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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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bible Readings for October 27, 2015

Today our passages are Jeremiah 51:1-53; Titus 2:1-15; Psalm 99:1-9; and Proverbs 26:17. 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 51:1-53 (Contemporary English Version)

Jeremiah 51

Babylon Will Be Destroyed
 1I, the LORD, am sending    a wind [a] to destroy the people of Babylonia [b] and Babylon, its capital.
    2Foreign soldiers will come
   from every direction,
   and when the disaster is over,
   Babylonia will be empty
   and worthless.
    3I will tell these soldiers,
   "Attack quickly,
   before the Babylonians
   can string their bows
   or put on their armor. [c] Kill their best soldiers
   and destroy their army!"
    4Their troops will fall wounded
   in the streets of Babylon.
    5Everyone in Israel and Judah
   is guilty.
   But I, the LORD All-Powerful,
   their holy God,
   have not abandoned them.
    6Get out of Babylon!
   Run for your lives!
   If you stay, you will be killed
   when I take revenge on the city
   and punish it for its sins.
    7Babylon was my golden cup,
   filled with the wine
   of my anger.
   The nations of the world
   got drunk on this wine
   and went insane.
    8But suddenly, Babylon will fall
   and be destroyed.
   I, the LORD, told the foreigners [d] who lived there,
   "Weep for the city!
   Get medicine for its wounds;
   maybe they will heal."
    9The foreigners answered,
   "We have already tried
   to treat Babylon's wounds,
   but they would not heal.
   Come on, let's all go home
   to our own countries.
   Nothing is left in Babylonia;
   everything is destroyed."
    10The people of Israel said,
   "Tell everyone in Zion!
   The LORD has taken revenge
   for what Babylon did to us."
The LORD Wants Babylon Destroyed
 11I, the LORD,    want Babylon destroyed,
   because its army
   destroyed my temple.
   So, you kings of Media, [e] sharpen your arrows
   and pick up your shields.
    12Raise the signal flag
   and attack the city walls.
   Post more guards.
   Have soldiers watch the city
   and set up ambushes.
   I have made plans
   to destroy Babylon,
   and nothing will stop me.
    13People of Babylon, you live
   along the Euphrates River
   and are surrounded by canals.
   You are rich,
   but now the time has come
   for you to die. [f] 14I, the LORD All-Powerful,
   swear by my own life
   that enemy soldiers
   will fill your streets
   like a swarm of locusts. [g] They will shout
   and celebrate their victory.
A Hymn of Praise
(Jeremiah 10.12-16)
 15God used his wisdom and power    to create the earth
   and spread out the heavens.
    16The waters in the heavens roar
   at his command.
   He makes clouds appear;
   he sends the wind
   from his storehouse
   and makes lightning flash
   in the rain.
    17People who make idols
   are stupid!
   They will be disappointed,
   because their false gods
   cannot breathe.
    18Idols are merely a joke,
   and when the time is right,
   they will be destroyed.
    19But the LORD, Israel's God,
   is all-powerful.
   He created everything,
   and he chose Israel
   to be his very own.
God's Hammer
The LORD said:
 20Babylonia, you were my hammer;    I used you to pound nations
   and break kingdoms,
    21to shatter cavalry and chariots,
    22as well as men and women,
   young and old,
    23shepherds and their flocks,
   farmers and their oxen,
   and governors and leaders.
    24But now, my people will watch,
   while I repay you
   for what you did to Zion.
    25You destroyed the nations
   and seem strong as a mountain,
   but I am your enemy.
   I might even grab you
   and roll you off a cliff.
   When I am finished,
   you'll only be a pile
   of scorched bricks.
    26Your stone blocks won't be reused
   for cornerstones
   or foundations,
   and I promise that forever
   you will be a desert.
   I, the LORD, have spoken.
The Nations Will Attack Babylon
The LORD said:
 27Signal the nations    to get ready to attack.
   Raise a flag and blow a trumpet.
   Send for the armies of Ararat,
   Minni, and Ashkenaz. [h] Choose a commander;
   let the cavalry attack
   like a swarm of locusts.
    28Tell the kings and governors,
   the leaders and the people
   of the kingdoms of the Medes
   to prepare for war!
    29The earth twists and turns
   in torment,
   because I have decided
   to make Babylonia a desert
   where no one can live,
   and I won't change my mind.
    30The Babylonian soldiers
   have lost their strength
   and courage. [i] They stay in their fortresses,
   unable to fight,
   while the enemy breaks through
