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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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Bible Readings for July 4, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Kings 23:31–25:30; Acts 22:17–23:10; Psalm 2:1-12; and Proverbs 18:13. 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 Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.

2 Kings 23:31-25:30 (Contemporary English Version)

King Jehoahaz of Judah
(2 Chronicles 36.2-4)
 31Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem only three months. His mother Hamutal was the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 32Jehoahaz disobeyed the LORD, just as some of his ancestors had done.     33King Neco of Egypt had Jehoahaz arrested and put in prison at Riblah a<="" value="[a]" >[] near Hamath. Then he forced the people of Judah to pay him almost four tons of silver and about seventy-five pounds of gold as taxes. 34Neco appointed Josiah's son Eliakim king of Judah, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. He took Jehoahaz as a prisoner to Egypt, where he died. 35Jehoiakim forced the people of Judah to pay higher taxes, so he could give Neco the silver and gold he demanded.
King Jehoiakim of Judah
(2 Chronicles 36.5-8)
 36Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he was appointed king, and he ruled eleven years from Jerusalem. His mother Zebidah was the daughter of Pedaiah from Rumah. 37Jehoiakim disobeyed the LORD by following the example of his ancestors.    

2 Kings 24

 1During Jehoiakim's rule, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia [b<="">] invaded and took control of Judah. Jehoiakim obeyed Nebuchadnezzar for three years, but then he rebelled. 2At that time, the LORD started sending troops to rob and destroy towns in Judah. Some of these troops were from Babylonia, and others were from Syria, Moab, and Ammon. The LORD had sent his servants the prophets to warn Judah about this, 3and now he was making it happen. The country of Judah was going to be wiped out, because Manasseh had sinned 4and caused many innocent people to die. The LORD would not forgive this.     5Everything else Jehoiakim did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah. 6Jehoiakim died, and his son Jehoiachin became king.
    7King Nebuchadnezzar defeated King Neco of Egypt and took control of his land from the Egyptian Gorge all the way north to the Euphrates River. So Neco never invaded Judah again. [c<="">]
King Jehoiachin of Judah Is Taken to Babylon
(2 Chronicles 36.9,10)
 8Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled only three months from Jerusalem. His mother Nehushta was the daughter of Elnathan from Jerusalem. 9Jehoiachin disobeyed the LORD, just as his father Jehoiakim had done.     10King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia sent troops to attack Jerusalem soon after Jehoiachin became king. 11During the attack, Nebuchadnezzar himself arrived at the city. 12Jehoiachin immediately surrendered, together with his mother and his servants, as well as his army officers and officials. Then Nebuchadnezzar had Jehoiachin arrested. These things took place in the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar's rule in Babylonia. [d<="">] 13The LORD had warned [e<="">] that someday the treasures would be taken from the royal palace and from the temple, including the gold objects that Solomon had made for the temple. And that's exactly what Nebuchadnezzar ordered his soldiers to do. 14He also led away as prisoners the Jerusalem officials, the military leaders, and the skilled workers--ten thousand in all. Only the very poorest people were left in Judah. 15Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylon, along with his mother, his wives, his officials, and the most important leaders of Judah. 16He also led away seven thousand soldiers, one thousand skilled workers, and anyone who would be useful in battle.
    17Then Nebuchadnezzar appointed Jehoiachin's uncle Mattaniah king of Judah and changed his name to Zedekiah.
King Zedekiah of Judah
(2 Chronicles 36.11-16; Jeremiah 52.1-3)
 18Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he was appointed king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother Hamutal was the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 19Zedekiah disobeyed the LORD, just as Jehoiakim had done. 20It was Zedekiah who finally rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar.    The people of Judah and Jerusalem had made the LORD so angry that he finally turned his back on them. That's why these horrible things were happening.

