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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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bible Readings for May 21, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Samuel 29:1–31:13; John 11:54–12:19; Psalm 118:1-18; and Proverbs 15:24-26. 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 29-31:13 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Samuel 29

The Philistines Send David Back
 1The Philistines had brought their whole army to Aphek, [a] while Israel's army was camping near Jezreel Spring. 2-3The Philistine rulers and their troops were marching past the Philistine army commanders in groups of a hundred and a thousand. When David and his men marched by at the end with Achish, the commanders said, "What are these worthless Israelites doing here?" "They are David's men," Achish answered. "David used to be one of Saul's officers, but he left Saul and joined my army a long time ago. I've never had even one complaint about him."     4The Philistine army commanders were angry and shouted:
   Send David back to the town you gave him. We won't have him going into the battle with us. He could turn and fight against us! Saul would take David back as an officer if David brought him the heads of our soldiers. 5The Israelites even dance and sing,
   "Saul has killed
   a thousand enemies;
   David has killed
   ten thousand enemies!"
    6Achish called David over and said:
   I swear by the living LORD that you've been honest with me, and I want you to fight by my side. I don't think you've done anything wrong from the day you joined me until this very moment. But the other Philistine rulers don't want you to come along. 7Go on back home and try not to upset them.
    8"But what have I done?" David asked. "Do you know of anything I've ever done that would keep me from fighting the enemies of my king?" [b] 9Achish said:
   I believe that you're as good as an angel of God, but our army commanders have decided that you can't fight in this battle. 10You and your troops will have to go back to the town I gave you. [c] Get up and leave tomorrow morning as soon as it's light. I am pleased with you, so don't let any of this bother you. [d] 11David and his men got up early in the morning and headed back toward Philistia, while the Philistines left for Jezreel.

1 Samuel 30

David Rescues His Soldiers' Families
 1It took David and his men three days to reach Ziklag. But while they had been away, the Amalekites had been raiding in the desert around there. They had attacked Ziklag, burned it to the ground, 2and had taken away the women and children. 3When David and his men came to Ziklag, they saw the burned-out ruins and learned that their families had been taken captive. 4They started crying and kept it up until they were too weak to cry any more. 5David's two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail, had been taken captive with everyone else.     6David was desperate. His soldiers were so upset over what had happened to their sons and daughters that they were thinking about stoning David to death. But he felt the LORD God giving him strength, 7and he said to the priest, "Abiathar, let's ask God what to do."
   Abiathar brought everything he needed to get answers from God, and he went over to David. 8Then David asked the LORD, "Should I go after the people who raided our town? Can I catch up with them?"
   "Go after them," the LORD answered. "You will catch up with them, and you will rescue your families."
    9-10David led his six hundred men to Besor Gorge, but two hundred of them were too tired to go across. So they stayed behind, while David and the other four hundred men crossed the gorge.
    11Some of David's men found an Egyptian out in a field and took him to David. They gave the Egyptian some bread, and he ate it. Then they gave him a drink of water, 12some dried figs, and two handfuls of raisins. This was the first time in three days he had tasted food or water. Now he felt much better.
    13"Who is your master?" David asked. "And where do you come from?"
   "I'm from Egypt," the young man answered. "I'm the servant of an Amalekite, but he left me here three days ago because I was sick. 14We had attacked some towns in the desert where the Cherethites live, in the area that belongs to Judah, and in the desert where the Caleb clan lives. And we burned down Ziklag."
    15"Will you take me to those Amalekites?" David asked.
   "Yes, I will, if you promise with God as a witness that you won't kill me or hand me over to my master."
    16He led David to the Amalekites. They were eating and drinking everywhere, celebrating because of what they had taken from Philistia and Judah. 17David attacked just before sunrise the next day and fought until sunset. [e] Four hundred Amalekites rode away on camels, but they were the only ones who escaped. 18David rescued his two wives and everyone else the Amalekites had taken from Ziklag. 19No one was missing--young or old, sons or daughters. David brought back everything that had been stolen, 20including their livestock.
   David also took the sheep and cattle that the Amalekites had with them, but he kept these separate from the others. Everyone agreed that these would be David's reward.
    21On the way back, David went to the two hundred men he had left at Besor Gorge, because they had been too tired to keep up with him. They came toward David and the people who were with him. When David was close enough, he greeted the two hundred men and asked how they were doing.
    22Some of David's men were good-for-nothings, and they said, "Those men didn't go with us to the battle, so they don't get any of the things we took back from the Amalekites. Let them take their wives and children and go!"
    23But David said:
   My friends, don't be so greedy with what the LORD has given us! The LORD protected us and gave us victory over the people who attacked. 24Who would pay attention to you, anyway? Soldiers who stay behind to guard the camp get as much as those who go into battle.
    25David made this a law for Israel, and it has been the same ever since.
    26David went back to Ziklag with everything they had taken from the Amalekites. He sent some of these things as gifts to his friends who were leaders of Judah, and he told them, "We took these things from the LORD's enemies. Please accept them as a gift."
    27-31This is a list of the towns where David sent gifts: Bethel, [f] Ramoth in the Southern Desert, Jattir, Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, Racal, the towns belonging to the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites, Hormah, Bor-Ashan, Athach, and Hebron. He also sent gifts to the other towns where he and his men had traveled.

