Day 184 July 3
1 Samuel 6
The Lord’s chest was in Philistine territory for seven months. 2 The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners. “What should we do with the Lord’s chest?” they asked. “Tell us how we should send it back to its own home.”
3 They replied, “If you are returning the chest of Israel’s God, don’t send it back empty, but be sure to return a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and it will become clear to you why God’s hand hasn’t left you alone.” 4 “What compensation offering should we return to him?” they asked.
The priests and diviners replied: “Five gold tumors and five gold mice, matching the number of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague came on all of you and your rulers. 5 You must make images of your tumors and the mice that have devastated the land. Honor Israel’s God. Perhaps he will lighten the weight of his hand on you, your gods, and your land. 6 Why be stubborn like the Egyptians and Pharaoh? After God had dealt harshly with them, didn’t they send the Israelites on their way? 7 So get a new cart ready along with two nursing cows that have never been yoked before. Harness the cows to the cart, but take any of their calves that are following back home. 8 Next, take the Lord’s chest and put it in the cart. Set the gold items that you are giving God as a compensation offering in a box next to the chest. Then send it on its way. 9 Then watch what happens: If the cart goes up the road to its own territory toward Beth-shemesh, then Israel’s God has brought this great disaster on us. If the cart goes another way, then we’ll know that it wasn’t God’s hand that struck us. It happened to us randomly.”
10 The rulers did just that. They took two nursing cows and harnessed them to the cart, penning their calves up at home. 11 They put the Lord’s chest on the cart along with the box containing the gold mice and the images of their tumors. 12 The cows went straight ahead, following the road to Beth-shemesh. They kept to one route, mooing as they went, without turning right or left. The Philistine rulers followed them as far as the territory of Beth-shemesh.
Acts 26:19-32 apologies for a duplicate reading from Acts and the Psalms!
19 “After that, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout the countryside of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and do deeds consistent with repentance. 21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 To this day I have had help from God, and so I stand here, testifying to both small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would take place: 23 that the Messiah must suffer, and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
24 While he was making this defense, Festus exclaimed, “You are out of your mind, Paul! Too much learning is driving you insane!” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth. 26 Indeed the king knows about these things, and to him I speak freely; for I am certain that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 Agrippa said to Paul, “Are you so quickly persuading me to become a Christian?” 29 Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that not only you but also all who are listening to me today might become such as I am—except for these chains.”
30 Then the king got up, and with him the governor and Bernice and those who had been seated with them; 31 and as they were leaving, they said to one another, “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.” 32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to the emperor.”
Psalm 119:105-112 and 161-168
105 Your word is a lamp before my feet and a light for my journey.
106 I have sworn, and I fully mean it: I will keep your righteous rules.
107 I have been suffering so much— Lord, make me live again according to your promise.
108 Please, Lord, accept my spontaneous gifts of praise. Teach me your rules!
109 Though my life is constantly in danger, I won’t forget your Instruction.
110 Though the wicked have set a trap for me, I won’t stray from your precepts.
111 Your laws are my possession forever because they are my heart’s joy.
112 I have decided to keep your statutes forever, every last one.
שׂ sin and שׁ shin
161 Rulers oppress me without cause, but my heart honors what you’ve said.
162 I’m overjoyed at your word, like someone who finds great treasure.
163 I hate, I absolutely despise, what is false, but I’m in love with your Instruction.
164 I praise you seven times a day for your righteous rules.
165 The people who love your Instruction enjoy peace—and lots of it.There’s no stumbling for them!
166 Lord, I wait for your saving help. I do what you’ve commanded.
167 I keep your laws; I love them so much!
168 I keep your precepts and your laws because all my ways are seen by you.
Prayer: Lord, you know me through and through, being seen by you is a blessing and comfort. Thank you Lord! Amen.