1 April 2017 Bible Reading
God directs His people to listen to His words. Both in the days of the children of Israel and today, this is His desire for His people.
18 The priests the Levites, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion nor inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the offerings of Yahweh made by fire and his portion. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their brothers. Yahweh is their inheritance, as he has spoken to them. 3 This shall be the priests’ due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep, that they shall give to the priest the shoulder, the two cheeks, and the inner parts. 4 The first fruits of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. 5 For Yahweh your God has chosen him out of all your tribes, to stand to minister in Yahweh’s name, him and his sons for ever. 6 If a Levite comes from any of your gates out of all Israel, where he lives as a foreigner, and comes with all the desire of his soul to the place which Yahweh shall choose; 7 then he shall minister in the name of Yahweh his God, as all his brothers the Levites do, who stand there before Yahweh. 8 They shall have like portions to eat, in addition to that which comes from the sale of his family possessions. 9 When you have come into the land which Yahweh your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found with you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices sorcery, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, 11 or a charmer, or a consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh. Because of these abominations, Yahweh your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be perfect with Yahweh your God. 14 For these nations that you shall dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery and to diviners; but as for you, Yahweh your God has not allowed you so to do. 15 Yahweh your God will raise up to you a prophet from among you, of your brothers, like me. You shall listen to him. 16 This is according to all that you desired of Yahweh your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, “Let me not hear again Yahweh my God’s voice, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I not die.”
17 Yahweh said to me, “They have well said that which they have spoken. 18 I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you. I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him. 19 It shall happen, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.”
21 You may say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which Yahweh has not spoken?” 22 When a prophet speaks in Yahweh’s name, if the thing doesn’t follow, nor happen, that is the thing which Yahweh has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You shall not be afraid of him.
19 When Yahweh your God cuts off the nations, whose land Yahweh your God gives you, and you succeed them, and dwell in their cities, and in their houses; 2 you shall set apart three cities for yourselves in the middle of your land, which Yahweh your God gives you to possess it. 3 You shall prepare the way, and divide the borders of your land, which Yahweh your God causes you to inherit, into three parts, that every man slayer may flee there. 4 This is the case of the man slayer who shall flee there and live. Whoever kills his neighbor unawares, and didn’t hate him in time past; 5 as when a man goes into the forest with his neighbor to chop wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle, and lights on his neighbor, so that he dies, he shall flee to one of these cities and live. 6 Otherwise, the avenger of blood might pursue the man slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and strike him mortally; even though he was not worthy of death, because he didn’t hate him in time past. 7 Therefore I command you to set apart three cities for yourselves. 8 If Yahweh your God enlarges your border, as he has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land which he promised to give to your fathers; 9 if you keep all this commandment to do it, which I command you today, to love Yahweh your God, and to walk ever in his ways; then you shall add three cities more for yourselves, besides these three. 10 This is so that innocent blood will not be shed in the middle of your land which Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance, leaving blood guilt on you. 11 But if any man hates his neighbor, lies in wait for him, rises up against him, strikes him mortally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities; 12 then the elders of his city shall send and bring him there, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. 13 Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall purge the innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you. 14 You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark, which they of old time have set, in your inheritance which you shall inherit, in the land that Yahweh your God gives you to possess. 15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins. At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established. 16 If an unrighteous witness rises up against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, 17 then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before Yahweh, before the priests and the judges who shall be in those days; 18 and the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness is a false witness, and has testified falsely against his brother; 19 then you shall do to him as he had thought to do to his brother. So you shall remove the evil from among you. 20 Those who remain shall hear, and fear, and will never again commit any such evil among you. 21 Your eyes shall not pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
20 When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses, chariots, and a people more than you, you shall not be afraid of them; for Yahweh your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. 2 It shall be, when you draw near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people, 3 and shall tell them, “Hear, Israel, you draw near today to battle against your enemies. Don’t let your heart faint! Don’t be afraid, nor tremble, neither be scared of them; 4 for Yahweh your God is he who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”
5 The officers shall speak to the people, saying, “What man is there who has built a new house, and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. 6 What man is there who has planted a vineyard, and has not used its fruit? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man use its fruit. 7 What man is there who has pledged to be married a wife, and has not taken her? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.” 8 The officers shall speak further to the people, and they shall say, “What man is there who is fearful and faint-hearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest his brother’s heart melt as his heart.” 9 It shall be, when the officers have finished speaking to the people, that they shall appoint captains of armies at the head of the people.
