July 7, 2024

Section 1 of 4

Joshua 10

About 5.6 Minutes

When Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured Ai, and had utterly destroyed it—as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king—and that the residents of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were [living] among them, he [and his people] feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty. So Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron, and to Piram king of Jarmuth, to Japhia king of Lachish, and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, “Come up to me and help me, and let us attack Gibeon [with a combined army], because it has made peace with Joshua and with the sons (people) of Israel.” Then the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered together and went up, they with all their armies, and they camped by Gibeon and fought against it.

So the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal, saying, “Do not abandon your servants; come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all [five of] the kings of the Amorites who live in the hill country have assembled against us.” So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the men of valor. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, because I have given them into your hand; not one of them shall stand before you.” So Joshua came upon them suddenly, [surprising them] by marching [uphill] all night from Gilgal. 10 And the Lord caused them to panic and be confused before Israel, and He struck them dead in a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goes up to Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon, the Lord threw down large stones [of hail] from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. More [Amorites] died because of the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword.

12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord on the day when the Lord handed over the Amorites to the sons of Israel, and Joshua said in the sight of Israel,

“Sun, stand still at Gibeon,
And moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
Until the nation [of Israel] took vengeance upon their enemies.

Is it not written in the Book of Jashar? So the sun stood still in the middle of the sky and was in no hurry to go down for about a whole day. 14 There has not been a day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to (heeded) the voice of a man; for the Lord was fighting for Israel.

15 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp at Gilgal.

16 Now these five [Amorite] kings fled and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah. 17 And Joshua was told, “The five kings have been found and are hidden in the cave at Makkedah.” 18 Joshua said, “Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and assign men by it to guard them, 19 but do not stay there yourselves; pursue your enemies and attack them from the rear. Do not allow them to enter their cities, for the Lord your God has given them into your hand.” 20 Now when Joshua and the sons of Israel had finished striking the Amorites dead in a very great defeat, until they were wiped out, and the surviving remnant among them had entered the fortified cities, 21 all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace. No one uttered a [threatening] word against any of the sons of Israel.

22 Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring out to me those five [Amorite] kings from the cave.” 23 They did so, and brought these five [Amorite] kings out of the cave to him—the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. 24 When they brought these kings out to Joshua, Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and told the commanders of the men of war who had gone with him, “Come up close, put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and put their feet on the necks [of the five kings]. 25 Joshua said to them, “Do not fear or be dismayed (intimidated)! Be strong and courageous, for this is what the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you [are about to] fight.” 26 Then afterward Joshua struck them [with his sword] and put them to death, and he hung them on five trees; and they hung on the trees until evening. 27 At sunset Joshua gave a command, and they took the bodies down from the trees and threw them into the cave where the kings had hidden themselves, and placed large stones over the mouth of the cave, [where they remain] to this very day.

28 Now Joshua captured Makkedah on that day, and struck it and its king with the edge of the sword; he utterly destroyed it and everyone who was in it. He left no survivor. So he did to the king of Makkedah just as he had done to the king of Jericho.

29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went on from Makkedah to Libnah, and fought against Libnah. 30 The Lord gave it also along with its king into the hands of Israel, and Joshua struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor in it. So he did to the king of Libnah just as he had done to the king of Jericho.

31 And Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Libnah to Lachish, and they camped by it and fought against it. 32 The Lord gave Lachish into the hands of Israel; and Joshua captured it on the second day, and struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword, just as he had done to Libnah.

33 Then Horam king of Gezer went up to help Lachish, and Joshua struck him and his people down until he had left him no survivor.

34 And Joshua and all Israel with him went on from Lachish to Eglon, and they camped by it and fought against it. 35 They captured it on that day and struck it with the edge of the sword; and on that day he utterly destroyed every person who was in it, just as he had done to Lachish.

36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron, and they fought against it 37 and captured it and struck it and its king and all its cities and all the persons who were in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor, just as he had done to Eglon. He utterly destroyed it and every person who was in it.

38 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to Debir, and fought against it. 39 He captured it with its king and all its cities, and they struck them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed every person who was in it. He left no survivor. Just as he had done to Hebron, so Joshua did to Debir and its king, as he had done also to Libnah and its king.

