April 29 - Acts 13.1-25, Joshua 18-19 and Job 29

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Barnabas and Saul Are Chosen and Sent

Acts 13 In the church at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon (called the Black), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (who had been brought up with Governor Herod ), and Saul. 2While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul, to do the work to which I have called them."
3They fasted and prayed, placed their hands on them, and sent them off.

In Cyprus

4Having been sent by the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Saul went to Seleucia and sailed from there to the island of Cyprus. 5When they arrived at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues. They had John Mark with them to help in the work.
6They went all the way across the island to Paphos, where they met a certain magician named Bar-Jesus, a Jew who claimed to be a prophet. 7He was a friend of the governor of the island, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor called Barnabas and Saul before him because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8But they were opposed by the magician Elymas (that is his name in Greek), who tried to turn the governor away from the faith. 9Then Saul--also known as Paul--was filled with the Holy Spirit; he looked straight at the magician 10and said, "You son of the Devil! You are the enemy of everything that is good. You are full of all kinds of evil tricks, and you always keep trying to turn the Lord's truths into lies! 11The Lord's hand will come down on you now; you will be blind and will not see the light of day for a time."
At once Elymas felt a dark mist cover his eyes, and he walked around trying to find someone to lead him by the hand. 12When the governor saw what had happened, he believed; for he was greatly amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

In Antioch in Pisidia

13Paul and his companions sailed from Paphos and came to Perga, a city in Pamphylia, where John Mark left them and went back to Jerusalem. 14They went on from Perga and arrived in Antioch in Pisidia, and on the Sabbath they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15After the reading from the Law of Moses and from the writings of the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message: "Friends, we want you to speak to the people if you have a message of encouragement for them." 16Paul stood up, motioned with his hand, and began to speak:
"Fellow Israelites and all Gentiles here who worship God: hear me! 17The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors and made the people a great nation during the time they lived as foreigners in Egypt. God brought them out of Egypt by his great power, 18and for forty years he endured them in the desert. 19He destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and made his people the owners of the land. 20All of this took about 450 years.
"After this he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. 21And when they asked for a king, God gave them Saul son of Kish from the tribe of Benjamin, to be their king for forty years. 22After removing him, God made David their king. This is what God said about him: 'I have found that David son of Jesse is the kind of man I like, a man who will do all I want him to do.' 23It was Jesus, a descendant of David, whom God made the Savior of the people of Israel, as he had promised. 24Before Jesus began his work, John preached to all the people of Israel that they should turn from their sins and be baptized. 25And as John was about to finish his mission, he said to the people, 'Who do you think I am? I am not the one you are waiting for. But listen! He is coming after me, and I am not good enough to take his sandals off his feet.'

The Division of the Rest of the Land

Joshua 18 After they had conquered the land, the entire community of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set up the Tent of the LORD's presence. 2There were still seven tribes of the people of Israel who had not yet been assigned their share of the land. 3So Joshua said to the people of Israel, "How long are you going to wait before you go in and take the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you? 4Let me have three men from each tribe. I will send them out over the whole country to map out the territory that they would like to have as their possession. Then they are to come back to me. 5The land will be divided among them in seven parts; Judah will stay in its territory in the south, and Joseph in its territory in the north. 6Write down a description of these seven divisions and bring it to me. Then I will draw lots to consult the LORD our God for you. 7The Levites, however, will not receive a share of the land with the rest of you, because their share is to serve as the LORD's priests. And of course, the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and East Manasseh have already received their land east of the Jordan, which Moses, the LORD's servant, gave to them."
8The men went on their way to map out the land after Joshua had given them these instructions: "Go all over the land and map it out, and come back to me. And then here in Shiloh I will consult the LORD for you by drawing lots." 9So the men went all over the land and set down in writing how they divided it into seven parts, making a list of the towns. Then they went back to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh. 10Joshua drew lots to consult the LORD for them, and assigned each of the remaining tribes of Israel a certain part of the land.

