Through The Bible Thursday 03-15-18 Devotions
A New Copy of the Covenant
10 “At that time the Lord said to me, ‘Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. Also make a wooden Ark—a sacred chest to store them in. Come up to me on the mountain, 2 and I will write on the tablets the same words that were on the ones you smashed. Then place the tablets in the Ark.’
3 “So I made an Ark of acacia wood and cut two stone tablets like the first two. Then I went up the mountain with the tablets in my hand. 4 Once again the Lord wrote the Ten Commandments[a] on the tablets and gave them to me. They were the same words the Lord had spoken to you from the heart of the fire on the day you were assembled at the foot of the mountain. 5 Then I turned and came down the mountain and placed the tablets in the Ark of the Covenant, which I had made, just as the Lord commanded me. And the tablets are still there in the Ark.”
6 (The people of Israel set out from the wells of the people of Jaakan[b] and traveled to Moserah, where Aaron died and was buried. His son Eleazar ministered as high priest in his place. 7 Then they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from there to Jotbathah, a land with many brooks and streams. 8 At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, and to stand before the Lord as his ministers, and to pronounce blessings in his name. These are their duties to this day. 9 That is why the Levites have no share of property or possession of land among the other Israelite tribes. The Lord himself is their special possession, as the Lord your God told them.)
10 “As for me, I stayed on the mountain in the Lord’s presence for forty days and nights, as I had done the first time. And once again the Lord listened to my pleas and agreed not to destroy you. 11 Then the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and resume the journey, and lead the people to the land I swore to give to their ancestors, so they may take possession of it.’
A Call to Love and Obedience
12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. 13 And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.
14 “Look, the highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the Lord your God. 15 Yet the Lord chose your ancestors as the objects of his love. And he chose you, their descendants, above all other nations, as is evident today. 16 Therefore, change your hearts[c] and stop being stubborn.
17 “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. 18 He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. 19 So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. 21 He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes. 22 When your ancestors went down into Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky!
11 “You must love the Lord your God and always obey his requirements, decrees, regulations, and commands. 2 Keep in mind that I am not talking now to your children, who have never experienced the discipline of the Lord your God or seen his greatness and his strong hand and powerful arm. 3 They didn’t see the miraculous signs and wonders he performed in Egypt against Pharaoh and all his land. 4 They didn’t see what the Lord did to the armies of Egypt and to their horses and chariots—how he drowned them in the Red Sea[d] as they were chasing you. He destroyed them, and they have not recovered to this very day!
5 “Your children didn’t see how the Lord cared for you in the wilderness until you arrived here. 6 They didn’t see what he did to Dathan and Abiram (the sons of Eliab, a descendant of Reuben) when the earth opened its mouth in the Israelite camp and swallowed them, along with their households and tents and every living thing that belonged to them. 7 But you have seen the Lord perform all these mighty deeds with your own eyes!
The Blessings of Obedience
8 “Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter. 9 If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey! 10 For the land you are about to enter and take over is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you planted your seed and made irrigation ditches with your foot as in a vegetable garden. 11 Rather, the land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain— 12 a land that the Lord your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year!
13 “If you carefully obey the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, 14 then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. 15 He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat.
16 “But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord and serve and worship other gods. 17 If you do, the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will shut up the sky and hold back the rain, and the ground will fail to produce its harvests. Then you will quickly die in that good land the Lord is giving you.
18 “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.
22 “Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him. 23 Then the Lord will drive out all the nations ahead of you, though they are much greater and stronger than you, and you will take over their land. 24 Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours. Your frontiers will stretch from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.[e] 25 No one will be able to stand against you, for the Lord your God will cause the people to fear and dread you, as he promised, wherever you go in the whole land.
26 “Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! 27 You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. 28 But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the Lord your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before.
29 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land and helps you take possession of it, you must pronounce the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal. 30 (These two mountains are west of the Jordan River in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Jordan Valley,[f] near the town of Gilgal, not far from the oaks of Moreh.) 31 For you are about to cross the Jordan River to take over the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you take that land and are living in it, 32 you must be careful to obey all the decrees and regulations I am giving you today.
The Lord’s Chosen Place for Worship
12 “These are the decrees and regulations you must be careful to obey when you live in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must obey them as long as you live.
2 “When you drive out the nations that live there, you must destroy all the places where they worship their gods—high on the mountains, up on the hills, and under every green tree. 3 Break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars. Burn their Asherah poles and cut down their carved idols. Completely erase the names of their gods!
4 “Do not worship the Lord your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods. 5 Rather, you must seek the Lord your God at the place of worship he himself will choose from among all the tribes—the place where his name will be honored. 6 There you will bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings, your offerings to fulfill a vow, your voluntary offerings, and your offerings of the firstborn animals of your herds and flocks. 7 There you and your families will feast in the presence of the Lord your God, and you will rejoice in all you have accomplished because the Lord your God has blessed you.
