Today our passages are Genesis 8:1–10:32; Matthew 4:12-25; Psalm 4:1-8; and Proverbs 1:20-23. 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 8-10:32 (Contemporary English Version)
The Water Goes Down1God did not forget about Noah and the animals with him in the boat. So God made a wind blow, and the water started going down. 2God stopped up the places where the water had been gushing out from under the earth. He also closed up the sky, and the rain stopped. 3For one hundred fifty days the water slowly went down. 4Then on the seventeenth day of the seventh month of the year, the boat came to rest somewhere in the Ararat mountains. 5The water kept going down, and the mountain tops could be seen on the first day of the tenth month. 6-7Forty days later Noah opened a window to send out a raven, but it kept flying around until the water had dried up. 8Noah wanted to find out if the water had gone down, and he sent out a dove. 9Deep water was still everywhere, and the dove could not find a place to land. So it flew back to the boat. Noah held out his hand and helped it back in.
10Seven days later Noah sent the dove out again. 11It returned in the evening, holding in its beak a green leaf from an olive tree. Noah knew that the water was finally going down. 12He waited seven more days before sending the dove out again, and this time it did not return.
13Noah was now six hundred one years old. And by the first day of that year, almost all the water had gone away. Noah made an opening in the roof of the boat [a] and saw that the ground was getting dry. 14By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the earth was completely dry. 15God said to Noah, 16"You, your wife, your sons, and your daughters-in-law may now leave the boat. 17Let out the birds, animals, and reptiles, so they can mate and live all over the earth." 18After Noah and his family had gone out of the boat, 19the living creatures left in groups of their own kind.
The LORD's Promise for the Earth20Noah built an altar where he could offer sacrifices to the LORD. Then he offered on the altar one of each kind of animal and bird that could be used for a sacrifice. [b] 21The smell of the burning offering pleased God, and he said: Never again will I punish the earth for the sinful things its people do. All of them have evil thoughts from the time they are young, but I will never destroy everything that breathes, as I did this time. 22As long as the earth remains,
there will be planting
cold and heat;
winter and summer,
day and night.
God's Promise to Noah1God said to Noah and his sons: I am giving you my blessing. Have a lot of children and grandchildren, so people will live everywhere on this earth. 2All animals, birds, reptiles, and fish will be afraid of you. I have placed them under your control, 3and I have given them to you for food. From now on, you may eat them, as well as the green plants that you have always eaten. 4But life is in the blood, and you must not eat any meat that still has blood in it. 5-6I created humans to be like me, and I will punish any animal or person that takes a human life. If an animal kills someone, that animal must die. And if a person takes the life of another, that person must be put to death.
7I want you and your descendants to have many children, so people will live everywhere on earth.
8Again, God said to Noah and his sons:
9I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who will live after you. 10This includes the birds and the animals that came out of the boat. 11I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.
12-13The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. 14When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, 15I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. 16When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. 17The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.
Noah and His Family18Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, came out of the boat. Ham later had a son named Canaan. 19All people on earth are descendants of Noah's three sons. 20Noah farmed the land and was the first to plant a vineyard. 21One day he got drunk and was lying naked in his tent. 22Ham entered the tent and saw him naked, then went back outside and told his brothers. 23Shem and Japheth put a robe over their shoulders and walked backwards into the tent. Without looking at their father, they placed it over his body.
24When Noah woke up and learned what his youngest son had done, 25he said,
"I now put a curse on Canaan!
He will be the lowest slave
of his brothers.
26I ask the LORD my God
to bless Shem
and make Canaan his slave.
27I pray that the LORD
will give Japheth
more and more [c] land and let him take over
the territory of Shem.
May Canaan be his slave."
28Noah lived three hundred fifty years after the flood 29and died at the age of nine hundred fifty.
The Descendants of Noah1After the flood Shem, Ham, and Japheth had many descendants.
The Descendants of Japheth2-5Japheth's descendants had their own languages, tribes, and land. They were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. Gomer was the ancestor of Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
Javan was the ancestor of Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim, [d] who settled along the coast.
The Descendants of Ham6-20Ham's descendants had their own languages, tribes, and land. They were Ethiopia, [e] Egypt, Put, and Canaan. Cush [f] was the ancestor of Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. Raamah was the ancestor of Sheba and Dedan. Cush was also the ancestor of Nimrod, a mighty warrior whose strength came from the LORD. Nimrod is the reason for the saying, "You hunt like Nimrod with the strength of the LORD!" Nimrod first ruled in Babylon, Erech, and Accad, all of [g] which were in Babylonia. [h] From there Nimrod went to Assyria and built the great city of Nineveh. He also built Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, as well as Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah. Egypt was the ancestor of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim, and Caphtorim, the ancestor of the Philistines. [i] Canaan's sons were Sidon and Heth. He was also the ancestor of the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites.
Later the Canaanites spread from the territory of Sidon and went as far as Gaza in the direction of Gerar. They also went as far as Lasha in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim.
