22 July 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s reading in Psalm 18 is a royal thanksgiving for a military victory. It is repeated in Second Samuel 22. Thanksgiving Psalms are accounts of divine rescue. Psalm 18 has two parallel reports of rescue, the first told from a heavenly perspective in verses 5-20, and the second from an earthly perspective in verses 36-46.
2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10
12 He stood before the altar of Yahweh in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands 13 (for Solomon had made a bronze scaffold, five cubits long, and five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the middle of the court; and on it he stood, and knelt down on his knees before all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven;) 14 and he said, “Yahweh, the God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven, or on earth; you who keep covenant and loving kindness with your servants, who walk before you with all their heart; 15 who have kept with your servant David my father that which you promised him: yes, you spoke with your mouth, and have fulfilled it with your hand, as it is today.
16 “Now therefore, Yahweh, the God of Israel, keep with your servant David my father that which you have promised him, saying, ‘There shall not fail you a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children take heed to their way, to walk in my law as you have walked before me.’ 17 Now therefore, Yahweh, the God of Israel, let your word be verified, which you spoke to your servant David.
18 “But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens can’t contain you; how much less this house which I have built! 19 Yet have respect for the prayer of your servant, and to his supplication, Yahweh my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which your servant prays before you; 20 that your eyes may be open toward this house day and night, even toward the place where you have said that you would put your name; to listen to the prayer which your servant shall pray toward this place. 21 Listen to the petitions of your servant, and of your people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: yes, hear from your dwelling place, even from heaven; and when you hear, forgive.
22 “If a man sin against his neighbor, and an oath is laid on him to cause him to swear, and he comes and swears before your altar in this house; 23 then hear from heaven, and do, and judge your servants, bringing retribution to the wicked, to bring his way on his own head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.
24 “If your people Israel be struck down before the enemy, because they have sinned against you, and shall turn again and confess your name, and pray and make supplication before you in this house; 25 then hear from heaven, and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them again to the land which you gave to them and to their fathers.
26 “When the sky is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against you; if they pray toward this place, and confess your name, and turn from their sin, when you afflict them: 27 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of your servants, and of your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on your land, which you have given to your people for an inheritance.
28 “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, locust or caterpillar; if their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; 29 whatever prayer and supplication be made by any man, or by all your people Israel, who shall know every man his own plague and his own sorrow, and shall spread out his hands toward this house: 30 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place and forgive, and render to every man according to all his ways, whose heart you know; (for you, even you only, know the hearts of the children of men;) 31 that they may fear you, to walk in your ways, so long as they live in the land which you gave to our fathers.
32 “Moreover concerning the foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, when he shall come from a far country for your great name’s sake, and your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm; when they shall come and pray toward this house: 33 then hear from heaven, even from your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you for; that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, and fear you, as does your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by your name.
34 “If your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to you toward this city which you have chosen, and the house which I have built for your name; 35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
36 “If they sin against you (for there is no man who doesn’t sin), and you are angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captive to a land far off or near; 37 yet if they shall repent themselves in the land where they are carried captive, and turn again, and make supplication to you in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned, we have done perversely, and have dealt wickedly;’ 38 if they return to you with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have carried them captive, and pray toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, and the city which you have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for your name: 39 then hear from heaven, even from your dwelling place, their prayer and their petitions, and maintain their cause, and forgive your people who have sinned against you.
40 “Now, my God, let, I beg you, your eyes be open, and let your ears be attentive, to the prayer that is made in this place.
41 “Now therefore arise, Yahweh God, into your resting place, you, and the ark of your strength: let your priests, Yahweh God, be clothed with salvation, and let your saints rejoice in goodness.
42 “Yahweh God, don’t turn away the face of your anointed. Remember your loving kindnesses to David your servant.”
7 Now when Solomon had finished praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and Yahweh’s glory filled the house. 2 The priests could not enter into Yahweh’s house, because Yahweh’s glory filled Yahweh’s house. 3 All the children of Israel looked on, when the fire came down, and Yahweh’s glory was on the house; and they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped, and gave thanks to Yahweh, saying,
“For he is good;
for his loving kindness endures for ever.”
