for March 30, 2017
For the music leader. According to “The Lilies.” Of David.
69 Save me, God,
because the waters have reached my neck!
2 I have sunk into deep mud.
My feet can’t touch the bottom!
I have entered deep water;
the flood has swept me up.
3 I am tired of crying.
My throat is hoarse.
My eyes are exhausted with waiting for my God.
4 More numerous than the hairs on my head
are those who hate me for no reason.
My treacherous enemies,
those who would destroy me, are countless.
Must I now give back
what I didn’t steal in the first place?
5 God, you know my foolishness;
my wrongdoings aren’t hidden from you.
6 Lord God of heavenly forces!—
don’t let those who hope in you
be put to shame because of me.
God of Israel!—
don’t let those who seek you
be disgraced because of me.
7 I am insulted because of you.
Shame covers my face.
8 I have become a stranger to my own brothers,
an immigrant to my mother’s children.
9 Because passion for your house has consumed me,
the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me!
10 I wept while I fasted—
even for that I was insulted.
11 When I wore funeral clothes,
people made fun of me.
12 Those who sit at the city gate muttered things about me;
drunkards made up rude songs.
13 But me? My prayer reaches you, Lord,
at just the right time.
God, in your great and faithful love,
answer me with your certain salvation!
14 Save me from the mud!
Don’t let me drown!
Let me be saved from those who hate me
and from these watery depths!
15 Don’t let me be swept away by the floodwaters!
Don’t let the abyss swallow me up!
Don’t let the pit close its mouth over me!
16 Answer me, Lord, for your faithful love is good!
Turn to me in your great compassion!
17 Don’t hide your face from me, your servant,
because I’m in deep trouble.
Answer me quickly!
18 Come close to me!
Save me because of my enemies!
19 You know full well the insults I’ve received;
you know my shame and my disgrace.
All my adversaries are right there in front of you.
20 Insults have broken my heart.
I’m sick about it.
I hoped for sympathy,
but there wasn’t any;
I hoped for comforters,
but couldn’t find any.
21 They gave me poison for food.
To quench my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22 Let the table before them become a trap,
their offerings a snare.
23 Let their eyes grow too dim to see;
make their insides tremble constantly.
24 Pour out your anger on them—
let your burning fury catch them.
25 Let their camp be devastated;
let no one dwell in their tents.
26 Because they go after those you’ve already struck;
they talk about the pain of those you’ve already pierced.
27 Pile guilt on top of their guilt!
Don’t let them come into your righteousness!
28 Let them be wiped out of the scroll of life!
Let them not be recorded along with the righteous!
29 And me? I’m afflicted.
I’m full of pain.
Let your salvation keep me safe, God!
30 I will praise God’s name with song;
I will magnify him with thanks
31 because that is more pleasing to the Lord than an ox,
more pleasing than a young bull with full horns and hooves.
32 Let the afflicted see it and be glad!
You who seek God—
let your hearts beat strong again
33 because the Lord listens to the needy
and doesn’t despise his captives.
34 Let heaven and earth praise God,
the oceans too, and all that moves within them!
35 God will most certainly save Zion
and will rebuild Judah’s cities
so that God’s servants can live there and possess it.
36 The offspring of God’s servants will inherit Zion,
and those who love God’s name will dwell there.
A psalm of Asaph.
73 Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are have a pure heart.
2 But me? My feet had almost stumbled;
my steps had nearly slipped
3 because I envied the arrogant;
I observed how the wicked are well off:
4 They suffer no pain;
their bodies are fit and strong.
5 They are never in trouble;
they aren’t weighed down like other people.
6 That’s why they wear arrogance like a necklace,
why violence covers them like clothes.
7 Their eyes bulge out from eating so well;
their hearts overflow with delusions.
8 They scoff and talk so cruel;
from their privileged positions
they plan oppression.
9 Their mouths dare to speak against heaven!
Their tongues roam the earth!
10 That’s why people keep going back to them,
keep approving what they say.
11 And what they say is this: “How could God possibly know!
Does the Most High know anything at all!”
12 Look at these wicked ones,
always relaxed, piling up the wealth!
13 Meanwhile, I’ve kept my heart pure for no good reason;
I’ve washed my hands to stay innocent for nothing.
14 I’m weighed down all day long.
I’m punished every morning.
15 If I said, “I will talk about all this,”
I would have been unfaithful to your children.
16 But when I tried to understand these things,
it just seemed like hard work
17 until I entered God’s sanctuary
and understood what would happen to the wicked.
18 You will definitely put them on a slippery path;
you will make them fall into ruin!
19 How quickly they are devastated,
utterly destroyed by terrors!
20 As quickly as a dream departs from someone waking up, my Lord,
when you are stirred up, you make them disappear.
21 When my heart was bitter,
when I was all cut up inside,
22 I was stupid and ignorant.
I acted like nothing but an animal toward you.
23 But I was still always with you!
You held my strong hand!
24 You have guided me with your advice;
later you will receive me with glory.
25 Do I have anyone else in heaven?
There’s nothing on earth I desire except you.
26 My body and my heart fail,
but God is my heart’s rock and my share forever.
27 Look! Those far from you die;
you annihilate all those who are unfaithful to you.
28 But me? It’s good for me to be near God.
I have taken my refuge in you, my Lord God,
so I can talk all about your works!
13 How terrible for Jehoiakim, who builds his house with corruption
and his upper chambers with injustice,
working his countrymen for nothing,
refusing to give them their wages.
14 He says, “I’ll build myself a grand palace,
with huge upper chambers,
and rich red decor.”
15 Is this what makes you a king,
having more cedar than anyone else?
Didn’t your father eat and drink
and still do what was just and right?
Then it went well for him!
16 He defended the rights of the poor and needy;
then it went well.
Isn’t that what it means to know me?
declares the Lord.
17 But you set your eyes and heart
on nothing but unjust gain;
you spill the blood of the innocent;
you practice cruelty;
you oppress your subjects.
18 Therefore, this is what the Lord says to Jehoiakim son of Judah’s King Josiah:
They won’t grieve for him, saying, “My brother, my sister!”
They won’t grieve for him, saying, “My master, my majesty!”
19 They will give him a donkey’s burial,
dragging him outside the gates of Jerusalem
and dumping him there.
20 Go up to Lebanon and cry out,
lift up your voice in Bashan,
cry out from Abarim,
because all your lovers have been ravished.
21 I spoke to you when you felt safe and secure,
but you said, “I won’t listen.”
You have been that way since your youth:
not listening to a word I say.
22 Your shepherds will be tossed to the wind,
your lovers taken off to exile.
Then you will be embarrassed and humiliated
by all your wickedness.
23 You who live in Lebanon,
nestled in cedar,
who will pity you
when you are overcome in pain,
like that of childbirth?
12 So then, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it isn’t an obligation to ourselves to live our lives on the basis of selfishness. 13 If you live on the basis of selfishness, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the actions of the body, you will live. 14 All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons and daughters. 15 You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The same Spirit agrees with our spirit, that we are God’s children. 17 But if we are children, we are also heirs. We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ, if we really suffer with him so that we can also be glorified with him.
18 I believe that the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters. 20 Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice—it was the choice of the one who subjected it—but in the hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering labor pains up until now. 23 And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free. 24 We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? 25 But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.
26 In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. 27 The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will.
41 The Jewish opposition grumbled about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
42 They asked, “Isn’t this Jesus, Joseph’s son, whose mother and father we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
43 Jesus responded, “Don’t grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless they are drawn to me by the Father who sent me, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God. He has seen the Father. 47 I assure you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that whoever eats from it will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”