25 August 2017 Bible Reading
While tithing supported the Levites under Mosaic Law, there is no tithe, or similar item, in the church, today. As we read in today’s reading in First Corinthians 16, there is only one collection in the New Testament. This is done on the first day of the week, when Christians gather together, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also; On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing it up as he may prosper” (I Corinthians 16:1-2). This collection is the only source for the church treasury in the New Testament.
No proportion is stipulated in the New Testament. Each one is to give as he purposes in his heart, in accordance with how God has prospered him. “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9:6-7). Every giver determines the proportion of his income that he will give to God. However, Every Christian should give liberally. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (II Corinthians 9:6-9).
16 Then Job answered,
2 “I have heard many such things.
You are all miserable comforters!
3 Shall vain words have an end?
Or what provokes you that you answer?
4 I also could speak as you do.
If your soul were in my soul’s place,
I could join words together against you,
and shake my head at you,
5 but I would strengthen you with my mouth.
The solace of my lips would relieve you.
6 “Though I speak, my grief is not subsided.
Though I forbear, what am I eased?
7 But now, God, you have surely worn me out.
You have made desolate all my company.
8 You have shriveled me up. This is a witness against me.
My leanness rises up against me.
It testifies to my face.
9 He has torn me in his wrath, and persecuted me.
He has gnashed on me with his teeth.
My adversary sharpens his eyes on me.
10 They have gaped on me with their mouth.
They have struck me on the cheek reproachfully.
They gather themselves together against me.
11 God delivers me to the ungodly,
and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, and he broke me apart.
Yes, he has taken me by the neck, and dashed me to pieces.
He has also set me up for his target.
13 His archers surround me.
He splits my kidneys apart, and does not spare.
He pours out my gall on the ground.
14 He breaks me with breach on breach.
He runs on me like a giant.
15 I have sewed sackcloth on my skin,
and have thrust my horn in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping.
Deep darkness is on my eyelids.
17 Although there is no violence in my hands,
and my prayer is pure.
18 “Earth, don’t cover my blood.
Let my cry have no place to rest.
19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven.
He who vouches for me is on high.
20 My friends scoff at me.
My eyes pour out tears to God,
21 that he would maintain the right of a man with God,
of a son of man with his neighbor!
22 For when a few years have come,
I shall go the way of no return.
17 “My spirit is consumed.
My days are extinct,
And the grave is ready for me.
2 Surely there are mockers with me.
My eye dwells on their provocation.
3 “Now give a pledge, be collateral for me with yourself.
Who is there who will strike hands with me?
4 For you have hidden their heart from understanding,
Therefore you shall not exalt them.
5 He who denounces his friends for plunder,
Even the eyes of his children shall fail.
6 “But he has made me a byword of the people.
They spit in my face.
7 My eye also is dim by reason of sorrow.
All my members are as a shadow.
8 Upright men shall be astonished at this.
The innocent shall stir up himself against the godless.
9 Yet shall the righteous hold on his way.
He who has clean hands shall grow stronger and stronger.
10 But as for you all, come on now again;
I shall not find a wise man among you.
11 My days are past, my plans are broken off,
as are the thoughts of my heart.
12 They change the night into day,
saying ‘The light is near’ in the presence of darkness.
13 If I look for Sheol as my house,
if I have spread my couch in the darkness,
14 If I have said to corruption, ‘You are my father;’
to the worm, ‘My mother,’ and ‘my sister;’
15 where then is my hope?
as for my hope, who shall see it?
16 Shall it go down with me to the gates of Sheol,
or descend together into the dust?”
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered,
2 “How long will you hunt for words?
Consider, and afterwards we will speak.
3 Why are we counted as animals,
which have become unclean in your sight?
4 You who tear yourself in your anger,
shall the earth be forsaken for you?
Or shall the rock be removed out of its place?
5 “Yes, the light of the wicked shall be put out,
The spark of his fire shall not shine.
6 The light shall be dark in his tent.
His lamp above him shall be put out.
7 The steps of his strength shall be shortened.
His own counsel shall cast him down.
8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
and he wanders into its mesh.
9 A snare will take him by the heel.
A trap will catch him.
10 A noose is hidden for him in the ground,
a trap for him on the path.
11 Terrors shall make him afraid on every side,
and shall chase him at his heels.
12 His strength shall be famished.
Calamity shall be ready at his side.
13 The members of his body shall be devoured.
The firstborn of death shall devour his members.
14 He shall be rooted out of his tent where he trusts.
He shall be brought to the king of terrors.
