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June 20 - Evening

"Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever."

- Psalms 117

Israel's Call to the Nations

Psalm 117 is the shortest of the Psalms with only 16 words in the Hebrew that are organized to form one sentence in Hebrew.

All the nations of the world are called to praise the Lord and extol him because of his covenant love (hesed) and faithfulness to Israel will endure forever. This single sentence of praise captures and sums up why Israel has been chosen and why they can count on God loving them with covenant faithfulness for all time. The Gentiles are told to praise the Lord because in his faithfulness to Israel the way of salvation has been preserved and made known to the Gentiles through Israel’s history, their scripture and their Messiah.

From Genesis 12:3 through this Psalm 117 into the ministry of Jesus in Matthew 15:21-28; 16:13-20; 28:18-20 and on to Paul’s ministry which is summoned up in Romans 11:11-15 until the Old Testament prophecies quoted in Romans 15:8-12 are fulfilled. The salvation of the Gentiles is the reason for Israel and the basis for the Lord’s covenant faithfulness to his chosen people.

  • Genesis 12:3, “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
  • Matthew 28:18-19, “The Jesus came to them and said, ‘…go and make disciples of all nations…’ ”
  • Romans 11:11-15, “Again I ask: Did they (Israel) stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.  But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”
  • Isaiah 11:10 (Romans 15:12), “Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.’ ”

Psalm 117 is the sixth of the seven Hallel Psalms (Psalms 113-118) sung at the major feasts of Israel. True Israel was always focused on reaching the Gentile world with the message of their Lord. This short Psalm is as quick to sum up Israel’s purpose as was the Lord’s original purpose statement spoken to Abraham in 2000 BC, “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen. 12:3)
Episynagoge (Gr) - Meeting (Eng) – In both uses of episynagoge in the NT there is an eschatological sense in the context where it is used.
2 Thesalonians 2:1
Hebrews 10:25
Even in 2 Maccabees 2:7 the eschatological sense is in the context when it says: “The place (where the Ark of the Covenant is hidden) will be unknown until God has accomplished the episynagogen of his people.”
I am blessed because of who God is, not because of anything that I am.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Submission to God's Plan and Direction

Basalt implements in Capernaum including the cone-shaped base of an industrial grain grinder and a trough or manger.
A sign detailing the Fortifications at the Gihon Springs that is seen on location in the City of David. (Details and photos of Gihon Springs 1, 2)

Someone to Quote

"Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up."
- G. K. Chesterton

Something to Ponder

Take this 15 question Bible geography quiz and have it scored online.

Here’s a Fact

The Barrel Cylinder of Nebuchadnezzar was written to commemorate the rebuilding of a temple in Babylonia. The inscription is written in first person by Nebuchadnezzar and is kept in the Israel Museum today.


"Differing weights and differing measures - the Lord detests them both."
- Proverbs 20:10

Coach’s Corner

If you care about your dreams and believe in your goals, then you are going to have to do more than believe in them. Dreams and goals take work, practice, patience, protection, encouragement and, most importantly, they will require multiple attempts at all of the above.

Zephaniah 3
New International Version (NIV)

Woe to the city of oppressors,     rebellious and defiled!

She obeys no one,     she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord,     she does not draw near to her God.

Her officials within her     are roaring lions; her rulers are evening wolves,     who leave nothing for the morning.

Her prophets are unprincipled;     they are treacherous people. Her priests profane the sanctuary     and do violence to the law.

The Lord within her is righteous;     he does no wrong. Morning by morning he dispenses his justice,     and every new day he does not fail,     yet the unrighteous know no shame.
Jerusalem Remains Unrepentant

“I have destroyed nations;     their strongholds are demolished. I have left their streets deserted,     with no one passing through. Their cities are laid waste;     they are deserted and empty.

Of Jerusalem I thought,     ‘Surely you will fear me     and accept correction!’ Then her place of refuge would not be destroyed,     nor all my punishments come upon her. But they were still eager     to act corruptly in all they did.

