June 27 - Mark 8.22-9.1, 2 Samuel 20-21 and Hosea 1.1-2.1
Jesus Heals a Blind Man at BethsaidaMark 8 22They came to Bethsaida, where some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch him. 23Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. After spitting on the man's eyes, Jesus placed his hands on him and asked him, "Can you see anything?"
24The man looked up and said, "Yes, I can see people, but they look like trees walking around."
25Jesus again placed his hands on the man's eyes. This time the man looked intently, his eyesight returned, and he saw everything clearly. 26Jesus then sent him home with the order, "Don't go back into the village."
Peter's Declaration about Jesus
28"Some say that you are John the Baptist," they answered; "others say that you are Elijah, while others say that you are one of the prophets."
29"What about you?" he asked them. "Who do you say I am?"
Peter answered, "You are the Messiah."
30Then Jesus ordered them, "Do not tell anyone about me."
Jesus Speaks about His Suffering and Death
34Then Jesus called the crowd and his disciples to him. "If any of you want to come with me," he told them, "you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me. 35For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you will save it. 36Do you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! 37There is nothing you can give to regain your life. 38If you are ashamed of me and of my teaching in this godless and wicked day, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Mark 9 And he went on to say, "I tell you, there are some here who will not die until they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power."
Sheba's Rebellion2 Samuel 20 There happened to be in Gilgal a worthless character named Sheba son of Bikri, of the tribe of Benjamin. He blew the trumpet and called out, "Down with David! We won't follow him! Men of Israel, let's go home!" 2So the Israelites deserted David and went with Sheba, but the men of Judah remained loyal and followed David from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
3When David arrived at his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to take care of the palace, and put them under guard. He provided for their needs, but did not have intercourse with them. They were kept confined for the rest of their lives, living like widows.
4The king said to Amasa, "Call the men of Judah together and be back here with them by the day after tomorrow." 5Amasa went to call them, but he did not get back by the time the king had told him to. 6So the king said to Abishai, "Sheba will give us more trouble than Absalom. Take my men and go after him, or else he may occupy some fortified towns and escape from us." 7So Joab's men, the royal bodyguards, and all the other soldiers left Jerusalem with Abishai to go after Sheba. 8When they reached the large rock at Gibeon, Amasa met them. Joab was dressed for battle, with a sword in its sheath fastened to his belt. As he came forward, the sword fell out. 9Joab said to Amasa, "How are you, my friend?" and took hold of his beard with his right hand in order to kiss him. 10Amasa was not on guard against the sword that Joab was holding in his other hand, and Joab stabbed him in the belly, and his insides spilled out on the ground. He died immediately, and Joab did not have to strike again.
Then Joab and his brother Abishai went on after Sheba. 11One of Joab's men stood by Amasa's body and called out, "Everyone who is for Joab and David follow Joab!" 12Amasa's body, covered with blood, was lying in the middle of the road. Joab's man saw that everybody was stopping, so he dragged the body from the road out into the field and threw a blanket over it. 13After the body had been removed from the road, everyone followed Joab in pursuit of Sheba.
14Sheba passed through the territory of all the tribes of Israel and came to the city of Abel Beth Maacah, and all the members of the clan of Bikri assembled and followed him into the city. 15Joab's men heard that Sheba was there, and so they went and besieged the city. They built ramps of earth against the outer wall and also began to dig under the wall to make it fall down. 16There was a wise woman in the city who shouted from the wall, "Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here; I want to speak with him." 17Joab went, and she asked, "Are you Joab?"
"Yes, I am," he answered.
"Listen to me, sir," she said.
"I'm listening," he answered.
18She said, "Long ago they used to say, 'Go and get your answer in the city of Abel'--and that's just what they did. 19Ours is a great city, one of the most peaceful and loyal in Israel. Why are you trying to destroy it? Do you want to ruin what belongs to the LORD?"
20"Never!" Joab answered. "I will never ruin or destroy your city! 21That is not our plan. A man named Sheba son of Bikri, who is from the hill country of Ephraim, started a rebellion against King David. Hand over this one man, and I will withdraw from the city."
"We will throw his head over the wall to you," she said. 22Then she went to the people of the city with her plan, and they cut off Sheba's head and threw it over the wall to Joab. He blew the trumpet as a signal for his men to leave the city, and they went back home. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.
