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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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bible Readings for January 24, 2017

Today our passages are Genesis 48:1–49:33; Matthew 15:29–16:12; Psalm 20:1-9; and Proverbs 4:20-27. The readings are the Contemporary English Version.  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 by using the link below.

Genesis 48-49:33 (Contemporary English Version)

Genesis 48

Jacob Blesses Joseph's Two Sons
 1Joseph was told that his father Jacob had become very sick. So Joseph went to see him and took along his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2When Joseph arrived, someone told Jacob, "Your son Joseph has come to see you." Jacob sat up in bed, but it took almost all his strength.     3Jacob told Joseph:
   God All-Powerful appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, where he gave me his blessing 4and promised, "I will give you a large family with many descendants that will grow into a nation. And I am giving you this land that will belong to you and your family forever."
    5Then Jacob went on to say:
   Joseph, your two sons Ephraim and Manasseh were born in Egypt, but I accept them as my own, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6Any children you have later will be considered yours, but their inheritance will come from Ephraim and Manasseh. 7Unfortunately, your mother Rachel died in Canaan after we had left northern Syria [a] and before we reached Bethlehem. [b] And I had to bury her along the way. 8-10Jacob was very old and almost blind. He did not recognize the two boys, and so he asked Joseph, "Who are these boys?"
   Joseph answered, "They are my sons. God has given them to me here in Egypt."
   "Bring them to me," Jacob said. "I want to give them my blessing." Joseph brought the boys to him, and he hugged and kissed them.
    11Jacob turned to Joseph and told him, "For many years I thought you were dead and that I would never see you again. But now God has even let me live to see your children." 12Then Joseph made his sons move away from Jacob's knees, [c] and Joseph bowed down in front of him with his face to the ground. 13After Joseph got up, he brought his two sons over to Jacob again. He led his younger son Ephraim to the left side of Jacob and his older son Manasseh to the right. 14But before Jacob gave them his blessing, he crossed his arms, putting his right hand on the head of Ephraim and his left hand on the head of Manasseh. 15Then he gave Joseph his blessing and said:
   My grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac worshiped the LORD God. He has been with me all my life, 16and his angel has kept me safe. Now I pray that he will bless these boys and that my name and the names of Abraham and Isaac will live on because of them. I ask God to give them many children and many descendants as well.
    17Joseph did not like it when he saw his father place his right hand on the head of the younger son. So he tried to move his father's right hand from Ephraim's head and place it on Manasseh. 18Joseph said, "Father, you have made a mistake. This is the older boy. Put your right hand on him."
    19But his father said, "Son, I know what I am doing. It's true that Manasseh's family will someday become a great nation. But Ephraim will be even greater than Manasseh, because his descendants will become many great nations."
    20Jacob told him that in the future the people of Israel would ask God's blessings on one another by saying, "I pray for God to bless you as much as he blessed Ephraim and Manasseh." Jacob put Ephraim's name first to show that he would be greater than Manasseh. 21After that, Jacob said, "Joseph, you can see that I won't live much longer. But God will be with you and will lead you back to the land he promised our family long ago. 22Meanwhile, I'm giving you the hillside [d] I captured from the Amorites."

