2 Samuel 22:1–51, Jude 1:1–16, Psalm 147:1–20

Today's Reading

July 30: Destructive People

Today's Devotional Reading


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2 Samuel 22:1–51

LEB

The Victory Song of David

22 Then David spoke to Yahweh the words of this song, on the day Yahweh delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.

And he said:

“Yahweh is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer.

I take refuge in God, my rock, my shield, and the strength of my salvation.

My stronghold and my refuge, O my savior, you will save me from violence!

I call upon Yahweh who is praiseworthy,

and I am saved from those who hate me.

For the breaker waves of death engulfed me;

the currents of chaos overwhelmed me.

The ropes of Sheol entangled me;

the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon Yahweh, and to my God I called.

He heard my voice from his temple,

and my cry for help was to his ears.

The earth heaved and shook,

the foundations of heaven trembled and heaved

because he was angry .

Smoke went up from his nostrils and fire from his mouth.

Burning coals devoured, they burned from him.

10 He bowed the heavens and came down;

a very thick cloud was under his feet.

11 He rode upon a cherub and flew;

he was seen on the wings of the wind.

12 He put darkness as a canopy all around him,

a collection of thick rain clouds .

13 From the brightness before him

flamed burning coals of fire.

14 Yahweh thundered from heaven,

and the Most High uttered his voice .

15 He sent arrows and he scattered them,

lightning, and he directed them.

16 Then the channels of water of the sea were exposed,

the foundations of the world,

at the rebuke of Yawheh,

from the blast of the breath of his nostrils.

17 He sent from a high position and took me;

he drew me from mighty waters.

18 He delivered me from my strong enemies,

from those who hate me, for they were mightier than I.

19 They approached me on the day of my disaster,

but Yahweh was my support.

20 He brought me out to a spacious place.

He delivered me because he delighted in me.

21 Yahweh rewarded me according to my righteousness,

according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.

22 For I have kept the ways of Yahweh;

I have not acted wickedly against my God.

23 For all of his ordinances were before me,

and I did not turn aside from his statutes.

24 I was blameless before him,

and I kept myself from my iniquity.

25 Yahweh has recompensed me according to my righteousness,

according to my cleanness before his eyes.

26 With the loyal, you act as loyal,

and with the blameless, you show yourself blameless.

27 With the pure, you show yourself pure,

but with the crooked, you appear as a fool.

28 Humble people you will deliver,

but your eyes are on the haughty, whom you bring down.

29 For you, O Yahweh are my lamp,

and Yahweh lightens my darkness.

30 For by you I can run a raid;

by my God I can leap over a wall.

31 This God, his way is blameless;

the promise of Yahweh is flawless.

He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.

32 For who is God apart from Yahweh?

And who is a rock apart from our God?

33 God is my strong refuge,

he has fully opened my way.

34 He makes my feet like a doe deer,

and on my high places he has set me.

35 He trains my hands for the war,

so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

36 You have given me the shield of your salvation;

your willingness to help has made me great.

37 You have broadened my steps beneath me;

my ankles have not wobbled.

38 I pursued those who hate me, and I destroyed them.

I did not turn back until finishing them.

39 I wiped them out and I smashed them;

they did not get up; they fell under my feet.

40 You have girded me with physical strength for the battle;

you caused those who rose up against me to kneel under me.

41  My enemies you cause to retreat from me ;

I destroy those who hate me.

42 They looked out, but there was no deliverer,

even to Yahweh, but he did not answer them.

43 I beat them fine, like the dust of the earth;

like the mire of the streets, I crushed them, I stamped them down.

44 You delivered me from the strife of my people;

you preserved me as the head of the nations.

A people I had not known served me.

45 Children of a foreign land came cringing to me;

when they heard of me , they became obedient to me.

46 Children of a foreign land lost heart

and came trembling from their strongholds.

47 Yahweh lives! Blessed be my rock!

May God, the rock of my salvation, be exalted!

48 God does vengeance for me,

bringing down peoples under me.

49 He brings me out from my enemies,

and from those who rose up against me you lift me up,

and from men of violence you rescue me.

50 Therefore I will extol you, Yahweh, among the nations!

I will sing praises to your name!

51 He makes great salvation for his king

and shows loyal love to his anointed one, David

and to his descendants forever.”


Jude 1:1–16

LEB

Greeting

Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ. May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.

Contend for the Faith

Dear friends, although I was making every effort to write to you concerning our common salvation, I considered it a necessity to write to you to encourage you to contend for the faith delivered once and for all to the saints. For certain men have slipped in stealthily, who were designated long ago for this condemnation, ungodly ones, who change the grace of our God into licentiousness and who deny our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.

