18 September 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s Bible reading includes the 62nd Psalm. In this Psalm, God is metaphorically compared to a ‘rock’. David had often hid in rocky caverns, and here he compares God to such a secure refuge. He acknowledges that God is his only real protection.
Today’s passage in Galatians references Isaiah 54:1 and Genesis 21:10.
14 Therefore hear Yahweh’s word, you scoffers, that rule this people in Jerusalem: 15 “Because you have said, ‘We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol are we in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it won’t come to us; for we have made lies our refuge, and we have hidden ourselves under falsehood.’” 16 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh, “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone of a sure foundation. He who believes shall not act hastily. 17 I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plumb line. The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place. 18 Your covenant with death shall be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand. When the overflowing scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it. 19 As often as it passes through, it will seize you; for morning by morning it will pass through, by day and by night; and it will be nothing but terror to understand the message.” 20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the blanket is too narrow to wrap oneself in. 21 For Yahweh will rise up as on Mount Perazim. He will be angry as in the valley of Gibeon; that he may do his work, his unusual work, and bring to pass his act, his extraordinary act. 22 Now therefore don’t be scoffers, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, on the whole earth.
23 Give ear, and hear my voice! Listen, and hear my speech! 24 Does he who plows to sow plow continually? Does he keep turning the soil and breaking the clods? 25 When he has leveled its surface, doesn’t he plant the dill, and scatter the cumin seed, and put in the wheat in rows, the barley in the appointed place, and the spelt in its place? 26 For his God instructs him in right judgment, and teaches him. 27 For the dill are not threshed with a sharp instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned over the cumin; but the dill is beaten out with a stick, and the cumin with a rod. 28 Bread flour must be ground; so he will not always be threshing it. Although he drives the wheel of his threshing cart over it, his horses don’t grind it. 29 This also comes out from Yahweh of Armies, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in wisdom.
29 Woe to Ariel! Ariel, the city where David encamped! Add year to year; let the feasts come around; 2 then I will distress Ariel, and there will be mourning and lamentation. She shall be to me as an altar hearth.[c] 3 I will encamp against you all around you, and will lay siege against you with posted troops. I will raise siege works against you. 4 You will be brought down, and will speak out of the ground. Your speech will mumble out of the dust. Your voice will be as of one who has a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and your speech will whisper out of the dust. 5 But the multitude of your foes will be like fine dust, and the multitude of the ruthless ones like chaff that blows away. Yes, it will be in an instant, suddenly. 6 She will be visited by Yahweh of Armies with thunder, with earthquake, with great noise, with whirlwind and storm, and with the flame of a devouring fire. 7 The multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all who fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her, will be like a dream, a vision of the night. 8 It will be like when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he eats; but he awakes, and his hunger isn’t satisfied; or like when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he drinks; but he awakes, and behold, he is faint, and he is still thirsty. The multitude of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion will be like that. 9 Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10 For Yahweh has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, the prophets; and he has covered your heads, the seers. 11 All vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is educated, saying, “Read this, please”; and he says, “I can’t, for it is sealed:” 12 and the book is delivered to one who is not educated, saying, “Read this, please”; and he says, “I can’t read.” 13 The Lord said, “Because this people draws near with their mouth and with their lips to honor me, but they have removed their heart far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men which has been taught; 14 therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their prudent men will be hidden.”
15 Woe to those who deeply hide their counsel from Yahweh, and whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us?” and “Who knows us?” 16 You turn things upside down! Should the potter be thought to be like clay; that the thing made should say about him who made it, “He didn’t make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding?”
