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May 23 - Morning

"Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
'Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.'
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
'I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.' "
- Psalms 2:1-6 (Read all of Psalm 2:1-12)

The Prophetic Coronation Psalm

Psalm 2 is a coronation psalm used and recited at the royal coronation of the Davidic kings of Judah. The coronation of a new king in the line of David would have taken place in the courtyard of the Temple (2 Chron. 23:8-13). The coronation would have included the crowning of the king, the presentation of a copy of the Mosaic Covenant to the new king (Deut. 17:18-20) and the public proclamation of his kingship followed by the king being anointed with oil (2 Kings 11:12). At this time four different people to represent the four separate parts of this Psalm would recite Psalm 2.

1. 2:1-3 – The arrogant nations and their rulers in rebellion against God.
2. 2:4-6 – God mocks these rebels and rebukes them from his throne in heaven.
3. 2:7-9 – The newly anointed king speaks to recognize his position was established by God and his rule comes with purpose, promises and responsibilities.
4. 2:10-12 – David advises the Gentile kings by personally warning the nations and tells them to consider carefully the severity of this reality.

The term “anointed” refers to a human man being anointed by God to fulfill God’s rule on earth. This “anointed” is foundational for the concept of the Messiah and Jesus’ ministry. The use of the word “today” indicates that this Psalm or proclamation was announced on the day of the man’s coronation as king. The phrase “I have begotten you” speaks of a legal adoption, but it also carries with it a new beginning, even a new birth, as a man is placed in position by Deity to serve as the Deity’s representative on earth.

Do notice that the Anointed One’s (the new king) responsibility was to ask God to grant him his rightful concessions. The position of king came with certain responsibilities along with established provisions and a determined jurisdiction. In this Psalm we see the anointed king being told to ask that these to be given to him in his reign. This reign is characterized as being as strong as iron over the rebellious nations who are portrayed as being as fragile as a clay pot when they face the Lord’s anointed king.

It is clear from the Old Testament that no king of Judah fully manifested this kind of authority, yet each king was anointed with this as the goal. It was even a promise from God himself. The coming of Jesus and his ministry picked up on this idea. But, in the end the arrogant nations and rebellious people crucified the Anointed One.

Yet, this Psalm 2 is one of the most frequently quoted Psalms by the early church in the New Testament because they understood there was yet a future day when this anointed man, Jesus, would return and fulfill his role as the anointed king and dash the rebellious nations to pieces like pottery and rule the earth for the Kingdom of God. The writer of this Psalm warns the Gentile nations and people to honor this king before his wrath flares up. This day of wrath is still in the future, but we know it is coming.

(Zion was originally a reference to the Jerusalem David took from the Jebusites located on the southeastern hill of today’s Jerusalem (called the City of David.) Eventually, Zion referred to all of Jerusalem. The Crusaders mis-identified the hill on the southwest side of Jerusalem as Mount Zion so the name stands there today.)
Kabod (Hb) - Glory (Eng) - means "glory" and "honor." A man can have great influence (kabod) in his community as in Proverbs 11:16 or a man can lose his kabod as in Proverbs 26:1, 8 because of his behavior. God also has kabod and men need to recognize the Lord's kabod.
Do I seek my own glory while mocking the Lord’s glory? I will recognize the Lord’s glory and submit any glory, honor, ability or success of mine to the worthy glory of the Lord.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text




Peace with opponents

A mud brick structure, likely a residence, sets outside along the retaining walls of Jericho. The retaining walls served as foundational support for the city and the walls of Jericho that collapsed in Joshua's day. Rahab may have lived in a home like this on the wall.
An on-site diagram shows the details of the wall and towers that defended the Gihon Springs. The remains of the base of these towers can be seen behind and around the diagram.

Someone to Quote

“The spiritualization of sensuality is called love:
it is a great triumph over Christianity.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche

Something to Ponder

Contrary to weak, wimpy and passive image many Christian teachings and media presentations give Jesus, the scriptural account presents a man who could draw an audience and maintain their attention for long periods of time while speaking. Command the loyalty of men in the face of great danger. And, among many other dramatic character traits, Jesus publicly demonstrated extreme passion when he overthrew the tables in the temple courts two times (first, John 2:11-12, after his first miracle; second, after his triumphal entry in Matthew 21:17-23.) Jesus publicly wept several times and was often moved by his compassion (John 11:35; Matthew 9:36-38; 21:12; Mark 1:41).

Here’s a Fact

Beginning in 1996 Aren Maeir began excavation of Tell es-Safi and uncovered Goliath?s hometown, the Philistine city of Gath. A trench system was discovered that had been dug around the city between 1000-550 BC. This trench was an attempt to prevent the Philistine citizens from fleeing the Aramean siege of Gath by King Hazael recorded in 2 Kings 12:17.


"Punish them with the rod
    and save them from death"

- Proverbs 23:14

Coach’s Corner

The road to greatness is not straight or level. In fact, it is rarely even paved and never comes with road signs.

