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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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Bible Readings for January 18, 2017

Today our passages are Genesis 37:1–38:30; Matthew 12:22-45; Psalm 16:1-11; and Proverbs 3:27-32. The readings are the Contemporary English VersionIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.

Genesis 37-38:30 (Contemporary English Version)

Genesis 37

Joseph and His Brothers
 1Jacob lived in the land of Canaan, where his father Isaac had lived, 2and this is the story of his family.    When Jacob's son Joseph was seventeen years old, he took care of the sheep with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah. [a] But he was always telling his father all sorts of bad things about his brothers. 3Jacob loved Joseph more than he did any of his other sons, because Joseph was born after Jacob was very old. Jacob had given Joseph a fancy coat [b] 4to show that he was his favorite son, and so Joseph's brothers hated him and would not be friendly to him. 5One day, Joseph told his brothers what he had dreamed, and they hated him even more. 6Joseph said, "Let me tell you about my dream. 7We were out in the field, tying up bundles of wheat. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles gathered around and bowed down to it."
    8His brothers asked, "Do you really think you are going to be king and rule over us?" Now they hated Joseph more than ever because of what he had said about his dream.
    9Joseph later had another dream, and he told his brothers, "Listen to what else I dreamed. The sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowed down to me."
    10When he told his father about this dream, his father became angry and said, "What's that supposed to mean? Are your mother and I and your brothers all going to come and bow down in front of you?" 11Joseph's brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept wondering about the dream.
Joseph Is Sold and Taken to Egypt
 12One day when Joseph's brothers had taken the sheep to a pasture near Shechem, 13his father Jacob said to him, "I want you to go to your brothers. They are with the sheep near Shechem."    "Yes, sir," Joseph answered.
    14His father said, "Go and find out how your brothers and the sheep are doing. Then come back and let me know." So he sent him from Hebron Valley.
   Joseph was near Shechem 15and wandering through the fields, when a man asked, "What are you looking for?"
    16Joseph answered, "I'm looking for my brothers who are watching the sheep. Can you tell me where they are?"
    17"They're not here anymore," the man replied. "I overheard them say they were going to Dothan."
   Joseph left and found his brothers in Dothan. 18But before he got there, they saw him coming and made plans to kill him. 19They said to one another, "Look, here comes the hero of those dreams! 20Let's kill him and throw him into a pit and say that some wild animal ate him. Then we'll see what happens to those dreams."
    21Reuben heard this and tried to protect Joseph from them. "Let's not kill him," he said. 22"Don't murder him or even harm him. Just throw him into a dry well out here in the desert." Reuben planned to rescue Joseph later and take him back to his father.
    23When Joseph came to his brothers, they pulled off his fancy coat [c] 24and threw him into a dry well. 25As Joseph's brothers sat down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with all kinds of spices that they were taking to Egypt. 26So Judah said, "What will we gain if we kill our brother and hide his body? 27Let's sell him to the Ishmaelites and not harm him. After all, he is our brother." And the others agreed.
    28When the Midianite merchants came by, Joseph's brothers took him out of the well, and for twenty pieces of silver they sold him to the Ishmaelites [d] who took him to Egypt. 29When Reuben returned to the well and did not find Joseph there, he tore his clothes in sorrow. 30Then he went back to his brothers and said, "The boy is gone! What am I going to do?"
    31Joseph's brothers killed a goat and dipped Joseph's fancy coat in its blood. 32After this, they took the coat to their father and said, "We found this! Look at it carefully and see if it belongs to your son."
    33Jacob knew it was Joseph's coat and said, "It's my son's coat! Joseph has been torn to pieces and eaten by some wild animal."
    34Jacob mourned for Joseph a long time, and to show his sorrow he tore his clothes and wore sackcloth. [e] 35All of Jacob's children came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. "No," he said, "I will go to my grave, mourning for my son." So Jacob kept on grieving. 36Meanwhile, the Midianites had sold Joseph in Egypt to a man named Potiphar, who was the king's [f] official in charge of the palace guard.

