Friday 21 September 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Fri Sep 21 02:00:00 EDT 2007

Friday 21 September 2007 

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2 Kings 1:2-17

Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria,
and lay injured; so he sent messengers, telling them, 'Go, inquire of
Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury.'
3But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, 'Get up, go to
meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, "Is it
because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of
Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?" 4Now therefore, thus says the Lord, "You
shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely
die." ' So Elijah went. 
5 The messengers returned to the king, who said to them, 'Why have you
returned?' 6They answered him, 'There came a man to meet us, who said to
us, "Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him: Thus says the
Lord: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to
inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not leave
the bed to which you have gone, but shall surely die." ' 7He said to
them, 'What sort of man was he who came to meet you and told you these
things?' 8They answered him, 'A hairy man, with a leather belt around
his waist.' He said, 'It is Elijah the Tishbite.' 
9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. He
went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to
him, 'O man of God, the king says, "Come down." ' 10But Elijah answered
the captain of fifty, 'If I am a man of God, let fire come down from
heaven and consume you and your fifty.' Then fire came down from heaven,
and consumed him and his fifty. 
11 Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty.
He went up* and said to him, 'O man of God, this is the king's order:
Come down quickly!' 12But Elijah answered them, 'If I am a man of God,
let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.' Then the
fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. 
13 Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. So
the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees
before Elijah, and entreated him, 'O man of God, please let my life, and
the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight.
14Look, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains
of fifty men with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your
sight.' 15Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, 'Go down with him;
do not be afraid of him.' So he set out and went down with him to the
king, 16and said to him, 'Thus says the Lord: Because you have sent
messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron,-is it because
there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?-therefore you shall
not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.' 
Death of Ahaziah17 So he died according to the word of the Lord that
Elijah had spoken. His brother* Jehoram succeeded him as king in the
second year of King Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat of Judah, because Ahaziah
had no son.
1 Corinthians 3:16-23

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells
in you?* 17If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that
person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. 
18 Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this
age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. 19For the
wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written,
'He catches the wise in their craftiness', 
20and again,
'The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise,
   that they are futile.' 
21So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours,
22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the
present or the future-all belong to you, 23and you belong to Christ, and
Christ belongs to God.
Matthew 5:11-16

'Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all
kinds of evil against you falsely* on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted
the prophets who were before you. 
Salt and Light13 'You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost
its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for
anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. 
14 'You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be
hidden. 15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket,
but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the
same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your
good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 69:1-38

Psalm 69:1-38

Save me, O God,
   for the waters have come up to my neck. 
2I sink in deep mire,
   where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
   and the flood sweeps over me. 
3I am weary with my crying;
   my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
   with waiting for my God. 

4More in number than the hairs of my head
   are those who hate me without cause;
many are those who would destroy me,
   my enemies who accuse me falsely.
What I did not steal
   must I now restore? 
5O God, you know my folly;
   the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. 

6Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me,
   O Lord God of hosts;
do not let those who seek you be dishonoured because of me,
   O God of Israel. 
7It is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
   that shame has covered my face. 
8I have become a stranger to my kindred,
   an alien to my mother's children. 

9It is zeal for your house that has consumed me;
   the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. 
10When I humbled my soul with fasting,*
   they insulted me for doing so. 
11When I made sackcloth my clothing,
   I became a byword to them. 
12I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate,
   and the drunkards make songs about me. 

13But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
   At an acceptable time, O God,
   in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.
With your faithful help 14rescue me
   from sinking in the mire;
let me be delivered from my enemies
   and from the deep waters. 
15Do not let the flood sweep over me,
   or the deep swallow me up,
   or the Pit close its mouth over me. 

16Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;
   according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. 
17Do not hide your face from your servant,
   for I am in distress-make haste to answer me. 
18Draw near to me, redeem me,
   set me free because of my enemies. 

19You know the insults I receive,
   and my shame and dishonour;
   my foes are all known to you. 
20Insults have broken my heart,
   so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none;
   and for comforters, but I found none. 
21They gave me poison for food,
   and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 

22Let their table be a trap for them,
   a snare for their allies. 
23Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
   and make their loins tremble continually. 
24Pour out your indignation upon them,
   and let your burning anger overtake them. 
25May their camp be a desolation;
   let no one live in their tents. 
26For they persecute those whom you have struck down,
   and those whom you have wounded, they attack still more.* 
27Add guilt to their guilt;
   may they have no acquittal from you. 
28Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
   let them not be enrolled among the righteous. 
29But I am lowly and in pain;
   let your salvation, O God, protect me. 

30I will praise the name of God with a song;
   I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 
31This will please the Lord more than an ox
   or a bull with horns and hoofs. 
32Let the oppressed see it and be glad;
   you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 
33For the Lord hears the needy,
   and does not despise his own that are in bonds. 

34Let heaven and earth praise him,
   the seas and everything that moves in them. 
35For God will save Zion
   and rebuild the cities of Judah;
and his servants shall live* there and possess it; 
36   the children of his servants shall inherit it,
   and those who love his name shall live in it.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 73

Psalm 73

Truly God is good to the upright,*
   to those who are pure in heart. 
2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
   my steps had nearly slipped. 
3For I was envious of the arrogant;
   I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 

4For they have no pain;
   their bodies are sound and sleek. 
5They are not in trouble as others are;
   they are not plagued like other people. 
6Therefore pride is their necklace;
   violence covers them like a garment. 
7Their eyes swell out with fatness;
   their hearts overflow with follies. 
8They scoff and speak with malice;
   loftily they threaten oppression. 
9They set their mouths against heaven,
   and their tongues range over the earth. 

10Therefore the people turn and praise them,*
   and find no fault in them.* 
11And they say, 'How can God know?
   Is there knowledge in the Most High?' 
12Such are the wicked;
   always at ease, they increase in riches. 
13All in vain I have kept my heart clean
   and washed my hands in innocence. 
14For all day long I have been plagued,
   and am punished every morning. 

15If I had said, 'I will talk on in this way',
   I would have been untrue to the circle of your children. 
16But when I thought how to understand this,
   it seemed to me a wearisome task, 
17until I went into the sanctuary of God;
   then I perceived their end. 
18Truly you set them in slippery places;
   you make them fall to ruin. 
19How they are destroyed in a moment,
   swept away utterly by terrors! 
20They are* like a dream when one awakes;
   on awaking you despise their phantoms. 

21When my soul was embittered,
   when I was pricked in heart, 
22I was stupid and ignorant;
   I was like a brute beast towards you. 
23Nevertheless I am continually with you;
   you hold my right hand. 
24You guide me with your counsel,
   and afterwards you will receive me with honour.* 
25Whom have I in heaven but you?
   And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you. 
26My flesh and my heart may fail,
   but God is the strength* of my heart and my portion for ever. 

27Indeed, those who are far from you will perish;
   you put an end to those who are false to you. 
28But for me it is good to be near God;
   I have made the Lord God my refuge,
   to tell of all your works.

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