Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

It is so important to remember that God does not need our gifts! We must come to look at every penny we possess as already belonging to God and ourselves as being mere stewards. We can never think that the Almighty has need of our possessions as though He had no other resources from which to draw. God can create what He needs! He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and our offerings neither enrich nor diminish Him.

However, there is a special way that God does need us. He has chosen to use the resources of His people to supply the needs of others. The offering Paul received for the poor saints at Jerusalem was not merely a token gesture, but necessary for their very survival.

We have the awesome privilege as God's human vessels to supply the needs of His people. Our offerings to others are not needed for God, but are needed by God. He will use our gifts to convince others of our love for them and for Him.

No matter how much or how little we have, God owns all our money. Let's use it to bring glory to His name while we have the chance!

Song of Songs 1:1-4:16

Solomon’s Song of Songs.S 1Ki 4:32; Ps 45 Title

SheThe main male and female speakers (identified primarily on the basis of the gender of the relevant Hebrew forms) are indicated by the captions He and She respectively. The words of others are marked Friends. In some instances the divisions and their captions are debatable.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—

for your lovever 4; SS 4:10; 8:6 is more delightful than wine.S Ge 14:18; S Jdg 9:13

Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;S Est 2:12; S Ps 45:8

your nameS Ecc 7:1 is like perfume poured out.

No wonder the young womenPs 45:14 love you!

Take me away with you—let us hurry!

Let the king bring me into his chambers.Ps 45:15

Friends

We rejoice and delightSS 2:3 in youThe Hebrew is masculine singular.;

we will praise your loveS ver 2 more than wine.

She

How right they are to adore you!

Dark am I, yet lovely,SS 2:14; 4:3

daughters of Jerusalem,SS 5:16

dark like the tents of Kedar,S Ge 25:13

like the tent curtains of Solomon.Or Salma

Do not stare at me because I am dark,

because I am darkened by the sun.

My mother’s sons were angry with me

and made me take care of the vineyards;SS 2:15; 7:12; 8:12

my own vineyard I had to neglect.

Tell me, you whom I love,

where you graze your flock

and where you rest your sheepIsa 13:20 at midday.

Why should I be like a veiledS Ge 24:65 woman

beside the flocks of your friends?

Friends

If you do not know, most beautiful of women,SS 5:9; 6:1

follow the tracks of the sheep

and graze your young goats

by the tents of the shepherds.

He

I liken you, my darling, to a mare

among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.2Ch 1:17

10 Your cheeksSS 5:13 are beautiful with earrings,

your neck with strings of jewels.Isa 61:10

11 We will make you earrings of gold,

studded with silver.

She

12 While the king was at his table,

my perfume spread its fragrance.SS 4:11-14

13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrhS Ge 37:25

resting between my breasts.

14 My belovedver 16; SS 2:3, 17; 5:8 is to me a cluster of hennaSS 4:13 blossoms

from the vineyards of En Gedi.S 1Sa 23:29; S 2Ch 20:2

He

15 How beautifulSS 4:7; 7:6 you are, my darling!

Oh, how beautiful!

Your eyes are doves.Ps 74:19; SS 2:14; 4:1; 5:2, 12; 6:9; Jer 48:28

She

16 How handsome you are, my beloved!S ver 14

Oh, how charming!

And our bed is verdant.

He

17 The beams of our house are cedars;1Ki 6:9

our rafters are firs.

SheOr He

I am a roseProbably a member of the crocus familyIsa 35:1 of Sharon,S 1Ch 27:29

a lilySS 5:13; Hos 14:5 of the valleys.

He

Like a lily among thorns

is my darling among the young women.

She

Like an appleOr possibly apricot; here and elsewhere in Song of Songs tree among the trees of the forest

is my belovedS SS 1:14 among the young men.

I delightSS 1:4 to sit in his shade,

and his fruit is sweet to my taste.SS 4:16

Let him lead me to the banquet hall,Est 1:11

and let his bannerS Nu 1:52 over me be love.

Strengthen me with raisins,

refresh me with apples,SS 7:8

for I am faint with love.SS 5:8

His left arm is under my head,

and his right arm embraces me.SS 8:3

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge youSS 5:8

by the gazelles and by the does of the field:

Do not arouse or awaken love

until it so desires.SS 3:5; 8:4

Listen! My beloved!

