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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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bible Readings for October 22, 2015

Today our passages are Jeremiah 39:1–41:18; 2 Timothy 1:1-18; Psalm 90:1–91:16; and Proverbs 26:1-2. 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 39-41:18 (Contemporary English Version)

Jeremiah 39

Jerusalem Is Captured by the Babylonians
(Jeremiah 52.4-16; 2 Kings 25.1-12)
 1-3In the tenth month [a] of the ninth year that Zedekiah [b] was king of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar [c] and the Babylonian army began their attack on Jerusalem. They kept the city surrounded for a year and a half. Then, on the ninth day of the fourth month [d] of the eleventh year that Zedekiah was king, they broke through the city walls. After Jerusalem was captured, [e] Nebuchadnezzar's highest officials, [f] including Nebo Sarsechim [g] and Nergal Sharezer from Simmagir, [h] took their places at Middle Gate to show they were in control of the city. [i] 4When King Zedekiah and his troops saw that Jerusalem had been captured, they tried to escape from the city that same night. They went to the king's garden, where they slipped through the gate between the two city walls [j] and headed toward the Jordan River valley. 5But the Babylonian troops caught up with them near Jericho. They arrested Zedekiah and took him to the town of Riblah in the land of Hamath, where Nebuchadnezzar put him on trial, then found him guilty 6and gave orders for him to be punished. Zedekiah's sons were killed there in front of him, and so were the leaders of Judah's ruling families. 7His eyes were poked out, and he was put in chains, so he could be dragged off to Babylonia. 8Meanwhile, the Babylonian army had burned the houses in Jerusalem, including [k] the royal palace, and they had broken down the city walls. 9Nebuzaradan, the Babylonian officer in charge of the guards, led away everyone from the city as prisoners, even those who had deserted to Nebuchadnezzar. 10Only the poorest people who owned no land were left behind in Judah, and Nebuzaradan gave them fields and vineyards. 11Nebuchadnezzar had given the following orders to Nebuzaradan: 12"Find Jeremiah and keep him safe. Take good care of him and do whatever he asks."     13Nebuzaradan, Nebushazban, Nergal Sharezer, and the other officers of King Nebuchadnezzar 14sent some of their troops to bring me from the courtyard of the royal palace guards. They put me in the care of Gedaliah son of Ahikam [l] and told him to take me to my home. And so I was allowed to stay with the people who remained in Judah.
The LORD Promises To Protect Ebedmelech
 15While I was a prisoner in the courtyard of the palace guard, the LORD told me to say 16to Ebedmelech from Ethiopia: [m] I am the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel. I warned everyone that I would bring disaster, not prosperity, to this city. Now very soon I will do what I said, and you will see it happen. 17-18But because you trusted me, [n] I will protect you from the officials of Judah, and when Judah is struck by disaster, I will rescue you and keep you alive. I, the LORD, have spoken.

