Evening Prayer Readings
Thursday after Trinity 18
The First Lesson
The Second Lesson
An Independent Traditional 1928 BCP Ministry
TRULY God is loving unto Israel: * even unto such as are of a clean heart.
Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone, * my treadings had well-nigh slipt.
And why? I was grieved at the wicked: * I do also see the ungodly in such prosperity.
For they are in no peril of death; * but are lusty and strong.
They come in no misfortune like other folk; * neither are they plagued like other men.
And this is the cause that they are so holden with pride, * and cruelty covereth them as a garment.
Their eyes swell with fatness, * and they do even what they lust.
They corrupt other, and speak of wicked blasphemy; * their talking is against the Most High.
For they stretch forth their mouth unto the heaven, * and their tongue goeth through the world.
Therefore fall the people unto them, * and thereout suck they no small advantage.
Tush, say they, how should God perceive it? * is there knowledge in the Most High?
Lo, these are the ungodly, * these prosper in the world, and these have riches in possession:
And I said, Then have I cleansed my heart in vain, * and washed my hands in innocency.
All the day long have I been punished, * and chastened every morning.
Yea, and I had almost said even as they; * but lo, then I should have condemned the generation of thy children.
Then thought I to understand this; * but it was too hard for me,
Until I went into the sanctuary of God: * then understood I the end of these men;
Namely, how thou dost set them in slippery places, * and castest them down, and destroyest them.
O how suddenly do they consume, * perish, and come to a fearful end!
Yea, even like as a dream when one awaketh; * so shalt thou make their image to vanish out of the city.
Thus my heart was grieved, * and it went even through my reins.
So foolish was I, and ignorant, * even as it were a beast before thee.
Nevertheless, I am alway by thee; * for thou hast holden me by my right hand.
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, * and after that receive me with glory.
Whom have I in heaven but thee? * and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee.
My flesh and my heart faileth; * but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
For lo, they that forsake thee shall perish; * thou hast destroyed all them that are unfaithful unto thee.
But it is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord GOD, * and to speak of all thy works in the gates of the daughter of Sion.
Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power? Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me. How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger. They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away. God layeth up his iniquity for his children: he rewardeth him, and he shall know it. His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty. Have ye not asked them that go by the way? and do ye not know their tokens, That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. who shall declare his way to his face? and who shall repay him what he hath done? yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb. The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, and every man shall draw after him, as there are innumerable before him.
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
LORD, we beseech thee, grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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