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, June 7, 2017

Bible Readings for June 7, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Kings 2:1–3:3; Acts 5:1-42; Psalm 125:1-5; and Proverbs 16:25. 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.

1 Kings 2-3:3 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Kings 2

David's Instructions to Solomon
 1Not long before David died, he told Solomon:     2My son, I will soon die, as everyone must. But I want you to be strong and brave. 3Do what the LORD your God commands and follow his teachings. Obey everything written in the Law of Moses. Then you will be a success, no matter what you do or where you go. 4You and your descendants must always faithfully obey the LORD. If you do, he will keep the solemn promise he made to me that someone from our family will always be king of Israel.
    5Solomon, don't forget what Joab did to me by killing Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether, the two commanders of Israel's army. He killed them as if they were his enemies in a war, but he did it when there was no war. a<="" value="[a]" >[] He is guilty, and now it's up to you to punish him 6in the way you think best. Whatever you do, don't let him die peacefully in his old age. 7The sons of Barzillai from Gilead helped me when I was running from your brother Absalom. [b<="">] Be kind to them and let them eat at your table. 8Be sure to do something about Shimei son of Gera from Bahurim in the territory of Benjamin. He cursed and insulted me the day I went to Mahanaim. But later, when he came to meet me at the Jordan River, I promised that I wouldn't kill him. [c<="">] 9Now you must punish him. He's an old man, but you're wise enough to know that you must have him killed.
David Dies
 10-11David was king of Israel forty years. He ruled seven years from Hebron and thirty-three years from Jerusalem. Then he died and was buried in Jerusalem. [d<="">] 12His son Solomon became king and took control of David's kingdom.
Adonijah Is Killed
 13One day, Adonijah went to see Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, and she asked, "Is this a friendly visit?"    "Yes. 14I just want to talk with you."
   "All right," she told him, "go ahead."
    15"You know that I was king for a little while," Adonijah replied. "And everyone in Israel accepted me as their ruler. But the LORD wanted my brother to be king, so now things have changed. 16Would you do me a favor?"
   "What do you want?" Bathsheba asked.
    17"Please ask Solomon to let me marry Abishag. He won't say no to you."
    18"All right," she said. "I'll ask him."
    19When Bathsheba went to see Solomon, he stood up to meet her, then bowed low. He sat back down and had another throne brought in, so his mother could sit at his right side. [e<="">] 20Bathsheba sat down and then asked, "Would you do me a small favor?" Solomon replied, "Mother, just tell me what you want, and I will do it."
    21"Allow your brother Adonijah to marry Abishag," she answered.
    22Solomon said:
   What? Let my older brother marry Abishag? You may as well ask me to let him rule the kingdom! And why don't you ask such favors for Abiathar and Joab? [f<="">] 23I swear in the name of the LORD that Adonijah will die because he asked for this! If he doesn't, I pray that God will severely punish me. 24The LORD made me king in my father's place and promised that the kings of Israel would come from my family. Yes, I swear by the living LORD that Adonijah will die today.
    25"Benaiah," Solomon shouted, "go kill Adonijah." So Adonijah died.
Abiathar Is Sent Back Home
 26Solomon sent for Abiathar the priest and said:    Abiathar, go back home to Anathoth! You ought to be killed too, but I won't do it now. When my father David was king, you were in charge of the sacred chest, and you went through a lot of hard times with my father. 27But I won't let you be a priest of the LORD anymore.
   And so the promise that the LORD had made at Shiloh about the family of Eli came true. [g<="">]
Joab Is Killed
 28Joab had not helped Absalom try to become king, but he had helped Adonijah. So when Joab learned that Adonijah had been killed, he ran to the sacred tent and grabbed hold of the corners of the altar for protection. [h<="">] 29When Solomon heard about this, he sent someone to ask Joab, "Why did you run to the altar?" Joab sent back his answer, "I was afraid of you, and I ran to the LORD for protection." [i<="">] Then Solomon shouted, "Benaiah, go kill Joab!"     30Benaiah went to the sacred tent and yelled, "Joab, the king orders you to come out!"
   "No!" Joab answered. "Kill me right here."
   Benaiah went back and told Solomon what Joab had said.
    31-32Solomon replied:
   Do what Joab said. Kill him and bury him! Then my family and I won't be responsible for what he did to Abner the commander of Israel's army and to Amasa the commander of Judah's army. He killed those innocent men without my father knowing about it. Both of them were better men than Joab. Now the LORD will make him pay for those murders. 33Joab's family will always suffer because of what he did, but the LORD will always bless David's family and his kingdom with peace.
    34Benaiah went back and killed Joab. His body was taken away and buried near his home in the desert.
    35Solomon put Benaiah in Joab's place as army commander, and he put Zadok in Abiathar's place as priest.
Shimei Is Killed
 36Solomon sent for Shimei and said, "Build a house here in Jerusalem and live in it. But whatever you do, don't leave the city! 37If you ever cross Kidron Valley and leave Jerusalem, you will be killed. And it will be your own fault."     38"That's fair, Your Majesty," Shimei answered. "I'll do that." So Shimei lived in Jerusalem from then on.
    39About three years later, two of Shimei's servants ran off to King Achish in Gath. When Shimei found out where they were, 40he saddled his donkey and went after them. He found them and brought them back to Jerusalem.
    41Someone told Solomon that Shimei had gone to Gath and was back. 42Solomon sent for him and said:
   Shimei, you promised in the name of the LORD that you would never leave Jerusalem. I warned you that you would die if you did. You agreed that this was fair, didn't you? 43You have disobeyed me and have broken the promise you made to the LORD.
    44I know you remember all the cruel things you did to my father David. Now the LORD is going to punish you for what you did. 45But the LORD will bless me and make my father's kingdom strong forever.
    46"Benaiah," Solomon shouted, "kill Shimei." So Shimei died.
   Solomon was now in complete control of his kingdom.

