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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Friday, April 28, 2017

Bible Readings for April 28, 2017

Today our passages are Judges 8:18–9:21; Luke 23:44–24:12; Psalm 99:1-9; and Proverbs 14:9-10. The readings are from 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.

Judges 8:18-9:21 (Contemporary English Version)

18Then Gideon said, " Zebah and Zalmunna, tell me about the men you killed at Tabor."
   " They were a lot like you," the two kings answered. " They were dignified, almost like royalty."
    19" They were my very own brothers!" Gideon said. " I swear by the living LORD that if you had let them live, I would let you live."
    20Gideon turned to Jether, his oldest son. " Kill them!" Gideon said.
   But Jether was young, [a] and he was too afraid to even pull out his sword.
    21" What's the matter, Gideon?" Zebah and Zalmunna asked. " Do it yourself, if you're not too much of a coward!"
   Gideon jumped up and killed them both. Then he took the fancy gold ornaments from the necks of their camels.
The Israelites Ask Gideon To Be Their King
 22After the battle with the Midianites, the Israelites said, " Gideon, you rescued us! Now we want you to be our king. Then after your death, your son and then your grandson will rule."     23" No," Gideon replied, " I won't be your king, and my son won't be king either. Only the LORD is your ruler.
    24But I will ask you to do one thing: Give me all the earrings you took from the enemy."
   The enemy soldiers had been Ishmaelites, [b] and they wore gold earrings.
    25The Israelite soldiers replied, " Of course we will give you the earrings." Then they spread out a robe on the ground and tossed the earrings on it.
    26The total weight of this gold was over forty pounds. In addition, there was the gold from the camels' ornaments and from the beautiful jewelry worn by the Midianite kings. Gideon also took their purple robes.
    27-29Gideon returned to his home in Ophrah and had the gold made into a statue, which the Israelites soon started worshiping. They became unfaithful to God, and even Gideon and his family were trapped into worshiping the statue. [c] The Midianites had been defeated so badly that they were no longer strong enough to attack Israel. And so Israel was at peace for the remaining forty years of Gideon's life.
Gideon Dies
 30Gideon had many wives and seventy sons.     31He even had a wife [d] who lived at Shechem. [e] They had a son, and Gideon named him Abimelech.
    32Gideon lived to be an old man. And when he died, he was buried in the family tomb in his hometown of Ophrah, which belonged to the Abiezer clan.
    33Soon after Gideon's death, the Israelites turned their backs on God again. They set up idols of Baal and worshiped Baal Berith [f] as their god.
    34The Israelites forgot that the LORD was their God, and that he had rescued them from the enemies who lived around them.
    35Besides all that, the Israelites were unkind to Gideon's family, even though Gideon had done so much for Israel.

