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, February 4, 2017

Bible Readings for February 4, 2017

Today our passages are Exodus 19:16–21:21; Matthew 23:13-39; Psalm 28:1-9; and Proverbs 7:1-5. 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 19:16-21:21 (Contemporary English Version)

The LORD Comes to Mount Sinai
16On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning. A thick cloud covered the mountain, a loud trumpet blast was heard, and everyone in camp trembled with fear. 17Moses led them out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the LORD had come down in a flaming fire. Smoke poured out of the mountain just like a furnace, and the whole mountain shook. 19The trumpet blew louder and louder. Moses spoke, and God answered him with thunder.
20The LORD came down to the top of Mount Sinai and told Moses to meet him there. 21Then he said, " Moses, go and warn the people not to cross the boundary that you set at the foot of the mountain. They must not cross it to come and look at me, because if they do, many of them will die. 22Only the priests may come near me, and they must obey strict rules before I let them. If they don't, they will be punished."
23Moses replied, " The people cannot come up the mountain. You warned us to stay away because it is holy."
24Then the LORD told Moses, " Go down and bring Aaron back here with you. But the priests and people must not try to push their way through, or I will rush at them like a flood!"
25After Moses had gone back down, he told the people what the LORD had said.

Exodus 20

The Ten Commandments
(Deuteronomy 5.1-21)
1God said to the people of Israel: 2I am the LORD your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves.
3Do not worship any god except me.
4Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth. 5Don't bow down and worship idols. I am the LORD your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me, I will punish your families for three or four generations. 6But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations.
7Do not misuse my name. a<="" value="[a]" >[] I am the LORD your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name. 8Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs to me. 9You have six days when you can do your work, 10but the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day--not you, your children, your slaves, your animals, or the foreigners who live in your towns. 11In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That's why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me.
12Respect your father and your mother, and you will live a long time in the land I am giving you.
13Do not murder.
14Be faithful in marriage.
15Do not steal.
16Do not tell lies about others.
17Do not want anything that belongs to someone else. Don't want anyone's house, wife or husband, slaves, oxen, donkeys or anything else.
The People Are Afraid
(Deuteronomy 5.23-33)
18The people trembled with fear when they heard the thunder and the trumpet and saw the lightning and the smoke coming from the mountain. They stood a long way off 19and said to Moses, " If you speak to us, we will listen. But don't let God speak to us, or we will die!" 20" Don't be afraid!" Moses replied. " God has come only to test you, so that by obeying him you won't sin." 21But when Moses went near the thick cloud where God was, the people stayed a long way off.
Idols and Altars
22The LORD told Moses to say to the people of Israel: With your own eyes, you saw me speak to you from heaven. 23So you must never make idols of silver or gold to worship in place of me. [b<="">]24Build an altar out of earth, and offer on it your sacrifices [c<="">] of sheep, goats, and cattle. Wherever I choose to be worshiped, I will come down to bless you. 25If you ever build an altar for me out of stones, do not use any tools to chisel the stones, because that would make the altar unfit. 26And don't build an altar that requires steps; you might expose yourself when you climb up.

Exodus 21

Hebrew Slaves
(Deuteronomy 15.12-18)
1The LORD gave Moses the following laws for his people: 2If you buy a Hebrew slave, he must remain your slave for six years. But in the seventh year you must set him free, without cost to him. 3If he was single at the time you bought him, he alone must be set free. But if he was married at the time, both he and his wife must be given their freedom. 4If you give him a wife, and they have children, only the man himself must be set free; his wife and children remain the property of his owner.
5But suppose the slave loves his wife and children so much that he won't leave without them. 6Then he must stand beside either the door or the doorpost at the place of worship, [d<="">] while his owner punches a small hole through one of his ears with a sharp metal rod. This makes him a slave for life. 7A young woman who was sold by her father doesn't gain her freedom in the same way that a man does. 8If she doesn't please the man who bought her to be his wife, he must let her be bought back. [e<="">] He cannot sell her to foreigners; this would break the contract he made with her. 9If he selects her as a wife for his son, he must treat her as his own daughter. 10If the man later marries another woman, he must continue to provide food and clothing for the one he bought and to treat her as a wife. 11If he fails to do any of these things, she must be given her freedom without cost.
Murder and Other Violent Crimes
The LORD said:
12Death is the punishment for murder. 13But if you did not intend to kill someone, and I, the LORD, let it happen anyway, you may run for safety to a place that I have set aside. 14If you plan in advance to murder someone, there's no escape, not even by holding on to my altar. [f<="">] You will be dragged off and killed. 15Death is the punishment for attacking your father or mother. 16Death is the punishment for kidnapping. If you sell the person you kidnapped, or if you are caught with that person, the penalty is death.
17Death is the punishment for cursing your father or mother.
18Suppose two of you are arguing, and you hit the other with either a rock or your fist, without causing a fatal injury. If the victim has to stay in bed, 19and later has to use a stick when walking outside, you must pay for the loss of time and do what you can to help until the injury is completely healed. That's your only responsibility.
20Death is the punishment for beating to death any of your slaves. 21However, if the slave lives a few days after the beating, you are not to be punished. After all, you have already lost the services of that slave who was your property.

