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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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bible Readings for April 2, 2017

Today our passages are Deuteronomy 21:1–22:30; Luke 9:51–10:12; Psalm 74:1-23; and Proverbs 12:11. The readings are from 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.

Deuteronomy 21-22:30 (Contemporary English Version)

Deuteronomy 21

Unsolved Murder
Moses said to Israel:
 1Suppose the body of a murder victim is found in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you, and no one knows who the murderer is. 2The judges and other leaders from the towns around there must find out what town is the closest to where the body was found. 3The leaders from that town will go to their cattle herds and choose a young cow that has never been put to work. [a] 4-5They and some of the priests will take this cow to a nearby valley where there is a stream, but no crops. Once they reach the valley, the leaders will break the cow's neck. The priests must be there, because the LORD your God has chosen them to be his special servants at the place of worship. The LORD has chosen them to bless the people in his name and to be judges in all legal cases, whether property or injury is involved.     6The town leaders will wash their hands over the body of the dead cow 7and say, " We had no part in this murder, and we don't know who did it. 8-9But since an innocent person was murdered, we beg you, our LORD, to accept this sacrifice and forgive Israel. We are your people, and you rescued us. Please don't hold this crime against us."
   If you obey the LORD and do these things, he will forgive Israel.
Marrying a Woman Taken Prisoner in War
Moses said to Israel:
 10From time to time, you men will serve as soldiers and go off to war. The LORD your God will help you defeat your enemies, and you will take many prisoners. 11-13One of these prisoners may be a beautiful woman, and you may want to marry her. But first you must bring her into your home, and have her shave her head, cut her nails, get rid of her foreign clothes, and start wearing Israelite clothes. She will mourn a month for her father and mother, then you can marry her.     14Later on, if you are not happy with the woman, you can divorce her, and she can go free. But you have slept with her as your wife, so you cannot sell her as a slave or make her into your own slave.
Rights of a First-Born Son
Moses said to Israel:
 15-17Suppose a man has two wives and loves one more than the other. The first son of either wife is the man's first-born son, even if the boy's mother is the wife the man doesn't love. Later, when the man is near death and is dividing up his property, he must give a double share to his first-born son, simply because he was the first to be born.    
A Son Who Rebels
Moses said to Israel:
 18A father and a mother may have a stubborn and rebellious son who refuses to obey them even after he has been punished. 19If a son is like that, his parents must drag him to the town gate, where the leaders of the town hold their meetings. 20The parents will tell the leaders, " This son of ours is stubborn and never obeys. He spends all his time drinking and partying."     21The men of the town will stone that son to death, because they must get rid of the evil he brought into the community. Everyone in Israel will be afraid when they hear how he was punished.
The Body of a Criminal
Moses said to Israel:
 22If a criminal is put to death, and you hang the dead body on a tree, 23you must not let it hang there overnight. Bury it the same day, because the dead body of a criminal will bring God's curse on the land. The LORD your God is giving this land to you, so don't make it unclean by leaving the bodies of executed criminals on display.    

