When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
then it was said among the nation, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb.
Invitatory Psalm 84
How lovely is your dwelling place,
LORD of heavenly forces!
2 My very being longs, even yearns,
for the LORD ’s courtyards.
My heart and my body
will rejoice out loud to the living God!
3 Yes, the sparrow too has found a home there;
the swallow has found herself a nest
where she can lay her young beside your altars,
LORD of heavenly forces, my king, my God!
4 Those who live in your house are truly happy;
they praise you constantly. Selah
5 Those who put their strength in you are truly happy;
pilgrimage is in their hearts.
6 As they pass through the Baca Valley,
they make it a spring of water.
Yes, the early rain covers it with blessings.
7 They go from strength to strength,
until they see the supreme God in Zion.
8 LORD God of heavenly forces,
hear my prayer;
listen closely, Jacob’s God! Selah
9 Look at our shield, God;
pay close attention to the face of your anointed one!
10 Better is a single day in your courtyards
than a thousand days anywhere else!
I would prefer to stand outside the entrance of my God’s house
than live comfortably in the tents of the wicked!
11 The LORD is a sun and shield;
God is favor and glory.
The LORD gives—doesn’t withhold!—good things
to those who walk with integrity.
12 LORD of heavenly forces,
those who trust in you are truly happy!
[Common English Bible]
Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed,
O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
you forgive our transgressions.
Happy are those whom you choose
and bring near to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness
of your house, your holy temple.
By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas.
By your strength you established the mountains;
you are girded with might.
You silence the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.
Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds
are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning
and the evening shout for joy.
You visit the earth and water it,
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide the people with grain,
for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges, softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
we sing the glory of your name;
we give you glorious praise.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power,
your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth worships you;
they sing praises to you,
sing praises to your name.”
Come and see what God has done:
God is awesome in deeds among mortals.
God turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in the One who rules forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations
— let the rebellious not exalt themselves.
Bless our God, O peoples,
let the sound of praise be heard,
who has kept us among the living,
and has not let our feet slip.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened
and has given heed to the words of my prayer.
Blessed be God, you have not rejected my prayer
or removed your steadfast love from me.
Be pleased, O God, to deliver me.
O Lord, make haste to help me!
Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.
Let those who love your salvation
say evermore, “God is great!”
I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay!
Daily Lectionary Reading, 2 Samuel 23:1-7
These are David’s last words:
This is the declaration
of Jesse’s son David,
the declaration of a man raised high,
a man anointed by the God of Jacob,
a man favored
by the strong one of Israel. (m)
2 The LORD ’s spirit speaks through me;
his word is on my tongue.
3 Israel’s God has spoken,
Israel’s rock said to me:
“ Whoever rules rightly over people,
whoever rules in the fear of God,
4 is like the light of sunrise
on a morning with no clouds,
like the bright gleam after the rain
that brings grass from the ground. ”
5 Yes, my house is this way with God! (n)
He has made an eternal covenant
laid out and secure in every detail.
Yes, he provides every one of my victories
and brings my every desire to pass.
6 But despicable people are like thorns,
all of them good for nothing,
because they can’t be carried by hand.
7 No one can touch them,
except with iron bar or the shaft of a spear.
They must be burned up with fire
right on the spot!
m Or Israel’s favorite singer or the favorite of Israel’s songs
n Or Yes, my house is surely with God!
Prayer for Today: We pray today that you continue to direct your Spirit to our leaders, that they rule in a way that will bring light into the lives of all the people . Amen.
Midday Psalm 119:97-104
Oh, how I love your law!
It is my meditation all day long.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is always with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your decrees are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
for I keep your precepts.
I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
I do not turn away from your ordinances,
for you have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily in the day when I call.
I lie awake; I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who deride me use my name for a curse.
My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
your name endures to all generations.
You will regard the prayer of the destitute,
and will not despise their prayer.
Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you endure;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
The children of your servants shall live secure;
their offspring shall be established in your presence.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me,
bless your holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
we do not forget all your benefits —
who forgives all our iniquity,
who heals all our diseases,
who redeems our life from the Pit,
who crowns us with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies us with good as long as we live
so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works vindication and justice
for all who are oppressed.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
You will not always accuse, nor will you keep your anger forever.
You do not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is your steadfast love toward those who fear you;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far you removes our transgressions from us.
As a parent has compassion for his children,
so you have compassion for those who fear you.
For you know how we were made; you remember that we are dust.
As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it,
and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is
from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear you,
and your righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep your covenant
and remember to do your commandments.
You have established your throne in the heavens,
and your kingdom rules over all.….
Bless the Lord, O my soul.