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12 April 2017 Bible Reading

Now that the Israelites can secure food from the land God has given them, the manna which has sustained them can stop.

In today’s reading from Luke, we have the Parable of the Lost Sheep. In reality, there are no ’99’ — all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, all need rescuing…. but Jesus would have come for just one.

Joshua 5-7:15
5 When all the kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, who were by the sea, heard how Yahweh had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we had crossed over, their heart melted, and there was no more spirit in them, because of the children of Israel. 2 At that time, Yahweh said to Joshua, “Make flint knives, and circumcise again the sons of Israel the second time.” 3 Joshua made himself flint knives, and circumcised the sons of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. 4 This is the reason Joshua circumcised them: all the people who came out of Egypt, who were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness along the way, after they came out of Egypt. 5 For all the people who came out were circumcised; but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised. 6 For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, even the men of war who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they didn’t listen to Yahweh’s voice. Yahweh swore to them that he wouldn’t let them see the land which Yahweh swore to their fathers that he would give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 7 Their children, whom he raised up in their place, were circumcised by Joshua; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them on the way. 8 When they were done circumcising the whole nation, they stayed in their places in the camp until they were healed.
9 Yahweh said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt off of you.” Therefore the name of that place was called Gilgal, to this day. 10 The children of Israel encamped in Gilgal. They kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho. 11 They ate unleavened cakes and parched grain of the produce of the land on the next day after the Passover, in the same day. 12 The manna ceased on the next day, after they had eaten of the produce of the land. The children of Israel didn’t have manna any more; but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our enemies?”
14 He said, “No; but I have come now as commander of Yahweh’s army.”
Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and worshiped, and asked him, “What does my lord say to his servant?”
15 The prince of Yahweh’s army said to Joshua, “Take your shoes off of your feet; for the place on which you stand is holy.” Joshua did so.
6 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the children of Israel. No one went out, and no one came in. 2 Yahweh said to Joshua, “Behold, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the mighty men of valor. 3 All of your men of war shall march around the city, going around the city once. You shall do this six days. 4 Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day, you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall go up, every man straight in front of him.”
6 Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before Yahweh’s ark.”
7 They said to the people, “Advance! March around the city, and let the armed men pass on before Yahweh’s ark.”
8 It was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before Yahweh advanced and blew the trumpets, and the ark of Yahweh’s covenant followed them. 9 The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the ark went after them. The trumpets sounded as they went.
10 Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout, nor let your voice be heard, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.” 11 So he caused Yahweh’s ark to go around the city, going about it once. Then they came into the camp, and stayed in the camp. 12 Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up Yahweh’s ark. 13 The seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns in front of Yahweh’s ark went on continually, and blew the trumpets. The armed men went in front of them. The rear guard came after Yahweh’s ark. The trumpets sounded as they went. 14 The second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. They did this six days.
15 On the seventh day, they rose early at the dawning of the day, and marched around the city in the same way seven times. Only on this day they marched around the city seven times. 16 At the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for Yahweh has given you the city! 17 The city shall be devoted, even it and all that is in it, to Yahweh. Only Rahab the prostitute shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 But as for you, only keep yourselves from what is devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted it, you take of the devoted thing; so you would make the camp of Israel accursed, and trouble it. 19 But all the silver, gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are holy to Yahweh. They shall come into Yahweh’s treasury.”
20 So the people shouted and the priests blew the trumpets. When the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight in front of him, and they took the city. 21 They utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, both young and old, and ox, sheep, and donkey, with the edge of the sword. 22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house, and bring the woman and all that she has out from there, as you swore to her.” 23 The young men who were spies went in, and brought out Rahab with her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. They also brought out all of her relatives, and they set them outside of the camp of Israel. 24 They burnt the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only they put the silver, the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron into the treasury of Yahweh’s house. 25 But Rahab the prostitute, her father’s household, and all that she had, Joshua saved alive. She lives in the middle of Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers, whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
26 Joshua commanded them with an oath at that time, saying, “Cursed is the man before Yahweh, who rises up and builds this city Jericho. With the loss of his firstborn he will lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he will set up its gates.” 27 So Yahweh was with Joshua; and his fame was in all the land.
7 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the devoted things; for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. Therefore Yahweh’s anger burned against the children of Israel. 2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, “Go up and spy out the land.”
The men went up and spied out Ai. 3 They returned to Joshua, and said to him, “Don’t let all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and strike Ai. Don’t make all the people to toil there, for there are only a few of them.” 4 So about three thousand men of the people went up there, and they fled before the men of Ai. 5 The men of Ai struck about thirty-six men of them, and they chased them from before the gate even to Shebarim, and struck them at the descent. The hearts of the people melted, and became like water. 6 Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before Yahweh’s ark until the evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. 7 Joshua said, “Alas, Lord Yahweh, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to cause us to perish? I wish that we had been content and lived beyond the Jordan! 8 Oh, Lord, what shall I say, after Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and will surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. What will you do for your great name?”
10 Yahweh said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face like that? 11 Israel has sinned. Yes, they have even transgressed my covenant which I commanded them. Yes, they have even taken some of the devoted things, and have also stolen, and also deceived. They have even put it among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel can’t stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will not be with you any more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.
13 “Get up! Sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, for Yahweh, the God of Israel, says, “There is a devoted thing among you, Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted thing from among you.”
14 “‘In the morning therefore you shall be brought near by your tribes. It shall be that the tribe which Yahweh selects shall come near by families. The family which Yahweh selects shall come near by households. The household which Yahweh selects shall come near man by man. 15 It shall be, that he who is taken with the devoted thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of Yahweh, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.’”

