The fool has said in his heart,‘There is no God.’
Corrupt are they, and abominable in their wickedness;
there is no one that does good.
The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the children of earth,
to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks after God.
But every one has turned back;
all alike have become corrupt:
there is none that does good; no, not one.
Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
who eat up my people as if they ate bread and do not call upon the Lord?
There shall they be in great fear;
for God is in the company of the righteous.
Though they would confound the counsel of the poor,
yet the Lord shall be their refuge.
O that Israel’s salvation would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
then will Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.
Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle?
Who may rest upon your holy hill?
Whoever leads an uncorrupt life and does the thing that is right;
Who speaks the truth from the heart and bears no deceit on the tongue;
Who does no evil to a friend and pours no scorn on a neighbour;
In whose sight the wicked are not esteemed,
but who honours those who fear the Lord.
Whoever has sworn to a neighbour and never goes back on that word;
Who does not lend money in hope of gain, nor takes a bribe against the innocent;
Whoever does these things shall never fall.
Preserve me, O God, for in you have I taken refuge;
I have said to the Lord, ‘You are my lord,
all my good depends on you.’
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land,
upon those who are noble in heart.
Though the idols are legion that many run after,
their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
neither make mention of their names upon my lips.
The Lord himself is my portion and my cup;
in your hands alone is my fortune.
My share has fallen in a fair land;
indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel,
and in the night watches he instructs my heart.
I have set the Lord always before me;
he is at my right hand; I shall not fall.
Wherefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices;
my flesh also shall rest secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Death,
nor suffer your faithful one to see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life;
in your presence is the fullness of joy and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.
1 Chronicles 17
Now when David settled in his house, David said to the prophet Nathan, ‘I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.’ Nathan said to David, ‘Do all that you have in mind, for God is with you.’
But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: You shall not build me a house to live in. For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought out Israel to this very day, but I have lived in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, saying, Why have you not built me a house of cedar? Now therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies before you; and I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall wear them down no more, as they did formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will subdue all your enemies.
Moreover, I declare to you that the Lord will build you a house. When your days are fulfilled to go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne for ever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom for ever, and his throne shall be established for ever. In accordance with all these words and all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And even this was a small thing in your sight, O God; you have also spoken of your servant’s house for a great while to come. You regard me as someone of high rank, O Lord God! And what more can David say to you for honouring your servant? You know your servant. For your servant’s sake, O Lord, and according to your own heart, you have done all these great deeds, making known all these great things. There is no one like you, O Lord, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. Who is like your people Israel, one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making for yourself a name for great and terrible things, in driving out nations before your people whom you redeemed from Egypt? And you made your people Israel to be your people for ever; and you, O Lord, became their God.
‘And now, O Lord, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, let it be established for ever, and do as you have promised. Thus your name will be established and magnified for ever in the saying, “The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, is Israel’s God”; and the house of your servant David will be established in your presence. For you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him; therefore your servant has found it possible to pray before you. And now, O Lord, you are God, and you have promised this good thing to your servant; therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue for ever before you. For you, O Lord, have blessed and are blessed for ever.’
They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.’
whose only Son has opened for us
a new and living way into your presence:
give us pure hearts and steadfast wills
to worship you in spirit and in truth;
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.