Saturday, April 30, 2016

DBRP_122 JOS.22 JOS.23 PSA.77 ACT.27.1-26

Turning to JOSHUA 22-23:

Yesterday we heard the detailed list of the cities of refuge— the cities set apart for anyone who happened to kill someone accidentally. Following that was the list of the towns that were given to the priests and Levites.


This psalm by Asaph was dedicated to Jeduthun, whose name means ‘praise giver’. Asaph worries about this: Has God changed? Why doesn’t He help us like He helped the Israelites in the past? I have chosen again to read this from the CEV rather than from the GNT. The CEV makes it clear that this whole poem is a prayer to God.

(A psalm by Asaph for Jeduthun, the music leader.)
1 I pray to you, Lord God,
   and I beg you to listen.
2 In days filled with trouble,
   I search for you.
And at night I tirelessly
lift my hands in prayer,
   refusing comfort.
3 When I think of you,
   I feel restless and weak.
4 Because of you, Lord God,
   I can’t sleep.
I am restless
   and can’t even talk.
5     I think of times gone by,
   of those years long ago.
6 Each night my mind
   is flooded with questions:[a]
7 “Have you rejected me forever?
   Won’t you be kind again?
8 Is this the end of your love
   and your promises?
9 Have you forgotten
   how to have pity?
   Do you refuse to show mercy
   because of your anger?”
10 Then I said, “God Most High,
   what hurts me most
   is that you no longer help us
   with your mighty arm.”

11 Our Lord, I will remember
the things you have done,
   your miracles of long ago.

12 I will think about each one
   of your mighty deeds.
13 Everything you do is right,
   and no other god
   compares with you.
14 You alone work miracles,
   and you have let nations
   see your mighty power.
15 With your own arm you rescued
your people,
   the descendants
   of Jacob and Joseph.

16 The ocean looked at you, God,
   and it trembled deep down
   with fear.
17 Water flowed from the clouds.
   Thunder was heard above
   as your arrows of lightning
   flashed about.
18 Your thunder roared
   like chariot wheels.
The world was made bright
by lightning,
   and all the earth trembled.

19 You walked through the water
   of the mighty sea,
   but your footprints
   were never seen.
20 You guided your people
   like a flock of sheep,
   and you chose Moses and Aaron
   to be their leaders.

We turn for the first time to ACTS 27.

Yesterday we heard Paul's defense before King Agrippa. Paul didn't hesitate to speak convicting ideas to his own judges. Instead of listening, they stood up and left. They admitted that Paul was innocent, but quite frankly, it must have been more politically expedient to get rid of Paul by sending him away to Caesar— in accordance with Paul's own request.

Translation note:
[HCSB By now much time had passed,//We spent a long time there,] [so that it was//until it became] dangerous to continue the voyage, for by now the Day of Atonement was already past. So Paul gave them this advice:

Check out this episode!

Friday, April 29, 2016

DBRP_121 JOS.20 JOS.21 PSA.76 ACT.26

JOSHUA 20-21:

Yesterday we read the details of land allotment and cities for the remaining seven tribes with their families. Last of all, Joshua himself received a city.


It only makes sense to know God and to be firmly on His side. As verse 10 says, “Human defiance only enhances His glory.” The second line of that verse is very unclear in Hebrew. NLT’s translation makes good sense, saying that God uses human defiance as a weapon against the same defiant ones.

Translation notes:
1 [You, O God, are known in Judah and your name is honored in Israel.//God is known in Judah; his name is honored in Israel.
2 [You have your//He has his] home in Jerusalem; [You live//he lives] on Mount Zion.
3 There [You//he] broke the arrows of the enemy, their shields and swords, yes, all their weapons.  
7 [0//But] you, Lord, are feared by all. No one can stand in your presence when you are angry.
10 [NLT Human defiance only enhances your glory, for you use it as a weapon.//
Human anger only results in more praise for you; those who survive the wars will keep your festivals.]
11 [All you nearby nations,//0] Give the Lord your God what you promised him; bring your gifts to him, [0//all you nearby nations]. God makes everyone fear him;
12 he humbles proud princes and terrifies great kings.

Turning to ACTS 26:

In yesterday's story in Acts, Festus took his position as governor and tried Paul. Afterward King Agrippa and his sister came, and the stage was set for Paul to defend himself again.

Translation note:
18 You are to open their eyes and turn them from the darkness to the light and from the power of Satan to God, so that through [believing//their faith] in me they will have their sins forgiven and receive their place among God's chosen people.’

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

DBRP_120 JOS.18 JOS.19 PSA.75 ACT.25

JOSHUA 18-19:

Yesterday we heard the details about Mannaseh and Ephraim's allotment of land. I suggest that it will be very helpful for your understanding of these chapters in Joshua to do an Internet search for “map tribes Israel.”

Turning to PSALM 75:

Do you remember what Paul talked to Felix about from yesterday’s reading? Asaph’s psalm takes a similar theme today.

Translation notes:
7 it is [You, O God, who are//God who is] the judge, condemning some and acquitting others.  
8 [You, Lord, hold a cup in your hand//The Lord holds a cup in his hand], filled with the strong wine of [your//his] anger.
[You pour//He pours] it out, and all the wicked drink it; they drink it down to the last drop.  
9 But I will never stop speaking of [You, O God//the God of] Jacob or singing praises to [You//him].  
10 [You//He] will break the power of the wicked, but the power of the righteous will be increased.

