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 7, 2017

Bible Readings for May 7, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Samuel 1:1–2:21; John 5:1-23; Psalm 105:37-45; and Proverbs 14:28-29. 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 1-2:21 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Samuel 1

Hannah Asks the LORD for a Child
 1Elkanah lived in Ramah, [a] a town in the hill country of Ephraim. His great-great-grandfather was Zuph, so Elkanah was a member of the Zuph clan of the Ephraim tribe. Elkanah's father was Jeroham, his grandfather was Elihu, and his great-grandfather was Tohu. 2Elkanah had two wives, [b] Hannah and Peninnah. Although Peninnah had children, Hannah did not have any. 3Once a year Elkanah traveled from his hometown to Shiloh, where he worshiped the LORD All-Powerful and offered sacrifices. Eli was the LORD's priest there, and his two sons Hophni and Phinehas served with him as priests. [c] 4Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he gave some of the meat [d] to Peninnah and some to each of her sons and daughters. 5But he gave Hannah even more, because he loved Hannah very much, even though the LORD had kept her from having children of her own. 6Peninnah liked to make Hannah feel miserable about not having any children, 7especially when the family went to the house of the LORD [e] each year. One day, Elkanah was there offering a sacrifice, when Hannah began crying and refused to eat. 8So Elkanah asked, "Hannah, why are you crying? Why won't you eat? Why do you feel so bad? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?"     9When the sacrifice had been offered, and they had eaten the meal, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli was sitting in his chair near the door to the place of worship. 10Hannah was brokenhearted and was crying as she prayed, 11"LORD All-Powerful, I am your servant, but I am so miserable! Please let me have a son. I will give him to you for as long as he lives, and his hair will never be cut." [f] 12-13Hannah prayed silently to the LORD for a long time. But her lips were moving, and Eli thought she was drunk. 14"How long are you going to stay drunk?" he asked. "Sober up!"
    15-16"Sir, please don't think I'm no good!" Hannah answered. "I'm not drunk, and I haven't been drinking. But I do feel miserable and terribly upset. I've been praying all this time, telling the LORD about my problems."
    17Eli replied, "You may go home now and stop worrying. I'm sure the God of Israel will answer your prayer."
    18"Sir, thank you for being so kind to me," Hannah said. Then she left, and after eating something, she felt much better.
Samuel Is Born
 19Elkanah and his family got up early the next morning and worshiped the LORD. Then they went back home to Ramah. Later the LORD blessed Elkanah and Hannah 20with a son. She named him Samuel because she had asked the LORD for him. [g]
Hannah Gives Samuel to the LORD
 21The next time Elkanah and his family went to offer their yearly sacrifice, he took along a gift that he had promised to give to the LORD. 22But Hannah stayed home, because she had told Elkanah, "Samuel and I won't go until he's old enough for me to stop nursing him. Then I'll give him to the LORD, and he can stay there at Shiloh for the rest of his life."     23"You know what's best," Elkanah said. "Stay here until it's time to stop nursing him. I'm sure the LORD will help you do what you have promised." [h] Hannah did not go to Shiloh until she stopped nursing Samuel. 24-25When it was the time of year to go to Shiloh again, Hannah and Elkanah [i] took Samuel to the LORD's house. They brought along a three-year-old bull, [j] a twenty-pound sack of flour, and a clay jar full of wine. Hannah and Elkanah offered the bull as a sacrifice, then brought the little boy to Eli. 26"Sir," Hannah said, "a few years ago I stood here beside you and asked the LORD 27to give me a child. Here he is! The LORD gave me just what I asked for. 28Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will be the LORD's servant for as long as he lives."
   Elkanah [k] worshiped the LORD there at Shiloh, and

