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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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Bible Readings for May 13, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Samuel 13:23–14:52; John 7:30-53; Psalm 109:1-31; and Proverbs 15:5-7. 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 13:23-14:52 (Contemporary English Version)

23The Philistines moved their camp to the pass at Michmash,

1 Samuel 14

 1-3and Saul was in Geba a<="" value="[a]" >[] with his six hundred men. Saul's own tent was set up under a fruit tree [b<="">] by the threshing place [c<="">] at the edge of town. Ahijah was serving as priest, and one of his jobs was to get answers from the LORD for Saul. Ahijah's father was Ahitub, and his father's brother was Ichabod. Ahijah's grandfather was Phinehas, and his great-grandfather Eli had been the LORD's priest at Shiloh. One day, Jonathan told the soldier who carried his weapons that he wanted to attack the Philistine camp on the other side of the valley. So they slipped out of the Israelite camp without anyone knowing it. Jonathan didn't even tell his father he was leaving.     4-5Jonathan decided to get to the Philistine camp by going through the pass that led between Shiny Cliff and Michmash to the north and Thornbush Cliff [d<="">] and Geba to the south. 6Jonathan and the soldier who carried his weapons talked as they went toward the Philistine camp. "It's just the two of us against all those godless men," Jonathan said. "But the LORD can help a few soldiers win a battle just as easily as he can help a whole army. Maybe the LORD will help us win this battle."
    7"Do whatever you want," the soldier answered. "I'll be right there with you."
    8"This is what we will do," Jonathan said. "We will go across and let them see us. 9If they agree to come down the hill and fight where we are, then we won't climb up to their camp. 10But we will go if they tell us to come up the hill and fight. That will mean the LORD is going to help us win."
    11-12Jonathan and the soldier stood at the bottom of the hill where the Philistines could see them. The Philistines said, "Look! Those worthless Israelites have crawled out of the holes where they've been hiding." Then they yelled down to Jonathan and the soldier, "Come up here, and we will teach you a thing or two!"
   Jonathan turned to the soldier and said, "Follow me! The LORD is going to let us win."
    13Jonathan crawled up the hillside with the soldier right behind him. When they got to the top, Jonathan killed the Philistines who attacked from the front, and the soldier killed those who attacked from behind. [e<="">] 14Before they had gone a hundred feet, [f<="">] they had killed about twenty Philistines. 15The whole Philistine army panicked--those in camp, those on guard duty, those in the fields, and those on raiding patrols. All of them were afraid and confused. Then God sent an earthquake, and the ground began to tremble. [g<="">]
Israel Defeats the Philistines
 16Saul's lookouts at Geba [h<="">] saw that the Philistine army was running in every direction, like melted wax. 17Saul told his officers, "Call the roll and find out who left our camp." When they had finished, they found out that Jonathan and the soldier who carried his weapons were missing. 18At that time, Ahijah was serving as priest for the army of Israel, and Saul told him, "Come over here! Let's ask God what we should do." [i<="">] 19Just as Saul finished saying this, he could see that the Philistine army camp was getting more and more confused, and he said, "Ahijah, never mind!" 20Saul quickly called his army together, then led them to the Philistine camp. By this time the Philistines were so confused that they were killing each other.     21There were also some hired soldiers [j<="">] in the Philistine camp, who now switched to Israel's side and fought for Saul and Jonathan. 22Many Israelites had been hiding in the hill country of Ephraim. And when they heard that the Philistines were running away, they came out of hiding and joined in chasing the Philistines.
    23-24So the LORD helped Israel win the battle that day.
   Saul had earlier told his soldiers, "I want to get even with those Philistines by sunset. If any of you eat before then, you will be under a curse!" So he made them swear not to eat.
   By the time the fighting moved past Beth-Aven, [k<="">] the Israelite troops were weak from hunger.
Saul's Curse on Anyone Who Eats
 25-26The army and the people who lived nearby had gone into a forest, and they came to a place where honey was dripping on the ground. [l<="">] But no one ate any of it, because they were afraid of being put under the curse. 27Jonathan did not know about Saul's warning to the soldiers. So he dipped the end of his walking stick in the honey and ate some with his fingers. He felt stronger and more alert. 28Then a soldier told him, "Your father swore that anyone who ate food today would be put under a curse, and we agreed not to eat. That's why we're so weak."     29Jonathan said, "My father has caused you a lot of trouble. Look at me! I had only a little of this honey, but already I feel strong and alert. 30I wish you had eaten some of the food the Philistines left behind. We would have been able to kill a lot more of them."
