Romans 1:1-15; 1 Samuel 8; Psalm 54

Romans 1:1-15

God's Good News for Rome

1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God's good news- 2 which He promised long ago through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures- 3 concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh 4 and was established as the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness. 5 We have received grace and apostleship through Him to bring about the obedience of faith among all the nations, on behalf of His name, 6 including yourselves who are also Jesus Christ's by calling: 7 To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostle's Desire to Visit Rome

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because the news of your faith is being reported in all the world. 9 For God, whom I serve with my spirit in [telling] the good news about His Son, is my witness that I constantly mention you, 10 always asking in my prayers that if it is somehow in God's will, I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I want very much to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, 12 that is, to be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. 13 Now I want you to know, brothers, that I often planned to come to you (but was prevented until now) in order that I might have a fruitful ministry among you, just as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am obligated both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the good news to you also who are in Rome.

1 Samuel 8

Israel's Demand for a King

1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. 2 His firstborn son's name was Joel and his second was Abijah. They were judges in Beer-sheba. 3 However, his sons did not walk in his ways-they turned toward dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. 4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and went to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, "Look, you are old, and your sons do not follow your example. Therefore, appoint a king to judge us the same as all the other nations have." 6 When they said, "Give us a king to judge us," Samuel considered their demand sinful, so he prayed to the Lord. 7 But the Lord told him, "Listen to the people and everything they say to you. They have not rejected you; they have rejected Me as their king. 8 They are doing the same thing to you that they have done to Me, since the day I brought them out of Egypt until this day, abandoning Me and worshiping other gods. 9 Listen to them, but you must solemnly warn them and tell them about the rights of the king who will rule over them." 10 Samuel told all the Lord's words to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, "These are the rights of the king who will rule over you: He can take your sons and put them to his use in his chariots, on his horses, or running in front of his chariots. 12 He can appoint them for his use as commanders of thousands or commanders of fifties, to plow his ground or reap his harvest, or to make his weapons of war or the equipment for his chariots. 13 He can take your daughters to become perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 He can take your best fields, vineyards, and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He can take a tenth of your grain and your vineyards and give them to his officials and servants. 16 He can take your male servants, your female servants, your best young men, and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17 He can take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves can become his servants. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out because of the king you've chosen for yourselves, but the Lord won't answer you on that day." 19 The people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We must have a king over us. 20 Then we'll be like all the other nations: our king will judge us, go out before us, and fight our battles." 21 Samuel listened to all the people's words and then repeated them to the Lord. 22 "Listen to them," the Lord told Samuel. "Appoint a king for them." Then Samuel told the men of Israel, "Each of you, go back to your city."

Psalm 54

Prayer for Deliverance

For the choir director: with stringed instruments. A Davidic Maskil. When the Ziphites went and said to Saul, "Is David not hiding among us?"

1 God, save me by Your name, and vindicate me by Your might! 2 God, hear my prayer; listen to the words of my mouth. 3 For strangers rise up against me, and violent men seek my life. They have no regard for God. Selah 4 God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my life. 5 He will repay my adversaries for [their] evil. Because of Your faithfulness, annihilate them. 6 I will sacrifice a freewill offering to You. I will praise Your name, Lord, because it is good. 7 For He has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked down on my enemies.
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