The Lord Has a Case against Israel
1 Now hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says, “Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice.†
2 Hear, O mountains, the judgment of the Lord, and you valleys, the foundations of the earth; for the Lord has a case against His people, and He will contend with Israel.
3 O My people, what have I done to you? How have I grieved you? Answer Me!†
4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage; and I sent you Moses, and Aaron, and Miriam.
5 O My people, remember now what King Balak of Moab plotted against you, and what answer Balaam the son of Beor gave to him from the reeds as far as to Gilgal, that the righteousness of the Lord might be known.”
6 How shall I come to understand the Lord and devote myself to the Most High God? Shall I reach Him with burnt offerings? with year-old calves?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams? or with a myriad of streams of oil? Should I give my firstborn for my ungodliness, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O man, what is good. Or what does the Lord seek from you but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to be ready to walk with the Lord your God?†
9 The Lord’s voice shall be proclaimed in the city, and He shall save those who fear His name. “Hear, O tribe, who will put the city in order?
10 For is there not a fire there, and the house of the lawless storing up lawless treasures with insolent unrighteousness?
11 Will the lawless be justified by a balance scale or a bag of deceitful weights
bookmarked12 from which they accumulated their ungodly wealth? And those that dwell in the city have spoken lies and exalted themselves with their own mouth.
13 “Therefore I will begin to smite you; I will destroy you because of your sins.
14 You shall eat but not be satisfied, and there will be darkness upon you, and he will depart without being noticed, and you will not be rescued; and all who do escape will be given over to the sword.
15 You will sow, but you will not reap. You will press olives, but you will not anoint yourself with oil. And you will make wine, but you will not drink any of it, and the statutes of my people will be utterly abolished.
16 For you have kept the ordinances of Omri and done all the works of the house of Ahab. You walked in their counsels, so that I should deliver you over to complete destruction and make your inhabitants into a hissing, and you will bear the reproach of the peoples.”
11 Turn Your face from my sins, And blot out all my transgressions.
12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me.
13 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
14 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me with Your guiding Spirit.
15 I will teach transgressors Your ways, And the ungodly shall turn back to You.
16 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation, And my tongue shall greatly rejoice in Your righteousness.
17 O Lord, You shall open my lips, And my mouth will declare Your praise.
18 For if You desired sacrifice, I would give it; You will not be pleased with whole burnt offerings.
19 A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, A broken and humbled heart God will not despise.
20 Do good, O Lord, in Your good pleasure to Zion, And let the walls of Jerusalem be built;
21 Then You will be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, With offerings and whole burnt offerings; Then shall they offer young bulls on Your altar.
Proverbs of Solomon 10
28 The fear of the Lord increases days, But the years of the ungodly will be shortened.
29 Gladness continues for the righteous, But the hope of the ungodly perishes.†
30 The fear of the Lord is the stronghold of a holy man, But destruction is for those who work evil.†
31 A righteous man will never fail, But the ungodly shall not inhabit the earth.
32 The mouth of a righteous man distills wisdom, But the tongue of an unrighteous man utterly destroys.
33 The lips of righteous men distill grace, But the mouth of the ungodly is perverse.
1 Corinthians 9
A Good Example: Paul’s Rights
1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?†
2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.†
3 My defense to those who examine me is this:
4 Do we have no right to eat and drink?
5 Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?
7 Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?
8 Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also?
9 For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about?
10 Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?†
12 If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar?
14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.
16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!
17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
18 What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;
20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;
21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;
22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
Paul’s Spiritual Discipline
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. †
25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.