Luke 15:1-32
15 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming close to him to hear him. 2 The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.”
3 He told them this parable. 4 “Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it? 5 When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance. 8 Or what woman, if she had ten drachma[a] coins, if she lost one drachma coin, wouldn’t light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she found it? 9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.’ 10 Even so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting.”
11 He said, “A certain man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of your property.’ He divided his livelihood between them. 13 Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and traveled into a far country. There he wasted his property with riotous living. 14 When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 He went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He wanted to fill his belly with the husks that the pigs ate, but no one gave him any. 17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I’m dying with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. 19 I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.”’
20 “He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat, and celebrate; 24 for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’ They began to celebrate.
25 “Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the servants to him, and asked what was going on. 27 He said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and healthy.’ 28 But he was angry, and would not go in. Therefore his father came out, and begged him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed a commandment of yours, but you never gave me a goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this, your son, came, who has devoured your living with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’
31 “He said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’”

Psalm 81:1-16
For the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath. By Asaph.
81 Sing aloud to God, our strength!
Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob!
2 Raise a song, and bring here the tambourine,
the pleasant lyre with the harp.
3 Blow the trumpet at the New Moon,
at the full moon, on our feast day.
4 For it is a statute for Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5 He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony,
when he went out over the land of Egypt,
I heard a language that I didn’t know.
6 “I removed his shoulder from the burden.
His hands were freed from the basket.
7 You called in trouble, and I delivered you.
I answered you in the secret place of thunder.
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.”
Selah.
8 “Hear, my people, and I will testify to you,
Israel, if you would listen to me!
9 There shall be no strange god in you,
neither shall you worship any foreign god.
10 I am Yahweh, your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
11 But my people didn’t listen to my voice.
Israel desired none of me.
12 So I let them go after the stubbornness of their hearts,
that they might walk in their own counsels.
13 Oh that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
14 I would soon subdue their enemies,
and turn my hand against their adversaries.
15 The haters of Yahweh would cringe before him,
and their punishment would last forever.
16 But he would have also fed them with the finest of the wheat.
I will satisfy you with honey out of the rock.”

Proverbs 13:1
13 A wise son listens to his father’s instruction,
but a scoffer doesn’t listen to rebuke.

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