2 Kings 17:24-41
The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria in place of the people of Israel; they took possession of Samaria, and settled in its cities. When they first settled there, they did not worship the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them. So the king of Assyria was told, "The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land; therefore he has sent lions among them; they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land." Then the king of Assyria commanded, "Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there; let him go and live there, and teach them the law of the god of the land." So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel; he taught them how they should worship the LORD. But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the shrines of the high places that the people of Samaria had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived; the people of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the people of Cuth made Nergal, the people of Hamath made Ashima; the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. They also worshiped the LORD and appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. So they worshiped the LORD but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away. To this day they continue to practice their former customs. They do not worship the LORD and they do not follow the statutes or the ordinances or the law or the commandment that the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel. The LORD had made a covenant with them and commanded them, "You shall not worship other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, but you shall worship the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm; you shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall always be careful to observe. You shall not worship other gods; you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not worship other gods, but you shall worship the LORD your God; he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies." They would not listen, however, but they continued to practice their former custom. So these nations worshiped the LORD, but also served their carved images; to this day their children and their children's children continue to do as their ancestors did.
1 Corinthians 7:25-31
Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that. I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you-- you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.
Psalm 89: Part I Misericordias Domini
1 Your love, O LORD, for ever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
2 For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
3 I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4 'I will establish your line for ever, and preserve your throne for all generations.'"
5 The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O LORD, and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
6 For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? who is like the LORD among the gods?
7 God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible to all those round about him.
8 Who is like you, LORD God of hosts? O mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.
9 You rule the raging of the sea and still the surging of its waves.
10 You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.
12 You have made the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.
13 You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; love and truth go before your face.
15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout! they walk, O LORD, in the light of your presence.
16 They rejoice daily in your Name; they are jubilant in your righteousness.
17 For you are the glory of their strength, and by your favor our might is exalted.
18 Truly, the LORD is our ruler; The Holy One of Israel is our King.
Psalm 89: Part II Tunc locutus es
19 You spoke once in vision and said to your faithful people: "I have set the crown upon a warrior and have exalted one chosen out of the people.
20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.
21 My hand will hold him fast and my arm will make him strong.
22 No enemy shall deceive him, nor any wicked man bring him down.
23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and love shall be with him, and he shall be victorious through my Name.
25 I shall make his dominion extend from the Great Sea to the River.
26 He will say to me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.'
27 I will make him my firstborn and higher than the kings of the earth.
28 I will keep my love for him for ever, and my covenant will stand firm for him.
29 I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of heaven."
30 If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my judgments;
31 If they break my statutes and do not keep my commandments;
32 I will punish their transgressions with a rod and their iniquities with the lash;
33 But I will not take my love from him, nor let my faithfulness prove false.
34 I will not break my covenant, nor change what has gone out of my lips.
35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness: 'I will not lie to David.
36 His line shall endure for ever and his throne as the sun before me;
37 It shall stand fast for evermore like the moon, the abiding witness in the sky.'"
38 But you have cast off and rejected your anointed; you have become enraged at him.
39 You have broken your covenant with your servant, defiled his crown, and hurled it to the ground.
40 You have breached all his walls and laid his strongholds in ruins.
41 All who pass by despoil him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes and made all his enemies rejoice.
43 You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not sustained him in battle.
44 You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short the days of his youth and have covered him with shame.
46 How long will you hide yourself, O LORD? will you hide yourself for ever? how long will your anger burn like fire?
47 Remember, LORD, how short life is, how frail you have made all flesh.
48 Who can live and not see death? who can save himself from the power of the grave?
49 Where, Lord, are your loving-kindnesses of old, which you promised David in your faithfulness?
50 Remember, Lord, how your servant is mocked, how I carry in my bosom the taunts of many peoples,
51 The taunts your enemies have hurled, O LORD, which they hurled at the heels of your anointed.
52 Blessed be the LORD for evermore! Amen, I say, Amen.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.