8 “Your pattern of worship will change. Today all of you are doing as you please, 9 because you have not yet arrived at the place of rest, the land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession. 10 But you will soon cross the Jordan River and live in the land the Lord your God is giving you. When he gives you rest from all your enemies and you’re living safely in the land, 11 you must bring everything I command you—your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings, and your offerings to fulfill a vow—to the designated place of worship, the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored.
12 “You must celebrate there in the presence of the Lord your God with your sons and daughters and all your servants. And remember to include the Levites who live in your towns, for they will receive no allotment of land among you. 13 Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings just anywhere you like. 14 You may do so only at the place the Lord will choose within one of your tribal territories. There you must offer your burnt offerings and do everything I command you.
15 “But you may butcher your animals and eat their meat in any town whenever you want. You may freely eat the animals with which the Lord your God blesses you. All of you, whether ceremonially clean or unclean, may eat that meat, just as you now eat gazelle and deer. 16 But you must not consume the blood. You must pour it out on the ground like water.
17 “But you may not eat your offerings in your hometown—neither the tithe of your grain and new wine and olive oil, nor the firstborn of your flocks and herds, nor any offering to fulfill a vow, nor your voluntary offerings, nor your sacred offerings. 18 You must eat these in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose. Eat them there with your children, your servants, and the Levites who live in your towns, celebrating in the presence of the Lord your God in all you do. 19 And be very careful never to neglect the Levites as long as you live in your land.
20 “When the Lord your God expands your territory as he has promised, and you have the urge to eat meat, you may freely eat meat whenever you want. 21 It might happen that the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—is a long way from your home. If so, you may butcher any of the cattle, sheep, or goats the Lord has given you, and you may freely eat the meat in your hometown, as I have commanded you. 22 Anyone, whether ceremonially clean or unclean, may eat that meat, just as you do now with gazelle and deer. 23 But never consume the blood, for the blood is the life, and you must not consume the lifeblood with the meat. 24 Instead, pour out the blood on the ground like water. 25 Do not consume the blood, so that all may go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what pleases the Lord.
26 “Take your sacred gifts and your offerings given to fulfill a vow to the place the Lord chooses. 27 You must offer the meat and blood of your burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord your God. The blood of your other sacrifices must be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, but you may eat the meat. 28 Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and pleasing to the Lord your God.
29 “When the Lord your God goes ahead of you and destroys the nations and you drive them out and live in their land, 30 do not fall into the trap of following their customs and worshiping their gods. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.’ 31 You must not worship the Lord your God the way the other nations worship their gods, for they perform for their gods every detestable act that the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.
32 [g]“So be careful to obey all the commands I give you. You must not add anything to them or subtract anything from them.
10:4 Hebrew the ten words.
10:6 Or set out from Beeroth of Bene-jaakan.
10:16 Hebrew circumcise the foreskin of your hearts.
11:4 Hebrew sea of reeds.
11:24 Hebrew to the western sea.
11:30 Hebrew the Arabah.
12:32 Verse 12:32 is numbered 13:1 in Hebrew text.
For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
3 For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.[a] 5 For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 But you desire honesty from the womb,[b] teaching me wisdom even there.
7 Purify me from my sins,[c] and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit[d] from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
and they will return to you.
14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
15 Unseal my lips, O Lord,
that my mouth may praise you.
16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
18 Look with favor on Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.
51:4 Greek version reads and you will win your case in court. Compare Rom 3:4.
51:6 Or from the heart; Hebrew reads in the inward parts.
51:7 Hebrew Purify me with the hyssop branch.
51:11 Or your spirit of holiness.
Jesus Sends Out His Disciples
10 The Lord now chose seventy-two[a] other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. 2 These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. 3 Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.
5 “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’ 6 If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. 7 Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay.
8 “If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. 9 Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’ 10 But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’ 12 I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day.
13 “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. 14 Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. 15 And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.[b]”
16 Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”
17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”
18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”
Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving
21 At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.
22 “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23 Then when they were alone, he turned to the disciples and said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you have seen. 24 I tell you, many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.”
The Most Important Commandment
25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”[c]
28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”
29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Parable of the Good Samaritan
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant[d] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[e] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
Jesus Visits Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
10:1 Some manuscripts read seventy; also in 10:17.
10:15 Greek to Hades.
10:27 Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18.
10:32 Greek A Levite.
10:35 Greek two denarii. A denarius was equivalent to a laborer’s full day’s wage.
21 An inheritance obtained too early in life
is not a blessing in the end.
22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”
Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.
23 The Lord detests double standards;
he is not pleased by dishonest scales.
24 The Lord directs our steps,
so why try to understand everything along the way?
25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God
and only later counting the cost.
26 A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat,
then runs his threshing wheel over them.
27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit,[a] exposing every hidden motive.
28 Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king;
his throne is made secure through love.
29 The glory of the young is their strength;
the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.
30 Physical punishment cleanses away evil;[b] such discipline purifies the heart.
20:27 Or The human spirit is the Lord’s light.
20:30 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
Friday, March 16, 2018