Judges 9

Abimelech Tries To Be King
 1Abimelech the son of Gideon [g] went to Shechem. While there, he met with his mother's relatives     2and told them to say to the leaders of Shechem, " Do you think it would be good to have all seventy of Gideon's sons ruling us? Wouldn't you rather have just one man be king? Abimelech would make a good king, and he's related to us."
    3Abimelech's uncles talked it over with the leaders of Shechem who agreed, " Yes, it would be better for one of our relatives to be king."
    4Then they gave Abimelech seventy pieces [h] of silver from the temple of their god Baal Berith. [i] Abimelech used the silver to hire a gang of rough soldiers who would do anything for money.
    5Abimelech and his soldiers went to his father's home in Ophrah and brought out Gideon's other sons to a large rock, where they murdered all seventy. Gideon's youngest son Jotham hid from the soldiers, but he was the only one who escaped.
    6The leaders of Shechem, including the priests and the military officers, [j] met at the tree next to the sacred rock [k] in Shechem to crown Abimelech king.
    7Jotham heard what they were doing. So he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted down to the people who were there at the meeting: Leaders of Shechem,
   listen to me,
   and maybe God
   will listen to you.
    8Once the trees searched
   for someone to be king;
   they asked the olive tree,
   " Will you be our king?"
    9But the olive tree replied,
   " My oil brings honor
   to people and gods.
   I won't stop making oil,
   just to have my branches wave
   above the other trees."
    10Then they asked the fig tree,
   " Will you be our king?"
    11But the fig tree replied,
   " I won't stop growing
   my delicious fruit,
   just to have my branches wave
   above the other trees."
    12Next they asked the grape vine,
   " Will you be our king?"
    13But the grape vine replied,
   " My wine brings cheer
   to people and gods.
   I won't stop making wine,
   just to have my branches wave
   above the other trees."
    14Finally, they went
   to the thornbush and asked,
   " Will you be our king?"
    15The thornbush replied,
   " If you really want me
   to be your king,
   then come into my shade
   and I will protect you.
   But if you're deceiving me,
   I'll start a fire
   that will spread out and destroy
   the cedars of Lebanon." [l] After Jotham had finished telling this story, he said:
    16-18My father Gideon risked his life for you when he fought to rescue you from the Midianites. Did you reward Gideon by being kind to his family? No, you did not! You attacked his family and killed all seventy of his sons on that rock.
   And was it right to make Abimelech your king? He's merely the son of my father's slave girl. [m] But just because he's your relative, you made him king of Shechem.
    19So, you leaders of Shechem, if you treated Gideon and his family the way you should have, then I hope you and Abimelech will make each other very happy.
    20But if it was wrong to treat Gideon and his family the way you did, then I pray that Abimelech will destroy you with fire, and I pray that you will do the same to him.
    21Jotham ran off and went to live in the town of Beer, where he could be safe from his brother Abimelech.
  1. Judges 8:20 young: Gideon wanted to insult the kings by having a young boy kill them.
  2. Judges 8:24 Ishmaelites: According to Genesis 25.1,2,12, both Ishmaelites and Midianites were descendants of Abraham. It is possible that in this passage " Ishmaelites" has the meaning " nomadic traders," while " Midianites" (verses 22,26-29) refers to their ethnic origin.
  3. Judges 8:27 statue. . . statue: Or " sacred priestly vest. . . vest."
  4. Judges 8:31 wife: This translates a Hebrew word for a woman who was legally bound to a man, but without the full privileges of a wife.
  5. Judges 8:31 who lived at Shechem: Sometimes marriages were arranged so that the wife lived with her parents, and the husband visited her from time to time.
  6. Judges 8:33 Baal Berith: Or " Baal of the Agreement" or " the Lord of the Agreement."
  7. Judges 9:1 Gideon: The Hebrew text has " Jerubbaal," another name for Gideon (see 6.32).
  8. Judges 9:4 seventy pieces: About 28 ounces.
  9. Judges 9:4 Baal Berith: See the note at 8.33.
  10. Judges 9:6 including the priests and the military officers: The Hebrew text has " and the Millo house," another name for the temple of Baal Berith. It probably also served as a military fortress.
  11. Judges 9:6 tree. . . rock: One ancient translation; Hebrew " propped-up sacred tree."
  12. Judges 9:15 cedars of Lebanon: The cedars that grew in the Lebanon mountains were some of the largest trees in that part of the world.
  13. Judges 9:16 son of. . . slave girl: See 8.31.

