Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Is there a real, eternal, burning hell? In Philippians 3:18-21, Paul describes only two options for our final destination: destruction and heaven. How foolish it is for us to make our natural appetites-the temporary pleasures of food, drink, and creature comforts-the altar of our worship! We, as future citizens of the New Jerusalem, are only passing through this world. Paul, well aware of this truth, said this knowledge caused him to "strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven" (Philippians 3:14). What other goal is worthy of pursuing?

The tragic opposite of the heavenward call is the downward pull of hell. Isaiah said (and Jesus later quoted in Mark 9:48) that for those in hell "the worms that devour them will never die, and the fire that burns them will never go out" (Isaiah 66:24).

Hell is an eternal lake of fire. It is a fixed, immovable torment where death is not an option. Once a person is in hell, it is impossible for him to ever escape. The rich man, suffering the anguish of hell's flames, begged Lazarus simply to dip his finger in water to cool his parched tongue (Luke 16:24), but it was not possible (v. 26).

Hell is indeed an awful place, but heaven is wonderful beyond measure. I have set my sights on heaven. How about you?

Isaiah 66:1-24

Judgment and Hope

66 This is what the Lord says:

“Heaven is my throne,S 2Ch 6:18; S Ps 2:4; S 9:7; Mt 23:22

and the earth is my footstool.S 1Ki 8:27; Mt 5:34-35

Where is the houseS 2Sa 7:7; Jn 4:20-21; Ac 7:49*; 17:24 you will build for me?

Where will my resting place be?

Has not my hand made all these things,S Isa 40:26; Ac 7:50*; 17:24

and so they came into being?”

declares the Lord.

“These are the ones I look on with favor:

those who are humble and contrite in spirit,S Isa 57:15; Mt 5:3-4; Lk 18:13-14

and who tremble at my word.S Ezr 9:4

But whoever sacrifices a bullS Isa 1:11

is like one who kills a person,

and whoever offers a lamb

is like one who breaks a dog’s neck;

whoever makes a grain offering

is like one who presents pig’sS Lev 11:7 blood,

and whoever burns memorial incenseS Lev 2:2

is like one who worships an idol.

They have chosen their own ways,S Isa 57:17

and they delight in their abominations;ver 17; S Dt 27:15; Eze 8:9-13

so I also will choose harsh treatment for them

and will bring on them what they dread.S Pr 10:24; S Isa 10:12

For when I called, no one answered,S 1Sa 8:19; S Isa 41:28

when I spoke, no one listened.

They did evil2Ki 21:2, 4, 6; Isa 59:12 in my sight

and chose what displeases me.”S Isa 65:12

Hear the word of the Lord,

you who tremble at his word:S Ezr 9:4

“Your own people who hatePs 38:20; Isa 60:15; Jn 15:21 you,

and exclude you because of my name, have said,

‘Let the Lord be glorified,

that we may see your joy!’

Yet they will be put to shame.S Isa 44:9; Lk 13:17

Hear that uproar from the city,

hear that noise from the temple!

It is the soundS 1Sa 2:10; S Ps 68:33 of the Lord

repayingS Lev 26:28; Isa 65:6; Joel 3:7 his enemies all they deserve.

“Before she goes into labor,S Isa 54:1

she gives birth;

before the pains come upon her,

she delivers a son.Rev 12:5

Who has ever heard of such things?

Who has ever seenIsa 64:4; Jer 18:13 things like this?

Can a country be born in a dayS Isa 49:20

or a nation be brought forth in a moment?

Yet no sooner is Zion in labor

than she gives birth to her children.S Isa 49:21

Do I bring to the moment of birthS Isa 37:3

and not give delivery?” says the Lord.

“Do I close up the womb

when I bring to delivery?” says your God.

10 “RejoiceS Dt 32:43; S Isa 25:9; Ro 15:10 with Jerusalem and be glad for her,

all you who loveS Ps 26:8 her;

rejoice greatly with her,

all you who mournIsa 57:19; 61:2 over her.