ACTS 25:

Paul's accusers came, and Paul defended himself before the governor. The governor put off making a decision, and never got around to making one. One day at the beginning of that time, he and his Jewish wife came to listen to Paul for a little entertainment. But Felix cut the discussion short when Paul meddled a little too much. Paul stayed there in jail for two long years, and never gave a bribe to Felix. Finally Felix left Paul in prison when he was replaced by Festus.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

DBRP_119 JOS.16 JOS.17 PSA.74 ACT.24

Opening to JOSHUA 16-17:

Yesterday Caleb received his special portion within Judah's allotment of land, and then we heard the detailed list of Judah's boundaries and towns. Chapter 15 may be the most challenging passage in all the Old Testament to read out loud!


Could this psalm really have been written by Asaph?! If so, Asaph was a prophet as he seems to describe events that happened hundreds of years later in the Babylonian conquest.  It is possible he could have been a 100 year old man when writing this, speaking of the destruction caused by Pharaoh Shishak. It must also be observed that the attributions in the Psalms were written centuries later than the Psalms themselves and are not to be considered part of the inspired text.  (However, I still think that Asaph was a prophet!)

ACTS 24:

A plot was made to kill Paul. Paul's nephew “just happened” to get wind of it. The Roman commander ordered that Paul be taken to the governor in Caesarea.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DBRP_118 JOS.14 JOS.15 PSA.73 ACT.23.19-35

JOSHUA 14-15:

Yesterday in Joshua we heard an inventory of the kings conquered so far and details about the allotments of land for the 2 1/2 tribes east of the Jordan.


This is one of my favorite psalms because it speaks to an intellectual problem that so often bothers me. The turning point is verse 17 in this poem by Asaph.

Translation notes:
26 My mind and my body may grow weak,
but [You, O my God, are//God is] my strength;
[You are//he is] all I ever need.
28 But as for me, how wonderful to be near [You, O] God,
to find protection with [You,] the Sovereign Lord
and to proclaim all that [You have//he has] done!

Turning for the second time to ACTS 23:

Paul before the council cried out words that divided the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, as were my ancestors! And I am on trial because my hope is in the resurrection of the dead!” Note that no one said, “But who says that Jesus has risen from the dead?!” The leaders could produce no proof that Jesus had not risen from the dead, and this fact also refuted the teaching of their sect, the sect of the Sadducees. So the resurrection of Jesus touched a very raw nerve for them. In the night, Jesus came personally to encourage Paul.


Check out this episode!

Monday, April 25, 2016

DBRP_117 JOS.12 JOS.13 PSA.72 ACT.23.1-22

JOSHUA 12-13:

As we heard yesterday, God fought for Israel, even causing the sun and moon to stand still. Basically the main central body of land was conquered in only two campaigns. It is important to remember that the total destruction of the people groups listed was commanded by God because of their disgusting pagan and idolatrous practices. Joshua 10:40 “… This was what the Lord God of Israel had commanded.” See also 11:20.


It is clear that this psalm, written by King Solomon— or more likely written about King Solomon, goes beyond Solomon, giving adoration to the King of Kings.

We turn for the first time to ACTS 23.

Paul gave his defense from the top of the stairway leading to the military headquarters. In spite of the miracles in his story, the mob was not impressed. It was the word ‘Gentiles’ that caused the final violent reaction.

Check out this episode!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

DBRP_116 JOS.10 JOS.11 PSA.71 ACT.22

Let’s turn to JOSHUA 10-11.

The king of Ai trusted in appearances, and was defeated. And the leaders of Israel trusted in appearances and failed to ask God for guidance, leading to a problem that would later cause more pain.


This is a poem written by an senior citizen with examples for our prayers that are appropriate for ‘youth’ of all ages.

ACTS 22:

In the last part of Acts 21, people from Asia recognized Paul and started a riot in the temple. Paul was arrested and now gives his speech to the angry mob.

Translation note:
26 When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and [said to//asked] him, “What are you doing? That man is a Roman citizen!”

[In several places in Luke’s writings irony is unmarked, but would have been understood by readers of his day.]
28 [PET The commander scoffed, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard that one before! Now you’re gonna say, ‘It cost me plenty to buy my citizenship.’”//The commander said, “I became one by paying a large amount of money.”
“But I am one by birth,” Paul answered.

Check out this episode!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

DBRP_115 JOS.8 JOS.9 PSA.70 ACT.21.20-40

Let’s open to JOSHUA 8-9.

Yesterday the walls of Jericho “came a-tumbling down” after some skillful trumpet playing while marching around the city for 7 days. The city was devoted to destruction, meaning that this was God's judgement upon them. Right after this amazing victory, Israel learned through a man named Achan that keeping treasures devoted to destruction makes oneself devoted to destruction.


David pleads in this psalm for help against his enemies. And this poem is a repetition of the last part of Psalm 40.

Let’s turn for the second time to ACTS 21.

Paul, Luke, and the other companions arrived in Jerusalem. On the way, Paul heard the prophecies that he should not go to Jerusalem. He received advice from James and the others which turned out to be disastrous in the end. Should Paul have followed the advice he was given by prophecy? My opinion is that he did the will of God which had already been revealed to him before those prophecies. In other words, the information in those prophecies that Paul would be arrested and beaten was from God. The interpretation that Paul should not go there was added by people, and Paul was right in not following their advice.