Genesis 49

Jacob Blesses His Sons
 1Jacob called his sons together and said:    My sons, I am Jacob,
   your father Israel.
    2Come, gather around,
   as I tell your future.
    3Reuben, you are my oldest,
   born at the peak of my powers;
   you were an honored leader.
    4Uncontrollable as a flood,
   you slept with my wife
   and disgraced my bed.
   And so you no longer deserve
   the place of honor.
    5Simeon and Levi,
   you are brothers,
   each a gruesome sword.
    6I never want to take part
   in your plans or deeds.
   You slaughtered people
   in your anger,
   and you crippled cattle
   for no reason.
    7Now I place a curse on you
   because of
   your fierce anger.
   Your descendants
   will be scattered
   among the tribes of Israel.
    8Judah, you will be praised
   by your brothers;
   they will bow down to you,
   as you defeat your enemies.
    9My son, you are a lion
   ready to eat your victim!
   You are terribly fierce;
   no one will bother you.
    10You will have power and rule
   until nations obey you [e] and come bringing gifts.
    11You will tie your donkey
   to a choice grapevine
   and wash your clothes
   in wine from those grapes.
    12Your eyes are darker than wine,
   your teeth whiter than milk.
    13Zebulun, you will settle
   along the seashore
   and provide safe harbors
   as far north as Sidon.
    14Issachar, you are a strong donkey
   resting in the meadows. [f] 15You found them so pleasant
   that you worked too hard
   and became a slave.
    16Dan, [g] you are the tribe that will bring justice
   to Israel.
    17You are a snake that bites
   the heel of a horse,
   making its rider fall.
    18Our LORD, I am waiting
   for you to save us.
    19Gad, [h] you will be attacked, then attack your attackers.
    20Asher, you will eat food
   fancy enough for a king.
    21Naphtali, you are a wild deer
   with lovely fawns. [i] 22Joseph, you are a fruitful vine
   growing near a stream
   and climbing a wall. [j] 23Enemies attacked with arrows,
   refusing to show mercy.
    24But you stood your ground,
   swiftly shooting back
   with the help of Jacob's God,
   the All-Powerful One--
   his name is the Shepherd,
   Israel's mighty rock. [k] 25Your help came from the God
   your father worshiped,
   from God All-Powerful.
   God will bless you with rain
   and streams from the earth;
   he will bless you
   with many descendants.
    26My son, the blessings I give
   are better than the promise
   of ancient mountains
   or eternal hills. [l] Joseph, I pray these blessings
   will come to you,
   because you are the leader
   of your brothers.
    27Benjamin, you are a fierce wolf,
   destroying your enemies
   morning and evening.
    28These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is how Jacob gave each of them their proper blessings.
Jacob's Death
 29-31Jacob told his sons:    Soon I will die, and I want you to bury me in Machpelah Cave. Abraham bought this cave as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, and it is near the town of Mamre in Canaan. Abraham and Sarah are buried there, and so are Isaac and Rebekah. I buried Leah there too. 32Both the cave and the land that goes with it were bought from the Hittites.
    33When Jacob had finished giving these instructions to his sons, he lay down on his bed and died.
  1. Genesis 48:7 northern Syria: See the note at 24.10.
  2. Genesis 48:7 Bethlehem: The Hebrew text has "Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem."
  3. Genesis 48:12 move. . . Jacob's knees: The two boys were placed either on or between Jacob's knees, as a sign that he had accepted them as his sons.
  4. Genesis 48:22 the hillside: Or "a larger share than your brothers, the land."
  5. Genesis 49:10 until. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. Genesis 49:14 resting. . . meadows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. Genesis 49:16 Dan: In Hebrew "Dan" means "justice" or "judgment."
  8. Genesis 49:19 Gad: In Hebrew "Gad" sounds like "attack."
  9. Genesis 49:21 with lovely fawns: Or "speaking lovely words."
  10. Genesis 49:22 wall: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  11. Genesis 49:24 mighty rock: The Hebrew text has "rock," which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the LORD to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.
  12. Genesis 49:26 eternal hills: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Matthew 15:29-16:12 (Contemporary English Version)

Jesus Heals Many People
 29From there, Jesus went along Lake Galilee. Then he climbed a hill and sat down. 30Large crowds came and brought many people who were crippled or blind or lame or unable to talk. They placed them, and many others, in front of Jesus, and he healed them all. 31Everyone was amazed at what they saw and heard. People who had never spoken could now speak. The lame were healed, the crippled could walk, and the blind were able to see. Everyone was praising the God of Israel.    
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand
(Mark 8.1-10)
 32Jesus called his disciples together and told them, "I feel sorry for these people. They have been with me for three days, and they don't have anything to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry. They might faint on their way home."     33His disciples said, "This place is like a desert. Where can we find enough food to feed such a crowd?"
    34Jesus asked them how much food they had. They replied, "Seven small loaves of bread [a] and a few little fish." 35After Jesus had told the people to sit down, 36he took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks. He then broke them and handed them to his disciples, who passed them around to the crowds.
    37Everyone ate all they wanted, and the leftovers filled seven large baskets.
    38There were four thousand men who ate, not counting the women and children.
    39After Jesus had sent the crowds away, he got into a boat and sailed across the lake. He came to shore near the town of Magadan. [b]

