May 24

1 Samuel 6

1Now the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines for seven months.

2And the Philistines sent for the priests and those who were wise in secret arts, and said to them, What are we to do with the ark of the Lord? How are we to send it away to its place?

3And they said, If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it without an offering, but send him a sin-offering with it: then you will have peace again, and it will be clear to you why the weight of his hand has not been lifted from you.

4Then they said, What sin-offering are we to send to him? And they said, Five gold images of the growths caused by your disease and five gold mice, one for every lord of the Philistines: for the same disease came on you and on your lords.

5So make images of the growths caused by your disease and of the mice which are damaging your land; and give glory to the God of Israel: it may be that the weight of his hand will be lifted from you and from your gods and from your land.

6Why do you make your hearts hard, like the hearts of Pharaoh and the Egyptians? When he had made sport of them, did they not let the people go, and they went away?

7So now, take and make ready a new cart, and two cows which have never come under the yoke, and have the cows yoked to the cart, and take their young ones away from them:

8And put the ark of the Lord on the cart, and the gold images which you are sending as a sin-offering in a chest by its side; and send it away so that it may go.

9If it goes by the land of Israel to Beth-shemesh, then this great evil is his work; but if not, then we may be certain that the evil was not his doing, but was the working of chance.

10And the men did so; they took two cows, yoking them to the cart and shutting up their young ones in their living-place:

11And they put the ark of the Lord on the cart and the chest with the gold images.

12And the cows took the straight way, by the road to Beth-shemesh; they went by the highway, not turning to the right or to the left, and the sound of their voices was clear on the road; and the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the edge of Beth-shemesh.

13And the people of Beth-shemesh were cutting their grain in the valley, and lifting up their eyes they saw the ark and were full of joy when they saw it.

14And the cart came into the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite, and came to a stop there by a great stone: and cutting up the wood of the cart they made a burned offering of the cows to the Lord.

15Then the Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the chest in which were the gold images, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Beth-shemesh made burned offerings and gave worship that day before the Lord.

16And the five lords of the Philistines, having seen it, went back to Ekron the same day.

17Now these are the gold images which the Philistines sent as a sin-offering to the Lord; one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron;

18And the gold mice, one for every town of the Philistines, the property of the five lords, walled towns as well as country places: and the great stone where they put the ark of the Lord is still in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite to this day.

19But the Lord sent destruction on seventy men of the people of Beth-shemesh for looking into the ark of the Lord; and great was the sorrow of the people for the destruction which the Lord had sent on them.

20And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to keep his place before the Lord, this holy God? and to whom may he go from us?

21And they sent men to the people living in Kiriath-jearim, saying, The Philistines have sent back the ark of the Lord; come and take it up to your country.

1 Samuel 7

1So the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took the ark of the Lord to the house of Abinadab in Gibeah, and they made his son Eleazar holy and put the ark in his care.

2And the ark was in Kiriath-jearim for a long time, as much as twenty years: and all Israel was searching after the Lord with weeping.

3Then Samuel said to all Israel, If with all your hearts you would come back to the Lord, then put away all the strange gods and the Astartes from among you, and let your hearts be turned to the Lord, and be servants to him only: and he will make you safe from the hands of the Philistines.

4So the children of Israel gave up the worship of Baal and Astarte, and became worshippers of the Lord only.

5Then Samuel said, Let all Israel come to Mizpah and I will make prayer to the Lord for you.

6So they came together to Mizpah, and got water, draining it out before the Lord, and they took no food that day, and they said, We have done evil against the Lord. And Samuel was judge of the children of Israel in Mizpah.

7Now when the Philistines had news that the children of Israel had come together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And the children of Israel, hearing of it, were full of fear.

8And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Go on crying to the Lord our God for us to make us safe from the hands of the Philistines.

9And Samuel took a young lamb, offering all of it as a burned offering to the Lord; and Samuel made prayers to the Lord for Israel and the Lord gave him an answer.

10And while Samuel was offering the burned offering, the Philistines came near for the attack on Israel; but at the thunder of the Lord’s voice that day the Philistines were overcome with fear, and they gave way before Israel.

11And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and went after the Philistines, attacking them till they came under Beth-car.

12Then Samuel took a stone and put it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, naming it Eben-ezer, and saying, Up to now the Lord has been our help.

13So the Philistines were overcome, and did not come into the country of Israel again: and all the days of Samuel the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines.

14And the towns which the Philistines had taken were given back to Israel, from Ekron to Gath, and all the country round them Israel made free from the power of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

15And Samuel was judge of Israel all the days of his life.

16From year to year he went in turn to Beth-el and Gilgal and Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places.

17And his base was at Ramah, where his house was; there he was judge of Israel and there he made an altar to the Lord.

Psalms 53

To the chief music-maker; put to Mahalath. Maschil. Of David.

1 The foolish man has said in his heart, God will not do anything. They are unclean, they have done evil works; there is not one who does good.

2God was looking down from heaven on the children of men, to see if there were any who had wisdom, searching after God.

3Every one of them has gone back; they are unclean: there is not one who does good, no, not one.

4Have the workers of evil no knowledge? they take my people for food, as they would take bread; they make no prayer to God.

5They were in great fear, where there was no cause for fear: for the bones of those who make war on you have been broken by God; you have put them to shame, because God has no desire for them.

6May the salvation of Israel come out of Zion! When the fate of his people is changed by God, Jacob will have joy, and Israel will be glad.

Acts 28:17-31

17Then after three days he sent for the chief men of the Jews: and when they had come together, he said to them, My brothers, though I had done nothing against the people or the ways of our fathers, I was given, a prisoner from Jerusalem, into the hands of the Romans.

18Who, when they had put questions to me, were ready to let me go free, because there was no cause of death in me.

19But when the Jews made protest against it, I had to put my cause into Caesar’s hands; not because I have anything to say against my nation.

20But for this reason I sent for you, to see and have talk with you: for because of the hope of Israel I am in these chains.

21And they said to him, We have not had letters from Judaea about you, and no one of the brothers has come to us here to give an account or say any evil about you.

22But we have a desire to give hearing to your opinion: for as to this form of religion, we have knowledge that in all places it is attacked.

23And when a day had been fixed, they came to his house in great numbers; and he gave them teaching, giving witness to the kingdom of God, and having discussions with them about Jesus, from the law of Moses and from the prophets, from morning till evening.

24And some were in agreement with what he said, but some had doubts.

25And they went away, for there was a division among them after Paul had said this one thing: Well did the Holy Spirit say by the prophet Isaiah to your fathers,

26Go to this people and say, Though you give ear, you will not get knowledge; and seeing, you will see, but the sense will not be clear to you:

27For the heart of this people has become fat and their ears are slow in hearing and their eyes are shut; for fear that they might see with their eyes and give hearing with their ears and become wise in their hearts and be turned again to me, so that I might make them well.

28Be certain, then, that the salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles, and they will give hearing.

30And for the space of two years, Paul was living in the house of which he had the use, and had talk with all those who went in to see him,

31Preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ without fear, and no orders were given that he was not to do so.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Prayer During Difficult Times | Quality of Life Ministries

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