28 March 2017 Bible Reading
Just as the Israelites could not claim God’s gift of the promised land was based on their righteousness, we cannot claim Jesus’ gift of forgiveness is based on our righteousness.
Today’s reading in Luke 8 contains the well-known Parable of the Soils.
9 Hear, Israel! You are to pass over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to the sky, 2 a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard say, “Who can stand before the sons of Anak?” 3 Know therefore today, that Yahweh your God is he who goes over before you as a devouring fire. He will destroy them, and he will bring them down before you. So you shall drive them out, and make them perish quickly, as Yahweh has spoken to you.
4 Don’t say in your heart, after Yahweh your God has thrust them out from before you, saying, “For my righteousness Yahweh has brought me in to possess this land”; because Yahweh drives them out before you because of the wickedness of these nations. 5 Not for your righteousness, or for the uprightness of your heart, do you go in to possess their land; but for the wickedness of these nations Yahweh your God does drive them out from before you, and that he may establish the word which Yahweh swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 6 Know therefore, that Yahweh your God doesn’t give you this good land to possess for your righteousness; for you are a stiff-necked people. 7 Remember, and don’t forget, how you provoked Yahweh your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day that you left the land of Egypt, until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against Yahweh. 8 Also in Horeb you provoked Yahweh to wrath, and Yahweh was angry with you to destroy you. 9 When I had gone up onto the mountain to receive the stone tablets, even the tablets of the covenant which Yahweh made with you, then I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water. 10 Yahweh delivered to me the two stone tablets written with God’s finger. On them were all the words which Yahweh spoke with you on the mountain out of the middle of the fire in the day of the assembly.
11 It came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that Yahweh gave me the two stone tablets, even the tablets of the covenant. 12 Yahweh said to me, “Arise, get down quickly from here; for your people whom you have brought out of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them. They have made a molten image for themselves!”
13 Furthermore Yahweh spoke to me, saying, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 14 Leave me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under the sky; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.”
15 So I turned and came down from the mountain, and the mountain was burning with fire. The two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. 16 I looked, and behold, you had sinned against Yahweh your God. You had made yourselves a molten calf. You had turned aside quickly out of the way which Yahweh had commanded you. 17 I took hold of the two tablets, and threw them out of my two hands, and broke them before your eyes. 18 I fell down before Yahweh, as at the first, forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you sinned, in doing that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, to provoke him to anger. 19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which Yahweh was angry against you to destroy you. But Yahweh listened to me that time also. 20 Yahweh was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him. I prayed for Aaron also at the same time. 21 I took your sin, the calf which you had made, and burnt it with fire, and crushed it, grinding it very small, until it was as fine as dust. I threw its dust into the brook that descended out of the mountain. 22 At Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibroth Hattaavah, you provoked Yahweh to wrath. 23 When Yahweh sent you from Kadesh Barnea, saying, “Go up and possess the land which I have given you,” you rebelled against the commandment of Yahweh your God, and you didn’t believe him, nor listen to his voice. 24 You have been rebellious against Yahweh from the day that I knew you. 25 So I fell down before Yahweh the forty days and forty nights that I fell down, because Yahweh had said he would destroy you. 26 I prayed to Yahweh, and said, “Lord Yahweh, don’t destroy your people and your inheritance, that you have redeemed through your greatness, that you have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27 Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Don’t look at the stubbornness of this people, nor at their wickedness, nor at their sin, 28 lest the land you brought us out from say, ‘Because Yahweh was not able to bring them into the land which he promised to them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.’ 29 Yet they are your people and your inheritance, which you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm.”
