SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
102:1 The prayer of an oppressed man, as he grows faint and pours out his lament before the Lord.
O Lord, hear my prayer.
Pay attention to my cry for help.
2 Do not ignore me in my time of trouble.
Listen to me.
When I call out to you, quickly answer me.
3 For my days go up in smoke,
and my bones are charred as in a fireplace.
4 My heart is parched and withered like grass,
for I am unable to eat food.
5 Because of the anxiety that makes me groan,
my bones protrude from my skin.
6 I am like an owl in the wilderness;
I am like a screech owl among the ruins.
7 I stay awake;
I am like a solitary bird on a roof.
8 All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who mock me use my name in their curses.
9 For I eat ashes as if they were bread,
and mix my drink with my tears,
10 because of your anger and raging fury.
Indeed, you pick me up and throw me away.
11 My days are coming to an end,
and I am withered like grass.
12 But you, O Lord, rule forever,
and your reputation endures.
13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion.
For it is time to have mercy on her,
for the appointed time has come.
14 Indeed, your servants take delight in her stones
and feel compassion for the dust of her ruins.
15 The nations will respect the reputation of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth will respect his splendor
16 when the Lord rebuilds Zion
and reveals his splendor,
17 when he responds to the prayer of the destitute
and does not reject their request.
18 The account of his intervention will be recorded for future generations;
people yet to be born will praise the Lord.
19 For he will look down from his sanctuary above;
from heaven the Lord will look toward earth,
20 in order to hear the painful cries of the prisoners
and to set free those condemned to die,
21 so they may proclaim the name of the Lord in Zion
and praise him in Jerusalem
22 when the nations gather together,
and the kingdoms pay tribute to the Lord.
23 He has taken away my strength in the middle of life;
he has cut short my days.
24 I say, “O my God, please do not take me away in the middle of my life.
You endure through all generations.
25 In earlier times you established the earth;
the skies are your handiwork.
26 They will perish,
but you will endure.
They will wear out like a garment;
like clothes you will remove them and they will disappear.
27 But you remain;
your years do not come to an end.
28 The children of your servants will settle down here,
and their descendants will live securely in your presence.”
103:1 By David.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
With all that is within me, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, O my soul.
Do not forget all his kind deeds.
3 He is the one who forgives all your sins,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who delivers your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with his loyal love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your life with good things,
so your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.
6 The Lord does what is fair,
and executes justice for all the oppressed.
7 The Lord revealed his faithful acts to Moses,
his deeds to the Israelites.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful;
he is patient and demonstrates great loyal love.
9 He does not always accuse
and does not stay angry.
10 He does not deal with us as our sins deserve;
he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve.
11 For as the skies are high above the earth,
so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers.
12 As far as the eastern horizon is from the west,
so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.
14 For he knows what we are made of;
he realizes we are made of clay.
15 A person’s life is like grass.
Like a flower in the field it flourishes,
16 but when the hot wind blows, it disappears,
and one can no longer even spot the place where it once grew.
17 But the Lord continually shows loyal love to his faithful followers
and is faithful to their descendants,
18 to those who keep his covenant,
who are careful to obey his commands.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven;
his kingdom extends over everything.
20 Praise the Lord, you angels of his,
you powerful warriors who carry out his decrees
and obey his orders.
21 Praise the Lord, all you warriors of his,
you servants of his who carry out his desires.
22 Praise the Lord, all that he has made,
in all the regions of his kingdom.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
104:1 Praise the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, you are magnificent.
You are robed in splendor and majesty.
2 He covers himself with light as if it were a garment.
He stretches out the skies like a tent curtain
3 and lays the beams of the upper rooms of his palace on the rain clouds.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and travels on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes the winds his messengers
and the flaming fire his attendant.
5 He established the earth on its foundations;
it will never be moved.
6 The watery deep covered it like a garment;
the waters reached above the mountains.
7 Your shout made the waters retreat;
at the sound of your thunderous voice they hurried off—
8 as the mountains rose up
and the valleys went down—
to the place you appointed for them.
9 You set up a boundary for them that they could not cross,
so that they would not cover the earth again.
