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January 31st, 2021

Septuagesima

  1. Explanation of the Week
  2. Introit
  3. Collect
  4. Old Testament  · Ex. 17:1-7
  5. Gradual
  6. Epistle  · 1 Cor. 9:24-10:5
  7. Verse
  8. Gospel  · Matt. 20:1-16
  9. Morning Psalm  · Ps. 23
  10. First Reading  · Zech. 10:1-11:3
  11. Evening Psalm  · Ps. 114
  12. Second Reading  · 2 Tim. 3:1-17

Explanation of the Week

The people of Israel contended with the Lord in the wilderness. (Ex 17:1-7) They were dissatisfied with His provision. In the same way, the first laborers in the vineyard complained against the landowner for the wage he provided them. (Mt 20:1-16) They charged him with being unfair. But in fact he was not being unfair but generous. The Lord does not wish to deal with us on the basis of what we deserve but on the basis of His abounding grace in Christ. The first, those who rely on their own merits, will be last. "Their bodies were scattered in the wilderness." But the last, those who rely on Christ, will be first. For Christ is the Rock. (1 Cor 9:24Ñ10:5) He is the One who was struck and from whose side blood and water flowed that we may be cleansed of our sin. Therefore, "Let him who glories, glory in the Lord." (Jer 9:23-24)
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Introit

Antiphon:
The sorrows of Sheol sur- | rounded me;*
     the snares of death con- | fronted me.
In my distress I called up- | on the LORD,*
     He heard my voice from His | temple. (Psalm 18:5-6)

Psalm:
I will love You, O | LORD, my strength.*
     The LORD is my rock and my | fortress.
For You will save the humble | people,*
     but will bring down | haughty looks.
It is God who arms | me with strength,*
     and makes my way | perfect.
Therefore I will give thanks to | You, O LORD,*
     and sing praises | to Your name. (Psalm 18:1-2, 27, 32, 49)
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Collect

O Lord, graciously hear the prayers of Your people that we, who justly suffer the consequence of our sin, may be mercifully delivered by Your goodness to the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
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Old Testament · Ex. 17:1-7

Water from the Rock

17 Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, “Give us water, that we may drink.”

So Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the Lord?”

And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”

So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone[a] me!”

And the Lord said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”

And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. So he called the name of the place Massah[b] and [c]Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they [d]tempted the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 17:4 Put me to death by stoning
  2. Exodus 17:7 Lit. Tempted
  3. Exodus 17:7 Lit. Contention
  4. Exodus 17:7 tested

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Gradual

The LORD also will be a refuge for | the oppressed,*
     a refuge in times of | trouble.
And those who know Your name will put their | trust in You;*
     for You, LORD, have not for- | saken them.
For the needy shall not always be for- | gotten;*
     the expectation of the poor shall not perish for- | ever.
A- | rise, O LORD,*
     do not let | man prevail. (Psalm 9:9–10, 18–19)
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Epistle · 1 Cor. 9:24-10:5

Striving for a Crown

24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may [a]obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize [b]is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Old Testament Examples

10 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 9:24 win
  2. 1 Corinthians 9:25 exercises self-control

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Verse

Out of the depths I have cried to | You, O LORD;*
      Lord, | hear my voice!
Let Your ears be at- | tentive*
     to the voice of my suppli- | cations.
If You, LORD, should mark in- | iquities,*
     O Lord, | who could stand?
But there is forgive- | ness with You,*
     that You | may be feared. (Psalm 130:1–4)
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Gospel · Matt. 20:1-16

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing [a]idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, [b]and whatever is right you will receive.’

“So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they [c]complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For[d] many are called, but few chosen.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 20:6 NU omits idle
  2. Matthew 20:7 NU omits the rest of v. 7.
  3. Matthew 20:11 grumbled
  4. Matthew 20:16 NU omits the rest of v. 16.

