Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Nehemiah found a waiting enemy in Sanballat. As soon as Sanballat heard about Nehemiah's intentions to rebuild Jerusalem, he and his cronies mocked and ridiculed Nehemiah (Nehemiah 4:1-3).

Whenever you launch out for God in obedience to His Word, the devil will be right there to tell you how foolish you are to even consider such an idea. He points to those who have tried the same thing but failed. He questions your motives, accusing you of only wanting recognition. He laughs at you in hopes that you will never start, for he knows that when you are resolved to finish, "the God of heaven will help [you] succeed" (Nehemiah 2:20).

For Nehemiah, when the battle was over and the wall rebuilt, he could say with David, "Praise the Lord, for he has shown me his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack" (Psalm 31:21).

Whatever you are doing for the Lord, "be strong and take courage, all you who put your hope in the Lord" (Psalm 31:24). Let the enemy ridicule, scorn, and mock, but God will have the last laugh!

Nehemiah 1:1-3:14

Nehemiah’s Prayer

The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:

In the month of KislevZec 7:1 in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,S Ezr 4:9; S Est 2:8Hanani,Ne 7:2 one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnantS 2Ki 21:14; Ne 7:6; Jer 52:28 that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.S Lev 26:31; 2Ki 25:10; Ne 2:3, 13, 17; Isa 22:9; Jer 39:8; 52:14; La 2:9

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.Ps 137:1 For some days I mourned and fastedS 2Ch 20:3; S Ezr 9:4; Da 9:3 and prayed before the God of heaven.Then I said:

Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God,S Dt 7:21; Ne 4:14 who keeps his covenant of loveS Dt 7:9; S 1Ki 8:23; Da 9:4 with those who love him and keep his commandments,let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hearS 1Ki 8:29; S 2Ch 7:15 the prayerS 1Ki 8:30 your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confessS 1Ki 8:47 the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.We have acted very wickedlyPs 106:6 toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

“RememberS Ge 8:1; S 2Ki 20:3; Ne 4:14; 5:19; 6:14; 13:22, 29, 31 the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatterS Lev 26:33 you among the nations,but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gatherS Dt 30:4; Ps 106:47; 107:3; Isa 11:12; 56:8; Jer 42:12; Eze 11:17 them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’S 1Ki 8:48; Jer 29:14; Eze 11:17; 20:34-38; 36:24-38; Mic 2:12

10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.S Ex 32:11; Isa 51:9-1111 Lord, let your ear be attentiveS 2Ch 6:40 to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favorS Ex 3:21 in the presence of this man.”

I was cupbearerS Ge 40:1 to the king.

Artaxerxes Sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem

In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes,S Ezr 4:7; S 6:14 when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before,so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”

I was very much afraid,but I said to the king, “May the king live forever!1Ki 1:31; Da 2:4; 3:9; 5:10; 6:6, 21 Why should my face not look sad when the cityPs 137:6 where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?S Ne 1:3

The king said to me, “What is it you want?”

Then I prayed to the God of heaven,and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”

Then the kingNe 5:14; 13:6, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.

I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates,S Ezr 8:36 so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah?And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadelNe 7:2 by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me,S Ezr 5:5 the king granted my requests.S Ezr 4:24So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalryS Ezr 8:22 with me.

10 When Sanballatver 19; Ne 4:1, 7; 6:1-2, 5, 12, 14; 13:28 the Horonite and TobiahNe 4:3; 13:4-7 the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.Est 10:3

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls

11 I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three daysS Ge 40:1312 I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.

13 By night I went out through the Valley GateS 2Ch 26:9 toward the JackalOr Serpent or Fig Well and the Dung Gate,Ne 3:13; 12:31 examining the wallsS Ne 1:3 of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire.14 Then I moved on toward the Fountain GateNe 3:15; 12:37 and the King’s Pool,S 2Ki 18:17 but there was not enough room for my mount to get through;15 so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate.16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire.S Ne 1:3 Come, let us rebuild the wallPs 102:16; Isa 30:13; 58:12 of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.Eze 5:1418 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on meS Ezr 5:5 and what the king had said to me.

They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

19 But when SanballatS ver 10 the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and GeshemNe 6:1, 2, 6 the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us.Ps 44:13-16 “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”

20 I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding,Ezr 4:1 but as for you, you have no shareEzr 4:3; Ac 8:21 in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”

Builders of the Wall

EliashibS Ezr 10:24 the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuiltIsa 58:12 the Sheep Gate.ver 32; Ne 12:39; Jn 5:2 They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel.Ne 12:39; Ps 48:12; Jer 31:38; Zec 14:10The men of JerichoNe 7:36 built the adjoining section, and Zakkur son of Imri built next to them.

