The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday May 24, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 4-6

When Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, heard that his general Abner was dead, murdered in Hebron, he panicked, and so did all Israel. Now the two captains of Ish-bosheth’s raiding parties were Baanah and Rechab, the sons of Rimmon, a Benjaminite from the town of Beeroth (which was considered to belong to Benjamin since the time its original inhabitants tricked the Israelites into making a pact of friendship with them. The people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim, where they still live as aliens).

Saul’s son Jonathan, David’s friend, had a son named Mephibosheth who was unable to use his feet. When he was only five, the news of his father and grandfather’s defeat came from Jezreel. In her rush to flee, his nurse grabbed him up, and Mephibosheth fell; he had been lame ever since.

Baanah and Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, hatched a plan. They set out, and they came to Ish-bosheth’s residence during the noonday heat as he was taking a nap. 6-7 They crept inside the house as if to get some wheat. There they stabbed Ish-bosheth in the abdomen while he lay asleep on his bed, killing him. Then Rechab and his brother Baanah cut off Ish-bosheth’s head and escaped. They carried his head away and traveled all night across the desert plains.[a]

At Hebron, they brought Ish-bosheth’s head before David.

Baanah and Rechab: Here is the head of your enemy, Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, who tried to kill you. Today the Eternal One has avenged my lord, the king, against Saul and his clan.

David: As the Eternal One lives, the One who has redeemed my life from every danger, 10 when the messenger brought me the word, “Saul is dead”—as though that would be some reason for me to rejoice, that would get him a reward—I seized him and had him killed at Ziklag. That was his reward for bringing me such news. 11 How much more do you deserve to be punished, you wicked men who kill a righteous man in his own bedroom? Don’t you imagine that now I’ll make you answer for his blood with your own and wipe you from the face of the earth?

12 David commanded his young men, and they killed Baanah and Rechab. Then the young men cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies as an example beside the pool at Hebron. But Ish-bosheth’s head they took and buried in Abner’s tomb in Hebron.

Then all the tribes that made up the people of Israel came to David at Hebron.

Leaders of Israel: We are all related: we are flesh of your flesh, bone of your bones. When Saul was king, you always led the army of Israel out and then brought it back safely. The Eternal said to you, “You will be the shepherd of My people Israel, the ruler over all of them.”

All the leaders of Israel came before the king there at Hebron. So King David made a covenant with the leaders there before the Eternal, and they anointed David king over all Israel. David was 30 years old when he first became king, and he was king for 40 years; he reigned in Hebron over Judah alone for 7½ years, and then he reigned over the united kingdom of Judah and Israel for 33 years.

At one point, David and his army marched to Jerusalem to fight the Jebusites who lived there. The Jebusites felt secure behind their walls and were sure David could not enter into the city. They jeered, “Even the blind and the lame could defend this city against you.” Despite the taunts, David and his army managed to capture the fortress of Zion, which became the city of David.[b]

David (to his army): If you want to strike down the Jebusites—these blind and lame defenders whom I hate—then go through the water tunnel.

(From this exchange came the saying, “The blind and the lame cannot enter the house.”)

Once David captured the fortress, he stayed there and named it the city of David. He built it up all around, carefully terracing the hillside from the Millo[c] inward. 10 And David continued to grow in power and reputation because the Eternal God, Commander of heavenly armies, was with him.

11 King Hiram of Tyre sent diplomats to David with cedars and carpenters and masons to build David a palace.

12 David realized then that the Eternal One had established him as king over Israel and that He was increasing David’s kingdom in power and majesty for the sake of His people Israel.

13-14 After the move from Hebron to Jerusalem, David married more women from Jerusalem, took more concubines, and fathered more sons and daughters: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

17 When David’s former allies, the Philistines, discovered that David, whom they still considered a vassal of Gath, was now king over a united Israel, they sent an army to battle him; but David heard they were coming and withdrew into the fortress.

18 The Philistines spread their forces in the valley of Rephaim southwest of Jerusalem.

David (to the Lord): 19 Should I go to war against the Philistines? Will You make me victorious over them?

Eternal One: Yes, go. I will certainly give you victory.

20 So David battled the Philistines at Baal-perazim and defeated them.

David: The Eternal has broken through my enemies in front of me like water bursting through a dam.

That is why the place was named Baal-perazim, meaning “the Lord who bursts through.”

21 The Philistines abandoned their idols on the field, and David and his forces carried them away.

22 Yet again the Philistines came up and prepared for battle in the valley of Rephaim. 23 David asked the Eternal One what he should do.

Eternal One: Do not directly face their forces. Circle around behind them, and array yourselves for battle in front of the balsam trees. 24 When you hear the sound of a mighty army marching, reverberating in the tops of the balsam trees, come quickly and fight, for the Eternal has gone ahead of you into battle to destroy the army of the Philistines.

25 David did just as the Eternal One commanded and won a great victory. He struck down the fleeing Philistines from Geba all the way to Gezer, just before the coastal plain.

Once again David gathered the elite soldiers of Israel, some 30,000, and they went down to Baale-judah to bring back the covenant chest of the True God, called by the Name: the Eternal One, Commander of heavenly armies, who sits enthroned above the winged creatures who protect the chest.

3-4 They carried the covenant chest of the True God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab on the hill where it had rested, and Abinadab’s sons Uzzah and Ahio directed the new cart, with Ahio walking in front of the chest. David and all the Israelites were joyous before the Eternal; and they were accompanied by wooden lyres and harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.

When they came alongside the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah put out his hand to steady the covenant chest. The Eternal burned with anger against Uzzah, and the True God struck Uzzah dead on the spot for daring to touch the covenant chest.

The covenant chest represents something amazing—it is filled with God’s presence and is supposed to be kept in the most separate, most holy of places. David knows that having the covenant chest near him as he rules is important. Therefore he begins the journey toward Jerusalem. The journey is interrupted with Uzzah’s death. David leaves the covenant chest short of its final resting place, but he eventually completes the journey by bringing it into the city of Jerusalem to its final home—and bringing God’s blessing with it. Although it is dangerous, it is also the most tangible symbol of God’s past victories on Israel’s behalf and represents God’s presence.

David was angry that the Eternal One had broken through to strike Uzzah, so the place was named Perez-uzzah, meaning “Breech against Uzzah,” to remember that act. David was also frightened of the Eternal that day.

David: How can I be responsible for the covenant chest of the Eternal One?

10 So he decided he did not want to take the chest of the Eternal into the city of David, and he left it there in the care of Obed-edom, a man from the Philistine city Gath. 11 The covenant chest of the Eternal One remained there for three months; and in that time, the Eternal One blessed the household and farms of Obed-edom the Gittite.

12 When news was taken to King David that the Eternal had blessed Obed-edom and all his household because of the covenant chest of God, the king went down and brought the chest from Obed-edom’s house up to the city of David, again accompanying it with rejoicing and ceremony. 13 When the people carrying the chest of the Eternal had gone six steps, David sacrificed an ox and a fattened calf; 14 and he danced before the Eternal One with all his might, clad in a priestly vest.

15-16 So David and the house of Israel carried the covenant chest of the Eternal One up to the city of David with shouts and the sounding of the trumpet. When Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Eternal without thought for how he looked, she hated him.

17 They carried the covenant chest of the Eternal One to its place inside the tent David had pitched to house it, and the king offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings to the Eternal. 18 When he had finished with the sacrifices and peace offerings, he spoke a priestly blessing over the people in the name of the Eternal One, the Commander of heavenly armies; and 19 he gave all of the Israelites—every man and woman—a loaf of bread, a date roll,[d] and a raisin cake. Then they all returned to their homes.

20 On David’s return, he wanted to bestow good favor on his household, but Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him.

Michal (sarcastically): The king has distinguished himself today in front of his servants’ maids. He revealed quite a lot, just as the lowest of the low might expose himself.

David: 21 It was for the Eternal One that I danced. The Lord chose me in place of your father Saul and all his descendants; He appointed me to rule over Israel, the Eternal’s people. 22 I will lower myself even further—maybe I will even shame myself in my own eyes—but in the eyes of those maidservants of whom you speak, I will receive honor.

23 And to her dying day, Michal, the daughter of Saul, was humbled before God and did not bear a child. Therefore no descendant of Saul ever regained the throne of Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:6-7 Hebrew, Arabah
  2. 5:7 The city of David is below what would be the temple mount, about seven miles from Bethlehem and adjacent to Jerusalem.
  3. 5:9 The meaning is uncertain. Because the word literally means “filling,” it could have been a terrace or a landfill, or it may be a part of the fortress or a wall.
  4. 6:19 Meaning of the manuscripts is uncertain. Possibly dates or wine. Traditionally translated “a piece of meat,” but more recently “a cake made from dates.”
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

John 13:31-14:14

31 Upon Judas’s departure, Jesus spoke:

Jesus: Now the Son of Man will be glorified as God is glorified in Him. 32 If God’s glory is in Him, His glory is also in God. The moment of this astounding glory is imminent. 33 My children, My time here is brief. You will be searching for Me; and as I told the Jews, “You cannot go where I am going.” 34 So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. 35 Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.

Simon Peter: 36 Lord, where are You going?

Jesus: Peter, you cannot come with Me now, but later you will join Me.

Peter: 37 Why can’t I go now? I’ll give my life for You!

Jesus: 38 Will you really give your life for Me? I tell you the truth: you will deny Me three times before the rooster crows.

Ultimately Peter is telling the truth. He is more than willing to lay down his life. But none of His disciples understand the magnitude of the persecution and hatred that is about to be unleashed.

Even Peter, Jesus’ dear Peter, is afraid. He protests any inference to Jesus’ impending departure. Each of the twelve would do the same. Jesus calms their fears over and over again with stories, metaphors, and outright promises, saying, “I will never abandon you like orphans; I will return to be with you” (14:18).

14 Jesus: Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. You know where I am going and how to get there.

Thomas: Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the path?

Jesus: I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you know Me, you know the Father. Rest assured now; you know Him and have seen Him.

Philip: Lord, all I am asking is that You show us the Father.

Jesus (to Philip): I have lived with you all this time, and you still don’t know who I am? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. How can you keep asking to see the Father? 10 Don’t you believe Me when I say I abide in the Father and the Father dwells in Me? I’m not making this up as I go along. The Father has given Me these truths that I have been speaking to you, and He empowers all My actions. 11 Accept these truths: I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me. If you have trouble believing based on My words, believe because of the things I have done. 12 I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father. 13 Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son. 14 Let Me say it again: if you ask for anything in My name, I will do it.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 119:17-32

Gimel

17 Treat Your servant well, Lord,
so that I may live and remain faithful to Your word.
18 Let me see clearly so that I may take in
the amazing things coming from Your law.
19 I am a sojourner in the world;
do not keep Your commands hidden from me.
20 My soul aches from craving
Your wise rulings day and night.
21 You rebuke those who are proud,
and those who stray from Your commands are cursed.
22 Free me from the contempt and disdain of others
because I keep Your decrees.
23 Even though powerful princes conspire against me,
I fix my mind on what You require.
24 Yes, Your testimonies are my joy;
they are like the friends I seek for counsel.

Daleth

25 My very being clings to the dust;
preserve my life, in keeping with Your word.
26 I have admitted my ways are wrong, and You responded;
now help me learn what You require.
27 Compel me to grasp the way of Your statutes
so I will fix my mind on Your wonderful works.
28 My soul weeps, and trouble weighs me down;
give me strength so I can stand according to Your word.
29 Eliminate faithlessness You find in my step,
be gracious, and give me Your guidance.
30 I have decided to take the path of faith;
I have focused my eyes on Your regulations.
31 I cling to Your decrees; O Eternal One,
do not let me face disgrace!
32 I will chase after Your commandments
because You will expand my understanding.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:31-32

31 Those who learn from the lessons of life
will join the others who are wise.
32 Those who disregard discipline sabotage themselves,
but those who are open to correction gain understanding.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday May 23, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 2:12-3:39

12 Abner, the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth (the son of Saul) traveled from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 David’s general Joab, whose mother was David’s sister Zeruiah, and David’s servants went out to meet them at the pool of Gibeon. Abner’s forces were by one side of the pool, Joab’s forces by the other.

Abner (to Joab): 14 Why don’t we send our young soldiers out to have a contest before us?

Joab: All right. Send them forward.

15 Twelve men came forward to represent the people of Benjamin and Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, and twelve to represent David and his people. 16 They all caught their opponents by the head and thrust their swords into their opponents’ sides, so they all fell down together. That is why this place was called the Field of Adversaries, Helkath-hazzurim in Gibeon.

17 The battle that followed this contest was brutal that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by the servants of David.

18 All three of Zeruiah’s sons were fighting for David: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Asahel was a swift runner, fast as a gazelle, 19 and he chased after Abner intently. 20 Abner looked behind him.

Abner: Is that you, Asahel?

Asahel: It is.

Abner: 21 Stop pursuing me. Attack one of the soldiers of your own rank, and take his possessions instead.

But Asahel would not stop in his pursuit.

Abner: 22 If you don’t stop pursuing me, I’ll have no choice but to kill you! And how could I show my face in front of your brother Joab if I do such a thing?

23 But Asahel refused to be diverted. Abner didn’t even use the point of his spear. He thrust with the butt of his spear, and the spear struck Asahel in his abdomen and passed all the way through him. He fell, and there he died. And all those who arrived on that spot stopped and just stood there staring in amazement.

24 But Asahel’s brothers, Joab and Abishai, pursued Abner with their forces. As the sun was setting, they reached the hill of Ammah that is in front of Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 The people of Benjamin banded together to protect Abner, and they made their stand on top of a hill.

Abner (calling to Joab): 26 Are we to continue this killing forever? Don’t you see that this will come to a bitter end? How long until you order your forces to stop pursuing their brothers?

Joab: 27 I swear before the living God that if you had not said this, my forces would have pursued their Israelite brothers until morning.

28 Joab blew the trumpet to call off the attack against the men of Israel, and all pursuit and battle stopped. 29 Abner and his men went on, traveling all night across the desert plain.[a] They crossed the Jordan River, and by traveling all morning reached Mahanaim. 30 Joab and his forces, meanwhile, came back together after pursuing Abner. They discovered that in addition to Asahel, 19 of David’s men were missing; 31 but David’s men had killed 360 of the men of Benjamin and the others who served Abner.

