June 16 - Mark 3.1-19, 2 Samuel 6 and Daniel 3
The Man with a Paralyzed Hand
But they did not say a thing. 5Jesus was angry as he looked around at them, but at the same time he felt sorry for them, because they were so stubborn and wrong. Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and it became well again. 6So the Pharisees left the synagogue and met at once with some members of Herod's party, and they made plans to kill Jesus.
A Crowd by the Lake7Jesus and his disciples went away to Lake Galilee, and a large crowd followed him. They had come from Galilee, from Judea, 8from Jerusalem, from the territory of Idumea, from the territory on the east side of the Jordan, and from the region around the cities of Tyre and Sidon. All these people came to Jesus because they had heard of the things he was doing. 9The crowd was so large that Jesus told his disciples to get a boat ready for him, so that the people would not crush him. 10He had healed many people, and all the sick kept pushing their way to him in order to touch him. 11And whenever the people who had evil spirits in them saw him, they would fall down before him and scream, "You are the Son of God!"
12Jesus sternly ordered the evil spirits not to tell anyone who he was.
Jesus Chooses the Twelve Apostles
16These are the twelve he chose: Simon (Jesus gave him the name Peter); 17James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee (Jesus gave them the name Boanerges, which means "Men of Thunder"); 18Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Patriot, 19and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.
The Covenant Box Is Brought to Jerusalem
6As they came to the threshing place of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out and took hold of the Covenant Box. 7At once the LORD God became angry with Uzzah and killed him because of his irreverence. Uzzah died there beside the Covenant Box, 8and so that place has been called Perez Uzzah ever since. David was furious because the LORD had punished Uzzah in anger.
9Then David was afraid of the LORD and said, "How can I take the Covenant Box with me now?" 10So he decided not to take it with him to Jerusalem; instead, he turned off the road and took it to the house of Obed Edom, a native of the city of Gath. 11It stayed there three months, and the LORD blessed Obed Edom and his family.
12King David heard that because of the Covenant Box the LORD had blessed Obed Edom's family and all that he had; so he got the Covenant Box from Obed's house to take it to Jerusalem with a great celebration. 13After the men carrying the Covenant Box had gone six steps, David had them stop while he offered the LORD a sacrifice of a bull and a fattened calf. 14David, wearing only a linen cloth around his waist, danced with all his might to honor the LORD. 15And so he and all the Israelites took the Covenant Box up to Jerusalem with shouts of joy and the sound of trumpets.
16As the Box was being brought into the city, Michal, Saul's daughter, looked out of the window and saw King David dancing and jumping around in the sacred dance, and she was disgusted with him. 17They brought the Box and put it in its place in the Tent that David had set up for it. Then he offered sacrifices and fellowship offerings to the LORD. 18When he had finished offering the sacrifices, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD Almighty 19and distributed food to them all. He gave each man and woman in Israel a loaf of bread, a piece of roasted meat, and some raisins. Then everyone went home.
20Afterward, when David went home to greet his family, Michal came out to meet him. "The king of Israel made a big name for himself today!" she said. "He exposed himself like a fool in the sight of the servant women of his officials!"
21David answered, "I was dancing to honor the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and his family to make me the leader of his people Israel. And I will go on dancing to honor the LORD, 22and will disgrace myself even more. You may think I am nothing, but those women will think highly of me!"
23Michal, Saul's daughter, never had any children.
Nebuchadnezzar Commands Everyone to Worship a Gold StatueDaniel 3 King Nebuchadnezzar had a gold statue made, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and he had it set up in the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2Then the king gave orders for all his officials to come together--the princes, governors, lieutenant governors, commissioners, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the other officials of the provinces. They were to attend the dedication of the statue which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 3When all these officials gathered for the dedication and stood in front of the statue, 4a herald announced in a loud voice, "People of all nations, races, and languages! 5You will hear the sound of the trumpets, followed by the playing of oboes, lyres, zithers, and harps; and then all the other instruments will join in. As soon as the music starts, you are to bow down and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6Anyone who does not bow down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace." 7And so, as soon as they heard the sound of the instruments, the people of all the nations, races, and languages bowed down and worshiped the gold statue which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Daniel's Three Friends Are Accused of Disobedience8It was then that some Babylonians took the opportunity to denounce the Jews. 9They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, "May Your Majesty live forever! 10Your Majesty has issued an order that as soon as the music starts, everyone is to bow down and worship the gold statue, 11and that anyone who does not bow down and worship it is to be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12There are some Jews whom you put in charge of the province of Babylon--Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego--who are disobeying Your Majesty's orders. They do not worship your god or bow down to the statue you set up."
13At that, the king flew into a rage and ordered the three men to be brought before him. 14He said to them, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you refuse to worship my god and to bow down to the gold statue I have set up? 15Now then, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, oboes, lyres, zithers, harps, and all the other instruments, bow down and worship the statue. If you do not, you will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Do you think there is any god who can save you?"
16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered, "Your Majesty, we will not try to defend ourselves. 17If the God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and from your power, then he will. 18But even if he doesn't, Your Majesty may be sure that we will not worship your god, and we will not bow down to the gold statue that you have set up."
Daniel's Three Friends Are Sentenced to Death19Then Nebuchadnezzar lost his temper, and his face turned red with anger at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So he ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual. 20And he commanded the strongest men in his army to tie the three men up and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21So they tied them up, fully dressed--shirts, robes, caps, and all--and threw them into the blazing furnace. 22Now because the king had given strict orders for the furnace to be made extremely hot, the flames burned up the guards who took the men to the furnace. 23Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, still tied up, fell into the heart of the blazing fire.
24Suddenly Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement. He asked his officials, "Didn't we tie up three men and throw them into the blazing furnace?"
They answered, "Yes, we did, Your Majesty."
25"Then why do I see four men walking around in the fire?" he asked. "They are not tied up, and they show no sign of being hurt--and the fourth one looks like an angel."
The Three Men Are Released and Promoted26So Nebuchadnezzar went up to the door of the blazing furnace and called out, "Shadrach! Meshach! Abednego! Servants of the Supreme God! Come out!" And they came out at once. 27All the princes, governors, lieutenant governors, and other officials of the king gathered to look at the three men, who had not been harmed by the fire. Their hair was not singed, their clothes were not burned, and there was no smell of smoke on them.
28The king said, "Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel and rescued these men who serve and trust him. They disobeyed my orders and risked their lives rather than bow down and worship any god except their own.
29"And now I command that if anyone of any nation, race, or language speaks disrespectfully of the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, he is to be torn limb from limb, and his house is to be made a pile of ruins. There is no other god who can rescue like this."
30And the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to higher positions in the province of Babylon.
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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