Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

What a sight it must have been when the song of the Lord was again sung in Jerusalem for the first time in almost a century! Seventy years of captivity in cruel Babylon gave way to a restoration of praise and worship. With praise, thanksgiving, and shouting, the people of God jubilantly rejoiced, saying, "He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!" (Ezra 3:11).

Even today God is restoring praise and worship to His Church. Ezra 3:13 tells us that "the joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud commotion that could be heard far in the distance." And so will our praise be heard by a lost world that is waiting for some sound of the joy of the Lord.

Satan hates the praises of God, for they represent a regathered people, a determined people, and an evangelistic people. Also, some people will not understand our praise because the man without the Spirit does not understand those things that come from the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Praise releases the waiting hand of God. Decide today to stay in the "praising crowd." After all, that is your destiny throughout all eternity!

Ezra 3:1-4:23

Rebuilding the Altar

When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns,Ne 7:73 the people assembledS Lev 23:24 together as one in Jerusalem.Then JoshuaS Ezr 2:2 son of JozadakHag 1:1; Zec 6:11 and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel1Ch 3:17 and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of MosesS Ex 20:24; Dt 12:5-6 the man of God.Despite their fearEzr 4:4; Da 9:25 of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices.S Ex 29:39; Nu 28:1-8Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Festival of TabernaclesS Ex 23:16; Nu 29:12-38; Ne 8:14-18; Zec 14:16-19 with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day.After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New MoonS Nu 28:3, 11, 14; Col 2:16 sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred festivals of the Lord,Lev 23:1-44; S Nu 29:39 as well as those brought as freewill offerings to the Lord.On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, though the foundation of the Lord’s temple had not yet been laid.

Rebuilding the Temple

Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters,1Ch 22:15 and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logsS 1Ch 14:1 by sea from LebanonIsa 35:2; 60:13 to Joppa, as authorized by CyrusS Ezr 1:2-4 king of Persia.

In the second month1Ki 6:1 of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, ZerubbabelZec 4:9 son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak and the rest of the people (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work. They appointed Levites twentyS Nu 4:3 years old and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord.JoshuaEzr 2:40 and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of HodaviahHebrew Yehudah, a variant of Hodaviah) and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together in supervising those working on the house of God.

10 When the builders laidEzr 5:16; 6:3; Hag 2:15 the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets,S Nu 10:2; S 2Sa 6:5; 1Ch 16:6; 2Ch 5:13; Ne 12:35 and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praiseS 1Ch 25:1 the Lord, as prescribed by DavidS 1Ch 6:31 king of Israel.Zec 6:1211 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:

“He is good;

his love toward Israel endures forever.”1Ch 16:34, 41; S 2Ch 7:3; Ps 30:5; 107:1; 118:1; 138:8

And all the people gave a great shoutS Jos 6:5, 10 of praise to the Lord, because the foundationHag 2:18; Zec 4:9; 8:9 of the house of the Lord was laid.12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple,Hag 2:3, 9 weptJer 31:9; 50:4 aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joyJob 8:21; 33:26; Ps 27:6; 42:4; Isa 16:9; Jer 48:33 from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

Opposition to the Rebuilding

When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were buildingNe 2:20 a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel,they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of EsarhaddonS 2Ki 17:24 king of Assyria, who brought us here.”S 2Ki 17:41

But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.”Ezr 1:1-4

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.Or and troubled them as they builtS Ezr 3:3They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Later Opposition Under Xerxes and Artaxerxes

At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes,Hebrew AhasuerusEst 1:1; Da 9:1 they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.Est 3:13; 9:5

And in the days of ArtaxerxesEzr 7:1; Ne 2:1 king of Persia, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his associates wrote a letter to Artaxerxes. The letter was written in Aramaic script and in the Aramaic2Ki 18:26; Isa 36:11; Da 1:4; 2:4 language.Or written in Aramaic and translatedThe text of 4:8–6:18 is in Aramaic.

Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows:

Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary, together with the rest of their associatesver 23; Ezr 5:6; 6:6, 13—the judges, officials and administrators over the people from Persia, UrukGe 10:10 and Babylon, the Elamites of Susa,Ne 1:1; Est 1:2; Da 8:210 and the other people whom the great and honorable AshurbanipalS 2Ki 17:24 deported and settled in the city of Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates.ver 17; Ne 4:2

11 (This is a copy of the letter they sent him.)