17 Isn’t it yet a very little while, and Lebanon will be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field will be regarded as a forest? 18 In that day, the deaf will hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind will see out of obscurity and out of darkness. 19 The humble also will increase their joy in Yahweh, and the poor among men will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the ruthless is brought to nothing, and the scoffer ceases, and all those who are alert to do evil are cut off— 21 who cause a person to be indicted by a word, and lay a snare for the arbiter in the gate, and who deprive the innocent of justice with false testimony. 22 Therefore Yahweh, who redeemed Abraham, says concerning the house of Jacob: “Jacob shall no longer be ashamed, neither shall his face grow pale. 23 But when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in the middle of him, they will sanctify my name. Yes, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24 They also who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who grumble will receive instruction.”
30 “Woe to the rebellious children”, says Yahweh, “who take counsel, but not from me; and who make an alliance, but not with my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin, 2 who set out to go down into Egypt, and have not asked my advice; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to take refuge in the shadow of Egypt! 3 Therefore the strength of Pharaoh will be your shame, and the refuge in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. 4 For their princes are at Zoan, and their ambassadors have come to Hanes. 5 They shall all be ashamed because of a people that can’t profit them, that are not a help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.”
6 The burden of the animals of the South. Through the land of trouble and anguish, of the lioness and the lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they carry their riches on the shoulders of young donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, to an unprofitable people. 7 For Egypt helps in vain, and to no purpose; therefore have I called her Rahab who sits still. 8 Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever. 9 For it is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear Yahweh’s law; 10 who tell the seers, “Don’t see!” and to the prophets, “Don’t prophesy to us right things. Tell us pleasant things. Prophesy deceits. 11 Get out of the way. Turn aside from the path. Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”
23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, confined for the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 So that the law has become our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring and heirs according to promise.
4 But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a bondservant, though he is lord of all; 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the day appointed by the father. 3 So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law, 5 that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children. 6 And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 8 However at that time, not knowing God, you were in bondage to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, why do you turn back again to the weak and miserable elemental principles, to which you desire to be in bondage all over again? 10 You observe days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am afraid for you, that I might have wasted my labor for you. 12 I beg you, brothers, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong, 13 but you know that because of weakness of the flesh I preached the Good News to you the first time. 14 That which was a temptation to you in my flesh, you didn’t despise nor reject; but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
15 What was the blessing you enjoyed? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So then, have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They zealously seek you in no good way. No, they desire to alienate you, that you may seek them. 18 But it is always good to be zealous in a good cause, and not only when I am present with you.
19 My little children, of whom I am again in travail until Christ is formed in you— 20 but I could wish to be present with you now, and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you. 21 Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, don’t you listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the servant, and one by the free woman. 23 However, the son by the servant was born according to the flesh, but the son by the free woman was born through promise. 24 These things contain an allegory, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children to bondage, which is Hagar. 25 For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to the Jerusalem that exists now, for she is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written,
“Rejoice, you barren who don’t bear.
Break out and shout, you that don’t travail.
For more are the children of the desolate than of her who has a husband.”
28 Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But as then, he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 However what does the Scripture say? “Throw out the servant and her son, for the son of the servant will not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So then, brothers, we are not children of a servant, but of the free woman.
For the Chief Musician. To Jeduthan. A Psalm by David.
62 My soul rests in God alone.
My salvation is from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress—
I will never be greatly shaken.
3 How long will you assault a man,
would all of you throw him down,
Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence?
4 They fully intend to throw him down from his lofty place.
They delight in lies.
They bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly.
5 My soul, wait in silence for God alone,
for my expectation is from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress.
I will not be shaken.
7 With God is my salvation and my honor.
The rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people.
Pour out your heart before him.
God is a refuge for us.
9 Surely men of low degree are just a breath,
and men of high degree are a lie.
In the balances they will go up.
They are together lighter than a breath.
10 Don’t trust in oppression.
Don’t become vain in robbery.
If riches increase,
don’t set your heart on them.
11 God has spoken once;
twice I have heard this,
that power belongs to God.
12 Also to you, Lord, belongs loving kindness,
for you reward every man according to his work.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the right path!
20 Don’t be among ones drinking too much wine,
or those who gorge themselves on meat:
21 for the drunkard and the glutton shall become poor;
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.