Today our passages are Deuteronomy 2:1–3:29; Luke 6:12-38; Psalm 67:1-7; and Proverbs 11:27. 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.
Deuteronomy 2-3:29 (Contemporary English Version)
Deuteronomy 21We spent many years wandering around outside the hill country of Seir, [a] 2until the LORD said: Moses, 3Israel has wandered in these hills long enough. Turn and go north. 4And give the people these orders: " Be very careful, because you will soon go through the land that belongs to your relatives, the descendants of Esau. [b] They are afraid of you, 5but don't start a war with them. I have given them the hill country of Seir, so I won't give any of it to you, not even enough to set a foot on. 6And as you go through their land, you will have to buy food and water from them." 7The LORD has helped us and taken care of us during the past forty years that we have been in this huge desert. We've had everything we needed, and the LORD has blessed us and made us successful in whatever we have done. 8We went past the territory that belonged to our relatives, the descendants of Esau. [c] We followed Arabah Road that starts in the south at Elath and Ezion-Geber, then we turned onto the desert road that leads to Moab. 9The LORD told me, " Don't try to start a war with Moab. Leave them alone, because I gave the land of Ar [d] to them, [e] and I will not let you have any of it."
Tribes That Lived near Canaan10Before the LORD gave the Moabites their land, a large and powerful tribe lived there. They were the Emim, and they were as tall as the Anakim. 11The Moabites called them Emim, though others sometimes used the name Rephaim [f] for both the Anakim and the Emim. 12The Horites used to live in Seir, but the Edomites [g] took over that region. They killed many of the Horites and forced the rest of them to leave, just as Israel did to the people in the land that the LORD gave them.
Israel Crossed the Zered Gorge
Moses said to Israel:13When we came to the Zered Gorge along the southern border of Moab, the LORD told us to cross the gorge into Moab, and we did. 14This was thirty-eight years after we left Kadesh-Barnea, and by that time all the men who had been in the army at Kadesh-Barnea had died, just as the LORD had said they would. 15-16The LORD kept getting rid of [h] them until finally none of them were left. 17Then the LORD told me, 18" Moses, now go past the town of Ar and cross Moab's northern border 19into Ammon. But don't start a war with the Ammonites. I gave them [i] their land, and I won't give any of it to Israel."
More Nations That Lived near Canaan20Before the Ammonites conquered the land that the LORD had given them, some of the Rephaim used to live there, although the Ammonites called them Zamzummim. 21The Zamzummim were a large and powerful tribe and were as tall as the Anakim. [j] But the LORD helped the Ammonites, and they killed many of the Zamzummim and forced the rest to leave. Then the Ammonites settled there. 22The LORD helped them as he had helped the Edomites, [k] who killed many of the Horites in Seir and forced the rest to leave before settling there themselves. 23A group called the Avvim used to live in villages as far south as Gaza, but the Philistines [l] killed them and settled on their land.
Israel Crossed the Arnon Gorge
Moses said:24After we went through Ammon, the LORD told us: Israel, pack up your possessions, take down your tents, and cross the Arnon River gorge. [m] The territory of the Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon lies on the other side of the river, but I now give you his land. So attack and take it! 25Today I will start making all other nations afraid of you. They will tremble with fear when anyone mentions you, and they will be terrified when you show up. Moses said to Israel:
The Defeat of King Sihon of Heshbon
(Numbers 21.21-30)26After we had crossed the Arnon and had set up camp in the Kedemoth Desert, I sent messengers to King Sihon of Heshbon, telling him that his nation and ours could be at peace. I said: 27Please let Israel go across your country. We will walk straight through, without turning off the road. 28-29You can even sell us food and water, and we will pay with silver. We need to reach the Jordan River and cross it, because the LORD our God is giving us the land on the west side. The Edomites and Moabites [n] have already let us cross their land. Please let us cross your land as well. 30-31But Sihon refused to let us go across his country, because the LORD made him stubborn and eager to fight us. The LORD told me, " I am going to help you defeat Sihon and take his land, so attack him!"
32We met Sihon and his army in battle at Jahaz, 33and the LORD our God helped us defeat them. We killed Sihon, his sons, and everyone else in his army. 34Then we captured and destroyed every town in Sihon's kingdom, killing everyone, 35but keeping the livestock and everything else of value. 36The LORD helped us capture every town from the Arnon River gorge north to the boundary of Gilead, including the town of Aroer on the edge of the gorge and the town in the middle of the gorge.
37However, we stayed away from all the Ammonite towns, both in the hill country and near the Jabbok River, just as the LORD had commanded.