1 Samuel 2

Hannah Prays
 1Hannah prayed:    You make me strong
   and happy, LORD.
   You rescued me.
   Now I can be glad
   and laugh at my enemies.
    2No other god [l] is like you. We're safer with you
   than on a high mountain. [m] 3I can tell those proud people,
   "Stop your boasting!
   Nothing is hidden from the LORD,
   and he judges what we do."
    4Our LORD, you break
   the bows of warriors,
   but you give strength
   to everyone who stumbles.
    5People who once
   had plenty to eat
   must now hire themselves out
   for only a piece of bread.
   But you give the hungry more
   than enough to eat.
   A woman did not have a child,
   and you gave her seven,
   but a woman who had many
   was left with none.
    6You take away life,
   and you give life.
   You send people down
   to the world of the dead
   and bring them back again.
    7Our LORD, you are the one
   who makes us rich or poor.
   You put some in high positions
   and bring disgrace on others.
    8You lift the poor and homeless
   out of the garbage dump
   and give them places of honor
   in royal palaces.
   You set the world on foundations,
   and they belong to you.
    9You protect your loyal people,
   but everyone who is evil
   will die in darkness.
   We cannot win a victory
   by our own strength.
    10Our LORD, those who attack you
   will be broken in pieces
   when you fight back
   with thunder from heaven.
   You will judge the whole earth
   and give power and strength
   to your chosen king.
Samuel Stays with Eli
 11Elkanah and Hannah went back home to Ramah, but the boy Samuel stayed to help Eli serve the LORD.    
Eli's Sons
 12-13Eli's sons were priests, but they were dishonest and refused to obey the LORD. So, while people were boiling the meat from their sacrifices, these priests would send over a servant with a large, three-pronged fork. 14The servant would stick the fork into the cooking pot, and whatever meat came out on the fork was taken back to the priests. That is how these two priests treated every Israelite who came to offer sacrifices in Shiloh. 15Sometimes, when people were offering sacrifices, the servant would come over, even before the fat had been cut off and sacrificed to the LORD. [n] Then the servant would tell them, "The priest doesn't want his meat boiled! Give him some raw meat that he can roast!"     16Usually the people answered, "Take what you want. But first, let us sacrifice the fat to the LORD."
   "No," the servant would reply. "If you don't give it to me now, I'll take it by force."
    17Eli's sons did not show any respect for the sacrifices that the people offered. This was a terrible sin, and it made the LORD very angry.
Hannah Visits Samuel
 18The boy Samuel served the LORD and wore a special linen garment [o] 19and the clothes [p] his mother made for him. She would bring new clothes every year, when she and her husband came to offer sacrifices at Shiloh. 20Eli would always bless Elkanah and his wife and say, "Samuel was born in answer to your prayers. Now you have given him to the LORD. I pray that the LORD will bless you with more children to take his place." After Eli had blessed them, Elkanah and Hannah would return home.     21The LORD was kind to Hannah, and she had three more sons and two daughters. But Samuel grew up at the LORD's house in Shiloh.
  1. 1 Samuel 1:1 Ramah: The Hebrew has "Ramathaim," a longer form of "Ramah" (see verse 19).
  2. 1 Samuel 1:2 two wives: Having more than one wife was allowed in those times.
  3. 1 Samuel 1:3 Eli. . . priests: One ancient translation; Hebrew "Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, served the LORD as priests."
  4. 1 Samuel 1:4 meat: For some sacrifices, like this one, only part of the meat was burned. Some was given to the priest, and the rest was eaten by the family and guests of the worshiper (see Leviticus 3.1-17; 7.11-18).
  5. 1 Samuel 1:7 house of the LORD: Another name for the place of worship at Shiloh, which still may have been the sacred tent at this time.
  6. 1 Samuel 1:11 his hair. . . cut: Never cutting the child's hair would be a sign that he would belong to the LORD (see Numbers 6.1,21, especially verse 5).
  7. 1 Samuel 1:20 him: In Hebrew "Samuel" sounds something like "Someone from God" or "The name of God" or "His name is God."
  8. 1 Samuel 1:23 the LORD. . . promised: The Dead Sea Scrolls and two ancient translations; the Standard Hebrew Text "the LORD will do what he said."
  9. 1 Samuel 1:24 When it was the time of year to go to Shiloh again, Hannah and Elkanah: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text "she."
  10. 1 Samuel 1:24 a three-year-old bull: The Dead Sea Scrolls and two ancient translations; the Standard Hebrew Text "three bulls."
  11. 1 Samuel 1:28 Elkanah: Or "They" or "Samuel."
  12. 1 Samuel 2:2 god: The Hebrew text has "holy one," a term for supernatural beings or gods.
  13. 1 Samuel 2:2 mountain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 2.
  14. 1 Samuel 2:15 sacrificed to the LORD: The fat belonged to the LORD and was supposed to be burned as a sacrifice before the rest of the animal was cooked and eaten (see Leviticus 3.3,4,9,10,14,15).
  15. 1 Samuel 2:18 a special linen garment: Either a loin cloth or a jacket or a vest worn only by priests.
  16. 1 Samuel 2:19 clothes: The Hebrew word means a sleeveless coat or robe that was worn by priests. Samuel was a small child, but his mother made him clothes just like those worn by priests.