Check out this episode!

Friday, April 22, 2016

DBRP_114 JOS.6 JOS.7 PSA.69.19-36 ACT.21.1-25

We turn to JOSHUA 6-7.

In yesterday’s reading, Joshua lead the people across the Jordan on dry ground, and they set up 12 stones in two places to be memorial reminders for the people of this miracle. All the men were circumcised, and the angel who is the commander of God's army revealed himself to Joshua.

Opening for the second time to PSALM 69:

In yesterday’s reading, I appreciated that the writer appealed to God based on the Lord’s ‘constant love’. Let’s continue the reading of Ps 69 with four verses appropriate to Jesus’ life. Note that verse 22 is quoted by Paul in Romans 11.

We turn for the first time to ACTS 21.

Yesterday we heard Paul's speech to the Ephesian elders. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that they would never see him again. He warned them to be faithful in shepherding the people and to watch out for false teaching. In Revelation 2 we find out that they did as Paul commanded, but in their zeal to protect from error, they forgot to be loving.

Translation note:
4 There we found some believers and stayed with them a week. By the power of the [Holy] Spirit they told Paul not to go to Jerusalem.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

DBRP_113 JOS.4 JOS.5 PSA.69.1-18 ACT.20.17-38

Turning to JOSHUA 4-5:

In yesterday’s reading, Joshua sent out two spies. Rahab, who was a prostitute and later became an outstanding example of God's grace, protected them and eventually became a full member of Israel. The people of Israel crossed the Jordan miraculously on dry ground— even though the river was in flood stage, as Joshua leads following God's instructions.


This poem contains words that were quoted about Jesus (v. 4 and 9). Those verses give us an inside view of the nature of Jesus’ suffering while on earth in his public ministry.

Turning for the second time to ACTS 20:

In yesterday’s reading, Paul left Ephesus and prepared other churches for his departure. In Troas, Paul preached all night. Eutychus had trouble staying awake. And today we will hear all of Paul's speech at Miletus to the elders from the church at Ephesus.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

DBRP_112 JOS.2 JOS.3 PSA.68.19-35 ACT.20.1-25

Let’s open to JOSHUA 2-3.

Yesterday we started the book of Joshua, named after the man God chose as Moses’ successor. In this book we will see the victory of the Chosen People in conquering the Promised Land (chapters 1-12) and then the occupation of the Promised Land (chapters 13-24). Three times i n Deuteronomy 31, we heard the charge, “Be determined and confident,” and that command was repeated three more times to Joshua in chapter 1.

We turn for the second time to PSALM 68.

This psalm starts with the words Moses spoke whenever the Ark of the Covenant was taken up to be moved to another place:
“1 Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies.”
And David adds, “Let those who hate God run for their lives.”
We continue to read from the CEV for this psalm.

The Hebrew title is: A psalm and a song by David for the music leader.

19 We praise you, Lord God!
You treat us with kindness
   day after day,
  and you rescue us.
20 You always protect us
   and save us from death.

21 Our Lord and our God,
your terrible enemies
   are ready for war,[d]
  but you will crush
  their skulls.
22 You promised to bring them
from Bashan
   and from the deepest sea.
23 Then we could stomp
   on their blood,
  and our dogs could chew
  on their bones.

24 We have seen crowds marching
   to your place of worship,
  our God and King.
25 The singers come first,
   and then the musicians,
  surrounded by young women
  playing tambourines.
26 They come shouting,
   “People of Israel,
  praise the Lord God!”
27 The small tribe of Benjamin
   leads the way,
  followed by the leaders
  from Judah.
Then come the leaders
   from Zebulun and Naphtali.

28 Our God, show your strength!
   Show us once again.
29 Then kings will bring gifts
   to your temple
  in Jerusalem.[e]

30 Punish that animal
   that lives in the swamp![f]
Punish that nation
   whose leaders and people
  are like wild bulls.
Make them come crawling
   with gifts of silver.
  Scatter those nations
  that enjoy making war.[g]
31 Force the Egyptians to bring
   gifts of bronze;
  make the Ethiopians[h] hurry
  to offer presents.[i]

32 Now sing praises to God!
   Every kingdom on earth,
  sing to the Lord!
33 Praise the one who rides
   across the ancient skies;
  listen as he speaks
  with a mighty voice.

34 Tell about God’s power!
He is honored in Israel,
   and he rules the skies.
35 The God of Israel is fearsome
   in his temple,
  and he makes us strong.
  Let’s praise our God!

We turn for the first time to ACTS 20.

Yesterday we heard of how Demetrius— the silver-smith shrine-making businessman, incited a riot against Paul.

Translation note:
11 Then [Paul//he] went back upstairs, broke bread, and ate. After talking with them for a long time, even until sunrise, Paul left.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

DBRP_111 JOS.1 PSA.68.1-19 ACT.19.23-41

Today we begin our readings in JOSHUA!

Yesterday we read the conclusion of Deuteronomy with Moses blessing eleven  of the twelve tribes with a prophetic blessing. And then Moses died and the Lord buried him in an unknown location in Moab.

Now we turn to Joshua, the book named after the man God chose as Moses’ successor. In this book we see the victory of the Chosen People in conquering the Promised Land (chapters 1-12) and then the occupation of the Promised Land (chapters 13-24). Three times in Deuteronomy 31, we find the charge, “Be determined and confident,” and that command is repeated to Joshua in the beginning of this book.