32 They brought Asahel’s body back and buried him in Bethlehem in his ancestral tomb. Joab and his men marched all night and arrived home in Hebron at dawn.

This was the beginning of a long war between the forces loyal to David and the forces loyal to Saul’s son Ish-bosheth. David’s forces continued to grow in strength, while the forces of Saul’s son Ish-bosheth grew ever weaker.

While David was king at Hebron, he fathered these sons: the first was Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel; his second was Chileab, whose mother was Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel; his third was Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, daughter of King Talmai of Geshur; his fourth was Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith; his fifth was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital; his sixth was Ithream, whose mother was David’s wife Eglah. All of these sons were born at Hebron.

During the war between David and the house of Saul, Abner was carving out a place of power among those who supported Saul’s family. Earlier Saul had a mistress named Rizpah, who was the daughter of Aiah. Ish-bosheth went to Abner and accused him.

Ish-bosheth: Why have you slept with my father’s mistress?

Ish-bosheth is outraged because sleeping with a king’s wife or concubine is tantamount to claiming the throne.

This accusation of disloyalty made Abner very angry.

Abner: Am I no better than a dog, whose head is turned by any female? Do I serve Judah? I have done nothing but give my loyalty to your father Saul, to his brothers, and to his friends; and I have not betrayed you to David. How can you come to me and accuse me of a crime concerning this woman? Now I will see you are overthrown.

May the True God punish me severely if I don’t do for David what the Eternal One has promised him: 10 to take away the throne from Saul and set up David’s throne, who will be king over both Israel and Judah, from Dan in the far north to Beersheba in the southern desert.

11 Ish-bosheth didn’t dare to say anything else to Abner after this; he was afraid of him.

12 Abner sent this message on his own behalf to David at Hebron:

Abner’s Message: Who is in charge of this land? Make an agreement with me, and I will give you my support. I will persuade everyone in Israel to support your cause.

David: 13 Fine. I will make a covenant with you. But one thing is nonnegotiable: I don’t want to see you unless you have Saul’s daughter Michal with you when you come before me.

14 At the same time, David sent Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, this message:

David’s Message: Send me back my wife, your sister, Michal. I bought her with a bride-price of 100 Philistine foreskins.

15 So Ish-bosheth sent for Michal and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel, the son of Laish. 16 Paltiel followed the party, weeping, all the way to Bahurim in Benjamin. Finally Abner ordered him to stop following them, and he returned home.

17 Abner sent a message to the leaders of Israel.

Abner’s Message: For some time now you have wanted David to be your king; 18 now is the time for you to make it happen. You remember that the Eternal One promised David that He would use him to deliver Israel from the Philistines and from all our enemies.

19 Abner also communicated directly with the people of Benjamin, Saul’s tribe, to enlist their support; and at last he went to Hebron to tell David that the people of Israel—all of them, including Benjamin—were ready to support him.

20 Abner came with 20 of his men to meet with David at Hebron, and David held a great feast for them.

Abner (to David): 21 Let me go now and enlist all of Israel behind you my lord, the king, so that they may make a covenant with you, and you will be ruler over all your heart desires.

David dismissed Abner then and sent him away in peace. 22 But after he left, Joab and some of David’s warriors returned with the spoils of a raid. 23 Joab and his forces arrived and heard that Abner, the son of Ner, had met with the king, and that he had gone his way in peace. 24 Joab went to David.

Joab is still angry over the death of his brother Asahel, and he considers it a blood debt that needs to be collected.

Joab: What have you done? You had Abner in your hands! Why did you let him get away? He’s gone. 25 Don’t you know that Abner, the son of Ner, came here only to deceive you, to find out your strength and what you are up to?

26 When Joab left David’s presence, he sent for messengers to find Abner. They caught up to him at the cistern of Sirah; and without David’s knowledge, 27 Abner returned to Hebron. Then, under the pretext of speaking to Abner privately, Joab took him inside the gateway and stabbed him in the stomach. Joab had his revenge on Abner for killing his brother Asahel, and Abner died.

28 When David heard this news, he wanted it understood:

David: I and my kingdom are guiltless for all time in the eyes of the Eternal of the murder of Abner, son of Ner. 29 May all the guilt fall on Joab and on his descendants. May the men in Joab’s line always have an oozing sore or skin disease, no longer be fit for battle, fall in battle, or go hungry.

30 This was the curse King David pronounced because Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner in revenge for their brother Asahel, whom Abner killed at the battle at Gibeon. 31 Then David gave an order to Joab and his followers.

David: Tear your clothes. Put on sackcloth, and let me see you mourn for Abner in front of the procession.

And King David himself walked in the procession behind the corpse. 32 They buried Abner at Hebron. At the graveside, David lifted his voice and wept for Abner; and the people wept with him.

33 The king sang a song of lament for Abner.

David: Why should Abner die a fool’s death?
34 Your hands were not bound;
your feet were not chained.
You have fallen
as one falls among the wicked.

And the people wept again over Abner’s grave.

This song reminds us that David may be the writer of many psalms, and that David is a great warrior, musician, poet, and soon, a great king. David is also a person of great contradiction—not perfect, by any means—but a man of oversized loves and passions who must generally have his heart in the right place, since we’re reminded again and again that God loves him. He is powerful, and people in his way do tend to have horrible things happen to them. But he respects the dead, and sometimes, as with Saul, grieves in ways that feel—all these centuries later—authentic.

35 After the ceremony, the people came to David and tried to convince him to eat something that day, but he turned them away because fasting until evening was part of the mourning ritual.

David: May the True God punish me severely if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets.

36 The people noticed that he honored Abner by fasting, and they approved—as they approved of everything their king did. 37 So everyone believed it was not David’s intention, nor did he have any part in the murder of Abner, the son of Ner.

David (to his servants): 38 Don’t you know that today a prince, a great man, has fallen in Israel? 39 Although I am his anointed king, today I have no power to punish his murderers. The sons of my sister Zeruiah are too violent for me to restrain. May the Eternal repay the wicked according to their wickedness!

Footnotes:

  1. 2:29 Hebrew, Arabah
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

John 13:1-30

13 Before the Passover festival began, Jesus was keenly aware that His hour had come to depart from this world and to return to the Father. From beginning to end, Jesus’ days were marked by His love for His people. Before Jesus and His disciples gathered for dinner, the adversary filled Judas Iscariot’s heart with plans of deceit and betrayal. Jesus, knowing that He had come from God and was going away to God, stood up from dinner and removed His outer garments. He then wrapped Himself in a towel, poured water in a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His towel.

Simon Peter (as Jesus approaches): Lord, are You going to wash my feet?

Jesus: Peter, you don’t realize what I am doing, but you will understand later.

Peter: You will not wash my feet, now or ever!

Jesus: If I don’t wash you, you will have nothing to do with Me.

Peter: Then wash me but don’t stop with my feet. Cleanse my hands and head as well.

Jesus: 10 Listen, anyone who has bathed is clean all over except for the feet. But I tell you this, not all of you are clean.

Within pain and filth, there is an opportunity to extend God’s kingdom through an expression of love, humility, and service. This simple act of washing feet is a metaphor for how the world looks through the lens of Jesus’ grace. He sees the people—the world He created—which He loves. He also sees the filthy corruption in the world that torments everyone. His mission is to cleanse those whom He loves from those horrors. This is His redemptive work with feet, families, disease, famine, and hearts.

When Jesus sees disease, He sees the opportunity to heal. When He sees sin, He sees a chance to forgive and redeem. When He sees dirty feet, He sees a chance to wash them.

11 He knew the one with plans of betraying Him, which is why He said, “not all of you are clean.” 12 After washing their feet and picking up His garments, He reclined at the table again.

Jesus: Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and truly, that is who I am. 14 So if your Lord and Teacher washes your feet, then you should wash one another’s feet. 15 I am your example; keep doing what I do. 16 I tell you the truth: a servant is not greater than the master. Those who are sent are not greater than the one who sends them.[a] 17 If you know these things, and if you put them into practice, you will find happiness. 18 I am not speaking about all of you. I know whom I have chosen, but let the Hebrew Scripture be fulfilled that says, “The very same man who eats My bread with Me will stab Me in the back.” 19 Assuredly, I tell you these truths before they happen so that when it all transpires, you will believe that I am. 20 I tell you the truth: anyone who accepts the ones I send accepts Me. In turn, the ones who accept Me also accept the One who sent Me.

21 Jesus was becoming visibly distressed.

Jesus: I tell you the truth: one of you will betray Me.

22 The disciples began to stare at one another, wondering who was the unfaithful disciple. 23 One disciple in particular, who was loved by Jesus, reclined next to Him at the table. 24 Peter motioned to the disciple at Jesus’ side.

Peter (to the beloved disciple): Find out who the betrayer is.

Beloved Disciple (leaning in to Jesus): 25 Lord, who is it?

Jesus: 26 I will dip a piece of bread in My cup and give it to the one who will betray Me.

He dipped one piece in the cup and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After this occurred, Satan entered into Judas.

Jesus (to Judas): Make haste, and do what you are going to do.

28 No one understood Jesus’ instructions to Judas. 29 Because Judas carried the money, some thought he was being instructed to buy the necessary items for the feast or give some money to the poor. 30 So Judas took his piece of bread and departed into the night.

Footnotes:

  1. 13:16 Literally, apostle
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The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 119:1-16

Psalm 119[a]

Psalm 119 is the longest psalm in the collection. It is a hymn in praise of and appreciation for God’s instructions to His people. You see, God not only called Israel to be His people and gave them a wonderful land, but He gave them a blueprint for living. The Hebrew word for that is torah, sometimes translated “law” or “teachings.” In torah God tells them how to structure their lives and communities so that they will live long, prosperous lives in the land He has given them. As you read through the psalm, you will notice words like law, teachings, precepts, word, decrees, and commands. Each of these words is a synonym highlighting some attribute of God’s instructions to His people.

Another memorable feature of this psalm is its form. The psalmist constructs this hymn as an elaborate acrostic poem that moves artfully through each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Essentially, all the elements of this psalm combine to emphasize the importance of God’s Word to His people, to the praise and glory of the one True God.

Aleph

Happy are the people who walk with integrity,
who live according to the teachings of the Eternal.
Happy are the people who keep His decrees,
who pursue Him wholeheartedly.
These are people who do nothing wrong;
they do what it takes to follow His ways.
You have given us Your precepts
so we would be careful about keeping them.
Oh, that every part of my life would remain in line
with what You require!
Then I would feel no shame
when I fix my eyes upon Your commands.
With a pure heart, I will give thanks to You
when I hear about Your just and fair rulings.
I will live within Your limits;
do not abandon me completely!

Beth

How can a young person remain pure?
Only by living according to Your word.
10 I have pursued You with my whole heart;
do not let me stray from Your commands.
11 Deep within me I have hidden Your word
so that I will never sin against You.
12 You are blessed, O Eternal One;
instruct me in what You require.
13 My lips have told how
You have delivered all Your wise rulings.
14 I have celebrated Your testimonies
as though rejoicing over an immeasurable fortune.
15 I will fix my mind on Your instructions
and my eyes on Your path.
16 I will find joy in Your ordinances;
I will remember Your word forever.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 119 A Hebrew acrostic poem
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:29-30

29 The Eternal stays far from the wrongdoers,
but He listens to the prayer of the right-living.
30 Bright eyes and a cheerful expression bring joy to the heart,
and good news revives the spirit and renews health.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday May 22, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 1:1-2:11

After Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle with the Philistines, David returned from defeating the Amalekites, and for two days he rested in Ziklag. On the third day, a man came from Saul’s camp in mourning, his clothes torn, dirt on his head. When he reached David, he fell to the ground facedown before him.

At the end of 1 Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and the armies of Israel went to war with the Philistines. The Philistine king wanted David and his men to fight for the Philistines against Israel because David was mighty in battle. But the king’s generals convinced him that David could not be trusted, and an attack on his people sent David hurrying off in another direction just as the battle was joined between Israel and Philistia. In that battle, disaster struck: the army of Israel was routed. Saul fought bravely but was defeated, at last falling on his own sword rather than be captured, tortured, and exhibited as a prize; and Saul’s son Jonathan, beloved friend of David, also died in the battle. The fall of the first royal house of Israel is complete, and now Israel faces grave danger.

David: From where have you come?

Soldier: I have come from the camp of Israel; I escaped after the battle.

David: What happened? Tell me!

Soldier: The Israelites ran from the battle, and many of them were killed. King Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.

David: How do you know they are dead?

Soldier: Because I happened to be on Mount Gilboa during the attack, and I saw Saul leaning against his spear as the chariots and cavalry approached. He looked around and saw me, and he called to me. I told him, “I am here, my lord.” He asked who I was, and I told him I am an Amalekite. Then he said, “Come here. Stand over me, and kill me because I am suffering but am still alive.” 10 So I did what he asked, because I knew he would not live after he had fallen. I took the crown from his head and his gold armlet and brought them here to you, my lord whom I recognize as the next king.

11 When David heard these words, he tore his clothing in grief; and all the men with him did the same. 12 They mourned and wept, and they fasted until evening in honor of Saul and Jonathan and the army of the Eternal One of Israel, because they were cut down by the sword of the enemy.

David (to the soldier): 13 Where is your home?

Soldier: I am the son of an alien living in Israel, an Amalekite. Therefore I am bound by some of the Israelite law.

David: 14 Weren’t you afraid to strike down the Eternal One’s anointed king knowing the law would require your death?

15 So David called for one of his soldiers to come forward and kill the Amalekite soldier, which he did.

David: 16 You have only yourself to blame. Your own words convicted you when you said you had killed the Eternal’s anointed king.

17 Then David mourned the death of Saul and his son Jonathan with this song of grief, 18 the Song of the Bow, which he ordered taught to the people of Judah and recorded in the book of the Upright.[a]

Although Saul sought David’s death on many occasions, and although David cannot act as king until Saul dies, David executes the Amalekite mercenary who has the insolence to strike down God’s rightly-anointed king for his disrespect to the position. Demonstrating his respect for Saul, David then composes one of the most beautiful expressions of grief in the Bible, a song of loss and sadness to relay the nation’s sense of sorrow, and his own.

