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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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bible Readings for November 7, 2015

Today our passages are Ezekiel 16:43–17:24; Hebrews 8:1-13; Psalm 106:13-31; and Proverbs 27:7-9. 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 16:43-17:24 (Contemporary English Version)

43You made me furious by doing all these disgusting things and by forgetting how I took care of you when you were young. Then you made things worse by acting like a prostitute. You must be punished! I, the LORD God, have spoken.
Jerusalem's Two Sisters
The LORD said:
 44People will use this saying about you, Jerusalem: "If the mother is bad, so is her daughter." 45You are just like your mother, who hated her husband and her own children. You are also like your sisters, who hated their husbands and children. Your father was an Amorite, and your mother was a Hittite. [a] 46Your older sister was Samaria, that city to your north with her nearby villages. Your younger sister was Sodom, that city to your south with her nearby villages. 47You followed their way of life and their wicked customs, and soon you were more disgusting than they were. 48As surely as I am the living LORD God, the people of Sodom and its nearby villages were never as sinful as you. 49They were arrogant and spoiled; they had everything they needed and still refused to help the poor and needy. 50They thought they were better than everyone else, and they did things I hate. And so I destroyed them.     51You people of Jerusalem have sinned twice as much as the people of Samaria. In fact, your evil ways have made both Sodom and Samaria look innocent. 52So their punishment will seem light compared to yours. You will be disgraced and put to shame because of your disgusting sins.
Jerusalem Will Be Ashamed
The LORD said to Jerusalem:
 53Someday I will bless Sodom and Samaria and their nearby villages. I will also bless you, Jerusalem. 54Then you will be ashamed of how you've acted, and Sodom and Samaria will be relieved that they weren't as sinful as you. 55When that day comes, you and Sodom and Samaria will once again be well-off, and all nearby villages will be restored.     56Jerusalem, you were so arrogant that you sneered at Sodom. 57But now everyone has learned how wicked you really are. The countries of Syria and Philistia, as well as your other neighbors, hate you and make insulting remarks. 58You must pay for all the vulgar and disgusting things you have done. I, the LORD, have spoken.
The LORD Makes a Promise to Jerusalem
The LORD said:
 59Jerusalem, you deserve to be punished, because you broke your promises and ignored our agreement. 60But I remember the agreement I made with you when you were young, [b] and so I will make you a promise that will last forever. 61When you think about how you acted, you will be ashamed, especially when I return your sisters [c] to you as daughters, even though this was not part of our agreement. [d] 62I will keep this solemn promise, and you will know that I am the LORD. 63I will forgive you, but you will think about your sins and be too ashamed to say a word. I, the LORD God, have spoken.

Ezekiel 17

A Story about Two Eagles and a Vine
 1The LORD said:     2Ezekiel, son of man, tell the people of Israel the following story, 3so they will understand what I am saying to them:
   A large eagle with strong wings and beautiful feathers once flew to Lebanon. It broke the top branch off a cedar tree, 4then carried it to a nation of merchants and left it in one of their cities. 5The eagle also took seed from Israel and planted it in a fertile field with plenty of water, like a willow tree beside a stream. [e] 6The seed sprouted and grew into a grapevine that spread over the ground. It had lots of leaves and strong, deep roots, and its branches grew upward toward the eagle. 7There was another eagle with strong wings and thick feathers. The roots and branches of the grapevine soon turned toward this eagle, hoping it would bring water for the soil. 8But the vine was already growing in fertile soil, where there was plenty of water to produce healthy leaves and large grapes.
    9Now tell me, Ezekiel, do you think this grapevine will live? Or will the first eagle pull it up by its roots and pluck off the grapes and let its new leaves die? The eagle could easily kill it without the help of a large and powerful army. 10The grapevine is strong and healthy, but as soon as the scorching desert wind blows, it will quickly wither.
The LORD Explains the Story
 11The LORD said:     12Ezekiel, ask the rebellious people of Israel if they know what this story means.
   Tell them that the king of Babylonia came to Jerusalem, then he captured the king of Judah [f] and his officials, and took them back to Babylon as prisoners. 13He chose someone from the family of Judah's king [g] and signed a treaty with him, then made him swear to be loyal. He also led away other important citizens, 14so that the rest of the people of Judah would obey only him and never gain control of their own country again. 15But this new king of Judah later rebelled against Babylonia and sent officials to Egypt to get horses and troops. Will this king be successful in breaking the treaty with Babylonia? Or will he be punished for what he's done?
    16As surely as I am the living LORD God, I swear that the king of Judah will die in Babylon, because he broke the treaty with the king of Babylonia, who appointed him king. 17Even the king of Egypt and his powerful army will be useless to Judah when the Babylonians attack and build dirt ramps to invade the cities of Judah and kill its people. 18The king of Judah broke his own promises and ignored the treaty with Babylonia. And so he will be punished!
    19He made a promise in my name and swore to honor the treaty. And now that he has broken that promise, my name is disgraced. He must pay for what he's done. 20I will spread out a net to trap him. Then I will drag him to Babylon and see that he is punished for his unfaithfulness to me. 21His best troops [h] will be killed in battle, and the survivors will be scattered in every direction. I, the LORD, have spoken. 22Someday, I, the LORD,
   will cut a tender twig
   from the top of a cedar tree,
   then plant it on the peak
   of Israel's tallest mountain,
   where it will grow
   strong branches
   and produce large fruit.
    23All kinds of birds will find
   shelter under the tree,
   and they will rest in the shade
   of its branches.
    24Every tree in the forest
   will know that I, the LORD,
   can bring down tall trees
   and help short ones grow.
   I dry up green trees
   and make dry ones green.
   I, the LORD, have spoken,
   and I will keep my word.
  1. Ezekiel 16:45 Amorite. . . Hittite: See the note at 16.3.
  2. Ezekiel 16:60 the agreement. . . when you were young: See verse 8.
  3. Ezekiel 16:61 sisters: Sodom and Samaria (see verses 44-52).
  4. Ezekiel 16:61 even though this was not part of our agreement: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. Ezekiel 17:5 like a willow tree beside a stream: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. Ezekiel 17:12 king of Judah: Probably King Jehoiachin (see 2 Kings 24.10-12,15,16).
  7. Ezekiel 17:13 someone from the family of Judah's king: Probably King Zedekiah (see 2 Kings 24.17).
  8. Ezekiel 17:21 best troops: Two ancient translations; Hebrew "troops that ran away."

