Romans 13; 1 Samuel 25; Psalm 68

Romans 13

A Christian's Duties to the State

1 Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. 2 So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God's command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do good and you will have its approval. 4 For government is God's servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God's servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. 5 Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience. 6 And for this reason you pay taxes, since the [authorities] are God's public servants, continually attending to these tasks. 7 Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.

Love Our Primary Duty

8 Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet, and if there is any other commandment-all are summed up by this: Love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.

Put On Christ

11 Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.

1 Samuel 25

David, Nabal, and Abigail

1 Samuel died, and all Israel assembled to mourn for him, and they buried him by his home in Ramah. David then went down to the Wilderness of Paran. 2 A man in Maon had a business in Carmel; he was a very rich man with 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats and was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 The man's name was Nabal, and his wife's name, Abigail. The woman was intelligent and beautiful, but the man, a Calebite, was harsh and evil in [his] dealings. 4 While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep, 5 so David sent 10 young men instructing them, "Go up to Carmel, and when you come to Nabal, greet him in my name. 6 Then say this: 'Long life to you, and peace to you, to your family, and to all that is yours. 7 I hear that you are shearing. When your shepherds were with us, we did not harass them, and nothing of theirs was missing the whole time they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. So let [my] young men find favor with you, for we have come on a feast day. Please give whatever you can afford to your servants and to your son David.' " 9 David's young men went and said all these things to Nabal on David's behalf, and they waited. 10 Nabal asked them, "Who is David? Who is Jesse's son? Many slaves these days are running away from their masters. 11 Am I supposed to take my bread, my water, and my meat that I butchered for my shearers and give them to men who are from I don't know where?" 12 David's men retraced their steps. When they returned to him, they reported all these words. 13 He said to his men, "All of you, put on your swords!" So David and all his men put on their swords. About 400 men followed David while 200 stayed with the supplies. 14 One of Nabal's young men informed Abigail, Nabal's wife: "Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he yelled at them. 15 The men treated us well. When we were in the field, we weren't harassed and nothing of ours was missing the whole time we were living among them. 16 They were a wall around us, both day and night, the entire time we were herding the sheep. 17 Now consider carefully what you must do, because there is certain to be trouble for our master and his entire family. He is such a worthless fool nobody can talk to him!" 18 Abigail hurried, taking 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five butchered sheep, a bushel of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she said to her male servants, "Go ahead of me. I will be right behind you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 As she rode the donkey down a mountain pass hidden from view, she saw David and his men coming toward her and met them. 21 David had just said, "I guarded everything that belonged to this man in the wilderness for nothing. He was not missing anything, yet he paid me back evil for good. 22 May God punish me, and even more if I let any of his men [survive] until morning." 23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off the donkey and fell with her face to the ground in front of David. 24 She fell at his feet and said, "The guilt is mine, my lord, but please let your servant speak to you directly. Listen to the words of your servant. 25 My lord should pay no attention to this worthless man Nabal, for he lives up to his name: His name is Nabal, and stupidity is all he knows. I, your servant, didn't see my lord's young men whom you sent. 26 Now my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, it is the Lord who kept you from participating in bloodshed and avenging yourself by your own hand. May your enemies and those who want trouble for my lord be like Nabal. 27 Accept this gift your servant has brought to my lord, and let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive your servant's offense, for the Lord is certain to make a lasting dynasty for my lord because he fights the Lord's battles. Throughout your life, may evil not be found in you. 29 "When someone pursues you and attempts to take your life, my lord's life will be tucked safely in the place where the Lord your God protects the living. However, He will fling away your enemies' lives like [stones] from a sling. 30 When the Lord does for my lord all the good He promised and appoints you ruler over Israel, 31 there will not be remorse or a troubled conscience for my lord because of needless bloodshed or my lord's revenge. And when the Lord does good things for my lord, may you remember [me] your servant." 32 Then David said to Abigail, "Praise to the Lord God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! 33 Blessed is your discernment, and blessed are you. Today you kept me from participating in bloodshed and avenging myself by my own hand. 34 Otherwise, as surely as the Lord God of Israel lives, who prevented me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, Nabal wouldn't have had any men left by morning light." 35 Then David accepted what she had brought him and said, "Go home in peace. See, I have heard what you said and have granted your request." 36 Then Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was in his house, feasting like a king. Nabal was in a good mood and very drunk, so she didn't say anything to him until morning light. 37 In the morning when Nabal sobered up, his wife told him about these events. Then he had a seizure and became paralyzed. 38 About 10 days later, the Lord struck Nabal dead. 39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Praise the Lord who championed my cause against Nabal's insults and restrained His servant from doing evil. The Lord brought Nabal's evil deeds back on his own head." Then David sent messengers to speak to Abigail about marrying him. 40 When David's servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, "David sent us to bring you to him as a wife." 41 She bowed her face to the ground and said, "Here I am, your servant, to wash the feet of my lord's servants." 42 Then Abigail got up quickly, and with her five female servants accompanying her, rode on the donkey following David's messengers. And so she became his wife. 43 David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and the two of them became his wives. 44 But Saul gave his daughter Michal, David's wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

