May 22 - Acts 27.13-44, 1 Samuel 3 and Psalm 51
The Storm at SeaActs 27 13A soft wind from the south began to blow, and the men thought that they could carry out their plan, so they pulled up the anchor and sailed as close as possible along the coast of Crete. 14But soon a very strong wind--the one called "Northeaster"--blew down from the island. 15It hit the ship, and since it was impossible to keep the ship headed into the wind, we gave up trying and let it be carried along by the wind. 16We got some shelter when we passed to the south of the little island of Cauda. There, with some difficulty we managed to make the ship's boat secure. 17They pulled it aboard and then fastened some ropes tight around the ship. They were afraid that they might run into the sandbanks off the coast of Libya, so they lowered the sail and let the ship be carried by the wind. 18The violent storm continued, so on the next day they began to throw some of the ship's cargo overboard, 19and on the following day they threw part of the ship's equipment overboard. 20For many days we could not see the sun or the stars, and the wind kept on blowing very hard. We finally gave up all hope of being saved.
21After everyone had gone a long time without food, Paul stood before them and said, "You should have listened to me and not have sailed from Crete; then we would have avoided all this damage and loss. 22But now I beg you, take courage! Not one of you will lose your life; only the ship will be lost. 23For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship came to me 24and said, 'Don't be afraid, Paul! You must stand before the Emperor. And God in his goodness to you has spared the lives of all those who are sailing with you.' 25So take courage, men! For I trust in God that it will be just as I was told. 26But we will be driven ashore on some island."
27It was the fourteenth night, and we were being driven in the Mediterranean by the storm. About midnight the sailors suspected that we were getting close to land. 28So they dropped a line with a weight tied to it and found that the water was one hundred and twenty feet deep; a little later they did the same and found that it was ninety feet deep. 29They were afraid that the ship would go on the rocks, so they lowered four anchors from the back of the ship and prayed for daylight. 30Then the sailors tried to escape from the ship; they lowered the boat into the water and pretended that they were going to put out some anchors from the front of the ship. 31But Paul said to the army officer and soldiers, "If the sailors don't stay on board, you have no hope of being saved." 32So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the boat and let it go.
33Just before dawn, Paul begged them all to eat some food: "You have been waiting for fourteen days now, and all this time you have not eaten a thing. 34I beg you, then, eat some food; you need it in order to survive. Not even a hair of your heads will be lost." 35After saying this, Paul took some bread, gave thanks to God before them all, broke it, and began to eat. 36They took courage, and every one of them also ate some food. 37There was a total of 276 of us on board. 38After everyone had eaten enough, they lightened the ship by throwing all the wheat into the sea.
The Shipwreck39When day came, the sailors did not recognize the coast, but they noticed a bay with a beach and decided that, if possible, they would run the ship aground there. 40So they cut off the anchors and let them sink in the sea, and at the same time they untied the ropes that held the steering oars. Then they raised the sail at the front of the ship so that the wind would blow the ship forward, and we headed for shore. 41But the ship hit a sandbank and went aground; the front part of the ship got stuck and could not move, while the back part was being broken to pieces by the violence of the waves.
42The soldiers made a plan to kill all the prisoners, in order to keep them from swimming ashore and escaping. 43But the army officer wanted to save Paul, so he stopped them from doing this. Instead, he ordered everyone who could swim to jump overboard first and swim ashore; 44the rest were to follow, holding on to the planks or to some broken pieces of the ship. And this was how we all got safely ashore.
The LORD Appears to Samuel1 Samuel 3 In those days, when the boy Samuel was serving the LORD under the direction of Eli, there were very few messages from the LORD, and visions from him were quite rare. 2One night Eli, who was now almost blind, was sleeping in his own room; 3Samuel was sleeping in the sanctuary, where the sacred Covenant Box was. Before dawn, while the lamp was still burning, 4the LORD called Samuel. He answered, "Yes, sir!" 5and ran to Eli and said, "You called me, and here I am."
But Eli answered, "I didn't call you; go back to bed." So Samuel went back to bed.
6-7The LORD called Samuel again. The boy did not know that it was the LORD, because the LORD had never spoken to him before. So he got up, went to Eli, and said, "You called me, and here I am."
But Eli answered, "My son, I didn't call you; go back to bed."
8The LORD called Samuel a third time; he got up, went to Eli, and said, "You called me, and here I am."
Then Eli realized that it was the LORD who was calling the boy, 9so he said to him, "Go back to bed; and if he calls you again, say, 'Speak, LORD, your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went back to bed.
10The LORD came and stood there, and called as he had before, "Samuel! Samuel!"
Samuel answered, "Speak; your servant is listening."
11The LORD said to him, "Some day I am going to do something to the people of Israel that is so terrible that everyone who hears about it will be stunned. 12On that day I will carry out all my threats against Eli's family, from beginning to end. 13I have already told him that I am going to punish his family forever because his sons have spoken evil things against me. Eli knew they were doing this, but he did not stop them. 14So I solemnly declare to the family of Eli that no sacrifice or offering will ever be able to remove the consequences of this terrible sin."
15Samuel stayed in bed until morning; then he got up and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. He was afraid to tell Eli about the vision. 16Eli called him, "Samuel, my boy!"
"Yes, sir," answered Samuel.
17"What did the LORD tell you?" Eli asked. "Don't keep anything from me. God will punish you severely if you don't tell me everything he said." 18So Samuel told him everything; he did not keep anything back. Eli said, "He is the LORD; he will do whatever seems best to him."
19As Samuel grew up, the LORD was with him and made come true everything that Samuel said. 20So all the people of Israel, from one end of the country to the other, knew that Samuel was indeed a prophet of the LORD. 21The LORD continued to reveal himself at Shiloh, where he had appeared to Samuel and had spoken to him. And when Samuel spoke, all Israel listened.
A Prayer for ForgivenessPsalm 51 Be merciful to me, O God,
because of your constant love.
Because of your great mercy
wipe away my sins!
2Wash away all my evil
and make me clean from my sin!
3I recognize my faults;
I am always conscious of my sins.
4I have sinned against you--only against you--
and done what you consider evil.
So you are right in judging me;
you are justified in condemning me.
5I have been evil from the day I was born;
from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful.
6Sincerity and truth are what you require;
fill my mind with your wisdom.
7Remove my sin, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
and though you have crushed me and broken me,
I will be happy once again.
9Close your eyes to my sins
and wipe out all my evil.
10Create a pure heart in me, O God,
and put a new and loyal spirit in me.
11Do not banish me from your presence;
do not take your holy spirit away from me.
12Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
13Then I will teach sinners your commands,
and they will turn back to you.
14Spare my life, O God, and save me,
and I will gladly proclaim your righteousness.
15Help me to speak, Lord,
and I will praise you.
16You do not want sacrifices,
or I would offer them;
you are not pleased with burnt offerings.
17My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God;
you will not reject a humble and repentant heart.
18O God, be kind to Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifices
and with our burnt offerings;
and bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.
This reading is from The Holy
Bible, Today's English Version, Second Edition copyright © American
Bible Society, 1992;
Old Testament copyright © American Bible Society, 1976, 1992; New Testament © American Bible Society, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992.
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