Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Peter denied his identity when confronted about being a disciple of Christ. Jesus, on the other hand, boldly stood and declared His identity to the Sanhedrin: "You are right in saying that I am [the Son of God]" (Luke 22:70).

Gideon went through the process of learning boldness in his identity with God. "The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, 'Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!'" (Judges 6:12). Just three verses later, Gideon replied, "But Lord . . . how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!" (v. 15). Gideon's natural inclination was to hide in the winepress, but his spiritual identity was that of a deliverer. After the test with the fleeces, he began to believe the report of the angel about himself. Gradually, Gideon realized that when God was with him, he could accomplish the impossible.

Stop looking at your old identity of weakness and fear. Believe that God has called and equipped you to win your battles. Fear and timidity are just weapons the enemy uses to intimidate you. Boldly confess to the world, to the devil, and to yourself: "I am who He says I am!"

Judges 6:1-40

Gideon

The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord,S Jdg 2:11 and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.S Ge 25:2Because the power of Midian was so oppressive,1Sa 13:6; Isa 5:30; 8:21; 26:16; 37:3 the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, cavesIsa 2:19; Jer 48:28; 49:8, 30 and strongholds.Job 24:8; Jer 41:9; Heb 11:38Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, AmalekitesNu 13:29 and other eastern peoplesS Ge 25:6; Isa 11:14; Jer 49:28 invaded the country.They camped on the land and ruined the cropsLev 26:16; Dt 28:30, 51; Isa 10:6; 39:6; 42:22 all the way to GazaS Ge 10:19 and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys.They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts.S Dt 28:42 It was impossible to count them or their camels;Jdg 8:10; Isa 21:7; 60:6; Jer 49:32 they invaded the land to ravage it.Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried outS Jdg 3:9 to the Lord for help.

When the Israelites cried outS Jdg 3:9 to the Lord because of Midian,he sent them a prophet,Dt 18:15; 1Ki 20:13, 22; 2Ki 17:13, 23; Ne 9:29; Job 36:10; Jer 25:5; Eze 18:30-31 who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt,S Jdg 2:1 out of the land of slavery.Jos 24:17I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors;S Nu 10:9; Ps 136:24 I drove them out before you and gave you their land.Ps 44:210 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worshipS Ex 20:5 the gods of the Amorites,S Jos 24:15 in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”

11 The angel of the LordS Ge 16:7 came and sat down under the oak in OphrahS Jos 18:23 that belonged to Joashver 29; Jdg 7:14; 8:13, 29 the Abiezrite,S Nu 26:30 where his son GideonJdg 7:1; 8:1; Heb 11:32 was threshingRu 2:17; 3:2; 1Sa 23:1; 1Ch 21:20 wheat in a winepressNe 13:15; Isa 16:10; 63:3; La 1:15; Joel 3:13 to keep it from the Midianites.12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you,S Jos 1:5; Ru 2:4; 1Sa 10:7; Ps 129:8 mighty warrior.Jdg 11:1

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wondersS Jos 3:5 that our ancestors told2Sa 7:22; Ps 44:1; 78:3 us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandonedS Dt 31:17 us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you haveHeb 11:34 and savever 36; Jdg 10:1; 2Ki 14:27 Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clanIsa 60:22 is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.1Sa 9:21

16 The Lord answered, “I will be with youEx 3:12; S Nu 14:43; Jos 1:5, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

17 Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a signver 36-37; S Ge 24:14; S Ex 3:12; S 4:8 that it is really you talking to me.18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”

And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”

19 Gideon went inside, prepared a young goat,Jdg 13:15 and from an ephahThat is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilogramsS Lev 19:36 of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.Ge 18:7-8

20 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock,Jdg 13:19 and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so.21 Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened breadS Lev 9:24 with the tip of the staffS Ex 4:2 that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared.22 When Gideon realizedJdg 13:16, 21 that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”Ge 32:30; Jdg 13:22

23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid.Da 10:19 You are not going to die.”S Ge 16:13; S Dt 5:26

24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and calledS Ge 22:14 it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in OphrahS Jos 18:23 of the Abiezrites.

25 That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old.Or Take a full-grown, mature bull from your father’s herd Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah poleThat is, a wooden symbol of the goddess Asherah; also in verses 26, 28 and 30ver 26, 28, 30; Ex 34:13; S Jdg 2:13 beside it.26 Then build a proper kind ofOr build with layers of stone an altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the secondOr full-grown; also in verse 28 bull as a burnt offering.S Ge 8:20

27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.

