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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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bible Readings for May 17, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Samuel 20:1–21:15; John 9:1-41; Psalm 113:1–114:8; and Proverbs 15:15-17. 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.

1 Samuel 20-21:15 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Samuel 20

Jonathan Helps David Escape
 1David escaped from Prophets Village. Then he ran to see Jonathan and asked, "Why does your father Saul want to kill me? What have I done wrong?"     2"My father can't be trying to kill you! He never does anything without telling me about it. Why would he hide this from me? It can't be true!"
    3"Jonathan, I swear it's true! But your father knows how much you like me, and he didn't want to break your heart. That's why he didn't tell you. I swear by the living LORD and by your own life that I'm only one step ahead of death."
    4Then Jonathan said, "Tell me what to do, and I'll do it."
    5David answered:
   Tomorrow is the New Moon Festival, [a] and I'm supposed to eat dinner with your father. But instead, I'll hide in a field until the evening of the next day. 6If Saul wonders where I am, tell him, "David asked me to let him go to his hometown of Bethlehem, so he could take part in a sacrifice his family makes there every year." 7If your father says it's all right, then I'm safe. But if he gets angry, you'll know he wants to harm me. 8Be kind to me. After all, it was your idea to promise the LORD that we would always be loyal friends. If I've done anything wrong, kill me yourself, but don't hand me over to your father.
    9"Don't worry," Jonathan said. "If I find out that my father wants to kill you, I'll certainly let you know."
    10"How will you do that?" David asked.
    11"Let's go out to this field, and I'll tell you," Jonathan answered.
   When they got there, 12Jonathan said:
   I swear by the LORD God of Israel, that two days from now I'll know what my father is planning. Of course I'll let you know if he's friendly toward you. 13But if he wants to harm you, I promise to tell you and help you escape. And I ask the LORD to punish me severely if I don't keep my promise.
   I pray that the LORD will bless you, just as he used to bless my father. 14-15Someday the LORD will wipe out all of your enemies. Then if I'm still alive, please be as kind to me as the LORD has been. But if I'm dead, be kind to my family.
    16Jonathan and David made an agreement that even David's descendants would have to keep. [b] Then Jonathan said, "I pray that the LORD will take revenge on your descendants if they break our promise." [c] 17Jonathan thought as much of David as he did of himself, so he asked David to promise once more that he would be a loyal friend. 18After this Jonathan said:
   Tomorrow is the New Moon Festival, and people will wonder where you are, because your place will be empty. 19By the day after tomorrow, everyone will think you've been gone a long time. [d] Then go to the place where you hid before and stay beside Going-Away Rock. [e] 20I'll shoot three arrows at a target off to the side of the rock, 21and send my servant to find the arrows. You'll know if it's safe to come out by what I tell him. If it is safe, I swear by the living LORD that I'll say, "The arrows are on this side of you! Pick them up!" 22But if it isn't safe, I'll say to the boy, "The arrows are farther away!" This will mean that the LORD wants you to leave, and you must go. 23But he will always watch us to make sure that we keep the promise we made to each other.
    24So David hid there in the field.
   During the New Moon Festival, Saul sat down to eat 25by the wall, just as he always did. Jonathan sat across from him, [f] and Abner sat next to him. But David's place was empty. 26Saul didn't say anything that day, because he was thinking, "Something must have happened to make David unfit to be at the Festival. [g] Yes, something must have happened." 27The day after the New Moon Festival, when David's place was still empty, Saul asked Jonathan, "Why hasn't that son of Jesse come to eat with us? He wasn't here yesterday, and he still isn't here today!"
    28-29Jonathan answered, "The reason David hasn't come to eat with you is that he begged me to let him go to Bethlehem. He said, `Please let me go. My family is offering a sacrifice, and my brother told me I have to be there. Do me this favor and let me slip away to see my brothers.' "
    30Saul was furious with Jonathan and yelled, "You're no son of mine, you traitor! I know you've chosen to be loyal to that son of Jesse. You should be ashamed of yourself! And your own mother should be ashamed that you were ever born. 31You'll never be safe, and your kingdom will be in danger as long as that son of Jesse is alive. Turn him over to me now! He deserves to die!"
    32"Why do you want to kill David?" Jonathan asked. "What has he done?"
    33Saul threw his spear at Jonathan and tried to kill him. Then Jonathan was sure that his father really did want to kill David. 34Jonathan was angry that his father had insulted David [h] so terribly. He got up, left the table, and didn't eat anything all that day. 35In the morning, Jonathan went out to the field to meet David. He took a servant boy along 36and told him, "When I shoot the arrows, you run and find them for me."
   The boy started running, and Jonathan shot an arrow so that it would go beyond him. 37When the boy got near the place where the arrow had landed, Jonathan shouted, "Isn't the arrow on past you?" 38Jonathan shouted to him again, "Hurry up! Don't stop!"
   The boy picked up the arrows and brought them back to Jonathan, 39but he had no idea about what was going on. Only Jonathan and David knew. 40Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and told him, "Take these back into town."
    41After the boy had gone, David got up from beside the mound [i] and bowed very low three times. Then he and Jonathan kissed [j] each other and cried, but David cried louder. 42Jonathan said, "Take care of yourself. And remember, we each have asked the LORD to watch and make sure that we and our descendants keep our promise forever." David left and Jonathan went back to town.

