Day 180 – Tobit 12-14; Psalms 148; Proverbs 31:16–20; Acts 9:1–19

Tobit 12-14

1 Tobit summoned his son Tobias and said to him, “My son, see to the wages of the man who went with you, and we must add to them.” 2 He replied to him, “My father, it is no harm for me to give him half of what I brought. 3 For he brought me safely to you, healed my wife, and brought me the silver. Likewise he healed you.” 4 The elderly man replied, “He more than earned it.” 5 So he called the angel and said to him, “Take half of everything you brought.”

6 Then Raphael secretly called the two of them, and said to them, “Bless God and give Him thanks. Ascribe greatness to Him and give thanks in the presence of all the living for what He has done for you. It is good to bless God and to exalt His name. Make known the words of God’s works honorably and do not delay to give thanks to Him. 7 It is noble to keep hidden the secret of a king, but glorious to unveil the works of God. Do good, and evil will not find you. 8 Prayer is good with fasting, almsgiving, and righteousness. A few prayers with righteousness are better than many with wrongdoing. It is better to do almsgiving than to lay up gold. 9 For almsgiving rescues one from death, and it will wash away every sin. Those who do almsgiving and are righteous will be full of life. 10 But those who sin are enemies of their own life.

  11 “I will not hide anything from you. Indeed, I did say that it is good to conceal the secret of a king, but to reveal gloriously the works of God. 12 Now when you and your daughter-in-law Sarah prayed, I brought the remembrance of your prayer before the Holy One. When you also buried the dead, I was likewise present with you. 13 Then too, when you did not hesitate to stand up and leave your dinner so as to depart and care for the dead, your doing what is good did not escape me; but I was with you. 14 Now God sent me to heal you and Sarah your daughter-in-law. 15 I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who report the prayers of the saints and who enter before the glory of the Holy One.”

16 The two of them were troubled and fell upon their faces, for they were afraid. 17 But he said to them, “Do not be afraid, for peace shall be with you. But bless God forever. 18 For I did not come of my own good will, but rather by the will of our God. Therefore bless Him forever. 19 All these days I appeared to you I did not eat or drink; but you were seeing a vision. 20 Now give thanks to God, because I am ascending to Him who sent me. Write in a book everything that was accomplished.”

21 Then they stood up, but no longer saw him. 22 They acknowledged the great and wondrous works of God, and how the angel of the Lord had appeared to them.

Tobit Exalts the Lord

1 Then Tobit with exceeding joy wrote a prayer, saying:

2 “Blessed is God

Who lives unto the ages,

And blessed is His kingdom,

For He scourges, and is merciful;

He brings down into Hades,

And leads up.

There is no one who will escape His hand.

3 Give thanks to Him before the nations,

O children of Israel,

For He scattered us among them.

4 Make known His greatness there;

Exalt Him in the presence of all the living,

For He is our Lord and God;

He is our Father unto all the ages.

5 He will scourge us for our wrongdoings,

But He will again have mercy

And gather us from all the nations,

Wherever you were dispersed among them.

6 If you return to Him with all your heart

And with all your soul,

To do the truth before Him,

Then He will turn to you

And not hide His presence from you.

7 Behold for yourself what He will do for you,

And give thanks to Him fully with the organ of speech.

Bless the Lord of righteousness,

And exalt the King of the ages.

8 In the land of my captivity, I give thanks to Him,

And make known His might and majesty to a nation of sinners.

Be converted, you sinners,

And do righteousness before Him.

Who knows if He will desire you

And have mercy on you?

9 I exalt my God,

And my soul exalts the King of heaven

And will rejoice exceedingly in His majesty.

10 Let all speak of His majesty

And give thanks to Him in Jerusalem.

O Jerusalem, the holy city,

He will scourge you for the deeds of your sons,

But He will again show mercy to the sons of the righteous.

11 Give thanks to the Lord with goodness

And bless the King of the ages,

That His tabernacle may be restored again to you in joy.

12 May He rejoice in you, the captives,

And may He love those who are distressed among you

Unto all generations forever.

13 Many Gentiles will come from afar

To the name of the Lord God,

Bearing gifts in their hands

And offerings to the King of heaven.

Generations of generations will offer You joyful worship.

14 Cursed are all who hate You;

Blessed are all who love You forever.

15 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for the children of the righteous,

For they will be gathered together

And will bless the Lord of the righteous.

Blessed are those who love You.

They will rejoice in Your peace.

