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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Friday, July 28, 2017

Bible Readings for July 27, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Chronicles 19:1–20:37; Romans 10:14–11:12; Psalm 21:1-13; and Proverbs 20:4-6. 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 19-20:37 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Chronicles 19

 1Jehoshaphat returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem.    2But the prophet Jehu son of Hanani met him and said:
   By helping that wicked Ahab, you have made friends with someone who hates the LORD. Now the LORD God is angry at you!
   3But not everything about you is bad. You destroyed the sacred poles [a] used in worshiping the goddess Asherah--that shows you have tried to obey the LORD.
Jehoshaphat Appoints Judges To Settle Cases
 4Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, but he often traveled through his kingdom, from Beersheba in the south to the edge of the hill country of Ephraim in the north. He talked with the people and convinced them to turn back to the LORD God and worship him, just as their ancestors had done.    5He assigned judges to each of the fortified cities in Judah
   6and told them:
   Be careful when you make your decisions in court, because these are the LORD's people, and he will know what you decide.
   7So do your work in honor of him and know that he won't allow you to be unfair to anyone or to take bribes.
   8Jehoshaphat also chose some Levites, some priests, and some of the family leaders, and he appointed them to serve as judges in Jerusalem.
   9He told them:
   Faithfully serve the LORD!
   10The people of Judah will bring you legal cases that involve every type of crime, including murder. You must settle these cases and warn the people to stop sinning against the LORD, so that he won't get angry and punish Judah. Remember, if you follow these instructions, you won't be held responsible for anything that happens.
   11Amariah the high priest will have the final say in any religious case. And Zebadiah, the leader [b] of the Judah tribe, will have the final say in all other cases. The rest of the Levites will serve as your assistants. Be brave, and I pray that the LORD will help you do right.

