Today our passages are Exodus 7:25–9:35; Matthew 19:13-30; Psalm 24:1-10; and Proverbs 6:1-5. The readings are the Contemporary English Version.
Exodus 7:25-9:35 (Contemporary English Version)
Frogs25Seven days after the LORD had struck the Nile,
Exodus 81he said to Moses: Go to the palace and tell the king of Egypt that I order him to let my people go, so they can worship me. 2If he refuses, I will cover his entire country with frogs. 3Warn the king that the Nile will be full of frogs, and from there they will spread into the royal palace, including the king's bedroom and even his bed. Frogs will enter the homes of his officials and will find their way into ovens and into the bowls of bread dough. 4Frogs will be crawling on everyone--the king, his officials, and every citizen of Egypt.
5Moses, now command Aaron to hold his stick over the water. Then frogs will come from all rivers, canals, and ponds in Egypt, and they will cover the land.
6Aaron obeyed, and suddenly frogs were everywhere in Egypt. 7But the magicians used their secret powers to do the same thing.
8The king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, " If you ask the LORD to take these frogs away from me and my people, I will let your people go and offer sacrifices to him."
9" All right," Moses answered. " You choose the time when I am to pray for the frogs to stop bothering you, your officials, and your people, and for them to leave your houses and be found only in the river."
10" Do it tomorrow!" the king replied.
" As you wish," Moses agreed. " Then everyone will discover that there is no god like the LORD, 11and frogs will no longer be found anywhere, except in the Nile."
12After Moses and Aaron left the palace, Moses begged the LORD to do something about the frogs he had sent as punishment for the king. 13The LORD listened to Moses, and frogs died everywhere--in houses, yards, and fields. 14The dead frogs were placed in piles, and the whole country began to stink. 15But when the king saw that things were now better, he again did just as the LORD had said and stubbornly refused to listen to Moses and Aaron.
Gnats16The LORD said to Moses, " Command Aaron to strike the ground with his walking stick, and everywhere in Egypt the dust will turn into gnats." 17They obeyed, and when Aaron struck the ground with the stick, gnats started swarming on people and animals. In fact, every speck of dust in Egypt turned into a gnat. 18When the magicians tried to use their secret powers to do this, [a] they failed, and gnats stayed on people and animals. 19The magicians told the king, [b] " God has done this." But, as the LORD had said, the king was too stubborn to listen.
Flies20The LORD said to Moses: Early tomorrow morning, while the king is on his way to the river, go and say to him, " The LORD commands you to let his people go, so they can worship him. 21If you don't, he will send swarms of flies to attack you, your officials, and every citizen of your country. Houses will be full of flies, and the ground will crawl with them.
22-23" The LORD's people in Goshen won't be bothered by flies, but your people in the rest of the country will be tormented by them. That's how you will know that the LORD is here in Egypt. This miracle will happen tomorrow."
24The LORD kept his promise--the palace and the homes of the royal officials swarmed with flies, and the rest of the country was infested with them as well. 25Then the king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, " Go sacrifice to your God, but stay here in Egypt."
26" That's impossible!" Moses replied. " Any sacrifices we offer to the LORD our God would disgust the Egyptians, and they would stone us to death. 27No indeed! The LORD has ordered us to walk three days into the desert before offering sacrifices to him, and that's what we have to do."
28Then the king told him, " I'll let you go into the desert to offer sacrifices, if you don't go very far. But in the meantime, pray for me."
29" Your Majesty," Moses replied, " I'll pray for you as soon as I leave, and by tomorrow the flies will stop bothering you, your officials, and the citizens of your country. Only make sure that you're telling the truth this time and that you really intend to let our people offer sacrifices to the LORD."
30After leaving the palace, Moses prayed, 31and the LORD answered his prayer. Not a fly was left to pester the king, his officials, or anyone else in Egypt. 32But the king turned stubborn again and would not let the people go.
Dead Animals1The LORD sent Moses with this message for the king of Egypt: The LORD God of the Hebrews commands you to let his people go, so they can worship him. 2If you keep refusing, 3he will bring a terrible disease on your horses and donkeys, your camels and cattle, and your sheep and goats. 4But the LORD will protect the animals that belong to the people of Israel, and none of theirs will die. 5Tomorrow is the day the LORD has set to do this.
6It happened the next day--all of the animals belonging to the Egyptians died, but the Israelites did not lose even one. 7When the king found out, he was still too stubborn to let the people go.
Sores8The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: Take a few handfuls of ashes from a stove and have Moses throw them into the air. Be sure the king is watching. 9The ashes will blow across the land of Egypt, causing sores to break out on people and animals.
10So they took a few handfuls of ashes and went to the king. [c] Moses threw them into the air, and sores immediately broke out on the Egyptians and their animals. 11The magicians were suffering so much from the sores, that they could not even come to Moses. 12Everything happened just as the LORD had told Moses--he made the king too stubborn to listen to Moses and Aaron.
