Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

How difficult it is for our flesh to sit and wait! This proverb implores us not to take matters of revenge into our own hands and say, "I'll pay you back for this!" God's pace of justice is far slower than ours. He is long-suffering and full of grace, while we, on the contrary, are quick to judge and swift to repay.

David said, "Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord" (Psalm 27:14). Had Abram waited on the Lord for his miracle son, he would not have ventured into the fleshly union with Hagar (Genesis 16). The result of his impatience remains with us today in the ongoing problems in the Middle East.

The two lessons we must learn in order to obtain a promise are faith and patience (Hebrews 6:12). A large part of faith is simply refusing to yield to the thought that God somehow will be late. Though he may have felt nervous on the outside, David stayed confident on the inside. He waited patiently for God to act and said, "Yet I am confident that I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:13).

You, too, will see the Lord's goodness if you learn to patiently wait upon Him in faith.

Ezra 1:1-2:70

Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return1:1-3pp — 2Ch 36:22-23

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah,Jer 25:11-12; 29:10-14; Zec 1:12-16 the Lord moved the heartEzr 6:22; 7:27 of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointedS Jdg 4:10; Ps 72:11; Isa 41:2, 25; 44:28; 45:13; 46:11; 49:7, 23; 60:3, 10 me to buildHag 1:2 a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.And in any locality where survivorsIsa 10:20-22 may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold,S Ex 3:22 with goods and livestock, and with freewill offeringsNu 15:3; Ps 50:14; 54:6; 116:17 for the temple of GodPs 72:8-11; Rev 21:24 in Jerusalem.’”Ezr 3:7; 4:3; 5:13; 6:3, 14

Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin,2Ch 11:1, 3, 10, 12, 23; 15:2, 8-9; 25:5; 31:1; 34:9; Ezr 4:1; 10:9; Ne 11:4; 12:34 and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had movedver 1; Ex 35:20-22; 2Ch 36:22; Hag 1:14; S Php 2:13—prepared to go up and build the housePs 127:1 of the Lord in Jerusalem.All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold,S Ex 3:22 with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.

Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god.Or godsS 2Ki 24:13; S 2Ch 36:7, 10; Ezr 5:14; 6:5; Jer 52:17-19Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to SheshbazzarS 1Ch 3:18 the prince of Judah.

This was the inventory:

gold dishes30
silver dishes1,000
silver pansThe meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.29
10 gold bowls30
matching silver bowls410
other articles1,000

11 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along with the exiles when they came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

The List of the Exiles Who Returned2:1-70pp — Ne 7:6-73

Now these are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles,S 2Ch 36:20 whom Nebuchadnezzar king of BabylonS 2Ki 24:16; 25:12 had taken captive to Babylon (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to their own town,ver 70; 1Ch 9:2; Ne 7:73; 11:3in company with Zerubbabel,S 1Ch 3:19; Mt 1:12; Lk 3:27 Joshua,Ezr 3:2; 5:2; 10:18; Ne 12:1, 8; Hag 1:1, 12; 2:4; Zec 3:1-10; 6:9-15 Nehemiah, Seraiah,1Ch 6:14; Ne 10:2; 11:11; 12:1 Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum and Baanah):

The list of the men of the people of Israel:

the descendants of ParoshEzr 8:3; 10:25; Ne 3:252,172
of Shephatiah372
of Arah775
of Pahath-Moab (through the line of Jeshua and Joab)2,812
of Elam1,254
of Zattu945
of Zakkai760
10 of Bani642
11 of Bebai623
12 of Azgad1,222
13 of AdonikamEzr 8:13666
14 of Bigvai2,056
15 of Adin454
16 of Ater (through Hezekiah)98
17 of Bezai323
18 of Jorah112
19 of Hashum223
20 of Gibbar95
21 the men of BethlehemMic 5:2123
22 of Netophah56
23 of Anathoth128
24 of Azmaveth42
25 of Kiriath Jearim,See Septuagint (see also Neh. 7:29); Hebrew Kiriath Arim. Kephirah and Beeroth743
26 of RamahS Jos 18:25 and Geba621
27 of Mikmash122
28 of Bethel and AiS Ge 12:8223
29 of Nebo52
30 of Magbish156
31 of the other Elam1,254
32 of Harim320
33 of Lod, Hadid and Ono725
34 of Jericho1Ki 16:34; 2Ch 28:15345
35 of Senaah3,630

36 The priests:

the descendants of JedaiahS 1Ch 24:7 (through the family of Jeshua)973
37 of ImmerS 1Ch 24:141,052
38 of PashhurS 1Ch 9:121,247
39 of HarimS 1Ch 24:81,017
the descendants of JeshuaEzr 3:9 and Kadmiel (of the line of Hodaviah)74