1 Samuel 31

Saul and His Sons Die
 1Meanwhile, the Philistines were fighting Israel at Mount Gilboa. Israel's soldiers ran from the Philistines, and many of them were killed. 2The Philistines closed in on Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua. 3The fighting was fierce around Saul, and he was badly wounded by enemy arrows.     4Saul told the soldier who carried his weapons, "Kill me with your sword! I don't want those worthless Philistines to torture me and make fun." But the soldier was afraid to kill him.
   Saul then took out his own sword; he stuck the blade into his stomach, and fell on it. 5When the soldier knew that Saul was dead, he killed himself in the same way.
    6Saul was dead, his three sons were dead, and the soldier who carried his weapons was dead. They and all his soldiers died on that same day. 7The Israelites on the other side of Jezreel Valley [g] and the other side of the Jordan learned that Saul and his sons were dead. They saw that the Israelite army had run away. So they ran away too, and the Philistines moved into the towns the Israelites had left behind. 8The day after the battle, when the Philistines returned to the battlefield to take the weapons of the dead Israelite soldiers, they found Saul and his three sons lying dead on Mount Gilboa. 9-10The Philistines cut off Saul's head and pulled off his armor. Then they put his armor in the temple of the goddess Astarte, and they nailed his body to the city wall of Beth-Shan. They also sent messengers everywhere in Philistia to spread the good news in the temples of their idols and among their people.
    11The people who lived in Jabesh in Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul's body. 12So one night, some brave men from Jabesh went to Beth-Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons, then brought them back to Jabesh and burned them. 13They buried the bones under a small tree in Jabesh, and for seven days, they went without eating to show their sorrow.
  1. 1 Samuel 29:1 Aphek: The events of chapter 29 probably took place as the Philistine army was on its way to Shunem, which they reached in 28.4.
  2. 1 Samuel 29:8 my king: David may be referring to either Saul or Achish.
  3. 1 Samuel 29:10 go. . . you: One ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text.
  4. 1 Samuel 29:10 I am. . . bother you: One ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text.
  5. 1 Samuel 30:17 just. . . sunset: Or "at dusk, and fought until sunset on the next day."
  6. 1 Samuel 30:27 Bethel: Or "Bethuel" (see Joshua 19.4).
  7. 1 Samuel 31:7 Jezreel Valley: Hebrew "valley." Shunem (see 28.4) and Gilboa (see verse 1) were across the Jezreel Valley from each other.

John 11:54-12:19 (Contemporary English Version)

54Because of this plot against him, Jesus stopped going around in public. He went to the town of Ephraim, which was near the desert, and he stayed there with his disciples.
    55It was almost time for Passover. Many of the Jewish people who lived out in the country had come to Jerusalem to get themselves ready [a] for the festival. 56They looked around for Jesus. Then when they were in the temple, they asked each other, "You don't think he will come here for Passover, do you?" 57The chief priests and the Pharisees told the people to let them know if any of them saw Jesus. That is how they hoped to arrest him.