28 In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar,ver 30; 1Ki 16:32; 2Ki 21:3 demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!

29 They asked each other, “Who did this?”

When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of JoashS ver 11 did it.”

30 The people of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altarS ver 28 and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”

31 But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause?1Sa 24:15; Ps 43:1; Jer 30:13 Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.”32 So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-BaalJerub-Baal probably means let Baal contend.Jdg 7:1; 8:29, 35; 9:1; 1Sa 12:11 that day, saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”

33 Now all the Midianites, AmalekitesNu 13:29 and other eastern peoplesS Ge 25:6 joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel.S Jos 15:56; Eze 25:4; Hos 1:534 Then the Spirit of the Lord came onS Jdg 3:10 Gideon, and he blew a trumpet,S Jos 6:20; S Jdg 3:27 summoning the AbiezritesS Jos 17:2 to follow him.35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher,S Jos 17:7 Zebulun and Naphtali,S Jdg 4:6 so that they too went up to meet them.Jdg 7:23

36 Gideon said to God, “If you will saveS ver 14 Israel by my hand as you have promised—37 look, I will place a wool fleeceJob 31:20 on the threshing floor.S Nu 18:27; 2Sa 6:6; 24:16 If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will knowS Ge 24:14 that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.”38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request.Ge 18:32 Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.”40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.Ex 4:3-7; Isa 38:7

Gideon Becomes Israel’s Judge

The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years.The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds.Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel,camping in the land and destroying crops as far away as Gaza. They left the Israelites with nothing to eat, taking all the sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys.These enemy hordes, coming with their livestock and tents, were as thick as locusts; they arrived on droves of camels too numerous to count. And they stayed until the land was stripped bare.So Israel was reduced to starvation by the Midianites. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help.

When they cried out to the Lord because of Midian,the Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites. He said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of slavery in Egypt.I rescued you from the Egyptians and from all who oppressed you. I drove out your enemies and gave you their land.10 I told you, ‘I am the Lord your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.’ But you have not listened to me.”

11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites.12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”

13 “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”

14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”

15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”

16 The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”

17 Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me.18 Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you.”

He answered, “I will stay here until you return.”

19 Gideon hurried home. He cooked a young goat, and with a basketHebrew an ephah [20 quarts or 22 liters]. of flour he baked some bread without yeast. Then, carrying the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, he brought them out and presented them to the angel, who was under the great tree.

20 The angel of God said to him, “Place the meat and the unleavened bread on this rock, and pour the broth over it.” And Gideon did as he was told.21 Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed all he had brought. And the angel of the Lord disappeared.

22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”

23 “It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.”24 And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day.

25 That night the Lord said to Gideon, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one that is seven years old. Pull down your father’s altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it.26 Then build an altar to the Lord your God here on this hilltop sanctuary, laying the stones carefully. Sacrifice the bull as a burnt offering on the altar, using as fuel the wood of the Asherah pole you cut down.”

27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord had commanded. But he did it at night because he was afraid of the other members of his father’s household and the people of the town.

28 Early the next morning, as the people of the town began to stir, someone discovered that the altar of Baal had been broken down and that the Asherah pole beside it had been cut down. In their place a new altar had been built, and on it were the remains of the bull that had been sacrificed.29 The people said to each other, “Who did this?” And after asking around and making a careful search, they learned that it was Gideon, the son of Joash.

30 “Bring out your son,” the men of the town demanded of Joash. “He must die for destroying the altar of Baal and for cutting down the Asherah pole.”

31 But Joash shouted to the mob that confronted him, “Why are you defending Baal? Will you argue his case? Whoever pleads his case will be put to death by morning! If Baal truly is a god, let him defend himself and destroy the one who broke down his altar!”32 From then on Gideon was called Jerub-baal, which means “Let Baal defend himself,” because he broke down Baal’s altar.

Gideon Asks for a Sign

33 Soon afterward the armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east formed an alliance against Israel and crossed the Jordan, camping in the valley of Jezreel.34 Then the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him.35 He also sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, summoning their warriors, and all of them responded.

36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised,37 prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.”38 And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.”40 So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.

And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.

And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;

And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.

For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.

And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord.

And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord because of the Midianites,

That the Lord sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;

And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land;

10 And I said unto you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.

11 And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.

12 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

14 And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?

15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.

16 And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.

17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.

18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again.

19 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.

20 And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.

21 Then the angel of the Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.

22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face.