Moses said to Israel:
The Defeat of King Og of Bashan
(Numbers 21.31-35)1When we turned onto the road that leads to Bashan, King Og of Bashan led out his whole army to fight us at Edrei. 2But the LORD told me, " Moses, don't be afraid of King Og. I am going to help you defeat him and his army and take over his land. Destroy him and his people, just as you did with the Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon." 3-6The LORD our God helped us destroy Og and his army and conquer his entire kingdom of Bashan, including the Argob region. His kingdom had lots of villages and sixty towns with high walls and gates that locked with bars. We completely destroyed [o] them all, killing everyone, 7but keeping the livestock and everything else of value. 8Sihon and Og had ruled Amorite kingdoms east of the Jordan River. Their land stretched from the Arnon River gorge in the south to Mount Hermon in the north, and we captured it all. 9Mount Hermon is called Mount Sirion by the people of Sidon, and it is called Mount Senir by the Amorites. 10We captured all the towns in the highlands, all of Gilead, and all of Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, two of the towns that Og had ruled.
Og's Coffin11King Og was the last of the Rephaim, [p] and his coffin [q] is in the town of Rabbah in Ammon. It is made of hard black rock [r] and is thirteen and a half feet long and six feet wide. Moses said to Israel:
The Land East of the Jordan River Is Divided
(Numbers 32.1-42)12-17I gave some of the land and towns we captured to the tribes of Reuben and Gad. Their share started at the Arnon River gorge in the south, took in the town of Aroer on the edge of the gorge, and went far enough north to include the southern half of the Gilead region. The northern part of their land went as far east as the upper Jabbok River gorge, which formed their border with the Ammonites. [s] I also gave them the eastern side of the Jordan River valley, from Lake Galilee [t] south to the Dead Sea [u] below the slopes of Mount Pisgah. I gave the northern half of Gilead and all of the Bashan region to half the tribe of Manasseh. [v] Bashan had belonged to King Og, and the Argob region in Bashan used to be called the Land of the Rephaim. Jair from the Manasseh tribe conquered the Argob region as far west as the kingdoms of Geshur and Maacah. The Israelites even started calling Bashan by the name " Villages of Jair," [w] and that is still its name. I gave the northern half of Gilead to the Machir clan. [x] 18-19At that time I told the men of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh: The LORD our God told me to give you this land with its towns, and that's what I have done. Now your wives and children can stay here with your large flocks of sheep and goats and your large herds of cattle. But all of you men that can serve in our army must cross the Jordan River and help the other tribes, because they are your relatives. 20The LORD will let them defeat the enemy nations on the west side of the Jordan and take their land. Afterwards, you can come back here to the land I gave you.
21-22Then I told Joshua, " You saw how the LORD our God helped us destroy King Sihon and King Og. So don't be afraid! Wherever you go, the LORD will fight on your side and help you destroy your enemies."
God Refused To Let Moses Enter Canaan
Moses said to Israel:23At that time I prayed and begged, 24" Our LORD, it seems that you have just begun to show me your great power. No other god in the sky or on earth is able to do the mighty things that you do. 25The land west of the Jordan is such good land. Please let me cross the Jordan and see the hills and the Lebanon Mountains." 26But the LORD was angry with me because of you people, [y] and he refused to listen. " That's enough!" he said. " I don't want to hear any more. 27Climb to the top of Mount Pisgah and look north, south, east, and west. Take a good look, but you are not going to cross the Jordan River. 28Joshua will lead Israel across the Jordan to take the land, so help him be strong and brave and tell him what he must do." 29After this we stayed in the valley at Beth-Peor.
- Deuteronomy 2:1 hill country of Seir: See the note at 1.44.
- Deuteronomy 2:4 your relatives, the descendants of Esau: Esau was the brother of Jacob, the ancestor of the nation of Israel. Esau's descendants were also known as the nation of Edom.
- Deuteronomy 2:8 We went past. . . Esau: According to Numbers 20.14-21, the king of Edom did not let the Israelites go through his land.
- Deuteronomy 2:9 Ar: One of the main cities of Moab (see Numbers 21.28); sometimes it may have stood for the whole territory of Moab.
- Deuteronomy 2:9 them: The Hebrew text has " the descendants of Lot" ; the nation of Moab descended from Moab, who was the son of Lot, the nephew of Abraham.
- Deuteronomy 2:11 Emim. . . Anakim. . . Rephaim: These may refer to a group or groups of very tall people that lived in or near Palestine before the Israelites (see also Numbers 13.33).
- Deuteronomy 2:12 Edomites: The Hebrew text has " the descendants of Esau," who became the nation of Edom.
- Deuteronomy 2:15 getting rid of: Or " sending diseases on."
- Deuteronomy 2:19 them: The Hebrew text has " descendants of Lot" ; the nation of Ammon descended from Benammi, who was the son of Lot, the nephew of Abraham.
- Deuteronomy 2:21 Anakim: See the note at 2.10,11.
- Deuteronomy 2:22 Edomites: See the note at 2.12.
- Deuteronomy 2:23 Philistines: The Hebrew text has " the Caphtorim from Caphtor," probably referring to the Philistines who originally came from Crete.
- Deuteronomy 2:24 Arnon River gorge: The northern boundary of Moab's territory and the southern boundary of Sihon's kingdom.
- Deuteronomy 2:28 Edomites and Moabites: Hebrew " descendants of Esau, who live in Seir and Moabites who live in Ar."
- Deuteronomy 3:3 completely destroyed: The Hebrew word means that the town was given completely to the LORD, and since it could not be used for normal purposes any more, it had to be destroyed. Every person was killed and sometimes all the animals as well.
