January 29 - Luke 21, Genesis 38 and Psalm 29
The Widow's Offering
Jesus Speaks of the Destruction of the Temple
Troubles and Persecutions
8Jesus said, "Watch out; don't be fooled. Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, 'I am he!' and, 'The time has come!' But don't follow them. 9Don't be afraid when you hear of wars and revolutions; such things must happen first, but they do not mean that the end is near."
10He went on to say, "Countries will fight each other; kingdoms will attack one another. 11There will be terrible earthquakes, famines, and plagues everywhere; there will be strange and terrifying things coming from the sky. 12Before all these things take place, however, you will be arrested and persecuted; you will be handed over to be tried in synagogues and be put in prison; you will be brought before kings and rulers for my sake. 13This will be your chance to tell the Good News. 14Make up your minds ahead of time not to worry about how you will defend yourselves, 15because I will give you such words and wisdom that none of your enemies will be able to refute or contradict what you say. 16You will be handed over by your parents, your brothers, your relatives, and your friends; and some of you will be put to death. 17Everyone will hate you because of me. 18But not a single hair from your heads will be lost. 19Stand firm, and you will save yourselves.
Jesus Speaks of the Destruction of Jerusalem
The Coming of the Son of Man
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
32"Remember that all these things will take place before the people now living have all died. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Need to Watch34"Be careful not to let yourselves become occupied with too much feasting and drinking and with the worries of this life, or that Day may suddenly catch you 35like a trap. For it will come upon all people everywhere on earth. 36Be on watch and pray always that you will have the strength to go safely through all those things that will happen and to stand before the Son of Man."
37Jesus spent those days teaching in the Temple, and when evening came, he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives. 38Early each morning all the people went to the Temple to listen to him.
Judah and TamarGenesis 38 About that time Judah left his brothers and went to stay with a man named Hirah, who was from the town of Adullam. 2There Judah met a young Canaanite woman whose father was named Shua. He married her, 3and she bore him a son, whom he named Er. 4She became pregnant again and bore another son and named him Onan. 5Again she had a son and named him Shelah. Judah was at Achzib when the boy was born.
6For his first son Er, Judah got a wife whose name was Tamar. 7Er's conduct was evil, and it displeased the LORD, so the LORD killed him. 8Then Judah said to Er's brother Onan, "Go and sleep with your brother's widow. Fulfill your obligation to her as her husband's brother, so that your brother may have descendants." 9But Onan knew that the children would not belong to him, so when he had intercourse with his brother's widow, he let the semen spill on the ground, so that there would be no children for his brother. 10What he did displeased the LORD, and the LORD killed him also. 11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, "Return to your father's house and remain a widow until my son Shelah grows up." He said this because he was afraid that Shelah would be killed, as his brothers had been. So Tamar went back home.
12After some time Judah's wife died. When he had finished the time of mourning, he and his friend Hirah of Adullam went to Timnah, where his sheep were being sheared. 13Someone told Tamar that her father-in-law was going to Timnah to shear his sheep. 14So she changed from the widow's clothes she had been wearing, covered her face with a veil, and sat down at the entrance to Enaim, a town on the road to Timnah. As she well knew, Judah's youngest son Shelah was now grown up, and yet she had not been given to him in marriage.
15When Judah saw her, he thought that she was a prostitute, because she had her face covered. 16He went over to her at the side of the road and said, "All right, how much do you charge?" (He did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.)
She said, "What will you give me?"
17He answered, "I will send you a young goat from my flock."
She said, "All right, if you will give me something to keep as a pledge until you send the goat."
18"What shall I give you as a pledge?" he asked.
She answered, "Your seal with its cord and the walking stick you are carrying." He gave them to her. Then they had intercourse, and she became pregnant. 19Tamar went home, took off her veil, and put her widow's clothes back on.
20Judah sent his friend Hirah to take the goat and get back from the woman the articles he had pledged, but Hirah could not find her. 21He asked some men at Enaim, "Where is the prostitute who was here by the road?"
"There has never been a prostitute here," they answered.
22He returned to Judah and said, "I couldn't find her. The men of the place said that there had never been a prostitute there."
23Judah said, "Let her keep the things. We don't want people to laugh at us. I did try to pay her, but you couldn't find her."
24About three months later someone told Judah, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar has been acting like a whore, and now she is pregnant."
Judah ordered, "Take her out and burn her to death."
25As she was being taken out, she sent word to her father-in-law: "I am pregnant by the man who owns these things. Look at them and see whose they are--this seal with its cord and this walking stick."
26Judah recognized them and said, "She is in the right. I have failed in my obligation to her--I should have given her to my son Shelah in marriage." And Judah never had intercourse with her again.
27When the time came for her to give birth, it was discovered that she was going to have twins. 28While she was in labor, one of them put out an arm; the midwife caught it, tied a red thread around it, and said, "This one was born first." 29But he pulled his arm back, and his brother was born first. Then the midwife said, "So this is how you break your way out!" So he was named Perez. 30Then his brother was born with the red thread on his arm, and he was named Zerah.
The Voice of the LORD in the StormPsalm 29 Praise the LORD, you heavenly beings;
praise his glory and power.
2Praise the LORD's glorious name;
bow down before the Holy One when he appears.
3The voice of the LORD is heard on the seas;
the glorious God thunders,
and his voice echoes over the ocean.
4The voice of the LORD is heard
in all its might and majesty.
5The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars,
even the cedars of Lebanon.
6He makes the mountains of Lebanon jump like calves
and makes Mount Hermon leap like a young bull.
7The voice of the LORD makes the lightning flash.
8His voice makes the desert shake;
he shakes the desert of Kadesh.
9The LORD's voice shakes the oaks
and strips the leaves from the trees
while everyone in his Temple shouts, "Glory to God!"
10The LORD rules over the deep waters;
he rules as king forever.
11The LORD gives strength to his people
and blesses them with peace.
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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