11 April 2017 Bible Reading
The Ark of the Covenant went before the people as they marched toward Jericho. While the presence of the Ark no doubt gave the Israelites strength, what did the sight of it do to the people in Jericho?
3 Joshua got up early in the morning; and they moved from Shittim, and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel. They camped there before they crossed over. 2 After three days, the officers went through the middle of the camp; 3 and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of Yahweh your God’s covenant, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then leave your place, and follow it. 4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Don’t come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go; for you have not passed this way before.”
5 Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow Yahweh will do wonders among you.”
6 Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and cross over before the people.” They took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
7 Yahweh said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to magnify you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 8 You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’”
9 Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of Yahweh your God.” 10 Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Hivite, and the Perizzite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Jebusite out from before you. 11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passes over before you into the Jordan. 12 Now therefore take twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, for every tribe a man. 13 It shall be that when the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of Yahweh, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan will be cut off. The waters that come down from above shall stand in one heap.”
14 When the people moved from their tents to pass over the Jordan, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant being before the people, 15 and when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark had dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the time of harvest), 16 the waters which came down from above stood, and rose up in one heap, a great way off, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those that went down toward the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people passed over near Jericho. 17 The priests who bore the ark of Yahweh’s covenant stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the nation had passed completely over the Jordan.
4 When all the nation had completely crossed over the Jordan, Yahweh spoke to Joshua, saying, 2 “Take twelve men out of the people, a man out of every tribe, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take from out of the middle of the Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you’ll camp tonight.’”
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, a man out of every tribe. 5 Joshua said to them, “Cross before the ark of Yahweh your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you pick up a stone and put it on your shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel; 6 that this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask in the future, saying, ‘What do you mean by these stones?’ 7 then you shall tell them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of Yahweh’s covenant. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.’”
8 The children of Israel did as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, as Yahweh spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel. They carried them over with them to the place where they camped, and laid them down there. 9 Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day. 10 For the priests who bore the ark stood in the middle of the Jordan, until everything was finished that Yahweh commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua; and the people hurried and passed over. 11 When all the people had completely crossed over, Yahweh’s ark crossed over, with the priests, in the presence of the people.
12 The children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, crossed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spoke to them. 13 About forty thousand men, ready and armed for war passed over before Yahweh to battle, to the plains of Jericho. 14 On that day, Yahweh magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.
15 Yahweh spoke to Joshua, saying, 16 “Command the priests who bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of the Jordan.”
17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, “Come up out of the Jordan!” 18 When the priests who bore the ark of Yahweh’s covenant had come up out of the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet had been lifted up to the dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks, as before. 19 The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, on the east border of Jericho.
20 Joshua set up those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, in Gilgal. 21 He spoke to the children of Israel, saying, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 Then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 23 For Yahweh your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you, until you had crossed over, as Yahweh your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up from before us, until we had crossed over; 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know that Yahweh’s hand is mighty; that you may fear Yahweh your God forever.’”
7 He spoke a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the best seats, and said to them, 8 “When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, don’t sit in the best seat, since perhaps someone more honorable than you might be invited by him, 9 and he who invited both of you would come and tell you, ‘Make room for this person.’ Then you would begin, with shame, to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may tell you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
12 He also said to the one who had invited him, “When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back. 13 But when you make a feast, ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind; 14 and you will be blessed, because they don’t have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous.”
15 When one of those who sat at the table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is he who will feast in God’s Kingdom!”
16 But he said to him, “A certain man made a great supper, and he invited many people. 17 He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready now.’ 18 They all as one began to make excuses.
“The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please have me excused.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go try them out. Please have me excused.’
20 “Another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I can’t come.’
21 “That servant came, and told his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, maimed, blind, and lame.’
22 “The servant said, ‘Lord, it is done as you commanded, and there is still room.’
23 “The lord said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you that none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper.’”
25 Now great multitudes were going with him. He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me, and doesn’t disregard his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can’t be my disciple. 27 Whoever doesn’t bear his own cross, and come after me, can’t be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build, and wasn’t able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, as he goes to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an envoy, and asks for conditions of peace. 33 So therefore whoever of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has, he can’t be my disciple. 34 Salt is good, but if the salt becomes flat and tasteless, with what do you season it? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
For the Chief Musician. To the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant.” A Psalm by Asaph.
80 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock,
you who sit above the cherubim, shine out.
2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might!
Come to save us!
3 Turn us again, God.
Cause your face to shine,
and we will be saved.
4 Yahweh God of Armies,
How long will you be angry against the prayer of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears,
and given them tears to drink in large measure.
6 You make us a source of contention to our neighbors.
Our enemies laugh among themselves.
7 Turn us again, God of Armies.
Cause your face to shine,
and we will be saved.
8 You brought a vine out of Egypt.
You drove out the nations, and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it.
It took deep root, and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shadow.
Its boughs were like God’s cedars.
11 It sent out its branches to the sea,
Its shoots to the River.
12 Why have you broken down its walls,
so that all those who pass by the way pluck it?
13 The boar out of the wood ravages it.
The wild animals of the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, we beg you, God of Armies.
Look down from heaven, and see, and visit this vine,
15 the stock which your right hand planted,
the branch that you made strong for yourself.
16 It’s burned with fire.
It’s cut down.
They perish at your rebuke.
17 Let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
on the son of man whom you made strong for yourself.
18 So we will not turn away from you.
Revive us, and we will call on your name.
19 Turn us again, Yahweh God of Armies.
Cause your face to shine, and we will be saved.
27 The slothful man doesn’t roast his game,
but the possessions of diligent men are prized.
28 In the way of righteousness is life;
in its path there is no death.