Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The truth of this scripture was demonstrated in Elijah's powerful confrontation with the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). First, God sent the drought to draw the people into the arena of decision. Then, He sent the fire to convince them of their sin. Finally, He sent the rain to remind them of His blessing.

God is able to do "whatever pleases Him," at whatever time it pleases Him. When God was ready to visit the Gentiles, He did whatever pleased Him! But Peter had to spend time trying to convince the Jerusalem eldership that God was the Author of the Cornelius visitation (Acts 11:4).

He is a mighty God, and His power can flow in whatever direction His love desires. Get out of the way and let God move! The result will be as it was in Acts 11:21 NIV: "The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people turned and believed in the Lord."

1 Kings 18:1-46

Elijah and Obadiah

18 After a long time, in the third1Ki 17:1; Lk 4:25 year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and presentver 15 yourself to Ahab, and I will send rainS Dt 28:12 on the land.”So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.

Now the famine was severeS Lev 26:26 in Samaria,and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, his palace administrator.1Ki 16:9 (Obadiah was a devout believerNe 7:2 in the Lord.While Jezebel1Ki 21:23; 2Ki 9:7 was killing off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hiddenS 1Ki 17:3; Isa 16:3; 25:4; 32:2; Ob 1:14 them in two caves, fifty in each, and had suppliedJer 26:24 them with food and water.)Ahab had said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springsJer 14:3 and valleys. Maybe we can find some grass to keep the horses and mules alive so we will not have to kill any of our animals.”S Ge 47:4So they divided the land they were to cover, Ahab going in one direction and Obadiah in another.

As Obadiah was walking along, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized2Ki 1:8; Zec 13:4 him, bowed down to the ground, and said, “Is it really you, my lord Elijah?”

“Yes,” he replied. “Go tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’”

“What have I done wrong,” asked Obadiah, “that you are handing your servant over to Ahab to be put to death?10 As surely as the Lord your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to lookS 1Ki 17:3 for you. And whenever a nation or kingdom claimed you were not there, he made them swear they could not find you.11 But now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’12 I don’t know where the Spirit2Ki 2:16; Eze 3:14; Ac 8:39 of the Lord may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn’t find you, he will kill me. Yet I your servant have worshiped the Lord since my youth.13 Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water.14 And now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ He will kill me!”

15 Elijah said, “As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely presentver 1 myself to Ahab today.”

Elijah on Mount Carmel

16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah.17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troublerJos 7:25; 1Sa 14:29; 1Ki 21:20; Jer 38:4 of Israel?”

18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you1Ki 16:31, 33; 21:25 and your father’s family have. You have abandonedS Dt 31:16 the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals.19 Now summon2Ki 10:19 the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel.S Jos 19:26 And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”2Ki 9:22

20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel.2Ki 2:25; 4:2521 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waverJos 24:15; 2Ki 17:41; Ps 119:113; Mt 6:24 between two opinions? If the Lordver 39; Ps 100:3; 118:27 is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”

But the people said nothing.

22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left,1Ki 19:10 but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets.Jer 2:8; 23:1323 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it.24 Then you callS 1Sa 7:8 on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord.S Ge 4:26 The god who answers by fireS ver 38; S Ex 19:18; S Lev 9:24—he is God.”

Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”

25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.”26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it.

Then they calledIsa 44:17; 45:20 on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response;Ps 115:4-5; 135:16; Isa 41:26, 28; 46:7; Jer 10:5; 1Co 8:4; 12:2 no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”Hab 2:1928 So they shouted louder and slashedS Lev 19:28 themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice.S Ex 29:41 But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.2Ki 19:12; Isa 16:12; Jer 10:5

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar1Ki 19:10 of the Lord, which had been torn down.31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.”S Ge 17:5; 2Ki 17:3432 With the stones he built an altar in the nameS Dt 18:7; Col 3:17 of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahsThat is, probably about 24 pounds or about 11 kilograms of seed.33 He arrangedS Ge 22:9 the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”

34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.

