Psalm 116:12-19 The Voice (VOICE)
12 How will I pay back the Eternal
15 Precious in the eyes of the Eternal
Genesis 24:10-52 The Voice (VOICE)
This solemn oath, sworn with the servant’s hand beneath Abraham’s thigh, binds the servant to carry out the request.
10 Then the servant gathered together 10 of his master’s camels and left, taking all kinds of valuable gifts from his master to give to his relatives. He traveled all the way to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11 Outside of the city, he made the camels kneel down by a well of water to rest after the long journey. It was nearly dusk, the time when all of the women were coming out to draw water from the well. 12 He said a prayer.
Servant: O Eternal One, God of my master Abraham, please make me successful today and show Your loyal love to my master Abraham. 13 You see that I am standing here by the spring as the young women of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the girl to whom I say, “Please dip your jar in the water that I may drink,” and who will reply, “Drink, and I will draw water for your camels”—let her be the one You have chosen to be a wife for Your servant Isaac. When You do this, I will know of Your loyal love for my master.
15 Before he could finish his prayer, it happened that Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel (Milcah’s and Nahor’s son—Nahor, you remember, was Abraham’s brother) approached the spring with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 She was a very beautiful girl and still a virgin. No man had ever touched her. He watched her go down to the spring, fill her jar, and come back up the hill. 17 The servant wasted no time; he ran down to meet her.
Servant: Please let me have a little water to drink from your jar.
Rebekah: 18 Drink, my lord.
She quickly lowered her jar onto her hand and tipped it for him to drink. 19 After she had finished giving him water, she offered to do more.
Rebekah: I’ll draw some water for your camels too. I’ll make sure they drink all they need.
20 She quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw more water. She continued to draw water until all of the camels had drunk their fill. 21 The man gazed at her in silence, waiting and wondering if she was the one the Eternal One intended for Isaac, the one who would make his journey a success. 22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out from his things a gold nose ring weighing about a fifth of an ounce, plus two gold bracelets for her arms weighing four ounces.
Servant: 23 Please tell me, whose daughter are you? Is there any room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?
Rebekah: 24 I am the daughter of Bethuel (son of Milcah, Nahor’s wife). 25 We have plenty of straw and feed for your camels and also space for you to spend the night.
26 The servant bowed his head and worshiped the Eternal One.
Servant: 27 Blessed be the Eternal One, the God of my master Abraham, who has not failed to show His loyal love and faithfulness to my master, for the Eternal has led me directly to the house of my master’s relatives.
28 The girl ran ahead and told her mother’s household everything that had happened. 29-30 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban. As soon as Laban saw the nose ring and bracelets on his sister’s arms and heard what his sister, Rebekah, had to say about how this man had spoken to her, he ran to the man and found him waiting by the spring with the camels.
Laban: 31 Come in, please, you who are blessed by the Eternal One! Don’t stand outside. I have prepared the house for guests and have a place for the camels.
32 The servant did exactly as Laban asked. When they arrived at the house, Laban unloaded the camels, gave the man straw and feed for his camels, and gave him enough fresh water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who traveled with him. 33 Then food was prepared and set in front of him to eat.
Servant: I will not eat until I tell you why I am here.
Laban: Please, tell us!
Servant: 34 I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Eternal One has blessed my master in a multitude of ways; he has become a great and wealthy man. The Eternal has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, camels and donkeys. 36 Sarah, my master’s wife, gave birth to his son when she was quite old, and Abraham has passed on all he has to him.
37 My master made me swear, saying, “You will not arrange for my son to marry any of the Canaanite daughters here where we are living; 38 instead, you will go to my father’s house—to my own relatives to find a wife for my son.” 39 I asked my master, “What if the woman won’t follow me to this unfamiliar land?” 40 But he told me, “The Eternal One, with whom I walked all these years, will send His messenger with you to guide and help you along the way. I know you will find a wife for my son among my relatives, from my father’s family. 41 When you reach my family, then you will be free from my oath. Even if they won’t give her to you, you will still be free from my oath.”
42 I arrived here today and came to the spring and said a prayer: “O Eternal One, God of my master Abraham, if You will only make my trip successful! 43 You see that I am standing here by the spring. Let the young woman who comes out to draw water and to whom I shall say, ‘Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,’ 44 and who will reply to me, ‘Drink, and I will draw water for your camels,’ let her be the woman the Eternal has chosen to be a wife for my master’s son.” 45 Before I could even finish speaking to God from my heart, Rebekah approached the spring with her water jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water. I said to her, “Please let me have a drink,” 46 and she quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, “Drink, and I will also give your camels some water.” So I drank, and she made sure my camels had enough water. 47 Then I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” And she said, “The daughter of Bethuel (son of Milcah, Nahor’s wife).” That’s when I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48 Then I bowed my head and worshiped the Eternal, and blessed the God of my master Abraham because He led me in the right direction and to the right place in order to find the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.
49 Now then, if you intend to show loyal love and faithfulness to my master, tell me. If not, also tell me, so that I know which way to go from here.
Laban and Bethuel: 50 There is no doubt this comes from the Eternal One. We cannot find fault or add anything to what you have said. 51 Look, you’ve found Rebekah here. Take her, and go. Let her marry your master’s son as the Eternal has intended.
52 When Abraham’s servant heard this, he bowed low to the ground before the Eternal.
Mark 7:1-13 The Voice (VOICE)
7 Then the Pharisees returned to talk with Jesus, and with them came some of the scribes and scholars from Jerusalem.
Scribes and Scholars (seeing the disciples eating): 2 Your disciples are eating bread with defiled, unwashed hands.
3 Now you need to know that the Pharisees, and all Jews for that matter, held the tradition of their ancestors that hands must be washed before eating to avoid being ritually unclean. 4 Likewise, they washed when they returned from the market and followed similar purity teachings as well, from the washing of their food to the washing of their bowls, cups, and kettles.
Scribes and Pharisees: 5 Why don’t Your disciples follow the traditions passed down to us? Why do they eat their bread with defiled hands?
Jesus: 6 Isaiah prophesied wisely about your religious pretensions when he wrote,
These people honor Me with words off their lips;
8 When you cling blindly to your own traditions [such as washing utensils and cups],[b] you completely miss God’s command. 9 Then, indeed, you have perfected setting aside God’s commands for the sake of your tradition. 10 Moses gave you God’s commandment: “Honor your father and your mother.”[c] And also, “If you curse your father or your mother, you will be put to death.”[d] 11 But you say to your aged parents, “I’ve decided that the support you were expecting from me will now be the holy offering set aside for God.” 12 After that he is not allowed to do anything for his parents. 13 Do you think God wants you to honor your traditions that you have passed down? This is only one of many places where you are blind.
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