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, July 24, 2017

Bible Readings for July 24, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Chronicles 11:1–13:22; Romans 8:22-39; Psalm 18:37-50; and Proverbs 19:27-29. 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 Steet, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.

2 Chronicles 11-13:22 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Chronicles 11

Shemaiah the Prophet Warns Rehoboam
(1 Kings 12.21-24)
 1After Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem, he decided to attack Israel and regain control of the whole country. So he called together one hundred eighty thousand soldiers from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.    2Meanwhile, the LORD had told Shemaiah the prophet
   3to tell Rehoboam and everyone from Judah and Benjamin,
   4"The LORD warns you not to go to war against the people from the northern tribes--they are your relatives. Go home! The LORD is the one who made these things happen."
   Rehoboam and his army obeyed the LORD's message and did not attack Jeroboam and his troops.
Rehoboam Fortifies Cities in Judah
 5Rehoboam ruled from Jerusalem, and he had several cities in Judah turned into fortresses so he could use them to defend his country. These cities included    6Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa,
   7Beth-Zur, Soco, Adullam,
   8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph,
   9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah,
   10Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. After he had fortified these cities in the territories of Judah and Benjamin,
   11he assigned an army commander to each of them and stocked them with supplies of food, olive oil, and wine,
   12as well as with shields and spears. He used these fortified cities to keep control of Judah and Benjamin.
The Priests and the Levites Support Rehoboam
 13The priests and Levites from the northern tribes of Israel gave their support to King Rehoboam.    14And since Jeroboam and the kings of Israel that followed him would not allow any Levites to serve as priests, most Levites left their towns and pasturelands in Israel and moved to Jerusalem and other towns in Judah.
   15Jeroboam chose his own priests to serve at the local shrines [a] in Israel and at the places of worship where he had set up statues of goat-demons and of calves.
   16But some of the people from Israel wanted to worship the LORD God, just as their ancestors had done. So they followed the priests and Levites to Jerusalem, where they could offer sacrifices to the LORD.
   17For the next three years, they lived in Judah and were loyal to Rehoboam and his kingdom, just as they had been loyal to David and Solomon.
Rehoboam's Family
 18Rehoboam married Mahalath, whose father was Jerimoth son of David, and whose mother was Abihail the daughter of Eliab and granddaughter of Jesse.    19Rehoboam and Mahalath had three sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham.
   20Then Rehoboam married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. Their sons were Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.
   21Rehoboam had eighteen wives, but he also married sixty other women, [b] and he was the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. Rehoboam loved his wife Maacah the most,
   22so he chose their oldest son Abijah to be the next king.
   23Rehoboam was wise enough to put one of his sons in charge of each fortified city in his kingdom. He gave them all the supplies they needed and found wives for every one of them.

2 Chronicles 12

King Shishak of Egypt Invades Judah
(1 Kings 14.25-28)
 1Soon after Rehoboam had control of his kingdom, he and everyone in Judah stopped obeying the LORD.    2So in the fifth year of Rehoboam's rule, the LORD punished them for their unfaithfulness and allowed King Shishak of Egypt to invade Judah.
   3Shishak attacked with his army of one thousand two hundred chariots and sixty thousand cavalry troops, as well as Egyptian soldiers from Libya, Sukkoth, and Ethiopia. [c]
   4He captured every one of the fortified cities in Judah and then marched to Jerusalem.
   5Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah had gone to Jerusalem to escape Shishak's invasion. And while they were there, Shemaiah the prophet told them, "The LORD says that because you have disobeyed him, he has now abandoned you. The LORD will not help you against Shishak!"
   6Rehoboam and the leaders were sorry for what they had done and admitted, "The LORD is right. We have deserted him."
   7When the LORD heard this, he told Shemaiah:
   The people of Judah are truly sorry for their sins, and so I won't let Shishak completely destroy them. But because I am still angry,
   8he will conquer and rule them.
   Then my people will know what it's like to serve a foreign king instead of serving me.
   9Shishak attacked Jerusalem and took all the valuable things from the temple and from the palace, including Solomon's gold shields.
   10Rehoboam had bronze shields made to replace the gold ones, and he ordered the guards at the city gates to keep them safe.
   11Whenever Rehoboam went to the LORD's temple, the guards carried the shields. But they always took them back to the guardroom as soon as he had finished worshiping.
   12Rehoboam turned back to the LORD, and so the LORD did not let Judah be completely destroyed, and Judah was prosperous again.
Rehoboam's Rule in Judah
(1 Kings 14.21,29-31)
 13Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled seventeen years from Jerusalem, the city where the LORD had chosen to be worshiped. His mother Naamah was from Ammon. Rehoboam was a powerful king,    14but he still did wrong and refused to obey the LORD.
   15Everything else Rehoboam did while he was king, including a history of his family, is written in the records of the two prophets, Shemaiah and Iddo. During Rehoboam's rule, he and King Jeroboam of Israel were constantly at war.
   16When Rehoboam died, he was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, and his son Abijah became king.

