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 9, 2017

Bible Readings for May 9, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Samuel 5:1–7:17; John 6:1-21; Psalm 106:13-31; and Proverbs 14:32-33. 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 5-7:17 (Contemporary English Version)

God Causes Trouble for the Philistines

The Philistines took the sacred chest from near Ebenezer to the town of Ashdod. They brought it into the temple of their god Dagon and put it next to the statue of Dagon, which they worshiped.
When the people of Ashdod got up early the next morning, they found the statue lying facedown on the floor in front of the sacred chest. They put the statue back where it belonged.But early the next morning, it had fallen over again and was lying facedown on the floor in front of the chest. The body of the statue was still in one piece, but its head and both hands had broken off and were lying on the stone floor in the doorway. This is the reason the priests and everyone else step over that part of the doorway when they enter the temple of Dagon in Ashdod.
The Lord caused a lot of trouble for the people of Ashdod and their neighbors. He made sores break out all over their bodies,[a] and everyone was in a panic.[b] Finally, they said, “The God of Israel did this. He is the one who caused all this trouble for us and our god Dagon. We’ve got to get rid of this chest.”
The people of Ashdod had all the Philistine rulers come to Ashdod, and they asked them, “What can we do with the sacred chest that belongs to the God of Israel?”
“Send it to Gath,” the rulers answered. But after they took it there, the Lord made sores break out on everyone in town. The people of Gath were frightened, 10 so they sent the sacred chest to Ekron. But before they could take it through the town gates, the people of Ekron started screaming, “They’ve brought the sacred chest that belongs to the God of Israel! It will kill us and our families too!”

The Philistines Send Back the Sacred Chest

11 The people of Ekron called for another meeting of the Philistine rulers and told them, “Send this chest back where it belongs. Then it won’t kill us.”
Everyone was in a panic, because God was causing a lot of people to die, 12 and those who had survived were suffering from the sores. They all cried to their gods for help.
After the sacred chest had been in Philistia for seven months,[c] the Philistines called in their priests and fortunetellers, and asked, “What should we do with this sacred chest? Tell us how to send it back where it belongs!”
“Don’t send it back without a gift,” the priests and fortunetellers answered. “Send along something to Israel’s God to make up for taking the chest in the first place. Then you will be healed, and you will find out why the Lord was causing you so much trouble.”
“What should we send?” the Philistines asked.
The priests and fortunetellers answered:
There are five Philistine rulers, and they all have the same disease that you have. So make five gold models of the sores and five gold models of the rats that are wiping out your crops. If you honor the God of Israel with this gift, maybe he will stop causing trouble for you and your gods and your crops. Don’t be like the Egyptians and their king. They were stubborn, but when Israel’s God was finished with them, they had to let Israel go.
Get a new cart and two cows that have young calves and that have never pulled a cart. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take the calves back to their barn. Then put the chest on the cart. Put the gold rats and sores into a bag and put it on the cart next to the chest. Then send it on its way.
Watch to see if the chest goes on up the road to the Israelite town of Beth-Shemesh. If it goes back to its own country, you will know that it was the Lord who made us suffer so badly. But if the chest doesn’t go back to its own country, then the Lord had nothing to do with the disease that hit us—it was simply bad luck.
10 The Philistines followed their advice. They hitched up the two cows to the cart, but they kept their calves in a barn. 11 Then they put the chest on the cart, along with the bag that had the gold rats and sores in it.
12 The cows went straight up the road toward Beth-Shemesh, mooing as they went. The Philistine rulers followed them until they got close to Beth-Shemesh.
13 The people of Beth-Shemesh were harvesting their wheat[d] in the valley. When they looked up and saw the chest, they were so happy that they stopped working and started celebrating.
14-15 The cows left the road and pulled the cart into a field that belonged to Joshua from Beth-Shemesh, and they stopped beside a huge rock. Some men from the tribe of Levi were there. So they took the chest off the cart and placed it on the rock, and then they did the same thing with the bag of gold rats and sores. A few other people chopped up the cart and made a fire. They killed the cows and burned them as sacrifices to the Lord. After that, they offered more sacrifices.
16 When the five rulers of the Philistines saw what had happened, they went back to Ekron that same day.
17 That is how the Philistines sent gifts to the Lord to make up for taking the sacred chest. They sent five gold sores, one each for their towns of Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron.18 They also sent one gold rat for each walled town and for every village that the five Philistine rulers controlled. The huge stone[e] where the Levites set the chest is still there in Joshua’s field as a reminder of what happened.

