Today our passages are Deuteronomy 7:1–8:20; Luke 7:36–8:3; Psalm 69:1-18; and Proverbs 12:1. The readings are the Contemporary English Version. If you missed a day, you can find all the readings at our blog, The Bible in a Year. 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 7-8:20 (Contemporary English Version)
Force the Other Nations Out of the Land
(Exodus 34.11-16)1People of Israel, the LORD your God will help you take the land of the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. These seven nations have more people and are stronger than Israel, but when you attack them, 2the LORD will force them out of the land. Then you must destroy them without mercy. Don't make any peace treaties with them, 3and don't let your sons and daughters marry any of them. 4If you do, those people will lead your descendants to worship other gods and to turn their backs on the LORD. That will make him very angry, and he will quickly destroy Israel.
5So when you conquer these nations, tear down the altars where they worship their gods. Break up their sacred stones, cut down the poles that they use in worshiping the goddess Asherah, and throw their idols in the fire.
The LORD's Chosen People
Moses said:6Israel, you are the chosen people of the LORD your God. There are many nations on this earth, but he chose only Israel to be his very own. 7You were the weakest of all nations, 8but the LORD chose you because he loves you and because he had made a promise to your ancestors. Then with his mighty arm, he rescued you from the king of Egypt, who had made you his slaves.
9You know that the LORD your God is the only true God. So love him and obey his commands, and he will faithfully keep his agreement with you and your descendants for a thousand generations. 10But if you turn against the LORD, he will quickly destroy you. 11So be sure to obey his laws and teachings I am giving you today.
Moses said to Israel:
The LORD Will Bless You if You Obey
(Deuteronomy 28.1-14; Leviticus 26.3-13)12If you completely obey these laws, the LORD your God will be loyal and keep the agreement he made with you, just as he promised our ancestors. 13The LORD will love you and bless you by giving you many children and plenty of food, wine, and olive oil. Your herds of cattle will have many calves, and your flocks of sheep will have many lambs. 14God will bless you more than any other nation--your families will grow and your livestock increase. 15You will no longer suffer with the same horrible diseases that you sometimes had in Egypt. You will be healthy, but the LORD will make your enemies suffer from those diseases.
Destroy the Nations and Their Gods
Moses said to Israel:16When the LORD helps you defeat your enemies, you must destroy them without pity! And don't get trapped into worshiping their gods.
17You may be thinking, " How can we destroy these nations? They are more powerful than we are." 18But stop worrying! Just remember what the LORD your God did to Egypt and its king. 19You saw how the LORD used his tremendous power to work great miracles and bring you out of Egypt. And he will again work miracles for you when you face these enemies you fear so much. 20Some of them may try to survive by hiding from you, but the LORD will make them panic, and soon they will be dead. a] 21So don't be frightened when you meet them in battle. The LORD your God is great and fearsome, and he will fight at your side. 22As you attack these nations, the LORD will force them out little by little. He won't let you get rid of them all at once--if he did, there wouldn't be enough people living in the land to keep down the number of wild animals. 23-24But when you attack your enemies, the LORD will make them panic, and you will easily destroy them. You will defeat them one after another until they are gone, and no one will remember they ever lived.
25After you conquer a nation, burn their idols. Don't get trapped into wanting the silver or gold on an idol. Even the metal on an idol is disgusting to the LORD, 26so destroy it. If you bring it home with you, both you and your house will be destroyed. Stay away from those disgusting idols!
The LORD Takes Care of You
Moses said:1Israel, do you want to go into the land the LORD promised your ancestors? Do you want to capture it, live there, and become a powerful nation? Then be sure to obey every command I am giving you.
2Don't forget how the LORD your God has led you through the desert for the past forty years. He wanted to find out if you were truly willing to obey him and depend on him, 3so he made you go hungry. Then he gave you manna, b] a kind of food that you and your ancestors had never even heard about. The LORD was teaching you that people need more than food to live--they need every word that the LORD has spoken. 4Over the past forty years, your clothing hasn't worn out, and your feet haven't swollen. 5So keep in mind that the LORD has been correcting you, just as parents correct their children. 6Obey the commands the LORD your God has given you and worship him with fear and trembling.
7The LORD your God is bringing you into a good land with streams that flow from springs in the valleys and hills. 8-9You can dig for copper in those hills, and the stones are made of iron ore. And you won't go hungry. Wheat and barley fields are everywhere, and so are vineyards and orchards full of fig, pomegranate, c] and olive trees, and there is plenty of honey.
Don't Forget the LORD
Moses said to Israel:10After you eat and are full, give praise to the LORD your God for the good land he gave you. 11Make sure that you never forget the LORD or disobey his laws and teachings that I am giving you today. If you always obey them, 12you will have plenty to eat, and you will build good houses to live in. 13You will get more and more cattle, sheep, silver, gold, and other possessions.
