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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Monday, October 26, 2015

Bible Readings for October 26, 2015

Today our passages are Jeremiah 49:23–50:46; Titus 1:1-6; Psalm 97:1–98:9; and Proverbs 26:13-16. 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 49:23-50:46 (Contemporary English Version)

What the LORD Says about Damascus
 23The LORD says about Damascus:    The towns of Hamath and Arpad [a] have heard your bad news.
   They have lost hope,
   and worries roll over them
   like ocean waves. [b] 24You people of Damascus
   have lost your courage,
   and in panic you turn to run,
   gripped by fear and pain. [c] 25I once was pleased
   with your famous city.
   But now I warn you, "Escape
   while you still can!" [d] 26Soon, even your best soldiers
   will lie dead in your streets.
   I, the LORD All-Powerful,
   have spoken.
    27I will set fire to your city walls
   and burn down the fortresses
   King Benhadad built.
Nebuchadnezzar and the People of the Desert
 28Here is what the LORD says about the Kedar tribe and the desert villages [e] that were conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar [f] of Babylonia: Listen, you people of Kedar    and the other tribes
   of the eastern desert.
   I have told Nebuchadnezzar
   to attack and destroy you.
    29His fearsome army
   will surround you,
   taking your tents and possessions,
   your sheep and camels.
    30Run and hide,
   you people of the desert
   who live in villages! [g] Nebuchadnezzar has big plans
   for you.
    31You have no city walls
   and no neighbors to help,
   yet you think you're safe--
   so I told him to attack.
    32Then your camels
   and large herds
   will be yours no longer.
   People of the Arabian Desert, [h] disaster will strike you
   from every side,
   and you will be scattered
   everywhere on earth.
    33Only jackals [i] will live where your villages [j] once stood. I, the LORD, have spoken.
What the LORD Says about Elam
 34-35Not long after Zedekiah [k] became king of Judah, the LORD told me to say: People of Elam, [l] I, the LORD All-Powerful,    will kill the archers
   who make your army strong.
    36Enemies will attack
   from all directions,
   and you will be led captive
   to every nation on earth.
    37Their armies will crush
   and kill you,
   and you will face the disaster
   that my anger brings.
    38Your king and his officials
   will die,
   and I will rule
   in their place.
   I, the LORD, have spoken.
    39But I promise that someday
   I will bring your people
   back to their land.

