Today our passages are 1 Chronicles 11:1–12:18; Acts 28:1-31; Psalm 9:1-12; and Proverbs 19:1-3. 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 Chronicles 11-12:18 (Contemporary English Version)
1 Chronicles 11
David Becomes King of Israel
(2 Samuel 5.1-3)1Israel's leaders met with David at Hebron and said, "We are your relatives, 2and we know that you have led our army into battle, even when Saul was still our king. The LORD God has promised that you would rule our country and take care of us like a shepherd. 3So we have come to crown you king of Israel."
David made an agreement with the leaders and asked the LORD to be their witness. Then the leaders poured olive oil on David's head to show that he was now king of Israel. This happened just as the LORD's prophet Samuel had said.
David Captures Jerusalem
(2 Samuel 5.6-10)4Jerusalem was called Jebus at the time, and David led Israel's army to attack the town. 5The Jebusites said, "You won't be able to get in here!" But David captured the fortress of Mount Zion, which is now called the City of David.
6David had told his troops, "The first soldier to kill a Jebusite will become my army commander." And since Joab son of Zeruiah attacked first, he became commander.
7Later, David moved to the fortress--that's why it's called the City of David. 8He had the city rebuilt, starting at the landfill on the east side. [a] Meanwhile, Joab supervised the repairs to the rest of the city. 9David became a great and strong ruler, because the LORD All-Powerful was on his side.
The Three Warriors
(2 Samuel 23.8-17)10The LORD had promised that David would become king, and so everyone in Israel gave David their support. Certain warriors also helped keep his kingdom strong.
11The first of these warriors was Jashobeam the son of Hachmoni, the leader of the Three Warriors. [b] In one battle he killed three hundred men with his spear. 12Another one of the Three Warriors was Eleazar son of Dodo the Ahohite. 13During a battle against the Philistines at Pas-Dammim, all the Israelite soldiers ran away, 14except Eleazar, who stayed with David. They took their positions in a nearby barley field and defeated the Philistines! The LORD gave Israel a great victory that day.
15One time the Three Warriors [c] went to meet David among the rocks at Adullam Cave. The Philistine army had set up camp in Rephaim Valley 16and had taken over Bethlehem. David was in a fortress, 17and he said, "I'm very thirsty. I wish I had a drink of water from the well by the gate to Bethlehem." 18The Three Warriors sneaked through the Philistine camp and got some water from the well near Bethlehem's gate. They took it back to David, but he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured out the water as a sacrifice to the LORD 19and said, "Drinking this water would be like drinking the blood of these men who risked their lives to get it for me."
The Three Warriors did these brave deeds.
The Thirty Warriors
(2 Samuel 23.18-39)20Joab's brother Abishai was the leader of the Thirty Warriors, [d] and in one battle he killed three hundred men with his spear. He was just as famous as the Three Warriors 21and was more famous than the rest of the Thirty Warriors. He was their commander, but he never became one of the Three Warriors. [e] 22Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a brave man from Kabzeel who did some amazing things. One time he killed two of Moab's best fighters, and one snowy day he went into a pit and killed a lion. 23Another time he killed an Egyptian who was seven and a half feet tall and was armed with a spear. Benaiah only had a club, so he grabbed the spear from the Egyptian and killed him with it. 24Benaiah did things like that; he was just as brave as the Three Warriors, 25even though he never became one of them. And he was certainly as famous as the rest of the Thirty Warriors. So David made him the leader of his own bodyguard.
26-47Here is a list of the other famous warriors:
Asahel the brother of Joab; Elhanan the son of Dodo from Bethlehem; Shammoth from Haror; Helez from Pelon; Ira the son of Ikkesh from Tekoa; Abiezer from Anathoth; Sibbecai the Hushathite; Ilai [f] the Ahohite; Maharai from Netophah; Heled the son of Baanah from Netophah; Ithai the son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin; Benaiah from Pirathon; Hurai [g] from near the streams on Mount Gaash; Abiel from Arbah; Azmaveth from Baharum; Eliahba from Shaalbon; Hashem [h] the Gizonite; Jonathan the son of Shagee from Harar; Ahiam the son of Sachar the Hararite; Eliphal the son of Ur; Hepher from Mecherah; Ahijah from Pelon; Hezro from Carmel; Naarai the son of Ezbai; Joel the brother of Nathan; Mibhar the son of Hagri; Zelek from Ammon; Naharai from Beeroth who carried Joab's weapons; Ira the Ithrite; Gareb the Ithrite; Uriah the Hittite; Zabad the son of Ahlai; Adina the son of Shiza, a leader in the Reuben tribe, and thirty of his soldiers; Hanan the son of Maacah; Joshaphat from Mithan; Uzzia from Ashterah; Shama and Jeiel the sons of Hotham from Aroer; Jediael and Joha the sons of Shimri from Tiz; Eliel from Mahavah; Jeribai and Joshaviah the sons of Elnaam; Ithmah from Moab; Eliel, Obed, and Jaasiel from Mezobah.
