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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Monday, June 26, 2017

Bible Readings for June 26, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Kings 9:14–10:31; Acts 17:1-34; Psalm 144:1-15; and Proverbs 17:27-28. The readings are the Contemporary English Version

2 Kings 9:14-10:31 (Contemporary English Version)

Jehu Kills Joram and Ahaziah
 14-16King Joram [a] of Israel had been badly wounded in the battle at Ramoth, trying to defend it against King Hazael and the Syrian army. Joram was now recovering in Jezreel, and King Ahaziah of Judah was there, visiting him. Meanwhile, Jehu was in Ramoth, making plans to kill Joram. He said to his officers, "If you want me to be king, then don't let anyone leave this town. They might go to Jezreel and tell Joram." Then Jehu got in his chariot and rode to Jezreel.     17When the guard in the watchtower at Jezreel saw Jehu and his men riding up, he shouted to the king, "I see a bunch of men coming this way."
   Joram ordered, "Send someone out to ask them if this is a friendly visit."
    18One of the soldiers rode out and said to Jehu, "King Joram wants to know if this is a friendly visit."
   "What's it to you?" Jehu asked. "Just stay behind me with the rest of my troops!"
   About the same time the guard in the watchtower said, "Your Majesty, the rider got there, but he isn't coming back."
    19So Joram sent out another rider, who rode up to Jehu and said, "The king wants to know if this is a friendly visit."
   "What's it to you?" Jehu asked. "Just get behind me with the rest of my troops!"
    20The guard in the watchtower said, "Your Majesty, the rider got there, but he isn't coming back either. Wait a minute! That one man is a reckless chariot driver--it must be Jehu!"
    21Joram commanded, "Get my chariot ready." Then he and Ahaziah got in their chariots and rode out to meet Jehu. They all met on the land that had belonged to Naboth. [b] 22Joram asked, "Jehu, is this a peaceful visit?" "How can there be peace?" Jehu asked. "Your mother Jezebel has caused everyone to worship idols and practice witchcraft."
    23"Ahaziah, let's get out of here!" Joram yelled. "It's a trap!" As Joram tried to escape, 24Jehu shot an arrow. It hit Joram between his shoulders, then it went through his heart and came out his chest. He fell over dead in his chariot.
    25-26Jehu commanded his assistant Bidkar, "Get Joram's body and throw it in the field that Naboth once owned. Do you remember when you and I used to ride side by side behind Joram's father Ahab? It was then that the LORD swore to Ahab that he would be punished in the same field where he had killed Naboth and his sons. So throw Joram's body there, just as the LORD said."
    27Ahaziah saw all of this happen and tried to escape to the town of Beth-Haggan, but Jehu caught up with him and shouted, "Kill him too!" So his troops shot Ahaziah with an arrow while he was on the road to Gur near Ibleam. He went as far as Megiddo, where he died. 28Ahaziah's officers put his body in a chariot and took it back to Jerusalem, where they buried him beside his ancestors.
    29Ahaziah had become king of Judah in the eleventh year of the rule of Ahab's son Joram.
Jehu Kills Jezebel
 30Jehu headed toward Jezreel, and when Jezebel heard he was coming, she put on eye shadow and brushed her hair. Then she stood at the window, waiting for him to arrive. 31As he walked through the city gate, she shouted down to him, "Why did you come here, you murderer? To kill the king? You're no better than Zimri!" [c] 32He looked up toward the window and asked, "Is anyone up there on my side?" A few palace workers stuck their heads out of a window, 33and Jehu shouted, "Throw her out the window!" They threw her down, and her blood splattered on the walls and on the horses that trampled her body. [d] 34Jehu left to get something to eat and drink. Then he told some workers, "Even though she was evil, she was a king's daughter, [e] so make sure she has a proper burial." 35But when they went out to bury her body, they found only her skull, her hands, and her feet. 36They reported this to Jehu, and he said, "The LORD told Elijah the prophet that Jezebel's body would be eaten by dogs right here in Jezreel. 37And he warned that her bones would be spread all over the ground like manure, so that no one could tell who it was."    

