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1 February 2017 Bible Reading

These days “relative truth” gets a lot of attention. In our reading from Proverbs, today, on God’s “Top 7 List” lying takes two spots. It is listed along with murder and other despicable sins.

Exodus 13:17-15:18
17 When Pharaoh had let the people go, God didn’t lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and they return to Egypt”; 18 but God led the people around by the way of the wilderness by the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the children of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones away from here with you.” 20 They took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. 21 Yahweh went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them on their way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, that they might go by day and by night: 22 the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, didn’t depart from before the people.
14 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn back and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, before Baal Zephon. You shall encamp opposite it by the sea. 3 Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are entangled in the land. The wilderness has shut them in.’ 4 I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will follow after them; and I will get honor over Pharaoh, and over all his armies; and the Egyptians shall know that I am Yahweh.” They did so.
5 The king of Egypt was told that the people had fled; and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was changed towards the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” 6 He prepared his chariot, and took his army with him; 7 and he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over all them. 8 Yahweh hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; for the children of Israel went out with a high hand. 9 The Egyptians pursued them. All the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen, and his army overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baal Zephon.
10 When Pharaoh came near, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were very afraid. The children of Israel cried out to Yahweh. 11 They said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you treated us this way, to bring us out of Egypt? 12 Isn’t this the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?’ For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.”
13 Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh, which he will work for you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall never see them again. 14 Yahweh will fight for you, and you shall be still.”
15 Yahweh said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward. 16 Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go into the middle of the sea on dry ground. 17 Behold, I myself will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall go in after them: and I will get myself honor over Pharaoh, and over all his armies, over his chariots, and over his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have gotten myself honor over Pharaoh, over his chariots, and over his horsemen.” 19 The angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them, and stood behind them. 20 It came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud and the darkness, yet gave it light by night: and one didn’t come near the other all night.
21 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and Yahweh caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 The children of Israel went into the middle of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the middle of the sea: all of Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 In the morning watch, Yahweh looked out on the Egyptian army through the pillar of fire and of cloud, and confused the Egyptian army. 25 He took off their chariot wheels, and they drove them heavily; so that the Egyptians said, “Let’s flee from the face of Israel, for Yahweh fights for them against the Egyptians!”
26 Yahweh said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come again on the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it. Yahweh overthrew the Egyptians in the middle of the sea. 28 The waters returned, and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even all Pharaoh’s army that went in after them into the sea. There remained not so much as one of them. 29 But the children of Israel walked on dry land in the middle of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left. 30 Thus Yahweh saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great work which Yahweh did to the Egyptians, and the people feared Yahweh; and they believed in Yahweh, and in his servant Moses.
15 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to Yahweh, and said,
“I will sing to Yahweh, for he has triumphed gloriously.
The horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
2 Yah is my strength and song.
He has become my salvation.
This is my God, and I will praise him;
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 Yahweh is a man of war.
Yahweh is his name.
4 He has cast Pharaoh’s chariots and his army into the sea.
His chosen captains are sunk in the Red Sea.
5 The deeps cover them.
They went down into the depths like a stone.
6 Your right hand, Yahweh, is glorious in power.
Your right hand, Yahweh, dashes the enemy in pieces.
7 In the greatness of your excellency, you overthrow those who rise up against you.
You send out your wrath. It consumes them as stubble.
8 With the blast of your nostrils, the waters were piled up.
The floods stood upright as a heap.
The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue. I will overtake. I will divide the plunder.
My desire shall be satisfied on them.
I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’
10 You blew with your wind.
The sea covered them.
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 Who is like you, Yahweh, among the gods?
Who is like you, glorious in holiness,
fearful in praises, doing wonders?
12 You stretched out your right hand.
The earth swallowed them.
13 “You, in your loving kindness, have led the people that you have redeemed.
You have guided them in your strength to your holy habitation.
14 The peoples have heard.
They tremble.
Pangs have taken hold on the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed.
Trembling takes hold of the mighty men of Moab.
All the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.
16 Terror and dread falls on them.
By the greatness of your arm they are as still as a stone—
until your people pass over, Yahweh,
until the people pass over who you have purchased.
17 You shall bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of your inheritance,
the place, Yahweh, which you have made for yourself to dwell in;
the sanctuary, Lord, which your hands have established.
18 Yahweh shall reign forever and ever.”

Matthew 21:23-46
23 When he had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you this authority?”
24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, which if you tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?”
They reasoned with themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all hold John as a prophet.” 27 They answered Jesus, and said, “We don’t know.”
He also said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. 28 But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind, and went. 30 He came to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but he didn’t go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”
They said to him, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into God’s Kingdom before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn’t believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn’t even repent afterward, that you might believe him.
33 “Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household, who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a wine press in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went into another country. 34 When the season for the fruit came near, he sent his servants to the farmers, to receive his fruit. 35 The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they treated them the same way. 37 But afterward he sent to them his son, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But the farmers, when they saw the son, said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and seize his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 When therefore the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?”
41 They told him, “He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will lease out the vineyard to other farmers, who will give him the fruit in its season.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures,
‘The stone which the builders rejected,
the same was made the head of the corner.
This was from the Lord.
It is marvelous in our eyes?’
43 “Therefore I tell you, God’s Kingdom will be taken away from you, and will be given to a nation producing its fruit. 44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but on whomever it will fall, it will scatter him as dust.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke about them. 46 When they sought to seize him, they feared the multitudes, because they considered him to be a prophet.

Psalm 26:1-12
By David.
26 Judge me, Yahweh, for I have walked in my integrity.
I have trusted also in Yahweh without wavering.
2 Examine me, Yahweh, and prove me.
Try my heart and my mind.
3 For your loving kindness is before my eyes.
I have walked in your truth.
4 I have not sat with deceitful men,
neither will I go in with hypocrites.
5 I hate the assembly of evildoers,
and will not sit with the wicked.
6 I will wash my hands in innocence,
so I will go about your altar, Yahweh;
7 that I may make the voice of thanksgiving to be heard,
and tell of all your wondrous deeds.
8 Yahweh, I love the habitation of your house,
the place where your glory dwells.
9 Don’t gather my soul with sinners,
nor my life with bloodthirsty men;
10 in whose hands is wickedness,
their right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity.
Redeem me, and be merciful to me.
12 My foot stands in an even place.
In the congregations I will bless Yahweh.

Proverbs 6:16-19
16 There are six things which Yahweh hates;
yes, seven which are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood;
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are swift in running to mischief,
19 a false witness who utters lies,
and he who sows discord among brothers.

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