Read the Bible in a Year

Each day, we'll post passages so that you can read the Bible in one year. This is part of The Colossians 13:16 Project, sponsored by Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia. You're invited to worship with us Sundays, at 11:00 a.m. or Saturdays, at 6:30 p.m. You may also want to consider joining one our adult Bible Studies: Thursdays at 12:00 noon and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. We also have a full range of programs for children. If you want more information about the church, check out the other blogs. And please feel free to leave any comments.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bible Readings for October 21, 2015

Today our passages are Jeremiah 37:1–38:28; 1 Timothy 6:1-21; Psalm 89:38-52; and Proverbs 25:28. The readings are from the Contemporary English VersionIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal. 

Jeremiah 37-38:28 (Contemporary English Version)

Jeremiah 37

King Zedekiah Asks Jeremiah To Pray
 1King Nebuchadnezzar [a] of Babylonia had removed Jehoiachin [b] son of Jehoiakim [c] from being the king of Judah and had made Josiah's [d] son Zedekiah [e] king instead. [f] 2But Zedekiah, his officials, and everyone else in Judah ignored everything the LORD had told me. 3-5Later, the Babylonian army attacked Jerusalem, but they left after learning that the Egyptian army [g] was headed in this direction. One day, Zedekiah sent Jehucal and the priest Zephaniah [h] to talk with me. At that time, I was free to go wherever I wanted, because I had not yet been put in prison. Jehucal and Zephaniah said, "Jeremiah, please pray to the LORD our God for us." 6-7Then the LORD told me to send them back to Zedekiah with this message:    Zedekiah, you wanted Jeremiah to ask me, the L(ORD )God of Israel, what is going to happen. So I will tell you. The king of Egypt and his army came to your rescue, but soon they will go back to Egypt. 8Then the Babylonians will return and attack Jerusalem, and this time they will capture the city and set it on fire. 9Don't fool yourselves into thinking that the Babylonians will leave as they did before. 10Even if you could defeat their entire army, their wounded survivors would still be able to leave their tents and set Jerusalem on fire.
Jeremiah Is Put in Prison
 11The Babylonian army had left because the Egyptian army was on its way to help us. 12So I decided to leave Jerusalem and go to the territory of the Benjamin tribe to claim my share of my family's land. 13I was leaving Jerusalem through Benjamin Gate, when I was stopped by Irijah, [i] the officer in charge of the soldiers at the gate. He said, "Jeremiah, you're under arrest for trying to join the Babylonians." 14"I'm not trying to join them!" I answered. But Irijah wouldn't listen, and he took me to the king's officials. 15-16They were angry and ordered the soldiers to beat me. Then I was taken to the house that belonged to Jonathan, one of the king's officials. It had been turned into a prison, and I was kept in a basement room.    After I had spent a long time there, 17King Zedekiah secretly had me brought to his palace, where he asked, "Is there any message for us from the LORD?"
   "Yes, there is, Your Majesty," I replied. "The LORD is going to let the king of Babylonia capture you."
    18Then I continued, "Your Majesty, why have you put me in prison? Have I committed a crime against you or your officials or the nation? 19Have you locked up the prophets who lied to you and said that the king of Babylonia would never attack Jerusalem? 20Please, don't send me back to that prison at Jonathan's house. If you do, I will die."
    21King Zedekiah had me taken to the prison cells in the courtyard of the palace guards. He told the soldiers to give me a loaf of bread [j] from one of the bakeries every day until the city ran out of grain.