11 For you will nurseS Nu 11:12; S Isa 60:16 and be satisfied

at her comforting breasts;Ge 49:25

you will drink deeply

and delight in her overflowing abundance.”S Nu 25:1; S Isa 25:6

12 For this is what the Lord says:

“I will extend peaceS Ps 119:165; S Isa 9:6 to her like a river,S Isa 33:21

and the wealthPs 72:3; Isa 60:5; 61:6 of nations like a flooding stream;

you will nurse and be carriedS Nu 11:12; Isa 60:4 on her arm

and dandled on her knees.

13 As a mother comforts her child,S Isa 49:15; 1Th 2:7

so will I comfortS Isa 40:1; S 2Co 1:4 you;

and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

14 When you see this, your heart will rejoiceS Isa 25:9; S 60:5; S Joel 2:23

and you will flourishS Ps 72:16 like grass;

the handS Ezr 5:5; S Isa 41:20 of the Lord will be made known to his servants,S Isa 54:17

but his furyS Isa 10:5; S 30:27 will be shown to his foes.

15 See, the Lord is coming with fire,S Isa 1:31; S 42:25

and his chariotsS 2Ki 2:11; S Ps 68:17 are like a whirlwind;S 2Ki 2:1

he will bring down his anger with fury,

and his rebukeS Dt 28:20; S Ps 9:5; S 39:11 with flames of fire.

16 For with fireIsa 30:30; Am 7:4; Mal 4:1 and with his swordS Isa 1:20; S 27:1; S Eze 14:21

the Lord will execute judgmentS Isa 13:9, 11; S Jer 2:35; S Eze 36:5 on all people,

and many will be those slainS Isa 10:4 by the Lord.

17 “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens,S Isa 1:29 following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs,S Lev 11:7 ratsLev 11:29 and other unclean things—they will meet their endPs 37:20; Isa 1:28 together with the one they follow,” declares the Lord.

18 “And I, because of what they have planned and done,S Pr 24:2; S Isa 65:2 am about to comeThe meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain. and gather the people of all nationsS Isa 2:3; S Zec 12:3 and languages, and they will come and see my glory.S Ex 16:7; S Isa 59:19

19 “I will set a signIsa 11:10; 49:22; Mt 24:30 among them, and I will send some of those who surviveS 2Ki 19:31 to the nations—to Tarshish,S Isa 2:16 to the LibyansSome Septuagint manuscripts Put (Libyans); Hebrew Pul and LydiansJer 46:9; Eze 27:10 (famous as archers), to TubalS Ge 10:2 and Greece,Jer 31:10; Da 11:18 and to the distant islandsIsa 11:11 that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory.S 1Ch 16:24; S Isa 24:15 They will proclaim my glory among the nations.20 And they will bringS Isa 11:12; S Jer 25:22; Eze 34:13 all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountainS Dt 33:19; S Isa 2:2; Jer 31:23 in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord—on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,”S Ezr 2:66 says the Lord. “They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels.Isa 52:1121 And I will select some of them also to be priestsS Ex 19:6; 1Pe 2:5, 9 and Levites,” says the Lord.

22 “As the new heavens and the new earthS Isa 65:17; Heb 12:26-27; S 2Pe 3:13 that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure.S Isa 48:19; Jn 10:27-29; 1Pe 1:4-523 From one New Moon to another and from one SabbathEze 46:1-3 to another, all mankind will come and bow downS Ps 22:29; S Isa 19:21; S 44:5; Rev 15:4 before me,” says the Lord.24 “And they will go out and look on the dead bodiesS Ps 110:6 of those who rebelledS Isa 1:2 against me; the wormsS Isa 14:11 that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched,S Isa 1:31; S Mt 25:41; Mk 9:48* and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”

66 This is what the Lord says:

“Heaven is my throne,

and the earth is my footstool.

Could you build me a temple as good as that?

Could you build me such a resting place?