Hailstones13The LORD told Moses to get up early the next morning and say to the king: The LORD God of the Hebrews commands you to let his people go, so they can worship him! 14If you don't, he will send his worst plagues to strike you, your officials, and everyone else in your country. Then you will find out that no one can oppose the LORD. 15In fact, he could already have sent a terrible disease and wiped you from the face of the earth. 16But he has kept you alive, just to show you his power and to bring honor to himself everywhere in the world.
17You are still determined not to let the LORD's people go. 18All right. At this time tomorrow, he will bring on Egypt the worst hailstorm in its history. 19You had better give orders for every person and every animal in Egypt to take shelter. If they don't, they will die.
20Some of the king's officials were frightened by what the LORD had said, and they hurried off to make sure their slaves and animals were safe. 21But others paid no attention to his threats and left their slaves and animals out in the open.
22Then the LORD told Moses, " Stretch your arm toward the sky, so that hailstones will fall on people, animals, and crops in the land of Egypt." 23-24Moses pointed his walking stick toward the sky, and hailstones started falling everywhere. Thunder roared, and lightning flashed back and forth, striking the ground. This was the worst storm in the history of Egypt. 25People, animals, and crops were pounded by the hailstones, and bark was stripped from trees. 26Only Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was safe from the storm.
27The king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, " Now I have really sinned! My people and I are guilty, and the LORD is right. 28We can't stand any more of this thunder and hail. Please ask the LORD to make it stop. Your people can go--you don't have to stay in Egypt any longer."
29Moses answered, " As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my arms in prayer. When the thunder and hail stop, you will know that the earth belongs to the LORD. 30But I am certain that neither you nor your officials really fear the LORD God."
31Meanwhile, the flax and barley crops had been destroyed by the storm because they were ready to ripen. 32But the wheat crops ripen later, and they were not damaged.
33After Moses left the royal palace and the city, he lifted his arms in prayer to the LORD, and the thunder, hail, and drenching rain stopped. 34When the king realized that the storm was over, he disobeyed once more. He and his officials were so stubborn 35that he refused to let the Israelites go. This was exactly what the LORD had said would happen.
Matthew 19:13-30 (Contemporary English Version)
Jesus Blesses Little Children
(Mark 10.13-16; Luke 18.15-17)13Some people brought their children to Jesus, so that he could place his hands on them and pray for them. His disciples told the people to stop bothering him. 14But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and don't try to stop them! People who are like these children belong to God's kingdom." [a] 15After Jesus had placed his hands on the children, he left.
A Rich Young Man
(Mark 10.17-31; Luke 18.18-30)16A man came to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?" 17Jesus said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. If you want to have eternal life, you must obey his commandments."
18"Which ones?" the man asked.
Jesus answered, "Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. 19Respect your father and mother. And love others as much as you love yourself." 20The young man said, "I have obeyed all of these. What else must I do?"
21Jesus replied, "If you want to be perfect, go sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and be my follower." 22When the young man heard this, he was sad, because he was very rich.
23Jesus said to his disciples, "It's terribly hard for rich people to get into the kingdom of heaven! 24In fact, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God's kingdom."
25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly surprised and asked, "How can anyone ever be saved?"
26Jesus looked straight at them and said, "There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything."
27Peter replied, "Remember, we have left everything to be your followers! What will we get?"
Yes, all of you have become my followers. And so in the future world, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, I promise that you will sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. 29All who have given up home or brothers and sisters or father and mother or children or land for me will be given a hundred times as much. They will also have eternal life. 30But many who are now first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
- Matthew 19:14 People who are like these children belong to God's kingdom: Or "God's kingdom belongs to people who are like these children."
Psalm 24:1-10 (Contemporary English Version)
(A psalm by David.)
Who Can Enter the LORD's Temple?1The earth and everything on it belong to the LORD.
The world and its people
belong to him.
2The LORD placed it all
on the oceans and rivers.
3Who may climb the LORD's hill [a] or stand in his holy temple?
4Only those who do right
for the right reasons,
and don't worship idols
or tell lies under oath.
5The LORD God, who saves them,
will bless and reward them,
6because they worship and serve
the God of Jacob. [b] 7Open the ancient gates,
so that the glorious king
may come in.
8Who is this glorious king?
He is our LORD, a strong
and mighty warrior.
9Open the ancient gates,
so that the glorious king
may come in.
10Who is this glorious king?
He is our LORD,
Proverbs 6:1-5 (Contemporary English Version)
Don't Be Foolish1My child, suppose you agree to pay the debt of someone,
who cannot repay a loan.
2Then you are trapped
by your own words,
3and you are now in the power
of someone else.
Here is what you should do:
Go and beg for permission
to call off the agreement.
4Do this before you fall asleep
or even get sleepy.
5Save yourself, just as a deer
or a bird
tries to escape
from a hunter.
Verse of the Day
“After Jesus sat down and told the twelve disciples to gather around him, he said, "If you want the place of honor, you must become a slave and serve others!” - Mark 9:35
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.
Thought for the Day
English and American political activist, philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary, Thomas Paine wrote, “It is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.”