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August 26

Pastor’s Note

Today we begin our reading with the powerful and eternally applicable words: “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!” What a travesty that so many wrongly attempt to use theology to deny the plain and oft-repeated teaching of God’s word. May we understand our call as regenerate children of God to fear the Lord and live according to his precepts. More from 1 Corinthians 7 on the priority of God’s kingdom and his work, along with the high value and sobriety of the covenant promise of marriage.

— Pastor Mike

Psalms 128-131

Blessed Is Everyone Who Fears the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

128:1 Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
 who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
 you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
 within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
 around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
 who fears the Lord.

The Lord bless you from Zion!
 May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
 all the days of your life!
May you see your children’s children!
 Peace be upon Israel!

They Have Afflicted Me from My Youth

A Song of Ascents.

129:1 “Greatly [1] have they afflicted me from my youth”—
 let Israel now say—
“Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth,
 yet they have not prevailed against me.
The plowers plowed upon my back;
 they made long their furrows.”
The Lord is righteous;
 he has cut the cords of the wicked.
May all who hate Zion
 be put to shame and turned backward!
Let them be like the grass on the housetops,
 which withers before it grows up,
with which the reaper does not fill his hand
 nor the binder of sheaves his arms,
nor do those who pass by say,
 “The blessing of the Lord be upon you!
 We bless you in the name of the Lord!”

My Soul Waits for the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

130:1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
 O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
 to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
 O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
 that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
 and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
 more than watchmen for the morning,
 more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
 For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
 and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
 from all his iniquities.

I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

131:1 Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
 my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
 too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
 like a weaned child with its mother;
 like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
 from this time forth and forevermore.

1 Corinthians 7:25-40

The Unmarried and the Widowed

25 Now concerning [2] the betrothed, [3] I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present [4] distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman [5] marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, [6] if his [7] passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.

39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Footnotes

[1] 129:1 Or Often; also verse 2
[2] 7:25 The expression Now concerning introduces a reply to a question in the Corinthians’ letter; see 7:1
[3] 7:25 Greek virgins
[4] 7:26 Or impending
[5] 7:28 Greek virgin; also verse 34
[6] 7:36 Greek virgin; also verses 37, 38
[7] 7:36 Or her

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