with my whole heart:
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
1 Chronicles 11:1-12:18
A recounting of David's battle to take the kingdom of Saul.
Safe on land on the island of Malta, Paul is bitted by a viper. When he didn't die as they expected, the natives decided that he was a god. Paul went on to cure many people of their diseases; consequently received honors and provisions for the next leg of the journey.
Finally reaching Rome, Paul is called before the local leaders of the Jews. He tells them he has done nothing against them or nothing in conflict with their traditional teaching. Rome wanted to release him. They agree to hear his defense. He preached, trying to convince them about Jesus, using the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets.
The quotation (adapted from Isaiah 6:9-11 and Jeremiah 5:21) that he used could be one that we could refer to in any contemporary disagreement among us religious people:
You will indeed listen, but never understand,Psalm 9:1-12
and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
For the people's heart has grown dull,
and their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes....
Thanks to God for protection from enemies. Words of reassurance or of warning: God rebukes, blots out the wicked.
Better the poor walking in integrity
than one perverse of speech who is a fool.
Desire without knowledge is not good,
and one who moves too hurriedly misses the way.
Prayer for Today: O God, open us to hear you, to see what you are showing us, to understand what you intend for us to do. Amen.