2 Chronicles 13

King Abijah of Judah
(1 Kings 15.1-8)
 1Abijah [d] became king of Judah in Jeroboam's eighteenth year as king of Israel,    2and he ruled from Jerusalem for three years. His mother was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah. Some time later, Abijah and King Jeroboam of Israel went to war against each other.
   3Abijah's army had four hundred thousand troops, and Jeroboam met him in battle with eight hundred thousand troops.
   4Abijah went to the top of Mount Zemaraim [e] in the hills of Ephraim and shouted: Listen, Jeroboam and all you Israelites!
   5The LORD God of Israel has made a solemn promise that every king of Israel will be from David's family.
   6But Jeroboam, you were King Solomon's official, and you rebelled.
   7Then right after Rehoboam became king, you and your bunch of worthless followers challenged Rehoboam, who was too young to know how to stop you.
   8Now you and your powerful army think you can stand up to the kingdom that the LORD has given to David's descendants. The only gods you have are those gold statues of calves that Jeroboam made for you.
   9You don't even have descendants of Aaron on your side, because you forced out the LORD's priests and Levites. In their place, you appoint ordinary people to be priests, just as the foreign nations do. In fact, anyone who brings a bull and seven rams to the altar can become a priest of your so-called gods.
   10But we have not turned our backs on the LORD God! Aaron's own descendants serve as our priests, and the Levites are their assistants.
   11Two times every day they offer sacrifices and burn incense to the LORD. They set out the sacred loaves of bread on a table that has been purified, and they light the lamps in the gold lampstand every day at sunset. We follow the commands of the LORD our God--you have rejected him!
   12That's why God is on our side and will lead us into battle when the priests sound the signal on the trumpets. It's no use, Israelites. You might as well give up. There's no way you can defeat the LORD, the God your ancestors worshiped.
   13But while Abijah was talking, Jeroboam had sent some of his troops to attack Judah's army from behind, while the rest attacked from the front.
   14Judah's army realized they were trapped, and so they prayed to the LORD. The priests blew the signal on the trumpet,
   15and the troops let out a battle cry. Then with Abijah leading them into battle, God defeated Jeroboam and Israel's army.
   16The Israelites ran away, and God helped Judah's soldiers slaughter
   17five hundred thousand enemy troops.
   18Judah's army won because they had trusted the LORD God of their ancestors.
   19Abijah kept up his attack on Jeroboam's army and captured the Israelite towns of Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, as well as the villages around them.
   20Jeroboam never regained his power during the rest of Abijah's rule. The LORD punished Jeroboam, and he died, but Abijah became more powerful.
   21Abijah had a total of fourteen wives, twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters.
   22Everything Abijah said and did while he was king is written in the records of Iddo the prophet.
  1. 2 Chronicles 11:15 local shrines: The Hebrew text has "high places," which were local places to worship foreign gods.
  2. 2 Chronicles 11:21 other women: This translates a Hebrew word for women who were legally bound to a man, but without the full privileges of a wife.
  3. 2 Chronicles 12:3 Ethiopia: The Hebrew text has "Cush," which was a region south of Egypt that included parts of the present countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.
  4. 2 Chronicles 13:1 Abijah: In 1 Kings 15.1-8 his name is spelled "Abijam."
  5. 2 Chronicles 13:4 Mount Zemaraim: Probably located on the northern border of the territory of Benjamin.

