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, May 12, 2017

Bible Readings for May 12, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Samuel 12:1–13:22; John 7:1-29; Psalm 108:1-13; and Proverbs 15:4. 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.

1 Samuel 12-13:22 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Samuel 12

Samuel's Farewell Speech
 1Samuel told the Israelites:    I have given you a king, just as you asked. 2You have seen how I have led you ever since I was a young man. I'm already old. My hair is gray, and my own sons are grown. Now you must see how well your king will lead you.
    3Let me ask this. Have I ever taken anyone's ox or donkey or forced you to give me anything? Have I ever hurt anyone or taken a bribe to give an unfair decision? Answer me so the LORD and his chosen king can hear you. And if I have done any of these things, I will give it all back.
    4"No," the Israelites answered. "You've never cheated us in any way!"
    5Samuel said, "The LORD and his chosen king are witnesses to what you have said."
   "That's true," they replied.
    6Then Samuel told them:
   The LORD brought your ancestors out of Egypt and chose Moses and Aaron to be your leaders. 7Now the LORD will be your judge. So stand here and listen, while I remind you how often the LORD has saved you and your ancestors from your enemies.
    8After Jacob went to Egypt, your ancestors cried out to the LORD for help, and he sent Moses and Aaron. They led your ancestors out of Egypt and had them settle in this land. 9But your ancestors forgot the LORD, so he let them be defeated by the Philistines, the king of Moab, and Sisera, the commander of Hazor's army.
    10Again your ancestors cried out to the LORD for help. They said, "We have sinned! We stopped worshiping you, our LORD, and started worshiping Baal and Astarte. But now, if you rescue us from our enemies, we will worship you."
    11The LORD sent Gideon, [a] Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel to rescue you from your enemies, and you didn't have to worry about being attacked. 12Then you saw that King Nahash of Ammon was going to attack you. And even though the LORD your God is your king, you told me, "This time it's different. We want a king to rule us!" 13You asked for a king, and you chose one. Now he stands here where all of you can see him. But it was really the LORD who made him your king. 14If you and your king want to be followers of the LORD, you must worship him [b] and do what he says. Don't be stubborn! 15If you're stubborn and refuse to obey the LORD, he will turn against you and your king. [c] 16Just stand here and watch the LORD show his mighty power. 17Isn't this the dry season? [d] I'm going to ask the LORD to send a thunderstorm. When you see it, you will realize how wrong you were to ask for a king. 18Samuel prayed, and that same day the LORD sent a thunderstorm. Everyone was afraid of the LORD and of Samuel. 19They told Samuel, "Please, pray to the LORD your God for us! We don't want to die. We have sinned many times in the past, and we were very wrong to ask for a king."
    20Samuel answered:
   Even though what you did was wrong, you don't need to be afraid. But you must always follow the LORD and worship him with all your heart. 21Don't worship idols! They don't have any power, and they can't help you or save you when you're in trouble. 22But the LORD has chosen you to be his own people. He will always take care of you so that everyone will know how great he is.
    23I would be disobeying the LORD if I stopped praying for you! I will always teach you how to live right. 24You also must obey the LORD--you must worship him with all your heart and remember the great things he has done for you. 25But if you and your king do evil, the LORD will wipe you out.