“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time.35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

36 At the timeS Ex 29:39, 41 of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham,S Ge 24:12; S Ex 4:5; Mt 22:32 Isaac and Israel, let it be knownS Jos 4:24; S 1Sa 17:46; S Ps 46:10 today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.Nu 16:2837 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will knowS Jos 4:24 that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

38 Then the firever 24; S Ex 19:18; S Lev 9:24; 2Ki 1:10; 1Ch 21:26; 2Ch 7:1; Job 1:16 of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrateS Lev 9:24 and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”S ver 24; S Ps 46:10

40 Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon ValleyS Jdg 4:7 and slaughteredS Ex 22:20; S Dt 17:12; S 2Ki 11:18 there.

41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.”42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.S 1Sa 12:17; Jas 5:18

43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.

“There is nothing there,” he said.

Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”

44 The seventh timeS Jos 6:15 the servant reported, “A cloudLk 12:54 as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”

So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”

45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rainS 1Ki 8:36; Job 37:13 started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel.S 1Sa 29:1; S Hos 1:446 The powerS Jdg 3:10; S 1Sa 11:6; Lk 1:35; 4:14 of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt,2Ki 4:29; 9:1 he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

The Contest on Mount Carmel

18 Later on, in the third year of the drought, the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and present yourself to King Ahab. Tell him that I will soon send rain!”So Elijah went to appear before Ahab.

Meanwhile, the famine had become very severe in Samaria.So Ahab summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. (Obadiah was a devoted follower of the Lord.Once when Jezebel had tried to kill all the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had hidden 100 of them in two caves. He put fifty prophets in each cave and supplied them with food and water.)Ahab said to Obadiah, “We must check every spring and valley in the land to see if we can find enough grass to save at least some of my horses and mules.”So they divided the land between them. Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

As Obadiah was walking along, he suddenly saw Elijah coming toward him. Obadiah recognized him at once and bowed low to the ground before him. “Is it really you, my lord Elijah?” he asked.

“Yes, it is,” Elijah replied. “Now go and tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’”

“Oh, sir,” Obadiah protested, “what harm have I done to you that you are sending me to my death at the hands of Ahab?10 For I swear by the Lord your God that the king has searched every nation and kingdom on earth from end to end to find you. And each time he was told, ‘Elijah isn’t here,’ King Ahab forced the king of that nation to swear to the truth of his claim.11 And now you say, ‘Go and tell your master, “Elijah is here.”’12 But as soon as I leave you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you away to who knows where. When Ahab comes and cannot find you, he will kill me. Yet I have been a true servant of the Lord all my life.13 Has no one told you, my lord, about the time when Jezebel was trying to kill the Lord’s prophets? I hid 100 of them in two caves and supplied them with food and water.14 And now you say, ‘Go and tell your master, “Elijah is here.”’ Sir, if I do that, Ahab will certainly kill me.”

15 But Elijah said, “I swear by the Lord Almighty, in whose presence I stand, that I will present myself to Ahab this very day.”

16 So Obadiah went to tell Ahab that Elijah had come, and Ahab went out to meet Elijah.17 When Ahab saw him, he exclaimed, “So, is it really you, you troublemaker of Israel?”

18 “I have made no trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “You and your family are the troublemakers, for you have refused to obey the commands of the Lord and have worshiped the images of Baal instead.19 Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel.Hebrew who eat at Jezebel’s table.

20 So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel.21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets.23 Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it.24 Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed.

25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you. Choose one of the bulls, and prepare it and call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to the wood.”

26 So they prepared one of the bulls and placed it on the altar. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no reply of any kind. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made.

27 About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself.Or is busy somewhere else, or is engaged in business. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!”

28 So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out.29 They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response.

30 Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down.31 He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel,Hebrew each of the tribes of the sons of Jacob to whom the Lord had said, “Your name will be Israel.”32 and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the Lord. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons.Hebrew 2 seahs [14.6 liters] of seed.33 He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood.Verse 18:34 in the Hebrew text begins here.

Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.”

34 After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said,35 and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.

