Read the Bible | August 7th
Restore Us, O God
To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Testimony. Of Asaph, a Psalm.
 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh,
stir up your might
and come to save us!
 Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved!
 O LORD God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
 You have fed them with the bread of tears
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
 You make us an object of contention for our neighbors,
and our enemies laugh among themselves.
 Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved!
 You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
 You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
 The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches.
 It sent out its branches to the sea
and its shoots to the River.
 Why then have you broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
 The boar from the forest ravages it,
and all that move in the field feed on it.
 Turn again, O God of hosts!
Look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
 the stock that your right hand planted,
and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.
 They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
 But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
 Then we shall not turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call upon your name!
 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts!
Let your face shine, that we may be saved! (ESV)
Oh, That My People Would Listen to Me
To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.
 Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
 Raise a song; sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.
 Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our feast day.
 For it is a statute for Israel,
a rule of the God of Jacob.
 He made it a decree in Joseph
when he went out over the land of Egypt.
I hear a language I had not known:
 “I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.
 In distress you called, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
 Hear, O my people, while I admonish you!
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
 There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
 I am the LORD your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
 “But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel would not submit to me.
 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.
 Oh, that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
 I would soon subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes.
 Those who hate the LORD would cringe toward him,
and their fate would last forever.
 But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” (ESV)
Rescue the Weak and Needy
A Psalm of Asaph.
 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
 I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
 nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
 Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations! (ESV)
O God, Do Not Keep Silence
A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.
 O God, do not keep silence;
do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
 For behold, your enemies make an uproar;
those who hate you have raised their heads.
 They lay crafty plans against your people;
they consult together against your treasured ones.
 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”
 For they conspire with one accord;
against you they make a covenant—
 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites,
 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
 Asshur also has joined them;
they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah
 Do to them as you did to Midian,
as to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
 who were destroyed at En-dor,
who became dung for the ground.
 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
 who said, “Let us take possession for ourselves
of the pastures of God.”
 O my God, make them like whirling dust,
like chaff before the wind.
 As fire consumes the forest,
as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
 so may you pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your hurricane!
 Fill their faces with shame,
that they may seek your name, O LORD.
 Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
let them perish in disgrace,
 that they may know that you alone,
whose name is the LORD,
are the Most High over all the earth. (ESV)
My Soul Longs for the Courts of the LORD
To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.
 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
 My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah
 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
 As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
 They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.
 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!
 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
 O LORD of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you! (ESV)
God’s Sovereign Choice
 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.  For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.  They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.  To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,  and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”  This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.  For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”  And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,  though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”  As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!  For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”  So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?”  But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”  Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?  What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,  in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?  As indeed he says in Hosea,
“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”
 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved,  for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.”  And as Isaiah predicted,
“If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
we would have been like Sodom
and become like Gomorrah.”
 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith;  but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.  Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone,  as it is written,
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (ESV)
 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.  For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.  For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (ESV)