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Joshua 24

Joshua Adds an Agreement to the Book of God’s Teachings

24 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem. He called together Israel’s leaders, chiefs, judges, and officers, and they presented themselves to God.

Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: Long ago your ancestors, Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor, lived on the other side of the Euphrates River and served other gods. But I took your ancestor Abraham from the other side of the Euphrates River. I led him through all of Canaan and gave him many descendants. I also gave him Isaac. To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Esau the mountains in Seir as his own. However, Jacob and his sons went to Egypt.

“Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I struck Egypt with plagues. Later I led you out. When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, you came to the sea. The Egyptians with their chariots and horsemen chased your ancestors to the Red Sea. When your ancestors cried out to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians. He made the sea flow back and cover them. You saw for yourselves what I did to Egypt. Then you lived in the desert for a long time.

“After that I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived on the east side of the Jordan River. They fought you. However, I handed them over to you. So you took their land, and I destroyed them in front of you. Then Balak, son of King Zippor of Moab, fought Israel. He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you. 10 But I refused to listen to Balaam. All he could do was bless you. So I saved you from his power.

11 “Then you crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho, the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites fought you. But I handed them over to you. 12 I sent hornets ahead of you to force out the two kings of the Amorites ahead of you. These things didn’t happen because of your battle skills or fighting ability. 13 So I gave you a land that you hadn’t farmed, cities to live in that you hadn’t built, vineyards and olive groves that you hadn’t planted. So you ate all you wanted!

14 “Fear the Lord, and serve him with integrity and faithfulness. Get rid of the gods your ancestors served on the other side of the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve only the Lord. 15 But if you don’t want to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Even if you choose the gods your ancestors served on the other side of the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live, my family and I will still serve the Lord.”

16 The people responded, “It would be unthinkable for us to abandon the Lord to serve other gods. 17 The Lord our God brought us and our ancestors out of slavery in Egypt. He did these spectacular signs right before our eyes. He guarded us wherever we went, especially as we passed through other nations. 18 The Lord forced out all the people ahead of us, including the Amorites who lived in this land. We, too, will serve the Lord, because he is our God.”

19 But Joshua answered the people, “Since the Lord is a holy God, you can’t possibly serve him. He is a God who does not tolerate rivals. He will not forgive your rebellious acts and sins. 20 If you abandon the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you. He will destroy you, although he has been so good to you.”

21 The people answered Joshua, “No! We will only serve the Lord!”

22 Joshua said to the people, “You have testified that you have chosen to serve the Lord.”

They answered, “Yes, we have!”

23 “Get rid of the foreign gods that are among you. Turn yourselves entirely over to the Lord God of Israel.”

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

25 That day Joshua made an agreement for the people and set up laws and rules for them at Shechem. 26 Joshua wrote these things in the Book of God’s Teachings. Then he took a large stone and set it up under the oak tree at the Lord’s holy place. 27 Joshua told all the people, “This stone will stand as a witness for us. It has heard all the words which the Lord spoke to us. It will stand as a witness for you. You cannot deceive your God.” 28 Then Joshua sent the people away, each to his own property.

The Deaths of Joshua and Eleazar

29 After these events, the Lord’s servant Joshua, son of Nun, died. He was 110 years old. 30 He was buried on his own land at Timnath Serah in the mountains of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash.

31 Israel served the Lord as long as Joshua and the older leaders, who outlived him and who knew everything the Lord had done for Israel, were alive.

32 Joseph’s bones, which the people of Israel had brought from Egypt, were buried at Shechem. They were placed in the plot of ground Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor, father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of silver. The plot was inherited by Joseph’s descendants.

33 Aaron’s son Eleazar also died. He was buried on the hill that had been given to his son Phinehas in the mountains of Ephraim.

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Luke 21:1-28

A Widow’s Contribution

21 Looking up, Jesus saw people, especially the rich, dropping their gifts into the temple offering box. He noticed a poor widow drop in two small coins. He said, “I can guarantee this truth: This poor widow has given more than all the others. All of these people have given what they could spare. But she, in her poverty, has given everything she had to live on.”

