April 10 - Acts 2.1-13, Deuteronomy 13-14 and Job 10
The Coming of the Holy SpiritActs 2 On the day of Pentecost all the Lord's followers were together in one place. 2Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. 3Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. 4The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.
5Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem. 6And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages. 7They were excited and amazed, and said:
Don't all these who are speaking come from Galilee? 8Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages? 9Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome, 11Crete, and Arabia. Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews. Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done.
12Everyone was excited and confused. Some of them even kept asking each other, "What does all this mean?"
13Others made fun of the Lord's followers and said, "They are drunk."
Don't Worship Other GodsMoses said to Israel:
Deuteronomy 13 1-2Someday a prophet may come along who is able to perform miracles or tell what will happen in the future. Then the prophet may say, "Let's start worshiping some new gods--some gods that we know nothing about." 3If the prophet says this, don't listen! The LORD your God will be watching to find out whether or not you love him with all your heart and soul. 4You must be completely faithful to the LORD. Worship and obey only the LORD and do this with fear and trembling, 5because he rescued you from slavery in Egypt.
If a prophet tells you to disobey the LORD your God and to stop worshiping him, then that prophet is evil and must be put to death.
6-10Someone else may say to you, "Let's worship other gods." That person may be your best friend, your brother or sister, your son or daughter, or your own dear wife or husband. But you must not listen to people who say such things. Instead, you must stone them to death. You must be the first to throw the stones, then others from the community will finish the job. Don't show any pity.
The gods worshiped by other nations have never done anything for you or your ancestors. People who ask you to worship other gods are trying to get you to stop worshiping the LORD, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. So put to death anyone who asks you to worship another god. 11And when the rest of Israel hears about it, they will be afraid, and no one else will ever do such an evil thing again.
12After the LORD your God gives you towns to live in, you may hear a rumor about one of the towns. 13You may hear that some worthless people have talked everyone there into worshiping other gods, even though these gods had never done anything for them. 14You must carefully find out if the rumor is true. Then if the people of that town have actually done such a disgusting thing in your own country, 15you must take your swords and kill every one of them, and their livestock too. 16-17Gather all the possessions of the people who lived there, and pile them up in the marketplace, without keeping anything for yourself. Set the pile and the whole town on fire, and don't ever rebuild the town. The whole town will be a sacrifice to the LORD your God. Then he won't be angry anymore, and he will have mercy on you and make you successful, just as he promised your ancestors. 18That's why you must do what the LORD your God says is right. I am giving you his laws and teachings today, and you must obey them.
Don't Mourn like Other NationsMoses said:
Deuteronomy 14 People of Israel, you are the LORD's children, so when you mourn for the dead, you must not cut yourselves or shave your forehead. 2Out of all the nations on this earth, the LORD your God chose you to be his own. You belong to the LORD, so don't behave like those who worship other gods.
Animals That Can Be Eaten
4-5You may eat the meat of cattle, sheep, and goats; wild sheep and goats; and gazelles, antelopes, and all kinds of deer. 6It is all right to eat meat from any animals that have divided hoofs and also chew the cud.
7But don't eat camels, rabbits, and rock badgers. These animals chew the cud but do not have divided hoofs. You must treat them as unclean. 8And don't eat pork, since pigs have divided hoofs, but they do not chew their cud. Don't even touch a dead pig!
9You can eat any fish that has fins and scales. But there are other creatures that live in the water, 10and if they do not have fins and scales, you must not eat them. Treat them as unclean.
11You can eat any clean bird. 12-18But don't eat the meat of any of the following birds: eagles, vultures, falcons, kites, ravens, ostriches, owls, sea gulls, hawks, pelicans, ospreys, cormorants, storks, herons, and hoopoes. You must not eat bats. 19Swarming insects are unclean, so don't eat them. 20However, you are allowed to eat certain kinds of winged insects.
21You belong to the LORD your God, so if you happen to find a dead animal, don't eat its meat. You may give it to foreigners who live in your town or sell it to foreigners who are visiting your town.
Don't boil a young goat in its mother's milk.
Give the LORD Ten Percent of Your HarvestMoses said:
22People of Israel, every year you must set aside ten percent of your grain harvest. 23Also set aside ten percent of your wine and olive oil, and the first-born of every cow, sheep, and goat. Take these to the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped, and eat them there. This will teach you to always respect the LORD your God.
24But suppose you can't carry that ten percent of your harvest to the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped. If you live too far away, or if the LORD gives you a big harvest, 25then sell this part and take the money there instead. 26When you and your family arrive, spend the money on food for a big celebration. Buy cattle, sheep, goats, wine, beer, and if there are any other kinds of food that you want, buy those too. 27And since people of the Levi tribe won't own any land for growing crops, remember to ask the Levites to celebrate with you.
28Every third year, instead of using the ten percent of your harvest for a big celebration, bring it into town and put it in a community storehouse. 29The Levites have no land of their own, so you must give them food from the storehouse. You must also give food to the poor who live in your town, including orphans, widows, and foreigners. If they have enough to eat, then the LORD your God will be pleased and make you successful in everything you do.
Job Complains to God
I Am Sick of Life!Job 10 I am sick of life! And from my deep despair,
I complain to you, my God.
2Don't just condemn me! Point out my sin.
3Why do you take such delight
in destroying those you created
and in smiling on sinners?
4Do you look at things the way we humans do?
5Is your life as short as ours?
6Is that why you are so quick to find fault with me?
7You know I am innocent,
but who can defend me against you?
8Will you now destroy someone you created?
9Remember that you molded me like a piece of clay.
So don't turn me back into dust once again.
10As cheese is made from milk,
you created my body from a tiny drop.
11Then you tied my bones together with muscles
and covered them with flesh and skin.
12You, the source of my life, showered me with kindness
and watched over me.
You Have Not Explained
13You have not explained all of your mysteries,
14but you catch and punish me each time I sin.
15Guilty or innocent, I am condemned and ashamed
because of my troubles.
16No matter how hard I try, you keep hunting me down
like a powerful lion.
17You never stop accusing me; you become furious and attack
over and over again.
18Why did you let me be born?
I would rather have died before birth
19and been carried to the grave without ever breathing.
20I have only a few days left.
Why don't you leave me alone?
Let me find some relief,
*21before I travel to the land 22of darkness and despair,
the place of no return.
This reading is from The
Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American
Bible Society, 1995.
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