Look! Here he comes,

leaping across the mountains,

bounding over the hills.ver 17; SS 8:14

My beloved is like a gazelleS 2Sa 2:18 or a young stag.ver 17; SS 8:14

Look! There he stands behind our wall,

gazing through the windows,

peering through the lattice.

10 My beloved spoke and said to me,

“Arise, my darling,

my beautiful one, come with me.

11 See! The winter is past;

the rains are over and gone.

12 Flowers appear on the earth;

the season of singing has come,

the cooing of doves

is heard in our land.

13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;Isa 28:4; Jer 24:2; Hos 9:10; Mic 7:1; Na 3:12

the blossomingSS 7:12 vines spread their fragrance.

Arise, come, my darling;

my beautiful one, come with me.”

He

14 My doveS Ge 8:8; S SS 1:15 in the clefts of the rock,

in the hiding places on the mountainside,

show me your face,

let me hear your voice;

for your voice is sweet,

and your face is lovely.S SS 1:5

15 Catch for us the foxes,Jdg 15:4

the little foxes

that ruin the vineyards,S SS 1:6

our vineyards that are in bloom.SS 7:12

She

16 My beloved is mine and I am his;SS 7:10

he browses among the lilies.SS 4:5; 6:3

17 Until the day breaks

and the shadows flee,SS 4:6

turn, my beloved,S SS 1:14

and be like a gazelle

or like a young stagS ver 9

on the rugged hills.Or the hills of BetherS ver 8

All night long on my bed

I lookedSS 5:6 for the one my heart loves;

I looked for him but did not find him.

I will get up now and go about the city,

through its streets and squares;

I will search for the one my heart loves.

So I looked for him but did not find him.

The watchmen found me

as they made their rounds in the city.SS 5:7

“Have you seen the one my heart loves?”

Scarcely had I passed them

when I found the one my heart loves.

I held him and would not let him go

till I had brought him to my mother’s house,SS 8:2

to the room of the one who conceived me.SS 6:9; 8:5

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge youS SS 2:7

by the gazelles and by the does of the field:

Do not arouse or awaken love

until it so desires.SS 8:4

Who is this coming up from the wildernessSS 8:5

like a column of smoke,

perfumed with myrrhSS 4:6, 14 and incense

made from all the spicesEx 30:34 of the merchant?

Look! It is Solomon’s carriage,

escorted by sixty warriors,S 1Sa 8:11

the noblest of Israel,

all of them wearing the sword,

all experienced in battle,

each with his sword at his side,

prepared for the terrors of the night.S Job 15:22; Ps 91:5

King Solomon made for himself the carriage;

he made it of wood from Lebanon.

10 Its posts he made of silver,

its base of gold.

Its seat was upholstered with purple,

its interior inlaid with love.

Daughters of Jerusalem,11 come out,

and look, you daughters of Zion.Isa 3:16; 4:4; 32:9-13

LookOr interior lovingly inlaid / by the daughters of Jerusalem. / 11 Come out, you daughters of Zion, / and look on King Solomon wearing a crown,

the crown with which his mother crowned him

on the day of his wedding,

the day his heart rejoiced.Isa 54:5; 62:5; Jer 3:14

He

How beautiful you are, my darling!

Oh, how beautiful!

Your eyes behind your veilS Ge 24:65 are doves.S SS 1:15

Your hair is like a flock of goats

descending from the hills of Gilead.Ge 37:25; Nu 32:1; SS 6:5; Jer 22:6; Mic 7:14

Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn,

coming up from the washing.

Each has its twin;

not one of them is alone.SS 6:6

Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;

your mouthSS 5:16 is lovely.S SS 1:5

Your temples behind your veil

are like the halves of a pomegranate.SS 6:7

Your neck is like the towerS Ps 144:12 of David,

built with courses of stoneThe meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.;

on it hang a thousand shields,Eze 27:10

all of them shields of warriors.

Your breastsSS 7:3 are like two fawns,

like twin fawns of a gazelleS Pr 5:19

that browse among the lilies.S SS 2:16

Until the day breaks

and the shadows flee,SS 2:17

I will go to the mountain of myrrhS SS 3:6

and to the hill of incense.

