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28 July 2017 Bible Reading

Do you want to know the exact day, time and manner of your death? What if it were a particularly painful and horrifying death that awaited?

Today’s reading includes the 22nd Psalm. This is a prophetic, messianic Psalm. Approximately 1,000 years before Jesus went to the cross, God, through the inspired psalmist, tells of the suffering fulfilled in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. As with so many messianic prophecies, there are parallel applications in the moment of revelation; in this case there was an allusion to struggles facing David. Where the four gospel writers provide a description of Jesus’ sufferings from the viewpoint of witnesses, this messianic psalm reveals His suffering from the viewpoint of Jesus Himself. The psalm begins with a cry that was uttered by Jesus on the cross in Matthew 27:46. The first half of the psalm depicts a sufferer surrounded by enemies who feels forsaken by God. While much of the suffering is described figuratively (“Many bulls have surrounded me”), much was literal. Not only the words of Jesus in verse 1, but also the very words of the chief priests and scribes who mocked while Jesus hung on the cross in Matthew 27:43. There is also the piercing of the hands and feet, the dividing of the garments in Matthew 27:35. As the psalmist cries out for deliverance, he also expresses hope based upon God’s faithfulness in the past. At the end of the first half, the psalmist declares that God has answered him (1-21). The second half of the psalm expresses the joy of “The Victorious Sufferer”. He will gladly praise God for hearing him and providing deliverance. He encourages all those who fear God to praise and glorify Him, confident that God’s blessings will extend to many nations and to people not yet born. This is because the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations (22-31).

In today’s passage in Romans, Isaiah 59:20-21; 27:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34; Isaiah 40:13; and Job 41:11 are referenced.

2 Chronicles 21-23:21
21 Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in David’s city: and Jehoram his son reigned in his place. 2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. 3 Their father gave them great gifts, of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fortified cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn. 4 Now when Jehoram was risen up over the kingdom of his father, and had strengthened himself, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and various also of the princes of Israel. 5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 6 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did Ahab’s house; for he had the daughter of Ahab as wife: and he did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight. 7 However Yahweh would not destroy David’s house, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a lamp to him and to his children always. 8 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. 9 Then Jehoram passed over with his captains, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, along with the captains of the chariots. 10 So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day: then Libnah revolted at the same time from under his hand, because he had forsaken Yahweh, the God of his fathers. 11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and made the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, and led Judah astray. 12 A letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, “Yahweh says, the God of David your father, ‘Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, like Ahab’s house did, and also have slain your brothers of your father’s house, who were better than yourself: 14 behold, Yahweh will strike with a great plague your people, and your children, and your wives, and all your substance; 15 and you shall have great sickness by disease of your bowels, until your bowels fall out by reason of the sickness, day by day.’”
16 Yahweh stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians who are beside the Ethiopians: 17 and they came up against Judah, and broke into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king’s house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, except Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. 18 After all this Yahweh struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease. 19 In process of time, at the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, and he died of severe diseases. His people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers. 20 Thirty-two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years: and he departed without being desired; and they buried him in David’s city, but not in the tombs of the kings.
22 The inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his place; for the band of men who came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the oldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned. 2 Forty-two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri. 3 He also walked in the ways of Ahab’s house; for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly. 4 He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, as did Ahab’s house; for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction. 5 He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead: and the Syrians wounded Joram. 6 He returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which they had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick. 7 Now the destruction of Ahaziah was of God, in that he went to Joram: for when he had come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom Yahweh had anointed to cut off Ahab’s house. 8 When Jehu was executing judgment on Ahab’s house, he found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brothers of Ahaziah, serving Ahaziah, and killed them. 9 He sought Ahaziah, and they caught him (now he was hiding in Samaria), and they brought him to Jehu, and killed him; and they buried him, for they said, “He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought Yahweh with all his heart.” The house of Ahaziah had no power to hold the kingdom. 10 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were slain, and put him and his nurse in the bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah, so that she didn’t kill him. 12 He was with them hidden in God’s house six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.
23 In the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, and Azariah the son of Obed, and Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into covenant with him. 2 They went about in Judah, and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the heads of fathers’ households of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3 All the assembly made a covenant with the king in God’s house. He said to them, “Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as Yahweh has spoken concerning the sons of David. 4 This is the thing that you shall do. A third part of you, who come in on the Sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, shall be porters of the thresholds. 5 A third part shall be at the king’s house; and a third part at the gate of the foundation. All the people shall be in the courts of Yahweh’s house. 6 But let no one come into Yahweh’s house, except the priests, and those who minister of the Levites. They shall come in, for they are holy, but all the people shall follow Yahweh’s instructions. 7 The Levites shall surround the king, every man with his weapons in his hand. Whoever comes into the house, let him be slain. Be with the king when he comes in, and when he goes out.”
8 So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded: and they took every man his men, those who were to come in on the Sabbath; with those who were to go out on the Sabbath; for Jehoiada the priest didn’t dismiss the shift. 9 Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds the spears, and bucklers, and shields, that had been king David’s, which were in God’s house. 10 He set all the people, every man with his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, along by the altar and the house, around the king. 11 Then they brought out the king’s son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony, and made him king: and Jehoiada and his sons anointed him; and they said, “Long live the king!”
12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into Yahweh’s house: 13 and she looked, and, behold, the king stood by his pillar at the entrance, and the captains and the trumpets by the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew trumpets; the singers also played musical instruments, and led the singing of praise. Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and said, “Treason! treason!”
14 Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds who were set over the army, and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks; and whoever follows her, let him be slain with the sword.” For the priest said, “Don’t kill her in the Yahweh’s house.” 15 So they made way for her. She went to the entrance of the horse gate to the king’s house; and they killed her there. 16 Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, and all the people, and the king, that they should be Yahweh’s people. 17 All the people went to the house of Baal, and broke it down, and broke his altars and his images in pieces, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. 18 Jehoiada appointed the officers of Yahweh’s house under the hand of the priests the Levites, whom David had distributed in Yahweh’s house, to offer the burnt offerings of Yahweh, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, according to the order of David. 19 He set the porters at the gates of Yahweh’s house, that no one who was unclean in anything should enter in. 20 He took the captains of hundreds, and the nobles, and the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought down the king from Yahweh’s house: and they came through the upper gate to the king’s house, and set the king on the throne of the kingdom. 21 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet. Athaliah they had slain with the sword.

