1 October 2017 Bible Reading
Philippians contains many familiar verses: “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6), “To live is Christ and to die is gain” (1:21), and “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (4:13) are just a few. But the portrait of Jesus Christ as a humble servant serves as the core of Paul’s teaching in this letter (2:5–11).
Paul’s happiness with the Philippian church is clear. To lead the Philippians to this truth, Paul took them directly to Jesus, teaching them that a community of believers living in harmony with one another comes only through mutual humility modeled after the Savior. Paul wrote that he poured out his life as an offering for the sake of Christ, leading Paul to find great joy and contentment in Christ’s service. His letter to the Philippians showed them that by centering their lives on Christ, they, too, might live in true joy.
As you read from Proverbs 24, consider the depth and layers of biblical wisdom. Honey has three amazing healing properties. It is hygroscopic, which means that when it is exposed to air, it absorbs moisture. It contains an enzyme which produces an antibacterial agent. It has antioxidant properties which can destroy biologically destructive chemical agents.
6 I have set watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem.
They will never be silent day nor night.
You who call on Yahweh, take no rest,
7 and give him no rest, until he establishes,
and until he makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
8 Yahweh has sworn by his right hand,
and by the arm of his strength,
“Surely I will no more give your grain to be food for your enemies;
and foreigners will not drink your new wine, for which you have labored;
9 but those who have harvested it will eat it, and praise Yahweh;
and those who have gathered it will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.”
10 Go through, go through the gates!
Prepare the way of the people!
Build up, build up the highway!
Gather out the stones!
Lift up a banner for the peoples.
11 Behold, Yahweh has proclaimed to the end of the earth,
“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your salvation comes.
Behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.’”
12 They will call them The holy people,
You will be called Sought out,
A city not forsaken.
63 Who is this who comes from Edom,
with dyed garments from Bozrah?
Who this who is glorious in his clothing,
marching in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I who speak in righteousness,
mighty to save.”
2 Why is your clothing red,
and your garments like him who treads in the wine vat?
3 “I have trodden the wine press alone;
and of the peoples, no one was with me:
Yes, I trod them in my anger,
and trampled them in my wrath.
Their lifeblood is sprinkled on my garments,
and I have stained all my clothing.
4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
and the year of my redeemed has come.
5 I looked, and there was no one to help;
and I wondered that there was no one to uphold:
therefore my own arm brought salvation to me;
and my own wrath upheld me.
6 I trod down the peoples in my anger,
and made them drunk in my wrath,
and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
7 I will tell of the loving kindnesses of Yahweh
and the praises of Yahweh,
according to all that Yahweh has given to us,
and the great goodness toward the house of Israel,
which he has given to them according to his mercies,
and according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses.
8 For he said, “Surely, they are my people,
children who will not deal falsely;”
so he became their Savior.
9 In all their affliction he was afflicted,
and the angel of his presence saved them.
In his love and in his pity he redeemed them.
He bore them,
and carried them all the days of old.
10 But they rebelled,
and grieved his holy Spirit.
Therefore he turned and became their enemy,
and he himself fought against them.
11 Then he remembered the days of old,
Moses and his people, saying,
“Where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock?
Where is he who put his Holy Spirit among them?”
12 Who caused his glorious arm to be at Moses’ right hand?
Who divided the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting name?
13 Who led them through the depths,
like a horse in the wilderness,
so that they didn’t stumble?
14 As the livestock that go down into the valley,
Yahweh’s Spirit caused them to rest.
So you led your people, to make yourself a glorious name.
15 Look down from heaven,
and see from the habitation of your holiness and of your glory.
Where are your zeal and your mighty acts?
The yearning of your heart and your compassion is restrained toward me.
16 For you are our Father,
though Abraham doesn’t know us,
and Israel does not acknowledge us.
You, Yahweh, are our Father.
Our Redeemer from everlasting is your name.
17 O Yahweh, why do you make us wander from your ways,
and harden our heart from your fear?
Return for your servants’ sake,
the tribes of your inheritance.
18 Your holy people possessed it but a little while.
Our adversaries have trodden down your sanctuary.
19 We have become like those over whom you never ruled,
like those who were not called by your name.
64 Oh that you would tear the heavens,
that you would come down,
that the mountains might quake at your presence.
2 As when fire kindles the brushwood,
and the fire causes the water to boil;
Make your name known to your adversaries,
that the nations may tremble at your presence!
3 When you did awesome things which we didn’t look for,
you came down, and the mountains quaked at your presence.
4 For from of old men have not heard,
nor perceived by the ear,
nor has the eye seen a God besides you,
who works for him who waits for him.
5 You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
those who remember you in your ways.
Behold, you were angry, and we sinned.
We have been in sin for a long time.
Shall we be saved?
6 For we have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteousness is like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf;
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
7 There is no one who calls on your name,
who stirs himself up to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
and have consumed us by means of our iniquities.
8 But now, Yahweh, you are our Father.
We are the clay, and you our potter.
We all are the work of your hand.
9 Don’t be furious, Yahweh,
and don’t remember iniquity forever.
Look and see, we beg you,
we are all your people.
10 Your holy cities have become a wilderness.
Zion has become a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised you,
is burned with fire;
and all our pleasant places are laid waste.
12 Will you hold yourself back for these things, Yahweh?
Will you keep silent, and punish us very severely?