Jeremiah 40

Jeremiah Is Set Free
 1I was led away in chains along with the people of Judah and Jerusalem who were being taken to Babylonia. Nebuzaradan was the officer in charge of the guard, and while we were stopped at Ramah, the LORD had him set me free. 2Nebuzaradan said:    Jeremiah, the LORD your God warned your people that he would bring disaster on this land. 3But they continued to rebel against him, and now he has punished them just as he threatened.
    4Today I am taking the chains off your wrists and setting you free! If you want to, you can come with me to Babylonia, and I will see that you are taken care of. Or if you decide to stay here, you can go wherever you wish. 5King Nebuchadnezzar [o] has chosen Gedaliah to rule Judah. You can live near Gedaliah, and he will provide for you, or you can live anywhere else you want. Nebuzaradan gave me a supply of food, then let me leave. 6I decided to stay with the people of Judah, and I went to live near Gedaliah in Mizpah.
The Harvest Is Brought In
 7-8Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, together with Johanan and Jonathan, the two sons of Kareah, had been officers in Judah's army. And so had Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah from Maacah. They and their troops had been stationed outside Jerusalem and had not been captured. They heard that Gedaliah had been chosen to rule Judah, and that the poorest men, women, and children had not been taken away to Babylonia. So they went to Mizpah and met with their new ruler.     9Gedaliah told them, "There's no need to be afraid of the Babylonians. Everything will be fine, if we live peacefully and obey King Nebuchadnezzar. [p] 10I will stay here at Mizpah and meet with the Babylonian officials on each of their visits. But you must go back to your towns and bring in the harvest, then store the wine, olive oil, and dried fruit." 11-12Earlier, when the Babylonians had invaded Judah, many of the Jews escaped to Moab, Ammon, Edom, and several other countries. But these Jews heard that the king of Babylonia had appointed Gedaliah as ruler of Judah, and that only a few people were left there. So the Jews in these other countries came back to Judah and helped with the grape and fruit harvest, which was especially large that year.
Gedaliah Is Murdered
 13One day, Johanan got together with some of the other men who had been army officers, and they came to Mizpah and met with Gedaliah. 14They said, "Gedaliah, we came to warn you that King Baalis of Ammon hired Ishmael to murder you!"    Gedaliah refused to believe them, 15so Johanan went to Gedaliah privately and said, "Let me kill Ishmael. No one will find out who did it. There are only a few people left in Judah, but they are depending on you. And if you are murdered, they will be scattered or killed."
    16Gedaliah answered, "Don't kill Ishmael! What you've said about him can't be true."

Jeremiah 41

 1But in the seventh month, [q] Ishmael [r] came to Mizpah with ten of his soldiers. He had been one of the king's officials and was a member of the royal family. Ishmael and his men were invited to eat with Gedaliah. 2During the meal, Ishmael and his soldiers killed Gedaliah, the man chosen as ruler of Judah by the king of Babylonia. 3Then they killed the Jews who were with Gedaliah, and they also killed the Babylonian soldiers who were there. 4The next day, the murders had still not been discovered, 5when eighty men came down the road toward Mizpah from the towns of Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria. They were on their way to the temple to offer gifts of grain and incense to the LORD. They had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes, and cut themselves, because they were mourning.     6Ishmael went out the town gate to meet them. He pretended to be weeping, and he asked them to come into Mizpah to meet with Gedaliah, the ruler of Judah. 7But after they were inside the town, Ishmael had his soldiers kill them and throw their bodies into a well. 8He let ten of the men live, because they offered to give him supplies of wheat, barley, olive oil, and honey they had hidden in a field. 9The well that he filled with bodies had been dug by King Asa [s] of Judah to store rainwater, because he was afraid that King Baasha [t] of Israel might surround Mizpah and keep the people from getting to their water supply. 10Nebuzaradan, King Nebuchadnezzar's [u] officer in charge of the guard, had left King Zedekiah's [v] daughters and many other people at Mizpah, and he had put Gedaliah in charge of them. But now Ishmael took them all prisoner and led them toward Ammon, on the other side of the Jordan River. 11Johanan and the other army officers heard what Ishmael had done. 12So they and their troops chased Ishmael and caught up with him at the large pit at Gibeon. 13When Ishmael's prisoners saw Johanan and the officers, they were happy 14and turned around and ran toward Johanan. 15But Ishmael and eight of his men escaped and went to Ammon.
Johanan Decides To Take the People to Egypt
 16Johanan and the officers had rescued the women, children, and royal officials that Ishmael had taken prisoner after killing Gedaliah. Johanan led the people from Gibeon 17-18toward Egypt. They wanted to go there, because they were afraid of what the Babylonians would do when they found out that Ishmael had killed Gedaliah, the ruler appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar. [w] On the way to Egypt, we [x] stopped at the town of Geruth Chimham near Bethlehem.
  1. Jeremiah 39:1 the tenth month: Tebeth, the tenth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-December to mid-January.
  2. Jeremiah 39:1 Zedekiah: See the note at 1.3.
  3. Jeremiah 39:1 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.
  4. Jeremiah 39:1 fourth month: Tammuz, the fourth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-June to mid-July.
  5. Jeremiah 39:1 After Jerusalem was captured: This phrase is from 38.28.
  6. Jeremiah 39:1 highest officials: The Hebrew text gives Nergal Sharezer's title as "the Rabmag," and Nebo Sarsechim's title as "the Rabsaris," but the exact meaning of the titles and the duties of these offices are not known.
  7. Jeremiah 39:1 Nebo Sarsechim: Probably another form of the name Nebushazban (see verse 13).
  8. Jeremiah 39:1 Nergal Sharezer from Simmagir: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. Probably Nebuchadnezzar's son-in-law, who was king of Babylonia 560-556 B.C. It is also possible that the Hebrew text mentions a second official named Nergal Sharezer.
  9. Jeremiah 39:1 took their places. . . control of the city: The rulers and leaders often sat in the broad open area at the gate of a city to take care of official business and hold trials.
  10. Jeremiah 39:4 the gate between the two city walls: The construction of the city walls at this point is not known.
  11. Jeremiah 39:8 the houses in Jerusalem, including: Or "the temple and."
  12. Jeremiah 39:14 son of Ahikam: Hebrew "son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan."
  13. Jeremiah 39:16 Ethiopia: See the note at 38.7,8.
  14. Jeremiah 39:17 you trusted me: See 38.7-13, where Ebedmelech helped Jeremiah.
  15. Jeremiah 40:5 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.
  16. Jeremiah 40:9 seventh month: Tishri, also called Ethanim, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-
  17. Jeremiah 41:1 pSeptember to mid-October.
  18. Jeremiah 41:1 Ishmael: Hebrew "Ishmael son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama."
  19. Jeremiah 41:9 Asa: Ruled 911-870 B.C.
  20. Jeremiah 41:9 Baasha: Ruled 909-886 B.C.
  21. Jeremiah 41:10 Nebuchadnezzar's: See the note at 21.2.
  22. Jeremiah 41:10 Zedekiah's: See the note at 1.3.
  23. Jeremiah 41:17 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.
  24. Jeremiah 41:17 we: The group of people included Jeremiah, since he had been staying with Gedaliah near Mizpah (see 40.6).

