Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to observe your righteous ordinances.
I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word.
Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your ordinances.
I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
Your decrees are my heritage for ever;
they are the joy of my heart.
I incline my heart to perform your statutes for ever, to the end.
I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.
You are my hiding-place and my shield;
I hope in your word.
Go away from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.
Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
and let me not be put to shame in my hope.
Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually.
You spurn all who go astray from your statutes;
for their cunning is in vain.
All the wicked of the earth you count as dross;
therefore I love your decrees.
My flesh trembles for fear of you,
and I am afraid of your judgements.
I have done what is just and right;
do not leave me to my oppressors.
Guarantee your servant’s well-being;
do not let the godless oppress me.
My eyes fail from watching for your salvation,
and for the fulfilment of your righteous promise.
Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,
and teach me your statutes.
I am your servant; give me understanding,
so that I may know your decrees.
It is time for the Lord to act,
for your law has been broken.
Truly I love your commandments
more than gold, more than fine gold.
Truly I direct my steps by all your precepts;
I hate every false way.
2 Chronicles 18.28-19.end
So the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.’ So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle. Now the king of Aram had commanded the captains of his chariots, ‘Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel.’ When the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, ‘It is the king of Israel.’ So they turned to fight against him; and Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him. God drew them away from him, for when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. But a certain man drew his bow and unknowingly struck the king of Israel between the scale armour and the breastplate; so he said to the driver of his chariot, ‘Turn around, and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.’ The battle grew hot that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans until evening; then at sunset he died.
King Jehoshaphat of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. Jehu son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, ‘Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord. Nevertheless, some good is found in you, for you destroyed the sacred poles out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.’
Jehoshaphat resided at Jerusalem; then he went out again among the people, from Beer-sheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, ‘Consider what you are doing, for you judge not on behalf of human beings but on the Lord’s behalf; he is with you in giving judgement. Now, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take care what you do, for there is no perversion of justice with the Lord our God, or partiality, or taking of bribes.’
Moreover, in Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed certain Levites and priests and heads of families of Israel, to give judgement for the Lord and to decide disputed cases. They had their seat at Jerusalem. He charged them: ‘This is how you shall act: in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart; whenever a case comes to you from your kindred who live in their cities, concerning bloodshed, law or commandment, statutes or ordinances, then you shall instruct them, so that they may not incur guilt before the Lord and wrath may not come on you and your kindred. Do so, and you will not incur guilt. See, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebadiah son of Ishmael, the governor of the house of Judah, in all the king’s matters; and the Levites will serve you as officers. Deal courageously, and may the Lord be with the good!’
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling for Elijah.’ And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’ Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’
There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
Almighty and everlasting God,
increase in us your gift of faith
that, forsaking what lies behind
and reaching out to that which is before,
we may run the way of your commandments
and win the crown of everlasting joy;
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.