10 When you draw near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it. 11 It shall be, if it makes you answer of peace, and opens to you, then it shall be, that all the people who are found therein shall become forced laborers to you, and shall serve you. 12 If it will make no peace with you, but will make war against you, then you shall besiege it. 13 When Yahweh your God delivers it into your hand, you shall strike every male of it with the edge of the sword; 14 but the women, the little ones, the livestock, and all that is in the city, even all its plunder, you shall take for plunder for yourself. You may use the plunder of your enemies, which Yahweh your God has given you. 15 Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far off from you, which are not of the cities of these nations. 16 But of the cities of these peoples, that Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes; 17 but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; as Yahweh your God has commanded you; 18 that they not teach you to follow all their abominations, which they have done to their gods; so would you sin against Yahweh your God. 19 When you shall besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them; for you may eat of them. You shall not cut them down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged by you? 20 Only the trees that you know are not trees for food, you shall destroy and cut them down. You shall build bulwarks against the city that makes war with you, until it falls.
28 About eight days after these sayings, he took with him Peter, John, and James, and went up onto the mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became white and dazzling. 30 Behold, two men were talking with him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory, and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they were fully awake, they saw his glory, and the two men who stood with him. 33 As they were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let’s make three tents: one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah,” not knowing what he said.
34 While he said these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered into the cloud. 35 A voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!” 36 When the voice came, Jesus was found alone. They were silent, and told no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.
37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great multitude met him. 38 Behold, a man from the crowd called out, saying, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 Behold, a spirit takes him, he suddenly cries out, and it convulses him so that he foams, and it hardly departs from him, bruising him severely. 40 I begged your disciples to cast it out, and they couldn’t.”
41 Jesus answered, “Faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”
42 While he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him violently. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 They were all astonished at the majesty of God.
But while all were marveling at all the things which Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears, for the Son of Man will be delivered up into the hands of men.” 45 But they didn’t understand this saying. It was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
46 There arose an argument among them about which of them was the greatest. 47 Jesus, perceiving the reasoning of their hearts, took a little child, and set him by his side, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me. Whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For whoever is least among you all, this one will be great.”
49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he doesn’t follow with us.”
50 Jesus said to him, “Don’t forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us.”
A Psalm by Asaph.
73 Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone.
My steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant,
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For there are no struggles in their death,
but their strength is firm.
5 They are free from burdens of men,
neither are they plagued like other men.
6 Therefore pride is like a chain around their neck.
Violence covers them like a garment.
7 Their eyes bulge with fat.
Their minds pass the limits of conceit.
8 They scoff and speak with malice.
In arrogance, they threaten oppression.
9 They have set their mouth in the heavens.
Their tongue walks through the earth.
10 Therefore their people return to them,
and they drink up waters of abundance.
11 They say, “How does God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked.
Being always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 Surely in vain I have cleansed my heart,
and washed my hands in innocence,
14 For all day long have I been plagued,
and punished every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus”;
behold, I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 When I tried to understand this,
it was too painful for me;
17 Until I entered God’s sanctuary,
and considered their latter end.
18 Surely you set them in slippery places.
You throw them down to destruction.
19 How they are suddenly destroyed!
They are completely swept away with terrors.
20 As a dream when one wakes up,
so, Lord, when you awake, you will despise their fantasies.
21 For my soul was grieved.
I was embittered in my heart.
22 I was so senseless and ignorant.
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you.
You have held my right hand.
24 You will guide me with your counsel,
and afterward receive me to glory.
25 Whom do I have in heaven?
There is no one on earth whom I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart fails,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For, behold, those who are far from you shall perish.
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to you.
28 But it is good for me to come close to God.
I have made the Lord Yahweh my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.
10 A righteous man respects the life of his animal,
but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.