41 The musicians:S 1Ch 15:16

the descendants of Asaph128

42 The gatekeepers1Sa 3:15; S 1Ch 9:17 of the temple:

the descendants of
Shallum, Ater, Talmon,
Akkub, Hatita and Shobai139

43 The temple servants:S 1Ch 9:2; Ne 11:21

the descendants of
Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
44 Keros, Siaha, Padon,
45 Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub,
46 Hagab, Shalmai, Hanan,
47 Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah,
48 Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam,
49 Uzza, Paseah, Besai,
50 Asnah, Meunim, Nephusim,
51 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
52 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,
53 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
54 Neziah and Hatipha

55 The descendants of the servants of Solomon:

the descendants of
Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda,
56 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,
57 Shephatiah, Hattil,
Pokereth-Hazzebaim and Ami
58 The temple servantsS 1Ch 9:2 and the descendants of the servants of Solomon392

59 The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descendedS Nu 1:18 from Israel:

60 The descendants of
Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda652

61 And from among the priests:

The descendants of
Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai (a man who had married a daughter of Barzillai the GileaditeS 2Sa 17:27 and was called by that name).

62 These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthoodNu 3:10; 16:39-40 as unclean.63 The governor ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred foodLev 2:3, 10 until there was a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.S Ex 28:30

64 The whole company numbered 42,360,65 besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 200 male and female singers.S 2Sa 19:3566 They had 736 horses,Isa 66:20 245 mules,67 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.

68 When they arrived at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the familiesS Ex 25:2 gave freewill offerings toward the rebuilding of the house of God on its site.69 According to their ability they gave to the treasury for this work 61,000 daricsThat is, about 1,100 pounds or about 500 kilograms of gold, 5,000 minasThat is, about 3 tons or about 2.8 metric tons of silver and 100 priestly garments.

70 The priests, the Levites, the musicians, the gatekeepers and the temple servants settled in their own towns, along with some of the other people, and the rest of the Israelites settled in their towns.S ver 1; S 1Ch 9:2; Ne 11:3-4

Cyrus Allows the Exiles to Return

In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia,The first year of Cyrus’s reign over Babylon was 538 B.c. the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah.See Jer 25:11-12; 29:10. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom:

“This is what King Cyrus of Persia says:

“The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem. And may your God be with you!Wherever this Jewish remnant is found, let their neighbors contribute toward their expenses by giving them silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock, as well as a voluntary offering for the Temple of God in Jerusalem.”

Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the Lord.And all their neighbors assisted by giving them articles of silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock. They gave them many valuable gifts in addition to all the voluntary offerings.

King Cyrus himself brought out the articles that King Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his own gods.Cyrus directed Mithredath, the treasurer of Persia, to count these items and present them to Sheshbazzar, the leader of the exiles returning to Judah.Hebrew Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.This is a list of the items that were returned:

gold basins30
silver basins1,000
silver incense burnersThe meaning of this Hebrew word is uncertain.29
10 gold bowls30
silver bowls410
other items1,000

11 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and silver. Sheshbazzar brought all of these along when the exiles went from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Exiles Who Returned with Zerubbabel

Here is the list of the Jewish exiles of the provinces who returned from their captivity. King Nebuchadnezzar had deported them to Babylon, but now they returned to Jerusalem and the other towns in Judah where they originally lived.Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.

This is the number of the men of Israel who returned from exile:

The family of Parosh2,172
The family of Shephatiah372
The family of Arah775
The family of Pahath-moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab)2,812
The family of Elam1,254
The family of Zattu945
The family of Zaccai760
10 The family of Bani642
11 The family of Bebai623
12 The family of Azgad1,222
13 The family of Adonikam666
14 The family of Bigvai2,056
15 The family of Adin454
16 The family of Ater (descendants of Hezekiah)98
17 The family of Bezai323
18 The family of Jorah112
19 The family of Hashum223
20 The family of Gibbar95
21 The people of Bethlehem123
22 The people of Netophah56
23 The people of Anathoth128
24 The people of Beth-azmavethAs in parallel text at Neh 7:28; Hebrew reads Azmaveth.42
25 The people of Kiriath-jearim,As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek version (see also Neh 7:29); Hebrew reads Kiriath-arim. Kephirah, and Beeroth743
26 The people of Ramah and Geba621
27 The people of Micmash122
28 The people of Bethel and Ai223
29 The citizens of Nebo52
30 The citizens of Magbish156
31 The citizens of West ElamOr of the other Elam.1,254
32 The citizens of Harim320
33 The citizens of Lod, Hadid, and Ono725
34 The citizens of Jericho345
35 The citizens of Senaah3,630

