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Reading Plan

2 Samuel chapter 11

1
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,
3
and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"
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Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home.
5
The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."
6
So David sent this word to Joab: "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent him to David.
7
When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.
8
Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him.
9
But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master's servants and did not go down to his house.
10
When David was told, "Uriah did not go home," he asked him, "Haven't you just come from a distance? Why didn't you go home?"
11
Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord's men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!"
12
Then David said to him, "Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.
13
At David's invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master's servants; he did not go home.
14
In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.
15
In it he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die."
16
So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were.
17
When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David's army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
18
Joab sent David a full account of the battle.
19
He instructed the messenger: "When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle,
20
the king's anger may flare up, and he may ask you, 'Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot arrows from the wall?
21
Who killed Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn't a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?' If he asks you this, then say to him, 'Also, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.'"
22
The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say.
23
The messenger said to David, "The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance to the city gate.
24
Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king's men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead."
25
David told the messenger, "Say this to Joab: 'Don't let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.' Say this to encourage Joab."
26
When Uriah's wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.
27
After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.

2 Samuel chapter 12

1
The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.
2
The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle,
3
but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4
"Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him."
5
David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die!
6
He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."
7
Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.
8
I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.
9
Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.
10
Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.'
11
"This is what the LORD says: 'Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.
12
You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.'"
13
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.
14
But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die."
15
After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David, and he became ill.
16
David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground.
17
The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
18
On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, "While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate."
19
David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. "Is the child dead?" he asked. "Yes," they replied, "he is dead."
20
Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
21
His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!"
22
He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.'
23
But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."
24
Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and lay with her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him;
25
and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.
26
Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel.
27
Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, "I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply.
28
Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me."
29
So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it.
30
He took the crown from the head of their king--its weight was a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones-- and it was placed on David's head. He took a great quantity of plunder from the city
31
and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. He did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then David and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.

Psalm chapter 51

1
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
3
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
4
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.
5
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
7
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
10
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.
14
Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18
In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19
Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Matthew chapter 23

1
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
2
"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
3
So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
4
They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5
"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
6
they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;
7
they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'
8
"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.
9
And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.
10
Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.
11
The greatest among you will be your servant.
12
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
13
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
14
15
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.
16
"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.'
17
You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?
18
You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.'
19
You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
20
Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.
21
And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.
22
And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.
23
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices-- mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law-- justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
24
You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
26
Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.
28
In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
29
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.
30
And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'
31
So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.
32
Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!
33
"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
34
Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.
35
And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
36
I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.
37
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
38
Look, your house is left to you desolate.
39
For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"