April 4 - Matthew 26.26-46, Deuteronomy 1-2 and Job 4
The Lord's Supper
27Then he took a cup, gave thanks to God, and gave it to them. "Drink it, all of you," he said; 28"this is my blood, which seals God's covenant, my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will never again drink this wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in my Father's Kingdom."
30Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial
33Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, "I will never leave you, even though all the rest do!"
34Jesus said to Peter, "I tell you that before the rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you do not know me."
35Peter answered, "I will never say that, even if I have to die with you!"
And all the other disciples said the same thing.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
39He went a little farther on, threw himself face downward on the ground, and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want."
40Then he returned to the three disciples and found them asleep; and he said to Peter, "How is it that you three were not able to keep watch with me for even one hour? 41Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
42Once more Jesus went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cup of suffering cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done." 43He returned once more and found the disciples asleep; they could not keep their eyes open.
44Again Jesus left them, went away, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45Then he returned to the disciples and said, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look! The hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the power of sinners. 46Get up, let us go. Look, here is the man who is betraying me!"
IntroductionDeuteronomy 1 In this book are the words that Moses spoke to the people of Israel when they were in the wilderness east of the Jordan River. They were in the Jordan Valley near Suph, between the town of Paran on one side and the towns of Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab on the other. ( 2It takes eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh Barnea by way of the hill country of Edom.) 3On the first day of the eleventh month of the fortieth year after they had left Egypt, Moses told the people everything the LORD had commanded him to tell them. 4This was after the LORD had defeated King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in the town of Heshbon, and King Og of Bashan, who ruled in the towns of Ashtaroth and Edrei. 5It was while the people were east of the Jordan in the territory of Moab that Moses began to explain God's laws and teachings.
He said, 6"When we were at Mount Sinai, the LORD our God said to us, 'You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7Break camp and move on. Go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the surrounding regions--to the Jordan Valley, to the hill country and the lowlands, to the southern region, and to the Mediterranean coast. Go to the land of Canaan and on beyond the Lebanon Mountains as far as the great Euphrates River. 8All of this is the land which I, the LORD, promised to give to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their descendants. Go and occupy it.'"
Moses Appoints Judges
16"At that time I instructed them, 'Listen to the disputes that come up among your people. Judge every dispute fairly, whether it concerns only your own people or involves foreigners who live among you. 17Show no partiality in your decisions; judge everyone on the same basis, no matter who they are. Do not be afraid of anyone, for the decisions you make come from God. If any case is too difficult for you, bring it to me, and I will decide it.' 18At the same time I gave you instructions for everything else you were to do.
The Spies Are Sent Out from Kadesh Barnea
22"But you came to me and said, 'Let's send men ahead of us to spy out the land, so that they can tell us the best route to take and what kind of cities are there.'
23"That seemed like a good thing to do, so I selected twelve men, one from each tribe. 24They went into the hill country as far as Eshcol Valley and explored it. 25They brought us back some fruit they found there, and reported that the land which the LORD our God was giving us was very fertile.
26"But you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God, and you would not enter the land. 27You grumbled to one another: 'The LORD hates us. He brought us out of Egypt just to hand us over to these Amorites, so that they could kill us. 28Why should we go there? We are afraid. The men we sent tell us that the people there are stronger and taller than we are, and that they live in cities with walls that reach the sky. They saw giants there!'
29"But I told you, 'Don't be afraid of those people. 30The LORD your God will lead you, and he will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt 31and in the desert. You saw how he brought you safely all the way to this place, just as a father would carry his son.' 32But in spite of what I said, you still would not trust the LORD, 33even though he always went ahead of you to find a place for you to camp. To show you the way, he went in front of you in a pillar of fire by night and in a pillar of cloud by day.
The LORD Punishes Israel
39"Then the LORD said to all of us, 'Your children, who are still too young to know right from wrong, will enter the land--the children you said would be seized by your enemies. I will give the land to them, and they will occupy it. 40But as for you people, turn around and go back into the desert on the road to the Gulf of Aqaba.'
41"You replied, 'Moses, we have sinned against the LORD. But now we will attack, just as the LORD our God commanded us.' Then each one of you got ready to fight, thinking it would be easy to invade the hill country.
42"But the LORD said to me, 'Warn them not to attack, for I will not be with them, and their enemies will defeat them.' 43I told you what the LORD had said, but you paid no attention. You rebelled against him, and in your pride you marched into the hill country. 44Then the Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you like a swarm of bees. They chased you as far as Hormah and defeated you there in the hill country of Edom. 45So you cried out to the LORD for help, but he would not listen to you or pay any attention to you.
The Years in the Desert46"So then, after we had stayed at Kadesh for a long time,
Deuteronomy 2 1we finally turned and went into the desert, on the road to the Gulf of Aqaba, as the LORD had commanded, and we spent a long time wandering about in the hill country of Edom.
