Day 185 – July 4, 2021

Wisdom of Solomon 17; Psalm 5; Proverbs 1:11–15; Acts 12

Wisdom of Solomon 17

The Sins of Egypt

1 Great are Your judgments and hard to explain; Therefore, ignorant souls have gone astray.† 

2 For when lawless men thought they exercised power Over Your holy nation, They themselves were prisoners of darkness and long night, Shut in under their roofs, exiles from eternal providence. 

3 For when they thought they escaped notice With their secret sins behind a curtain of forgetfulness, They were scattered and in a terrible state of shock And thrown into confusion by apparitions.† 

4 For not even the inmost part of the house that held them Protected them from fear, But troubling noises sounded all around them, And gloomy apparitions with downcast faces appeared to them. 

5 No force of fire had the strength to give them light, Nor did the very bright lights of the stars Tarry to illuminate that hateful night. 

6 Now a self-acting fire full of fear alone shone through to them, But they were greatly terrified when that apparition was not perceived; So they considered the things they were seeing to be worse. 

7 The delusions of their magic were ineffective, And so was the arrogant certainty of their pretense to have insight.† 

8 For those who promised to drive away The fears and troubles of a sick soul Were themselves sick with an absurd timidity. 

9 For even if nothing dreadful frightened them, Yet, scared by the passing of beasts and hissing of serpents, They perished full of fear, Even refusing to look at the air, which could not be avoided.† 

10 For evil is a cowardly thing, And condemned by its own witness; And tormented by conscience, It always welcomes things full of trouble. 

11 For fear is nothing but the betrayal Of the assistance that comes from reasoning;† 

12 And the expectation from within considers itself to be weaker Than ignorance of the cause which supplies the torment. 

13 But they slept the same sleep throughout the night, Which was actually powerless, And which assaulted them from the inmost parts of a powerless Hades. 

14 They were driven by the monsters of apparitions And were paralyzed by the betrayal of their soul; For sudden and unexpected fear was poured out on them. 

15 So then whoever was there fell down And thus was kept shut up in a prison not made of iron. 

16 For whether someone was a farmer or a shepherd Or a worker who labored in the wilderness, He was overtaken by force and endured inescapable punishment; For all were bound with one chain of darkness. 

17 Whether there came a whistling wind, Or the musical sound of birds in wide-spreading branches, Or the motion of violently rushing water, Or the hard crash of rocks thrown down, 

18 Or the unseen running of leaping animals, Or the roar of fierce wild animals, Or an echo reflected from the hollow of mountains, It paralyzed them with terror. 

19 For the whole world was illumined with bright light And embraced unhindered works, 

20 While over those men alone heavy night was spread, An image of darkness that was about to receive them; But they were heavier than darkness to themselves.

Psalms 5

1 For the End; concerning the inheritance; a psalm by David. †

2 Give ear to my words, O Lord, Hear my cry. 

3 Give heed to the voice of my supplication, My King and my God, For to You will I pray, O Lord. 

4 In the morning You shall hear my voice; In the morning I will stand before You, And I will watch. 

5 For You are not a God who wills lawlessness, Nor shall the evildoer dwell with You. 

6 The lawless shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all the workers of lawlessness; 

7 You shall destroy all who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the man of violence and deceit. 

8 But as for me, in the fullness of Your mercy I will come into Your house; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. 

9 Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make straight Your way before me. 

10 For there is no truth in their mouth; Their heart is vain; Their throat is an open grave; They deal deceptively with their tongues. 

11 Judge them, O God. Let them fall by their false accusations; Cast them out in the multitude of their ungodliness; For they provoked You, O Lord. 

12 But let all who hope in You be glad; They will greatly rejoice forever, For You will dwell in them; And all who love Your name will boast in You. 

13 For You will bless the righteous; O Lord, You crowned us with the shield of Your goodwill.

Proverbs of Solomon 1

11 My son, do not let the ungodly lead you astray, And do not consent if they invite you, saying,† 

12 “Come with us; take part in bloodshed, And let us hide a righteous man in the earth unjustly; 

13 And let us swallow him, just as Hades does the living, And let us take away his remembrance from the earth; 

14 Let us seize his valuable property, And let us fill our houses with spoils; 

15 Cast your lot with us And let us acquire a common bag; Let there be one purse for us.”

Acts 12

Jerusalem Shaken

1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church.

2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.†

4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.†

6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.

7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands.

8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.”

9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.†

10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”

12 So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.†

13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer.

14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate.

15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”†

16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.

17 But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place.†

18 Then, as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter.

19 But when Herod had searched for him and not found him, he examined the guards and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there. 

Herod Dies

20 Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made Blastus the king’s personal aide their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food by the king’s country. 

21 So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them.†

22 And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!”

23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.

24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.†

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.†

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