Genesis 38

Judah and Tamar
 1About that time Judah left his brothers in the hill country and went to live near his friend Hirah in the town of Adullam. 2While there he met the daughter of Shua, a Canaanite man. Judah married her, 3and they had three sons. He named the first one Er; 4she named the next one Onan. 5The third one was born when Judah was in Chezib, and she named him Shelah.     6Later, Judah chose Tamar as a wife for Er, his oldest son. 7But Er was very evil, and the LORD took his life. 8So Judah told Onan, "It's your duty to marry Tamar and have a child for your brother." [g] 9Onan knew the child would not be his, [h] and when he had sex with Tamar, he made sure that she would not get pregnant. 10The LORD wasn't pleased with Onan and took his life too. 11Judah did not want the same thing to happen to his son Shelah, and he told Tamar, "Go home to your father and live there as a widow until my son Shelah is grown." So Tamar went to live with her father.
    12Some years later Judah's wife died, and he mourned for her. He then went with his friend Hirah to the town of Timnah, where his sheep were being sheared. 13Tamar found out that her father-in-law Judah was going to Timnah to shear his sheep. 14She also realized that Shelah was now a grown man, but she had not been allowed to marry him. So she decided to dress in something other than her widow's clothes and to cover her face with a veil. After this, she sat outside the town of Enaim on the road to Timnah.
    15When Judah came along, he did not recognize her because of the veil. He thought she was a prostitute 16and asked her to sleep with him. She asked, "What will you give me if I do?"
    17"One of my young goats," he answered.
   "What will you give me to keep until you send the goat?" she asked.
    18"What do you want?" he asked in return.
   "The ring on that cord around your neck," was her reply. "I also want the special walking stick [i] you have with you." He gave them to her, they slept together, and she became pregnant. 19After returning home, Tamar took off the veil and dressed in her widow's clothes again.
    20Judah had his friend Hirah take a goat to the woman, so he could get back the ring and walking stick, but she wasn't there. 21Hirah asked the people of Enaim, "Where is the prostitute who sat along the road outside your town?"
   "There's never been one here," they answered.
    22Hirah went back and told Judah, "I couldn't find the woman, and the people of Enaim said no prostitute had ever been there."
    23"If you couldn't find her, we'll just let her keep the things I gave her," Judah answered. "And we'd better forget about the goat, or else we'll look like fools."
    24About three months later someone told Judah, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar has behaved like a prostitute, and now she's pregnant!"
   "Drag her out of town and burn her to death!" Judah shouted.
    25As Tamar was being dragged off, she sent someone to tell her father-in-law, "The man who gave me this ring, this cord, and this walking stick is the one who got me pregnant."
    26"Those are mine!" Judah admitted. "She's a better person than I am, because I broke my promise to let her marry my son Shelah." After this, Judah never slept with her again.
    27-28Tamar later gave birth to twins. But before either of them was born, one of them stuck a hand out of her womb. The woman who was helping tied a red thread around the baby's hand and explained, "This one came out first."
    29Right away his hand went back in, and the other child was born first. The woman then said, "What an opening you've made for yourself!" So they named the baby Perez. [j] 30When the brother with the red thread came out, they named him Zerah. [k]
  1. Genesis 37:2 Bilhah and Zilpah: See 30.1-13.
  2. Genesis 37:3 fancy coat: Or "a coat of many colors" or "a coat with long sleeves."
  3. Genesis 37:23 fancy coat: Or "a coat of many colors" or "a coat with long sleeves."
  4. Genesis 37:28 Midianite. . . Ishmaelites: According to 25.1,2,12 both the Midianites and the Ishmaelites were descendants of Abraham, and in Judges 8.22-24 the two names are used of the same people. It is possible that in this passage "Ishmaelite" has the meaning "nomadic traders," while "Midianite" refers to their ethnic origin.
  5. Genesis 37:34 sackcloth: A rough dark-colored cloth made from goat or camel hair and used to make grain sacks. It was worn in times of trouble or sorrow.
  6. Genesis 37:36 the king's: See the note at 12.15.
  7. Genesis 38:8 It's your duty. . . child. . . brother: If a man died without having children, his brother was to marry the dead man's wife and have a child, who was to be considered the child of the dead brother (see Deuteronomy 25.5,6).
  8. Genesis 38:9 the child. . . not be his: When Judah died, Onan would get his dead brother's share of the inheritance, but if his dead brother had a son, the inheritance would go to him instead.
  9. Genesis 38:18 ring. . . walking stick: The ring was shaped like a cylinder and could be rolled over soft clay as a way of sealing special documents. The walking stick was probably a symbol of power and the sign of leadership in the tribe, though it may have been a shepherd's rod.
  10. Genesis 38:29 Perez: In Hebrew "Perez" sounds like "opening."
  11. Genesis 38:30 Zerah: In Hebrew "Zerah" means "bright," probably referring to the red thread.

