1 Thessalonians 1

1 Thessalonians 1 (Listen)

Greeting

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace.

The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

(ESV)

Ezekiel 23

Ezekiel 23 (Listen)

Oholah and Oholibah

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother. They played the whore in Egypt; they played the whore in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms handled. Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

“Oholah played the whore while she was mine, and she lusted after her lovers the Assyrians, warriors clothed in purple, governors and commanders, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. She bestowed her whoring upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them, and she defiled herself with all the idols of everyone after whom she lusted. She did not give up her whoring that she had begun in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her and handled her virgin bosom and poured out their whoring lust upon her. Therefore I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, into the hands of the Assyrians, after whom she lusted. 10 These uncovered her nakedness; they seized her sons and her daughters; and as for her, they killed her with the sword; and she became a byword among women, when judgment had been executed on her.

11 “Her sister Oholibah saw this, and she became more corrupt than her sister in her lust and in her whoring, which was worse than that of her sister. 12 She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. 13 And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way. 14 But she carried her whoring further. She saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion, 15 wearing belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them having the appearance of officers, a likeness of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea. 16 When she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust. And after she was defiled by them, she turned from them in disgust. 18 When she carried on her whoring so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned in disgust from her sister. 19 Yet she increased her whoring, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt 20 and lusted after her lovers there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses. 21 Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed your young breasts.”

22 Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I will stir up against you your lovers from whom you turned in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side: 23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, governors and commanders all of them, officers and men of renown, all of them riding on horses. 24 And they shall come against you from the north with chariots and wagons and a host of peoples. They shall set themselves against you on every side with buckler, shield, and helmet; and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments. 25 And I will direct my jealousy against you, that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire. 26 They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your beautiful jewels. 27 Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and your whoring begun in the land of Egypt, so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt anymore.

28 “For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust, 29 and they shall deal with you in hatred and take away all the fruit of your labor and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your whoring shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your whoring 30 have brought this upon you, because you played the whore with the nations and defiled yourself with their idols. 31 You have gone the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand. 32 Thus says the Lord GOD:

  “You shall drink your sister’s cup
    that is deep and large;
  you shall be laughed at and held in derision,
    for it contains much;
33   you will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow.
  A cup of horror and desolation,
    the cup of your sister Samaria;
34   you shall drink it and drain it out,
    and gnaw its shards,
    and tear your breasts;

for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. 35 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, you yourself must bear the consequences of your lewdness and whoring.”

36 The LORD said to me: “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Declare to them their abominations. 37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. With their idols they have committed adultery, and they have even offered up to them for food the children whom they had borne to me. 38 Moreover, this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary on the same day and profaned my Sabbaths. 39 For when they had slaughtered their children in sacrifice to their idols, on the same day they came into my sanctuary to profane it. And behold, this is what they did in my house. 40 They even sent for men to come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and behold, they came. For them you bathed yourself, painted your eyes, and adorned yourself with ornaments. 41 You sat on a stately couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed my incense and my oil. 42 The sound of a carefree multitude was with her; and with men of the common sort, drunkards were brought from the wilderness; and they put bracelets on the hands of the women, and beautiful crowns on their heads.

43 “Then I said of her who was worn out by adultery, ‘Now they will continue to use her for a whore, even her!’ 44 For they have gone in to her, as men go in to a prostitute. Thus they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, lewd women! 45 But righteous men shall pass judgment on them with the sentence of adulteresses, and with the sentence of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.”

46 For thus says the Lord GOD: “Bring up a vast host against them, and make them an object of terror and a plunder. 47 And the host shall stone them and cut them down with their swords. They shall kill their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses. 48 Thus will I put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not commit lewdness as you have done. 49 And they shall return your lewdness upon you, and you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry, and you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.”

(ESV)

Proverbs 28

Proverbs 28 (Listen)

  The wicked flee when no one pursues,
    but the righteous are bold as a lion.
  When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
    but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
    its stability will long continue.
  A poor man who oppresses the poor
    is a beating rain that leaves no food.
  Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
    but those who keep the law strive against them.
  Evil men do not understand justice,
    but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.
  Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
    than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
  The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
    but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
  Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit
    gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
  If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
    even his prayer is an abomination.
10   Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
    will fall into his own pit,
    but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
11   A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
    but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
12   When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
    but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
13   Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
    but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
14   Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always,
    but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15   Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
    is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16   A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
    but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17   If one is burdened with the blood of another,
    he will be a fugitive until death;
    let no one help him.
18   Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
    but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
19   Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
    but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20   A faithful man will abound with blessings,
    but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
21   To show partiality is not good,
    but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
22   A stingy man hastens after wealth
    and does not know that poverty will come upon him.
23   Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
    than he who flatters with his tongue.
24   Whoever robs his father or his mother
    and says, “That is no transgression,”
    is a companion to a man who destroys.
25   A greedy man stirs up strife,
    but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.
26   Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
    but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
27   Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
    but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
28   When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
    but when they perish, the righteous increase.

(ESV)

Psalm 121

Psalm 121 (Listen)

My Help Comes from the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

  I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
  My help comes from the LORD,
    who made heaven and earth.
  He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
  Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
  The LORD is your keeper;
    the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
  The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
  The LORD will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
  The LORD will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

(ESV)

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Project 3:45 is provided courtesy of The Ark Church.