Today’s Readings

Obadiah (Listen)

1:1 The vision of Obadiah.

  Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom:
  We have heard a report from the LORD,
    and a messenger has been sent among the nations:
  “Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!”
  Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
    you shall be utterly despised.
  The pride of your heart has deceived you,
    you who live in the clefts of the rock,
    in your lofty dwelling,
  who say in your heart,
    “Who will bring me down to the ground?”
  Though you soar aloft like the eagle,
    though your nest is set among the stars,
    from there I will bring you down,
      declares the LORD.
  If thieves came to you,
    if plunderers came by night—
    how you have been destroyed!—
    would they not steal only enough for themselves?
  If grape gatherers came to you,
    would they not leave gleanings?
  How Esau has been pillaged,
    his treasures sought out!
  All your allies have driven you to your border;
    those at peace with you have deceived you;
  they have prevailed against you;
    those who eat your bread have set a trap beneath you—
    you have no understanding.
  Will I not on that day, declares the LORD,
    destroy the wise men out of Edom,
    and understanding out of Mount Esau?
  And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O Teman,
    so that every man from Mount Esau will be cut off by slaughter.

10   Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob,
    shame shall cover you,
    and you shall be cut off forever.
11   On the day that you stood aloof,
    on the day that strangers carried off his wealth
  and foreigners entered his gates
    and cast lots for Jerusalem,
    you were like one of them.
12   But do not gloat over the day of your brother
    in the day of his misfortune;
  do not rejoice over the people of Judah
    in the day of their ruin;
  do not boast
    in the day of distress.
13   Do not enter the gate of my people
    in the day of their calamity;
  do not gloat over his disaster
    in the day of his calamity;
  do not loot his wealth
    in the day of his calamity.
14   Do not stand at the crossroads
    to cut off his fugitives;
  do not hand over his survivors
    in the day of distress.

15   For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations.
  As you have done, it shall be done to you;
    your deeds shall return on your own head.
16   For as you have drunk on my holy mountain,
    so all the nations shall drink continually;
  they shall drink and swallow,
    and shall be as though they had never been.
17   But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape,
    and it shall be holy,
  and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions.
18   The house of Jacob shall be a fire,
    and the house of Joseph a flame,
    and the house of Esau stubble;
  they shall burn them and consume them,
    and there shall be no survivor for the house of Esau,
      for the LORD has spoken.

19   Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau,
    and those of the Shephelah shall possess the land of the Philistines;
  they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria,
    and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
20   The exiles of this host of the people of Israel
    shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,
  and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
    shall possess the cities of the Negeb.
21   Saviors shall go up to Mount Zion
    to rule Mount Esau,
    and the kingdom shall be the LORD's.

Malachi 1–4 (Listen)

1:1 The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

“I have loved you,” says the LORD. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob's brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,” the LORD of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the LORD is angry forever.’” Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, “Great is the LORD beyond the border of Israel!”

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD's table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts. And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts. 10 Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. 12 But you profane it when you say that the Lord's table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. 13 But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. 14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.

2:1 “And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the LORD of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.”

10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the LORD of hosts!

13 And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

17 You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”

3:1 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

“Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.

“For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts. 12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the LORD of hosts.

13 “Your words have been hard against me, says the LORD. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the LORD of hosts? 15 And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’”

16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. 17 “They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

4:1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

Mark 9:30–37 (Listen)

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

Psalm 18:1–29 (Listen)

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

18:1   I love you, O LORD, my strength.
  The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.
  The cords of death encompassed me;
    the torrents of destruction assailed me;
  the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.
  In my distress I called upon the LORD;
    to my God I cried for help.
  From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears.
  Then the earth reeled and rocked;
    the foundations also of the mountains trembled
    and quaked, because he was angry.
  Smoke went up from his nostrils,
    and devouring fire from his mouth;
    glowing coals flamed forth from him.
  He bowed the heavens and came down;
    thick darkness was under his feet.
10   He rode on a cherub and flew;
    he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
11   He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
    thick clouds dark with water.
12   Out of the brightness before him
    hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
13   The LORD also thundered in the heavens,
    and the Most High uttered his voice,
    hailstones and coals of fire.
14   And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
    he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
15   Then the channels of the sea were seen,
    and the foundations of the world were laid bare
  at your rebuke, O LORD,
    at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
16   He sent from on high, he took me;
    he drew me out of many waters.
17   He rescued me from my strong enemy
    and from those who hated me,
    for they were too mighty for me.
18   They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
    but the LORD was my support.
19   He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
20   The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
21   For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
    and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22   For all his rules were before me,
    and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23   I was blameless before him,
    and I kept myself from my guilt.
24   So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25   With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
    with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
26   with the purified you show yourself pure;
    and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
27   For you save a humble people,
    but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28   For it is you who light my lamp;
    the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
29   For by you I can run against a troop,
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.

Proverbs 12:23–24 (Listen)

23   A prudent man conceals knowledge,
    but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
24   The hand of the diligent will rule,
    while the slothful will be put to forced labor.

Fri 18 May, 2018


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