40 So Joshua struck all the land, the hill country, the Negev (South country) and the lowland and the slopes [that descend to the Dead Sea] and all their kings. He left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua struck them from Kadesh-barnea even as far as Gaza, and all the country of Goshen even as far as Gibeon. 42 Joshua captured all these kings and their land at one time, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel. 43 So Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp at Gilgal.

Section 2 of 4

Psalms 142-143

About 3.1 Minutes

I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord;
I make supplication with my voice to the Lord.

I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare my trouble before Him.

When my spirit was overwhelmed and weak within me [wrapped in darkness],
You knew my path.
In the way where I walk
They have hidden a trap for me.

Look to the right [the point of attack] and see;
For there is no one who has regard for me [to act in my favor].
Escape has failed me and I have nowhere to run;
No one cares about my life.

I cried out to You, O Lord;
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.

“Give attention to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Rescue me from my persecutors,
For they are stronger than I.

“Bring my soul out of prison (adversity),
So that I may give thanks and praise Your name;
The righteous will surround me [in triumph],
For You will look after me.”

Hear my prayer, O Lord,
Listen to my supplications!
Answer me in Your faithfulness, and in Your righteousness.

And do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
For in Your sight no man living is righteous or justified.

For the enemy has persecuted me,
He has crushed my life down to the ground;
He has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have been long dead.

Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed and weak within me [wrapped in darkness];
My heart grows numb within me.

I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that You have done;
I ponder the work of Your hands.

I reach out my hands to You;
My throat thirsts for You, as a parched land [thirsts for water]. Selah.

Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails;
Do not hide Your face from me,
Or I will become like those who go down into the pit (grave).

Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For I trust in You.
Teach me the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.

Rescue me, O Lord, from my enemies;
I take refuge in You.

Teach me to do Your will [so that I may please You],
For You are my God;
Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Save my life, O Lord, for Your name’s sake;
In Your righteousness bring my life out of trouble.
In your lovingkindness, silence and destroy my enemies
And destroy all those who afflict my life,
For I am Your servant.

Section 3 of 4

Jeremiah 4

About 6.1 Minutes

“If you will return, O Israel,” says the Lord,
“If you will return to Me,
And if you will put away your detestable things and remove your man-made gods from My sight,
And not stray or waver,

And if you swear [your oaths], ‘As the Lord lives,’
In truth, in justice, and in righteousness,
Then the nations will bless themselves in Him,
And in Him they will glory.”

For this is what the Lord says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem,

“Plow your uncultivated ground [for a season],
And do not sow among thorns.

“Circumcise (dedicate, sanctify) yourselves to the Lord
And remove the foreskin [sins] of your heart,
Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Or else My wrath will go forth like fire [consuming all that gets in its way]
And burn and there will be no one to quench it,
Because of the evil of your acts.”

Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,
“Blow the trumpet in the land;
Cry aloud and say,
‘Assemble yourselves, and let us go
Into the fortified cities.’

“Raise a banner toward Zion [to mark the way for those seeking safety inside Jerusalem’s walls]!
Seek refuge, do not stand [immobile],
For I am bringing evil from the north (the army of Babylon),
And great destruction.

“A lion has left his lair,
And a destroyer of nations is on his way.
He has gone out from his place
To desolate your land;
Your cities will be in ruins
Without an inhabitant.

“For this reason, put on sackcloth [for mourning],
Lament (mourn with expressions of grief for the dead) and wail,
For the fierce anger of the Lord
Has not turned back from us.”

“It shall come about in that day,” says the Lord, “that the heart and courage of the king will fail (be paralyzed), and also the heart of the princes; the priests will be appalled and the prophets will be astounded and horrified.”

10 Then I said, “Alas, Lord God! Surely You have completely deceived and misled this people and Jerusalem, [for the prophets represented You as] saying [to Your people], ‘You will have peace,’ but [in fact] a sword reaches to their throat.”

11 In that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A scorching wind from the barren heights in the wilderness [comes at My command] against the daughter of My people—not [a wind] to winnow and not to cleanse [from chaff, as when threshing, but] 12 a wind too strong and full for this comes at My word. Now I will also speak judgment against My people.”

“Behold, the enemy comes up like clouds,
His chariots like the whirlwind;
His horses are swifter than eagles.
Woe (judgment is coming) to us, for we are ruined!”

