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, November 11, 2015

Bible Readings for November 11, 2015

Today our passages are Ezekiel 23:1-49; Hebrews 10:18-39; Psalm 109:1-31; and Proverbs 27:13. 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. 

Ezekiel 23:1-49 (Contemporary English Version)

Ezekiel 23

Two Sinful Sisters
 1The LORD said:     2Ezekiel, son of man, listen to this story about two sisters. 3While they were young and living in Egypt, they became prostitutes. 4The older one was named Oholah, which stands for Samaria; the younger one was Oholibah, which stands for Jerusalem. [a] They became my wives and gave birth to my children. 5Even though Oholah was my wife, she continued to be a prostitute and chased after Assyrian lovers. 6She offered herself to soldiers in purple uniforms, to every handsome, high-ranking officer, and to cavalry troops. 7She had sex with all the important Assyrian officials and even worshiped their disgusting idols. 8Once she started doing these things in Egypt, she never stopped. Men slept with her, and she was always ready for sex.
    9So I gave Oholah to the Assyrian lovers she wanted so badly. 10They ripped off her clothes, then captured her children and killed her. Women everywhere talked about what had happened to Oholah.
    11Oholibah saw all this, but she was more sinful and wanted sex more than her sister Oholah ever did. 12Oholibah also chased after good-looking Assyrian officers, uniformed soldiers, and cavalry troops. 13Just like her sister, she did vulgar things.
    14But Oholibah behaved worse than her sister. Oholibah saw images of Babylonian men carved into walls and painted red. 15They had belts around their waists and large turbans on their heads, and they reminded her of Babylonian cavalry officers. 16As soon as she looked at them, she wanted to have sex with them. And so, she sent messengers to bring them to her. 17Men from Babylonia came and had sex with her so many times that she got disgusted with them. 18She let everyone see her naked body and didn't care if they knew she was a prostitute. That's why I turned my back on her, just as I had done with her older sister.
    19Oholibah didn't stop there, but became even more immoral and acted as she had back in Egypt. 20She eagerly wanted to go to bed with Egyptian men, who were famous for their sexual powers. 21And she longed for the days when she was a young prostitute, when men enjoyed having sex with her.
The LORD Will Punish Oholibah
 22The LORD God said:    Oholibah, [b] though you no longer want to be around your lovers, they will surround you like enemies, when I turn them against you. 23I will gather all the handsome young officials and the high-ranking cavalry officers from Babylonia and Assyria, as well as from the Chaldean tribes of Pekod, Shoa, and Koa. 24Their large armies will come from the north [c] with chariots and wagons carrying weapons. They will wear shields and helmets and will surround you, and I will let them judge and sentence you according to their own laws. 25I am angry with you, so I will let them be very cruel. They will cut off your nose and ears; they will kill your children and put to death anyone in your family who is still alive. 26Your clothes and jewelry will be torn off. 27I will stop your wickedness and the prostitution you started back in Egypt. You will never want to think about those days again. 28I, the LORD God, am ready to hand you over to those hateful enemies that you find so disgusting. 29They will cruelly take away everything you have worked for and strip you naked. Then everyone will see you for the prostitute you really are. Your own vulgar sins 30have led to this. You were the one determined to have sex with men from other nations and to worship their idols. 31You have turned out no better than your older sister, and now you must drink from the cup filled with my anger.
    32I, the LORD God, gave your sister a large, deep cup filled with my anger. And when you drink from that cup, you will be mocked and insulted. 33You will end up drunk and devastated, because that cup is filled with horror and ruin. 34But you must drink every drop! Then smash the cup to pieces and use them to cut your breasts in sorrow. I, the LORD God, have spoken.
    35You have completely rejected me, and so I promise that you will be punished for the disgusting things you did as a prostitute.
The Two Sisters Are Condemned
 36The LORD said:    Ezekiel, son of man, it's time for you to tell Oholah and Oholibah [d] that they are guilty. Remind them of their evil ways! 37They have been unfaithful by worshiping idols, and they have committed murder by sacrificing my own children as offerings to idols. 38-39They came into my temple that same day, and that made it unfit as a place to worship me. They have even stopped respecting the Sabbath. 40They sent messengers to attract men from far away. When those men arrived, the two sisters took baths and put on eye shadow and jewelry. 41They sat on a fancy couch, and in front of them was a table for the olive oil and incense that had belonged to me. 42Their room was always filled with a noisy crowd of drunkards brought in from the desert. These men gave the women bracelets and beautiful crowns, 43and I noticed that the men were eager to have sex with these women, though they were exhausted from being prostitutes. [e] 44In fact, the men had sex over and over with Oholah and Oholibah, the two sinful sisters. 45But good men will someday accuse those two of murder and of being unfaithful, because they are certainly guilty. 46So I, the LORD God, now say to these sisters:
   I will call together an angry mob that will abuse and rob you. 47They will stone you to death and cut you to pieces; they will kill your children and burn down your houses. 48I will get rid of sinful prostitution in this country, so that women everywhere will be warned not to act as you have. 49You will be punished for becoming prostitutes and for worshiping idols, and you will know that I am the LORD God.
  1. Ezekiel 23:4 Samaria. . . Jerusalem: After the nation of Israel was divided, the northern kingdom was called "Israel," and the southern kingdom was called "Judah." Samaria was the capital of the northern kingdom, and Jerusalem was the capital of the southern kingdom.
  2. Ezekiel 23:22 Oholibah: That is, Jerusalem (see verse 4).
  3. Ezekiel 23:24 from the north: One ancient translation; Hebrew "with weapons."
  4. Ezekiel 23:36 Oholah and Oholibah: That is, Samaria and Jerusalem (see verse 4).
  5. Ezekiel 23:43 prostitutes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 43.