36 These are the priests who returned from exile:

The family of Jedaiah (through the line of Jeshua)973
37 The family of Immer1,052
38 The family of Pashhur1,247
39 The family of Harim1,017

40 These are the Levites who returned from exile:

The families of Jeshua and Kadmiel (descendants of Hodaviah)74
41 The singers of the family of Asaph128
42 The gatekeepers of the families of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai139

43 The descendants of the following Temple servants returned from exile:

Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,

44 Keros, Siaha, Padon,

45 Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub,

46 Hagab, Shalmai,As in an alternate reading of the Masoretic Text (see also Neh 7:48); the other alternate reads Shamlai. Hanan,

47 Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah,

48 Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam,

49 Uzza, Paseah, Besai,

50 Asnah, Meunim, Nephusim,

51 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,

52 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,

53 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,

54 Neziah, and Hatipha.

55 The descendants of these servants of King Solomon returned from exile:

Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda,

56 Jaalah, Darkon, Giddel,

57 Shephatiah, Hattil, Pokereth-hazzebaim, and Ami.

58 In all, the Temple servants and the descendants of Solomon’s servants numbered 392.

59 Another group returned at this time from the towns of Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Kerub, Addan, and Immer. However, they could not prove that they or their families were descendants of Israel.60 This group included the families of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda—a total of 652 people.

61 Three families of priests—Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai—also returned. (This Barzillai had married a woman who was a descendant of Barzillai of Gilead, and he had taken her family name.)62 They searched for their names in the genealogical records, but they were not found, so they were disqualified from serving as priests.63 The governor told them not to eat the priests’ share of food from the sacrifices until a priest could consult the Lord about the matter by using the Urim and Thummim—the sacred lots.

64 So a total of 42,360 people returned to Judah,65 in addition to 7,337 servants and 200 singers, both men and women.66 They took with them 736 horses, 245 mules,67 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.

68 When they arrived at the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the family leaders made voluntary offerings toward the rebuilding of God’s Temple on its original site,69 and each leader gave as much as he could. The total of their gifts came to 61,000 gold coins,Hebrew 61,000 darics of gold, about 1,100 pounds or 500 kilograms in weight. 6,250 poundsHebrew 5,000 minas [3,000 kilograms]. of silver, and 100 robes for the priests.

70 So the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, the Temple servants, and some of the common people settled in villages near Jerusalem. The rest of the people returned to their own towns throughout Israel.

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.

And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.

And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.

Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods;

Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.

And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives,

10 Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand.

11 All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.

Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city;

Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mizpar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:

The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.

The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.

The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy and five.

The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve.

The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.

The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty and five.

The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.

10 The children of Bani, six hundred forty and two.

11 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and three.

12 The children of Azgad, a thousand two hundred twenty and two.

13 The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six.

14 The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty and six.

15 The children of Adin, four hundred fifty and four.

16 The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.

17 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and three.

18 The children of Jorah, an hundred and twelve.

19 The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty and three.

20 The children of Gibbar, ninety and five.

21 The children of Bethlehem, an hundred twenty and three.

22 The men of Netophah, fifty and six.

23 The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.

24 The children of Azmaveth, forty and two.

25 The children of Kirjatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty and three.

26 The children of Ramah and Gaba, six hundred twenty and one.

27 The men of Michmas, an hundred twenty and two.

28 The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty and three.

29 The children of Nebo, fifty and two.

30 The children of Magbish, an hundred fifty and six.

31 The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.

32 The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.

33 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and five.

34 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.

35 The children of Senaah, three thousand and six hundred and thirty.

36 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.

37 The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.

38 The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.

39 The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.

40 The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy and four.

41 The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred twenty and eight.

42 The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine.

43 The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,

44 The children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon,

45 The children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub,

46 The children of Hagab, the children of Shalmai, the children of Hanan,

47 The children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah,

48 The children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam,

49 The children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai,

50 The children of Asnah, the children of Mehunim, the children of Nephusim,

51 The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,

52 The children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,

53 The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Thamah,

54 The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.

55 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda,

56 The children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,

57 The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami.

58 All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two.

59 And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel:

60 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two.

61 And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name:

62 These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.

63 And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.

64 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,

65 Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.

66 Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;

67 Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.