1 Kings 3

The LORD Makes Solomon Wise
(2 Chronicles 1.1-13)
 1Solomon signed a treaty with the king of Egypt and married his daughter. She lived in the older part of Jerusalem [j<="">] until the palace, the LORD's temple, and the wall around Jerusalem were completed. 2At that time, there was no temple for worshiping the LORD, and everyone offered sacrifices at the local shrines. [k<="">] 3Solomon loved the LORD and followed his father David's instructions, but Solomon also offered sacrifices and burned incense at the shrines.
  1. 1 Kings 2:5 war: See 2 Samuel 3.22-27 and 20.7-10.
  2. 1 Kings 2:7 Absalom: See 2 Samuel 17.27-29.
  3. 1 Kings 2:8 him: See 2 Samuel 16.5-14 and 19.16-23.
  4. 1 Kings 2:10 Jerusalem: Hebrew "the city of David."
  5. 1 Kings 2:19 at his right side: The place of honor.
  6. 1 Kings 2:22 And why. . . Joab: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 1 Kings 2:27 the promise. . . came true: See 1 Samuel 2.27-34.
  8. 1 Kings 2:28 the corners. . . for protection: See the note at 1.50.
  9. 1 Kings 2:29 he sent someone. . . for protection: One ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text.
  10. 1 Kings 3:1 the older. . . Jerusalem: Hebrew "the city of David."
  11. 1 Kings 3:2 local shrines: The Hebrew text has "high places," which were local places to worship God or foreign gods.

Acts 5:1-42 (Contemporary English Version)