   the city gates,
   then sets their homes on fire.
    31One messenger after another
   announces to the king,
   "Babylon has been captured!
    32The enemy now controls
   the river crossings!
   The marshes [j] are on fire! Your army has panicked!"
    33I am the LORD All-Powerful,
   the God of Israel,
   and I make this promise--
   "Soon Babylon will be leveled
   and packed down
   like a threshing place
   at harvest time." [k]
Babylonia Will Pay!
 34The people of Jerusalem say,    "King Nebuchadnezzar [l] made us panic.
   That monster stuffed himself
   with us and our treasures,
   leaving us empty--
   he gobbled down
   what he wanted
   and spit out the rest.
    35The people of Babylonia
   harmed some of us [m] and killed others.
   Now, LORD, make them pay!"
The LORD Will Take Revenge on Babylon
 36My people, I am on your side,    and I will take revenge
   on Babylon.
   I will cut off its water supply,
   and its stream [n] will dry up. 37Babylon will be a pile of rubble
   where only jackals [o] live. People will laugh,
   but they will be afraid
   to walk among the ruins.
    38The Babylonians roar and growl
   like young lions.
    39And since they are hungry,
   I will give them a banquet.
   They will celebrate, get drunk,
   then fall asleep,
   never to wake up!
    40I will lead them away to die,
   like sheep, lambs, and goats
   being led to the butcher.
    41All nations now praise Babylon, [p] but when it is captured,
   those same nations
   will be horrified.
    42Babylon's enemies will rise
   like ocean waves
   and flood the city.
    43Horrible destruction will strike
   the nearby towns.
   The land will become
   a barren desert,
   where no one can live
   or even travel.
    44I will punish Marduk, [q] the god of Babylon,
   and make him vomit up
   everything he gobbled down.
   Then nations will no longer
   bring him gifts,
   and Babylon's walls will crumble.
The LORD Offers Hope to His People
 45Get out of Babylon, my people,    and run for your lives,
   before I strike the city
   in my anger!
    46Don't be afraid or lose hope,
   though year after year
   there are rumors
   of leaders fighting for control
   in the city of Babylon.
    47The time will come
   when I will punish
   Babylon's false gods.
   Everyone there will die,
   and the whole nation
   will be disgraced,
    48when an army attacks
   from the north
   and brings destruction.
   Then the earth and the heavens
   and everything in them
   will celebrate.
    49Babylon must be overthrown,
   because it slaughtered
   the people of Israel
   and of many other nations.
    50My people, you escaped death
   when Jerusalem fell.
   Now you live far from home,
   but you should trust me
   and think about Jerusalem.
   Leave Babylon! Don't stay!
    51You feel ashamed and disgraced,
   because foreigners have entered
   my sacred temple.
    52Soon I will send a war
   to punish Babylon's idols
   and leave its wounded people
   moaning everywhere.
    53Although Babylon's walls
   reach to the sky,
   the army I send
   will destroy that city.
   I, the LORD, have spoken.
  1. Jeremiah 51:1 wind: Or "spirit."
  2. Jeremiah 51:1 Babylonia: The Hebrew text has "Leb-Qamai," a secret way of writing "Babylonia."
  3. Jeremiah 51:3 I will tell. . . armor: Or "Attack quickly! String your bows and put on your armor."
  4. Jeremiah 51:8 the foreigners: Or "my people."
  5. Jeremiah 51:11 kings of Media: Probably kings of smaller kingdoms that were part of the Median Empire (see also verse 27 and the note there).
  6. Jeremiah 51:13 for you to die: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. Jeremiah 51:14 locusts: See the note at 46.22,23.
  8. Jeremiah 51:27 Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz: Kingdoms to the north of Babylonia that were part of the Median Empire (see also verse 28).
  9. Jeremiah 51:30 have lost their strength and courage: Hebrew "have lost their strength and have become like women."
  10. Jeremiah 51:32 marshes: The tall grass in the marshes could have provided hiding places for people trying to escape from Babylon.
  11. Jeremiah 51:33 leveled. . . harvest time: A threshing place with a dirt surface had to be leveled and packed down before it could be used.
  12. Jeremiah 51:34 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.
  13. Jeremiah 51:35 harmed some of us: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  14. Jeremiah 51:36 stream: Probably the Euphrates River.
  15. Jeremiah 51:37 jackals: See the note at 9.11.
  16. Jeremiah 51:41 Babylon: The Hebrew text has "Sheshach," a secret way of writing the name "Babylon."
  17. Jeremiah 51:44 Marduk: Hebrew "Bel" (see the note at 50.2).

