April 4, 2017
Orthros: Isaiah 49:6-10
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
This is what the Lord says—
the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—
to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation,
to the servant of rulers:
“Kings will see you and stand up,
princes will see and bow down,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
This is what the Lord says:
“In the time of my favor I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’
“They will feed beside the roads
and find pasture on every barren hill.
They will neither hunger nor thirst,
nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
and lead them beside springs of water.”
Vespers OT1: Genesis 31:3-16
Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”
So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.
“In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.’”
Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father’s estate? Does he not regard us as foreigners?Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us. Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you.”
Vespers OT2: Proverbs 21:3-21
To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.
A fortune made by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.
The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
for they refuse to do what is right.
The way of the guilty is devious,
but the conduct of the innocent is upright.
Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
The wicked crave evil;
their neighbors get no mercy from them.
When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.
The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked
and brings the wicked to ruin.
Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
will also cry out and not be answered.
A gift given in secret soothes anger,
and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.
When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
Whoever strays from the path of prudence
comes to rest in the company of the dead.
Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.
The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
and the unfaithful for the upright.
Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
but fools gulp theirs down.
Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity and honor.