1 Chronicles 12
David's Men at Ziklag1Some time earlier, David had gone to live in the town of Ziklag to escape from King Saul. While David was there, several brave warriors joined him to help fight his battles. [i]
Warriors from the Benjamin tribe2 Several of these warriors were from King Saul's own tribe of Benjamin. They were experts at using a bow and arrows, and they could shoot an arrow or sling a stone with either hand. 3-7Their leaders were Ahiezer and Joash, the sons of Shemaah from Gibeah. Here is a list of those men from Benjamin: Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Beracah and Jehu from Anathoth; Ishmaiah from Gibeon, who was the leader of the Thirty Warriors; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad from Gederah; Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah from Haruph; Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam from the Korah clan; Joelah and Zebadiah the sons of Jeroham from Gedor.
Warriors from the Gad tribe8 Men from the tribe of Gad also joined David at his fortress in the desert and served as his warriors. They were also brave soldiers--fierce as lions and quick as gazelles. They were always prepared to fight with shields and spears. 9-13There were eleven of them, ranked in the following order: Ezer the leader, then Obadiah, Eliab, Mishmannah, Jeremiah, Attai, Eliel, Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Machbannai.
14All these men were army officers; some were high-ranking officers over a thousand troops, and others were officers over a hundred troops. 15Earlier, they had crossed the Jordan River when it flooded, and they chased out the people who lived in the valleys on each side of the river.
Warriors from the Benjamin and Judah tribes16 One time a group of men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah went to the fortress where David was staying. 17David met them outside and said, "If you are coming as friends to fight on my side, then stay and join us. But if you try to turn me over to my enemies, the God our ancestors worshiped will punish you, because I have done nothing wrong."
18Amasai, who later became the leader of the Thirty Warriors, was one of these men who went to David. God's Spirit took control of him, and he said, "We will join you, David son of Jesse! You and your followers will always be successful, because God fights on your side."
So David agreed to let them stay, and he even put them in charge of his soldiers who raided enemy villages.
- 1 Chronicles 11:8 the landfill on the east side: The Hebrew text has "the Millo," which probably refers to a landfill to strengthen and extend the hill where the city was built.
- 1 Chronicles 11:11 the Three Warriors: One ancient translation and 2 Samuel 23.8; Hebrew "the Thirty Warriors." The "Three Warriors" was the most honored group of warriors and may have been part of the "Thirty Warriors." "Three" and "thirty" are spelled almost the same in Hebrew, so there is some confusion in the manuscripts as to which group is being talked about in some places in the following lists.
- 1 Chronicles 11:15 the Three Warriors: Hebrew "three of the thirty most important warriors."
- 1 Chronicles 11:20 the Thirty Warriors: One ancient translation; Hebrew "the Three Warriors." The "Thirty Warriors" was the second most honored group of warriors and may have also been officers in the army.
- 1 Chronicles 11:21 Warriors: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of these verses.
- 1 Chronicles 11:26 Ilai: Or "Zalmon" (see 2 Samuel 23.24-39).
- 1 Chronicles 11:26 Hurai: Or "Hiddai" (see 2 Samuel 23.24-39).
- 1 Chronicles 11:26 Hashem: One ancient translation; Hebrew "the sons of Hashem."
- 1 Chronicles 12:1 David had gone. . . battles: Ziklag was the Philistine town that King Achish of Gath gave David in return for his loyalty (see 1 Samuel 27.6). This happened during the time that David was living as an outlaw, so the events in this chapter actually took place before chapter 11 when David became king of Israel.
Acts 28:1-31 (Contemporary English Version)
On the Island of Malta1When we came ashore, we learned that the island was called Malta. 2The local people were very friendly, and they welcomed us by building a fire, because it was rainy and cold.
3After Paul had gathered some wood and had put it on the fire, the heat caused a snake to crawl out, and it bit him on the hand. 4When the local people saw the snake hanging from Paul's hand, they said to each other, "This man must be a murderer! He didn't drown in the sea, but the goddess of justice will kill him anyway."
5Paul shook the snake off into the fire and wasn't harmed. 6The people kept thinking that Paul would either swell up or suddenly drop dead. They watched him for a long time, and when nothing happened to him, they changed their minds and said, "This man is a god."
7The governor of the island was named Publius, and he owned some of the land around there. Publius was very friendly and welcomed us into his home for three days. 8His father was in bed, sick with fever and stomach trouble, and Paul went to visit him. Paul healed the man by praying and placing his hands on him.
9After this happened, everyone on the island brought their sick people to Paul, and they were all healed. 10The people were very respectful to us, and when we sailed, they gave us everything we needed.
From Malta to Rome11Three months later we sailed in a ship that had been docked at Malta for the winter. The ship was from Alexandria in Egypt and was known as "The Twin Gods." [a] 12We arrived in Syracuse and stayed for three days. 13From there we sailed to Rhegium. The next day a south wind began to blow, and two days later we arrived in Puteoli. 14There we found some of the Lord's followers, who begged us to stay with them. A week later we left for the city of Rome. 15Some of the followers in Rome heard about us and came to meet us at the Market of Appius and at the Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and was encouraged.
