Readings from the Old Testament / Hebrew Scriptures
God wants us to experience joy. Hannah prayed:
“The LORD has filled my heart with joy;
how happy I am because of what he has done!
I laugh at my enemies;
how joyful I am because God has helped me!”
1 Samuel 2.1
God will not neglect those in need.
The needy will not always be neglected;
the hope of the poor will not be crushed forever.
God will refresh us and be with us through our darkest times.
The LORD is my shepherd;
I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in fields of green grass
and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water.
He gives me new strength.
He guides me in the right paths,
as he has promised.
Even if I go through the deepest darkness,
I will not be afraid, LORD,
for you are with me.
Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.
You prepare a banquet for me,
where all my enemies can see me;
you welcome me as an honored guest
and fill my cup to the brim.
I know that your goodness and love
will be with me all my life;
and your house will be my home
as long as I live.
God will protect us and watch over us.
Whoever goes to the LORD for safety,
whoever remains under the
protection of the Almighty,
can say to him,
“You are my defender and protector.
You are my God; in you I trust.”
He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers
and from all deadly diseases.
He will cover you with his wings;
you will be safe in his care;
his faithfulness will protect and defend you.
You need not fear any dangers at night
or sudden attacks during the day
or the plagues that strike in the dark
or the evils that kill in daylight.
God says, “I will save those who love me
and will protect those who
acknowledge me as LORD.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
when they are in trouble, I will be with them.
I will rescue them and honor them.
I will reward them with long life;
I will save them.”
Psalm 91.1-6, 14-16
God will wipe away our tears and bring us joy. The prophet Isaiah writes:
Here on Mount Zion the LORD Almighty will prepare
a banquet for all the nations of the world—
a banquet of the richest food and the finest wine.
Here he will suddenly remove the cloud of sorrow
that has been hanging over all the nations.
The Sovereign LORD will destroy death forever!
He will wipe away the tears from everyone’s eyes
and take away the disgrace his people
have suffered throughout the world.
The LORD himself has spoken.
When it happens, everyone will say,
“He is our God! We have put our trust in him,
and he has rescued us. He is the LORD!
We have put our trust in him,
and now we are happy and joyful
because he has saved us.”
God will restore our strength and renew us.
Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God;
he created all the world.
He never grows tired or weary.
No one understands his thoughts.
He strengthens those who are weak and tired.
Even those who are young grow weak;
young people can fall exhausted.
But those who trust in the LORD for help
will find their strength renewed.
They will rise on wings like eagles;
they will run and not get weary;
they will walk and not grow weak.