2 Kings 4:18-5:27Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
The Shunammite’s Son Raised
18 The child grew and one day went out to his father and the harvesters. 19 Suddenly he complained to his father, “My head! My head!”
His father told his servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 So he picked him up and took him to his mother. The child sat on her lap until noon and then died. 21 Then she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut him in, and left.
22 She summoned her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so I can hurry to the man of God and then come back.”
23 But he said, “Why go to him today? It’s not a New Moon or a Sabbath.”
She replied, “Everything is all right.”
24 Then she saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Hurry, don’t slow the pace for me unless I tell you.” 25 So she set out and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
When the man of God saw her at a distance, he said to his attendant Gehazi, “Look, there’s the Shunammite woman. 26 Run out to meet her and ask, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your son all right?’”
And she answered, “Everything’s all right.”
27 When she came up to the man of God at the mountain, she clung to his feet. Gehazi came to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone—she is in severe anguish, and the Lord has hidden it from me. He hasn’t told me.”
28 Then she said, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Didn’t I say, ‘Do not deceive me?’”
29 So Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your mantle under your belt, take my staff with you, and go. If you meet anyone, don’t stop to greet him, and if a man greets you, don’t answer him. Then place my staff on the boy’s face.”
30 The boy’s mother said to Elisha, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her.
31 Gehazi went ahead of them and placed the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or sign of life, so he went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy didn’t wake up.”
32 When Elisha got to the house, he discovered the boy lying dead on his bed. 33 So he went in, closed the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he went up and lay on the boy: he put mouth to mouth, eye to eye, hand to hand. While he bent down over him, the boy’s flesh became warm. 35 Elisha got up, went into the house, and paced back and forth. Then he went up and bent down over him again. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.
36 Elisha called Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite woman.” He called her and she came. Then Elisha said, “Pick up your son.” 37 She came, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; she picked up her son and left.
The Deadly Stew
38 When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. The sons of the prophets were sitting at his feet.[a] He said to his attendant, “Put on the large pot and make stew for the sons of the prophets.”
39 One went out to the field to gather herbs and found a wild vine from which he gathered as many wild gourds as his garment would hold. Then he came back and cut them up into the pot of stew, but they were unaware of what they were.
40 They served some for the men to eat, but when they ate the stew they cried out, “There’s death in the pot, man of God!” And they were unable to eat it.
41 Then Elisha said, “Get some meal.” He threw it into the pot and said, “Serve it for the people to eat.” And there was nothing bad in the pot.
The Multiplied Bread
42 A man from Baal-shalishah came to the man of God with his sack full of 20 loaves of barley bread from the first bread of the harvest. Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.”
43 But Elisha’s attendant asked, “What? Am I to set 20 loaves before 100 men?”
“Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said, “for this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat, and they will have some left over.’” 44 So he gave it to them, and as the Lord had promised, they ate and had some left over.
Naaman’s Disease Healed
5 Naaman, commander of the army for the king of Aram, was a great man in his master’s sight[b] and highly regarded because through him, the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man was a brave warrior, but he had a skin disease.
2 Aram had gone on raids and brought back from the land of Israel a young girl who served Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “If only my master would go to[c] the prophet who is in Samaria, he would cure him of his skin disease.”
4 So Naaman went and told his master what the girl from the land of Israel had said. 5 Therefore, the king of Aram said, “Go and I will send a letter with you to the king of Israel.”
When this letter comes to you, note that I have sent you my servant Naaman for you to cure him of his skin disease.
7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and asked, “Am I God, killing and giving life that this man expects me to cure a man of his skin disease? Think it over and you will see that he is only picking a fight with[f] me.”
8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel tore his clothes, he sent a message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Have him come to me, and he will know there is a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house.
10 Then Elisha sent him a messenger, who said, “Go wash seven times in the Jordan and your flesh will be restored and you will be clean.”