2 Kings 10

Jehu Kills All of Ahab's Descendants
 1Ahab still had seventy descendants living in Samaria. So Jehu wrote a letter to each of the important leaders and officials of the town, [f] and to those who supported Ahab. In the letters he wrote: 2Your town is strong, and you're protected by chariots and an armed cavalry. And I know that King Ahab's descendants live there with you. So as soon as you read this letter, 3choose the best person for the job and make him the next king. Then be prepared to defend Ahab's family.     4The officials and leaders read the letters and were very frightened. They said to each other, "Jehu has already killed King Joram and King Ahaziah! We have to do what he says." 5The prime minister, the mayor of the city, as well as the other leaders and Ahab's supporters, sent this answer to Jehu, "We are your servants, Your Majesty, and we will do whatever you tell us. But it's not our place to choose someone to be king. You do what you think is best."
    6Jehu then wrote another letter which said, "If you are on my side and will obey me, then prove it. Bring me the heads of the descendants of Ahab! And be here in Jezreel by this time tomorrow."
   The seventy descendants of King Ahab were living with some of the most important people of the city. 7And when these people read Jehu's second letter, they called together all seventy of Ahab's descendants. They killed them, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jezreel.
    8When Jehu was told what had happened, he said, "Put the heads in two piles at the city gate, and leave them there until morning."
    9The next morning, Jehu went out and stood where everyone could hear him, and he said, "You people are not guilty of anything. I'm the one who plotted against Joram and had him killed. But who killed all these men? 10Listen to me. Everything the LORD's servant Elijah promised about Ahab's family will come true." [g] 11Then Jehu killed the rest of Ahab's relatives living in Jezreel, as well as his highest officials, his priests, and his closest friends. No one in Ahab's family was left alive in Jezreel.
    12-13Jehu left for Samaria, and along the way, he met some relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah at a place where shepherds meet. [h] He asked, "Who are you?" "We are relatives of Ahaziah," they answered. "We're going to visit his family."
    14"Take them alive!" Jehu said to his officers. So they grabbed them and led them to the well near the shepherds' meeting place, where they killed all forty-two of them.
    15As Jehu went on, he saw Jehonadab son of Rechab [i] coming to meet him. Jehu greeted him, then said, "Jehonadab, I'm on your side. Are you on mine?" "Yes, I am."
   "Then give me your hand," Jehu answered. He helped Jehonadab into his chariot 16and said, "Come with me and see how faithful I am to the LORD."
   They rode together in Jehu's chariot 17to Samaria. Jehu killed everyone there who belonged to Ahab's family, as well as all his officials. Everyone in his family was now dead, just as the LORD had promised Elijah.
Jehu Kills All the Worshipers of Baal
 18Jehu called together the people in Samaria and said:    King Ahab sometimes worshiped Baal, but I will be completely faithful to Baal. 19I'm going to offer a huge sacrifice to him. So invite his prophets and priests, and be sure everyone who worships him is there. Anyone who doesn't come will be killed.
   But this was a trick--Jehu was really planning to kill the worshipers of Baal. 20He said, "Announce a day of worship for Baal!" After the day had been announced, 21Jehu sent an invitation to everyone in Israel. All the worshipers of Baal came, and the temple was filled from one end to the other. 22Jehu told the official in charge of the sacred robes to make sure that everyone had a robe to wear.
    23Jehu and Jehonadab went into the temple, and Jehu said to the crowd, "Look around and make sure that only the worshipers of Baal are here. No one who worships the LORD is allowed in." 24Then they began to offer sacrifices to Baal.
   Earlier, Jehu had ordered eighty soldiers to wait outside the temple. He had warned them, "I will get all these worshipers here, and if any of you let even one of them escape, you will be killed instead!"
    25As soon as Jehu finished offering the sacrifice, he told the guards and soldiers, "Come in and kill them! Don't let anyone escape." They slaughtered everyone in the crowd and threw the bodies outside. Then they went back into the temple 26and carried out the image of Baal. They burned it 27and broke it into pieces, then they completely destroyed Baal's temple. And since that time, it's been nothing but a public toilet. [j] 28That's how Jehu stopped the worship of Baal in Israel. 29But he did not stop the worship of the gold statues of calves at Dan and Bethel that Jeroboam had made for the people to worship. [k] 30Later the LORD said, "Jehu, you have done right by destroying Ahab's entire family, just as I had planned. So I will make sure that the next four kings of Israel will come from your own family."
    31But Jehu did not completely obey the commands of the LORD God of Israel. Instead, he kept doing the sinful things that Jeroboam had caused the Israelites to do.
  1. 2 Kings 9:14 Joram: The Hebrew text has "Jehoram," another spelling of the name.
  2. 2 Kings 9:21 the land. . . Naboth: See 1 Kings 21.
  3. 2 Kings 9:31 Zimri: An Israelite king who killed King Elah and his family so he could become king, but who ruled only seven days (see 1 Kings 16.8-20).
  4. 2 Kings 9:33 horses. . . her body: Two ancient translations; Hebrew "horses. Then Jehu trampled her body."
  5. 2 Kings 9:34 she. . . daughter: Her father was King Ethbaal of Sidon (see 1 Kings 16.31).
  6. 2 Kings 10:1 the town: Two ancient translations; Hebrew "Jezreel."
  7. 2 Kings 10:10 Everything. . . come true: See 1 Kings 21.17-24.
  8. 2 Kings 10:12 at a place where shepherds meet: Or "at Betheked of the Shepherds."
  9. 2 Kings 10:15 Jehonadab son of Rechab: Or "Jehonadab the chariot driver."
  10. 2 Kings 10:27 public toilet: Or "garbage dump."
  11. 2 Kings 10:29 gold statues. . . to worship: See 1 Kings 12.26-30.

