June 3 - Romans 9.1-29, 1 Samuel 17.55-18.30 and Psalm 63
God and His PeopleRomans 9 I am speaking the truth; I belong to Christ and I do not lie. My conscience, ruled by the Holy Spirit, also assures me that I am not lying 2when I say how great is my sorrow, how endless the pain in my heart 3for my people, my own flesh and blood! For their sake I could wish that I myself were under God's curse and separated from Christ. 4They are God's people; he made them his children and revealed his glory to them; he made his covenants with them and gave them the Law; they have the true worship; they have received God's promises; 5they are descended from the famous Hebrew ancestors; and Christ, as a human being, belongs to their race. May God, who rules over all, be praised forever! Amen.
6I am not saying that the promise of God has failed; for not all the people of Israel are the people of God. 7Nor are all of Abraham's descendants the children of God. God said to Abraham, "It is through Isaac that you will have the descendants I promised you." 8This means that the children born in the usual way are not the children of God; instead, the children born as a result of God's promise are regarded as the true descendants. 9For God's promise was made in these words: "At the right time I will come back, and Sarah will have a son."
10And this is not all. For Rebecca's two sons had the same father, our ancestor Isaac. 11-12But in order that the choice of one son might be completely the result of God's own purpose, God said to her, "The older will serve the younger." He said this before they were born, before they had done anything either good or bad; so God's choice was based on his call, and not on anything they had done. 13As the scripture says, "I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau."
14Shall we say, then, that God is unjust? Not at all. 15For he said to Moses, "I will have mercy on anyone I wish; I will take pity on anyone I wish." 16So then, everything depends, not on what we humans want or do, but only on God's mercy. 17For the scripture says to the king of Egypt, "I made you king in order to use you to show my power and to spread my fame over the whole world." 18So then, God has mercy on anyone he wishes, and he makes stubborn anyone he wishes.
God's Anger and Mercy19But one of you will say to me, "If this is so, how can God find fault with anyone? Who can resist God's will?" 20But who are you, my friend, to talk back to God? A clay pot does not ask the man who made it, "Why did you make me like this?" 21After all, the man who makes the pots has the right to use the clay as he wishes, and to make two pots from the same lump of clay, one for special occasions and the other for ordinary use.
22And the same is true of what God has done. He wanted to show his anger and to make his power known. But he was very patient in enduring those who were the objects of his anger, who were doomed to destruction. 23And he also wanted to reveal his abundant glory, which was poured out on us who are the objects of his mercy, those of us whom he has prepared to receive his glory. 24For we are the people he called, not only from among the Jews but also from among the Gentiles. 25This is what he says in the book of Hosea:
"The people who were not mine
I will call 'My People.'
The nation that I did not love
I will call 'My Beloved.'
26And in the very place where they were told, 'You are not my people,'
there they will be called the children of the living God."
27And Isaiah exclaims about Israel: "Even if the people of Israel are as many as the grains of sand by the sea, yet only a few of them will be saved; 28for the Lord will quickly settle his full account with the world." 29It is as Isaiah had said before, "If the Lord Almighty had not left us some descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."
David Is Presented to Saul1 Samuel 17 55When Saul saw David going out to fight Goliath, he asked Abner, the commander of his army, "Abner, whose son is he?"
"I have no idea, Your Majesty," Abner answered.
56"Then go and find out," Saul ordered.
57So when David returned to camp after killing Goliath, Abner took him to Saul. David was still carrying Goliath's head. 58Saul asked him, "Young man, whose son are you?"
"I am the son of your servant Jesse from Bethlehem," David answered.
1 Samuel 18 Saul and David finished their conversation. After that, Saul's son Jonathan was deeply attracted to David and came to love him as much as he loved himself. 2Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him go back home. 3Jonathan swore eternal friendship with David because of his deep affection for him. 4He took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, together with his armor and also his sword, bow, and belt. 5David was successful in all the missions on which Saul sent him, and so Saul made him an officer in his army. This pleased all of Saul's officers and men.
Saul Becomes Jealous of David6As David was returning after killing Goliath and as the soldiers were coming back home, women from every town in Israel came out to meet King Saul. They were singing joyful songs, dancing, and playing tambourines and lyres. 7In their celebration the women sang, "Saul has killed thousands, but David tens of thousands." 8Saul did not like this, and he became very angry. He said, "For David they claim tens of thousands, but only thousands for me. They will be making him king next!" 9And so he was jealous and suspicious of David from that day on.
10The next day an evil spirit from God suddenly took control of Saul, and he raved in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did every day, and Saul was holding a spear. 11"I'll pin him to the wall," Saul said to himself, and he threw the spear at him twice; but David dodged each time.
12Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with David but had abandoned him. 13So Saul sent him away and put him in command of a thousand men. David led his men in battle 14and was successful in all he did, because the LORD was with him. 15Saul noticed David's success and became even more afraid of him. 16But everyone in Israel and Judah loved David because he was such a successful leader.
David Marries Saul's Daughter17Then Saul said to David, "Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you as your wife on condition that you serve me as a brave and loyal soldier, and fight the LORD's battles." (Saul was thinking that in this way the Philistines would kill David, and he would not have to do it himself.)
18David answered, "Who am I and what is my family that I should become the king's son-in-law?" 19But when the time came for Merab to be given to David, she was given instead to a man named Adriel from Meholah.
20Saul's daughter Michal, however, fell in love with David, and when Saul heard of this, he was pleased. 21He said to himself, "I'll give Michal to David; I will use her to trap him, and he will be killed by the Philistines." So for the second time Saul said to David, "You will be my son-in-law." 22He ordered his officials to speak privately with David and tell him, "The king is pleased with you and all his officials like you; now is a good time for you to marry his daughter."
23So they told this to David, and he answered, "It's a great honor to become the king's son-in-law, too great for someone poor and insignificant like me."
24The officials told Saul what David had said, 25and Saul ordered them to tell David: "All the king wants from you as payment for the bride are the foreskins of a hundred dead Philistines, as revenge on his enemies." (This was how Saul planned to have David killed by the Philistines.) 26Saul's officials reported to David what Saul had said, and David was delighted with the thought of becoming the king's son-in-law. Before the day set for the wedding, 27David and his men went and killed two hundred Philistines. He took their foreskins to the king and counted them all out to him, so that he might become his son-in-law. So Saul had to give his daughter Michal in marriage to David.
28Saul realized clearly that the LORD was with David and also that his daughter Michal loved him. 29So he became even more afraid of David and was his enemy as long as he lived.
30The Philistine armies would come and fight, but in every battle David was more successful than any of Saul's other officers. As a result David became very famous.
Longing for GodPsalm 63 O God, you are my God,
and I long for you.
My whole being desires you;
like a dry, worn-out, and waterless land,
my soul is thirsty for you.
2Let me see you in the sanctuary;
let me see how mighty and glorious you are.
3Your constant love is better than life itself,
and so I will praise you.
4I will give you thanks as long as I live;
I will raise my hands to you in prayer.
5My soul will feast and be satisfied,
and I will sing glad songs of praise to you.
6As I lie in bed, I remember you;
all night long I think of you,
7because you have always been my help.
In the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
8I cling to you,
and your hand keeps me safe.
9Those who are trying to kill me
will go down into the world of the dead.
10They will be killed in battle,
and their bodies eaten by wolves.
11Because God gives him victory,
the king will rejoice.
Those who make promises in God's name will praise him,
but the mouths of liars will be shut.
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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