Daily reading for Friday, March 21, 2014

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2 Lent

Ps. 95, 69:1–23 (24–30) 31–38; Ps. 73; Gen. 43:1–15; 1 Cor. 7:1–9; Mark 4:35–41 (New Revised Standard Version)

Psalm 95

Psalm 95

A Call to Worship and Obedience

O come, let us sing to the Lord;
    let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
    and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
    the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down,
    let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.

O that today you would listen to his voice!
    Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
    as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your ancestors tested me,
    and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
10 For forty years I loathed that generation
    and said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray,
    and they do not regard my ways.”
11 Therefore in my anger I swore,
    “They shall not enter my rest.”

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Psalm 69

Psalm 69

Prayer for Deliverance from Persecution

To the leader: according to Lilies. Of David.

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

More 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?
O God, you know my folly;
    the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

Do 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 dishonored because of me,
    O God of Israel.
It is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
    that shame has covered my face.
I have become a stranger to my kindred,
    an alien to my mother’s children.

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

13 But 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 14 rescue me
    from sinking in the mire;
let me be delivered from my enemies
    and from the deep waters.
15 Do not let the flood sweep over me,
    or the deep swallow me up,
    or the Pit close its mouth over me.

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

19 You know the insults I receive,
    and my shame and dishonor;
    my foes are all known to you.
20 Insults 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.
21 They gave me poison for food,
    and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

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

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

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

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 69:10 Gk Syr: Heb I wept, with fasting my soul, or I made my soul mourn with fasting
  2. Psalm 69:26 Gk Syr: Heb recount the pain of
  3. Psalm 69:35 Syr: Heb and they shall live
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Psalm 73

BOOK III

(Psalms 73–89)

Psalm 73

Plea for Relief from Oppressors

A Psalm of Asaph.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 73:1 Or good to Israel
  2. Psalm 73:10 Cn: Heb his people return here
  3. Psalm 73:10 Cn: Heb abundant waters are drained by them
  4. Psalm 73:20 Cn: Heb Lord
  5. Psalm 73:24 Or to glory
  6. Psalm 73:26 Heb rock
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Genesis 43:1-15

The Brothers Come Again, Bringing Benjamin

43 Now the famine was severe in the land. And when they had eaten up the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little more food.” But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food; but if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’” Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?” They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and let us be on our way, so that we may live and not die—you and we and also our little ones. I myself will be surety for him; you can hold me accountable for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10 If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”

11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry them down as a present to the man—a little balm and a little honey, gum, resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12 Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the top of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take your brother also, and be on your way again to the man; 14 may God Almighty[a] grant you mercy before the man, so that he may send back your other brother and Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.” 15 So the men took the present, and they took double the money with them, as well as Benjamin. Then they went on their way down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 43:14 Traditional rendering of Heb El Shaddai
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Corinthians 7:1-9

Directions concerning Marriage

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. This I say by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mark 4:35-41

Jesus Stills a Storm

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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