John 5:1-23 (Contemporary English Version)

John 5

Jesus Heals a Sick Man
 1Later, Jesus went to Jerusalem for another Jewish festival. [a] 2In the city near the sheep gate was a pool with five porches, and its name in Hebrew was Bethzatha. [b] 3-4Many sick, blind, lame, and crippled people were lying close to the pool. [c] 5Beside the pool was a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw the man and realized that he had been crippled for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to be healed?"     7The man answered, "Lord, I don't have anyone to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up. I try to get in, but someone else always gets there first."
    8Jesus told him, "Pick up your mat and walk!" 9Right then the man was healed. He picked up his mat and started walking around. The day on which this happened was a Sabbath.
    10When the Jewish leaders saw the man carrying his mat, they said to him, "This is the Sabbath! No one is allowed to carry a mat on the Sabbath."
    11But he replied, "The man who healed me told me to pick up my mat and walk."
    12They asked him, "Who is this man that told you to pick up your mat and walk?" 13But he did not know who Jesus was, and Jesus had left because of the crowd.
    14Later, Jesus met the man in the temple and told him, "You are now well. But don't sin anymore or something worse might happen to you." 15The man left and told the leaders that Jesus was the one who had healed him. 16They started making a lot of trouble for Jesus because he did things like this on the Sabbath.
    17But Jesus said, "My Father has never stopped working, and that is why I keep on working." 18Now the leaders wanted to kill Jesus for two reasons. First, he had broken the law of the Sabbath. But even worse, he had said that God was his Father, which made him equal with God.
The Son's Authority
 19Jesus told the people:    I tell you for certain that the Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing, and he does exactly what he sees the Father do. 20The Father loves the Son and has shown him everything he does. The Father will show him even greater things, and you will be amazed. 21Just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants to.
    22The Father doesn't judge anyone, but he has made his Son the judge of everyone. 23The Father wants all people to honor the Son as much as they honor him. When anyone refuses to honor the Son, that is the same as refusing to honor the Father who sent him.
  1. John 5:1 another Jewish festival: Either the Festival of Shelters or Passover.
  2. John 5:2 Bethzatha: Some manuscripts have " Bethesda" and others have " Bethsaida."
  3. John 5:3 pool: Some manuscripts add, " They were waiting for the water to be stirred, because an angel from the Lord would sometimes come down and stir it. The first person to get into the pool after that would be healed."

Psalm 105:37-45 (Contemporary English Version)

37When God led Israel from Egypt,
   they took silver and gold,
   and no one was left behind.
    38The Egyptians were afraid
   and gladly let them go.
    39God hid them under a cloud
   and guided them by fire
   during the night.
    40When they asked for food,
   he sent more birds
   than they could eat.
    41God even split open a rock,
   and streams of water
   gushed into the desert.
    42God never forgot
   his sacred promise
   to his servant Abraham.
    43When the Lord rescued
   his chosen people from Egypt,
   they celebrated with songs.
    44The Lord gave them the land
   and everything else
   the nations had worked for.
    45He did this so that his people
   would obey all of his laws.
   Shout praises to the LORD!

Proverbs 14:28-29 (Contemporary English Version)

28Rulers of powerful nations
   are held in honor;
   rulers of weak nations
   are nothing at all.
    29It's smart to be patient,
   but it's stupid
   to lose your temper.

Verse of the Day

“Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Painting of David Hume.jpgThought for the Day

Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, David Hume wrote, “A man acquainted with history may, in some respect, be said to have lived from the beginning of the world, and to have been making continual additions to his stock of knowledge in every century.”

A Joke for the Day
While volunteering in a soup kitchen, I hit it off with a very attractive single man. It was a relief, since my mother and I always laughed  because the men to whom I was drawn were inevitably married. So, optimistic about my chances, I asked my new friend what he did for a  living. He replied, “I’m a priest.”

Lisa Shasha, Norwich, Connecticut

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