1 Samuel 21

Ahimelech Helps David
 1David went to see Ahimelech, a priest who lived in the town of Nob. Ahimelech was trembling with fear as he came out to meet David. "Why are you alone?" Ahimelech asked. "Why isn't anyone else with you?"     2"I'm on a mission for King Saul," David answered. "He ordered me not to tell anyone what the mission is all about, so I had my soldiers stay somewhere else. 3Do you have any food you can give me? Could you spare five loaves of bread?"
    4"The only bread I have is the sacred bread," the priest told David. "You can have it if your soldiers didn't sleep with women last night." [k] 5"Of course we didn't sleep with women," David answered. "I never let my men do that when we're on a mission. They have to be acceptable to worship God even when we're on a regular mission, and today we're on a special mission."
    6The only bread the priest had was the sacred bread that he had taken from the place of worship after putting out the fresh loaves. So he gave it to David.
    7It so happened that one of Saul's officers was there, worshiping the LORD that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite, [l] and he was the strongest of [m] Saul's shepherds. 8David asked Ahimelech, "Do you have a spear or a sword? I had to leave so quickly on this mission for the king that I didn't bring along my sword or any other weapons."
    9The priest answered, "The only sword here is the one that belonged to Goliath the Philistine. You were the one who killed him in Elah Valley, and so you can take his sword if you want to. It's wrapped in a cloth behind the statue."
   "It's the best sword there is," David said. "I'll take it!"
David Tries To Find Safety in Gath
 10David kept on running from Saul that day until he came to Gath, [n] where he met with King Achish. 11The officers of King Achish were also there, and they asked Achish, "Isn't David a king back in his own country? Don't the Israelites dance and sing, `Saul has killed    a thousand enemies;
   David has killed
   ten thousand enemies'?"
    12David thought about what they were saying, and it made him afraid of Achish. 13So right there in front of everyone, he pretended to be insane. He acted confused and scratched up the doors of the town gate, while drooling in his beard.
    14"Look at him!" Achish said to his officers. "You can see he's crazy. Why did you bring him to me? 15I have enough crazy people without your bringing another one here. Keep him away from my palace!"
  1. 1 Samuel 20:5 New Moon Festival: The first day of the month, when Israelites offered special sacrifices to the LORD and had special sacred meals.
  2. 1 Samuel 20:16 Jonathan. . . keep: Or, continuing Jonathan's statement to David, "You and your descendants must not kill off my descendants."
  3. 1 Samuel 20:16 I pray. . . promise: Or "I pray that the LORD take revenge on you if you break our promise!"
  4. 1 Samuel 20:19 By. . . time: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. 1 Samuel 20:19 Going-Away Rock: Or "Ezel Rock"; one ancient translation "that mound" (see 20.41).
  6. 1 Samuel 20:25 sat. . . him: One ancient translation; Hebrew "stood up."
  7. 1 Samuel 20:26 unfit. . . Festival: During the New Moon Festival a sacred meal was served that could only be eaten by people who were properly prepared. Some of the things that could make a person unfit are listed in Leviticus 7.20,21; 15.2,31; 22.4-8; Deuteronomy 23.10,11.
  8. 1 Samuel 20:34 insulted David: Or "insulted him" (that is, Jonathan).
  9. 1 Samuel 20:41 the mound: One ancient translation; Hebrew "from the south side."
  10. 1 Samuel 20:41 kissed: A common way of greeting or saying good-by in biblical times (see Mark 14.44).
  11. 1 Samuel 21:4 night: Having sex was one of the things that would make someone temporarily unfit to take part in worship or a sacred meal (see Exodus 19.15; Leviticus 15.18).
  12. 1 Samuel 21:7 Edomite: A person from the country of Edom, to the south of Israel.
  13. 1 Samuel 21:7 the strongest of: Or "in charge of."
  14. 1 Samuel 21:10 Gath: One of the five main Philistine towns.