Titus 2:1-15 (Contemporary English Version)

Titus 2

Instructions for Different Groups of People
 1Titus, you must teach only what is correct. 2Tell the older men to have self-control and to be serious and sensible. Their faith, love, and patience must never fail.     3Tell the older women to behave as those who love the Lord should. They must not gossip about others or be slaves of wine. They must teach what is proper, 4so the younger women will be loving wives and mothers. 5Each of the younger women must be sensible and kind, as well as a good homemaker, who puts her own husband first. Then no one can say insulting things about God's message.
    6Tell the young men to have self-control in everything.
    7Always set a good example for others. Be sincere and serious when you teach. 8Use clean language that no one can criticize. Do this, and your enemies will be too ashamed to say anything against you.
    9Tell slaves always to please their owners by obeying them in everything. Slaves must not talk back to their owners 10or steal from them. They must be completely honest and trustworthy. Then everyone will show great respect for what is taught about God our Savior.
God's Kindness and the New Life
 11God has shown us how kind he is by coming to save all people. 12He taught us to give up our wicked ways and our worldly desires and to live decent and honest lives in this world. 13We are filled with hope, as we wait for the glorious return of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. [a] 14He gave himself to rescue us from everything that is evil and to make our hearts pure. He wanted us to be his own people and to be eager to do right. 15Teach these things, as you use your full authority to encourage and correct people. Make sure you earn everyone's respect.    
  1. Titus 2:13 the glorious return of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ: Or "the glorious return of our great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" or "the return of Jesus Christ, who is the glory of our great God and Savior."

Psalm 99:1-9 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 99

Our LORD Is King
 1Our LORD, you are King!    You rule from your throne
   above the winged creatures, [a] as people tremble
   and the earth shakes.
    2You are praised in Zion,
   and you control all nations.
    3Only you are God!
   And your power alone,
   so great and fearsome,
   is worthy of praise.
    4You are our mighty King, [b] a lover of fairness,
   who sees that justice is done
   everywhere in Israel.
    5Our LORD and our God,
   we praise you
   and kneel down to worship you,
   the God of holiness!
    6Moses and Aaron were two
   of your priests.
   Samuel was also one of those
   who prayed in your name,
   and you, our LORD,
   answered their prayers.
    7You spoke to them
   from a thick cloud,
   and they obeyed your laws.
    8Our LORD and our God,
   you answered their prayers
   and forgave their sins,
   but when they did wrong,
   you punished them.
    9We praise you, LORD God,
   and we worship you
   at your sacred mountain.
   Only you are God!
  1. Psalm 99:1 winged creatures: See the note at 80.1.
  2. Psalm 99:4 You. . . King: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Proverbs 26:17 (Contemporary English Version)

17It's better to take hold
   of a mad dog by the ears
   than to take part
   in someone else's argument.

Verse of the Day

“What God has said isn't only alive and active! It is sharper than any double-edged sword. His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow, until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts.” - Hebrews 4:12
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

PhillipsBrooks.jpgThought for the Day

American Episcopal clergyman and author, long the Rector of Boston's Trinity Church and briefly Bishop of Massachusetts, and particularly remembered as lyricist of the Christmas hymn, "O Little Town of Bethlehem", Phillips Brooks wrote, “Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks.”

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