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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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Bible Readings for May 29, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 14:1–15:22; John 18:1-24; Psalm 119:97-112; and Proverbs 16:8-9. 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.

2 Samuel 14-15:22 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 14

 1Joab knew that David couldn't stop thinking about Absalom, 2-3and he sent someone to bring in the wise woman who lived in Tekoa. Joab told her, "Put on funeral clothes and don't use any makeup. Go to the king and pretend you have spent a long time mourning the death of a loved one." Then he told her what to say.     4The woman from Tekoa went to David. She bowed very low and said, "Your Majesty, please help me!"
    5David asked, "What's the matter?"
   She replied:
   My husband is dead, and I'm a widow. 6I had two sons, but they got into a fight out in a field where there was no one to pull them apart, and one of them killed the other. 7Now all of my relatives have come to me and said, "Hand over your son! We're going to put him to death for killing his brother." But what they really want is to get rid of him, so they can take over our land.
   Please don't let them put out my only flame of hope! There won't be anyone left on this earth to carry on my husband's name.
    8"Go on home," David told her. "I'll take care of this matter for you."
    9The woman said, "I hope your decision doesn't cause any problems for you. But if it does, you can blame me." a<="" value="[a]" >[] 10He said, "If anyone gives you any trouble, bring them to me, and it won't happen again!"
    11"Please," she replied, "swear by the LORD your God that no one will be allowed to kill my son!"
   He said, "I swear by the living LORD that no one will touch even a hair on his head!"
    12Then she asked, "Your Majesty, may I say something?"
   "Yes," he answered.
    13The woman said:
   Haven't you been hurting God's people? Your own son had to leave the country. And when you judged in my favor, it was the same as admitting that you should have let him come back. 14We each must die and disappear like water poured out on the ground. But God doesn't take our lives. [b<="">] Instead, he figures out ways of bringing us back when we run away. 15Your Majesty, I came here to tell you about my problem, because I was afraid of what someone might do to me. I decided to come to you, because I thought you could help. 16In fact, I knew that you would listen and save my son and me from those who want to take the land that God gave us. [c<="">] 17I can rest easy now that you have given your decision. You know the difference between right and wrong just like an angel of God, and I pray that the LORD your God will be with you.
    18Then David said to the woman, "Now I'm going to ask you a question, and don't try to hide the truth!"
   The woman replied, "Please go ahead, Your Majesty."
    19David asked, "Did Joab put you up to this?"
   The woman answered, "Your Majesty, I swear by your life that no one can hide the truth from you. Yes, Joab did tell me what to say, 20but only to show you the other side of this problem. You must be as wise as the angel of God to know everything that goes on in this country."
    21David turned to Joab and said, "It seems that I have already given my decision. Go and bring Absalom back."
    22Joab bowed very low and said, "Your Majesty, I thank you for giving your permission. It shows that you approve of me."
    23Joab went to Geshur to get Absalom. But when they came back to Jerusalem, 24David told Joab, "I don't want to see my son Absalom. Tell him to stay away from me." So Absalom went to his own house without seeing his father.
Absalom Was Handsome
 25No one in all Israel was as handsome and well-built as Absalom. 26He got his hair cut once a year, and when the hair was weighed, it came to about five pounds.     27Absalom had three sons. He also had a daughter named Tamar, who grew up to be very beautiful.
Absalom Finally Sees David
 28Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years without seeing his father. 29He wanted Joab to talk to David for him. So one day he sent a message asking Joab to come over, but Joab refused. Absalom sent another message, but Joab still refused. 30Finally, Absalom told his servants, "Joab's barley field is right next to mine. Go set it on fire!" And they did.     31Joab went to Absalom's house and demanded, "Why did your servants set my field on fire?"
    32Absalom answered, "You didn't pay any attention when I sent for you. I want you to ask my father why he told me to come back from Geshur. I was better off there. I want to see my father now! If I'm guilty, let him kill me."
    33Joab went to David and told him what Absalom had said. David sent for Absalom, and Absalom came. He bowed very low, and David leaned over and kissed him.

