Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The most powerful illustration of God's presence going before His people is that of the Israelites as they crossed the Jordan with the ark of the covenant leading them. The ark represented God's throne, His power, and His might. It went ahead of Israel into the battle at Jericho and brought the Israelites victory. Indeed, if the ark had not gone before them, they would have been on their own.

Whatever impossible circumstance may stand before you will surely be defeated as God's presence arrives in the battle. Joshua 3:13 says that when the feet of the priests who carried the ark touched the water, the flow of water was cut off upstream and the river piled up there in a heap.

As you come to your "Jordan," set your foot into the water. How dare the proud waters defy God's presence and power! The foot of faith carries the arm of omnipotence. One little step of faith releases all the power of God into your situation. Let God's face shine against the darkness!

Joshua 3:1-4:24

Crossing the Jordan

Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from ShittimS Jos 2:1 and went to the Jordan,S Ge 13:10; Job 40:23 where they camped before crossing over.After three daysS Ge 40:13; Jos 2:16 the officersS Dt 1:15 went throughout the camp,Jos 1:11giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenantS Nu 10:33 of the Lord your God, and the Levitical1Sa 6:15 priestsver 8, 17; Nu 4:15; Dt 31:9; 1Ki 8:3 carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubitsThat is, about 3,000 feet or about 900 metersNu 35:5 between you and the ark; do not go near it.”

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves,S Ex 29:1; S Lev 11:44 for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing thingsJdg 6:13; 1Ch 16:9, 24; Ps 26:7; 75:1 among you.”

Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they took it up and went ahead of them.

And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt youJos 4:14; 1Ch 29:25 in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses.Jos 1:5Tell the priestsS ver 3 who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”

Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God.10 This is how you will know that the living GodDt 5:26; 1Sa 17:26, 36; 2Ki 19:4, 16; Ps 18:46; 42:2; 84:2; Isa 37:4, 17; Jer 10:10; 23:36; Da 6:26; Hos 1:10; S Mt 16:16 is among youS Dt 7:21 and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites,S Ge 26:34 Hivites, Perizzites,Jos 17:15; 24:11; Jdg 1:4; 3:5 Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites.S Ex 3:8; S 23:23; S Dt 7:1; Jos 9:1; 11:3; 12:8; Jdg 19:11; 1Ch 11:411 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earthver 13; Ex 19:5; Dt 10:14; Job 9:10; 28:24; 41:11; Ps 50:12; 97:5; Zec 6:5 will go into the Jordan ahead of you.S Dt 9:312 Now then, choose twelve menJos 4:2, 4 from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe.13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earthS ver 11—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstreamver 16 will be cut offJos 4:7 and stand up in a heap.S Ex 14:22; S Isa 11:15

14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenantPs 132:8 went aheadAc 7:44-45 of them.15 Now the Jordan2Ki 2:6 is at flood stageJos 4:18; 1Ch 12:15; Isa 8:7 all during harvest.S Ge 8:22 Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge,16 the water from upstream stopped flowing.Ps 66:6; 74:15; 114:3 It piled up in a heapJob 38:37; Ps 33:7 a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan,1Ki 4:12; 7:46 while the water flowing downver 13 to the Sea of the ArabahS Dt 1:1 (that is, the Dead SeaS Ge 14:3) was completely cut off.S Ge 8:1; S Ex 14:22 So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.2Ki 2:417 The priestsS ver 3 who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground,Jos 4:3, 5, 8, 9, 10 while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.S Ex 14:22; S Jos 2:10

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan,Dt 27:2 the Lord said to Joshua,“Choose twelve menS Jos 3:12 from among the people, one from each tribe,and tell them to take up twelve stonesver 20 from the middle of the Jordan,S Jos 3:17 from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.ver 19

So Joshua called together the twelve menS Jos 3:12 he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe,and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan.S Jos 3:17 Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites,to serve as a signS Jos 2:12 among you. In the future, when your childrenS Ex 10:2 ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ver 21; Ex 12:26; S 13:14tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut offJos 3:13 before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorialS Ex 28:12 to the people of Israel forever.”

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stonesEx 28:21 from the middle of the Jordan,S Jos 3:17 according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua;ver 20 and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down.Joshua set up the twelve stonesS Ge 28:18; Jos 24:26; 1Sa 7:12 that had beenOr Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.S Ge 35:20

10 Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over,11 and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched.12 The men of Reuben,S Ge 29:32 GadS Ge 30:11 and the half-tribe of ManassehS Ge 41:51 crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites,S Nu 32:27 as Moses had directed them.Nu 32:2913 About forty thousand armed for battleS Ex 13:18 crossed overS Nu 32:17 before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.

