Day 178 – Tobit 4-6; Psalms 145; Proverbs 31:6–9; Acts 8:1–25

Tobit 4-6

1 On that day Tobit remembered the silver he had entrusted to Gabael at Rages of Media. 2 So he said to himself, “I requested death for myself. Why do I not call my son Tobias to make this known to him before I die?”

3 So he summoned him and said, “My son, if I die, bury me, but do not disregard your mother. Honor her all the days of your life. Do what is pleasing to her, but do not grieve her. 4 Remember, my son, that she experienced many dangers for you while you were in the womb. When she dies, bury her beside me in the same grave. 5 My son, remember the Lord our God all your days, and do not desire to sin or to disobey His commandments. Do righteousness all the days of your life, and do not walk in the ways of wrongdoing. 6 For if you walk in the truth, you will be successful in your works. 7 Do almsgiving from your possessions to all who do righteousness. When you do almsgiving, do not let your eye be envious. Do not turn your face away from any poor man, so the face of God will not be turned away from you. 8 Do almsgiving based on the quantity of your possessions. If you possess only a few, do not be afraid to give according to the little you have. 9 You are storing up a good treasure for yourself in the day of necessity. 10 For almsgiving delivers us from death and prevents us from entering into the darkness. 11 Indeed, almsgiving is a good gift for all who do it before the Most High.

12 “My son, guard yourself from all fornication, and above all take a wife from among the seed of your fathers. Do not take a foreign woman who is not from the tribe of your father, for we are sons of the prophets. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are our fathers from of old. Remember, my son, that all these took wives from among their brothers and were blessed in their children. Their seed will inherit the land. 13 So now, my son, love your brothers and do not be arrogant in your heart against your brothers, the sons and daughters of your people. Take a wife for yourself from them, for arrogance brings destruction and great disorder, and in such worthlessness there is loss and great defect. For worthlessness is the mother of famine.

14 “Do not keep overnight the wages of any man who works for you, but pay him immediately. If you serve God, He will pay you. Give heed to yourself, my son, in all your works, and be disciplined in all your conduct. 15 What you yourself hate, do not do to anyone. Do not drink wine unto a state of drunkenness, and do not let drunkenness become your traveling companion. 16 From your bread, give to him who is hungry, and from your clothing, give to the naked. If you have more than you need, do almsgiving, and do not let your eye envy the almsgiving when you do it. 17 Spread out your bread on the grave of the righteous, but do not give it to sinners.

  18 “Seek counsel from every sensible man, and do not treat any useful advice with contempt. 19 At every opportunity bless the Lord God, but more than this ask that your ways may become straight, and that all your paths and purposes may prosper. For not every nation has understanding. But the Lord Himself gives all that is good, and as He desires He humbles whomever He will. Now my son, let none of my commandments be removed from your heart.

20 “Now let me point out to you the ten talents of silver I entrusted to Gabael the son of Gabrias, in Rages of Media. 21 Do not fear, my son, that we have become poor. For you are very rich if you fear God. Stay away from every sin, and do what is pleasing before Him.”

Tobias Obeys His Father

1 Tobias answered him and said, “O father, I will do everything you have commanded me. 2 But how will I be able to obtain the silver, for I do not know him?” 3 Then he gave him the record of the debt and said to him, “Find for yourself a man who will travel with you, and I will pay him his wages as long as I remain alive. Now go and obtain the silver.”

4 Then Tobias went to look for a man and found Raphael, who was an angel. But he did not know it. 5 So Tobias said to him, “Can you go with me to Rages of Media? Are you acquainted with those places?” 6 The angel said to him, “I will go with you. I am acquainted with the roadways and I have lodged with our brother Gabael.” 7 Tobias said to him, “Wait for me and I will tell my father.” 8 He said to him, “Do so, but do not delay.”

9 So he went to his father and said, “Behold, I have found someone who will go with me.” But his father said, “Call him to me, that I may know what tribe he belongs to, and if he is trustworthy enough to go with you.” 10 So he invited him, and Raphael came in. They greeted one another cordially.

11 Tobit then said to him, “Brother, to what tribe and kindred do you belong?” 12 Raphael responded, “Do you seek a tribe and a family, or a hired man to go with your son?” Tobit replied, “Brother, I wish to know your people and your name.” 13 Then he said, “I am Azarias, the son of Ananias the Great, one of your relatives.” 14 So Tobit said to him, “You are most welcome, my brother. Do be not angry with me for seeking to learn of your tribe and your family. As it turns out, you are a brother of mine from a good and upright family. For I knew Ananias and Jonathan, the sons of Shemiah the Great, since we would journey in common to Jerusalem to worship and to offer the firstborn and the tenth of our harvest. They were not led astray in the deception of our brothers. My brother, you are from a good root.

