Sunday 31 July 2022 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Sun Jul 31 02:00:02 EDT 2022

Sunday 31 July 2022 

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Judges 6:1-24

The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the
Lord gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years. The hand of
Midian prevailed over Israel; and because of Midian the Israelites
provided for themselves hiding-places in the mountains, caves and
strongholds. For whenever the Israelites put in seed, the Midianites
and the Amalekites and the people of the east would come up against
them. They would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the
land, as far as the neighbourhood of Gaza, and leave no sustenance in
Israel, and no sheep or ox or donkey. For they and their livestock
would come up, and they would even bring their tents, as thick as
locusts; neither they nor their camels could be counted; so they
wasted the land as they came in. Thus Israel was greatly impoverished
because of Midian; and the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help.

 When the Israelites cried to the Lord on account of the Midianites,
the Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites; and he said to them,
‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt, and
brought you out of the house of slavery; and I delivered you from the
hand of the Egyptians, and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and
drove them out before you, and gave you their land; and I said to you,
“I am the Lord your God; you shall not pay reverence to the gods of
the Amorites, in whose land you live.” But you have not given heed
to my voice.’
 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak at Ophrah,
which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, as his son Gideon was beating
out wheat in the wine press, to hide it from the Midianites. The angel
of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you,
you mighty warrior.’ Gideon answered him, ‘But sir, if the Lord is
with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his
wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, “Did not
the Lord bring us up from Egypt?” But now the Lord has cast us off,
and given us into the hand of Midian.’ Then the Lord turned to him
and said, ‘Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the
hand of Midian; I hereby commission you.’ He responded, ‘But sir,
how can I deliver Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am
the least in my family.’ The Lord said to him, ‘But I will be with
you, and you shall strike down the Midianites, every one of them.’
Then he said to him, ‘If now I have found favour with you, then show
me a sign that it is you who speak with me. Do not depart from here
until I come to you, and bring out my present, and set it before
you.’ And he said, ‘I will stay until you return.’

 So Gideon went into his house and prepared a kid, and unleavened
cakes from an ephah of flour; the meat he put in a basket, and the
broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the oak and
presented them. The angel of God said to him, ‘Take the meat and the
unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour out the
broth.’ And he did so. Then the angel of the Lord reached out the
tip of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the meat and the
unleavened cakes; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the
meat and the unleavened cakes; and the angel of the Lord vanished from
his sight. Then Gideon perceived that it was the angel of the Lord;
and Gideon said, ‘Help me, Lord God! For I have seen the angel of
the Lord face to face.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Peace be to
you; do not fear, you shall not die.’ Then Gideon built an altar
there to the Lord, and called it, The Lord is peace. To this day it
still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap
sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap
bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not
reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And
God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that
by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in
every good work. As it is written,
‘He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
   his righteousness* endures for ever.’ 
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and
multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your
righteousness.* You will be enriched in every way for your great
generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the
rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints
but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. Through the testing
of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession
of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with
them and with all others, while they long for you and pray for you
because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. Thanks
be to God for his indescribable gift!
Mark 3:20-30

and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat.
When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people
were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ And the scribes who
came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler
of the demons he casts out demons.’ And he called them to him, and
spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a
kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a
house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot
stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s
house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man;
then indeed the house can be plundered.

 ‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and
whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the
Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal
sin’— for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’
Morning Psalms: Psalm 93, 96

Psalm 93

The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
   the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
He has established the world; it shall never be moved; 
   your throne is established from of old;
   you are from everlasting. 

The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
   the floods have lifted up their voice;
   the floods lift up their roaring. 
More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters,
   more majestic than the waves* of the sea,
   majestic on high is the Lord! 

Your decrees are very sure;
   holiness befits your house,
   O Lord, for evermore.

Psalm 96

O sing to the Lord a new song;
   sing to the Lord, all the earth. 
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
   tell of his salvation from day to day. 
Declare his glory among the nations,
   his marvellous works among all the peoples. 
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
   he is to be revered above all gods. 
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
   but the Lord made the heavens. 
Honour and majesty are before him;
   strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
   ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
   bring an offering, and come into his courts. 
Worship the Lord in holy splendour;
   tremble before him, all the earth. 

Say among the nations, ‘The Lord is king!
   The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
   He will judge the peoples with equity.’ 
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
   let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 
   let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 
   before the Lord; for he is coming,
   for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
   and the peoples with his truth.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 34

Psalm 34

I will bless the Lord at all times;
   his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
   let the humble hear and be glad. 
O magnify the Lord with me,
   and let us exalt his name together. 

I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
   and delivered me from all my fears. 
Look to him, and be radiant;
   so your* faces shall never be ashamed. 
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,
   and was saved from every trouble. 
The angel of the Lord encamps
   around those who fear him, and delivers them. 
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
   happy are those who take refuge in him. 
O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,
   for those who fear him have no want. 
The young lions suffer want and hunger,
   but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 

Come, O children, listen to me;
   I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 
Which of you desires life,
   and covets many days to enjoy good? 
Keep your tongue from evil,
   and your lips from speaking deceit. 
Depart from evil, and do good;
   seek peace, and pursue it. 

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
   and his ears are open to their cry. 
The face of the Lord is against evildoers,
   to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears,
   and rescues them from all their troubles. 
The Lord is near to the broken-hearted,
   and saves the crushed in spirit. 

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
   but the Lord rescues them from them all. 
He keeps all their bones;
   not one of them will be broken. 
Evil brings death to the wicked,
   and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
   none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

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