11 But Naaman got angry and left, saying, “I was telling myself: He will surely come out, stand and call on the name of Yahweh his God, and will wave his hand over the spot and cure the skin disease. 12 Aren’t Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and left in a rage.
13 But his servants approached and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more should you do it when he tells you, ‘Wash and be clean’?” 14 So Naaman went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, according to the command of the man of God. Then his skin was restored and became like the skin of a small boy, and he was clean.
15 Then Naaman and his whole company went back to the man of God, stood before him, and declared, “I know there’s no God in the whole world except in Israel. Therefore, please accept a gift from your servant.”
16 But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, I stand before Him. I will not accept it.” Naaman urged him to accept it, but he refused.
17 Naaman responded, “If not, please let your servant be given as much soil as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will no longer offer a burnt offering or a sacrifice to any other god but Yahweh. 18 However, in a particular matter may the Lord pardon your servant: When my master, the king of Aram, goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship and I, as his right-hand man,[g] bow in the temple of Rimmon—when I bow[h] in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord pardon your servant in this matter.”
19 So he said to him, “Go in peace.”
Gehazi’s Greed Punished
After Naaman had traveled a short distance from Elisha, 20 Gehazi, the attendant of Elisha the man of God, thought: My master has let this Aramean Naaman off lightly by not accepting from him what he brought. As the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.
21 So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and asked, “Is everything all right?”
22 Gehazi said, “It’s all right. My master has sent me to say, ‘I have just now discovered that two young men from the sons of the prophets have come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them 75 pounds[i] of silver and two changes of clothes.’”
23 But Naaman insisted, “Please, accept 150 pounds.”[j] He urged Gehazi and then packed 150 pounds[k] of silver in two bags with two changes of clothes. Naaman gave them to two of his young men who carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill,[l] he took the gifts from them and stored them in the house. Then he dismissed the men, and they left.
25 Gehazi came and stood by his master. “Where did you go, Gehazi?” Elisha asked him.
“Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” he replied.
26 But Elisha questioned him, “Wasn’t my spirit there[m] when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to accept money and clothes, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves? 27 Therefore, Naaman’s skin disease will cling to you and your descendants forever.” So Gehazi went out from his presence diseased—white as snow.
Acts 15:1-35Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Dispute in Antioch
15 Some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved!” 2 But after Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, the church arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this controversy. 3 When they had been sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, explaining in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they created great joy among all the brothers.
4 When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, the apostles, and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. 5 But some of the believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!”
The Jerusalem Council
6 Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. 7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: “Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you,[a] that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving[b] the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why are you testing God by putting a yoke on the disciples’ necks that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way they are.”
12 Then the whole assembly fell silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they stopped speaking, James responded: “Brothers, listen to me! 14 Simeon[c] has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for His name. 15 And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written:
16 After these things I will return
19 Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those among the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For since ancient times, Moses has had those who proclaim him in every city, and every Sabbath day he is read aloud in the synagogues.”
The Letter to the Gentile Believers
22 Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men who were among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. 23 They wrote this letter to be delivered by them:[f]
From the apostles and the elders, your brothers,
To the brothers among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:
24 Because we have heard that some without our authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts,[g] 25 we have unanimously decided to select men and send them to you along with our dearly loved Barnabas and Paul, 26 who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth.[h] 28 For it was the Holy Spirit’s decision—and ours—to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. You will do well if you keep yourselves from these things.
The Outcome of the Jerusalem Letter
30 Then, being sent off, they went down to Antioch, and after gathering the assembly, they delivered the letter. 31 When they read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 Both Judas and Silas, who were also prophets themselves, encouraged the brothers and strengthened them with a long message. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent back in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them.[i][j] 35 But Paul and Barnabas, along with many others, remained in Antioch teaching and proclaiming the message of the Lord.
Psalm 141Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Protection from Sin and Sinners
A Davidic psalm.
1 Lord, I call on You; hurry to help me.
3 Lord, set up a guard for my mouth;
7 As when one plows and breaks up the soil,
8 But my eyes look to You, Lord God.