16 January 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s Bible reading includes the well known invitation of Jesus:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
This seems to refer to a variety of burdens that humans may have to bear. There are physical and mental burdens, but spiritual burdens can be the most challenging. Guilt is a heavy burden. Whatever our burden, Jesus gives us the avenue of prayer and the gift of forgiveness. The solutions for every problem are in the Bible.
13 He stayed there that night, and took from that which he had with him, a present for Esau, his brother: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milk camels and their colts, forty cows, ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten foals. 16 He delivered them into the hands of his servants, every herd by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass over before me, and put a space between herd and herd.” 17 He commanded the foremost, saying, “When Esau, my brother, meets you, and asks you, saying, ‘Whose are you? Where are you going? Whose are these before you?’ 18 Then you shall say, ‘They are your servant, Jacob’s. It is a present sent to my lord, Esau. Behold, he also is behind us.’” 19 He commanded also the second, and the third, and all that followed the herds, saying, “This is how you shall speak to Esau, when you find him. 20 You shall say, ‘Not only that, but behold, your servant, Jacob, is behind us.’” For, he said, “I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.”
21 So the present passed over before him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.
22 He rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them, and sent them over the stream, and sent over that which he had. 24 Jacob was left alone, and wrestled with a man there until the breaking of the day. 25 When he saw that he didn’t prevail against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was strained, as he wrestled. 26 The man said, “Let me go, for the day breaks.”
Jacob said, “I won’t let you go, unless you bless me.”
27 He said to him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Jacob”. 28 He said, “Your name will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have fought with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
29 Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.”
He said, “Why is it that you ask what my name is?” He blessed him there.
30 Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for, he said, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” 31 The sun rose on him as he passed over Peniel, and he limped because of his thigh. 32 Therefore the children of Israel don’t eat the sinew of the hip, which is on the hollow of the thigh, to this day, because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew of the hip.
33 Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau was coming, and with him four hundred men. He divided the children between Leah, Rachel, and the two servants. 2 He put the servants and their children in front, Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph at the rear. 3 He himself passed over in front of them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, fell on his neck, kissed him, and they wept. 5 He lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, “Who are these with you?”
He said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the servants came near with their children, and they bowed themselves. 7 Leah also and her children came near, and bowed themselves. After them, Joseph came near with Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
8 Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company which I met?”
Jacob said, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.”
9 Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; let that which you have be yours.”
10 Jacob said, “Please, no, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present at my hand, because I have seen your face, as one sees the face of God, and you were pleased with me. 11 Please take the gift that I brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” He urged him, and he took it.
12 Esau said, “Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before you.”
13 Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender, and that the flocks and herds with me have their young, and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Please let my lord pass over before his servant, and I will lead on gently, according to the pace of the livestock that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord to Seir.”
15 Esau said, “Let me now leave with you some of the folk who are with me.”
He said, “Why? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.”
16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 Jacob traveled to Succoth, built himself a house, and made shelters for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
18 Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan Aram; and encamped before the city. 19 He bought the parcel of ground where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money. 20 He erected an altar there, and called it El Elohe Israel.
34 Dinah, the daughter of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. 2 Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her. He took her, lay with her, and humbled her. 3 His soul joined to Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the young lady, and spoke kindly to the young lady. 4 Shechem spoke to his father, Hamor, saying, “Get me this young lady as a wife.”
5 Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah, his daughter; and his sons were with his livestock in the field. Jacob held his peace until they came. 6 Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to talk with him. 7 The sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it. The men were grieved, and they were very angry, because he had done folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter; a thing ought not to be done. 8 Hamor talked with them, saying, “The soul of my son, Shechem, longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. 9 Make marriages with us. Give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You shall dwell with us, and the land will be before you. Live and trade in it, and get possessions in it.”
11 Shechem said to her father and to her brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you will tell me I will give. 12 Ask me a great amount for a dowry, and I will give whatever you ask of me, but give me the young lady as a wife.”
13 The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father with deceit, and spoke, because he had defiled Dinah their sister, 14 and said to them, “We can’t do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised; for that is a reproach to us. 15 Only on this condition will we consent to you. If you will be as we are, that every male of you be circumcised; 16 then will we give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people. 17 But if you will not listen to us, to be circumcised, then we will take our sister, and we will be gone.”
18 Their words pleased Hamor and Shechem, Hamor’s son. 19 The young man didn’t wait to do this thing, because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter, and he was honored above all the house of his father. 20 Hamor and Shechem, his son, came to the gate of their city, and talked with the men of their city, saying, 21 “These men are peaceful with us. Therefore let them live in the land and trade in it. For behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters. 22 Only on this condition will the men consent to us to live with us, to become one people, if every male among us is circumcised, as they are circumcised. 23 Won’t their livestock and their possessions and all their animals be ours? Only let us give our consent to them, and they will dwell with us.”
24 All who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor, and to Shechem his son; and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. 25 On the third day, when they were sore, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword, came upon the unsuspecting city, and killed all the males. 26 They killed Hamor and Shechem, his son, with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went away. 27 Jacob’s sons came on the dead, and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28 They took their flocks, their herds, their donkeys, that which was in the city, that which was in the field, 29 and all their wealth. They took captive all their little ones and their wives, and took as plunder everything that was in the house. 30 Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have troubled me, to make me odious to the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I am few in number. They will gather themselves together against me and strike me, and I will be destroyed, I and my house.”
31 They said, “Should he deal with our sister as with a prostitute?”
7 As these went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 But what did you go out to see? A man in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in king’s houses. 9 But why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet. 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11 Most certainly I tell you, among those who are born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptizer; yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptizer until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 If you are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces, who call to their companions 17 and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you didn’t dance. We mourned for you, and you didn’t lament.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”
20 Then he began to denounce the cities in which most of his mighty works had been done, because they didn’t repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, you will go down to Hades. For if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in you, it would have remained until today. 24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, on the day of judgment, than for you.”
25 At that time, Jesus answered, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants. 26 Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight. 27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
For the Chief Musician. By David.
14 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt.
They have done abominable deeds.
There is no one who does good.
2 Yahweh looked down from heaven on the children of men,
to see if there were any who understood,
who sought after God.
3 They have all gone aside.
They have together become corrupt.
There is no one who does good, no, not one.
4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and don’t call on Yahweh?
5 There they were in great fear,
for God is in the generation of the righteous.
6 You frustrate the plan of the poor,
because Yahweh is his refuge.
7 Oh that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When Yahweh restores the fortunes of his people,
then Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
19 By wisdom Yahweh founded the earth.
By understanding, he established the heavens.
20 By his knowledge, the depths were broken up,
and the skies drop down the dew.