You are altogether beautiful,S SS 1:15 my darling;

there is no flawSS 5:2 in you.

Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,ver 9, 12; SS 5:1

come with me from Lebanon.

Descend from the crest of Amana,

from the top of Senir,S Dt 3:9 the summit of Hermon,S 1Ch 5:23

from the lions’ dens

and the mountain haunts of leopards.

You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;S ver 8

you have stolen my heart

with one glance of your eyes,

with one jewel of your necklace.S Ge 41:42; S Ps 73:6

10 How delightfulSS 7:6 is your loveS SS 1:2, my sister, my bride!

How much more pleasing is your love than wine,S Jdg 9:13

and the fragrance of your perfumever 16; S Ps 45:8; Isa 57:9

more than any spice!

11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;

milk and honey are under your tongue.S Ps 19:10; SS 5:1

The fragrance of your garments

is like the fragrance of Lebanon.Hos 14:6

12 You are a gardenver 16; SS 5:1; 6:2; Isa 5:7 locked up, my sister, my bride;S ver 8

you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.Pr 5:15-18

13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranatesSS 7:12

with choice fruits,

with hennaSS 1:14 and nard,

14 nard and saffron,

calamus and cinnamon,S Ex 30:23

with every kind of incense tree,

with myrrhS SS 3:6 and aloesS Nu 24:6

and all the finest spices.SS 1:12

15 You areOr I am (spoken by She) a gardenIsa 27:2; 58:11; Jer 31:12 fountain,Pr 5:18

a well of flowing water

streaming down from Lebanon.

She

16 Awake, north wind,

and come, south wind!

Blow on my garden,S ver 12

that its fragranceS ver 10 may spread everywhere.

Let my belovedSS 7:13 come into his garden

and taste its choice fruits.SS 2:3

This is Solomon’s song of songs, more wonderful than any other.

Young WomanThe headings identifying the speakers are not in the original text, though the Hebrew usually gives clues by means of the gender of the person speaking.

Kiss me and kiss me again,

for your love is sweeter than wine.

How pleasing is your fragrance;

your name is like the spreading fragrance of scented oils.

No wonder all the young women love you!

Take me with you; come, let’s run!

The king has brought me into his bedroom.

Young Women of Jerusalem

How happy we are for you, O king.

We praise your love even more than wine.

Young Woman

How right they are to adore you.

I am dark but beautiful,

O women of Jerusalem—

dark as the tents of Kedar,

dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents.

Don’t stare at me because I am dark—

the sun has darkened my skin.

My brothers were angry with me;

they forced me to care for their vineyards,

so I couldn’t care for myself—my own vineyard.

Tell me, my love, where are you leading your flock today?

Where will you rest your sheep at noon?

For why should I wander like a prostituteHebrew like a veiled woman.

among your friends and their flocks?

Young Man

If you don’t know, O most beautiful woman,

follow the trail of my flock,

and graze your young goats by the shepherds’ tents.

You are as exciting, my darling,

as a mare among Pharaoh’s stallions.

10 How lovely are your cheeks;

your earrings set them afire!

How lovely is your neck,

enhanced by a string of jewels.

11 We will make for you earrings of gold

and beads of silver.

Young Woman

12 The king is lying on his couch,

enchanted by the fragrance of my perfume.

13 My lover is like a sachet of myrrh

lying between my breasts.

14 He is like a bouquet of sweet henna blossoms

from the vineyards of En-gedi.

Young Man

15 How beautiful you are, my darling,

how beautiful!

Your eyes are like doves.

Young Woman

16 You are so handsome, my love,

pleasing beyond words!

The soft grass is our bed;

17 fragrant cedar branches are the beams of our house,

and pleasant smelling firs are the rafters.

Young Woman

I am the spring crocus blooming on the Sharon Plain,Traditionally rendered I am the rose of Sharon. Sharon Plain is a region in the coastal plain of Palestine.

the lily of the valley.

Young Man

Like a lily among thistles

is my darling among young women.

Young Woman

Like the finest apple tree in the orchard

is my lover among other young men.

I sit in his delightful shade

and taste his delicious fruit.

He escorts me to the banquet hall;

it’s obvious how much he loves me.

Strengthen me with raisin cakes,

refresh me with apples,

for I am weak with love.