10 He turns springs into streams;
they flow between the mountains.
11 They provide water for all the animals in the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky live beside them;
they chirp among the bushes.
13 He waters the mountains from the upper rooms of his palace;
the earth is full of the fruit you cause to grow.
14 He provides grass for the cattle
and crops for people to cultivate,
so they can produce food from the ground
15 as well as wine that makes people glad,
and olive oil to make their faces shine
as well as bread that sustains them.
16 The trees of the Lord receive all the rain they need,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted,
17 where the birds make nests
near the evergreens in which the herons live.
18 The wild goats live in the high mountains;
the rock badgers find safety in the cliffs.
19 He made the moon to mark the months,
and the sun sets according to a regular schedule.
20 You make it dark and night comes,
during which all the beasts of the forest prowl around.
21 The lions roar for prey,
seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they withdraw
and sleep in their dens.
23 People then go out to do their work,
and they labor until evening.
24 How many living things you have made, O Lord!
You have exhibited great skill in making all of them;
the earth is full of the living things you have made.
25 Over here is the deep, wide sea,
which teems with innumerable swimming creatures,
living things both small and large.
26 The ships travel there,
and over here swims the whale you made to play in it.
27 All your creatures wait for you
to provide them with food on a regular basis.
28 You give food to them and they receive it;
you open your hand and they are filled with food.
29 When you ignore them, they panic.
When you take away their life’s breath,
they die and return to dust.
30 When you send your life-giving breath, they are created,
and you replenish the surface of the ground.
31 May the splendor of the Lord endure.
May the Lord find pleasure in the living things he has made.
32 He looks down on the earth and it shakes;
he touches the mountains and they start to smolder.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I exist.
34 May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I will rejoice in the Lord.
35 May sinners disappear from the earth,
and the wicked vanish.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord.
105:1 Give thanks to the Lord.
Call on his name.
Make known his accomplishments among the nations.
2 Sing to him.
Make music to him.
Tell about all his miraculous deeds.
3 Boast about his holy name.
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4 Seek the Lord and the strength he gives.
Seek his presence continually.
5 Recall the miraculous deeds he performed,
his mighty acts and the judgments he decreed,
6 O children of Abraham, God’s servant,
you descendants of Jacob, God’s chosen ones.
7 He is the Lord our God;
he carries out judgment throughout the earth.
8 He always remembers his covenantal decree,
the promise he made to a thousand generations—
9 the promise he made to Abraham,
the promise he made by oath to Isaac.
10 He gave it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as a lasting promise,
11 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion of your inheritance.”
12 When they were few in number,
just a very few, and resident foreigners within it,
13 they wandered from nation to nation,
and from one kingdom to another.
14 He let no one oppress them;
he disciplined kings for their sake,
15 saying, “Don’t touch my chosen ones.
Don’t harm my prophets.”
16 He called down a famine upon the earth;
he cut off all the food supply.
17 He sent a man ahead of them—
Joseph was sold as a servant.
18 The shackles hurt his feet;
his neck was placed in an iron collar,
19 until the time when his prediction came true.
The Lord’s word proved him right.
20 The king authorized his release;
the ruler of nations set him free.
21 He put him in charge of his palace,
and made him manager of all his property,
22 giving him authority to imprison his officials
and to teach his advisers.
23 Israel moved to Egypt;
Jacob lived for a time in the land of Ham.
24 The Lord made his people very fruitful
and made them more numerous than their enemies.
25 He caused the Egyptians to hate his people
and to mistreat his servants.
26 He sent his servant Moses,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27 They executed his miraculous signs among them
and his amazing deeds in the land of Ham.
28 He made it dark;
Moses and Aaron did not disobey his orders.
29 He turned the Egyptians’ water into blood
and killed their fish.
30 Their land was overrun by frogs,
which even got into the rooms of their kings.
31 He ordered flies to come;
gnats invaded their whole territory.
32 He sent hail along with the rain;
there was lightning in their land.
33 He destroyed their vines and fig trees
and broke the trees throughout their territory.
34 He ordered locusts to come,
35 They ate all the vegetation in their land
and devoured the crops of their fields.
