29 October 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s Bible reading includes Philemon. The letter to Philemon reminds us that God’s revelation to humanity is intensely personal. Philemon reminds us that the love of God, forgiveness in Christ, or the inherent dignity of humanity have real and pertinent impact in everyday life. The book of Philemon illustrates that principles like these can and should profoundly affect the lives of believers.
1 How the city sits solitary, that was full of people!
She has become as a widow, who was great among the nations!
She who was a princess among the provinces has become tributary!
2 She weeps bitterly in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks;
among all her lovers she has no one to comfort her:
All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they are become her enemies.
3 Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude;
she dwells among the nations, she finds no rest:
all her persecutors overtook her within the straits.
4 The ways of Zion do mourn, because no one come to the solemn assembly;
all her gates are desolate, her priests do sigh:
her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness.
5 Her adversaries are become the head, her enemies prosper;
for Yahweh has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions:
her young children are gone into captivity before the adversary.
6 From the daughter of Zion all her majesty is departed:
her princes are become like deer that find no pasture,
they are gone without strength before the pursuer.
7 Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that were from the days of old:
when her people fell into the hand of the adversary, and no one helped her,
The adversaries saw her, they mocked at her desolations.
8 Jerusalem has grievously sinned; therefore she has become as an unclean thing;
all who honored her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness:
yes, she sighs, and turns backward.
9 Her filthiness was in her skirts; she didn’t remember her latter end;
therefore is she come down wonderfully; she has no comforter:
see, Yahweh, my affliction; for the enemy has magnified himself.
10 The adversary has spread out his hand on all her pleasant things:
for she has seen that the nations are entered into her sanctuary,
concerning whom you commanded that they should not enter into your assembly.
11 All her people sigh, they seek bread;
they have given their pleasant things for food to refresh the soul:
look, Yahweh, and see; for I am become abject.
12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
Look, and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which is brought on me,
With which Yahweh has afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
13 From on high has he sent fire into my bones, and it prevails against them;
He has spread a net for my feet, he has turned me back:
He has made me desolate and faint all the day.
14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand;
They are knit together, they have come up on my neck; he has made my strength to fail:
The Lord has delivered me into their hands, against whom I am not able to stand.
15 The Lord has set at nothing all my mighty men within me;
He has called a solemn assembly against me to crush my young men:
The Lord has trodden as in a wine press the virgin daughter of Judah.
16 For these things I weep; my eye, my eye runs down with water;
Because the comforter who should refresh my soul is far from me:
My children are desolate, because the enemy has prevailed.
17 Zion spreads out her hands; there is no one to comfort her;
Yahweh has commanded concerning Jacob, that those who are around him should be his adversaries:
Jerusalem is among them as an unclean thing.
18 Yahweh is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment:
Please hear all you peoples, and see my sorrow:
My virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.
19 I called for my lovers, but they deceived me:
My priests and my elders gave up the spirit in the city,
While they sought them food to refresh their souls.
20 See, Yahweh; for I am in distress; my heart is troubled;
My heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled:
Abroad the sword bereaves, at home there is as death.
21 They have heard that I sigh; there is no one to comfort me;
All my enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that you have done it:
You will bring the day that you have proclaimed, and they shall be like me.
22 Let all their wickedness come before you;
Do to them, as you have done to me for all my transgressions:
For my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.
2 How has the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger!
He has cast down from heaven to the earth the beauty of Israel,
And hasn’t remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.
2 The Lord has swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and has not pitied:
He has thrown down in his wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
He has brought them down to the ground; he has profaned the kingdom and its princes.
3 He has cut off in fierce anger all the horn of Israel;
He has drawn back his right hand from before the enemy:
He has burned up Jacob like a flaming fire, which devours all around.
4 He has bent his bow like an enemy, he has stood with his right hand as an adversary,
Has killed all that were pleasant to the eye:
In the tent of the daughter of Zion he has poured out his wrath like fire.
