Read the Bible | August 25th
The LORD Surrounds His People
A Song of Ascents.
 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore.
 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
on the land allotted to the righteous,
lest the righteous stretch out
their hands to do wrong.
 Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,
and to those who are upright in their hearts!
 But those who turn aside to their crooked ways
the LORD will lead away with evildoers!
Peace be upon Israel! (ESV)
Restore Our Fortunes, O LORD
A Song of Ascents.
 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
 The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad.
 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negeb!
 Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
 He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him. (ESV)
Unless the LORD Builds the House
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.
 Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (ESV)
1 Corinthians 8
Food Offered to Idols
 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.  If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.  But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.
 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.”  For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.  Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.  But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.  For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols?  And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.  Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.  Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. (ESV)