36 He struck down all the firstborn in their land,
the firstfruits of their reproductive power.
37 He brought his people out enriched with silver and gold;
none of his tribes stumbled.
38 Egypt was happy when they left,
for they were afraid of them.
39 He spread out a cloud for a cover,
and provided a fire to light up the night.
40 They asked for food, and he sent quail;
he satisfied them with food from the sky.
41 He opened up a rock and water flowed out;
a river ran through dry regions.
42 Yes, he remembered the sacred promise
he made to Abraham his servant.
43 When he led his people out, they rejoiced;
his chosen ones shouted with joy.
44 He handed the territory of nations over to them,
and they took possession of what other peoples had produced,
45 so that they might keep his commands
and obey his laws.
Praise the Lord.
106:1 Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
and his loyal love endures.
2 Who can adequately recount the Lord’s mighty acts
or relate all his praiseworthy deeds?
3 How blessed are those who promote justice
and do what is right all the time.
4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people.
Pay attention to me, when you deliver,
5 so I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
rejoice along with your nation,
and boast along with the people who belong to you.
6 We have sinned like our ancestors;
we have done wrong, we have done evil.
7 Our ancestors in Egypt failed to appreciate your miraculous deeds.
They failed to remember your many acts of loyal love,
and they rebelled at the sea, by the Red Sea.
8 Yet he delivered them for the sake of his reputation
that he might reveal his power.
9 He shouted at the Red Sea and it dried up;
he led them through the deep water as if it were a desert.
10 He delivered them from the power of the one who hated them
and rescued them from the power of the enemy.
11 The water covered their enemies;
not even one of them survived.
12 They believed his promises;
they sang praises to him.
13 They quickly forgot what he had done;
they did not wait for his instructions.
14 In the wilderness they had an insatiable craving for meat;
they challenged God in the wastelands.
15 He granted their request,
then struck them with a disease.
16 In the camp they resented Moses
and Aaron the Lord’s holy priest.
17 The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan;
it engulfed the group led by Abiram.
18 Fire burned their group;
the flames scorched the wicked.
19 They made an image of a calf at Horeb
and worshiped a metal idol.
20 They traded their majestic God
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
21 They rejected the God who delivered them,
the one who performed great deeds in Egypt,
22 amazing feats in the land of Ham,
mighty acts by the Red Sea.
23 He threatened to destroy them,
but Moses, his chosen one, interceded with him
and turned back his destructive anger.
24 They rejected the fruitful land;
they did not believe his promise.
25 They grumbled in their tents;
they did not obey the Lord.
26 So he made a solemn vow
that he would make them die in the wilderness,
27 make their descendants die among the nations,
and scatter them among foreign lands.
28 They worshiped Baal of Peor
and ate sacrifices offered to the dead.
29 They made the Lord angry by their actions,
and a plague broke out among them.
30 Phinehas took a stand and intervened,
and the plague subsided.
31 This was credited to Phinehas as a righteous act
for all generations to come.
32 They made him angry by the waters of Meribah,
and Moses suffered because of them,
33 for they aroused his temper,
and he spoke rashly.
34 They did not destroy the nations,
as the Lord had commanded them to do.
35 They mixed in with the nations
and learned their ways.
36 They worshiped their idols,
which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons.
38 They shed innocent blood—
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan.
The land was polluted by bloodshed.
39 They were defiled by their deeds
and unfaithful in their actions.
40 So the Lord was angry with his people
and despised the people who belonged to him.
41 He handed them over to the nations,
and those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them;
they were subject to their authority.
43 Many times he delivered them,
but they had a rebellious attitude
and degraded themselves by their sin.
44 Yet he took notice of their distress,
when he heard their cry for help.
45 He remembered his covenant with them
and relented because of his great loyal love.
46 He caused all their conquerors
to have pity on them.
47 Deliver us, O Lord, our God.
Gather us from among the nations.
Then we will give thanks to your holy name,
and boast about your praiseworthy deeds.
48 The Lord God of Israel deserves praise,
in the future and forevermore.
Let all the people say, “We agree! Praise the Lord!”