1 Samuel 13

Saul Disobeys the LORD
 1Saul was a young man [e] when he became king, and he ruled Israel for two years. 2Then [f] he chose three thousand men from Israel to be full-time soldiers and sent everyone else [g] home. Two thousand of these troops stayed with him in the hills around Michmash and Bethel. The other thousand were stationed with Jonathan [h] at Gibeah [i] in the territory of Benjamin. 3Jonathan led an attack on the Philistine army camp at Geba. [j] The Philistine camp was destroyed, but [k] the other Philistines heard what had happened. Then Saul told his messengers, "Go to every village in the country. Give a signal with the trumpet, and when the people come together, tell them what has happened." 4The messengers then said to the people of Israel, "Saul has destroyed the Philistine army camp at Geba. [l] Now the Philistines really hate Israel, so every town and village must send men to join Saul's army at Gilgal." 5The Philistines called their army together to fight Israel. They had three thousand [m] chariots, six thousand cavalry, and as many foot soldiers as there are grains of sand on the beach. They went to Michmash and set up camp there east of Beth-Aven. [n] 6The Israelite army realized that they were outnumbered and were going to lose the battle. Some of the Israelite men hid in caves or in clumps of bushes, [o] and some ran to places where they could hide among large rocks. Others hid in tombs [p] or in deep dry pits. 7Still others [q] went to Gad and Gilead on the other side of the Jordan River. Saul stayed at Gilgal. His soldiers were shaking with fear, 8and they were starting to run off and leave him. Saul waited there seven days, just as Samuel had ordered him to do, [r] but Samuel did not come. 9Finally, Saul commanded, "Bring me some animals, so we can offer sacrifices to please the LORD and ask for his help." Saul killed one of the animals, 10and just as he was placing it on the altar, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to welcome him.     11"What have you done?" Samuel asked.
   Saul answered, "My soldiers were leaving in all directions, and you didn't come when you were supposed to. The Philistines were gathering at Michmash, 12and I was worried that they would attack me here at Gilgal. I hadn't offered a sacrifice to ask for the LORD's help, so I forced myself to offer a sacrifice on the altar fire."
    13"That was stupid!" Samuel said. "You didn't obey the LORD your God. If you had obeyed him, someone from your family would always have been king of Israel. 14But no, you disobeyed, and so the LORD won't choose anyone else from your family to be king. In fact, he has already chosen the one he wants to be the next leader of his people." 15Then Samuel left Gilgal.
   Part of Saul's army had not deserted him, and he led them to Gibeah in Benjamin to join his other troops. Then he counted them [s] and found that he still had six hundred men. 16Saul, Jonathan, and their army set up camp at Geba in Benjamin. The Philistine army was camped at Michmash.
Jonathan Attacks the Philistines
 17Each day they sent out patrols to attack and rob villages and then destroy them. One patrol would go north along the road to Ophrah in the region of Shual. 18Another patrol would go west along the road to Beth-Horon. A third patrol would go east toward the desert on the road to the ridge that overlooks Zeboim Valley.     19The Philistines would not allow any Israelites to learn how to make iron tools. "If we allowed that," they said, "those worthless Israelites would make swords and spears."
    20-21Whenever the Israelites wanted to get an iron point put on a cattle prod, [t] they had to go to the Philistines. Even if they wanted to sharpen plow-blades, picks, axes, sickles, [u] and pitchforks [v] they still had to go to them. And the Philistines charged high prices. 22So, whenever the Israelite soldiers had to go into battle, none of them had a sword or a spear except Saul and his son Jonathan.
  1. 1 Samuel 12:11 Gideon: The Hebrew text has "Jerubbaal," another name for "Gideon."
  2. 1 Samuel 12:14 If. . . him: Or "If you and your king want things to go well for you, then you must worship the LORD."
  3. 1 Samuel 12:15 and your king: One ancient translation; Hebrew "and your ancestors" or "as he was against your ancestors."
  4. 1 Samuel 12:17 the dry season: The Hebrew text has "time for wheat harvest," which was usually in the spring, the beginning of the dry season.
  5. 1 Samuel 13:1 a young man: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text; several manuscripts of one ancient translation have "thirty years old."
  6. 1 Samuel 13:2 for. . . Then: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 1 Samuel 13:2 everyone else: People who were not full-time soldiers, but fought together with the army when the nation was in danger.
  8. 1 Samuel 13:2 Jonathan: Saul's son (see verse 16).
  9. 1 Samuel 13:2 Michmash. . . Bethel. . . Gibeah: These three towns form a triangle, with Bethel to the north.
  10. 1 Samuel 13:3 Geba: Geba was between Gibeah and Michmash.
  11. 1 Samuel 13:3 led an attack. . . destroyed, but: Or "killed the Philistine military governor who lived at Geba, and. . . "
  12. 1 Samuel 13:4 destroyed. . . Geba: Or "killed the Philistine military governor who lived at Geba."
  13. 1 Samuel 13:5 three thousand: Some ancient translations; Hebrew "thirty thousand."
  14. 1 Samuel 13:5 Beth-Aven: This Beth-Aven was probably located about a mile southwest of Michmash, between Michmash and Geba.
  15. 1 Samuel 13:6 in. . . bushes: Or "in cracks in the rocks."
  16. 1 Samuel 13:6 tombs: The Hebrew word may mean a room cut into solid rock and used as a burial place, or it may mean a cellar.
  17. 1 Samuel 13:7 Still others: This translates a Hebrew word which may be used of wandering groups of people who sometimes became outlaws or hired soldiers (see also 14.21).
  18. 1 Samuel 13:8 Samuel. . . to do: See 10.8.
  19. 1 Samuel 13:15 Then Samuel. . . counted them: Two ancient translations; Hebrew "Then Samuel left Gilgal and went to Gibeah in Benjamin. Saul counted his army."
  20. 1 Samuel 13:20 cattle prod: A pole used to poke cattle and make them move.
  21. 1 Samuel 13:20 sickles: One ancient translation; Hebrew "plow-blades."
  22. 1 Samuel 13:20 pitchforks: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

John 7:1-29 (Contemporary English Version)