2 Timothy 1:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Timothy 1

 1From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus.    God himself chose me to be an apostle, and he gave me the promised life that Jesus Christ makes possible.
    2Timothy, you are like a dear child to me. I pray that God our Father and our Lord Christ Jesus will be kind and merciful to you and will bless you with peace!
Do Not Be Ashamed of the Lord
 3Night and day I mention you in my prayers. I am always grateful for you, as I pray to the God my ancestors and I have served with a clear conscience. 4I remember how you cried, and I want to see you, because that will make me truly happy. 5I also remember the genuine faith of your mother Eunice. Your grandmother Lois had the same sort of faith, and I am sure that you have it as well. 6So I ask you to make full use of the gift that God gave you when I placed my hands on you. [a] Use it well. 7God's Spirit [b] doesn't make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control. 8Don't be ashamed to speak for our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, just because I am in jail for serving him. Use the power that comes from God and join with me in suffering for telling the good news.     9God saved us and chose us
   to be his holy people.
   We did nothing
   to deserve this,
   but God planned it
   because he is so kind.
   Even before time began
   God planned for Christ Jesus
   to show kindness to us.
    10Now Christ Jesus has come
   to show us the kindness
   of God.
   Christ our Savior defeated death
   and brought us
   the good news.
   It shines like a light
   and offers life
   that never ends.
    11My work is to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher. [c] 12That's why I am suffering now. But I am not ashamed! I know the one I have faith in, and I am sure that he can guard until the last day what he has trusted me with. [d] 13Now follow the example of the correct teaching I gave you, and let the faith and love of Christ Jesus be your model. 14You have been trusted with a wonderful treasure. Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives within you. 15You know that everyone in Asia has turned against me, especially Phygelus and Hermogenes.
    16I pray that the Lord will be kind to the family of Onesiphorus. He often cheered me up and wasn't ashamed of me when I was put in jail. 17Then after he arrived in Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. 18I pray that the Lord Jesus will ask God to show mercy to Onesiphorus on the day of judgment. You know how much he helped me in Ephesus.
  1. 2 Timothy 1:6 when I placed my hands on you: Church leaders placed their hands on people who were being appointed to preach or teach (see 1 Timothy 4.14).
  2. 2 Timothy 1:7 God's Spirit: Or "God."
  3. 2 Timothy 1:11 teacher: Some manuscripts add "of the Gentiles."
  4. 2 Timothy 1:12 what he has trusted me with: Or "what I have trusted him with."

