Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife. Proverbs 17:1

1 Kings 8

The Ark Enters the Temple

1 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, with all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the ancestral Israelite families, to king Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the Ark of the Lord’s covenant out of the city of David, which is Zion. 2 All the men of Israel assembled with king Solomon at the feast, in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.

3 All the elders of Israel came, and the priests picked up the Ark. 4 They brought up the Ark of the Lord, the Tent of Meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the Tent. The priests and the Levites brought these up. 5 King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who were assembled with him, were with him before the Ark, sacrificing sheep and cattle, that were so numerous they could not be counted or numbered. 6 The priests brought in the Ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the most holy place, under the cherubim’s wings. 7 For the cherubim spread their wings out over the place of the Ark, and the cherubim covered the Ark and its poles above. 8 The poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the holy place before the inner sanctuary, but they were not seen outside. They are there to this day. 9 There was nothing in the Ark except the two stone tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, when they came out of the land of Egypt.

10 It came to pass, when the priests had come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.

Solomon Praises the Lord

12 Then Solomon said,

“The Lord has said that he would dwell
in the thick darkness.
13 I have surely built you an exalted temple,
a place for you to dwell in forever.”

14 The king turned his face around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, and all the assembly of Israel stood. 15 He said,

“Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, who spoke with his mouth to David your father and has, with his hand, fulfilled it, saying, 16 ‘Since the day that I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house, that my name might be there, but I chose David to be over my people Israel.’

17 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.

18 But the Lord said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19 Nevertheless, you shall not build the house, but your son who shall come from your body, he shall build the house for my name.’

20 The Lord has established his word that he spoke, for I have risen up in the place of David my father, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 There I have set a place for the ark, in which is the Lord’s covenant which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

22 Solomon stood before the alter of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven, 23 and he said,

 “Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath who keeps covenant and loving kindness with your servants, who walk before you with all their heart, 24 who has kept with your servant David my father that which you promised him. Yes, you spoke with your mouth and have fulfilled it with your hand, as it is today.

25 Now therefore, may the Lord, the God of Israel, keep with your servant, my father David, that which you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sitting, in my sight, on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants will take heed to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’

26 “Now therefore, O God of Israel, please let your word be verified, which you spoke to your servant David my father.

27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain you. How much less this house that I have built! 28 Yet you respect the prayer of your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer which your servant is praying before you today, 29 that your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ listening to the prayer which your servant prays toward this place.

30 Listen to the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Yes, hear in heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

31 If a man sins against his neighbor and an oath is laid on him to cause him to swear and he comes and swears before your altar in this house, 32 then hear in heaven and act and judge your servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way on his own head and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.

33 When your people Israel are struck down before the enemy because they have sinned against you, if they turn back to you and confess your name and pray and make supplication to you in this house, 34 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land which you gave to their fathers.

35 When the sky is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and confess your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them, 36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants and of your people Israel, when you teach them the right way in which they should walk, and send rain on your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.

37 If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight, mildew, locust or caterpillar; if their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague, whatever sickness there is; 38 whatever prayer and supplication is made by any man, or by all your people Israel, who shall each know the affliction of his own heart, and spread out his hands toward this house, 39 then hear in heaven, your dwelling place and forgive and act and give to every man according to all his ways, whose heart you know (for you, you alone, know the hearts of all men), 40 that they may fear you all the days that they live in the land which you gave to our fathers.

41 Moreover concerning the foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for your name’s sake 42 (for they shall hear of your great name and of your mighty hand and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, 43 hear in heaven, your dwelling place and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you for, that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, to fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by your name.

44 If your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city which you have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for your name, 45 then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication and maintain their cause.

46 If they sin against you (for there is no man who does not sin), and you are angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, so that they take them captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near, 47 yet if they repent in the land where they are taken captive and turn back and make supplication to you in the land of those who took them captive, saying, ‘We have sinned and have acted perversely; w have dealt wickedly,’ 48 if they return to you with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive and pray to you toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city which you have chosen and the house which I have built for your name, 49 then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven, your dwelling place and maintain their cause, 50 and forgive your people who have sinned against you and all their transgressions in which they have transgressed against you, and give them compassion before those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them 51 (for they are your people and your inheritance, which you brought out of Egypt, from the middle of the iron furnace), 52 that your eyes may be open to the supplication of your servant and to the supplication of your people Israel, to listen to them whenever they cry to you.

53 For you separated them from among all the peoples of the earth, to be your inheritance, as you spoke by Moses your servant, when you brought our fathers out of Egypt, Lord God.”

Solomon’s Benediction

54 It was so, that when Solomon had finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, he arose from before the alter of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread out toward heaven. 55 He stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying,

56 “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. There has not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by Moses his servant. 57 May the Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. Let him not leave us or forsake us, 58 that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, which he commanded our fathers.

59 Let these my words, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as every day requires, 60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord himself is God. There is no one else.

61 Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes and to keep his commandments, as it is today.”

Sacrifices of Dedication

62 The king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord. 63 Solomon offered for the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered to God, 22,000 head of cattle and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated the house of the Lord. 64 The same day the king made the middle of the court holy that was before the house of the Lord, for there he offered the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar that was before the Lord was too small to receive the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat of the peace offerings.

65 So Solomon held the feast at that time and all Israel with him, a great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt, before the Lord our God, seven days and seven more days, fourteen days. 66 On the fifteenth day he sent the people away, and they blessed the king and went to their tents joyful and glad in their hearts for all the goodness that the Lord had shown to David his servant, and to Israel his people.

Acts 8:1-25

Saul Persecutes the Church

1 Saul was there, consenting to Stephen’s death. A great persecution arose against the assembly which was in Jerusalem in that day. They were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles. 2 Devout men buried Stephen and lamented greatly over him. 3 But Saul ravaged the assembly, entering into every house and dragging both men and women off to prison.

Philip in Samaria

4 Those who were scattered abroad went around preaching the word. 5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Messiah. 6 The multitudes listened with one accord to the things that were spoken by Philip when they heard and saw the signs which he did. 7 For unclean spirits came out of many of those who had them. They came out, crying with a loud voice. Many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 There was great joy in that city.

Simon the Sorcerer

9 But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who used to practice sorcery in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, making himself out to be someone great, 10 to whom they all listened, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God called the great one.” 11 They listened to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip, preaching good news concerning the Kingdom of God and in the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself also believed. Being baptized, he continued with Philip. Seeing signs and great miracles occurring, he was amazed.

14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit; 16 for as yet He had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of Christ Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me also this power, that whomever I lay my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thoughts of your heart may be forgiven. 23 For I see that you have the poison of bitterness and the bondage of sin.”

24 Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that none of the things which you have spoken happen to me.”

25 They therefore, when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem and preached the Good News to many villages of the Samaritans.

Psalm 129

The cords of the Wicked

A Song of Ascents.

1 Many times they have afflicted me from my youth.
Let Israel now say,
2 many times they have afflicted me from my youth,
yet they have not prevailed against me.
3 The plowers plowed on my back.
They made their furrows long.

4 The Lord is righteous.
He has cut apart the cords of the wicked.
5 Let them be disappointed and turned backward,
all those who hate Zion.
6 Let them be like the grass on the housetops,
which withers before it grows up,
7 with which the reaper does not fill his hand,
nor he who binds sheaves, his bosom.
8 Neither do those who go by say,
“The blessing of the Lord be on you.
We bless you in the name of the Lord.”

Proverbs 17:1

1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness,
than a house full of feasting with strife.

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