March 3, 2016

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 42

For the music director; a well-written song by the Korahites.

As a deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God!
I thirst for God,
for the living God.
I say, “When will I be able to go and appear in God’s presence?”
I cannot eat, I weep day and night;
all day long they say to me, “Where is your God?”
I will remember and weep!
For I was once walking along with the great throng to the temple of God,
shouting and giving thanks along with the crowd as we celebrated the holy festival.
Why are you depressed, O my soul?
Why are you upset?
Wait for God!
For I will again give thanks
to my God for his saving intervention.
I am depressed,
so I will pray to you while I am trapped here in the region of the upper Jordan,
from Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
One deep stream calls out to another at the sound of your waterfalls;
all your billows and waves overwhelm me.
By day the Lord decrees his loyal love,
and by night he gives me a song,
a prayer to the living God.
I will pray to God, my high ridge:
“Why do you ignore me?
Why must I walk around mourning
because my enemies oppress me?”
My enemies’ taunts cut into me to the bone,
as they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
Why are you depressed, O my soul?
Why are you upset?
Wait for God!
For I will again give thanks
to my God for his saving intervention.

Psalm 43

Vindicate me, O God!
Fight for me against an ungodly nation!
Deliver me from deceitful and evil men!
For you are the God who shelters me.
Why do you reject me?
Why must I walk around mourning
because my enemies oppress me?
Reveal your light and your faithfulness!
They will lead me,
they will escort me back to your holy hill,
and to the place where you live.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
to the God who gives me ecstatic joy,
so that I express my thanks to you, O God, my God, with a harp.
Why are you depressed, O my soul?
Why are you upset?
Wait for God!
For I will again give thanks
to my God for his saving intervention.

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.

Genesis 46:1-7

The Family of Jacob goes to Egypt

So Israel began his journey, taking with him all that he had. When he came to Beer Sheba he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in a vision during the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob!” He replied, “Here I am!” He said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt and I myself will certainly bring you back from there. Joseph will close your eyes.”

Then Jacob started out from Beer Sheba, and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little children, and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent along to transport him. Jacob and all his descendants took their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they went to Egypt. He brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, his daughters and granddaughters—all his descendants.

Genesis 46:28-34

Jacob sent Judah before him to Joseph to accompany him to Goshen. So they came to the land of Goshen. Joseph harnessed his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. When he met him, he hugged his neck and wept on his neck for quite some time.

Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” Then Joseph said to his brothers and his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, ‘My brothers and my father’s household who were in the land of Canaan have come to me. The men are shepherds; they take care of livestock. They have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ Pharaoh will summon you and say, ‘What is your occupation?’ Tell him, ‘Your servants have taken care of cattle from our youth until now, both we and our fathers,’ so that you may live in the land of Goshen, for everyone who takes care of sheep is disgusting to the Egyptians.”

1 Corinthians 9:1-15

The Rights of an Apostle

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you, for you are the confirming sign of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who examine me. Do we not have the right to financial support? Do we not have the right to the company of a believing wife, like the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? Or do only Barnabas and I lack the right not to work? Who ever serves in the army at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Who tends a flock and does not consume its milk? Am I saying these things only on the basis of common sense, or does the law not say this as well? For it is written in the law of Moses, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” God is not concerned here about oxen, is he? Or is he not surely speaking for our benefit? It was written for us, because the one plowing and threshing ought to work in hope of enjoying the harvest. If we sowed spiritual blessings among you, is it too much to reap material things from you? If others receive this right from you, are we not more deserving?

But we have not made use of this right. Instead we endure everything so that we may not be a hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple eat food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar receive a part of the offerings? In the same way the Lord commanded those who proclaim the gospel to receive their living by the gospel. But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing these things so that something will be done for me. In fact, it would be better for me to die than—no one will deprive me of my reason for boasting!

Mark 6:30-46

The Feeding of the Five Thousand

Then the apostles gathered around Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come with me privately to an isolated place and rest a while” (for many were coming and going, and there was no time to eat). So they went away by themselves in a boat to some remote place. But many saw them leaving and recognized them, and they hurried on foot from all the towns and arrived there ahead of them. As Jesus came ashore he saw the large crowd and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he taught them many things.

When it was already late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is an isolated place and it is already very late. Send them away so that they can go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said, “Should we go and buy bread for two hundred silver coins and give it to them to eat?” He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.” Then he directed them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they reclined in groups of hundreds and fifties. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. He gave them to his disciples to serve the people, and he divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces and fish that were left over, twelve baskets full. Now there were five thousand men who ate the bread.

Walking on Water

Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dispersed the crowd. After saying goodbye to them, he went to the mountain to pray.