Philippians 1 (Listen)

Greeting

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

The Advance of the Gospel

12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

To Live Is Christ

Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

(ESV)

2 Chronicles 9 (Listen)

The Queen of Sheba

Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions, having a very great retinue and camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. And Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing, his cupbearers, and their clothing, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the LORD, there was no more breath in her.

And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, half the greatness of your wisdom was not told me; you surpass the report that I heard. Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the LORD your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them forever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones. There were no spices such as those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

10 Moreover, the servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, brought algum wood and precious stones. 11 And the king made from the algum wood supports for the house of the LORD and for the king's house, lyres also and harps for the singers. There never was seen the like of them before in the land of Judah.

12 And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what she had brought to the king. So she turned and went back to her own land with her servants.

Solomon's Wealth

13 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 14 besides that which the explorers and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land brought gold and silver to Solomon. 15 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold; 600 shekels of beaten gold went into each shield. 16 And he made 300 shields of beaten gold; 300 shekels of gold went into each shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 17 The king also made a great ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold. 18 The throne had six steps and a footstool of gold, which were attached to the throne, and on each side of the seat were armrests and two lions standing beside the armrests, 19 while twelve lions stood there, one on each end of a step on the six steps. Nothing like it was ever made for any kingdom. 20 All King Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. Silver was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon. 21 For the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram. Once every three years the ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.

22 Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. 23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. 24 Every one of them brought his present, articles of silver and of gold, garments, myrrh, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year. 25 And Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 26 And he ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. 27 And the king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah. 28 And horses were imported for Solomon from Egypt and from all lands.

Solomon's Death

29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, from first to last, are they not written in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? 30 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31 And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father, and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.

(ESV)

Proverbs 21 (Listen)

  The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
    he turns it wherever he will.
  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
    but the LORD weighs the heart.
  To do righteousness and justice
    is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
  Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
    the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
  The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
  The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    because they refuse to do what is just.
  The way of the guilty is crooked,
    but the conduct of the pure is upright.
  It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10   The soul of the wicked desires evil;
    his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11   When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
    when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12   The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
    he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13   Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
    will himself call out and not be answered.
14   A gift in secret averts anger,
    and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
15   When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
    but terror to evildoers.
16   One who wanders from the way of good sense
    will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17   Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
    he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18   The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
    and the traitor for the upright.
19   It is better to live in a desert land
    than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20   Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling,
    but a foolish man devours it.
21   Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22   A wise man scales the city of the mighty
    and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23   Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
    keeps himself out of trouble.
24   “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
    who acts with arrogant pride.
25   The desire of the sluggard kills him,
    for his hands refuse to labor.
26   All day long he craves and craves,
    but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
27   The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
    how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
28   A false witness will perish,
    but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29   A wicked man puts on a bold face,
    but the upright gives thought to his ways.
30   No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
    can avail against the LORD.
31   The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the LORD.

(ESV)

Psalm 142 (Listen)

You Are My Refuge

A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.

  With my voice I cry out to the LORD;
    with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.
  I pour out my complaint before him;
    I tell my trouble before him.
  When my spirit faints within me,
    you know my way!
  In the path where I walk
    they have hidden a trap for me.
  Look to the right and see:
    there is none who takes notice of me;
  no refuge remains to me;
    no one cares for my soul.
  I cry to you, O LORD;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”
  Attend to my cry,
    for I am brought very low!
  Deliver me from my persecutors,
    for they are too strong for me!
  Bring me out of prison,
    that I may give thanks to your name!
  The righteous will surround me,
    for you will deal bountifully with me.

(ESV)