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 3, 2017

Bible Readings for May 3, 2017

Today our passages are Judges 17:1–18:31; John 3:1-21; Psalm 104:1-23; and Proverbs 14:20-21. 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.

Judges 17-18:31 (Contemporary English Version)

Judges 17

Micah Makes Idols and Hires a Priest
 1Micah [a] belonged to the Ephraim tribe and lived in the hill country.     2One day he told his mother, " Do you remember those eleven hundred pieces of silver [b] that were stolen from you? I was there when you put a curse on whoever stole them. Well, I'm the one who did it." His mother answered, " I pray that the LORD will bless [c] you, my son."
    3-4Micah returned the silver to his mother, and she said, " I give this silver to the LORD, so my son can use it to make an idol." Turning to her son, she said, " Micah, now the silver belongs to you."
   But Micah handed it back to his mother. She took two hundred pieces [d] of the silver and gave them to a silver worker, who made them into an idol. [e] They kept the idol in Micah's house.
    5He had a shrine for worshiping God there at his home, and he had made some idols and a sacred priestly vest. Micah chose one of his own sons to be the priest for his shrine.
    6This was before kings ruled Israel, so all the Israelites did whatever they thought was right.
    7-8One day a young Levite came to Micah's house in the hill country of Ephraim. He had been staying with one of the clans of Judah in Bethlehem, but he had left Bethlehem to find a new place to live [f] where he could be a priest. [g]
    9" Where are you from?" Micah asked.
   " I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah," the man answered, " and I'm on my way to find a new place to live."
    10Micah said, " Why don't you stay here with me? You can be my priest and tell me what God wants me to do. Every year I'll give you ten pieces of silver and one complete set of clothes, and I'll provide all your food."
   The young man went for a walk,
    11-12then he agreed to stay with Micah and be his priest. He lived in Micah's house, and Micah treated him like one of his own sons.
    13Micah said, " I have a Levite as my own priest. Now I know that the LORD will be kind to me."

Judges 18

 1These things happened before kings ruled Israel.    About this time, the tribe of Dan was looking for a place to live. The other tribes had land, but the people of Dan did not really have any to call their own.
The Tribe of Dan Takes Micah's Priest and Idols
 2The tribe chose five warriors to represent their clans and told them, " Go and find some land where we can live."    The warriors left the area of Zorah and Eshtaol and went into the hill country of Ephraim. One night they stayed at Micah's house,
    3because they heard the young Levite talking, and they knew from his accent that he was from the south. They asked him, " What are you doing here? Who brought you here?"
    4The Levite replied, " Micah hired me as his priest." Then he told them how well Micah had treated him.
    5" Please talk to God for us," the men said. " Ask God if we will be successful in what we are trying to do."
    6" Don't worry," answered the priest. " The LORD is pleased with what you are doing."
    7The five men left and went to the town of Laish, whose people were from Sidon, [h] but Sidon was too far away to protect them. Even though their town had no walls, the people thought they were safe from attack. So they had not asked anyone else [i] for protection, which meant that the tribe of Dan could easily take over Laish. [j]
    8The five men went back to Zorah and Eshtaol, where their relatives asked, " Did you find any land?"
    9-10" Let's go!" the five men said. " We saw some very good land with enough room for all of us, and it has everything we will ever need. What are you waiting for? Let's attack and take it. You'll find that the people think they're safe, but God is giving the land to us."
    11Six hundred men from the tribe of Dan strapped on their weapons and left Zorah and Eshtaol with their families. [k]
    12One night they camped near Kiriath-Jearim in the territory of Judah, and that's why the place just west of Kiriath-Jearim is still known as Dan's Camp. [l]
    13Then they went into the hill country of Ephraim. When they came close to Micah's house,
    14the five men who had been spies asked the other warriors, " Did you know that someone in this village has several idols and a sacred priestly vest? What do you think we should do about it?"
    15-18The six hundred warriors left the road and went to the house on Micah's property where the young Levite priest lived. They stood at the gate and greeted the priest. Meanwhile, the five men who had been there before went into Micah's house and took the sacred priestly vest and the idols.
   " Hey!" the priest shouted. " What do you think you're doing?"
    19" Quiet!" the men said. " Keep your mouth shut and listen. Why don't you come with us and be our priest, so you can tell us what God wants us to do? You could stay here and be a priest for one man's family, but wouldn't you rather be the priest for a clan or even a whole tribe of Israel?"
    20The priest really liked that idea. So he took the vest and the idols and joined the others
    21from the tribe of Dan. Then they turned and left, after putting their children, their cattle, and the rest of their other possessions in front.
    22They had traveled for some time, before Micah asked his neighbors to help him get his things back. He and his men caught up with the people of Dan
    23and shouted for them to stop.
   They turned to face him and asked, " What's wrong? Why did you bring all these men?"
    24Micah answered, " You know what's wrong. You stole the gods [m] I made, and you took my priest. I don't have anything left."
    25" We don't want to hear any more about it," the people of Dan said. " And if you make us angry, you'll only get yourself and your family killed."
    26After saying this, they turned and left.
   Micah realized there was no way he could win a fight with them, and so he went back home.
The Tribe of Dan Captures Laish
 27-28The tribe of Dan took Micah's priest and the things Micah had made, and headed for Laish, which was located in a valley controlled by the town of Beth-Rehob. Laish was defenseless, because it had no walls and was too far from Sidon for the Sidonians to help defend it. The leaders of Laish had not even asked nearby towns to help them in case of an attack.    The warriors from Dan made a surprise attack on Laish, killing everyone and burning it down. Then they rebuilt the town and settled there themselves.
    29But they named it Dan, after one of Israel's [n] sons, who was the ancestor of their tribe.
    30-31Even though the place of worship [o] was in Shiloh, the people of Dan set up the idol Micah had made. They worshiped the idol, and the Levite was their priest. His name was Jonathan, and he was a descendant of Gershom the son of Moses. [p] His descendants served as priests for the tribe of Dan, until the people of Israel were taken away as prisoners by their enemies.
  1. Judges 17:1 Micah: The Hebrew also uses the longer form " Micaiah."
  2. Judges 17:2 eleven hundred. . . silver: About 28 pounds.
  3. Judges 17:2 curse. . . bless: A curse could not be taken back, but it could be made powerless by a blessing.
  4. Judges 17:3 two hundred pieces: About 5 pounds.
  5. Judges 17:3 idol: Probably carved from wood and covered with the silver.
  6. Judges 17:7 place to live: The people of the Levi tribe did not have a large area of land like the other tribes.
  7. Judges 17:7 to find. . . priest: Or " and was on his way to find a new place to live."
  8. Judges 18:7 whose people. . . Sidon: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  9. Judges 18:7 anyone else: Hebrew; one ancient translation has " the Arameans," who were a short distance to the north.
  10. Judges 18:7 which. . . Laish: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  11. Judges 18:11 Eshtaol with their families: Hebrew " Eshtaol" (see verse 21).
  12. Judges 18:12 Dan's Camp: See the note at 13.25.
  13. Judges 18:24 gods: Or " god."
  14. Judges 18:29 Israel's: Israel was another name for Jacob, the father of the twelve ancestors of the tribes of Israel.
  15. Judges 18:30 place of worship: The Hebrew text has " house of God," which at this time was probably the sacred tent.
  16. Judges 18:30 Moses: Some manuscripts of two ancient translations; the Standard Hebrew Text has " Manasseh," but written in a special way that tells the reader " Moses" had been changed to " Manasseh."

