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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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bible Readings for April 25, 2017

Today our passages are Judges 4:1–5:31; Luke 22:35-53; Psalm 94:1-23; and Proverbs 14:3-4. 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.

Judges 4-5:31 (Contemporary English Version)

Judges 4

Deborah and Barak
 1After the death of Ehud, the Israelites again started disobeying the LORD.     2So the LORD let the Canaanite King Jabin of Hazor conquer Israel. Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, lived in Harosheth-Ha-Goiim.
    3Jabin's army had nine hundred iron chariots, and for twenty years he made life miserable for the Israelites, until finally they begged the LORD for help.
    4Deborah the wife of Lappidoth was a prophet and a leader a<="" value="[a]" >[] of Israel during those days.
    5She would sit under Deborah's Palm Tree between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, where Israelites would come and ask her to settle their legal cases.
    6One day, Barak the son of Abinoam was in Kedesh in Naphtali, and Deborah sent word for him to come and talk with her. When he arrived, she said:
   I have a message for you from the LORD God of Israel! You are to get together an army of ten thousand men from the Naphtali and Zebulun tribes and lead them to Mount Tabor.
    7The LORD will trick Sisera into coming out to fight you at the Kishon River. Sisera will be leading King Jabin's army as usual, and they will have their chariots, but the LORD has promised to help you defeat them.
    8" I'm not going unless you go!" Barak told her.
    9" All right, I'll go!" she replied. " But I'm warning you that the LORD is going to let a woman defeat Sisera, and no one will honor you for winning the battle."
   Deborah and Barak left for Kedesh,
    10where Barak called together the troops from Zebulun and Naphtali. Ten thousand soldiers gathered there, and Barak led them out from Kedesh. Deborah went too.
    11At this time, Heber of the Kenite clan was living near the village of Oak in Zaanannim, [b<="">] not far from Kedesh. The Kenites were descendants of Hobab, the father-in-law of Moses, but Heber had moved and had set up his tents away from the rest of the clan.
    12When Sisera learned that Barak had led an army to Mount Tabor,
    13he called his troops together and got all nine hundred iron chariots ready. Then he led his army away from Harosheth-Ha-Goiim to the Kishon River.
    14Deborah shouted, " Barak, it's time to attack Sisera! Because today the LORD is going to help you defeat him. In fact, the LORD has already gone on ahead to fight for you."
   Barak led his ten thousand troops down from Mount Tabor.
    15And during the battle, the LORD confused Sisera, his chariot drivers, and his whole army. Everyone was so afraid of Barak and his army, that even Sisera jumped down from his chariot and tried to escape.
    16Barak's forces went after Sisera's chariots and army as far as Harosheth-Ha-Goiim.
   Sisera's entire army was wiped out.
    17Only Sisera escaped. He ran to Heber's camp, because Heber and his family had a peace treaty with the king of Hazor. Sisera went to the tent that belonged to Jael, Heber's wife.
    18She came out to greet him and said, " Come in, sir! Please come on in. Don't be afraid."
   After they had gone inside, Sisera lay down, and Jael covered him with a blanket.
    19" Could I have a little water?" he asked. " I'm thirsty."
   Jael opened a leather bottle and poured him some milk, then she covered him back up.
    20" Stand at the entrance to the tent," Sisera told her. " If someone comes by and asks if anyone is inside, tell them `No.' "
    21Sisera was exhausted and soon fell fast asleep. Jael took a hammer and drove a tent-peg through his head into the ground, and he died.
    22Meanwhile, Barak had been following Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. " The man you're looking for is inside," she said. " Come in and I'll show him to you."
   They went inside, and there was Sisera--dead and stretched out with a tent-peg through his skull.
    23That same day the Israelites defeated the Canaanite King Jabin, and his army was no longer powerful enough to attack the Israelites.
    24Jabin grew weaker while the Israelites kept growing stronger, and at last the Israelites destroyed him.

