Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

We must take care of unfinished business. God is a God of justice and cannot overlook the horrible reality of sin. Saul killed people with whom Israel had pledged a covenant in the days of Joshua. Though Saul viewed the killings as justifiable, the victims' innocent blood cried out before God, demanding justice. The heavens remained as brass for David and Israel until they dealt with and atoned for Saul's actions.

Many things occur in societies because God is avenging past actions and atrocities that were leveled against innocent people. What generational curses have fallen upon our cities and nations because of the past sins of our fathers?

In 2 Samuel 24, we see that God was so serious about justice that seventy thousand people died to appease His wrath (v. 15). We must be serious enough about sins against others to cry out in repentance, approach the offended, and make reconciliation. These actions, as simple as they may seem, will release the blessing of God. As David did, we must help restore and heal the breaches of the past, because after he had made restitution, "the Lord answered his prayer" (v. 25).

2 Samuel 20:14-21:22

14 Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel Beth Maakah and through the entire region of the Bikrites,See Septuagint and Vulgate; Hebrew Berites.Nu 21:16 who gathered together and followed him.15 All the troops with Joab came and besieged Sheba in Abel Beth Maakah.1Ki 15:20; 2Ki 15:29 They built a siege rampIsa 37:33; Jer 6:6; 32:24 up to the city, and it stood against the outer fortifications. While they were battering the wall to bring it down,16 a wise woman2Sa 14:2 called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here so I can speak to him.”17 He went toward her, and she asked, “Are you Joab?”

“I am,” he answered.

She said, “Listen to what your servant has to say.”

“I’m listening,” he said.

18 She continued, “Long ago they used to say, ‘Get your answer at Abel,’ and that settled it.19 We are the peacefulS Dt 2:26 and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the Lord’s inheritance?”S 1Sa 26:19

20 “Far be it from me!” Joab replied, “Far be it from me to swallow up or destroy!21 That is not the case. A man named Sheba son of Bikri, from the hill country of Ephraim, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Hand over this one man, and I’ll withdraw from the city.”

The woman said to Joab, “His headS 2Sa 4:8 will be thrown to you from the wall.”

22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice,Ecc 9:13 and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bikri and threw it to Joab. So he sounded the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each returning to his home. And Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem.

David’s Officials

23 JoabS 2Sa 2:28; 8:16-18; 24:2 was over Israel’s entire army; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites;24 AdoniramSome Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Kings 4:6 and 5:14); Hebrew Adoram1Ki 4:6; 5:14; 12:18; 2Ch 10:18 was in charge of forced labor; JehoshaphatS 2Sa 8:16 son of Ahilud was recorder;25 Sheva was secretary; ZadokS 1Sa 2:35; S 2Sa 8:17 and Abiathar were priests;26 and Ira the JairiteHebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also 23:38) Ithrite was David’s priest.

The Gibeonites Avenged

21 During the reign of David, there was a famineS Ge 12:10; S Dt 32:24 for three successive years; so David soughtS Ex 32:11 the face of the Lord. The Lord said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

The king summoned the GibeonitesS Jos 9:15 and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.)David asked the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance?”S 1Sa 26:19

The Gibeonites answered him, “We have no right to demand silver or gold from Saul or his family, nor do we have the right to put anyone in Israel to death.”Nu 35:33-34

“What do you want me to do for you?” David asked.

They answered the king, “As for the man who destroyed us and plotted against us so that we have been decimated and have no place anywhere in Israel,let seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and their bodies exposedNu 25:4 before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul—the Lord’s chosenS 1Sa 10:24 one.”

So the king said, “I will give them to you.”

