23 June 2017 Bible Reading
At today’s prices, one ounce of silver sells for about $18. Naaman brought 660 pounds of silver. In today’s dollars, this amounts to about $190,000. And he also brought gold. He probably thought this would buy excellent service.
2 Kings 4:18-5:27
18 When the child was grown, one day he went out to his father to the reapers. 19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!”
He said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.”
20 When he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees until noon, and then died. 21 She went up and laid him on the man of God’s bed, and shut the door on him, and went out. 22 She called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the servants, and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.”
23 He said, “Why would you want go to him today? It is not a new moon or a Sabbath.”
She said, “It’s alright.”
24 Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward! Don’t slow down for me, unless I ask you to.”
25 So she went, and came to the man of God to Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her afar off, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Behold, there is the Shunammite. 26 Please run now to meet her, and ask her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with your child?’”
She answered, “It is well.”
27 When she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. Gehazi came near to thrust her away; but the man of God said, “Leave her alone; for her soul is troubled within her; and Yahweh has hidden it from me, and has not told me.”
28 Then she said, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord? Didn’t I say, ‘Do not deceive me’?”
29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand, and go your way. If you meet any man, don’t greet him; and if anyone greets you, don’t answer him again. Then lay my staff on the child’s face.”
30 The child’s mother said, “As Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.”
So he arose, and followed her.
31 Gehazi went ahead of them, and laid the staff on the child’s face; but there was no voice and or hearing. Therefore he returned to meet him, and told him, “The child has not awakened.”
32 When Elisha had come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and lying on his bed. 33 He went in therefore, and shut the door on them both, and prayed to Yahweh. 34 He went up, and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, and his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. He stretched himself on him; and the child’s flesh grew warm. 35 Then he returned, and walked in the house once back and forth; and went up, and stretched himself out on him. Then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 He called Gehazi, and said, “Call this Shunammite!” So he called her.
When she had come in to him, he said, “Take up your son.”
37 Then she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground; then she picked up her son, and went out.
38 Elisha came again to Gilgal. There was a famine in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him; and he said to his servant, “Get the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.”
39 One went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered a lap full of wild gourds from it, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew; for they didn’t recognize them. 40 So they poured out for the men to eat. As they were eating some of the stew, they cried out, and said, “Man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it.
41 But he said, “Then bring meal.” He threw it into the pot; and he said, “Serve it to the people, that they may eat.” And there was nothing harmful in the pot.
42 A man from Baal Shalishah came, and brought the man of God bread some of the first fruits: twenty loaves of barley, and fresh ears of grain in his sack. He said, “Give to the people, that they may eat.”
43 His servant said, “What, should I set this before a hundred men?”
But he said, “Give the people, that they may eat; for Yahweh says, ‘They will eat, and will have some left over.’”
44 So he set it before them, and they ate, and had some left over, according to Yahweh’s word.
5 Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him Yahweh had given victory to Syria: he was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. 2 The Syrians had gone out in bands, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maiden; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “I wish that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would heal him of his leprosy.”
4 Someone went in, and told his lord, saying, “The maiden who is from the land of Israel said this.”
5 The king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”
He departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6 He brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, “Now when this letter has come to you, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.”
7 When the king of Israel had read the letter, he tore his clothes, and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends to me to heal a man of his leprosy? But please consider and see how he seeks a quarrel against me.”
8 It was so, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall come again to you, and you shall be clean.”
11 But Naaman was angry, and went away, and said, “Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of Yahweh his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leper.’ 12 Aren’t Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them, and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.
13 His servants came near, and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had asked you do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? How much rather then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’”
14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 15 He returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him; and he said, “See now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel. Now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”
16 But he said, “As Yahweh lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.”
He urged him to take it; but he refused. 17 Naaman said, “If not, then, please let two mules’ burden of earth be given to your servant; for your servant will from now on offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice to other gods, but to Yahweh. 18 In this thing may Yahweh pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon. When I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, may Yahweh pardon your servant in this thing.”
19 He said to him, “Go in peace.”
So he departed from him a little way. 20 But Gehazi the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “Behold, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought. As Yahweh lives, I will run after him, and take something from him.”
21 So Gehazi followed after Naaman. When Naaman saw one running after him, he came down from the chariot to meet him, and said, “Is all well?”
22 He said, “All is well. My master has sent me, saying, ‘Behold, even now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.’”
23 Naaman said, “Be pleased to take two talents.” He urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and laid them on two of his servants; and they carried them before him. 24 When he came to the hill, he took them from their hand, and stored them in the house. Then he let the men go, and they departed. 25 But he went in, and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, “Where did you come from, Gehazi?”
He said, “Your servant went nowhere.”
26 He said to him, “Didn’t my heart go with you, when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and olive groves and vineyards, and sheep and cattle, and male servants and female servants? 27 Therefore the leprosy of Naaman will cling to you and to your offspring forever.”
He went out from his presence a leper, as white as snow.
15 Some men came down from Judea and taught the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you can’t be saved.” 2 Therefore when Paul and Barnabas had no small discord and discussion with them, they appointed Paul and Barnabas, and some others of them, to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question. 3 They, being sent on their way by the assembly, passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles. They caused great joy to all the brothers. 4 When they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the assembly and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all things that God had done with them.
5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to see about this matter. 7 When there had been much discussion, Peter rose up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that a good while ago God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the nations should hear the word of the Good News, and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, testified about them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just like he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you tempt God, that you should put a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they are.”
12 All the multitude kept silence, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul reporting what signs and wonders God had done among the nations through them. 13 After they were silent, James answered, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has reported how God first visited the nations, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 This agrees with the words of the prophets. As it is written,
16 ‘After these things I will return.
I will again build the tabernacle of David, which has fallen.
I will again build its ruins.
I will set it up,
17 That the rest of men may seek after the Lord;
all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who does all these things.
18 All of God’s works are known to him from eternity.’
19 “Therefore my judgment is that we don’t trouble those from among the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but that we write to them that they abstain from the pollution of idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses from generations of old has in every city those who preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole assembly, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brothers. 23 They wrote these things by their hand:
“The apostles, the elders, and the brothers, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: greetings. 24 Because we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, ‘You must be circumcised and keep the law,’ to whom we gave no commandment; 25 it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves will also tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell.”
30 So, when they were sent off, they came to Antioch. Having gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over the encouragement. 32 Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged the brothers with many words, and strengthened them. 33 After they had spent some time there, they were sent back with greetings from the brothers to the apostles. 34 35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
A Psalm by David.
141 Yahweh, I have called on you.
Come to me quickly!
Listen to my voice when I call to you.
2 Let my prayer be set before you like incense;
the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a watch, Yahweh, before my mouth.
Keep the door of my lips.
4 Don’t incline my heart to any evil thing,
to practice deeds of wickedness with men who work iniquity.
Don’t let me eat of their delicacies.
5 Let the righteous strike me, it is kindness;
let him reprove me, it is like oil on the head;
don’t let my head refuse it;
Yet my prayer is always against evil deeds.
6 Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock.
They will hear my words, for they are well spoken.
7 “As when one plows and breaks up the earth,
our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol.”
8 For my eyes are on you, Yahweh, the Lord.
In you, I take refuge.
Don’t leave my soul destitute.
9 Keep me from the snare which they have laid for me,
from the traps of the workers of iniquity.
10 Let the wicked fall together into their own nets,
while I pass by.
23 A wicked man receives a bribe in secret,
to pervert the ways of justice.