Daily reading for Thursday, January 23, 2014

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2 Epiphany

Ps. 37:1–18; Ps. 37:19–42; Gen. 11:1–9; Heb. 6:13–20; John 4:1–15 (New Revised Standard Version)

Psalm 37

Psalm 37

Exhortation to Patience and Trust

Of David.

Do not fret because of the wicked;
    do not be envious of wrongdoers,
for they will soon fade like the grass,
    and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.
He will make your vindication shine like the light,
    and the justice of your cause like the noonday.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
    do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
    over those who carry out evil devices.

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
    Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For the wicked shall be cut off,
    but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more;
    though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land,
    and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous,
    and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
    for he sees that their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
    to bring down the poor and needy,
    to kill those who walk uprightly;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart,
    and their bows shall be broken.

16 Better is a little that the righteous person has
    than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
    but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
    and their heritage will abide forever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times,
    in the days of famine they have abundance.

20 But the wicked perish,
    and the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures;
    they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

21 The wicked borrow, and do not pay back,
    but the righteous are generous and keep giving;
22 for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land,
    but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

23 Our steps[a] are made firm by the Lord,
    when he delights in our[b] way;
24 though we stumble,[c] we[d] shall not fall headlong,
    for the Lord holds us[e] by the hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old,
    yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.
26 They are ever giving liberally and lending,
    and their children become a blessing.

27 Depart from evil, and do good;
    so you shall abide forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice;
    he will not forsake his faithful ones.

The righteous shall be kept safe forever,
    but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
    and live in it forever.

30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
    and their tongues speak justice.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
    their steps do not slip.

32 The wicked watch for the righteous,
    and seek to kill them.
33 The Lord will not abandon them to their power,
    or let them be condemned when they are brought to trial.

34 Wait for the Lord, and keep to his way,
    and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
    you will look on the destruction of the wicked.

35 I have seen the wicked oppressing,
    and towering like a cedar of Lebanon.[f]
36 Again I[g] passed by, and they were no more;
    though I sought them, they could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless, and behold the upright,
    for there is posterity for the peaceable.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
    the posterity of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
    he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and rescues them;
    he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them,
    because they take refuge in him.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 37:23 Heb A man’s steps
  2. Psalm 37:23 Heb his
  3. Psalm 37:24 Heb he stumbles
  4. Psalm 37:24 Heb he
  5. Psalm 37:24 Heb him
  6. Psalm 37:35 Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  7. Psalm 37:36 Gk Syr Jerome: Heb he
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Genesis 11:1-9

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as they migrated from the east,[a] they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. And the Lord said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused[b] the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 11:2 Or migrated eastward
  2. Genesis 11:9 Heb balal, meaning to confuse
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Hebrews 6:13-20

The Certainty of God’s Promise

13 When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,[a] having patiently endured, obtained the promise. 16 Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. 17 In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, 18 so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. 19 We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 6:15 Gk he
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

John 4:1-15

Jesus and the Woman of Samaria

Now when Jesus[a] learned that the Pharisees had heard, “Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John” —although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized— he left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)[b] 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Footnotes:

  1. John 4:1 Other ancient authorities read the Lord
  2. John 4:9 Other ancient authorities lack this sentence
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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