15 August 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading from 1 Corinthians 9, we read of how Paul brought himself under bondage to all. Rather than remaining ignorant of and distant from those of different faiths, he adapted his teaching to their thought and culture to reach them. In the case of Jews, he conformed to their rites and customs, within the limits of conscience, to reach them with the gospel. Are we willing and able to follow his inspired example with our neighbors today?
22 Moreover you gave them kingdoms and peoples, which you allotted according to their portions. So they possessed the land of Sihon, even the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 You also multiplied their children as the stars of the sky, and brought them into the land concerning which you said to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
24 “So the children went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings, and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they pleased. 25 They took fortified cities, and a rich land, and possessed houses full of all good things, cisterns dug out, vineyards, and olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate, were filled, became fat, and delighted themselves in your great goodness.
26 “Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against you, and cast your law behind their back, and killed your prophets that testified against them to turn them again to you, and they committed awful blasphemies. 27 Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who distressed them. In the time of their trouble, when they cried to you, you heard from heaven; and according to your manifold mercies you gave them saviors who saved them out of the hand of their adversaries. 28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before you; therefore left you them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them; yet when they returned, and cried to you, you heard from heaven; and many times you delivered them according to your mercies, 29 and testified against them, that you might bring them again to your law. Yet they dealt proudly, and didn’t listen to your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, (which if a man does, he shall live in them), turned their backs, stiffened their neck, and would not hear. 30 Yet many years you put up with them, and testified against them by your Spirit through your prophets. Yet would they not give ear. Therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
31 “Nevertheless in your manifold mercies you did not make a full end of them, nor forsake them; for you are a gracious and merciful God. 32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness, don’t let all the travail seem little before you, that has come on us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day. 33 However you are just in all that has come on us; for you have dealt truly, but we have done wickedly; 34 neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept your law, nor listened to your commandments and your testimonies with which you testified against them. 35 For they have not served you in their kingdom, and in your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land which you gave before them, neither did they turn from their wicked works.
36 “Behold, we are servants today, and as for the land that you gave to our fathers to eat its fruit and its good, behold, we are servants in it. 37 It yields much increase to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins: also they have power over our bodies, and over our livestock, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress. 38 Yet for all this, we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, our Levites, and our priests, seal it.”
10 Now those who sealed were: Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah, 2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah; these were the priests. 9 The Levites: namely, Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel; 10 and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13 Hodiah, Bani, Beninu. 14 The chiefs of the people: Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, 18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, 19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nobai, 20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub, 24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26 and Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, 27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah. 28 The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge, and understanding— 29 they joined with their brothers, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of Yahweh our Lord, and his ordinances and his statutes; 30 and that we would not give our daughters to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons; 31 and if the peoples of the land bring wares or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy of them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and that we would forego the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt. 32 Also we made ordinances for ourselves, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God; 33 for the show bread, and for the continual meal offering, and for the continual burnt offering, for the Sabbaths, for the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. 34 We cast lots, the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, according to our fathers’ houses, at times appointed, year by year, to burn on the altar of Yahweh our God, as it is written in the law; 35 and to bring the first fruits of our ground, and the first fruits of all fruit of all kinds of trees, year by year, to Yahweh’s house; 36 also the firstborn of our sons, and of our livestock, as it is written in the law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God; 37 and that we should bring the first fruits of our dough, and our wave offerings, and the fruit of all kinds of trees, the new wine and the oil, to the priests, to the rooms of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground to the Levites; for they, the Levites, take the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. 38 The priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the rooms, into the treasure house. 39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the wave offering of the grain, of the new wine, and of the oil, to the rooms, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests who minister, and the porters, and the singers. We will not forsake the house of our God.
1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13
19 For though I was free from all, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. 23 Now I do this for the sake of the Good News, that I may be a joint partaker of it. 24 Don’t you know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run like that, that you may win. 25 Every man who strives in the games exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore run like that, as not uncertainly. I fight like that, as not beating the air, 27 but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.
10 Now I would not have you ignorant, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 and were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 5 However with most of them, God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Don’t be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Let us not commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell. 9 Let us not test Christ, as some of them tested, and perished by the serpents. 10 Don’t grumble, as some of them also grumbled, and perished by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn’t fall.
13 No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
By David; when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.
34 I will bless Yahweh at all times.
His praise will always be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall boast in Yahweh.
The humble shall hear of it, and be glad.
3 Oh magnify Yahweh with me.
Let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought Yahweh, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to him, and were radiant.
Their faces shall never be covered with shame.
6 This poor man cried, and Yahweh heard him,
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 Yahweh’s angel encamps around those who fear him,
and delivers them.
8 Oh taste and see that Yahweh is good.
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9 Oh fear Yahweh, you his saints,
for there is no lack with those who fear him.
10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger,
but those who seek Yahweh shall not lack any good thing.
13 Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor,
he will also cry out, but shall not be heard.