John 7

Jesus' Brothers Don't Have Faith in Him
 1Jesus decided to leave Judea and to start going through Galilee because the Jewish leaders of the people wanted to kill him. 2It was almost time for the Festival of Shelters, 3and Jesus' brothers said to him, "Why don't you go to Judea? Then your disciples can see what you are doing. 4No one does anything in secret, if they want others to know about them. So let the world know what you are doing!" 5Even Jesus' own brothers had not yet become his followers.     6Jesus answered, "My time hasn't yet come, [a] but your time is always here. 7The people of this world cannot hate you. They hate me, because I tell them that they do evil things. 8Go on to the festival. My time hasn't yet come, and I am not going." 9Jesus said this and stayed on in Galilee.
Jesus at the Festival of Shelters
 10After Jesus' brothers had gone to the festival, he went secretly, without telling anyone.     11During the festival the Jewish leaders looked for Jesus and asked, "Where is he?" 12The crowds even got into an argument about him. Some were saying, "Jesus is a good man," while others were saying, "He is lying to everyone." 13But the people were afraid of their leaders, and none of them talked in public about him.
    14When the festival was about half over, Jesus went into the temple and started teaching. 15The leaders were surprised and said, "How does this man know so much? He has never been taught!"
    16Jesus replied:
   I am not teaching something that I thought up. What I teach comes from the one who sent me. 17If you really want to obey God, you will know if what I teach comes from God or from me. 18If I wanted to bring honor to myself, I would speak for myself. But I want to honor the one who sent me. That is why I tell the truth and not a lie. 19Didn't Moses give you the Law? Yet none of you obey it! So why do you want to kill me?
    20The crowd replied, "You're crazy! What makes you think someone wants to kill you?"
    21Jesus answered:
   I worked one miracle, [b] and it amazed you. 22Moses commanded you to circumcise your sons. But it wasn't really Moses who gave you this command. It was your ancestors, and even on the Sabbath you circumcise your sons 23in order to obey the Law of Moses. Why are you angry with me for making someone completely well on the Sabbath? 24Don't judge by appearances. Judge by what is right. 25Some of the people from Jerusalem were saying, "Isn't this the man they want to kill? 26Yet here he is, speaking for everyone to hear. And no one is arguing with him. Do you suppose the authorities know that he is the Messiah? 27But how could that be? No one knows where the Messiah will come from, but we know where this man comes from."
    28As Jesus was teaching in the temple, he shouted, "Do you really think you know me and where I came from? I didn't come on my own! The one who sent me is truthful, and you don't know him. 29But I know the one who sent me, because I came from him."
  1. John 7:6 My time hasn't yet come: See the note at 2.4.
  2. John 7:21 one miracle: The healing of the lame man (5.1-18; see also the note at 2.11).

Psalm 108:1-13 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 108

(A song and a psalm by David.)
With God on Our Side
 1Our God, I am faithful to you    with all my heart,
   and you can trust me.
   I will sing
   and play music for you
   with all that I am.
    2I will start playing my harps
   before the sun rises.
    3I will praise you, LORD,
   for everyone to hear;
   I will sing hymns to you
   in every nation.
    4Your love reaches higher
   than the heavens,
   and your loyalty extends
   beyond the clouds.
    5Our God, may you be honored
   above the heavens;
   may your glory be seen
   everywhere on earth.
    6Answer my prayers
   and use your powerful arm
   to give us victory.
   Then the people you love
   will be safe.
    7Our God, from your holy place
   you made this promise:
   "I will gladly divide up
   the city of Shechem
   and give away Succoth Valley
   piece by piece.
    8The lands of Gilead
   and Manasseh are mine.
   Ephraim is my war helmet,
   and Judah is my symbol
   of royal power.
    9Moab is merely my washbasin,
   and Edom belongs to me.
   I shout with victory
   over the Philistines."
    10Our God, who will bring me
   to the fortress
   or lead me to Edom?
    11Have you rejected us?
   You don't lead our armies.
    12Help us defeat our enemies!
   No one else can rescue us.
    13You are the one
   who gives us victory
   and crushes our enemies.

Proverbs 15:4 (Contemporary English Version)

4Kind words are good medicine,
   but deceitful words
   can really hurt.

Verse of the Day

“[In Praise of a Good Wife]A truly good wife is the most precious treasure a man can find! She takes good care of her family and is never lazy. Her children praise her, and with great pride her husband says,” - Proverbs 31:10, 27-28
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Frances Wright.jpgThought for the Day

Scottish-born lecturer, writer, freethinker, feminist, abolitionist, and social reformer, who became a US citizen in 1825, Frances Wright wrote, “Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.”

Image result for broken ipad screenA Joke for the Day
A woman was visiting her daughter. One evening the woman asks her daughter if she could borrow a newspaper.
The daughter chuckles and says to her mother, “Mother, this is the 21st century. We don't waste money on newspapers. Here, use my iPad.” And so the mother takes the iPad and leaves the room.

A few minutes later, she returns and says to her daughter, “I can tell you this... That fly never knew what hit him!”

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