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ESV — M'Cheyne One-Year Reading Plan: Day 299
299
With family
2 Kings 6; 1 Timothy 3

In private
Daniel 10; Psalms 52-54

The Axe Head Recovered

Now nthe sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, ohe cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.

Horses and Chariots of Fire

Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.” 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.

11 And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” 13 And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him.” It was told him, “Behold, he is in pDothan.” 14 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, qfor those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please ropen his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of shorses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” tSo he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. 19 And Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria.

20 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O Lord, ropen the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, u“My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?” 22 He answered, “You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive vwith your sword and with your bow? wSet bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again xon raids into the land of Israel.

Ben-hadad's Siege of Samaria

24 Afterward yBen-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria. 25 And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab1 of dove's dung for five shekels of silver. 26 Now as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!” 27 And he said, “If the Lord will not help you, how shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the winepress?” 28 And the king asked her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 zSo we boiled my son and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him.’ But she has hidden her son.” 30 When the king heard the words of the woman, ahe tore his clothes—now he was passing by on the wall—and the people looked, and behold, ahe had sackcloth beneath on his body—31 and he said, b“May God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today.”

32 Elisha was sitting in his house, cand the elders were sitting with him. Now the king had dispatched a man from his presence, but before the messenger arrived Elisha said to the elders, “Do you see how this dmurderer has sent to take off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold the door fast against him. Is not the sound of his master's feet behind him?” 33 And while he was still speaking with them, the messenger came down to him and said, “This trouble is from the Lord! eWhy should I wait for the Lord any longer?”

Footnotes

[1] 6:25 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams; a kab was about 1 quart or 1 liter


Qualifications for Overseers

The saying is vtrustworthy: If anyone aspires to wthe office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore xan overseer1 must be above reproach, ythe husband of one wife,2 zsober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, ahospitable, bable to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but cgentle, not quarrelsome, dnot a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity ekeeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for wGod's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may fbecome puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by goutsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into ha snare of the devil.

Qualifications for Deacons

iDeacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued,3 jnot addicted to much wine, knot greedy for dishonest gain. They must lhold the mystery of the faith with ma clear conscience. 10 And nlet them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 oTheir wives likewise must4 be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, pfaithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be qthe husband of one wife, qmanaging their children and their own households well. 13 For rthose who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

The Mystery of Godliness

14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:

sHe5 was manifested in the flesh,

vindicated6 by the Spirit,7

tseen by angels,

uproclaimed among the nations,

vbelieved on in the world,

wtaken up in glory.

Footnotes

[1] 3:2 Or bishop; Greek episkopos; a similar term occurs in verse 1
[2] 3:2 Or a man of one woman; also verse 12
[3] 3:8 Or devious in speech
[4] 3:11 Or Wives, likewise, must, or Women, likewise, must
[5] 3:16 Greek Who; some manuscripts God; others Which
[6] 3:16 Or justified
[7] 3:16 Or vindicated in spirit


Daniel's Terrifying Vision of a Man

10 bIn the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, cwho was named Belteshazzar. And dthe word was true, and it was a great conflict.1 And ehe understood the word and ehad understanding of the vision.

In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for fthree weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I ganoint myself at all, for fthe full three weeks. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing hon the bank of the great river (ithat is, the Tigris) jI lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, ka man clothed in linen, lwith a belt of fine mgold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like nberyl, his face olike the appearance of lightning, phis eyes like flaming torches, his arms and qlegs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and qthe sound of his words like the sound of a multitude. rAnd I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and sno strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed,2 tand I retained no strength. Then I heard the sound of his words, uand as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep uwith my face to the ground.

10 And behold, va hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, wman greatly loved, xunderstand the words that I speak to you, and ystand upright, for znow I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, a“Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you bset your heart to understand and bhumbled yourself before your God, cyour words have been heard, dand I have come because of your words. 13 eThe prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me ftwenty-one days, but gMichael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 14 dand came to make you understand what is to happen to your people hin the latter days. For ithe vision is for days yet to come.”

15 When he had spoken to me according to these words, jI turned my face toward the ground kand was mute. 16 And behold, lone in the likeness of the children of man mtouched my lips. Then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, “O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and nI retain no strength. 17 How can my lord's servant talk with my lord? For now no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me.”

18 Again lone having the appearance of a man mtouched me and strengthened me. 19 And he said, o“O man greatly loved, pfear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” 20 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the qprince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of rGreece will come. 21 But I will tell you swhat is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except tMichael, your prince.

Footnotes

[1] 10:1 Or and it was about a great conflict
[2] 10:8 Hebrew My splendor was changed to ruin


The Steadfast Love of God Endures

To the choirmaster. A Maskil1 of David, when cDoeg, the Edomite, came and told Saul, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.”

52  Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?

The steadfast love of God endures all the day.

Your dtongue plots destruction,

like ea sharp razor, you fworker of deceit.

You love evil more than good,

and glying more than speaking what is right. Selah

You love all words that devour,

O deceitful tongue.

But God will break you down forever;

he will snatch and htear you from your tent;

he will uproot you from ithe land of the living. Selah

The righteous shall jsee and fear,

and shall klaugh at him, saying,

“See the man who would not make

God his refuge,

but ltrusted in the abundance of his riches

and sought refuge in his own destruction!”2

But I am like ma green olive tree

in the house of God.

I trust in the steadfast love of God

forever and ever.

I will thank you forever,

because you have done it.

I will wait for your name, nfor it is good,

in the presence of the ogodly.

There Is None Who Does Good

To the choirmaster: according to pMahalath. A Maskil3 of David.

53  qThe fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;

there is none who does good.

God looks down from heaven

on the children of man

to see if there are any who understand,4

who seek after God.

They have all fallen away;

together they have become corrupt;

there is none who does good,

not even one.

Have those who work evil no knowledge,

who eat up my people as they eat bread,

and do not call upon God?

There they are, in great terror,

rwhere there is no terror!

For God sscatters the bones of him who encamps against you;

you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!

When God restores the fortunes of his people,

let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

The Lord Upholds My Life

To the choirmaster: with tstringed instruments. A Maskil5 of David, uwhen the Ziphites went and told Saul, “Is not David hiding among us?”

54  O God, save me by your vname,

and vindicate me by your might.

O God, whear my prayer;

give ear to the words of my mouth.

xFor ystrangers6 have risen against me;

ruthless men zseek my life;

they do not set God before themselves. Selah

Behold, aGod is my helper;

the Lord is the upholder of my life.

He will return the evil to my enemies;

in your bfaithfulness cput an end to them.

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;

I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, dfor it is good.

For he has delivered me from every trouble,

and my eye has elooked in triumph on my enemies.

Footnotes

[1] 52:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 52:7 Or in his work of destruction
[3] 53:1 Probably musical or liturgical terms
[4] 53:2 Or who act wisely
[5] 54:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[6] 54:3 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Targum insolent men (compare Psalm 86:14)