Condemnation of the Ungodly False Teachers

Now I want to remind you, although you know everything once and for all, that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, the second time destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep to their own domain but deserted their proper dwelling place, he has kept in eternal bonds under deep gloom for the judgment of the great day, as Sodom and Gomorrah and the towns around them indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in the same way as these, are exhibited as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

Despite that, in the same way also these men, because of their dreams, defile the flesh and reject authority and blaspheme majestic beings. But Michael the archangel, when he argued with the devil, disputing concerning the body of Moses, did not dare to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these persons blaspheme all that they do not understand, and all that they understand by instinct like the irrational animals, by these things they are being destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have traveled in the way of Cain, and have given themselves up to the error of Balaam for gain, and have perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12 These are the ones feasting together without reverence, hidden reefs at your love feasts, caring for themselves, waterless clouds carried away by winds, late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted, 13 wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shameful deeds, wandering stars, for whom the deep gloom of darkness has been reserved for eternity.

14 And Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied about these people, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with tens of thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all their ungodly deeds that they have committed in an ungodly way, and concerning all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These people are grumblers, discontented, proceeding according to their desires, and their mouths speaking pompous words, showing partiality to gain an advantage .


Psalm 147:1–20

LEB

Praise to Yahweh for His Providence

147 Praise Yah.

For it is good to sing praises to our God;

for it is pleasant; praise is fitting.

Yahweh is building Jerusalem;

he gathers the scattered ones of Israel.

He is the one who heals the brokenhearted,

and binds up their wounds.

He counts the number of the stars;

he gives names to all of them.

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;

his understanding is unlimited.

Yahweh helps the afflicted up;

he brings the wicked down to the ground.

Sing to Yahweh with thanksgiving;

sing praises to our God with lyre,

who covers the heavens with clouds,

who provides rain for the earth,

who causes grass to grow on the mountains.

He gives to the animal its food,

and to the young ravens that cry.

10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse;

he takes no pleasure in the legs of the man.

11 Yahweh takes pleasure in those who fear him,

the ones who hope for his loyal love.

12 Laud Yahweh, O Jerusalem;

praise your God, O Zion,

13 for he strengthens the bars of your gates.

He blesses your children within you;

14 he makes your border peaceful;

he satisfies you with the finest of wheat .

15 He sends out his command to the earth;

his word runs swiftly.

16 He gives snow like wool;

he scatters frost like ashes;

17 he throws his hail like crumbs.

Who can stand before his cold?

18 He sends out his word and melts them;

he blows his breath, the water flows.

19 He declares his word to Jacob,

his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.

20 He has not done so for any nation,

and they do not know his ordinances.

Praise Yah.


July 30: Destructive People

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional


Some destructive people don’t realize the carnage they leave in their wake. Others intentionally cause rifts and pain, driven by selfish motives. Jude’s letter, which contains succinct prose, startling imagery, and a swift warning, is unlike anything we read in Scripture. The letter equipped early Christians to deal wisely with false teachers who had entered the church community. Today, it can provide us with wisdom to respond to some of the most difficult people and situations we encounter.

The community that Jude addressed contained destructive false teachers “who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4). They did not respect authority, but acted out of instinct rather than conviction: “But these persons blaspheme all that they do not understand, and all that they understand by instinct like the irrational animals, by these things they are being destroyed” (Jude 10).

Jude’s metaphors for these false teachers give us a sense of what to look for in destructive people: “hidden reefs at your love feasts, caring for themselves, waterless clouds carried away by winds, late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted, wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shameful deeds, wandering stars, for whom the deep gloom of darkness has been reserved for eternity” (Jude 12–13). He depicts people whose destructive, selfish behavior lacks conviction. Like wayward stars, these false teachers go off course, perhaps taking others with them.

After these descriptions, we expect Jude to warn his readers to stay away from these types of people. But he does the opposite: Jude’s closing warning calls readers to interact with people of this sort—though they must do so with incredible wisdom: “have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh” (Jude 22–23).

Interacting with people who doubt and wander requires a deep knowledge of our own weaknesses and failures. It requires maturity of faith. Jude gives three specific instructions: that we build ourselves up, pray in the Spirit, and keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 21–22). This interaction requires the work of a God “who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 24).

How do destructive people in your life influence you? Based on how they influence you, how should you approach or end the relationship?


Rebecca Van Noord is the managing editor of Bible Study Magazine. She has developed content for several Bible reference products, including Lexham Bible Dictionary and Faithlife Study Bible.


Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord

Publisher: Lexham Press

Publication Date: 2012

This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.


2 Samuel 22:33–35

Verse of the Day bible.faithlife.com