April 2 - Matthew 25.31-46, Numbers 32-34 and Job 2
The Final Judgment
Matthew 25 31When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all of his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. 32The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats.
33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, "My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created. 35When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, 36and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me."
37Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? 38When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear 39or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"
40The king will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me."
41Then the king will say to those on his left, "Get away from me! You are under God's curse. Go into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42I was hungry, but you did not give me anything to eat, and I was thirsty, but you did not give me anything to drink. 43I was a stranger, but you did not welcome me, and I was naked, but you did not give me any clothes to wear. I was sick and in jail, but you did not take care of me."
44Then the people will ask, "Lord, when did we fail to help you when you were hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in jail?"
45The king will say to them, "Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me."
46Then Jesus said, "Those people will be punished forever. But the ones who pleased God will have eternal life."
Land East of the Jordan River Is Settled
You mean you'd stay here while the rest of the Israelites go into battle? 7If you did that, it would discourage the others from crossing over into the land the LORD promised them. 8This is exactly what happened when I sent your ancestors from Kadesh-Barnea to explore the land. 9They went as far as Eshcol Valley, then returned and told the people that we should not enter it. 10The LORD became very angry. 11And he said that no one who was twenty years or older when they left Egypt would enter the land he had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Not one of those people believed in the LORD's power, 12except Caleb and Joshua. They remained faithful to the LORD, 13but he was so angry with the others that he forced them to wander around in the desert forty years. By that time everyone who had sinned against him had died.
14Now you people of Reuben and Gad are doing the same thing and making the LORD even angrier. 15If you reject the LORD, he will once again abandon his people and leave them here in the desert. And you will be to blame!
16The men from Reuben and Gad replied:
Let us build places to keep our sheep and goats, and towns for our wives and children, 17where they can stay and be safe. Then we'll prepare to fight and lead the other tribes into battle. 18We will stay with them until they have settled in their own tribal lands. 19The land on this side of the Jordan River will be ours, so we won't expect to receive any on the other side.
You promised that you would be ready to fight for the LORD. 21You also agreed to cross the Jordan and stay with the rest of the Israelites, until the LORD forces our enemies out of the land. If you do these things, 22then after the LORD helps Israel capture the land, you can return to your own land. You will no longer have to stay with the others. 23But if you don't keep your promise, you will sin against the LORD and be punished.
24Go ahead and build towns for your wives and children, and places for your sheep and goats. Just be sure to do what you have promised.
25The men from Reuben and Gad answered:
Sir, we will do just what you have said. 26Our wives and children and sheep and cattle will stay here in the towns in Gilead. 27But those of us who are prepared for battle will cross the Jordan and fight for the LORD.
28Then Moses said to Eleazar, Joshua, and the family leaders, 29"Make sure that the tribes of Gad and Reuben prepare for battle and cross the Jordan River with you. If they do, then after the land is in your control, give them the region of Gilead as their tribal land. 30But if they break their promise, they will receive land on the other side of the Jordan, like the rest of the tribes."
31The tribes of Gad and Reuben replied, "We are your servants and will do whatever the LORD has commanded. 32We will cross the Jordan River, ready to fight for the LORD in Canaan. But the land we will inherit as our own will be on this side of the river."
33So Moses gave the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half of Manasseh the territory and towns that King Sihon the Amorite had ruled, as well as the territory and towns that King Og of Bashan had ruled.
34The tribe of Gad rebuilt the towns of Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35Atroth-Shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36Beth-Nimrah, and Beth-Haran. They built walls around them and also built places to keep their sheep and goats.
37The tribe of Reuben rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38Sibmah, as well as the towns that used to be known as Nebo and Baal-Meon. They renamed all those places.
39The clan of Machir from the tribe of East Manasseh went to the region of Gilead, captured its towns, and forced out the Amorites. 40So Moses gave the Machirites the region of Gilead, and they settled there.
41Jair from the Manasseh tribe captured villages and renamed them "Villages of Jair."
42Nobah captured the town of Kenath with its villages and renamed it Nobah.
Israel's Journey from Egypt to MoabNumbers 33 As Israel traveled from Egypt under the command of Moses and Aaron, 2Moses kept a list of the places they camped, just as the LORD had instructed. Here is the record of their journey:
3-4Israel left the Egyptian city of Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month. This was the day after the LORD had punished Egypt's gods by killing the first-born sons in every Egyptian family. So while the Egyptians were burying the bodies, they watched the Israelites proudly leave their country.
5After the Israelites left Rameses, they camped at Succoth, 6and from there, they moved their camp to Etham on the edge of the desert. 7Then they turned back toward Pi-Hahiroth, east of Baal-Zephon, and camped near Migdol. 8They left Pi-Hahiroth, crossed the Red Sea, then walked three days into the Etham Desert and camped at Marah. 9Next, they camped at Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. 10They left Elim and camped near the Red Sea, 11then turned east and camped along the western edge of the Sinai Desert. 12-14From there they went to Dophkah, Alush, and Rephidim, where they had no water. 15They left Rephidim and finally reached the Sinai Desert.