5 The Lord has become as an enemy, he has swallowed up Israel;
He has swallowed up all her palaces, he has destroyed his strongholds;
He has multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.
6 He has violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden; he has destroyed his place of assembly:
Yahweh has caused solemn assembly and Sabbath to be forgotten in Zion,
Has despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.
7 The Lord has cast off his altar, he has abhorred his sanctuary;
He has given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces:
They have made a noise in Yahweh’s house, as in the day of a solemn assembly.
8 Yahweh has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion;
He has stretched out the line, he has not withdrawn his hand from destroying;
He has made the rampart and wall to lament; they languish together.
9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he has destroyed and broken her bars:
Her king and her princes are among the nations where the law is not;
Yes, her prophets find no vision from Yahweh.
10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground, they keep silence;
They have cast up dust on their heads; they have clothed themselves with sackcloth:
The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
11 My eyes do fail with tears, my heart is troubled;
My liver is poured on the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
Because the young children and the infants swoon in the streets of the city.
12 They tell their mothers, Where is grain and wine?
When they swoon as the wounded in the streets of the city,
When their soul is poured out into their mothers’ bosom.
13 What shall I testify to you? what shall I liken to you, daughter of Jerusalem?
What shall I compare to you, that I may comfort you, virgin daughter of Zion?
For your breach is great like the sea: who can heal you?
14 Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions;
They have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captivity,
but have seen for you false revelations and causes of banishment.
15 All that pass by clap their hands at you.
They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying,
Is this the city that men called The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?
16 All your enemies have opened their mouth wide against you;
They hiss and gnash the teeth; they say, We have swallowed her up;
Certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.
17 Yahweh has done that which he purposed; he has fulfilled his word that he commanded in the days of old;
He has thrown down, and has not pitied:
He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you; he has exalted the horn of your adversaries.
18 Their heart cried to the Lord:
wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night;
Give yourself no respite; don’t let the apple of your eye cease.
19 Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches;
Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord:
Lift up your hands toward him for the life of your young children, that faint for hunger at the head of every street.
1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our beloved fellow worker, 2 to the beloved Apphia, to Archippus, our fellow soldier, and to the assembly in your house: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, 5 hearing of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints; 6 that the fellowship of your faith may become effective, in the knowledge of every good thing which is in us in Christ Jesus. 7 For we have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
8 Therefore though I have all boldness in Christ to command you that which is appropriate, 9 yet for love’s sake I rather beg, being such a one as Paul, the aged, but also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. 10 I beg you for my child, whom I have become the father of in my chains, Onesimus, 11 who once was useless to you, but now is useful to you and to me. 12 I am sending him back. Therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, 13 whom I desired to keep with me, that on your behalf he might serve me in my chains for the Good News. 14 But I was willing to do nothing without your consent, that your goodness would not be as of necessity, but of free will. 15 For perhaps he was therefore separated from you for a while, that you would have him forever, 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much rather to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
17 If then you count me a partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 But if he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, put that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it (not to mention to you that you owe to me even your own self besides). 20 Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in the Lord. 21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even beyond what I say.
22 Also, prepare a guest room for me, for I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
A Psalm by David.
101 I will sing of loving kindness and justice.
To you, Yahweh, I will sing praises.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life.
When will you come to me?
I will walk within my house with a blameless heart.
3 I will set no vile thing before my eyes.
I hate the deeds of faithless men.
They will not cling to me.
4 A perverse heart will be far from me.
I will have nothing to do with evil.
5 I will silence whoever secretly slanders his neighbor.
I won’t tolerate one who is haughty and conceited.
6 My eyes will be on the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in a perfect way,
he will serve me.
7 He who practices deceit won’t dwell within my house.
He who speaks falsehood won’t be established before my eyes.
8 Morning by morning, I will destroy all the wicked of the land;
to cut off all the workers of iniquity from Yahweh’s city.
20 For lack of wood a fire goes out.
Without gossip, a quarrel dies down.