The Sacred Chest Is Sent to Kiriath-Jearim

19 Some of the men of Beth-Shemesh looked inside the sacred chest, and the Lord God killed seventy[f] of them. This made the people of Beth-Shemesh very sad, 20 and they started saying, “No other God is like the Lord! Who can go near him and still live? We’ll have to send the chest away from here. But where can we send it?”
21 They sent messengers to tell the people of Kiriath-Jearim, “The Philistines have sent back the sacred chest. Why don’t you take it and keep it there with you?”
The people of Kiriath-Jearim got the chest and took it to Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill in their town. They chose his son Eleazar to take care of it, and it stayed there for twenty years.
During this time everyone in Israel was very sad and begged the Lord for help.[g]

The People of Israel Turn Back to the Lord

One day, Samuel told all the people of Israel, “If you really want to turn back to the Lord, then prove it. Get rid of your foreign idols, including the ones of the goddess Astarte. Turn to the Lordwith all your heart and worship only him. Then he will rescue you from the Philistines.”
The people got rid of their idols of Baal and Astarte and began worshiping only the Lord.
Then Samuel said, “Tell everyone in Israel to meet together at Mizpah, and I will pray to theLord for you.”
The Israelites met together at Mizpah with Samuel as their leader. They drew water from the well and poured it out as an offering to the Lord. On that same day they went without eating to show their sorrow, and they confessed they had been unfaithful to the Lord.

The Philistines Attack Israel

When the Philistine rulers found out about the meeting at Mizpah, they sent an army there to attack the people of Israel.
The Israelites were afraid when they heard that the Philistines were coming. “Don’t stop praying!” they told Samuel. “Ask the Lord our God to rescue us.”
9-10 Samuel begged the Lord to rescue Israel, then he sacrificed a young lamb to the Lord. Samuel had not even finished offering the sacrifice when the Philistines started to attack. But the Lordanswered his prayer and made thunder crash all around them. The Philistines panicked and ran away. 11 The men of Israel left Mizpah and went after them as far as the hillside below Beth-Car, killing every enemy soldier they caught.
12-13 The Philistines were so badly beaten that it was quite a while before they attacked Israel again. After the battle, Samuel set up a monument between Mizpah and the rocky cliffs. He named it “Help Monument”[h] to remind Israel how much the Lord had helped them.
For as long as Samuel lived, the Lord helped Israel fight the Philistines. 14 The Israelites were even able to recapture their towns and territory between Ekron and Gath.
Israel was also at peace with the Amorites.[i]

Samuel Is a Leader in Israel

15 Samuel was a leader[j] in Israel all his life. 16 Every year he would go around to the towns of Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah where he served as judge for the people. 17 Then he would go back to his home in Ramah and do the same thing there. He also had an altar built for the Lord at Ramah.


  1. 5.6 sores. . . bodies: Or “He struck them with bubonic plague.”
  2. 5.6 panic: Two ancient translations add “Rats came from their ships, and people were dying right and left.”
  3. 6.1 months: One ancient translation adds “and rats were everywhere” or “and rats ate the crops.”
  4. 6.13 wheat: The wheat harvest took place in May and June.
  5. 6.18 stone: A few Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts “meadow” or “stream.”
  6. 6.19 seventy: A few Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts “seventy men, fifty thousand men.”
  7. 7.2 Israel. . . help: Or “Israel turned to the Lord and begged him for help.”
  8. 7.12,13 Help Monument: Or “Ebenezer.”
  9. 7.14 Amorites: In this verse, the non-Israelite peoples of Canaan.
  10. 7.15; 8.1,2,5 leader: The Hebrew word could mean an army commander, a judge, and a religious leader.

John 6:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)

Feeding Five Thousand

Jesus crossed Lake Galilee, which was also known as Lake Tiberias. A large crowd had seen him work miracles to heal the sick, and those people went with him. 3-4 It was almost time for the Jewish festival of Passover, and Jesus went up on a mountain with his disciples and sat down.[a]
When Jesus saw the large crowd coming toward him, he asked Philip, “Where will we get enough food to feed all these people?” He said this to test Philip, since he already knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered, “Don’t you know that it would take almost a year’s wages[b] just to buy only a little bread for each of these people?”
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the disciples. He spoke up and said, “There is a boy here who has five small loaves[c] of barley bread and two fish. But what good is that with all these people?”
10 The ground was covered with grass, and Jesus told his disciples to have everyone sit down. About five thousand men were in the crowd. 11 Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he passed the bread to the people, and he did the same with the fish, until everyone had plenty to eat.
12 The people ate all they wanted, and Jesus told his disciples to gather up the leftovers, so that nothing would be wasted. 13 The disciples gathered them up and filled twelve large baskets with what was left over from the five barley loaves.
14 After the people had seen Jesus work this miracle,[d] they began saying, “This must be the Prophet[e] who is to come into the world!” 15 Jesus realized that they would try to force him to be their king. So he went up on a mountain, where he could be alone.

