for July 23, 2017
A psalm of David, when he was in the Judean desert.
63 God! My God! It’s you—
I search for you!
My whole being thirsts for you!
My body desires you
in a dry and tired land,
no water anywhere.
2 Yes, I’ve seen you in the sanctuary;
I’ve seen your power and glory.
3 My lips praise you
because your faithful love
is better than life itself!
4 So I will bless you as long as I’m alive;
I will lift up my hands in your name.
5 I’m fully satisfied—
as with a rich dinner.
My mouth speaks praise with joy on my lips—
6 whenever I ponder you on my bed,
whenever I meditate on you
in the middle of the night—
7 because you’ve been a help to me and I shout for joy in the protection of your wings.
8 My whole being clings to you;
your strong hand upholds me.
9 But what about those people who want to destroy me?
Let them go into the bowels of the earth!
10 Let their blood flow by the sword!
Let them be food for wild jackals!
11 But the king should rejoice in God;
everyone who swears by God should give praise
when the mouths of liars are shut for good.
98 Sing to the Lord a new song
because he has done wonderful things!
His own strong hand and his own holy arm
have won the victory!
2 The Lord has made his salvation widely known;
he has revealed his righteousness
in the eyes of all the nations.
3 God has remembered his loyal love
and faithfulness to the house of Israel;
every corner of the earth has seen our God’s salvation.
4 Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
Rejoice out loud!
Sing your praises!
5 Sing your praises to the Lord with the lyre—
with the lyre and the sound of music.
6 With trumpets and a horn blast,
shout triumphantly before the Lord, the king!
7 Let the sea and everything in it roar;
the world and all its inhabitants too.
8 Let all the rivers clap their hands;
let the mountains rejoice out loud altogether 9 before the Lord
because he is coming to establish justice on the earth!
He will establish justice in the world rightly;
he will establish justice among all people fairly.
103 Let my whole being bless the Lord!
Let everything inside me bless his holy name!
2 Let my whole being bless the Lord
and never forget all his good deeds:
3 how God forgives all your sins,
heals all your sickness,
4 saves your life from the pit,
crowns you with faithful love and compassion,
5 and satisfies you with plenty of good things
so that your youth is made fresh like an eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness;
does justice for all who are oppressed.
7 God made his ways known to Moses;
made his deeds known to the Israelites.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
very patient, and full of faithful love.
9 God won’t always play the judge;
he won’t be angry forever.
10 He doesn’t deal with us according to our sin
or repay us according to our wrongdoing,
11 because as high as heaven is above the earth,
that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.
12 As far as east is from west—
that’s how far God has removed our sin from us.
13 Like a parent feels compassion for their children—
that’s how the Lord feels compassion for those who honor him.
14 Because God knows how we’re made,
God remembers we’re just dust.
15 The days of a human life are like grass:
they bloom like a wildflower;
16 but when the wind blows through it, it’s gone;
even the ground where it stood doesn’t remember it.
17 But the Lord’s faithful love is from forever ago to forever from now
for those who honor him.
And God’s righteousness reaches to the grandchildren
18 of those who keep his covenant
and remember to keep his commands.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 You divine messengers,
bless the Lord!
You who are mighty in power and keep his word,
who obey everything he says,
21 All you heavenly forces,
bless the Lord!
All you who serve him and do his will,
22 All God’s creatures,
bless the Lord!
Everywhere, throughout his kingdom,
let my whole being
bless the Lord!
1 Samuel 23:7-18
7 When Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, he said, “God has handed him over to me now because he has trapped himself by entering a town with gates and bars!” 8 So Saul called up all his troops for war, to go down to Keilah and attack David and his soldiers.
9 When David learned that Saul was planning to harm him, he told the priest Abiathar, “Bring the priestly vest now.”
10 Then David said, “Lord God of Israel, I, your servant, have heard that Saul plans on coming to Keilah and will destroy the town because of me. 11 Lord God of Israel, will Saul come down as your servant has heard? Please tell your servant.”
“Yes, he will come down,” the Lord answered.
12 Next David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah hand me and my soldiers over to Saul?”
“Yes, they will hand you over,” the Lord replied.
13 So David and his troops—approximately six hundred men—got up and left Keilah. They kept moving, going from one place to the next. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he didn’t go there.
14 David lived in the fortresses in the wilderness and in the hills of the Ziph wilderness. Saul searched for him constantly, but God did not hand David over to Saul. 15 While David was at Horesh in the Ziph wilderness he learned that Saul was looking to kill him. 16 Saul’s son Jonathan came to David at Horesh and encouraged him with God. 17 Jonathan said to him, “Don’t be afraid! My father Saul’s hand won’t touch you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be your second in command. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 Then the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. David stayed at Horesh, but Jonathan went back home.
33 God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep! They are as mysterious as his judgments, and they are as hard to track as his paths!
34 Who has known the Lord’s mind?
Or who has been his mentor?
35 Or who has given him a gift
and has been paid back by him?
36 All things are from him and through him and for him.
May the glory be to him forever. Amen.
12 So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. 2 Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.
14 “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was leaving on a trip. He called his servants and handed his possessions over to them. 15 To one he gave five valuable coins, and to another he gave two, and to another he gave one. He gave to each servant according to that servant’s ability. Then he left on his journey.
16 “After the man left, the servant who had five valuable coins took them and went to work doing business with them. He gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two valuable coins gained two more. 18 But the servant who had received the one valuable coin dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.
19 “Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received five valuable coins came forward with five additional coins. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Excellent! You are a good and faithful servant! You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’
22 “The second servant also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done! You are a good and faithful servant. You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’
24 “Now the one who had received one valuable coin came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man. You harvest grain where you haven’t sown. You gather crops where you haven’t spread seed. 25 So I was afraid. And I hid my valuable coin in the ground. Here, you have what’s yours.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You evil and lazy servant! You knew that I harvest grain where I haven’t sown and that I gather crops where I haven’t spread seed? 27 In that case, you should have turned my money over to the bankers so that when I returned, you could give me what belonged to me with interest. 28 Therefore, take from him the valuable coin and give it to the one who has ten coins. 29 Those who have much will receive more, and they will have more than they need. But as for those who don’t have much, even the little bit they have will be taken away from them. 30 Now take the worthless servant and throw him outside into the darkness.’
“People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.