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

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Psalms 79

1 O God, the nations have invaded the land that belongs to you. They have dishonored your holy temple. They have left Jerusalem in ruins.
2 They have given the dead bodies of your servants to the birds for food. They have given the flesh of your godly ones to the animals.
3 They have shed the blood of your people around Jerusalem as though it were water. There is no one to bury your people.
4 We have become a disgrace to our neighbors, an object of ridicule and contempt to those around us.
5 How long, O LORD? Will you remain angry forever? Will your fury continue to burn like fire?
6 Pour your fury on the nations that do not know you, on the kingdoms that have not called you.
7 They have devoured Jacob. They have destroyed his home.
8 Do not hold the crimes of our ancestors against us. Reach out to us soon with your compassion, because we are helpless.
9 Help us, O God, our savior, for the glory of your name. Rescue us, and forgive our sins for the honor of your name.
10 Why should the nations [be allowed to] say, "Where is their God?" Let us watch as the nations learn that there is punishment for shedding the blood of your servants.
11 Let the groans of prisoners come into your presence. With your powerful arm rescue those who are condemned to death.
12 Pay each one of our neighbors back with seven times the number of insults they used to insult you, O Lord.
13 Then we, your people, the flock in your pasture, will give thanks to you forever. We will praise you throughout every generation.

Psalms 80

1 Open your ears, O Shepherd of Israel, the one who leads [the descendants of] Joseph like sheep, the one who is enthroned over the angels.
2 Appear in front of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Wake up your power, and come to save us.
3 O God, restore us and smile on us so that we may be saved.
4 O LORD God, commander of armies, how long will you smolder in anger against the prayer of your people?
5 You made them eat tears as food. You often made them drink [their own] tears.
6 You made us a source of conflict to our neighbors, and our enemies made fun of us.
7 O God, commander of armies, restore us and smile on us so that we may be saved.
8 You brought a vine from Egypt. You forced out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it so that it took root and filled the land.
10 Its shade covered the mountains. Its branches covered the mighty cedars.
11 It reached out with its branches to the Mediterranean Sea. Its shoots reached the Euphrates River.
12 Why did you break down the stone fences around this vine? All who pass by are picking its fruit.
13 Wild boars from the forest graze on it. Wild animals devour it.
14 O God, commander of armies, come back! Look from heaven and see! Come to help this vine.
15 Take care of what your right hand planted, the son you strengthened for yourself.
16 The vine has been cut down and burned. Let them be destroyed by the threatening look on your face.
17 Let your power rest on the man you have chosen, the son of man you strengthened for yourself.
18 Then we will never turn away from you. Give us life again, and we will call on you.
19 O LORD God, commander of armies, restore us, and smile on us so that we may be saved.

Romans 11:1-18

1 So I ask, "Has God rejected his people Israel?" That's unthinkable! Consider this. I'm an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham from the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God has not rejected his people whom he knew long ago. Don't you know what Elijah says in the Scripture passage when he complains to God about Israel? He says,
3 "Lord, they've killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I'm the only one left, and they're trying to take my life."
4 But what was God's reply? God said, "I've kept 7,000 people for myself who have not knelt to worship Baal."
5 So, as there were then, there are now a few left that God has chosen by his kindness.
6 If they were chosen by God's kindness, they weren't chosen because of anything they did. Otherwise, God's kindness wouldn't be kindness.
7 So what does all this mean? It means that Israel has never achieved what it has been striving for. However, those whom God has chosen have achieved it. The minds of the rest of Israel were closed,
8 as Scripture says, "To this day God has given them a spirit of deep sleep. Their eyes don't see, and their ears don't hear!"
9 And David says, "Let the table set for them become a trap and a net, a snare and a punishment for them.
10 Let their vision become clouded so that they cannot see. Let them carry back-breaking burdens forever."
11 So I ask, "Has Israel stumbled so badly that it can't get up again?" That's unthinkable! By Israel's failure, salvation has come to people who are not Jewish to make the Jewish people jealous.
12 The fall of the Jewish people made the world spiritually rich. Their failure made people who are not Jewish spiritually rich. So the inclusion of Jewish people will make the world even richer.
13 Now, I speak to you who are not Jewish. As long as I am an apostle sent to people who are not Jewish, I bring honor to my ministry.
14 Perhaps I can make my people jealous and save some of them.
15 If Israel's rejection means that the world has been brought back to God, what does Israel's acceptance mean? It means that Israel has come back to life.
16 If the first handful of dough is holy, the whole batch of dough is holy. If the root is holy, the branches are holy.
17 But some of the olive branches have been broken off, and you, a wild olive branch, have been grafted in their place. You get your nourishment from the roots of the olive tree.
18 So don't brag about being better than the other branches. If you brag, remember that you don't support the root, the root supports you.