Matthew 12:22-45 (Contemporary English Version)

Jesus and the Ruler of the Demons
(Mark 3.20-30; Luke 11.14-23; 12.10)
 22Some people brought to Jesus a man who was blind and could not talk because he had a demon in him. Jesus healed the man, and then he was able to talk and see. 23The crowds were so amazed that they asked, "Could Jesus be the Son of David?" [a] 24When the Pharisees heard this, they said, "He forces out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons!"     25Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said to them:
   Any kingdom where people fight each other will end up ruined. And a town or family that fights will soon destroy itself. 26So if Satan fights against himself, how can his kingdom last? 27If I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons, whose power do your own followers use to force them out? Your followers are the ones who will judge you. 28But when I force out demons by the power of God's Spirit, it proves that God's kingdom has already come to you. 29How can anyone break into a strong man's house and steal his things, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can take everything.
    30If you are not on my side, you are against me. If you don't gather in the harvest with me, you scatter it. 31-32I tell you that any sinful thing you do or say can be forgiven. Even if you speak against the Son of Man, you can be forgiven. But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven, either in this life or in the life to come.
A Tree and Its Fruit
(Luke 6.43-45)
 33A good tree produces only good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. You can tell what a tree is like by the fruit it produces. 34You are a bunch of evil snakes, so how can you say anything good? Your words show what is in your hearts. 35Good people bring good things out of their hearts, but evil people bring evil things out of their hearts. 36I promise you that on the day of judgment, everyone will have to account for every careless word they have spoken. 37On that day they will be told that they are either innocent or guilty because of the things they have said.    
A Sign from Heaven
(Mark 8.11,12; Luke 11.29-32)
 38Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses said, "Teacher, we want you to show us a sign from heaven."     39But Jesus replied:
   You want a sign because you are evil and won't believe! But the only sign you will get is the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40He was in the stomach of a big fish for three days and nights, just as the Son of Man will be deep in the earth for three days and nights. 41On the day of judgment the people of Nineveh [b] will stand there with you and condemn you. They turned to God when Jonah preached, and yet here is something far greater than Jonah. 42The Queen of the South [c] will also stand there with you and condemn you. She traveled a long way to hear Solomon's wisdom, and yet here is something much greater than Solomon.
Return of an Evil Spirit
(Luke 11.24-26)
 43When an evil spirit leaves a person, it travels through the desert, looking for a place to rest. But when the demon doesn't find a place, 44it says, "I will go back to the home I left." When it gets there and finds the place empty, clean, and fixed up, 45it goes off and finds seven other evil spirits even worse than itself. They all come and make their home there, and the person ends up in worse shape than before. That's how it will be with you evil people of today.    
  1. Matthew 12:23 Could Jesus be the Son of David: Or "Does Jesus think he is the Son of David?" See the note at 9.27.
  2. Matthew 12:41 Nineveh: During the time of Jonah this city was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, which was Israel's worst enemy. But Jonah was sent there to preach, so that the people would turn to the Lord and be saved.
  3. Matthew 12:42 Queen of the South: Sheba, probably a country in southern Arabia.

Psalm 16:1-11 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 16

(A special psalm by David.)
The Best Choice
 1Protect me, LORD God!    I run to you for safety,
    2and I have said,
   "Only you are my Lord!
   Every good thing I have
   is a gift from you."
    3Your people are wonderful,
   and they make me happy, [a] 4but worshipers of other gods
   will have much sorrow. [b] I refuse to offer sacrifices
   of blood to those gods
   or worship in their name.
    5You, LORD, are all I want!
   You are my choice,
   and you keep me safe.
    6You make my life pleasant,
   and my future is bright.
    7I praise you, LORD,
   for being my guide.
   Even in the darkest night,
   your teachings fill my mind.
    8I will always look to you,
   as you stand beside me
   and protect me from fear.
    9With all my heart,
   I will celebrate,
   and I can safely rest.
    10I am your chosen one.
   You won't leave me in the grave
   or let my body decay.
    11You have shown me
   the path to life,
   and you make me glad
   by being near to me.
   Sitting at your right side, [c] I will always be joyful.
  1. Psalm 16:3 Your people. . . happy: Or " I was happy worshiping gods I thought were powerful."
  2. Psalm 16:4 but. . . sorrow: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. Psalm 16:11 right side: The place of power and honor.

Proverbs 3:27-32 (Contemporary English Version)

27Do all you can for everyone
   who deserves your help.
    28Don't tell your neighbor
   to come back tomorrow,
   if you can help today.
    29Don't try to be mean
   to neighbors who trust you.
    30Don't argue just to be arguing,
   when you haven't been hurt.
    31Don't be jealous
   of cruel people
   or follow their example.
    32The LORD doesn't like
   anyone who is dishonest,
   but he lets good people
   be his friends.

Verse of the Day

“You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptations.” - 1 Corinthians 10:13
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

United States Army general, best known for his flamboyant character and his command of the Seventh United States Army, and later the Third United States Army, in the European Theater of World War II, George S. Patton wrote, “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”

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