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First Reading: 1 Samuel Chapter 11 and 12
1 Samuel 11
11:1 Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead. And all the men
of Jabesh said to him, "Make a treaty with us, and we will be subject to
2 But Nahash the Ammonite replied, "I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel."
3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, "Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you."
4 When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept aloud. 5 Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, "What is wrong with the people? Why are they weeping?" Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.
6 When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he burned with anger. 7 He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, "This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel." Then the terror of the LORD fell on the people, and they turned out as one man. 8 When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and the men of Judah thirty thousand.
9 They told the messengers who had come, "Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, 'By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be delivered.'" When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated. 10 They said to the Ammonites, "Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you can do to us whatever seems good to you."
11 The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
12 The people then said to Samuel, "Who was it that asked, 'Shall Saul reign over us?' Bring these men to us and we will put them to death."
13 But Saul said, "No one shall be put to death today, for this day the LORD has rescued Israel."
14 Then Samuel said to the people, "Come, let us go to Gilgal and there reaffirm the kingship." 15 So all the people went to Gilgal and confirmed Saul as king in the presence of the LORD. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the LORD, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.
1 Samuel 12
12:1 Samuel said to all Israel, "I have listened to everything you said
to me and have set a king over you. 2 Now you have a king as your leader. As
for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader
from my youth until this day. 3 Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence
of the LORD and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken?
Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted
a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these, I will make it
4 "You have not cheated or oppressed us," they replied. "You have not taken anything from anyone's hand."
5 Samuel said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand."
"He is witness," they said.
6 Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the LORD who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your forefathers up out of Egypt. 7 Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the LORD as to all the righteous acts performed by the LORD for you and your fathers.
8 "After Jacob entered Egypt, they cried to the LORD for help, and the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your forefathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place.
9 "But they forgot the LORD their God; so he sold them into the hand of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them. 10 They cried out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned; we have forsaken the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths. But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.' 11 Then the LORD sent Jerub-Baal, Barak, Jephthah and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies on every side, so that you lived securely.
12 "But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, 'No, we want a king to rule over us'-even though the LORD your God was your king. 13 Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the LORD has set a king over you. 14 If you fear the LORD and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God-good! 15 But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
16 "Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes! 17 Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call upon the LORD to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king."
18 Then Samuel called upon the LORD, and that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the LORD and of Samuel.
19 The people all said to Samuel, "Pray to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king."
20 "Do not be afraid," Samuel replied. "You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. 22 For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. 23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away."
Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 62 and 63
62:1 For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
My soul finds rest in God alone;my salvation comes from him. 2 He alone is
my rock and my salvation;he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
3 How long will you assault a man?Would all of you throw him down this leaning wall, this tottering fence? 4 They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place;they take delight in lies.With their mouths they bless,but in their hearts they curse.Selah
5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;my hope comes from him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation;he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people;pour out your hearts to him,for God is our refuge.Selah
9 Lowborn men are but a breath,the highborn are but a lie;if weighed on a balance, they are nothing;together they are only a breath. 10 Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods;though your riches increase,do not set your heart on them.
11 One thing God has spoken,two things have I heard:that you, O God, are strong, 12 and that you, O Lord, are loving.Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.
63:1 A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
O God, you are my God,earnestly I seek you;my soul thirsts for you,my body
longs for you,in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life,my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live,and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
6 On my bed I remember you;I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help,I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 My soul clings to you;your right hand upholds me.
9 They who seek my life will be destroyed;they will go down to the depths of the earth. 10 They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;all who swear by God's name will praise him,while the mouths of liars will be silenced.
THE GLORY OF GOD
There is a unifying theme that runs throughout the Bible. It is the purpose for which God created the world. It is unchanging as God is. Follow the theme throughout the Bible through the example of these verses:
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