15 There shall dwell in his tent that which is none of his.
Sulfur shall be scattered on his habitation.
16 His roots shall be dried up beneath.
Above shall his branch be cut off.
17 His memory shall perish from the earth.
He shall have no name in the street.
18 He shall be driven from light into darkness,
and chased out of the world.
19 He shall have neither son nor grandson among his people,
nor any remaining where he lived.
20 Those who come after shall be astonished at his day,
as those who went before were frightened.
21 Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous.
This is the place of him who doesn’t know God.”
19 Then Job answered,
2 “How long will you torment me,
and crush me with words?
3 You have reproached me ten times.
You aren’t ashamed that you attack me.
4 If it is true that I have erred,
my error remains with myself.
5 If indeed you will magnify yourselves against me,
and plead against me my reproach;
6 know now that God has subverted me,
and has surrounded me with his net.
7 “Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard.
I cry for help, but there is no justice.
8 He has walled up my way so that I can’t pass,
and has set darkness in my paths.
9 He has stripped me of my glory,
and taken the crown from my head.
10 He has broken me down on every side, and I am gone.
My hope he has plucked up like a tree.
11 He has also kindled his wrath against me.
He counts me among his adversaries.
12 His troops come on together,
build a siege ramp against me,
and encamp around my tent.
13 “He has put my brothers far from me.
My acquaintances are wholly estranged from me.
14 My relatives have gone away.
My familiar friends have forgotten me.
15 Those who dwell in my house, and my maids, count me for a stranger.
I am an alien in their sight.
16 I call to my servant, and he gives me no answer.
I beg him with my mouth.
17 My breath is offensive to my wife.
I am loathsome to the children of my own mother.
18 Even young children despise me.
If I arise, they speak against me.
19 All my familiar friends abhor me.
They whom I loved have turned against me.
20 My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh.
I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21 “Have pity on me, have pity on me, you my friends;
for the hand of God has touched me.
22 Why do you persecute me as God,
and are not satisfied with my flesh?
23 “Oh that my words were now written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 That with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!
25 But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives.
In the end, he will stand upon the earth.
26 After my skin is destroyed,
then in my flesh shall I see God,
27 Whom I, even I, shall see on my side.
My eyes shall see, and not as a stranger.
“My heart is consumed within me.
28 If you say, ‘How we will persecute him!’
because the root of the matter is found in me,
29 be afraid of the sword,
for wrath brings the punishments of the sword,
that you may know there is a judgment.”
1 Corinthians 16
16 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I commanded the assemblies of Galatia, you do likewise. 2 On the first day of the week, let each one of you save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come. 3 When I arrive, I will send whoever you approve with letters to carry your gracious gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it is appropriate for me to go also, they will go with me. 5 But I will come to you when I have passed through Macedonia, for I am passing through Macedonia. 6 But with you it may be that I will stay, or even winter, that you may send me on my journey wherever I go. 7 For I do not wish to see you now in passing, but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 for a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 10 Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without fear, for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. 11 Therefore let no one despise him. But set him forward on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brothers.
12 Now concerning Apollos, the brother, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brothers; and it was not at all his desire to come now; but he will come when he has an opportunity.
13 Watch! Stand firm in the faith! Be courageous! Be strong! 14 Let all that you do be done in love.
15 Now I beg you, brothers (you know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have set themselves to serve the saints), 16 that you also be in subjection to such, and to everyone who helps in the work and labors. 17 I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus; for that which was lacking on your part, they supplied. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge those who are like that.
19 The assemblies of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you much in the Lord, together with the assembly that is in their house. 20 All the brothers greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21 This greeting is by me, Paul, with my own hand. 22 If any man doesn’t love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. Come, Lord! 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.
40 I waited patiently for Yahweh.
He turned to me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of a horrible pit,
out of the miry clay.
He set my feet on a rock,
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God.
Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in Yahweh.
4 Blessed is the man who makes Yahweh his trust,
and doesn’t respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, Yahweh, my God, are the wonderful works which you have done,
and your thoughts which are toward us.
They can’t be declared back to you.
If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering you didn’t desire.
You have opened my ears.
You have not required burnt offering and sin offering.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come.
It is written about me in the book in the scroll.
8 I delight to do your will, my God.
Yes, your law is within my heart.”
9 I have proclaimed glad news of righteousness in the great assembly.
Behold, I will not seal my lips, Yahweh, you know.
10 I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart.
I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation.
I have not concealed your loving kindness and your truth from the great assembly.
22 A good name is more desirable than great riches,
and loving favor is better than silver and gold.