My hands have made both heaven and earth;

they and everything in them are mine.As in Greek, Latin, and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads these things are.

I, the Lord, have spoken!

“I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts,

who tremble at my word.

But those who choose their own ways—

delighting in their detestable sins—

will not have their offerings accepted.

When such people sacrifice a bull,

it is no more acceptable than a human sacrifice.

When they sacrifice a lamb,

it’s as though they had sacrificed a dog!

When they bring an offering of grain,

they might as well offer the blood of a pig.

When they burn frankincense,

it’s as if they had blessed an idol.

I will send them great trouble—

all the things they feared.

For when I called, they did not answer.

When I spoke, they did not listen.

They deliberately sinned before my very eyes

and chose to do what they know I despise.”

Hear this message from the Lord,

all you who tremble at his words:

“Your own people hate you

and throw you out for being loyal to my name.

‘Let the Lord be honored!’ they scoff.

‘Be joyful in him!’

But they will be put to shame.

What is all the commotion in the city?

What is that terrible noise from the Temple?

It is the voice of the Lord

taking vengeance against his enemies.

“Before the birth pains even begin,

Jerusalem gives birth to a son.

Who has ever seen anything as strange as this?

Who ever heard of such a thing?

Has a nation ever been born in a single day?

Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment?

But by the time Jerusalem’sHebrew Zion’s. birth pains begin,

her children will be born.

Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth

and then not deliver it?” asks the Lord.

“No! I would never keep this nation from being born,”

says your God.

10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem!

Be glad with her, all you who love her

and all you who mourn for her.

11 Drink deeply of her glory

even as an infant drinks at its mother’s comforting breasts.”

12 This is what the Lord says:

“I will give Jerusalem a river of peace and prosperity.

The wealth of the nations will flow to her.

Her children will be nursed at her breasts,

carried in her arms, and held on her lap.

13 I will comfort you there in Jerusalem

as a mother comforts her child.”

14 When you see these things, your heart will rejoice.

You will flourish like the grass!

Everyone will see the Lord’s hand of blessing on his servants—

and his anger against his enemies.

15 See, the Lord is coming with fire,

and his swift chariots roar like a whirlwind.

He will bring punishment with the fury of his anger

and the flaming fire of his hot rebuke.

16 The Lord will punish the world by fire

and by his sword.

He will judge the earth,

and many will be killed by him.

17 “Those who ‘consecrate’ and ‘purify’ themselves in a sacred garden with its idol in the center—feasting on pork and rats and other detestable meats—will come to a terrible end,” says the Lord.

18 “I can see what they are doing, and I know what they are thinking. So I will gather all nations and peoples together, and they will see my glory.19 I will perform a sign among them. And I will send those who survive to be messengers to the nations—to Tarshish, to the LibyansAs in some Greek manuscripts, which read Put [that is, Libya]; Hebrew reads Pul. and LydiansHebrew Lud. (who are famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece,Hebrew Javan. and to all the lands beyond the sea that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. There they will declare my glory to the nations.20 They will bring the remnant of your people back from every nation. They will bring them to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord. They will ride on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the Lord.21 “And I will appoint some of them to be my priests and Levites. I, the Lord, have spoken!

22 “As surely as my new heavens and earth will remain,

so will you always be my people,

with a name that will never disappear,”

says the Lord.

23 “All humanity will come to worship me

from week to week

and from month to month.

24 And as they go out, they will see

the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me.

For the worms that devour them will never die,

and the fire that burns them will never go out.

All who pass by

will view them with utter horror.”

66 Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.

I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to his enemies.

Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.

Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:

11 That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.

12 For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.

13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.

15 For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16 For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.

17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.

18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.

19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.

21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the Lord.

22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.

23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.