Jeremiah 50

Babylon Will Be Captured
 1The LORD told me to say:    Announce what will happen
   and don't leave anything out.
    2Raise the signal flags;
   shout so all nations can hear--
   Babylon will be captured!
   Marduk, [m] Babylon's god, will be ashamed and terrified,
   and his idols broken.
    3The attack on the Babylonians
   will come from the north;
   they and their animals will run,
   leaving the land empty.
Israel and Judah Will Return to Their Land
 4The LORD said:    People of Israel and Judah,
   when these things happen
   you will weep, and together
   you will return to your land
   and worship me,
   the LORD your God.
    5You will ask the way to Zion
   and then come and join with me
   in making an agreement
   you won't break or forget.
    6My people, you are lost sheep
   abandoned by their shepherds
   in the mountains.
   You don't even remember
   your resting place.
    7I am your true pastureland,
   the one who gave hope
   to your ancestors.
   But you abandoned me,
   so when your enemies found you,
   they felt no guilt
   as they gobbled you down.
    8Escape from Babylonia,
   my people.
   Get out of that country!
   Don't wait for anyone else.
    9In the north I am bringing
   great nations together.
   They will attack Babylon
   and capture it.
   The arrows they shoot
   are like the best soldiers, [n] always finding their target.
    10Babylonia will be conquered,
   and its enemies will carry off
   everything they want.
Babylon Will Be Disgraced
The LORD said:
 11People of Babylonia,    you were glad
   to rob my people.
   You had a good time,
   making more noise
   than horses
   and jumping around
   like calves threshing grain. [o] 12The city of Babylon
   was like a mother to you.
   But it will be disgraced
   and become nothing
   but a barren desert.
    13My anger will destroy Babylon,
   and no one will live there.
   Everyone who passes by
   will be shocked to see
   what has happened.
    14Babylon has rebelled against me.
   Archers, take your places.
   Shoot all your arrows at Babylon.
    15Attack from every side!
   Babylon surrenders!
   The enemy tears down
   its walls and towers.
   I am taking my revenge
   by doing to Babylon
   what it did
   to other cities.
    16There is no one in Babylonia
   to plant or harvest crops.
   Even foreigners who lived there
   have left for their homelands,
   afraid of the enemy armies.
    17Israel is a flock of sheep
   scattered by hungry lions.
   The king of Assyria [p] first gobbled Israel down.
   Then Nebuchadnezzar, [q] king of Babylonia,
   crunched on Israel's bones.
    18I, the LORD All-Powerful,
   the God of Israel,
   punished the king of Assyria,
   and I will also punish
   the king of Babylonia.
    19But I will bring Israel
   back to its own land.
   The people will be like sheep
   eating their fill
   on Mount Carmel
   and in Bashan,
   in the hill country of Ephraim
   and in Gilead.
    20I will rescue a few people
   from Israel and Judah.
   I will forgive them so completely
   that their sin and guilt
   will disappear,
   never to be found.
The LORD's Commands to the Enemies of Babylonia
 21The LORD said:    I have told
   the enemies of Babylonia,
   "Attack the people of Merathaim
   and Pekod. [r] Kill them all!
   Destroy their possessions!"
    22Sounds of war
   and the noise of destruction
   can be heard.
    23Babylonia was a hammer
   pounding every country,
   but now it lies broken.
   What a shock to the nations
   of the world!
    24Babylonia challenged me,
   the LORD God All-Powerful,
   but that nation doesn't know
   it is caught in a trap
   that I set.
    25I've brought out my weapons,
   and with them
   I will put a curse
   on Babylonia.
    26Come from far away,
   you enemies of Babylon!
   Pile up the grain
   from its storehouses,
   and destroy it completely,
   along with everything else.
    27Kill the soldiers of Babylonia,
   because the time has come
   for them to be punished.
    28The Babylonian army
   destroyed my temple,
   but soon I will take revenge.
   Then refugees from Babylon
   will tell about it in Zion.
    29Attack Babylon, enemy archers;
   set up camp around the city,
   and don't let anyone escape.
   It challenged me, the holy God,
   so do to it
   what it did to other cities.
Proud Babylon Will Fall
 30People of Babylon,    I, the LORD, promise
   that even your best soldiers
   will lie dead in the streets.
    31Babylon, you should be named,
   "The Proud One."
   But the time has come when I,
   the LORD All-Powerful,
   will punish you.
    32You are proud,
   but you will stumble and fall,
   and no one will help you up.
   I will set your villages on fire,
   and everything around you
   will go up in flames.
    33You Babylonians were cruel
   to Israel and Judah.
   You took them captive, and now
   you refuse to let them go.
    34But I, the LORD All-Powerful,
   will rescue and protect them.
   I will bring peace to their land
   and trouble to yours.
    35I have declared war on you,
   your officials, and advisors.
    36This war will prove
   that your prophets
   are liars and fools.
   And it will frighten
   your warriors.
    37Then your chariot horses
   and the foreigners in your army
   will refuse to go into battle,
   and the enemy will carry away
   everything you treasure.
    38Your rivers and canals
   will dry up.
   All of this will happen,
   because your land
   is full of idols,
   and they have made fools
   of you.
    39Never again will people live
   in your land--
   only desert animals, jackals, [s] and unclean birds.
    40I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah
   and the nearby towns,
   and I will destroy Babylon
   just as completely.
   No one will live there again.
Babylonia Is Invaded
The LORD said:
 41Far to the north,    a nation and its allies
   have been awakened.
   They are powerful
   and ready for war.
    42Bows and arrows and swords
   are in their hands.
   The soldiers are cruel
   and show no pity.
   The hoofbeats of their horses
   like ocean waves
   crashing against the shore.
   The army has lined up for battle
   and is coming to attack you,
   people of Babylonia!
    43Ever since your king heard
   about this army,
   he has been weak with fear;
   he twists and turns in pain
   like a woman giving birth.
    44Babylonia, I will attack you
   like a lion from the forest,
   attacking sheep in a meadow
   along the Jordan.
   In a moment the flock runs,
   and the land is empty.
   Who will I choose to attack you?
   I will do it myself!
   No one can force me to fight
   or chase me away.
    45Listen to my plans for you,
   people of Babylonia.
   Your children will be dragged off,
   and your country destroyed.
    46The sounds of your destruction
   will be heard among the nations,
   and the earth will shake.
  1. Jeremiah 49:23 Hamath and Arpad: Two towns in Syria that had been the capitals of small kingdoms allied with the more powerful kingdom whose capital was Damascus.
  2. Jeremiah 49:23 worries. . . waves: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. Jeremiah 49:24 gripped by fear and pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. Jeremiah 49:25 can: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 25.
  5. Jeremiah 49:28 desert villages: The Hebrew text has "kingdoms of Hazor," which probably refers to several kingdoms of desert peoples who were not nomads, but who lived in small villages.
  6. Jeremiah 49:28 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.
  7. Jeremiah 49:30 villages: See the note at 49.28.
  8. Jeremiah 49:32 People of the Arabian Desert: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  9. Jeremiah 49:33 jackals: See the note at 9.11.
  10. Jeremiah 49:33 villages: See the note at 49.28.
  11. Jeremiah 49:34 Zedekiah: See the note at 1.3.
  12. Jeremiah 49:34 Elam: A nation east of Babylonia, attacked by Nebuchadnezzar about 596 B.C.
  13. Jeremiah 50:2 Marduk: The Hebrew text has "Bel" and "Marduk," two names for the same god.
  14. Jeremiah 50:9 the best soldiers: Some Hebrew manuscripts and two ancient translations; most Hebrew manuscripts "soldiers that kill children."
  15. Jeremiah 50:11 threshing grain: Hebrew; two ancient translations "in a pasture."
  16. Jeremiah 50:17 king of Assyria: Either Shalmaneser V, who ruled 726-722 B.C., conquered most of the northern kingdom, and surrounded its capital city Samaria; or Sargon II, who ruled 721-705 B.C. and took thousands of prisoners back to Assyria.
  17. Jeremiah 50:17 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.
  18. Jeremiah 50:21 Merathaim. . . Pekod: Hebrew forms of two Babylonian names that refer to the land of Babylonia. Merathaim probably referred to lagoons near the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers or to the Persian Gulf, but in Hebrew it means "Twice as Rebellious." Pekod referred to a tribe of southeastern Babylonia, but in Hebrew it means "Punishment."
  19. Jeremiah 50:39 jackals: See the note at 9.11.

