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, July 15, 2016

Bible Readings for July 15, 2016

Today our passages are 1 Chronicles 19:1–21:30; Romans 2:25–3:8; Psalm 11:1-7; and Proverbs 19:10-12. 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 Chronicles 19-21:30 (The Message)

1 Chronicles 19

 1-2 Some time after this Nahash king of the Ammonites died and his son succeeded him as king. David said, "I'd like to show some kindness to Hanun son of Nahash—treat him as well and as kindly as his father treated me." So David sent condolences about his father's death.  2-3 But when David's servants arrived in Ammonite country and came to Hanun to bring condolences, the Ammonite leaders warned Hanun, "Do you for a minute suppose that David is honoring your father by sending you comforters? Don't you know that he's sent these men to snoop around the city and size it up so that he can capture it?"
 4 So Hanun seized David's men, shaved them clean, cut off their robes half way up their buttocks, and sent them packing.
 5 When this was all reported to David, he sent someone to meet them, for they were seriously humiliated. The king told them, "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow out; only then come back."
 6-7 When it dawned on the Ammonites that as far as David was concerned, they stank to high heaven, they hired, at a cost of a thousand talents of silver (thirty-seven and a half tons!), chariots and horsemen from the Arameans of Naharaim, Maacah, and Zobah—thirty-two thousand chariots and drivers; plus the king of Maacah with his troops who came and set up camp at Medeba; the Ammonites, too, were mobilized from their cities and got ready for battle.
 8 When David heard this, he dispatched Joab with his strongest fighters in full force.
 9-13 The Ammonites marched out and spread out in battle formation at the city gate; the kings who had come as allies took up a position in the open fields. When Joab saw that he had two fronts to fight, before and behind, he took his pick of the best of Israel and deployed them to confront the Arameans. The rest of the army he put under the command of Abishai, his brother, and deployed them to deal with the Ammonites. Then he said, "If the Arameans are too much for me, you help me; and if the Ammonites prove too much for you, I'll come and help you. Courage! We'll fight might and main for our people and for the cities of our God. And God will do whatever he sees needs doing!"
 14-15 But when Joab and his soldiers moved in to fight the Arameans, they ran off in full retreat. Then the Ammonites, seeing the Arameans run for dear life, took to their heels and ran from Abishai into the city.
    So Joab withdrew from the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.
 16 When the Arameans saw how badly they'd been beaten by Israel, they picked up the pieces and regrouped; they sent for the Arameans who were across the river; Shophach, commander of Hadadezer's army, led them.
 17-19 When all this was reported to David, he mustered all Israel, crossed the Jordan, advanced, and prepared to fight. The Arameans went into battle formation, ready for David, and the fight was on. But the Arameans again scattered before Israel. David killed seven thousand chariot drivers and forty thousand infantry. He also killed Shophach, the army commander. When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace with David and served him. The Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites ever again.

1 Chronicles 20

 1-3 That spring, the time when kings usually go off to war, Joab led the army out and ravaged the Ammonites. He then set siege to Rabbah. David meanwhile was back in Jerusalem. Joab hit Rabbah hard and left it in ruins. David took the crown off the head of their king. Its weight was found to be a talent of gold and set with a precious stone. It was placed on David's head. He hauled great quantities of loot from the city and put the people to hard labor with saws and picks and axes. This is what he did to all the Ammonites. Then David and his army returned to Jerusalem.  4-8 Later war broke out with the Philistines at Gezer. That was the time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai of the clan of giants. The Philistines had to eat crow. In another war with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath the Gittite whose spear was like a ship's boom. And then there was the war at Gath that featured a hulking giant who had twenty-four fingers and toes, six on each hand and foot—yet another from the clan of giants. When he mocked Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David's brother, killed him. These came from the clan of giants and were killed by David and his men.