Deuteronomy 22

Helping Others
Moses said to Israel:
 1If you see a cow or sheep wandering around lost, take the animal back to its owner. 2If the owner lives too far away, or if you don't know who the owner is, take the animal home with you and take care of it. The owner will come looking for the animal, and then you can give it back. 3That's what you should do if you find anything that belongs to someone else. Do whatever you can to help, whether you find a cow or sheep or donkey or some clothing.     4Oxen and donkeys that carry heavy loads can stumble and fall, and be unable to get up by themselves. So as you walk along the road, help anyone who is trying to get an ox or donkey back on its feet.
Don't Pretend To Be the Opposite Sex
Moses said to Israel:
 5Women must not pretend to be men, and men must not pretend to be women. [b] The LORD your God is disgusted with people who do that.
Don't Take a Mother Bird
Moses said to Israel:
 6-7As you walk along the road, you might see a bird's nest in a tree or on the ground. If the mother bird is in the nest with either her eggs or her baby birds, you are allowed to take the baby birds or the eggs, but not the mother bird. Let her go free, and the LORD will bless you with a long and successful life.    
Put a Wall around Your Flat Roof
 8If you build a house, make sure to put a low wall around the edge of the flat roof. [c] Then if someone falls off the roof and is killed, it won't be your fault.
Laws against Mixing Different Things
Moses said to Israel:
 9If you plant a vineyard, don't plant any other fruit tree or crop in it. If you do plant something else there, you must bring to the place of worship everything you harvest from the vineyard.     10Don't hitch an ox and a donkey to your plow at the same time.
    11When you weave cloth for clothing, you can use thread made of flax [d] or wool, but not both together. 12And when you make a coat, sew a tassel on each of the four corners.
When a Husband Accuses His Wife
Moses said to Israel:
 13Suppose a man starts hating his wife soon after they are married. 14He might tell ugly lies about her, and say, " I married this woman, but when we slept together, I found out she wasn't a virgin."     15If this happens, the bride's father and mother must go to the town gate to show the town leaders the proof that the woman was a virgin. 16Her father will say, " I let my daughter marry this man, but he started hating her 17and accusing her of not being a virgin. But he is wrong, because here is proof that she was a virgin!" Then the bride's parents will show them the bed sheet from the woman's wedding night.
    18The town leaders will beat the man with a whip 19because he accused his bride of not being a virgin. He will have to pay her father one hundred pieces of silver and will never be allowed to divorce her.
    20But if the man was right and there is no proof that his bride was a virgin, 21the men of the town will take the woman to the door of her father's house and stone her to death.
   This woman brought evil into your community by sleeping with someone before she got married, and you must get rid of that evil by killing her.
Laws about Illegal Sex
Moses said:
 22People of Israel, if a man is caught having sex with someone else's wife, you must put them both to death. That way, you will get rid of the evil they have done in Israel.     23-24If a man is caught in town having sex with an engaged woman who isn't screaming for help, they both must be put to death. The man is guilty of having sex with a married woman. [e] And the woman is guilty because she didn't call for help, even though she was inside a town and people were nearby. Take them both to the town gate and stone them to death. You must get rid of the evil they brought into your community. 25If an engaged woman is raped out in the country, only the man will be put to death. 26Do not punish the woman at all; she has done nothing wrong, and certainly nothing deserving death. This crime is like murder, 27because the woman was alone out in the country when the man attacked her. She screamed, but there was no one to help her.
    28Suppose a woman isn't engaged to be married, and a man talks her into sleeping with him. If they are caught, 29they will be forced to get married. He must give her father fifty pieces of silver as a bride-price and [f] can never divorce her. 30A man must not marry a woman who was married to his father. This would be a disgrace to his father.
  1. Deuteronomy 21:3 young cow. . . work: Cows and oxen pulled plows and wagons.
  2. Deuteronomy 22:5 pretend to be men. . . pretend to be women: Or " wear men's clothing. . . wear women's clothing."
  3. Deuteronomy 22:8 flat roof: Houses usually had flat roofs. In hot dry weather, it was cooler on the roof than in the house, and so roofs were used for sleeping and living quarters, and for entertaining guests.
  4. Deuteronomy 22:11 flax: The stalks of flax plants were harvested, soaked in water, and dried, then their fibers were separated and spun into thread, which was woven into linen cloth.
  5. Deuteronomy 22:23 engaged woman. . . married woman: An engaged woman was legally married, but had not yet slept with her husband or started living with him.
  6. Deuteronomy 22:29 talks her into sleeping with him. . . bride-price and: Or " forces her to have sex. 29 Then if they are caught, he will have to marry her. He must give her father fifty pieces of silver as a bride-price and."

Luke 9:51-10:12 (Contemporary English Version)

A Samaritan Village Refuses To Receive Jesus
 51Not long before it was time for Jesus to be taken up to heaven, he made up his mind to go to Jerusalem. 52He sent some messengers on ahead to a Samaritan village to get things ready for him. 53But he was on his way to Jerusalem, so the people there refused to welcome him. 54When the disciples James and John saw what was happening, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to destroy these people?" [a] 55But Jesus turned and corrected them for what they had said. [b] 56Then they all went on to another village.
Three People Who Wanted To Be Followers
(Matthew 8.19-22)
 57Along the way someone said to Jesus, "I'll go anywhere with you!"     58Jesus said, "Foxes have dens, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man doesn't have a place to call his own."
    59Jesus told someone else to come with him. But the man said, "Lord, let me wait until I bury my father." [c] 60Jesus answered, "Let the dead take care of the dead, while you go and tell about God's kingdom."
    61Then someone said to Jesus, "I want to go with you, Lord, but first let me go back and take care of things at home."
    62Jesus answered, "Anyone who starts plowing and keeps looking back isn't worth a thing to God's kingdom!"