19 David: The beauty of Israel lies dead upon your high places.
O how the mighty have fallen!
20 Don’t speak of this in the city of Gath;
don’t proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon,
Or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice.
The daughters of the foreigners[b] will sing for joy.
21 Mountains of Gilboa, let no rain or dew water you;
may your mountain fields offer only dust.
The shield of the mighty was defiled with your enemy’s blood;
even the shield of Saul is no longer anointed with oil by the Eternal.
22 With the blood of the slain
and with the fat of the strong,
Jonathan’s bow never lost aim;
Saul’s sword never came back empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan were beloved and delightful,
always together in life and now in death.
They were faster than eagles;
they were mightier than lions.
24 O daughters of Israel, cry out for Saul,
who clothed you in luxurious crimson,
who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.
25 O how the mighty have fallen
in the height of the battle!
Jonathan lies dead upon your high places.
26 I agonize over you, my brother Jonathan.
I have delighted in you;
and your love for me was wonderful,
beyond even the love of women.
27 O how the mighty have fallen,
and the weapons of war lie broken!

Jonathan he misses especially because Jonathan was his friend, a companion, David says, whose love was greater than any love a woman could have for a man. David and Jonathan shared a relationship built in adversity, and the secret they kept from Saul that preserved David’s life made the relationship stronger than what most will ever experience.

After David mourned, he asked the Eternal One a question.

David: Should I go up now to one of the cities of Judah?

The Eternal indicated that he should go.

David: Where should I go?

Eternal One: Hebron.

So David went to Hebron, a royal city, with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal from Carmel. David also brought along all his men and their households, and they settled in and around Hebron. Then the people of Judah came and anointed David king over them. They told David how the people of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul with dignity, so David sent messengers to them.

David’s Message: May you be blessed by the Eternal One for your loyalty to your king Saul by burying him. May the Eternal always love and be faithful to you! I will also reward you for this noble act. Now be strong and mighty, for Saul your king is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me as their new king.

But it was not so simple. Abner, Ner’s son who had commanded Saul’s armies, took Saul’s son Ish-bosheth and brought him to Mahanaim; and there Abner named Ish-bosheth king over Gilead and over the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was 40 years old when he began to rule Israel, and he was king for two years. But the people of Judah followed David, 11 and he was king over them in Hebron for 7½ years.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:18 Literally, the book of Jashar
  2. 1:20 Literally, “daughters of the uncircumcised”
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

John 12:20-50

20 Among the crowds traveling to Jerusalem were Greeks seeking to follow God and worship at the great feast. 21-22 Some of them came to Philip with an important request.

Greek Pilgrims (to Philip): Sir, we are hoping to meet Jesus.

Philip, a disciple from the Galilean village of Bethsaida, told Andrew that these Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Together Andrew and Philip approached Jesus to inform Him about the request.

Jesus (to Philip and Andrew): 23 The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth: unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest. 25 The one who loves this life will lose it, and the one who despises it in this world will have life forevermore. 26 Anyone who serves Me must follow My path; anyone who serves Me will want to be where I am, and he will be honored by the Father. 27 My spirit is low and unsettled. How can I ask the Father to save Me from this hour? This hour is the purpose for which I have come into the world. But what I can say is this: 28 “Father, glorify Your name!”

Suddenly a voice echoed from the heavens.

The Father: I have glorified My name. And again I will bring glory in this hour that will resound throughout time.

29 The crowd of people surrounding Jesus were confused.

Some in the Crowd: It sounded like thunder.

Others: A heavenly messenger spoke to Him.

Jesus: 30 The voice you hear has not spoken for My benefit, but for yours. 31 Now judgment comes upon this world, and everything will change. The tyrant of this world, Satan, will be thrown out. 32 When I am lifted up from the earth, then all of humanity will be drawn to Me.

33 These words foreshadowed the nature of His death.

Crowd: 34 The law teaches that the Anointed is the One who will remain without end. How can You say it is essential that the Son of Man be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man You are talking about?

Jesus: 35 Light is among you, but very soon it will flicker out. Walk as you have the light, and then the darkness will not surround you. Those who walk in darkness don’t know where they are going. 36 While the light is with you, believe in the light; and you will be reborn as sons and daughters of the light.

After speaking these words, Jesus left the people to go to a place of seclusion. 37 Despite all the signs He performed, they still did not believe in Him. 38 Isaiah spoke of this reality, saying,

Lord, who could accept what we’ve been told?
And who has seen the awesome power of the Lord revealed?[a]

39 This is the reason they are unable to believe. 40 Isaiah also said,

God has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts
So that their eyes cannot see properly
and their hearts cannot understand
and be persuaded
by the truth to turn to Me
and be reconciled by My healing hand.[b]

41 Isaiah could say this because he had seen the glory of the Lord with his own eyes and declared His beauty aloud. 42 Yet many leaders secretly believed in Him but would not declare their faith because the Pharisees continued their threats to expel all His followers from the synagogue; 43 here’s why: they loved to please men more than they desired to glorify God.

Jesus (crying out before the people): 44 Anyone who believes in Me is not placing his faith in Me, but in the One who sent Me here. 45 If one sees Me, he sees the One who sent Me. 46 I am here to bring light in this world, freeing everyone who believes in Me from the darkness that blinds him. 47 If anyone listening to My teachings chooses to ignore them, so be it: I have come to liberate the world, not to judge it. 48 However, those who reject Me and My teachings will be judged: in the last day, My words will be their judge 49 because I am not speaking of My own volition and from My own authority. The Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and speak. 50 I know His command is eternal life, so every word I utter originates in Him.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 118:19-29

Early Christians found in the words of this psalm a wonderful way of describing the significance of Jesus. He was the rejected stone whom God made the cornerstone of a brand-new temple (verses 22–24).

19 Open wide to me the gates of justice
so that I may walk through them
and offer praise and worship to the Eternal.

20 This is the gate of the Eternal;
the righteous children of God will go through it.

21 I will praise You because You answered me when I was in trouble.
You have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very stone that holds together the entire foundation.
23 This is the work of the Eternal,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.[a]
24 This is the day the Eternal God has made;
let us celebrate and be happy today.
25 O Eternal One, save us, we beg You.
O Eternal One, we beg You, bring us success!

26 He who comes in the name of the Eternal will be blessed;[b]
we have blessed You from the house of the Eternal.
27 The Eternal is the True God;
He shines His light on us.
Let the feast begin.
Bring the sacrifice, and tie it to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I give You thanks;
You are my God, and I praise You.
29 Give thanks to our Eternal Lord; He is always good.
He never ceases to be loving and kind.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:27-28

27 Those who take illegal gains injure their families,
but those who refuse a bribe will live in peace.
28 The right-living think before they speak,
but wrongdoers simply spew evil.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday May 21, 2024 (NIV)

1 Samuel 29-31

The medium reveals herself to be a woman of compassion; when the king collapses in fear and hunger, she feeds him—a last meal, prepared and served with kindness, for a condemned man. And Saul, knowing his fate beforehand, is ready to die in battle.

29 The Philistines gathered for battle at Aphek, while the armies of Israel camped near the spring of Jezreel. The armies of the Philistines were marching forward by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were marching in the rear with King Achish.

Philistine Generals: What are these Hebrews doing here?

King Achish: Isn’t this David, who used to be the servant of King Saul of Israel? He has been with me for days, for years; and since he came over to our side and my service, I have never had a problem with him.

Philistine Generals (angry): Send David back to the place you have appointed for him. Don’t let him go into battle with us—we might find him an enemy instead of an ally. Do you know how he could be reconciled with his former master? By handing him our heads!

Isn’t this the same David about whom the Israelites sang war songs while they danced and celebrated?

Saul has slain his thousands
and David, his tens of thousands.

Achish (calling to David): As the Eternal One lives, you have been honest with me, and I wish you could march into battle and back at my side. I have found no fault in you before. But the generals—the leaders of my troops—will not have you go with us. Go home now, and go in peace. Don’t do anything to upset them further.

This decision is certainly in David’s favor—could he really have gone to battle against Israel?—but he acts as though he is offended.

David: What have I done to deserve this? Has your servant done anything since he entered your service to prevent him going out and fighting against my lord the king’s enemies?

Achish: As I see it, you are no more to blame than a messenger of God, but the commanders of my troops have said they will not allow you to go into battle with us.

10 Get up early tomorrow morning with your lord’s servants, and return to the home I have given you in Ziklag. Rise early tomorrow, and go as soon as it is light.

11 So the next morning, David and his men got up early and traveled south to the land of the Philistines, but the Philistine army went north to Jezreel.

30 When David and his men reached Ziklag three days later, they discovered that the Amalekites had raided the desert hill country. They had attacked Ziklag in David’s absence, burned it, and carried away the women and all the other inhabitants whom David had left behind. None of them were killed, but they were taken captive and carried back toward Amalek.

So David and his men arrived in the burned city and found their wives, daughters, and sons gone, taken captive by the Amalekite raiders. And when they saw this, they cried out and wept aloud until they could weep no more. David’s wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel, were among those carried off.

David, too, was in anguish. Some of his men talked about stoning him because they were so bitter about their families being taken. But David took comfort in the Eternal One, his True God.

He called for the priest, Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, and instructed him to bring the priestly vest, which he did.

David (to the Lord): Should we pursue these raiders? Can we catch them?

Eternal One: Go after them. You will catch them, and you will certainly rescue your families.

9-10 So David set out with his 600 men. They came to the wadi Besor, a dry creek bed where he left behind 200 men who were too exhausted to continue the pursuit.

11 In the open country beyond, some of his soldiers found an Egyptian. They took him to David, fed him, and gave him water. 12 They gave him some fig cake and two clusters of raisins. After the man had eaten, he regained his strength. He had not had food or water for three days and nights.

David: 13 Who are your people? Where are you from?

Egyptian: I am a young man of Egypt who served an Amalekite, but my master left me behind three days ago because I was sick. 14 We had gone raiding in the desert country, against the Cherethites and the territories of Judah and of Caleb, and we burned down the town of Ziklag.

David: 15 Can you lead me to this raiding party?

Egyptian: I will take you to them, if you will swear to me by the True God that you won’t kill me or give me back to my master.

16 He led David to where the Amalekites were spread out all over the place eating and drinking and dancing, because they had taken such great spoils in their raids against Philistia and Judah. 17 David fought against them from one twilight to the next, and he killed all of them except for 400 young men who escaped on camels.

18 So David recovered everything that had been taken, including his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing—from the smallest thing to the greatest treasure, none of the sons or daughters, no property of any kind. David brought everything home. 20 David also captured their flocks and herds, which they were driving ahead of other livestock, and the people agreed this would be David’s share of the Amalekites’ property.

21 David and his people returned to the wadi Besor, where the 200 had remained behind, and those men went out to meet David and all those with him. As David approached, he greeted them. 22 But some of the wicked and greedy ones who had fought alongside David spoke out.

Wicked Men: Because these men didn’t go with us, why should we give them back the things we recovered for them? Sure, let them take back their wives and their children. But that’s all. We’ll keep the rest, and they must leave.

David: 23 My brothers, this is not how we’re going to treat what the Eternal One has returned to us. He saved us and gave us success over the raiding party that sacked our city. 24 Why would anyone agree with you about this matter? The share of the one who fights is the same as the share of the one who looks after the supplies. We all share equally.

25 In fact, he made this a law and an ordinance, and it remains so in Israel today.

26 And after David returned to Ziklag, he gave part of the spoil he had taken to his friends who ruled over Judah, with the message, “This is a present for you taken from the enemies of the Eternal.”

27 These gifts were sent to Bethel, to Ramoth in the desert south, to Jattir, 28 to Aroer, to Siphmoth, to Eshtemoa, 29 to Racal, to the towns of the Jerahmeelites, to the towns of the Kenites, 30 to Hormah, to Bor-ashan, to Athach, 31 and to Hebron—all places where David and his men had lived and traveled.

31 Meanwhile the Philistine and Israelite armies had clashed. The men of Israel ran away, but many of them were killed on the heights of Gilboa. The Philistines even followed Saul and his sons and closed in on them; there they killed his sons, Jonathan (the beloved friend of David), Abinadab, and Malchi-shua.

Notice that David does not participate in the battle against his own people, and that even while he lives among the Philistines hiding from Saul, he doesn’t serve them. This expedition against the raiding Amalekites offers a powerful explanation both for why David doesn’t fight for the Philistine king and why he doesn’t fight to preserve the armies of Israel. Because David is far away with his own desperate battles to fight, no shame falls on him for any oaths he might have broken.

The battle closed in around Saul, and he was shot with arrows and badly wounded.

Saul (to his armor-bearer): Please take out your sword and thrust it through me. Don’t let these uncircumcised dogs come and put their swords and spears into me for their sport.

But his armor-bearer was afraid and would not do it. Saul drew his own sword and fell upon it. When the armor-bearer saw this, he also drew his sword and fell upon it and died. So Saul, his three sons, his armor-bearer, and all his men died together on the same day.

That looks like the end of the story, but it isn’t. It is a tragedy, though a necessary one for Israel. At the beginning of his reign, Saul gathers a huge army to fight the Ammonites, who threaten to blind the men of Jabesh-gilead. Many years later, the people of the country hear what has happened. They raise an army of their own, march all night into the Philistine town of Beth-shan, and without regard to the danger, take down the bodies and return to their own country to give Saul and his family a decent and respectful burial.

Saul is many things—a brute, a coward, a prince, a warrior, a faithful follower, a faithless wallower—and now he is dead. Some might celebrate; others mourn him. The king the people asked for has been dethroned, and the kingdom lies open to invasion, but God’s plan is still operating. In the Second Book of Samuel, it is evident this is part of a larger order. The people’s king has been defeated, but God’s king is on his way.

The deaths of Saul and his sons conclude the First Book of Samuel. God’s anointed dies, and the armies of Israel are defeated. Some commentators, even though they may condemn suicide, do not fault Saul for falling on his own sword. Remembering how the Philistines blinded and tormented the hero and judge Samson, Saul knows his fate is torture and abuse. Not only does he not want to suffer that as a man, but also as God’s anointed king, he does not want these “uncircumcised dogs”—that is, followers of other gods—to claim such an advantage over the Lord. So he falls on his sword, and the Philistines, prevented from their torture, behead Saul’s body, strip him, and exhibit his and his sons’ corpses in public.

