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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Friday, June 3, 2016

Bible Readings for June 3, 2016

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 20:14–22:20; Acts 1:1-26; Psalm 121:1-8; and Proverbs 16:18. 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.

2 Samuel 20:14-22:20 (The Message)

 11-14 One of Joab's soldiers took up his post over the body and called out, "Everyone who sides with Joab and supports David, follow Joab!" Amasa was lying in a pool of blood in the middle of the road; the man realized that the whole army was going to stop and take a look, so he pulled Amasa's corpse off the road into the field and threw a blanket over him so it wouldn't collect spectators. As soon as he'd gotten him off the road, the traffic flowed normally, following Joab in the chase after Sheba son of Bicri. Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel as far as Abel Beth Maacah; all the Bicrites clustered and followed him into the city.
 15 Joab's army arrived and laid siege to Sheba in Abel Beth Maacah. They built a siege-ramp up against the city's fortification. The plan was to knock down the wall.
 16-17 But a shrewd woman called out from the city, "Listen, everybody! Please tell Joab to come close so I can talk to him." When he had come, the woman said, "Are you Joab?"
    He said, "I am."
    "Then," she said, "listen to what I have to say."
    He said, "I'm listening."
 18-19 "There's an old saying in these parts: 'If it's answers you want, come to Abel and get it straight.' We're a peaceful people here, and reliable. And here you are, trying to tear down one of Israel's mother cities. Why would you want to mess with God's legacy like that?"
 20-21 Joab protested, "Believe me, you've got me all wrong. I'm not here to hurt anyone or destroy anything—not on your life! But a man from the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba son of Bicri by name, revolted against King David; hand him over, him only, and we'll get out of here."
    The woman told Joab, "Sounds good. His head will be tossed to you from the wall."
 22 The woman presented her strategy to the whole city and they did it: They cut off the head of Sheba son of Bicri and tossed it down to Joab. He then blew a blast on the ram's horn trumpet and the soldiers all went home. Joab returned to the king in Jerusalem.
 23-26 Joab was again commander of the whole army of Israel. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; Adoniram over the work crews; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was clerk; Sheva was historian; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; Ira the Jairite was David's chaplain.

2 Samuel 21

Famine and War
 1There was a famine in David's time. It went on year after year after year—three years. David went to God seeking the reason.     God said, "This is because there is blood on Saul and his house, from the time he massacred the Gibeonites." 2 So the king called the Gibeonites together for consultation. (The Gibeonites were not part of Israel; they were what was left of the Amorites, and protected by a treaty with Israel. But Saul, a fanatic for the honor of Israel and Judah, tried to kill them off.)
 3 David addressed the Gibeonites: "What can I do for you? How can I compensate you so that you will bless God's legacy of land and people?"
 4 The Gibeonites replied, "We don't want any money from Saul and his family. And it's not up to us to put anyone in Israel to death."
    But David persisted: "What are you saying I should do for you?"
 5-6 Then they told the king, "The man who tried to get rid of us, who schemed to wipe us off the map of Israel—well, let seven of his sons be handed over to us to be executed—hanged before God at Gibeah of Saul, the holy mountain."
    And David agreed, "I'll hand them over to you."
 7-9 The king spared Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the promise David and Jonathan had spoken before God. But the king selected Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons that Rizpah daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul, plus the five sons that Saul's daughter Merab had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite. He turned them over to the Gibeonites who hanged them on the mountain before God—all seven died together. Harvest was just getting underway, the beginning of the barley harvest, when they were executed.
 10 Rizpah daughter of Aiah took rough burlap and spread it out for herself on a rock from the beginning of the harvest until the heavy rains started. She kept the birds away from the bodies by day and the wild animals by night.
 11-14 David was told what she had done, this Rizpah daughter of Aiah and concubine of Saul. He then went and got the remains of Saul and Jonathan his son from the leaders at Jabesh Gilead (who had rescued them from the town square at Beth Shan where the Philistines had hung them after striking them down at Gilboa). He gathered up their remains and brought them together with the dead bodies of the seven who had just been hanged. The bodies were taken back to the land of Benjamin and given a decent burial in the tomb of Kish, Saul's father.
    They did everything the king ordered to be done. That cleared things up: from then on God responded to Israel's prayers for the land.
 15-17 War broke out again between the Philistines and Israel. David and his men went down to fight. David became exhausted. Ishbi-Benob, a warrior descended from Rapha, with a spear weighing nearly eight pounds and outfitted in brand-new armor, announced that he'd kill David. But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to the rescue, struck the Philistine, and killed him.
    Then David's men swore to him, "No more fighting on the front-lines for you! Don't snuff out the lamp of Israel!"
 18 Later there was another skirmish with the Philistines at Gob. That time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, another of the warriors descended from Rapha.
 19 At yet another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaar, the weaver of Bethlehem, killed Goliath the Gittite whose spear was as big as a flagpole.
 20-21 Still another fight broke out in Gath. There was a giant there with six fingers on his hands and six toes on his feet—twenty-four fingers and toes! He was another of those descended from Rapha. He insulted Israel, and Jonathan son of Shimeah, David's brother, killed him.
 22 These four were descended from Rapha in Gath. And they all were killed by David and his soldiers.