Jesus Teaches His Disciples

Some of the disciples were talking about the temple complex. They noted that it was built with fine stones and decorated with beautiful gifts. So Jesus said, “About these buildings that you see—the time will come when not one of these stones will be left on top of another. Each one will be torn down.”

The disciples asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? What will be the sign when all this will occur?”

Jesus said, “Be careful that you are not deceived. Many will come using my name. They will say, ‘I am he!’ and ‘The time is near.’ Don’t follow them!

“When you hear of wars and revolutions, don’t be terrified! These things must happen first, but the end will not come immediately.”

10 Then Jesus continued, “Nation will fight against nation and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be terrible earthquakes, famines, and dreadful diseases in various places. Terrifying sights and miraculous signs will come from the sky.

12 “Before all these things happen, people will arrest and persecute you. They will hand you over to their synagogues and put you into their prisons. They will drag you in front of kings and governors because of my name. 13 It will be your opportunity to testify to them. 14 So make up your minds not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 I will give you words and wisdom that none of your enemies will be able to oppose or prove wrong.

16 “Even parents, brothers, relatives, and friends will betray you and kill some of you. 17 Everyone will hate you because you are committed to me. 18 But not a hair on your head will be lost. 19 By your endurance you will save your life.

20 “When you see armies camped around Jerusalem, realize that the time is near for it to be destroyed. 21 Then those of you in Judea should flee to the mountains. Those of you in Jerusalem should leave it. Those of you in the fields shouldn’t go back into them. 22 This will be a time of vengeance. Everything that is written about it will come true.

23 “How horrible it will be for women who are pregnant or who are nursing babies in those days. Indeed, the land will suffer very hard times, and its people will be punished. 24 Swords will cut them down, and they will be carried off into all nations as prisoners. Nations will trample Jerusalem until the times allowed for the nations to do this are over.

25 “Miraculous signs will occur in the sun, moon, and stars. The nations of the earth will be deeply troubled and confused because of the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint as they fearfully wait for what will happen to the world. Indeed, the powers of the universe will be shaken.

27 “Then people will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

28 “When these things begin to happen, stand with confidence! The time when you will be set free is near.”

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Psalm 89:38-52

38 But you have despised, rejected,
    and become angry with your anointed one.
39 You have refused to recognize the promise to your servant
    and have thrown his crown into the dirt.
40 You have broken through all his walls
    and have laid his fortified cities in ruins.
41         (Everyone who passed by robbed him.
            He has become the object of his neighbors’ scorn.)
42 You held the right hand of his enemies high
    and made all of his adversaries rejoice.
43 You even took his sword out of his hand
    and failed to support him in battle.
44 You put an end to his splendor
    and hurled his throne to the ground.
45 You cut short the days of his youth
    and covered him with shame. Selah

46 How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your anger continue to burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my life is!
    Have you created Adam’s descendants for no reason?
48         Can a mortal go on living and never see death?
            Who can set himself free from the power of the grave? Selah
49                 Where is the evidence of your mercy, Lord?
                    You swore an oath to David
                        on the basis of your faithfulness.

50 Remember, O Lord,[a] how your servant[b] has been insulted.
Remember how I have carried in my heart the insults from so many people.
51     Your enemies insulted me.
        They insulted your Messiah[c] every step he took.

52                     Thank the Lord forever.
                                Amen and amen!

BOOK FOUR

(Psalms 90–106)

Psalm 90

A prayer by Moses, the man of God.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 89:50 Many Hebrew manuscripts; other Hebrew manuscripts “Lord.”
  2. Psalm 89:50 Many Hebrew manuscripts, Greek, Syriac; other Hebrew manuscripts “your servants.”
  3. Psalm 89:51 Or “anointed one.”
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Proverbs 13:20-23

20 Whoever walks with wise people will be wise,
    but whoever associates with fools will suffer.
21 Disaster hunts down sinners,
    but righteous people are rewarded with good.
22 Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren,
    but the wealth of sinners is stored away for a righteous person.

23 When poor people are able to plow, there is much food,
    but a person is swept away where there is no justice.

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GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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