Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The deer is an interesting animal with incredible characteristics regarding balance. When suddenly knocked from a high, rocky crag, the deer always lands on its feet and scampers right back up to the place from which it fell.

David said in verse 16 of Psalm 18, "He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters." Time and time again, David's kingdom was attacked by Saul, Goliath, and countless armies of enemies. Each time, however, he managed to land securely and to climb right back up to prominence. Why? Because instead of leading David on a treacherous, narrow path, God widened the path beneath his feet "to keep them from slipping" (v. 36).

Being spiritual does not make you immune from attack, but the Lord will prepare you for any battle (Psalm 18:34). When the enemy comes against you, you can "crush an army" and "scale any wall" (v. 29). Don't lie down and wallow in self-pity when attacked, but stand up like the deer and scamper back up to the top!

Genesis 42:18-43:34

18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God:S Ge 20:11; S 22:12; Lev 19:14; 25:43; 2Sa 23:319 If you are honest men,S ver 11 let one of your brothers stay here in prison,ver 16 while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households.S ver 220 But you must bring your youngest brother to me,S ver 15 so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.

21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother.Ge 37:26-28 We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distressGe 45:5 has come on us.”

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy?Ge 37:21-22 But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accountingS Ge 9:5 for his blood.”Ge 45:2423 They did not realizeGe 38:16 that Joseph could understand them,S Ge 11:7 since he was using an interpreter.

24 He turned away from them and began to weep,S Ge 29:11 but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.S ver 13; Ge 43:14, 23

25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain,Ge 43:2 to put each man’s silver back in his sack,ver 27, 35; Ge 43:12, 18, 21; 44:1, 8 and to give them provisionsJer 40:5 for their journey.Ge 45:21, 23 After this was done for them,26 they loaded their grain on their donkeysS Ge 32:15; 44:13; 45:17; 1Sa 25:18; Isa 30:6 and left.

27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey,Jdg 19:19; Job 39:9; Isa 1:3 and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack.S ver 2528 “My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”

Their hearts sankJos 2:11; 5:1; 7:5 and they turned to each other tremblingMk 5:33 and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”Ge 43:23

29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan,S ver 5 they told him all that had happened to them.Ge 44:24 They said,30 “The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to usver 7 and treated us as though we were spying on the land.S ver 931 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies.ver 1132 We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.’S ver 13

33 “Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go.S ver 234 But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men.S ver 11 Then I will give your brother back to you,S ver 24 and you can tradeOr move about freely in the land.Ge 34:10’”

35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his pouch of silver!S ver 25 When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened.Ge 43:1836 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more,S ver 13 and now you want to take Benjamin.S ver 24 Everything is against me!Job 3:25; Pr 10:24; Ro 8:31

37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care,S Ge 39:4 and I will bring him back.”Ge 43:9; 44:32

38 But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is deadGe 37:33 and he is the only one left. If harm comes to himver 4 on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the graveS Ge 37:35 in sorrow.Ge 44:29, 34; 48:7

The Second Journey to Egypt

43 Now the famine was still severe in the land.S Ge 12:10So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt,Ge 42:25 their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”S Ge 42:2

But Judahver 8; Ge 44:14, 18; 46:28 said to him, “The man warned us solemnly, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’S Ge 42:15If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you.S Ge 42:2But if you will not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.S Ge 42:15; 44:26; 2Sa 3:13’”

Israelver 8, 11; S Ge 17:5 asked, “Why did you bring this troubleS Ge 34:30 on me by telling the man you had another brother?”

They replied, “The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. ‘Is your father still living?’ver 27; Ge 45:3 he asked us. ‘Do you have another brother?’S Ge 42:13; 44:19 We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”S Ge 42:15

Then JudahS ver 3; S Ge 29:35 said to IsraelS ver 6 his father, “Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die.S Ge 42:2; Ps 33:18-19I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him.1Sa 23:20 If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blameGe 44:10, 17 before you all my life.S Ge 42:37; Phm 1:18-1910 As it is, if we had not delayed,Ge 45:9 we could have gone and returned twice.”

