But he said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28

Deuteronomy 26-27

Deuteronomy 26

Offering Firstfruits and Tithes

1 It shall be, when you have come in to the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, to possess it, and to dwell in it, 2 that you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you shall bring in from your land that the Lord your God is giving you. You shall put it in a basket, and shall go to the place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there. 3 You shall come to the priest who shall be in those days, and tell him, “I profess today to the Lord your God, that I have come to the land which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.”

4 The priest shall take the basket out of your hand, and set it down before the Lord your God’s altar. 5 You shall answer and say before the Lord your God,

“My father was a Syrian ready to perish. He went down into Egypt, and lived there, few in number. There he became a great, mighty, and populous nation. 6 The Egyptians mistreated us, afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us. 7 Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers. The Lord heard our voice, and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, with great terror, with signs, and with wonders; 9 and he has brought us into this place, and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 Now, behold, I have brought the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, Lord, have given me.”

You shall set it down before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God. 11 You shall rejoice in all the good which the Lord your God has given to you, and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the foreigner who is among you.

12 When you have finished tithing all the tithe of your increase in the third year, which is the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the foreigner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, that they may eat within your gates and be filled. 13 You shall say before the Lord your God, “I have put away the holy things out of my house, and also have given them to the Levite, to the foreigner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all your commandment which you have commanded me. I have not transgressed any of your commandments, neither have I forgotten them. 14 I have not eaten of it in my mourning, neither have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor given of it for the dead. I have listened to the Lord my God’s voice. I have done according to all that you have commanded me. 15 Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel, and the ground which you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Obey the Lord’s Commands

16 Today the Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore keep and do them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 You have declared today that the Lord is your God, and that you would walk in his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, and his ordinances, and listen to his voice. 18 The Lord has declared today that you are a people for his own possession, as he has promised you, and that you should keep all his commandments. 19 He will make you high above all nations that he has made, in praise, in name, and in honor; and that you may be a holy people to the Lord your God, as he has spoken.

Deuteronomy 27

The Alter on Mount Ebal

1 Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, “Keep all the commandment which I command you today.

2 It shall be on the day when you shall pass over the Jordan to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, that you shall set yourself up great stones, and coat them with plaster. 3 You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have passed over, that you may go in to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you. 4 It shall be, when you have crossed over the Jordan, that you shall set up these stones, which I command you today, on Mount Ebal, and you shall coat them with plaster. 5 There you shall build an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. You shall not use any iron tool on them. 6 You shall build the Lord your God’s altar of uncut stones. You shall offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. 7 You shall sacrifice peace offerings, and shall eat there. You shall rejoice before the Lord your God. 8 You shall write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly.”

9 Moses and the Levitical priests spoke to all Israel, saying, “Be silent and listen, Israel! Today you have become the people of the Lord your God. 10 You shall therefore obey the Lord your God’s voice, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command you today.”

Curses Pronounced from Ebal

11 Moses commanded the people the same day, saying, 12 “These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have crossed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 13 These shall stand on Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. With a loud voice, the Levites shall say to all the men of Israel,

15 ‘Cursed is the man who makes an engraved or molten image, an abomination to the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’
All the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’

16 ‘Cursed is he who dishonors his father or his mother.’
All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

17 ‘Cursed is he who removes his neighbor’s landmark.’
All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

18 ‘Cursed is he who leads the blind astray on the road.’
All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

19 ‘Cursed is he who withholds justice from the foreigner, fatherless, and widow.’
All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

20 ‘Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he dishonors his father’s bed.’
All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

21 ‘Cursed is he who lies with any kind of animal.’
All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

22‘Cursed is he who lies with his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter.’
All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

23 ‘Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law.’
All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

24 ‘Cursed is he who secretly kills his neighbor.’
All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

25 ‘Cursed is he who takes a bribe to kill an innocent person.’
All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

26 ‘Cursed is he who does not uphold the words of this law by doing them.’
All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’ ”

Luke 11:14-36

A House Divided

14 He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons.” 16 Others, testing him, sought from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. A house divided against itself falls. 18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 But if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if I by God’s finger cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come to you.

21 “When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks him and overcomes him, he takes from him his whole armor in which he trusted, and divides his plunder.

23He that is not with me is against me. He who doesn’t gather with me scatters.

Return of an Unclean Spirit

24 The unclean spirit, when he has gone out of the man, passes through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none, he says, ‘I will turn back to my house from which I came out.’ 25 When he returns, he finds it swept and put in order. 26 Then he goes, and takes seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”

True Blessedness

27 It came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!”

28 But he said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it.”

The Sign of Jonah

29 When the crowds were gathering together to him, he began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks after a sign. No sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah, the prophet. 30 For even as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so the Son of Man will also be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and will condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, one greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, one greater than Jonah is here.

The Lamp of the Body

33 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light. 34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn’t darkness. 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light.”

Psalm 77

For the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm by Asaph.

1 My cry goes to God!
Indeed, I cry to God for help,
and for him to listen to me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord.
My hand was stretched out in the night, and didn’t get tired.
My soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remember God, and I groan.
I complain, and my spirit is overwhelmed.

Selah.

4 You hold my eyelids open.
I am so troubled that I can’t speak.
5 I have considered the days of old,
the years of ancient times.
6 I remember my song in the night.
I consider in my own heart;
my spirit diligently inquires:
7 “Will the Lord reject us forever?
Will he be favorable no more?
8 Has his loving kindness vanished forever?
Does his promise fail for generations?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he, in anger, withheld his compassion?”

Selah.

10 Then I thought, “I will appeal to this:
the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the Lord’s deeds;
for I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will also meditate on all your work,
and consider your doings.
13 Your way, God, is in the sanctuary.
What god is great like God?
14 You are the God who does wonders.
You have made your strength known among the peoples.
15 You have redeemed your people with your arm,
the sons of Jacob and Joseph.

Selah.

16 The waters saw you, God.
The waters saw you, and they writhed.
The depths also convulsed.
17 The clouds poured out water.
The skies resounded with thunder.
Your arrows also flashed around.
18 The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind.
The lightnings lit up the world.
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea;
your paths through the great waters.
Your footsteps were not known.
20 You led your people like a flock,
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Proverbs 12:18

18 There is one who speaks rashly like the piercing of a sword,
but the tongue of the wise heals.

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