His left arm is under my head,

and his right arm embraces me.

Promise me, O women of Jerusalem,

by the gazelles and wild deer,

not to awaken love until the time is right.Or not to awaken love until it is ready.

Ah, I hear my lover coming!

He is leaping over the mountains,

bounding over the hills.

My lover is like a swift gazelle

or a young stag.

Look, there he is behind the wall,

looking through the window,

peering into the room.

10 My lover said to me,

“Rise up, my darling!

Come away with me, my fair one!

11 Look, the winter is past,

and the rains are over and gone.

12 The flowers are springing up,

the season of singing birdsOr the season of pruning vines. has come,

and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.

13 The fig trees are forming young fruit,

and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.

Rise up, my darling!

Come away with me, my fair one!”

Young Man

14 My dove is hiding behind the rocks,

behind an outcrop on the cliff.

Let me see your face;

let me hear your voice.

For your voice is pleasant,

and your face is lovely.

Young Women of Jerusalem

15 Catch all the foxes,

those little foxes,

before they ruin the vineyard of love,

for the grapevines are blossoming!

Young Woman

16 My lover is mine, and I am his.

He browses among the lilies.

17 Before the dawn breezes blow

and the night shadows flee,

return to me, my love, like a gazelle

or a young stag on the rugged mountains.Or on the hills of Bether.

Young Woman

One night as I lay in bed, I yearned for my lover.

I yearned for him, but he did not come.

So I said to myself, “I will get up and roam the city,

searching in all its streets and squares.

I will search for the one I love.”

So I searched everywhere but did not find him.

The watchmen stopped me as they made their rounds,

and I asked, “Have you seen the one I love?”

Then scarcely had I left them

when I found my love!

I caught and held him tightly,

then I brought him to my mother’s house,

into my mother’s bed, where I had been conceived.

Promise me, O women of Jerusalem,

by the gazelles and wild deer,

not to awaken love until the time is right.Or not to awaken love until it is ready.

Young Women of Jerusalem

Who is this sweeping in from the wilderness

like a cloud of smoke?

Who is it, fragrant with myrrh and frankincense

and every kind of spice?

Look, it is Solomon’s carriage,

surrounded by sixty heroic men,

the best of Israel’s soldiers.

They are all skilled swordsmen,

experienced warriors.

Each wears a sword on his thigh,

ready to defend the king against an attack in the night.

King Solomon’s carriage is built

of wood imported from Lebanon.

10 Its posts are silver,

its canopy gold;

its cushions are purple.

It was decorated with love

by the young women of Jerusalem.

Young Woman

11 Come out to see King Solomon,

young women of Jerusalem.Hebrew of Zion.

He wears the crown his mother gave him on his wedding day,

his most joyous day.

Young Man

You are beautiful, my darling,

beautiful beyond words.

Your eyes are like doves

behind your veil.

Your hair falls in waves,

like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.

Your teeth are as white as sheep,

recently shorn and freshly washed.

Your smile is flawless,

each tooth matched with its twin.Hebrew Not one is missing; each has a twin.

Your lips are like scarlet ribbon;

your mouth is inviting.

Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates

behind your veil.

Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of David,

jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes.

Your breasts are like two fawns,

twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies.

Before the dawn breezes blow

and the night shadows flee,

I will hurry to the mountain of myrrh

and to the hill of frankincense.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling,

beautiful in every way.

Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,

come with me from Lebanon.

Come downOr Look down. from Mount Amana,

from the peaks of Senir and Hermon,

where the lions have their dens

and leopards live among the hills.

You have captured my heart,

my treasure,Hebrew my sister; also in 4:10, 12. my bride.

You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes,

with a single jewel of your necklace.

10 Your love delights me,

my treasure, my bride.

Your love is better than wine,

your perfume more fragrant than spices.

11 Your lips are as sweet as nectar, my bride.

Honey and milk are under your tongue.

Your clothes are scented

like the cedars of Lebanon.

12 You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride,

a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.

13 Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates

with rare spices—

henna with nard,

14 nard and saffron,

fragrant calamus and cinnamon,

with all the trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes,

and every other lovely spice.

15 You are a garden fountain,

a well of fresh water

streaming down from Lebanon’s mountains.

Young Woman

16 Awake, north wind!

Rise up, south wind!

