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MARANATHA NIV WORSHIP BIBLE SC
ZondervanCopyright © 2000 Zondervan
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Chapter One2 SAMUEL 23
4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.'
5 "Is not my house right with God? Has he not made with me an everlasting covenant, arranged and secured in every part? Will he not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire? 6 But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns, which are not gathered with the hand. 7 Whoever touches thorns uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear; they are burned up where they lie."
David's Mighty Men
8 These are the names of David's mighty men:
Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.
9 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty men, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the men of Israel retreated, 10 but he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.
11 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel's troops fled from them. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.
13 During harvest time, three of the thirty chief men came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15 David longed for water and said, "Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!" 16 So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord. 17 "Far be it from me, O Lord, to do this!" he said. "Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?" And David would not drink it.
Such were the exploits of the three mighty men.
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Do not make light of My discipline, and do not lose heart when I rebuke you, because I discipline those I love. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
I am the God of peace. Through the blood of My eternal covenant, I will equip you with everything good for doing My will, and I will work in you what is pleasing to Me, through My Son, Jesus.
You have been reconciled to Me without blemish; you are free from accusation. But you must continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope you hold onto in the gospel. So throw off everything that hinders you and the sin that so easily entangles, and run with perseverance the race marked out for you. Run in such a way as to get the prize. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which I have called you heavenward in Christ Jesus.
As you follow My ways, I will sanctify you through and through. Your whole spirit, soul and body will be kept blameless at the coming of My Son, Jesus Christ. I have begun this good work in you and I will complete it. I am the One who calls you; I am faithful and I will do it.
25 They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord. 26 So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the desert, 27 make their descendants fall among the nations and scatter them throughout the lands.
28 They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods; 29 they provoked the Lord to anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them. 30 But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked. 31 This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come.
32 By the waters of Meribah they angered the Lord, and trouble came to Moses because of them; 33 for they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses' lips.
34 They did not destroy the peoples as the Lord had commanded them, 35 but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. 36 They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. 37 They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. 38 They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. 39 They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves.
40 Therefore the Lord was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance. 41 He handed them over to the nations, and their foes ruled over them. 42 Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power. 43 Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin.
44 But he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; 45 for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. 46 He caused them to be pitied by all who held them captive.
47 Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. 48 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, "Amen!" Praise the Lord.
BOOK V Psalms 107-150
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say this- those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, 3 those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. 5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. 6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. 8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
10 Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, 11 for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. 12 So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. 13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 14 He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. 15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, 16 for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.
17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. 18 They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. 19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 20 He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
The Book of AMOS
"The Lord roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem" (1:2). With this unsettling image, the book of Amos introduces the God who speaks and acts with the awesome power of a ferocious lion. Our encounter with God through Amos shakes us loose from any presumption that He lives tamely within our control like some domesticated kitty. Indeed, the Lion of Judah deserves and demands our rapt attention and reverential fear.
The book of Amos begins with God's judgment on Israel's neighbors (ch. 1). No limited national deity, the King of kings has the authority to execute justice upon all peoples. Yet by beginning with condemnation of Gentiles, God does not thereby excuse His covenant people. Judah will experience God's wrath for failing to keep the law and for serving false gods (2:4-5). Israel will be crushed for the sins of social injustice, sexual immorality and spiritual idolatry (2:6-16). Sadly, the people have rejected every divine effort to provoke repentance (4:1-13). No matter what God has done, His people have not returned to Him (4:6 8,9,10,11).
Yet the Lord continues to cry out through Amos, saying: "Seek me and live" (5:4). To seek Him is to turn away from sin and to return to covenant faithfulness. Seeking God, central to the heart of worship, must also be expressed through obedient actions. Thus Amos can add to God's intimate invitation: "Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is" (5:14). We cannot pursue a relationship with a righteous, commanding God while ignoring His righteous commandments. Even as we strive to worship God with all of our heart, we must remember that genuine, heartfelt worship will be expressed in tangible acts of obedience.
In particular, the Lord challenges us through Amos to serve Him by acting justly in this world. As God declares, "I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!" (5:21-24). God hates worship that lacks heartfelt authenticity and is divorced from tangible acts of justice and righteousness. If we "oppress the poor and crush the needy" (4:1) we will fail to honor God, no matter how noble our expressions of worship. Conversely, when we care for the downtrodden in the name of Christ, we serve Christ Himself (Mt 25:31:46). Through Amos, God calls us to worship Him with active obedience and a commitment to seeking justice for all, especially for those whom society ignores or marginalizes. Fully Biblical worship flows from the heart, up to God's throne of grace, and out into the world He loves.
1 The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa-what he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.
2 He said:
"The Lord roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers."
Judgment on Israel's Neighbors
3 This is what the Lord says:
"For three sins of Damascus, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth, 4 I will send fire upon the house of Hazael that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad. 5 I will break down the gate of Damascus; I will destroy the king who is in the Valley of Aven and the one who holds the scepter in Beth Eden. The people of Aram will go into exile to Kir," says the Lord. 6 This is what the Lord says:
"For three sins of Gaza, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom, 7 I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses. 8 I will destroy the king of Ashdod and the one who holds the scepter in Ashkelon. I will turn my hand against Ekron, till the last of the Philistines is dead," says the Sovereign Lord.
9 This is what the Lord says:
"For three sins of Tyre, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom, disregarding a treaty of brotherhood, 10 I will send fire upon the walls of Tyre that will consume her fortresses."
11 This is what the Lord says:
"For three sins of Edom, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because he pursued his brother with a sword, stifling all compassion, because his anger raged continually and his fury flamed unchecked,
29 Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead-whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed them: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God." 40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
Excerpted from MARANATHA NIV WORSHIP BIB SC Copyright © 2000 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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