11 Then their father IsraelS ver 6 said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best productsS Ge 24:10 of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a giftS Ge 32:13—a little balmS Ge 37:25; Eze 27:17 and a little honey, some spicesEx 30:23; 1Ki 10:2; Eze 27:22 and myrrh,S Ge 37:25 some pistachio nuts and almonds.12 Take double the amountver 15; Ex 22:4, 7; Pr 6:31 of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks.S Ge 42:25 Perhaps it was a mistake.13 Take your brother also and go back to the man at once.ver 314 And may God AlmightyHebrew El-ShaddaiS Ge 17:1 grant you mercyDt 13:17; Ps 25:6 before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you.S Ge 42:24 As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”2Sa 18:33; Est 4:16

15 So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver,ver 12 and Benjamin also. They hurriedGe 45:9, 13 down to Egypt and presented themselvesGe 47:2, 7; Mt 2:11 to Joseph.16 When Joseph saw BenjaminS Ge 35:18 with them, he said to the steward of his house,ver 17, 24, 26; Ge 44:1, 4, 12; 2Sa 19:17; Isa 22:15 “Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare a meal;ver 31; Lk 15:23 they are to eat with me at noon.”

17 The man did as Joseph told him and took the men to Joseph’s house.S ver 1618 Now the men were frightenedGe 42:35 when they were taken to his house.Ge 44:14 They thought, “We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacksS Ge 42:25 the first time. He wants to attack usS Ge 32:11 and overpower us and seize us as slavesGe 44:9, 16, 33; 50:18 and take our donkeys.Ge 34:28

19 So they went up to Joseph’s stewardver 16 and spoke to him at the entrance to the house.20 “We beg your pardon, our lord,” they said, “we came down here the first time to buy food.S Ge 42:321 But at the place where we stopped for the night we opened our sacks and each of us found his silver—the exact weight—in the mouth of his sack. So we have brought it back with us.S ver 15; S Ge 42:2522 We have also brought additional silver with us to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in our sacks.”

23 “It’s all right,” he said. “Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father,S Ge 24:12; S 31:5; Ex 3:6 has given you treasure in your sacks;Ge 42:28 I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.S Ge 42:24

24 The steward took the men into Joseph’s house,S ver 16 gave them water to wash their feetS Ge 18:4 and provided fodder for their donkeys.25 They prepared their giftsS Ge 32:13 for Joseph’s arrival at noon,ver 16 because they had heard that they were to eat there.

26 When Joseph came home,S ver 16 they presented to him the giftsS Ge 32:13; Mt 2:11 they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground.S Ge 33:327 He asked them how they were, and then he said, “How is your aged fatherS Ge 37:3 you told me about? Is he still living?”S ver 7

28 They replied, “Your servant our fatherGe 44:24, 27, 30 is still alive and well.” And they bowed down,Ge 18:2; Ex 18:7 prostrating themselves before him.S Ge 37:7

29 As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son,S Ge 35:18 he asked, “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?”S Ge 42:13 And he said, “God be gracious to you,Nu 6:25; Ps 67:1; 119:58; Isa 30:18-19; 33:2 my son.”30 Deeply movedJn 11:33, 38 at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and weptS Ge 29:11 there.

31 After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself,Ge 45:1; Isa 30:18; 42:14; 63:15; 64:12 said, “Serve the food.”S ver 16

32 They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews,S Ge 14:13; Gal 2:12 for that is detestable to Egyptians.Ge 46:34; Ex 8:2633 The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstbornS Ge 35:23 to the youngest;S Ge 42:13; 44:12 and they looked at each other in astonishment.34 When portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as anyone else’s.S Ge 37:3; S 2Ki 25:30 So they feastedLk 15:23 and drank freely with him.

18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “I am a God-fearing man. If you do as I say, you will live.19 If you really are honest men, choose one of your brothers to remain in prison. The rest of you may go home with grain for your starving families.20 But you must bring your youngest brother back to me. This will prove that you are telling the truth, and you will not die.” To this they agreed.

21 Speaking among themselves, they said, “Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this trouble.”

22 “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy?” Reuben asked. “But you wouldn’t listen. And now we have to answer for his blood!”

23 Of course, they didn’t know that Joseph understood them, for he had been speaking to them through an interpreter.24 Now he turned away from them and began to weep. When he regained his composure, he spoke to them again. Then he chose Simeon from among them and had him tied up right before their eyes.

25 Joseph then ordered his servants to fill the men’s sacks with grain, but he also gave secret instructions to return each brother’s payment at the top of his sack. He also gave them supplies for their journey home.26 So the brothers loaded their donkeys with the grain and headed for home.

27 But when they stopped for the night and one of them opened his sack to get grain for his donkey, he found his money in the top of his sack.28 “Look!” he exclaimed to his brothers. “My money has been returned; it’s here in my sack!” Then their hearts sank. Trembling, they said to each other, “What has God done to us?”

