29 March 2017 Bible Reading
As the Israelites are about to enter the promised land, they are admonished to consider the wonders they have witnessed at the hand of Almighty God, as well as His chastisement of those who sin against Him.
Today’s reading in Luke refers to the Land of the Gadarenes, also known as Gerasenes. The region was Gadar, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
11 Therefore you shall love Yahweh your God, and keep his instructions, his statutes, his ordinances, and his commandments, always. 2 Know this day: for I don’t speak with your children who have not known, and who have not seen the chastisement of Yahweh your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm, 3 his signs, and his works, which he did in the middle of Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and to all his land; 4 and what he did to the army of Egypt, to their horses, and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red Sea to overflow them as they pursued you, and how Yahweh has destroyed them to this day; 5 and what he did to you in the wilderness, until you came to this place; 6 and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben; how the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and their tents, and every living thing that followed them, in the middle of all Israel; 7 but your eyes have seen all of Yahweh’s great work which he did. 8 Therefore you shall keep all the commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land, where you go over to possess it; 9 and that you may prolong your days in the land, which Yahweh swore to your fathers to give to them and to their offspring, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 For the land, where you go in to possess it, isn’t as the land of Egypt, that you came out of, where you sowed your seed, and watered it with your foot, as a garden of herbs; 11 but the land, where you go over to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys which drinks water from the rain of the sky, 12 a land which Yahweh your God cares for. Yahweh your God’s eyes are always on it, from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year. 13 It shall happen, if you shall listen diligently to my commandments which I command you today, to love Yahweh your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 that I will give the rain of your land in its season, the former rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. 15 I will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. 16 Be careful, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; 17 and Yahweh’s anger be kindled against you, and he shut up the sky, so that there is no rain, and the land doesn’t yield its fruit; and you perish quickly from off the good land which Yahweh gives you. 18 Therefore you shall lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul. You shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them your children, talking of them, when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 You shall write them on the door posts of your house, and on your gates; 21 that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which Yahweh swore to your fathers to give them, as the days of the heavens above the earth. 22 For if you shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love Yahweh your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cling to him; 23 then will Yahweh drive out all these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. 24 Every place whereon the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness, and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even to the western sea shall be your border. 25 No man will be able to stand before you. Yahweh your God will lay the fear of you and the dread of you on all the land that you tread on, as he has spoken to you. 26 Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of Yahweh your God, which I command you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of Yahweh your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you today, to go after other gods, which you have not known. 29 It shall happen, when Yahweh your God brings you into the land where you go to possess it, that you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim, and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30 Aren’t they beyond the Jordan, behind the way of the going down of the sun, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the Arabah, near Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh? 31 For you are to pass over the Jordan to go in to possess the land which Yahweh your God gives you, and you shall possess it, and dwell therein. 32 You shall observe to do all the statutes and the ordinances which I set before you today.
12 These are the statutes and the ordinances which you shall observe to do in the land which Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess it, all the days that you live on the earth. 2 You shall surely destroy all the places in which the nations that you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree. 3 You shall break down their altars, and dash their pillars in pieces, and burn their Asherah poles with fire. You shall cut down the engraved images of their gods. You shall destroy their name out of that place. 4 You shall not do so to Yahweh your God. 5 But to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose out of all your tribes, to put his name there, you shall seek his habitation, and there you shall come. 6 There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the wave offering of your hand, your vows, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. 7 There you shall eat before Yahweh your God, and you shall rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your households, in which Yahweh your God has blessed you. 8 You shall not do after all the things that we do here today, every man whatever is right in his own eyes; 9 for you haven’t yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which Yahweh your God gives you. 10 But when you go over the Jordan, and dwell in the land which Yahweh your God causes you to inherit, and he gives you rest from all your enemies around you, so that you dwell in safety; 11 then it shall happen that to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the wave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow to Yahweh. 12 You shall rejoice before Yahweh your God, you, and your sons, your daughters, your male servants, your female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you. 13 Be careful that you don’t offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see; 14 but in the place which Yahweh chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you. 15 Notwithstanding, you may kill and eat flesh within all your gates, after all the desire of your soul, according to Yahweh your God’s blessing which he has given you. The unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle, and as of the deer. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood. You shall pour it out on the earth like water. 17 You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, or of your new wine, or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, nor any of your vows which you vow, nor your freewill offerings, nor the wave offering of your hand; 18 but you shall eat them before Yahweh your God in the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, you, your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates. You shall rejoice before Yahweh your God in all that you put your hand to. 19 Be careful that you don’t forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land.
20 When Yahweh your God enlarges your border, as he has promised you, and you shall say, “I want to eat meat,” because your soul desires to eat meat; you may eat meat, after all the desire of your soul. 21 If the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to put his name there, is too far from you, then you shall kill of your herd and of your flock, which Yahweh has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates, after all the desire of your soul. 22 Even as the gazelle and as the deer is eaten, so you shall eat of it. The unclean and the clean may eat of it alike. 23 Only be sure that you don’t eat the blood; for the blood is the life. You shall not eat the life with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it. You shall pour it out on the earth like water. 25 You shall not eat it; that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, when you shall do that which is right in Yahweh’s eyes. 26 Only your holy things which you have, and your vows, you shall take, and go to the place which Yahweh shall choose. 27 You shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of Yahweh your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of Yahweh your God; and you shall eat the flesh. 28 Observe and hear all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you forever, when you do that which is good and right in Yahweh your God’s eyes.
29 When Yahweh your God cuts off the nations from before you, where you go in to dispossess them, and you dispossess them, and dwell in their land; 30 be careful that you are not ensnared to follow them, after that they are destroyed from before you; and that you not inquire after their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? I will do likewise.” 31 You shall not do so to Yahweh your God; for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hates, have they done to their gods; for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 Whatever thing I command you, that you shall observe to do. You shall not add to it, nor take away from it.
22 Now on one of those days, he entered into a boat, himself and his disciples, and he said to them, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. 23 But as they sailed, he fell asleep. A wind storm came down on the lake, and they were taking on dangerous amounts of water. 24 They came to him, and awoke him, saying, “Master, master, we are dying!” He awoke, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they ceased, and it was calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” Being afraid they marveled, saying to one another, “Who is this, then, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?” 26 They arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee.
27 When Jesus stepped ashore, a certain man out of the city who had demons for a long time met him. He wore no clothes, and didn’t live in a house, but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, “What do I have to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torment me!” 29 For Jesus was commanding the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For the unclean spirit had often seized the man. He was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters. Breaking the bands apart, he was driven by the demon into the desert.
30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered into him. 31 They begged him that he would not command them to go into the abyss. 32 Now there was there a herd of many pigs feeding on the mountain, and they begged him that he would allow them to enter into those. He allowed them. 33 The demons came out of the man, and entered into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned. 34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country.
35 People went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who saw it told them how he who had been possessed by demons was healed. 37 All the people of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes asked him to depart from them, for they were very much afraid. He entered into the boat, and returned. 38 But the man from whom the demons had gone out begged him that he might go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your house, and declare what great things God has done for you.” He went his way, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
For the Chief Musician. By David. A reminder.
Hurry, God, to deliver me.
Come quickly to help me, Yahweh.
2 Let them be disappointed and confounded who seek my soul.
Let those who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.
3 Let them be turned because of their shame
Who say, “Aha! Aha!”
4 Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.
Let those who love your salvation continually say,
“Let God be exalted!”
5 But I am poor and needy.
Come to me quickly, God.
You are my help and my deliverer.
Yahweh, don’t delay.
4 A worthy woman is the crown of her husband,
but a disgraceful wife is as rottenness in his bones.