May 26, 2023 :: Evening Prayer
Seventh Friday of Easter
Here beginneth the 4th chapter of Nehemiah.
But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?
Now Tobiah the Ammonite by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.
Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:
And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked to anger before the builders.
So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
But it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,
And conspired all of them together to come to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.
Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.
And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us .
Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.
And it came to pass from that time forth, the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers behind all the house of Judah.
They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other held a weapon.
For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and builded. And he that sounded the trumpet by me.
And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.
In what place ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.
So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.
Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day.
So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, every one put them off for washing.
Here endeth the first lesson.
Here beginneth the 9th chapter of 1 Corinthians.
Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
Have we not power to eat and to drink?
Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
Or saith he altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
If we have sown unto you spiritual things, a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
If others be partakers of power over you, not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation is committed unto me.
What is my reward then? that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
For though I be free from all , yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all , that I might by all means save some.
And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with .
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
But I keep under my body, and bring into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.