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Deuteronomy 11:1-12:32; Luke 8:22-39; Psalms 70:1-5; Proverbs 12:4 (Good News Translation)

Deuteronomy 11-12

The Lord's Greatness

11 “Love the Lord your God and always obey all his laws. Remember today what you have learned about the Lord through your experiences with him. It was you, not your children, who had these experiences. You saw the Lord's greatness, his power, his might, and his miracles. You saw what he did to the king of Egypt and to his entire country. You saw how the Lord completely wiped out the Egyptian army, along with their horses and chariots, by drowning them in the Red Sea[a] when they were pursuing you. You know what the Lord did for you in the desert before you arrived here. You recall what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab of the tribe of Reuben. In the sight of everyone the earth opened up and swallowed them, along with their families, their tents, and all their servants and animals. Yes, you are the ones who have seen all these great things that the Lord has done.

The Blessings of the Promised Land

“Obey everything that I have commanded you today. Then you will be able to cross the river and occupy the land that you are about to enter. And you will live a long time in the rich and fertile land that the Lord promised to give your ancestors and their descendants. 10 The land that you are about to occupy is not like the land of Egypt, where you lived before. There, when you planted grain, you had to work hard to irrigate the fields; 11 but the land that you are about to enter is a land of mountains and valleys, a land watered by rain. 12 The Lord your God takes care of this land and watches over it throughout the year.

13 “So then, obey the commands that I have given you today; love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart. 14 If you do, he will send rain on your land when it is needed, in the autumn and in the spring, so that there will be grain, wine, and olive oil for you, 15 and grass for your livestock. You will have all the food you want. 16 Do not let yourselves be led away from the Lord to worship and serve other gods. 17 If you do, the Lord will become angry with you. He will hold back the rain, and your ground will become too dry for crops to grow. Then you will soon die there, even though it is a good land that he is giving you.

18 “Remember these commands and cherish them. Tie them on your arms and wear them on your foreheads as a reminder. 19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates. 21 Then you and your children will live a long time in the land that the Lord your God promised to give to your ancestors. You will live there as long as there is a sky above the earth.

22 “Obey faithfully everything that I have commanded you: Love the Lord your God, do everything he commands, and be faithful to him. 23 Then he will drive out all those nations as you advance, and you will occupy the land belonging to nations greater and more powerful than you. 24 All the ground that you march over will be yours. Your territory will extend from the desert in the south to the Lebanon Mountains in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 25 Wherever you go in that land, the Lord your God will make the people fear you, as he has promised, and no one will be able to stop you.

26 “Today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse— 27 a blessing, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28 but a curse, if you disobey these commands and turn away to worship other gods that you have never worshiped before. 29 When the Lord brings you into the land that you are going to occupy, you are to proclaim the blessing from Mount Gerizim and the curse from Mount Ebal. (30 These two mountains are west of the Jordan River in the territory of the Canaanites who live in the Jordan Valley. They are toward the west, not far from the sacred trees of Moreh near the town of Gilgal.) 31 You are about to cross the Jordan River and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you. When you take it and settle there, 32 be sure to obey all the laws that I am giving you today.

The One Place for Worship

12 “Here are the laws that you are to obey as long as you live in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Listen to them! In the land that you are taking, destroy all the places where the people worship their gods on high mountains, on hills, and under green trees. Tear down their altars and smash their sacred stone pillars to pieces. Burn their symbols of the goddess Asherah and chop down their idols, so that they will never again be worshiped at those places.

“Do not worship the Lord your God in the way that these people worship their gods. Out of the territory of all your tribes the Lord will choose the one place where the people are to come into his presence and worship him. There you are to offer your sacrifices that are to be burned and your other sacrifices, your tithes and your offerings, the gifts that you promise to the Lord, your freewill offerings, and the first-born of your cattle and sheep. There, in the presence of the Lord your God, who has blessed you, you and your families will eat and enjoy the good things that you have worked for.

“When that time comes, you must not do as you have been doing. Until now you have all been worshiping as you please, because you have not yet entered the land that the Lord your God is giving you, where you can live in peace. 10 When you cross the Jordan River, the Lord will let you occupy the land and live there. He will keep you safe from all your enemies, and you will live in peace. 11 The Lord will choose a single place where he is to be worshiped, and there you must bring to him everything that I have commanded: your sacrifices that are to be burned and your other sacrifices, your tithes and your offerings, and those special gifts that you have promised to the Lord. 12 Be joyful there in his presence, together with your children, your servants, and the Levites who live in your towns; remember that the Levites will have no land of their own. 13 You are not to offer your sacrifices wherever you choose; 14 you must offer them only in the one place that the Lord will choose in the territory of one of your tribes. Only there are you to offer your sacrifices that are to be burned and do all the other things that I have commanded you.