When the people of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and even those beyond the Jordan River, learned that the Israelite army had been defeated and heard that Saul and his sons were dead, they left their cities and fled. Then the Philistines came and lived in them.

The next day, as the Philistine army was looting the bodies of the fallen Israelites, they found Saul and his three sons dead on the heights of Gilboa. They cut off Saul’s head, stripped his body of his weapons, and sent messengers with the good news to the temples and to the people throughout Philistia. 10 They put Saul’s armor in the temple of Astarte and nailed his body to the wall at Beth-shan.

11 But when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard about this indignity done to Saul by the Philistines, 12 the brave men among them rose up and traveled through the night. When they arrived, they took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall at Beth-shan. They returned to Jabesh and burned them there. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them in Jabesh beneath the tamarisk tree, like the one where Saul had held court in Gibeah, and for seven days they fasted and mourned.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

John 11:55-12:19

55 The Passover was approaching, and Jews everywhere traveled to Jerusalem early so they could purify themselves and prepare for Passover. 56 People were looking for Jesus, hoping to catch a glimpse of Him in the city. All the while, some Jews were discussing Him in the temple.

Some Jews: Do you think He will decide not to come to Jerusalem this year for the feast?

57 In the midst of this confusion, the Pharisees and the chief priests ordered that if anyone knew the whereabouts of Jesus of Nazareth, it must be reported immediately so they could arrest Him.

12 Six days before the Passover feast, Jesus journeyed to the village of Bethany, to the home of Lazarus who had recently been raised from the dead, where they hosted Him for dinner. Martha was busy serving as the hostess, Lazarus reclined at the table with Him, and Mary took a pound of fine ointment, pure nard (which is both rare and expensive), and anointed Jesus’ feet with it; and then she wiped them with her hair. As the pleasant fragrance of this extravagant ointment filled the entire house, Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (who was plotting to betray Jesus), began to speak.

Judas Iscariot: How could she pour out this vast amount of fine oil? Why didn’t she sell it? It is worth nearly a year’s wages;[a] the money could have been given to the poor.

This had nothing to do with Judas’s desire to help the poor. The truth is he served as the treasurer, and he helped himself to the money from the common pot at every opportunity.

Jesus: Leave her alone. She has observed this custom in anticipation of the day of My burial. The poor are ever present, but I will be leaving.

Word spread of Jesus’ presence, and a large crowd was gathering to see Jesus and the formerly deceased Lazarus, whom He had brought back from the dead. 10 The chief priests were secretly plotting Lazarus’s murder since, 11 because of him, many Jews were leaving their teachings and believing in Jesus.

12 The next day, a great crowd of people who had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem; 13 so they gathered branches of palm trees to wave as they celebrated His arrival.

Crowds (shouting): Hosanna!

He who comes in the name of the Lord is truly blessed[b]
and is King of all Israel.

14 Jesus found a young donkey, sat on it, and rode through the crowds mounted on this small beast. The Scriptures foretold of this day:

15 Daughter of Zion, do not be afraid.
Watch! Your King is coming.
You will find Him seated on the colt of a donkey.[c]

16 The disciples did not understand any of this at the time; these truths did not sink in until Jesus had been glorified. As they reflected on their memories of Jesus, they realized these things happened just as they were written. 17 Those who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus enthusiastically spoke of Jesus to all who would listen, 18 and that is why the crowd went out to meet Him. They had heard of the miraculous sign He had done.

His followers may suspect during their time with Jesus that He is more than a man, but it takes the power and glory of the resurrection to convince them completely that Jesus is divine. When they see Him, touch Him, and hear the sound of His voice thunder in their souls, the disciples know they are face-to-face with God’s immense glory, the unique Son of God. Reading and rereading the Scriptures in light of their experiences of Him, it becomes clear that Jesus’ life and story are the climax of God’s covenants with His people.

Pharisees (to one another): 19 Our efforts to squelch Him have not worked, but now is not the time for action. Look, the world is following after Him.

Footnotes:

  1. 12:5 Literally, 300 denarii, Roman coins
  2. 12:13 Psalm 118:26
  3. 12:15 Zechariah 9:9
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 118:1-18

Psalm 118

Give thanks to the Eternal because He is always good.
He never ceases to be loving and kind.

Let the people of Israel proclaim:
“He never ceases to be loving and kind.”
Let the priests of Aaron’s line proclaim:
“He never ceases to be loving and kind.”
Let the people who fear the Eternal proclaim:
“He never ceases to be loving and kind.”

When trouble surrounded me, I cried out to the Eternal;
He answered me and brought me to a wide, open space.
The Eternal is with me,
so I will not be afraid of anything.
If God is on my side, how can anyone hurt me?
The Eternal is on my side, a champion for my cause;
so when I look at those who hate me, victory will be in sight.
It is better to put your faith in the Eternal for your security
than to trust in people.
It is better to put your faith in Him for your security
than to trust in princes.

10 All these nations surround me, squeezing me from all sides;
with the name of the Eternal, I will destroy them.
11 They rose up against me, squeezed me from all sides, yes, from all sides;
with the name of the Eternal, I will destroy them.
12 They surrounded me like a swarm of bees;
they were destroyed quickly and thoroughly—
Flaring up like a pile of thorns—
with the name of the Eternal, I will destroy them.
13 I was pushed back, attacked so that I was about to fall,
but the Eternal was there to help me keep my balance.
14 He is my strength, and He is the reason I sing;
He has been there to save me in every situation.

15 In the tents of the righteous soldiers of God,
there are shouts of joy and victory. They sing:
“The right hand of the Eternal has shown His power.
16 The mighty arm of the Eternal is raised in victory;
the right hand of His has shown His power.”
17 I will not die. I will live.
I will live to tell about all the Eternal has done.
18 The Eternal has taught me many lessons;
He has been strict and severe,
but even in His discipline, He has not allowed me to die.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:24-26

24 For the wise the road of life climbs up steep grades
in order to avoid the slide down to the grave.
25 The Eternal splinters the house of the haughty,
but He secures the property of widows.

It is ironic that we may have more to fear from the proud and powerful than from the poor and needy. Those who have want more, and so they take it. Oh, maybe they won’t pick your pocket or break into your home. Their ways are more subtle and more effective. As James, Jesus’ brother, wrote, “Isn’t it the rich who step on you while climbing the ladder of success? And isn’t it the rich who take advantage of you and drag you into court?” (James 2:6b). James isn’t describing all the rich, of course, but many have made their fortunes off the backs of others. God is the One who can protect the poor, the One who can reduce the grand houses of the haughty to splinters.

26 The thoughts of the wrongdoers repulse the Eternal,
but kind words are pure pleasure for Him.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday May 20, 2024 (NIV)

1 Samuel 26-28

David Again Spares Saul

26 Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah saying, “David is hiding on the hill of Hachilah opposite Jeshimon.”(A) So Saul, accompanied by three thousand of the fit young men of Israel,(B) went immediately to the Wilderness of Ziph to search for David there. Saul camped beside the road at the hill of Hachilah(C) opposite Jeshimon. David was living in the wilderness and discovered Saul had come there after him.(D) So David sent out spies and knew for certain that Saul had come. Immediately, David went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw the place where Saul and Abner son of Ner,(E) the commander of his army, were lying down. Saul was lying inside the inner circle of the camp with the troops camped around him. Then David asked Ahimelech the Hethite(F) and Joab’s brother Abishai(G) son of Zeruiah, “Who will go with me into the camp(H) to Saul?”

“I’ll go with you,” answered Abishai.

That night, David and Abishai came to the troops, and Saul was lying there asleep in the inner circle of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. Abner and the troops were lying around him. Then Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy to you. Let me thrust the spear through him into the ground just once. I won’t have to strike him twice!”

But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him, for who can lift a hand against the Lord’s anointed and be innocent?” (I) 10 David added, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will certainly strike him down:(J) either his day will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 However, as the Lord is my witness, I will never lift my hand against the Lord’s anointed.(K) Instead, take the spear and the water jug by his head, and let’s go.”

12 So David took the spear and the water jug by Saul’s head, and they went their way. No one saw them, no one knew, and no one woke up; they all remained asleep because a deep sleep from the Lord(L) came over them. 13 David crossed to the other side and stood on top of the mountain at a distance; there was a considerable space between them. 14 Then David shouted to the troops and to Abner son of Ner, “Aren’t you going to answer, Abner?”

“Who are you who calls to the king?” Abner asked.

15 David called to Abner, “You’re a man, aren’t you? Who in Israel is your equal? So why didn’t you protect your lord the king when one of the people came to destroy him? 16 What you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, all of you deserve to die[a] since you didn’t protect your lord, the Lord’s anointed.(M) Now look around; where are the king’s spear and water jug that were by his head?”

17 Saul recognized David’s voice and asked, “Is that your voice, my son David?” (N)

“It is my voice, my lord and king,” David said. 18 Then he continued, “Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done? What crime have I committed?(O) 19 Now, may my lord the king please hear the words of his servant: If it is the Lord who has incited you against me,(P) then may he accept an offering.(Q) But if it is people,(R) may they be cursed in the presence of the Lord, for today they have banished me from sharing in the inheritance of the Lord, saying,(S) ‘Go and worship other gods.’ 20 So don’t let my blood fall to the ground far from the Lord’s presence, for the king of Israel has come out to search for a single flea,(T) like one who pursues a partridge in the mountains.”

21 Saul responded, “I have sinned.(U) Come back, my son David, I will never harm you again because today you considered my life precious. I have been a fool! I’ve committed a grave error.”

22 David answered, “Here is the king’s spear; have one of the young men come over and get it. 23 The Lord will repay every man for his righteousness(V) and his loyalty. I wasn’t willing to lift my hand against the Lord’s anointed, even though the Lord handed you over to me today.(W) 24 Just as I considered your life valuable today, so may the Lord consider my life valuable(X) and rescue me from all trouble.”(Y)

25 Saul said to him, “You are blessed, my son David. You will certainly do great things and will also prevail.”(Z) Then David went on his way, and Saul returned home.(AA)

David Flees to Ziklag

27 David said to himself, “One of these days I’ll be swept away by Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape immediately to the land of the Philistines.(AB) Then Saul will give up searching for me everywhere in Israel, and I’ll escape from him.” So David set out with his six hundred men(AC) and went over to Achish son of Maoch,(AD) the king of Gath. David and his men stayed with Achish in Gath. Each man had his family with him,(AE) and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel,(AF) Nabal’s widow. When it was reported to Saul that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.

Now David said to Achish, “If I have found favor with you, let me be given a place in one of the outlying towns, so I can live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?” That day Achish gave Ziklag(AG) to him, and it still belongs to the kings of Judah today. The length of time that David stayed in Philistine territory amounted to a year and four months.(AH)

David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites,(AI) the Girzites,[b] and the Amalekites.(AJ) From ancient times they had been the inhabitants of the region through Shur(AK) as far as the land of Egypt. Whenever David attacked the land, he did not leave a single person alive, either man or woman, but he took flocks, herds, donkeys, camels, and clothing.(AL) Then he came back to Achish, 10 who inquired, “Where did you raid today?” [c](AM)

David replied, “The south country of Judah,” “The south country of the Jerahmeelites,”(AN) or “The south country of the Kenites.”(AO)

11 David did not let a man or woman live to be brought to Gath, for he said, “Or they will inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” This was David’s custom during the whole time he stayed in the Philistine territory. 12 So Achish trusted David, thinking, “Since he has made himself repulsive to his people Israel, he will be my servant forever.”

Saul and the Medium

28 At that time, the Philistines(AP) gathered their military units into one army to fight against Israel. So Achish said to David, “You know, of course, that you and your men must march out in the army[d] with me.”

David replied to Achish, “Good, you will find out what your servant can do.”

So Achish said to David, “Very well, I will appoint you as my permanent bodyguard.”(AQ)

By this time Samuel had died,(AR) all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his city,(AS) and Saul had removed the mediums and spiritists from the land.(AT) The Philistines gathered and camped at Shunem. So Saul gathered all Israel, and they camped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the Philistine camp, he was afraid and his heart pounded. He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him in dreams or by the Urim or by the prophets.(AU) Saul then said to his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I can go and consult her.”

His servants replied, “There is a woman at En-dor(AV) who is a medium.”(AW)

Saul disguised himself(AX) by putting on different clothes and set out with two of his men. They came to the woman at night, and Saul said, “Consult a spirit for me.(AY) Bring up for me the one I tell you.”(AZ)

But the woman said to him, “You surely know what Saul has done,(BA) how he has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why are you setting a trap for me to get me killed?”

10 Then Saul swore to her by the Lord: “As surely as the Lord lives, no punishment will come to you[e] from this.”

11 “Who is it that you want me to bring up for you?” the woman asked.

“Bring up Samuel for me,” he answered.

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed, and then she asked Saul, “Why did you deceive me? You are Saul!”

13 But the king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”

“I see a spirit form[f] coming up out of the earth,” the woman answered.

14 Then Saul asked her, “What does he look like?”

“An old man is coming up,” she replied. “He’s wearing a robe.”(BB) Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he knelt low with his face to the ground and paid homage.(BC)

15 “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Samuel asked Saul.

“I’m in serious trouble,” replied Saul. “The Philistines are fighting against me and God has turned away from me.(BD) He doesn’t answer me anymore,(BE) either through the prophets or in dreams. So I’ve called on you to tell me what I should do.”

16 Samuel answered, “Since the Lord has turned away from you and has become your enemy, why are you asking me? 17 The Lord has done[g] exactly what he said through me: The Lord has torn the kingship out of your hand and given it to your neighbor David.(BF) 18 You did not obey the Lord and did not carry out his burning anger against Amalek;(BG) therefore the Lord has done this to you today. 19 The Lord will also hand Israel over to the Philistines along with you. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me,[h](BH) and the Lord will hand Israel’s army over to the Philistines.”