10 At that time Yahweh said to me, “Cut two stone tablets like the first, and come up to me onto the mountain, and make an ark of wood. 2 I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which you broke, and you shall put them in the ark.” 3 So I made an ark of acacia wood, and cut two stone tablets like the first, and went up onto the mountain, having the two tables in my hand. 4 He wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which Yahweh spoke to you on the mountain out of the middle of the fire in the day of the assembly: and Yahweh gave them to me. 5 I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they are as Yahweh commanded me. 6 (The children of Israel traveled from Beeroth Bene Jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered in the priest’s office in his place. 7 From there they traveled to Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of brooks of water. 8 At that time Yahweh set apart the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of Yahweh’s covenant, to stand before Yahweh to minister to him, and to bless in his name, to this day. 9 Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brothers; Yahweh is his inheritance, according as Yahweh your God spoke to him.) 10 I stayed on the mountain, as at the first time, forty days and forty nights: and Yahweh listened to me that time also; Yahweh would not destroy you. 11 Yahweh said to me, “Arise, take your journey before the people; and they shall go in and possess the land, which I swore to their fathers to give to them.”
12 Now, Israel, what does Yahweh your God require of you, but to fear Yahweh your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 to keep Yahweh’s commandments and statutes, which I command you today for your good? 14 Behold, to Yahweh your God belongs heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth, with all that is therein. 15 Only Yahweh had a delight in your fathers to love them, and he chose their offspring after them, even you above all peoples, as it is today. 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked. 17 For Yahweh your God, he is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty, and the awesome, who doesn’t respect persons, nor takes reward. 18 He does execute justice for the fatherless and widow, and loves the foreigner, in giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore love the foreigner; for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear Yahweh your God; you shall serve him; and you shall cling to him, and you shall swear by his name. 21 He is your praise, and he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things, which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down into Egypt with seventy persons; and now Yahweh your God has made you as the stars of the sky for multitude.
4 When a great multitude came together, and people from every city were coming to him, he spoke by a parable. 5 “The farmer went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the road, and it was trampled under foot, and the birds of the sky devoured it. 6 Other seed fell on the rock, and as soon as it grew, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 Other fell amid the thorns, and the thorns grew with it, and choked it. 8 Other fell into the good ground, and grew, and produced one hundred times as much fruit.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
9 Then his disciples asked him, “What does this parable mean?”
10 He said, “To you it is given to know the mysteries of God’s Kingdom, but to the rest in parables; that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the road are those who hear, then the devil comes, and takes away the word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; but these have no root, who believe for a while, then fall away in time of temptation. 14 That which fell among the thorns, these are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 That in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it tightly, and produces fruit with patience.
16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a container, or puts it under a bed; but puts it on a stand, that those who enter in may see the light. 17 For nothing is hidden, that will not be revealed; nor anything secret, that will not be known and come to light. 18 Be careful therefore how you hear. For whoever has, to him will be given; and whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he thinks he has.”
19 His mother and brothers came to him, and they could not come near him for the crowd. 20 Some people told him, “Your mother and your brothers stand outside, desiring to see you.”
21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God, and do it.”
19 You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor.
My adversaries are all before you.
20 Reproach has broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness.
I looked for some to take pity, but there was none;
for comforters, but I found none.
21 They also gave me gall for my food.
In my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink.
22 Let their table before them become a snare.
May it become a retribution and a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they can’t see.
Let their backs be continually bent.
24 Pour out your indignation on them.
Let the fierceness of your anger overtake them.
25 Let their habitation be desolate.
Let no one dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute him whom you have wounded.
They tell of the sorrow of those whom you have hurt.
27 Charge them with crime upon crime.
Don’t let them come into your righteousness.
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of life,
and not be written with the righteous.
29 But I am in pain and distress.
Let your salvation, God, protect me.
30 I will praise the name of God with a song,
and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31 It will please Yahweh better than an ox,
or a bull that has horns and hoofs.
32 The humble have seen it, and are glad.
You who seek after God, let your heart live.
33 For Yahweh hears the needy,
and doesn’t despise his captive people.
34 Let heaven and earth praise him;
the seas, and everything that moves therein!
35 For God will save Zion, and build the cities of Judah.
They shall settle there, and own it.
36 The children also of his servants shall inherit it.
Those who love his name shall dwell therein.
2 A good man shall obtain favor from Yahweh,
but he will condemn a man of wicked devices.
3 A man shall not be established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.