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Psalm 70-71

Prayer for Help against Persecutors.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.

70 O God, come quickly to save me;
O Lord, come quickly to help me!

Let those be ashamed and humiliated
Who seek my life;
Let them be turned back and humiliated
Who delight in my hurt.

Let them be turned back because of their shame and disgrace
Who say, “Aha, aha!”


May all those who seek You [as life’s first priority] rejoice and be glad in You;
May those who love Your salvation say continually,
“Let God be magnified!”

But I am afflicted and needy;
Come quickly to me, O God!
You are my help and my rescuer;
O Lord, do not delay.

Prayer of an Old Man for Rescue.

71 In you, O Lord, I have put my trust and confidently taken refuge;
Let me never be [a]put to shame.

In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
Incline Your ear to me and save me.

Be to me a rock of refuge and a sheltering stronghold to which I may continually come;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked (godless),
From the grasp of the unrighteous and ruthless man.

For You are my hope;
O Lord God, You are my trust and the source of my confidence from my youth.

Upon You have I relied and been sustained from my birth;
You are He who took me from my mother’s womb and You have been my benefactor from that day.
My praise is continually of You.


I am as a wonder to many,
For You are my strong refuge.

My mouth is filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all day long.

Do not cast me off nor send me away in the time of old age;
Do not abandon me when my strength fails and I am weak.
10 
For my enemies have spoken against me;
Those who watch for my life have consulted together,
11 
Saying, “God has abandoned him;
Pursue and seize him, for there is no one to rescue him.”

12 
O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, come quickly to help me!
13 
Let those who attack my life be ashamed and consumed;
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, who seek to injure me.
14 
But as for me, I will wait and hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
15 
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And of Your [deeds of] salvation all day long,
For their number is more than I know.
16 
I will come with the mighty acts of the Lord God [and in His strength];
I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone.

17 
O God, You have taught me from my youth,
And I still declare Your wondrous works and miraculous deeds.
18 
And even when I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not abandon me,
Until I declare Your [mighty] strength to this generation,
Your power to all who are to come.
19 
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the [height of the] heavens,
You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You, [who is Your equal]?
20 
You who have shown [b]me many troubles and distresses
Will revive and renew me again,
And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
21 
May You increase my greatness (honor)
And turn to comfort me.

22 
I will also praise You with the harp,
Your truth and faithfulness, O my God;
To You I will sing praises with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You,
And my soul, which You have redeemed.
24 
My tongue also will speak of Your righteousness all day long;
For they are ashamed, for they are humiliated who seek my injury.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 71:1 I.e. have my expectations in Your goodness be disappointed.
  2. Psalm 71:20 Another reading is us.
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Psalm 74

An Appeal against the Devastation of the Land by the Enemy.

A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of Asaph.

74 O God, why have You rejected us forever?
Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?

Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
Which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance;
Remember Mount Zion, where You have dwelt.

Turn your footsteps [quickly] toward the perpetual ruins;
The enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary.

In the midst of Your meeting place Your enemies have roared [with their battle cry];
They have set up their own emblems for signs [of victory].

It seems as if one had lifted up
An axe in a forest of trees [to set a record of destruction].

And now all the carved work [of the meeting place]
They smash with hatchets and hammers.

They have burned Your sanctuary to the ground;
They have profaned the dwelling place of Your [a]name.

They said in their heart, “Let us completely subdue them.”
They have burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

We do not see our symbols;
There is no longer any prophet [to guide us],
Nor does any among us know for how long.
10 
O God, how long will the adversary scoff?
Is the enemy to revile Your name forever?
11 
Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand [from judging the enemy]?
Remove Your hand from Your chest, destroy them!

12 
Yet God is my King of old,
Working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13 
You divided the [Red] Sea by Your strength;
You broke the heads of the [b]sea monsters in the waters.
14 
You crushed the heads of [c]Leviathan (Egypt);
You gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
15 
You broke open fountains and streams;
You dried up ever-flowing rivers.
16 
The day is Yours, the night also is Yours;
You have established and prepared the [heavenly] light and the sun.
17 
You have defined and established all the borders of the earth [the divisions of land and sea and of the nations];
You have made summer and winter.

18 
Remember this, O Lord, the enemy has scoffed,
And a foolish and impious people has spurned Your name.
19 
Oh, do not hand over the soul of your turtledove to the wild beast;
Do not forget the life of Your afflicted forever.
20 
Consider the covenant [You made with Abraham],
For the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
21 
Let not the oppressed return dishonored;
Let the afflicted and needy praise Your name.