John 3:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)

John 3

Jesus and Nicodemus
 1There was a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a Jewish leader. 2One night he went to Jesus and said, "Sir, we know that God has sent you to teach us. You could not work these miracles, unless God were with you."     3Jesus replied, "I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God's kingdom!"
    4Nicodemus asked, "How can a grown man ever be born a second time?"
    5Jesus answered:
   I tell you for certain that before you can get into God's kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit. 6Humans give life to their children. Yet only God's Spirit can change you into a child of God. 7Don't be surprised when I say that you must be born from above. 8Only God's Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going.
    9"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
    10Jesus replied:
   How can you be a teacher of Israel and not know these things? 11I tell you for certain that we know what we are talking about because we have seen it ourselves. But none of you will accept what we say. 12If you don't believe when I talk to you about things on earth, how can you possibly believe if I talk to you about things in heaven?
    13No one has gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from there. 14And the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert. [a] 15Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life. 16God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. 17God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! 18No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn't have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God's only Son.
    19The light has come into the world, and people who do evil things are judged guilty because they love the dark more than the light. 20People who do evil hate the light and won't come to the light, because it clearly shows what they have done. 21But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light, because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do.
  1. John 3:14 just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert: When the Lord punished the people of Israel by sending snakes to bite them, he told Moses to hold a metal snake up on a pole. Everyone who looked at the snake was cured of the snake bites (see Numbers 21.4-9).

Psalm 104:1-23 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 104

The LORD Takes Care of His Creation
 1I praise you, LORD God,    with all my heart.
   You are glorious and majestic,
   dressed in royal robes
    2and surrounded by light.
   You spread out the sky
   like a tent,
    3and you built your home
   over the mighty ocean.
   The clouds are your chariot
   with the wind as its wings.
    4The winds are your messengers,
   and flames of fire
   are your servants.
    5You built foundations
   for the earth,
   and it
   will never be shaken.
    6You covered the earth
   with the ocean
   that rose
   above the mountains.
    7Then your voice thundered!
   And the water flowed
    8down the mountains
   and through the valleys
   to the place you prepared.
    9Now you have set boundaries,
   so that the water will never
   flood the earth again.
    10You provide streams of water
   in the hills and valleys,
    11so that the donkeys
   and other wild animals
   can satisfy their thirst.
    12Birds build their nests nearby
   and sing in the trees.
    13From your home above
   you send rain on the hills
   and water the earth.
    14You let the earth produce
   grass for cattle,
   plants for our food,
    15wine to cheer us up,
   olive oil for our skin,
   and grain for our health.
    16Our LORD, your trees
   always have water,
   and so do the cedars
   you planted in Lebanon.
    17Birds nest in those trees,
   and storks make their home
   in the fir trees.
    18Wild goats find a home
   in the tall mountains,
   and small animals can hide
   between the rocks.
    19You created the moon
   to tell us the seasons.
   The sun knows when to set,
    20and you made the darkness,
   so the animals in the forest
   could come out at night.
    21Lions roar as they hunt
   for the food you provide.
    22But when morning comes,
   they return to their dens,
    23then we go out to work
   until the end of day.

Proverbs 14:20-21 (Contemporary English Version)

20You have no friends
   if you are poor,
   but you have lots of friends
   if you are rich.
    21It's wrong to hate others,
   but God blesses everyone
   who is kind to the poor.

Verse of the Day

“Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying.” - Romans 12:12
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature, William Butler Yeats wrote, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

A Joke for Today
A young executive is working late one evening. As he comes out of his office about 8 PM he sees the Big Boss standing by the shredder in the hallway, a piece of paper in his hand. "Do you know how to work this thing?" the older man asks. "My secretary’s gone home and I don’t know how to run it."

"Yes, sir," says the young executive, who turns on the machine, takes the paper from the other man, and feeds it in.

"Now," says his boss, "I just need the one copy." 

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