about the Unmarried and the Widows
1 Corinthians 7 25Now,
concerning what you wrote about unmarried people: I do
not have a command from the Lord, but I give my opinion
as one who by the Lord's mercy is worthy of trust.
the present distress, I think it is better for a man to
stay as he is. 27Do you have a wife? Then
don't try to get rid of her. Are you unmarried? Then
don't look for a wife. 28But if you do marry,
you haven't committed a sin; and if an unmarried woman
marries, she hasn't committed a sin. But I would rather
spare you the everyday troubles that married people will
I mean, my friends, is this: there is not much time left,
and from now on married people should live as though they
were not married; 30those who weep, as though
they were not sad; those who laugh, as though they were
not happy; those who buy, as though they did not own what
they bought; 31those who deal in material
goods, as though they were not fully occupied with them.
For this world, as it is now, will not last much longer.
like you to be free from worry. An unmarried man concerns
himself with the Lord's work, because he is trying to
please the Lord. 33But a married man concerns
himself with worldly matters, because he wants to please
his wife; 34and so he is pulled in two
directions. An unmarried woman or a virgin concerns
herself with the Lord's work, because she wants to be
dedicated both in body and spirit; but a married woman
concerns herself with worldly matters, because she wants
to please her husband.
saying this because I want to help you. I am not trying
to put restrictions on you. Instead, I want you to do
what is right and proper, and to give yourselves
completely to the Lord's service without any reservation.
the case of an engaged couple who have decided not to
marry: if the man feels that he is not acting properly
toward the young woman and if his passions are too strong
and he feels that they ought to marry, then they should
get married, as he wants to. There is no sin in this. 37But
if a man, without being forced to do so, has firmly made
up his mind not to marry, and if he has his will under
complete control and has already decided in his own mind
what to do--then he does well not to marry the young
woman. 38So the man who marries does well, but
the one who doesn't marry does even better.
woman is not free as long as her husband lives; but if
her husband dies, then she is free to be married to any
man she wishes, but only if he is a Christian. 40She
will be happier, however, if she stays as she is. That is
my opinion, and I think that I too have God's Spirit.
1 Kings 21 Near
King Ahab's palace in Jezreel there was a vineyard owned
by a man named Naboth. 2One day Ahab said to
Naboth, "Let me have your vineyard; it is close to
my palace, and I want to use the land for a vegetable
garden. I will give you a better vineyard for it or, if
you prefer, I will pay you a fair price."
inherited this vineyard from my ancestors," Naboth
replied. "The LORD forbid that
I should let you have it!"
went home, depressed and angry over what Naboth had said
to him. He lay down on his bed, facing the wall, and
would not eat. 5His wife Jezebel went to him
and asked, "Why are you so depressed? Why won't
answered, "Because of what Naboth said to me. I
offered to buy his vineyard or, if he preferred, to give
him another one for it, but he told me that I couldn't
are you the king or aren't you?" Jezebel replied.
"Get out of bed, cheer up, and eat. I will get you
she wrote some letters, signed Ahab's name to them,
sealed them with his seal, and sent them to the officials
and leading citizens of Jezreel. 9The letters
said: "Proclaim a day of fasting, call the people
together, and give Naboth the place of honor. 10Get
a couple of scoundrels to accuse him to his face of
cursing God and the king. Then take him out of the city
and stone him to death."
officials and leading citizens of Jezreel did what
Jezebel had commanded. 12They proclaimed a day
of fasting, called the people together, and gave Naboth
the place of honor. 13The two scoundrels
publicly accused him of cursing God and the king, and so
he was taken outside the city and stoned to death. 14The
message was sent to Jezebel: "Naboth has been put to
soon as Jezebel received the message, she said to Ahab,
"Naboth is dead. Now go and take possession of the
vineyard which he refused to sell to you." 16At
once Ahab went to the vineyard to take possession
the LORD said to Elijah, the
prophet from Tishbe, 18"Go to King Ahab
of Samaria. You will find him in Naboth's vineyard, about
to take possession of it. 19Tell him that I,
the LORD, say to him, 'After
murdering the man, are you taking over his property as
well?' Tell him that this is what I say: 'In the very
place that the dogs licked up Naboth's blood they will
lick up your blood!'"
