In the Lord, I take refuge. How can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain”? Psalm 11:1

1 Chronicles 19-21

1 Chronicles 19

David’s Messengers Disgraced

1 After this, Nahash king of the Ammonites died, and his son reigned in his place. 2 David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash because his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. David’s servants came into the land of the Ammonites to Hanun, to comfort him.

3 But the leaders of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think that David is honoring your father by sending comforters to you? Haven’t his servants come to you to search, to overthrow, and to spy out the land?”

4 So Hanun took David’s servants, shaved them, and cut off their garments in the middle at their buttocks, and sent them away. 5 Then some people went and told David how the men were treated. David sent messengers to meet them, for the men were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Stay at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.”

6 When the Ammonites saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent 66,000 pounds of silver to hire chariots and horsemen from Mesopotamia, Aram-maacah, and Zobah. 7 So they hired for themselves 32,000 chariots, and the king of Maacah with his people, who came and encamped near Medeba. The Ammonites gathered together from their cities, and came to battle. 8 When David heard of it, he sent Joab with the whole army of mighty men. 9 The Ammonites came out and set up in battle formation at the gate of the city, and the kings who had come remained in the field by themselves.

David Defeats Ammon and Syria

10 Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him in the front and the rear, he chose some from all of the best men of Israel, and set them in battle formation against the Syrians. 11 He committed the rest of the people into the hand of Abishai his brother; and they put themselves in formation against the Ammonites.

12 He said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you are to help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will help you. 13 Be courageous, and let’s be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. May the Lord do that which seems good to him.”

14 So Joab and the people who were with him came near to the front of the Syrians to the battle, and they fled before him. 15 When the Ammonites saw that the Syrians had fled, they likewise fled before Abishai his brother and entered into the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.

16 When the Syrians saw that they were defeated by Israel, they sent messengers, and called out the Syrians who were beyond the River, with Shophach the captain of the army of Hadadezer leading them. 17 David was told of this, so he gathered all Israel together, passed over the Jordan, came to them, and set up in battle formation against them. So when David had drawn the battle lines against the Syrians, they fought him.

18 The Syrians fled before Israel, and of the Syrians, David killed 7,000 charioteers and 40,000 footmen, and he also killed Shophach the captain of the army. 19 When the servants of Hadadezer saw that they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with David, and served him. The Syrians would not help the Ammonites any more.

1 Chronicles 20

The Plunder of Rabbah

1 At the time of the return of the year, at the time when kings go out, Joab led the army out, and laid waste to the country of the Ammonites, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. Joab struck Rabbah, and overthrew it.

2 David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh 66 pounds of gold, and there were precious stones in it. It was set on David’s head, and he brought a large amount of plunder out of the city. 3 He brought out the people who were in it, and had them cut with saws, with iron picks, and with axes. David did so to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

Philistine Giants Slain

4 After this, war broke out at Gezer with the Philistines. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai, one of the descendants of the giant, and they were subdued.

5 Again there was war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.

6 There was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature who had 24 fingers and toes, six on each hand and six on each foot, and he also was born to the giant. 7 When he defied Israel, Jonathan, the son of Shimea, David’s brother killed him. 8 These were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell at the hand of David, and at the hand of his servants.

1 Chronicles 21

David Forces a Census

1 Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to take a census of Israel. 2 David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, “Go, count Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me word that I may know how many there are.”

3 Joab said, “May the Lord make his people a hundred times as many as they are, but, my lord the king, aren’t they all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord require this thing? Why will he be a cause of guilt to Israel?”

4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed and went throughout all Israel, then came to Jerusalem. 5 Joab gave up the sum of the census of the people to David. All those of Israel were 1,100,000 swordsmen, and in Judah were 470,000 swordsmen. 6 But he did not count Levi and Benjamin’s tribes among them, for the king’s word was abominable to Joab.

David’s Repentance Spares Jerusalem

7 The Lord was displeased with this, therefore he struck Israel. 8 David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing. But now take away, I beg you, the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”

9 The Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘The Lord says, “I am offering you three things. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.” ’ ”

11 So Gad came to David, and said to him, “The Lord says, ‘Make your choice: 12 either three years of famine or three months of destruction by your enemies while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord with pestilence in the land and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the borders of Israel. Now therefore consider what answer I shall return to him who sent me.’ ”

13 David said to Gad, “I am in distress. Let me fall, I pray, into the hand of the Lord, for his mercies are very great. Don’t let me fall into the hands of man.’”

14 So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell. 15 The Lord sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw, and he relented of the disaster and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough. Now withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

16 David looked up, and saw the angel of the Lord standing between the earth and sky, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 David said to the Lord, “Isn’t it I who commanded the people to be counted? It is I who have sinned and acted very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O Lord my God, be against me and against my father’s house but not against your people that they should be plagued.”

David Builds an Alter

18 Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to tell David that David should go up and raise an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spoke in the name of the Lord.

20 Ornan turned back and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. 21 As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went from the threshing floor, and bowed to David with his face to the ground.

22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar to the Lord on it. You shall sell it to me for the full price, that the plague may be stopped from afflicting the people.”

23 Ornan said to David, “Take it for yourself, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes. I give the oxen for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I give it all.”

24 King David said to Ornan, “No; but I will most certainly buy it for the full price. For I will not take that which is yours for the Lord, nor offer a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

25 So David gave to Ornan 600 pieces of gold by weight for the place. 26 David built an altar to the Lord there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the Lord; and he answered him from the sky by fire on the altar of burnt offering.

27 Then the Lord commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath. 28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. 29 For the Lord’s tabernacle, which Moses made in the wilderness and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon. 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of the Lord, for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the Lord.

Romans 3:1-20

God Remains Faithful

1 Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Because first of all, they were entrusted with the revelations of God. 3 For what if some were without faith? Will their lack of faith nullify the faithfulness of God?

4 May it never be! Yes, let God be found true, but every man a liar. As it is written,

“That you might be justified in your words,
and might prevail when you come into judgment.”

5 But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what will we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak like men do. 6 May it never be! For then how will God judge the world? 7 For if my untruthfulness emphasizes God’s truthfulness, to the increase of his glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 Why not say (as we are slanderously reported as saying, and as some affirm it), “Let’s do evil, that good may come?” Those who say so are justly condemned.

There is No One Righteous

9 What then? Are we better than they? No, in no way. For we previously warned both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

10 As it is written,

“There is no one righteous,
no, not one.

11 There is no one who understands.
There is no one who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned away.
They have together become corrupt.
There is no one who does good, no, not one.”
13 “Their throat is an open tomb.
With their tongues they have used deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood.
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways.
17 The way of peace, they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God. 20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

Psalm 11

For the Chief Musician. By David.

1 In the Lord, I take refuge.
How can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain”?
2 For the wicked bend their bows.
They set their arrows on the strings,
that they may shoot in darkness at the upright in heart.

3 If the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?
4 The Lord is in his holy temple.
The Lord is on his throne in heaven.
His eyes observe.
His eyes examine the children of men.
5 The Lord examines the righteous,
but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
6 On the wicked he will rain blazing coals.
Fire, sulfur, and scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For God is righteous.
He loves righteousness.
The upright shall see his face.

Proverbs 19:10-12

10 Delicate living is not appropriate for a fool,
much less for a servant to have rule over princes.
11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger.
It is his glory to overlook an offense.
12 The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.

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