2 Kings 25

Jerusalem Is Captured and Destroyed
(2 Chronicles 36.17-21; Jeremiah 52.3-30)
 1In Zedekiah's ninth year as king, on the tenth day of the tenth month, [f<="">] King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia led his entire army to attack Jerusalem. The troops set up camp outside the city and built ramps up to the city walls. 2-3After a year and a half, all the food in Jerusalem was gone. Then on the ninth day of the fourth [g<="">] month, 4the Babylonian troops broke through the city wall. [h<="">] That same night, Zedekiah and his soldiers tried to escape through the gate near the royal garden, even though they knew the enemy had the city surrounded. They headed toward the desert, 5but the Babylonian troops caught up with them near Jericho. They arrested Zedekiah, but his soldiers scattered in every direction. 6Zedekiah was taken to Riblah, where Nebuchadnezzar put him on trial and found him guilty. 7Zedekiah's sons were killed right in front of him. His eyes were then poked out, and he was put in chains and dragged off to Babylon.     8About a month later, [i<="">] in Nebuchadnezzar's nineteenth year as king, Nebuzaradan, who was his official in charge of the guards, arrived in Jerusalem. 9Nebuzaradan burned down the LORD's temple, the king's palace, and every important building in the city, as well as all the houses. 10Then he ordered the Babylonian soldiers to break down the walls around Jerusalem. 11He led away as prisoners the people left in the city, including those who had become loyal to Nebuchadnezzar. 12Only some of the poorest people were left behind to work the vineyards and the fields. 13The Babylonian soldiers took the two bronze columns that stood in front of the temple, the ten movable bronze stands, and the large bronze bowl called the Sea. They broke them into pieces so they could take the bronze to Babylonia. 14They carried off the bronze things used for worship at the temple, including the pans for hot ashes, and the shovels, snuffers, and also the dishes for incense, 15as well as the fire pans and the sprinkling bowls. Nebuzaradan ordered his soldiers to take everything made of gold or silver.
    16The pile of bronze from the columns, the stands, and the large bowl that Solomon had made for the temple was too large to be weighed. 17Each column had been twenty-seven feet tall with a bronze cap four and a half feet high. These caps were decorated with bronze designs--some of them like chains and others like pomegranates. [j<="">] 18Next, Nebuzaradan arrested Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah his assistant, and three temple officials. 19Then he arrested one of the army commanders, the king's five personal advisors, and the officer in charge of gathering the troops for battle. He also found sixty more soldiers who were still in Jerusalem. 20Nebuzaradan led them all to Riblah 21near Hamath, where Nebuchadnezzar had them killed.
   The people of Judah no longer lived in their own country.
Gedaliah Is Made Ruler of the People Left in Judah
(Jeremiah 40.7-9; 41.1-3)
 22King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam [k<="">] to rule the few people still living in Judah. 23When the army officers and troops heard that Gedaliah was their ruler, the officers met with him at Mizpah. These men were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth from Netophah, and Jaazaniah from Maacah. 24Gedaliah said to them, "Everything will be fine, I promise. We don't need to be afraid of the Babylonian rulers, if we live here peacefully and do what Nebuchadnezzar says."     25Ishmael [l<="">] was from the royal family. And about two months after Gedaliah began his rule, [m<="">] Ishmael and ten other men went to Mizpah. They killed Gedaliah and his officials, including those from Judah and those from Babylonia. 26After that, the army officers and all the people in Mizpah, whether important or not, were afraid of what the Babylonians might do. So they left Judah and went to Egypt.
Jehoiachin Is Set Free
(Jeremiah 52.31-34)
 27Jehoiachin was a prisoner in Babylon for thirty-seven years. Then Evil-Merodach became king of Babylonia, [n<="">] and in the first year of his rule, on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month, [o<="">] he let Jehoiachin out of prison. 28Evil-Merodach was kind to Jehoiachin and honored him more than any of the other kings held prisoner there. 29Jehoiachin was even allowed to wear regular clothes, and he ate at the king's table every day. 30As long as Jehoiachin lived, he was paid a daily allowance to buy whatever he needed.
  1. 2 Kings 23:33 Riblah: An important town in Syria on the Orontes River.
  2. 2 Kings 24:1 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia: Ruled Babylonia 605-562 B.C.
  3. 2 Kings 24:7 again: Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptian army in 605 B.C. at the town of Carchemish. But a few years later, he was forced to retreat all the way back to Babylonia, which allowed Jehoiakim to rebel (see verse 1).
  4. 2 Kings 24:12 Babylonia: These events took place in 597 B.C.
  5. 2 Kings 24:13 warned: See 20.16-18.
  6. 2 Kings 25:1 tenth month: Tebeth, the tenth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-December to mid-January.
  7. 2 Kings 25:2 fourth: This word is not in the Hebrew text here, but see the parallel in Jeremiah 52.5,6.
  8. 2 Kings 25:4 wall: Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 B.C.
  9. 2 Kings 25:8 About a month later: Hebrew "On the seventh day of the fifth month."
  10. 2 Kings 25:17 pomegranates: A bright red fruit that looks like an apple.
  11. 2 Kings 25:22 Ahikam: Hebrew "Ahikam son of Shaphan."
  12. 2 Kings 25:25 Ishmael: Hebrew "Ishmael son of Nethaniah son of Elishama."
  13. 2 Kings 25:25 about two months. . . his rule: Hebrew "in the seventh month."
  14. 2 Kings 25:27 Evil-Merodach. . . Babylonia: The son of Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled Babylonia from 562 to 560 B.C.
  15. 2 Kings 25:27 twelfth month: Adar, the twelfth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-February to mid-March.