23 And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.

24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25 And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:

26 And build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.

27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the Lord had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.

28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built.

29 And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing.

30 Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it.

31 And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.

32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.

33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel.

34 But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.

35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.

36 And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,

37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.

38 And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.

39 And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.

40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.

Luke 22:54-23:12

Peter Disowns Jesus22:55-62pp — Mt 26:69-75; Mk 14:66-72; Jn 18:16-18, 25-27

54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest.Mt 26:57; Mk 14:53 Peter followed at a distance.Mt 26:58; Mk 14:54; Jn 18:1555 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”

“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”Lk 23:6

60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.61 The LordS Lk 7:13 turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”ver 3462 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

The Guards Mock Jesus22:63-65pp — Mt 26:67, 68; Mk 14:65; Jn 18:22, 23

63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him.64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?”65 And they said many other insulting things to him.S Mt 16:21

Jesus Before Pilate and Herod22:67-71pp — Mt 26:63-66; Mk 14:61-63; Jn 18:19-2123:2, 3pp — Mt 27:11-14; Mk 15:2-5; Jn 18:29-3723:18-25pp — Mt 27:15-26; Mk 15:6-15; Jn 18:39–19:16

66 At daybreak the councilS Mt 5:22 of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together,Mt 27:1; Mk 15:1 and Jesus was led before them.67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”

Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me,68 and if I asked you, you would not answer.Lk 20:3-869 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”S Mk 16:19

70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”S Mt 4:3

He replied, “You say that I am.”Mt 27:11; Lk 23:3

71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”

23 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate.S Mt 27:2And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation.ver 14 He opposes payment of taxes to CaesarLk 20:22 and claims to be Messiah, a king.”Jn 19:12

So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”ver 14, 22, 41; Mt 27:23; Jn 18:38; 1Ti 6:13; S 2Co 5:21

But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in GalileeMk 1:14 and has come all the way here.”

On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean.Lk 22:59When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod,S Mt 14:1 who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him.Lk 9:9 From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort.He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.S Mk 14:6110 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him.11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe,Mk 15:17-19; Jn 19:2, 3 they sent him back to Pilate.12 That day Herod and Pilate became friendsAc 4:27—before this they had been enemies.

Peter Denies Jesus

54 So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance.55 The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there.56 A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!”

57 But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!”

58 After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!”

“No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted.

59 About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.”

60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.

61 At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”62 And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.

63 The guards in charge of Jesus began mocking and beating him.64 They blindfolded him and said, “Prophesy to us! Who hit you that time?”65 And they hurled all sorts of terrible insults at him.

Jesus before the Council

66 At daybreak all the elders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council,Greek before their Sanhedrin.67 and they said, “Tell us, are you the Messiah?”

But he replied, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me.68 And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer.69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand.See Ps 110:1.

70 They all shouted, “So, are you claiming to be the Son of God?”

And he replied, “You say that I am.”

71 “Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard him say it.”

Jesus’ Trial before Pilate

23 Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor.They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king.”

So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!”

Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”

“Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked.When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.

Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle.He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer.10 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations.11 Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate.12 (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)

54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.

55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.

56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.

57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.

58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.

59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.

60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.

61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

63 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.

64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?

65 And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.

66 And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying,

67 Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:

68 And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.

69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.

71 And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.

23 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.

And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.

And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.

Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.

When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.

And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.

And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.

Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.

10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.

11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

Psalm 95:1-96:13

Psalm 95

Come,Ps 34:11; 80:2 let us sing for joyS Ps 5:11 to the Lord;

let us shout aloudPs 81:1; Isa 44:23; Zep 3:14 to the RockS 2Sa 22:47 of our salvation.

Let us come before himPs 100:2; Mic 6:6 with thanksgivingS Ps 42:4

and extol him with musicPs 81:2; S Eph 5:19 and song.

For the Lord is the great God,Ps 48:1; 86:10; 145:3; 147:5

the great KingS Ps 47:2 above all gods.Ps 96:4; 97:9

In his hand are the depths of the earth,S Ps 63:9

and the mountain peaks belong to him.

The sea is his, for he made it,

and his hands formed the dry land.S Ge 1:9; Ps 146:6

Come, let us bow downS 2Sa 12:16; Php 2:10 in worship,S Ps 22:29

let us kneel2Ch 6:13 before the Lord our Maker;Ps 100:3; 149:2; Isa 17:7; 54:5; Da 6:10-11; Hos 8:14

for he is our God

and we are the people of his pasture,S Ps 74:1

the flock under his care.