Acts 17:1-34 (Contemporary English Version)

Acts 17

Trouble in Thessalonica
 1After Paul and his friends had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they went on to Thessalonica. A Jewish meeting place was in that city. 2So as usual, Paul went there to worship, and on three Sabbaths he spoke to the people. He used the Scriptures 3to show them that the Messiah had to suffer, but that he would rise from death. Paul also told them that Jesus is the Messiah he was preaching about. 4Some of them believed what Paul had said, and they became followers with Paul and Silas. Some Gentiles [a] and many important women also believed the message. 5The Jewish leaders were jealous and got some worthless bums who hung around the marketplace to start a riot in the city. They wanted to drag Paul and Silas out to the mob, and so they went straight to Jason's home. 6But when they did not find them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the Lord's followers. They took them to the city authorities and shouted, "Paul and Silas have been upsetting things everywhere. Now they have come here, 7and Jason has welcomed them into his home. All of them break the laws of the Roman Emperor by claiming that someone named Jesus is king."     8The officials and the people were upset when they heard this. 9So they made Jason and the other followers pay bail before letting them go.
People in Berea Welcome the Message
 10That same night the Lord's followers sent Paul and Silas on to Berea, and after they arrived, they went to the Jewish meeting place. 11The people in Berea were much nicer than those in Thessalonica, and they gladly accepted the message. Day after day they studied the Scriptures to see if these things were true. 12Many of them put their faith in the Lord, including some important Greek women and several men.     13When the Jewish leaders in Thessalonica heard that Paul had been preaching God's message in Berea, they went there and caused trouble by turning the crowds against Paul.
    14Right away the followers sent Paul down to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea. 15Some men went with Paul as far as Athens, and then returned with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
Paul in Athens
 16While Paul was waiting in Athens, he was upset to see all the idols in the city. 17He went to the Jewish meeting place to speak to the Jews and to anyone who worshiped with them. Day after day he also spoke to everyone he met in the market. 18Some of them were Epicureans [b] and some were Stoics, [c] and they started arguing with him. People were asking, "What is this know-it-all trying to say?"    Some even said, "Paul must be preaching about foreign gods! That's what he means when he talks about Jesus and about people rising from death." [d] 19They brought Paul before a council called the Areopagus, and said, "Tell us what your new teaching is all about. 20We have heard you say some strange things, and we want to know what you mean."
    21More than anything else the people of Athens and the foreigners living there loved to hear and to talk about anything new. 22So Paul stood up in front of the council and said:
   People of Athens, I see that you are very religious. 23As I was going through your city and looking at the things you worship, I found an altar with the words, "To an Unknown God." You worship this God, but you don't really know him. So I want to tell you about him. 24This God made the world and everything in it. He is Lord of heaven and earth, and he doesn't live in temples built by human hands. 25He doesn't need help from anyone. He gives life, breath, and everything else to all people. 26From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and he decided when and where every nation would be.
    27God has done all this, so that we will look for him and reach out and find him. He isn't far from any of us, 28and he gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are. "We are his children," just as some of your poets have said.
    29Since we are God's children, we must not think that he is like an idol made out of gold or silver or stone. He isn't like anything that humans have thought up and made. 30In the past, God forgave all this because people did not know what they were doing. But now he says that everyone everywhere must turn to him. 31He has set a day when he will judge the world's people with fairness. And he has chosen the man Jesus to do the judging for him. God has given proof of this to all of us by raising Jesus from death.
    32As soon as the people heard Paul say that a man had been raised from death, some of them started laughing. Others said, "We will hear you talk about this some other time." 33When Paul left the council meeting, 34some of the men put their faith in the Lord and went with Paul. One of them was a council member named Dionysius. A woman named Damaris and several others also put their faith in the Lord.
  1. Acts 17:4 Gentiles: See the note at 14.1.
  2. Acts 17:18 Epicureans: People who followed the teaching of a man named Epicurus, who taught that happiness should be the main goal in life.
  3. Acts 17:18 Stoics: Followers of a man named Zeno, who taught that people should learn self-control and be guided by their consciences.
  4. Acts 17:18 people rising from death: Or "a goddess named `Rising from Death.' "

