Today our passages are 1 Chronicles 2:18–4:4; Acts 24:1-27; Psalm 4:1-8; and Proverbs 18:16-18. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson. 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.
1 Chronicles 2:18-4:4 (The Message)
The Family of Caleb18-24 Caleb son of Hezron had children by his wife Azubah and also by Jerioth. Azubah's sons were Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. After Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who gave birth to Hur. Hur had Uri and Uri had Bezalel. Some time later Hezron married the daughter of Makir the father of Gilead; he was sixty years old when he married her; she gave birth to Segub. Then Segub had Jair who owned twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead. Geshur and Aram captured the nomadic villages of Jair and Kenath and their satellite settlements—sixty towns. These all belonged to Makir the father of Gilead. After the death of Hezron, Caleb married Ephrathah the wife of his father Hezron; she then gave birth to Ashhur the father of Tekoa.
The Family of Jerahmeel25-26 The sons of Jerahmeel, Hezron's firstborn: Ram his firstborn, followed by Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. Jerahmeel had another wife whose name was Atarah; she gave birth to Onam. 27 The sons of Ram, Jerahmeel's firstborn: Maaz, Jamin, and Eker.
28-29 The sons of Onam: Shammai and Jada.
The sons of Shammai: Nadab and Abishur. Abishur's wife was Abihail; she gave birth to Ahban and Molid.
30 Nadab had Seled and Appaim. Seled died leaving no sons.
31 Appaim had Ishi; Ishi had Sheshan; and Sheshan had Ahlai.
32 Jada, Shammai's brother, had Jether and Jonathan. Jether died leaving no sons.
33 Jonathan had Peleth and Zaza.
This is the family tree of the sons of Jerahmeel.
34-41 Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. But Sheshan had an Egyptian servant, Jarha. Sheshan married his daughter to Jarha and she gave birth to Attai. Attai had Nathan, Nathan had Zabad, Zabad had Ephlal, Ephlal had Obed, Obed had Jehu, Jehu had Azariah, Azariah had Helez, Helez had Eleasah, Eleasah had Sismai, Sismai had Shallum, Shallum had Jekamiah, and Jekamiah had Elishama.
42 Jerahmeel's brother Caleb had a son, his firstborn, named Mesha; Mesha had Ziph; Ziph's son was Mareshah the father of Hebron.
43-44 The sons of Hebron: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem, and Shema. Shema had Raham the father of Jorkeam; Rekem had Shammai.
45 Shammai's son was Maon and Maon was the father of Beth Zur.
46 Caleb's concubine Ephah gave birth to Haran, Moza, and Gazez; Haran had Gazez.
47 The sons of Jahdai: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah, and Shaaph.
48-50 Another concubine of Caleb, Maacah, gave birth to Sheber and Tirhanah. She also bore Shaaph the father of Madmannah and Sheva the father of Macbenah and Gibea. Caleb's daughter was Acsah. These made up the Caleb branch of the family tree.
50-51 The sons of Hur, Ephrathah's firstborn: Shobal who had Kiriath Jearim, Salma who had Bethlehem, and Hareph father of Beth Gader.
52-53 The family of Shobal, father of Kiriath Jearim: Haroeh, half of the population of Manahath, the families of Kiriath Jearim, the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites, and the Mishraites. The Zorathites and Eshtaolites also came from this line.
54-55 The sons of Salma: Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth Beth Joab, half of the Manahathites, the Zorites, and the families of Sopherim who lived at Jabez—the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Sucathites. They made up the Kenites who came from Hammath the father of the house of Recab.
1 Chronicles 3
The Family of David1-3These are the sons that David had while he lived at Hebron: His firstborn was Amnon by Ahinoam of Jezreel; second, Daniel by Abigail of Carmel;
third, Absalom born of Maacah, daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
fourth, Adonijah born of Haggith;
fifth, Shephatiah born of Abital;
sixth, Ithream born of his wife Eglah.
4-9 He had these six sons while he was in Hebron; he was king there for seven years and six months.
He went on to be king in Jerusalem for another thirty-three years. These are the sons he had in Jerusalem: first Shammua, then Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon. Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel was the mother of these four. And then there were another nine sons: Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, Eliphelet—David's sons, plus Tamar their sister. There were other sons by his concubines.
10-14 In the next generation Solomon had Rehoboam, who had Abijah, who had Asa, who had Jehoshaphat, who had Jehoram, who had Ahaziah, who had Joash, who had Amaziah, who had Azariah, who had Jotham, who had Ahaz, who had Hezekiah, who had Manasseh, who had Amon, who had Josiah.
15 Josiah's firstborn was Johanan, followed by Jehoiakim, then Zedekiah, and finally Shallum.
16 Jehoiakim's sons were Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) and Zedekiah.
17-18 The sons of Jeconiah born while he was captive in Babylon: Shealtiel, Malkiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah.
19-20 Pedaiah had Zerubbabel and Shimei; Zerubbabel had Meshullam and Hananiah. Shelomith was their sister. And then five more—Hashubah, Ohel, Berekiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-Hesed.