Therefore wait for me,”     declares the Lord,     “for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations,     to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them—     all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed     by the fire of my jealous anger.
Restoration of Israel’s Remnant

“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples,     that all of them may call on the name of the Lord     and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
From beyond the rivers of Cush     my worshipers, my scattered people,     will bring me offerings.
On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame     for all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove from you     your arrogant boasters. Never again will you be haughty     on my holy hill.
But I will leave within you     the meek and humble. The remnant of Israel     will trust in the name of the Lord.
They will do no wrong;     they will tell no lies. A deceitful tongue     will not be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down     and no one will make them afraid.”
Sing, Daughter Zion;     shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,     Daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away your punishment,     he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;     never again will you fear any harm.
On that day     they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, Zion;     do not let your hands hang limp.
The Lord your God is with you,     the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you;     in his love he will no longer rebuke you,     but will rejoice over you with singing.”
“I will remove from you     all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals,     which is a burden and reproach for you.
At that time I will deal     with all who oppressed you. I will rescue the lame;     I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor     in every land where they have suffered shame.
At that time I will gather you;     at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise     among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes     before your very eyes,” says the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 10-12
New International Version (NIV)
As dead flies give perfume a bad smell,     so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.

The heart of the wise inclines to the right,     but the heart of the fool to the left.

Even as fools walk along the road,     they lack sense     and show everyone how stupid they are.

If a ruler’s anger rises against you,     do not leave your post;     calmness can lay great offenses to rest.

There is an evil I have seen under the sun,     the sort of error that arises from a ruler:

Fools are put in many high positions,     while the rich occupy the low ones.

I have seen slaves on horseback,     while princes go on foot like slaves.

Whoever digs a pit may fall into it;     whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.

Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them;     whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
If the ax is dull     and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed,     but skill will bring success.
If a snake bites before it is charmed,     the charmer receives no fee.
Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious,     but fools are consumed by their own lips.
At the beginning their words are folly;     at the end they are wicked madness—
    and fools multiply words.
No one knows what is coming—
    who can tell someone else what will happen after them?
The toil of fools wearies them;     they do not know the way to town.
Woe to the land whose king was a servant     and whose princes feast in the morning.
Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth     and whose princes eat at a proper time—     for strength and not for drunkenness.
Through laziness, the rafters sag;     because of idle hands, the house leaks.
A feast is made for laughter,     wine makes life merry,     and money is the answer for everything.
Do not revile the king even in your thoughts,     or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words,     and a bird on the wing may report what you say.
Invest in Many Ventures
Ship your grain across the sea;     after many days you may receive a return.

Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;     you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

If clouds are full of water,     they pour rain on the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,     in the place where it falls, there it will lie.

Whoever watches the wind will not plant;     whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the path of the wind,     or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God,     the Maker of all things.

Sow your seed in the morning,     and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed,     whether this or that,     or whether both will do equally well.
Remember Your Creator While Young

Light is sweet,     and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.

However many years anyone may live,     let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness,     for there will be many.     Everything to come is meaningless.

You who are young, be happy while you are young,     and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart     and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things     God will bring you into judgment.
So then, banish anxiety from your heart     and cast off the troubles of your body,     for youth and vigor are meaningless.
Remember your Creator     in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come     and the years approach when you will say,     “I find no pleasure in them”—

before the sun and the light     and the moon and the stars grow dark,     and the clouds return after the rain;

when the keepers of the house tremble,     and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few,     and those looking through the windows grow dim;

when the doors to the street are closed     and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds,     but all their songs grow faint;

when people are afraid of heights     and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms     and the grasshopper drags itself along     and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home     and mourners go about the streets.

Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,     and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,     and the wheel broken at the well,

and the dust returns to the ground it came from,     and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.     “Everything is meaningless!”
The Conclusion of the Matter
Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
Now all has been heard;     here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments,     for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,     including every hidden thing,     whether it is good or evil.

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