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Joshua 24; Luke 21:1-28; Psalm 89:38-52; Proverbs 13:20-23 (New English Translation)

Joshua 24

Israel Renews its Commitment to the Lord

24 Joshua assembled all the Israelite tribes at Shechem. He summoned Israel’s elders, rulers, judges, and leaders, and they appeared before God. Joshua told all the people, “Here is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘In the distant past your ancestors lived beyond the Euphrates River, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor. They worshiped other gods, but I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates and brought him into the entire land of Canaan. I made his descendants numerous; I gave him Isaac, and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I assigned Mount Seir, while Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. I sent Moses and Aaron, and I struck Egypt down when I intervened in their land. Then I brought you out. When I brought your fathers out of Egypt, you arrived at the sea. The Egyptians chased your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. Your fathers cried out for help to the Lord; he made the area between you and the Egyptians dark, and then drowned them in the sea. You witnessed with your very own eyes what I did in Egypt. You lived in the wilderness for a long time. Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought with you, but I handed them over to you; you conquered their land and I destroyed them from before you. Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, launched an attack against Israel. He summoned Balaam son of Beor to call down judgment on you. 10 I refused to respond to Balaam; he kept prophesying good things about you, and I rescued you from his power. 11 You crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The leaders of Jericho, as well as the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites, fought with you, but I handed them over to you. 12 I sent terror ahead of you to drive out before you the two Amorite kings. I gave you the victory; it was not by your swords or bows. 13 I gave you a land in which you had not worked hard; you took up residence in cities you did not build and you are eating the produce of vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.’

14 Now obey the Lord and worship him with integrity and loyalty. Put aside the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt and worship the Lord. 15 If you have no desire to worship the Lord, choose today whom you will worship, whether it be the gods whom your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But I and my family will worship the Lord!”

16 The people responded, “Far be it from us to abandon the Lord so we can worship other gods! 17 For the Lord our God took us and our fathers out of slavery in the land of Egypt and performed these awesome miracles before our very eyes. He continually protected us as we traveled and when we passed through nations. 18 The Lord drove out from before us all the nations, including the Amorites who lived in the land. So we too will worship the Lord, for he is our God!”

19 Joshua warned the people, “You will not keep worshiping the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God who will not forgive your rebellion or your sins. 20 If you abandon the Lord and worship foreign gods, he will turn against you; he will bring disaster on you and destroy you, though he once treated you well.”

21 The people said to Joshua, “No! We really will worship the Lord!” 22 Joshua said to the people, “Do you agree to be witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to worship the Lord?” They replied, “We are witnesses!” 23 Joshua said, “Now put aside the foreign gods that are among you and submit to the Lord God of Israel.”

24 The people said to Joshua, “We will worship the Lord our God and obey him.”

25 That day Joshua drew up an agreement for the people, and he established rules and regulations for them in Shechem. 26 Joshua wrote these words in the Law Scroll of God. He then took a large stone and set it up there under the oak tree near the Lord’s shrine. 27 Joshua said to all the people, “Look, this stone will be a witness against you, for it has heard everything the Lord said to us. It will be a witness against you if you deny your God.” 28 When Joshua dismissed the people, they went to their allotted portions of land.

An Era Ends

29 After all this Joshua son of Nun, the Lord’s servant, died at the age of one hundred ten. 30 They buried him in his allotted territory in Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 31 Israel worshiped the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime and as long as the elderly men who outlived him remained alive. These men had experienced firsthand everything the Lord had done for Israel.

32 The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the part of the field that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for one hundred pieces of money. So it became the inheritance of the tribe of Joseph.

33 Eleazar son of Aaron died, and they buried him in Gibeah in the hill country of Ephraim, where his son Phinehas had been assigned land.

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Luke 21:1-28

The Widow’s Offering

21 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box. He also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all offered their gifts out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had to live on.”

The Signs of the End of the Age

Now while some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and offerings, Jesus said, “As for these things that you are gazing at, the days will come when not one stone will be left on another. All will be torn down!” So they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that these things are about to take place?” He said, “Watch out that you are not misled. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them! And when you hear of wars and rebellions, do not be afraid. For these things must happen first, but the end will not come at once.”

Persecution of Disciples

10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will be a time for you to serve as witnesses. 14 Therefore be resolved not to rehearse ahead of time how to make your defense. 15 For I will give you the words along with the wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will have some of you put to death. 17 You will be hated by everyone because of my name. 18 Yet not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

The Desolation of Jerusalem

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Those who are inside the city must depart. Those who are out in the country must not enter it, 22 because these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away as captives among all nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Arrival of the Son of Man

25 “And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves. 26 People will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man arriving in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But when these things begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

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Psalm 89:38-52

38 But you have spurned and rejected him;
you are angry with your chosen king.
39 You have repudiated your covenant with your servant;
you have thrown his crown to the ground.
40 You have broken down all his walls;
you have made his strongholds a heap of ruins.
41 All who pass by have robbed him;
he has become an object of disdain to his neighbors.
42 You have allowed his adversaries to be victorious,
and all his enemies to rejoice.
43 You turn back his sword from the adversary,
and have not sustained him in battle.
44 You have brought to an end his splendor,
and have knocked his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short his youth,
and have covered him with shame. (Selah)
46 How long, O Lord, will this last?
Will you remain hidden forever?
Will your anger continue to burn like fire?
47 Take note of my brief lifespan!
Why do you make all people so mortal?
48 No man can live on without experiencing death,
or deliver his life from the power of Sheol. (Selah)
49 Where are your earlier faithful deeds, O Lord,
the ones performed in accordance with your reliable oath to David?
50 Take note, O Lord, of the way your servants are taunted,
and of how I must bear so many insults from people!
51 Your enemies, O Lord, hurl insults;
they insult your chosen king as they dog his footsteps.
52 The Lord deserves praise forevermore!
We agree! We agree!

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Proverbs 13:20-23

20 The one who associates with the wise grows wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm.
21 Calamity pursues sinners,
but prosperity rewards the righteous.
22 A benevolent person leaves an inheritance for his grandchildren,
but the wealth of a sinner is stored up for the righteous.
23 There is abundant food in the field of the poor,
but it is swept away by injustice.

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New English Translation (NET)

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