Matthew 16

A Demand for a Sign from Heaven
(Mark 8.11-13; Luke 12.54-56)
 1The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tried to test him by asking for a sign from heaven. 2He told them:    If the sky is red in the evening, you say the weather will be good. 3But if the sky is red and gloomy in the morning, you say it is going to rain. You can tell what the weather will be like by looking at the sky. But you don't understand what is happening now. [c] 4You want a sign because you are evil and won't believe! But the only sign you will be given is what happened to Jonah. [d] Then Jesus left.
The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees
(Mark 8.14-21)
 5The disciples had forgotten to bring any bread when they crossed the lake. [e] 6Jesus then warned them, "Watch out! Guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 7The disciples talked this over and said to each other, "He must be saying this because we didn't bring along any bread."     8Jesus knew what they were thinking and said:
   You surely don't have much faith! Why are you talking about not having any bread? 9Don't you understand? Have you forgotten about the five thousand people and all those baskets of leftovers from just five loaves of bread? 10And what about the four thousand people and all those baskets of leftovers from only seven loaves of bread? 11Don't you know by now that I am not talking to you about bread? Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!
    12Finally, the disciples understood that Jesus wasn't talking about the yeast used to make bread, but about the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
  1. Matthew 15:34 small loaves of bread: See the note at 14.17.
  2. Matthew 15:39 Magadan: The location is unknown.
  3. Matthew 16:3 If the sky is red. . . what is happening now: The words of Jesus in verses 2 and 3 are not in some manuscripts.
  4. Matthew 16:4 what happened to Jonah: Jonah was in the stomach of a big fish for three days and nights (see 12.40).
  5. Matthew 16:5 crossed the lake: To the east side.

Psalm 20:1-9 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 20

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
A Prayer for Victory
 1I pray that the LORD    will listen
   when you
   are in trouble,
   and that the God of Jacob
   will keep you safe.
    2May the LORD send help
   from his temple
   and come to your rescue
   from Mount Zion.
    3May he remember your gifts
   and be pleased
   with what you bring.
    4May God do what you want most
   and let all go well for you.
    5Then you will win victories,
   and we will celebrate,
   while raising our banners
   in the name of our God.
   May the LORD answer
   all of your prayers!
    6I am certain, LORD,
   that you will help
   your chosen king.
   You will answer my prayers
   from your holy place
   in heaven,
   and you will save me
   with your mighty arm.
    7Some people trust the power
   of chariots or horses,
   but we trust you, LORD God.
    8Others will stumble and fall,
   but we will be strong
   and stand firm.
    9Give the king victory, LORD,
   and answer our prayers. [a]
  1. Psalm 20:9 victory. . . prayers: Or " victory. He (God or the king) answers us."

Proverbs 4:20-27 (Contemporary English Version)

20My child, listen carefully
   to everything I say.
    21Don't forget a single word,
   but think about it all.
    22Knowing these teachings
   will mean true life
   and good health for you.
    23Carefully guard your thoughts
   because they are the source
   of true life.
    24Never tell lies or be deceitful
   in what you say.
    25Keep looking straight ahead,
   without turning aside.
    26Know where you are headed,
   and you will stay
   on solid ground.
    27Don't make a mistake by turning
   to the right or the left.

Verse of the Day

“[Help Each Other]My friends, you are spiritual. So if someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path. But watch out, and don't be tempted yourself.” - Galatians 6:1
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

William Notman - Henry Brooks Adams, 1885 (transparent).png
Thought for the Day

American historian and member of the Adams political family, being descended from two U.S. Presidents, Henry Adams wrote, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

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