Psalm 79; Psalm 80; Romans 11:1-18

1 O God, the heathen have invaded your land. They have desecrated your holy Temple and left Jerusalem in ruins. 2 They left the bodies of your people for the vultures, the bodies of your servants for wild animals to eat. 3 They shed your people's blood like water; blood flowed like water all through Jerusalem, and no one was left to bury the dead. 4 The surrounding nations insult us; they laugh at us and mock us. 5 Lord, will you be angry with us forever? Will your anger continue to burn like fire? 6 Turn your anger on the nations that do not worship you, on the people who do not pray to you. 7 For they have killed your people; they have ruined your country. 8 Do not punish us for the sins of our ancestors. Have mercy on us now; we have lost all hope. 9 Help us, O God, and save us; rescue us and forgive our sins for the sake of your own honor. 10 Why should the nations ask us, "Where is your God?" Let us see you punish the nations for shedding the blood of your servants. 11 Listen to the groans of the prisoners, and by your great power free those who are condemned to die. 12 Lord, pay the other nations back seven times for all the insults they have hurled at you. 13 Then we, your people, the sheep of your flock, will thank you forever and praise you for all time to come.
1 Listen to us, O Shepherd of Israel; hear us, leader of your flock. Seated on your throne above the winged creatures, 2 reveal yourself to the tribes of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Show us your strength; come and save us! 3 Bring us back, O God! Show us your mercy, and we will be saved! 4 How much longer, Lord God Almighty, will you be angry with your people's prayers? 5 You have given us sorrow to eat, a large cup of tears to drink. 6 You let the surrounding nations fight over our land; our enemies insult us. 7 Bring us back, Almighty God! Show us your mercy, and we will be saved! 8 You brought a grapevine out of Egypt; you drove out other nations and planted it in their land. 9 You cleared a place for it to grow; its roots went deep, and it spread out over the whole land. 10 It covered the hills with its shade; its branches overshadowed the giant cedars. 11 It extended its branches to the Mediterranean Sea and as far as the Euphrates River. 12 Why did you break down the fences around it? Now anyone passing by can steal its grapes; 13 wild hogs trample it down, and wild animals feed on it. 14 Turn to us, Almighty God! Look down from heaven at us; come and save your people! 15 Come and save this grapevine that you planted, this young vine you made grow so strong! 16 Our enemies have set it on fire and cut it down; look at them in anger and destroy them! 17 Preserve and protect the people you have chosen, the nation you made so strong. 18 We will never turn away from you again; keep us alive, and we will praise you. 19 Bring us back, Lord God Almighty. Show us your mercy, and we will be saved.
1 I ask, then: Did God reject his own people? Certainly not! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people, whom he chose from the beginning. You know what the scripture says in the passage where Elijah pleads with God against Israel: 3 "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me." 4 What answer did God give him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not worshiped the false god Baal." 5 It is the same way now: there is a small number left of those whom God has chosen because of his grace. 6 His choice is based on his grace, not on what they have done. For if God's choice were based on what people do, then his grace would not be real grace. 7 What then? The people of Israel did not find what they were looking for. It was only the small group that God chose who found it; the rest grew deaf to God's call. 8 As the scripture says, "God made their minds and hearts dull; to this very day they cannot see or hear." 9 And David says, "May they be caught and trapped at their feasts; may they fall, may they be punished! 10 May their eyes be blinded so that they cannot see; and make them bend under their troubles at all times." 11 I ask, then: When the Jews stumbled, did they fall to their ruin? By no means! Because they sinned, salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make the Jews jealous of them. 12 The sin of the Jews brought rich blessings to the world, and their spiritual poverty brought rich blessings to the Gentiles. Then, how much greater the blessings will be when the complete number of Jews is included! 13 I am speaking now to you Gentiles: As long as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I will take pride in my work. 14 Perhaps I can make the people of my own race jealous, and so be able to save some of them. 15 For when they were rejected, all other people were changed from God's enemies into his friends. What will it be, then, when they are accepted? It will be life for the dead! 16 If the first piece of bread is given to God, then the whole loaf is his also; and if the roots of a tree are offered to God, the branches are his also. 17 Some of the branches of the cultivated olive tree have been broken off, and a branch of a wild olive tree has been joined to it. You Gentiles are like that wild olive tree, and now you share the strong spiritual life of the Jews. 18 So then, you must not despise those who were broken off like branches. How can you be proud? You are just a branch; you don't support the roots - the roots support you.
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