Praise for Salvation
25 Yahweh, you are my God; I will exalt you.
I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
plans of old, in faithfulness, trustworthiness.
2 For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin,
the palace of foreigners is no longer a city;
it will never be rebuilt.
3 Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
a city of ruthless nations, they will fear you.
4 For you have been a refuge to the poor,
a refuge to the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the rainstorm,
a shade from the heat.
For the breath of the ruthless was like a rainstorm against a wall,
5 the noise of foreigners like heat in a dry land.
You subdued the heat with the shade of a cloud;
the song of the ruthless was silenced.
6 And on this mountain Yahweh of hosts will make for all peoples a rich feast,
a feast of aged wines, fat filled with marrow, filtered aged wine.
7 And on this mountain he will destroy the face of the shroud,
the shroud over all peoples,
and the woven covering over all nations.
8 He will destroy death forever,
and the Lord Yahweh will wipe off the tears from all faces,
and he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth,
for Yahweh has spoken.
9 And one will say, on that day,
“Look! This is our God! We have waited for him and he saved us!
This is Yahweh; we waited for him!
Let us be glad,
and let us rejoice in his salvation.”
10 For the hand of Yahweh will rest on this mountain,
and Moab shall be trampled down under him
as a heap of straw is trampled down in waters of a dung heap.
11 And it will spread out its hands in the midst of it,
just as the swimmer spreads out to swim,
and its pride will be brought low with the movement of its hands.
12 And he will throw down the fortification of the high point of your walls;
he will bring it low;
he will send it to the ground,
to the dust.
Judah’s Song of Praise
26 On that day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city;
he sets up victory like walls and ramparts!
2 Open the gates so that the righteous nation who keeps faithfulness may enter!
3 You will protect a firm inclination in peace,
in peace because he trusts in you.
4 Trust in Yahweh forever,
for in Yah, Yahweh you have an everlasting rock.
5 For he has thrown down the inhabitants of the height,
he lays low the lofty city.
He lays it low to the ground;
he throws her to the dust.
6 The foot tramples it,
the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.”
Yahweh’s People Vindicated
7 The way of the righteous is a straight path;
you clear the level path of the righteous.
8 Surely we wait for you in the path of your judgments, Yahweh,
for your name and renown are the desire of the soul.
9 I desire you with all my soul in the night;
also I seek you with my spirit within me,
for when your judgments are upon the earth,
the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
10 Though the wicked person is shown compassion, he does not learn righteousness;
he acts unjustly in the land of uprightness,
and he does not see the majesty of Yahweh.
11 Yahweh, though your hand reaches high, they do not see it.
Let them see, and let them be ashamed of the zeal of people.
Indeed, let the fire of your enemies consume them.
12 Yahweh, you will establish peace for us,
for you have done even all of our works for us.
13 Yahweh, our God, lords besides you ruled over us,
but we praise your name alone.
14 The dead do not live;
dead spirits do not rise
because you have punished and destroyed them,
and you have destroyed all memory of them.
15 You have added to the nation, Yahweh.
You have added to the nation; you are honored.
You have extended all the ends of the land.
16 Yahweh, in distress they have visited you;
they poured out an incantation;
your discipline was on them.
17 Like a pregnant woman on the point of giving birth, she writhes;
she cries in her labor pains.
So we were because of your presence, Yahweh.
18 We became pregnant, we writhed;
we gave birth to wind.
We cannot bring about deliverance on the earth,
and no inhabitants of the world are born.
19 Your dead shall live; their corpses shall rise.
Wake up and sing for joy, dwellers of the dust,
for your dew is celestial dew,
and the earth will give birth to dead spirits.
20 Go, my people, enter into your chambers
and shut your doors behind you;
hide for a very little while,
until the wrath has passed over.
21 For look! Yahweh is about to come out from his place
to punish the iniquity of the inhabitants of the earth against him,
and the earth will disclose her blood
and will no longer cover her slain.
