Revelation 19 (Listen)

Rejoicing in Heaven

After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,

  “Hallelujah!
  Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
    for his judgments are true and just;
  for he has judged the great prostitute
    who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
  and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

Once more they cried out,

  “Hallelujah!
  The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”

And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And from the throne came a voice saying,

  “Praise our God,
    all you his servants,
  you who fear him,
    small and great.”

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

  “Hallelujah!
  For the Lord our God
    the Almighty reigns.
  Let us rejoice and exult
    and give him the glory,
  for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready;
  it was granted her to clothe herself
    with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The Rider on a White Horse

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

(ESV)

Deuteronomy 15 (Listen)

The Sabbatical Year

“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the LORD's release has been proclaimed. Of a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release. But there will be no poor among you; for the LORD will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess—if only you will strictly obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. For the LORD your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.

“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the LORD against you, and you be guilty of sin. 10 You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

12 “If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed. 14 You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. As the LORD your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. 16 But if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he is well-off with you, 17 then you shall take an awl, and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your slave forever. And to your female slave you shall do the same. 18 It shall not seem hard to you when you let him go free from you, for at half the cost of a hired worker he has served you six years. So the LORD your God will bless you in all that you do.

19 “All the firstborn males that are born of your herd and flock you shall dedicate to the LORD your God. You shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 You shall eat it, you and your household, before the LORD your God year by year at the place that the LORD will choose. 21 But if it has any blemish, if it is lame or blind or has any serious blemish whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22 You shall eat it within your towns. The unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as though it were a gazelle or a deer. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.

(ESV)

Proverbs 3 (Listen)

Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart

  My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but let your heart keep my commandments,
  for length of days and years of life
    and peace they will add to you.
  Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
    bind them around your neck;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
  So you will find favor and good success
    in the sight of God and man.
  Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
  In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
  Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
  It will be healing to your flesh
    and refreshment to your bones.
  Honor the LORD with your wealth
    and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10   then your barns will be filled with plenty,
    and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11   My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline
    or be weary of his reproof,
12   for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
    as a father the son in whom he delights.

Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom

13   Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
    and the one who gets understanding,
14   for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
    and her profit better than gold.
15   She is more precious than jewels,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16   Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
17   Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.
18   She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
    those who hold her fast are called blessed.
19   The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
    by understanding he established the heavens;
20   by his knowledge the deeps broke open,
    and the clouds drop down the dew.
21   My son, do not lose sight of these—
    keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22   and they will be life for your soul
    and adornment for your neck.
23   Then you will walk on your way securely,
    and your foot will not stumble.
24   If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25   Do not be afraid of sudden terror
    or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
26   for the LORD will be your confidence
    and will keep your foot from being caught.
27   Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
    when it is in your power to do it.
28   Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
    tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
29   Do not plan evil against your neighbor,
    who dwells trustingly beside you.
30   Do not contend with a man for no reason,
    when he has done you no harm.
31   Do not envy a man of violence
    and do not choose any of his ways,
32   for the devious person is an abomination to the LORD,
    but the upright are in his confidence.
33   The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
34   Toward the scorners he is scornful,
    but to the humble he gives favor.
35   The wise will inherit honor,
    but fools get disgrace.

(ESV)

Psalm 37 (Listen)

He Will Not Forsake His Saints

Of David.

  Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
    be not envious of wrongdoers!
  For they will soon fade like the grass
    and wither like the green herb.
  Trust in the LORD, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
  Delight yourself in the LORD,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
  Commit your way to the LORD;
    trust in him, and he will act.
  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
    and your justice as the noonday.
  Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
    fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!
  Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
    Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
  For the evildoers shall be cut off,
    but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
10   In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
    though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11   But the meek shall inherit the land
    and delight themselves in abundant peace.
12   The wicked plots against the righteous
    and gnashes his teeth at him,
13   but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
    for he sees that his day is coming.
14   The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
    to bring down the poor and needy,
    to slay those whose way is upright;
15   their sword shall enter their own heart,
    and their bows shall be broken.
16   Better is the little that the righteous has
    than the abundance of many wicked.
17   For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
    but the LORD upholds the righteous.
18   The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
    and their heritage will remain forever;
19   they are not put to shame in evil times;
    in the days of famine they have abundance.
20   But the wicked will perish;
    the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures;
    they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.
21   The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
    but the righteous is generous and gives;
22   for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land,
    but those cursed by him shall be cut off.
23   The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
    when he delights in his way;
24   though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
    for the LORD upholds his hand.
25   I have been young, and now am old,
    yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
    or his children begging for bread.
26   He is ever lending generously,
    and his children become a blessing.
27   Turn away from evil and do good;
    so shall you dwell forever.
28   For the LORD loves justice;
    he will not forsake his saints.
  They are preserved forever,
    but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29   The righteous shall inherit the land
    and dwell upon it forever.
30   The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
    and his tongue speaks justice.
31   The law of his God is in his heart;
    his steps do not slip.
32   The wicked watches for the righteous
    and seeks to put him to death.
33   The LORD will not abandon him to his power
    or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.
34   Wait for the LORD and keep his way,
    and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
    you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
35   I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
    spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
36   But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
    though I sought him, he could not be found.
37   Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
    for there is a future for the man of peace.
38   But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
    the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
39   The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
    he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40   The LORD helps them and delivers them;
    he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
    because they take refuge in him.

(ESV)