16 Blessed are the many who grieved over all Your scourges,

For they will rejoice when they see all Your glory

And will rejoice forever.

Let my soul bless God the great King.

17 For Jerusalem will be built with sapphire and emerald,

And her walls with precious stones,

And her towers and battlements with pure gold.

The streets of Jerusalem will be paved

With beryl, onyx, and stones from Ophir.

18 All her streets will proclaim, ‘Alleluia!’

And will give praise, saying,

‘Blessed is God, who exalted you unto all the ages.’”

1 Then Tobit ceased giving thanks.

Tobit’s Final Words

2 He was fifty-eight years old when he lost his sight, and eight years later he regained it. Tobit did almsgiving, and continued to fear the Lord God, and gave thanks to Him. 3 He grew very old, and called his son and his son’s sons, and said, “My son, take your sons. Behold, I have grown old, and I am departing from this life. 4 Depart to Media, my son, for I trust all the words Jonah the prophet spoke concerning Nineveh, that it will be overthrown. But in Media there will be more peace for a time. For our brethren in the land will be dispersed in the earth from the good land. Jerusalem shall be desolate, and the house of God therein will be burned up. It shall be desolate for a time.

5 “But God will again have mercy on them, and He will return them to the land. They will build the house, but not as it was before, until the times of the age are fulfilled. After this, they will return from the captivity and build Jerusalem honorably. The house of God within her will be built as a glorious building for every generation forever, as the prophets said concerning her. 6 All the Gentiles shall return to truly fear the Lord God. They shall bury their idols in the earth, and all the Gentiles will bless the Lord. 7 His people will offer thanks to God, and the Lord will exalt His people. All who love the Lord God in truth and righteousness will rejoice. They will show mercy to our brethren.

  8 “So now, my son, depart from Nineveh, since what the prophet Jonah said will doubtless come to pass. 9 But keep the law and the ordinances. Be merciful and righteous, that it may be well with you. Bury me decently and your mother with me, but lodge no longer in Nineveh. 10 My son, observe what Aman did to Ahikar who reared him, how he led him from light into darkness, and how greatly he repaid him. Indeed Ahikar was saved, but as for that man, he was repaid with retribution and descended into the darkness. Manasseh did almsgiving and was saved from the trap of death that was set for him. But Aman fell into the trap and perished. 11 Now then, my children, observe what almsgiving does, and how righteousness delivers us.”

After he said these things, his soul departed as he lay on his bed. He was one hundred and fifty-eight years old, and Tobias buried him gloriously. 12 When Anna died, he buried her with his father. Then Tobias departed with his wife and his children to Ecbatana, to Raguel his father-in-law. 13 He grew old honorably and buried the parents of his wife most respectfully. They inherited their estate and that of Tobit his father.

14 Tobias died at Ecbatana of Media when he was one hundred and twenty-seven years old. 15 Before he died, he heard of the destruction of Nineveh, taken by Nebuchadnezzar and Ahasuerus. Thus before his death he rejoiced over Nineveh.

Psalms 148

1 Alleluia; of Aggeus and Zacharias. Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the highest. 

2 Praise Him, all you His angels; Praise Him, all you His hosts. 

3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars and light. 

4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens. 

5 Let them praise the Lord’s name, For He spoke, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created. 

6 He established them forever and unto ages of ages; He set forth His ordinance, and it shall not pass away. 

7 Praise the Lord from the earth, You dragons and all the deeps, 

8 Fire and hail, snow and ice, Stormy wind, which perform His word, 

9 Mountains and all the hills, Fruitful trees and all cedars, 

10 Wild animals and all cattle, Creeping things and flying birds, 

11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, Princes and all judges of the earth, 

12 Young men and maidens, Elders with younger, 

13 Let them praise the Lord’s name, For His name alone is exalted; His thanksgiving is in earth and heaven. 

14 And He shall exalt the horn of His people, A hymn for all His saints, For the children of Israel, a people who draw near to Him.

Proverbs of Solomon 31

16 Strongly girding her loins, She strengthens her arms for work. 

17 She experiences work as a good thing, And her lamp is not quenched all night. 

18 She extends her arms to do profitable things, And she applies her hands to the spindle. 

19 She opens her hands to the poor And reaches out with her fruit to the needy. 

20 Her husband is not anxious about those at home When he spends a long time elsewhere, For all her household are clothed.

Acts 9

Saul Converted

1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest

2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.

4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.

8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.

9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”

11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.

12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”

13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.

14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”

15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.

16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.

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