2 Timothy 2 (Listen)

A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for:

  If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12   if we endure, we will also reign with him;
  if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13   if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

for he cannot deny himself.

A Worker Approved by God

14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

(ESV)

Ezekiel 38 (Listen)

Prophecy Against Gog

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes—many peoples are with you.

“Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you.

10 “Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme 11 and say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates,’ 12 to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its leaders will say to you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to seize great spoil?’

14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know it? 15 You will come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army. 16 You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.

17 “Thus says the Lord GOD: Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them? 18 But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, my wrath will be roused in my anger. 19 For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord GOD. Every man's sword will be against his brother. 22 With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. 23 So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.

(ESV)

Proverbs 17 (Listen)

  Better is a dry morsel with quiet
    than a house full of feasting with strife.
  A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
    and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
  The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
    and the LORD tests hearts.
  An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
    and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
  Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker;
    he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
  Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
    and the glory of children is their fathers.
  Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
    still less is false speech to a prince.
  A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;
    wherever he turns he prospers.
  Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
    but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
10   A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
    than a hundred blows into a fool.
11   An evil man seeks only rebellion,
    and a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12   Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs
    rather than a fool in his folly.
13   If anyone returns evil for good,
    evil will not depart from his house.
14   The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
    so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
15   He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
    are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
16   Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom
    when he has no sense?
17   A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for adversity.
18   One who lacks sense gives a pledge
    and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
19   Whoever loves transgression loves strife;
    he who makes his door high seeks destruction.
20   A man of crooked heart does not discover good,
    and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
21   He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow,
    and the father of a fool has no joy.
22   A joyful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
23   The wicked accepts a bribe in secret
    to pervert the ways of justice.
24   The discerning sets his face toward wisdom,
    but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
25   A foolish son is a grief to his father
    and bitterness to her who bore him.
26   To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
    nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
27   Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
    and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28   Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
    when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

(ESV)

Psalm 140 (Listen)

Deliver Me, O Lord, from Evil Men

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

  Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men;
    preserve me from violent men,
  who plan evil things in their heart
    and stir up wars continually.
  They make their tongue sharp as a serpent's,
    and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah
  Guard me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked;
    preserve me from violent men,
    who have planned to trip up my feet.
  The arrogant have hidden a trap for me,
    and with cords they have spread a net;
    beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah
  I say to the LORD, You are my God;
    give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O LORD!
  O LORD, my Lord, the strength of my salvation,
    you have covered my head in the day of battle.
  Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked;
    do not further their evil plot, or they will be exalted! Selah
  As for the head of those who surround me,
    let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
10   Let burning coals fall upon them!
    Let them be cast into fire,
    into miry pits, no more to rise!
11   Let not the slanderer be established in the land;
    let evil hunt down the violent man speedily!
12   I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted,
    and will execute justice for the needy.
13   Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name;
    the upright shall dwell in your presence.

(ESV)