2 Samuel 21; 2 Samuel 22; Luke 18:24-43

1 During David's reign there was a severe famine which lasted for three full years. So David consulted the Lord about it, and the Lord said, "Saul and his family are guilty of murder; he put the people of Gibeon to death. 2 (The people of Gibeon were not Israelites; they were a small group of Amorites whom the Israelites had promised to protect, but Saul had tried to destroy them because of his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.) 3 So David summoned the people of Gibeon and said to them, "What can I do for you? I want to make up for the wrong that was done to you, so that you will bless the Lord's people." 4 They answered, "Our quarrel with Saul and his family can't be settled with silver or gold, nor do we want to kill any Israelite." "What, then, do you think I should do for you?" David asked. 5 They answered, "Saul wanted to destroy us and leave none of us alive anywhere in Israel. 6 So hand over seven of his male descendants, and we will hang them before the Lord at Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, the Lord's chosen king." "I will hand them over," the king answered. 7 But because of the sacred promise that he and Jonathan had made to each other, David spared Jonathan's son Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul. 8 However, he took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons that Rizpah the daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul; he also took the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab, whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai, who was from Meholah. 9 David handed them over to the people of Gibeon, who hanged them on the mountain before the Lord - and all seven of them died together. It was late in the spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest, when they were put to death. 10 Then Saul's concubine Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, used sackcloth to make a shelter for herself on the rock where the corpses were, and she stayed there from the beginning of harvest until the autumn rains came. During the day she would keep the birds away from the corpses, and at night she would protect them from wild animals. 11 When David heard what Rizpah had done, 12 he went and got the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan from the people of Jabesh in Gilead. (They had stolen them from the public square in Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hanged the bodies on the day they killed Saul on Mount Gilboa.) 13 David took the bones of Saul and Jonathan and also gathered up the bones of the seven men who had been hanged. 14 Then they buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan in the grave of Saul's father Kish, in Zela in the territory of Benjamin, doing all that the king had commanded. And after that, God answered their prayers for the country. 15 There was another war between the Philistines and Israel, and David and his men went and fought the Philistines. During one of the battles David grew tired. 16 A giant named Ishbibenob, who was carrying a bronze spear that weighed about seven and a half pounds and who was wearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David's help, attacked the giant, and killed him. Then David's men made David promise that he would never again go out with them to battle. "You are the hope of Israel, and we don't want to lose you," they said. 18 After this there was a battle with the Philistines at Gob, during which Sibbecai from Hushah killed a giant named Saph. 19 There was another battle with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jair from Bethlehem killed Goliath from Gath, whose spear had a shaft as thick as the bar on a weaver's loom. 20 Then there was another battle at Gath, where there was a giant who loved to fight. He had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. 21 He defied the Israelites, and Jonathan, the son of David's brother Shammah, killed him. 22 These four were descendants of the giants of Gath, and they were killed by David and his men.