    31By evening the Israelite army was exhausted from killing Philistines all the way from Michmash to Aijalon. [m<="">] 32They grabbed the food they had captured from the Philistines and started eating. They even killed sheep and cows and calves right on the ground and ate the meat without draining the blood. [n<="">] 33Someone told Saul, "Look! The army is disobeying the LORD by eating meat before the blood drains out." "You're right," Saul answered. "They are being unfaithful to the LORD! Hurry! Roll a big rock over here. [o<="">] 34Then tell everyone in camp to bring their cattle and lambs to me. They can kill the animals on this rock, [p<="">] then eat the meat. That way no one will disobey the LORD by eating meat with blood still in it." That night the soldiers brought their cattle over to the big rock and killed them there. 35It was the first altar Saul had built for offering sacrifices to the LORD. [q<="">]
The Army Rescues Jonathan
 36Saul said, "Let's attack the Philistines again while it's still dark. We can fight them all night. Let's kill them and take everything they own!"    The people answered, "We will do whatever you want."
   "Wait!" Ahijah the priest said. "Let's ask God what we should do."
    37Saul asked God, "Should I attack the Philistines? Will you help us win?"
   This time God did not answer. 38Saul called his army officers together and said, "We have to find out what sin has kept God from answering. 39I swear by the living LORD that whoever sinned must die, even if it turns out to be my own son Jonathan."
   No one said a word.
    40Saul told his army, "You stand on that side of the priest, and Jonathan and I will stand on the other side."
   Everyone agreed.
    41Then Saul prayed, "Our LORD, God of Israel, why haven't you answered me today? Please show us who sinned. Was it my son Jonathan and I, or was it your people Israel?" [r<="">] The answer came back that Jonathan or Saul had sinned, not the army. 42Saul told Ahijah, "Now ask the LORD to decide between Jonathan and me."
   The answer came back that Jonathan had sinned. 43"Jonathan," Saul exclaimed, "tell me what you did!"
   "I dipped the end of my walking stick in some honey and ate a little. Now you say I have to die!"
    44"Yes, Jonathan. I swear to God that you must die."
    45"No!" the soldiers shouted. "God helped Jonathan win the battle for us. We won't let you kill him. We swear to the LORD that we won't let you kill him or even lay a hand on him!" So the army kept Saul from killing Jonathan.
    46Saul stopped hunting down the Philistines, and they went home.
Saul Fights His Enemies
 47-48When Saul became king, the Moabites, the Ammonites, the Edomites, the kings of Zobah, the Philistines, and the Amalekites had all been robbing the Israelites. Saul fought back against these enemies and stopped them from robbing Israel. He was a brave commander and always won his battles. [s<="">]
Saul's Family
 49-51Saul's wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz. They had three sons: Jonathan, Ishvi, [t<="">] and Malchishua. They also had two daughters: The older one was Merab, and the younger one was Michal. Abner, Saul's cousin, was the commander of the army. Saul's father Kish and Abner's father Ner were sons of Abiel.    
War with the Philistines
 52Saul was at war with the Philistines for as long as he lived. Whenever he found a good warrior or a brave man, Saul made him join his army.    
  1. 1 Samuel 14:1 Geba: Or "Gibeah." In 13.16 and 14.5 the name "Geba" is used, while 14.2,16 have "Gibeah." In ancient Hebrew writing there is only one letter different between the two words.
  2. 1 Samuel 14:1 fruit tree: Hebrew "pomegranate tree." A pomegranate is a bright red fruit that looks like an apple.
  3. 1 Samuel 14:1 threshing place: Or "in Migron."
  4. 1 Samuel 14:4 Shiny Cliff. . . Thornbush Cliff: Or "Bozez Cliff. . . Seneh Cliff."
  5. 1 Samuel 14:13 Jonathan killed. . . from behind: Or "Jonathan attacked the Philistines with his sword, and the soldier killed those who fell to the ground wounded."
  6. 1 Samuel 14:14 a hundred feet: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 1 Samuel 14:15 Then. . . tremble: Or "Then the ground began to tremble, and everyone was in a terrible panic." Or "Then the ground began to tremble, and God made them all panic."
  8. 1 Samuel 14:16 Geba: See the note at 14.1-3.
  9. 1 Samuel 14:18 At that time. . . should do: One ancient translation; Hebrew "Saul told Ahijah, `Bring the sacred chest,' because at that time it was with the army of Israel."
  10. 1 Samuel 14:21 hired soldiers: See the note at 13.7.
  11. 1 Samuel 14:23 Beth-Aven: See the note at 13.5.
  12. 1 Samuel 14:25 The army. . . ground: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  13. 1 Samuel 14:31 Aijalon: About 20 miles west of Michmash.
  14. 1 Samuel 14:32 blood: The Israelites were supposed to drain the blood from a butchered animal before the meat was cooked and eaten (see Genesis 9.4; Leviticus 17.11; Deuteronomy 12.23).
  15. 1 Samuel 14:33 over here: One ancient translation; Hebrew "today."
  16. 1 Samuel 14:34 kill. . . rock: That is, up off the ground so the blood could drain out.
  17. 1 Samuel 14:35 offering sacrifices to the LORD: Even when animals were killed for food, it was often done as a sacrifice to the LORD.
  18. 1 Samuel 14:41 why. . . Israel: One ancient translation; Hebrew "give me an answer."
  19. 1 Samuel 14:47 won his battles: One ancient translation; Hebrew "hurt them."
  20. 1 Samuel 14:49 Ishvi: Also known as Eshbaal (see 1 Chronicles 8.33; 9.39) and Ishbosheth (see 2 Samuel 2.8-13; 3.8-15; 4.5-12).