2 Samuel 22

 1 David prayed to God the words of this song after God saved him from all his enemies and from Saul.
 2-3 God is bedrock under my feet,
      the castle in which I live,
      my rescuing knight.
   My God—the high crag
      where I run for dear life,
      hiding behind the boulders,
      safe in the granite hideout;
   My mountaintop refuge,
      he saves me from ruthless men.
 4 I sing to God the Praise-Lofty,
      and find myself safe and saved.
 5-6 The waves of death crashed over me,
      devil waters rushed over me.
   Hell's ropes cinched me tight;
      death traps barred every exit.
 7 A hostile world! I called to God,
      to my God I cried out.
   From his palace he heard me call;
      my cry brought me right into his presence—
      a private audience!
 8-16 Earth wobbled and lurched;
      the very heavens shook like leaves,
   Quaked like aspen leaves
      because of his rage.
   His nostrils flared, billowing smoke;
      his mouth spit fire.
   Tongues of fire darted in and out;
      he lowered the sky.
   He stepped down;
      under his feet an abyss opened up.
   He rode a winged creature,
      swift on wind-wings.
   He wrapped himself
      in a trenchcoat of black rain-cloud darkness.
   But his cloud-brightness burst through,
      a grand comet of fireworks.
   Then God thundered out of heaven;
      the High God gave a great shout.
   God shot his arrows—pandemonium!
      He hurled his lightnings—a rout!
   The secret sources of ocean were exposed,
      the hidden depths of earth lay uncovered
   The moment God roared in protest,
      let loose his hurricane anger.
 17-20 But me he caught—reached all the way
      from sky to sea; he pulled me out
   Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
      the void in which I was drowning.
   They hit me when I was down,
      but God stuck by me.
   He stood me up on a wide-open field;
      I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!


Acts 1:1-26 (The Message)

Acts 1

To the Ends of the World
 1-5Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he said good-bye to the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. After his death, he presented himself alive to them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In face-to-face meetings, he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God. As they met and ate meals together, he told them that they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but "must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me. John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon."  6When they were together for the last time they asked, "Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?"
 7-8He told them, "You don't get to know the time. Timing is the Father's business. What you'll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world."
 9-11These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared—in white robes! They said, "You Galileans!—why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and mysteriously—as he left."
Returning to Jerusalem
 12-13So they left the mountain called Olives and returned to Jerusalem. It was a little over half a mile. They went to the upper room they had been using as a meeting place:    Peter,
   James, son of Alphaeus,
   Simon the Zealot,
    Judas, son of James.
14They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. Also Jesus' mother, Mary, and his brothers.

Replacing Judas
 15-17During this time, Peter stood up in the company—there were about 120 of them in the room at the time—and said, "Friends, long ago the Holy Spirit spoke through David regarding Judas, who became the guide to those who arrested Jesus. That Scripture had to be fulfilled, and now has been. Judas was one of us and had his assigned place in this ministry.  18-20"As you know, he took the evil bribe money and bought a small farm. There he came to a bad end, rupturing his belly and spilling his guts. Everybody in Jerusalem knows this by now; they call the place Murder Meadow. It's exactly what we find written in the Psalms:
   Let his farm become haunted
   So no one can ever live there.
"And also what was written later:

   Let someone else take over his post.
 21-22"Judas must now be replaced. The replacement must come from the company of men who stayed together with us from the time Jesus was baptized by John up to the day of his ascension, designated along with us as a witness to his resurrection."
 23-26They nominated two: Joseph Barsabbas, nicknamed Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, "You, O God, know every one of us inside and out. Make plain which of these two men you choose to take the place in this ministry and leadership that Judas threw away in order to go his own way." They then drew straws. Matthias won and was counted in with the eleven apostles.

Psalm 121:1-8 (The Message)

Psalm 121

A Pilgrim Song
 1-2 I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains?
   No, my strength comes from God,
      who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

 3-4 He won't let you stumble,
      your Guardian God won't fall asleep.
   Not on your life! Israel's
      Guardian will never doze or sleep.

 5-6 God's your Guardian,
      right at your side to protect you—
   Shielding you from sunstroke,
      sheltering you from moonstroke.

 7-8 God guards you from every evil,
      he guards your very life.
   He guards you when you leave and when you return,
      he guards you now, he guards you always.


Proverbs 16:18 (The Message)

 18 First pride, then the crash—
   the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

Verse of the Day
“[The LORD Sees Everything]A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up.” - Proverbs 15:1
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Fred allen 1940s NBC photo.JPGThought for the Day
American comedian whose absurdist, topically-pointed radio program The Fred Allen Show (1932-1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the Golden Age of American radio, Fred Allen wrote, “I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.”

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