Blow on my garden

and spread its fragrance all around.

Come into your garden, my love;

taste its finest fruits.

The song of songs, which is Solomon's.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.

Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.

Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.

I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.

I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.

10 Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.

11 We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.

12 While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.

13 A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.

14 My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.

15 Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes.

16 Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.

17 The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.

His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.

I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.

10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

17 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.

I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.

The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?

It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.

I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?

Behold his bed, which is Solomon's; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel.

They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night.

King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon.

10 He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.

11 Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.

Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.

Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.

Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.

Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.

Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.

Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.

Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.

Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.

10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!

11 Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

12 A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

13 Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,

14 Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:

15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.

16 Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

2 Corinthians 8:16-24

Titus Sent to Receive the Collection

16 Thanks be to God,S 2Co 2:14 who put into the heartRev 17:17 of TitusS 2Co 2:13 the same concern I have for you.17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative.ver 618 And we are sending along with him the brother2Co 12:18 who is praised by all the churchesS 1Co 7:17 for his service to the gospel.S 2Co 2:1219 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany usAc 14:23; 1Co 16:3, 4 as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help.ver 11, 1220 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift.21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.Ro 12:17; S 14:18; S Tit 2:14

22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you.23 As for Titus,S 2Co 2:13 he is my partnerPhm 17 and co-workerS Php 2:25 among you; as for our brothers,ver 18, 22 they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ.24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you,2Co 7:4, 14; 9:2 so that the churches can see it.

Titus and His Companions

16 But thank God! He has given Titus the same enthusiasm for you that I have.17 Titus welcomed our request that he visit you again. In fact, he himself was very eager to go and see you.18 We are also sending another brother with Titus. All the churches praise him as a preacher of the Good News.19 He was appointed by the churches to accompany us as we take the offering to JerusalemSee 1 Cor 16:3-4.—a service that glorifies the Lord and shows our eagerness to help.

20 We are traveling together to guard against any criticism for the way we are handling this generous gift.21 We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable.

22 We are also sending with them another of our brothers who has proven himself many times and has shown on many occasions how eager he is. He is now even more enthusiastic because of his great confidence in you.23 If anyone asks about Titus, say that he is my partner who works with me to help you. And the brothers with him have been sent by the churches,Greek are apostles of the churches. and they bring honor to Christ.24 So show them your love, and prove to all the churches that our boasting about you is justified.

16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.

17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.

18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;

19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:

20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:

21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.

23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.

24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

Psalm 50:1-23

Psalm 50

A psalm of Asaph.

The Mighty One, God, the Lord,Jos 22:22

speaks and summons the earth

from the rising of the sun to where it sets.Ps 113:3

From Zion,Ps 2:6 perfect in beauty,S Ps 48:2; S La 2:15

God shines forth.S Dt 33:2

Our God comesPs 96:13

and will not be silent;ver 21; Isa 42:14; 64:12; 65:6

a fire devoursS Lev 10:2 before him,S Ps 18:8

and around him a tempestJob 37:9; Ps 83:15; 107:25; 147:18; Isa 29:6; 30:28; Jnh 1:4; Na 1:3 rages.

He summons the heavens above,

and the earth,Dt 4:26; 31:28; Isa 1:2 that he may judge his people:Heb 10:30

“Gather to me this consecrated people,S Dt 7:6; S Ps 18:25

who made a covenantEx 24:7; S 2Ch 6:11 with me by sacrifice.”

And the heavens proclaimS Ps 19:1 his righteousness,

for he is a God of justice.With a different word division of the Hebrew; Masoretic Text for God himself is judgeThe Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.S Ge 16:5; S Job 9:15

“Listen, my people, and I will speak;

I will testifyHeb 2:4 against you, Israel:

I am God, your God.Ex 20:2; Ps 48:14

I bring no chargesS 2Sa 22:16 against you concerning your sacrifices

or concerning your burnt offerings,S Ps 40:6 which are ever before me.

I have no need of a bullS Lev 1:5 from your stall

or of goatsS Lev 16:5 from your pens,S Nu 32:16

10 for every animal of the forestPs 104:20; Isa 56:9; Mic 5:8 is mine,

and the cattle on a thousand hills.Ps 104:24

11 I know every birdMt 6:26 in the mountains,

and the insects in the fieldsPs 8:7; 80:13 are mine.

