22 You gave them kingdoms and peoples,
and you divided their whole territory among them.
They took possession of the land of Sihon, the land of the king of Heshbon,
and also the land of Og, the king of Bashan.
23 You made their children as numerous as the stars of heaven.
You brought them to the land that you had told their ancestors to enter and possess.
24 Their children came and possessed the land,
and you subdued the Canaanite inhabitants of the land before them.
You gave their kings and the peoples of the land into their hand
to do with them as they pleased.
25 They captured fortified cities and fertile land.
They possessed houses full of all kinds of good things,
hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive orchards,
and fruit trees in abundance.
They ate and were satisfied.
They became fat and delighted in your great goodness.
26 But they rebelled and revolted against you and rejected your Law.
They killed your prophets, who had testified against them
so that they would return to you.
They also committed great blasphemies.
27 So you delivered them into the hand of their oppressors,
who made them suffer.
But when they cried to you at the time of their distress,
you heard from heaven,
and according to your great compassion, you gave them deliverers,
who saved them from the hand of their oppressors.
28 However, as soon as they had rest, they returned to doing evil before you.
So you abandoned them into the hand of their enemies,
and they ruled over them.
Then they turned and cried out to you.
You heard from heaven,
and you rescued them many times, according to your great compassion.
29 You testified against them to lead them back to your law,
but they acted arrogantly and did not listen to your commands.
They sinned against your judgments
by which a man will live when he obeys them.
They turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked, and would not listen.
30 You were patient with them for many years,
and you testified against them by your Spirit through your prophets.
But they would not listen,
so you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
31 Nevertheless, in your great compassion you did not put an end to them.
You did not abandon them,
because you are a gracious and compassionate God.
32 So now, you our God, the great, mighty, and awe-inspiring God,
who keeps the covenant of mercy,
do not regard as trivial all the hardships that have found us,
our kings, our officials, our priests, our prophets,
our ancestors, and all your people,
from the days of the kings of Assyria to this day.
33 You are righteous in regard to everything that has come upon us,
because you have acted faithfully, but we have acted wickedly.
34 Our kings, our officials, our priests, and our ancestors did not follow your law.
They did not pay attention to your commands
or to your testimony that you gave against them.
35 Although they were in their own kingdom,
and they were enjoying your great goodness that you gave to them,
and they were enjoying the spacious and fertile land
that you placed before them,
they still did not serve you,
and they did not repent of their evil deeds.
36 As a result, we are slaves today.
We are slaves in the land that you gave to our ancestors
so that they could eat its fruit and its good things.
37 It is yielding abundant produce to kings
whom you placed over us because of our sins,
and they are ruling our bodies and our livestock as they please,
while we are in great distress.
The Solemn Agreement[a]
10 So in all this we are making a solemn agreement and putting it in writing and attaching the seals of our officials, Levites, and priests.
These were the men who placed their seals on it:
Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hakaliah,
Zedekiah, 2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,
3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malkijah,
4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluk,
5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,
6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,
8 Ma’aziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah.
These are the priests.
9 The Levites were:
Jeshua son of Azaniah, Binnui from the sons of Henadad, and Kadmiel.
10 Their relatives were Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,
11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12 Zakkur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,
13 Hodiah, Bani, and Beninu.
14 The heads of the people were:
Parosh, Pahath Moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,
16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,
18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, 19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,
20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,
22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,
24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Ma’aseiah,
26 and Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, 27 Malluk, Harim, Ba’anah.
28 Now the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and every person who had separated himself from the peoples of the lands for the sake of the Law of God, with their wives, their sons, and their daughters—all the people who have knowledge and understanding— 29 are making a commitment with their brothers, that is, with the important people, and they are placing themselves under a curse and under an oath to walk in the Law of God that was given through Moses the servant of God, an oath to keep the law and to obey all the commands of the Lord our God and his judgments and his statutes.
The Terms of the Agreement
30 We promise to keep these points:
We will not give our daughters in marriage to the peoples of the land, and we will not take their daughters for marriage to our sons.