Jeremiah 38

Jeremiah Is Held Prisoner in a Dry Well
 1One day, Shephatiah, Gedaliah, Jehucal, [k] and Pashhur [l] heard me tell the people of Judah 2-3that the LORD had said, "If you stay here in Jerusalem, you will die in battle or from disease or hunger, and the Babylonian army will capture the city anyway. But if you surrender to the Babylonians, they will let you live." 4So the four of them went to the king and said, "You should put Jeremiah to death, because he is making the soldiers and everyone else lose hope. He isn't trying to help our people; he's trying to harm them."     5Zedekiah replied, "Do what you want with him. I can't stop you."
    6Then they took me back to the courtyard of the palace guards and let me down with ropes into the well that belonged to Malchiah, the king's son. There was no water in the well, and I sank down in the mud.
    7-8Ebedmelech from Ethiopia [m] was an official at the palace, and he heard what they had done to me. So he went to speak with King Zedekiah, who was holding court at Benjamin Gate. 9Ebedmelech said, "Your Majesty, Jeremiah is a prophet, and those men were wrong to throw him into a well. And when Jerusalem runs out of food, Jeremiah will starve to death down there." 10Zedekiah answered, "Take thirty [n] of my soldiers and pull Jeremiah out before he dies." 11Ebedmelech and the soldiers went to the palace and got some rags from the room under the treasury. He used ropes to lower them into the well. 12Then he said, "Put these rags under your arms so the ropes won't hurt you." After I did, 13the men pulled me out. And from then on, I was kept in the courtyard of the palace guards.
King Zedekiah Questions Jeremiah
 14King Zedekiah [o] had me brought to his private entrance [p] to the temple, and he said, "I'm going to ask you something, and I want to know the truth." 15"Why?" I replied. "You won't listen, and you might even have me killed!"     16He said, "I swear in the name of the living LORD our Creator that I won't have you killed. No one else can hear what we say, and I won't let anyone kill you."
    17Then I told him that the LORD had said: "Zedekiah, I am the LORD God All-Powerful, the God of Israel. I promise that if you surrender to King Nebuchadnezzar's [q] officers, you and your family won't be killed, and Jerusalem won't be burned down. 18But if you don't surrender, I will let the Babylonian army capture Jerusalem and burn it down, and you will be taken prisoner." 19Zedekiah answered, "I can't surrender to the Babylonians. I'm too afraid of the Jews that have already joined them. The Babylonians might hand me over to those Jews, and they would torture me."
    20I said, "If you will just obey the LORD, the Babylonians won't hand you over to those Jews. You will be allowed to live, and all will go well for you. 21But the LORD has shown me that if you refuse to obey, 22then the women of your palace will be taken prisoner by Nebuchadnezzar's officials. And those women will say to you:
   Friends you trusted led you astray.
   Now you're trapped in mud,
   and those friends you trusted
   have all turned away.
    23The Babylonian army will take your wives and children captive, you will be taken as a prisoner to the King of Babylonia, and Jerusalem will be burned down." [r] 24Zedekiah said, "Jeremiah, if you tell anyone what we have talked about, you might lose your life. 25And I'm sure that if my officials hear about our meeting, they will ask you what we said to each other. They might even threaten to kill you if you don't tell them. 26So if they question you, tell them you were begging me not to send you back to the prison at Jonathan's house, because going back there would kill you."
    27The officials did come and question me about my meeting with the king, and I told them exactly what he had ordered me to say. They never spoke to me about the meeting again, since no one had heard us talking.
    28I was held in the courtyard of the palace guards until the day Jerusalem was captured.
  1. Jeremiah 37:1 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.
  2. Jeremiah 37:1 Jehoiachin: Hebrew "Coniah" (see the note at 22.24).
  3. Jeremiah 37:1 Jehoiakim: See the note at 1.3.
  4. Jeremiah 37:1 Josiah's: Josiah was the father of both Jehoiakim and Zedekiah. Josiah ruled 640-609 B.C.
  5. Jeremiah 37:1 Zedekiah: See the note at 1.3.
  6. Jeremiah 37:1 King Nebuchadnezzar. . . instead: See 2 Kings 24.10-17.
  7. Jeremiah 37:3 Egyptian army: Led by King Apries, also known as Hophra.
  8. Jeremiah 37:3 Jehucal and the priest Zephaniah: Hebrew "Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah."
  9. Jeremiah 37:13 Irijah: Hebrew "Irijah son of Shelemiah and grandson of Hananiah."
  10. Jeremiah 37:21 a loaf of bread: Bread was the main food of the Israelites. During this time of emergency in Jerusalem, everyone probably received the same amount each day.
  11. Jeremiah 38:1 Jehucal: The Hebrew text has "Jucal," another form of the name.
  12. Jeremiah 38:1 Shephatiah, Gedaliah, Jehucal, and Pashhur: Hebrew "Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchiah."
  13. Jeremiah 38:7 Ethiopia: The Hebrew text has "Cush," a region south of Egypt that included parts of the present countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.
  14. Jeremiah 38:10 thirty: Most Hebrew manuscripts; one Hebrew manuscript "three."
  15. Jeremiah 38:14 Zedekiah: See the note at 1.3.
  16. Jeremiah 38:14 his private entrance: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  17. Jeremiah 38:17 Nebuchadnezzar's: See the note at 21.2.
  18. Jeremiah 38:23 Jerusalem will be burned down: A few Hebrew manuscripts and three ancient translations; most Hebrew manuscripts "you will burn Jerusalem down"; one ancient translation "he will burn Jerusalem down."

