Today our passages are 1 Chronicles 15:1–16:36; Romans 1:18-32; Psalm 10:1-15; and Proverbs 19:6-7. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson. If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.
1 Chronicles 15-16:36 (The Message)
1 Chronicles 15
David Worships1-2 After David built houses for himself in the City of David, he cleared a place for the Chest and pitched a tent for it. Then David gave orders: "No one carries the Chest of God except the Levites; God designated them and them only to carry the Chest of God and be available full time for service in the work of worship." 3-10 David then called everyone in Israel to assemble in Jerusalem to bring up the Chest of God to its specially prepared place. David also called in the family of Aaron and the Levites. From the family of Kohath, Uriel the head with 120 relatives; from the family of Merari, Asaiah the head with 220 relatives; from the family of Gershon, Joel the head with 130 relatives; from the family of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the head with 200 relatives; from the family of Hebron, Eliel the head with 80 relatives; from the family of Uzziel, Amminadab the head with 112 relatives.
11-13 Then David called in Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab the Levites. He said, "You are responsible for the Levitical families; now consecrate yourselves, both you and your relatives, and bring up the Chest of the God of Israel to the place I have set aside for it. The first time we did this, you Levites did not carry it properly, and God exploded in anger at us because we didn't make proper preparation and follow instructions."
14-15 So the priests and Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the Chest of the God of Israel. The Levites carried the Chest of God exactly as Moses, instructed by God, commanded—carried it with poles on their shoulders, careful not to touch it with their hands.
16 David ordered the heads of the Levites to assign their relatives to sing in the choir, accompanied by a well-equipped marching band, and fill the air with joyful sound.
17-18 The Levites assigned Heman son of Joel, and from his family, Asaph son of Berekiah, then Ethan son of Kushaiah from the family of Merari, and after them in the second rank their brothers Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, and Jeiel as security guards.
19-22 The members of the choir and marching band were: Heman, Asaph, and Ethan with bronze cymbals; Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah with lyres carrying the melody; Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah with harps filling in the harmony; Kenaniah, the Levite in charge of music, a very gifted musician, was music director.
23-24 Berekiah and Elkanah were porters for the Chest. The priests Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer blew the trumpets before the Chest of God. Obed-Edom and Jehiah were also porters for the Chest.
25-28 Now they were ready. David, the elders of Israel, and the commanders of thousands started out to get the Chest of the Covenant of God and bring it up from the house of Obed-Edom. And they went rejoicing. Because God helped the Levites, strengthening them as they carried the Chest of the Covenant of God, they paused to worship by sacrificing seven bulls and seven rams. They were all dressed in elegant linen—David, the Levites carrying the Chest, the choir and band, and Kenaniah who was directing the music. David also wore a linen prayer shawl (called an ephod). On they came, all Israel on parade bringing up the Chest of the Covenant of God, shouting and cheering, playing every kind of brass and percussion and string instrument.
29 When the Chest of the Covenant of God entered the City of David, Michal, Saul's daughter, was watching from a window. When she saw King David dancing ecstatically she was filled with contempt.
1 Chronicles 161-3 They brought the Chest of God and placed it right in the center of the tent that David had pitched for it; then they worshiped by presenting burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. When David had completed the offerings of worship, he blessed the people in the name of God. Then he passed around to every one there, men and women alike, a loaf of bread, a slice of barbecue, and a raisin cake. 4-6 Then David assigned some of the Levites to the Chest of God to lead worship—to intercede, give thanks, and praise the God of Israel. Asaph was in charge; under him were Zechariah, Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-Edom, and Jeiel, who played the musical instruments. Asaph was on percussion. The priests Benaiah and Jahaziel blew the trumpets before the Chest of the Covenant of God at set times through the day.
7 That was the day that David inaugurated regular worship of praise to God, led by Asaph and his company.
8-19 Thank God! Call out his Name!
Tell the whole world who he is and what he's done!
Sing to him! Play songs for him!
Broadcast all his wonders!
Revel in his holy Name,
God-seekers, be jubilant!
Study God and his strength,
seek his presence day and night;
Remember all the wonders he performed,
the miracles and judgments that came out of his mouth.
Seed of Israel his servant!
Children of Jacob, his first choice!
