Romans 2; Romans 3:1-8; 1 Samuel 10:17-27; 1 Samuel 11; Psalm 56

Romans 2

God's Righteous Judgment

1 Therefore, anyone of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things. 2 We know that God's judgment on those who do such things is based on the truth. 3 Do you really think-anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same-that you will escape God's judgment? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God's righteous judgment is revealed. 6 He will repay each one according to his works : 7 eternal life to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but wrath and indignation to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth, but are obeying unrighteousness; 9 affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 11 There is no favoritism with God. 12 All those who sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all those who sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous. 14 So, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, instinctively do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences testify in support of this, and their competing thoughts either accuse or excuse them 16 on the day when God judges what people have kept secret, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.

Jewish Violation of the Law

17 Now if you call yourself a Jew, and rest in the law, and boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are superior, being instructed from the law, 19 and are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light to those in darkness, 20 an instructor of the ignorant, a teacher of the immature, having in the law the full expression of knowledge and truth- 21 you then, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach, "You must not steal"-do you steal? 22 You who say, "You must not commit adultery"-do you commit adultery? You who detest idols, do you rob their temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 For, as it is written: The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.

Circumcision of the Heart

25 For circumcision benefits you if you observe the law, but if you are a lawbreaker, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if an uncircumcised man keeps the law's requirements, will his uncircumcision not be counted as circumcision? 27 A man who is physically uncircumcised, but who fulfills the law, will judge you who are a lawbreaker in spite of having the letter [of the law] and circumcision. 28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, and [true] circumcision is not something visible in the flesh. 29 On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart-by the Spirit, not the letter. His praise is not from men but from God.

Romans 3:1-8

Paul Answers an Objection

1 So what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2 Considerable in every way. First, they were entrusted with the spoken words of God. 3 What then? If some did not believe, will their unbelief cancel God's faithfulness? 4 Absolutely not! God must be true, but everyone is a liar, as it is written: That You may be justified in Your words and triumph when You judge. 5 But if our unrighteousness highlights God's righteousness, what are we to say? I use a human argument: Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath? 6 Absolutely not! Otherwise, how will God judge the world? 7 But if by my lie God's truth is amplified to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, just as some people slanderously claim we say, "Let us do evil so that good may come"? Their condemnation is deserved!

1 Samuel 10:17-27

Saul Received as King

17 Samuel summoned the people to the Lord at Mizpah 18 and said to the Israelites, "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'I brought Israel out of Egypt, and I rescued you from the power of the Egyptians and all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.' 19 But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your troubles and afflictions. You said to Him, 'You must set a king over us.' Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans." 20 Samuel had all the tribes of Israel come forward, and the tribe of Benjamin was selected. 21 Then he had the tribe of Benjamin come forward by its clans, and the Matrite clan was selected. Finally, Saul son of Kish was selected. But when they searched for him, they could not find him. 22 They again inquired of the Lord, "Has the man come here yet?" The Lord replied, "There he is, hidden among the supplies." 23 They ran and got him from there. When he stood among the people, he stood a head taller than anyone else. 24 Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see the one the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among the entire population." And all the people shouted, "Long live the king!" 25 Samuel proclaimed to the people the rights of kingship. He wrote them on a scroll, which he placed in the presence of the Lord. Then, Samuel sent all the people away, each to his home. 26 Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, and brave men whose hearts God had touched went with him. 27 But some wicked men said, "How can this guy save us?" They despised him and did not bring him a gift, but Saul said nothing.

1 Samuel 11

Saul's Deliverance of Jabesh-gilead

1 Nahash the Ammonite came up and laid siege to Jabesh-gilead. All the men of Jabesh said to him, "Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you." 2 Nahash the Ammonite replied, "I'll make one with you on this condition: that I gouge out everyone's right eye and humiliate all Israel." 3 "Don't do anything to us for seven days," the elders of Jabesh said to him, "and let us send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. If no one saves us, we will surrender to you." 4 When the messengers came to Gibeah, Saul's [hometown], and told the terms to the people, all wept aloud. 5 Just then Saul was coming in from the field behind his oxen. "What's the matter with the people? Why are they weeping?" Saul inquired, and they repeated to him the words of the men from Jabesh. 6 When Saul heard these words, the Spirit of God suddenly took control of him, and his anger burned furiously. 7 He took a team of oxen, cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout the land of Israel by messengers who said, "This is what will be done to the ox of anyone who doesn't march behind Saul and Samuel." As a result, the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they went out united. 8 Saul counted them at Bezek. There were 300,000 Israelites and 30,000 men from Judah. 9 He told the messengers who had come, "Tell this to the men of Jabesh-gilead: 'Deliverance will be yours tomorrow by the time the sun is hot.' " So the messengers told the men of Jabesh, and they rejoiced. 10 Then the men of Jabesh said to [Nahash], "Tomorrow we will come out, and you can do whatever you want to us." 11 The next day Saul organized the troops into three divisions. During the morning watch, they invaded the Ammonite camp and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. There were survivors, but they were so scattered that no two of them were left together.

Saul's Confirmation as King

12 Afterwards, the people said to Samuel, "Who said that Saul should not reign over us? Give us those men so we can kill them!" 13 But Saul ordered, "No one will be executed this day, for today the Lord has provided deliverance in Israel." 14 Then Samuel said to the people, "Come, let's go to Gilgal, so we can renew the kingship there." 15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there in the Lord's presence they made Saul king. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings in the Lord's presence, and Saul and all the men of Israel greatly rejoiced.

Psalm 56

A Call for God's Protection

For the choir director: according to "A Silent Dove Far Away." A Davidic Miktam. When the Philistines seized him in Gath.

1 Be gracious to me, God, for man tramples me; he fights and oppresses me all day long. 2 My adversaries trample me all day, for many arrogantly fight against me. 3 When I am afraid, I will trust in You. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me? 5 They twist my words all day long; all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps while they wait to take my life. 7 Will they escape in spite of such sin? God, bring down the nations in wrath. 8 You Yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your records? 9 Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call. This I know: God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, 11 in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me? 12 I am obligated by vows to You, God; I will make my thank offerings to You. 13 For You delivered me from death, even my feet from stumbling, to walk before God in the light of life.
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