Genesis 2
New International Version (NIV)
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Adam and Eve
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones     and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’     for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
1 Samuel 1
New International Version (NIV)
The Birth of Samuel
There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite[a] from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”
Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
18 She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,[b] saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
Hannah Dedicates Samuel
21 When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow, 22 Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.”[c]
23 “Do what seems best to you,” her husband Elkanah told her. “Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his[d] word.” So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.
24 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull,[e] an ephah[f] of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. 25 When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, 26 and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
  1. 1 Samuel 1:1 See Septuagint and 1 Chron. 6:26-27,33-35; or from Ramathaim Zuphim.
  2. 1 Samuel 1:20 Samuel sounds like the Hebrew for heard by God.
  3. 1 Samuel 1:22 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls always. I have dedicated him as a Nazirite—all the days of his life.”
  4. 1 Samuel 1:23 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint and Syriac your
  5. 1 Samuel 1:24 Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint and Syriac; Masoretic Text with three bulls
  6. 1 Samuel 1:24 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms
Amos 5
New International Version (NIV)
A Lament and Call to Repentance
Hear this word, Israel, this lament I take up concerning you:

“Fallen is Virgin Israel,     never to rise again, deserted in her own land,     with no one to lift her up.”
This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel:
“Your city that marches out a thousand strong     will have only a hundred left; your town that marches out a hundred strong     will have only ten left.”
This is what the Lord says to Israel:
“Seek me and live;

    do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal,     do not journey to Beersheba. For Gilgal will surely go into exile,     and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.[a]

Seek the Lord and live,     or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire; it will devour them,     and Bethel will have no one to quench it.

There are those who turn justice into bitterness     and cast righteousness to the ground.

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,     who turns midnight into dawn     and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea     and pours them out over the face of the land—     the Lord is his name.

With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold     and brings the fortified city to ruin.
There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court     and detest the one who tells the truth.
You levy a straw tax on the poor     and impose a tax on their grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,     you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards,     you will not drink their wine.
For I know how many are your offenses     and how great your sins.
There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes
    and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.
Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times,     for the times are evil.
Seek good, not evil,     that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,     just as you say he is.
Hate evil, love good;     maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy     on the remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says:
“There will be wailing in all the streets     and cries of anguish in every public square. The farmers will be summoned to weep     and the mourners to wail.
There will be wailing in all the vineyards,     for I will pass through your midst,” says the Lord.
The Day of the Lord
Woe to you who long     for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord?     That day will be darkness, not light.
It will be as though a man fled from a lion     only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house     and rested his hand on the wall     only to have a snake bite him.
Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light—     pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
“I hate, I despise your religious festivals;     your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,     I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,     I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!     I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,     righteousness like a never-failing stream!
“Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings     forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
You have lifted up the shrine of your king,     the pedestal of your idols,     the star of your god[b]    which you made for yourselves.
Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,”     says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.
  1. Amos 5:5 Hebrew aven, a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see Hosea 4:15.
  2. Amos 5:26 Or lifted up Sakkuth your king / and Kaiwan your idols, / your star-gods; Septuagint lifted up the shrine of Molek / and the star of your god Rephan, / their idols
2 Samuel 24
New International Version (NIV)
David Enrolls the Fighting Men
24 Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”
So the king said to Joab and the army commanders[a] with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”
But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”
The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.
After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer, south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer. They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon. Then they went toward the fortress of Tyre and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba in the Negev of Judah.
After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.
Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand.
10 David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”
11 Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: 12 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’”
13 So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three[b] years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”
14 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”
15 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd,[c] have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”
David Builds an Altar
18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.
21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”
“To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”
22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunah[d] gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.”
24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels
[e] of silver for them. 25 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.
  1. 2 Samuel 24:2 Septuagint (see also verse 4 and 1 Chron. 21:2); Hebrew Joab the army commander
  2. 2 Samuel 24:13 Septuagint (see also 1 Chron. 21:12); Hebrew seven
  3. 2 Samuel 24:17 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; Masoretic Text does not have the shepherd.
  4. 2 Samuel 24:23 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts King Araunah
  5. 2 Samuel 24:24 That is, about 1 1/4 pounds or about 575 grams
Psalm 30
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 30[a]
A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple.[b] Of David.

I will exalt you, Lord,     for you lifted me out of the depths     and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

Lord my God, I called to you for help,     and you healed me.

You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;     you spared me from going down to the pit.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;     praise his holy name.

For his anger lasts only a moment,     but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night,     but rejoicing comes in the morning.

When I felt secure, I said,     “I will never be shaken.”

Lord, when you favored me,     you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm; but when you hid your face,     I was dismayed.

To you, Lord, I called;     to the Lord I cried for mercy:

“What is gained if I am silenced,     if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you?     Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;     Lord, be my help.”
You turned my wailing into dancing;     you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.     Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
  1. Psalm 30:1 In Hebrew texts 30:1-12 is numbered 30:2-13.
  2. Psalm 30:1 Title: Or palace
  3. Psalm 30:7 That is, Mount Zion

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