The king spared Mephibosheth2Sa 4:4 son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the oathS 1Sa 18:3; S 2Sa 9:7 before the Lord between David and Jonathan son of Saul.But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah,2Sa 3:7 whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab,Two Hebrew manuscripts, some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also 1 Samuel 18:19); most Hebrew and Septuagint manuscripts Michal whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite.1Sa 18:19He handed them over to the Gibeonites, who killed them and exposed their bodies on a hill before the Lord. All seven of them fell together; they were put to deathS 2Sa 16:8 during the first days of the harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning.S Ru 1:22

10 Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest till the rain poured down from the heavens on the bodies, she did not let the birds touch them by day or the wild animals by night.S Ge 40:19; S 1Sa 17:4411 When David was told what Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done,12 he went and took the bones of Saul1Sa 31:11-13 and his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead.S Jdg 21:8; S 1Sa 11:1 (They had stolen their bodies from the public square at Beth Shan,S Jos 17:11 where the Philistines had hung1Sa 31:10 them after they struck Saul down on Gilboa.)S 1Sa 28:413 David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from there, and the bones of those who had been killed and exposed were gathered up.

14 They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish, at ZelaJos 18:28 in Benjamin, and did everything the king commanded. After that,Jos 7:26 God answered prayer2Sa 24:25 in behalf of the land.1Ch 8:34

Wars Against the Philistines21:15-22pp — 1Ch 20:4-8

15 Once again there was a battle between the PhilistinesS 2Sa 5:25 and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted.16 And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekelsThat is, about 7 1/2 pounds or about 3.5 kilograms and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David.17 But Abishai2Sa 20:6 son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp1Ki 11:36; 15:4; 2Ki 8:19; 2Ch 21:7; Ps 132:17 of Israel will not be extinguished.2Sa 18:3

18 In the course of time, there was another battle with the Philistines, at Gob. At that time Sibbekai1Ch 11:29; 27:11 the Hushathite killed Saph, one of the descendants of Rapha.

19 In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of JairSee 1 Chron. 20:5; Hebrew Jaare-Oregim. the Bethlehemite killed the brother ofSee 1 Chron. 20:5; Hebrew does not have the brother of. Goliath the Gittite,S 1Sa 17:4 who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod.S 1Sa 17:7

20 In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha.21 When he tauntedS 1Sa 17:10 Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah,S 1Sa 16:9 David’s brother, killed him.

22 These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.

14 Meanwhile, Sheba traveled through all the tribes of Israel and eventually came to the town of Abel-beth-maacah. All the members of his own clan, the Bicrites,As in Greek and Latin versions; Hebrew reads All the Berites. assembled for battle and followed him into the town.15 When Joab’s forces arrived, they attacked Abel-beth-maacah. They built a siege ramp against the town’s fortifications and began battering down the wall.16 But a wise woman in the town called out to Joab, “Listen to me, Joab. Come over here so I can talk to you.”17 As he approached, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?”

“I am,” he replied.

So she said, “Listen carefully to your servant.”

“I’m listening,” he said.

18 Then she continued, “There used to be a saying, ‘If you want to settle an argument, ask advice at the town of Abel.’19 I am one who is peace loving and faithful in Israel. But you are destroying an important town in Israel.Hebrew a town that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to devour what belongs to the Lord?”

20 And Joab replied, “Believe me, I don’t want to devour or destroy your town!21 That’s not my purpose. All I want is a man named Sheba son of Bicri from the hill country of Ephraim, who has revolted against King David. If you hand over this one man to me, I will leave the town in peace.”

“All right,” the woman replied, “we will throw his head over the wall to you.”22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off Sheba’s head and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the ram’s horn and called his troops back from the attack. They all returned to their homes, and Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.

23 Now Joab was the commander of the army of Israel. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard.24 AdoniramAs in Greek version (see also 1 Kgs 4:6; 5:14); Hebrew reads Adoram. was in charge of forced labor. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian.25 Sheva was the court secretary. Zadok and Abiathar were the priests.26 And Ira, a descendant of Jair, was David’s personal priest.

David Avenges the Gibeonites

21 There was a famine during David’s reign that lasted for three years, so David asked the Lord about it. And the Lord said, “The famine has come because Saul and his family are guilty of murdering the Gibeonites.”

So the king summoned the Gibeonites. They were not part of Israel but were all that was left of the nation of the Amorites. The people of Israel had sworn not to kill them, but Saul, in his zeal for Israel and Judah, had tried to wipe them out.David asked them, “What can I do for you? How can I make amends so that you will bless the Lord’s people again?”