To King Artaxerxes,

From your servants in Trans-Euphrates:

12 The king should know that the people who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem and are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are restoring the walls and repairing the foundations.Ezr 5:3, 9

13 Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or dutyEzr 7:24; Ne 5:4 will be paid, and eventually the royal revenues will suffer.The meaning of the Aramaic for this clause is uncertain.14 Now since we are under obligation to the palace and it is not proper for us to see the king dishonored, we are sending this message to inform the king,15 so that a search may be made in the archivesEzr 5:17; 6:1 of your predecessors. In these records you will find that this city is a rebellious city, troublesome to kings and provinces, a place with a long history of sedition. That is why this city was destroyed.Est 3:816 We inform the king that if this city is built and its walls are restored, you will be left with nothing in Trans-Euphrates.

17 The king sent this reply:

To Rehum the commanding officer, Shimshai the secretary and the rest of their associates living in Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates:S ver 10

Greetings.

18 The letter you sent us has been read and translated in my presence.19 I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revoltS 2Ki 18:7 against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition.20 Jerusalem has had powerful kings ruling over the whole of Trans-Euphrates,Ge 15:18-21; S Ex 23:31; S Jos 1:4; S 1Ki 4:21; 1Ch 18:3; Ps 72:8-11 and taxes, tribute and duty were paid to them.21 Now issue an order to these men to stop work, so that this city will not be rebuilt until I so order.22 Be careful not to neglect this matter. Why let this threat grow, to the detriment of the royal interests?Da 6:2

23 As soon as the copy of the letter of King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum and Shimshai the secretary and their associates,S ver 9 they went immediately to the Jews in Jerusalem and compelled them by force to stop.

The Altar Is Rebuilt

In early autumn,Hebrew In the seventh month. The year is not specified, so it may have been during Cyrus’s first year (538 B.c.) or second year (537 B.c.). The seventh month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of September/October 538 B.c. and October/November 537 B.c. when the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled in Jerusalem with a unified purpose.Then Jeshua son of JehozadakHebrew Jozadak, a variant spelling of Jehozadak; also in 3:8. joined his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his family in rebuilding the altar of the God of Israel. They wanted to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, as instructed in the Law of Moses, the man of God.Even though the people were afraid of the local residents, they rebuilt the altar at its old site. Then they began to sacrifice burnt offerings on the altar to the Lord each morning and evening.

They celebrated the Festival of Shelters as prescribed in the Law, sacrificing the number of burnt offerings specified for each day of the festival.They also offered the regular burnt offerings and the offerings required for the new moon celebrations and the annual festivals as prescribed by the Lord. The people also gave voluntary offerings to the Lord.Fifteen days before the Festival of Shelters began,Hebrew On the first day of the seventh month. This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in September or October. The Festival of Shelters began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. the priests had begun to sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord. This was even before they had started to lay the foundation of the Lord’s Temple.

The People Begin to Rebuild the Temple

Then the people hired masons and carpenters and bought cedar logs from the people of Tyre and Sidon, paying them with food, wine, and olive oil. The logs were brought down from the Lebanon mountains and floated along the coast of the Mediterranean SeaHebrew the sea. to Joppa, for King Cyrus had given permission for this.

The construction of the Temple of God began in midspring,Hebrew in the second month. This month in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of April and May 536 B.c. during the second year after they arrived in Jerusalem. The work force was made up of everyone who had returned from exile, including Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jehozadak and his fellow priests, and all the Levites. The Levites who were twenty years old or older were put in charge of rebuilding the Lord’s Temple.The workers at the Temple of God were supervised by Jeshua with his sons and relatives, and Kadmiel and his sons, all descendants of Hodaviah.Hebrew sons of Judah (i.e., bene Yehudah). Bene might also be read here as the proper name Binnui; Yehudah is probably another name for Hodaviah. Compare 2:40; Neh 7:43; 1 Esdras 5:58. They were helped in this task by the Levites of the family of Henadad.

10 When the builders completed the foundation of the Lord’s Temple, the priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets. And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the Lord, just as King David had prescribed.11 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord:

“He is so good!

His faithful love for Israel endures forever!”

Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid.

12 But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy.13 The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.

Enemies Oppose the Rebuilding

The enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were rebuilding a Temple to the Lord, the God of Israel.So they approached Zerubbabel and the other leaders and said, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God just as you do. We have sacrificed to him ever since King Esarhaddon of Assyria brought us here.”

But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the other leaders of Israel replied, “You may have no part in this work. We alone will build the Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, just as King Cyrus of Persia commanded us.”

Then the local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work.They bribed agents to work against them and to frustrate their plans. This went on during the entire reign of King Cyrus of Persia and lasted until King Darius of Persia took the throne.Darius reigned 521–486 B.c.