John 9:1-41 (Contemporary English Version)

John 9

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
 1As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who had been blind since birth. 2Jesus' disciples asked, "Teacher, why was this man born blind? Was it because he or his parents sinned?"     3"No, it wasn't!" Jesus answered. "But because of his blindness, you will see God work a miracle for him. 4As long as it is day, we must do what the one who sent me wants me to do. When night comes, no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light for the world."
    6After Jesus said this, he spit on the ground. He made some mud and smeared it on the man's eyes. 7Then he said, "Go and wash off the mud in Siloam Pool." The man went and washed in Siloam, which means "One Who Is Sent." When he had washed off the mud, he could see.
    8The man's neighbors and the people who had seen him begging wondered if he really could be the same man. 9Some of them said he was the same beggar, while others said he only looked like him. But he told them, "I am that man."
    10"Then how can you see?" they asked.
    11He answered, "Someone named Jesus made some mud and smeared it on my eyes. He told me to go and wash it off in Siloam Pool. When I did, I could see."
    12"Where is he now?" they asked.
   "I don't know," he answered.
The Pharisees Try To Find Out What Happened
 13-14The day when Jesus made the mud and healed the man was a Sabbath. So the people took the man to the Pharisees. 15They asked him how he was able to see, and he answered, "Jesus made some mud and smeared it on my eyes. Then after I washed it off, I could see."     16Some of the Pharisees said, "This man Jesus doesn't come from God. If he did, he would not break the law of the Sabbath."
   Others asked, "How could someone who is a sinner work such a miracle?" [a] Since the Pharisees could not agree among themselves, 17they asked the man, "What do you say about this one who healed your eyes?"
   "He is a prophet!" the man told them.
    18But the Jewish leaders would not believe that the man had once been blind. They sent for his parents 19and asked them, "Is this the son that you said was born blind? How can he now see?"
    20The man's parents answered, "We are certain that he is our son, and we know that he was born blind. 21But we don't know how he got his sight or who gave it to him. Ask him! He is old enough to speak for himself."
    22-23The man's parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. The leaders had already agreed that no one was to have anything to do with anyone who said Jesus was the Messiah.
    24The leaders called the man back and said, "Swear by God to tell the truth! We know that Jesus is a sinner."
    25The man replied, "I don't know if he is a sinner or not. All I know is that I used to be blind, but now I can see!"
    26"What did he do to you?" the Jewish leaders asked. "How did he heal your eyes?"
    27The man answered, "I have already told you once, and you refused to listen. Why do you want me to tell you again? Do you also want to become his disciples?"
    28The leaders insulted the man and said, "You are his follower! We are followers of Moses. 29We are sure that God spoke to Moses, but we don't even know where Jesus comes from."
    30"How strange!" the man replied. "He healed my eyes, and yet you don't know where he comes from. 31We know that God listens only to people who love and obey him. God doesn't listen to sinners. 32And this is the first time in history that anyone has ever given sight to someone born blind. 33Jesus could not do anything unless he came from God."
    34The leaders told the man, "You have been a sinner since the day you were born! Do you think you can teach us anything?" Then they said, "You can never come back into any of our meeting places!"
    35When Jesus heard what had happened, he went and found the man. Then Jesus asked, "Do you have faith in the Son of Man?"
    36He replied, "Sir, if you will tell me who he is, I will put my faith in him."
    37"You have already seen him," Jesus answered, "and right now he is talking with you."
    38The man said, "Lord, I put my faith in you!" Then he worshiped Jesus.
    39Jesus told him, "I came to judge the people of this world. I am here to give sight to the blind and to make blind everyone who can see."
    40When the Pharisees heard Jesus say this, they asked, "Are we blind?"
    41Jesus answered, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty. But now that you claim to see, you will keep on being guilty."
  1. John 9:16 miracle: See the note at 2.11.