2"Then the LORD told me 3that we had spent enough time wandering about in those hills and that we should go north. 4He told me to give you the following instructions=: 'You are about to go through the hill country of Edom, the territory of your distant relatives, the descendants of Esau. They will be afraid of you, 5but you must not start a war with them, because I am not going to give you so much as a square foot of their land. I have given Edom to Esau's descendants. 6You may buy food and water from them.'
7"Remember how the LORD your God has blessed you in everything that you have done. He has taken care of you as you wandered through this vast desert. He has been with you these forty years, and you have had everything you needed.
8"So we moved on and left the road that goes from the towns of Elath and Eziongeber to the Dead Sea, and we turned northeast toward Moab. 9The LORD said to me, 'Don't trouble the people of Moab, the descendants of Lot, or start a war against them. I have given them the city of Ar, and I am not going to give you any of their land.'"
( 10 A mighty race of giants called the Emim used to live in Ar. They were as tall as the Anakim, another race of giants. 11Like the Anakim they were also known as Rephaim; but the Moabites called them Emim. 12The Horites used to live in Edom, but the descendants of Esau chased them out, destroyed their nation, and settled there themselves, just as the Israelites later chased their enemies out of the land that the LORD gave them.)
13"Then we crossed the Zered River as the LORD told us to do. 14This was thirty-eight years after we had left Kadesh Barnea. All the fighting men of that generation had died, as the LORD had said they would. 15The LORD kept on opposing them until he had destroyed them all.
16"After they had all died, 17the LORD said to us, 18'Today you are to pass through the territory of Moab by way of Ar. 19You will then be near the land of the Ammonites, the descendants of Lot. Don't trouble them or start a war against them, because I am not going to give you any of the land that I have given them.'"
( 20 This territory is also known as the land of the Rephaim, the name of the people who used to live there; the Ammonites called them Zamzummim. 21They were as tall as the Anakim. There were many of them, and they were a mighty race. But the LORD destroyed them, so that the Ammonites took over their land and settled there. 22The LORD had done the same thing for the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, who live in the hill country of Edom. He destroyed the Horites, so that the Edomites took over their land and settled there, where they still live. 23The land along the Mediterranean coast had been settled by people from the island of Crete. They had destroyed the Avvim, the original inhabitants, and had taken over all their land as far south as the city of Gaza.)
24"After we had passed through Moab, the LORD told us, 'Now, start out and cross the Arnon River. I am placing in your power Sihon, the Amorite king of Heshbon, along with his land. Attack him, and begin occupying his land. 25From today on I will make people everywhere afraid of you. Everyone will tremble with fear at the mention of your name.'
Israel Defeats King Sihon
30"But King Sihon would not let us pass through his country. The LORD your God had made him stubborn and rebellious, so that we could defeat him and take his territory, which we still occupy.
31"Then the LORD said to me, 'Look, I have made King Sihon and his land helpless before you; take his land and occupy it.' 32Sihon came out with all his men to fight us near the town of Jahaz, 33but the LORD our God put him in our power, and we killed him, his sons, and all his men. 34At the same time we captured and destroyed every town, and put everyone to death, men, women, and children. We left no survivors. 35We took the livestock and plundered the towns. 36The LORD our God let us capture all the towns from Aroer, on the edge of the Arnon Valley, and the city in the middle of that valley, all the way to Gilead. No town had walls too strong for us. 37But we did not go near the territory of the Ammonites or to the banks of the Jabbok River or to the towns of the hill country or to any other place where the LORD our God had commanded us not to go.
The First Dialogue
1-2Job, will you be annoyed if I speak?
I can't keep quiet any longer.
3You have taught many people
and given strength to feeble hands.
4When someone stumbled, weak and tired,
your words encouraged him to stand.
5Now it's your turn to be in trouble,
and you are too stunned to face it.
6You worshiped God, and your life was blameless;
and so you should have confidence and hope.
7Think back now. Name a single case
where someone righteous met with disaster.
8I have seen people plow fields of evil
and plant wickedness like seed;
now they harvest wickedness and evil.
9Like a storm, God destroys them in his anger.
10The wicked roar and growl like lions,
but God silences them and breaks their teeth.
11Like lions with nothing to kill and eat,
they die, and all their children are scattered.
12Once a message came quietly,
so quietly I could hardly hear it.
13Like a nightmare it disturbed my sleep.
14 I trembled and shuddered;
my whole body shook with fear.
15A light breeze touched my face,
and my skin crawled with fright.
16I could see something standing there;
I stared, but couldn't tell what it was.
Then I heard a voice out of the silence:
17"Can anyone be righteous in the sight of God
or be pure before his Creator?
18God does not trust his heavenly servants;
he finds fault even with his angels.
19Do you think he will trust a creature of clay,
a thing of dust that can be crushed like a moth?
20We may be alive in the morning,
but die unnoticed before evening comes.
21All that we have is taken away;
we die, still lacking wisdom."
This reading is from The Holy
Bible, Today's English Version, Second Edition copyright © American
Bible Society, 1992;
Old Testament copyright © American Bible Society, 1976, 1992; New Testament © American Bible Society, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992.
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