29 When the brothers came to their father, Jacob, in the land of Canaan, they told him everything that had happened to them.30 “The man who is governor of the land spoke very harshly to us,” they told him. “He accused us of being spies scouting the land.31 But we said, ‘We are honest men, not spies.32 We are twelve brothers, sons of one father. One brother is no longer with us, and the youngest is at home with our father in the land of Canaan.’

33 “Then the man who is governor of the land told us, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take grain for your starving families and go on home.34 But you must bring your youngest brother back to me. Then I will know you are honest men and not spies. Then I will give you back your brother, and you may trade freely in the land.’”

35 As they emptied out their sacks, there in each man’s sack was the bag of money he had paid for the grain! The brothers and their father were terrified when they saw the bags of money.36 Jacob exclaimed, “You are robbing me of my children! Joseph is gone! Simeon is gone! And now you want to take Benjamin, too. Everything is going against me!”

37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may kill my two sons if I don’t bring Benjamin back to you. I’ll be responsible for him, and I promise to bring him back.”

38 But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left. If anything should happen to him on your journey, you would send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.Hebrew to Sheol.

The Brothers Return to Egypt

43 But the famine continued to ravage the land of Canaan.When the grain they had brought from Egypt was almost gone, Jacob said to his sons, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”

But Judah said, “The man was serious when he warned us, ‘You won’t see my face again unless your brother is with you.’If you send Benjamin with us, we will go down and buy more food.But if you don’t let Benjamin go, we won’t go either. Remember, the man said, ‘You won’t see my face again unless your brother is with you.’”

“Why were you so cruel to me?” JacobHebrew Israel; also in 43:11. See note on 35:21. moaned. “Why did you tell him you had another brother?”

“The man kept asking us questions about our family,” they replied. “He asked, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ So we answered his questions. How could we know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”

Judah said to his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will be on our way. Otherwise we will all die of starvation—and not only we, but you and our little ones.I personally guarantee his safety. You may hold me responsible if I don’t bring him back to you. Then let me bear the blame forever.10 If we hadn’t wasted all this time, we could have gone and returned twice by now.”

11 So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, “If it can’t be avoided, then at least do this. Pack your bags with the best products of this land. Take them down to the man as gifts—balm, honey, gum, aromatic resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds.12 Also take double the money that was put back in your sacks, as it was probably someone’s mistake.13 Then take your brother, and go back to the man.14 May God AlmightyHebrew El-Shaddai. give you mercy as you go before the man, so that he will release Simeon and let Benjamin return. But if I must lose my children, so be it.”

15 So the men packed Jacob’s gifts and double the money and headed off with Benjamin. They finally arrived in Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph.16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of his household, “These men will eat with me this noon. Take them inside the palace. Then go slaughter an animal, and prepare a big feast.”17 So the man did as Joseph told him and took them into Joseph’s palace.

18 The brothers were terrified when they saw that they were being taken into Joseph’s house. “It’s because of the money someone put in our sacks last time we were here,” they said. “He plans to pretend that we stole it. Then he will seize us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.”

A Feast at Joseph’s Palace

19 The brothers approached the manager of Joseph’s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the palace.20 “Sir,” they said, “we came to Egypt once before to buy food.21 But as we were returning home, we stopped for the night and opened our sacks. Then we discovered that each man’s money—the exact amount paid—was in the top of his sack! Here it is; we have brought it back with us.22 We also have additional money to buy more food. We have no idea who put our money in our sacks.”

23 “Relax. Don’t be afraid,” the household manager told them. “Your God, the God of your father, must have put this treasure into your sacks. I know I received your payment.” Then he released Simeon and brought him out to them.

24 The manager then led the men into Joseph’s palace. He gave them water to wash their feet and provided food for their donkeys.25 They were told they would be eating there, so they prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon.

26 When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought him, then bowed low to the ground before him.27 After greeting them, he asked, “How is your father, the old man you spoke about? Is he still alive?”

28 “Yes,” they replied. “Our father, your servant, is alive and well.” And they bowed low again.

29 Then Joseph looked at his brother Benjamin, the son of his own mother. “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” Joseph asked. “May God be gracious to you, my son.”30 Then Joseph hurried from the room because he was overcome with emotion for his brother. He went into his private room, where he broke down and wept.31 After washing his face, he came back out, keeping himself under control. Then he ordered, “Bring out the food!”

32 The waiters served Joseph at his own table, and his brothers were served at a separate table. The Egyptians who ate with Joseph sat at their own table, because Egyptians despise Hebrews and refuse to eat with them.33 Joseph told each of his brothers where to sit, and to their amazement, he seated them according to age, from oldest to youngest.34 And Joseph filled their plates with food from his own table, giving Benjamin five times as much as he gave the others. So they feasted and drank freely with him.