68 And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place:

69 They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.

70 So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.

1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

18 For the message of the cross is foolishnessver 21, 23, 25; 1Co 2:14 to those who are perishing,2Co 2:15; 4:3; 2Th 2:10 but to us who are being savedAc 2:47 it is the power of God.ver 24; Ro 1:1619 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”Isaiah 29:14Isa 29:14

20 Where is the wise person?Isa 19:11, 12 Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age?1Co 2:6, 8; 3:18; 2Co 4:4; Gal 1:4 Has not God made foolishver 27; Job 12:17; Isa 44:25; Jer 8:9; Ro 1:22; 1Co 3:18, 19 the wisdom of the world?21 For since in the wisdom of God the worldver 27, 28; 1Co 6:2; 11:32 through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to saveS Ro 11:14 those who believe.S Ro 3:2222 Jews demand signsS Mt 12:38; S Jn 2:11; S 4:48 and Greeks look for wisdom,23 but we preach Christ crucified:1Co 2:2; Gal 3:1 a stumbling blockS Lk 2:34 to Jews and foolishnessS ver 18 to Gentiles,24 but to those whom God has called,S Ro 8:28 both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of Godver 18; Ro 1:16 and the wisdom of God.ver 30; S Col 2:325 For the foolishnessS ver 18 of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness2Co 13:4 of God is stronger than human strength.

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called.S Ro 8:28 Not many of you were wisever 20 by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.27 But God choseJas 2:5 the foolishver 20; Ro 1:22; 1Co 3:18, 19 things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are notRo 4:17—to nullify the things that are,29 so that no one may boast before him.Eph 2:930 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus,S Ro 16:3 who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness,Jer 23:5, 6; 33:16; 2Co 5:21; Php 3:9 holiness1Co 1:2 and redemption.S Ro 3:2431 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”Jer. 9:24Jer 9:23, 24; Ps 34:2; 44:8; 2Co 10:17

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdomver 4, 13; 1Co 1:17 as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.Some manuscripts proclaimed to you God’s mysteryFor I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.Gal 6:14; 1Co 1:23I came to youAc 18:1-18 in weakness1Co 4:10; 9:22; 2Co 11:29, 30; 12:5, 9, 10; 13:9 with great fear and trembling.S 2Co 7:15My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words,ver 1 but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,S Ro 15:13so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.2Co 4:7; 6:7

The Wisdom of God

18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.19 As the Scriptures say,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise

and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”Isa 29:14.

20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom.23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles,Greek and Greeks. Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthyOr high born. when God called you.27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.28 God chose things despised by the world,Or God chose those who are low born. things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”Jer 9:24.

Paul’s Message of Wisdom

When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters,Greek brothers. I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.Greek God’s mystery; other manuscripts read God’s testimony.For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling.And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Psalm 27:7-14

Hear my voicePs 5:3; 18:6; 55:17; 119:149; 130:2; Isa 28:23 when I call, Lord;

be merciful to me and answer me.S Ps 4:1

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!S 1Ch 16:11

Your face, Lord, I will seek.

Do not hide your faceS Dt 31:17; S Ps 22:24 from me,

do not turn your servant away in anger;S Ps 2:5

you have been my helper.S Ge 49:25; S Dt 33:29

Do not reject me or forsakeS Dt 4:31; Ps 37:28; 119:8; Isa 41:17; 62:12; Jer 14:9 me,

God my Savior.Ps 18:46

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,

the Lord will receive me.

11 Teach me your way,S Ex 33:13 Lord;

lead me in a straight pathS Ezr 8:21; Ps 5:8

because of my oppressors.Ps 72:4; 78:42; 106:10; Jer 21:12

12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,

for false witnessesS Dt 19:16; S Mt 26:60; Ac 6:13; 1Co 15:15 rise up against me,

spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:

I will see the goodness of the LordEx 33:19; S 2Ch 6:41; Ps 23:6; 31:19; 145:7

in the land of the living.S Job 28:13

14 WaitPs 33:20; 130:5, 6; Isa 8:17; 30:18; Hab 2:3; Zep 3:8; Ac 1:4 for the Lord;

be strongS Dt 1:21; S Jdg 5:21; S Eph 6:10 and take heart

and wait for the Lord.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord.

Be merciful and answer me!

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”

And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

Do not turn your back on me.

Do not reject your servant in anger.

You have always been my helper.

Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,

O God of my salvation!

10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,

the Lord will hold me close.

11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.

Lead me along the right path,

for my enemies are waiting for me.

12 Do not let me fall into their hands.

For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;

with every breath they threaten me with violence.

13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness

while I am here in the land of the living.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord.

Be brave and courageous.

Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Proverbs 20:22-23

22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”Pr 24:29

Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.Isa 37:20; Jer 1:19; 42:11; Ro 12:19

23 The Lord detests differing weights,

and dishonest scales do not please him.S ver 10; S Dt 25:13

22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”

Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.

23 The Lord detests double standards;

he is not pleased by dishonest scales.

22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.

23 Divers weights are an abomination unto the Lord; and a false balance is not good.

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