36 At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,Hebrew and Israel. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation. prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command.37 O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”

38 Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!39 And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”

40 Then Elijah commanded, “Seize all the prophets of Baal. Don’t let a single one escape!” So the people seized them all, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon Valley and killed them there.

Elijah Prays for Rain

41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go get something to eat and drink, for I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!”

42 So Ahab went to eat and drink. But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees.

43 Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.”

The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.”

Seven times Elijah told him to go and look.44 Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.”

Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’”

45 And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel.46 Then the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his beltHebrew He bound up his loins. and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel.

18 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.

And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.

And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly:

For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.

So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my lord Elijah?

And he answered him, I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.

And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me?

10 As the Lord thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not.

11 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.

12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the Lord shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth.

13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the Lord, how I hid an hundred men of the Lord's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?

14 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me.

15 And Elijah said, As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day.

16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah.

17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?

18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.

19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.

20 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.

21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:

24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.

26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.

27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.

29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.

31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:

32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.

33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.

34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.

35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.

36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.

40 And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

41 And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,

43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.

44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not.

45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.

46 And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Acts 11:1-30

Peter Explains His Actions

11 The apostles and the believersS Ac 1:16 throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.S Heb 4:12So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believersAc 10:45 criticized himand said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”Ac 10:25, 28; Gal 2:12

Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story:“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision.S Ac 9:10; 10:9-32 I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was.I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds.Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

“I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’

“The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’S Ac 10:1510 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

11 “Right then three men who had been sent to me from CaesareaS Ac 8:40 stopped at the house where I was staying.12 The Spirit toldS Ac 8:29 me to have no hesitation about going with them.Ac 15:9; Ro 3:22 These six brothersver 1, 29; S Ac 1:16 also went with me, and we entered the man’s house.13 He told us how he had seen an angelS Ac 5:19 appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter.14 He will bring you a messageAc 10:36 through which you and all your householdJn 4:53; Ac 16:15, 31-34; 18:8; 1Co 1:11, 16 will be saved.’

15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came onS Ac 10:44 them as he had come on us at the beginning.Ac 2:416 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized withOr in water,S Mk 1:4 but you will be baptized withOr in the Holy Spirit.’S Mk 1:817 So if God gave them the same giftAc 2:38 he gave usAc 10:45, 47 who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”

18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”Ro 10:12, 13; 2Co 7:10

The Church in Antioch

19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killedAc 8:1, 4 traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch,ver 26, 27; Ac 13:1; 14:26; 18:22; Gal 2:11 spreading the word only among Jews.20 Some of them, however, men from CyprusAc 4:36 and Cyrene,S Mt 27:32 went to AntiochS ver 19 and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good newsS Ac 13:32 about the Lord Jesus.21 The Lord’s hand was with them,Lk 1:66 and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.S Ac 2:41

22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent BarnabasS Ac 4:36 to Antioch.23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done,Ac 13:43; 14:26; 15:40; 20:24 he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.Ac 14:2224 He was a good man, full of the Holy SpiritS Lk 1:15 and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.S Ac 2:41

25 Then Barnabas went to TarsusS Ac 9:11 to look for Saul,26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciplesver 29; Ac 6:1, 2; 9:19, 26, 38; 13:52 were called Christians firstAc 26:28; 1Pe 4:16 at Antioch.

27 During this time some prophetsAc 13:1; 15:32; 1Co 11:4; 12:28, 29; 14:29, 32, 37; S Eph 4:11 came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.28 One of them, named Agabus,Ac 21:10 stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world.S Mt 24:14 (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)Ac 18:229 The disciples,S ver 26 as each one was able, decided to provide helpRo 15:26; 2Co 8:1-4; 9:2 for the brothers and sistersver 1, 12; S Ac 1:16 living in Judea.30 This they did, sending their gift to the eldersAc 14:23; 15:2, 22; 20:17; 1Ti 5:17; Tit 1:5; Jas 5:14; 1Pe 5:1; 2Jn 1 by BarnabasS Ac 4:36 and Saul.Ac 12:25

Peter Explains His Actions

11 Soon the news reached the apostles and other believersGreek brothers. in Judea that the Gentiles had received the word of God.But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believersGreek those of the circumcision. criticized him.“You entered the home of GentilesGreek of uncircumcised men. and even ate with them!” they said.