Judges 5

Deborah and Barak Sing for the LORD
 1After the battle was over that day, Deborah and Barak sang this song:     2We praise you, LORD!
   Our soldiers volunteered,
   ready to follow you.
    3Listen, kings and rulers,
   while I sing for the LORD,
   the God of Israel.
    4Our LORD, God of Israel,
   when you came from Seir,
   where the Edomites live,
    5rain poured from the sky,
   the earth trembled,
   and mountains shook.
    6In the time of Shamgar
   son of Anath,
   and now again in Jael's time,
   roads were too dangerous
   for caravans.
   Travelers had to take
   the back roads,
    7and villagers couldn't work
   in their fields. [c<="">] Then Deborah [d<="">] took command, protecting Israel
   as a mother
   protects her children.
    8The Israelites worshiped
   other gods,
   and the gates of their towns
   were then attacked. [e<="">] But they had no shields
   or spears to fight with.
    9I praise you, LORD,
   and I am grateful
   for those leaders and soldiers
   who volunteered.
    10Listen, everyone!
   Whether you ride a donkey
   with a padded saddle
   or have to walk.
    11Even those who carry water [f<="">] to the animals will tell you,
   " The LORD has won victories,
   and so has Israel."
   Then the LORD's people marched
   down to the town gates
    12and said, " Deborah, let's go!
   Let's sing as we march.
   Barak, capture our enemies."
    13The LORD's people who were left
   joined with their leaders
   and fought at my side. [g<="">]
    14Troops came from Ephraim,
   where Amalekites once lived.
   Others came from Benjamin;
   officers and leaders
   from Machir and Zebulun.
    15The rulers of Issachar
   came along with Deborah,
   and Issachar followed Barak
   into the valley.
   But the tribe of Reuben
   was no help at all! [h<="">]
    16Reuben, why did you stay
   among your sheep pens? [i<="">] Was it to listen to shepherds
   whistling for their sheep?
   No one could figure out
   why Reuben wouldn't come. [j<="">]
    17The people of Gilead stayed
   across the Jordan.
   Why did the tribe of Dan
   remain on their ships
   and the tribe of Asher
   stay along the coast
   near the harbors?
    18But soldiers of Zebulun
   and Naphtali
   risked their lives
   to attack the enemy. [k<="">]
    19Canaanite kings fought us
   at Taanach by the stream
   near Megiddo [l<="">] -- but they couldn't rob us
   of our silver. [m<="">]
    20From their pathways in the sky
   the stars [n<="">] fought Sisera,
    21and his soldiers were swept away
   by the ancient Kishon River.
   I will march on and be brave.
    22Sisera's horses galloped off,
   their hoofs thundering
   in retreat.
    23The LORD's angel said,
   " Put a curse on Meroz Town!
   Its people refused
   to help the LORD fight
   his powerful enemies."
    24But honor Jael,
   the wife of Heber
   from the Kenite clan.
   Give more honor to her
   than to any other woman
   who lives in tents.
   Yes, give more honor to her
   than to any other woman.
    25Sisera asked for water,
   but Jael gave him milk--
   cream in a fancy cup.
    26She reached for a tent-peg
   and held a hammer
   in her right hand.
   And with a blow to the head,
   she crushed his skull.
    27Sisera sank to his knees
   and fell dead at her feet.
    28Sisera's mother looked out
   through her window.
   " Why is he taking so long?"
   she asked.
   " Why haven't we heard
   his chariots coming?"
    29She and her wisest women
   gave the same answer:
    30" Sisera and his troops
   are finding treasures
   to bring back--
   a woman, or maybe two,
   for each man,
   and beautiful dresses
   for those women to wear." [o<="">]
    31Our LORD, we pray
   that all your enemies
   will die like Sisera.
   But let everyone who loves you
   shine brightly
   like the sun
   at dawn.
   There was peace in Israel for about forty years.
  1. Judges 4:4 leader: See 2.16 and the note there.
  2. Judges 4:11 the village. . . Zaanannim: Or " the oak tree in the town of Zaanannim."
  3. Judges 5:7 villagers. . . fields: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. Judges 5:7 Deborah: Or " I, Deborah."
  5. Judges 5:8 The Israelites. . . attacked: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. Judges 5:11 Even. . . water: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. Judges 5:13 side: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.
  8. Judges 5:15 But. . . at all: Or " But the people of Reuben couldn't make up their minds."
  9. Judges 5:16 sheep pens: Or " campfires."
  10. Judges 5:16 No. . . come: Or " The people of Reuben couldn't make up their minds."
  11. Judges 5:18 to attack the enemy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  12. Judges 5:19 stream near Megiddo: Probably refers to one of the streams that flow into the Kishon River.
  13. Judges 5:19 rob us of our silver: The army that won a battle would take everything of value from the dead enemy soldiers.
  14. Judges 5:20 stars: In ancient times, the stars were sometimes regarded as supernatural beings.
  15. Judges 5:30 and beautiful. . . wear: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Luke 22:35-53 (Contemporary English Version)

