23 August 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s Bible reading includes the 38th Psalm. It seems very likely that David wrote this by inspiration shortly after he murdered Uriah (others are the 32nd and 51st Psalms).
The murder of Uriah is recorded in Second Samuel, chapter 11. David lusted after Bathsheba and plotted to have her husband, Uriah, killed in battle. God sent Nathan to tell David of His great displeasure. David repented and was truly sorrowful, but his sin still had consequences. David wrote Psalm 38 while waiting for God to forgive him. David was sad and ill after Nathan confronted him, a consequence of sin.
8 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered,
2 “How long will you speak these things?
Shall the words of your mouth be a mighty wind?
3 Does God pervert justice?
Or does the Almighty pervert righteousness?
4 If your children have sinned against him,
He has delivered them into the hand of their disobedience.
5 If you want to seek God diligently,
make your supplication to the Almighty.
6 If you were pure and upright,
surely now he would awaken for you,
and make the habitation of your righteousness prosperous.
7 Though your beginning was small,
yet your latter end would greatly increase.
8 “Please inquire of past generations.
Find out about the learning of their fathers.
9 (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing,
because our days on earth are a shadow.)
10 Shall they not teach you, tell you,
and utter words out of their heart?
11 “Can the papyrus grow up without mire?
Can the rushes grow without water?
12 While it is yet in its greenness, not cut down,
it withers before any other reed.
13 So are the paths of all who forget God.
The hope of the godless man shall perish,
14 Whose confidence shall break apart,
Whose trust is a spider’s web.
15 He shall lean on his house, but it shall not stand.
He shall cling to it, but it shall not endure.
16 He is green before the sun.
His shoots go out along his garden.
17 His roots are wrapped around the rock pile.
He sees the place of stones.
18 If he is destroyed from his place,
then it shall deny him, saying, ‘I have not seen you.’
19 Behold, this is the joy of his way:
out of the earth, others shall spring.
20 “Behold, God will not cast away a blameless man,
neither will he uphold the evildoers.
21 He will still fill your mouth with laughter,
your lips with shouting.
22 Those who hate you shall be clothed with shame.
The tent of the wicked shall be no more.”
9 Then Job answered,
2 “Truly I know that it is so,
but how can man be just with God?
3 If he is pleased to contend with him,
he can’t answer him one time in a thousand.
4 God who is wise in heart, and mighty in strength:
who has hardened himself against him, and prospered?
5 He removes the mountains, and they don’t know it,
when he overturns them in his anger.
6 He shakes the earth out of its place.
Its pillars tremble.
7 He commands the sun, and it doesn’t rise,
and seals up the stars.
8 He alone stretches out the heavens,
and treads on the waves of the sea.
9 He makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,
and the rooms of the south.
10 He does great things past finding out;
yes, marvelous things without number.
11 Behold, he goes by me, and I don’t see him.
He passes on also, but I don’t perceive him.
12 Behold, he snatches away.
Who can hinder him?
Who will ask him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 “God will not withdraw his anger.
The helpers of Rahab stoop under him.
14 How much less shall I answer him,
And choose my words to argue with him?
15 Though I were righteous, yet I wouldn’t answer him.
I would make supplication to my judge.
16 If I had called, and he had answered me,
yet I wouldn’t believe that he listened to my voice.
17 For he breaks me with a storm,
and multiplies my wounds without cause.
18 He will not allow me to catch my breath,
but fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a matter of strength, behold, he is mighty!
If of justice, ‘Who,’ says he, ‘will summon me?’
20 Though I am righteous, my own mouth shall condemn me.
Though I am blameless, it shall prove me perverse.
21 I am blameless.
I don’t respect myself.
I despise my life.
22 “It is all the same.
Therefore I say he destroys the blameless and the wicked.
23 If the scourge kills suddenly,
he will mock at the trial of the innocent.
24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked.
He covers the faces of its judges.
If not he, then who is it?
25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner.
They flee away, they see no good,
26 They have passed away as the swift ships,
as the eagle that swoops on the prey.
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad face, and cheer up;’
28 I am afraid of all my sorrows,
I know that you will not hold me innocent.
29 I shall be condemned.
Why then do I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow,
and cleanse my hands with lye,
31 yet you will plunge me in the ditch.
My own clothes shall abhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him,
that we should come together in judgment.
33 There is no umpire between us,
that might lay his hand on us both.
34 Let him take his rod away from me.
Let his terror not make me afraid;
35 then I would speak, and not fear him,
for I am not so in myself.
10 “My soul is weary of my life.
I will give free course to my complaint.
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2 I will tell God, ‘Do not condemn me.
Show me why you contend with me.
3 Is it good to you that you should oppress,
that you should despise the work of your hands,
and smile on the counsel of the wicked?
4 Do you have eyes of flesh?
Or do you see as man sees?
5 Are your days as the days of mortals,
or your years as man’s years,
6 that you inquire after my iniquity,
and search after my sin?
7 Although you know that I am not wicked,
there is no one who can deliver out of your hand.