4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before Yahweh. 5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated God’s house. 6 The priests stood, according to their positions; the Levites also with instruments of music of Yahweh, which David the king had made to give thanks to Yahweh, when David praised by their ministry, saying “For his loving kindness endures for ever.” The priests sounded trumpets before them; and all Israel stood.
7 Moreover Solomon made the middle of the court holy that was before Yahweh’s house; for there he offered the burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offering, and the meal offering, and the fat. 8 So Solomon held the feast at that time seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt. 9 On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. 10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their tents, joyful and glad of heart for the goodness that Yahweh had shown to David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people. 11 Thus Solomon finished Yahweh’s house, and the king’s house: and he successfully completed all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in Yahweh’s house, and in his own house.
12 Yahweh appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him, “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for myself for a house of sacrifice.
13 “If I shut up the sky so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14 if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes shall be open, and my ears attentive, to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now have I chosen and made this house holy, that my name may be there forever; and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually.
17 “As for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep my statutes and my ordinances; 18 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, according as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘There shall not fail you a man to be ruler in Israel.’ 19 But if you turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; 20 then I will pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have made holy for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 This house, which is so high, everyone who passes by it shall be astonished, and shall say, ‘Why has Yahweh done thus to this land, and to this house?’ 22 They shall answer, ‘Because they abandoned Yahweh, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and took other gods, worshiped them, and served them. Therefore he has brought all this evil on them.’”
8 At the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built Yahweh’s house, and his own house, 2 the cities which Huram had given to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there. 3 Solomon went to Hamath Zobah, and prevailed against it. 4 He built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the storage cities, which he built in Hamath. 5 Also he built Beth Horon the upper, and Beth Horon the lower, fortified cities, with walls, gates, and bars; 6 and Baalath, and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for his chariots, and the cities for his horsemen, and all that Solomon desired to build for his pleasure in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 7 As for all the people who were left of the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel; 8 of their children who were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel didn’t consume, of them Solomon conscripted forced labor to this day. 9 But of the children of Israel, Solomon made no servants for his work; but they were men of war, and chief of his captains, and rulers of his chariots and of his horsemen. 10 These were the chief officers of king Solomon, even two-hundred fifty, who ruled over the people.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin. 15 For I don’t know what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. 16 But if what I don’t desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. 17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don’t find it doing that which is good. 19 For the good which I desire, I don’t do; but the evil which I don’t desire, that I practice. 20 But if what I don’t desire, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the law, that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present. 22 For I delight in God’s law after the inward man, 23 but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God’s law, but with the flesh, the sin’s law.
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.[a] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the law couldn’t do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh; 4 that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace; 7 because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God; for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be. 8 Those who are in the flesh can’t please God.
For the Chief Musician. By David the servant of Yahweh, who spoke to Yahweh the words of this song in the day that Yahweh delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said,
18 I love you, Yahweh, my strength.
2 Yahweh is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer;
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower.
3 I call on Yahweh, who is worthy to be praised;
and I am saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death surrounded me.
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
5 The cords of Sheol were around me.
The snares of death came on me.
6 In my distress I called on Yahweh,
and cried to my God.
He heard my voice out of his temple.
My cry before him came into his ears.
7 Then the earth shook and trembled.
The foundations also of the mountains quaked and were shaken,
because he was angry.
8 Smoke went out of his nostrils.
Consuming fire came out of his mouth.
Coals were kindled by it.
9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down.
Thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub, and flew.
Yes, he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his hiding place, his pavilion around him,
darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.
12 At the brightness before him his thick clouds passed,
hailstones and coals of fire.
13 Yahweh also thundered in the sky.
The Most High uttered his voice:
hailstones and coals of fire.
14 He sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
Yes, great lightning bolts, and routed them.
15 Then the channels of waters appeared.
The foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, Yahweh,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
25 Flog a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
rebuke one who has understanding, and he will gain knowledge.