|Jesus and Beelzebul|
When the seventh month came, and the Israelites were in the towns, the people gathered together in Jerusalem. Then Jeshua son of Jozadak, with his fellow priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his kin set out to build the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as prescribed in the law of Moses the man of God. They set up the altar on its foundation, because they were in dread of the neighboring peoples, and they offered burnt offerings upon it to the LORD, morning and evening. And they kept the festival of booths, as prescribed, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the ordinance, as required for each day, and after that the regular burnt offerings, the offerings at the new moon and at all the sacred festivals of the LORD, and the offerings of everyone who made a freewill offering to the LORD. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid. So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had from King Cyrus of Persia. In the second year after their arrival at the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their people, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to have the oversight of the work on the house of the LORD. And Jeshua with his sons and his kin, and Kadmiel and his sons, Binnui and Hodaviah along with the sons of Henadad, the Levites, their sons and kin, together took charge of the workers in the house of God. When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments were stationed to praise the LORD with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, according to the directions of King David of Israel; and they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel." And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice when they saw this house, though many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted so loudly that the sound was heard far away.
1 Corinthians 16:10-24
If Timothy comes, see that he has nothing to fear among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord just as I am; therefore let no one despise him. Send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I am expecting him with the brothers. Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but he was not at all willing to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity. Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. Now, brothers and sisters, you know that members of the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints; I urge you to put yourselves at the service of such people, and of everyone who works and toils with them. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence; for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. So give recognition to such persons. The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, greet you warmly in the Lord. All the brothers and sisters send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus.
Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and he cured him, so that the one who had been mute could speak and see. All the crowds were amazed and said, "Can this be the Son of David?" But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons." He knew what they were thinking and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his property, without first tying up the strong man? Then indeed the house can be plundered. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Psalm 31 In te, Domine, speravi
1 In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Incline your ear to me; make haste to deliver me.
3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold; for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
4 Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, for you are my tower of strength.
5 Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O LORD, O God of truth.
6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols, and I put my trust in the LORD.
7 I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy; for you have seen my affliction; you know my distress.
8 You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy; you have set my feet in an open place.
9 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
10 For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.
11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am as useless as a broken pot.
13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.
14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. I have said, "You are my God.
15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, and in your loving-kindness save me."
17 LORD, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you; rather, let the wicked be put to shame; let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be silenced which speak against the righteous, haughtily, disdainfully, and with contempt.
19 How great is your goodness, O LORD! which you have laid up for those who fear you; which you have done in the sight of all for those who put their trust in you.
20 You hide them in the covert of your presence from those who slander them; you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD! for he has shown me the wonders of his love in a besieged city.
22 Yet I said in my alarm, "I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes." Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty when I cried out to you.
23 Love the LORD, all you who worship him; the LORD protects the faithful, but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD.
Psalm 35 Judica, Domine
1 Fight those who fight me, O LORD; attack those who are attacking me.
2 Take up shield and armor and rise up to help me.
3 Draw the sword and bar the way against those who pursue me; say to my soul, "I am your salvation."
4 Let those who seek after my life be shamed and humbled; let those who plot my ruin fall back and be dismayed.
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the LORD drive them away.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the LORD pursue them.
7 For they have secretly spread a net for me without a cause; without a cause they have dug a pit to take me alive.
8 Let ruin come upon them unawares; let them be caught in the net they hid; let them fall into the pit they dug.
9 Then I will be joyful in the LORD; I will glory in his victory.
10 My very bones will say, "LORD, who is like you? You deliver the poor from those who are too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them."
11 Malicious witnesses rise up against me; they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
12 They pay me evil in exchange for good; my soul is full of despair.
13 But when they were sick I dressed in sack-cloth and humbled myself by fasting.
14 I prayed with my whole heart, as one would for a friend or a brother; I behaved like one who mourns for his mother, bowed down and grieving.
15 But when I stumbled, they were glad and gathered together; they gathered against me; strangers whom I did not know tore me to pieces and would not stop.
16 They put me to the test and mocked me; they gnashed at me with their teeth.
17 O Lord, how long will you look on? rescue me from the roaring beasts, and my life from the young lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great congregation; I will praise you in the mighty throng.
19 Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me, nor let those who hate me without a cause wink at each other.
20 For they do not plan for peace, but invent deceitful schemes against the quiet in the land.
21 They opened their mouths at me and said, "Aha! we saw it with our own eyes."
22 You saw it, O LORD; do not be silent; O Lord, be not far from me.
23 Awake, arise, to my cause! to my defense, my God and my Lord!
24 Give me justice, O LORD my God, according to your righteousness; do not let them triumph over me.
25 Do not let them say in their hearts, "Aha! just what we want!" Do not let them say, "We have swallowed him up."
26 Let all who rejoice at my ruin be ashamed and disgraced; let those who boast against me be clothed with dismay and shame.
27 Let those who favor my cause sing out with joy and be glad; let them say always, "Great is the LORD, who desires the prosperity of his servant."
28 And my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.
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.