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, February 1, 2017

Bible Readings for February 1, 2017

Today our passages are Exodus 13:17–15:18; Matthew 21:23-46; Psalm 26:1-12; and Proverbs 6:16-19. 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.

Exodus 13:17-15:18 (Contemporary English Version)

The LORD Leads His People
 17After the king [a] had finally let the people go, the LORD did not lead them through Philistine territory, [b] though that was the shortest way. God had said, " If they are attacked, they may decide to return to Egypt." 18So he led them around through the desert and toward the Red Sea. [c] The Israelites left Egypt, prepared for battle.     19Moses had them take along the bones of Joseph, whose dying words had been, " God will come to your rescue, and when he does, be sure to take along my bones."
    20The people of Israel left Succoth and camped at Etham at the border of Egypt near the desert. 21-22During the day the LORD went ahead of his people in a thick cloud, and during the night he went ahead of them in a flaming fire. That way the LORD could lead them at all times, whether day or night.

Exodus 14

The Israelites Cross the Red Sea
 1At Etham the LORD said to Moses:     2Tell the people of Israel to turn back and camp across from Pi-Hahiroth near Baal-Zephon, between Migdol and the Red Sea. [d] 3The king [e] will think they were afraid to cross the desert and that they are wandering around, trying to find another way to leave the country. 4I will make the king stubborn again, and he will try to catch you. Then I will destroy him and his army. People everywhere will praise me for my victory, and the Egyptians will know that I really am the LORD. The Israelites obeyed the LORD and camped where he told them.
    5When the king of Egypt heard that the Israelites had finally left, he and his officials changed their minds and said, " Look what we have done! We let them get away, and they will no longer be our slaves."
    6The king got his war chariot and army ready. 7He commanded his officers in charge of his six hundred best chariots and all his other chariots to start after the Israelites. 8The LORD made the king so stubborn that he went after them, even though the Israelites proudly [f] went on their way. 9But the king's horses and chariots and soldiers caught up with them while they were camping by the Red Sea near Pi-Hahiroth and Baal-Zephon. 10When the Israelites saw the king coming with his army, they were frightened and begged the LORD for help. 11They also complained to Moses, " Wasn't there enough room in Egypt to bury us? Is that why you brought us out here to die in the desert? Why did you bring us out of Egypt anyway? 12While we were there, didn't we tell you to leave us alone? We had rather be slaves in Egypt than die in this desert!"
    13But Moses answered, " Don't be afraid! Be brave, and you will see the LORD save you today. These Egyptians will never bother you again. 14The LORD will fight for you, and you won't have to do a thing."
    15The LORD said to Moses, " Why do you keep calling out to me for help? Tell the Israelites to move forward. 16Then hold your walking stick over the sea. The water will open up and make a road where they can walk through on dry ground. 17I will make the Egyptians so stubborn that they will go after you. Then I will be praised because of what happens to the king and his chariots and cavalry. 18The Egyptians will know for sure that I am the LORD."
    19All this time God's angel had gone ahead of Israel's army, but now he moved behind them. A large cloud had also gone ahead of them, 20but now it moved between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The cloud gave light to the Israelites, but made it dark for the Egyptians, and during the night they could not come any closer.
    21Moses stretched his arm over the sea, and the LORD sent a strong east wind that blew all night until there was dry land where the water had been. The sea opened up, 22and the Israelites walked through on dry land with a wall of water on each side.
    23The Egyptian chariots and cavalry went after them. 24But before daylight the LORD looked down at the Egyptian army from the fiery cloud and made them panic. 25Their chariot wheels got stuck, [g] and it was hard for them to move. So the Egyptians said to one another, " Let's leave these people alone! The LORD is on their side and is fighting against us." 26The LORD told Moses, " Stretch your arm toward the sea--the water will cover the Egyptians and their cavalry and chariots." 27Moses stretched out his arm, and at daybreak the water rushed toward the Egyptians. They tried to run away, but the LORD drowned them in the sea. 28The water came and covered the chariots, the cavalry, and the whole Egyptian army that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them was left alive. 29But the sea had made a wall of water on each side of the Israelites; so they walked through on dry land.
    30On that day, when the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shore, they knew that the LORD had saved them. 31Because of the mighty power he had used against the Egyptians, the Israelites worshiped him and trusted him and his servant Moses.

