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Psalm 38

(A psalm by David to be used when an offering is made.)

A Prayer in Times of Trouble

38 When you are angry, Lord,
please don’t punish me
    or even correct me.
You shot me with your arrows,
    and you struck me
    with your hand.

My body hurts all over
    because of your anger.
Even my bones are in pain,
    and my sins are so heavy
    that I am crushed.

Because of my foolishness,
I am covered with sores
    that stink and spread.
My body is twisted and bent,
    and I groan all day long.
Fever has my back in flames,
    and I hurt all over.
    I am worn out and weak,
    moaning and in distress.

You, Lord, know every one
    of my deepest desires,
    and my noisy groans
    are no secret to you.
10 My heart is beating fast.
    I feel weak all over,
    and my eyes are red.

11 Because of my sickness,
    no friends or neighbors
    will come near me.
12 All who want me dead
    set traps to catch me,
and those who want
to harm and destroy me
    plan and plot all day.

13 I am not able to hear
    or speak a word;
14     I am completely deaf
    and can’t make a sound.

15 I trust you, Lord God,
    and you will do something.
16     I said, “Don’t let them laugh
    or brag because I slip.”

17 I am about to collapse
    from constant pain.
18     I told you my sins,
    and I am sorry for them.
19 Many deadly and powerful
    enemies hate me,
20     and they repay evil for good
    because I try to do right.

21 You are the Lord God!
    Stay nearby
    and don’t desert me.
22 You are the one who saves me.
    Please hurry and help.

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Psalm 119:25-48

25 I am at the point of death.
    Let your teachings
    breathe new life into me.
26 When I told you my troubles,
you answered my prayers.
    Now teach me your laws.
27 Help me to understand
    your teachings,
    and I will think about
    your marvelous deeds.
28 I am overcome with sorrow.
    Encourage me,
    as you have promised to do.
29 Keep me from being deceitful,
    and be kind enough
    to teach me your Law.
30 I am determined to be faithful
    and to respect your laws.
31     I follow your rules, Lord.
    Don’t let me be ashamed.
32 I am eager to learn all
    that you want me to do;
    help me to understand
    more and more.

33 Point out your rules to me,
    and I won’t disobey
    even one of them.
34 Help me to understand your Law;
    I promise to obey it
    with all my heart.
35 Direct me by your commands!
    I love to do what you say.
36 Make me want to obey you,
    rather than to be rich.
37 Take away my foolish desires,
    and let me find life
    by walking with you.
38 I am your servant!
    Do for me what you promised
    to those who worship you.
39 Your wonderful teachings
protect me from the insults
    that I hate so much.
40 I long for your teachings.
    Be true to yourself
    and let me live.

41 Show me your love
and save me, Lord,
    as you have promised.
42 Then I will have an answer
for everyone
    who insults me
    for trusting your word.
43 I rely on your laws!
    Don’t take away my chance
    to speak your truth.
44 I will keep obeying your Law
    forever and ever.
45 I have gained perfect freedom
    by following your teachings,
46     and I trust them so much
    that I tell them to kings.
47 I love your commands!
    They bring me happiness.
48 I love and respect them
    and will keep them in mind.

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Joshua 3:1-13

Israel Crosses the Jordan River

Early the next morning, Joshua and the Israelites packed up and left Acacia. They went to the Jordan River and camped there that night. Two days later[a] their leaders went through the camp, 3-4 shouting, “When you see some of the priests[b] carrying the sacred chest, you’ll know it is time to cross to the other side. You’ve never been there before, and you won’t know the way, unless you follow the chest. But don’t get too close! Stay about half a mile back.”

Joshua told the people, “Make yourselves acceptable[c] to worship the Lord, because he is going to do some amazing things for us.”

Then Joshua turned to the priests and said, “Take the chest and cross the Jordan River ahead of us.” So the priests picked up the chest by its carrying poles and went on ahead.

The Lord told Joshua, “Beginning today I will show the people that you are their leader, and they will know that I am helping you as I helped Moses. Now, tell the priests who are carrying the chest to go a little way into the river and stand there.”

Joshua spoke to the people:

Come here and listen to what the Lord our God said he will do! 10 The Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites control the land on the other side of the river. But the living God will be with you and will force them out of the land when you attack. And now, God is going to prove that he’s powerful enough to force them out. 11-13 Just watch the sacred chest that belongs to the Lord, the ruler of the whole earth. As soon as the priests carrying the chest step into the Jordan, the water will stop flowing and pile up as if someone had built a dam across the river.

The Lord has also said that each of the twelve tribes should choose one man to represent it.

Footnotes:

  1. 3.2 Two days later: The Hebrew text has “At the end of three days,” two days after they had set up camp.
  2. 3.3,4 the priests: The Hebrew text has “the priests, the Levites” ; priests belonged to the tribe of Levi.
  3. 3.5 Make yourselves acceptable: People had to do certain things to make themselves acceptable to worship the Lord (see Leviticus 7.20,21; 15.2,33; 22.4-8; Deuteronomy 23.10,11).
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Romans 11:25-36

The People of Israel Will Be Brought Back

25 My friends, I don’t want you Gentiles to be too proud of yourselves. So I will explain the mystery of what has happened to the people of Israel. Some of them have become stubborn, and they will stay like that until the complete number of you Gentiles has come in. 26 In this way all of Israel will be saved, as the Scriptures say,

“From Zion someone will come
    to rescue us.
Then Jacob’s descendants
    will stop being evil.
27 This is what the Lord
    has promised to do
when he forgives their sins.”

28 The people of Israel are treated as God’s enemies, so that the good news can come to you Gentiles. But they are still the chosen ones, and God loves them because of their famous ancestors. 29 God doesn’t take back the gifts he has given or forget about the people he has chosen.

30 At one time you Gentiles rejected God. But now Israel has rejected God, and you have been shown mercy. 31 And because of the mercy shown to you, they will also be shown mercy. 32 All people have disobeyed God, and that’s why he treats them as prisoners. But he does this, so that he can have mercy on all of them.

33 Who can measure the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God? Who can understand his decisions or explain what he does?

34 “Has anyone known
the thoughts of the Lord
    or given him advice?
35 Has anyone loaned
something to the Lord
    that must be repaid?”

36 Everything comes from the Lord. All things were made because of him and will return to him. Praise the Lord forever! Amen.

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Matthew 25:31-46

The Final Judgment

31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all of his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. 32 The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats.

33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, “My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created. 35 When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, 36 and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me.”

37 Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, “When did we give you something to eat or drink? 38 When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear 39 or visit you while you were sick or in jail?”

40 The king will answer, “Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.”

41 Then the king will say to those on his left, “Get away from me! You are under God’s curse. Go into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 I was hungry, but you did not give me anything to eat, and I was thirsty, but you did not give me anything to drink. 43 I was a stranger, but you did not welcome me, and I was naked, but you did not give me any clothes to wear. I was sick and in jail, but you did not take care of me.”

44 Then the people will ask, “Lord, when did we fail to help you when you were hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in jail?”

45 The king will say to them, “Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me.”

46 Then Jesus said, “Those people will be punished forever. But the ones who pleased God will have eternal life.”

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