14 That day the Lord exaltedS Jos 3:7 Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.

15 Then the Lord said to Joshua,16 “Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant lawEx 25:22 to come up out of the Jordan.”

17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”

18 And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their placeEx 14:27 and ran at flood stageS Jos 3:15 as before.

19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at GilgalS Dt 11:30 on the eastern border of Jericho.20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stonesver 3, 8 they had taken out of the Jordan.21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’S ver 622 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’S Ex 14:2223 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red SeaOr the Sea of Reeds when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.Ex 14:19-2224 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know1Ki 8:60; 18:36; 2Ki 5:15; Ps 67:2; 83:18; 106:8; Isa 37:20; 52:10 that the hand of the Lord is powerfulEx 15:16; 1Ch 29:12; Ps 44:3; 89:13; 98:1; 118:15-16 and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.S Ex 14:31

The Israelites Cross the Jordan

Early the next morning Joshua and all the Israelites left Acacia GroveHebrew Shittim. and arrived at the banks of the Jordan River, where they camped before crossing.Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp,giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them.Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about half a mileHebrew about 2,000 cubits [920 meters]. behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don’t come any closer.”

Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.”

In the morning Joshua said to the priests, “Lift up the Ark of the Covenant and lead the people across the river.” And so they started out and went ahead of the people.

The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses.Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’”

So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says.10 Today you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you.11 Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River!12 Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe.13 The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.”

14 So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them.15 It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge,16 the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead SeaHebrew the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea. until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.

17 Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground.

Memorials to the Jordan Crossing

When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua,“Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe.Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’”

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel.He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”

So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there.

Joshua also set up another pile of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the place where the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing. And they are there to this day.

10 The priests who were carrying the Ark stood in the middle of the river until all of the Lord’s commands that Moses had given to Joshua were carried out. Meanwhile, the people hurried across the riverbed.11 And when everyone was safely on the other side, the priests crossed over with the Ark of the Lord as the people watched.

12 The armed warriors from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh led the Israelites across the Jordan, just as Moses had directed.13 These armed men—about 40,000 strong—were ready for battle, and the Lord was with them as they crossed over to the plains of Jericho.

14 That day the Lord made Joshua a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites, and for the rest of his life they revered him as much as they had revered Moses.

15 The Lord had said to Joshua,16 “Command the priests carrying the Ark of the CovenantHebrew Ark of the Testimony. to come up out of the riverbed.”17 So Joshua gave the command.18 As soon as the priests carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant came up out of the riverbed and their feet were on high ground, the water of the Jordan returned and overflowed its banks as before.

19 The people crossed the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month.This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in late March, April, or early May. Then they camped at Gilgal, just east of Jericho.20 It was there at Gilgal that Joshua piled up the twelve stones taken from the Jordan River.

21 Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’22 Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’23 For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red SeaHebrew sea of reeds. when he dried it up until we had all crossed over.24 He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”

And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.

And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;

And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you.

And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.

And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.

And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.

And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the Lord your God.

10 And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.

12 Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.

13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.

14 And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;

15 And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)

16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.

17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the Lord spake unto Joshua, saying,

Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,

And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.

Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:

And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?

Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the Lord spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.

And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.

10 For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until everything was finished that the Lord commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.

11 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the Lord passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people.

12 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them:

13 About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the Lord unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.

14 On that day the Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.

15 And the Lord spake unto Joshua, saying,

16 Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan.

17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan.

18 And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.

19 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.

20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.

21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?

22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.

23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:

24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever.

Luke 14:7-35

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table,S Lk 11:43 he told them this parable:“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”S Mt 23:12

12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,ver 2114 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”Ac 24:15

The Parable of the Great Banquet14:16-24Ref — Mt 22:2-14

15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feastIsa 25:6; Mt 26:29; Lk 13:29; Rev 19:9 in the kingdom of God.”S Mt 3:2

16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ver 13

22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’

23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”Mt 21:43; Ac 13:46

The Cost of Being a Disciple

25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.Mt 10:37; S Jn 12:2527 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.Mt 10:38; Lk 9:23

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you,30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.Php 3:7, 8

34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?Mk 9:5035 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.Mt 5:13

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”S Mt 11:15

Jesus Teaches about Humility

When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice:“When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited?The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!

10 “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests.11 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 Then he turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward.13 Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.14 Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”

Parable of the Great Feast

15 Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquetGreek to eat bread. in the Kingdom of God!”