65 “I am inquired of by those who didn’t ask.
I am found by those who didn’t seek me.
I said, ‘See me, see me,’ to a nation that was not called by my name.
2 I have spread out my hands all day to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
after their own thoughts;
3 a people who provoke me to my face continually,
sacrificing in gardens,
and burning incense on bricks;
4 who sit among the graves,
and spend nights in secret places;
who eat pig’s flesh,
and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5 who say, ‘Stay by yourself,
don’t come near to me,
for I am holier than you.’
These are smoke in my nose,
a fire that burns all day.
6 “Behold, it is written before me:
I will not keep silence,
but will repay,
yes, I will repay into their bosom,
7 your own iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together”, says Yahweh,
“who have burned incense on the mountains,
and blasphemed me on the hills.
Therefore I will first measure their work into their bosom.”
8 Yahweh says,
“As the new wine is found in the cluster,
and one says, ‘Don’t destroy it, for a blessing is in it:’
so will I do for my servants’ sake,
that I may not destroy them all.
9 I will bring offspring out of Jacob,
and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains.
My chosen will inherit it,
and my servants will dwell there.
10 Sharon will be a fold of flocks,
and the valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down in,
for my people who have sought me.
11 “But you who forsake Yahweh,
who forget my holy mountain,
who prepare a table for Fortune,
and who fill up mixed wine to Destiny;
12 I will destine you to the sword,
and you will all bow down to the slaughter;
because when I called, you didn’t answer.
When I spoke, you didn’t listen;
but you did that which was evil in my eyes,
and chose that in which I didn’t delight.”
13 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh,
“Behold, my servants will eat,
but you will be hungry;
behold, my servants will drink,
but you will be thirsty.
Behold, my servants will rejoice,
but you will be disappointed;
14 Behold, my servants will sing for joy of heart,
but you will cry for sorrow of heart,
and will wail for anguish of spirit.
15 You will leave your name for a curse to my chosen;
and the Lord Yahweh will kill you.
He will call his servants by another name,
16 so that he who blesses himself in the earth will bless himself in the God of truth;
and he who swears in the earth will swear by the God of truth;
because the former troubles are forgotten,
and because they are hidden from my eyes.
17 “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
and the former things will not be remembered,
nor come into mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create;
for, behold, I create Jerusalem to be a delight,
and her people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
and delight in my people;
and the voice of weeping and the voice of crying
will be heard in her no more.
20 “No more will there be an infant who only lives a few days,
nor an old man who has not filled his days;
for the child will die one hundred years old,
and the sinner being one hundred years old will be accursed.
21 They will build houses, and inhabit them.
They will plant vineyards, and eat their fruit.
22 They will not build, and another inhabit.
They will not plant, and another eat:
for the days of my people will be like the days of a tree,
and my chosen will long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They will not labor in vain,
nor give birth for calamity;
for they are the offspring of Yahweh’s blessed,
and their descendants with them.
24 It will happen that, before they call, I will answer;
and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
Dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain,”
19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered up when I know how you are doing. 20 For I have no one else like-minded, who will truly care about you. 21 For they all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know the proof of him, that, as a child serves a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the Good News. 23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it will go with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself also will come shortly. 25 But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier, and your apostle and servant of my need; 26 since he longed for you all, and was very troubled, because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick, nearly to death, but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, that I might not have sorrow on sorrow. 28 I have sent him therefore the more diligently, that, when you see him again, you may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy, and hold such in honor, 30 because for the work of Christ he came near to death, risking his life to supply that which was lacking in your service toward me.
3 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not tiresome, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh; 4 though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has confidence in the flesh, I yet more:
A Psalm by Asaph.
73 Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone.
My steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant,
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For there are no struggles in their death,
but their strength is firm.
5 They are free from burdens of men,
neither are they plagued like other men.
6 Therefore pride is like a chain around their neck.
Violence covers them like a garment.
7 Their eyes bulge with fat.
Their minds pass the limits of conceit.
8 They scoff and speak with malice.
In arrogance, they threaten oppression.
9 They have set their mouth in the heavens.
Their tongue walks through the earth.
10 Therefore their people return to them,
and they drink up waters of abundance.
11 They say, “How does God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked.
Being always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 Surely in vain I have cleansed my heart,
and washed my hands in innocence,
14 For all day long have I been plagued,
and punished every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus”;
behold, I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 When I tried to understand this,
it was too painful for me;
17 Until I entered God’s sanctuary,
and considered their latter end.
18 Surely you set them in slippery places.
You throw them down to destruction.
19 How they are suddenly destroyed!
They are completely swept away with terrors.
20 As a dream when one wakes up,
so, Lord, when you awake, you will despise their fantasies.
21 For my soul was grieved.
I was embittered in my heart.
22 I was so senseless and ignorant.
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you.
You have held my right hand.
24 You will guide me with your counsel,
and afterward receive me to glory.
25 Whom do I have in heaven?
There is no one on earth whom I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart fails,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For, behold, those who are far from you shall perish.
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to you.
28 But it is good for me to come close to God.
I have made the Lord Yahweh my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.
13 My son, eat honey, for it is good;
the droppings of the honeycomb, which are sweet to your taste:
14 so you shall know wisdom to be to your soul;
if you have found it, then there will be a reward,
your hope will not be cut off.