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Judges 6:1-40; Luke 22:54-23:12; Psalms 95:1-96:13; Proverbs 14:5-6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Judges 6

Midian Oppresses Israel

The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord handed them over to Midian seven years, and they oppressed Israel. Because of Midian, the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites, Amalekites, and the Qedemites came and attacked them. They encamped against them and destroyed the produce of the land, even as far as Gaza. They left nothing for Israel to eat, as well as no sheep, ox or donkey. For the Midianites came with their cattle and their tents like a great swarm of locusts. They and their camels were without number, and they entered the land to waste it. So Israel became poverty-stricken because of Midian, and the Israelites cried out to the Lord.

When the Israelites cried out to Him because of Midian, the Lord sent a prophet to them. He said to them, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I brought you out of Egypt and out of the place of slavery. I delivered you from the power of Egypt and the power of all who oppressed you. I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you: I am Yahweh your God. Do not fear the gods of the Amorites whose land you live in. But you did not obey Me.’”

The Lord Calls Gideon

11 The Angel[a] of the Lord came, and He[b] sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash, the Abiezrite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat in the wine vat in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

13 Gideon said to Him, “Please Sir,[c] if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened?[d] And where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about? They said, ‘Hasn’t the Lord brought us out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.”

14 The Lord[e] turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the power of Midian. Am I not sending you?”

15 He said to Him, “Please, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.”

16 “But I will be with you,” the Lord said to him. “You will strike Midian down as if it were one man.”

17 Then he said to Him, “If I have found favor in Your sight, give me a sign that You are speaking with me. 18 Please do not leave this place until I return to You. Let me bring my gift and set it before You.”

And He said, “I will stay until you return.”

19 So Gideon went and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from a half bushel[f] of flour. He placed the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot. He brought them out and offered them to Him under the oak.

20 The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat with the unleavened bread, put it on this stone, and pour the broth on it.” And he did so.

21 The Angel of the Lord extended the tip of the staff that was in His hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire came up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the Angel of the Lord vanished from his sight.

22 When Gideon realized that He was the Angel of the Lord, he said, “Oh no, Lord God! I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face!”

23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid, for you will not die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it Yahweh Shalom.[g] It is in Ophrah of the Abiezrites until today.

Gideon Tears Down a Baal Altar

25 On that very night the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s young bull and a second bull seven years old. Then tear down the altar of Baal that belongs to your father and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Build a well-constructed altar to the Lord your God on the top of this rock. Take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah pole you cut down.” 27 So Gideon took 10 of his male servants and did as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it in the daytime, he did it at night.

28 When the men of the city got up in the morning, they found Baal’s altar torn down, the Asherah pole beside it cut down, and the second bull offered up on the altar that had been built. 29 They said to each other, “Who did this?” After they made a thorough investigation, they said, “Gideon son of Joash did it.”

30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he tore down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”

31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Would you plead Baal’s case for him? Would you save him? Whoever pleads his case will be put to death by morning! If he is a god, let him plead his own case because someone tore down his altar.” 32 That day, Gideon’s father called him Jerubbaal, saying, “Let Baal plead his case with him,” because he tore down his altar.

The Sign of the Fleece

33 All the Midianites, Amalekites, and Qedemites gathered together, crossed over the Jordan, and camped in the Valley of Jezreel.

34 The Spirit of the Lord took control of[h] Gideon, and he blew the ram’s horn and the Abiezrites rallied behind him. 35 He sent messengers throughout all of Manasseh, who rallied behind him. He also sent messengers throughout Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, who also came to meet him.

36 Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel by my hand, as You said, 37 I will put a fleece of wool here on the threshing floor. If dew is only on the fleece, and all the ground is dry, I will know that You will deliver Israel by my strength, as You said.” 38 And that is what happened. When he got up early in the morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung dew out of it, filling a bowl with water.

