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, May 21, 2016

Bible Readings for May 21, 2016

Today our passages are 1 Samuel 29:1– 31:13; John 11:54–12:19; Psalm 118:1-18; and Proverbs 15:24-26. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. PetersonIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

1 Samuel 29-31:13 (The Message)

1 Samuel 29

 1-2 The Philistines mustered all their troops at Aphek. Meanwhile Israel had made camp at the spring at Jezreel. As the Philistine warlords marched forward by regiments and divisions, David and his men were bringing up the rear with Achish.
 3 The Philistine officers said, "What business do these Hebrews have being here?"
    Achish answered the officers, "Don't you recognize David, ex-servant of King Saul of Israel? He's been with me a long time. I've found nothing to be suspicious of, nothing to complain about, from the day he defected from Saul until now."
 4-5 Angry with Achish, the Philistine officers said, "Send this man back to where he came from. Let him stick to his normal duties. He's not going into battle with us. He'd switch sides in the middle of the fight! What better chance to get back in favor with his master than by stabbing us in the back! Isn't this the same David they celebrate at their parties, singing,
   Saul kills by the thousand,
   David by the ten thousand!"
 6-7 So Achish had to send for David and tell him, "As God lives, you've been a trusty ally—excellent in all the ways you have worked with me, beyond reproach in the ways you have conducted yourself. But the warlords don't see it that way. So it's best that you leave peacefully, now. It's not worth it, displeasing the Philistine warlords."
 8 "But what have I done?" said David. "Have you had a single cause for complaint from the day I joined up with you until now? Why can't I fight against the enemies of my master the king?"
 9-10 "I agree," said Achish. "You're a good man—as far as I'm concerned, God's angel! But the Philistine officers were emphatic: 'He's not to go with us into battle.' So get an early start, you and the men who came with you. As soon as you have light enough to travel, go."
 11 David rose early, he and his men, and by daybreak they were on their way back to Philistine country. The Philistines went on to Jezreel.

1 Samuel 30

David's Strength Was in His God
 1-3 Three days later, David and his men arrived back in Ziklag. Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They tore Ziklag to pieces and then burned it down. They captured all the women, young and old. They didn't kill anyone, but drove them like a herd of cattle. By the time David and his men entered the village, it had been burned to the ground, and their wives, sons, and daughters all taken prisoner.
 4-6 David and his men burst out in loud wails—wept and wept until they were exhausted with weeping. David's two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel, had been taken prisoner along with the rest. And suddenly David was in even worse trouble. There was talk among the men, bitter over the loss of their families, of stoning him.
 6-7 David strengthened himself with trust in his God. He ordered Abiathar the priest, son of Ahimelech, "Bring me the Ephod so I can consult God." Abiathar brought it to David.
 8 Then David prayed to God, "Shall I go after these raiders? Can I catch them?"
    The answer came, "Go after them! Yes, you'll catch them! Yes, you'll make the rescue!"
 9-10 David went, he and the six hundred men with him. They arrived at the Brook Besor, where some of them dropped out. David and four hundred men kept up the pursuit, but two hundred of them were too fatigued to cross the Brook Besor, and stayed there.
 11-12 Some who went on came across an Egyptian in a field and took him to David. They gave him bread and he ate. And he drank some water. They gave him a piece of fig cake and a couple of raisin muffins. Life began to revive in him. He hadn't eaten or drunk a thing for three days and nights!
 13-14 David said to him, "Who do you belong to? Where are you from?"
    "I'm an Egyptian slave of an Amalekite," he said. "My master walked off and left me when I got sick—that was three days ago. We had raided the Negev of the Kerethites, of Judah, and of Caleb. Ziklag we burned."
 15 David asked him, "Can you take us to the raiders?"
    "Promise me by God," he said, "that you won't kill me or turn me over to my old master, and I'll take you straight to the raiders."
 16 He led David to them. They were scattered all over the place, eating and drinking, gorging themselves on all the loot they had plundered from Philistia and Judah.
 17-20 David pounced. He fought them from before sunrise until evening of the next day. None got away except for four hundred of the younger men who escaped by riding off on camels. David rescued everything the Amalekites had taken. And he rescued his two wives! Nothing and no one was missing—young or old, son or daughter, plunder or whatever. David recovered the whole lot. He herded the sheep and cattle before them, and they all shouted, "David's plunder!"
 21 Then David came to the two hundred who had been too tired to continue with him and had dropped out at the Brook Besor. They came out to welcome David and his band. As he came near he called out, "Success!"
 22 But all the mean-spirited men who had marched with David, the rabble element, objected: "They didn't help in the rescue, they don't get any of the plunder we recovered. Each man can have his wife and children, but that's it. Take them and go!"
 23-25 "Families don't do this sort of thing! Oh no, my brothers!" said David as he broke up the argument. "You can't act this way with what God gave us! God kept us safe. He handed over the raiders who attacked us. Who would ever listen to this kind of talk? The share of the one who stays with the gear is the share of the one who fights—equal shares. Share and share alike!" From that day on, David made that the rule in Israel—and it still is.
 26-31 On returning to Ziklag, David sent portions of the plunder to the elders of Judah, his neighbors, with a note saying, "A gift from the plunder of God's enemies!" He sent them to the elders in Bethel, Ramoth Negev, Jattir, Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, Racal, Jerahmeelite cities, Kenite cities, Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athach, and Hebron, along with a number of other places David and his men went to from time to time.