22 
Arise, O God, plead Your own cause;
Remember how the foolish man scoffs at You all day long.
23 
Do not forget the [clamoring] voices of Your adversaries,
The uproar of those who rise against You, which ascends continually [to Your ears].

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 74:7 See note Deut 12:5.
  2. Psalm 74:13 Symbolic of Egypt’s power.
  3. Psalm 74:14 See note Job 41:1.
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1 Kings 22:29-45

Defeat and Death of Ahab

29 So [Ahab] the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and enter the battle, but you put on your [royal] clothing.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into the battle. 31 Now the king of Aram (Syria) had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, “Do not fight with [anyone, either] small or great, but with [Ahab] the king of Israel alone.” 32 When the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel.” They turned to fight against him, and Jehoshaphat shouted out [in fear]. 33 When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.

34 But one man drew a bow at [a]random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the fight, because I have been seriously wounded.” 35 The battle raged that day, and [Ahab] the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans (Syrians). And in the evening he died, and the blood from his wound ran down into the bottom of the chariot. 36 Then about sundown a resounding cry passed throughout the army, saying, “Every man to his city and every man to his own country!”

37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria. 38 They washed the chariot by the pool [on the outskirts] of Samaria, where the prostitutes bathed, and the dogs licked up his blood, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He had spoken. 39 Now the rest of Ahab’s acts, and everything that he did, the ivory palace which he built and all the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab slept with his fathers [in death], and Ahaziah his son became king in his place.

The New Rulers

41 Now Jehoshaphat the son of Asa became king over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 He walked in all the ways of Asa his father, without turning from them, doing right in the sight of the Lord. However, the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 44 Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.

45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, his might which he displayed and how he made war, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 22:34 Or innocently, i.e. not thinking that he would kill the king.
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1 Corinthians 2:14-3:15

14 But the natural [unbelieving] man does not accept the things [the teachings and revelations] of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness [absurd and illogical] to him; and he is incapable of understanding them, because they are spiritually discerned and appreciated, [and he is unqualified to judge spiritual matters]. 15 But the spiritual man [the spiritually mature Christian] judges all things [questions, examines and applies what the Holy Spirit reveals], yet is himself judged by no one [the unbeliever cannot judge and understand the believer’s spiritual nature]. 16 For who has known the mind and purposes of the Lord, so as to instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ [to be guided by His thoughts and purposes].

Foundations for Living

However, brothers and sisters, I could not talk to you as to spiritual people, but [only] as to [a]worldly people [dominated by human nature], mere infants [in the new life] in Christ! I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Even now you are still not ready. You are still [b]worldly [controlled by ordinary impulses, the sinful capacity]. For as long as there is jealousy and strife and discord among you, are you not [c]unspiritual, and are you not walking like ordinary men [unchanged by faith]? For when one of you says, “I am [a disciple] of Paul,” and another, “I am [a disciple] of Apollos,” are you not [proving yourselves unchanged, just] ordinary people?

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Just servants through whom you believed [in Christ], even as the Lord appointed to each his task. I planted, Apollos watered, but God [all the while] was causing the growth. So neither is the one who plants nor the one who waters anything, but [only] God who causes the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one [in importance and esteem, working toward the same purpose]; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers [His servants working together]; you are God’s cultivated field [His garden, His vineyard], God’s building.

10 According to the [remarkable] grace of God which was given to me [to prepare me for my task], like a skillful master builder I laid a foundation, and now another is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it, 11 for no one can lay a foundation other than the one which is [already] laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will be clearly shown [for what it is]; for the day [of judgment] will disclose it, because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality and character and worth of each person’s work. 14 If any person’s work which he has built [on this foundation, that is, any outcome of his effort] remains [and survives this test], he will receive a reward. 15 But if any person’s work is burned up [by the test], he will suffer the loss [of his reward]; yet he himself will be saved, but only as [one who has barely escaped] through fire.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 3:1 Lit fleshly.
  2. 1 Corinthians 3:3 Lit fleshly.
  3. 1 Corinthians 3:3 Lit fleshly.
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Matthew 5:1-10

The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes

When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His [a]disciples came to Him. Then He began to teach them, saying,

“Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].

“Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted].

“Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the [b]gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.

“Blessed [content, sheltered by God’s promises] are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God.

“Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God.

10 “Blessed [comforted by inner peace and God’s love] are those who are persecuted for [c]doing that which is morally right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 5:1 A disciple was a “learner” who may have been curious or convinced or committed.
  2. Matthew 5:5 Or humble, meek.
  3. Matthew 5:10 Lit the sake of righteousness.
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Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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