Then Peter told them exactly what had happened.“I was in the town of Joppa,” he said, “and while I was praying, I went into a trance and saw a vision. Something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners from the sky. And it came right down to me.When I looked inside the sheet, I saw all sorts of tame and wild animals, reptiles, and birds.And I heard a voice say, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.’

“‘No, Lord,’ I replied. ‘I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure or unclean.Greek anything common or unclean.

“But the voice from heaven spoke again: ‘Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.’10 This happened three times before the sheet and all it contained was pulled back up to heaven.

11 “Just then three men who had been sent from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were staying.12 The Holy Spirit told me to go with them and not to worry that they were Gentiles. These six brothers here accompanied me, and we soon entered the home of the man who had sent for us.13 He told us how an angel had appeared to him in his home and had told him, ‘Send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter.14 He will tell you how you and everyone in your household can be saved!’

15 “As I began to speak,” Peter continued, “the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as he fell on us at the beginning.16 Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said, ‘John baptized withOr in; also in 11:16b. water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’17 And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?”

18 When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.”

The Church in Antioch of Syria

19 Meanwhile, the believers who had been scattered during the persecution after Stephen’s death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch of Syria. They preached the word of God, but only to Jews.20 However, some of the believers who went to Antioch from Cyprus and Cyrene began preaching to the GentilesGreek the Hellenists (i.e., those who speak Greek); other manuscripts read the Greeks. about the Lord Jesus.21 The power of the Lord was with them, and a large number of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord.

22 When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened, they sent Barnabas to Antioch.23 When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord.24 Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord.

25 Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul.26 When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believersGreek disciples; also in 11:29. were first called Christians.)

27 During this time some prophets traveled from Jerusalem to Antioch.28 One of them named Agabus stood up in one of the meetings and predicted by the Spirit that a great famine was coming upon the entire Roman world. (This was fulfilled during the reign of Claudius.)29 So the believers in Antioch decided to send relief to the brothers and sistersGreek the brothers. in Judea, everyone giving as much as they could.30 This they did, entrusting their gifts to Barnabas and Saul to take to the elders of the church in Jerusalem.

11 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.

And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,

Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.

But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,

I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:

Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.

But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.

But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

10 And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.

11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.

12 And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house:

13 And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;

14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.

15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.

16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.

21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.

22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.

24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.

25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:

26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.

28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:

30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Psalm 135:1-21

Psalm 135135:15-20pp — Ps 115:4-11

Praise the Lord.Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verses 3 and 21

Praise the name of the Lord;

praise him, you servantsNe 7:73 of the Lord,

you who minister in the houseS 1Ch 15:2; Lk 2:37 of the Lord,

in the courtsS Ps 116:19 of the house of our God.

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;S 1Ch 16:34; S Ps 119:68

sing praise to his name,S Ps 68:4 for that is pleasant.S Ps 92:1; 147:1

For the Lord has chosen JacobS Dt 10:15 to be his own,

Israel to be his treasured possession.Ex 19:5; Dt 7:6; Mal 3:17; S Tit 2:14

I know that the Lord is great,S Ps 48:1; 145:3

that our Lord is greater than all gods.S Ex 12:12; S 1Ch 16:25; S Job 21:22

The Lord does whatever pleases him,Ps 115:3; Da 4:35

in the heavens and on the earth,Mt 6:10

in the seas and all their depths.

He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth;

he sends lightning with the rainS Job 5:10; Ps 68:9; Isa 30:23; Jer 10:13; 51:16; Joel 2:23; Zec 10:1

and brings out the windAm 4:13 from his storehouses.S Dt 28:12

He struck down the firstbornS Ex 4:23; S 12:12 of Egypt,

the firstborn of people and animals.