21 Hananiah's sons were Pelatiah and Jeshaiah. There were also sons of Rephaiah, sons of Arnan, sons of Obadiah, and sons of Shecaniah.
22 Shecaniah had Shemaiah who in his turn had Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat—six of them.
23 Neariah had three sons: Elioenai, Hizkiah, and Azrikam.
24 And Elioenai had seven sons: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, and Anani.
1 Chronicles 4
An Appendix to the Family of Judah1-2 Sons of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. Reaiah, Shobal's son, had Jahath; and Jahath had Ahumai and Lahad. These made up the families of the Zorathites. 3-4 Sons of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash. Their sister was named Hazzelelponi. Penuel had Gedor and Ezer had Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, firstborn son of Ephrathah, who was the father of Bethlehem.
Acts 24:1-27 (The Message)
Paul States His Defense1-4 Within five days, the Chief Priest Ananias arrived with a contingent of leaders, along with Tertullus, a trial lawyer. They presented the governor with their case against Paul. When Paul was called before the court, Tertullus spoke for the prosecution: "Most Honorable Felix, we are most grateful in all times and places for your wise and gentle rule. We are much aware that it is because of you and you alone that we enjoy all this peace and gain daily profit from your reforms. I'm not going to tire you out with a long speech. I beg your kind indulgence in listening to me. I'll be quite brief. 5-8"We've found this man time and again disturbing the peace, stirring up riots against Jews all over the world, the ringleader of a seditious sect called Nazarenes. He's a real bad apple, I must say. We caught him trying to defile our holy Temple and arrested him. You'll be able to verify all these accusations when you examine him yourself."
9The Jews joined in: "Hear, hear! That's right!"
10-13The governor motioned to Paul that it was now his turn. Paul said, "I count myself fortunate to be defending myself before you, Governor, knowing how fair-minded you've been in judging us all these years. I've been back in the country only twelve days—you can check out these dates easily enough. I came with the express purpose of worshiping in Jerusalem on Pentecost, and I've been minding my own business the whole time. Nobody can say they saw me arguing in the Temple or working up a crowd in the streets. Not one of their charges can be backed up with evidence or witnesses.
14-15"But I do freely admit this: In regard to the Way, which they malign as a dead-end street, I serve and worship the very same God served and worshiped by all our ancestors and embrace everything written in all our Scriptures. And I admit to living in hopeful anticipation that God will raise the dead, both the good and the bad. If that's my crime, my accusers are just as guilty as I am.
16-19"Believe me, I do my level best to keep a clear conscience before God and my neighbors in everything I do. I've been out of the country for a number of years and now I'm back. While I was away, I took up a collection for the poor and brought that with me, along with offerings for the Temple. It was while making those offerings that they found me quietly at my prayers in the Temple. There was no crowd, there was no disturbance. It was some Jews from around Ephesus who started all this trouble. And you'll notice they're not here today. They're cowards, too cowardly to accuse me in front of you.
20-21"So ask these others what crime they've caught me in. Don't let them hide behind this smooth-talking Tertullus. The only thing they have on me is that one sentence I shouted out in the council: 'It's because I believe in the resurrection that I've been hauled into this court!' Does that sound to you like grounds for a criminal case?"
22-23Felix shilly-shallied. He knew far more about the Way than he let on, and could have settled the case then and there. But uncertain of his best move politically, he played for time. "When Captain Lysias comes down, I'll decide your case." He gave orders to the centurion to keep Paul in custody, but to more or less give him the run of the place and not prevent his friends from helping him.
24-26A few days later Felix and his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish, sent for Paul and listened to him talk about a life of believing in Jesus Christ. As Paul continued to insist on right relations with God and his people, about a life of moral discipline and the coming Judgment, Felix felt things getting a little too close for comfort and dismissed him. "That's enough for today. I'll call you back when it's convenient." At the same time he was secretly hoping that Paul would offer him a substantial bribe. These conversations were repeated frequently.
27After two years of this, Felix was replaced by Porcius Festus. Still playing up to the Jews and ignoring justice, Felix left Paul in prison.
Psalm 4:1-8 (The Message)
A David Psalm1 When I call, give me answers. God, take my side! Once, in a tight place, you gave me room;
Now I'm in trouble again: grace me! hear me!
2 You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn?
How long will you lust after lies?
How long will you live crazed by illusion?
3 Look at this: look
Who got picked by God!
He listens the split second I call to him.
4-5 Complain if you must, but don't lash out.
Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.
Build your case before God and wait for his verdict.
6-7 Why is everyone hungry for more? "More, more," they say.
I have God's more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day
7-8 Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together.
Proverbs 18:16-18 (The Message)
16 A gift gets attention;
it buys the attention of eminent people.
17 The first speech in a court case is always convincing—
until the cross-examination starts!
18 You may have to draw straws
when faced with a tough decision.
Verse of the Day
“The sky and the earth won't last forever, but my words will.” - Matthew 24:35
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.
Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian, Desiderius Erasmus wrote, “It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is.”