John 7:30-53 (Contemporary English Version)

30Some of the people wanted to arrest Jesus right then. But no one even laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. a<="" value="[a]" >[] 31A lot of people in the crowd put their faith in him and said, "When the Messiah comes, he surely won't perform more miracles [b<="">] than this man has done!"
Officers Sent To Arrest Jesus
 32When the Pharisees heard the crowd arguing about Jesus, they got together with the chief priests and sent some temple police to arrest him. 33But Jesus told them, "I will be with you a little while longer, and then I will return to the one who sent me. 34You will look for me, but you won't find me. You cannot go where I am going."     35The Jewish leaders asked each other, "Where can he go to keep us from finding him? Is he going to some foreign country where our people live? Is he going there to teach the Greeks? [c<="">] 36What did he mean by saying that we will look for him, but won't find him? Why can't we go where he is going?"
Streams of Life-Giving Water
 37On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and shouted, "If you are thirsty, come to me and drink! 38Have faith in me, and you will have life-giving water flowing from deep inside you, just as the Scriptures say." 39Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone that had faith in him. The Spirit had not yet been given to anyone, since Jesus had not yet been given his full glory. [d<="">]
The People Take Sides
 40When the crowd heard Jesus say this, some of them said, "He must be the Prophet!" [e<="">] 41Others said, "He is the Messiah!" Others even said, "Can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42The Scriptures say that the Messiah will come from the family of King David. Doesn't this mean that he will be born in David's hometown of Bethlehem?" 43The people started taking sides against each other because of Jesus. 44Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him.
The Leaders Refuse To Have Faith in Jesus
 45When the temple police returned to the chief priests and Pharisees, they were asked, "Why didn't you bring Jesus here?"     46They answered, "No one has ever spoken like that man!"
    47The Pharisees said to them, "Have you also been fooled? 48Not one of the chief priests or the Pharisees has faith in him. 49And these people who don't know the Law are under God's curse anyway."
    50Nicodemus was there at the time. He was a member of the council, and was the same one who had earlier come to see Jesus. [f<="">] He said, 51"Our Law doesn't let us condemn people before we hear what they have to say. We cannot judge them before we know what they have done." 52Then they said, "Nicodemus, you must be from Galilee! Read the Scriptures, and you will find that no prophet is to come from Galilee."
A Woman Caught in Sin
 53Everyone else went home,    
  1. John 7:30 his time had not yet come: See the note at 2.4.
  2. John 7:31 miracles: See the note at 2.11.
  3. John 7:35 Greeks: Perhaps Gentiles or Jews who followed Greek customs.
  4. John 7:39 had not yet been given his full glory: In the Gospel of John, Jesus is given his full glory both when he is nailed to the cross and when he is raised from death to sit beside his Father in heaven.
  5. John 7:40 the Prophet: See the note at 1.21.
  6. John 7:50 who had earlier come to see Jesus: See 3.1-21.