Hebrews 10:18-39 (Contemporary English Version)

18When sins are forgiven, there is no more need to offer sacrifices.
Encouragement and Warning
 19My friends, the blood of Jesus gives us courage to enter the most holy place 20by a new way that leads to life! And this way takes us through the curtain that is Christ himself.     21We have a great high priest who is in charge of God's house. 22So let's come near God with pure hearts and a confidence that comes from having faith. Let's keep our hearts pure, our consciences free from evil, and our bodies washed with clean water. 23We must hold tightly to the hope that we say is ours. After all, we can trust the one who made the agreement with us. 24We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. 25Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord's coming is getting closer.
    26No sacrifices can be made for people who decide to sin after they find out about the truth. 27They are God's enemies, and all they can look forward to is a terrible judgment and a furious fire. 28If two or more witnesses accused someone of breaking the Law of Moses, that person could be put to death. 29But it is much worse to dishonor God's Son and to disgrace the blood of the promise that made us holy. And it is just as bad to insult the Holy Spirit, who shows us mercy. 30We know that God has said he will punish and take revenge. We also know that the Scriptures say the Lord will judge his people. 31It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
    32Don't forget all the hard times you went through when you first received the light. 33Sometimes you were abused and mistreated in public, and at other times you shared in the sufferings of others. 34You were kind to people in jail. And you gladly let your possessions be taken away, because you knew you had something better, something that would last forever.
    35Keep on being brave! It will bring you great rewards. 36Learn to be patient, so that you will please God and be given what he has promised. 37As the Scriptures say,
   "God is coming soon!
   It won't be very long.
    38The people God accepts
   will live
   of their faith. [a] But he isn't pleased
   with anyone
   who turns back."
    39We are not like those people who turn back and get destroyed. We will keep on having faith until we are saved.
  1. Hebrews 10:38 The people God accepts will live because of their faith: Or "The people God accepts because of their faith will live."

Psalm 109:1-31 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 109

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
A Prayer for the LORD's Help
 1I praise you, God!    Don't keep silent.
    2Destructive and deceitful lies
   are told about me,
    3and hateful things are said
   for no reason.
    4I had pity and prayed [a] for my enemies,
   but their words to me
   were harsh and cruel.
    5For being friendly and kind,
   they paid me back
   with meanness and hatred.
    6My enemies said,
   "Find some worthless fools
   to accuse him of a crime.
    7Try him and find him guilty!
   Consider his prayers a lie.
    8Cut his life short
   and let someone else
   have his job.
    9Make orphans of his children
   and a widow of his wife;
    10make his children beg for food
   and live in the slums.
    11"Let the people he owes
   take everything he owns.
   Give it all to strangers.
    12Don't let anyone be kind to him
   or have pity on the children
   he leaves behind.
    13Bring an end to his family,
   and from now on let him be
   a forgotten man.
    14"Don't let the LORD forgive
   the sins of his parents
   and his ancestors.
    15Don't let the LORD forget
   the sins of his family,
   or let anyone remember
   his family ever lived.
    16He was so cruel to the poor,
   homeless, and discouraged
   that they died young.
    17"He cursed others.
   Now place a curse on him!
   He never wished others well.
   Wish only trouble for him!
    18He cursed others more often
   than he dressed himself.
   Let his curses strike him deep,
   just as water and olive oil
   soak through to our bones.
    19Let his curses surround him,
   just like the clothes
   he wears each day."
    20Those are the cruel things
   my enemies wish for me.
   Let it all happen to them!
    21Be true to your name, LORD God!
   Show your great kindness
   and rescue me.
    22I am poor and helpless,
   and I have lost all hope.
    23I am fading away
   like an evening shadow;
   I am tossed aside
   like a crawling insect.
    24I have gone without eating, [b] until my knees are weak,
   and my body is bony.
    25When my enemies see me,
   they say cruel things
   and shake their heads.
    26Please help me, LORD God!
   Come and save me
   because of your love.
    27Let others know that you alone
   have saved me.
    28I don't care if they curse me,
   as long as you bless me.
   You will make my enemies fail
   when they attack,
   and you will make me glad
   to be your servant.
    29You will cover them with shame,
   just as their bodies
   are covered with clothes.
    30I will sing your praises
   and thank you, LORD,
   when your people meet.
    31You help everyone in need,
   and you defend them
   when they are on trial.
  1. Psalm 109:4 and prayed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. Psalm 109:24 without eating: See the note at 35.13.

Proverbs 27:13 (Contemporary English Version)

13Don't loan money to a stranger
   unless you are given something
   to guarantee payment.

Verse of the Day

“Don't love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father. Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see. None of this comes from the Father.” - 1 John 2:15-16
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

The wife of President John Adams and the mother of President John Quincy Adams, Abigail Adams wrote, “Whatever occurs, may justice and righteousness be the stability of our times, and order arise out of confusion. Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance.”

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