1 When the Lord saved David from Saul and his other enemies, David sang this song to the Lord: 2 The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. 3 My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe. He is my savior; he protects me and saves me from violence. 4 I call to the Lord, and he saves me from my enemies. Praise the Lord! 5 The waves of death were all around me; the waves of destruction rolled over me. 6 The danger of death was around me, and the grave set its trap for me. 7 In my trouble I called to the Lord; I called to my God for help. In his temple he heard my voice; he listened to my cry for help. 8 Then the earth trembled and shook; the foundations of the sky rocked and quivered because God was angry! 9 Smoke poured out of his nostrils, a consuming flame and burning coals from his mouth. 10 He tore the sky open and came down, with a dark cloud under his feet. 11 He flew swiftly on his winged creature; he traveled on the wings of the wind. 12 He covered himself with darkness; thick clouds, full of water, surrounded him; 13 burning coals flamed up from the lightning before him. 14 Then the Lord thundered from the sky, and the voice of Almighty God was heard. 15 He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies; with flashes of lightning he sent them running. 16 The floor of the ocean was laid bare, and the foundations of the earth were uncovered when the Lord rebuked his enemies and roared at them in anger. 17 The Lord reached down from above and took hold of me; he pulled me out of the deep waters. 18 He rescued me from my powerful enemies and from all those who hate me - they were too strong for me. 19 When I was in trouble, they attacked me, but the Lord protected me. 20 He helped me out of danger; he saved me because he was pleased with me. 21 The Lord rewards me because I do what is right; he blesses me because I am innocent. 22 I have obeyed the law of the Lord; I have not turned away from my God. 23 I have observed all his laws; I have not disobeyed his commands. 24 He knows that I am faultless, that I have kept myself from doing wrong. 25 And so he rewards me because I do what is right, because he knows that I am innocent. 26 O Lord, you are faithful to those who are faithful to you, and completely good to those who are perfect. 27 You are pure to those who are pure, but hostile to those who are wicked. 28 You save those who are humble, but you humble those who are proud. 29 You, Lord, are my light; you dispel my darkness. 30 You give me strength to attack my enemies and power to overcome their defenses. 31 This God - how perfect are his deeds, how dependable his words! He is like a shield for all who seek his protection. 32 The Lord alone is God; God alone is our defense. 33 This God is my strong refuge; he makes my pathway safe. 34 He makes me sure-footed as a deer; he keeps me safe on the mountains. 35 He trains me for battle, so that I can use the strongest bow. 36 O Lord, you protect me and save me; your help has made me great. 37 You have kept me from being captured, and I have never fallen. 38 I pursue my enemies and defeat them; I do not stop until I destroy them. 39 I strike them down, and they cannot rise; they lie defeated before me. 40 You give me strength for the battle and victory over my enemies. 41 You make my enemies run from me; I destroy those who hate me. 42 They look for help, but no one saves them; they call to the Lord, but he does not answer. 43 I crush them, and they become like dust; I trample on them like mud in the streets. 44 You saved me from my rebellious people and maintained my rule over the nations; people I did not know have now become my subjects. 45 Foreigners bow before me; when they hear me, they obey. 46 They lose their courage and come trembling from their fortresses. 47 The Lord lives! Praise my defender! Proclaim the greatness of the strong God who saves me! 48 He gives me victory over my enemies; he subdues the nations under me 49 and saves me from my foes. O Lord, you give me victory over my enemies and protect me from violent men. 50 And so I praise you among the nations; I sing praises to you. 51 God gives great victories to his king; he shows constant love to the one he has chosen, to David and his descendants forever.
24 Jesus saw that he was sad and said, "How hard it is for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 It is much harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle." 26 The people who heard him asked, "Who, then, can be saved?" 27 Jesus answered, "What is humanly impossible is possible for God." 28 Then Peter said, "Look! We have left our homes to follow you." 29 "Yes," Jesus said to them, "and I assure you that anyone who leaves home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God 30 will receive much more in this present age and eternal life in the age to come." 31 Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, "Listen! We are going to Jerusalem where everything the prophets wrote about the Son of Man will come true. 32 He will be handed over to the Gentiles, who will make fun of him, insult him, and spit on him. 33 They will whip him and kill him, but three days later he will rise to life." 34 But the disciples did not understand any of these things; the meaning of the words was hidden from them, and they did not know what Jesus was talking about. 35 As Jesus was coming near Jericho, there was a blind man sitting by the road, begging. 36 When he heard the crowd passing by, he asked, "What is this?" 37 "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by," they told him. 38 He cried out, "Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!" 39 The people in front scolded him and told him to be quiet. But he shouted even more loudly, "Son of David! Have mercy on me!" 40 So Jesus stopped and ordered the blind man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 "What do you want me to do for you?" "Sir," he answered, "I want to see again." 42 Jesus said to him, "Then see! Your faith has made you well." 43 At once he was able to see, and he followed Jesus, giving thanks to God. When the crowd saw it, they all praised God.
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