2 Chronicles 20

Moab and Ammon Are Defeated
 1Some time later, the armies of Moab and Ammon, together with the Meunites, [c] went to war against Jehoshaphat.    2Messengers told Jehoshaphat, "A large army from Edom [d] east of the Dead Sea has invaded our country. They have already reached En-Gedi." [e]
   3Jehoshaphat was afraid, so he asked the LORD what to do. He then told the people of Judah to go without eating to show their sorrow.
   4They immediately left for Jerusalem to ask for the LORD's help.
   5After everyone from Judah and Jerusalem had come together at the LORD's temple, Jehoshaphat stood in front of the new courtyard
   6and prayed:
   You, LORD, are the God our ancestors worshiped, and from heaven you rule every nation in the world. You are so powerful that no one can defeat you.
   7Our God, you forced out the nations who lived in this land before your people Israel came here, and you gave it to the descendants of your friend Abraham forever.
   8Our ancestors lived in this land and built a temple to honor you.
   9They believed that whenever this land is struck by war or disease or famine, your people can pray to you at the temple, and you will hear their prayer and save them.
   10You can see that the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Edom are attacking us! Those are the nations you would not let our ancestors invade on their way from Egypt, so these nations were not destroyed.
   11Now they are coming to take back the land you gave us.
   12Aren't you going to punish them? We won't stand a chance when this army attacks. We don't know what to do--we are begging for your help.
   13While every man, woman, and child of Judah was standing there at the temple,
   14the LORD's Spirit suddenly spoke to Jahaziel, a Levite from the Asaph clan. [f]
   15Then Jahaziel said: Your Majesty and everyone from Judah and Jerusalem, the LORD says that you don't need to be afraid or let this powerful army discourage you. God will fight on your side!
   16So here's what you must do. Tomorrow the enemy armies will march through the desert around the town of Jeruel. March down and meet them at the town of Ziz as they come up the valley.
   17You won't even have to fight. Just take your positions and watch the LORD rescue you from your enemy. Don't be afraid. Just do as you're told. And as you march out tomorrow, the LORD will be there with you.
   18Jehoshaphat bowed low to the ground and everyone worshiped the LORD.
   19Then some Levites from the Kohath and Korah clans stood up and shouted praises to the LORD God of Israel.
   20Early the next morning, as everyone got ready to leave for the desert near Tekoa, Jehoshaphat stood up and said, "Listen my friends, if we trust the LORD God and believe what these prophets have told us, the LORD will help us, and we will be successful."
   21Then he explained his plan and appointed men to march in front of the army and praise the LORD for his holy power by singing: [g] "Praise the LORD!
   His love never ends."
   22As soon as they began singing, the LORD confused the enemy camp,
   23so that the Ammonite and Moabite troops attacked and completely destroyed those from Edom. Then they turned against each other and fought until the entire camp was wiped out!
   24When Judah's army reached the tower that overlooked the desert, they saw that every soldier in the enemy's army was lying dead on the ground.
   25So Jehoshaphat and his troops went into the camp to carry away everything of value. They found a large herd of livestock, [h] a lot of equipment, clothes, [i] and other valuable things. It took them three days to carry it all away, and there was still some left over.
   26Then on the fourth day, everyone came together in Beracah Valley and sang praises to the LORD. That's why that place was called Praise Valley. [j]
   27-28Jehoshaphat led the crowd back to Jerusalem. And as they marched, they played harps and blew trumpets. They were very happy because the LORD had given them victory over their enemies, so when they reached the city, they went straight to the temple.
   29When the other nations heard how the LORD had fought against Judah's enemies, they were too afraid
   30to invade Judah. The LORD let Jehoshaphat's kingdom be at peace.
Jehoshaphat Dies
(1 Kings 22.41-50)
 31Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.    32Jehoshaphat obeyed the LORD, just as his father Asa had done,
   33but he did not destroy the local shrines. [k] So the people still worshiped foreign gods, instead of faithfully serving the God their ancestors had worshiped.
   34Everything else Jehoshaphat did while he was king is written in the records of Jehu son of Hanani that are included in The History of the Kings of Israel.
   35While Jehoshaphat was king, he signed a peace treaty with Ahaziah the wicked king of Israel.
   36They agreed to build several seagoing ships [l] at Ezion-Geber.
   37But the prophet Eliezer [m] warned Jehoshaphat, "The LORD will destroy these ships because you have supported Ahaziah." The ships were wrecked and never sailed.
  1. 2 Chronicles 19:3 sacred poles: See the note at 14.3.
  2. 2 Chronicles 19:11 Zebadiah, the leader: Hebrew "Zebadiah son of Ishmael, who is the leader."
  3. 2 Chronicles 20:1 Meunites: One ancient translation (see also 26.7); Hebrew "Ammonites."
  4. 2 Chronicles 20:2 Edom: The Hebrew text has "Syria"; in Hebrew there is only one letter difference between "Edom" and "Aram," which is the usual Hebrew name for Syria in the Bible.
  5. 2 Chronicles 20:2 En-Gedi: The Hebrew text has "Hazazon-Tamar, also known as En-Gedi," a city on the west shore of the Dead Sea, about twenty-five miles southeast of Jerusalem.
  6. 2 Chronicles 20:14 Jahaziel, a Levite from the Asaph clan: Hebrew "Jahaziel son of Zechariah son of Benaiah son of Jeiel son of Mattaniah, who was a Levite from the Asaph clan."
  7. 2 Chronicles 20:21 to march in front. . . singing: Or "to put on their sacred robes, lead the army into battle, and praise the LORD by singing."
  8. 2 Chronicles 20:25 a large herd of livestock: One ancient translation; Hebrew "among the bodies a large herd of."
  9. 2 Chronicles 20:25 clothes: One ancient translation; Hebrew "dead bodies."
  10. 2 Chronicles 20:26 Beracah Valley. . . sang praises. . . Praise Valley: In Hebrew the name "Beracah" means "praise."
  11. 2 Chronicles 20:33 local shrines: See the note at 11.15.
  12. 2 Chronicles 20:36 seagoing ships: See the note at 9.21.
  13. 2 Chronicles 20:37 Eliezer: Hebrew "Eliezer son of Dodavahu from Mareshah."