20 Immediately, Saul fell flat on the ground. He was terrified by Samuel’s words and was also weak because he had not eaten anything all day and all night. 21 The woman came over to Saul, and she saw that he was terrified and said to him, “Look, your servant has obeyed you. I took my life in my hands(BI) and did what you told me to do. 22 Now please listen to your servant. Let me set some food in front of you. Eat and it will give you strength so you can go on your way.”

23 He refused, saying, “I won’t eat,” but when his servants and the woman urged him, he listened to them.(BJ) He got up off the ground and sat on the bed.(BK)

24 The woman had a fattened calf at her house, and she quickly slaughtered it.(BL) She also took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread. 25 She served it to Saul and his servants, and they ate. Afterward, they got up and left that night.

Footnotes:

  1. 26:16 Lit you are sons of death
  2. 27:8 Alt Hb tradition reads Gezerites
  3. 27:10 Some Hb mss, Syr, Tg; LXX, Vg, DSS read “Against whom did you raid today?”
  4. 28:1 DSS, LXX read battle
  5. 28:10 Or lives, you will not incur guilt
  6. 28:13 Or a god, or a divine being
  7. 28:17 Some Hb, some LXX mss, Vg read done to you
  8. 28:19 LXX reads sons will fall
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

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John 11:1-54

Lazarus Dies at Bethany

11 Now a man was sick—Lazarus from Bethany,(A) the village of Mary and her sister Martha.(B) Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair,(C) and it was her brother Lazarus who was sick. So the sisters sent a message to him: “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God,(D) so that the Son of God(E) may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was. Then after that, he said to the disciples, “Let’s go to Judea(F) again.”

“Rabbi,”(G) the disciples told him, “just now the Jews tried to stone you,(H) and you’re going there again?”

“Aren’t there twelve hours in a day?” Jesus answered. “If anyone walks during the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world.(I) 10 But if anyone walks during the night,(J) he does stumble, because the light is not in him.”

11 He said this, and then he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep,(K) but I’m on my way to wake him up.”

12 Then the disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will get well.”

13 Jesus, however, was speaking about his death, but they thought he was speaking about natural sleep. 14 So Jesus then told them plainly, “Lazarus has died. 15 I’m glad for you that I wasn’t there so that you may believe. But let’s go to him.”

16 Then Thomas(L) (called “Twin”[a]) said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go too so that we may die with him.”

The Resurrection and the Life

17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb(M) four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem(N) (less than two miles[b] away). 19 Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother.

20 As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. 22 Yet even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”

23 “Your brother will rise(O) again,” Jesus told her.

24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”(P)

25 Jesus said to her, “I am(Q) the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me,(R) even if he dies, will live.(S) 26 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.(T) Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe you are the Messiah,(U) the Son(V) of God, who comes into the world.”(W)

Jesus Shares the Sorrow of Death

28 Having said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”

29 As soon as Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.(X) 30 Jesus had not yet come into the village but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews who were with her in the house consoling her saw that Mary got up quickly and went out. They followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb(Y) to cry there.

32 As soon as Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet(Z) and told him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died!”

33 When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, he was deeply moved[c] in his spirit(AA) and troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked.

“Lord,” they told him, “come and see.”

35 Jesus wept.(AB)

36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved(AC) him!” 37 But some of them said, “Couldn’t he who opened the blind man’s eyes(AD) also have kept this man from dying?”

The Seventh Sign: Raising Lazarus from the Dead

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.(AE) 39 “Remove the stone,” Jesus said.

Martha, the dead man’s sister, told him, “Lord, there is already a stench because he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory(AF) of God?”(AG)

41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank(AH) you that you heard me.(AI) 42 I know that you always hear me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so that they may believe you sent(AJ) me.” 43 After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”

The Plot to Kill Jesus

45 Therefore, many of the Jews who came to Mary and saw what he did believed in him.(AK) 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees(AL) and told them what Jesus had done.

47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin(AM) and were saying, “What are we going to do since this man is doing many signs? 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans(AN) will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

49 One of them, Caiaphas,(AO) who was high priest(AP) that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! 50 You’re not considering that it is to your[d] advantage that one man should die for the people rather than the whole nation perish.”(AQ) 51 He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was going to die(AR) for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to unite the scattered children(AS) of God. 53 So from that day on they plotted to kill him.(AT)

54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly(AU) among the Jews but departed from there to the countryside near the wilderness,(AV) to a town called Ephraim, and he stayed there with the disciples.

Footnotes:

  1. 11:16 Gk Didymus
  2. 11:18 Lit fifteen stadia; one stadion = 600 feet
  3. 11:33 Or angry, also in v. 38
  4. 11:50 Other mss read to our
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

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Psalm 117

Psalm 117

Universal Call to Praise

Praise the Lord, all nations!
Glorify him, all peoples!(A)
For his faithful love to us is great;
the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.(B)
Hallelujah!

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:22-23

22 Plans fail when there is no counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.(A)

23 A person takes joy in giving an answer;[a]
and a timely word—how good that is!(B)

Footnotes:

  1. 15:23 Lit in an answer of his mouth
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday May 19, 2024 (NIV)

1 Samuel 24-25

24 After Saul had returned from chasing the Philistines, he was told that David had gone to the wilderness of Engedi. He gathered 3,000 hardened fighting men from across Israel and sought David in the vicinity of the Rocks of Wild Goats. When he came to the sheep shelters beside the road, a cave was there, and Saul went inside to relieve himself. Unguarded, he was especially vulnerable to attack.

Now Saul didn’t know it, but David and his men were hiding in the recesses of that very cave. David’s guards thought it was the perfect time to strike.

It seems as if much of the First Book of Samuel is taken up with Saul trying to kill David and David escaping; and when David catches Saul in the most vulnerable position, his men urge him to kill Saul. It would be nothing more than self-defense. Wouldn’t Saul kill David if Saul caught him with his pants down? Isn’t Saul turning over every stone in the wilderness looking for David so he can kill him?

David settles for a symbolic victory—he cuts off a corner of Saul’s robe while Saul is otherwise occupied—but then he feels ashamed. If David is supposed to be king someday, God will make that happen. But until that time, who is he to bring shame on the king whom God anointed as his ruler?

The exchange between David and Saul shows both men at their best. At times, David could be a schemer; Saul’s obsession and possible mental illness could obscure the good qualities that caused God to choose him in the first place. But in this exchange, each acknowledges the other. Saul sees that David could have killed him and chose not to; for the moment, he sees the truth about their relationship. In return Saul acknowledges what he knows in his heart to be true: David will someday be the king, and not he or his sons. And as Eli did earlier, Saul here accepts God’s plan, even though it will be the destruction of his line. Saul doesn’t always keep this understanding, and he will pursue David again. But Saul has his good—even noble—qualities, especially as his time grows short.

David’s Men: This must be the very day the Eternal One told you about: “Watch! I will give your enemy to you, and you will do whatever you please with him.”

David crept forward quietly and moved in so close he was able to cut a corner from Saul’s robe. But immediately afterward, David felt awful about what he had done.

David (to his men): God forbid that I do any harm to my lord, the one chosen by the Eternal to rule. How could I even pretend to assault him, knowing he is the Eternal’s anointed king?

David reprimanded his men, refusing to allow them to attack Saul. At last Saul finished and went outside the cave.

David followed him at a safe distance. When Saul exited the cave, David called out.

David: My lord, the king!

Saul turned around to see David bowing low, his face touching the ground to show his respect.

David: My lord, why do you listen to those who say I plan to harm you? 10 Look! Today the Eternal One placed you at my mercy in that cave. I could have done anything to you, and some said I should kill you. But I refused. I said, “I will not raise my hand against my lord, the Eternal’s anointed king.”

11 Father, do you see what I am holding in my hand? It is the corner of your robe. Recognize and understand that I have not committed evil or treason against you—that I cut this off and did not kill you. I have not wronged you, even though you are hunting me and trying to kill me.

12 May the Eternal One judge between us. If the Eternal chooses to avenge me and punish you, then let Him, but I will not take revenge against you. 13 As the old proverb says, “From the wicked flows wickedness.” But I will not harm you.

14 Whom did the king of Israel come out in pursuit of, anyway? A dead dog? A lone flea? Someone as insignificant as I am? 15 May the Eternal One judge between us. May He see who has done wrong and argue my case and uphold justice on my behalf.

16 David’s voice fell silent. Saul could hardly believe his eyes and ears.

Saul: Is that really you, David my son? (weeping loudly) 17 It’s true that you are more righteous than I am—you have repaid me with good when I handed you only evil. 18 Today you demonstrated how you dealt kindly with me by not killing me when the Eternal gave you power over me. 19 Who has ever come across his enemy in such a vulnerable position and yet allowed him to go away safely? So may the Eternal reward you richly for the good you have done for me today.

20 Now I know that you will surely be king someday, and that you will establish the kingdom of Israel. 21 So swear to me—by the Eternal One—that when that time comes, you will not destroy my descendants, and you won’t wipe my name from my family tree.

22 David swore this to Saul. Saul went home, and David and his men returned to their hideout.

25 At last, Samuel died, and all of the people of Israel gathered to mourn him. They buried him at his home in Ramah on the border of Benjamin and Ephraim. Once the mourning period was over, David and his men went down to the wilderness of Paran[a] (the desert area far to the south).

A certain man in Maon owned property in Carmel, a town south of Hebron near the Dead Sea. This man was very rich: he owned 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. It was sheepshearing time in Carmel, which was celebrated with feasting and generosity. This rich man’s name was Nabal, which means “foolish,” and his wife was Abigail, which means “my father is joy.” She was smart and beautiful, but he was mean-spirited and bad-tempered, an embarrassment to his Calebite tribe.

From his hiding place in the wilderness, David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep, so David gathered 10 young men to send to Nabal asking for gifts.

David (to the young men): Go up to Carmel in Judah, to Nabal, and greet him in my name: Live long. Peace be to you, your entire household, and all you possess. I hear that it is time to shear the sheep. I want you to know that your shepherds have been among us in the wilderness, and not only did we not harm them, but not an animal was taken during their time among us in Carmel. Ask your young men; they will tell you this is true. Please return our kindness and look on my young men with favor since we come on this feast day. Please give whatever you can spare to them and to your son David.”

When David’s young men came to Nabal, they delivered David’s message and waited for Nabal’s response.

Nabal: 10 Who is David? Who is this son of Jesse? I’ve never heard of him, so he must be nothing more than a slave who abandoned his master. 11 Should I take bread and water and meat from my own servants and give it to men who come from who knows where?

12 So David’s young men returned to him by the same road and told him what had happened.

David (ordering his men): 13 Strap on your swords!

All of them put on their swords, including David, and about 400 of his men followed him while 200 remained behind with their supplies.

14 One of Nabal’s servants recognized his master’s insolence and told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, what was happening.

Servant: David sent messengers from the wilderness to salute our master, and Nabal returned their honor with insults. 15 David’s men have been very good to us. Nothing happened to us while we were with his company, and we never lost a single sheep in the fields in the time we were there. 16 They were like a wall protecting us day and night the whole time we were near them keeping the sheep.

17 You should know this and think about what to do next. Evil is coming to my master and his entire household if you don’t do something. Nabal is so worthless that no one can talk to him.

18 Then Abigail, knowing the stakes, rushed about gathering gifts similar to what her husband should have offered: 200 loaves, 2 jugs of wine, 5 sheep (butchered and dressed), more than 50 quarts of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 fig cakes. She had these loaded on donkeys.

Abigail (to her servants): 19 Go ahead of me with all the gifts. I’ll be right behind you.

But she never stopped to speak to her husband Nabal. She had decided to approach David herself.

20 As she rode down the mountain on a hidden trail, David and his men were approaching, and they met.

21 Earlier David had made an oath.

David: It looks as though we protected everything this guy owns—so that he lost none of the things belonging to him—for nothing. We did him a good turn, and now he rewards us with evil. 22 May the True God do so to my enemies[b]—and more—if tomorrow morning I’ve left alive a single male of Nabal’s household.

23 When Abigail saw David, she dropped quickly from her donkey and fell to the ground in front of him, bowing.

Abigail (at David’s feet): 24 My lord, any guilt here falls on me. Please let me, your servant, speak, and may you hear the words I speak. 25 My lord, you must not take seriously the words of this worthless man, Nabal. His actions have proven that his name and his nature are the same: Nabal is a fool. Unfortunately I, your servant, did not see the young men you sent.

26 Now, my lord, as the Eternal One lives and as you live, since the Eternal has kept you from senseless killing and from seizing vengeance yourself, may your enemies and all who seek to harm you, my lord, be like Nabal.

27 Now, please, accept my gift and distribute it among the young men who are with you. 28 Please forgive your servant’s shortcomings. The Eternal will certainly make my lord’s house into a lasting dynasty because you fight on behalf of Him, and no evil will be found in you as long as you live. 29 If anyone dares to rise up against you and seek your life, then you will be protected by the Eternal One, your True God, who will launch the lives of your enemies like stones from a sling.

30 When the Eternal has done for my lord all the good things He has promised and has installed you as ruler over all Israel, 31 you will never have to be grieved or conscience-stricken for having shed blood needlessly or for taking vengeance into your own hands. When He has dealt generously with my lord, I pray you will remember me, your servant.

David (to Abigail): 32 Blessed is the Eternal God of Israel, who sent you here today to intercept me. 33 And blessed is your wisdom—blessed are you—for keeping me from shedding blood needlessly and from taking vengeance into my own hands. 34 For as surely as the Eternal God of Israel lives and sent you to me, if you had not hurried out to meet me, tomorrow there would not have been a single male left alive in Nabal’s household.

35 Then David accepted her gifts.

David: Arise, and return home in peace. I have listened to your words, and I have granted your request.

36 Abigail returned to Nabal, who was holding a kingly feast in his house. Nabal’s heart was light because he was very drunk, so Abigail chose not to tell him anything until the next morning. 37 The next morning, when he was sober, Abigail told him about her meeting with David and he went cold inside. 38 About 10 days later, the Eternal One struck down Nabal, and he died.

39 When David heard this news, he blessed God.

David: Blessed is the Eternal One, who protected my honor from Nabal’s insults and who kept me, His servant, from executing evil. Instead, the Eternal One turned Nabal’s evil back on him.