The Territory Assigned to Benjamin

11The territory belonging to the families of the tribe of Benjamin was the first to be assigned. Their land lay between the tribes of Judah and Joseph. 12On the north their border began at the Jordan and then went up the slope north of Jericho and westward through the hill country as far as the desert of Bethaven. 13The border then went to the slope on the south side of Luz (also called Bethel), then down to Ataroth Addar, on the mountain south of Lower Beth Horon. 14The border then went in another direction, turning south from the western side of this mountain and going to Kiriath Baal (or Kiriath Jearim), which belongs to the tribe of Judah. This was the western border. 15The southern border started on the edge of Kiriath Jearim and went to the Springs of Nephtoah. 16It then went down to the foot of the mountain that overlooks Hinnom Valley, at the north end of Rephaim Valley. It then went south through Hinnom Valley, south of the Jebusite ridge, toward Enrogel. 17It then turned north to Enshemesh and then on to Geliloth, opposite Adummim Pass. The border then went down to the Stone of Bohan (Bohan was a son of Reuben) 18and passed north of the ridge overlooking the Jordan Valley. It then went down into the valley, 19passing north of the ridge of Beth Hoglah, and ended at the northern inlet on the Dead Sea, where the Jordan River empties into it. This was the southern border. 20The Jordan was the eastern border. These were the borders of the land which the families of the tribe of Benjamin received as their possession.
21The cities belonging to the families of the tribe of Benjamin were Jericho, Beth Hoglah, Emek Keziz, 22Beth Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, 23Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, 24Chepharammoni, Ophni, and Geba: twelve cities, along with the towns around them. 25There were also Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, 26Mizpah, Chephirah, Mozah, 27Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, 28Zela, Haeleph, Jebus (or Jerusalem), Gibeah, and Kiriath Jearim: fourteen cities, along with the towns around them. This is the land which the families of the tribe of Benjamin received as their possession.

The Territory Assigned to Simeon

Joshua 19 The second assignment made was for the families of the tribe of Simeon. Its territory extended into the land assigned to the tribe of Judah. 2It included Beersheba, Sheba, Moladah, 3Hazar Shual, Balah, Ezem, 4Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, 5Ziklag, Beth Marcaboth, Hazar Susah, 6Beth Lebaoth, and Sharuhen: thirteen cities, along with the towns around them.
7There were also Ain, Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan: four cities, along with the towns around them. 8This included all the towns around these cities as far as Baalath Beer (or Ramah), in the south. This was the land which the families of the tribe of Simeon received as their possession. 9Since Judah's assignment was larger than was needed, part of its territory was given to the tribe of Simeon.

The Territory Assigned to Zebulun

10The third assignment made was for the families of the tribe of Zebulun. The land which they received reached as far as Sarid. 11From there the border went west to Mareal, touching Dabbesheth and the stream east of Jokneam. 12On the other side of Sarid it went east to the border of Chisloth Tabor, then to Daberath and up to Japhia. 13It continued east from there to Gath Hepher and Ethkazin, turning in the direction of Neah on the way to Rimmon. 14On the north the border turned toward Hannathon, ending at Iphtahel Valley. 15It included Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities, along with the towns around them. 16These cities and their towns were in the land which the families of the tribe of Zebulun received as their possession.

The Territory Assigned to Issachar

17The fourth assignment made was for the families of the tribe of Issachar. 18Its area included Jezreel, Chesulloth, Shunem, 19Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath, 20Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez, 21Remeth, Engannim, Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez. 22The border also touched Tabor, Shahazumah, and Beth Shemesh, ending at the Jordan. It included sixteen cities along with the towns around them. 23These cities and their towns were in the land which the families of the tribe of Issachar received as their possession.

