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Hosea 13, 14

Relentless Judgement on Israel

13When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;
   he was exalted in Israel;
   but he incurred guilt through Baal and died.
2 And now they keep on sinning
   and make a cast image for themselves,
idols of silver made according to their understanding,
   all of them the work of artisans.
‘Sacrifice to these’, they say.*
   People are kissing calves!
3 Therefore they shall be like the morning mist
   or like the dew that goes away early,
like chaff that swirls from the threshing-floor
   or like smoke from a window.


4 Yet I have been the Lord your God
   ever since the land of Egypt;
you know no God but me,
   and besides me there is no saviour.
5 It was I who fed* you in the wilderness,
   in the land of drought.
6 When I fed* them, they were satisfied;
   they were satisfied, and their heart was proud;
   therefore they forgot me.
7 So I will become like a lion to them,
   like a leopard I will lurk beside the way.
8 I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs,
   and will tear open the covering of their heart;
there I will devour them like a lion,
   as a wild animal would mangle them.


9 I will destroy you, O Israel;
   who can help you?*
10 Where now is* your king, that he may save you?
   Where in all your cities are your rulers,
of whom you said,
   ‘Give me a king and rulers’?
11 I gave you a king in my anger,
   and I took him away in my wrath.


12 Ephraim’s iniquity is bound up;
   his sin is kept in store.
13 The pangs of childbirth come for him,
   but he is an unwise son;
for at the proper time he does not present himself
   at the mouth of the womb.


14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?
   Shall I redeem them from Death?
O Death, where are* your plagues?
   O Sheol, where is* your destruction?
   Compassion is hidden from my eyes.


15 Although he may flourish among rushes,*
   the east wind shall come, a blast from the Lord,
   rising from the wilderness;
and his fountain shall dry up,
   his spring shall be parched.
It shall strip his treasury
   of every precious thing.
16 *Samaria shall bear her guilt,
   because she has rebelled against her God;
they shall fall by the sword,
   their little ones shall be dashed in pieces,
   and their pregnant women ripped open.

A Plea for Repentance

14Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
   for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
2 Take words with you
   and return to the Lord;
say to him,
   ‘Take away all guilt;
accept that which is good,
   and we will offer
   the fruit* of our lips.
3 Assyria shall not save us;
   we will not ride upon horses;
we will say no more, “Our God”,
   to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy.’

Assurance of Forgiveness


4 I will heal their disloyalty;
   I will love them freely,
   for my anger has turned from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
   he shall blossom like the lily,
   he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon.*
6 His shoots shall spread out;
   his beauty shall be like the olive tree,
   and his fragrance like that of Lebanon.
7 They shall again live beneath my* shadow,
   they shall flourish as a garden;*
they shall blossom like the vine,
   their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.


8 O Ephraim, what have I* to do with idols?
   It is I who answer and look after you.*
I am like an evergreen cypress;
   your faithfulness* comes from me.
9 Those who are wise understand these things;
   those who are discerning know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
   and the upright walk in them,
   but transgressors stumble in them.

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Psalm 104

God the Creator and Provider


1 Bless the Lord, O my soul.
   O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honour and majesty,
2   wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
3   you set the beams of your* chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your* chariot,
   you ride on the wings of the wind,
4 you make the winds your* messengers,
   fire and flame your* ministers.


5 You set the earth on its foundations,
   so that it shall never be shaken.
6 You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
   the waters stood above the mountains.
7 At your rebuke they flee;
   at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
8 They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
   to the place that you appointed for them.
9 You set a boundary that they may not pass,
   so that they might not again cover the earth.


10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
   they flow between the hills,
11 giving drink to every wild animal;
   the wild asses quench their thirst.
12 By the streams* the birds of the air have their habitation;
   they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
   the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.


14 You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
   and plants for people to use,*
to bring forth food from the earth,
15   and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
   and bread to strengthen the human heart.
16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
   the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests;
   the stork has its home in the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
   the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.
19 You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
   the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
   when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
21 The young lions roar for their prey,
   seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they withdraw
   and lie down in their dens.
23 People go out to their work
   and to their labour until the evening.


24Lord, how manifold are your works!
   In wisdom you have made them all;
   the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
   creeping things innumerable are there,
   living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
   and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.


27 These all look to you
   to give them their food in due season;
28 when you give to them, they gather it up;
   when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
   when you take away their breath, they die
   and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your spirit,* they are created;
   and you renew the face of the ground.


31 May the glory of the Lord endure for ever;
   may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
   who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
   for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
   and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!

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Matthew 6

Concerning Almsgiving

6‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 ‘So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.*

Concerning Prayer

5 ‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.*

7 ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 ‘Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
   hallowed be your name.
10   Your kingdom come.
   Your will be done,
     on earth as it is in heaven.
11   Give us this day our daily bread.*
12   And forgive us our debts,
     as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13   And do not bring us to the time of trial,*
     but rescue us from the evil one.*
14For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Concerning Fasting

16 ‘And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.*

Concerning Treasures

19 ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust* consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust* consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The Sound Eye

22 ‘The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; 23but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Serving Two Masters

24 ‘No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.*

Do Not Worry

25 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,* or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?* 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God* and his* righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 ‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

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oremus Bible Browser
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v 2.2.7
10 February 2011

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.7 10 February 2011.