- Deuteronomy 3:11 Rephaim: See the note at 2.10,11.
- Deuteronomy 3:11 coffin: Or " bed."
- Deuteronomy 3:11 hard black rock: The Hebrew text has " iron," which probably refers to basalt, a hard black rock.
- Deuteronomy 3:12 The northern part. . . border with the Ammonites: The Jabbok River flowed from south to north, then it turned west and formed the northern border of the land belonging to the Reuben and Gad tribes.
- Deuteronomy 3:12 Lake Galilee: The Hebrew text has " Lake Chinnereth," an earlier name.
- Deuteronomy 3:12 the Dead Sea: Hebrew " the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea."
- Deuteronomy 3:12 half the tribe of Manasseh: Or " East Manasseh."
- Deuteronomy 3:12 Villages of Jair: Or " Havvoth-Jair."
- Deuteronomy 3:12 Machir clan: One of the clans of the Manasseh tribe.
- Deuteronomy 3:26 But the LORD. . . people: See 1.37.
Luke 6:12-38 (Contemporary English Version)
Jesus Chooses His Twelve Apostles
(Matthew 10.1-4; Mark 3.13-19)12About that time Jesus went off to a mountain to pray, and he spent the whole night there. 13The next morning he called his disciples together and chose twelve of them to be his apostles. 14One was Simon, and Jesus named him Peter. Another was Andrew, Peter's brother. There were also James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15Matthew, Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus. The rest of the apostles were Simon, known as the Eager One, [a] 16Jude, who was the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, [b] who later betrayed Jesus.
Jesus Teaches, Preaches, and Heals
(Matthew 4.23-25)17Jesus and his apostles went down from the mountain and came to some flat, level ground. Many other disciples were there to meet him. Large crowds of people from all over Judea, Jerusalem, and the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon were there too. 18These people had come to listen to Jesus and to be healed of their diseases. All who were troubled by evil spirits were also healed. 19Everyone was trying to touch Jesus, because power was going out from him and healing them all.
Blessings and Troubles
(Matthew 5.1-12)20Jesus looked at his disciples and said: God will bless you people
who are poor.
His kingdom belongs to you!
21God will bless
you hungry people.
You will have plenty
God will bless you people
who are crying.
You will laugh!
22God will bless you when others hate you and won't have anything to do with you. God will bless you when people insult you and say cruel things about you, all because you are a follower of the Son of Man. 23Long ago your own people did these same things to the prophets. So when this happens to you, be happy and jump for joy! You will have a great reward in heaven.
24But you rich people
are in for trouble.
You have already had
an easy life!
25You well-fed people
are in for trouble.
You will go hungry!
who are laughing now
are in for trouble.
You are going to cry
26You are in for trouble when everyone says good things about you. That is what your own people said about those prophets who told lies.
Love for Enemies
(Matthew 5.38-48; 7.12a)27This is what I say to all who will listen to me: Love your enemies, and be good to everyone who hates you. 28Ask God to bless anyone who curses you, and pray for everyone who is cruel to you. 29If someone slaps you on one cheek, don't stop that person from slapping you on the other cheek. If someone wants to take your coat, don't try to keep back your shirt. 30Give to everyone who asks and don't ask people to return what they have taken from you. 31Treat others just as you want to be treated.
32If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them. 33If you are kind only to someone who is kind to you, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners are kind to people who are kind to them. 34If you lend money only to someone you think will pay you back, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners lend to sinners because they think they will get it all back.
35But love your enemies and be good to them. Lend without expecting to be paid back. [c] Then you will get a great reward, and you will be the true children of God in heaven. He is good even to people who are unthankful and cruel. 36Have pity on others, just as your Father has pity on you.
(Matthew 7.1-5)37Jesus said: Don't judge others, and God won't judge you. Don't be hard on others, and God won't be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you. 38If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.
- Luke 6:15 known as the Eager One: The word " eager" translates the Greek word " zealot," which was a name later given to the members of a Jewish group that resisted and fought against the Romans.
- Luke 6:16 Iscariot: This may mean " a man from Kerioth" (a place in Judea). But more probably it means " a man who was a liar" or " a man who was a betrayer."
- Luke 6:35 without expecting to be paid back: Some manuscripts have " without giving up on anyone."
Psalm 67:1-7 (Contemporary English Version)
(A psalm and a song for the music leader. Use with stringed instruments.)
Tell the Nations To Praise God1Our God, be kind and bless us! Be pleased and smile.
2Then everyone on earth
will learn to follow you,
and all nations will see
your power to save us.
3Make everyone praise you
and shout your praises.
4Let the nations celebrate
with joyful songs,
because you judge fairly
and guide all nations.
5Make everyone praise you
and shout your praises.
6Our God has blessed the earth
with a wonderful harvest!
7Pray for his blessings
and for everyone on earth
to worship our God.
Proverbs 11:27 (Contemporary English Version)
Thought for the Day
American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician, William James wrote, “The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.”