Acts 5

Peter Condemns Ananias and Sapphira
 1Ananias and his wife Sapphira also sold a piece of property. 2But they agreed to cheat and keep some of the money for themselves.    So when Ananias took the rest of the money to the apostles, 3Peter said, "Why has Satan made you keep back some of the money from the sale of the property? Why have you lied to the Holy Spirit? 4The property was yours before you sold it, and even after you sold it, the money was still yours. What made you do such a thing? You didn't lie to people. You lied to God!"
    5As soon as Ananias heard this, he dropped dead, and everyone who heard about it was frightened. 6Some young men came in and wrapped up his body. Then they took it out and buried it.
    7Three hours later Sapphira came in, but she did not know what had happened to her husband. 8Peter asked her, "Tell me, did you sell the property for this amount?"
   "Yes," she answered, "that's the amount."
    9Then Peter said, "Why did the two of you agree to test the Lord's Spirit? The men who buried Ananias are by the door, and they will carry you out!" 10At once she fell at Peter's feet and died.
   When the young men came back in, they found Sapphira lying there dead. So they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11The church members were afraid, and so was everyone else who heard what had happened.
Peter's Unusual Power
 12The apostles worked many miracles and wonders among the people. All of the Lord's followers often met in the part of the temple known as Solomon's Porch. a<="" value="[a]" >[] 13No one outside their group dared join them, even though everyone liked them very much. 14Many men and women started having faith in the Lord. 15Then sick people were brought out to the road and placed on cots and mats. It was hoped that Peter would walk by, and his shadow would fall on them and heal them. 16A lot of people living in the towns near Jerusalem brought those who were sick or troubled by evil spirits, and they were all healed.    
Trouble for the Apostles
 17The high priest and all the other Sadducees who were with him became jealous. 18They arrested the apostles and put them in the city jail. 19But that night an angel from the Lord opened the doors of the jail and led the apostles out. The angel said, 20"Go to the temple and tell the people everything about this new life." 21So they went into the temple before sunrise and started teaching.    The high priest and his men called together their council, which included all of Israel's leaders. Then they ordered the apostles to be brought to them from the jail. 22The temple police who were sent to the jail did not find the apostles. They returned and said, 23"We found the jail locked tight and the guards standing at the doors. But when we opened the doors and went in, we didn't find anyone there." 24The captain of the temple police and the chief priests listened to their report, but they did not know what to think about it.
    25Just then someone came in and said, "Right now those men you put in jail are in the temple, teaching the people!" 26The captain went with some of the temple police and brought the apostles back. But they did not use force. They were afraid that the people might start throwing stones at them.
    27When the apostles were brought before the council, the high priest said to them, 28"We told you plainly not to teach in the name of Jesus. But look what you have done! You have been teaching all over Jerusalem, and you are trying to blame us for his death."
    29Peter and the apostles replied:
   We don't obey people. We obey God. 30You killed Jesus by nailing him to a cross. But the God our ancestors worshiped raised him to life 31and made him our Leader and Savior. Then God gave him a place at his right side, [b<="">] so that the people of Israel would turn back to him and be forgiven. 32We are here to tell you about all this, and so is the Holy Spirit, who is God's gift to everyone who obeys God. 33When the council members heard this, they became so angry that they wanted to kill the apostles. 34But one of the members was the Pharisee Gamaliel, a highly respected teacher. He ordered the apostles to be taken out of the room for a little while. 35Then he said to the council:
   People of Israel, be careful what you do with these men. 36Not long ago Theudas claimed to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him. But he was killed. All his followers were scattered, and that was the end of that.
    37Later, when the people of our nation were being counted, Judas from Galilee showed up. A lot of people followed him, but he was killed, and all his followers were scattered.
    38So I advise you to stay away from these men. Leave them alone. If what they are planning is something of their own doing, it will fail. 39But if God is behind it, you cannot stop it anyway, unless you want to fight against God.
   The council members agreed with what he said, 40and they called the apostles back in. They had them beaten with a whip and warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus. Then they let them go.
    41The apostles left the council and were happy, because God had considered them worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus. 42Every day they spent time in the temple and in one home after another. They never stopped teaching and telling the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
  1. Acts 5:12 Solomon's Porch: See the note at 3.11.
  2. Acts 5:31 right side: See the note at 2.33.

Psalm 125:1-5 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 125

(A song for worship.)
The LORD's People Are Safe
 1Everyone who trusts the LORD    is like Mount Zion
   that cannot be shaken
   and will stand forever.
    2Just as Jerusalem is protected
   by mountains on every side,
   the LORD protects his people
   by holding them in his arms
   now and forever.
    3He won't let the wicked
   rule his people
   or lead them to do wrong.
    4Let's ask the LORD to be kind
   to everyone
   who is good
   and completely obeys him.
    5When the LORD punishes
   the wicked,
   he will punish everyone else
   who lives a crooked life.
   Pray for peace in Israel!

Proverbs 16:25 (Contemporary English Version)

25Sometimes what seems right
   is really a road to death.

Verse of the Day

“You have always been God-- long before the birth of the mountains, even before you created the earth and the world. but a thousand years mean nothing to you! They are merely a day gone by or a few hours in the night.” - Psalm 90:2,4
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Harvard Theatre Collection - Josh Billings TCS 1.2486 - cropped.jpgThought for the Day

Famous humor writer and lecturer in the United States, perhaps second only to Mark Twain, during the latter half of the 19th century, Josh Billings wrote, “Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.”

Image result for rich man cartoonA Joke for Today

At a church meeting, a very wealthy man rose to tell the rest of those present about his Christian faith. "I'm a millionaire," he said, "and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God in my life. I remember that turning point in my faith. I had just earned my first dollar and I went to a church meeting that night. The speaker was a missionary who told about his work. I knew that I only had a dollar bill and I had to either give it all to God's work or give nothing at all. So at that moment, I decided to give my whole dollar to God. I believe that God blessed that decision, and that is why I am a rich man today." When he finished and moved toward his seat, there was an awed silence As he sat down, a little old lady sitting in the same pew leaned over and said to him, "I dare you to do it again."

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