The Twelve Commissioned and Sent Out
9 And summoning the twelve, he gave them power and authority over all the demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 And he said to them, “Take along nothing for the journey—neither a staff, nor a traveler’s bag, nor bread, nor money, nor to have two tunics apiece. 4 And into whatever house you enter, stay there and depart from there. 5 And as for all those who do not welcome you—when you depart from that town, shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony against them.” 6 So they departed and went throughout the villages, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere.
Herod Perplexed About Jesus
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed, because it was said by some that John has been raised from the dead, 8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and others that some prophet of ancient times had risen. 9 And Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he was wanting to see him.
The Feeding of Five Thousand
10 And when they returned, the apostles described to him all that they had done. And he took them along and withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida. 11 But when the crowds found out, they followed him, and welcoming them, he began to speak to them about the kingdom of God, and he cured those who had need of healing. 12 Now the day began to be far spent, and the twelve came up and said to him, “Send away the crowd so that they can go into the surrounding villages and farms to obtain lodging and find provisions, because we are here in a desolate place. 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and purchase food for all these people.” 14 (For there were about five thousand men.) So he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them and began giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied, and what was left over was picked up by them—twelve baskets of broken pieces.
18 And it happened that while he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 And they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but others, Elijah, and others, that one of the ancient prophets has risen.” 20 And he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”
Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection
21 But he warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “It is necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things and to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised on the third day.
Taking Up One’s Cross to Follow Jesus
23 And he said to them all, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life on account of me, this person will save it. 25 For what is a person benefited if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of this person when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some of those standing here who will never experience death until they see the kingdom of God.”
Job’s Second Speech: A Response to Eliphaz
6 Then Job answered and said,
2 “If only my vexation could be well weighed,
and my calamity could be lifted up together with it in the balances,
3 for then it would be heavier than the sand of the seas;
therefore my words have been rash,
4 for the arrows of Shaddai are in me;
my spirit drinks their poison;
the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
5 Does the wild ass bray over grass,
or the ox bellow over its fodder?
6 Can tasteless food be eaten without salt,
or is there taste in the white of a marshmallow plant?
7 I refused to touch them;
they are like food that will make me ill.
8 “O that my request may come,
and that God may grant my hope,
9 that God would decide that he would crush me,
that he would let loose his hand and kill me.
10 But it will still be my consolation,
and I would recoil in unrelenting pain,
for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
11 What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is my end, that I should hold out?
12 Or is my strength like the strength of stones?
Or is my flesh bronze?
13 Indeed, my help is not in me,
and any success is driven from me.
It’s easy to be devoted to a leader or a vision when it doesn’t require much of us. In following Jesus, the disciples didn’t have that option. They were called to follow Jesus in difficult circumstances—ones that required them to put their lives on the line. After Jesus told His disciples about His impending death and resurrection, He defined the true meaning of discipleship. His words required their immediate response and intense loyalty:
“And he said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross every day and follow me’ ” (Luke 9:23).
Daily the disciples needed to commit to Him, the kingdom He was ushering in, and the possibility of facing death. We like to quote this verse, but we might not think it applies in the same way today. Because we don’t face the same circumstances the disciples faced, we might not take the call to loyalty quite as seriously.
But loyalty shouldn’t be dictated by circumstance. Jesus had “to suffer many things and to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed” (Luke 9:22) to reconcile us to God. His sacrifice was incredibly costly; the grace extended to us came at a great price.
His sacrifice—not our circumstances—requires everything from us. It requires that we see our motives, our hopes, our actions—our daily lives—in the perspective of that costly grace. Jesus went on to say, “For what is a person benefited if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:25). The gospel changes everything, and it speaks into every area of our lives. It requires us to deny our own interests. It requires us to take up our cross daily and follow Him.
How are you taking up your cross daily? What area of your life do you need to commit to Him?
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.