|God’s Chosen Servant|
In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he sent a herald throughout all his kingdom, and also in a written edict declared: "Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of those among you who are of his people-- may their God be with them!-- are now permitted to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel-- he is the God who is in Jerusalem; and let all survivors, in whatever place they reside, be assisted by the people of their place with silver and gold, with goods and with animals, besides freewill offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem." The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites-- everyone whose spirit God had stirred-- got ready to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. All their neighbors aided them with silver vessels, with gold, with goods, with animals, and with valuable gifts, besides all that was freely offered. King Cyrus himself brought out the vessels of the house of the LORD that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. King Cyrus of Persia had them released into the charge of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. And this was the inventory: gold basins, thirty; silver basins, one thousand; knives, twenty-nine; gold bowls, thirty; other silver bowls, four hundred ten; other vessels, one thousand; the total of the gold and silver vessels was five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar brought up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.
1 Corinthians 16:1-9
Now concerning the collection for the saints: you should follow the directions I gave to the churches of Galatia. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come. And when I arrive, I will send any whom you approve with letters to take your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me. I will visit you after passing through Macedonia-- for I intend to pass through Macedonia-- and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way, wherever I go. I do not want to see you now just in passing, for I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, and he ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope."
Psalm 37: Part I Noli aemulari
1 Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
2 For they shall soon wither like the grass, and like the green grass fade away.
3 Put your trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
4 Take delight in the LORD, and he shall give you your heart's desire.
5 Commit your way to the LORD and put your trust in him, and he will bring it to pass.
6 He will make your righteousness as clear as the light and your just dealing as the noonday.
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.
8 Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
9 Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
10 For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait upon the LORD shall possess the land.
11 In a little while the wicked shall be no more; you shall search out their place, but they will not be there.
12 But the lowly shall possess the land; they will delight in abundance of peace.
13 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash at them with their teeth.
14 The Lord laughs at the wicked, because he sees that their day will come.
15 The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow to strike down the poor and needy, to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
16 Their sword shall go through their own heart, and their bow shall be broken.
17 The little that the righteous has is better than great riches of the wicked.
18 For the power of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.
Psalm 37: Part II Novit Dominus
19 The LORD cares for the lives of the godly, and their inheritance shall last for ever.
20 They shall not be ashamed in bad times, and in days of famine they shall have enough.
21 As for the wicked, they shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD, like the glory of the meadows, shall vanish; they shall vanish like smoke.
22 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous are generous in giving.
23 Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land, but those who are cursed by him shall be destroyed.
24 Our steps are directed by the LORD; he strengthens those in whose way he delights.
25 If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong, for the LORD holds them by the hand.
26 I have been young and now I am old, but never have I seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging bread.
27 The righteous are always generous in their lending, and their children shall be a blessing.
28 Turn from evil, and do good, and dwell in the land for ever.
29 For the LORD loves justice; he does not forsake his faithful ones.
30 They shall be kept safe for ever, but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
31 The righteous shall possess the land and dwell in it for ever.
32 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and their tongue speaks what is right.
33 The law of their God is in their heart, and their footsteps shall not falter.
34 The wicked spy on the righteous and seek occasion to kill them.
35 The LORD will not abandon them to their hand, nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
36 Wait upon the LORD and keep his way; he will raise you up to possess the land, and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
37 I have seen the wicked in their arrogance, flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
38 I went by, and behold, they were not there; I searched for them, but they could not be found.
39 Mark those who are honest; observe the upright; for there is a future for the peaceable.
40 Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all; the future of the wicked is cut off.
41 But the deliverance of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
42 The LORD will help them and rescue them; he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them, because they seek refuge in him.
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.