Acts 22:17-23:10 (Contemporary English Version)

17After this I returned to Jerusalem and went to the temple to pray. There I had a vision 18of the Lord who said to me, "Hurry and leave Jerusalem! The people won't listen to what you say about me."
    19I replied, "Lord, they know that in many of our meeting places I arrested and beat people who had faith in you. 20Stephen was killed because he spoke for you, and I stood there and cheered them on. I even guarded the clothes of the men who murdered him."
    21But the Lord told me to go, and he promised to send me far away to the Gentiles.
    22The crowd listened until Paul said this. Then they started shouting, "Get rid of this man! He doesn't deserve to live." 23They kept shouting. They waved their clothes around and threw dust into the air.
Paul and the Roman Army Commander
 24The Roman commander ordered Paul to be taken into the fortress and beaten with a whip. He did this to find out why the people were screaming at Paul.     25While the soldiers were tying Paul up to be beaten, he asked the officer standing there, "Is it legal to beat a Roman citizen before he has been tried in court?"
    26When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and said, "What are you doing? This man is a Roman citizen!"
    27The commander went to Paul and asked, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?"
   "Yes," Paul answered.
    28The commander then said, "I paid a lot of money to become a Roman citizen." a<="" value="[a]" >[] But Paul replied, "I was born a Roman citizen."
    29The men who were about to beat and question Paul quickly backed off. And the commander himself was frightened when he realized that he had put a Roman citizen in chains.
Paul Is Tried by the Council
 30The next day the commander wanted to know the real reason why the Jewish leaders had brought charges against Paul. So he had Paul's chains removed, and he ordered the chief priests and the whole council to meet. Then he had Paul led in and made him stand in front of them.    

Acts 23

 1Paul looked straight at the council members and said, "My friends, to this day I have served God with a clear conscience!"     2Then Ananias the high priest ordered the men standing beside Paul to hit him on the mouth. 3Paul turned to the high priest and said, "You whitewashed wall! [b<="">] God will hit you. You sit there to judge me by the Law of Moses. But at the same time you order men to break the Law by hitting me." 4The men standing beside Paul asked, "Don't you know you are insulting God's high priest?"
    5Paul replied, "Oh! I didn't know he was the high priest. The Scriptures do tell us not to speak evil about a leader of our people."
    6When Paul saw that some of the council members were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he shouted, "My friends, I am a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee. I am on trial simply because I believe that the dead will be raised to life."
    7As soon as Paul said this, the Pharisees and the Sadducees got into a big argument, and the council members started taking sides. 8The Sadducees do not believe in angels or spirits or that the dead will rise to life. But the Pharisees believe in all of these, 9and so there was a lot of shouting. Some of the teachers of the Law of Moses were Pharisees. Finally, they became angry and said, "We don't find anything wrong with this man. Maybe a spirit or an angel really did speak to him."
    10The argument became fierce, and the commander was afraid that Paul would be pulled apart. So he ordered the soldiers to go in and rescue Paul. Then they took him back into the fortress.
  1. Acts 22:28 Roman citizen: See the note at 16.37.
  2. Acts 23:3 whitewashed wall: Someone who pretends to be good, but really isn't.

Psalm 2:1-12 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 2

The LORD's Chosen King
 1Why do the nations plot, a<="" value="[a]" >[] and why do their people    make useless plans? [b<="">] 2The kings of this earth
   have all joined together
   to turn against the LORD
   and his chosen one.
    3They say, "Let's cut the ropes
   and set ourselves free!"
    4In heaven the LORD laughs
   as he sits on his throne,
   making fun of the nations.
    5The LORD becomes furious
   and threatens them.
   His anger terrifies them
   as he says,
    6"I've put my king on Zion,
   my sacred hill."
    7I will tell the promise
   that the LORD made to me:
   "You are my son, because today
   I have become your father.
    8Ask me for the nations,
   and every nation on earth
   will belong to you.
    9You will smash them
   with an iron rod
   and shatter them
   like dishes of clay."
    10Be smart, all you rulers,
   and pay close attention.
    11Serve and honor the LORD;
   be glad and tremble.
    12Show respect to his son
   because if you don't,
   the LORD might become furious
   and suddenly destroy you. [c<="">] But he blesses and protects
   everyone who runs to him.
  1. Psalm 2:1 Why. . . plot: Or " Why are the nations restless?"
  2. Psalm 2:1 make useless plans: Or " grumble uselessly."
  3. Psalm 2:12 Serve. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 11,12.

Proverbs 18:13 (Contemporary English Version)

13It's stupid and embarrassing
   to give an answer
   before you listen.

Verse of the Day

“The LORD blesses each nation that worships only him. He blesses his chosen ones.” - Psalm 33:12
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Daniel Boorstin.jpgThought for the Day

American historian at the University of Chicago who wrote on many topics in American and world history, Daniel J. Boorstin wrote, “ Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.”

A Joke for the Day

Image result for parrot and burglar jokeThere was a burglar who broke into a home and started to gather the items he wanted to take. All of a sudden he heard, "Jesus is watching you!" He didn't see anything in the dark house, so he went on with what he was doing. 

He heard, "Jesus is watching you!" again and then he really wondered who wassaying that. He turned on the flashlight, scanned the room, and finally saw a parrot. 

"Did you say that?" asked the burgler. 

"Yes," replied the parrot. 

"By the way, what's your name?" the burgler inquired."Moses," answered the parrot. 

"That's a strange name for a parrot. Who named you that?"

"The same people who named their rotweiller Jesus!"

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