2 Samuel 15

Absalom Rebels against David
 1Some time later, Absalom got himself a chariot with horses to pull it, and he had fifty men run in front. 2He would get up early each morning and wait by the side of the road that led to the city gate. [d<="">] Anyone who had a complaint to bring to King David would have to go that way, and Absalom would ask each of them, "Where are you from?" If they said, "I'm from a tribe in the north," 3Absalom would say, "You deserve to win your case. It's too bad the king doesn't have anyone to hear complaints like yours. 4I wish someone would make me the judge around here! I would be fair to everyone."     5Whenever anyone would come to Absalom and start bowing down, he would reach out and hug and kiss them. 6That's how he treated everyone from Israel who brought a complaint to the king. Soon everyone in Israel liked Absalom better than they liked David.
    7Four years [e<="">] later, Absalom said to David, "Please, let me go to Hebron. I have to keep a promise that I made to the LORD, 8when I was living with the Arameans in Geshur. I promised that if the LORD would bring me back to live in Jerusalem, I would worship him in Hebron." [f<="">] 9David gave his permission, and Absalom went to Hebron. 10-12He took two hundred men from Jerusalem with him, but they had no idea what he was going to do. Absalom offered sacrifices in Hebron and sent someone to Gilo to tell David's advisor Ahithophel to come.
   More and more people were joining Absalom and supporting his plot. Meanwhile, Absalom had secretly sent some messengers to the northern tribes of Israel. The messengers told everyone, "When you hear the sound of the trumpets, you must shout, `Absalom now rules as king in Hebron!' "
David Has To Leave Jerusalem
 13A messenger came and told David, "Everyone in Israel is on Absalom's side!"     14David's officials were in Jerusalem with him, and he told them, "Let's get out of here! We'll have to leave soon, or none of us will escape from Absalom. Hurry! If he moves fast, he could catch us while we're still here. Then he will kill us and everyone else in the city."
    15The officials said, "Your Majesty, we'll do whatever you say."
    16-17David left behind ten of his wives [g<="">] to take care of the palace, but the rest of his family and his officials and soldiers went with him. They stopped at the last house at the edge of the city. 18Then David stood there and watched while his regular troops and his bodyguards [h<="">] marched past. The last group was the six hundred soldiers who had followed him from Gath. [i<="">] Their commander was Ittai. 19David spoke to Ittai and said, "You're a foreigner from the town of Gath. You don't have to leave with us. Go back and join the new king! 20You haven't been with me very long, so why should you have to follow me, when I don't even know where I'm going? Take your soldiers and go back. I pray that the Lord will be [j<="">] kind and faithful to you." 21Ittai answered, "Your Majesty, just as surely as you and the LORD live, I will go where you go, no matter if it costs me my life."
    22"Then come on!" David said.
   So Ittai and all his men and their families walked on past David.
  1. 2 Samuel 14:9 I hope. . . me: Or "May I speak some more?"
  2. 2 Samuel 14:14 take our lives: Or "make any exceptions."
  3. 2 Samuel 14:16 take. . . us: Or "make sure we have no part in God's people."
  4. 2 Samuel 15:2 the city gate: Or "the entrance to the king's palace."
  5. 2 Samuel 15:7 Four years: The Hebrew text has "forty years."
  6. 2 Samuel 15:8 in Hebron: Some manuscripts of one ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text.
  7. 2 Samuel 15:16 wives: See the note at 3.7.
  8. 2 Samuel 15:18 bodyguards: See the note at 8.18.
  9. 2 Samuel 15:18 the six. . . Gath: These were Philistine soldiers who were loyal to David.
  10. 2 Samuel 15:20 I pray. . . be: One ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text.

