January 4 - Luke 7.1-17, Genesis 8-10 and Psalm 4
Jesus Heals a Roman Officer's Servant
6So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the officer sent friends to tell him, "Sir, don't trouble yourself. I do not deserve to have you come into my house, 7neither do I consider myself worthy to come to you in person. Just give the order, and my servant will get well. 8I, too, am a man placed under the authority of superior officers, and I have soldiers under me. I order this one, 'Go!' and he goes; I order that one, 'Come!' and he comes; and I order my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it."
9Jesus was surprised when he heard this; he turned around and said to the crowd following him, "I tell you, I have never found faith like this, not even in Israel!"
10The messengers went back to the officer's house and found his servant well.
Jesus Raises a Widow's Son11Soon afterward Jesus went to a town named Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a large crowd. 12Just as he arrived at the gate of the town, a funeral procession was coming out. The dead man was the only son of a woman who was a widow, and a large crowd from the town was with her. 13When the Lord saw her, his heart was filled with pity for her, and he said to her, "Don't cry." 14Then he walked over and touched the coffin, and the men carrying it stopped. Jesus said, "Young man! Get up, I tell you!" 15The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
16They all were filled with fear and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us!" they said; "God has come to save his people!"
17This news about Jesus went out through all the country and the surrounding territory.
The End of the FloodGenesis 8 God had not forgotten Noah and all the animals with him in the boat; he caused a wind to blow, and the water started going down. 2The outlets of the water beneath the earth and the floodgates of the sky were closed. The rain stopped, 3and the water gradually went down for 150 days. 4On the seventeenth day of the seventh month the boat came to rest on a mountain in the Ararat range. 5The water kept going down, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains appeared.
6After forty days Noah opened a window 7and sent out a raven. It did not come back, but kept flying around until the water was completely gone. 8Meanwhile, Noah sent out a dove to see if the water had gone down, 9but since the water still covered all the land, the dove did not find a place to light. It flew back to the boat, and Noah reached out and took it in. 10He waited another seven days and sent out the dove again. 11It returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. So Noah knew that the water had gone down. 12Then he waited another seven days and sent out the dove once more; this time it did not come back.
13When Noah was 601 years old, on the first day of the first month, the water was gone. Noah removed the covering of the boat, looked around, and saw that the ground was getting dry. 14By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
15God said to Noah, 16"Go out of the boat with your wife, your sons, and their wives. 17Take all the birds and animals out with you, so that they may reproduce and spread over all the earth." 18So Noah went out of the boat with his wife, his sons, and their wives. 19All the animals and birds went out of the boat in groups of their own kind.
Noah Offers a Sacrifice20Noah built an altar to the LORD; he took one of each kind of ritually clean animal and bird, and burned them whole as a sacrifice on the altar. 21The odor of the sacrifice pleased the LORD, and he said to himself, "Never again will I put the earth under a curse because of what people do; I know that from the time they are young their thoughts are evil. Never again will I destroy all living beings, as I have done this time. 22As long as the world exists, there will be a time for planting and a time for harvest. There will always be cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night."
God's Covenant with NoahGenesis 9 God blessed Noah and his sons and said, "Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth. 2All the animals, birds, and fish will live in fear of you. They are all placed under your power. 3Now you can eat them, as well as green plants; I give them all to you for food. 4The one thing you must not eat is meat with blood still in it; I forbid this because the life is in the blood. 5If anyone takes human life, he will be punished. I will punish with death any animal that takes a human life. 6Human beings were made like God, so whoever murders one of them will be killed by someone else.
7"You must have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth."
8God said to Noah and his sons, 9"I am now making my covenant with you and with your descendants, 10and with all living beings--all birds and all animals--everything that came out of the boat with you. 11With these words I make my covenant with you: I promise that never again will all living beings be destroyed by a flood; never again will a flood destroy the earth. 12As a sign of this everlasting covenant which I am making with you and with all living beings, 13I am putting my bow in the clouds. It will be the sign of my covenant with the world. 14Whenever I cover the sky with clouds and the rainbow appears, 15I will remember my promise to you and to all the animals that a flood will never again destroy all living beings. 16When the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between me and all living beings on earth. 17That is the sign of the promise which I am making to all living beings."