Hebrews 8:1-13 (Contemporary English Version)

Hebrews 8

A Better Promise
 1What I mean is that we have a high priest who sits at the right side [a] of God's great throne in heaven. 2He also serves as the priest in the most holy place [b] inside the real tent there in heaven. This tent of worship was set up by the Lord, not by humans. 3Since all priests must offer gifts and sacrifices, Christ also needed to have something to offer. 4If he were here on earth, he would not be a priest at all, because here the Law appoints other priests to offer sacrifices. 5But the tent where they serve is just a copy and a shadow of the real one in heaven. Before Moses made the tent, he was told, "Be sure to make it exactly like the pattern you were shown on the mountain!" 6Now Christ has been appointed to serve as a priest in a much better way, and he has given us much assurance of a better agreement.     7If the first agreement with God had been all right, there would not have been any need for another one. 8But the Lord found fault with it and said,
   "I tell you the time will come,
   when I will make
   a new agreement
   with the people of Israel
   and the people of Judah.
    9It won't be like the agreement
   that I made
   with their ancestors,
   when I took them by the hand
   and led them out of Egypt.
   They broke their agreement
   with me,
   and I stopped caring
   about them!
    10"But now I tell the people
   of Israel
   this is my new agreement:
   `The time will come
   when I, the Lord,
   will write my laws
   on their minds and hearts.
   I will be their God,
   and they will be
   my people.
    11Not one of them
   will have to teach another
   to know me, their Lord.'
   "All of them will know me,
   no matter who they are.
    12I will treat them with kindness,
   even though they are wicked.
   I will forget their sins."
    13When the Lord talks about a new agreement, he means that the first one is out of date. And anything that is old and useless will soon disappear.
  1. Hebrews 8:1 right side: See the note at 1.3.
  2. Hebrews 8:2 most holy place: See the note at 6.19.

Psalm 106:13-31 (Contemporary English Version)

13But they soon forgot
   what you had done
   and rejected your advice.
    14They became greedy for food
   and tested you there
   in the desert.
    15So you gave them
   what they wanted,
   but later you destroyed them
   with a horrible disease.
    16Everyone in camp was jealous
   of Moses
   and of Aaron,
   your chosen priest.
    17Dathan and Abiram rebelled,
   and the earth opened up
   and swallowed them.
    18Then fire broke out
   and destroyed all
   of their followers.
    19At Horeb your people
   made and worshiped
   the statue
    20of a bull, instead of you,
   their glorious God.
    21You worked powerful miracles
   to save them from Egypt,
   but they forgot about you
    22and the fearsome things
   you did at the Red Sea. [a] 23You were angry and started
   to destroy them,
   but Moses, your chosen leader,
   begged you not to do it.
    24They would not trust
   you, LORD,
   and they did not like
   the promised land.
    25They would not obey you,
   and they grumbled
   in their tents.
    26So you threatened them
   by saying,
   "I'll kill you
   out here in the desert!
    27I'll scatter your children
   everywhere in the world."
    28Your people became followers
   of a god named Baal Peor,
   and they ate sacrifices
   offered to the dead. [b] 29They did such terrible things
   that you punished them
   with a deadly disease.
    30But Phinehas [c] helped them, and the sickness stopped.
    31Now he will always
   be highly honored.
  1. Psalm 106:22 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph " Sea of Reeds," one of the marshes or fresh water lakes near the eastern part of the Nile Delta. This identification is based on Exodus 13.17--14.9, which lists the towns on the route of the Israelites before crossing the sea. In the Greek translation of the Scriptures made about 200 (B).(C)., the " Sea of Reeds" was named " Red Sea."
  2. Psalm 106:28 the dead: Or " lifeless idols."
  3. Psalm 106:30 Phinehas: The grandson of Aaron, who put two people to death and kept the Lord from being angry with the rest of his people (see Numbers 25.1-13).

Proverbs 27:7-9 (Contemporary English Version)

7If you have had enough to eat,
   honey doesn't taste good,
   but if you are really hungry,
   you will eat anything.
    8When you are far from home,
   you feel like a bird
   without a nest.
    9The sweet smell of incense
   can make you feel good,
   but true friendship
   is better still. [a]
  1. Proverbs 27:9 still: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 9.

Verse of the Day
“[How To Pray]First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them. Pray for kings and others in power, so that we may live quiet and peaceful lives as we worship and honor God.” - 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Charlie Chaplin portrait.jpg
Thought for the Day

English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era, Charlie Chaplin wrote, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

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