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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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Bible Readings for November 8, 2015

Today our passages are Ezekiel 18:1–19:14; Hebrews 9:1-10; Psalm 106:32-48; and Proverbs 27:10. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version If 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 18-19:14 (Contemporary English Version)

Ezekiel 18

Those Who Sin Will Die
 1The LORD said:     2Ezekiel, I hear the people of Israel using the old saying,
   "Sour grapes eaten by parents
   leave a sour taste
   in the mouths
   of their children."
    3Now tell them that I am the LORD God, and as surely as I live, that saying will no longer be used in Israel. 4The lives of all people belong to me--parents as well as children. Only those who sin will be put to death.
    5Suppose there is a truly good man who always does what is fair and right. 6He refuses to eat meat sacrificed to foreign gods at local shrines or to worship Israel's idols. He doesn't have sex with someone else's wife or with a woman having her monthly period. 7He never cheats or robs anyone and always returns anything taken as security for a loan; he gives food and clothes to the poor 8and doesn't charge interest when lending money. He refuses to do anything evil; he is fair to everyone 9and faithfully obeys my laws and teachings. This man is good, and I promise he will live.
    10But suppose this good man has an evil son who is violent and commits sins 11his father never did. He eats meat at local shrines, has sex with someone else's wife, 12cheats the poor, and robs people. He keeps what is given to him as security for a loan. He worships idols, does disgusting things, 13and charges high interest when lending money. An evil man like that will certainly not live. He is the one who has done these horrible sins, so it's his own fault that he will be put to death.
    14But suppose this evil man has a son who sees his father do these things and refuses to act like him. 15He doesn't eat meat at local shrines or worship Israel's idols, and he doesn't have sex with someone else's wife. 16He never cheats or robs anyone and doesn't even demand security for a loan. He gives food and clothes to the poor 17and refuses to do anything evil [a] or to charge interest. And he obeys all my laws and teachings. Such a man will live. His own father sinned, but this good man will not be put to death for the sins of his father. 18It is his father who will die for cheating and robbing and doing evil. 19You may wonder why a son isn't punished for the sins of his father. It is because the son does what is right and obeys my laws. 20Only those who sin will be put to death. Children won't suffer for the sins of their parents, and parents won't suffer for the sins of their children. Good people will be rewarded for what they do, and evil people will be punished for what they do.
    21Suppose wicked people stop sinning and start obeying my laws and doing right. They won't be put to death. 22All their sins will be forgiven, and they will live because they did right. 23I, the LORD God, don't like to see wicked people die. I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live.
    24But when good people start sinning and doing disgusting things, will they live? No! All their good deeds will be forgotten, and they will be put to death because of their sins.
    25You people of Israel accuse me of being unfair! But listen--I'm not unfair; you are! 26If good people start doing evil, they must be put to death, because they have sinned. 27And if wicked people start doing right, they will save themselves from punishment. 28They will think about what they've done and stop sinning, and so they won't be put to death. 29But you still say that I am unfair. You are the ones who have done wrong and are unfair!
    30I will judge each of you for what you've done. So stop sinning, or else you will certainly be punished. 31Give up your evil ways and start thinking pure thoughts. And be faithful to me! Do you really want to be put to death for your sins? 32I, the LORD God, don't want to see that happen to anyone. So stop sinning and live!

Ezekiel 19

A Funeral Song for Israel's Leaders
The LORD said:
 1Ezekiel, sing a funeral song for two of Israel's leaders: [b] 2Your mother was a brave lioness    who raised her cubs
   among lions.
    3She taught one of them to hunt,
   and he learned to eat people.
    4When the nations heard of him,
   they trapped him in a pit,
   then they used hooks
   to drag him to Egypt.
    5His mother waited
   for him to return.
   But soon she lost all hope
   and raised another cub,
   who also became fierce.
    6He hunted with other lions
   and learned to eat people.
    7He destroyed fortresses [c] and ruined towns;
   his mighty roar
   terrified everyone.
    8Nations plotted to kill him,
   and people came from all over
   to spread out a net
   and catch him in a trap.
    9They put him in a cage
   and took him to Babylonia.
   The lion was locked away,
   so that his mighty roar
   would never again be heard
   on Israel's hills.
    10Your mother was a vine [d] growing near a stream.
   There was plenty of water,
   so she was filled with branches
   and with lots of fruit.
    11Her strong branches
   became symbols of authority,
   and she was taller
   than all other trees--
   everyone could see how strong
   and healthy she was.
    12But in anger, I pulled her up
   by the roots
   and threw her to the ground,
   where the scorching desert wind
   dried out her fruit.
   Her strong branches wilted
   and burned up.
    13Then she was planted
   in a hot, dry desert,
    14where her stem caught fire,
   and flames burned
   her branches and fruit.
   Not one strong branch is left;
   she is stripped bare.
   This funeral song must be sung with sorrow.
  1. Ezekiel 18:17 evil: One ancient translation; Hebrew "for the poor."
  2. Ezekiel 19:1 two of Israel's leaders: Probably Jehoahaz (ruled three months in 609 B.C.) and Jehoiachin (ruled three months in 598 B.C.) or Zedekiah (598-586 B.C.).
  3. Ezekiel 19:7 He destroyed fortresses: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. Ezekiel 19:10 Your mother was a vine: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Hebrews 9:1-10 (Contemporary English Version)