David's Officials23Joab was in command of the army of Israel; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was in charge of David's bodyguards; 24Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records; 25Sheva was the court secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were the priests, 26and Ira from the town of Jair was also one of David's priests.
Saul's Descendants Are Put to Death2 Samuel 21 During David's reign there was a severe famine which lasted for three full years. So David consulted the LORD about it, and the LORD said, "Saul and his family are guilty of murder; he put the people of Gibeon to death." ( 2The people of Gibeon were not Israelites; they were a small group of Amorites whom the Israelites had promised to protect, but Saul had tried to destroy them because of his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.) 3So David summoned the people of Gibeon and said to them, "What can I do for you? I want to make up for the wrong that was done to you, so that you will bless the LORD's people."
4They answered, "Our quarrel with Saul and his family can't be settled with silver or gold, nor do we want to kill any Israelite."
"What, then, do you think I should do for you?" David asked.
5They answered, "Saul wanted to destroy us and leave none of us alive anywhere in Israel. 6So hand over seven of his male descendants, and we will hang them before the LORD at Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, the LORD's chosen king."
"I will hand them over," the king answered.
7But because of the sacred promise that he and Jonathan had made to each other, David spared Jonathan's son Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul. 8However, he took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons that Rizpah the daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul; he also took the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab, whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai, who was from Meholah. 9David handed them over to the people of Gibeon, who hanged them on the mountain before the LORD--and all seven of them died together. It was late in the spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest, when they were put to death.
10Then Saul's concubine Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, used sackcloth to make a shelter for herself on the rock where the corpses were, and she stayed there from the beginning of harvest until the autumn rains came. During the day she would keep the birds away from the corpses, and at night she would protect them from wild animals.
11When David heard what Rizpah had done, 12he went and got the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan from the people of Jabesh in Gilead. (They had stolen them from the public square in Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hanged the bodies on the day they killed Saul on Mount Gilboa.) 13David took the bones of Saul and Jonathan and also gathered up the bones of the seven men who had been hanged. 14Then they buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan in the grave of Saul's father Kish, in Zela in the territory of Benjamin, doing all that the king had commanded. And after that, God answered their prayers for the country.
Battles against Philistine Giants
18After this there was a battle with the Philistines at Gob, during which Sibbecai from Hushah killed a giant named Saph.
19There was another battle with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jair from Bethlehem killed Goliath from Gath, whose spear had a shaft as thick as the bar on a weaver's loom.
20Then there was another battle at Gath, where there was a giant who loved to fight. He had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. 21He defied the Israelites, and Jonathan, the son of David's brother Shammah, killed him.
22These four were descendants of the giants of Gath, and they were killed by David and his men.
Hosea 1 This is the message which the LORD gave Hosea son of Beeri during the time that Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.
Hosea's Wife and Children2When the LORD first spoke to Israel through Hosea, he said to Hosea, "Go and get married; your wife will be unfaithful, and your children will be just like her. In the same way my people have left me and become unfaithful."
3So Hosea married a woman named Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim. After the birth of their first child, a son, 4the LORD said to Hosea, "Name him 'Jezreel,' because it will not be long before I punish the king of Israel for the murders that his ancestor Jehu committed at Jezreel. I am going to put an end to Jehu's dynasty. 5And in Jezreel Valley I will at that time destroy Israel's military power."
6Gomer had a second child--this time it was a daughter. The LORD said to Hosea, "Name her 'Unloved,' because I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them. 7But to the people of Judah I will show love. I, the LORD their God, will save them, but I will not do it by war--with swords or bows and arrows or with horses and horsemen."
8After Gomer had weaned her daughter, she became pregnant again and had another son. 9The LORD said to Hosea, "Name him 'Not-My-People,' because the people of Israel are not my people, and I am not their God."
Israel Is to Be Restored10The people of Israel will become like the sand of the sea, more than can be counted or measured. Now God says to them, "You are not my people," but the day is coming when he will say to them, "You are the children of the living God!" 11The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited. They will choose for themselves a single leader, and once again they will grow and prosper in their land. Yes, the day of Jezreel will be a great day!
Hosea 2 1So call your fellow Israelites "God's People" and "Loved-by-the-Lord."
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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