Psalm 109:1-31 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 109

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
A Prayer for the LORD's Help
 1I praise you, God!    Don't keep silent.
    2Destructive and deceitful lies
   are told about me,
    3and hateful things are said
   for no reason.
    4I had pity and prayed a<="" value="[a]" >[] for my enemies,
   but their words to me
   were harsh and cruel.
    5For being friendly and kind,
   they paid me back
   with meanness and hatred.
    6My enemies said,
   "Find some worthless fools
   to accuse him of a crime.
    7Try him and find him guilty!
   Consider his prayers a lie.
    8Cut his life short
   and let someone else
   have his job.
    9Make orphans of his children
   and a widow of his wife;
    10make his children beg for food
   and live in the slums.
    11"Let the people he owes
   take everything he owns.
   Give it all to strangers.
    12Don't let anyone be kind to him
   or have pity on the children
   he leaves behind.
    13Bring an end to his family,
   and from now on let him be
   a forgotten man.
    14"Don't let the LORD forgive
   the sins of his parents
   and his ancestors.
    15Don't let the LORD forget
   the sins of his family,
   or let anyone remember
   his family ever lived.
    16He was so cruel to the poor,
   homeless, and discouraged
   that they died young.
    17"He cursed others.
   Now place a curse on him!
   He never wished others well.
   Wish only trouble for him!
    18He cursed others more often
   than he dressed himself.
   Let his curses strike him deep,
   just as water and olive oil
   soak through to our bones.
    19Let his curses surround him,
   just like the clothes
   he wears each day."
    20Those are the cruel things
   my enemies wish for me.
   Let it all happen to them!
    21Be true to your name, LORD God!
   Show your great kindness
   and rescue me.
    22I am poor and helpless,
   and I have lost all hope.
    23I am fading away
   like an evening shadow;
   I am tossed aside
   like a crawling insect.
    24I have gone without eating, [b<="">] until my knees are weak,
   and my body is bony.
    25When my enemies see me,
   they say cruel things
   and shake their heads.
    26Please help me, LORD God!
   Come and save me
   because of your love.
    27Let others know that you alone
   have saved me.
    28I don't care if they curse me,
   as long as you bless me.
   You will make my enemies fail
   when they attack,
   and you will make me glad
   to be your servant.
    29You will cover them with shame,
   just as their bodies
   are covered with clothes.
    30I will sing your praises
   and thank you, LORD,
   when your people meet.
    31You help everyone in need,
   and you defend them
   when they are on trial.
  1. Psalm 109:4 and prayed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. Psalm 109:24 without eating: See the note at 35.13.

Proverbs 15:5-7 (Contemporary English Version)

5Don't be a fool
   and disobey your parents.
   Be smart! Accept correction.
    6Good people become wealthy,
   but those who are evil
   will lose what they have.
    7Words of wisdom
   make good sense;
   the thoughts of a fool
   make no sense at all.

Verse of the Day

“Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away, but a woman who honors the LORD deserves to be praised.” - Proverbs 31:30
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Calvin Coolidge, bw head and shoulders photo portrait seated, 1919.jpgThought of the Day

The 30th President of the United States (1923–29), Calvin Coolidge wrote, “It takes a great man to be a good listener.”

A Joke for Today
Image result for black eye funnyOne night a man stumbled into the police station with a black eye. He claimed he had heard a noise in his back yard and went to investigate. The next he knew, he was hit in the eye and knocked out cold.
An officer was sent to his house to investigate, and he returned 1 1/2 hours later with a black eye.
"Did you get hit by the same person?" his captain asked.

"No," he replied. "I stepped on the same rake."

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