“Well, money can’t settle this matter between us and the family of Saul,” the Gibeonites replied. “Neither can we demand the life of anyone in Israel.”

“What can I do then?” David asked. “Just tell me and I will do it for you.”

Then they replied, “It was Saul who planned to destroy us, to keep us from having any place at all in the territory of Israel.So let seven of Saul’s sons be handed over to us, and we will execute them before the Lord at Gibeon, on the mountain of the Lord.As in Greek version (see also 21:9); Hebrew reads at Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the Lord.

“All right,” the king said, “I will do it.”The king spared Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth,Mephibosheth is another name for Merib-baal. who was Saul’s grandson, because of the oath David and Jonathan had sworn before the Lord.But he gave them Saul’s two sons Armoni and Mephibosheth, whose mother was Rizpah daughter of Aiah. He also gave them the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab,As in a few Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and Syriac version (see also 1 Sam 18:19); most Hebrew manuscripts read Michal. the wife of Adriel son of Barzillai from Meholah.The men of Gibeon executed them on the mountain before the Lord. So all seven of them died together at the beginning of the barley harvest.

10 Then Rizpah daughter of Aiah, the mother of two of the men, spread burlap on a rock and stayed there the entire harvest season. She prevented the scavenger birds from tearing at their bodies during the day and stopped wild animals from eating them at night.11 When David learned what Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done,12 he went to the people of Jabesh-gilead and retrieved the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan. (When the Philistines had killed Saul and Jonathan on Mount Gilboa, the people of Jabesh-gilead stole their bodies from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hung them.)13 So David obtained the bones of Saul and Jonathan, as well as the bones of the men the Gibeonites had executed.

14 Then the king ordered that they bury the bones in the tomb of Kish, Saul’s father, at the town of Zela in the land of Benjamin. After that, God ended the famine in the land.

Battles against Philistine Giants

15 Once again the Philistines were at war with Israel. And when David and his men were in the thick of battle, David became weak and exhausted.16 Ishbi-benob was a descendant of the giantsOr a descendant of the Rapha; also in 21:18, 20, 22.; his bronze spearhead weighed more than seven pounds,Hebrew 300 [shekels] [3.4 kilograms]. and he was armed with a new sword. He had cornered David and was about to kill him.17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men declared, “You are not going out to battle with us again! Why risk snuffing out the light of Israel?”

18 After this, there was another battle against the Philistines at Gob. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, another descendant of the giants.

19 During another battle at Gob, Elhanan son of JairAs in parallel text at 1 Chr 20:5; Hebrew reads son of Jaare-oregim. from Bethlehem killed the brother of Goliath of Gath.As in parallel text at 1 Chr 20:5; Hebrew reads killed Goliath of Gath. The handle of his spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam!

20 In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, they encountered a huge manAs in parallel text at 1 Chr 20:6; Hebrew reads a Midianite. with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all, who was also a descendant of the giants.21 But when he defied and taunted Israel, he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea.As in parallel text at 1 Chr 20:7; Hebrew reads Shimei, a variant spelling of Shimea.

22 These four Philistines were descendants of the giants of Gath, but David and his warriors killed them.

14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to Bethmaachah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him.

15 And they came and besieged him in Abel of Bethmaachah, and they cast up a bank against the city, and it stood in the trench: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.

16 Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee.

17 And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear.

18 Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.

19 I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?

20 And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.

21 The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall.

22 Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.

23 Now Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites:

24 And Adoram was over the tribute: and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder:

25 And Sheva was scribe: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:

26 And Ira also the Jairite was a chief ruler about David.

21 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.

And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.)

Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord?

And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you.

And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel,

Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, whom the Lord did choose. And the king said, I will give them.

But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the Lord's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.

But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:

And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.

10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.

11 And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done.

12 And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa:

13 And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged.

14 And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land.

15 Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint.

16 And Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David.

17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel.