Ahab saw Elijah, he said, "Have you caught up with
me, my enemy?"
I have," Elijah answered. "You have devoted
yourself completely to doing what is wrong in the LORD's sight. 21So the LORD says to you, 'I will bring disaster
on you. I will do away with you and get rid of every male
in your family, young and old alike. 22Your
family will become like the family of King Jeroboam son
of Nebat and like the family of King Baasha son of
Ahijah, because you have stirred up my anger by leading
Israel into sin.' 23And concerning Jezebel,
the LORD says that dogs will eat
her body in the city of Jezreel. 24Any of your
relatives who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and
any who die in the open country will be eaten by
There was no one else who had devoted himself so
completely to doing wrong in the LORD's
sight as Ahab--all at the urging of his wife Jezebel. 26He
committed the most shameful sins by worshiping idols, as
the Amorites had done, whom the LORD
had driven out of the land as the people of Israel
Elijah finished speaking, Ahab tore his clothes, took
them off, and put on sackcloth. He refused food, slept in
the sackcloth, and went about gloomy and depressed.
LORD said to the prophet Elijah, 29"Have
you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since
he has done this, I will not bring disaster on him during
his lifetime; it will be during his son's lifetime that I
will bring disaster on Ahab's family."
A Call to Repentance
Amos 5 Listen,
people of Israel, to this funeral song which I sing
Israel has fallen,
to rise again!
lies abandoned on the ground,
no one helps her up.
Sovereign LORD says, "A city
in Israel sends out a thousand soldiers, but only a
hundred return; another city sends out a hundred, but
only ten come back."
LORD says to the people of Israel,
"Come to me, and you will live. 5Do not
go to Beersheba to worship. Do not try to find me at
Bethel--Bethel will come to nothing. Do not go to
Gilgal--her people are doomed to exile."
to the LORD, and you will live. If
you do not go, he will sweep down like fire on the people
of Israel. The fire will burn up the people of Bethel,
and no one will be able to put it out. 7You
are doomed, you that twist justice and cheat people out
of their rights!
LORD made the stars,
Pleiades and Orion.
turns darkness into daylight
day into night.
calls for the waters of the sea
pours them out on the earth.
name is the LORD.
brings destruction on the mighty and their strongholds.
people hate anyone who challenges injustice and speaks
the whole truth in court. 11You have oppressed
the poor and robbed them of their grain. And so you will
not live in the fine stone houses you build or drink wine
from the beautiful vineyards you plant. 12I know
how terrible your sins are and how many crimes you have
committed. You persecute good people, take bribes, and
prevent the poor from getting justice in the courts. 13And
so, keeping quiet in such evil times is the smart thing
it your aim to do what is right, not what is evil, so
that you may live. Then the LORD
God Almighty really will be with you, as you claim he is.
15Hate what is evil, love what is right, and
see that justice prevails in the courts. Perhaps the LORD will be merciful to the people of
this nation who are still left alive.
so the Sovereign LORD Almighty
says, "There will be wailing and cries of sorrow in
the city streets. Even farmers will be called to mourn
the dead along with those who are paid to mourn. 17There
will be wailing in all the vineyards. All this will take
place because I am coming to punish you." The LORD has spoken.
terrible it will be for you who long for the day of the LORD! What good will that day do you? For
you it will be a day of darkness and not of light. 19It
will be like someone who runs from a lion and meets a
bear! Or like someone who comes home and puts his hand on
the wall--only to be bitten by a snake! 20The
day of the LORD will bring darkness
and not light; it will be a day of gloom, without any
LORD says, "I hate your
religious festivals; I cannot stand them! 22When
you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will
not accept them; I will not accept the animals you have
fattened to bring me as offerings. 23Stop your
noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your harps. 24Instead,
let justice flow like a stream, and righteousness like a
river that never goes dry.
of Israel, I did not demand sacrifices and offerings
during those forty years that I led you through the
desert. 26But now, because you have worshiped
images of Sakkuth, your king god, and of Kaiwan, your
star god, you will have to carry those images 27when
I take you into exile in a land beyond Damascus,"
says the LORD, whose name is