Psalm 81; Psalm 82; Psalm 83; Romans 11:19-36

1 Shout for joy to God our defender; sing praise to the God of Jacob! 2 Start the music and beat the tambourines; play pleasant music on the harps and the lyres. 3 Blow the trumpet for the festival, when the moon is new and when the moon is full. 4 This is the law in Israel, an order from the God of Jacob. 5 He gave it to the people of Israel when he attacked the land of Egypt. I hear an unknown voice saying, 6 "I took the burdens off your backs; I let you put down your loads of bricks. 7 When you were in trouble, you called to me, and I saved you. From my hiding place in the storm, I answered you. I put you to the test at the springs of Meribah. 8 Listen, my people, to my warning; Israel, how I wish you would listen to me! 9 You must never worship another god. 10 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt. Open your mouth, and I will feed you. 11 "But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not obey me. 12 So I let them go their stubborn ways and do whatever they wanted. 13 How I wish my people would listen to me; how I wish they would obey me! 14 I would quickly defeat their enemies and conquer all their foes. 15 Those who hate me would bow in fear before me; their punishment would last forever. 16 But I would feed you with the finest wheat and satisfy you with wild honey."
1 God presides in the heavenly council; in the assembly of the gods he gives his decision: 2 "You must stop judging unjustly; you must no longer be partial to the wicked! 3 Defend the rights of the poor and the orphans; be fair to the needy and the helpless. 4 Rescue them from the power of evil people. 5 "How ignorant you are! How stupid! You are completely corrupt, and justice has disappeared from the world. 6 "You are gods,' I said; "all of you are children of the Most High.' 7 But you will die like mortals; your life will end like that of any prince." 8 Come, O God, and rule the world; all the nations are yours.
1 O God, do not keep silent; do not be still, do not be quiet! 2 Look! Your enemies are in revolt, and those who hate you are rebelling. 3 They are making secret plans against your people; they are plotting against those you protect. 4 "Come," they say, "let us destroy their nation, so that Israel will be forgotten forever." 5 They agree on their plan and form an alliance against you: 6 the people of Edom and the Ishmaelites; the people of Moab and the Hagrites; 7 the people of Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, and of Philistia and Tyre. 8 Assyria has also joined them as a strong ally of the Ammonites and Moabites, the descendants of Lot. 9 Do to them what you did to the Midianites, and to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River. 10 You defeated them at Endor, and their bodies rotted on the ground. 11 Do to their leaders what you did to Oreb and Zeeb; defeat all their rulers as you did Zebah and Zalmunna, 12 who said, "We will take for our own the land that belongs to God." 13 Scatter them like dust, O God, like straw blown away by the wind. 14 As fire burns the forest, as flames set the hills on fire, 15 chase them away with your storm and terrify them with your fierce winds. 16 Cover their faces with shame, O Lord, and make them acknowledge your power. 17 May they be defeated and terrified forever; may they die in complete disgrace. 18 May they know that you alone are the Lord, supreme ruler over all the earth.
19 But you will say, "Yes, but the branches were broken off to make room for me." 20 That is true. They were broken off because they did not believe, while you remain in place because you do believe. But do not be proud of it; instead, be afraid. 21 God did not spare the Jews, who are like natural branches; do you think he will spare you? 22 Here we see how kind and how severe God is. He is severe toward those who have fallen, but kind to you - if you continue in his kindness. But if you do not, you too will be broken off. 23 And if the Jews abandon their unbelief, they will be put back in the place where they were; for God is able to do that. 24 You Gentiles are like the branch of a wild olive tree that is broken off and then, contrary to nature, is joined to a cultivated olive tree. The Jews are like this cultivated tree; and it will be much easier for God to join these broken-off branches to their own tree again. 25 There is a secret truth, my friends, which I want you to know, for it will keep you from thinking how wise you are. It is that the stubbornness of the people of Israel is not permanent, but will last only until the complete number of Gentiles comes to God. 26 And this is how all Israel will be saved. As the scripture says, "The Savior will come from Zion and remove all wickedness from the descendants of Jacob. 27 I will make this covenant with them when I take away their sins." 28 Because they reject the Good News, the Jews are God's enemies for the sake of you Gentiles. But because of God's choice, they are his friends because of their ancestors. 29 For God does not change his mind about whom he chooses and blesses. 30 As for you Gentiles, you disobeyed God in the past; but now you have received God's mercy because the Jews were disobedient. 31 In the same way, because of the mercy that you have received, the Jews now disobey God, in order that they also may now receive God's mercy. 32 For God has made all people prisoners of disobedience, so that he might show mercy to them all. 33 How great are God's riches! How deep are his wisdom and knowledge! Who can explain his decisions? Who can understand his ways? 34 As the scripture says, "Who knows the mind of the Lord? Who is able to give him advice? 35 Who has ever given him anything, so that he had to pay it back?" 36 For all things were created by him, and all things exist through him and for him. To God be the glory forever! Amen.
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