Monday 21 August 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Mon Aug 21 02:00:01 EDT 2023

Monday 21 August 2023 

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2 Samuel 17:24-18:8

Then David came to Mahanaim, while Absalom crossed the Jordan with all
the men of Israel. Now Absalom had set Amasa over the army in the
place of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite,*
who had married Abigal daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s
mother. The Israelites and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.

 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the
Ammonites, and Machir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the
Gileadite from Rogelim brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels,
wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans and lentils,* honey and
curds, sheep, and cheese from the herd, for David and the people with
him to eat; for they said, ‘The troops are hungry and weary and
thirsty in the wilderness.’
Then David mustered the men who were with him, and set over them
commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. And David divided
the army into three groups:* one-third under the command of Joab,
one-third under the command of Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s
brother, and one-third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. The
king said to the men, ‘I myself will also go out with you.’ But
the men said, ‘You shall not go out. For if we flee, they will not
care about us. If half of us die, they will not care about us. But you
are worth ten thousand of us;* therefore it is better that you send us
help from the city.’ The king said to them, ‘Whatever seems best
to you I will do.’ So the king stood at the side of the gate, while
all the army marched out by hundreds and by thousands. The king gave
orders to Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, ‘Deal gently for my
sake with the young man Absalom.’ And all the people heard when the
king gave orders to all the commanders concerning Absalom.

 So the army went out into the field against Israel; and the battle
was fought in the forest of Ephraim. The men of Israel were defeated
there by the servants of David, and the slaughter there was great on
that day, twenty thousand men. The battle spread over the face of all
the country; and the forest claimed more victims that day than the
Acts 22:30-23:11

Since he wanted to find out what Paul* was being accused of by the
Jews, the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and
the entire council to meet. He brought Paul down and had him stand
before them.

While Paul was looking intently at the council he said, ‘Brothers,*
up to this day I have lived my life with a clear conscience before
God.’ Then the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near him
to strike him on the mouth. At this Paul said to him, ‘God will
strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting there to judge me
according to the law, and yet in violation of the law you order me to
be struck?’ Those standing nearby said, ‘Do you dare to insult
God’s high priest?’ And Paul said, ‘I did not realize, brothers,
that he was high priest; for it is written, “You shall not speak
evil of a leader of your people.” ’

 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were
Pharisees, he called out in the council, ‘Brothers, I am a Pharisee,
a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the
resurrection* of the dead.’ When he said this, a dissension began
between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit;
but the Pharisees acknowledge all three.) Then a great clamour arose,
and certain scribes of the Pharisees’ group stood up and contended,
‘We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel
has spoken to him?’ When the dissension became violent, the tribune,
fearing that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered the soldiers to
go down, take him by force, and bring him into the barracks.

 That night the Lord stood near him and said, ‘Keep up your
courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you
must bear witness also in Rome.’
Mark 11:12-26
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.
Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether
perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found
nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it,
‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ And his disciples
heard it.
 Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to
drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the
temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the
seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry
anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, ‘Is it not
“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations”?
   But you have made it a den of robbers.’ 
And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking
for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole
crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and
his disciples* went out of the city.
 In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered
away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, ‘Rabbi,
look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.’ Jesus answered
them, ‘Have* faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this
mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea”, and if you do not
doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass,
it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in
prayer, believe that you have received* it, and it will be yours.

 ‘Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against
anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your
Morning Psalms: Psalm 106:1-18

Psalm 106:1-18

Praise the Lord!
   O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
   for his steadfast love endures for ever. 
Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord,
   or declare all his praise? 
Happy are those who observe justice,
   who do righteousness at all times. 

Remember me, O Lord, when you show favour to your people;
   help me when you deliver them; 
that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
   that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
   that I may glory in your heritage. 

Both we and our ancestors have sinned;
   we have committed iniquity, have done wickedly. 
Our ancestors, when they were in Egypt,
   did not consider your wonderful works;
they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
   but rebelled against the Most High* at the Red Sea.* 
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
   so that he might make known his mighty power. 
He rebuked the Red Sea,* and it became dry;
   he led them through the deep as through a desert. 
So he saved them from the hand of the foe,
   and delivered them from the hand of the enemy. 
The waters covered their adversaries;
   not one of them was left. 
Then they believed his words;
   they sang his praise. 

But they soon forgot his works;
   they did not wait for his counsel. 
But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,
   and put God to the test in the desert; 
he gave them what they asked,
   but sent a wasting disease among them. 

They were jealous of Moses in the camp,
   and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord. 
The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
   and covered the faction of Abiram. 
Fire also broke out in their company;
   the flame burned up the wicked.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 106:19-48

Psalm 106:19-48

They made a calf at Horeb
   and worshipped a cast image. 
They exchanged the glory of God*
   for the image of an ox that eats grass. 
They forgot God, their Saviour,
   who had done great things in Egypt, 
wondrous works in the land of Ham,
   and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.* 
Therefore he said he would destroy them—
   had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him,
   to turn away his wrath from destroying them. 

Then they despised the pleasant land,
   having no faith in his promise. 
They grumbled in their tents,
   and did not obey the voice of the Lord. 
Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them
   that he would make them fall in the wilderness, 
and would disperse* their descendants among the nations,
   scattering them over the lands. 

Then they attached themselves to the Baal of Peor,
   and ate sacrifices offered to the dead; 
they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds,
   and a plague broke out among them. 
Then Phinehas stood up and interceded,
   and the plague was stopped. 
And that has been reckoned to him as righteousness
   from generation to generation for ever. 

They angered the Lord * at the waters of Meribah,
   and it went ill with Moses on their account; 
for they made his spirit bitter,
   and he spoke words that were rash. 

They did not destroy the peoples
   as the Lord commanded them, 
but they mingled with the nations
   and learned to do as they did. 
They served their idols,
   which became a snare to them. 
They sacrificed their sons
   and their daughters to the demons; 
they poured out innocent blood,
   the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
   and the land was polluted with blood. 
Thus they became unclean by their acts,
   and prostituted themselves in their doings. 

Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
   and he abhorred his heritage; 
he gave them into the hand of the nations,
   so that those who hated them ruled over them. 
Their enemies oppressed them,
   and they were brought into subjection under their power. 
Many times he delivered them,
   but they were rebellious in their purposes,
   and were brought low through their iniquity. 
Nevertheless, he regarded their distress
   when he heard their cry. 
For their sake he remembered his covenant,
   and showed compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast
He caused them to be pitied
   by all who held them captive. 

Save us, O Lord our God,
   and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
   and glory in your praise. 

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
   from everlasting to everlasting.
And let all the people say, ‘Amen.’
   Praise the Lord!

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