The Fish GateS 2Ch 33:14 was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.MeremothS Ezr 8:33 son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs.The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa,ver 27; S 2Sa 14:2 but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.Or their Lord or the governor

The JeshanahOr Old GateNe 12:39 was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place.Next to them, repairs were made by men from GibeonS Jos 9:3 and Mizpah—Melatiah of Gibeon and Jadon of Meronoth—places under the authority of the governor of Trans-Euphrates.Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.Ne 12:38Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section.10 Adjoining this, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house, and Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs next to him.11 Malkijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-Moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens.Ne 12:3812 Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.

13 The Valley GateS 2Ch 26:9 was repaired by Hanun and the residents of Zanoah.S Jos 15:34 They rebuilt it and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place. They also repaired a thousand cubitsThat is, about 1,500 feet or about 450 meters of the wall as far as the Dung Gate.S Ne 2:13

14 The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Rekab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem.Jer 6:1 He rebuilt it and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place.

These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.

Nehemiah’s Concern for Jerusalem

In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign,Hebrew In the month of Kislev of the twentieth year. A number of dates in the book of Nehemiah can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Persian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of November and December 446 B.c. The twentieth year probably refers to the reign of King Artaxerxes I; compare 2:1; 5:14. I was at the fortress of Susa.Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.

They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.Then I said,

“O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands,listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned!We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.

“Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations.But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth,Hebrew of the heavens. I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’

10 “The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants.11 O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me.Hebrew today in the sight of this man. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”

In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.

Nehemiah Goes to Jerusalem

Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan,Hebrew In the month of Nisan. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of April and May 445 B.c. during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was serving the king his wine. I had never before appeared sad in his presence.So the king asked me, “Why are you looking so sad? You don’t look sick to me. You must be deeply troubled.”

Then I was terrified,but I replied, “Long live the king! How can I not be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?”

With a prayer to the God of heaven,I replied, “If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.”

The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, “How long will you be gone? When will you return?” After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request.

I also said to the king, “If it please the king, let me have letters addressed to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River,Hebrew the province beyond the river; also in 2:9. instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah.And please give me a letter addressed to Asaph, the manager of the king’s forest, instructing him to give me timber. I will need it to make beams for the gates of the Temple fortress, for the city walls, and for a house for myself.” And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on me.

When I came to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, I delivered the king’s letters to them. The king, I should add, had sent along army officers and horsemenOr charioteers. to protect me.10 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very displeased that someone had come to help the people of Israel.

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Wall

11 So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later,12 I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding.13 After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well,Or Serpent’s Well. and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates.14 Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but my donkey couldn’t get through the rubble.15 So, though it was still dark, I went up the Kidron ValleyHebrew the valley. instead, inspecting the wall before I turned back and entered again at the Valley Gate.

16 The city officials did not know I had been out there or what I was doing, for I had not yet said anything to anyone about my plans. I had not yet spoken to the Jewish leaders—the priests, the nobles, the officials, or anyone else in the administration.17 But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!”18 Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king.

They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.

19 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. “What are you doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” they asked.

20 I replied, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”

Rebuilding the Wall of Jerusalem

Then Eliashib the high priest and the other priests started to rebuild at the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set up its doors, building the wall as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and the Tower of Hananel.People from the town of Jericho worked next to them, and beyond them was Zaccur son of Imri.

The Fish Gate was built by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid the beams, set up its doors, and installed its bolts and bars.Meremoth son of Uriah and grandson of Hakkoz repaired the next section of wall. Beside him were Meshullam son of Berekiah and grandson of Meshezabel, and then Zadok son of Baana.Next were the people from Tekoa, though their leaders refused to work with the construction supervisors.

The Old City GateOr The Mishneh Gate, or The Jeshanah Gate. was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid the beams, set up its doors, and installed its bolts and bars.Next to them were Melatiah from Gibeon, Jadon from Meronoth, people from Gibeon, and people from Mizpah, the headquarters of the governor of the province west of the Euphrates River.Hebrew the province beyond the river.Next was Uzziel son of Harhaiah, a goldsmith by trade, who also worked on the wall. Beyond him was Hananiah, a manufacturer of perfumes. They left out a section of Jerusalem as they built the Broad Wall.Or They fortified Jerusalem up to the Broad Wall.

Rephaiah son of Hur, the leader of half the district of Jerusalem, was next to them on the wall.10 Next Jedaiah son of Harumaph repaired the wall across from his own house, and next to him was Hattush son of Hashabneiah.11 Then came Malkijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-moab, who repaired another section of the wall and the Tower of the Ovens.12 Shallum son of Hallohesh and his daughters repaired the next section. He was the leader of the other half of the district of Jerusalem.