18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:

19 If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses:

20 But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.

21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.

22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.

23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.

24 And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.

25 Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them.

26 And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence.

27 And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sack's mouth.

28 And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?

29 And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying,

30 The man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country.

31 And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies:

32 We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.

33 And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone:

34 And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffick in the land.

35 And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack: and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid.

36 And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.

37 And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again.

38 And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.

43 And the famine was sore in the land.

And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.

And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.

If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:

But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.

And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?

And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?

And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones.

I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:

10 For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.

11 And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:

12 And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight:

13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man:

14 And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

15 And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.

16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon.

17 And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house.

18 And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.

19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,

20 And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:

21 And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.

22 And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.

23 And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.

24 And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.

25 And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.

26 And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.

27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?

28 And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.

29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.

30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.

31 And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.

32 And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.

33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.

34 And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of their's. And they drank, and were merry with him.

Matthew 13:47-14:12

The Parable of the Net

47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is likeS ver 24 a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kindsMt 22:10 of fish.48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteousMt 25:3250 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.S Mt 8:12

51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

A Prophet Without Honor13:54-58pp — Mk 6:1-6

53 When Jesus had finished these parables,S Mt 7:28 he moved on from there.54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue,S Mt 4:23 and they were amazed.S Mt 7:28 “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked.55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?Lk 3:23; Jn 6:42 Isn’t his mother’sS Mt 12:46 name Mary, and aren’t his brothersS Mt 12:46 James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”57 And they took offenseJn 6:61 at him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”Lk 4:24; Jn 4:44

58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

John the Baptist Beheaded14:1-12pp — Mk 6:14-29

14 At that time HerodMk 8:15; Lk 3:1, 19; 13:31; 23:7, 8; Ac 4:27; 12:1 the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus,Lk 9:7-9and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist;S Mt 3:1 he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prisonMt 4:12; 11:2 because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,Lk 3:19, 20for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.”Lev 18:16; 20:21Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.S Mt 11:9

On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so muchthat he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted10 and had John beheadedMt 17:12 in the prison.11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother.12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it.Ac 8:2 Then they went and told Jesus.

Parable of the Fishing Net

47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind.48 When the net was full, they dragged it up onto the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates, but threw the bad ones away.49 That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous,50 throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.51 Do you understand all these things?”

“Yes,” they said, “we do.”

52 Then he added, “Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.”

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

53 When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country.54 He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?”55 Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph,Other manuscripts read Joses; still others read John. Simon, and Judas.56 All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?”57 And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.

Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.”58 And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.

The Death of John the Baptist

14 When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee,Greek Herod the tetrarch. Herod Antipas was a son of King Herod and was ruler over Galilee. heard about Jesus,he said to his advisers, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead! That is why he can do such miracles.”

For Herod had arrested and imprisoned John as a favor to his wife Herodias (the former wife of Herod’s brother Philip).John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry her.”Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of a riot, because all the people believed John was a prophet.

But at a birthday party for Herod, Herodias’s daughter performed a dance that greatly pleased him,so he promised with a vow to give her anything she wanted.At her mother’s urging, the girl said, “I want the head of John the Baptist on a tray!”Then the king regretted what he had said; but because of the vow he had made in front of his guests, he issued the necessary orders.10 So John was beheaded in the prison,11 and his head was brought on a tray and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.12 Later, John’s disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what had happened.

47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:

48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,

50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.

52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

53 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.

54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,

And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.

For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife.

For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.

And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.

Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.

And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger.

And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.

10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.

11 And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.

12 And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.

Psalm 18:16-36

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;

he drew me out of deep waters.Ex 15:5; Ps 69:2; Pr 18:4; 20:5

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,ver 48; Ps 38:19; 59:1; 143:9

from my foes, who were too strong for me.S Jdg 18:26

18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,Pr 1:27; 16:4; Jer 17:17; 40:2; Ob 1:13

but the Lord was my support.Ps 20:2; Isa 3:1

19 He brought me out into a spacious place;Ps 31:8

he rescued me because he delighted in me.S Nu 14:8

20 The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;S 1Sa 26:23

according to the cleanness of my handsJob 22:30; Ps 24:4 he has rewarded me.S Ru 2:12; S 2Ch 15:7; 1Co 3:8

21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;2Ch 34:33; Ps 37:34; 119:2; Pr 8:32; 23:26

I am not guilty of turningPs 119:102 from my God.