We turn for the first time to PSALM 68:

This is a beautiful song of praise. It starts with the words that Moses spoke whenever the Ark of the Covenant was moved. Some say that this Psalm might have been intended to be sung when the Ark was moved. Paul quotes from v18 and 20 in Eph 4. This song celebrating the victories God gives his people is very appropriate for us to read as a preface to the book of Joshua.

Translation notes:
[Except for the first verse, I choose to read CEV for this Psalm because I feel it is helpful to understand this whole Psalm as a prayer spoken to God.]

1 [GNT God rises up and scatters his enemies.
Those who hate him run away in defeat.//CEV Do something, God!
Scatter your hateful enemies.
   Make them turn and run.]
2 Scatter them like smoke!
   When you come near,
   make them melt
   like wax in a fire.
3 But let your people be happy
   and celebrate because of you.

4 Our God, you are the one
who rides on the clouds,
   and we praise you.
Your name is [YHWH//the Lord],
   and we celebrate
   as we worship you.

5 Our God, from your sacred home
   you take care of orphans
   and protect widows.
6 You find families
   for those who are lonely.
You set prisoners free
   and let them prosper,[a]
   but all who rebel will live
   in a scorching desert.

7 You set your people free,
   and you led them
   through the desert.
8 God of Israel,
the earth trembled,
   and rain poured down.
You alone are the God
   who rules from Mount Sinai.
9 When your land was thirsty,
   you sent showers
   to refresh it.
10 Your people settled there,
   and you were generous
   to everyone in need.

11 You gave the command,
   and a chorus of women told
   what had happened:
12 “Kings and their armies
   retreated and ran,
   and everything they left
   is now being divided.
13 And for those who stayed back
   to guard the sheep,
there are metal doves
with silver-coated wings
   and shiny gold feathers.”

14 God All-Powerful, you scattered
the kings
   like snow falling
   on Mount Zalmon.[b]

15 Our Lord and our God,
   Bashan is a mighty mountain
   covered with peaks.
16 Why is it jealous of Zion,
   the mountain you chose
   as your home forever?

17 When you, Lord God, appeared
   to your people[c] at Sinai,
   you came with thousands
   of mighty chariots.
18 When you climbed
   the high mountain,
   you took prisoners with you
   and were given gifts.
Your enemies didn’t want you
to live there,
   but [even] they gave you gifts.

19 We praise you, Lord God!
You treat us with kindness
   day after day,
   and you rescue us.

We turn for the second time to ACTS 19.

Apollos was introduced in yesterday's reading. And Paul returned to Ephesus and had a miraculous and fruitful ministry there for three years.


Check out this episode!

Monday, April 18, 2016

DBRP_110 DEU.33 DEU.34 PSA.67 ACT.19.1-22

Turning to DEUTERONOMY 33-34:

In yesterday's reading, Moses showed Israel that the leadership was given to Joshua, and he gave the command that this book of Deuteronomy be kept near the Arc of the Covenant. Then God gave Moses a long song to teach people, to help them remember. In this song, God described some future events as happening in the past tense. This is a feature many prophetic writings. Here is one detail you might want to notice today in chapter 33: In Moses’ blessings for the tribes of Israel, only 11 are listed. So I’m giving a digging deeper challenge: Which tribe is left out, and what theory do you propose for that one being left out?

Translation note:
11 Lord, help their tribe to grow strong; Be pleased with what they do. Crush all their enemies; [May their enemies//Let them] never rise again.”


The theme of this beautiful psalm is that the salvation that God gives is to be made known to people everywhere, to every ethnic group.

Translation notes:
6 The land has produced its harvest; [You, O God have//God, our God, has] blessed us.  
7 [You have//God has] blessed us; may all people everywhere honor [You//him].

We turn for the first time to ACTS 19.

Yesterday in Acts 18, Paul met and began working with Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth. When put on trial before Gallio, God defended him so that he didn't even need to speak. Then that night Jesus strengthened him to keep on speaking boldly.


Check out this episode!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

DBRP_109 DEU.31 DEU.32 PSA.66 ACT.18

Preparing to read DEUTERONOMY 31-32:

Yesterday in Deuteronomy Moses reviewed the covenant and again stressed that the choice is between life and death, and between experiencing blessings or curses. Be aware that in the poem dictated to Moses by the Lord, the Lord speaks of things that were in Israel’s future as if they had already taken place. This is called propleptic past tense, and is a feature of prophetic writings.

Translation notes:

32:3 [Because in this song I will praise the LORD— giving honor to his name//I will praise the name of the Lord,]

and his people will tell of his greatness.


Our glorious God deserves glorious praise. Note that this psalm shows the importance of confessing our sins to God.

Translation notes:
4 Everyone on earth worships you;
they sing praises to you,
[their songs give honor//they sing praises] to your name.”
5 Come[, all peoples] and see what God has done,
his wonderful acts among people.
10 You[, O God,//0] have put us to the test[0//, God];
as silver is purified by fire,
so you have tested us.
16 [Now, all who honor God,//0] Come and listen, [0//all who honor God,]
and I will tell you what he has done for me.

Turning to ACTS 18:

In Acts 17, opposition hounded the steps of Paul, Silas and Timothy, first in Thessalonica and then in Berea. The people of Berea are an example for us all, and that’s why so many churches are named after their city. Then Paul in Athens debated with the philosophers of his day.


