6 January 2018 Bible Reading
When Abram and Sarai set out to “help” God they made quite a mess of things. Even when their “help” caused all kinds of sin, God kept his promise in exactly the way He said He would!
5 Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, herds, and tents. 6 The land was not able to bear them, that they might live together; for their substance was great, so that they could not live together. 7 There was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites lived in the land at that time. 8 Abram said to Lot, “Please, let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen; for we are relatives. 9 Isn’t the whole land before you? Please separate yourself from me. If you go to the left hand, then I will go to the right. Or if you go to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”
10 Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well-watered everywhere, before Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Yahweh, like the land of Egypt, as you go to Zoar. 11 So Lot chose the Plain of the Jordan for himself. Lot traveled east, and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, and Lot lived in the cities of the plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinners against Yahweh.
14 Yahweh said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him, “Now, lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for all the land which you see, I will give to you, and to your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then your offspring may also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in its length and in its width; for I will give it to you.”
18 Abram moved his tent, and came and lived by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to Yahweh.
14 In the days of Amraphel, king of Shinar, Arioch, king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and Tidal, king of Goiim, 2 they made war with Bera, king of Sodom, and with Birsha, king of Gomorrah, Shinab, king of Admah, and Shemeber, king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (also called Zoar). 3 All these joined together in the valley of Siddim (also called the Salt Sea). 4 They served Chedorlaomer for twelve years, and in the thirteenth year, they rebelled. 5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer came, and the kings who were with him, and struck the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in their Mount Seir, to El Paran, which is by the wilderness. 7 They returned, and came to En Mishpat (also called Kadesh), and struck all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that lived in Hazazon Tamar. 8 The king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (also called Zoar) went out; and they set the battle in array against them in the valley of Siddim; 9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings against the five. 10 Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and some fell there, and those who remained fled to the hills. 11 They took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their food, and went their way. 12 They took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
13 One who had escaped came and told Abram, the Hebrew. At that time, he lived by the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and they were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative was taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan. 15 He divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and struck them, and pursued them to Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 16 He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative, Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the other people.
17 The king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High. 19 He blessed him, and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Abram gave him a tenth of all.
21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people, and take the goods for yourself.”
22 Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted up my hand to Yahweh, God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread nor a sandal strap nor anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing from you except that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them take their portion.”
15 After these things Yahweh’s word came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
2 Abram said, “Lord Yahweh, what will you give me, since I go childless, and he who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Abram said, “Behold, to me you have given no children: and, behold, one born in my house is my heir.”
4 Behold, Yahweh’s word came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir, but he who will come out of your own body will be your heir.” 5 Yahweh brought him outside, and said, “Look now toward the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He said to Abram, “So will your offspring be.” 6 He believed in Yahweh, who credited it to him for righteousness. 7 He said to Abram, “I am Yahweh who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it.”
8 He said, “Lord Yahweh, how will I know that I will inherit it?”
9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 He brought him all these, and divided them in the middle, and laid each half opposite the other; but he didn’t divide the birds. 11 The birds of prey came down on the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12 When the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. Now terror and great darkness fell on him. 13 He said to Abram, “Know for sure that your offspring will live as foreigners in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them. They will afflict them four hundred years. 14 I will also judge that nation, whom they will serve. Afterward they will come out with great wealth, 15 but you will go to your fathers in peace. You will be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation they will come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.” 17 It came to pass that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace, and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 In that day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram, saying, “I have given this land to your offspring, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: 19 the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery;’ 28 but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna. 30 If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.
31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce,’ 32 but I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery.
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,’ 34 but I tell you, don’t swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; 35 nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can’t make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, don’t resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. 41 Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and don’t turn away him who desires to borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
For the Chief Musician; on stringed instruments, upon the eight-stringed lyre. A Psalm by David.
6 Yahweh, don’t rebuke me in your anger,
neither discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, Yahweh, for I am faint.
Yahweh, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul is also in great anguish.
But you, Yahweh—how long?
4 Return, Yahweh. Deliver my soul,
and save me for your loving kindness’ sake.
5 For in death there is no memory of you.
In Sheol, who shall give you thanks?
6 I am weary with my groaning.
Every night I flood my bed.
I drench my couch with my tears.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief.
It grows old because of all my adversaries.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity,
for Yahweh has heard the voice of my weeping.
9 Yahweh has heard my supplication.
Yahweh accepts my prayer.
10 May all my enemies be ashamed and dismayed.
They shall turn back, they shall be disgraced suddenly.
29 Because they hated knowledge,
and didn’t choose the fear of Yahweh.
30 They wanted none of my counsel.
They despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore they will eat of the fruit of their own way,
and be filled with their own schemes.
32 For the backsliding of the simple will kill them.
The careless ease of fools will destroy them.
33 But whoever listens to me will dwell securely,
and will be at ease, without fear of harm.”