March 31, 2018

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 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!

Lamentations 3:37-58

מ (Mem)

Whose command was ever fulfilled
unless the Lord decreed it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes—
both calamity and blessing?
Why should any living person complain
when punished for his sins?

נ (Nun)

Let us carefully examine our ways,
and let us return to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to God in heaven:
“We have blatantly rebelled;
you have not forgiven.”

ס (Samek)

You shrouded yourself with anger and then pursued us;
you killed without mercy.
You shrouded yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can get through.
You make us like filthy scum
in the estimation of the nations.

פ (Pe)

All our enemies have gloated over us;
Panic and pitfall have come upon us,
devastation and destruction.
Streams of tears flow from my eyes
because my people are destroyed.

ע (Ayin)

Tears flow from my eyes and will not stop;
there will be no break
until the Lord looks down from heaven
and sees what has happened.
What my eyes see grieves me—
all the suffering of the daughters in my city.

צ (Tsade)

For no good reason my enemies
hunted me down like a bird.
They shut me up in a pit
and threw stones at me.
The waters closed over my head;
I thought I was about to die.

ק (Qof)

I have called on your name, O Lord,
from the deepest pit.
You heard my plea:
“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief!”
You came near on the day I called to you;
you said, “Do not fear!”

ר (Resh)

O Lord, you championed my cause,
you redeemed my life.

Hebrews 4

Therefore we must be wary that, while the promise of entering his rest remains open, none of you may seem to have come short of it. For we had good news proclaimed to us just as they did. But the message they heard did them no good, since they did not join in with those who heard it in faith. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my anger, ‘They will never enter my rest!’” And yet God’s works were accomplished from the foundation of the world. For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works,” but to repeat the text cited earlier: “They will never enter my rest!” Therefore it remains for some to enter it, yet those to whom it was previously proclaimed did not enter because of disobedience. So God again ordains a certain day, “Today,” speaking through David after so long a time, as in the words quoted before, “O, that today you would listen as he speaks! Do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken afterward about another day. Consequently a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God. For the one who enters God’s rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works. Thus we must make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by following the same pattern of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. And no creature is hidden from God, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.

Romans 8:1-11

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you.