Jesus Walks on the Water

16 That evening, Jesus' disciples went down to the lake. 17 They got into a boat and started across for Capernaum. Later that evening Jesus had still not come to them, 18 and a strong wind was making the water rough.
19 When the disciples had rowed for three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water. He kept coming closer to the boat, and they were terrified. 20 But he said, “I am Jesus![f] Don’t be afraid!” 21 The disciples wanted to take him into the boat, but suddenly the boat reached the shore where they were headed.


  1. 6.3,4 sat down: Possibly to teach. Teachers in the ancient world, including Jewish teachers, usually sat down to teach.
  2. 6.7 almost a year’s wages: The Greek text has “two hundred silver coins.” Each coin was worth the average day’s wages for a worker.
  3. 6.9 small loaves: These would have been flat and round or in the shape of a bun.
  4. 6.14 miracle: See the note at 2.11.
  5. 6.14 the Prophet: See the note at 1.21.
  6. 6.20 I am Jesus: The Greek text has “I am” (see the note at 8.24).

Psalm 106:13-31 (Contemporary English Version)

13 But they soon forgot
what you had done
    and rejected your advice.
14 They became greedy for food
    and tested you there
    in the desert.
15 So you gave them
    what they wanted,
    but later you destroyed them
    with a horrible disease.
16 Everyone in camp was jealous
of Moses
    and of Aaron,
    your chosen priest.
17 Dathan and Abiram rebelled,
    and the earth opened up
    and swallowed them.
18 Then fire broke out
and destroyed all
    of their followers.
19 At Horeb your people
made and worshiped
    the statue
20     of a bull, instead of you,
    their glorious God.
21 You worked powerful miracles
    to save them from Egypt,
but they forgot about you
22     and the fearsome things
    you did at the Red Sea.[a]
23 You were angry and started
    to destroy them,
    but Moses, your chosen leader,
    begged you not to do it.
24 They would not trust
    you, Lord,
    and they did not like
    the promised land.
25 They would not obey you,
    and they grumbled
    in their tents.
26 So you threatened them
by saying,
“I’ll kill you
    out here in the desert!
27     I’ll scatter your children
    everywhere in the world.”
28 Your people became followers
    of a god named Baal Peor,
    and they ate sacrifices
    offered to the dead.[b]
29 They did such terrible things
    that you punished them
    with a deadly disease.
30 But Phinehas[c] helped them,
    and the sickness stopped.
31     Now he will always
    be highly honored.


  1. 106.7,9,22 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph “Sea of Reeds,” one of the marshes or fresh water lakes near the eastern part of the Nile Delta. This identification is based on Exodus 13.17—14.9, which lists the towns on the route of the Israelites before crossing the sea. In the Greek translation of the Scriptures made about 200 (B).(C)., the “Sea of Reeds” was named “Red Sea.”
  2. 106.28 the dead: Or “lifeless idols.”
  3. 106.30 Phinehas: The grandson of Aaron, who put two people to death and kept the Lord from being angry with the rest of his people (see Numbers 25.1-13).

Proverbs 14:32-33 (Contemporary English Version)

In times of trouble
    the wicked are destroyed,
    but even at death
    the innocent have faith.[
33 Wisdom is found in the minds
of people with good sense,
    but fools don’t know it.[b]


  1. 14.32 but even. . . faith: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. Some ancient translations “but good people trust their innocence.”
  2. 14.33 but. . . it: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text; some ancient translations “but not in the mind of a fool.”

Verse of the Day

If you belong to Christ Jesus, you won’t be punished. The Holy Spirit will give you life that comes from Christ Jesus and will set you free from sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2 CEV
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

President Roosevelt - Pach Bros.tifThought for the Day

American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909, Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.”

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A Joke for the Day

A political candidate stood on a platform and announced to the assembled crowd that he was going to fight radicalism, socialism, communism, and anarchism.

One old man snorted and said, "I'll vote for you when you can do something about rheumatism."

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