Romans 8:22-39 (Contemporary English Version)

22We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth.
    23The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children. [a] This means that our bodies will also be set free. 24And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. 25However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it. 26In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us. For example, when we don't know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words. 27All of our thoughts are known to God. He can understand what is in the mind of the Spirit, as the Spirit prays for God's people. 28We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. [b] They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose, 29and he has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son, so that his Son would be the first of many children. 30God then accepted the people he had already decided to choose, and he has shared his glory with them.
God's Love
 31What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? 32God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won't he freely give us everything else? 33If God says his chosen ones are acceptable to him, can anyone bring charges against them? 34Or can anyone condemn them? No indeed! Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at God's right side, [c] speaking to him for us. 35Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? 36It is exactly as the Scriptures say, "For you we face death    all day long.
   We are like sheep
   on their way
   to be butchered."
    37In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us. 38I am sure that nothing can separate us from God's love--not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, 39and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God's love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!
  1. Romans 8:23 to show that we are his children: These words are not in some manuscripts. The translation of the remainder of the verse would then read, " while we wait for God to set our bodies free."
  2. Romans 8:28 God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him: Or " All things work for the good of everyone who loves God" or " God's Spirit always works for the good of everyone who loves God."
  3. Romans 8:34 right side: The place of power and honor.

Psalm 18:37-50 (Contemporary English Version)

37I kept chasing my enemies,
   until I caught them
   and destroyed them.
    38I stuck my sword
   through my enemies,
   and they were crushed
   under my feet.
    39You helped me win victories,
   and you forced my attackers
   to fall victim to me.
    40You made my enemies run,
   and I killed them.
    41They cried out for help,
   but no one saved them;
   they called out to you,
   but there was no answer.
    42I ground them to dust
   blown by the wind,
   and I poured them out
   like mud in the streets.
    43You rescued me
   from stubborn people,
   and you made me the leader
   of foreign nations,
   who are now my slaves.
    44They obey and come crawling.
    45They have lost all courage,
   and from their fortresses,
   they come trembling.
    46You are the living LORD!
   I will praise you.
   You are a mighty rock. [a] I will honor you
   for keeping me safe.
    47You took revenge for me,
   and you put nations
   in my power.
    48You protected me
   from violent enemies
   and made me much greater
   than all of them.
    49I will praise you, LORD,
   and I will honor you
   among the nations.
    50You give glorious victories
   to your chosen king.
   Your faithful love for David
   and for his descendants
   will never end.
  1. Psalm 18:46 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.

Proverbs 19:27-29 (Contemporary English Version)

27If you stop learning,
   you will forget
   what you already know.
    28A lying witness makes fun
   of the court system,
   and criminals think crime
   is really delicious.
    29Every stupid fool
   is just waiting
   to be punished.

Verse of the Day
“Life will go well for those who freely lend and are honest in business.” - Psalm 112:5
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

RaymondChandlerPromoPhoto.jpgThought for the Day

American novelist and screenwriter, Raymond Chandler wrote, "The law isn’t justice. It’s a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be."

A Joke for Today

Related imageA young minister about to deliver his first sermon asked the advice of a retired minister on how to capture the congregation's attention.

"Start with an opening line that's certain to grab them," the cleric told him. "For example: 'Some of the best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman.'"

He smiled at the young minister's shocked look before adding, "She was my mother."

The next Sunday the minister nervously clutched the pulpit rail before the congregation and stated, "Some of the best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman."

He was pleased at the instant reaction, then panic-stricken. "But for the life of me, I can't remember who she was!"

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