April 26 - Acts 11.1-18, Joshua 11-12 and Job 26
Peter Reports to the Church in JerusalemActs 11 The apostles and the followers in Judea heard that Gentiles had accepted God's message. 2So when Peter came to Jerusalem, some of the Jewish followers started arguing with him. They wanted Gentile followers to be circumcised, and 3they said, "You stayed in the homes of Gentiles, and you even ate with them!"
4Then Peter told them exactly what had happened:
5I was in the town of Joppa and was praying when I fell sound asleep and had a vision. I saw heaven open, and something like a huge sheet held by its four corners came down to me. 6When I looked in it, I saw animals, wild beasts, snakes, and birds. 7I heard a voice saying to me, "Peter, get up! Kill these and eat them."
8But I said, "Lord, I can't do that! I've never taken a bite of anything that is unclean and not fit to eat."
9The voice from heaven spoke to me again, "When God says that something can be used for food, don't say it isn't fit to eat." 10This happened three times before it was all taken back into heaven.
11Suddenly three men from Caesarea stood in front of the house where I was staying. 12The Holy Spirit told me to go with them and not to worry. Then six of the Lord's followers went with me to the home of a man 13who told us that an angel had appeared to him. The angel had ordered him to send to Joppa for someone named Simon Peter. 14Then Peter would tell him how he and everyone in his house could be saved.
15After I started speaking, the Holy Spirit was given to them, just as the Spirit had been given to us at the beginning. 16I remembered that the Lord had said, "John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 17God gave those Gentiles the same gift that he gave us when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So how could I have gone against God?
18When they heard Peter say this, they stopped arguing and started praising God. They said, "God has now let Gentiles turn to him, and he has given life to them!"
Joshua Captures Towns in the NorthJoshua 11 King Jabin of Hazor heard about Joshua's victories, so he sent messages to many nearby kings and asked them to join him in fighting Israel. He sent these messages to King Jobab of Madon, the kings of Shimron and Achshaph, 2the kings in the northern hill country and in the Jordan River valley south of Lake Galilee, and the kings in the foothills and in Naphath-Dor to the west. 3He sent messages to the Canaanite kings in the east and the west, to the Amorite, Hittite, Perizzite, and Jebusite kings in the hill country, and to the Hivite kings in the region of Mizpah, near the foot of Mount Hermon.
4-5The kings and their armies went to Merom Pond, where they set up camp, and got ready to fight Israel. It seemed as though there were more soldiers and horses and chariots than there are grains of sand on a beach.
6The LORD told Joshua:
Don't let them frighten you! I'll help you defeat them, and by this time tomorrow they will be dead.
When you attack, the first thing you have to do is to cripple their horses. Then after the battle is over, burn their chariots.
7Joshua and his army made a surprise attack against the enemy camp at Merom Pond 8-9and crippled the enemies' horses. Joshua followed the LORD's instructions, and the LORD helped Israel defeat the enemy. The Israelite army even chased enemy soldiers as far as Misrephoth-Maim to the northwest, the city of Sidon to the north, and Mizpeh Valley to the northeast. None of the enemy soldiers escaped alive. The Israelites came back after the battle and burned the enemy's chariots.
10Up to this time, the king of Hazor had controlled the kingdoms that had joined together to attack Israel, so Joshua led his army back and captured Hazor. They killed its king 11and everyone else, then they set the town on fire.
12-15Joshua captured all the towns where the enemy kings had ruled. These towns were built on small hills, and Joshua did not set fire to any of these towns, except Hazor. The Israelites kept the animals and everything of value from these towns, but they killed everyone who lived in them, including their kings. That's what the LORD had told his servant Moses to do, that's what Moses had told Joshua to do, and that's exactly what Joshua did.
16Joshua and his army took control of the northern and southern hill country, the foothills to the west, the Southern Desert, the whole region of Goshen, and the Jordan River valley. 17-18They took control of the land from Mount Halak near the country of Edom in the south to Baal-Gad in Lebanon Valley at the foot of Mount Hermon in the north. Joshua and his army were at war with the kings in this region for a long time, but finally they captured and put to death the last king.
