1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter?2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God.3What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”4Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.5However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:7“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.8Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”9Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.10Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before!11And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them.12And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.13It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.14For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless,15because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.17As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.22This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”23The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone,24but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
1Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty- two years.2Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Mikmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.3Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!”4So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.5The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven.6When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns.7Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear.8He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter.9So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering.10Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.11“What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash,12I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”13“You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.14But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”15Then Samuel left Gilgal and went up to Gibeah in Benjamin, and Saul counted the men who were with him. They numbered about six hundred.
16Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Mikmash.17Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual,18another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboyim facing the wilderness.19Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!”20So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plow points, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened.21The price was two-thirds of a shekel for sharpening plow points and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.22So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.23Now a detachment of Philistines had gone out to the pass at Mikmash.
1Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge people with equity?2No, in your heart you devise injustice, and your hands mete out violence on the earth.3Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies.4Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,5that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be.6Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; LORD, tear out the fangs of those lions!7Let them vanish like water that flows away; when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.8May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along, like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.9Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns— whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.10The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.11Then people will say, “Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.”