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, January 21, 2017

Bible Readings for January 21, 2017

Today our passages are Genesis 42:18–43:34; Matthew 13:47–14:12; Psalm 18:16-36; and Proverbs 4:7-10. 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 42:18-43:34 (Contemporary English Version)

18before saying to them:
Since I respect God, I'll give you a chance to save your lives. 19If you are honest men, one of you must stay here in jail, and the rest of you can take the grain back to your starving families. 20But you must bring your youngest brother to me. Then I'll know that you are telling the truth, and you won't be put to death.
Joseph's brothers agreed 21and said to one another, "We're being punished because of Joseph. We saw the trouble he was in, but we refused to help him when he begged us. That's why these terrible things are happening."
22Reuben spoke up, "Didn't I tell you not to harm the boy? But you wouldn't listen, and now we have to pay the price for killing him."
23They did not know that Joseph could understand them, since he was speaking through an interpreter. 24Joseph turned away from them and cried, but soon he turned back and spoke to them again. Then he had Simeon tied up and taken away while they watched.
Joseph's Brothers Return to Canaan
25Joseph gave orders for his brothers' grain sacks to be filled with grain and for their money [a] to be put in their sacks. He also gave orders for them to be given food for their journey home. After this was done, 26they each loaded the grain on their donkeys and left. 27When they stopped for the night, one of them opened his sack to get some grain for his donkey, and right away he saw his moneybag. 28"Here's my money!" he told his brothers. "Right here in my sack." They were trembling with fear as they stared at one another and asked themselves, "What has God done to us?"
29When they returned to the land of Canaan, they told their father Jacob everything that had happened to them:
30The governor of Egypt was rude and treated us like spies. 31But we told him, "We're honest men, not spies. 32We come from a family of twelve brothers. The youngest is still with our father in Canaan, and the other is dead."
33Then the governor of Egypt told us, "I'll find out if you really are honest. Leave one of your brothers here with me, while you take the grain to your starving families. 34But bring your youngest brother to me, so I can be certain that you are honest men and not spies. After that, I'll let your other brother go free, and you can stay here and trade."
35When the brothers started emptying their sacks of grain, they found their moneybags in them. They were frightened, and so was their father Jacob, 36who said, "You have already taken my sons Joseph and Simeon from me. And now you want to take away Benjamin! Everything is against me."
37Reuben spoke up, "Father, if I don't bring Benjamin back, you can kill both of my sons. Trust me with him, and I will bring him back."
38But Jacob said, "I won't let my son Benjamin go down to Egypt with the rest of you. His brother is already dead, and he is the only son I have left. [b] I am an old man, and if anything happens to him on the way, I'll die from sorrow, and all of you will be to blame."

Genesis 43

Joseph's Brothers Return to Egypt with Benjamin
1The famine in Canaan got worse, 2until finally, Jacob's family had eaten all the grain they had bought in Egypt. So Jacob said to his sons, "Go back and buy some more grain." 3-5Judah replied, "The governor strictly warned us that we would not be allowed to see him unless we brought our youngest brother with us. If you let us take Benjamin along, we will go and buy grain. But we won't go without him!"
6Jacob asked, "Why did you cause me so much trouble by telling the governor you had another brother?"
7They answered, "He asked a lot of questions about us and our family. He wanted to know if you were still alive and if we had any more brothers. All we could do was answer his questions. How could we know he would tell us to bring along our brother?"
8Then Judah said to his father, "Let Benjamin go with me, and we will leave right away, so that none of us will starve to death. 9I promise to bring him back safely, and if I don't, you can blame me as long as I live. 10If we had not wasted all this time, we could already have been there and back twice."
11Their father said:
If Benjamin must go with you, take the governor a gift of some of the best things from our own country, such as perfume, honey, spices, pistachio nuts, and almonds. [c]12Also take along twice the amount of money for the grain, because there must have been some mistake when the money was put back in your sacks. 13Take Benjamin with you and leave right away. 14When you go in to see the governor, I pray that God All-Powerful will be good to you and that the governor will let your other brother and Benjamin come back home with you. If I must lose my children, I suppose I must.
15The brothers took the gifts, twice the amount of money, and Benjamin. Then they hurried off to Egypt. When they stood in front of Joseph, 16he saw Benjamin and told the servant in charge of his house, "Take these men to my house. Slaughter an animal and cook it, so they can eat with me at noon."
17The servant did as he was told and took the brothers to Joseph's house. 18But on the way they got worried and started thinking, "We are being taken there because of the money that was put back in our sacks last time. He will arrest us, make us his slaves, and take our donkeys."
19So when they arrived at Joseph's house, they said to the servant in charge, 20"Sir, we came to Egypt once before to buy grain. 21But when we stopped for the night, we each found in our grain sacks the exact amount we had paid. We have brought that money back, 22together with enough money to buy more grain. We don't know who put the money in our sacks."
23"It's all right," the servant replied. "Don't worry. The God you and your father worship must have put the money there, because I received your payment in full." Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24The servant took them into Joseph's house and gave them water to wash their feet. He also tended their donkeys. 25The brothers got their gifts ready to give to Joseph at noon, since they had heard they were going to eat there.
26When Joseph came home, they gave him the gifts they had brought, and they bowed down to him. 27After Joseph had asked how they were, he said, "What about your elderly father? Is he still alive?"
28They answered, "Your servant our father is still alive and well." And again they bowed down to Joseph.
29When Joseph looked around and saw his brother Benjamin, he said, "This must be your youngest brother, the one you told me about. God bless you, my son."
30Right away he rushed off to his room and cried because of his love for Benjamin. 31After washing his face and returning, he was able to control himself and said, "Serve the meal!"
32Joseph was served at a table by himself, and his brothers were served at another. The Egyptians sat at yet another table, because Egyptians felt it was disgusting to eat with Hebrews. 33To the surprise of Joseph's brothers, they were seated in front of him according to their ages, from the oldest to the youngest. 34They were served food from Joseph's table, and Benjamin was given five times as much as each of the others. So Joseph's brothers drank with him and had a good time.