O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness,
That you may be saved.
How long will your wicked and immoral thoughts
Lodge within you?
For a voice declares from Dan [far in the north],
And proclaims evil from Mount Ephraim.
“Warn the [neighboring] nations now [that our enemy is coming]!
Announce to Jerusalem,
‘Besiegers are coming from a far country,
And they lift their voices and shout against the cities of Judah.
‘Like watchmen of a field they are against her on all sides,
Because she has rebelled against Me,’ says the Lord.
“Your ways and your deeds
Have brought these things on you.
This is your tragedy and doom; how bitter,
How it has touched your heart!”

My soul, my soul! I writhe in anguish and pain! Oh, the walls of my heart!
My heart is pounding and throbbing within me;
I cannot be silent,
For you have heard, O my soul,
The sound of the trumpet,
The alarm of war.
News of one [terrible] disaster comes close after another,
For the whole land is devastated;
Suddenly my tents are spoiled and destroyed,
My [tent] curtains [ruined] in a moment.
How long [O Lord] must I see the banner [marking the way for flight]
And hear the sound of the trumpet [urging the people to run for safety]?
“For My people are stupid and foolish,” [says the Lord to Jeremiah];
“They do not know Me;
They are foolish children
And have no understanding.
They are shrewd [enough] to do evil,
But they do not know [how] to do good.”

I looked at the earth [in my vision], and behold, it was [as at the time of creation] formless and void;
And to the heavens, and they had no light.
I looked at the mountains, and behold, they were trembling,
And all the hills moved back and forth.
I looked, and behold, there was no man,
And all the birds of the air had fled.
I looked, and behold, the fertile land was a wilderness,
And all its cities were pulled down
Before the [presence of the] Lord, before His fierce anger.

Therefore says the Lord,
“The whole land shall be a desolation,
Yet I will not cause total destruction.
“For this reason the earth shall mourn
And the heavens above shall become dark,
Because I have spoken, I have decided,
And I will not change my mind (relent), nor will I turn back from it.”
Every city runs away at the sound of the horsemen and archers.
They go into the thickets and climb among the rocks;
Every city is deserted,
And no man lives in them.
And you, O desolate one, what will you do?
Though you clothe yourself in scarlet,
Though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,
Though you enlarge your eyes with paint,
You make yourself beautiful in vain.
Your lovers (allies) despise you;
They seek your life.
For I heard a cry like a woman in labor,
The anguish as of one giving birth to her first child,
The cry of the Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem), who gasps for breath,
Who stretches out her hands, saying,
“Woe is me [my judgment comes]! I faint [in fear] before the murderers.”

Section 4 of 4

Matthew 18

About 4.5 Minutes

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and set him before them, and said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives and welcomes one child like this in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble and sin [by leading him away from My teaching], it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

“Woe (judgment is coming) to the world because of stumbling blocks and temptations to sin! It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to the person on whose account or through whom the stumbling block comes!

“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off and throw it away from you [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into everlasting fire. If your eye causes you to stumble and sin, pluck it out and throw it away from you [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; it is better for you to enter life with only one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fiery hell.

10 “See that you do not despise or think less of one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven [are in the presence of and] continually look upon the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 [For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.]

12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them gets lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and go in search of the one that is lost? 13 And if it turns out that he finds it, I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. 14 So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones be lost.

15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens and pays attention to you, you have won back your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile (unbeliever) and a tax collector. 18 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven.

19 “Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in My name [meeting together as My followers], I am there among them.”

21 Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how many times will my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered him, “I say to you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven.

23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the accounting, one who owed him 10,000 talents was brought to him. 25 But because he could not repay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and his children and everything that he possessed, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27 And his master’s heart was moved with compassion and he released him and forgave him [canceling] the debt. 28 But that same slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began choking him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow slave fell on his knees and begged him earnestly, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ 30 But he was unwilling and he went and had him thrown in prison until he paid back the debt. 31 When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and they went and reported to their master [with clarity and in detail] everything that had taken place. 32 Then his master called him and said to him, ‘You wicked and contemptible slave, I forgave all that [great] debt of yours because you begged me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave [who owed you little by comparison], as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (jailers) until he paid all that he owed. 35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to [every one of] you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

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