16-36As Israel traveled from the Sinai Desert to Kadesh in the Zin Desert, they camped at Kibroth-Hattaavah, Hazeroth, Rithmah, Rimmon-Perez, Libnah, Rissah, Kehelathah, Mount Shepher, Haradah, Makheloth, Tahath, Terah, Mithkah, Hashmonah, Moseroth, Bene-Jaakan, Hor-Haggidgad, Jotbathah, Abronah, Ezion-Geber, and finally Kadesh. 37When they left Kadesh, they came to Mount Hor, on the border of Edom.
38That's where the LORD commanded Aaron the priest to go to the top of the mountain. Aaron died there on the first day of the fifth month, forty years after the Israelites left Egypt. 39He was one hundred twenty-three years old at the time.
40It was then that the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Southern Desert of Canaan, heard that Israel was headed that way.
41-47The Israelites left Mount Hor and headed toward Moab. Along the way, they camped at Zalmonah, Punon, Oboth, Iye-Abarim in the territory of Moab, Dibon-Gad, Almon-Diblathaim, at a place near Mount Nebo in the Abarim Mountains, 48and finally in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho. 49Their camp stretched from Beth-Jeshimoth to Acacia.
The LORD's Command To Conquer Canaan50While Israel was camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, the LORD told Moses 51to give the people of Israel this message:
When you cross the Jordan River and enter Canaan, 52you must force out the people living there. Destroy their idols and tear down their altars. 53Then settle in the land--I have given it to you as your own.
54I will show you how to divide the land among the tribes, according to the number of clans in each one, so that the larger tribes will have more land than the smaller ones.
55If you don't force out all the people there, they will be like pointed sticks in your eyes and thorns in your back. They will always be trouble for you, 56and I will treat you as cruelly as I planned on treating them.
Israel's BordersNumbers 34 The LORD told Moses 2to tell the people of Israel that their land in Canaan would have the following borders:
3The southern border will be the Zin Desert and the northwest part of Edom. This border will begin at the south end of the Dead Sea. 4It will go west from there, but will turn southward to include Scorpion Pass, the village of Zin, and the town of Kadesh-Barnea. From there, the border will continue to Hazar-Addar and on to Azmon. 5It will run along the Egyptian Gorge and end at the Mediterranean Sea.
6The western border will be the Mediterranean Sea.
7The northern border will begin at the Mediterranean, then continue eastward to Mount Hor. 8After that, it will run to Lebo-Hamath and across to Zedad, which is the northern edge of your land. 9From Zedad, the border will continue east to Ziphron and end at Hazar-Enan.
10The eastern border will begin at Hazar-Enan in the north, then run south to Shepham, 11and on down to Riblah on the east side of Ain. From there, it will go south to the eastern hills of Lake Galilee, 12then follow the Jordan River down to the north end of the Dead Sea.
The land within those four borders will belong to you.
13Then Moses told the people, "You will receive the land inside these borders. It will be yours, but the LORD has commanded you to divide it among the nine and a half tribes. 14The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh have already been given their land 15across from Jericho, east of the Jordan River."
The Leaders Who Will Divide the Land16The LORD said to Moses, 17"Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun will divide the land for the Israelites. 18One leader from each tribe will help them, 19-28and here is the list of their names:
Caleb son of Jephunneh
Shemuel son of Ammihud
Elidad son of Chislon
Bukki son of Jogli
Hanniel son of Ephod
Kemuel son of Shiphtan
Elizaphan son of Parnach
Paltiel son of Azzan
Ahihud son of Shelomi
and Pedahel son of Ammihud
29These are the men the LORD commanded to help Eleazar and Joshua divide the land for the Israelites.
Job Loses His HealthJob 2 When the angels gathered around the LORD again, Satan was there with them, 2and the LORD asked, "Satan, where have you been?"
Satan replied, "I have been going all over the earth."
3Then the LORD asked, "What do you think of my servant Job? No one on earth is like him--he is a truly good person, who respects me and refuses to do evil. And he hasn't changed, even though you persuaded me to destroy him for no reason."
4Satan answered, "There's no pain like your own. People will do anything to stay alive. 5Try striking Job's own body with pain, and he will curse you to your face."
6"All right!" the LORD replied. "Make Job suffer as much as you want, but just don't kill him." 7Satan left and caused painful sores to break out all over Job's body--from head to toe.
8Then Job sat on the ash-heap to show his sorrow. And while he was scraping his sores with a broken piece of pottery, 9his wife asked, "Why do you still trust God? Why don't you curse him and die?"
10Job replied, "Don't talk like a fool! If we accept blessings from God, we must accept trouble as well." In all that happened, Job never once said anything against God.
Job's Three Friends11Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuah, and Zophar from Naamah were three of Job's friends, and they heard about his troubles. So they agreed to visit Job and comfort him. 12When they came near enough to see Job, they could hardly recognize him. And in their great sorrow, they tore their clothes, then sprinkled dust on their heads and cried bitterly. 13For seven days and nights, they sat silently on the ground beside him, because they realized what terrible pain he was in.
This reading is from The
Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American
Bible Society, 1995.
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