Psalm 90-91:16 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 90

(Psalms 90-106)
(A prayer by Moses, the man of God.)
God Is Eternal
 1Our Lord, in all generations    you have been our home.
    2You have always been God--
   long before the birth
   of the mountains,
   even before you created
   the earth and the world.
    3At your command we die
   and turn back to dust,
    4but a thousand years
   mean nothing to you!
   They are merely a day gone by
   or a few hours in the night.
    5You bring our lives to an end
   just like a dream.
   We are merely tender grass
    6that sprouts and grows
   in the morning,
   but dries up by evening.
    7Your furious anger frightens
   and destroys us,
    8and you know all of our sins,
   even those we do in secret.
    9Your anger is a burden
   each day we live,
   then life ends like a sigh.
    10We can expect seventy years,
   or maybe eighty,
   if we are healthy,
   but even our best years
   bring trouble and sorrow.
   Suddenly our time is up,
   and we disappear.
    11No one knows the full power
   of your furious anger,
   but it is as great as the fear
   that we owe to you.
    12Teach us to use wisely
   all the time we have.
    13Help us, LORD! Don't wait!
   Pity your servants.
    14When morning comes,
   let your love satisfy
   all our needs.
   Then we can celebrate
   and be glad for what time
   we have left.
    15Make us happy for as long
   as you caused us trouble
   and sorrow.
    16Do wonderful things for us,
   your servants,
   and show your mighty power
   to our children.
    17Our Lord and our God,
   treat us with kindness
   and let all go well for us.
   Please let all go well!

Psalm 91

The LORD Is My Fortress
 1Live under the protection    of God Most High
   and stay in the shadow
   of God All-Powerful.
    2Then you will say to the LORD,
   "You are my fortress,
   my place of safety;
   you are my God,
   and I trust you."
    3The Lord will keep you safe
   from secret traps
   and deadly diseases.
    4He will spread his wings
   over you
   and keep you secure.
   His faithfulness is like
   a shield or a city wall. [a] 5You won't need to worry
   about dangers at night
   or arrows during the day.
    6And you won't fear diseases
   that strike in the dark
   or sudden disaster at noon.
    7You will not be harmed,
   though thousands fall
   all around you.
    8And with your own eyes
   you will see
   the punishment
   of the wicked.
    9The LORD Most High
   is your fortress.
   Run to him for safety,
    10and no terrible disasters
   will strike you
   or your home.
    11God will command his angels
   to protect you
   wherever you go.
    12They will carry you
   in their arms,
   and you won't hurt your feet
   on the stones.
    13You will overpower
   the strongest lions
   and the most deadly snakes.
    14The Lord says,
   "If you love me
   and truly know who I am,
   I will rescue you
   and keep you safe.
    15When you are in trouble,
   call out to me.
   I will answer and be there
   to protect and honor you.
    16You will live a long life
   and see my saving power."
  1. Psalm 91:4 city wall: One possible meaning for a difficult Hebrew word; it may possibly mean some kind of shield or weapon.

Proverbs 26:1-2 (Contemporary English Version)

Proverbs 26

Don't Be a Fool
 1Expecting snow in summer    and rain in the dry season
   makes more sense
   than honoring a fool.
    2A curse you don't deserve
   will take wings
   and fly away
   like a sparrow or a swallow.

Verse of the Day

“Giving the right answer at the right time makes everyone happy.” - Proverbs 15:23
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

British novelist, poet, playwright, librettist, biographer and short story writer, Doris Lessing wrote, “We spend our lives fighting to get people very slightly more stupid than ourselves to accept truths that the great men have always known.”

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