19-20The LORD had told Moses that he wanted the towns in this region destroyed and their people killed without mercy. That's why the LORD made the people in the towns stubborn and determined to fight Israel. The only town that signed a peace treaty with Israel was the Hivite town of Gibeon. The Israelite army captured the rest of the towns in battle.
21During this same time, Joshua and his army killed the Anakim from the northern and southern hill country. They also destroyed the towns where the Anakim had lived, including Hebron, Debir, and Anab. 22There were not any Anakim left in the regions where the Israelites lived, although there were still some in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.
23That's how Joshua captured the land, just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and Joshua divided it up among the tribes.
Finally, there was peace in the land.
The Kings Defeated by the IsraelitesJoshua 12 Before Moses died, he and the people of Israel had defeated two kings east of the Jordan River. These kings had ruled the region from the Arnon River gorge in the south to Mount Hermon in the north, including the eastern side of the Jordan River valley.
2The first king that Moses and the Israelites defeated was an Amorite, King Sihon of Heshbon. The southern border of his kingdom ran down the middle of the Arnon River gorge, taking in the town of Aroer on the northern edge of the gorge. The Jabbok River separated Sihon's kingdom from the Ammonites on the east. Then the Jabbok turned west and became his northern border, so his kingdom included the southern half of the region of Gilead. 3Sihon also controlled the eastern side of the Jordan River valley from Lake Galilee south to Beth-Jeshimoth and the Dead Sea. In addition to these regions, he ruled the town called Slopes of Mount Pisgah and the land south of there at the foot of the hill.
4Next, Moses and the Israelites defeated King Og of Bashan, who lived in the town of Ashtaroth part of each year and in Edrei the rest of the year. Og was one of the last of the Rephaim. 5His kingdom stretched north to Mount Hermon, east to the town of Salecah, and included the land of Bashan as far west as the borders of the kingdoms of Geshur and Maacah. He also ruled the northern half of Gilead.
6Moses, the LORD's servant, had led the people of Israel in defeating Sihon and Og. Then Moses gave their land to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh.
7-8Later, Joshua and the Israelites defeated many kings west of the Jordan River, from Baal-Gad in Lebanon Valley in the north to Mount Halak near the country of Edom in the south. This region included the hill country and the foothills, the Jordan River valley and its western slopes, and the Southern Desert. Joshua and the Israelites took this land from the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Joshua divided up the land among the tribes of Israel.
The Israelites defeated the kings of the following towns west of the Jordan River:
9-24Jericho, Ai near Bethel, Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon, Gezer, Debir, Geder, Hormah, Arad, Libnah, Adullam, Makkedah, Bethel, Tappuah, Hepher, Aphek, Lasharon, Madon, Hazor, Shimron-Meron, Achshaph, Taanach, Megiddo, Kedesh, Jokneam on Mount Carmel, Dor in Naphath-Dor, Goiim in Galilee, and Tirzah.
There were thirty-one of these kings in all.
Job's Reply to Bildad
You Have Really Been HelpfulJob 26 Job said:
2You have really been helpful to someone weak and weary.
3You have given great advice and wonderful wisdom
to someone truly in need.
4How can anyone possibly speak with such understanding?
5Remember the terrible trembling
of those in the world of the dead
below the mighty ocean.
6Nothing in that land of death and destruction
is hidden from God, 7who hung the northern sky
and suspended the earth on empty space.
8God stores water in clouds, but they don't burst,
9and he wraps them around the face of the moon.
10On the surface of the ocean, God has drawn a boundary line
between light and darkness.
11And columns supporting the sky tremble at his command.
12By his power and wisdom,
God conquered the force of the mighty ocean.
13The heavens became bright when he breathed,
and the escaping sea monster died at the hands of God.
14These things are merely a whisper of God's power at work.
How little we would understand
if this whisper ever turned into thunder!
This reading is from The
Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American
Bible Society, 1995.
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