Later Opposition under Xerxes and Artaxerxes

Years later when XerxesHebrew Ahasuerus, another name for Xerxes. He reigned 486–465 B.c. began his reign, the enemies of Judah wrote a letter of accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

Even later, during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia,Artaxerxes reigned 465–424 B.c. the enemies of Judah, led by Bishlam, Mithredath, and Tabeel, sent a letter to Artaxerxes in the Aramaic language, and it was translated for the king.

The original text of 4:8–6:18 is in Aramaic.Rehum the governor and Shimshai the court secretary wrote the letter, telling King Artaxerxes about the situation in Jerusalem.They greeted the king for all their colleagues—the judges and local leaders, the people of Tarpel, the Persians, the Babylonians, and the people of Erech and Susa (that is, Elam).10 They also sent greetings from the rest of the people whom the great and noble AshurbanipalAramaic Osnappar, another name for Ashurbanipal. had deported and relocated in Samaria and throughout the neighboring lands of the province west of the Euphrates River.Aramaic the province beyond the river; also in 4:11, 16, 17, 20.11 This is a copy of their letter:

“To King Artaxerxes, from your loyal subjects in the province west of the Euphrates River.

12 “The king should know that the Jews who came here to Jerusalem from Babylon are rebuilding this rebellious and evil city. They have already laid the foundation and will soon finish its walls.13 And the king should know that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, it will be much to your disadvantage, for the Jews will then refuse to pay their tribute, customs, and tolls to you.

14 “Since we are your loyal subjectsAramaic Since we eat the salt of the palace. and do not want to see the king dishonored in this way, we have sent the king this information.15 We suggest that a search be made in your ancestors’ records, where you will discover what a rebellious city this has been in the past. In fact, it was destroyed because of its long and troublesome history of revolt against the kings and countries who controlled it.16 We declare to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, the province west of the Euphrates River will be lost to you.”

17 Then King Artaxerxes sent this reply:

“To Rehum the governor, Shimshai the court secretary, and their colleagues living in Samaria and throughout the province west of the Euphrates River. Greetings.

18 “The letter you sent has been translated and read to me.19 I ordered a search of the records and have found that Jerusalem has indeed been a hotbed of insurrection against many kings. In fact, rebellion and revolt are normal there!20 Powerful kings have ruled over Jerusalem and the entire province west of the Euphrates River, receiving tribute, customs, and tolls.21 Therefore, issue orders to have these men stop their work. That city must not be rebuilt except at my express command.22 Be diligent, and don’t neglect this matter, for we must not permit the situation to harm the king’s interests.”

23 When this letter from King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum, Shimshai, and their colleagues, they hurried to Jerusalem. Then, with a show of strength, they forced the Jews to stop building.

And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.

Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.

And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt offerings morning and evening.

They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;

And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the Lord.

From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid.

They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.

Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the Lord.

Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.

10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.

11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.

12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the Lord God of Israel;

Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.

But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,

And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.

Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort:

Then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions; the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites,

10 And the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnapper brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that are on this side the river, and at such a time.

11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king; Thy servants the men on this side the river, and at such a time.

12 Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.

13 Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings.

14 Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king;

15 That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed.

16 We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river.

17 Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river, Peace, and at such a time.

18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me.

19 And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein.

20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them.

21 Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me.

22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?

23 Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.

1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4

God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature,Eph 4:13; Php 3:15; Col 4:12; Heb 5:14; 6:1; Jas 1:4 but not the wisdom of this agever 8; S 1Co 1:20 or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.Ps 146:4No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mysteryver 1 that has been hiddenRo 16:25 and that God destined for our glory before time began.None of the rulers of this agever 6; S 1Co 1:20 understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.Ps 24:7; Ac 7:2; Jas 2:1However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,

what no ear has heard,

and what no human mind has conceived”Isaiah 64:4

the things God has prepared for those who love him—Isa 64:4; 65:17

10 these are the things God has revealedS Mt 13:11; 2Co 12:1, 7; Gal 1:12; 2:2; Eph 3:3, 5 to us by his Spirit.Jn 14:26

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.11 For who knows a person’s thoughtsJer 17:9 except their own spiritPr 20:27 within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.12 What we have received is not the spiritRo 8:15 of the world,1Co 1:20, 27; Jas 2:5 but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdomver 1, 4; 1Co 1:17 but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.Or Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of GodJn 14:17 but considers them foolishness,S 1Co 1:18 and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.15 The person with the Spirit1Co 3:1; Gal 6:1 makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord

so as to instruct him?”Isaiah 40:13Isa 40:13; S Ro 11:34

But we have the mind of Christ.Jn 15:15

The Church and Its Leaders

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit1Co 2:15 but as people who are still worldlyRo 7:14; 1Co 2:14—mere infants1Co 14:20 in Christ.I gave you milk, not solid food,Heb 5:12-14; 1Pe 2:2 for you were not yet ready for it.Jn 16:12 Indeed, you are still not ready.You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelingRo 13:13; 1Co 1:11; Gal 5:20 among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,”1Co 1:12 are you not mere human beings?

Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten.No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of GodGreek But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery.—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began.But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord.That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,

and no mind has imagined

what God has prepared

for those who love him.”Isa 64:4.

10 ButSome manuscripts read For. it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.Or explaining spiritual truths in spiritual language, or explaining spiritual truths to spiritual people.14 But people who aren’t spiritualOr who don’t have the Spirit; or who have only physical life. can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.16 For,

“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?

Who knows enough to teach him?”Isa 40:13 (Greek version).

But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

Paul and Apollos, Servants of Christ

Dear brothers and sisters,Greek Brothers. when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people.Or to people who have the Spirit. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ.I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready,for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?

Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Psalm 28:1-9

Psalm 28

Of David.

To you, Lord, I call;

you are my Rock,

do not turn a deaf earS Dt 1:45 to me.

For if you remain silent,S Est 4:14

I will be like those who go down to the pit.S Job 33:18

Hear my cry for mercyPs 17:1; 61:1; 116:1; 130:2; 142:1; 143:1

as I call to you for help,

as I lift up my handsS Ezr 9:5; Ps 63:4; 141:2; La 2:19; 1Ti 2:8

toward your Most Holy Place.Ps 5:7; 11:4

Do not drag me away with the wicked,

with those who do evil,

who speak cordially with their neighbors

but harbor malice in their hearts.Ps 12:2; S 26:4; 55:21; Jer 9:8

Repay them for their deeds

and for their evil work;

repay them for what their hands have donePs 62:12; 2Ti 4:14; Rev 22:12

and bring back on them what they deserve.La 3:64; Rev 18:6

Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord

and what his hands have done,Isa 5:12

he will tear them down

and never build them up again.

Praise be to the Lord,S Ge 24:27; 2Co 1:3; Eph 1:3; 1Pe 1:3

for he has heard my cry for mercy.ver 2

The Lord is my strengthS Ps 18:1 and my shield;

my heart trustsPs 13:5; 112:7; Isa 26:3 in him, and he helps me.

My heart leaps for joy,S Dt 16:15; S Ps 16:9

and with my song I praise him.Ps 33:3; 40:3; 69:30; 144:9; 149:1

The Lord is the strengthPs 18:1 of his people,

a fortress of salvationS Ex 15:2; Ps 27:1; Hab 3:13 for his anointed one.S Ps 20:6

Save your people1Ch 16:35; Ps 106:47; 118:25 and bless your inheritance;S Ex 34:9

be their shepherd1Ch 11:2; S Ps 23:1; 78:52, 71; 80:1; Isa 40:11; Jer 31:10; Eze 34:12-16, 23, 31; Mic 7:14 and carry themS Dt 1:31; 32:11; Isa 46:3; 63:9 forever.

Psalm 28

A psalm of David.

I pray to you, O Lord, my rock.

Do not turn a deaf ear to me.

For if you are silent,

I might as well give up and die.

Listen to my prayer for mercy

as I cry out to you for help,

as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary.

Do not drag me away with the wicked—

with those who do evil—

those who speak friendly words to their neighbors

while planning evil in their hearts.

Give them the punishment they so richly deserve!

Measure it out in proportion to their wickedness.

Pay them back for all their evil deeds!

Give them a taste of what they have done to others.

They care nothing for what the Lord has done

or for what his hands have made.

So he will tear them down,

and they will never be rebuilt!

Praise the Lord!

For he has heard my cry for mercy.

The Lord is my strength and shield.

I trust him with all my heart.

He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.

I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

The Lord gives his people strength.

He is a safe fortress for his anointed king.

Save your people!

Bless Israel, your special possession.Hebrew Bless your inheritance.

Lead them like a shepherd,

and carry them in your arms forever.

28 Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.

Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.

Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.

Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

Proverbs 20:24-25

24 A person’s steps are directedS Ps 90:12 by the Lord.S Job 33:29

How then can anyone understand their own way?S Pr 19:21; Jer 10:23

25 It is a trap to dedicate something rashly

and only later to consider one’s vows.S Pr 10:19; 18:13; Ecc 5:2, 4-5; Jer 44:25

24 The Lord directs our steps,

so why try to understand everything along the way?

25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God

and only later counting the cost.

24 Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?

25 It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.

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