31 We will not buy anything from the peoples of the land who are bringing goods and all kinds of grain to sell on the Sabbath day or on a holy day.
We will leave the land fallow during the seventh year, and we will forgive every loan.
32 We will each assume the responsibility to keep the commands to give a third of a shekel per year for the service of the house of our God, 33 for the Bread of the Presence, for the regular daily grain offerings, the continual burnt offerings, the Sabbath offerings, the New Moon offerings, for the appointed festivals and holy offerings, and for sin offerings to atone for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.
34 We—the priests, the Levites, and the people—have cast lots to determine our turns for each fathers’ house[b] to bring the wood offering to the house of our God, at the appointed times each year, to be burned upon the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the Law.
35 We pledge to bring the firstfruits of our land and the firstfruits of every kind of fruit tree to the house of our God for ourselves. 36 We also will bring the firstborn of our sons and our animals, as is written in the Law, and we will bring the firstborn of our cattle and flocks to the house of our God for the priests who serve in the house of our God, 37 and we will bring the first of our dough and our contributions and the fruit of every tree. We will bring new wine and olive oil to the priests, to the storerooms of the house of our God, and we will bring the tithe from our land to the Levites. It is the Levites who collect the tithes in all the cities where we work. 38 A priest, a descendant of Aaron, will be with the Levites when the Levites collect the tithes. The Levites will bring a tenth of the tithes up to the house of our God, to the chambers of the treasury, 39 because the Israelites and the sons of Levi are to bring the contribution from the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil to the storerooms where the vessels of the sanctuary are kept, where the priests, the gatekeepers, and the singers serve.
In this way we will not abandon the house of our God.
1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13
19 In fact, although I am free from all, I enslaved myself to all so that I might gain many more. 20 To the Jews, I became like a Jew so that I might gain Jews. To those who are under the law, I became like a person under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might gain those who are under the law. 21 To those who are without the law, I became like a person without the law (though I am not without God’s law but am within the law of Christ) so that I might gain those who are without the law. 22 To the weak, I became weak so that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all people so that I may save at least some. 23 And I do everything for the sake of the gospel so that I may share in it along with others.
Christian Effort and Self-Discipline
24 Do you not know that when runners compete in the stadium, they all run, but only one receives the prize? Run like that—to win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable victor’s wreath, but we do it for an imperishable one. 26 That is why there is nothing aimless about the way I run. There is no pummeling of the air in the way I box. 27 Instead I hit my body hard and make it my slave so that, after preaching to others, I myself will not be rejected.
A Lesson From Sacred History: Be Careful Not to Fall
10 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea, 2 and they were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them—and that rock was Christ! 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them. He had them die in the wilderness.
6 Now these things took place as examples to warn us not to desire evil things the way they did. 7 Do not become idolaters like some of them—as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to celebrate wildly.”[a] 8 And let us not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell. 9 Let us not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and so were being destroyed by the serpents. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them grumbled, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 All[b] these things that were happening to them had meaning as examples, and they were written down to warn us, to whom the end of the ages has come.
12 So let him who thinks he stands be careful that he does not fall. 13 No testing has overtaken you except ordinary testing. But God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tested beyond your ability, but when he tests you, he will also bring about the outcome that you are able to bear it.
Blessed Is the Person Who Takes Refuge in God
By David. When he pretended to be insane in the presence of Abimelek, who drove him away, and David left.[a]
David’s Thanks for Deliverance
1 I will bless the Lord at all times.
His praise will always be in my mouth.
2 In the Lord my soul will boast.
The humble will hear and rejoice.
An Invitation to Join David in Praise
3 Proclaim the greatness of the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
The Story of David’s Deliverance
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me.
From all my terrors he delivered me.
5 His people look to him and are radiant,
and their faces will never blush.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard.
From all his distress the Lord saved him.
7 The Angel of the Lord[b] camps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
The Application of This Truth to All Believers
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Blessed is everyone who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his saints,
since those who fear him lack nothing.
10 Young lions may lack food and be hungry,
but those who seek the Lord do not lack any good thing.
13 Whoever shuts his ear to the cries of the poor—
he too will cry out and not be answered.