1 Chronicles 21

David, Satan, and Araunah
 1-2Now Satan entered the scene and seduced David into taking a census of Israel. David gave orders to Joab and the army officers under him, "Canvass all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and get a count of the population. I want to know the number."  3 Joab resisted: "May God multiply his people by hundreds! Don't they all belong to my master the king? But why on earth would you do a thing like this—why risk getting Israel into trouble with God?"
 4-7 But David wouldn't take no for an answer, so Joab went off and did it— canvassed the country and then came back to Jerusalem and reported the results of the census: There were 1,100,000 fighting men; of that total, Judah accounted for 470,000. Joab, disgusted by the command—it, in fact, turned his stomach!—protested by leaving Levi and Benjamin out of the census-taking. And God, offended by the whole thing, punished Israel.
 8 Then David prayed, "I have sinned badly in what I have just done, substituting statistics for trust; forgive my sin—I've been really stupid."
 9-10 God answered by speaking to Gad, David's pastor: "Go and give David this message: 'God's word: You have your choice of three punishments; choose one and I'll do the rest.'"
 11-12 Gad delivered the message to David: "Do you want three years of famine, three months of running from your enemies while they chase you down, or three days of the sword of God—an epidemic unleashed on the country by an angel of God? Think it over and make up your mind. What shall I tell the One who sent me?"
 13 David told Gad, "They're all terrible! But I'd rather be punished by God whose mercy is great, than fall into human hands."
 14-15 So God unleashed an epidemic in Israel—seventy thousand Israelites died. God then sent the angel to Jerusalem but when he saw the destruction about to begin, he compassionately changed his mind and ordered the death angel, "Enough's enough! Pull back!"
 15-16 The angel of God had just reached the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David looked up and saw the angel hovering between earth and sky, sword drawn and about to strike Jerusalem. David and the elders bowed in prayer and covered themselves with rough burlap.
 17 David prayed, "Please! I'm the one who sinned; I'm the one at fault. But these sheep, what did they do wrong? Punish me, not them, me and my family; don't take it out on them."
 18-19 The angel of God ordered Gad to tell David to go and build an altar to God on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David did what Gad told him in obedience to God's command.
 20-21 Meanwhile Araunah had quit threshing the wheat and was watching the angel; his four sons took cover and hid. David came up to Araunah. When Araunah saw David, he left the threshing floor and bowed deeply before David, honoring the king.
 22 David said to Araunah, "Give me the site of the threshing floor so I can build an altar to God. Charge me the market price; we're going to put an end to this disaster."
 23 "O Master, my king," said Araunah, "just take it; do whatever you want with it! Look, here's an ox for the burnt offering and threshing paddles for the fuel and wheat for the meal offering—it's all yours!"
 24-27 David replied to Araunah, "No. I'm buying it from you, and at the full market price. I'm not going to offer God sacrifices that are no sacrifice." So David bought the place from Araunah for six hundred shekels of gold. He built an altar to God there and sacrificed Whole-Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings. He called out to God and God answered by striking the altar of Whole-Burnt-Offering with lightning. Then God told the angel to put his sword back into its scabbard.
 28 And that's the story of what happened when David saw that God answered him on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite at the time he offered the sacrifice.

29-30 At this time the Tabernacle that Moses had constructed in the desert, and with it the Altar of Burnt Offering, were set up at the worship center at Gibeon. But David, terrified by the angel's sword, wouldn't go there to

1 Chronicles 21

 1 pray to God anymore. So David declared, "From now on, this is the site for the worship of God; this is the place for Israel's Altar of Burnt Offering."


Romans 2:25-3:8 (The Message)

 25-29Circumcision, the surgical ritual that marks you as a Jew, is great if you live in accord with God's law. But if you don't, it's worse than not being circumcised. The reverse is also true: The uncircumcised who keep God's ways are as good as the circumcised—in fact, better. Better to keep God's law uncircumcised than break it circumcised. Don't you see: It's not the cut of a knife that makes a Jew. You become a Jew by who you are. It's the mark of God on your heart, not of a knife on your skin, that makes a Jew. And recognition comes from God, not legalistic critics.

Romans 3

 1-2So what difference does it make who's a Jew and who isn't, who has been trained in God's ways and who hasn't? As it turns out, it makes a lot of difference—but not the difference so many have assumed. 2-6First, there's the matter of being put in charge of writing down and caring for God's revelation, these Holy Scriptures. So, what if, in the course of doing that, some of those Jews abandoned their post? God didn't abandon them. Do you think their faithlessness cancels out his faithfulness? Not on your life! Depend on it: God keeps his word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth. Scripture says the same:

   Your words stand fast and true;
   Rejection doesn't faze you.
   But if our wrongdoing only underlines and confirms God's rightdoing, shouldn't we be commended for helping out? Since our bad words don't even make a dent in his good words, isn't it wrong of God to back us to the wall and hold us to our word? These questions come up. The answer to such questions is no, a most emphatic No! How else would things ever get straightened out if God didn't do the straightening?
 7-8It's simply perverse to say, "If my lies serve to show off God's truth all the more gloriously, why blame me? I'm doing God a favor." Some people are actually trying to put such words in our mouths, claiming that we go around saying, "The more evil we do, the more good God does, so let's just do it!" That's pure slander, as I'm sure you'll agree.

Psalm 11:1-7 (The Message)

Psalm 11

A David Psalm
 1-3I've already run for dear life straight to the arms of God.
   So why would I run away now
      when you say,
   "Run to the mountains; the evil
      bows are bent, the wicked arrows
   Aimed to shoot under cover of darkness
      at every heart open to God.
   The bottom's dropped out of the country;
      good people don't have a chance"?

 4-6 But God hasn't moved to the mountains;
      his holy address hasn't changed.
   He's in charge, as always, his eyes
      taking everything in, his eyelids
   Unblinking, examining Adam's unruly brood
      inside and out, not missing a thing.
   He tests the good and the bad alike;
      if anyone cheats, God's outraged.
   Fail the test and you're out,
      out in a hail of firestones,
   Drinking from a canteen
      filled with hot desert wind.

 7 God's business is putting things right;
      he loves getting the lines straight,
   Setting us straight. Once we're standing tall,
      we can look him straight in the eye.

Proverbs 19:10-12 (The Message)

 10 Blockheads shouldn't live on easy street
   any more than workers should give orders to their boss.

 11 Smart people know how to hold their tongue;
   their grandeur is to forgive and forget.

 12 Mean-tempered leaders are like mad dogs;
   the good-natured are like fresh morning dew.

Verse of the Day
“You must stop doing anything immoral or evil. Instead be humble and accept the message that is planted in you to save you.” - James 1:21
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day
German Jewish philosopher and cultural critic, Walter Benjamin wrote, “In the fields with which we are concerned knowledge exists only in lightning flashes. The text is the thunder rolling long afterwards.”

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