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Psalm 75-76

God Abases the Proud, but Exalts the Righteous.

To the Chief Musician; set to [the tune of] “Do Not Destroy.” A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.

75 We give thanks and praise to You, O God, we give thanks,
For Your [wonderful works declare that Your] [a]name is near;
People declare Your wonders.

“When I select an appointed time,
I will judge with equity,” [says the Lord].

“The earth and all the inhabitants of it melt [in tumultuous times].
It is I who will steady its pillars. Selah.

“I said to the arrogant, ‘Do not boast;’
And to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up the horn [of self-glorification].

‘Do not lift up your [defiant and aggressive] horn on high,
Do not speak with a stiff neck.’”


For not from the east, nor from the west,
Nor from the desert comes exaltation.

But God is the Judge;
He puts down one and lifts up another.

For a cup [of His wrath] is in the hand of the Lord, and the wine foams;
It is well mixed and fully spiced, and He pours out from it;
And all the wicked of the earth must drain it and drink down to its dregs.


But as for me, I will declare it and rejoice forever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 
All the horns of the wicked He will cut off,
But the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.

The Victorious Power of the God of Jacob.

To the Chief Musician; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.

76 God is known in Judah;
His name is great in Israel.

His tabernacle is in Salem (Jerusalem);
His dwelling place is in Zion.

There He broke the flaming arrows,
The shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah.


You are glorious and resplendent,
More majestic than the mountains of prey.

The stouthearted have been stripped of their spoil,
They have slept the sleep [of death];
And none of the warriors could use his hands.

At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
Both rider and horse were cast into a dead sleep [of death].

You, even You, are to be feared [with the submissive wonder of reverence];
Who may stand in Your presence when once You are angry?


You caused judgment to be heard from heaven;
The earth feared and was quiet

When God arose to [establish] judgment,
To save all the humble of the earth. Selah.
10 
For the wrath of man shall praise You;
With a remnant of wrath You will clothe and arm Yourself.

11 
Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them;
Let all who are around Him bring gifts to Him who is to be feared [with awe-inspired reverence].
12 
He will cut off the spirit of princes;
He is awesome and feared by the kings of the earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 75:1 See note Deut 12:5.
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Psalm 23

The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd.

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.

He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.

He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.


Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with [b]oil;
My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 23:4 Or valley of deep darkness.
  2. Psalm 23:5 In ancient times it was customary in hot climates for a host to provide his guest with olive oil to put on his head. The Lord blesses and anoints His believers with the Holy Spirit, whom oil symbolizes, to prepare them for His service.
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Psalm 27

A Psalm of Fearless Trust in God.

A Psalm of David.

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the refuge and fortress of my life—
Whom shall I dread?

When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.

Though an army encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
Even in this I am confident.


One thing I have asked of the Lord, and that I will seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life,
To gaze upon the beauty [the delightful loveliness and majestic grandeur] of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.

For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.

And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
In His tent I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.


Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
Be gracious and compassionate to me and answer me.

When You said, “Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I will seek [on the authority of Your word].”

Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor [a]leave me,
O God of my salvation!
10 
Although my father and my mother have abandoned me,
Yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].

11 
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me on a level path
Because of my enemies [who lie in wait].
12 
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have come against me;
They breathe out violence.
13 
I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 
Wait for and confidently expect the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 27:9 Lit forsake.
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Ezra 9

Mixed Marriages

When these things were completed, the officials came to me and said, “The people of Israel and the priests and Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, but have committed the repulsive acts of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy [a]race has [b]intermingled with the peoples of the lands. Indeed, the officials and chief men have been foremost in this unfaithful act and direct violation [of God’s will].” When I heard this, I tore my clothing and my robe [in grief], I pulled out some of the hair from my head and my beard, and sat down appalled [at the shame of it]. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel because of the unfaithfulness of the exiles gathered to me as I sat appalled until the evening offering.