Check out this episode!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

DBRP_108 DEU.29 DEU.30 PSA.65 ACT.17

Turning to DEUTERONOMY 29-30:

Yesterday in Deuteronomy Moses ratcheted up the fear index to the red level. And the scary thing about the threats he used to motivate the people to obedience is that they later all came true, as we will see in books like Judges and 2 Kings.


Today’s Psalm is a hymn of joy and mighty praise.

ACTS 17:

Yesterday we heard of how Paul and Silas were beaten and put in jail. This was as a result of freeing a slave girl from demonic bondage. Their overnight in jail led to the jailer and his family becoming followers of Christ. But as requested, Paul and Silas left town.


Check out this episode!

Friday, April 15, 2016

DBRP_107 DEU.28 PSA.64 ACT.16.19-40

Let’s turn to DEUTERONOMY 28.

Yesterday we read of the ceremony that Moses commanded the people to perform when they entered the promised land. The Levites were to loudly proclaim curses from Mount Ebal over anyone who violates the laws.

Translation note:
44 They will have money to lend [to] you, but you will have none to lend them. In the end they will be your rulers.


If you feel that people are looking for opportunities to slander you, this psalm is for you.

Translation notes:
7 But [when You, O God, shoot your//God shoots his] arrows at them, [0//and] suddenly they [will be//are] wounded.
8 [You//He] will destroy them because of those words; all who see them will shake their heads.  
9 They will all be afraid; they will think about what [You have//God] has done and tell about [your//his] deeds.
10 All righteous people will rejoice because of what [You have done, O Lord//the Lord has done]. They will find safety in [You//him]; all good people will praise [You//him].

We turn for the second time to ACTS 16.

Yesterday in in this chapter— via the change of pronouns, we understood that Luke joined with Paul as one of his traveling companions. Also note that the Holy Spirit can also be called the Spirit of Jesus. These are one and the same Spirit of God.


Check out this episode!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

DBRP_106 DEU.27 PSA.63 ACT.16.1-24

Preparing to read DEUTERONOMY 27:

Yesterday in Deuteronomy, Moses continued with miscellaneous regulations. One repeated in the New Testament is to not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating when it is treading out grain.


This is another poem of David, including beautiful imagery. Pray like David, if you want to be blessed like David or need protection as David did.

Turning for the first time to ACTS 16:

Yesterday in Acts we heard how Barnabas and Paul with Silas and Judas/Justus delivered the letter from the leaders in Jerusalem. And afterward, Paul and Barnabas had their falling out over the issue of whether to take John Mark along on their next trip. Silas— who evidently had come back to Antioch, became Paul's new ministry partner.


Check out this episode!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

DBRP_105 DEU.25 DEU.26 PSA.62 ACT.15.19-41

Turning to DEUTERONOMY 25-26:

Yesterday we read some laws for what kind of people could not enter into the congregation of Israel, and how long before their descendants could enter into the congregation of Israel. And we heard laws about cleanliness based on the fact that God was living with the Israelites. And, God wanted his people to be kind, fair, and thoughtful of the needs of the poor.


Here is a psalm to pray and an example to follow when you feel the world is against you.

Translation notes:
[The last verse of this Psalm shows that it is a prayer addressed to God. It is an open question if in verse 5 David is speaking encouragement to his own soul. The vocative form seems to indicate that. I think that CEV is correct in showing that in verses 3-5 David is speaking about himself in the third person.]
1 I wait patiently for [You, O] God to save me;
I depend on [You//him] alone.
2 [You alone protect and save me//He alone protects and saves me];
[You are//he is] my defender,
and I shall never be defeated.
3 How much longer will all of you [people] attack [me—] someone
who is no stronger than a broken-down fence?
4 You only want to bring [me//him] down from [my//his] place of honor;
you take pleasure in lies.
You speak words of blessing,
but in your heart[s] you curse [me//him].

5 [O my soul, depend on God alone!//I depend on God alone;]
[O Lord, I put my hope in You.//I put my hope in him.]
6 [You alone protect and save me//He alone protects and saves me];
[You are//he is] my defender,
and I shall never be defeated.
7 My salvation and honor depend on [You, O] God;
[You are//he is] my strong protector;
[You are//he is] my shelter.

8 [O my people,//0] Trust in God at all times, [0//my people.]
Tell him all your troubles,
for he is our refuge.
9 Human beings are all like a puff of breath;
great and small alike are worthless.
Put them on the scales, and they weigh nothing;
they are lighter than a mere breath.
10 Don't put your trust in violence;
don't hope to gain anything by robbery;
even if your riches increase,
don't depend on them.

11 [O my God//0] More than once I have heard [You//God] say
that power belongs to [You//him]
12 and that [your//his] love is constant.
You yourself, O Lord, reward everyone according to their deeds.

We turn for the second time to ACTS 15.

Yesterday in the first half of this chapter we heard how the controversy over circumcision started and we heard the speeches of Peter and James.


Translation note:
29 eat no food that has been offered to idols; eat no blood; eat no animal that has been strangled; and keep yourselves from sexual immorality. You will do well if you take care not to do these things. [Farewell] With our best wishes.”