Romans 10:14-11:12 (Contemporary English Version)

14How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them? 15And how can anyone tell them without being sent by the Lord? The Scriptures say it is a beautiful sight to see even the feet of someone coming to preach the good news. 16Yet not everyone has believed the message. For example, the prophet Isaiah asked, "Lord, has anyone believed what we said?"
    17No one can have faith without hearing the message about Christ. 18But am I saying that the people of Israel did not hear? No, I am not! The Scriptures say,
   "The message was told
   everywhere on earth.
   It was announced
   all over the world."
    19Did the people of Israel understand or not? Moses answered this question when he told that the Lord had said,
   "I will make Israel jealous
   of people
   who are a nation
   of nobodies.
   I will make them angry
   at people
   who don't understand
   a thing."
    20Isaiah was fearless enough to tell that the Lord had said,
   "I was found by people
   who were not looking
   for me.
   I appeared to the ones
   who were not asking
   about me."
    21And Isaiah said about the people of Israel,
   "All day long the Lord
   has reached out
   to people who are stubborn
   and refuse to obey."

Romans 11

God Has Not Rejected His People
 1Am I saying that God has turned his back on his people? Certainly not! I am one of the people of Israel, and I myself am a descendant of Abraham from the tribe of Benjamin. 2God did not turn his back on his chosen people. Don't you remember reading in the Scriptures how Elijah complained to God about the people of Israel? 3He said, "Lord, they killed your prophets and destroyed your altars. I am the only one left, and now they want to kill me."     4But the Lord told Elijah, "I still have seven thousand followers who have not worshiped Baal." 5It is the same way now. God was kind to the people of Israel, and so a few of them are still his followers. 6This happened because of God's undeserved kindness and not because of anything they have done. It could not have happened except for God's kindness.
    7This means that only a chosen few of the people of Israel found what all of them were searching for. And the rest of them were stubborn, 8just as the Scriptures say,
   "God made them so stupid
   that their eyes are blind,
   and their ears
   are still deaf."
    9Then David said,
   "Turn their meals
   into bait for a trap,
   so that they will stumble
   and be given
   what they deserve.
    10Blindfold their eyes!
   Don't let them see.
   Bend their backs
   beneath a burden
   that will never be lifted."
Gentiles Will Be Saved
 11Do I mean that the people of Israel fell, never to get up again? Certainly not! Their failure made it possible for the Gentiles to be saved, and this will make the people of Israel jealous. 12But if the rest of the world's people were helped so much by Israel's sin and loss, they will be helped even more by their full return.

Psalm 21:1-13 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 21

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
Thanking the LORD for Victory
 1Our LORD, your mighty power    makes the king glad,
   and he celebrates victories
   that you have given him.
    2You did what he wanted most
   and never told him "No."
    3You truly blessed the king,
   and you placed on him
   a crown of finest gold.
    4He asked to live a long time,
   and you promised him life
   that never ends.
    5The king is highly honored.
   You have let him win victories
   that have made him famous.
    6You have given him blessings
   that will last forever,
   and you have made him glad
   by being so near to him.
    7LORD Most High,
   the king trusts you,
   and your kindness
   keeps him from defeat.
    8With your mighty arm, LORD,
   you will strike down
   all of your hateful enemies.
    9They will be destroyed by fire
   once you are here,
   and because of your anger,
   flames will swallow them.
    10You will wipe their families
   from the earth,
   and they will disappear.
    11All their plans to harm you
   will come to nothing.
    12You will make them run away
   by shooting your arrows
   at their faces.
    13Show your strength, LORD,
   so that we may sing
   and praise your power.

Proverbs 20:4-6 (Contemporary English Version)

4If you are too lazy to plow,
   don't expect a harvest.
    5Someone's thoughts may be
   as deep as the ocean,
   but if you are smart,
   you will discover them.
    6There are many who say,
   "You can trust me!"
   But can they be trusted?

Verse of the Day

“[A Large Crowd of Witnesses]Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won't let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us.” - Hebrews 12:1
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

F Scott Fitzgerald 1921.jpgThought for the Day
American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigmatic writings of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”

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