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May 25 - Morning

"Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts. May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue— those who say, 'By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?'
'Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,' says the Lord. 'I will protect them from those who malign them.'
And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.
You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked, who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race."

- Psalms 12:1-8

Words of Men vs. Words of the Lord


The psalmist laments the corrupt state of people in his society. They have no integrity and do not speak honest words. Instead of speaking the truth and seeking the benefit of other men, these people use words to lie and flatter each other in order to conceal the deception in their own hearts. The depraved state of culture causes the psalmist to cry out to the Lord for help since the faithful members of the covenant community have vanished (or, they have been “plundered” or gone into hiding).

The cry for help is in response to corrupt words, not wicked actions. The words come from the “deception in their hearts” and are boastful words described as lies and flattery. These wicked men manipulate situations and people with words, even false words.  They have prevailed and in their hubris they believe this trend will continue. They say:

“By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us – who is lord over us?”

But, as is the nature of human hubris, this extreme arrogance has separated these men from reality and their confidence will not be experienced much longer. The Lord, the God of Truth and Reality, himself speaks.  The Lord confirms his plan to intervene when he says:

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise. I will protect them from those who malign them.”

We now have two quotes from two different sources – men and God. When the words of the arrogant wicked are compared to the words of the righteous God of eternity this Psalm reveals that the Lord’s words are flawless and pure. The Lord’s words are Reality and they will occur exactly as they were spoken. But, the wicked words of arrogance are merely a wish that will be thwarted by the Lord and his Word.

This is a psalm that contrasts two worldviews: 1) Naturalism; 2) Theism.  At a time when mankind respects what is "vile", the psalmist regains his confidence and reestablishes his hope when he considers the words of natural man in light of the words of the eternal God. The psalmist closes his reflection with these words:

“You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked, who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race.”
Calach (Hb) - Forgive (Eng) - the Hebrew word calach means "to forgive." In the Old Testament this is the only word used for "forgive" and God is always the subject. This word is frequent in Leviticus and Numbers. There are other Hebrew words used for "forgiveness"
Do I respond to the darkness of the world and deception of people with more darkness and deception? Instead, I will respond to the evil state of the world with righteousness, and offer hope and life.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Finances

Church

God's will be done
Environment
France



Remains at Samaria.
Details on a map of Second Kings 14 and
Second Chronicles 25 concerning Amaziah and Jehoash




Someone to Quote

"The purpose of Christianity is not to avoid difficulty, but to produce a character adequate to meet it when it comes. It does not make life easy; rather it tries to make us great enough for life."
- James L. Christensen

Something to Ponder

Possibly the greatest invention of all time was Johann Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in 1456. The first thing that was produced on this press in Mainz, Germany was Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Bible. This first printed Bible became known as the Gutenberg Bible. 200 copies were printed (30 of the Bibles were printed on velum). Within 50 years the printers who copied Gutenberg’s invention out produced the previous 1,500 years of handwritten copies of Scripture made by monks and scribes. This printing press helped educate the masses and fueled the Reformation led by Luther, Zwingli and others. Today 22 copies of this first Bible still exist. 7 of them are from the 30 velum copies. (Details 1, 2 Photo)

Here’s a Fact

Hebrews 7:3 says Melchizedek, the king and priest of Jerusalem, was “without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life.” It is interesting that tablet 286 of the Amarna Letters captures a very similar statement by  ‘Abdi-Heba, the ruler of Urusalima (Jerusalem) around 1330 BC, to describe himself: “It was not my father and not my mother but the arm of the mighty king that placed me in the house of my father.” The office of king/priest of Jerusalem (Salem, Urusalima) was not inherited from parents, but was received through appointment. The kings of Judah ascended the throne because of their lineage to the tribe of David. Likewise, the priests, Levites and the High Priests received their position because of their family ancestry. But, in Canaanite Canaan the king of Jerusalem was appointed by a greater king according to:
Hebrews 7:1-3
• the account in Genesis 14:18-24
• Amarna Letter on tablet 286 line 9-13 (Details)

Proverb

"Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
    is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
    he refreshes the spirit of his master."

- Proverbs 25:13

Coach’s Corner

People live defensively when they have something to lose, but offensively when they have nothing to lose.

