Friday: Preparation for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Message Bible translation, the fate of the rich in God's kingdom, background on Lazarus, information on Job's friends, and more.

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Deuteronomy 5:22-33¹

These words the Lord spoke with a loud voice to your whole assembly at the mountain, out of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, and he added no more. He wrote them on two stone tablets, and gave them to me. When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, you approached me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders; and you said, “Look, the Lord our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the fire. Today we have seen that God may speak to someone and the person may still live. So now why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any longer, we shall die. For who is there of all flesh that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and remained alive? Go near, you yourself, and hear all that the Lord our God will say. Then tell us everything that the Lord our God tells you, and we will listen and do it.”

The Lord heard your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me: “I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you; they are right in all that they have spoken. If only they had such a mind as this, to fear me and to keep all my commandments always, so that it might go well with them and with their children forever! Go say to them, ‘Return to your tents.’ But you, stand here by me, and I will tell you all the commandments, the statutes and the ordinances, that you shall teach them, so that they may do them in the land that I am giving them to possess.” You must therefore be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn to the right or to the left. You must follow exactly the path that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you are to possess.

¹There is a parallel passage at Exodus 20:18-21.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Job 18

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
 “How long will you hunt for words?
 Consider, and then we shall speak.
Why are we counted as cattle?
 Why are we stupid in your sight?
You who tear yourself in your anger—
 shall the earth be forsaken because of you,
or the rock be removed out of its place?

“Surely the light of the wicked is put out,
 and the flame of their fire does not shine.
The light is dark in their tent,
 and the lamp above them is put out.
Their strong steps are shortened,
 and their own schemes throw them down.
For they are thrust into a net by their own feet,
 and they walk into a pitfall.
A trap seizes them by the heel;
 a snare lays hold of them.
A rope is hid for them in the ground,
 a trap for them in the path.
Terrors frighten them on every side,
 and chase them at their heels.
Their strength is consumed by hunger,
 and calamity is ready for their stumbling.
By disease their skin is consumed,
 the firstborn of Death consumes their limbs.
They are torn from the tent in which they trusted,
 and are brought to the king of terrors.
In their tents nothing remains;
 sulfur is scattered upon their habitations.
Their roots dry up beneath,
 and their branches wither above.
Their memory perishes from the earth,
 and they have no name in the street.
They are thrust from light into darkness,
 and driven out of the world.
They have no offspring or descendant among their people,
 and no survivor where they used to live.
They of the west are appalled at their fate,
 and horror seizes those of the east.
Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly,
 such is the place of those who do not know God.”

Complementary Psalm 90:12-17

So teach us to count our days
 that we may gain a wise heart.

Turn, O Lord! How long?
 Have compassion on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
 so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us,
 and as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be manifest to your servants,
 and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
 and prosper for us the work of our hands—
 O prosper the work of our hands!

Semi-continuous Psalm 22:1-15

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?¹
Why are you so far from helping me,
 from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day,
 but you do not answer;
 and by night, but find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
 enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted;
 they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried, and were saved;
 in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm, and not human;
 scorned by others,
 and despised by the people.
All who see me mock at me;
 they make mouths at me,
they shake their heads;
“Commit your cause to the Lord;
let him deliver—
 let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”²

Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
 you kept me safe on my mother's breast.
On you I was cast from my birth,
 and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
Do not be far from me,
 for trouble is near
 and there is no one to help.

Many bulls encircle me,
 strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me,
 like a ravening and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water,
 and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
 it is melted within my breast;
my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
 and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
 you lay me in the dust of death.

¹Jesus, on the cross as he is dying, says these words, as recorded in Matthew 27:45-56 and Mark 15:33-41
²This passage, starting with “All those who see me mock me” is reflected in accounts of the crucifixion in
Luke 23:35-36 and Matthew 27:39-44.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 4:1-11

The Sabbath Rest

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“As in my anger I swore,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”¹

though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”¹ And again in this place it says, “They shall not enter my rest.” Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he sets a certain day—“today” —saying through David much later, in the words already quoted,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
 do not harden your hearts.”³

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God's rest also cease from their labors as God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs.

¹Psalm 95:11   ²Genesis 2:2   ³Psalm 95:7-8

Year B Ordinary 28 Friday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Footnotes in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) is used are from The The Holy Bible: New International Version ® (NIV®), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the NIV, the passage ends with (NIV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

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Image credit: The Sabbath Rest by Samuel Hiszenberg, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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