He is God, our God;
wherever you go you come on his judgments and decisions.
He keeps his commitments across thousands
of generations, the covenant he commanded,
The same one he made with Abraham,
the very one he swore to Isaac;
He posted it in big block letters to Jacob,
this eternal covenant with Israel:
"I give you the land of Canaan,
this is your inheritance;
Even though you're not much to look at,
a few straggling strangers."
20-22 They wandered from country to country,
camped out in one kingdom after another;
But he didn't let anyone push them around,
he stood up for them against bully-kings:
"Don't you dare touch my anointed ones,
don't lay a hand on my prophets."
23-27 Sing to God, everyone and everything!
Get out his salvation news every day!
Publish his glory among the godless nations,
his wonders to all races and religions.
And why? Because God is great—well worth praising!
No god or goddess comes close in honor.
All the popular gods are stuff and nonsense,
but God made the cosmos!
Splendor and majesty flow out of him,
strength and joy fill his place.
28-29 Shout Bravo! to God, families of the peoples,
in awe of the Glory, in awe of the Strength: Bravo!
Shout Bravo! to his famous Name,
lift high an offering and enter his presence!
Stand resplendent in his robes of holiness!
30-33 God is serious business, take him seriously;
he's put the earth in place and it's not moving.
So let Heaven rejoice, let Earth be jubilant,
and pass the word among the nations, "God reigns!"
Let Ocean, all teeming with life, bellow,
let Field and all its creatures shake the rafters;
Then the trees in the forest will add their applause
to all who are pleased and present before God
—he's on his way to set things right!
34-36 Give thanks to God—he is good
and his love never quits.
Say, "Save us, Savior God,
round us up and get us out of these godless places,
So we can give thanks to your holy Name,
and bask in your life of praise."
Blessed be God, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Then everybody said, "Yes! Amen!" and "Praise God!"
Romans 1:18-32 (The Message)
Ignoring God Leads to a Downward Spiral18-23But God's angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand. 24-25So God said, in effect, "If that's what you want, that's what you get." It wasn't long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!
26-27Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn't know how to be human either—women didn't know how to be women, men didn't know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.
28-32Since they didn't bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it's not as if they don't know better. They know perfectly well they're spitting in God's face. And they don't care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!
Psalm 10:1-15 (The Message)
Full of hot air, the wicked
are hot on the trail of the poor.
Trip them up, tangle them up
in their fine-tuned plots.
3-4 The wicked are windbags,
the swindlers have foul breath.
The wicked snub God,
their noses stuck high in the air.
Their graffiti are scrawled on the walls:
"Catch us if you can!" "God is dead."
5-6 They care nothing for what you think;
if you get in their way, they blow you off.
They live (they think) a charmed life:
"We can't go wrong. This is our lucky year!"
7-8 They carry a mouthful of hexes,
their tongues spit venom like adders.
They hide behind ordinary people,
then pounce on their victims.
9 They mark the luckless,
then wait like a hunter in a blind;
When the poor wretch wanders too close,
they stab him in the back.
10-11 The hapless fool is kicked to the ground,
the unlucky victim is brutally axed.
He thinks God has dumped him,
he's sure that God is indifferent to his plight.
12-13 Time to get up, God—get moving.
The luckless think they're Godforsaken.
They wonder why the wicked scorn God
and get away with it,
Why the wicked are so cocksure
they'll never come up for audit.
14 But you know all about it—
the contempt, the abuse.
I dare to believe that the luckless
will get lucky someday in you.
You won't let them down:
orphans won't be orphans forever.
15-16 Break the wicked right arms,
break all the evil left arms.
Search and destroy
every sign of crime.
God's grace and order wins;
Proverbs 19:6-7 (The Message)
6 Lots of people flock around a generous person;
everyone's a friend to the philanthropist.
7 When you're down on your luck, even your family avoids you—
yes, even your best friends wish you'd get lost.
If they see you coming, they look the other way—
out of sight, out of mind.
Verse of the Day
“Then God gave Christ the highest place and honored his name above all others. So at the name of Jesus everyone will bow down, those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. And to the glory of God the Father everyone will openly agree, "Jesus Christ is Lord!” - Philippians 2:9-11
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.