14But when all this happens, don't be proud! Don't forget that you were once slaves in Egypt and that it was the LORD who set you free. 15Remember how he led you in that huge and frightening desert where poisonous snakes and scorpions live. There was no water, but the LORD split open a rock, and water poured out so you could drink. 16He also gave you manna, d] a kind of food your ancestors had never even heard about. The LORD was testing you to make you trust him, so that later on he could be good to you. 17When you become successful, don't say, " I'm rich, and I've earned it all myself." 18Instead, remember that the LORD your God gives you the strength to make a living. That's how he keeps the promise he made to your ancestors.
19-20But I'm warning you--if you forget the LORD your God and worship other gods, the LORD will destroy you, just as he destroyed the nations you fought.
Luke 7:36-8:3 (Contemporary English Version)
Simon the Pharisee36A Pharisee invited Jesus to have dinner with him. So Jesus went to the Pharisee's home and got ready to eat. a] 37When a sinful woman in that town found out that Jesus was there, she bought an expensive bottle of perfume. 38Then she came and stood behind Jesus. She cried and started washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. The woman kissed his feet and poured the perfume on them.
39The Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this and said to himself, "If this man really were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him! He would know that she is a sinner."
40Jesus said to the Pharisee, "Simon, I have something to say to you."
"Teacher, what is it?" Simon replied.
41Jesus told him, "Two people were in debt to a moneylender. One of them owed him five hundred silver coins, and the other owed him fifty. 42Since neither of them could pay him back, the moneylender said that they didn't have to pay him anything. Which one of them will like him more?"
43Simon answered, "I suppose it would be the one who had owed more and didn't have to pay it back."
"You are right," Jesus said.
44He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Have you noticed this woman? When I came into your home, you didn't give me any water so I could wash my feet. But she has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45You didn't greet me with a kiss, but from the time I came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You didn't even pour olive oil on my head, b] but she has poured expensive perfume on my feet. 47So I tell you that all her sins are forgiven, and that is why she has shown great love. But anyone who has been forgiven for only a little will show only a little love." 48Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your sins are forgiven."
49Some other guests started saying to one another, "Who is this who dares to forgive sins?"
50But Jesus told the woman, "Because of your faith, you are now saved. c] May God give you peace!"
Women Who Helped Jesus1Soon after this, Jesus was going through towns and villages, telling the good news about God's kingdom. His twelve apostles were with him, 2and so were some women who had been healed of evil spirits and all sorts of diseases. One of the women was Mary Magdalene, d] who once had seven demons in her. 3Joanna, Susanna, and many others had also used what they owned to help Jesus e] and his disciples. Joanna's husband Chuza was one of Herod's officials. f]
- Luke 7:36 got ready to eat: On special occasions the Jewish people often followed the Greek and Roman custom of lying down on their left side and leaning on their left elbow, while eating with their right hand. This is how the woman could come up behind Jesus and wash his feet (see verse 38).
- Luke 7:46 washed my feet. . . greet me with a kiss. . . pour olive oil on my head: Guests in a home were usually offered water so they could wash their feet, because most people either went barefoot or wore sandals and would come in the house with very dusty feet. Guests were also greeted with a kiss on the cheek, and special ones often had sweet-smelling olive oil poured on their head.
- Luke 7:50 saved: Or " healed." The Greek word may have either meaning.
- Luke 8:2 Magdalene: Meaning " from Magdala," a small town on the western shore of Lake Galilee. There is no hint that she is the sinful woman in 7.36-50.
- Luke 8:3 used what they owned to help Jesus: Women often helped Jewish teachers by giving them money.
- Luke 8:3 Herod's officials: Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great.
Psalm 69:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)
(By David for the music leader. To the tune "Lilies.")
God Can Be Trusted1Save me, God!
I am about to drown.
2I am sinking deep in the mud,
and my feet are slipping.
I am about to be swept under
by a mighty flood.
3I am worn out from crying,
and my throat is dry.
I have waited for you
till my eyes are blurred.
4There are more people
who hate me for no reason
than there are hairs
on my head.
Many terrible enemies
want to destroy me, God.
Am I supposed to give back
something I didn't steal?
5You know my foolish sins.
Not one is hidden from you.
6LORD God All-Powerful,
ruler of Israel,
don't let me embarrass anyone
who trusts and worships you.
7It is for your sake alone
that I am insulted
and blush with shame.
8I am like a stranger
to my relatives
and like a foreigner
to my own family.
9My love for your house
burns in me like a fire,
and when others insulted you,
they insulted me as well.
10I cried and went without food, a] but they still insulted me.
11They sneered at me
for wearing sackcloth b] to show my sorrow.
12Rulers and judges gossip
and drunkards make up songs
to mock me.
13But I pray to you, LORD.
So when the time is right,
and help me
with your wonderful love.
14Don't let me sink in the mud,
but save me from my enemies
and from the deep water.
15Don't let me be
swept away by a flood
or drowned in the ocean
or swallowed by death.
16Answer me, LORD!
You are kind and good.
Pay attention to me!
You are truly merciful.
17Don't turn away from me.
I am your servant,
and I am in trouble.
Please hurry and help!
18Come and save me
from my enemies.
Proverbs 12:1 (Contemporary English Version)
Thought for the Day
African American comedian and actor, Flip Wilson wrote, “You can't expect to hit the jackpot if you don't put a few nickels in the machine.”