13 The Valley Gate was repaired by the people from Zanoah, led by Hanun. They set up its doors and installed its bolts and bars. They also repaired the 1,500 feetHebrew 1,000 cubits [460 meters]. of wall to the Dung Gate.

14 The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Recab, the leader of the Beth-hakkerem district. He rebuilt it, set up its doors, and installed its bolts and bars.

The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.

And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.

And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;

And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.

10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.

12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.

13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.

14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.

15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.

16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.

17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.

18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?

20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.

And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri.

But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana.

And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord.

Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river.

Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall.

And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem.

10 And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah.

11 Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces.

12 And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.

13 The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate.

14 But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

1 Corinthians 7:1-24

Concerning Married Life

Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”ver 8, 26But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife,Ex 21: 10; 1Pe 3:7 and likewise the wife to her husband.The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time,Ex 19:15; 1Sa 21:4, 5 so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that SatanS Mt 4:10 will not tempt you1Th 3:5 because of your lack of self-control.I say this as a concession, not as a command.2Co 8:8I wish that all of you were as I am.ver 8; 1Co 9:5 But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.Mt 19:11, 12; Ro 12:6; 1Co 12:4, 11

Now to the unmarriedOr widowers and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.ver 1, 26But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry,1Ti 5:14 for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.Mal 2:14-16; S Lk 16:1811 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband.ver 39; Ro 7:2, 3 And a husband must not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord):ver 6, 10; 2Co 11:17 If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.Mal 2:15

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.S Ro 14:19; 1Co 14:3316 How do you know, wife, whether you will saveS Ro 11:14 your husband?1Pe 3:1 Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Concerning Change of Status

17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.Ro 12:3 This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.1Co 4:17; 14:33; 2Co 8:18; 11:2818 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.Ac 15:1, 219 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing.Ro 2:25-27; Gal 5:6; 6:15; Col 3:11 Keeping God’s commands is what counts.20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.ver 24

21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so.22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person;Jn 8:32, 36 similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave.S Ro 6:2223 You were bought at a price;S 1Co 6:20 do not become slaves of human beings.24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.ver 20

Instruction on Marriage

Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to abstain from sexual relations.Or to live a celibate life; Greek reads It is good for a man not to touch a woman.But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.

The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.

Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.I say this as a concession, not as a command.But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another.

So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.

10 But for those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord.See Matt 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18. A wife must not leave her husband.11 But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife.

12 Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a fellow believerGreek a brother. has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her.13 And if a believing woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him.14 For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husbandGreek the brother. brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy.15 (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the believing husband or wifeGreek the brother or sister. is no longer bound to the other, for God has called youSome manuscripts read us. to live in peace.)16 Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?

17 Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.18 For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now.19 For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments.

20 Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you.21 Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it.22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ.23 God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.Greek don’t become slaves of people.24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters,Greek brothers; also in 7:29. should remain as you were when God first called you.

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.

But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.

23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

Psalm 31:19-24

19 How abundant are the good thingsS Ps 27:13; Ro 11:22

that you have stored up for those who fear you,

that you bestow in the sight of all,Ps 23:5

on those who take refugePs 2:12 in you.

20 In the shelterPs 55:8 of your presence you hideS Ps 17:8 them

from all human intrigues;S Ge 37:18

you keep them safe in your dwelling

from accusing tongues.

21 Praise be to the Lord,Ps 28:6

for he showed me the wonders of his loveS Ps 17:7

when I was in a city under siege.1Sa 23:7

22 In my alarmPs 116:11 I said,

“I am cut offJob 6:9; 17:1; Ps 37:9; 88:5; Isa 38:12 from your sight!”

Yet you heard my cryPs 6:9; 66:19; 116:1; 145:19 for mercy

when I called to you for help.

23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people!S Ps 4:3

The Lord preserves those who are true to him,S Ps 18:25; Rev 2:10

but the proud he pays backDt 32:41; Ps 94:2 in full.

24 Be strong and take heart,Ps 27:14

all you who hope in the Lord.

19 How great is the goodness

you have stored up for those who fear you.

You lavish it on those who come to you for protection,

blessing them before the watching world.

20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence,

safe from those who conspire against them.

You shelter them in your presence,

far from accusing tongues.

21 Praise the Lord,

for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love.

He kept me safe when my city was under attack.

22 In panic I cried out,

“I am cut off from the Lord!”

But you heard my cry for mercy

and answered my call for help.

23 Love the Lord, all you godly ones!

For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him,

but he harshly punishes the arrogant.

24 So be strong and courageous,

all you who put your hope in the Lord!

19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

21 Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.

23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Proverbs 21:4

Haughty eyesS Job 41:34 and a proud heart—

the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.

Haughty eyes, a proud heart,

and evil actions are all sin.

An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

Aug 10 Aug 12
Bible Gateway