The Territory Assigned to Asher

24The fifth assignment made was for the families of the tribe of Asher. 25Its area included Helkath, Hali, Beten, Achshaph, 26Allam Melech, Amad, and Mishal. On the west it touched Carmel and Shihor Libnath. 27As it turned east, the border went to Bethdagon, touching Zebulun and Iphtahel Valley on the way north to Bethemek and Neiel. It continued north to Cabul, 28Ebron, Rehob, Hammon, and Kanah, as far as Sidon. 29The border then turned to Ramah, reaching the fortified city of Tyre; then it turned to Hosah and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. It included Mahalab, Achzib, 30Ummah, Aphek, and Rehob: twenty-two cities, along with the towns around them. 31These cities and their towns were in the land which the families of the tribe of Asher received as their possession.

The Territory Assigned to Naphtali

32The sixth assignment made was for the families of the tribe of Naphtali. 33Its border went from Heleph to the oak in Zaanannim, on to Adaminekeb and to Jamnia, as far as Lakkum, and ended at the Jordan. 34There the border turned west to Aznoth Tabor, from there to Hukkok, touching Zebulun on the south, Asher on the west, and the Jordan on the east. 35The fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Chinnereth, 36Adamah, Ramah, Hazor, 37Kedesh, Edrei, Enhazor, 38Yiron, Migdalel, Horem, Bethanath, and Beth Shemesh: nineteen cities, along with the towns around them. 39These cities and their towns were in the land which the families of the tribe of Naphtali received as their possession.

The Territory Assigned to Dan

40The seventh assignment made was for the families of the tribe of Dan. 41Its area included Zorah, Eshtaol, Irshemesh, 42Shaalbim, Aijalon, Ithlah, 43Elon, Timnah, Ekron, 44Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, 45Jehud, Beneberak, Gathrimmon, 46Mejarkon, and Rakkon, as well as the territory around Joppa. 47When the people of Dan lost their land, they went to Laish and attacked it. They captured it, killed its people, and claimed it for themselves. They settled there and changed the name of the city from Laish to Dan, naming it after their ancestor Dan. 48These cities and their towns were in the land which the families of the tribe of Dan received as their possession.

The Final Assignment of the Land

49When the people of Israel finished dividing up the land, they gave Joshua son of Nun a part of the land as his own. 50As the LORD had commanded, they gave him the city he asked for: Timnath Serah, in the hill country of Ephraim. He rebuilt the city and settled there.
51Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders of the families of the tribes of Israel assigned these parts of the land by drawing lots to consult the LORD at Shiloh, at the entrance of the Tent of the LORD's presence. In this way they finished dividing the land.

Job's Final Statement of His Case

Job 29 Job began speaking again.


2If only my life could once again
be as it was when God watched over me.
3God was always with me then
and gave me light as I walked through the darkness.
4Those were the days when I was prosperous,
and the friendship of God protected my home.
5Almighty God was with me then,
and I was surrounded by all my children.
6My cows and goats gave plenty of milk,
and my olive trees grew in the rockiest soil.
7Whenever the city elders met
and I took my place among them,
8 young men stepped aside as soon as they saw me,
and old men stood up to show me respect.
9The leaders of the people would stop talking;
10 even the most important men kept silent.

11Everyone who saw me or heard of me
had good things to say about what I had done.
12When the poor cried out, I helped them;
I gave help to orphans who had nowhere to turn.
13People who were in deepest misery praised me,
and I helped widows find security.
14I have always acted justly and fairly.
15I was eyes for the blind,
and feet for the lame.
16I was like a father to the poor
and took the side of strangers in trouble.
17I destroyed the power of cruel men
and rescued their victims.

18I always expected to live a long life
and to die at home in comfort.
19I was like a tree whose roots always have water
and whose branches are wet with dew.
20Everyone was always praising me,
and my strength never failed me.
21When I gave advice, people were silent
and listened carefully to what I said;
22 they had nothing to add when I had finished.
My words sank in like drops of rain;
23 everyone welcomed them
just as farmers welcome rain in spring.
24I smiled on them when they had lost confidence;
my cheerful face encouraged them.
25I took charge and made the decisions;
I led them as a king leads his troops,
and gave them comfort in their despair.

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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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