Prayer of Confession

At the evening offering I arose from my [time of] humiliation and penitence and having torn my clothing and my robe, I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the Lord my God, and I said, “O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our wrongdoings have risen higher than our heads and our guilt has grown to the heavens. Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been exceedingly guilty; and on account of our wrongdoings we, our kings, and our priests have been handed over to the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to complete shame, as it is today. But now for a brief moment grace has been [shown to us] from the Lord our God, who has left us a surviving remnant and has given us a peg (secure hold) in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage. For we are slaves; yet our God has not abandoned us in our bondage, but has extended lovingkindness to us before the kings of Persia, to revive us to rebuild the house of our God, to repair the site of its ruins and to give us a wall [of protection] in Judah and Jerusalem.

10 “Now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have abandoned (turned away from) Your commandments, 11 which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are entering to possess is a defiled land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, through their repulsive acts which have filled it from one end to the other along with their impurity. 12 So now do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons; and never seek their peace or their prosperity, so that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.’ 13 And after everything that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since You our God have punished us less than our wrongdoings deserve, and have given us survivors like these, 14 shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who practice these repulsive acts? Would You not be angry with us to the point of total destruction, so that there would be no remnant nor survivor? 15 O Lord God of Israel, You are [uncompromisingly] just (righteous), for we have been left as survivors, as it is this day. Behold, we are before You in our guilt, for no one can stand before You because of this.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezra 9:2 Lit seed.
  2. Ezra 9:2 Historically, intermarriage with other nations led the Jews into pagan practices which brought God’s wrath and judgment upon all the people.
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Revelation 17:1-14

The Doom of Babylon

17 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment and doom of the great [a]prostitute who is seated [b]on many waters [influencing nations], she with whom the kings of the earth have [c]committed acts of immorality, and the inhabitants of the earth have become intoxicated with the wine of her immorality.” And the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was [d]entirely covered with blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold, precious stones and pearls, [and she was] holding in her hand a gold cup full of the abominations and the filth of her [sexual] immorality. And on her forehead a name was written, a mystery: “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES (false religions, heresies) AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints (God’s people), and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus [who were martyred]. When I saw her, I wondered in amazement. But the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns.

“The beast that you saw was [once], but [now] is not, and he is about to come up out of the abyss (the bottomless pit, the dwelling place of demons) and go to destruction (perdition). And the inhabitants of the earth, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, will be astonished when they see the beast, because he was and is not and is yet to come [to earth]. Here is the mind which has wisdom [and this is what it knows about the vision]. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits; 10 and they are seven kings: five of whom have fallen, one exists and is reigning; the other [the seventh] has not yet come, and when he does come, he must remain a little while. 11 And the beast that [once] was but is not, is himself also an eighth king and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction (perdition). 12 The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but [together] they receive authority as kings for a single hour [for a common purpose] along with the beast. 13 These [kings] have one purpose [one mind, one common goal], and they give their power and authority to the beast.

Victory for the Lamb

14 They will wage war against the Lamb (Christ), and the Lamb will triumph and conquer them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him and on His side are the called and chosen (elect) and faithful.”

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 17:1 Some have thought that the prostitute symbolizes a corrupt, apostate religious system.
  2. Revelation 17:1 For the meaning of the waters in this prophetic context, see v 15.
  3. Revelation 17:2 This may be a figurative reference to cult worship practices and idolatry.
  4. Revelation 17:3 Lit full of.
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Matthew 14:22-36

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately He directed the disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side [of the Sea of Galilee], while He sent the crowds away. 23 After He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was there alone. 24 But the boat [by this time] was already a [a]long distance from land, tossed and battered by the waves; for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night (3:00-6:00 a.m.) Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately He spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I! Do not be afraid!”

28 Peter replied to Him, “Lord, if it is [really] You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 He said, “Come!” So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw [the effects of] the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus extended His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you [b]doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped Him [with awe-inspired reverence], saying, “Truly You are the Son of God!”

34 When they had crossed over [the sea], they went ashore at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word throughout all the surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; 36 and they begged Him to let them merely touch the fringe of His robe; and all who touched it were perfectly restored.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 14:24 Lit many stadia; a stadion being about an eighth of a mile or 192 meters.
  2. Matthew 14:31 I.e. allow yourself to be drawn in two directions.
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