1 Timothy 6:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Timothy 6

 1If you are a slave, you should respect and honor your owner. This will keep people from saying bad things about God and about our teaching. 2If any of you slaves have owners who are followers, you should show them respect. After all, they are also followers of Christ, and he loves them. So you should serve and help them the best you can.    These are the things you must teach and tell the people to do.
False Teaching and True Wealth
 3Anyone who teaches something different disagrees with the correct and godly teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4Those people who disagree are proud of themselves, but they don't really know a thing. Their minds are sick, and they like to argue over words. They cause jealousy, disagreements, unkind words, evil suspicions, 5and nasty quarrels. They have wicked minds and have missed out on the truth.    These people think religion is supposed to make you rich. 6And religion does make your life rich, by making you content with what you have. 7We didn't bring anything into this world, and we won't [a] take anything with us when we leave. 8So we should be satisfied just to have food and clothes. 9People who want to be rich fall into all sorts of temptations and traps. They are caught by foolish and harmful desires that drag them down and destroy them. 10The love of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.
Fighting a Good Fight for the Faith
 11Timothy, you belong to God, so keep away from all these evil things. Try your best to please God and to be like him. Be faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle. 12Fight a good fight for the faith and claim eternal life. God offered it to you when you clearly told about your faith, while so many people listened. 13Now I ask you to make a promise. Make it in the presence of God, who gives life to all, and in the presence of Jesus Christ, who openly told Pontius Pilate about his faith. 14Promise to obey completely and fully all that you have been told until our Lord Jesus Christ returns.     15The glorious God
   is the only Ruler,
   the King of kings
   and Lord of lords.
   At the time that God
   has already decided,
   he will send Jesus Christ
   back again.
    16Only God lives forever!
   And he lives in light
   that no one can come near.
   No human has ever seen God
   or ever can see him.
   God will be honored,
   and his power
   will last forever. Amen.
    17Warn the rich people of this world not to be proud or to trust in wealth that is easily lost. Tell them to have faith in God, who is rich and blesses us with everything we need to enjoy life. 18Instruct them to do as many good deeds as they can and to help everyone. Remind the rich to be generous and share what they have. 19This will lay a solid foundation for the future, so that they will know what true life is like.
    20Timothy, guard what God has placed in your care! Don't pay any attention to that godless and stupid talk that sounds smart but really isn't. 21Some people have even lost their faith by believing this talk.
   I pray that the Lord will be kind to all of you!
  1. 1 Timothy 6:7 we won't: Some manuscripts have "we surely won't."

Psalm 89:38-52 (Contemporary English Version)

38You are now angry, God,
   and you have turned your back
   on your chosen king.
    39You broke off your agreement
   with your servant, the king,
   and you completely destroyed
   his kingdom.
    40The walls of his city
   have been broken through,
   and every fortress
   now lies in ruin.
    41All who pass by
   take what they want,
   and nations everywhere
   joke about the king.
    42You made his enemies powerful
   and let them celebrate.
    43But you forced him to retreat
   because you did not fight
   on his side.
    44You took his crown [a] and threw his throne
   in the dirt.
    45You made an old man of him
   and put him to shame.
    46How much longer, LORD?
   Will you hide forever?
   How long will your anger
   keep burning like fire?
    47Remember, life is short! [b] Why did you empty our lives
   of all meaning?
    48No one can escape the power
   of death and the grave.
    49Our Lord, where is the love
   you have always shown
   and that you promised
   so faithfully to David?
    50Remember your servant, Lord!
   People make jokes about me,
   and I suffer many insults.
    51I am your chosen one,
   but your enemies chase
   and make fun of me.
    52Our LORD, we praise you
   forever. Amen and amen.
  1. Psalm 89:44 You took. . . crown: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. Psalm 89:47 Remember. . . short: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Proverbs 25:28 (Contemporary English Version)

28Losing self-control
   leaves you as helpless
   as a city without a wall.

Verse of the Day

“I enjoy pleasing you. Your Law is in my heart.” - Psalm 40:8
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart - 1976 official portrait.jpg
Thought for the Day

Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Potter Stewart wrote, “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”

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