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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

DBRP_104 DEU.23 DEU.24 PSA.61 ACT.15.1-21

Turning to DEUTERONOMY 23-24:

Yesterday we read an odd collection of regulations: Cleansing the land from unsolved murder, marrying a captive woman after a war, rights of a first-born son when a man has more than one wife, the responsibility of helping neighbors, and various problems concerning adultery.


This is one I love to sing.

Let’s turn for the first time to ACTS 15.

In Acts 14, we heard of the incredible turn of events for Paul and Barnabas. At one moment they were hailed as gods, but after a very short time Paul was stoned. As they tell the believers, “We have to go through many hardships before we enter God's kingdom in heaven.”

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Monday, April 11, 2016

DBRP_103 DEU.21 DEU.22 PSA.60 ACT.14


Yesterday we heard an example of why cities of refuge were needed. And we heard interesting rules concerning war. It is good to remember that our sovereign creator God had already determined that the people groups in the land were utterly evil and should be destroyed.

Translation note:
12 “[Attach//Sew] tassels on the four corners of your clothes.
[This change was made simply because the listener cannot hear the difference between ‘sew’ and ‘so’.]

We turn to PSALM 60.

This poem is again based on David’s experiences. I think that this psalm must show how David prayed before the victories mentioned in the rabbinical title.

Translation notes:
6 [From your sanctuary You, O God have said,//From his sanctuary God has said,] “In triumph I will divide Shechem and distribute Sukkoth Valley to my people.
12 [But] With [You, O] God on our side we will win; [You//he] will defeat our enemies.

We turn to ACTS 14.

In chapter 13 we completed the story of Paul and Barnabas' short but successful ministry in Pisidian Antioch. They were too successful, so were run out of town. This is just the first time that will happen!

Translation notes:
18 [With great difficulty, using such words the apostles finally did succeed in stopping//Even with these words the apostles could hardly keep] the crowd from offering a sacrifice to them.
[This is one of the most frequently misunderstood verses in the New Testament!]
21 Paul and Barnabas preached the Good News in Derbe and won many disciples. Then they went back to Lystra, to Iconium, and on to Antioch in [the province of] Pisidia.
26 and from there they sailed back to Antioch [in the province of Syria], the place where they had been commended to the care of God's grace for the work they had now completed.

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

DBRP_102 DEU.19 DEU.20 PSA.59 ACT.13.26-52

Today we read DEUTERONOMY 19-20.

In yesterday’s reading we heard that the duties of the king included having a copy of the Law made, or perhaps making it himself (the Hebrew is unclear on that point). This something we never ever hear of happening. Then Deuteronomy 18 is very import in its prohibition against all kinds of witchcraft and fortune telling. Then there is one of the most important prophecies regarding Jesus: God was going to send a prophet like Moses and the people must listen to him. Another important point about this prophecy is the specific point that the prophet would come from the people of Israel.

We turn to PSALM 59.

Because of David’s unique situation, he certainly learned how to pray for protection from enemies.

Translation note:
4 [NET Though I have done nothing wrong, they are anxious to attack. Spring into action and help me! Take notice of me!//nor because of any fault of mine, O Lord,
that they hurry to their places.]

We turn for the second time to ACTS 13.

In the first part of chapter 13, we heard how God called Barnabas and Saul in the city of Antioch— the one in the Roman province of Syria, and the church sent them out. We repeat some verses from Paul’s important speech, which took place in the other city called Antioch, the one in the province of Pisidia.

Translation note:
Take care, then, so that what [God said through] the prophets said may not happen to you:

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

DBRP_101 DEU.17 DEU.18 PSA.58 ACT.13.1-33

Turning to DEUTERONOMY 17-18:

In yesterday's reading we heard about the release of debts and slaves in the Jubilee Year (also called the year of restoration), and a reminder about 100% participation for the males in three festivals.

Translation note:
17:18 When he becomes king, he is to [order that//have] a copy of the book of God's laws and teachings [be] made from the original copy kept by the levitical priests.
[The Hebrew says that the king is to make a copy. Most translations translate that literally, so that the king would make a copy himself. However probably most things that a king is spoken of as ‘doing’ are actually things he orders to have done for him. So this can be taken either way. We can see how Jehoiada the priest encouraged the obedience of this command when Joash was anointed king.]
18:8 [NLT He may eat his share of the sacrifices and offerings, even if he has a private source of income.//He is to receive the same amount of food as the other priests, and he may keep whatever his family sends him.]

We turn to PSALM 58.

This poem celebrates that God will indeed give justice to His people, even though many times it seems to us that there is no justice on earth.

Translation note:
9 Before they know it, they are cut down like weeds; in [your fierce anger, O God, You//his fierce anger God] will blow them away while they are still living.

We turn for the first time to ACTS 13.

In yesterday’s reading, we heard how Herod decided to go after the top apostles, killing James. But Peter escaped. As a result, 16 soldiers died. Then Herod met his richly deserved end.

Translation notes:
11 The Lord's hand will come down on you now; [and for a time//0] you will be blind and will not see the light of day [0//for a time].” At once Elymas felt a dark mist cover his eyes, and he walked around trying to find someone to lead him by the hand.
14 They went on from Perga and arrived in [the city of] Antioch [which is in the province oin Pisidia, and on the Sabbath they went into the synagogue and sat down.

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Friday, April 8, 2016

DBRP_100 DEU.15 DEU.16 PSA.57 ACT.12


Yesterday's reading included Moses' warning about being led astray by anyone, including false prophets or even close family members. No one who proposed idolatry was to be allowed to live. Then we heard a repetition of the laws about which animals were to be treated as clean/edible and those unclean/detestable.