The Descendants of Shem21-31Shem's descendants had their own languages, tribes, and land. He was the older brother of Japheth and the ancestor of the tribes of Eber. Shem was the ancestor of Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram.
Aram was the ancestor of Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.
Arpachshad was the father of Shelah and the grandfather of Eber, whose first son was named Peleg, [j] because it was during his time that tribes divided up the earth. Eber's second son was Joktan. Joktan was the ancestor of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. Their land reached from Mesha in the direction of Sephar, the hill country in the east.
32This completes the list of Noah's descendants. After the flood their descendants became nations and spread all over the world.
- Genesis 8:13 made. . . boat: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- Genesis 8:20 animal. . . sacrifice: See the note at 7.2.
- Genesis 9:27 more and more: In Hebrew "Japheth" sounds like "more and more."
- Genesis 10:2 Dodanim: Most Hebrew manuscripts; some Hebrew manuscripts and one ancient translation have "Rodanim."
- Genesis 10:6 Ethiopia: See the note at 2.13.
- Genesis 10:6 Cush: See the note at 2.13.
- Genesis 10:6 and Accad, all of: Or "Accad, and Calneh."
- Genesis 10:6 Babylonia: The Hebrew text has "Shinar," another name for Babylonia.
- Genesis 10:6 Casluhim, and Caphtorim, the ancestor of the Philistines: Hebrew "Caphtorim, and Casluhim, the ancestor of the Philistines." The Philistines were from Caphtor (see Jeremiah 47.4; Amos 9.7), better known as Crete.
- Genesis 10:21 Peleg: In Hebrew "Peleg" means "divided."
Matthew 4:12-25 (Contemporary English Version)
Jesus Begins His Work
(Mark 1.14,15; Luke 4.14,15)12When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he went to Galilee. 13But instead of staying in Nazareth, Jesus moved to Capernaum. This town was beside Lake Galilee in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali. [a] 14So God's promise came true, just as the prophet Isaiah had said, 15"Listen, lands of Zebulun and Naphtali,
lands along the road
to the sea
of the Jordan!
land of the Gentiles!
16Although your people
live in darkness,
they will see
a bright light.
Although they live
in the shadow of death,
a light will shine
17Then Jesus started preaching, "Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven will soon be here." [b]
Jesus Chooses Four Fishermen
(Mark 1.16-20; Luke 5.1-11)18While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake. 19Jesus said to them, "Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish." 20Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him. 21Jesus walked on until he saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked them to come with him too. 22Right away they left the boat and their father and went with Jesus.
Jesus Teaches, Preaches, and Heals
(Luke 6.17-19)23Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the Jewish meeting places and preaching the good news about God's kingdom. He also healed every kind of disease and sickness. 24News about him spread all over Syria, and people with every kind of sickness or disease were brought to him. Some of them had a lot of demons in them, others were thought to be crazy, [c] and still others could not walk. But Jesus healed them all. 25Large crowds followed Jesus from Galilee and the region around the ten cities known as Decapolis. [d] They also came from Jerusalem, Judea, and from across the Jordan River.
- Matthew 4:13 Zebulun and Naphtali: In Old Testament times these tribes were in northern Palestine, and in New Testament times many Gentiles lived where these tribes had once been.
- Matthew 4:17 The kingdom of heaven will soon be here: See the two notes at 3.2.
- Matthew 4:24 thought to be crazy: In ancient times people with epilepsy were thought to be crazy.
- Matthew 4:25 the ten cities known as Decapolis: A group of ten cities east of Samaria and Galilee, where the people followed the Greek way of life.
Psalm 4:1-8 (Contemporary English Version)
(A psalm by David for the music leader. Use stringed instruments.)
An Evening Prayer1You are my God and protector. Please answer my prayer.
I was in terrible distress,
but you set me free.
Now have pity and listen
as I pray.
2How long will you people
refuse to respect me? [a] You love foolish things,
and you run after
what is worthless. [b] 3The LORD has chosen
everyone who is faithful
to be his very own, [c] and he answers my prayers.
4But each of you
had better tremble
and turn from your sins.
Silently search your heart
as you lie in bed.
5Offer the proper sacrifices
and trust the LORD.
6There are some who ask,
"Who will be good to us?"
Let your kindness, LORD,
shine brightly on us.
7You brought me more happiness
than a rich harvest
of grain and grapes.
8I can lie down
and sleep soundly
because you, LORD,
will keep me safe.
Proverbs 1:20-23 (Contemporary English Version)
Wisdom Speaks20Wisdom [a] shouts in the streets wherever crowds gather. 21She shouts in the marketplaces
and near the city gates
as she says to the people,
22"How much longer
will you enjoy
being stupid fools?
Won't you ever stop sneering
and laughing at knowledge?
23Listen as I correct you
and tell you what I think.
- Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom: In the book of Proverbs the word " wisdom" is sometimes used as though wisdom were a supernatural being who was with God at the time of creation.
Verse for the Day
Thought for the Day
American anarchist, Bob Black wrote, “Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don't care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working. You may be wondering if I'm joking or serious. I'm joking and serious.”