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1 Kings 12:20-13:34; Acts 9:26-43; Psalm 132; Proverbs 17:6 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Kings 12:20-13:34

20 When the Israelites heard that Jeroboam was back, they called everyone together. Then they sent for Jeroboam and made him king of Israel. Only the people from the tribe of Judah[a] remained loyal to David’s family.

Shemaiah Warns Rehoboam

21 After Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem, he decided to attack Israel and take control of the whole country. So he called together one hundred eighty thousand soldiers from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

22 Meanwhile, God told Shemaiah the prophet 23 to give Rehoboam and everyone from Judah and Benjamin this warning: 24 “Don’t go to war against the people from Israel—they are your relatives. Go home! I am the Lord, and I made these things happen.”

Rehoboam and his army obeyed the Lord and went home.

Jeroboam Makes Religious Changes

25 Jeroboam rebuilt Shechem in Ephraim and made it a stronger town, then he moved there. He also fortified the town of Penuel.

26-27 One day, Jeroboam started thinking, “Everyone in Israel still goes to the temple in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the Lord. What if they become loyal to David’s family again? They will kill me and accept Rehoboam as their king.”

28 Jeroboam asked for advice and then made two gold statues of calves. He showed them to the people and said, “Listen everyone! You won’t have to go to Jerusalem to worship anymore. Here are your gods[b] who rescued you from Egypt.” 29-30 Then he put one of the gold calves in the town of Bethel. He put the other one in the town of Dan, and the crowd walked out in front as the calf was taken there.[c] What Jeroboam did was a terrible sin.

31 Jeroboam built small places of worship at the shrines[d] and appointed men who were not from the tribe of Levi to serve as priests. 32-33 He also decided to start a new festival for the Israelites on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, just like the one in Judah.[e] On that day, Jeroboam went to Bethel and offered sacrifices on the altar to the gold calf he had put there. Then he assigned the priests their duties.

A Prophet Condemns the Altar at Bethel

13 1-2 One day, Jeroboam was standing at the altar in Bethel, ready to make an offering. Suddenly one of God’s prophets[f] arrived from Judah and shouted:

The Lord sent me with a message about this altar. A child named Josiah will be born into David’s family. He will sacrifice on this altar the priests who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on it.

You will know that the Lord has said these things when the altar splits in half, and the ashes on it fall to the ground.

Jeroboam pointed at the prophet and shouted, “Grab him!” But right away, Jeroboam’s hand became stiff, and he could not move it. The altar split in half, and the ashes fell to the ground, just as the prophet had warned.

“Please pray to the Lord your God and ask him to heal my hand,” Jeroboam begged.

The prophet prayed, and Jeroboam’s hand was healed.

“Come home with me and eat something,” Jeroboam said. “I want to give you a gift for what you have done.”

“No, I wouldn’t go with you, even if you offered me half of your kingdom. I won’t eat or drink here either. The Lord said I can’t eat or drink anything and that I can’t go home the same way I came.” 10 Then he started home down a different road.

An Old Prophet from Bethel

11 At that time an old prophet lived in Bethel, and one of his sons told him what the prophet from Judah had said and done.

12 “Show me which way he went,” the old prophet said, and his sons pointed out the road. 13 “Put a saddle on my donkey,” he told them. After they did, he got on the donkey 14 and rode off to look for the prophet from Judah.

The old prophet found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, “Are you the prophet from Judah?”

“Yes, I am.”

15 “Come home with me,” the old prophet said, “and have something to eat.”

16 “I can’t go back with you,” the prophet replied, “and I can’t eat or drink anything with you. 17 The Lord warned me not to eat or drink or to go home the same way I came.”

18 The old prophet said, “I’m a prophet too. One of the Lord’s angels told me to take you to my house and give you something to eat and drink.”

The prophet from Judah did not know that the old prophet was lying, 19 so he went home with him and ate and drank.

20 During the meal the Lord gave the old prophet 21 a message for the prophet from Judah:

Listen to the Lord’s message. You have disobeyed the Lord your God. 22 He told you not to eat or drink anything here, but you came home and ate with me. And so, when you die, your body won’t be buried in your family tomb.

23 After the meal the old prophet got a donkey ready, 24 and the prophet from Judah left. Along the way, a lion attacked and killed him, and the donkey and the lion stood there beside his dead body.

25 Some people walked by and saw the body with the lion standing there. They ran into Bethel, telling everyone what they had seen.

26 When the old prophet heard the news, he said, “That must be the prophet from Judah. The Lord warned him, but he disobeyed. So the Lord sent a lion to kill him.”