40 Then David sent servants to Carmel asking Abigail to be his wife.

Servants: David has sent us to bring you to him so that you can be his wife.

41 She stood, and then bowed to the ground before David’s servants.

Abigail: I am your servant, willing to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.

42 Then Abigail quickly got up, mounted her donkey, and went with the messengers of David attended by her five handmaidens. Not long after, she married him.

43 David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel; she and Abigail were both wives of David. 44 By this time, Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s former wife, to Palti (the son of Laish) from Gallim.

Footnotes:

  1. 25:1 Some Greek manuscripts read, “Maon.”
  2. 25:22 Some Greek manuscripts read, “me.”
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

John 10:22-42

22-23 It was winter and time for the Festival of Dedication.[a] While in Jerusalem, Jesus was walking through the temple in an area known as Solomon’s porch, 24 and Jews gathered around Him.

Jews: How long are You going to keep us guessing? If You are God’s Anointed, the Liberating King, announce it clearly.

Jesus: 25 I have told you, and you do not believe. The works I am doing in My Father’s name tell the truth about Me. You do not listen; 26 you lack faith because you are not My sheep. 27 My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me. 28 I give them a life that is unceasing, and death will not have the last word. Nothing or no one can steal them from My hand. 29 My Father has given the flock to Me, and He is superior to all beings and things. No one is powerful enough to snatch the flock from My Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.

31 The Jews gathered stones to execute Jesus right then and there.

Jesus: 32 I have performed many beautiful works before you in the name of the Father. Which of these can be judged as an offense that merits My execution?

Jews: 33 You are not condemned for performing miracles. We demand Your life because You are a man, yet you claim to be God. This is blasphemy!

Jesus: 34 You know what is written in the Scriptures. Doesn’t it read, “I said, you are gods”?[b] 35 If the Scriptures called your ancestors (mere mortals) gods to whom the word of God came—and the Scriptures cannot be set aside— 36 what should you call One who is unique, sanctified by and sent from the Father into the world? I have said, “I am God’s Son.” How can you call that blasphemy? 37 By all means, do not believe in Me, if I am not doing the things of the Father. 38 But examine My actions, and you will see that My work is the work of the Father. Regardless of whether you believe in Me—believe the miracles. Then you will know that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.

39 Once again, some of the Jews tried to capture Him, but He slipped away, eluding their grasp. 40 Jesus crossed the Jordan River and returned to the place where John was ritually cleansing the people through baptism[c] in the early days. He lingered in the area, 41 and scores of people gathered around Him.

Crowds: John never performed any miracles, but every word he spoke about this man has come to pass. It is all true!

42 In that place, many believed in Him.

Footnotes:

  1. 10:22-23 The Festival of Lights or Hanukkah
  2. 10:34 Psalm 82:6
  3. 10:40 Literally, immersing, to show repentance
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 116

Psalm 116

I love the Eternal; for not only does He hear
my voice, my pleas for mercy,
But He leaned down when I was in trouble and brought His ear close to me.
So as long as I have breath, I will call on Him.
Once I was wound in the wrappings of death;
the terror of dying and the grave had a grip on me;
I could not get away, for I was entombed in distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Eternal:
“O Eternal One—I am begging You—save me!”

The Eternal is full of grace and naturally just;
our God is compassionate and merciful.
And the Eternal watches over the naive.
Whenever I was knocked down, He reached down and saved me.
O my soul! Return and relax. Come to your true rest,
for the Eternal has showered you with His favor.

God, You alone rescued my soul from the grips of death,
my eyes from weeping,
and my feet from slipping.
I will come before the Eternal
as long as I journey in the land of the living.
10 I believed Your promise; therefore I spoke,
“I am in deep trouble.”
11 In my confusion I blurted out,
“All people are liars!”

12 How will I pay back the Eternal
for all His graciousness toward me?
13 I will raise the cup of deliverance
and call out the name of the Eternal.
14 I will fulfill the promises I made to Him
here as a witness to all His people.

15 Precious in the eyes of the Eternal
are the deaths of those who follow after Him.
16 O Eternal One, You know I am Your servant.
I am Your servant, a child of Your maidservant, devoted to You;
You have cut me loose from the chains of death that bind me.
17 And I come, eager to offer a sacrifice of gratitude
and call on the name of the Eternal.
18 I will fulfill the promises I made to Him
here as a witness to all His people
19 In the courts of the Eternal’s temple,
among the people of God’s city, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Eternal!

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:20-21

20 A wise child makes his father happy,
but a foolish man despises his mother.
21 Foolishness brings sheer joy to those who have no sense,
but people with insight steer a straight course through life.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday May 18, 2024 (NIV)

1 Samuel 22-23

Saul’s Increasing Paranoia

22 So David left Gath and took refuge in the cave of Adullam.(A) When David’s brothers and his father’s whole family heard, they went down and joined him there. In addition, every man who was desperate, in debt, or discontented rallied around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.(B)

From there David went to Mizpeh of Moab where he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother stay with you until I know what God will do for me.” So he left them in the care of the king of Moab, and they stayed with him the whole time David was in the stronghold.

Then the prophet Gad(C) said to David, “Don’t stay in the stronghold. Leave and return to the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.

Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. At that time Saul was in Gibeah, sitting under the tamarisk tree(D) at the high place. His spear was in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him. Saul said to his servants, “Listen, men of Benjamin: Is Jesse’s son going to give all of you fields and vineyards? Do you think he’ll make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds?(E) That’s why all of you have conspired against me! Nobody tells me when my own son makes a covenant with Jesse’s son.(F) None of you cares about me(G) or tells me that my son has stirred up my own servant to wait in ambush for me, as is the case today.”

Then Doeg the Edomite,(H) who was in charge of Saul’s servants, answered, “I saw Jesse’s son come to Ahimelech son of Ahitub at Nob.(I) 10 Ahimelech inquired of the Lord for him(J) and gave him provisions.(K) He also gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”(L)

Slaughter of the Priests

11 The king sent messengers to summon the priest Ahimelech son of Ahitub, and his father’s whole family, who were priests in Nob. All of them came to the king. 12 Then Saul said, “Listen, son of Ahitub!”

“I’m at your service,(M) my lord,” he said.

13 Saul asked him, “Why did you and Jesse’s son conspire against me? You gave him bread and a sword and inquired of God for him, so he could rise up against me and wait in ambush, as is the case today.”(N)

14 Ahimelech replied to the king, “Who among all your servants is as faithful as David?(O) He is the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard, and honored in your house. 15 Was today the first time I inquired of God for him?(P) Of course not! Please don’t let the king make an accusation against your servant or any of my father’s family, for your servant didn’t have any idea[a] about all this.”

16 But the king said, “You will die, Ahimelech—you and your father’s whole family!”

17 Then the king ordered the guards standing by him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord(Q) because they sided with David. For they knew he was fleeing, but they didn’t tell me.” But the king’s servants would not lift a hand to execute the priests of the Lord.

18 So the king said to Doeg, “Go and execute the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite went and executed the priests himself. On that day, he killed eighty-five men(R) who wore linen ephods.(S) 19 He also struck down Nob, the city of the priests, with the sword—both men and women, infants and nursing babies, oxen, donkeys, and sheep.(T)

20 However, one of the sons of Ahimelech son of Ahitub escaped. His name was Abiathar,(U) and he fled to David.(V) 21 Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew that Doeg the Edomite(W) was there that day and that he was sure to report to Saul. I myself am responsible for[b] the lives of everyone in your father’s family. 23 Stay with me. Don’t be afraid, for the one who wants to take my life wants to take your life.(X) You will be safe with me.”

Deliverance at Keilah

23 It was reported to David, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah(Y) and raiding the threshing floors.”

So David inquired of the Lord:(Z) “Should I launch an attack against these Philistines?”

The Lord answered David, “Launch an attack against the Philistines and rescue Keilah.”

But David’s men said to him, “Look, we’re afraid here in Judah; how much more if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”

Once again, David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, “Go at once to Keilah, for I will hand the Philistines over to you.”(AA) Then David and his men went to Keilah, fought against the Philistines, drove their livestock away, and inflicted heavy losses on them. So David rescued the inhabitants of Keilah. Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, and he brought an ephod with him.

When it was reported to Saul that David had gone to Keilah, he said, “God has handed him over to me, for he has trapped himself by entering a town with barred gates.” Then Saul summoned all the troops to go to war at Keilah and besiege David and his men.

When David learned that Saul was plotting evil against him, he said to the priest Abiathar,(AB) “Bring the ephod.”(AC)

10 Then David said, “Lord God of Israel, your servant has reliable information that Saul intends to come to Keilah and destroy the town because of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah hand me over to him? Will Saul come down as your servant has heard? Lord God of Israel, please tell your servant.”

The Lord answered, “He will come down.”

12 Then David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah hand me and my men over to Saul?”

“They will,”(AD) the Lord responded.

13 So David and his men, numbering about six hundred,(AE) left Keilah at once and moved from place to place.(AF) When it was reported to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he called off the expedition. 14 David then stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hill country of the Wilderness of Ziph.(AG) Saul searched for him every day, but God did not hand David over to him.(AH)

A Renewed Covenant

15 David was in the Wilderness of Ziph in Horesh when he saw that Saul had come out to take his life. 16 Then Saul’s son Jonathan came to David in Horesh and encouraged him in his faith[c] in God,(AI) 17 saying, “Don’t be afraid, for my father Saul will never lay a hand on you. You yourself will be king over Israel,(AJ) and I’ll be your second-in-command. Even my father Saul knows it is true.”(AK) 18 Then the two of them made a covenant in the Lord’s presence.(AL) Afterward, David remained in Horesh, while Jonathan went home.

David’s Narrow Escape

19 Some Ziphites(AM) came up to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Isn’t it true that David is hiding among us in the strongholds in Horesh on the hill of Hachilah south of Jeshimon? 20 So now, whenever the king wants to come down, let him come down. As for us, we will be glad to hand him over to the king.”(AN)

21 “May you be blessed by the Lord,” replied Saul, “for you have shown concern for me.(AO) 22 Go and check again. Investigate[d] where he goes[e] and who has seen him there; they tell me he is extremely cunning. 23 Investigate[f] all the places where he hides. Then come back to me with accurate information, and I’ll go with you. If it turns out he really is in the region, I’ll search for him among all the clans[g] of Judah.” 24 So they went to Ziph ahead of Saul.

Now David and his men were in the wilderness near Maon(AP) in the Arabah south of Jeshimon, 25 and Saul and his men went to look for him. When David was told about it, he went down to the rock and stayed in the Wilderness of Maon. Saul heard of this and pursued David there.

26 Saul went along one side of the mountain and David and his men went along the other side. Even though David was hurrying to get away from Saul, Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them.(AQ) 27 Then a messenger came to Saul saying, “Come quickly, because the Philistines have raided the land!” 28 So Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to engage the Philistines. Therefore, that place was named the Rock of Separation. 29 From there David went up and stayed in the strongholds of En-gedi.(AR)

Footnotes:

  1. 22:15 Lit didn’t know a thing, small or large
  2. 22:22 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads I myself turn in
  3. 23:16 Lit and strengthened his hand
  4. 23:22 Lit Know and see
  5. 23:22 Lit watch his place where his foot will be
  6. 23:23 Lit See and know
  7. 23:23 Or thousands
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

John 10:1-21

The Good Shepherd

10 “Truly I tell you, anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the gate but climbs in some other way is a thief and a robber.(A) The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd(B) of the sheep.(C) The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t know the voice of strangers.” Jesus gave them this figure of speech, but they did not understand(D) what he was telling them.

Jesus said again, “Truly I tell you, I am(E) the gate for the sheep.(F) All who came before me[a] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 A thief comes only to steal(G) and kill and destroy.(H) I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.

11 “I am the good shepherd.(I) The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.(J) 12 The hired hand, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them[b] and runs away when he sees a wolf(K) coming. The wolf then snatches and scatters them. 13 This happens because he is a hired hand and doesn’t care about the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father.(L) I lay down my life(M) for the sheep. 16 But I have other sheep(N) that are not from this sheep pen; I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd.(O) 17 This is why the Father loves me,(P) because I lay down my life(Q) so that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”(R)

19 Again the Jews were divided(S) because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon(T) and he’s crazy. Why do you listen to him?” 21 Others were saying, “These aren’t the words of someone who is demon-possessed. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” (U)

Footnotes:

  1. 10:8 Other mss omit before me
  2. 10:12 Lit leaves the sheep
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Psalm 115

Psalm 115

Glory to God Alone

Not to us, Lord, not to us,
but to your name give glory
because of your faithful love, because of your truth.(A)
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?” (B)
Our God is in heaven
and does whatever he pleases.(C)

Their idols are silver and gold,
made by human hands.(D)
They have mouths but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell.(E)
They have hands but cannot feel,
feet, but cannot walk.(F)
They cannot make a sound with their throats.(G)
Those who make them are[a] just like them,
as are all who trust in them.(H)

Israel,[b] trust in the Lord!(I)
He is their help and shield.(J)
10 House of Aaron, trust in the Lord!(K)
He is their help and shield.(L)
11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!(M)
He is their help and shield.
12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us.
He will bless the house of Israel;
he will bless the house of Aaron;(N)
13 he will bless those who fear the Lord
small and great alike.(O)

14 May the Lord add to your numbers,
both yours and your children’s.(P)
15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.(Q)
16 The heavens are the Lord’s,[c]
but the earth he has given to the human race.(R)
17 It is not the dead who praise the Lord,
nor any of those descending into the silence of death.(S)
18 But we will bless the Lord,
both now and forever.(T)
Hallelujah!

Footnotes:

  1. 115:8 Or May those who make them become
  2. 115:9 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr read House of Israel
  3. 115:16 Lit the Lord’s heavens
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:18-19

18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,(A)
but one slow to anger(B) calms strife.

19 A slacker’s way is like a thorny hedge,
but the path of the upright is a highway.(C)

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday May 17, 2024 (NIV)

1 Samuel 20-21

20 David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? Am I guilty of something? What is my sin against your father that makes him seek my life?”

