6/23/11

A beautiful morning!!!


This picture brings back a lot of memories of upstate New York.  I especially liked the Autumn season, where the brilliant mix of colors astounded the eyes with its complexity.  Often, there would be a mist in the morning and when it cleared even more color greeted the eyes.  Mornings were a special time, a time of possibilities, when the day unfolded and hope was in the air.  The following passage from the book of Exodus was one such morning.

Exodus 14:15-31 (WEB)
15) Yahweh said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward.
16) Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go into the midst of the sea on dry ground.
17) I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall go in after them: and I will get myself honor over Pharaoh, and over all his armies, over his chariots, and over his horsemen.
18) The Egyptians shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have gotten myself honor over Pharaoh, over his chariots, and over his horsemen.”
19) The angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them, and stood behind them.
20) It came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud and the darkness, yet gave it light by night: and the one didn’t come near the other all the night.
21) Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and Yahweh caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
22) The children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left.
23) The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea: all of Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
24) It happened in the morning watch, that Yahweh looked out on the Egyptian army through the pillar of fire and of cloud, and confused the Egyptian army.
25) He took off their chariot wheels, and they drove them heavily; so that the Egyptians said, “Let’s flee from the face of Israel, for Yahweh fights for them against the Egyptians!”
26) Yahweh said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come again on the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.”
27) Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it. Yahweh overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
28) The waters returned, and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even all Pharaoh’s army that went in after them into the sea. There remained not so much as one of them.
29) But the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left.
30) Thus Yahweh saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
31) Israel saw the great work which Yahweh did to the Egyptians, and the people feared Yahweh; and they believed in Yahweh, and in his servant Moses.

Slaves, they were mostly slaves.  And Egypt was the mightiest nation of its era.  Yet God was victorious over them.  This episode gave courage and hope to God's chosen people and helped them coalesce into the nation of Israel.  What a beautiful morning that must have been!!!

