Reflecting on the Third
Sunday after Pentecost
Year B

Daily Readings for Wednesday
June 13, 2018

Psalm 108

I will sing praises among the nations

 

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;

I will sing and make melody.

Awake, my soul!

Awake, O harp and lyre!

I will awake the dawn.

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples,

and I will sing praises to you among the nations.

For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,

and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,

and let your glory be over all the earth.

Give victory with your right hand, and answer me,

so that those whom you love may be rescued.

God has promised in his sanctuary:

“With exultation I will divide up Shechem,

and portion out the Vale of Succoth.

Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;

Ephraim is my helmet;

Judah is my scepter.

Moab is my washbasin;

on Edom I hurl my shoe;

over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

Who will bring me to the fortified city?

Who will lead me to Edom?

Have you not rejected us, O God?

You do not go out, O God, with our armies.

O grant us help against the foe,

for human help is worthless.

With God we shall do valiantly;

it is he who will tread down our foes.

 

1 Samuel 9:1-14

Saul travels to Samuel’s town

 

There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish son of Abiel son of Zeror son of Becorath son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. He had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders above everyone else.

 

Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, had strayed. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the boys with you; go and look for the donkeys.” He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of Benjamin, but they did not find them.

 

When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the boy who was with him, “Let us turn back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and worry about us.” But he said to him, “There is a man of God in this town; he is a man held in honor. Whatever he says always comes true. Let us go there now; perhaps he will tell us about the journey on which we have set out.” Then Saul replied to the boy, “But if we go, what can we bring the man? For the bread in our sacks is gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What have we?” The boy answered Saul again, “Here, I have with me a quarter shekel of silver; I will give it to the man of God, to tell us our way.” (Formerly in Israel, anyone who went to inquire of God would say, “Come, let us go to the seer”; for the one who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.) Saul said to the boy, “Good; come, let us go.” So they went to the town where the man of God was.

 

As they went up the hill to the town, they met some girls coming out to draw water, and said to them, “Is the seer here?” They answered, “Yes, there he is just ahead of you. Hurry; he has come just now to the town, because the people have a sacrifice today at the shrine. As soon as you enter the town, you will find him, before he goes up to the shrine to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those eat who are invited. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately.” So they went up to the town. As they were entering the town, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way up to the shrine.

Luke 11:14-28

Jesus and Beelzebub

 

Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?—for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

 

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ When it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

 

While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”

 

 

Psalm 74

God will save us from the enemy

 

O God, why do you cast us off forever?

Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?

Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,

which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.

Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.

Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;

the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.

Your foes have roared within your holy place;

they set up their emblems there.

At the upper entrance they hacked

the wooden trellis with axes.

And then, with hatchets and hammers,

they smashed all its carved work.

They set your sanctuary on fire;

they desecrated the dwelling place of your name,

bringing it to the ground.

They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;

they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

We do not see our emblems;

there is no longer any prophet,

and there is no one among us who knows how long.

How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?

Is the enemy to revile your name forever?

Why do you hold back your hand;

why do you keep your hand in your bosom?

Yet God my King is from of old,

working salvation in the earth.

You divided the sea by your might;

you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.

You crushed the heads of Leviathan;

you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

You cut openings for springs and torrents;

you dried up ever-flowing streams.

Yours is the day, yours also the night;

you established the luminaries and the sun.

You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;

you made summer and winter.

Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,

and an impious people reviles your name.

Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;

do not forget the life of your poor forever.

Have regard for your covenant,

for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.

Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;

let the poor and needy praise your name.

Rise up, O God, plead your cause;

remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.

Do not forget the clamor of your foes,

the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

 

Isaiah 26:16—27:1

God destroys Leviathan

 

O Lord, in distress they sought you,

they poured out a prayer

when your chastening was on them.

Like a woman with child,

who writhes and cries out in her pangs

when she is near her time,

so were we because of you, O Lord;

we were with child, we writhed,

but we gave birth only to wind.

We have won no victories on earth,

and no one is born to inhabit the world.

Your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise.

O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy!

For your dew is a radiant dew,

and the earth will give birth to those long dead.

Come, my people, enter your chambers,

and shut your doors behind you;

hide yourselves for a little while

until the wrath is past.

For the Lord comes out from his place

to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;

the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,

and will no longer cover its slain.

 

On that day the Lord with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.

 

Luke 11:14-28

Jesus and Beelzebub

 

Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?—for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

 

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ When it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

 

While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”

 

 

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New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Reproduced by permission. No further reproduction allowed without the written permission of Augsburg Fortress.