Psalm 68

God's Majestic Power

For the choir director. A Davidic psalm. A song.

1 God arises. His enemies scatter, and those who hate Him flee from His presence. 2 As smoke is blown away, so You blow [them] away. As wax melts before the fire, so the wicked are destroyed before God. 3 But the righteous are glad; they rejoice before God and celebrate with joy. 4 Sing to God! Sing praises to His name. Exalt Him who rides on the clouds - His name is Yahweh-and rejoice before Him. 5 A father of the fatherless and a champion of widows is God in His holy dwelling. 6 God provides homes for those who are deserted. He leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a scorched land. 7 God, when You went out before Your people, when You marched through the desert, Selah 8 the earth trembled, and the skies poured down [rain] before God, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. 9 You, God, showered abundant rain; You revived Your inheritance when it languished. 10 Your people settled in it; by Your goodness You provided for the poor, God. 11 The Lord gave the command; a great company of women brought the good news: 12 "The kings of the armies flee-they flee!" She who stays at home divides the spoil. 13 While you lie among the sheepfolds, the wings of a dove are covered with silver, and its feathers with glistening gold. 14 When the Almighty scattered kings in the land, it snowed on Zalmon. 15 Mount Bashan is God's towering mountain; Mount Bashan is a mountain of many peaks. 16 Why gaze with envy, you mountain peaks, at the mountain God desired for His dwelling? The Lord will live [there] forever! 17 God's chariots are tens of thousands, thousands and thousands; the Lord is among them in the sanctuary as He was at Sinai. 18 You ascended to the heights, taking away captives; You received gifts from people, even from the rebellious, so that the Lord God might live [there]. 19 May the Lord be praised! Day after day He bears our burdens; God is our salvation. Selah 20 Our God is a God of salvation, and escape from death belongs to the Lord God . 21 Surely God crushes the heads of His enemies, the hairy head of one who goes on in his guilty acts. 22 The Lord said, "I will bring [them] back from Bashan; I will bring [them] back from the depths of the sea 23 so that your foot may wade in blood and your dogs' tongues may have their share from the enemies." 24 People have seen Your procession, God, the procession of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. 25 Singers lead the way, with musicians following; among them are young women playing tambourines. 26 Praise God in the assemblies; [praise] the Lord from the fountain of Israel. 27 There is Benjamin, the youngest, leading them, the rulers of Judah in their assembly, the rulers of Zebulun, the rulers of Naphtali. 28 Your God has decreed your strength. Show Your strength, God, You who have acted on our behalf. 29 Because of Your temple at Jerusalem, kings will bring tribute to You. 30 Rebuke the beast in the reeds, the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples. Trample underfoot those with bars of silver. Scatter the peoples who take pleasure in war. 31 Ambassadors will come from Egypt; Cush will stretch out its hands to God. 32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth; sing praise to the Lord, Selah 33 to Him who rides in the ancient, highest heavens. Look, He thunders with His powerful voice! 34 Ascribe power to God. His majesty is over Israel, His power among the clouds. 35 God, You are awe-inspiring in Your sanctuaries. The God of Israel gives power and strength to His people. May God be praised!
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