Titus 1:1-6 (Contemporary English Version)

Titus 1

 1From Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ.    I encourage God's own people to have more faith and to understand the truth about religion. 2Then they will have the hope of eternal life that God promised long ago. And God never tells a lie! 3So, at the proper time, God our Savior gave this message and told me to announce what he had said.
    4Titus, because of our faith, you are like a son to me. I pray that God our Father and Christ Jesus our Savior will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
What Titus Was To Do in Crete
 5I left you in Crete to do what had been left undone and to appoint leaders [a] for the churches in each town. As I told you, 6they must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage. [b] Their children must be followers of the Lord and not have a reputation for being wild and disobedient.
  1. Titus 1:5 leaders: Or "elders" or "presbyters" or "priests."
  2. Titus 1:6 be faithful in marriage: Or "be the husband of only one wife" or "have never been divorced."

Psalm 97-98:9 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 97

The LORD Brings Justice
 1The LORD is King!    Tell the earth to celebrate
   and all islands to shout.
    2Dark clouds surround him,
   and his throne is supported
   by justice and fairness.
    3Fire leaps from his throne,
   destroying his enemies,
    4and his lightning is so bright
   that the earth sees it
   and trembles.
    5Mountains melt away like wax
   in the presence of the LORD
   of all the earth.
    6The heavens announce,
   "The LORD brings justice!"
   Everyone sees God's glory.
    7Those who brag about
   the useless idols they worship
   are terribly ashamed,
   and all the false gods
   bow down to the LORD.
    8When the people of Zion
   and of the towns of Judah
   hear that God brings justice,
   they will celebrate.
    9The LORD rules the whole earth,
   and he is more glorious
   than all the false gods.
    10Love the LORD
   and hate evil!
   God protects his loyal people
   and rescues them
   from violence.
    11If you obey and do right,
   a light will show you the way
   and fill you with happiness.
    12You are the LORD's people!
   So celebrate and praise
   the only God.

Psalm 98

The LORD Works Miracles
 1Sing a new song to the LORD!    He has worked miracles,
   and with his own powerful arm,
   he has won the victory.
    2The LORD has shown the nations
   that he has the power to save
   and to bring justice.
    3God has been faithful
   in his love for Israel,
   and his saving power is seen
   everywhere on earth.
    4Tell everyone on this earth
   to sing happy songs
   in praise of the LORD.
    5Make music for him on harps.
   Play beautiful melodies!
    6Sound the trumpets and horns
   and celebrate with joyful songs
   for our LORD and King!
    7Command the ocean to roar
   with all of its creatures,
   and the earth to shout
   with all of its people.
    8Order the rivers
   to clap their hands,
   and all of the hills
   to sing together.
    9Let them worship the LORD!
   He is coming to judge
   everyone on the earth,
   and he will be honest
   and fair.

Proverbs 26:13-16 (Contemporary English Version)

13Don't be lazy and keep saying,
   "There's a lion outside!"
    14A door turns on its hinges,
   but a lazy person
   just turns over in bed.
    15Some of us are so lazy
   that we won't lift a hand
   to feed ourselves.
    16A lazy person says,
   "I am smarter
   than everyone else."

Verse of the Day

“Everything in the Scriptures is God's Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. The Scriptures train God's servants to do all kinds of good deeds.” - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

American singer-songwriter and musician, Natalie Merchant wrote, “There is one tradition in America I am proud to inherit. It is our first freedom and the truest expression of our Americanism: the ability to dissent without fear. It is our right to utter the words, ‘I disagree.’”

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