Click to Subscribe
Reading Plan

1 Samuel chapter 6

1
When the ark of the LORD had been in Philistine territory seven months,
2
the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, "What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us how we should send it back to its place."
3
They answered, "If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it away empty, but by all means send a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand has not been lifted from you."
4
The Philistines asked, "What guilt offering should we send to him?" They replied, "Five gold tumors and five gold rats, according to the number of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague has struck both you and your rulers.
5
Make models of the tumors and of the rats that are destroying the country, and pay honor to Israel's god. Perhaps he will lift his hand from you and your gods and your land.
6
Why do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When he treated them harshly, did they not send the Israelites out so they could go on their way?
7
"Now then, get a new cart ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up.
8
Take the ark of the LORD and put it on the cart, and in a chest beside it put the gold objects you are sending back to him as a guilt offering. Send it on its way,
9
but keep watching it. If it goes up to its own territory, toward Beth Shemesh, then the LORD has brought this great disaster on us. But if it does not, then we will know that it was not his hand that struck us and that it happened to us by chance."
10
So they did this. They took two such cows and hitched them to the cart and penned up their calves.
11
They placed the ark of the LORD on the cart and along with it the chest containing the gold rats and the models of the tumors.
12
Then the cows went straight up toward Beth Shemesh, keeping on the road and lowing all the way; they did not turn to the right or to the left. The rulers of the Philistines followed them as far as the border of Beth Shemesh.
13
Now the people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced at the sight.
14
The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and there it stopped beside a large rock. The people chopped up the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD.
15
The Levites took down the ark of the LORD, together with the chest containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock. On that day the people of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the LORD.
16
The five rulers of the Philistines saw all this and then returned that same day to Ekron.
17
These are the gold tumors the Philistines sent as a guilt offering to the LORD-- one each for Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron.
18
And the number of the gold rats was according to the number of Philistine towns belonging to the five rulers-- the fortified towns with their country villages. The large rock, on which they set the ark of the LORD, is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.
19
But God struck down some of the men of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the LORD had dealt them,
20
and the men of Beth Shemesh asked, "Who can stand in the presence of the LORD, this holy God? To whom will the ark go up from here?"
21
Then they sent messengers to the people of Kiriath Jearim, saying, "The Philistines have returned the ark of the LORD. Come down and take it up to your place."

1 Samuel chapter 7

1
So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. They took it to Abinadab's house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD.
2
It was a long time, twenty years in all, that the ark remained at Kiriath Jearim, and all the people of Israel mourned and sought after the LORD.
3
And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, "If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines."
4
So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only.
5
Then Samuel said, "Assemble all Israel at Mizpah and I will intercede with the LORD for you."
6
When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, "We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel was leader of Israel at Mizpah.
7
When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. And when the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines.
8
They said to Samuel, "Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines."
9
Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it up as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. He cried out to the LORD on Israel's behalf, and the LORD answered him.
10
While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites.
11
The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Car.
12
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us."
13
So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory again. Throughout Samuel's lifetime, the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines.
14
The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to her, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the power of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
15
Samuel continued as judge over Israel all the days of his life.
16
From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places.
17
But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also judged Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD.

Psalm chapter 72

1
Of Solomon. Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness.
2
He will judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice.
3
The mountains will bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness.
4
He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor.
5
He will endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations.
6
He will be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth.
7
In his days the righteous will flourish; prosperity will abound till the moon is no more.
8
He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9
The desert tribes will bow before him and his enemies will lick the dust.
10
The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him; the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts.
11
All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him.
12
For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.
13
He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.
14
He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.
15
Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long.
16
Let grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. Let its fruit flourish like Lebanon; let it thrive like the grass of the field.
17
May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. All nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed.
18
Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds.
19
Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.
20
This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse.

2 Corinthians chapter 9

1
There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints.
2
For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.
3
But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be.
4
For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we-- not to say anything about you-- would be ashamed of having been so confident.
5
So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
6
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
7
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
9
As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."
10
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
11
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
13
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
14
And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
15
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!