2 SAMUEL 20:14- 21:22
ACTS 1:1- 26
PSALM 121:1- 8
Meanwhile, Sheba had traveled across Israel to mobilize his own clan of Bicri at the city of Abel- beth- maacah. 15 When Joab’s forces arrived, they attacked Abel- beth- maacah and built a ramp against the city wall and began battering it down. 16 But a wise woman in the city called out to Joab, “Listen to me, Joab. Come over here so I can talk to you.” 17 As he approached, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?” “I am,” he replied. So she said, “Listen carefully to your servant.” “I’m listening,” he said. 18 Then she continued, “There used to be a saying, `If you want to settle an argument, ask advice at the city of Abel. ’19 I am one who is peace loving and faithful in Israel. But you are destroying a loyal city. Why do you want to destroy what belongs to the LORD?” 20 And Joab replied, “Believe me, I don’t want to destroy your city! 21 All I want is a man named Sheba son of Bicri from the hill country of Ephraim, who has revolted against King David. If you hand him over to me, we will leave the city in peace.” “All right,” the woman replied, “we will throw his head over the wall to you.” 22 Then the woman went to the people with her wise advice, and they cut off Sheba’s head and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the trumpet and called his troops back from the attack, and they all returned to their homes. Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem. 23 Joab once again became the commander of David’s army. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was commander of the king’s bodyguard. 24 Adoniram was in charge of the labor force. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. 25 Sheva was the court secretary. Zadok and Abiathar were the priests. 26 Ira the Jairite was David’s personal priest. 21:1 THERE was a famine during David’s reign that lasted for three years, so David asked the LORD about it. And the LORD said, “The famine has come because Saul and his family are guilty of murdering the Gibeonites.” 2 So King David summoned the Gibeonites. They were not part of Israel but were all that was left of the nation of the Amorites. Israel had sworn not to kill them, but Saul, in his zeal, had tried to wipe them out. 3 David asked them, “What can I do for you to make amends? Tell me so that the LORD will bless his people again.” 4 “Well, money won’t do it,” the Gibeonites replied. “And we don’t want to see the Israelites executed in revenge.” “What can I do then?” David asked. “Just tell me and I will do it for you.” 5 Then they replied, “It was Saul who planned to destroy us, to keep us from having any place at all in Israel. 6 So let seven of Saul’s sons or grandsons be handed over to us, and we will execute them before the LORD at Gibeon, on the mountain of the LORD.” “All right,” the king said, “I will do it.” 7 David spared Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, who was Saul’s grandson, because of the oath David and Jonathan had sworn before the LORD. 8 But he gave them Saul’s two sons Armoni and Mephibosheth, whose mother was Rizpah daughter of Aiah. He also gave them the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab, the wife of Adriel son of Barzillai from Meholah. 9 The men of Gibeon executed them on the mountain before the LORD. So all seven of them died together at the beginning of the barley harvest. 10 Then Rizpah, the mother of two of the men, spread sackcloth on a rock and stayed there the entire harvest season. She prevented vultures from tearing at their bodies during the day and stopped wild animals from eating them at night. 11 When David learned what Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done, 12 he went to the people of Jabesh- gilead and asked for the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan. (When Saul and Jonathan had died in a battle with the Philistines, it was the people of Jabesh- gilead who had retrieved their bodies from the public square of the Philistine city of Beth- shan.) 13 So David brought the bones of Saul and Jonathan, as well as the bones of the men the Gibeonites had executed. 14 He buried them all in the tomb of Kish, Saul’s father, at the town of Zela in the land of Benjamin. After that, God ended the famine in the land of Israel. 15 Once again the Philistines were at war with Israel. And when David and his men were in the thick of battle, David became weak and exhausted. 16 Ishbi- benob was a descendant of the giants; his bronze spearhead weighed more than seven pounds, and he was armed with a new sword. He had cornered David and was about to kill him. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to his rescue and killed the Philistine. After that, David’s men declared, “You are not going out to battle again! Why should we risk snuffing out the light of Israel?” 18 After this, there was another battle against the Philistines at Gob. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, another descendant of the giants. 19 In still another battle at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair from Bethlehem killed the brother of Goliath of Gath. The handle of his spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam! 20 In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot– a descendant of the giants– 21 defied and taunted Israel. But he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea. 22 These four Philistines were descended from the giants of Gath, but they were killed by David and his warriors.
Dear Theophilus:In my first book I told you about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he ascended to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions from the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time and proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. On these occasions he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. 4 In one of these meetings as he was eating a meal with them, he told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you what he promised. Remember, I have told you about this before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 When the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, are you going to free Israel now and restore our kingdom?” 7 “The Father sets those dates,” he replied, “and they are not for you to know. 8 But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere– in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 It was not long after he said this that he was taken up into the sky while they were watching, and he disappeared into a cloud. 10 As they were straining their eyes to see him, two white- robed men suddenly stood there among them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!” 12 The apostles were at the Mount of Olives when this happened, so they walked the half mile back to Jerusalem. 13 Then they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here is the list of those who were present:Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the Zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together continually for prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. 15 During this time, on a day when about 120 believers *were present, Peter stood up and addressed them as follows:16 “Brothers, it was necessary for the Scriptures to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided the Temple police to arrest Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. 17 Judas was one of us, chosen to share in the ministry with us.” 18 (Judas bought a field with the money he received for his treachery, and falling there, he burst open, spilling out his intestines. 19 The news of his death spread rapidly among all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”) 20 Peter continued, “This was predicted in the book of Psalms, where it says, `Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ And again, `Let his position be given to someone else. ’21” So now we must choose another man to take Judas’s place. It must be someone who has been with us all the time that we were with the Lord Jesus– 22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us into heaven. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection. “23 So they nominated two men:Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they all prayed for the right man to be chosen.” O Lord, “they said,” you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen 25 as an apostle to replace Judas the traitor in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs. “26 Then they cast lots, and in this way Matthias was chosen and became an apostle with the other eleven.
A song for the ascent to Jerusalem.
1 I look up to the mountains–
does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
who made the heavens and the earth!
3 He will not let you stumble and fall;
the one who watches over you will not sleep.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never tires and never sleeps.
5 The LORD himself watches over you!
The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not hurt you by day,
nor the moon at night.
7 The LORD keeps you from all evil
and preserves your life.
8 The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall