June 12 - Romans 16, 2 Samuel 1 and Psalm 72

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Personal Greetings

Romans 16 I recommend to you our sister Phoebe, who serves the church at Cenchreae. 2Receive her in the Lord's name, as God's people should, and give her any help she may need from you; for she herself has been a good friend to many people and also to me.
3I send greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in the service of Christ Jesus; 4they risked their lives for me. I am grateful to them--not only I, but all the Gentile churches as well. 5Greetings also to the church that meets in their house.
Greetings to my dear friend Epaenetus, who was the first in the province of Asia to believe in Christ. 6Greetings to Mary, who has worked so hard for you. 7Greetings also to Andronicus and Junia, fellow Jews who were in prison with me; they are well known among the apostles, and they became Christians before I did.
8My greetings to Ampliatus, my dear friend in the fellowship of the Lord. 9Greetings also to Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ's service, and to Stachys, my dear friend. 10Greetings to Apelles, whose loyalty to Christ has been proved. Greetings to those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. 11Greetings to Herodion, a fellow Jew, and to the Christians in the family of Narcissus.
12My greetings to Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who work in the Lord's service, and to my dear friend Persis, who has done so much work for the Lord. 13I send greetings to Rufus, that outstanding worker in the Lord's service, and to his mother, who has always treated me like a son. 14My greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and all the other Christians with them. 15Greetings to Philologus and Julia, to Nereus and his sister, to Olympas and to all of God's people who are with them.
16Greet one another with the kiss of peace. All the churches of Christ send you their greetings.

Final Instructions

17I urge you, my friends: watch out for those who cause divisions and upset people's faith and go against the teaching which you have received. Keep away from them! 18For those who do such things are not serving Christ our Lord, but their own appetites. By their fine words and flattering speech they deceive innocent people. 19Everyone has heard of your loyalty to the gospel, and for this reason I am happy about you. I want you to be wise about what is good, but innocent in what is evil. 20And God, our source of peace, will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
21Timothy, my fellow worker, sends you his greetings; and so do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, fellow Jews.
22I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, send you Christian greetings.
23My host Gaius, in whose house the church meets, sends you his greetings; Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.

Concluding Prayer of Praise

25Let us give glory to God! He is able to make you stand firm in your faith, according to the Good News I preach about Jesus Christ and according to the revelation of the secret truth which was hidden for long ages in the past. 26Now, however, that truth has been brought out into the open through the writings of the prophets; and by the command of the eternal God it is made known to all nations, so that all may believe and obey.
27To the only God, who alone is all-wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever! Amen.

David Learns of Saul's Death

2 Samuel 1 After Saul's death David came back from his victory over the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag for two days. 2The next day a young man arrived from Saul's camp. To show his grief, he had torn his clothes and put dirt on his head. He went to David and bowed to the ground in respect. 3David asked him, "Where have you come from?"
"I have escaped from the Israelite camp," he answered.
4"Tell me what happened," David said.
"Our army ran away from the battle," he replied, "and many of our men were killed. Saul and his son Jonathan were also killed."
5"How do you know that Saul and Jonathan are dead?" David asked him.
6He answered, "I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and I saw that Saul was leaning on his spear and that the chariots and cavalry of the enemy were closing in on him. 7Then he turned around, saw me, and called to me. I answered, 'Yes, sir!' 8He asked who I was, and I told him that I was an Amalekite. 9Then he said, 'Come here and kill me! I have been badly wounded, and I'm about to die.' 10So I went up to him and killed him, because I knew that he would die anyway as soon as he fell. Then I took the crown from his head and the bracelet from his arm, and I have brought them to you, sir."
11David tore his clothes in sorrow, and all his men did the same. 12They grieved and mourned and fasted until evening for Saul and Jonathan and for Israel, the people of the LORD, because so many had been killed in battle.
13David asked the young man who had brought him the news, "Where are you from?"
He answered, "I'm an Amalekite, but I live in your country."
14David asked him, "How is it that you dared kill the LORD's chosen king?" 15Then David called one of his men and said, "Kill him!" The man struck the Amalekite and mortally wounded him, 16and David said to the Amalekite, "You brought this on yourself. You condemned yourself when you confessed that you killed the one whom the LORD chose to be king."

David's Lament for Saul and Jonathan

17David sang this lament for Saul and his son Jonathan, 18and ordered it to be taught to the people of Judah. (It is recorded in The Book of Jashar.)

19"On the hills of Israel our leaders are dead!
The bravest of our soldiers have fallen!
20Do not announce it in Gath
or in the streets of Ashkelon.
Do not make the women of Philistia glad;
do not let the daughters of pagans rejoice.

21"May no rain or dew fall on Gilboa's hills;
may its fields be always barren!
For the shields of the brave lie there in disgrace;
the shield of Saul is no longer polished with oil.
22Jonathan's bow was deadly,
the sword of Saul was merciless,
striking down the mighty, killing the enemy.

23"Saul and Jonathan, so wonderful and dear;
together in life, together in death;
swifter than eagles, stronger than lions.

24"Women of Israel, mourn for Saul!
He clothed you in rich scarlet dresses
and adorned you with jewels and gold.

25"The brave soldiers have fallen,
they were killed in battle.
Jonathan lies dead in the hills.

26"I grieve for you, my brother Jonathan;
how dear you were to me!
How wonderful was your love for me,
better even than the love of women.

27"The brave soldiers have fallen,
their weapons abandoned and useless."

A Prayer for the King

Psalm 72 Teach the king to judge with your righteousness, O God;
share with him your own justice,
2so that he will rule over your people with justice
and govern the oppressed with righteousness.
3May the land enjoy prosperity;
may it experience righteousness.
4May the king judge the poor fairly;
may he help the needy
and defeat their oppressors.
5May your people worship you as long as the sun shines,
as long as the moon gives light, for ages to come.

6May the king be like rain on the fields,
like showers falling on the land.
7May righteousness flourish in his lifetime,
and may prosperity last as long as the moon gives light.

8His kingdom will reach from sea to sea,
from the Euphrates to the ends of the earth.
9The peoples of the desert will bow down before him;
his enemies will throw themselves to the ground.
10The kings of Spain and of the islands will offer him gifts;
the kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him offerings.
11All kings will bow down before him;
all nations will serve him.

12He rescues the poor who call to him,
and those who are needy and neglected.
13He has pity on the weak and poor;
he saves the lives of those in need.
14He rescues them from oppression and violence;
their lives are precious to him.

15Long live the king!
May he be given gold from Sheba;
may prayers be said for him at all times;
may God's blessings be on him always!
16May there be plenty of grain in the land;
may the hills be covered with crops,
as fruitful as those of Lebanon.
May the cities be filled with people,
like fields full of grass.
17May the king's name never be forgotten;
may his fame last as long as the sun.
May all nations ask God to bless them
as he has blessed the king.

18Praise the LORD, the God of Israel!
He alone does these wonderful things.
19Praise his glorious name forever!
May his glory fill the whole world.

Amen! Amen!

20This is the end of the prayers of David son of Jesse.

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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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