15 “But tell me, what shall I give you as wages? A drachma a day and expenses for you and my son? 16 I will even add more to your pay, if you both return in good health.” 17 Thus they were well pleased. Then he said to Tobias, “Prepare for the journey, and may it be prosperous.” So his son prepared the things for the journey. Then his father said to him, “Go with this man, and may the God who dwells in heaven prosper your journey. May His angel journey with you.” They both departed, and the young man’s dog went with them.

18 But Anna his mother wept and said to Tobit, “Why have you sent our son away, or is he not the staff of our hands when he goes in and out before us? 19 Do not attain silver upon silver, but may it be dirt compared to our son. 20 For as he was given to us to live by the Lord, this is sufficient for our existence.” 21 Tobit said to her, “My sister, do not be concerned. He shall return in good health, and your eyes will see him. 22 For a good angel will go with him, and his journey shall be prosperous. He will return in good health.” 23 So she ceased weeping.

The Journey to Rages

1 They went on the journey and came to the Tigris River. So they spent the evening there. 2 The young man went down to wash himself, and a fish jumped up from the river and was determined to swallow the young man. 3 The angel said to him, “Take hold of the fish.” So the young man grabbed the fish and put it on the bank. 4 Then the angel said to him, “Cut open the fish. Take the heart, the liver, and the gall and put them in a safe place.” 5 The young man did as the angel commanded him. Then they cooked the fish and ate it.

  6 After this, they traveled together until they came near to Ecbatana. 7 Then the young man said to the angel, “Brother Azarias, what is the purpose of the liver, the heart, and the gall of the fish?” 8 He replied, “If a demon or an evil spirit troubles anyone, the heart and the liver must be used to make smoke before the man or woman, and that person will never be troubled again. 9 As for the gall, use it to anoint a man who has white films on his eyes, and he will be healed.”

10 As they came near Rages, 11 the angel said to the young man, “Brother, we will spend the night with Raguel. He is your relative and with him is his only child, a daughter named Sarah. 12 I will speak for her that she might be given to you as a wife, because her inheritance belongs to you; for you alone are from her people. The girl is beautiful and she is sensible.

13 “So now listen to me, for I will speak to her father. When we return from Rages, we will celebrate the wedding. For I know that Raguel cannot give her to any other man according to the rule of Moses, or he will be subject to death. Thus it is proper that you receive the inheritance rather than another man.”

14 Then the young man said to the angel, “Brother Azarias, I have heard the girl was given seven husbands, and they all perished in the bridal chamber. 15 Now I am the only son of my father, and I fear for myself lest, entering the bridal chamber, I may die even as those before me. For a demon loves her, and he does not harm anyone except those who approach her. Now I fear for myself lest I die and bring the life of my father and mother down into their tomb with grief and sorrow upon me. They have no other son who will bury them.”

16 But the angel said to him, “Do you not remember the words your father commanded you, to take a wife for yourself from among your people? Now listen to me, brother, for she will be a wife to you. As for the demon, have no concern, for this night she will be given to you as a wife. 17 If you enter the bridal chamber, you will take with you ashes of incense, and lay some of it on the heart and liver of the fish. Then you will make smoke, and the demon will smell it and flee and never return. 18 When you approach her, both of you will rise up and cry out to the merciful God. He will save you and be merciful. Do not fear for yourself, for she has been prepared for you from of old. You will save her and she will go with you. I believe that you will have children by her.”

19 As Tobias heard these words, he loved her and his soul was very much united to her.

Psalms 145

1 Alleluia; of Aggeus and Zacharias. Praise the Lord, O my soul. 

2 I shall praise the Lord while I live; I shall sing to my God as long as I exist. 

3 Do not trust in rulers and in the sons of men, In whom there is no salvation. 

4 His breath shall go out of him, and he shall return to his earth; On that day all his thoughts shall perish. 

5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob; His hope is in the Lord his God, 

6 Who made heaven and earth, The sea and everything in them, Who keeps truth forever, 

7 Who executes justice for the wronged, Who provides food for the hungry. The Lord frees those bound. 

8 The Lord restores those broken down. The Lord gives wisdom to the blind. The Lord loves the righteous. 

9 The Lord keeps watch over resident aliens. He shall adopt the orphan and the widow, But He shall destroy the way of sinners. 

10 The Lord shall reign forever: Your God, O Zion, to all generations.

Proverbs of Solomon 31

6 Give strong drink to those in sorrow, And wine to drink for those in pain, 

7 So they may forget their poverty And no longer remember their grief. 

8 Open your mouth for the word of God, And judge all men fairly; 

9 Open your mouth and judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and helpless.

Acts 8

The First General Persecution

1 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.

The Church in Samaria

4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.

6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.

8 And there was great joy in that city.

9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,

10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.”

11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.

12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.

13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.

The Samaritan Pentecost

14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,

15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.

16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,

19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!

21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.

22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”

25 So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.

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