24 April 2017 Bible Reading
As today’s reading in Judges shows, we are always only one generation away from apostasy.
10 After all that generation were gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them, who didn’t know Yahweh, nor the work which he had done for Israel. 11 The children of Israel did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, and served the Baals. 12 They abandoned Yahweh, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; and they provoked Yahweh to anger. 13 They abandoned Yahweh, and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. 14 Yahweh’s anger burned against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15 Wherever they went out, Yahweh’s hand was against them for evil, as Yahweh had spoken, and as Yahweh had sworn to them; and they were very distressed. 16 Yahweh raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. 17 Yet they didn’t listen to their judges; for they prostituted themselves to other gods, and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly out of the way in which their fathers walked, obeying Yahweh’s commandments. They didn’t do so. 18 When Yahweh raised up judges for them, then Yahweh was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for it grieved Yahweh because of their groaning by reason of those who oppressed them and troubled them. 19 But when the judge was dead, they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than their fathers in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down to them. They didn’t cease what they were doing, or give up their stubborn ways. 20 Yahweh’s anger burned against Israel; and he said, “Because this nation transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not listened to my voice, 21 I also will no longer drive out any of the nations that Joshua left when he died from before them; 22 that by them I may test Israel, to see if they will keep the Yahweh’s way to walk therein, as their fathers kept it, or not.” 23 So Yahweh left those nations, without driving them out hastily. He didn’t deliver them into Joshua’s hand.
3 Now these are the nations which Yahweh left, to test Israel by them, even as many as had not known all the wars of Canaan; 2 only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at least those who knew nothing of it before: 3 the five lords of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath. 4 They were left to test Israel by them, to know whether they would listen to Yahweh’s commandments, which he commanded their fathers by Moses. 5 The children of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 6 They took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their gods. 7 The children of Israel did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, and forgot Yahweh their God, and served the Baals and the Asheroth. 8 Therefore Yahweh’s anger burned against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the children of Israel served Cushan Rishathaim eight years. 9 When the children of Israel cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised up a savior to the children of Israel, who saved them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 The Yahweh’s Spirit came on him, and he judged Israel; and he went out to war, and Yahweh delivered Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. His hand prevailed against Cushan Rishathaim. 11 The land had rest forty years, then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
12 The children of Israel again did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, and Yahweh strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight. 13 He gathered the children of Ammon and Amalek to himself; and he went and struck Israel, and they possessed the city of palm trees. 14 The children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. 15 But when the children of Israel cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised up a savior for them, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. The children of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 Ehud made himself a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length; and he wore it under his clothing on his right thigh. 17 He offered the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 When he had finished offering the tribute, he sent away the people who carried the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back from the stone idols that were by Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.”
The king said, “Keep silence!” All who stood by him left him.
20 Ehud came to him; and he was sitting by himself alone in the cool upper room. Ehud said, “I have a message from God to you.” He arose out of his seat. 21 Ehud put out his left hand, and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his body: 22 and the handle also went in after the blade; and the fat closed on the blade, for he didn’t draw the sword out of his body; and it came out behind. 23 Then Ehud went out onto the porch, and shut the doors of the upper room on him, and locked them.
24 After he had gone, his servants came and saw that the doors of the upper room were locked. They said, “Surely he is covering his feet in the upper room.” 25 They waited until they were ashamed; and behold, he didn’t open the doors of the upper room. Therefore they took the key and opened them, and behold, their lord had fallen down dead on the floor.
26 Ehud escaped while they waited, passed beyond the stone idols, and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he had come, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim; and the children of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he led them.
28 He said to them, “Follow me; for Yahweh has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” They followed him, and took the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and didn’t allow any man to pass over. 29 They struck at that time about ten thousand men of Moab, every strong man, and every man of valor. No man escaped. 30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. Then the land had rest eighty years.
31 After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad. He also saved Israel.
14 When the hour had come, he sat down with the twelve apostles. 15 He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, 16 for I tell you, I will no longer by any means eat of it until it is fulfilled in God’s Kingdom.” 17 He received a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, “Take this, and share it among yourselves, 18 for I tell you, I will not drink at all again from the fruit of the vine, until God’s Kingdom comes.”
19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.” 20 Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 The Son of Man indeed goes, as it has been determined, but woe to that man through whom he is betrayed!”
23 They began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing. 24 There arose also a contention among them, which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 He said to them, “The kings of the nations lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But not so with you. But one who is the greater among you, let him become as the younger, and one who is governing, as one who serves. 27 For who is greater, one who sits at the table, or one who serves? Isn’t it he who sits at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 But you are those who have continued with me in my trials. 29 I confer on you a kingdom, even as my Father conferred on me, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. You will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
31 The Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat, 32 but I prayed for you, that your faith wouldn’t fail. You, when once you have turned again, establish your brothers.”
33 He said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!”
34 He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will by no means crow today until you deny that you know me three times.”
A Psalm. A song for the Sabbath day.
92 It is a good thing to give thanks to Yahweh,
to sing praises to your name, Most High;
2 to proclaim your loving kindness in the morning,
and your faithfulness every night,
3 with the ten-stringed lute, with the harp,
and with the melody of the lyre.
4 For you, Yahweh, have made me glad through your work.
I will triumph in the works of your hands.
5 How great are your works, Yahweh!
Your thoughts are very deep.
6 A senseless man doesn’t know,
neither does a fool understand this:
7 though the wicked spring up as the grass,
and all the evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed forever.
8 But you, Yahweh, are on high forever more.
9 For, behold, your enemies, Yahweh,
for, behold, your enemies shall perish.
All the evildoers will be scattered.
10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox.
I am anointed with fresh oil.
11 My eye has also seen my enemies.
My ears have heard of the wicked enemies who rise up against me.
12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree.
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in Yahweh’s house.
They will flourish in our God’s courts.
14 They will still produce fruit in old age.
They will be full of sap and green,
15 to show that Yahweh is upright.
He is my rock,
and there is no unrighteousness in him.
93 Yahweh reigns!
He is clothed with majesty!
Yahweh is armed with strength.
The world also is established.
It can’t be moved.
2 Your throne is established from long ago.
You are from everlasting.
3 The floods have lifted up, Yahweh,
the floods have lifted up their voice.
The floods lift up their waves.
4 Above the voices of many waters,
the mighty breakers of the sea,
Yahweh on high is mighty.
5 Your statutes stand firm.
Holiness adorns your house,
Yahweh, forever more.
14 Every wise woman builds her house,
but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
2 He who walks in his uprightness fears Yahweh,
but he who is perverse in his ways despises him.