1 Samuel 3
New International Version (NIV)
The Lord Calls Samuel
The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.
So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God,[a] and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”
15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
Footnotes:
  1. 1 Samuel 3:13 An ancient Hebrew scribal tradition (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text sons made themselves contemptible
Hosea 1
New International Version (NIV)
The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the reign of Jeroboam son of Jehoash[a] king of Israel:
Hosea’s Wife and Children
When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.”
Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them. Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them.”
After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. Then the Lord said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.[b]
10 “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ 11 The people of Judah and the people of Israel will come together; they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.[c]
Footnotes:
  1. Hosea 1:1 Hebrew Joash, a variant of Jehoash
  2. Hosea 1:9 Or your I am
  3. Hosea 1:11 In Hebrew texts 1:10,11 is numbered 2:1,2.
1 Chronicles 23-24
New International Version (NIV)
The Levites
23 When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.
He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites. The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. David said, “Of these, twenty-four thousand are to be in charge of the work of the temple of the Lord and six thousand are to be officials and judges. Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose.”
David separated the Levites into divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
Gershonites
Belonging to the Gershonites:
Ladan and Shimei.
The sons of Ladan:
Jehiel the first, Zetham and Joel—three in all.
The sons of Shimei:
Shelomoth, Haziel and Haran—three in all.
These were the heads of the families of Ladan.
10 And the sons of Shimei:
Jahath, Ziza,[a] Jeush and Beriah.
These were the sons of Shimei—four in all.
11 Jahath was the first and Ziza the second, but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons; so they were counted as one family with one assignment.
Kohathites
12 The sons of Kohath:
Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel—four in all.
13 The sons of Amram:
Aaron and Moses.
Aaron was set apart, he and his descendants forever, to consecrate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices before the Lord, to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in his name forever.
14 The sons of Moses the man of God were counted as part of the tribe of Levi.
15 The sons of Moses:
Gershom and Eliezer.
16 The descendants of Gershom:
Shubael was the first.
17 The descendants of Eliezer:
Rehabiah was the first.
Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous.
18 The sons of Izhar:
Shelomith was the first.
19 The sons of Hebron:
Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth.
20 The sons of Uzziel:
Micah the first and Ishiah the second.
Merarites
21 The sons of Merari:
Mahli and Mushi.
The sons of Mahli:
Eleazar and Kish.
22 Eleazar died without having sons: he had only daughters. Their cousins, the sons of Kish, married them.
23 The sons of Mushi:
Mahli, Eder and Jerimoth—three in all.
24 These were the descendants of Levi by their families—the heads of families as they were registered under their names and counted individually, that is, the workers twenty years old or more who served in the temple of the Lord. 25 For David had said, “Since the Lord, the God of Israel, has granted rest to his people and has come to dwell in Jerusalem forever, 26 the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the articles used in its service.” 27 According to the last instructions of David, the Levites were counted from those twenty years old or more.
28 The duty of the Levites was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the temple of the Lord: to be in charge of the courtyards, the side rooms, the purification of all sacred things and the performance of other duties at the house of God. 29 They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the special flour for the grain offerings, the thin loaves made without yeast, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size. 30 They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening 31 and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals. They were to serve before the Lord regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.
32 And so the Levites carried out their responsibilities for the tent of meeting, for the Holy Place and, under their relatives the descendants of Aaron, for the service of the temple of the Lord.
The Divisions of Priests
24 These were the divisions of the descendants of Aaron:
The sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
But Nadab and Abihu died before their father did, and they had no sons; so Eleazar and Ithamar served as the priests. With the help of Zadok a descendant of Eleazar and Ahimelek a descendant of Ithamar, David separated them into divisions for their appointed order of ministering. A larger number of leaders were found among Eleazar’s descendants than among Ithamar’s, and they were divided accordingly: sixteen heads of families from Eleazar’s descendants and eight heads of families from Ithamar’s descendants. They divided them impartially by casting lots, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of God among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar.
The scribe Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, recorded their names in the presence of the king and of the officials: Zadok the priest, Ahimelek son of Abiathar and the heads of families of the priests and of the Levites—one family being taken from Eleazar and then one from Ithamar.
The first lot fell to Jehoiarib,
the second to Jedaiah,
the third to Harim,
the fourth to Seorim,
the fifth to Malkijah,
the sixth to Mijamin,
10 the seventh to Hakkoz,
the eighth to Abijah,
11 the ninth to Jeshua,
the tenth to Shekaniah,
12 the eleventh to Eliashib,
the twelfth to Jakim,
13 the thirteenth to Huppah,
the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,
14 the fifteenth to Bilgah,
the sixteenth to Immer,
15 the seventeenth to Hezir,
the eighteenth to Happizzez,
16 the nineteenth to Pethahiah,
the twentieth to Jehezkel,
17 the twenty-first to Jakin,
the twenty-second to Gamul,
18 the twenty-third to Delaiah
and the twenty-fourth to Maaziah.
19 This was their appointed order of ministering when they entered the temple of the Lord, according to the regulations prescribed for them by their ancestor Aaron, as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded him.
The Rest of the Levites
20 As for the rest of the descendants of Levi:
from the sons of Amram: Shubael;
from the sons of Shubael: Jehdeiah.
21 As for Rehabiah, from his sons:
Ishiah was the first.
22 From the Izharites: Shelomoth;
from the sons of Shelomoth: Jahath.
23 The sons of Hebron: Jeriah the first,[b] Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth.
24 The son of Uzziel: Micah;
from the sons of Micah: Shamir.
25 The brother of Micah: Ishiah;
from the sons of Ishiah: Zechariah.
26 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi.
The son of Jaaziah: Beno.
27 The sons of Merari:
from Jaaziah: Beno, Shoham, Zakkur and Ibri.
28 From Mahli: Eleazar, who had no sons.
29 From Kish: the son of Kish:
Jerahmeel.
30 And the sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder and Jerimoth.
These were the Levites, according to their families. 31 They also cast lots, just as their relatives the descendants of Aaron did, in the presence of King David and of Zadok, Ahimelek, and the heads of families of the priests and of the Levites. The families of the oldest brother were treated the same as those of the youngest.
Footnotes:
  1. 1 Chronicles 23:10 One Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint and Vulgate (see also verse 11); most Hebrew manuscripts Zina
  2. 1 Chronicles 24:23 Two Hebrew manuscripts and some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 23:19); most Hebrew manuscripts The sons of Jeriah:


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