8 “‘Your hands have framed me and fashioned me altogether,
yet you destroy me.
9 Remember, I beg you, that you have fashioned me as clay.
Will you bring me into dust again?
10 Haven’t you poured me out like milk,
and curdled me like cheese?
11 You have clothed me with skin and flesh,
and knit me together with bones and sinews.
12 You have granted me life and loving kindness.
Your visitation has preserved my spirit.
13 Yet you hid these things in your heart.
I know that this is with you:
14 if I sin, then you mark me.
You will not acquit me from my iniquity.
15 If I am wicked, woe to me.
If I am righteous, I still shall not lift up my head,
being filled with disgrace,
and conscious of my affliction.
16 If my head is held high, you hunt me like a lion.
Again you show yourself powerful to me.
17 You renew your witnesses against me,
and increase your indignation on me.
Changes and warfare are with me.
18 “‘Why, then, have you brought me out of the womb?
I wish I had given up the spirit, and no eye had seen me.
19 I should have been as though I had not been.
I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.
20 Aren’t my days few?
Leave me alone, that I may find a little comfort,
21 before I go where I shall not return from,
to the land of darkness and of the shadow of death;
22 the land dark as midnight,
of the shadow of death,
without any order,
where the light is as midnight.’”
11 Then Zophar, the Naamathite, answered,
2 “Shouldn’t the multitude of words be answered?
Should a man full of talk be justified?
3 Should your boastings make men hold their peace?
When you mock, shall no man make you ashamed?
4 For you say, ‘My doctrine is pure.
I am clean in your eyes.’
5 But oh that God would speak,
and open his lips against you,
6 that he would show you the secrets of wisdom!
For true wisdom has two sides.
Know therefore that God exacts of you less than your iniquity deserves.
7 “Can you fathom the mystery of God?
Or can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
8 They are high as heaven. What can you do?
They are deeper than Sheol. What can you know?
9 Its measure is longer than the earth,
and broader than the sea.
10 If he passes by, or confines,
or convenes a court, then who can oppose him?
11 For he knows false men.
He sees iniquity also, even though he doesn’t consider it.
12 An empty-headed man becomes wise
when a man is born as a wild donkey’s colt.
13 “If you set your heart aright,
stretch out your hands toward him.
14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away.
Don’t let unrighteousness dwell in your tents.
15 Surely then you shall lift up your face without spot;
Yes, you shall be steadfast, and shall not fear:
16 for you shall forget your misery.
You shall remember it like waters that have passed away.
17 Life shall be clearer than the noonday.
Though there is darkness, it shall be as the morning.
18 You shall be secure, because there is hope.
Yes, you shall search, and shall take your rest in safety.
19 Also you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid.
Yes, many shall court your favor.
20 But the eyes of the wicked shall fail.
They shall have no way to flee.
Their hope shall be the giving up of the spirit.”
1 Corinthians 15:1-28
15 Now I declare to you, brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, which also you received, in which you also stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold firmly the word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom remain until now, but some have also fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all, as to the child born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the assembly of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace which was given to me was not futile, but I worked more than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Whether then it is I or they, so we preach, and so you believed.
12 Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised. 14 If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain. 15 Yes, we are found false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that he raised up Christ, whom he didn’t raise up, if it is so that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead aren’t raised, neither has Christ been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. 18 Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable.
20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead. He became the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s, at his coming. 24 Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For, “He put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when he says, “All things are put in subjection”, it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all things to him. 28 When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.
A Psalm by David, for a memorial.
38 Yahweh, don’t rebuke me in your wrath,
neither chasten me in your hot displeasure.
2 For your arrows have pierced me,
your hand presses hard on me.
3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation,
neither is there any health in my bones because of my sin.
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head.
As a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds are loathsome and corrupt,
because of my foolishness.
6 I am pained and bowed down greatly.
I go mourning all day long.
7 For my waist is filled with burning.
There is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am faint and severely bruised.
I have groaned by reason of the anguish of my heart.
9 Lord, all my desire is before you.
My groaning is not hidden from you.
10 My heart throbs.
My strength fails me.
As for the light of my eyes, it has also left me.
11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my plague.
My kinsmen stand far away.
12 They also who seek after my life lay snares.
Those who seek my hurt speak mischievous things,
and meditate deceits all day long.
13 But I, as a deaf man, don’t hear.
I am as a mute man who doesn’t open his mouth.
14 Yes, I am as a man who doesn’t hear,
in whose mouth are no reproofs.
15 For in you, Yahweh, do I hope.
You will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Don’t let them gloat over me,
or exalt themselves over me when my foot slips.”
17 For I am ready to fall.
My pain is continually before me.
18 For I will declare my iniquity.
I will be sorry for my sin.
19 But my enemies are vigorous and many.
Those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 They who also render evil for good are adversaries to me,
because I follow what is good.
21 Don’t forsake me, Yahweh.
My God, don’t be far from me.
22 Hurry to help me,
Lord, my salvation.
28 A false witness will perish,
and a man who listens speaks to eternity.
29 A wicked man hardens his face;
but as for the upright, he establishes his ways.