Luke 10

The Work of the Seventy-Two Followers
 1Later the Lord chose seventy-two [d] other followers and sent them out two by two to every town and village where he was about to go. 2He said to them: A large crop is in the fields, but there are only a few workers. Ask the Lord in charge of the harvest to send out workers to bring it in. 3Now go, but remember, I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. 4Don't take along a moneybag or a traveling bag or sandals. And don't waste time greeting people on the road. [e] 5As soon as you enter a home, say, "God bless this home with peace." 6If the people living there are peace-loving, your prayer for peace will bless them. But if they are not peace-loving, your prayer will return to you. 7Stay with the same family, eating and drinking whatever they give you, because workers are worth what they earn. Don't move around from house to house. 8If the people of a town welcome you, eat whatever they offer. 9Heal their sick and say, "God's kingdom will soon be here!" [f] 10But if the people of a town refuse to welcome you, go out into the street and say, 11"We are shaking the dust from our feet [g] as a warning to you. And you can be sure that God's kingdom will soon be here!" [h] 12I tell you that on the day of judgment the people of Sodom will get off easier than the people of that town!
  1. Luke 9:54 to destroy these people: Some manuscripts add " as Elijah did."
  2. Luke 9:55 what they had said: Some manuscripts add, " and said, `Don't you know what spirit you belong to? The Son of Man did not come to destroy people's lives, but to save them.' "
  3. Luke 9:59 bury my father: The Jewish people taught that giving someone a proper burial was even more important than helping the poor.
  4. Luke 10:1 seventy-two: Some manuscripts have " seventy." According to Jewish tradition, there were seventy nations on earth. But the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament has " seventy-two" in place of " seventy." Jesus probably chose this number of followers to show that his message was for everyone in the world.
  5. Luke 10:4 waste time greeting people on the road: In those days a polite greeting could take a long time.
  6. Luke 10:9 will soon be here: Or " is already here."
  7. Luke 10:11 shaking the dust from our feet: This was a way of showing rejection.
  8. Luke 10:11 will soon be here: Or " is already here."

Psalm 74:1-23 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 74

(A special psalm by Asaph.)
A Prayer for the Nation in Times of Trouble
 1Our God, why have you    completely rejected us?
   Why are you so angry
   with the ones you care for?
    2Remember the people
   you rescued long ago,
   the tribe you chose
   to be your very own.
   Think of Mount Zion,
   your home;
    3walk over to the temple
   left in ruins forever
   by those who hate us.
    4Your enemies roared like lions
   in your holy temple,
   and they have placed
   their banners there.
    5It looks like a forest
   chopped to pieces. [a] 6They used axes and hatchets
   to smash the carvings.
    7They burned down your temple
   and badly disgraced it.
    8They said to themselves,
   "We'll crush them!"
   Then they burned every one
   of your meeting places
   all over the country.
    9There are no more miracles
   and no more prophets.
   Who knows how long
   it will be like this?
    10Our God, how much longer
   will our enemies sneer?
   Won't they ever stop
   insulting you?
    11Why don't you punish them?
   Why are you holding back?
    12Our God and King,
   you have ruled
   since ancient times;
   you have won victories
   everywhere on this earth.
    13By your power you made a path
   through the sea,
   and you smashed the heads
   of sea monsters.
    14You crushed the heads
   of the monster Leviathan, [b] then fed him to wild creatures
   in the desert.
    15You opened the ground
   for streams and springs
   and dried up mighty rivers.
    16You rule the day and the night,
   and you put the moon
   and the sun in place.
    17You made summer and winter
   and gave them to the earth. [c] 18Remember your enemies, LORD!
   They foolishly sneer
   and won't respect you.
    19You treat us like pet doves,
   but they mistreat us.
   Don't keep forgetting us
   and letting us be fed
   to those wild animals.
    20Remember the agreement
   you made with us.
   Violent enemies are hiding
   in every dark corner
   of the earth.
    21Don't disappoint those in need
   or make them turn from you,
   but help the poor and homeless
   to shout your praises.
    22Do something, God!
   Defend yourself.
   Remember how those fools
   sneer at you all day long.
    23Don't forget the loud shouts
   of your enemies.
  1. Psalm 74:5 pieces: One meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 5.
  2. Psalm 74:14 Leviathan: God's victory over this monster sometimes stands for his power over all creation and sometimes for his defeat of Egypt.
  3. Psalm 74:17 gave. . . earth: Or " made boundaries for the earth."

Proverbs 12:11 (Contemporary English Version)

11Hard working farmers have more
   than enough food;
   daydreamers are nothing more
   than stupid fools.

Verse of the Day

“[Jesus Again Tells about His Death][(Mark 10.32-34; Luke 18.31-34)]As Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he took his twelve disciples aside and told them in private: We are now on our way to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses. They will sentence him to death, and then they will hand him over to foreigners who will make fun of him. They will beat him and nail him to a cross. But on the third day he will rise from death.” - Matthew 20: 17-19
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Casanova ritratto.jpg
Thought for the Day

Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice, Giacomo Casanova wrote, “The man who forgets does not forgive, he only loses the remembrance of the harm inflicted on him; forgiveness is the offspring of a feeling of heroism, of a noble heart, of a generous mind, whilst forgetfulness is only the result of a weak memory, or of an easy carelessness, and still oftener of a natural desire for calm and quietness. Hatred, in the course of time, kills the unhappy wretch who delights in nursing it in his bosom.”

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