24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Philippians 3:4-21

though I myself have reasons for such confidence.2Co 11:21

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:circumcisedS Lk 1:59 on the eighth day, of the people of Israel,2Co 11:22 of the tribe of Benjamin,Ro 11:1 a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;Ac 23:6as for zeal,S Ac 21:20 persecuting the church;S Ac 8:3 as for righteousness based on the law,ver 9; Ro 10:5 faultless.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider lossMt 13:44; Lk 14:33 for the sake of Christ.What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowingver 10; Jer 9:23, 24; Jn 17:3; Eph 4:13; S 2Pe 1:2 Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain ChristPs 73:25and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,ver 6; Ro 10:5 but that which is through faith inOr through the faithfulness of Christ—the righteousnessJer 33:16 that comes from God on the basis of faith.S Ro 9:3010 I want to knowS ver 8 Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings,S 2Co 1:5 becoming like him in his death,S Ro 6:3-511 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrectionS Jn 11:24; S Ro 6:5; Rev 20:5, 6 from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,1Co 13:10 but I press on to take hold1Ti 6:12 of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.Ac 9:5, 613 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behindLk 9:62 and straining toward what is ahead,14 I press onHeb 6:1 toward the goal to win the prize1Co 9:24 for which God has calledS Ro 8:28 me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Following Paul’s Example

15 All of us, then, who are matureS 1Co 2:6 should take such a view of things.Gal 5:10 And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.Eph 1:17; 1Th 4:916 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17 Join together in following my example,S 1Co 4:16 brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.S 1Ti 4:1218 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears,Ac 20:31 many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.Gal 6:1219 Their destinyPs 73:17 is destruction, their god is their stomach,Ro 16:18 and their glory is in their shame.Ro 6:21; Jude 13 Their mind is set on earthly things.Ro 8:5, 6; Col 3:220 But our citizenshipEph 2:19 is in heaven.Col 3:1; Heb 12:22 And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,S 1Co 1:721 who, by the powerEph 1:19 that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies1Co 15:43-53 so that they will be like his glorious body.Ro 8:29; Col 3:4

though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!

I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christand become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.Or through the faithfulness of Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death,11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

Pressing toward the Goal

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,Some manuscripts read not yet achieved it. but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.

17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ.19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Psalm 74:1-23

Psalm 74

A maskilTitle: Probably a literary or musical term of Asaph.

O God, why have you rejectedS Ps 43:2 us forever?S Ps 44:23

Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?Ps 79:13; 95:7; 100:3

Remember the nation you purchasedS Ex 15:16; S 1Co 6:20 long ago,S Dt 32:7

the people of your inheritance,S Ex 34:9 whom you redeemedS Ex 15:13; S Isa 48:20

Mount Zion,Ps 2:6 where you dwelt.Ps 43:3; 68:16; Isa 46:13; Joel 3:17, 21; Ob 1:17

Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins,Isa 44:26; 52:9

all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.

Your foes roaredLa 2:7 in the place where you met with us;

they set up their standardsS Nu 2:2; S Jer 4:6 as signs.

They behaved like men wielding axes

to cut through a thicket of trees.Jer 46:22

They smashed all the carvedS 1Ki 6:18 paneling

with their axes and hatchets.

They burned your sanctuary to the ground;

they defiledS Lev 20:3; Ac 21:28 the dwelling placeS Lev 15:31 of your Name.Ps 75:1

They said in their hearts, “We will crushPs 94:5 them completely!”

They burned2Ki 25:9; 2Ch 36:19; Jer 21:10; 34:22; 52:13 every place where God was worshiped in the land.

We are given no signs from God;S Ex 4:17; S 10:1

no prophetsS 1Sa 3:1 are left,

and none of us knows how long this will be.

10 How longPs 6:3; 79:5; 80:4 will the enemy mockver 22 you, God?

Will the foe revileS Ps 44:16 your name forever?

11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?S Ex 15:6

Take it from the folds of your garmentNe 5:13; Eze 5:3 and destroy them!

12 But God is my KingPs 2:6; S 24:7; 68:24 from long ago;

he brings salvationPs 27:1 on the earth.

