July 6, 2024

Section 1 of 4

Joshua 9

About 2.9 Minutes

When the news reached all the kings on the west side of the Jordan—in the hill country, the foothills, and all along the Mediterranean coast as far as Lebanon (including the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites)— they formed an alliance to fight against Joshua and Israel.

When the residents of Gibeon heard what Joshua did to Jericho and Ai, they did something clever. They collected some provisions and put worn-out sacks on their donkeys, along with worn-out wineskins that were ripped and patched. They had worn-out, patched sandals on their feet and dressed in worn-out clothes. All their bread was dry and hard. They came to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land. Make a treaty with us.” The men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you live near us. So how can we make a treaty with you?” But they said to Joshua, “We are willing to be your subjects.” So Joshua said to them, “Who are you and where do you come from?” They told him, “Your subjects have come from a very distant land because of the reputation of the Lord your God, for we have heard the news about all he did in Egypt 10 and all he did to the two Amorite kings on the other side of the Jordan—King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan in Ashtaroth. 11 Our leaders and all who live in our land told us, ‘Take provisions for your journey and go meet them. Tell them, “We are willing to be your subjects. Make a treaty with us.”’ 12 This bread of ours was warm when we packed it in our homes the day we started out to meet you, but now it is dry and hard. 13 These wineskins we filled were brand new, but look how they have ripped. Our clothes and sandals have worn out because it has been a very long journey.” 14 The men examined some of their provisions, but they failed to ask the Lord’s advice. 15 Joshua made a peace treaty with them and agreed to let them live. The leaders of the community sealed it with an oath.

16 Three days after they made the treaty with them, the Israelites found out they were from the local area and lived nearby. 17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day arrived at their cities—Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath Jearim. 18 The Israelites did not attack them because the leaders of the community had sworn an oath to them in the name of the Lord God of Israel. The whole community criticized the leaders, 19 but all the leaders told the whole community, “We swore an oath to them in the name of the Lord God of Israel! So now we can’t hurt them. 20 We must let them live so we can escape the curse attached to the oath we swore to them.” 21 The leaders then added, “Let them live.” So they became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole community, as the leaders had decided.

22  Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said to them, “Why did you trick us by saying, ‘We live far away from you,’ when you really live nearby? 23 Now you are condemned to perpetual servitude as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.” 24 They said to Joshua, “It was carefully reported to your subjects how the Lord your God commanded Moses his servant to assign you the whole land and to destroy all who live in the land from before you. Because of you we were terrified we would lose our lives, so we did this thing. 25 So now we are in your power. Do to us what you think is good and appropriate.” 26 Joshua did as they said; he kept the Israelites from killing them 27 and that day made them woodcutters and water carriers for the community and for the altar of the Lord at the divinely chosen site. (They continue in that capacity to this very day.)

Section 2 of 4

Psalms 140-141

About 2.7 Minutes

O Lord, rescue me from wicked men.
Protect me from violent men,
who plan ways to harm me.
All day long they stir up conflict.
Their tongues wound like a serpent;
a viper’s venom is behind their lips. (Selah)
O Lord, shelter me from the power of the wicked.
Protect me from violent men,
who plan to knock me over.
Proud men hide a snare for me;
evil men spread a net by the path.
They set traps for me. (Selah)
I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
O Lord, pay attention to my plea for mercy.
O Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
you shield my head in the day of battle.
O Lord, do not let the wicked have their way.
Do not allow their plan to succeed when they attack. (Selah)
As for the heads of those who surround me—
may the harm done by their lips overwhelm them.
10 May he rain down fiery coals upon them.
May he throw them into the fire.
From bottomless pits they will not escape.
11 A slanderer will not endure on the earth;
calamity will hunt down a violent man and strike him down.
12 I know that the Lord defends the cause of the oppressed
and vindicates the poor.
13 Certainly the godly will give thanks to your name;
the morally upright will live in your presence.

O Lord, I cry out to you. Come quickly to me.
Pay attention to me when I cry out to you.
May you accept my prayer like incense,
my uplifted hands like the evening offering.
O Lord, place a guard on my mouth.
Protect the opening of my lips.
Do not let me have evil desires,
or participate in sinful activities
with men who behave wickedly.
I will not eat their delicacies.
May the godly strike me in love and correct me.
May my head not refuse choice oil.
Indeed, my prayer is a witness against their evil deeds.
They will be thrown over the side of a cliff by their judges.
They will listen to my words, for they are pleasant.
As when one plows and breaks up the soil,
so our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol.
Surely I am looking to you, O Sovereign Lord.
In you I take shelter.
Do not expose me to danger.
Protect me from the snare they have laid for me,
and the traps the evildoers have set.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I escape.