  1. Genesis 42:25money: Probably in the form of small pieces of silver and/or other precious or semi-precious metals; there were no coins or paper money at this time.
  2. Genesis 42:38only son I have left: Jacob had only two sons by Rachel, his favorite wife.
  3. Genesis 43:11honey, spices, pistachio nuts, and almonds: Some of these foods were still available in Canaan, but the main food was bread, and there was no grain to make bread.


Matthew 13:47-14:12 (Contemporary English Version)

A Fish Net
47The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a net is thrown into a lake and catches all kinds of fish. 48When the net is full, it is dragged to the shore, and the fishermen sit down to separate the fish. They keep the good ones, but throw the bad ones away. 49That's how it will be at the end of time. Angels will come and separate the evil people from the ones who have done right. 50Then those evil people will be thrown into a flaming furnace, where they will cry and grit their teeth in pain.
New and Old Treasures
51Jesus asked his disciples if they understood all these things. They said, "Yes, we do." 52So he told them, "Every student of the Scriptures who becomes a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like someone who brings out new and old treasures from the storeroom."
The People of Nazareth Turn against Jesus
(Mark 6.1-6; Luke 4.16-30)
53When Jesus had finished telling these stories, he left 54and went to his hometown. He taught in their meeting place, and the people were so amazed that they asked, "Where does he get all this wisdom and the power to work these miracles? 55Isn't he the son of the carpenter? Isn't Mary his mother, and aren't James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? 56Don't his sisters still live here in our town? How can he do all this?" 57So the people were very unhappy because of what he was doing. But Jesus said, "Prophets are honored by everyone, except the people of their hometown and their own family." 58And because the people did not have any faith, Jesus did not work many miracles there.

Matthew 14

The Death of John the Baptist
(Mark 6.14-29; Luke 9.7-9)
1About this time Herod the ruler [a] heard the news about Jesus 2and told his officials, "This is John the Baptist! He has come back from death, and that's why he has the power to work these miracles." 3-4Herod had earlier arrested John and had him chained and put in prison. He did this because John had told him, "It isn't right for you to take Herodias, the wife of your brother Philip." 5Herod wanted to kill John. But the people thought John was a prophet, and Herod was afraid of what they might do. 6When Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests. She pleased Herod 7so much that he swore to give her whatever she wanted. 8But the girl's mother told her to say, "Here on a platter I want the head of John the Baptist!"
9The king was sorry for what he had said. But he did not want to break the promise he had made in front of his guests. So he ordered a guard 10to go to the prison and cut off John's head. 11It was taken on a platter to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 12John's followers took his body and buried it. Then they told Jesus what had happened.

  1. Matthew 14:1Herod the ruler: Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great (see 2.1).

Psalm 18:16-36 (Contemporary English Version)

16You reached down from heaven,
and you lifted me
from deep in the ocean.
17You rescued me from enemies,
who were hateful
and too powerful for me.
18On the day disaster struck,
they came and attacked,
but you defended me.
19When I was fenced in,
you freed and rescued me
because you love me.
20You are good to me, LORD,
because I do right,
and you reward me
because I am innocent.
21I do what you want
and never turn to do evil.
22I keep your laws in mind
and never look away
from your teachings.
23I obey you completely
and guard against sin.
24You have been good to me
because I do right;
you have rewarded me
for being innocent
by your standards.
25You are always loyal
to your loyal people,
and you are faithful
to the faithful.
26With all who are sincere,
you are sincere,
but you treat the unfaithful
as their deeds deserve.
27You rescue the humble,
but you put down all
who are proud.
28You, the LORD God,
keep my lamp burning
and turn darkness to light.
29You help me defeat armies
and capture cities.
30Your way is perfect, LORD,
and your word is correct.
You are a shield for those
who run to you for help.
31You alone are God!
Only you are a mighty rock. [a]32You give me strength
and guide me right.
33You make my feet run as fast
as those of a deer,
and you help me stand
on the mountains.
34You teach my hands to fight
and my arms to use
a bow of bronze.
35You alone are my shield.
Your right hand supports me,
and by coming to help me,
you have made me famous.
36You clear the way for me,
and now I won't stumble.

  1. Psalm 18:31mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.

Proverbs 4:7-10 (Contemporary English Version)

7The best thing about Wisdom
is Wisdom herself;
good sense is more important
than anything else.
8If you value Wisdom
and hold tightly to her,
great honors will be yours.
9It will be like wearing
a glorious crown
of beautiful flowers.
The Right Way and the Wrong Way
10My child, if you listen and obey my teachings,
you will live a long time.

Verse of the Day

“You cannot fool God, so don't make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant. If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life.” - Galatians 6:7-8
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

President Barack Obama.jpg
Thought for the Day

American politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017, Barack Obama wrote, “No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction.”

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