  1. Exodus 20:7misuse my name: Probably includes breaking promises, telling lies after swearing to tell the truth, using the LORD's name as a curse word or a magic formula, and trying to control the LORD by using his name.
  2. Exodus 20:23in place of me: Or " together with me."
  3. Exodus 20:24sacrifices: The Hebrew text mentions two types of sacrifices: Sacrifices to please the LORD (traditionally called " whole burnt offerings" ) and sacrifices to ask the LORD's blessing (traditionally called " peace offerings" ).
  4. Exodus 21:6at the place of worship: The Hebrew text has " in the presence of God," which probably refers to the place where God was worshiped.
  5. Exodus 21:8bought back: Either by her family or by another Israelite who wanted to marry her.
  6. Exodus 21:14altar: As a rule, anyone who ran to the altar was safe from the death penalty, until proven guilty.

Matthew 23:13-39 (Contemporary English Version)

13-14You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You're nothing but show-offs. You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You won't go in yourselves, and you keep others from going in. a<="" value="[a]" >[]15You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You're nothing but show-offs. You travel over land and sea to win one follower. And when you have done so, you make that person twice as fit for hell as you are.
16You are in for trouble! You are supposed to lead others, but you are blind. You teach that it doesn't matter if a person swears by the temple. But you say that it does matter if someone swears by the gold in the temple. 17You blind fools! Which is greater, the gold or the temple that makes the gold sacred?
18You also teach that it doesn't matter if a person swears by the altar. But you say that it does matter if someone swears by the gift on the altar. 19Are you blind? Which is more important, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Anyone who swears by the altar also swears by everything on it. 21And anyone who swears by the temple also swears by God, who lives there. 22To swear by heaven is the same as swearing by God's throne and by the one who sits on that throne.
23You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you're in for trouble! You give God a tenth of the spices from your garden, such as mint, dill, and cumin. Yet you neglect the more important matters of the Law, such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These are the important things you should have done, though you should not have left the others undone either. 24You blind leaders! You strain out a small fly but swallow a camel.
25You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you're in for trouble! You wash the outside of your cups and dishes, while inside there is nothing but greed and selfishness. 26You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of a cup, and then the outside will also be clean.
27You Pharisees and teachers are in for trouble! You're nothing but show-offs. You're like tombs that have been whitewashed. [b<="">] On the outside they are beautiful, but inside they are full of bones and filth. 28That's what you are like. Outside you look good, but inside you are evil and only pretend to be good. 29You Pharisees and teachers are nothing but show-offs, and you're in for trouble! You build monuments for the prophets and decorate the tombs of good people. 30And you claim that you would not have taken part with your ancestors in killing the prophets. 31But you prove that you really are the relatives of the ones who killed the prophets. 32So keep on doing everything they did. 33You are nothing but snakes and the children of snakes! How can you escape going to hell?
34I will send prophets and wise people and experts in the Law of Moses to you. But you will kill them or nail them to a cross or beat them in your meeting places or chase them from town to town. 35That's why you will be held guilty for the murder of every good person, beginning with the good man Abel. This also includes Barachiah's son Zechariah, [c<="">] the man you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36I can promise that you people living today will be punished for all these things!
Jesus Loves Jerusalem
(Luke 13.34,35)
37Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Your people have killed the prophets and have stoned the messengers who were sent to you. I have often wanted to gather your people, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you wouldn't let me. 38And now your temple will be deserted. 39You won't see me again until you say, "Blessed is the one who comes
in the name of the Lord."

  1. Matthew 23:13from going in: Some manuscripts add, "You Pharisees and teachers are in for trouble! And you're nothing but show-offs! You cheat widows out of their homes and then pray long prayers just to show off. So you will be punished most of all."
  2. Matthew 23:27whitewashed: Tombs were whitewashed to keep anyone from accidentally touching them. A person who touched a dead body or a tomb was considered unclean and could not worship with the rest of the Jewish people.
  3. Matthew 23:35Zechariah: Genesis is the first book in the Jewish Scriptures, and it tells that Abel was the first person to be murdered. Second Chronicles is the last book in the Jewish Scriptures, and the last murder that it tells about is that of Zechariah.

Psalm 28:1-9 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 28

(By David.)
A Prayer for Help
1Only you, LORD, are a mighty rock! a<="" value="[a]" >[] Don't refuse to help me
when I pray.
If you don't answer me,
I will soon be dead.
2Please listen to my prayer
and my cry for help,
as I lift my hands
toward your holy temple.
3Don't drag me away, LORD,
with those cruel people,
who speak kind words,
while planning trouble.
4Treat them as they deserve!
Punish them for their sins.
5They don't pay any attention
to your wonderful deeds.
Now you will destroy them
and leave them in ruin.
6I praise you, LORD,
for answering my prayers.
7You are my strong shield,
and I trust you completely.
You have helped me,
and I will celebrate
and thank you in song.
8You give strength
to your people, LORD,
and you save and protect
your chosen ones.
9Come save us and bless us.
Be our shepherd and always
carry us in your arms.

  1. Psalm 28:1mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.

Proverbs 7:1-5 (Contemporary English Version)

Proverbs 7

The Foolishness of Unfaithfulness
1My son, pay close attention and don't forget
what I tell you to do.
2Obey me, and you will live!
Let my instructions be
your greatest treasure.
3Keep them at your fingertips
and write them
in your mind.
4Let wisdom be your sister
and make common sense
your closest friend.
5They will protect you
from the flattering words
of someone else's wife.

Verse of the Day

“[(For the music leader. A psalm by David, the LORD's servant. David sang this to the LORD after the LORD had rescued him from his enemies, but especially from Saul.)][David's Song of Thanks]I love you, LORD God, and you make me strong. You are my mighty rock, my fortress, my protector, the rock where I am safe, my shield, my powerful weapon, and my place of shelter.” - Psalm 18:1-2
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

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Thought for the Day

The 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam wrote, “As a child of God, I am greater than anything that can happen to me.”

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