27 The old prophet told his sons to saddle his donkey, and when it was ready, 28 he left. He found the body lying on the road, with the donkey and lion standing there. The lion had not eaten the body or attacked the donkey. 29 The old prophet picked up the body, put it on his own donkey, and took it back to Bethel, so he could bury it and mourn for the prophet from Judah.

30 He buried the body in his own family tomb and cried for the prophet. 31 He said to his sons, “When I die, bury my body next to this prophet. 32 I’m sure that everything he said about the altar in Bethel and the shrines in Samaria will happen.”

33 But Jeroboam kept on doing evil things. He appointed men to be priests at the local shrines, even if they were not Levites. In fact, anyone who wanted to be a priest could be one. 34 This sinful thing led to the downfall of his kingdom.

Footnotes:

  1. 12.20 Israelites. . . Israel. . . Judah: From this time on, “Israel” usually refers to the northern kingdom, and “Israelites” refers to the people who lived there. The southern kingdom is called “Judah.”
  2. 12.28 Here are your gods: Or “Here is your God.”
  3. 12.29,30 the crowd. . . taken there: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 12.31 shrines: See the note at 3.2.
  5. 12.32,33 the one in Judah: This probably refers to the Festival of Shelters.
  6. 13.1,2 one of God’s prophets: Hebrew “a man of God.”
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Acts 9:26-43

Saul in Jerusalem

26 When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to join the followers. But they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe he was a true follower. 27 Then Barnabas helped him by taking him to the apostles. He explained how Saul had seen the Lord and how the Lord had spoken to him. Barnabas also said that when Saul was in Damascus, he had spoken bravely in the name of Jesus.

28 Saul moved about freely with the followers in Jerusalem and told everyone about the Lord. 29 He was always arguing with the Jews who spoke Greek, and so they tried to kill him. 30 But the followers found out about this and took Saul to Caesarea. From there they sent him to the city of Tarsus.

31 The church in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria now had a time of peace and kept on worshiping the Lord. The church became stronger, as the Holy Spirit encouraged it and helped it grow.

Peter Heals Aeneas

32 While Peter was traveling from place to place, he visited the Lord’s followers who lived in the town of Lydda. 33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who for eight years had been sick in bed and could not move. 34 Peter said to Aeneas, “Jesus Christ has healed you! Get up and make up your bed.”[a] Right away he stood up.

35 Many people in the towns of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas and became followers of the Lord.

Peter Brings Dorcas Back to Life

36 In Joppa there was a follower named Tabitha. Her Greek name was Dorcas, which means “deer.” She was always doing good things for people and had given much to the poor. 37 But she got sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Joppa wasn’t far from Lydda, and the followers heard that Peter was there. They sent two men to say to him, “Please come with us as quickly as you can!” 39 Right away, Peter went with them.

The men took Peter upstairs into the room. Many widows were there crying. They showed him the coats and clothes that Dorcas had made while she was still alive.

40 After Peter had sent everyone out of the room, he knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to the body of Dorcas and said, “Tabitha, get up!” The woman opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet.

Peter called in the widows and the other followers and showed them that Dorcas had been raised from death. 42 Everyone in Joppa heard what had happened, and many of them put their faith in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed on for a while in Joppa in the house of a man named Simon, who made leather.

Footnotes:

  1. 9.34 and make up your bed: Or “and fix something to eat.”
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Psalm 132

(A song for worship.)

The Lord Is Always with His People

132 Our Lord, don’t forget David
    and how he suffered.
    Mighty God of Jacob,
    remember how he promised:
“I won’t go home
or crawl into bed
    or close my eyelids,
until I find a home for you,
    the mighty Lord God of Jacob.”

When we were in Ephrath,
we heard
    that the sacred chest
    was somewhere near Jaar.
Then we said, “Let’s go
to the throne of the Lord
    and worship at his feet.”

Come to your new home, Lord,
    you and the sacred chest
    with all of its power.
Let victory be like robes
    for the priests;
    let your faithful people
    celebrate and shout.
10 David is your chosen one,
    so don’t reject him.
11 You made a solemn promise
    to David, when you said,
    “I, the Lord, promise
that someone in your family
    will always be king.
12 If they keep our agreement
    and follow my teachings,
    then someone in your family
    will rule forever.”

13 You have gladly chosen Zion
    as your home, our Lord.
14 You said, “This is my home!
    I will live here forever.
15 I will bless Zion with food,
    and even the poor will eat
    until they are full.
16 Victory will be like robes
    for the priests,
    and its faithful people
    will celebrate and shout.
17 I will give mighty power
    to the kingdom of David.
Each one of my chosen kings
will shine like a lamp
18     and wear a sparkling crown.
But I will disgrace
    their enemies.”

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Proverbs 17:6

Grandparents are proud
    of their grandchildren,
    and children should be proud
    of their parents.

Read More
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