Jonathan said to him, “A curse on me if that happens.[a] You will not die. Look, my father does nothing whether important or unimportant without telling me about it. Why would my father hide this from me? It is not so.”

But David took an oath and said, “Your father certainly knows that I have found favor in your eyes, so he might say, ‘Do not let Jonathan know about this, or he will be very upset.’ But as surely as the Lord lives, and as surely as your soul lives, there is only a step between me and death.”

Then Jonathan said to David, “Ask me for whatever you really want, and I will do it for you.”

David said to Jonathan, “Listen, tomorrow is the new moon, and I am expected to dine with the king, but let me go so that I can hide in the countryside until the evening of the third day. If your father misses me at all, say, ‘David urged me to excuse him so that he could run to Bethlehem, his hometown, because it is the annual sacrifice there for his entire family.’ If he says, ‘That is fine,’ your servant will be at peace. But if it really displeases him, then you will know that he is planning evil. You must show kindness to your servant, because you have made a covenant in the name of the Lord with me, your servant. But if I am guilty of anything, kill me yourself. Why should you bring me to your father?”

Jonathan said, “A curse on me if that occurs, because if I knew that my father was planning to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you?”

10 Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father gives you a harsh response?”

11 Jonathan said to David, “Come, let’s go out into the field.” So the two of them went out into the field. 12 Jonathan said to David, “I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel! About this time tomorrow or the day after, when I have tested my father to see if he is favorably inclined toward David, I will send word to you so that you hear about it. 13 May the Lord punish Jonathan severely and double it,[b] if my father is planning to harm you and I do not disclose it to you and send you on your way, so that you may go in peace. May the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. 14 You must show the mercy of the Lord to me, not only while I am still alive, so that I do not die, 15 but you also must not cut off your mercy from my house forever—no, not even when the Lord has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord demand an accounting from David’s enemies.” 17 Then Jonathan had David repeat the oath, because of the love that he had for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

18 Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 On the third day,[c] go down quickly to the place where you hid on the previous occasion and stay by the stone named Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows off to the side of it, as if I were shooting at a target. 21 I will send the boy out and say, ‘Go and find the arrows!’ If I yell to the boy, ‘Hey! The arrows are closer this way. Come and pick them up,’ then you can come to me, because you are safe and, as the Lord lives, there is no danger. 22 But if I yell to the boy, ‘Hey! The arrows are farther out,’ then go on your way, for the Lord has sent you away. 23 Concerning this matter that you and I have spoken about, the Lord stands as a witness between you and me[d] forever.”

24 So David hid in the countryside. When the new moon came, the king sat down to eat his meal. 25 The king sat at his usual seat next to the wall. Jonathan was across from him,[e] and Abner sat next to Saul, but David’s place was empty. 26 Nevertheless, Saul did not say anything that day, since he thought, “Something has happened to him to make him ceremonially unclean. That’s what it is—he must be unclean.”

27 On the day after the new moon, the second day of the month, David’s place was still empty. So Saul asked his son Jonathan, “Why didn’t the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?”

28 Jonathan answered Saul, “David begged me for permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Please let me go, because our family has a sacrifice in the city. My brother has ordered me to be there. Now, if I have found favor in your eyes, please excuse me so I can go and see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.”

30 Then Saul’s anger burned against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverted, unfaithful woman! Don’t I know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness?[f] 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, you will not be established, nor will your kingship. So send for him and bring him to me, because he must surely die!”

32 Jonathan answered his father Saul, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?”

33 Saul threw his spear at him to hit him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. 34 Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger, and he ate no food on the second day of the month, for he grieved for David, because his father had treated David so shamefully.

35 In the morning Jonathan went out into the field at the time he had set with David. He took a young servant boy with him. 36 He said to his boy, “Run out and find the arrows that I shoot.” As the boy ran, Jonathan shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy reached the area where Jonathan’s arrow had landed, Jonathan yelled to the boy, “Isn’t the arrow farther out from you?” 38 Jonathan shouted to the boy, “Go faster! Hurry up! Don’t be slow!” Jonathan’s boy picked up the arrows and came back to his master. 39 The boy did not know anything about what was going on. Only Jonathan and David knew. 40 Jonathan gave his equipment to his boy and told him, “Go on ahead. Carry these things into the city.”

41 As soon as the boy was gone, David got up from the south side of the mound.[g] He fell down with his face to the ground and bowed three times. They kissed one another and wept together, but David wept more. 42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have both sworn in the Lord’s name. May the Lord stand between you and me and between my offspring and your offspring forever.” David got up and left, and Jonathan went back into the city.

David and the Priests

21 David came to Ahimelek the priest at Nob. When he came to meet David, Ahimelek was trembling with fear, and he said to David, “Why are you alone? Why isn’t there anyone with you?”[h]

David said to Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and told me, ‘Don’t let anyone know anything about where I am sending you or about your orders.’ I have instructed the young men to wait for me at a certain place. So what do you have on hand? Please give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is available.”

The priest answered David, “I do not have any ordinary bread, but there is holy[i] bread—I can give it to you[j] only if your young men have kept themselves away from women.”[k]

David answered the priest, “Yes indeed, women have been kept away from us just as they have been on previous occasions. Whenever I go out on a mission, the bodies[l] of the young men are kept holy even if it is only an ordinary journey. How much more then shall their bodies be holy today?”

So the priest gave him holy bread, because there was no bread there except for the Bread of the Presence which had been removed from the presence of the Lord and replaced with hot bread.

Now one of Saul’s servants was present that day, detained before the Lord. His name was Doeg the Edomite. He was in charge of Saul’s shepherds.

David said to Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or sword on hand here? I didn’t bring my sword or my gear with me, because the king’s mission was so urgent.”

The priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here. It is wrapped in a cloth behind the place where the special vest is kept. If you would like to take that, take it, because there is nothing else here.”

David said, “There is no other like that one. Give it to me.”

David Among the Philistines

10 David quickly fled from Saul that day and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 The officials of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Didn’t they dance and sing songs about him, saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?”

12 David took those words to heart, so he was very afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 He changed his behavior in their presence and pretended to be insane while he was in their hands. He scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spit run down his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, can’t you see that the man is insane? Why have you brought him to me? 15 Don’t I have enough madmen? Did you have to bring this madman into my presence? Should I keep this man in my house?”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 20:2 The Hebrew has the tone of a curse. The phrase could, however, be translated more mildly: There is no way that is going to happen. See another example in verse 9.
  2. 1 Samuel 20:13 Literally may the Lord do this to Jonathan and even more. This is an oath with the specific curse left unstated.
  3. 1 Samuel 20:19 On the third day often means on the day after tomorrow, but here it is three days.
  4. 1 Samuel 20:23 In Hebrew the order of persons is normally me and you, as it is here. In English the order you and me is considered more polite. The EHV usually follows the normal English order, unless it seems that there is some significance to the Hebrew order.
  5. 1 Samuel 20:25 The Hebrew reads Jonathan stood up. The Greek indicates that Jonathan was across from Saul.
  6. 1 Samuel 20:30 In a shocking outburst, Saul calls Jonathan, who was his legitimate son and heir, the illegitimate son of an immoral woman. Many translations soften the harsh language of Saul’s outburst.
  7. 1 Samuel 20:41 The Hebrew says from the south side but gives no location. The Greek reads from the mound but supplies no direction.
  8. 1 Samuel 21:1 In the Hebrew text, chapter 21 starts at English 20:42. In chapter 21, the rest of the Hebrew verse numbers are one number higher than the English verse numbers.
  9. 1 Samuel 21:4 In this context holy means ceremonially pure or set aside for a sacred purpose.
  10. 1 Samuel 21:4 The words I can give it to you are added to make the sentence clear in English.
  11. 1 Samuel 21:4 Sexual relations made a man ceremonially unclean, as did touching a woman during her period.
  12. 1 Samuel 21:5 Literally vessels. Some translations understand this as a reference to the men’s weapons, but it is clear from the priest’s question that he is concerned about the effect of sexual relations on the purity of their bodies.
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

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John 9

A Blind Man Sees

As Jesus was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that God’s works might be revealed in connection with him. I[a] must do the works of him who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the World.”

After saying this, Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and spread the mud on the man’s eyes. “Go,” Jesus told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

His neighbors and those who had seen him before this as a beggar asked, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”

Some said, “He is the one.” Others said, “No, but he looks like him.” He kept saying, “I am the one!”

10 So they asked him, “How were your eyes opened?”

11 He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

12 “Where is he?” they asked.

“I don’t know,” he said.

13 They brought this man who had been blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight.

“He put mud on my eyes,” the man told them. “I washed, and now I see.”

16 Then some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbath.” Others were saying, “How can a sinful man work such miraculous signs?”

There was division among them, 17 so they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?”

The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

18 The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and received his sight, until they summoned the parents of the man who had received his sight. 19 They asked them, “Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? How is it, then, that he can see now?”

20 “We know that this is our son,” his parents answered, “and that he was born blind. 21 But we do not know how he can see now, or who opened his eyes. Ask him. He is old enough. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said these things because they were afraid of the Jews. For the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That is why his parents said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”

24 So for a second time they summoned the man who had been blind. They told him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.”

25 He answered, “I do not know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I see.”

26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

27 He answered, “I already told you, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become his disciples too, do you?”

28 They ridiculed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses. But this man—we do not know where he comes from.”

30 “That’s amazing!” the man answered. “You do not know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. But he does listen to anyone who worships God and does his will. 32 From the beginning of time, no one has ever heard of anyone opening the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

34 They answered him, “You were entirely born in sinfulness! Yet you presume to teach us?” And they threw him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out. When he found him, he asked, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”[b]

36 “Who is he, sir,” the man replied, “that I may believe in him?”

37 Jesus answered, “You have seen him, and he is the very one who is speaking with you.”

38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” and he knelt down and worshipped him.

39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, in order that those who do not see will see, and those who do see will become blind.”

40 Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and asked, “We are not blind too, are we?”

41 Jesus told them, “If you were blind, you would not hold on to sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

Footnotes:

  1. John 9:4 Some witnesses to the text read We.
  2. John 9:35 Some witnesses to the text read Son of Man.
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.

Psalm 113-114

Psalm 113

The Mighty Deliverer

Invitation to Praise

Praise the Lord.[a]

Praise, you servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be blessed, from now to eternity.
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Basis for Praise

High above all the nations is the Lord.
His glory towers above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God?
He is seated on high.
He bends down to look at the heavens and at the earth.
He raises the poor from the dust.
He lifts the needy from the garbage pile
to seat them with nobles,
with the nobles of his people.
He is the one who settles the barren woman in her home
as a joyful mother of children.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 114

When Israel Came Out of Egypt

When Israel came out of Egypt
and the house of Jacob from a people with a strange language,
Judah became his sanctuary,
Israel became his kingdom.
The sea saw and fled.
The Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams,
the hills like lambs.
What happened, O sea, that you fled,
O Jordan, that you turned back,
O mountains, that you skipped like rams,
you hills, like lambs?
Tremble in the presence of the Lord, O earth.
Tremble in the presence of the God of Jacob.
He turned the rock into a pool of water.
He turned flint into springs of water.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 113:1 Hebrew hallelu Yah
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

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Proverbs 15:15-17

15 All the days of an oppressed person are evil,
but a cheerful heart enjoys a continuous celebration.[a]
16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord
than great wealth with turmoil.
17 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love
than a fattened calf with hatred.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 15:15 The word celebration refers to a feast which includes drinking.
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday May 16, 2024 (NIV)

1 Samuel 18:5-19:24

David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he was successful. So Saul put him in charge of a group of soldiers. All the people approved, as did Saul’s officials.

As the army was coming back from battle, when David was returning from striking down the Philistine, women came out from all the cities of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful music, with hand drums, and with noisemakers.[a] The women sang to each other as they played:

Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his ten thousands.

Saul became furious, because he resented this statement. He said, “They have credited David with tens of thousands, but to me they have credited only thousands. What more can be given to him but the kingship?” So Saul eyed David suspiciously from that day on.

10 On the next day, an evil spirit from God overcame Saul, and in a frenzy he prophesied inside the house. David had a lyre in his hand. He was playing as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. 11 He hurled the spear, because he thought, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped from his presence twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul sent David away from his court and made him a commander over a unit of a thousand. So David led the army out to battle and back again. 14 David was successful in everything he did, and the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw that David was so successful, he was even more afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them out to battle and back again.

17 Saul said to David, “Look, here is my oldest daughter Merab. I will give her to you as your wife. Just be a strong warrior for me, and fight the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “It won’t be my hand against him, but it will be the hand of the Philistines against him.”

18 David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is the status of my father’s clan in Israel, that I would be able to become the son-in-law of the king?”

19 When the time came that Saul’s daughter Merab was supposed to have been given to David, she was given to Adriel of Meholah as his wife.

20 Michal, Saul’s other daughter, loved David. When they told Saul about it, this situation pleased him. 21 Saul said, “I will give her to him, so that she will be a snare for him, and the hand of the Philistines will be against him.”

So Saul said to David, “Today you have another opportunity to become my son-in-law.”

22 Saul commanded his officials to speak with David privately and to say, “Look, the king is delighted with you, and all his officials love you, so you should become the king’s son-in-law.” 23 Saul’s officials spoke those words to David’s ears.

But David said, “Does it seem to you to be a trivial thing for me to be the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and not highly regarded?”

24 Then Saul’s officials told him what David had said.

25 So Saul said, “Tell David that the king desires no price for the bride except one hundred foreskins of the Philistines, for revenge against the king’s enemies.” Saul intended to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

26 When Saul’s officials told David these words, David was very pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. Before the deadline, 27 David got up and went out with his men and killed two hundred men of the Philistines. Then David brought their foreskins and counted them out for the king, so that he could become the king’s son-in-law.

Then Saul gave his daughter Michal to David as his wife. 28 Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that Michal, his daughter, loved David. 29 So Saul was even more afraid of David, and he was hostile to David all the time.

30 The commanders of the Philistines were regularly going out for battle, and as often as they went out, David was more successful than all the other officers of Saul. So his name was highly regarded.