1 Samuel 31

Saul and Jonathan, Dead on the Mountain
 1-2 The Philistines made war on Israel. The men of Israel were in full retreat from the Philistines, falling left and right, wounded on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines caught up with Saul and his sons. They killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malki-Shua, Saul's sons.
 3-4 The battle was hot and heavy around Saul. The archers got his range and wounded him badly. Saul said to his weapon bearer, "Draw your sword and put me out of my misery, lest these pagan pigs come and make a game out of killing me."
 4-6 But his weapon bearer wouldn't do it. He was terrified. So Saul took the sword himself and fell on it. When the weapon bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. So Saul, his three sons, and his weapon bearer—the men closest to him—died together that day.
 7 When the Israelites in the valley opposite and those on the other side of the Jordan saw that their army was in full retreat and that Saul and his sons were dead, they left their cities and ran for their lives. The Philistines moved in and occupied the sites.
 8-10 The next day, when the Philistines came to rob the dead, they found Saul and his three sons dead on Mount Gilboa. They cut off Saul's head and stripped off his armor. Then they spread the good news all through Philistine country in the shrines of their idols and among the people. They displayed his armor in the shrine of the Ashtoreth. They nailed his corpse to the wall at Beth Shan.
 11-13 The people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul. Their valiant men sprang into action. They traveled all night, took the corpses of Saul and his three sons from the wall at Beth Shan, and carried them back to Jabesh and burned off the flesh. They then buried the bones under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted in mourning for seven days.

John 11:54-12:19 (The Message)

 53-54From that day on, they plotted to kill him. So Jesus no longer went out in public among the Jews. He withdrew into the country bordering the desert to a town called Ephraim and secluded himself there with his disciples.
 55-56The Jewish Passover was coming up. Crowds of people were making their way from the country up to Jerusalem to get themselves ready for the Feast. They were curious about Jesus. There was a lot of talk of him among those standing around in the Temple: "What do you think? Do you think he'll show up at the Feast or not?"
 57Meanwhile, the high priests and Pharisees gave out the word that anyone getting wind of him should inform them. They were all set to arrest him.

John 12

Anointing His Feet
 1-3Six days before Passover, Jesus entered Bethany where Lazarus, so recently raised from the dead, was living. Lazarus and his sisters invited Jesus to dinner at their home. Martha served. Lazarus was one of those sitting at the table with them. Mary came in with a jar of very expensive aromatic oils, anointed and massaged Jesus' feet, and then wiped them with her hair. The fragrance of the oils filled the house.
 4-6Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, even then getting ready to betray him, said, "Why wasn't this oil sold and the money given to the poor? It would have easily brought three hundred silver pieces." He said this not because he cared two cents about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of their common funds, but also embezzled them.
 7-8Jesus said, "Let her alone. She's anticipating and honoring the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you. You don't always have me."
 9-11Word got out among the Jews that he was back in town. The people came to take a look, not only at Jesus but also at Lazarus, who had been raised from the dead. So the high priests plotted to kill Lazarus because so many of the Jews were going over and believing in Jesus on account of him.
See How Your King Comes
 12-15The next day the huge crowd that had arrived for the Feast heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem. They broke off palm branches and went out to meet him. And they cheered:
   Blessed is he who comes in God's name!
    Yes! The King of Israel!
Jesus got a young donkey and rode it, just as the Scripture has it:

   No fear, Daughter Zion:
      See how your king comes,
      riding a donkey's colt.
 16The disciples didn't notice the fulfillment of many Scriptures at the time, but after Jesus was glorified, they remembered that what was written about him matched what was done to him.
 17-19The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, was there giving eyewitness accounts. It was because they had spread the word of this latest God-sign that the crowd swelled to a welcoming parade. The Pharisees took one look and threw up their hands: "It's out of control. The world's in a stampede after him."

Psalm 118:1-18 (The Message)

Psalm 118

    Thank God because he's good, because his love never quits.
   Tell the world, Israel,
      "His love never quits."
   And you, clan of Aaron, tell the world,
      "His love never quits."
   And you who fear God, join in,
      "His love never quits."

 5-16 Pushed to the wall, I called to God;
      from the wide open spaces, he answered.
   God's now at my side and I'm not afraid;
      who would dare lay a hand on me?
   God's my strong champion;
      I flick off my enemies like flies.
   Far better to take refuge in God
      than trust in people;
   Far better to take refuge in God
      than trust in celebrities.
   Hemmed in by barbarians,
      in God's name I rubbed their faces in the dirt;
   Hemmed in and with no way out,
      in God's name I rubbed their faces in the dirt;
   Like swarming bees, like wild prairie fire, they hemmed me in;
      in God's name I rubbed their faces in the dirt.
   I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall,
      when God grabbed and held me.
   God's my strength, he's also my song,
      and now he's my salvation.
   Hear the shouts, hear the triumph songs
      in the camp of the saved?
         "The hand of God has turned the tide!
         The hand of God is raised in victory!
         The hand of God has turned the tide!"

 17-20 I didn't die. I lived!
      And now I'm telling the world what God did.
   God tested me, he pushed me hard,
      but he didn't hand me over to Death.
   Swing wide the city gates—the righteous gates!
      I'll walk right through and thank God!
   This Temple Gate belongs to God,
      so the victors can enter and praise.


Proverbs 15:24-26 (The Message)

 24 Life ascends to the heights for the thoughtful—
   it's a clean about-face from descent into hell.

 25 God smashes the pretensions of the arrogant;
   he stands with those who have no standing.

 26 God can't stand evil scheming,
   but he puts words of grace and beauty on display.

Verse of the Day
“[Taking Sides]My dear friends, as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg you to get along with each other. Don't take sides. Always try to agree in what you think.” - 1 Corinthians 1:10
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Alexander Pope by Michael Dahl.jpg
Thought for the Day
18th-century English poet, Alexander Pope wrote, “Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon.”

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