OT Bible Reading 6/23

June 23
2 Samuel 10-12

2Sa 10:1 It happened after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place.
2Sa 10:2 David said, I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me. So David sent by his servants to comfort him concerning his father. David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.
2Sa 10:3 But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, Do you think that David honors your father, in that he has sent comforters to you? Hasn't David sent his servants to you to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?
2Sa 10:4 So Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.
2Sa 10:5 When they told it to David, he sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, Wait at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.
2Sa 10:6 When the children of Ammon saw that they were become odious to David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, twenty thousand footmen, and the king of Maacah with one thousand men, and the men of Tob twelve thousand men.
2Sa 10:7 When David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the army of the mighty men.
2Sa 10:8 The children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entrance of the gate: and the Syrians of Zobah and of Rehob, and the men of Tob and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.
2Sa 10:9 Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians:
2Sa 10:10 The rest of the people he committed into the hand of Abishai his brother; and he put them in array against the children of Ammon.
2Sa 10:11 He said, If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the children of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and help you.
2Sa 10:12 Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people, and for the cities of our God: and Yahweh do that which seems him good.
2Sa 10:13 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near to the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him.
2Sa 10:14 When the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians had fled, they likewise fled before Abishai, and entered into the city. Then Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.
2Sa 10:15 When the Syrians saw that they were defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together.
2Sa 10:16 Hadadezer sent, and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the River: and they came to Helam, with Shobach the captain of the army of Hadadezer at their head.
2Sa 10:17 It was told David; and he gathered all Israel together, and passed over the Jordan, and came to Helam. The Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him.
2Sa 10:18 The Syrians fled before Israel; and David killed of the Syrians the men of seven hundred chariots, and forty thousand horsemen, and struck Shobach the captain of their army, so that he died there.
2Sa 10:19 When all the kings who were servants to Hadadezer saw that they were defeated before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more.
2Sa 11:1 It happened, at the return of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.
2Sa 11:2 It happened at evening, that David arose from off his bed, and walked on the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful to look on.
2Sa 11:3 David send and inquired after the woman. One said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
2Sa 11:4 David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in to him, and he lay with her (for she was purified from her uncleanness); and she returned to her house.
2Sa 11:5 The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
2Sa 11:6 David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. Joab sent Uriah to David.
2Sa 11:7 When Uriah was come to him, David asked of him how Joab did, and how the people fared, and how the war prospered.
2Sa 11:8 David said to Uriah, Go down to your house, and wash your feet. Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess of food from the king.
2Sa 11:9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and didn't go down to his house.
2Sa 11:10 When they had told David, saying, Uriah didn't go down to his house, David said to Uriah, Haven't you come from a journey? why did you not go down to your house?
2Sa 11:11 Uriah said to David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in booths; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field; shall I then go into my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.
2Sa 11:12 David said to Uriah, Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the next day.
2Sa 11:13 When David had called him, he ate and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but didn't go down to his house.
2Sa 11:14 It happened in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
2Sa 11:15 He wrote in the letter, saying, Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck, and die.
2Sa 11:16 It happened, when Joab kept watch on the city, that he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew that valiant men were.
2Sa 11:17 The men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people, even of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
2Sa 11:18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war;
2Sa 11:19 and he commanded the messenger, saying, "When you have finished telling all the things concerning the war to the king,
2Sa 11:20 it shall be that, if the king's wrath arise, and he asks you, 'Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Didn't you know that they would shoot from the wall?
2Sa 11:21 who struck Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Didn't a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?' then you shall say, 'Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.' "
2Sa 11:22 So the messenger went, and came and showed David all that Joab had sent him for.
2Sa 11:23 The messenger said to David, The men prevailed against us, and came out to us into the field, and we were on them even to the entrance of the gate.
2Sa 11:24 The shooters shot at your servants from off the wall; and some of the king's servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
2Sa 11:25 Then David said to the messenger, Thus you shall tell Joab, Don't let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another; make your battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage him.
2Sa 11:26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she made lamentation for her husband.
2Sa 11:27 When the mourning was past, David sent and took her home to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased Yahweh.
2Sa 12:1 Yahweh sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, "There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
2Sa 12:2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds,
2Sa 12:3 but the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and raised. It grew up together with him, and with his children. It ate of his own food, drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was to him like a daughter.
2Sa 12:4 A traveler came to the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man who had come to him, but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man who had come to him."
2Sa 12:5 David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As Yahweh lives, the man who has done this is worthy to die!
2Sa 12:6 He shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity!"
2Sa 12:7 Nathan said to David, "You are the man. This is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.
2Sa 12:8 I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that would have been too little, I would have added to you many more such things.
2Sa 12:9 Why have you despised the word of Yahweh, to do that which is evil in his sight? You have struck Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
2Sa 12:10 Now therefore the sword will never depart from your house, because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.'
2Sa 12:11 This is what Yahweh says: 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he will lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.
2Sa 12:12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.' "
2Sa 12:13 David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against Yahweh." Nathan said to David, "Yahweh also has put away your sin. You will not die.
2Sa 12:14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to Yahweh's enemies to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die."
2Sa 12:15 Nathan departed to his house. Yahweh struck the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and it was very sick.
2Sa 12:16 David therefore begged God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night on the earth.
2Sa 12:17 The elders of his house arose, and stood beside him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.
2Sa 12:18 It happened on the seventh day, that the child died. The servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead; for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he didn't listen to our voice: how will he then harm himself, if we tell him that the child is dead!
2Sa 12:19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; and David said to his servants, Is the child dead? They said, He is dead.
2Sa 12:20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his clothing; and he came into the house of Yahweh, and worshiped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he ate.
2Sa 12:21 Then said his servants to him, What thing is this that you have done? you fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child was dead, you rose up and ate bread.
2Sa 12:22 He said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who knows whether Yahweh will not be gracious to me, that the child may live?
2Sa 12:23 But now he is dead, why should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.
2Sa 12:24 David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her, and lay with her: and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Yahweh loved him;
2Sa 12:25 and he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he named him Jedidiah, for Yahweh's sake.
2Sa 12:26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city.
2Sa 12:27 Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah; yes, I have taken the city of waters.
2Sa 12:28 Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it; lest I take the city, and it be called after my name.
2Sa 12:29 David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it.
2Sa 12:30 He took the crown of their king from off his head; and its weight was a talent of gold, and in it were precious stones; and it was set on David's head. He brought forth the spoil of the city, exceeding much.
2Sa 12:31 He brought forth the people who were therein, and put them under saws, and under iron picks, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick kiln: and he did so to all the cities of the children of Ammon. David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

NT Bible Reading 6/23, 6/24

Jun. 23, 24
John 20

Joh 20:1 Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went early, while it was still dark, to the tomb, and saw the stone taken away from the tomb.
Joh 20:2 Therefore she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have laid him!"
Joh 20:3 Therefore Peter and the other disciple went out, and they went toward the tomb.
Joh 20:4 They both ran together. The other disciple outran Peter, and came to the tomb first.
Joh 20:5 Stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying, yet he didn't enter in.
Joh 20:6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying,
Joh 20:7 and the cloth that had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself.
Joh 20:8 So then the other disciple who came first to the tomb also entered in, and he saw and believed.
Joh 20:9 For as yet they didn't know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
Joh 20:10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.
Joh 20:11 But Mary was standing outside at the tomb weeping. So, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb,
Joh 20:12 and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
Joh 20:13 They told her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where they have laid him."
Joh 20:14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, and didn't know that it was Jesus.
Joh 20:15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?" She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."
Joh 20:16 Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him, "Rhabbouni!" which is to say, "Teacher!"
Joh 20:17 Jesus said to her, "Don't touch me, for I haven't yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "
Joh 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had said these things to her.
Joh 20:19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were locked where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be to you."
Joh 20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad when they saw the Lord.
Joh 20:21 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."
Joh 20:22 When he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit!
Joh 20:23 Whoever's sins you forgive, they are forgiven them. Whoever's sins you retain, they have been retained."
Joh 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, wasn't with them when Jesus came.
Joh 20:25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
Joh 20:26 After eight days again his disciples were inside, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being locked, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace be to you."
Joh 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see my hands. Reach here your hand, and put it into my side. Don't be unbelieving, but believing."
Joh 20:28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
Joh 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed."
Joh 20:30 Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book;
Joh 20:31 but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.