Wednesday 26 September 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Wed Sep 26 02:00:00 EDT 2007

Wednesday 26 September 2007 

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2 Kings 6:1-23

Now the company of prophets* said to Elisha, 'As you see, the place
where we live under your charge is too small for us. 2Let us go to the
Jordan, and let us collect logs there, one for each of us, and build a
place there for us to live.' He answered, 'Do so.' 3Then one of them
said, 'Please come with your servants.' And he answered, 'I will.' 4So
he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees.
5But as one was felling a log, his axehead fell into the water; he cried
out, 'Alas, master! It was borrowed.' 6Then the man of God said, 'Where
did it fall?' When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick, and
threw it in there, and made the iron float. 7He said, 'Pick it up.' So
he reached out his hand and took it. 
The Aramean Attack Is Thwarted8 Once when the king of Aram was at war
with Israel, he took counsel with his officers. He said, 'At such and
such a place shall be my camp.' 9But the man of God sent word to the
king of Israel, 'Take care not to pass this place, because the Arameans
are going down there.' 10The king of Israel sent word to the place of
which the man of God spoke. More than once or twice he warned such a
place* so that it was on the alert. 
11 The mind of the king of Aram was greatly perturbed because of this;
he called his officers and said to them, 'Now tell me who among us sides
with the king of Israel?' 12Then one of his officers said, 'No one, my
lord king. It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel, who tells the king of
Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber.' 13He said, 'Go and
find where he is; I will send and seize him.' He was told, 'He is in
Dothan.' 14So he sent horses and chariots there and a great army; they
came by night, and surrounded the city. 
15 When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and
went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. His
servant said, 'Alas, master! What shall we do?' 16He replied, 'Do not be
afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.' 17Then
Elisha prayed: 'O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.' So the
Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full
of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18When the Arameans*
came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, 'Strike this
people, please, with blindness.' So he struck them with blindness as
Elisha had asked. 19Elisha said to them, 'This is not the way, and this
is not the city; follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you
seek.' And he led them to Samaria. 
20 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, 'O Lord, open the eyes
of these men so that they may see.' The Lord opened their eyes, and they
saw that they were inside Samaria. 21When the king of Israel saw them he
said to Elisha, 'Father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?' 22He
answered, 'No! Did you capture with your sword and your bow those whom
you want to kill? Set food and water before them so that they may eat
and drink; and let them go to their master.' 23So he prepared for them a
great feast; after they ate and drank, he sent them on their way, and
they went to their master. And the Arameans no longer came raiding into
the land of Israel.
1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral
persons- 10not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy
and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the
world. 11But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who
bears the name of brother or sister* who is sexually immoral or greedy,
or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with
such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it
not those who are inside that you are to judge? 13God will judge those
outside. 'Drive out the wicked person from among you.' 

Lawsuits among Believers6When any of you has a grievance against
another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead
of taking it before the saints? 2Do you not know that the saints will
judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you
incompetent to try trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we are to judge
angels-to say nothing of ordinary matters? 4If you have ordinary cases,
then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church?
5I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise
enough to decide between one believer* and another, 6but a believer*
goes to court against a believer*-and before unbelievers at that? 
7 In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat
for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8But
you yourselves wrong and defraud-and believers* at that.
Matthew 5:38-48

'You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a
tooth." 39But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone
strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40and if anyone
wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41and if
anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42Give to
everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow
from you. 
Love for Enemies43 'You have heard that it was said, "You shall love
your neighbour and hate your enemy." 44But I say to you, Love your
enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be
children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil
and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not
even the tax-collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your
brothers and sisters,* what more are you doing than others? Do not even
the Gentiles do the same? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly
Father is perfect.
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 119:97-120

Psalm 119:97-120

Oh, how I love your law!
   It is my meditation all day long. 
98Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
   for it is always with me. 
99I have more understanding than all my teachers,
   for your decrees are my meditation. 
100I understand more than the aged,
   for I keep your precepts. 
101I hold back my feet from every evil way,
   in order to keep your word. 
102I do not turn away from your ordinances,
   for you have taught me. 
103How sweet are your words to my taste,
   sweeter than honey to my mouth! 
104Through your precepts I get understanding;
   therefore I hate every false way. 

105Your word is a lamp to my feet
   and a light to my path. 
106I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
   to observe your righteous ordinances. 
107I am severely afflicted;
   give me life, O Lord, according to your word. 
108Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord,
   and teach me your ordinances. 
109I hold my life in my hand continually,
   but I do not forget your law. 
110The wicked have laid a snare for me,
   but I do not stray from your precepts. 
111Your decrees are my heritage for ever;
   they are the joy of my heart. 
112I incline my heart to perform your statutes
   for ever, to the end. 

113I hate the double-minded,
   but I love your law. 
114You are my hiding-place and my shield;
   I hope in your word. 
115Go away from me, you evildoers,
   that I may keep the commandments of my God. 
116Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
   and let me not be put to shame in my hope. 
117Hold me up, that I may be safe
   and have regard for your statutes continually. 
118You spurn all who go astray from your statutes;
   for their cunning is in vain. 
119All the wicked of the earth you count as dross;
   therefore I love your decrees. 
120My flesh trembles for fear of you,
   and I am afraid of your judgements. 
Evening Psalms: Psalm 81, 82

Psalm 81

Sing aloud to God our strength;
   shout for joy to the God of Jacob. 
2Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
   the sweet lyre with the harp. 
3Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
   at the full moon, on our festal day. 
4For it is a statute for Israel,
   an ordinance of the God of Jacob. 
5He made it a decree in Joseph,
   when he went out over* the land of Egypt. 

I hear a voice I had not known: 
6'I relieved your* shoulder of the burden;
   your* hands were freed from the basket. 
7In distress you called, and I rescued you;
   I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
   I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
8Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
   O Israel, if you would but listen to me! 
9There shall be no strange god among you;
   you shall not bow down to a foreign god. 
10I am the Lord your God,
   who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
   Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. 

11'But my people did not listen to my voice;
   Israel would not submit to me. 
12So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
   to follow their own counsels. 
13O that my people would listen to me,
   that Israel would walk in my ways! 
14Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
   and turn my hand against their foes. 
15Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
   and their doom would last for ever. 
16I would feed you* with the finest of the wheat,
   and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.'

Psalm 82

God has taken his place in the divine council;
   in the midst of the gods he holds judgement: 
2'How long will you judge unjustly
   and show partiality to the wicked?
3Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
   maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. 
4Rescue the weak and the needy;
   deliver them from the hand of the wicked.' 

5They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
   they walk around in darkness;
   all the foundations of the earth are shaken. 

6I say, 'You are gods,
   children of the Most High, all of you; 
7nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
   and fall like any prince.'* 

8Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
   for all the nations belong to you!

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