39 Gideon then said to God, “Don’t be angry with me; let me speak one more time. Please allow me to make one more test with the fleece. Let it remain dry, and the dew be all over the ground.” 40 That night God did as Gideon requested: only the fleece was dry, and dew was all over the ground.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 6:11 Or angel
  2. Judges 6:11 Or he
  3. Judges 6:13 Lit Please, my Lord, or Please, my lord
  4. Judges 6:13 Lit this found us out
  5. Judges 6:14 LXX reads The Angel of the Lord
  6. Judges 6:19 Lit an ephah
  7. Judges 6:24 = The Lord Is Peace
  8. Judges 6:34 Lit Lord clothed Himself with; 1Ch 12:18; 2Ch 24:20
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Luke 22:54-23:12

Peter Denies His Lord

54 They seized Him, led Him away, and brought Him into the high priest’s house. Meanwhile Peter was following at a distance. 55 They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, and Peter sat among them. 56 When a servant saw him sitting in the firelight, and looked closely at him, she said, “This man was with Him too.”

57 But he denied it: “Woman, I don’t know Him!”

58 After a little while, someone else saw him and said, “You’re one of them too!”

“Man, I am not!” Peter said.

59 About an hour later, another kept insisting, “This man was certainly with Him, since he’s also a Galilean.”

60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter. So Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Jesus Mocked and Beaten

63 The men who were holding Jesus started mocking and beating Him. 64 After blindfolding Him, they kept[a] asking, “Prophesy! Who hit You?” 65 And they were saying many other blasphemous things against Him.

Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin

66 When daylight came, the elders[b] of the people, both the chief priests and the scribes, convened and brought Him before their Sanhedrin. 67 They said, “If You are the Messiah, tell us.”

But He said to them, “If I do tell you, you will not believe. 68 And if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the Power of God.”

70 They all asked, “Are You, then, the Son of God?”

And He said to them, “You say that I am.”

71 “Why do we need any more testimony,” they said, “since we’ve heard it ourselves from His mouth?”

Jesus Faces Pilate

23 Then their whole assembly rose up and brought Him before Pilate. They began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man subverting our nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is the Messiah, a King.”

So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

He answered him, “You have said it.”[c]

Pilate then told the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no grounds for charging this man.”

But they kept insisting, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where He started even to here.”

Jesus Faces Herod Antipas

When Pilate heard this,[d] he asked if the man was a Galilean. Finding that He was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days. Herod was very glad to see Jesus; for a long time he had wanted to see Him because he had heard about Him and was hoping to see some miracle[e] performed by Him. So he kept asking Him questions, but Jesus did not answer him. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing Him. 11 Then Herod, with his soldiers, treated Him with contempt, mocked Him, dressed Him in a brilliant robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That very day Herod and Pilate became friends.[f] Previously, they had been hostile toward each other.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 22:64 Other mss add striking Him on the face and
  2. Luke 22:66 Or council of elders
  3. Luke 23:3 Or That is true; an affirmative oath
  4. Luke 23:6 Other mss read heard “Galilee”
  5. Luke 23:8 Or sign
  6. Luke 23:12 Lit friends with one another
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Psalm 95-96

Psalm 95

Worship and Warning

Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord,
shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation!
Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving;
let us shout triumphantly to Him in song.

For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
The depths of the earth are in His hand,
and the mountain peaks are His.
The sea is His; He made it.
His hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
and we are the people of His pasture,
the sheep under His care.[a]

Today, if you hear His voice:
Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the wilderness
where your fathers tested Me;
they tried Me, though they had seen what I did.
10 For 40 years I was disgusted with that generation;
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray;
they do not know My ways.”
11 So I swore in My anger,
“They will not enter My rest.”

Psalm 96

King of the Earth

Sing a new song to the Lord;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to Yahweh, praise His name;
proclaim His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonderful works among all peoples.

For the Lord is great and is highly praised;
He is feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before Him;
strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to Yahweh the glory of His name;
bring an offering and enter His courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness;
tremble before Him, all the earth.

10 Say among the nations: “The Lord reigns.
The world is firmly established; it cannot be shaken.
He judges the peoples fairly.”
11 Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and all that fills it resound.
12 Let the fields and everything in them exult.
Then all the trees of the forest will shout for joy
13 before the Lord, for He is coming—
for He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness
and the peoples with His faithfulness.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 95:7 Lit sheep of His hand
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Proverbs 14:5-6

An honest witness does not deceive,
but a dishonest witness utters lies.

A mocker seeks wisdom and doesn’t find it,
but knowledge comes easily to the perceptive.

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