12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,

for the worldEx 19:5 is mine, and all that is in it.Dt 10:14; S Jos 3:11; Ps 24:1; 1Co 10:26

13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls

or drink the blood of goats?

14 “Sacrifice thank offeringsS Ezr 1:4; S Ps 27:6 to God,

fulfill your vowsS Nu 30:2; S Ps 66:13; 76:11 to the Most High,Ps 7:8

15 and callPs 4:1; 81:7; Isa 55:6; 58:9; Zec 13:9 on me in the day of trouble;Ps 69:17; 86:7; 107:6; 142:2; Jas 5:13

I will deliverPs 3:7 you, and you will honorS Ps 22:23 me.”

16 But to the wicked person, God says:

“What right have you to recite my laws

or take my covenantPs 25:10 on your lips?Isa 29:13

17 You hatePr 1:22 my instruction

and cast my words behindS 1Ki 14:9 you.

18 When you see a thief, you joinRo 1:32; 1Ti 5:22 with him;

you throw in your lot with adulterers.S Job 22:15

19 You use your mouth for evil

and harness your tongue to deceit.Ps 10:7; 36:3; 52:2; 101:7

20 You sit and testify against your brotherMt 10:21

and slander your own mother’s son.

21 When you did these things and I kept silent,Isa 42:14; 57:11; 62:1; 64:12

you thought I was exactlyOr thought the ‘I am’ was like you.

But I now arraignPs 6:1; S 18:15; 76:6; 104:7; Isa 50:2 you

and set my accusationsPs 85:5; Isa 57:16 before you.

22 “Consider this, you who forget God,S Job 8:13; S Isa 17:10

or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you:S Dt 32:39; Mic 5:8

23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me,

and to the blamelessProbable reading of the original Hebrew text; the meaning of the Masoretic Text for this phrase is uncertain. I will show my salvation.S Ps 9:14; 91:16; 98:3; Isa 52:10

Psalm 50

A psalm of Asaph.

The Lord, the Mighty One, is God,

and he has spoken;

he has summoned all humanity

from where the sun rises to where it sets.

From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty,

God shines in glorious radiance.

Our God approaches,

and he is not silent.

Fire devours everything in his way,

and a great storm rages around him.

He calls on the heavens above and earth below

to witness the judgment of his people.

“Bring my faithful people to me—

those who made a covenant with me by giving sacrifices.”

Then let the heavens proclaim his justice,

for God himself will be the judge. Interlude

“O my people, listen as I speak.

Here are my charges against you, O Israel:

I am God, your God!

I have no complaint about your sacrifices

or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.

But I do not need the bulls from your barns

or the goats from your pens.

10 For all the animals of the forest are mine,

and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.

11 I know every bird on the mountains,

and all the animals of the field are mine.

12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,

for all the world is mine and everything in it.

13 Do I eat the meat of bulls?

Do I drink the blood of goats?

14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,

and keep the vows you made to the Most High.

15 Then call on me when you are in trouble,

and I will rescue you,

and you will give me glory.”

16 But God says to the wicked:

“Why bother reciting my decrees

and pretending to obey my covenant?

17 For you refuse my discipline

and treat my words like trash.

18 When you see thieves, you approve of them,

and you spend your time with adulterers.

19 Your mouth is filled with wickedness,

and your tongue is full of lies.

20 You sit around and slander your brother—

your own mother’s son.

21 While you did all this, I remained silent,

and you thought I didn’t care.

But now I will rebuke you,

listing all my charges against you.

22 Repent, all of you who forget me,

or I will tear you apart,

and no one will help you.

23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.

If you keep to my path,

I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

50 The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.

Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.

I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.

I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.

10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.

12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.

13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.

18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.

19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.

21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

Proverbs 22:22-23

Saying 2

22 Do not exploit the poorS Lev 25:17; S Job 5:16 because they are poor

and do not crush the needy in court,S Ex 23:6

23 for the Lord will take up their caseS Job 29:16; Ps 140:12

and will exact life for life.Est 8:1; S 9:1; Pr 23:10-11

22 Don’t rob the poor just because you can,

or exploit the needy in court.

23 For the Lord is their defender.

He will ruin anyone who ruins them.

22 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:

23 For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

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