They will lift you up in their hands,
so you will not slip and fall on a stone.
You will subdue a lion and a snake;
you will trample underfoot a young lion and a serpent.
The Lord says,
“Because he is devoted to me, I will deliver him;
I will protect him because he is loyal to me.
When he calls out to me, I will answer him.
I will be with him when he is in trouble;
I will rescue him and bring him honor.
I will satisfy him with long life,
and will let him see my salvation.

Psalm 92

A psalm; a song for the Sabbath day.

It is fitting to thank the Lord,
and to sing praises to your name, O sovereign One!
It is fitting to proclaim your loyal love in the morning,
and your faithfulness during the night,
to the accompaniment of a ten-stringed instrument and a lyre,
to the accompaniment of the meditative tone of the harp.
For you, O Lord, have made me happy by your work.
I will sing for joy because of what you have done.
How great are your works, O Lord!
Your plans are very intricate!
The spiritually insensitive do not recognize this;
the fool does not understand this.
When the wicked sprout up like grass,
and all the evildoers glisten,
it is so that they may be annihilated.
But you, O Lord, reign forever!
Indeed, look at your enemies, O Lord!
Indeed, look at how your enemies perish!
All the evildoers are scattered!
You exalt my horn like that of a wild ox.
I am covered with fresh oil.
I gloat in triumph over those who tried to ambush me;
I hear the defeated cries of the evil foes who attacked me.
The godly grow like a palm tree;
they grow high like a cedar in Lebanon.
Planted in the Lord’s house,
they grow in the courts of our God.
They bear fruit even when they are old;
they are filled with vitality and have many leaves.
So they proclaim that the Lord, my protector,
is just and never unfair.

Genesis 47:1-26

Joseph’s Wise Administration

Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father, my brothers, their flocks and herds, and all that they own have arrived from the land of

Canaan. They are now in the land of Goshen.” He took five of his brothers and introduced them to Pharaoh.

Pharaoh said to Joseph’s brothers, “What is your occupation?” They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants take care of flocks, just as our ancestors did.” Then they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to live as temporary residents in the land. There is no pasture for your servants’ flocks because the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. So now, please let your servants live in the land of Goshen.”

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best region of the land. They may live in the land of Goshen. If you know of any highly capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.”

Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and presented him before Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How long have you lived?” Jacob said to Pharaoh, “All the years of my travels are 130. All the years of my life have been few and painful; the years of my travels are not as long as those of my ancestors.” Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence.

So Joseph settled his father and his brothers. He gave them territory in the land of Egypt, in the best region of the land, the land of Rameses, just as Pharaoh had commanded. Joseph also provided food for his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household, according to the number of their little children.

But there was no food in all the land because the famine was very severe; the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan wasted away because of the famine. Joseph collected all the money that could be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan as payment for the grain they were buying. Then Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s palace. When the money from the lands of Egypt and Canaan was used up, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food! Why should we die before your very eyes because our money has run out?”

Then Joseph said, “If your money is gone, bring your livestock, and I will give you food in exchange for your livestock.” So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for their horses, the livestock of their flocks and herds, and their donkeys. He got them through that year by giving them food in exchange for livestock.

When that year was over, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We cannot hide from our lord that the money is used up and the livestock and the animals belong to our lord. Nothing remains before our lord except our bodies and our land. Why should we die before your very eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we, with our land, will become Pharaoh’s slaves. Give us seed that we may live and not die. Then the land will not become desolate.”

So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. Each of the Egyptians sold his field, for the famine was severe. So the land became Pharaoh’s. Joseph made all the people slaves from one end of Egypt’s border to the other end of it. But he did not purchase the land of the priests because the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh and they ate from their allotment that Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

Joseph said to the people, “Since I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you. Cultivate the land. When you gather in the crop, give one-fifth of it to Pharaoh, and the rest will be yours for seed for the fields and for you to eat, including those in your households and your little children.” They replied, “You have saved our lives! You are showing us favor, and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.”

So Joseph made it a statute, which is in effect to this day throughout the land of Egypt: One-fifth belongs to Pharaoh. Only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s.

1 Corinthians 9:16-27

For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason for boasting, because I am compelled to do this. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward. But if I do it unwillingly, I am entrusted with a responsibility. What then is my reward? That when I preach the gospel I may offer the gospel free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights in the gospel.

For since I am free from all I can make myself a slave to all, in order to gain even more people. To the Jews I became like a Jew to gain the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) to gain those under the law. To those free from the law I became like one free from the law (though I am not free from God’s law but under the law of Christ) to gain those free from the law. To the weak I became weak in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some.

I do all these things because of the gospel, so that I can be a participant in it.

Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So run to win. Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.

So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air. Instead I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified.

Mark 6:47-56

When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea and he was alone on the land. He saw them straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. As the night was ending, he came to them walking on the sea, for he wanted to pass by them. When they saw him walking on the water they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them: “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Then he went up with them into the boat, and the wind ceased. They were completely astonished, because they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

Healing the Sick

After they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and anchored there. As they got out of the boat, people immediately recognized Jesus. They ran through that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever he was rumored to be. And wherever he would go—into villages, towns, or countryside—they would place the sick in the marketplaces, and would ask him if they could just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.