Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things. His own right hand and his holy arm have won for him the victory.
The Lord has made known his salvation; his deliverance has he openly shown in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his mercy and faithfulness towards the house of Israel, and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Sound praises to the Lord, all the earth; break into singing and make music. Make music to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the voice of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn sound praises before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea thunder and all that fills it, the world and all that dwell upon it.
Let the rivers clap their hands and let the hills ring out together before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. In righteousness shall he judge the world and the peoples with equity.
The Lord is king: let the peoples tremble; he is enthroned above the cherubim: let the earth shake.
The Lord is great in Zion and high above all peoples. Let them praise your name, which is great and awesome; the Lord our God is holy. Mighty king, who loves justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the Lord our God; bow down before his footstool, for he is holy. Moses and Aaron among his priest and Samuel among those who call upon his name, they called upon the Lord and he answered them. He spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud; they kept his testimonies and the law that he gave them. You answered them, O Lord our God; you were a God who forgave them and pardoned them for their offences.
Exalt the Lord our God and worship him upon his holy hill, for the Lord our God is holy. Lord God, mighty king, you love justice and establish equity; may we love justice more than gain and mercy more than power; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I will sing of faithfulness and justice; to you, O Lord, will I sing. Let me be wise in the way that is perfect: when will you come to me?
I will walk with purity of heart within the walls of my house.
I will not set before my eyes a counsel that is evil.
I abhor the deeds of unfaithfulness; they shall not cling to me.
A crooked heart shall depart from me; I will not know a wicked person.
One who slanders a neighbour in secret I will quickly put to silence.
Haughty eyes and an arrogant heart I will not endure.
My eyes are upon the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me.
One who walks in the way that is pure shall be my servant.
There shall not dwell in my house one that practises deceit.
One who utters falsehood shall not continue in my sight.
Morning by morning will I put to silence all the wicked in the land, to cut off from the city of the Lord all those who practice evil.
2 Kings 17.24-end
The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria in place of the people of Israel; they took possession of Samaria, and settled in its cities. When they first settled there, they did not worship the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. So the king of Assyria was told, ‘The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land; therefore he has sent lions among them; they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land.’ Then the king of Assyria commanded, ‘Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there; let him go and live there, and teach them the law of the god of the land.’ So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel; he taught them how they should worship the Lord.
But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the shrines of the high places that the people of Samaria had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived; the people of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the people of Cuth made Nergal, the people of Hamath made Ashima; the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. They also worshipped the Lord and appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. So they worshipped the Lord, but they also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away. To this day they continue to practise their former customs.
They do not worship the Lord and they do not follow the statutes or the ordinances or the law or the commandment that the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel. The Lord had made a covenant with them and commanded them, ‘You shall not worship other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, but you shall worship the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm; you shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall always be careful to observe. You shall not worship other gods; you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not worship other gods, but you shall worship the Lord your God; he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.’ They would not listen, however, but they continued to practise their former custom.
So these nations worshipped the Lord, but also served their carved images; to this day their children and their children’s children continue to do as their ancestors did.
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:
help us so to hear them, to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them that, through patience, and the comfort of your holy word, we may embrace and for ever hold fast the hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.