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July 16

Pastor’s Note

Today we read the great Psalm 19, which highlights the truth that our God is a God who has clearly and loudly communicated. And if David could say that a thousand years before the coming the New Testament, how celebratory should we be and how blessed should we feel for being recipients of the definitive word for God—in the coming of Christ and the God-breathed writing of his apostles. The riot in Ephesus, which we read of in Acts 19, reminds us how the implications of true repentance and faith can transform a community, a society, and even an entire country.

— Pastor Mike

Psalms 19-21

The Law of the Lord Is Perfect

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
 and the sky above [1] proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
 and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
 whose voice is not heard.
Their voice [2] goes out through all the earth,
 and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
 and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
 and its circuit to the end of them,
 and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect, [3]
 reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
 making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
 rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
 enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
 enduring forever;
the rules [4] of the Lord are true,
 and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
 even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
 and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
 in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
 Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
 let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
 and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
 be acceptable in your sight,
 Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Trust in the Name of the Lord Our God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

20:1 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
 May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary
 and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings
 and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah

May he grant you your heart’s desire
 and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation,
 and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
 he will answer him from his holy heaven
 with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
 but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
 but we rise and stand upright.

Lord, save the king!
 May he answer us when we call.

The King Rejoices in the Lord‘s Strength

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

21:1 Lord, in your strength the king rejoices,
 and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire
 and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings;
 you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked life of you; you gave it to him,
 length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your salvation;
 splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
For you make him most blessed forever; [5]
 you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord,
 and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

Your hand will find out all your enemies;
 your right hand will find out those who hate you.
You will make them as a blazing oven
 when you appear.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
 and fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
 and their offspring from among the children of man.
11 Though they plan evil against you,
 though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
12 For you will put them to flight;
 you will aim at their faces with your bows.

13 Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
 We will sing and praise your power.

Acts 19:21-41

A Riot at Ephesus

21 Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.

23 About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way. 24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. 25 These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. 26 And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. 27 And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.”

28 When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s companions in travel. 30 But when Paul wished to go in among the crowd, the disciples would not let him. 31 And even some of the Asiarchs, [6] who were friends of his, sent to him and were urging him not to venture into the theater. 32 Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. 33 Some of the crowd prompted Alexander, whom the Jews had put forward. And Alexander, motioning with his hand, wanted to make a defense to the crowd. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours they all cried out with one voice, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

35 And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, who is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky? [7] 36 Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash. 37 For you have brought these men here who are neither sacrilegious nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38 If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another. 39 But if you seek anything further, [8] it shall be settled in the regular assembly. 40 For we really are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.” 41 And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.

Footnotes

[1] 19:1 Hebrew the expanse; compare Genesis 1:6-8
[2] 19:4 Or Their measuring line
[3] 19:7 Or blameless
[4] 19:9 Or just decrees
[5] 21:6 Or make him a source of blessing forever
[6] 19:31 That is, high-ranking officers of the province of Asia
[7] 19:35 The meaning of the Greek is uncertain
[8] 19:39 Some manuscripts seek about other matters

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