Luke 23:44-24:12 (Contemporary English Version)

The Death of Jesus
(Matthew 27.45-56; Mark 15.33-41; John 19.28-30)
 44Around noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until the middle of the afternoon. 45The sun stopped shining, and the curtain in the temple [a] split down the middle. 46Jesus shouted, "Father, I put myself in your hands!" Then he died. 47When the Roman officer saw what had happened, he praised God and said, "Jesus must really have been a good man!"     48A crowd had gathered to see the terrible sight. Then after they had seen it, they felt brokenhearted and went home. 49All of Jesus' close friends and the women who had come with him from Galilee stood at a distance and watched.
Jesus Is Buried
(Matthew 27.57-61; Mark 15.42-47; John 19.38-42)
 50-51There was a man named Joseph, who was from Arimathea in Judea. Joseph was a good and honest man, and he was eager for God's kingdom to come. He was also a member of the council, but he did not agree with what they had decided.     52Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. 53He took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in fine cloth. Then he put it in a tomb that had been cut out of solid rock and had never been used. 54It was Friday, and the Sabbath was about to begin. [b] 55The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and watched how Jesus' body was placed in the tomb. 56Then they went to prepare some sweet-smelling spices for his burial. But on the Sabbath they rested, as the Law of Moses commands.

Luke 24

Jesus Is Alive
(Matthew 28.1-10; Mark 16.1-8; John 20.1-10)
 1Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices that they had prepared. 2When they found the stone rolled away from the entrance, 3they went in. But they did not find the body of the Lord [c] Jesus, 4and they did not know what to think. Suddenly two men in shining white clothes stood beside them. 5The women were afraid and bowed to the ground. But the men said, "Why are you looking in the place of the dead for someone who is alive? 6Jesus isn't here! He has been raised from death. Remember that while he was still in Galilee, he told you, 7'The Son of Man will be handed over to sinners who will nail him to a cross. But three days later he will rise to life.' " 8Then they remembered what Jesus had said.     9-10Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and some other women were the ones who had gone to the tomb. When they returned, they told the eleven apostles and the others what had happened. 11The apostles thought it was all nonsense, and they would not believe.
    12But Peter ran to the tomb. And when he stooped down and looked in, he saw only the burial clothes. Then he returned, wondering what had happened. [d]
  1. Luke 23:45 curtain in the temple: There were two curtains in the temple. One was at the entrance, and the other separated the holy place from the most holy place that the Jewish people thought of as God's home on earth. The second curtain is probably the one which is meant.
  2. Luke 23:54 the Sabbath was about to begin: The Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday.
  3. Luke 24:3 the Lord: These words are not in some manuscripts.
  4. Luke 24:12 what had happened: Verse 12 is not in some manuscripts.

Psalm 99:1-9 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 99

Our LORD Is King
 1Our LORD, you are King!    You rule from your throne
   above the winged creatures, [a] as people tremble
   and the earth shakes.
    2You are praised in Zion,
   and you control all nations.
    3Only you are God!
   And your power alone,
   so great and fearsome,
   is worthy of praise.
    4You are our mighty King, [b] a lover of fairness,
   who sees that justice is done
   everywhere in Israel.
    5Our LORD and our God,
   we praise you
   and kneel down to worship you,
   the God of holiness!
    6Moses and Aaron were two
   of your priests.
   Samuel was also one of those
   who prayed in your name,
   and you, our LORD,
   answered their prayers.
    7You spoke to them
   from a thick cloud,
   and they obeyed your laws.
    8Our LORD and our God,
   you answered their prayers
   and forgave their sins,
   but when they did wrong,
   you punished them.
    9We praise you, LORD God,
   and we worship you
   at your sacred mountain.
   Only you are God!
  1. Psalm 99:1 winged creatures: See the note at 80.1.
  2. Psalm 99:4 You. . . King: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Proverbs 14:9-10 (Contemporary English Version)

9Fools don't care
   if they are wrong, [a] but God is pleased
   when people do right.
    10No one else can really know
   how sad or happy you are.
  1. Proverbs 14:9 Fools. . . wrong: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Verse of the Day
“and think the same way that Christ Jesus thought: Christ was truly God. But he did not try to remain equal with God. Instead he gave up everything and became a slave, when he became like one of us. Christ was humble. He obeyed God and even died on a cross.” - Philippians 2:5-8
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

American dramatist and screenwriter known for her success as a playwright on Broadway, Lillian Hellman wrote, “People change and forget to tell each other.”

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