Noah and His Sons18The sons of Noah who went out of the boat were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19These three sons of Noah were the ancestors of all the people on earth.
20Noah, who was a farmer, was the first man to plant a vineyard. 21After he drank some of the wine, he became drunk, took off his clothes, and lay naked in his tent. 22When Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked, he went out and told his two brothers. 23Then Shem and Japheth took a robe and held it behind them on their shoulders. They walked backward into the tent and covered their father, keeping their faces turned away so as not to see him naked. 24When Noah sobered up and learned what his youngest son had done to him, 25he said,
"A curse on Canaan!
He will be a slave to his brothers.
26Give praise to the LORD, the God of Shem!
Canaan will be the slave of Shem.
27May God cause Japheth to increase!
May his descendants live with the people of Shem!
Canaan will be the slave of Japheth."
28After the flood Noah lived 350 years 29and died at the age of 950.
The Descendants of Noah's Sons
2The sons of Japheth--Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras--were the ancestors of the peoples who bear their names. 3The descendants of Gomer were the people of Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4The descendants of Javan were the people of Elishah, Spain, Cyprus, and Rhodes; 5they were the ancestors of the people who live along the coast and on the islands. These are the descendants of Japheth, living in their different tribes and countries, each group speaking its own language.
6The sons of Ham--Cush, Egypt, Libya, and Canaan--were the ancestors of the peoples who bear their names. 7The descendants of Cush were the people of Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah were the people of Sheba and Dedan. 8Cush had a son named Nimrod, who became the world's first great conqueror. 9By the LORD's help he was a great hunter, and that is why people say, "May the LORD make you as great a hunter as Nimrod!" 10At first his kingdom included Babylon, Erech, and Accad, all three of them in Babylonia. 11From that land he went to Assyria and built the cities of Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, 12and Resen, which is between Nineveh and the great city of Calah.
13The descendants of Egypt were the people of Lydia, Anam, Lehab, Naphtuh, 14Pathrus, Casluh, and of Crete, from whom the Philistines are descended.
15Canaan's sons--Sidon, the oldest, and Heth--were the ancestors of the peoples who bear their names. 16Canaan was also the ancestor of the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. The different tribes of the Canaanites spread out, 19until the Canaanite borders reached from Sidon southward to Gerar near Gaza, and eastward to Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim near Lasha. 20These are the descendants of Ham, living in their different tribes and countries, each group speaking its own language.
21Shem, the older brother of Japheth, was the ancestor of all the Hebrews. 22Shem's sons--Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram--were the ancestors of the peoples who bear their names. 23The descendants of Aram were the people of Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshek. 24Arpachshad was the father of Shelah, who was the father of Eber. 25Eber had two sons: one was named Peleg, because during his time the people of the world were divided; and the other was named Joktan. 26The descendants of Joktan were the people of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All of them were descended from Joktan. 30The land in which they lived extended from Mesha to Sephar in the eastern hill country. 31These are the descendants of Shem, living in their different tribes and countries, each group speaking its own language.
32All these peoples are the descendants of Noah, nation by nation, according to their different lines of descent. After the flood all the nations of the earth were descended from the sons of Noah.
Evening Prayer for HelpPsalm 4 Answer me when I pray,
O God, my defender!
When I was in trouble, you helped me.
Be kind to me now and hear my prayer.
2How long will you people insult me?
How long will you love what is worthless
and go after what is false?
3Remember that the LORD has chosen the righteous for his own,
and he hears me when I call to him.
4Tremble with fear and stop sinning;
think deeply about this,
when you lie in silence on your beds.
5Offer the right sacrifices to the LORD,
and put your trust in him.
6There are many who pray:
"Give us more blessings, O LORD.
Look on us with kindness!"
7But the joy that you have given me
is more than they will ever have
with all their grain and wine.
8When I lie down, I go to sleep in peace;
you alone, O LORD, keep me perfectly safe.
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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