Today, if only you would hear his voice,

“Do not harden your heartsMk 10:5; Heb 3:8 as you did at Meribah,Meribah means quarreling.S Ex 17:7; S Dt 33:8; Heb 3:15*; 4:7

as you did that day at MassahMassah means testing. in the wilderness,S Ps 78:40

where your ancestors testedS Nu 14:22; 1Co 10:9 me;

they tried me, though they had seen what I did.

10 For forty yearsS Ex 16:35; S Nu 14:34; Ac 7:36; Heb 3:17 I was angry with that generation;

I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,Ps 58:3; 119:67, 176; Pr 12:26; 16:29; Isa 53:6; Jer 31:19; 50:6; Eze 34:6

and they have not known my ways.’S Dt 8:6

11 So I declared on oathS Nu 14:23 in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’”Dt 1:35; Heb 3:7-11*; 4:3*

Psalm 9696:1-13pp — 1Ch 16:23-33

Sing to the LordPs 30:4 a new song;Ps 33:3; S 40:3; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1; Isa 42:10; S Rev 5:9

sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, praise his name;S Ps 68:4

proclaim his salvationPs 27:1; 71:15 day after day.

Declare his gloryPs 8:1 among the nations,

his marvelous deedsS Ps 71:17; Rev 15:3 among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;S Ps 48:1

he is to be fearedS Dt 28:58; S 1Ch 16:25; Ps 89:7 above all gods.S Ps 95:3

For all the gods of the nations are idols,S Lev 19:4

but the Lord made the heavens.S Ge 1:1; S 2Ch 2:12

Splendor and majestyS Ps 21:5 are before him;

strength and gloryPs 29:1; 89:17 are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord,Ps 29:1 all you families of nations,Ps 22:27

ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

bring an offeringPs 45:12; S 51:19; 72:10 and come into his courts.Ps 65:4; 84:10; 92:13; 100:4

Worship the LordEx 23:25; Jnh 1:9 in the splendor of hisOr Lord with the splendor of holiness;S Ps 93:5

trembleS Ex 15:14; Ps 114:7 before him, all the earth.Ps 33:8

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.Ps 97:1

The world is firmly established,Ps 24:2; 78:69; 119:90 it cannot be moved;S Ps 93:1

he will judgePs 58:11 the peoples with equity.Ps 67:4; 98:9

11 Let the heavens rejoice,S Rev 12:12 let the earth be glad;Ps 97:1; Isa 49:13

let the sea resound, and all that is in it.

12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;

let all the trees of the forestIsa 44:23; 55:12; Eze 17:24 sing for joy.Ps 65:13

13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,

he comes to judgeRev 19:11 the earth.

He will judge the world in righteousnessS Ps 7:11; Ac 17:31

and the peoples in his faithfulness.Ps 86:11

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord!

Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come to him with thanksgiving.

Let us sing psalms of praise to him.

For the Lord is a great God,

a great King above all gods.

He holds in his hands the depths of the earth

and the mightiest mountains.

The sea belongs to him, for he made it.

His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.

Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,

for he is our God.

We are the people he watches over,

the flock under his care.

If only you would listen to his voice today!

The Lord says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah,

as they did at Massah in the wilderness.

For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience,

even though they saw everything I did.

10 For forty years I was angry with them, and I said,

‘They are a people whose hearts turn away from me.

They refuse to do what I tell them.’

11 So in my anger I took an oath:

‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”

Psalm 96

Sing a new song to the Lord!

Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!

Sing to the Lord; praise his name.

Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.

Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.

Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.

Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!

He is to be feared above all gods.

The gods of other nations are mere idols,

but the Lord made the heavens!

Honor and majesty surround him;

strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.

O nations of the world, recognize the Lord;

recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.

Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!

Bring your offering and come into his courts.

Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.

Let all the earth tremble before him.

10 Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”

The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.

He will judge all peoples fairly.

11 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!

Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!

12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!

Let the trees of the forest sing for joy

13 before the Lord, for he is coming!

He is coming to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with justice,

and the nations with his truth.

95 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.

The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

96 O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth.

Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.

For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.

Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.

10 Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.

12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice

13 Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

Proverbs 14:5-6

An honest witness does not deceive,

but a false witness pours out lies.S Ps 12:2; S Pr 12:17

The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,

but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.S Pr 9:9

An honest witness does not lie;

a false witness breathes lies.

A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it,

but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding.

A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.

A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.

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