Romans 11:13-36
13 For I speak to you who are Gentiles. Since then as I am an apostle to Gentiles, I glorify my ministry; 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh, and may save some of them. 15 For if the rejection of them is the reconciling of the world, what would their acceptance be, but life from the dead? 16 If the first fruit is holy, so is the lump. If the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them, and became partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree; 18 don’t boast over the branches. But if you boast, it is not you who support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.” 20 True; by their unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by your faith. Don’t be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God didn’t spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 See then the goodness and severity of God. Toward those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 They also, if they don’t continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of that which is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more will these, which are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I don’t desire you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you won’t be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written,
“There will come out of Zion the Deliverer,
and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
27 This is my covenant to them,
when I will take away their sins.”
28 Concerning the Good News, they are enemies for your sake. But concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sake. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you in time past were disobedient to God, but now have obtained mercy by their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that by the mercy shown to you they may also obtain mercy. 32 For God has shut up all to disobedience, that he might have mercy on all.
33 Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to him,
and it will be repaid to him again?”
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.

Psalm 22:1-18
For the Chief Musician; set to “The Doe of the Morning.” A Psalm by David.
22 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?
2 My God, I cry in the daytime, but you don’t answer;
in the night season, and am not silent.
3 But you are holy,
you who inhabit the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in you.
They trusted, and you delivered them.
5 They cried to you, and were delivered.
They trusted in you, and were not disappointed.
6 But I am a worm, and no man;
a reproach of men, and despised by the people.
7 All those who see me mock me.
They insult me with their lips. They shake their heads, saying,
8 “He trusts in Yahweh;
let him deliver him.
Let him rescue him, since he delights in him.”
9 But you brought me out of the womb.
You made me trust at my mother’s breasts.
10 I was thrown on you from my mother’s womb.
You are my God since my mother bore me.
11 Don’t be far from me, for trouble is near.
For there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls have surrounded me.
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
13 They open their mouths wide against me,
lions tearing prey and roaring.
14 I am poured out like water.
All my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax;
it is melted within me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded me.
A company of evildoers have enclosed me.
They have pierced my hands and feet.
17 I can count all of my bones.
They look and stare at me.
18 They divide my garments among them.
They cast lots for my clothing.

Proverbs 20:7
7 A righteous man walks in integrity.
Blessed are his children after him.

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