Section 3 of 4

Jeremiah 3

About 4.6 Minutes

“If a man divorces his wife

and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife,
he may not take her back again.
Doing that would utterly defile the land.
But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods.
So what makes you think you can return to me?”
says the Lord.
“Look up at the hilltops and consider this.
Where have you not been ravished?
You waited for those gods like a thief lying in wait in the wilderness.
You defiled the land by your wicked prostitution to other gods.
That is why the rains have been withheld
and the spring rains have not come.
Yet in spite of this you are obstinate as a prostitute.
You refuse to be ashamed of what you have done.
Even now you say to me, ‘You are my father!
You have been my faithful companion ever since I was young.
You will not always be angry with me, will you?
You will not be mad at me forever, will you?’
That is what you say,
but you continually do all the evil that you can.”

When Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord said to me, “Jeremiah, you have no doubt seen what wayward Israel has done. You have seen how she went up to every high hill and under every green tree to give herself like a prostitute to other gods. Yet even after she had done all that, I thought that she might come back to me. But she did not. Her sister, unfaithful Judah, saw what she did. She also saw that, because of wayward Israel’s adulterous worship of other gods, I sent her away and gave her divorce papers. But still her unfaithful sister Judah was not afraid, and she too went and gave herself like a prostitute to other gods. Because she took her prostitution so lightly, she defiled the land through her adulterous worship of gods made of wood and stone. 10 In spite of all this, Israel’s sister, unfaithful Judah, has not turned back to me with any sincerity; she has only pretended to do so,” says the Lord. 11 Then the Lord said to me, “Under the circumstances, wayward Israel could even be considered less guilty than unfaithful Judah.

12 “Go and shout this message to my people in the countries in the north. Tell them:

‘Come back to me, wayward Israel,’ says the Lord.
‘I will not continue to look on you with displeasure.
For I am merciful,’ says the Lord.
‘I will not be angry with you forever.
13 However, you must confess that you have done wrong
and that you have rebelled against the Lord your God.
You must confess that you have given yourself to foreign gods under every green tree
and have not obeyed my commands,’ says the Lord.

14 “Come back to me, my wayward sons,” says the Lord, “for I am your true master. If you do, I will take one of you from each town and two of you from each family group, and I will bring you back to Zion. 15 I will give you leaders who will be faithful to me. They will lead you with knowledge and insight. 16 In those days, your population will greatly increase in the land. At that time,” says the Lord, “people will no longer talk about having the ark that contains the Lord’s covenant with us. They will not call it to mind, remember it, or miss it. No, that will not be done anymore! 17 At that time the city of Jerusalem will be called the Lord’s throne. All nations will gather there in Jerusalem to honor the Lord’s name. They will no longer follow the stubborn inclinations of their own evil hearts. 18 At that time the nation of Judah and the nation of Israel will be reunited. Together they will come back from a land in the north to the land that I gave to your ancestors as a permanent possession.

19 “I thought to myself,
‘Oh what a joy it would be for me to treat you like a son!
What a joy it would be for me to give you a pleasant land,
the most beautiful piece of property there is in all the world!’
I thought you would call me ‘Father’
and would never cease being loyal to me.
20 But, you have been unfaithful to me, nation of Israel,
like an unfaithful wife who has left her husband,”
says the Lord.
21 “A noise is heard on the hilltops.
It is the sound of the people of Israel crying and pleading to their gods.
Indeed they have followed sinful ways;
they have forgotten to be true to the Lord their God.
22 Come back to me, you wayward people.
I want to cure your waywardness.
Say, ‘Here we are. We come to you
because you are the Lord our God.
23 We know our noisy worship of false gods
on the hills and mountains did not help us.
We know that the Lord our God
is the only one who can deliver Israel.
24 From earliest times our worship of that shameful god, Baal,
has taken away all that our ancestors worked for.
It has taken away our flocks and our herds
and even our sons and daughters.
25 Let us acknowledge our shame.
Let us bear the disgrace that we deserve.
For we have sinned against the Lord our God,
both we and our ancestors.
From earliest times to this very day
we have not obeyed the Lord our God.’

Section 4 of 4

Matthew 17

About 2.5 Minutes

Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John the brother of James, and led them privately up a high mountain. And he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. Then Moses and Elijah also appeared before them, talking with him. So Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, I will make three shelters—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my one dear Son, in whom I take great delight. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they were overwhelmed with fear and threw themselves down with their faces to the ground. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Do not be afraid.” When they looked up, all they saw was Jesus alone.

As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Do not tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” 10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the experts in the law say that Elijah must come first?” 11 He answered, “Elijah does indeed come first and will restore all things. 12 And I tell you that Elijah has already come. Yet they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wanted. In the same way, the Son of Man will suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.

14 When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly, for he often falls into the fire and into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they were not able to heal him.” 17 Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I endure you? Bring him here to me.” 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of him, and the boy was healed from that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we cast it out?” 20 He told them, “It was because of your little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you.”

22 When they gathered together in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.” And they became greatly distressed.

24 After they arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Your teacher pays the double drachma tax, doesn’t he?” 25 He said, “Yes.” When Peter came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect tolls or taxes—from their sons or from foreigners?” 26 After he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27 But so that we don’t offend them, go to the lake and throw out a hook. Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth, you will find a four drachma coin. Take that and give it to them for me and you.”

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