Exodus 15

The Song of Moses
 1Moses and the Israelites sang this song in praise of the LORD:    I sing praises to the LORD
   for his great victory!
   He has thrown the horses
   and their riders
   into the sea.
    2The LORD is my strength,
   the reason for my song,
   because he has saved me.
   I praise and honor the LORD--
   he is my God
   and the God
   of my ancestors.
    3The LORD is his name,
   and he is a warrior!
    4He threw the chariots and army
   of Egypt's king [h] into the Red Sea, [i] and he drowned the best
   of the king's officers.
    5They sank to the bottom
   just like stones.
    6With the tremendous force
   of your right arm, our LORD,
   you crushed your enemies.
    7What a great victory was yours,
   as you defeated everyone
   who opposed you.
   Your fiery anger wiped them out,
   as though they were straw.
    8You were so furious
   that the sea piled up
   like a wall,
   and the ocean depths
   curdled like cheese.
    9Your enemies boasted
   that they would
   pursue and capture us,
   divide up our possessions,
   treat us as they wished,
   then take out their swords
   and kill us right there.
    10But when you got furious,
   they sank like lead,
   swallowed by ocean waves.
    11Our LORD, no other gods
   compare with you--
   Majestic and holy!
   Fearsome and glorious!
   Miracle worker!
    12When you signaled
   with your right hand,
   your enemies were swallowed
   deep into the earth.
    13The people you rescued
   were led by your powerful love
   to your holy place.
    14Nations learned of this
   and trembled--
   Philistines shook with horror.
    15The leaders of Edom and of Moab
   were terrified.
   Everyone in Canaan fainted,
    16struck down by fear.
   Our LORD, your powerful arm
   kept them still as a rock
   until the people you rescued
   for your very own
   had marched by.
    17You will let your people settle
   on your chosen mountain,
   where you built your home
   and your temple.
    18Our LORD, you will rule forever!
  1. Exodus 13:17 Philistine territory: The shortest land route from the Nile Delta to Canaan; it was the southern section of the
  2. Exodus 13:17 mmajor road that led to Megiddo and then on to Mesopotamia by way of Asia Minor.
  3. Exodus 13:18 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph " Sea of Reeds," one of the marshes or fresh water lakes, near the eastern part of the Nile Delta. This identification is based on Exodus 13.17--14.9, which lists the towns on the route of the Israelites before crossing the sea. In the Greek translation of the Scriptures made about 200 B.C., the " Sea of Reeds" was named " Red Sea."
  4. Exodus 14:2 Red Sea: Hebrew hayyam " the Sea," understood as yam suph, " Sea of Reeds" (see also the note at 13.18).
  5. Exodus 14:3 The king: See the note at 1.11.
  6. Exodus 14:8 proudly: Or " victoriously."
  7. Exodus 14:25 stuck: The Samaritan Hebrew text and two ancient translations; Hebrew " came off."
  8. Exodus 15:4 Egypt's king: See the note at 1.11.
  9. Exodus 15:4 Red Sea: See the note at 13.18.

Matthew 21:23-46 (Contemporary English Version)