We turn to Psalm 57.

This Psalm is beautiful and often quoted. It again is from David's experiences.

Translation notes:
2 I call to [You, O] God, the Most High, to [You who supply//God, who supplies] my every need.  
3 [You//He] will answer from heaven and save me; [You//he] will defeat my oppressors[ and show your constant love and faithfulness to me.// God will show me his constant love and faithfulness.]

Turning to ACTS 12:

In Acts 11 we heard how Peter needed to defend what he did in sharing the Gospel with Gentiles. The result was that the church leaders joyfully accepted that God was giving salvation to more than just the Jews. Then we heard how Barnabas visited the predominantly Gentile believers in Antioch and then called Saul to join him.

Translation note:
15 “You are crazy!” they told her. But she insisted that it was true. So they answered, “It [must be//is] his [guardian] angel.”
[18 When morning came, there was no little argument among the soldiers over what had become of Peter.//When morning came, there was a tremendous confusion among the guards—what had happened to Peter?]

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

DBRP_099 DEU.13 DEU.14 PSA.56 ACT.11

Let’s start with DEUTERONOMY 13-14.

In yesterday's reading Moses continued to stress the need for faithfulness to God and all his commands. It is clear that Moses loves the people and is marshaling every argument possible to convince them to keep on obeying God.


This is another psalm from the experiences of David. This is a good psalm for us to pray when we feel that our lives are out of control and that people are against us.

Translation notes:
4 [CEV I praise [You for] your promises! I trust you and am not afraid. No [mere human//one] can harm me.//I trust in God and am not afraid; I praise him for what he has promised. What can a mere human being do to me?]
9 [CEV When I pray, Lord God, my enemies will retreat, because I know for certain
that you are with me.//The day I call to you, my enemies will be turned back. I know this: God is on my side—  
10 [NLT 0 O God, I praise your word. Yes, Lord, I praise your word.//the Lord, whose promises I praise.]
11 [CEV 11 I trust you and am not afraid. No [mere human//one] can harm me.//In him I trust, and I will not be afraid. What can a mere human being do to me?]
13 [NLT For you have rescued me from death;
you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
in your life-giving light.//because you have rescued me from death
and kept me from defeat.
And so I walk in the presence of God,
in the light that shines on the living.]

Opening to ACTS 11:

In yesterday's reading, Peter didn't even get to finish his speech before the Holy Spirit took control of the Gentile listeners. The new believers were baptized by the astonished Jewish-background believers from Joppa.

Translation note:
13 He told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send someone to Joppa for a man [named Simon who is also called Peter//whose full name is Simon Peter].

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

DBRP_098 DEU.11 DEU.12 PSA.55 ACT.10.21-48


In yesterday's reading, Moses continued to hammer on the people not to think that they have been favored by God because they are such good people. Moses gave his first hand account of being in God's presence for 40 days and 40 nights on two occasions, one right after the other. He also again models in his prayer for Israel the way to effectively pray for people— which is to base our prayers on God's character and his promises.

Translation note:
And you will live a long time in the rich and fertile land that the Lord promised to give [to] your ancestors and their descendants.


This poem was written out of the discouragement caused by betrayal. It includes the figure of speech called apostrophe. That is where the writer, David, speaks to his enemy as if he were present. The same part which includes that figure of speech is often quoted as it shows us how Jesus must have felt about Judas’ betrayal.

Translation note:

23 But [to You I pray//you], O God, will bring those murderers and liars to their graves before half their life is over. As for me, I will trust in you.

We turn for the second time to ACTS 10.

Yesterday we heard of the wonderful way the Lord called Peter to go to Cornelius' house. In preparation, God gave Peter a vision (repeated three times to leave no doubt whatsoever) to the effect that God was now opening the door to the Gentiles to be cleansed and included as God's people.

Translation notes:
32 Send someone to Joppa for a man [named Simon who is also called Peter//whose full name is Simon Peter]. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner of leather, who lives by the sea.’
42 And he commanded us to preach [this Good News//the gospel] to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God has appointed judge of the living and the dead.
[It seems inconsistent to use ‘Good News’ in verse 36, and then to switch to ‘gospel’ here.]
43 All the prophets spoke about him, saying that [through his authority] all who believe in him will have their sins forgiven [0//through the power of his name].”
[The Greek does not have the word ‘power’— although it is not wrong as GNT translates. And this phrase comes before the verb ‘all who believe in Him’ in the Greek text. I have translated ‘name’ as a metonymy for ‘name’.]


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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

DBRP_097 DEU.9 DEU.10 PSA.54 ACT.10.1-29

Opening to DEUTERONOMY 9-10:

Yesterday Moses continued his stern lecture. I note particularly that Moses did all he could to stress to not get proud or to think they they were great people based on their own merits. The reading also included the famous words, “people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”


This poem is a short cry for help, when David was under severe stress and being attacked.

Translation notes:
3 Proud people are coming to attack me; cruel people are trying to kill me— those who do not care about [You, O] God. 
4 But [You are//God is] my helper. [You, O Lord are//The Lord I ] my defender. 
6 May [You//God] use their own evil to punish my enemies. [You//He] will destroy them because [You are//he is] faithful.

We turn for the first time to ACTS 10.