19 Saul told his son Jonathan and all his officials that they should kill David. But Saul’s son Jonathan had great admiration and respect for David. So Jonathan told David, “My father Saul wants to kill you. So be careful tomorrow morning. Settle down in a hiding place and conceal yourself. I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will talk with my father about you. I will see what the situation is, and I will tell you.”

Jonathan spoke favorably about David to his father Saul. He said to him, “The king should not sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and his actions have served you very well. He took his life into his hands when he struck the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and you celebrated. Why then would you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?”

Saul listened to the advice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.”

So Jonathan called David and told him about all those things. Then Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he served in his presence as he had before.

Later, war broke out again. David went out and fought against the Philistines and inflicted a severe defeat on them, and they fled from him.

An evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. David was playing the lyre. 10 Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but David evaded Saul’s attempt, and Saul’s spear stuck in the wall. That night David fled and successfully escaped.

11 Saul sent messengers to watch David’s house and to kill him in the morning, but David’s wife Michal told him, “If you do not do something to save your life tonight, by tomorrow you will be put to death.” 12 So Michal let David down through the window. He took off, got away, and escaped. 13 Michal took a household idol and laid it in the bed. She put something made of goat hair on its head and covered the statue with clothing. 14 When Saul sent messengers to capture David, she said, “He is sick.”

15 So Saul sent the messengers to see David for themselves. He said, “Bring him to me on the bed, so I can kill him.” 16 When the messengers came in, they saw that the idol was in the bed with the goat hair on its head.

17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?”

Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I have to kill you?’”

18 So David ran away and successfully escaped.

David’s Flight From Saul

David came to Samuel at Ramah and told him about everything that Saul had done to him. So he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth. 19 Saul was told, “Look, David is at Naioth in Ramah.”

20 Saul sent messengers to seize David, but when they saw an assembly[b] of the prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s messengers, and they also prophesied. 21 When Saul was told about it, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. So Saul sent messengers a third time, and they also prophesied.

22 Then Saul himself went to Ramah and came to the large cistern at Seku. He asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

Someone told him, “They are at Naioth in Ramah.”

23 So Saul headed for Naioth in Ramah. Then the Spirit of God came on him also, and he walked along prophesying, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 He also stripped off his clothing and prophesied in the presence of Samuel. He fell down and lay there naked all that day and all that night. Therefore it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 18:6 The Hebrew term shalish very likely refers to a type of noisemaker known as a sistrum, but some think it refers to a three-stringed instrument or a type of song.
  2. 1 Samuel 19:20 The meaning of this term is uncertain.
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

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John 8:31-59

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples. 32 You will also know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 “We are Abraham’s descendants,” they answered, “and we have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be set free’?”

34 Jesus answered, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: Everyone who keeps committing sin is a slave to sin. 35 But a slave does not remain in the family forever. A son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. 37 I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because there is no place for my word in you. 38 I am telling you what I have seen at the side of the Father. As for you, you do what you have heard[a] at the side of your father.”

39 “Our father is Abraham!” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” Jesus told them, “you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard at the side of God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You are doing the works of your father.”

“We were not born of sexual immorality!” they said. “We have one Father: God.”

42 Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and I am here. Indeed, I have not come on my own, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand my message? It is because you are not able to listen to my word. 44 You belong to your father, the Devil, and you want to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and did not remain standing in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks from what is his, because he is a liar and the father of lying. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Who of you can convict me of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God listens to what God says. The reason you do not listen is that you do not belong to God.”

48 The Jews responded, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon. On the contrary, I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 I do not seek my own glory. There is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Amen, Amen, I tell you: If anyone holds on to my word, he will certainly never see death.”

52 So the Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets. Yet you say, ‘If anyone holds on to my word, he will certainly never taste death.’ 53 You are not greater than our father, Abraham, are you? He died. And the prophets died. Who do you think you are?”

54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, about whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 Yet you do not really know him, but I do know him. If I said, ‘I do not know him,’ I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I hold on to his word. 56 Your father Abraham was glad that he would see my day. He saw it and rejoiced.”

57 The Jews replied, “You aren’t even fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham?”

58 Jesus said to them, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: Before Abraham was born, I am.” 59 Then they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden and left the temple area.[b]

Footnotes:

  1. John 8:38 Some witnesses to the text read seen.
  2. John 8:59 Some witnesses to the text add He went through the middle of them and so went on his way. See Luke 4:30.
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

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Psalm 112

Psalm 112

The Man Who Fears the Lord

The Man Who Fears the Lord

Praise the Lord.[a]

How blessed is a man who fears the Lord.
In his commands he delights greatly.
His descendants will be mighty in the land.
The circle of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness stands forever.
In darkness, light dawns for the upright.
He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good things will come to the man
who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his business with justice.
Surely he will never fall.
The righteous will be remembered forever.
He will not fear bad news.
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is secure.
He will have no fear, until he looks in triumph on his foes.
He scatters seed—he gives to the poor.
His righteousness stands forever.
His horn[b] will be lifted high in glory.

The End of the Wicked

10 The wicked person will see and be frustrated.
He will gnash his teeth and melt away.
The desire of the wicked will perish.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 112:1 Hebrew hallelu Yah
  2. Psalm 112:9 His horn is his power.
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:12-14

12 A scoffer does not love anyone who corrects him.
He will not go to wise people.
13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
but a sorrowful heart crushes the spirit.
14 The heart of a discerning person seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on stupidity.

Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday May 15, 2024 (NIV)

1 Samuel 17:1-18:4

David and Goliath

17 Now the Philistines gathered their troops for battle. They gathered at Sokoh,[a] which belongs to Judah, and they camped between Sokoh and Azekah at Ephes Dammim. Saul and the men of Israel also gathered together and camped in the Valley of Elah. They lined up in battle formation opposite the Philistines. The Philistines took up a position in front of the mountain on one side of the valley, and the Israelites stationed themselves in front of the mountain on the other side of the valley.

A challenger who represented the Philistines came out from the camp of the Philistines. He was named Goliath of Gath. He was nine feet, six inches tall.[b] He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he wore scaled body armor, which was made of more than one hundred pounds[c] of bronze. He had bronze greaves on his shins and a bronze spear slung between his shoulders. The shaft[d] of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spearhead was made of fifteen pounds[e] of iron. His shield bearer went out ahead of him.

He would stand up and shout to the armies of Israel, “Why have you come out to line up in battle formation? I am a Philistine, and you are servants of Saul, aren’t you? Choose a man to represent you, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, we will be your servants. But if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our servants, and you will serve us.” 10 The Philistine would say, “I defy the ranks of Israel today! Give me a man, and we will fight each other!” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they lost their courage and were terrified.

[f] 12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse. Jesse had eight sons. In the days of Saul, Jesse was a very old man. 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had accompanied Saul to the battleground. The names of his three sons who went to the battle were his firstborn Eliab, next Abinadab, and third Shammah. 14 David was the youngest son. The three oldest accompanied Saul. 15 During this time David went back and forth from Saul to take care of his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

16 The Philistine came out each morning and evening for forty days and presented his challenge.

17 Jesse said to his son David, “Take twenty-five pounds[g] of this roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers. Deliver them quickly to the camp for your brothers. 18 Also take these ten blocks of cheese to the commander of their unit.[h] See how your brothers are doing and bring back some assurance they are okay.”

19 Now Saul, David’s brothers, and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah to fight with the Philistines.

20 David got up early in the morning and left the sheep with someone who would watch them. He took the supplies and set out as Jesse had commanded him. He arrived at the outer defense line of the camp just as the army was marching out to line up in battle formation, shouting war cries as they went. 21 Israel and the Philistines were lining up for battle, one formation against the other. 22 After David had handed over his provisions to the supply officer, he ran to the battlefront, where he met and greeted his brothers.

23 As he was talking with them there, he saw the Philistine challenger named Goliath of Gath coming up out of the ranks of the Philistines. He repeated his usual words, and David heard them. 24 (Whenever they saw the man, all the men of Israel fled from him and were terrified.) 25 An Israelite had said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? He keeps coming up to taunt Israel. The king will give great riches to the man who kills him. He will give his daughter to him in marriage and make his father’s house exempt from taxes in Israel.”

26 David spoke to the men who stood near him. He asked, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine who dares to defy the troops of the living God?”

27 The people again told him what would be done for the man who killed Goliath.

28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard David speaking to the men, he burned with anger against David. He said, “Why have you come down? Who is taking care of those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the mischief in your heart. You have come down just to see the battle.”

29 David said, “What have I done now? Can’t I say anything?”[i] 30 So David turned away from him toward another person, and he asked the same thing again, and the soldiers again answered him the same way. 31 When they heard what David said, they reported it to Saul, and he sent for David. 32 David said to Saul, “Do not let anyone lose heart because of this Philistine! Your servant will go and fight him.”

33 But Saul said to David, “You cannot go against this Philistine to fight with him, because you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior since he was a youth.”

34 David said to Saul, “Your servant has been taking care of his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after it and struck it and rescued the lamb out of its mouth. When the lion reared up against me, I grabbed it by its mane, struck it, and killed it. 36 Your servant struck both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has defied the ranks of the living God.” 37 David added, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go then! May the Lord be with you.” 38 So Saul dressed David in his own gear.[j] He placed a bronze helmet on his head and dressed him in scaled body armor. 39 David strapped his sword over his gear. David tried to walk around in them, since he had never trained with this kind of equipment before.

David said to Saul, “I cannot go in these, because I have never trained with them.” So David took them off.

40 Then David took his staff in his hand and picked five smooth stones out of the stream bed and put them into the pouch of his shepherd’s bag. He took his sling in his hand and approached the Philistine.

41 The Philistine kept walking and got closer and closer to David. The man who was carrying his shield was walking ahead of him. 42 When the Philistine got a good look at David, he despised him, because David was just a boy, nothing but a good-looking, red-headed boy.[k]

43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come against me with sticks?” The Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will feed your flesh to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the countryside.”

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of Armies, the God of the ranks of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will hand you over to me. I will strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth. Then all the earth will know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and all those gathered here will know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle belongs to the Lord, and he will deliver you into our hand.”

48 Then, when the Philistine started advancing to attack David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 David put his hand into his bag, took a stone from it, shot it from his sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown to the ground.

50 So David defeated the Philistine with a sling and a stone. He struck the Philistine and killed him, even though David did not have a sword in his hand. 51 So David ran, stood over the Philistine, took hold of his sword, drew it out of its sheath, killed him, and cut off his head with it.

When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 The men of Israel and Judah got up, cheering loudly, and pursued the Philistines toward the entrance of the valley, all the way to the gates of Ekron. Fatally-wounded Philistines lined the road from Sha’araim all the way to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from pursuing the Philistines, they plundered their camp. 54 David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put the Philistine’s armor and weapons into his tent.

David and Saul’s Family

55 When Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?”

Abner said, “As your soul lives, my King, I do not know.”

56 The king said, “Inquire whose son the young man is!”

57 As David returned from striking down the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?”

David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”

18 When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul[l] of Jonathan became bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved David as he loved his own soul.[m] Saul took David into his service that day and would not let him go back to his father’s house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because Jonathan loved David as his own soul. Jonathan took off the robe that he was wearing and gave it to David, as well as his other gear, including his sword, his bow, and his belt.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 17:1 Also spelled Socoh. In many Hebrew names that contain the Hebrew letter kaph, the English spelling is in the process of changing from a c to a k in order to align more closely with the Hebrew spelling. At present there is no consistent spelling system for biblical names.
  2. 1 Samuel 17:4 Hebrew six cubits and a span. A Hebrew Dead Sea Scroll, some Greek manuscripts, and the historian Josephus have the variant four cubits and a span, that is, six feet, nine inches.
  3. 1 Samuel 17:5 Hebrew five thousand shekels
  4. 1 Samuel 17:7 The translation follows the Hebrew reading recorded in the margin of the text (qere). The main Hebrew text (kethiv) reads arrow.
  5. 1 Samuel 17:7 Hebrew six hundred shekels
  6. 1 Samuel 17:11 Some Greek manuscripts of the Old Testament omit these verses. They also omit other verses at the end of the chapter. These alterations seem to be abridgements accepted by some Greek versions rather than valid readings of the original text.
  7. 1 Samuel 17:17 Hebrew an ephah
  8. 1 Samuel 17:18 Literally their thousand
  9. 1 Samuel 17:29 Literally is it not [just] a word
  10. 1 Samuel 17:38 Or uniform
  11. 1 Samuel 17:42 This is the same physical description of David as given in 16:12, but here the point seems to be to highlight his boyish appearance.
  12. 1 Samuel 18:1 Or heart. The base meaning of the Hebrew term is soul, but in this context English might prefer the connotation heart.
  13. 1 Samuel 18:1 Or life
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.

John 8:21-30

21 So he told them again, “I am going away. You will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.”

22 So the Jews asked, “He won’t kill himself, will he, because he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?”

23 “You are from below,” he told them. “I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world. 24 That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am the one, you will die in your sins.”

25 “Who are you?” they asked.

Jesus replied, “What I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you. But the one who sent me is true. And what I heard from him, these are the things I am telling the world.” 27 They did not understand that he was talking to them about the Father.

28 So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one, and that I do nothing on my own. But I speak exactly as the Father taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what pleases him.”

30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.

Psalm 111

Psalm 111

God’s Works and God’s Word

Opening Praise

Praise the Lord.[a]

I will thank the Lord with all my heart
in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.

God’s Works

Great are the deeds of the Lord.
They are studied by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic is his work,
and his righteousness stands forever.
He has set up a memorial to his wonders.
Gracious and compassionate is the Lord.
He gives food to those who fear him.
He remembers his covenant forever.
He has declared the power of his deeds to his people,
to give them the nations as their possession.
The works of his hands are truth and justice.

God’s Word

All his precepts are trustworthy,
steadfast forever and ever,
done in truth and uprightness.
He sent redemption for his people.
He commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning[b] of wisdom.
All who do his precepts have good understanding.

Closing Praise

His praise stands forever.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 111:1 Hebrew hallelu Yah
  2. Psalm 111:10 Or foundation or prerequisite
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:11

11 Death and Destruction[a] lie open before the Lord
how much more human hearts!

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 15:11 Hebrew Sheol and Abaddon
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.