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3 June 2017 Bible Reading

Today’s reading begins the books of Acts. Written by Luke, this book chronicles the first 30 years of the church.

2 Samuel 20:14-22:20
14 He went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, and to Beth Maacah, and all the Berites. They were gathered together, and went also after him. 15 They came and besieged him in Abel of Beth Maacah, and they cast up a mound against the city, and it stood against the rampart; and all the people who were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down. 16 Then a wise woman cried out of the city, “Hear, hear! Please say to Joab, ‘Come near here, that I may speak with you.’” 17 He came near to her; and the woman said, “Are you Joab?”
He answered, “I am.”
Then she said to him, “Hear the words of your servant.”
He answered, “I’m listening.”
18 Then she spoke, saying, “They used to say in old times, ‘They shall surely ask counsel at Abel;’ and so they settled a matter. 19 I am among those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up Yahweh’s inheritance?”
20 Joab answered, “Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. 21 The matter is not so. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, even against David. Just deliver him, and I will depart from the city.”
The woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.”
22 Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. They cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. He blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. Then Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king. 23 Now Joab was over all the army of Israel, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites, 24 Adoram was over the men subject to forced labor, Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder, 25 Sheva was scribe, and Zadok and Abiathar were priests, 26 and Ira the Jairite was chief minister to David.
21 There was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the face of Yahweh. Yahweh said, “It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”
2 The king called the Gibeonites, and said to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites, and the children of Israel had sworn to them; and Saul sought to kill them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah); 3 and David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? And with what should I make atonement, that you may bless Yahweh’s inheritance?”
4 The Gibeonites said to him, “It is no matter of silver or gold between us and Saul, or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.”
He said, “Whatever you say, that I will do for you.”
5 They said to the king, “The man who consumed us, and who devised against us, that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the borders of Israel, 6 let seven men of his sons be delivered to us, and we will hang them up to Yahweh in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of Yahweh.”
The king said, “I will give them.”
7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of Yahweh’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 9 He delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before Yahweh, and all seven of them fell together. They were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, at the beginning of barley harvest. 10 Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water poured on them from the sky. She allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day, nor the animals of the field by night. 11 David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12 So David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh Gilead, who had stolen them from the street of Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, in the day that the Philistines killed Saul in Gilboa; 13 and he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son. They also gathered the bones of those who were hanged. 14 They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. After that, God answered prayer for the land.
15 The Philistines had war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines. David grew faint; 16 and Ishbibenob, who was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being armed with a new sword, thought he would kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “Don’t go out with us to battle any more, so that you don’t quench the lamp of Israel.”
18 After this, that there was again war with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was of the sons of the giant. 19 There was again war with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite’s brother, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 There was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on every hand, and six toes on every foot, twenty four in number; and he also was born to the giant. 21 When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, killed him. 22 These four were born to the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.
22 David spoke to Yahweh the words of this song in the day that Yahweh delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul, 2 and he said:
“Yahweh is my rock,
my fortress,
and my deliverer, even mine;
3 God is my rock in whom I take refuge;
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
my high tower, and my refuge.
My savior, you save me from violence.
4 I call on Yahweh, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
5 For the waves of death surrounded me.
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
6 The cords of Sheol were around me.
The snares of death caught me.
7 In my distress, I called on Yahweh.
Yes, I called to my God.
He heard my voice out of his temple.
My cry came into his ears.
8 Then the earth shook and trembled.
The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken,
because he was angry.
9 Smoke went up out of his nostrils.
Consuming fire came out of his mouth.
Coals were kindled by it.
10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down.
Thick darkness was under his feet.
11 He rode on a cherub, and flew.
Yes, he was seen on the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness a shelter around himself:
gathering of waters, and thick clouds of the skies.
13 At the brightness before him,
coals of fire were kindled.
14 Yahweh thundered from heaven.
The Most High uttered his voice.
15 He sent out arrows, and scattered them;
lightning, and confused them.
16 Then the channels of the sea appeared.
The foundations of the world were laid bare by Yahweh’s rebuke,
at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
17 He sent from on high and he took me.
He drew me out of many waters.
18 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.
19 They came on me in the day of my calamity,
but Yahweh was my support.
20 He also brought me out into a large place.
He delivered me, because he delighted in me.

Acts 1:1-26
1 The first book I wrote, Theophilus, concerned all that Jesus began both to do and to teach, 2 until the day in which he was received up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 To these he also showed himself alive after he suffered, by many proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking about God’s Kingdom. 4 Being assembled together with them, he commanded them, “Don’t depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me. 5 For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 Therefore when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you now restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them, “It isn’t for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set within his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
9 When he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 While they were looking steadfastly into the sky as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white clothing, 11 who also said, “You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who was received up from you into the sky will come back in the same way as you saw him going into the sky.”
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had come in, they went up into the upper room, where they were staying; that is Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer and supplication, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
15 In these days, Peter stood up in the middle of the disciples (and the number of names was about one hundred twenty), and said, 16 “Brothers, it was necessary that this Scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to those who took Jesus. 17 For he was numbered with us, and received his portion in this ministry. 18 Now this man obtained a field with the reward for his wickedness, and falling headlong, his body burst open, and all his intestines gushed out. 19 It became known to everyone who lived in Jerusalem that in their language that field was called ‘Akeldama,’ that is, ‘The field of blood.’ 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms,
‘Let his habitation be made desolate.
Let no one dwell therein;’
and,
‘Let another take his office.’
21 “Of the men therefore who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John, to the day that he was received up from us, of these one must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
23 They put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 They prayed, and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away, that he might go to his own place.” 26 They drew lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Psalm 121:1-8
A Song of Ascents.
121 I will lift up my eyes to the hills.
Where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from Yahweh,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved.
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 Yahweh is your keeper.
Yahweh is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 Yahweh will keep you from all evil.
He will keep your soul.
8 Yahweh will keep your going out and your coming in,
from this time forward, and forever more.

Proverbs 16:18
18 Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

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