He sent his signsS Ex 7:9 and wonders into your midst, Egypt,

against Pharaoh and all his servants.Ps 136:10-15

10 He struck down manyNu 21:21-25; Jos 24:8-11; Ps 44:2; 78:55; 136:17-21 nations

and killed mighty kings—

11 SihonS Nu 21:21 king of the Amorites,S Nu 21:26

Og king of Bashan,S Nu 21:33

and all the kings of CanaanS Jos 12:7-24; 24:12

12 and he gave their land as an inheritance,S Dt 29:8

an inheritance to his people Israel.

13 Your name, Lord, endures forever,S Ex 3:15

your renown,S Ps 102:12 Lord, through all generations.

14 For the Lord will vindicate his peopleS 1Sa 24:15; Heb 10:30*

and have compassion on his servants.S Dt 32:36

15 The idols of the nationsPs 96:5; Rev 9:20 are silver and gold,

made by human hands.Isa 2:8; 31:7; 37:19; 40:19; Jer 1:16; 10:5

16 They have mouths, but cannot speak,S 1Ki 18:26

eyes, but cannot see.

17 They have ears, but cannot hear,

nor is there breathJer 10:14; Hab 2:19 in their mouths.

18 Those who make them will be like them,

and so will all who trust in them.

19 All you Israelites, praise the Lord;S Ps 22:23

house of Aaron, praise the Lord;

20 house of Levi, praise the Lord;

you who fear him, praise the Lord.

21 Praise be to the Lord from Zion,Ps 128:5; 134:3

to him who dwells in Jerusalem.S 1Ki 8:13; S 2Ch 6:2

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 135

Praise the Lord!

Praise the name of the Lord!

Praise him, you who serve the Lord,

you who serve in the house of the Lord,

in the courts of the house of our God.

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;

celebrate his lovely name with music.

For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,

Israel for his own special treasure.

I know the greatness of the Lord

that our Lord is greater than any other god.

The Lord does whatever pleases him

throughout all heaven and earth,

and on the seas and in their depths.

He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth.

He sends the lightning with the rain

and releases the wind from his storehouses.

He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home,

both people and animals.

He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt

against Pharaoh and all his people.

10 He struck down great nations

and slaughtered mighty kings—

11 Sihon king of the Amorites,

Og king of Bashan,

and all the kings of Canaan.

12 He gave their land as an inheritance,

a special possession to his people Israel.

13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever;

your fame, O Lord, is known to every generation.

14 For the Lord will give justice to his people

and have compassion on his servants.

15 The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold,

shaped by human hands.

16 They have mouths but cannot speak,

and eyes but cannot see.

17 They have ears but cannot hear,

and mouths but cannot breathe.

18 And those who make idols are just like them,

as are all who trust in them.

19 O Israel, praise the Lord!

O priests—descendants of Aaron—praise the Lord!

20 O Levites, praise the Lord!

All you who fear the Lord, praise the Lord!

21 The Lord be praised from Zion,

for he lives here in Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord!

135 Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the name of the Lord; praise him, O ye servants of the Lord.

Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.

Praise the Lord; for the Lord is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.

For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.

For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.

Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.

Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.

Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants.

10 Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings;

11 Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan:

12 And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people.

13 Thy name, O Lord, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O Lord, throughout all generations.

14 For the Lord will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants.

15 The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

16 They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;

17 They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.

18 They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.

19 Bless the Lord, O house of Israel: bless the Lord, O house of Aaron:

20 Bless the Lord, O house of Levi: ye that fear the Lord, bless the Lord.

21 Blessed be the Lord out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord.

Proverbs 17:12-13

12 Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs

than a fool bent on folly.S 1Sa 25:25

13 Evil will never leave the house

of one who pays back evilS 1Sa 19:4 for good.S Ge 44:4; S Ps 35:12

12 It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs

than to confront a fool caught in foolishness.

13 If you repay good with evil,

evil will never leave your house.

12 Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.

13 Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

Jun 16 Jun 18
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