26 May 2017 Bible Reading
Christ’s followers are compared to grapevines. The Vine-dresser must prune the grapevine so it can bear fruit.
2 Samuel 9-11:27
9 David said, “Is there yet any who is left of Saul’s house, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 There was of Saul’s house a servant whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David; and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”
He said, “I am your servant.”
3 The king said, “Is there not yet any of Saul’s house, that I may show the kindness of God to him?”
Ziba said to the king, “Jonathan still has a son, who is lame in his feet.”
4 The king said to him, “Where is he?”
Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.”
5 Then king David sent, and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar. 6 Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, and fell on his face, and showed respect. David said, “Mephibosheth.”
He answered, “Behold, your servant!”
7 David said to him, “Don’t be afraid of him; for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your father. You will eat bread at my table continually.”
8 He bowed down, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look at such a dead dog as I am?” 9 Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house have I given to your master’s son. 10 Till the land for him, you, your sons, and your servants. Bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have bread to eat; but Mephibosheth your master’s son will always eat bread at my table.”
Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so your servant will do.” So Mephibosheth ate at the king’s table, like one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. All that lived in Ziba’s house were servants to Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem; for he ate continually at the king’s table. He was lame in both his feet.
10 After this, the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. 2 David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent by his servants to comfort him concerning his father. David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.
3 But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think that David honors your father, in that he has sent comforters to you? Hasn’t David sent his servants to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?”
4 So Hanun took David’s servants, shaved off one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. 5 When they told David this, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, “Wait at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.”
6 When the children of Ammon saw that they had become odious to David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, twenty thousand footmen, and the king of Maacah with one thousand men, and the men of Tob twelve thousand men. 7 When David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the army of the mighty men. 8 The children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entrance of the gate. The Syrians of Zobah and of Rehob, and the men of Tob and Maacah, were by themselves in the field. 9 Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians. 10 The rest of the people he committed into the hand of Abishai his brother; and he put them in array against the children of Ammon. 11 He said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the children of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12 Be courageous, and let us be strong for our people, and for the cities of our God; and may Yahweh do what seems good to him.” 13 So Joab and the people who were with him came near to the battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him. 14 When the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians had fled, they likewise fled before Abishai, and entered into the city. Then Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem. 15 When the Syrians saw that they were defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16 Hadadezer sent, and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the River: and they came to Helam, with Shobach the captain of the army of Hadadezer at their head. 17 David was told that; and he gathered all Israel together, passed over the Jordan, and came to Helam. The Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him. 18 The Syrians fled before Israel; and David killed seven hundred charioteers of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and struck Shobach the captain of their army, so that he died there. 19 When all the kings who were servants to Hadadezer saw that they were defeated before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians were afraid to help the children of Ammon any more.
11 At the return of the year, at the time when kings go out, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. 2 At evening, David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. From the roof, he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to look at. 3 David sent and inquired after the woman. One said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, Uriah the Hittite’s wife?”
4 David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in to him, and he lay with her (for she was purified from her uncleanness); and she returned to her house. 5 The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”
6 David sent to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah had come to him, David asked him how Joab did, and how the people fared, and how the war prospered. 8 David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and didn’t go down to his house. 10 When they had told David, saying, “Uriah didn’t go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Haven’t you come from a journey? Why didn’t you go down to your house?”
11 Uriah said to David, “The ark, Israel, and Judah, are staying in tents; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field. Shall I then go into my house to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing!”
12 David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day, and the next day. 13 When David had called him, he ate and drink before him; and he made him drunk. At evening, he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but didn’t go down to his house. 14 In the morning, David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 He wrote in the letter, saying, “Send Uriah to the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck, and die.”
16 When Joab kept watch on the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew that valiant men were. 17 The men of the city went out, and fought with Joab. Some of the people fell, even of David’s servants; and Uriah the Hittite died also. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; 19 and he commanded the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling all the things concerning the war to the king, 20 it shall be that, if the king’s wrath arise, and he asks you, ‘Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Didn’t you know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who struck Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Didn’t a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.’”
22 So the messenger went, and came and showed David all that Joab had sent him for. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us, and came out to us into the field, and we were on them even to the entrance of the gate. 24 The shooters shot at your servants from off the wall; and some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.”
25 Then David said to the messenger, “Tell Joab, ‘Don’t let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Make your battle stronger against the city, and overthrow it.’ Encourage him.”
26 When Uriah’s wife heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 When the mourning was past, David sent and took her home to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased Yahweh.
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer. 2 Every branch in me that doesn’t bear fruit, he takes away. Every branch that bears fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already pruned clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If a man doesn’t remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.
8 “In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples. 9 Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and remain in his love. 11 I have spoken these things to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be made full.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you. 16 You didn’t choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
17 “I command these things to you, that you may love one another. 18 If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his lord.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do to you for my name’s sake, because they don’t know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates me, hates my Father also. 24 If I hadn’t done among them the works which no one else did, they wouldn’t have had sin. But now have they seen and also hated both me and my Father. 25 But this happened so that the word may be fulfilled which was written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’
26 “When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 You will also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.
49 Remember your word to your servant,
because you gave me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
for your word has revived me.
51 The arrogant mock me excessively,
but I don’t swerve from your law.
52 I remember your ordinances of old, Yahweh,
and have comforted myself.
53 Indignation has taken hold on me,
because of the wicked who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been my songs,
in the house where I live.
55 I have remembered your name, Yahweh, in the night,
and I obey your law.
56 This is my way,
that I keep your precepts.
57 Yahweh is my portion.
I promised to obey your words.
58 I sought your favor with my whole heart.
Be merciful to me according to your word.
59 I considered my ways,
and turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hurry, and not delay,
to obey your commandments.
61 The ropes of the wicked bind me,
but I won’t forget your law.
62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks to you,
because of your righteous ordinances.
63 I am a friend of all those who fear you,
of those who observe your precepts.
64 The earth is full of your loving kindness, Yahweh.
Teach me your statutes.
16 The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from Yahweh.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes;
but Yahweh weighs the motives.
3 Commit your deeds to Yahweh,
and your plans shall succeed.