22 All his laws are before me;Ps 119:30

I have not turned away from his decrees.

23 I have been blamelessS Ge 6:9 before him

and have kept myself from sin.

24 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,S 1Sa 26:23

according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 To the faithfulPs 31:23; 37:28; 50:5; Pr 2:8 you show yourself faithful,Ps 25:10; 40:11; 89:24; 146:6

to the blameless you show yourself blameless,

26 to the purePr 15:26; Mt 5:8; Php 1:10; 1Ti 5:22; Tit 1:15; 1Jn 3:3 you show yourself pure,

but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.Pr 3:34; Mt 10:16; Lk 16:8

27 You save the humbleS 2Ch 33:23; S Mt 23:12

but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.S Job 41:34; S Ps 10:5; Pr 3:33-34

28 You, Lord, keep my lamp1Ki 11:36; Ps 132:17 burning;

my God turns my darkness into light.Job 29:3; Ps 97:11; 112:4; Jn 1:5; S Ac 26:18; 2Co 4:6; 2Pe 1:19

29 With your helpver 32, 39; Isa 45:5; Heb 11:34 I can advance against a troopOr can run through a barricade;

with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect:S Dt 32:4

The Lord’s word is flawless;S Ps 12:6; Pr 30:5

he shieldsPs 3:3 all who take refugePs 2:12 in him.

31 For who is God besides the Lord?S Dt 4:35; 32:39; Ps 35:10; 86:8; 89:6; Isa 44:6, 8; 45:5, 6, 14, 18, 21; 46:9

And who is the RockS Ge 49:24 except our God?

32 It is God who arms me with strengthS ver 29; 1Pe 5:10

and keeps my way secure.S Ps 15:2; 19:13; Heb 10:14; Jas 3:2

33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;Ps 42:1; Pr 5:19; Isa 35:6; Hab 3:19

he causes me to stand on the heights.S Dt 32:13

34 He trains my hands for battle;Ps 144:1

my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35 You make your saving help my shield,

and your right hand sustainsPs 3:5; 37:5, 17; 41:3; 51:12; 54:4; 55:22; 119:116; Isa 41:4, 10, 13; 43:2; 46:4 me;

your help has made me great.

36 You provide a broad pathPs 31:8 for my feet,

so that my ankles do not give way.S Job 18:7; Ps 66:9

16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me;

he drew me out of deep waters.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,

from those who hated me and were too strong for me.

18 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,

but the Lord supported me.

19 He led me to a place of safety;

he rescued me because he delights in me.

20 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;

he restored me because of my innocence.

21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;

I have not turned from my God to follow evil.

22 I have followed all his regulations;

I have never abandoned his decrees.

23 I am blameless before God;

I have kept myself from sin.

24 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.

He has seen my innocence.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful;

to those with integrity you show integrity.

26 To the pure you show yourself pure,

but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.

27 You rescue the humble,

but you humiliate the proud.

28 You light a lamp for me.

The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.

29 In your strength I can crush an army;

with my God I can scale any wall.

30 God’s way is perfect.

All the Lord’s promises prove true.

He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

31 For who is God except the Lord?

Who but our God is a solid rock?

32 God arms me with strength,

and he makes my way perfect.

33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,

enabling me to stand on mountain heights.

34 He trains my hands for battle;

he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.

35 You have given me your shield of victory.

Your right hand supports me;

your helpHebrew your humility; compare 2 Sam 22:36. has made me great.

36 You have made a wide path for my feet

to keep them from slipping.

16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay.

19 He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

20 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

22 For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.

23 I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.

24 Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

25 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.

28 For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.

29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

31 For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?

32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

33 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

Proverbs 4:7-10

The beginning of wisdom is this: GetOr Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.

Though it cost allMt 13:44-46 you have,Or wisdom. / Whatever else you get get understanding.Pr 23:23

Cherish her, and she will exalt you;

embrace her, and she will honor you.S Pr 3:18

She will give you a garland to grace your head

and present you with a glorious crown.S Pr 1:8-9

10 Listen, my son,Ps 34:11-16; Pr 1:8-9 accept what I say,

and the years of your life will be many.S Dt 11:21

Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!

And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.

If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.

Embrace her, and she will honor you.

She will place a lovely wreath on your head;

she will present you with a beautiful crown.”

10 My child,Hebrew My son; also in 4:20. listen to me and do as I say,

and you will have a long, good life.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.

Jan 20 Jan 22
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