Psalm 113-114:8 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 113

The LORD Helps People in Need
 1Shout praises to the LORD!    Everyone who serves him,
   come and praise his name.
    2Let the name of the LORD
   be praised now and forever.
    3From dawn until sunset
   the name of the LORD
   deserves to be praised.
    4The LORD is far above
   all of the nations;
   he is more glorious
   than the heavens.
    5No one can compare
   with the LORD our God.
   His throne is high above,
    6and he looks down to see
   the heavens and the earth.
    7God lifts the poor and needy
   from dust and ashes,
    8and he lets them take part
   in ruling his people.
    9When a wife has no children,
   he blesses her with some,
   and she is happy.
   Shout praises to the LORD!

Psalm 114

The LORD Works Wonders
 1God brought his people    out of Egypt,
   that land
   with a strange language.
    2He made Judah his holy place
   and ruled over Israel.
    3When the sea looked at God,
   it ran away,
   and the Jordan River
   flowed upstream.
    4The mountains and the hills
   skipped around like goats.
    5Ask the sea why it ran away
   or ask the Jordan
   why it flowed upstream.
    6Ask the mountains and the hills
   why they skipped like goats!
    7Earth, you will tremble,
   when the Lord God of Jacob
   comes near,
    8because he turns solid rock
   into flowing streams
   and pools of water.

Proverbs 15:15-17 (Contemporary English Version)

15The poor have a hard life,
   but being content is as good
   as an endless feast.
    16It's better to obey the LORD
   and have only a little,
   than to be very rich
   and terribly confused.
    17A simple meal with love
   is better than a feast
   where there is hatred.

Verse of the Day

“Who can measure the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God? Who can understand his decisions or explain what he does?” - Romans 11:33
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Henri BarbusseThought for Day

French novelist and a member of the French Communist Party, Henri Barbusse wrote, “The understanding of things must be based, not on sentiment, but on reason. There must be justice, not charity. Kindness is solitary. Compassion becomes one with him whom we pity; it allows us to fathom him, to understand him alone amongst the rest; but it blurs and befogs the laws of the whole. I must set off with a clear idea, like the beam of a lighthouse through the deformities and temptations of night.”

Image result for child in churchA Joke for the Day
A little child was in church for the first time and watched as the ushers passed the offering plates.
When they neared the pew where he sat, the youngster said in a little voice loud enough for everyone to hear:

"Don't pay for me, Daddy. I'm under five."

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