Paul in Rome16We arrived in Rome, and Paul was allowed to live in a house by himself with a soldier to guard him.
17Three days after we got there, Paul called together some of the Jewish leaders and said:
My friends, I have never done anything to hurt our people, and I have never gone against the customs of our ancestors. But in Jerusalem I was handed over as a prisoner to the Romans. 18They looked into the charges against me and wanted to release me. They found that I had not done anything deserving death. 19The Jewish leaders disagreed, so I asked to be tried by the Emperor.
But I don't have anything to say against my own nation. 20I am bound by these chains because of what we people of Israel hope for. That's why I have called you here to talk about this hope of ours.
21The leaders replied, "No one from Judea has written us a letter about you. And not one of them has come here to report on you or to say anything against you. 22But we would like to hear what you have to say. We understand that people everywhere are against this new group."
23They agreed on a time to meet with Paul, and many of them came to his house. From early morning until late in the afternoon, Paul talked to them about God's kingdom. He used the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets [b] to try to win them over to Jesus. 24Some of the leaders agreed with what Paul said, but others did not. 25Since they could not agree among themselves, they started leaving. But Paul said, "The Holy Spirit said the right thing when he sent Isaiah the prophet 26to tell our ancestors,
`Go to these people
and tell them:
You will listen and listen,
but never understand.
You will look and look,
but never see.
27All of you
have stubborn hearts.
Your ears are stopped up,
and your eyes are covered.
You cannot see or hear
If you could,
you would turn to me,
and I would heal you.' "
28-29Paul said, "You may be sure that God wants to save the Gentiles! And they will listen." [c] 30For two years Paul stayed in a rented house and welcomed everyone who came to see him. 31He bravely preached about God's kingdom and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ, and no one tried to stop him.
- Acts 28:11 known as "The Twin Gods": Or "carried on its bow a wooden carving of the Twin Gods." These gods were Castor and Pollux, two of the favorite gods among sailors.
- Acts 28:23 Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets: The Jewish Bible, that is, the Old Testament.
- Acts 28:28 And they will listen: Some manuscripts add, "After Paul said this, the people left, but they got into a fierce argument among themselves."
Psalm 9:1-12 (Contemporary English Version)
(A psalm by David for the music leader. To the tune "The Death of the Son.")
Sing Praises to the LORD1I will praise you, LORD,
with all my heart
and tell about the wonders
you have worked.
2God Most High, I will rejoice;
I will celebrate and sing
because of you.
3When my enemies face you,
they run away and stumble
and are destroyed.
4You take your seat as judge,
and your fair decisions prove
that I was in the right.
5You warn the nations
and destroy evil people;
you wipe out their names
forever and ever.
6Our enemies are destroyed
completely for all time.
Their cities are torn down,
and they will never
be remembered again.
7You rule forever, LORD,
and you are on your throne,
ready for judgment.
8You judge the world fairly
and treat all nations
9The poor can run to you
because you are a fortress
in times of trouble.
10Everyone who honors your name
can trust you,
because you are faithful
to all who depend on you.
11You rule from Zion, LORD,
and we sing about you
to let the nations know
everything you have done.
12You did not forget
to punish the guilty
or listen to the cries
of those in need.
Proverbs 19:1-3 (Contemporary English Version)
It's Wise To Be Patient1It's better to be poor
and live right
than to be a stupid liar.
2Willingness and stupidity
don't go well together.
If you are too eager,
you will miss the road.
3We are ruined
by our own stupidity,
though we blame the LORD.
“LORD God, you stretched out your mighty arm and made the sky and the earth. You can do anything.” - Jeremiah 32:17
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.
Thought for the Day
American statesman who served as a diplomat, United States Senator, member of the House of Representatives, and was the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829, John Quincy Adams wrote, “The duties of man consist in alternate action and meditation, mutually aiding and relieving each other; and both, directed with undeviating aim, to the progressive improvement of himself and his fellow creatures. Heaven has given him in charge, to promote the happiness and well-being of himself, his wife, his children, his kindred, his neighbors, his fellow citizens, his country, and his kind; and the great problem of legislation is, so to organize the civil government of a community, that this gradation of duties, may be made to harmonize in all its parts — that in the operation of human institutions upon social action, self-love and social may be made the same.”
A Joke for TodayA young preacher was contacted by the local funeral director to hold a grave-side committal service at a small local cemetery for someone with no family or friends. The preacher started early but quickly got himself lost, making several wrong turns.
He arrived a half-hour late, the hearse was nowhere in sight, and the workmen were eating lunch.
The pastor went to the open grave and found the vault lid already in place. Taking out his book, he read the service.
As he was returning to his car, he overheard one of the workmen say: "Think we should tell him it's a septic tank?"