Psalm 144:1-15 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 144

(By David.)
A Prayer for the Nation
 1I praise you, LORD!    You are my mighty rock, [a] and you teach me
   how to fight my battles.
    2You are my friend,
   and you are my fortress
   where I am safe.
   You are my shield,
   and you made me the ruler
   of our people. [b] 3Why do we humans mean anything
   to you, our LORD?
   Why do you care about us?
    4We disappear like a breath;
   we last no longer
   than a faint shadow.
    5Open the heavens like a curtain
   and come down, LORD.
   Touch the mountains
   and make them send up smoke.
    6Use your lightning as arrows
   to scatter my enemies
   and make them run away.
    7Reach down from heaven
   and set me free.
   Save me from the mighty flood
    8of those lying foreigners
   who can't tell the truth.
    9In praise of you, our God,
   I will sing a new song,
   while playing my harp.
    10By your power, kings win wars,
   and your servant David is saved
   from deadly swords.
    11Won't you keep me safe
   from those lying foreigners
   who can't tell the truth?
    12Let's pray that our young sons
   will grow like strong plants
   and that our daughters
   will be as lovely
   as columns
   in the corner of a palace.
    13May our barns be filled
   with all kinds of crops.
   May our fields be covered
   with sheep by the thousands,
    14and every cow have calves. [c] Don't let our city be captured
   or any of us be taken away,
   and don't let cries of sorrow
   be heard in our streets.
    15Our LORD and our God,
   you give these blessings
   to all who worship you.
  1. Psalm 144:1 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
  2. Psalm 144:2 of our people: Some Hebrew manuscripts and ancient translations have " of the nations."
  3. Psalm 144:14 have calves: Or " grow fat."

Proverbs 17:27-28 (Contemporary English Version)

27It makes a lot of sense
   to be a person of few words
   and to stay calm.
    28Even fools seem smart
   when they are quiet.

Verse of the Day

“Stop being angry and don't try to take revenge. I am the LORD, and I command you to love others as much as you love yourself.” - Leviticus 19:18
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

PhillipsBrooks.jpgThought for the Day

American Episcopal clergyman and author, long the Rector of Boston's Trinity Church and briefly Bishop of Massachusetts, and particularly remembered as lyricist of the Christmas hymn, "O Little Town of Bethlehem", Phillips Brooks wrote, “Forgive, forget. Bear with the faults of others as you would have them bear with yours.”

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