John 12

At Bethany
(Matthew 26.6-13; Mark 14.3-9)
 1Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. 2A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there.     3Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume [b] and poured it on Jesus' feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house. 4A disciple named Judas Iscariot [c] was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, 5"Why wasn't this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?" 6Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it. 7Jesus replied, "Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor with you, but you won't always have me."
A Plot To Kill Lazarus
 9A lot of people came when they heard that Jesus was there. They also wanted to see Lazarus, because Jesus had raised him from death. 10So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus. 11He was the reason that many of the Jewish leaders were turning from them and putting their faith in Jesus.    
Jesus Enters Jerusalem
(Matthew 21.1-11; Mark 11.1-11; Luke 19.28-40)
 12The next day a large crowd was in Jerusalem for Passover. When they heard that Jesus was coming for the festival, 13they took palm branches and went out to greet him. [d] They shouted, "Hooray! [e] God bless the one who comes    in the name of the Lord!
   God bless the King
   of Israel!"
    14Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, just as the Scriptures say,
    15"People of Jerusalem,
   don't be afraid!
   Your King is now coming,
   and he is riding
   on a donkey."
    16At first, Jesus' disciples did not understand. But after he had been given his glory, [f] they remembered all this. Everything had happened exactly as the Scriptures said it would. 17-18A crowd had come to meet Jesus because they had seen him call Lazarus out of the tomb. They kept talking about him and this miracle. [g] 19But the Pharisees said to each other, "There is nothing that can be done! Everyone in the world is following Jesus."
  1. John 11:55 get themselves ready: The Jewish people had to do certain things to prepare themselves to worship God.
  2. John 12:3 very expensive bottle of perfume: The Greek text has " expensive perfume made of pure spikenard," a plant used to make perfume.
  3. John 12:4 Iscariot: See the note at 6.71.
  4. John 12:13 took palm branches and went out to greet him: This was one way that the Jewish people welcomed a famous person.
  5. John 12:13 Hooray: This translates a word that can mean " please save us." But it is most often used as a shout of praise to God.
  6. John 12:16 had been given his glory: See the note at 7.39.
  7. John 12:17 miracle: See the note at 2.11.

Psalm 118:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 118

The LORD Is Always Merciful
 1Tell the LORD    how thankful you are,
   because he is kind
   and always merciful.
    2Let Israel shout,
   "God is always merciful!"
    3Let the family of Aaron
   the priest shout,
   "God is always merciful!"
    4Let every true worshiper
   of the LORD shout,
   "God is always merciful!"
    5When I was really hurting,
   I prayed to the LORD.
   He answered my prayer,
   and took my worries away.
    6The LORD is on my side,
   and I am not afraid
   of what others can do to me.
    7With the LORD on my side,
   I will defeat all
   of my hateful enemies.
    8It is better to trust the LORD
   for protection
   than to trust anyone else,
    9including strong leaders.
    10Nations surrounded me,
   but I got rid of them
   by the power of the LORD.
    11They attacked from all sides,
   but I got rid of them
   by the power of the LORD.
    12They swarmed around like bees,
   but by the power of the LORD,
   I got rid of them
   and their fiery sting.
    13Their attacks were so fierce
   that I nearly fell,
   but the LORD helped me.
    14My power and my strength
   come from the LORD,
   and he has saved me.
    15From the tents of God's people
   come shouts of victory:
   "The LORD is powerful!
    16With his mighty arm
   the LORD wins victories!
   The LORD is powerful!"
    17And so my life is safe,
   and I will live to tell
   what the LORD has done.
    18He punished me terribly,
   but he did not let death
   lay its hands on me.

Proverbs 15:24-26 (Contemporary English Version)

24All who are wise follow a road
   that leads upward to life
   and away from death.
    25The LORD destroys the homes
   of those who are proud,
   but he protects the property
   of widows.
    26The LORD hates evil thoughts,
   but kind words please him.

Verse of the Day

“[Taking Sides]My dear friends, as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg you to get along with each other. Don't take sides. Always try to agree in what you think.” - 1 Corinthians 1:10
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Al Franken, official portrait, 114th Congress.jpgThought for the Day

American comedian, actor, writer and politician, Al Franken wrote, “In the United States of America, satire is protected speech, even if the object of the satire doesn’t get it.”

Image result for priest and dying man jokeA Joke for Today
A priest was preparing a man for his long journey into the night.
Whispering firmly, the priest said, "Denounce the devil! Let him know how little you think of his evil."
The dying man said nothing.
The priest repeated his order. Still the dying man said nothing.
The priest asked, "Why do you refuse to denounce the devil and his evil?"

The dying man said, "Until I know where I'm heading, I don't think I ought to aggravate anybody." 

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