15 “But you are free to kill and eat your animals wherever you live. You may eat as many as the Lord gives you. All of you, whether ritually clean or unclean, may eat them, just as you would eat the meat of deer or antelope. 16 But you must not eat their blood; you must pour it out on the ground like water. 17 Nothing that you offer to the Lord is to be eaten in the places where you live: neither the tithes of your grain, your wine, or your olive oil, nor the first-born of your cattle and sheep, the gifts that you promise to the Lord, your freewill offerings, or any other offerings. 18 You and your children, together with your servants and the Levites who live in your towns, are to eat these offerings only in the presence of the Lord your God, in the one place of worship chosen by the Lord your God. And you are to be happy there over everything that you have done. 19 Be sure, also, not to neglect the Levites, as long as you live in your land.

20 “When the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised, you may eat meat whenever you want to. 21 If the one place of worship is too far away, then, whenever you wish, you may kill any of the cattle or sheep that the Lord has given you, and you may eat the meat at home, as I have told you. 22 Anyone, ritually clean or unclean, may eat that meat, just as he would eat the meat of deer or antelope. 23 Only do not eat meat with blood still in it, for the life is in the blood, and you must not eat the life with the meat. 24 Do not use the blood for food; instead, pour it out on the ground like water. 25 If you obey this command, the Lord will be pleased, and all will go well for you and your descendants. 26 Take to the one place of worship your offerings and the gifts that you have promised the Lord. 27 Offer there the sacrifices which are to be completely burned on the Lord's altar. Also offer those sacrifices in which you eat the meat and pour the blood out on the altar. 28 Obey faithfully everything that I have commanded you, and all will go well for you and your descendants forever, because you will be doing what is right and what pleases the Lord your God.

Warning against Idolatry

29 “The Lord your God will destroy the nations as you invade their land, and you will occupy it and settle there. 30 After the Lord destroys those nations, make sure that you don't follow their religious practices, because that would be fatal. Don't try to find out how they worship their gods, so that you can worship in the same way. 31 Do not worship the Lord your God in the way they worship their gods, for in the worship of their gods they do all the disgusting things that the Lord hates. They even sacrifice their children in the fires on their altars.

32 “Do everything that I have commanded you; do not add anything to it or take anything from it.

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 11:4 Red Sea: See Word List.
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Luke 8:22-39

Jesus Calms a Storm

22 One day Jesus got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they started out. 23 As they were sailing, Jesus fell asleep. Suddenly a strong wind blew down on the lake, and the boat began to fill with water, so that they were all in great danger. 24 The disciples went to Jesus and woke him up, saying, “Master, Master! We are about to die!”

Jesus got up and gave an order to the wind and to the stormy water; they quieted down, and there was a great calm. 25 Then he said to the disciples, “Where is your faith?”

But they were amazed and afraid, and said to one another, “Who is this man? He gives orders to the winds and waves, and they obey him!”

Jesus Heals a Man with Demons

26 Jesus and his disciples sailed on over to the territory of Gerasa,[a] which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 As Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a man from the town who had demons in him. For a long time this man had gone without clothes and would not stay at home, but spent his time in the burial caves. 28 When he saw Jesus, he gave a loud cry, threw himself down at his feet, and shouted, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God! What do you want with me? I beg you, don't punish me!” 29 He said this because Jesus had ordered the evil spirit to go out of him. Many times it had seized him, and even though he was kept a prisoner, his hands and feet tied with chains, he would break the chains and be driven by the demon out into the desert.

30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is ‘Mob,’” he answered—because many demons had gone into him. 31 The demons begged Jesus not to send them into the abyss.[b]

32 There was a large herd of pigs near by, feeding on a hillside. So the demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he let them. 33 They went out of the man and into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the side of the cliff into the lake and was drowned.

34 The men who had been taking care of the pigs saw what happened, so they ran off and spread the news in the town and among the farms. 35 People went out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were all afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the man had been cured. 37 Then all the people from that territory asked Jesus to go away, because they were terribly afraid. So Jesus got into the boat and left. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged Jesus, “Let me go with you.”

But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Go back home and tell what God has done for you.”

The man went through the town, telling what Jesus had done for him.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 8:26 Gerasa; some manuscripts have Gadara (see Mt 8.28); others have Gergesa.
  2. Luke 8:31 It was thought that the demons were to be imprisoned in the depths of the earth until their final punishment.
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Psalm 70

A Prayer for Help[a]

70 Save me, O God!
    Lord, help me now!
May those who try to kill me
    be defeated and confused.
May those who are happy because of my troubles
    be turned back and disgraced.
May those who make fun of me
    be dismayed by their defeat.

May all who come to you
    be glad and joyful.
May all who are thankful for your salvation
    always say, “How great is God!”

I am weak and poor;
    come to me quickly, O God.
You are my savior and my Lord
    hurry to my aid!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 70:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by David; a lament.
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Proverbs 12:4

A good wife is her husband's pride and joy; but a wife who brings shame on her husband is like a cancer in his bones.

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