Friday, 24 May 2013

Daily Office - May 24

John and Charles Wesley, Evangelists, Hymn Writers, 1791 and 1788

Psalm 142

A Maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A Prayer.

With my voice I cry to the Lord; with my voice I make supplication to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.
When my spirit is faint, you know my way.
In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
Look on my right hand and see - there is no one who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me; no one cares for me.

I cry to you, O Lord;
I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’
Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low.
Save me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.
Bring me out of prison, so that I may give thanks to your name.
The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

Psalm 144
 Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;
my rock and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues the peoples under me.

O Lord, what are human beings that you regard them,
or mortals that you think of them?
They are like a breath; their days are like a passing shadow.
Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down;
touch the mountains so that they smoke.
Make the lightning flash and scatter them;
send out your arrows and rout them.
Stretch out your hand from on high;
set me free and rescue me from the mighty waters,
from the hand of aliens, whose mouths speak lies, and whose right hands are false.

I will sing a new song to you, O God; upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
the one who gives victory to kings, who rescues his servant David.
Rescue me from the cruel sword,
and deliver me from the hand of aliens,
whose mouths speak lies, and whose right hands are false.

May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars, cut for the building of a palace.

May our barns be filled with produce of every kind;
may our sheep increase by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields, 
and may our cattle be heavy with young.
May there be no breach in the walls, no exile, and no cry of distress in our streets.

Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
happy are the people whose God is the Lord.

Job 5
‘Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?
To which of the holy ones will you turn?
Surely vexation kills the fool, and jealousy slays the simple.
I have seen fools taking root, but suddenly I cursed their dwelling.
Their children are far from safety, they are crushed in the gate,
and there is no one to deliver them.

The hungry eat their harvest, and they take it even out of the thorns;
and the thirsty pant after their wealth.
For misery does not come from the earth, nor does trouble sprout from the ground;
but human beings are born to trouble just as sparks fly upward.

‘As for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause.
He does great things and unsearchable, marvellous things without number.
He gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields;
he sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.
He takes the wise in their own craftiness; and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.
They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope at noonday as in the night.

But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth, from the hand of the mighty.
So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.

‘How happy is the one whom God reproves;
 therefore do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he binds up; he strikes, but his hands heal.
He will deliver you from six troubles; in seven no harm shall touch you.
In famine he will redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword.

You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue,
and shall not fear destruction when it comes.
At destruction and famine you shall laugh,
and shall not fear the wild animals of the earth.
For you shall be in league with the stones of the field,
and the wild animals shall be at peace with you.
You shall know that your tent is safe,
you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.
You shall know that your descendants will be many,
and your offspring like the grass of the earth.
You shall come to your grave in ripe old age,
as a shock of grain comes up to the threshing-floor in its season.
See, we have searched this out; it is true.
Hear, and know it for yourself.’

Romans 3.1-20
Then what advantage has the Jew?
Or what is the value of circumcision? 
Much, in every way. For in the first place the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.
What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?
By no means! Although everyone is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written,
‘So that you may be justified in your words, and prevail in your judging.’
But if our injustice serves to confirm the justice of God, what should we say?
That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.)
By no means! For then how could God judge the world?
But if through my falsehood God’s truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?
And why not say (as some people slander us by saying that we say), ‘Let us do evil so that good may come’? Their condemnation is deserved!

What then? Are we any better off?
No, not at all; for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, 10 as it is written:
‘There is no one who is righteous, not even one;
 there is no one who has understanding,
 there is no one who seeks God.
 All have turned aside, together they have become worthless;
 there is no one who shows kindness, there is not even one.’
‘Their throats are opened graves; they use their tongues to deceive.’
‘The venom of vipers is under their lips.’
‘Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.’
‘Their feet are swift to shed blood;
 ruin and misery are in their paths, and the way of peace they have not known.’
 ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.’

Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For ‘no human being will be justified in his sight’ by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

God of mercy,
who inspired John and Charles Wesley with zeal for your gospel:
grant to all people boldness to proclaim your word
and a heart ever to rejoice in singing your praises;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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