A Question about Jesus' Authority
(Mark 11.27-33; Luke 20.1-8)
 23Jesus had gone into the temple and was teaching when the chief priests and the leaders of the people came up to him. They asked, "What right do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?"     24Jesus answered, "I have just one question to ask you. If you answer it, I will tell you where I got the right to do these things. 25Who gave John the right to baptize? Was it God in heaven or merely some human being?"
   They thought it over and said to each other, "We can't say that God gave John this right. Jesus will ask us why we didn't believe John. 26On the other hand, these people think that John was a prophet, and we are afraid of what they might do to us. That's why we can't say that it was merely some human who gave John the right to baptize." 27So they told Jesus, "We don't know."
   Jesus said, "Then I won't tell you who gave me the right to do what I do."
A Story about Two Sons
 28Jesus said:    I will tell you a story about a man who had two sons. Then you can tell me what you think. The father went to the older son and said, "Go work in the vineyard today!" 29His son told him that he would not do it, but later he changed his mind and went. 30The man then told his younger son to go work in the vineyard. The boy said he would, but he didn't go. 31Which one of the sons obeyed his father?
   "The older one," the chief priests and leaders answered.
   Then Jesus told them:
   You can be sure that tax collectors [a] and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you ever will! 32When John the Baptist showed you how to do right, you would not believe him. But these evil people did believe. And even when you saw what they did, you still would not change your minds and believe.
Renters of a Vineyard
(Mark 12.1-12; Luke 20.9-19)
 33Jesus told the chief priests and leaders to listen to this story:    A land owner once planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it and dug a pit to crush the grapes in. He also built a lookout tower. Then he rented out his vineyard and left the country.
    34When it was harvest time, the owner sent some servants to get his share of the grapes. 35But the renters grabbed those servants. They beat up one, killed one, and stoned one of them to death. 36He then sent more servants than he did the first time. But the renters treated them in the same way.
    37Finally, the owner sent his own son to the renters, because he thought they would respect him. 38But when they saw the man's son, they said, "Someday he will own the vineyard. Let's kill him! Then we can have it all for ourselves." 39So they grabbed him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
    40Jesus asked, "When the owner of that vineyard comes, what do you suppose he will do to those renters?"
    41The chief priests and leaders answered, "He will kill them in some horrible way. Then he will rent out his vineyard to people who will give him his share of grapes at harvest time."
    42Jesus replied, "You surely know that the Scriptures say,
   `The stone that the builders
   tossed aside
   is now the most important
   stone of all.
   This is something
   the Lord has done,
   and it is amazing to us.'
    43I tell you that God's kingdom will be taken from you and given to people who will do what he demands. 44Anyone who stumbles over this stone will be crushed, and anyone it falls on will be smashed to pieces." [b] 45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard these stories, they knew that Jesus was talking about them. 46So they looked for a way to arrest Jesus. But they were afraid to, because the people thought he was a prophet.
  1. Matthew 21:31 tax collectors: See the note at 5.46.
  2. Matthew 21:44 pieces: Verse 44 is not in some manuscripts.

Psalm 26:1-12 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 26

(By David.)
The Prayer of an Innocent Person
 1Show that I am right, LORD!    I stay true to myself,
   and I have trusted you
   without doubting.
    2Test my thoughts and find out
   what I am like.
    3I never forget your kindness,
   and I am always faithful
   to you. [a] 4I don't spend my time
   with worthless liars
    5or go with evil crowds.
    6I wash my hands, LORD,
   to show my innocence,
   and I worship at your altar,
    7while gratefully singing
   about your wonders.
    8I love the temple
   where you live,
   and where
   your glory shines.
    9Don't sweep me away,
   as you do sinners.
   Don't punish me with death
   as you do those people
   who are brutal
    10or full of meanness
   or who bribe others.
    11I stay true to myself.
   Be kind and rescue me.
    12Now I stand on solid ground!
   And when your people meet,
   I will praise you, LORD.
  1. Psalm 26:3 I am. . . to you: Or " I trust your faithfulness."

Proverbs 6:16-19 (Contemporary English Version)

16There are six or seven
   kinds of people
   the LORD doesn't like:
    17Those who are too proud
   or tell lies or murder,
    18those who make evil plans
   or are quick to do wrong,
    19those who tell lies in court
   or stir up trouble
   in a family.

Verse of the Day

Listen, Israel! The LORD our God is the only true God! So love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength.” - Deuteronomy 6:4-5
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

A woman with full dark hair and wearing a long dark dress, her face in partial profile, sits in a simple wooden chair. A locket hangs from a slender chain around her neck; in her hands is a magnolia, its large white flower surrounded by dark leaves.
Thought for the Day

American author, political activist, and lecturer, Helen Keller wrote, “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”

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