Hebrews 9

The Tent in Heaven
 1The first promise that was made included rules for worship and a tent for worship here on earth. 2The first part of the tent was called the holy place, and a lampstand, a table, and the sacred loaves of bread were kept there.     3Behind the curtain was the most holy place. 4The gold altar that was used for burning incense was in this holy place. The gold-covered sacred chest was also there, and inside it were three things. First, there was a gold jar filled with manna. [a] Then there was Aaron's walking stick that sprouted. [b] Finally, there were the flat stones with the Ten Commandments written on them. 5On top of the chest were the glorious creatures with wings [c] opened out above the place of mercy. [d] Now isn't the time to go into detail about these things. 6But this is how everything was when the priests went each day into the first part of the tent to do their duties. 7However, only the high priest could go into the second part of the tent, and he went in only once a year. Each time he carried blood to offer for his sins and for any sins that the people had committed without meaning to.
    8All of this is the Holy Spirit's way of saying that no one could enter the most holy place while the tent was still the place of worship. 9This also has a meaning for today. It shows that we cannot make our consciences clear by offering gifts and sacrifices. 10These rules are merely about such things as eating and drinking and ceremonies for washing ourselves. And rules about physical things will last only until the time comes to change them for something better.
  1. Hebrews 9:4 manna: When the people of Israel were wandering through the desert, the Lord provided them with food that could be made into thin wafers. This food was called manna, which in Hebrew means "What is it?"
  2. Hebrews 9:4 Aaron's walking stick that sprouted: According to Numbers 17.1-11, Aaron's walking stick sprouted and produced almonds to show that the Lord was pleased with him and Moses.
  3. Hebrews 9:5 glorious creatures with wings: Two of these creatures (called "cherubim" in Hebrew and Greek) with outspread wings were on top of the sacred chest and were symbols of God's throne.
  4. Hebrews 9:5 place of mercy: The lid of the sacred chest, which was thought to be God's throne on earth.

Psalm 106:32-48 (Contemporary English Version)

32At Meribah Spring [a] they turned against you
   and made you furious.
    33Then Moses got into trouble
   for speaking in anger.
    34Our LORD, they disobeyed you
   by refusing to destroy
   the nations.
    35Instead they were friendly
   with those foreigners
   and followed their customs.
    36Then they fell into the trap
   of worshiping idols.
    37They sacrificed their sons
   and their daughters
   to demons
    38and to the gods of Canaan.
   Then they poured out the blood
   of these innocent children
   and made the land filthy.
    39By doing such gruesome things,
   they also became filthy.
    40Finally, LORD, you were angry
   and terribly disgusted
   with your people.
    41So you put them in the power
   of nations
   that hated them.
    42They were mistreated and abused
   by their enemies,
    43but you saved them
   time after time.
   They were determined to rebel,
   and their sins caused
   their downfall.
    44You answered their prayers
   when they were in trouble.
    45You kept your agreement
   and were so merciful
    46that their enemies
   had pity on them.
    47Save us, LORD God!
   Bring us back
   from among the nations.
   Let us celebrate and shout
   in praise of your holy name.
    48LORD God of Israel,
   you deserve to be praised
   forever and ever.
   Let everyone say, "Amen!
   Shout praises to the LORD!"
  1. Psalm 106:32 Meribah Spring: See the note at 81.7.

Proverbs 27:10 (Contemporary English Version)

10Don't desert an old friend
   of your family
   or visit your relatives
   when you are in trouble.
   A friend nearby is better
   than relatives far away.

Verse of the Day

“But if you don't want to worship the LORD, then choose right now! Will you worship the same idols your ancestors did? Or since you're living on land that once belonged to the Amorites, maybe you'll worship their gods. I won't. My family and I are going to worship and obey the LORD!” - Joshua 24:15
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer with a background in zoology, botany, and geography, Thor Heyerdahl wrote, “Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity.”

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