Moneybags, Traveling Bags, and Swords
 35Jesus asked his disciples, "When I sent you out without a moneybag or a traveling bag or sandals, did you need anything?"    "No!" they answered.
    36Jesus told them, "But now, if you have a moneybag, take it with you. Also take a traveling bag, and if you don't have a sword, a<="" value="[a]" >[] sell some of your clothes and buy one. 37Do this because the Scriptures say, `He was considered a criminal.' This was written about me, and it will soon come true." 38The disciples said, "Lord, here are two swords!"
   "Enough of that!" Jesus replied.
Jesus Prays
(Matthew 26.36-46; Mark 14.32-42)
 39Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives, as he often did, and his disciples went with him. 40When they got there, he told them, "Pray that you won't be tested."     41Jesus walked on a little way before he knelt down and prayed, 42"Father, if you will, please don't make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. [b<="">] But do what you want, and not what I want." 43Then an angel from heaven came to help him. 44Jesus was in great pain and prayed so sincerely that his sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood. [c<="">] 45Jesus got up from praying and went over to his disciples. They were asleep and worn out from being so sad. 46He said to them, "Why are you asleep? Wake up and pray that you won't be tested."
Jesus Is Arrested
(Matthew 26.47-56; Mark 14.43-50; John 18.3-11)
 47While Jesus was still speaking, a crowd came up. It was led by Judas, one of the twelve apostles. He went over to Jesus and greeted him with a kiss. [d<="">] 48Jesus asked Judas, "Are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"     49When Jesus' disciples saw what was about to happen, they asked, "Lord, should we attack them with a sword?" 50One of the disciples even struck at the high priest's servant with his sword and cut off the servant's right ear.
    51"Enough of that!" Jesus said. Then he touched the servant's ear and healed it.
    52Jesus spoke to the chief priests, the temple police, and the leaders who had come to arrest him. He said, "Why do you come out with swords and clubs and treat me like a criminal? 53I was with you every day in the temple, and you didn't arrest me. But this is your time, and darkness [e<="">] is in control."
  1. Luke 22:36 moneybag. . . traveling bag. . . sword: These were things that someone would take on a dangerous journey. Jesus was telling his disciples to be ready for anything that might happen. They seem to have understood what he meant (see 22.49-51).
  2. Luke 22:42 having me drink from this cup: In the Scriptures " to drink from a cup" sometimes means to suffer.
  3. Luke 22:44 Then an angel. . . like drops of blood: Verses 43,44 are not in some manuscripts.
  4. Luke 22:47 greeted him with a kiss: It was the custom for people to greet each other with a kiss on the cheek.
  5. Luke 22:53 darkness: Darkness stands for the power of the devil.

Psalm 94:1-23 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 94

The LORD Punishes the Guilty
 1LORD God, you punish    the guilty.
   Show what you are like
   and punish them now.
    2You judge the earth.
   Come and help us!
   Pay back those proud people
   for what they have done.
    3How long will the wicked
   celebrate and be glad?
    4All of those cruel people
   strut and boast,
    5and they crush and wound
   your chosen nation, LORD.
    6They murder widows,
   foreigners, and orphans.
    7Then they say,
   "The LORD God of Jacob
   doesn't see or know."
    8Can't you fools see?
   Won't you ever learn?
    9God gave us ears and eyes!
   Can't he hear and see?
    10God instructs the nations
   and gives knowledge to us all.
   Won't he also correct us?
    11The LORD knows how useless
   our plans really are.
    12Our LORD, you bless everyone
   that you instruct and teach
   by using your Law.
    13You give them rest
   from their troubles,
   until a pit can be dug
   for the wicked.
    14You won't turn your back
   on your chosen nation.
    15Justice and fairness
   will go hand in hand,
   and all who do right
   will follow along.
    16Who will stand up for me
   against those cruel people?
    17If you had not helped me, LORD,
   I would soon have gone
   to the land of silence. a<="" value="[a]" >[] 18When I felt my feet slipping,
   you came with your love
   and kept me steady.
    19And when I was burdened
   with worries,
   you comforted me
   and made me feel secure.
    20But you are opposed
   to dishonest lawmakers
    21who gang up to murder
   innocent victims.
    22You, LORD God, are my fortress,
   that mighty rock [b<="">] where I am safe.
    23You will pay back my enemies,
   and you will wipe them out
   for the evil they did.
  1. Psalm 94:17 land of silence: The grave or the world of the dead.
  2. Psalm 94:22 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.

Proverbs 14:3-4 (Contemporary English Version)

3Proud fools are punished
   for their stupid talk,
   but sensible talk
   can save your life.
    4Without the help of an ox
   there can be no crop,
   but with a strong ox
   a big crop is possible.

Verse of the Day

“God did this because he wanted you Gentiles to understand his wonderful and glorious mystery. And the mystery is that Christ lives in you, and he is your hope of sharing in God's glory. We announce the message about Christ, and we use all our wisdom to warn and teach everyone, so that all of Christ's followers will grow and become mature.” - Colossians 1:27-28
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for H. L. Mencken
Thought for the Day

American journalist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of American English, H. L. Mencken wrote, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

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