18 And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was of the sons of the giant.

19 And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.

20 And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant.

21 And when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimeah the brother of David slew him.

22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

Acts 1:1-26

Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven

In my former book,Lk 1:1-4 Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teachLk 3:23until the day he was taken up to heaven,ver 9, 11; S Mk 16:19 after giving instructionsMt 28:19, 20 through the Holy Spirit to the apostlesS Mk 6:30 he had chosen.Jn 13:18; 15:16, 19After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to themMt 28:17; Lk 24:34, 36; Jn 20:19, 26; 21:1, 14; 1Co 15:5-7 over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.S Mt 3:2On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but waitPs 27:14 for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.Lk 24:49; Jn 14:16; Ac 2:33For John baptized withOr in water,S Mk 1:4 but in a few days you will be baptized withOr in the Holy Spirit.”S Mk 1:8

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restoreMt 17:11; Ac 3:21 the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.Dt 29:29; Ps 102:13; Mt 24:36But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;Ac 2:1-4 and you will be my witnessesS Lk 24:48 in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,Ac 8:1-25 and to the ends of the earth.”S Mt 28:19

After he said this, he was taken upver 2; S Mk 16:19 before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in whiteS Jn 20:12 stood beside them.11 “Men of Galilee,”Ac 2:7 they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come backS Mt 16:27 in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then the apostles returned to JerusalemLk 24:52 from the hill called the Mount of Olives,S Mt 21:1 a Sabbath day’s walkThat is, about 5/8 mile or about 1 kilometer from the city.13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the roomAc 9:37; 20:8 where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.Mt 10:2-4; Mk 3:16-19; Lk 6:14-1614 They all joined together constantly in prayer,Ac 2:42; 4:24; 6:4; S Lk 18:1; S Ro 1:10 along with the womenLk 23:49, 55 and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.S Mt 12:46

15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)16 and said, “Brothers and sisters,The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 6:3; 11:29; 12:17; 16:40; 18:18, 27; 21:7, 17; 28:14, 15.Ac 6:3; 11:1, 12, 29; 14:2; 18:18, 27; 21:7; S 22:5; S Ro 7:1 the Scripture had to be fulfilledver 20; S Mt 1:22 in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas,S Mt 10:4 who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus.17 He was one of our numberJn 6:70, 71 and shared in our ministry.”ver 25

18 (With the paymentMt 26:14, 15 he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field;Mt 27:3-10 there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their languageS Jn 5:2 Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms:

“‘May his place be deserted;

let there be no one to dwell in it,’Psalm 69:25Ps 69:25

and,

“‘May another take his place of leadership.’Psalm 109:8Ps 109:8

21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us,22 beginning from John’s baptismS Mk 1:4 to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witnessver 8; S Lk 24:48 with us of his resurrection.”

23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.24 Then they prayed,Ac 6:6; 13:3; 14:23 “Lord, you know everyone’s heart.Ac 15:8; S Rev 2:23 Show us1Sa 14:41 which of these two you have chosen25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.”26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.Ac 2:14

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

In my first bookThe reference is to the Gospel of Luke. I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teachuntil the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit.During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before.John baptized withOr in; also in 1:5b. water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

The Ascension of Jesus

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him.10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them.11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

Matthias Replaces Judas

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile.Greek a Sabbath day’s journey.13 When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying.

Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James).14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.

15 During this time, when about 120 believersGreek brothers. were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them.16 “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David.17 Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.”

18 (Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines.19 The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”)

20 Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’Pss 69:25; 109:8.

21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus—22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”

23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.24 Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.”26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.

The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.

13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Psalm 121:1-8

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heavenS Ge 1:1 and earth.S Ps 104:5; Ps 115:15

He will not let your foot slip—

he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watchesPs 127:1 over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches overS Ps 1:6 you—

the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sunIsa 49:10 will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harmS Ps 9:9

he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.Dt 28:6

Psalm 121

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

I look up to the mountains—

does my help come from there?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble;

the one who watches over you will not slumber.

Indeed, he who watches over Israel

never slumbers or sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you!

The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

The sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm

and watches over your life.

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,

both now and forever.

121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Proverbs 16:18

18 PrideS 1Sa 17:42 goes before destruction,

a haughty spiritPs 18:27; Isa 13:11; Jer 48:29 before a fall.S Est 5:12; Pr 11:2; S 15:33; 18:12; 29:23

18 Pride goes before destruction,

and haughtiness before a fall.

18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Jun 2 Jun 4
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