16 Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations.17 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’18 But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’19 Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’20 Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’22 After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’23 So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.24 For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”

The Cost of Being a Disciple

25 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them,26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him?32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away.33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

34 “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again?35 Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”

And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them.

When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;

And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.

10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.

13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.

16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:

17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.

19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.

20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?

32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Psalm 80:1-19

Psalm 80In Hebrew texts 80:1-19 is numbered 80:2-20.

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant.” Of Asaph. A psalm.

Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,

you who lead Joseph like a flock.Ps 77:20

You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,S Ex 25:22

shine forthbefore Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.Nu 2:18-24

AwakenS Ps 35:23 your might;

come and save us.Ps 54:1; 69:1; 71:2; 109:26; 116:4; 119:94

RestoreS Ps 71:20; 85:4; Jer 31:18; La 5:21 us,S Nu 6:25 O God;

make your face shine on us,

that we may be saved.ver 7, 19

How long,S Ps 74:10 Lord God Almighty,

will your anger smolderS Dt 29:20

against the prayers of your people?

You have fed them with the bread of tears;S Job 3:24

you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.Isa 30:20

You have made us an object of derisionProbable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text contention to our neighbors,

and our enemies mock us.S Ps 79:4

Restore us, God Almighty;

make your face shine on us,

that we may be saved.ver 3

You transplanted a vineIsa 5:1-2; Jer 2:21; Mt 21:33-41 from Egypt;

you drove outEx 23:28-30; S Jos 13:6; Ac 7:45 the nations and plantedS Ex 15:17 it.

You cleared the ground for it,

and it took root and filled the land.

10 The mountains were covered with its shade,

the mighty cedars with its branches.

11 Its branches reached as far as the Sea,Probably the Mediterranean

its shoots as far as the River.That is, the EuphratesPs 72:8

12 Why have you broken down its wallsPs 89:40; Isa 5:5; 30:13; Jer 39:8

so that all who pass by pick its grapes?

13 Boars from the forest ravageJer 5:6 it,

and insects from the fields feed on it.

14 Return to us, God Almighty!

Look down from heaven and see!S Dt 26:15

Watch over this vine,

15 the root your right hand has planted,

the sonOr branch you have raised up for yourself.

16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire;Ps 79:1

at your rebukeS Dt 28:20 your people perish.

17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,

the son of manS Job 25:6 you have raised up for yourself.

18 Then we will not turn away from you;

revivePs 85:6; Isa 57:15; Hos 6:2 us, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty;

make your face shine on us,

that we may be saved.

Psalm 80

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be sung to the tune “Lilies of the Covenant.”

Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel,

you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock.

O God, enthroned above the cherubim,

display your radiant glory

to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.

Show us your mighty power.

Come to rescue us!

Turn us again to yourself, O God.

Make your face shine down upon us.

Only then will we be saved.

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies,

how long will you be angry with our prayers?

You have fed us with sorrow

and made us drink tears by the bucketful.

You have made us the scornAs in Syriac version; Hebrew reads the strife. of neighboring nations.

Our enemies treat us as a joke.

Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies.

Make your face shine down upon us.

Only then will we be saved.

You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine;

you drove away the pagan nations and transplanted us into your land.

You cleared the ground for us,

and we took root and filled the land.

10 Our shade covered the mountains;

our branches covered the mighty cedars.

11 We spread our branches west to the Mediterranean Sea;

our shoots spread east to the Euphrates River.Hebrew west to the sea, . . . east to the river.

12 But now, why have you broken down our walls

so that all who pass by may steal our fruit?

13 The wild boar from the forest devours it,

and the wild animals feed on it.

14 Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies.

Look down from heaven and see our plight.

Take care of this grapevine

15 that you yourself have planted,

this son you have raised for yourself.

16 For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies.

May they perish at the sight of your frown.

17 Strengthen the man you love,

the son of your choice.

18 Then we will never abandon you again.

Revive us so we can call on your name once more.

19 Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.

Make your face shine down upon us.

Only then will we be saved.

80 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.

Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.

Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?

Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.

Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.

Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.

Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.

10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.

11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.

12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?

13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.

14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;

15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.

16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.

17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.

18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

19 Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Proverbs 12:27-28

27 The lazy do not roastThe meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain. any game,

but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

28 In the way of righteousness there is life;S Dt 30:15; S Pr 10:2

along that path is immortality.

27 Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch,

but the diligent make use of everything they find.

28 The way of the godly leads to life;

that path does not lead to death.

27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

28 In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

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