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Morning Psalm · Ps. 23

The Lord the Shepherd of His People

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not [a]want.
He makes me to lie down in [b]green pastures;
He leads me beside the [c]still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will [d]dwell in the house of the Lord
[e]Forever.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 23:1 lack
  2. Psalm 23:2 Lit. pastures of tender grass
  3. Psalm 23:2 Lit. waters of rest
  4. Psalm 23:6 So with LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg.; MT return
  5. Psalm 23:6 Or To the end of my days, lit. For length of days

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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First Reading · Zech. 10:1-11:3

Restoration of Judah and Israel

10 Ask the Lord for rain
In the time of the [a]latter rain.
The Lord will make [b]flashing clouds;
He will give them showers of rain,
Grass in the field for everyone.

For the idols[c] speak delusion;
The diviners envision lies,
And tell false dreams;
They comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wend their way like sheep;
They are [d]in trouble because there is no shepherd.

“My anger is kindled against the shepherds,
And I will punish the [e]goatherds.
For the Lord of hosts will visit His flock,
The house of Judah,
And will make them as His royal horse in the battle.
From him comes the cornerstone,
From him the tent peg,
From him the battle bow,
From him every [f]ruler together.
They shall be like mighty men,
Who tread down their enemies
In the mire of the streets in the battle.
They shall fight because the Lord is with them,
And the riders on horses shall be put to shame.

“I will strengthen the house of Judah,
And I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back,
Because I have mercy on them.
They shall be as though I had not cast them aside;
For I am the Lord their God,
And I will hear them.
Those of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man,
And their heart shall rejoice as if with wine.
Yes, their children shall see it and be glad;
Their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.
I will whistle for them and gather them,
For I will redeem them;
And they shall increase as they once increased.

“I will [g]sow them among the peoples,
And they shall remember Me in far countries;
They shall live, together with their children,
And they shall return.
10 I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt,
And gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon,
Until no more room is found for them.
11 He shall pass through the sea with affliction,
And strike the waves of the sea:
All the depths of [h]the River shall dry up.
Then the pride of Assyria shall be brought down,
And the scepter of Egypt shall depart.

12 “So I will strengthen them in the Lord,
And they shall walk up and down in His name,”
Says the Lord.

Desolation of Israel

11 Open your doors, O Lebanon,
That fire may devour your cedars.
Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen,
Because the mighty trees are ruined.
Wail, O oaks of Bashan,
For the thick forest has come down.
There is the sound of wailing shepherds!
For their glory is in ruins.
There is the sound of roaring lions!
For the [i]pride of the Jordan is in ruins.

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 10:1 Spring rain
  2. Zechariah 10:1 Or lightning flashes
  3. Zechariah 10:2 Heb. teraphim
  4. Zechariah 10:2 afflicted
  5. Zechariah 10:3 Leaders
  6. Zechariah 10:4 Or despot
  7. Zechariah 10:9 Or scatter
  8. Zechariah 10:11 The Nile
  9. Zechariah 11:3 Or floodplain, thicket

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Evening Psalm · Ps. 114

The Power of God in His Deliverance of Israel

114 When Israel went out of Egypt,
The house of Jacob from a people [a]of strange language,
Judah became His sanctuary,
And Israel His dominion.

The sea saw it and fled;
Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams,
The little hills like lambs.
What ails you, O sea, that you fled?
O Jordan, that you turned back?
O mountains, that you skipped like rams?
O little hills, like lambs?

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the God of Jacob,
Who turned the rock into a pool of water,
The flint into a fountain of waters.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 114:1 who spoke unintelligibly

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Second Reading · 2 Tim. 3:1-17

Perilous Times and Perilous Men

But know this, that in the last days [a]perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, [b]unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

The Man of God and the Word of God

10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [c]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Timothy 3:1 times of stress
  2. 2 Timothy 3:3 irreconcilable
  3. 2 Timothy 3:16 training, discipline

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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