13 It was you who split open the seaS Ex 14:21 by your power;

you broke the heads of the monsterIsa 27:1; 51:9; Eze 29:3; 32:2 in the waters.

14 It was you who crushed the heads of LeviathanS Job 3:8

and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.Isa 13:21; 23:13; 34:14; Jer 50:39

15 It was you who opened up springsS Ex 17:6; S Nu 20:11 and streams;

you dried upS Ex 14:29; S Jos 2:10 the ever-flowing rivers.

16 The day is yours, and yours also the night;

you established the sun and moon.S Ge 1:16; Ps 136:7-9

17 It was you who set all the boundariesDt 32:8; Ac 17:26 of the earth;

you made both summer and winter.S Ge 8:22

18 Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord,

how foolish peopleDt 32:6 have reviled your name.

19 Do not hand over the life of your doveS Ge 8:8; S Isa 59:11 to wild beasts;

do not forget the lives of your afflictedS Ps 9:18 people forever.

20 Have regard for your covenant,S Ge 6:18

because haunts of violence fill the dark placesJob 34:22 of the land.

21 Do not let the oppressedPs 9:9; 10:18; 103:6; Isa 58:10 retreat in disgrace;

may the poor and needyS Ps 35:10 praise your name.

22 Rise up,Ps 17:13 O God, and defend your cause;

remember how foolsS Ps 53:1 mock you all day long.

23 Do not ignore the clamorIsa 31:4 of your adversaries,S Ps 65:7

the uproarS Ps 46:6 of your enemies,S Nu 25:17 which rises continually.

Psalm 74

A psalmHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term. of Asaph.

O God, why have you rejected us so long?

Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture?

Remember that we are the people you chose long ago,

the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession!

And remember Jerusalem,Hebrew Mount Zion. your home here on earth.

Walk through the awful ruins of the city;

see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary.

There your enemies shouted their victorious battle cries;

there they set up their battle standards.

They swung their axes

like woodcutters in a forest.

With axes and picks,

they smashed the carved paneling.

They burned your sanctuary to the ground.

They defiled the place that bears your name.

Then they thought, “Let’s destroy everything!”

So they burned down all the places where God was worshiped.

We no longer see your miraculous signs.

All the prophets are gone,

and no one can tell us when it will end.

10 How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you?

Will you let them dishonor your name forever?

11 Why do you hold back your strong right hand?

Unleash your powerful fist and destroy them.

12 You, O God, are my king from ages past,

bringing salvation to the earth.

13 You split the sea by your strength

and smashed the heads of the sea monsters.

14 You crushed the heads of LeviathanThe identification of Leviathan is disputed, ranging from an earthly creature to a mythical sea monster in ancient literature.

and let the desert animals eat him.

15 You caused the springs and streams to gush forth,

and you dried up rivers that never run dry.

16 Both day and night belong to you;

you made the starlightOr moon; Hebrew reads light. and the sun.

17 You set the boundaries of the earth,

and you made both summer and winter.

18 See how these enemies insult you, Lord.

A foolish nation has dishonored your name.

19 Don’t let these wild beasts destroy your turtledoves.

Don’t forget your suffering people forever.

20 Remember your covenant promises,

for the land is full of darkness and violence!

21 Don’t let the downtrodden be humiliated again.

Instead, let the poor and needy praise your name.

22 Arise, O God, and defend your cause.

Remember how these fools insult you all day long.

23 Don’t overlook what your enemies have said

or their growing uproar.

74 O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?

Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.

Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.

A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees.

But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers.

They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.

They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.

We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.

10 O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?

11 Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom.

12 For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.

13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.

14 Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

15 Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers.

16 The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.

17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

18 Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O Lord, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.

19 O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever.

20 Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.

21 O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.

22 Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.

23 Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually.

Proverbs 24:15-16

Saying 27

15 Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous,

do not plunder their dwelling place;

16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,

but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.S Job 5:19; S Ps 34:21

15 Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly,

and don’t raid the house where the godly live.

16 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.

But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.

15 Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place:

16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

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