John 18:1-24 (Contemporary English Version)

John 18

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested
(Matthew 26.47-56; Mark 14.43-50; Luke 22.47-53)
 1When Jesus had finished praying, he and his disciples crossed the Kidron Valley and went into a garden. a<="" value="[a]" >[] 2Jesus had often met there with his disciples, and Judas knew where the place was. 3-5Judas had promised to betray Jesus. So he went to the garden with some Roman soldiers and temple police, who had been sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees. They carried torches, lanterns, and weapons. Jesus already knew everything that was going to happen, but he asked, "Who are you looking for?"    They answered, "We are looking for Jesus from Nazareth!"
   Jesus told them, "I am Jesus!" [b<="">] 6At once they all backed away and fell to the ground. 7Jesus again asked, "Who are you looking for?"
   "We are looking for Jesus from Nazareth," they answered.
    8This time Jesus replied, "I have already told you that I am Jesus. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go. 9Then everything will happen, just as I said, `I did not lose anyone you gave me.' "
    10Simon Peter had brought along a sword. He now pulled it out and struck at the servant of the high priest. The servant's name was Malchus, and Peter cut off his right ear. 11Jesus told Peter, "Put your sword away. I must drink from the cup [c<="">] that the Father has given me."
Jesus Is Brought to Annas
(Matthew 26.57,58; Mark 14.53,54; Luke 22.54)
 12The Roman officer and his men, together with the temple police, arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13They took him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14This was the same Caiaphas who had told the Jewish leaders, "It is better if one person dies for the people."    
Peter Says He Doesn't Know Jesus
(Matthew 26.69,70; Mark 14.66-68; Luke 22.55-57)
 15Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That disciple knew the high priest, and he followed Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest's house. 16Peter stayed outside near the gate. But the other disciple came back out and spoke to the girl at the gate. She let Peter go in, 17but asked him, "Aren't you one of that man's followers?"    "No, I am not!" Peter answered.
    18It was cold, and the servants and temple police had made a charcoal fire. They were warming themselves around it, when Peter went over and stood near the fire to warm himself.
Jesus Is Questioned by the High Priest
(Matthew 26.59-66; Mark 14.55-64; Luke 22.66-71)
 19The high priest questioned Jesus about his followers and his teaching. 20But Jesus told him, "I have spoken freely in front of everyone. And I have always taught in our meeting places and in the temple, where all of our people come together. I have not said anything in secret. 21Why are you questioning me? Why don't you ask the people who heard me? They know what I have said."     22As soon as Jesus said this, one of the temple police hit him and said, "That's no way to talk to the high priest!"
    23Jesus answered, "If I have done something wrong, say so. But if not, why did you hit me?" 24Jesus was still tied up, and Annas sent him to Caiaphas the high priest.
  1. John 18:1 garden: The Greek word is usually translated " garden," but probably referred to an olive orchard.
  2. John 18:3 I am Jesus: The Greek text has " I am" (see the note at 8.24).
  3. John 18:11 drink from the cup: In the Scriptures a cup is sometimes used as a symbol of suffering. To " drink from the cup" is to suffer.

Psalm 119:97-112 (Contemporary English Version)

97I deeply love your Law!
   I think about it all day.
    98Your laws never leave my mind,
   and they make me much wiser
   than my enemies.
    99Thinking about your teachings
   gives me better understanding
   than my teachers,
    100and obeying your laws
   makes me wiser
   than those
   who have lived a long time.
    101I obey your word
   instead of following a way
   that leads to trouble.
    102You have been my teacher,
   and I won't reject
   your instructions.
    103Your teachings are sweeter
   than honey.
    104They give me understanding
   and make me hate all lies.
    105Your word is a lamp
   that gives light
   wherever I walk.
    106Your laws are fair,
   and I have given my word
   to respect them all.
    107I am in terrible pain!
   Save me, LORD,
   as you said you would.
    108Accept my offerings of praise
   and teach me your laws.
    109I never forget your teachings,
   although my life is always
   in danger.
    110Some merciless people
   are trying to trap me,
   but I never turn my back
   on your teachings.
    111They will always be
   my most prized possession
   and my source of joy.
    112I have made up my mind
   to obey your laws forever,
   no matter what.

Proverbs 16:8-9 (Contemporary English Version)

8It's better to be honest
   and poor
   than to be dishonest
   and rich.
    9We make our own plans,
   but the LORD decides
   where we will go.

Verse of the Day

“The LORD is always kind to those who worship him, and he keeps his promises to their descendants who faithfully obey him.” - Psalm 103:17-18
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

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