We are prepared for today's reading by the two notable miracles performed by Peter in Acts chapter 9.

Translation notes:
5 And now send some men to Joppa for a certain man whose [name is Simon, and who is also called Peter//full name is Simon Peter].
6 He is a guest in the home of a tanner of leather [who is also] named Simon, who lives by the sea.”
18 They called out and asked, “Is there a guest here by the name of Simon[, who is also called] Peter?”

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Monday, April 4, 2016

DBRP_096 DEU.7 DEU.8 PSA.53 ACT.9.17-43

Let’s open to DEUTERONOMY 7-8.

Yesterday in Deuteronomy we heard Moses repeating the 10 Commandments and pleading with the people that they remain faithful in obeying all the commands and regulations the Lord gave. The reading ended with an important statement to remember when considering the difference between the old and new covenants:
NLT: 6:25 “For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the LORD our God has given us.’”

Translation note:
[GNT’s wording and its footnote are equally valid translations of this verse.]
GNT: 6:25 If we faithfully obey everything that God has commanded us, he will be pleased with us.’*

*Footnote in GNT: 6.25: If we faithfully...with us; or The right thing for us to do is to obey faithfully everything that God has commanded us.


This is another Psalm that is quoted in the New Testament, and therefore, often quoted in general. This is a tell-it-like-it-is psalm, not a sweet and flowery poem.

We turn for the second time to ACTS 9.

In the first half of this chapter,  we heard most of the story of Saul's dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus.

Translation note:
3 And so it was that the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. Through the help of the Holy Spirit [the church//it] was strengthened and grew in numbers, as [they//it] lived in reverence for the Lord.


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Sunday, April 3, 2016

DBRP_095 DEU.5 DEU.6 PSA.52 ACT.9.1-19

Opening to DEUTERONOMY 5-6:

Yesterday we heard Moses expound on the most important  command to never worship any idol or any god other than the Lord. He based this on the Israelite's experience of hearing God's voice and not seeing his form. Moses was realistic and knew that Israel would eventually leave God, and that God would judge them. He gave them this amazing promise: “ from there (where you have been exiled by your enemies) you will search again for the LORD your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.”

We turn to PSALM 52.

This is another psalm from David's experiences. He was betrayed by a man called Doeg, and then that man killed priests who had done nothing wrong. This psalm stands as testimony that God notices such things and will eventually bring just punishment for all injustice.

We turn to for the first time ACTS 9.

In chapter 8, we heard the fantastic way the Lord led Philip. The Lord wanted a certain Ethiopian high official to be saved. The traditional church in Ethiopia still traces its history to that official. And Philip had the privilege of being miraculously teleported to a new location. He continued from there in preaching the Gospel, all the way to Caesarea, which is where we find him later.

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

DBRP_094 DEU.4 PSA.51 ACT.8.25-40

Let’s start today with DEUTERONOMY 4.

Yesterday Moses gave his personal account of how God led the people of Israel in not attacking three nations, but finally led them in attacking two kings. Moses pleaded with God to allow him to cross the Jordan into the promised land, but God refused to let him.

We turn now to PSALM 51.

This is one of the most quoted and most famous psalms. David's sincere and broken-hearted prayer for forgiveness is a pattern for all of us to follow.

We turn for the second time to ACTS 8.

Yesterday we heard how the believers in Jerusalem were scattered by a wave of persecution following Stephen's martyrdom. Philip (the deacon, not the apostle) is given the wonderful privilege to turn many to the Lord in Samaria. My own thought about why the Holy Spirit was not given when the believers were baptized is because Peter really was given the “keys to the kingdom.” Peter was present when the Jewish people received the Holy Spirit, and when the despised mixed-breed Samaritans received the Holy Spirit, and when non-Jews received that same gift.

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Friday, April 1, 2016

DBRP_093 DEU.2 DEU.3 PSA.50 ACT.8.1-25

Let’s open to DEUTERONOMY 2-3.

Yesterday we heard Moses preaching and confronting the people of Israel about their bickering and their incredible stubbornness in refusing to believe the Lord's commands, and their refusal to believe God’s loving intent in his commands.

Translation notes:
1:46 “So then, after we had stayed at Kadesh for a long time,
2:1 we finally turned and went into the desert, on the road to the Gulf of Aqaba, as the Lord had commanded, and we spent a long time wandering about in the hill country of Edom.

We turn to PSALM 50.

Remember what Moses said yesterday in Deuteronomy? This Psalm adds God's perspective about what He wants most from his people.

Translation notes:
7 [And He speaks,] “Listen, my people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel. I am God, your God.
14 [No! But] Let the giving of thanks be your sacrifice to [Me, your Almighty] God, and give [Me//the Almighty] all that you promised.  
16 But [I, your God say//God says] to the wicked, “Why should you recite my commandments? Why should you talk about my covenant?

We turn for the first time to ACTS 8.

Yesterday we heard the conclusion of Stephen's speech. He confronted the high council with the indisputable fact that the people of Israel had always refused to follow what God told them and killed the prophets. “They (our ancestors) even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered.” Shortly after saying that, Stephen died as Saul watched.

Translation notes:
5 Philip went to the principal city in Samaria and preached [about believing in] the Messiah to the people there.
28 and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah [while a driver was driving the carriage//0].
[See v. 38! Even back in that day, it was not a good thing to be a distracted driver.]

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