Bible in one year

April 21

Judges 7:1-25
1. Early in the morning Jerub Baal (Gideon) and all his men set up their camp at the spring of Harod. The Midianites were camped in the valley at the bottom of the hill called Moreh, north of Gideon and his men.
2. Then the Lord said to Gideon, "I am going to help your men defeat the Midianites, but you have too many men for the job. I don't want the Israelites to forget me and brag that they saved themselves.
3. So make an announcement to your men. Tell them, 'Anyone who is afraid may leave Mount Gilead and go back home.'" At that time 22,000 men left Gideon and went back home, but 10,000 still remained.
4. Then the Lord said to Gideon, "There are still too many men. Take the men down to the water, and I will test them for you there. If I say, 'This man will go with you,' he will go. But if I say, 'That one will not go with you,' then he will not go."
5. So Gideon led the men down to the water and the Lord said to him, "Separate the men like this: Those who drink the water by using their tongue to lap it up like a dog will be in one group. And those who bend down to drink will be in the other group."
6. There were 300 men who used their hands to bring water to their mouth and lapped it like a dog does. All the other people bent down and drank the water.
7. The Lord said to Gideon, "I will use the 300 men who lapped the water like a dog. I will use them to save you, and I will allow you to defeat the Midianites. Let the other men go home."
8. So Gideon sent the other men of Israel home. He kept the 300 men with him. Those 300 men kept the supplies and the trumpets of the other men who went home. The Midianites were camped in the valley below Gideon's camp.
9. During the night the Lord spoke to Gideon and said, "Get up. I will let you defeat the Midianite army. Go down to their camp.
10. If you are afraid to go alone, take your servant Purah with you. Go into the camp of the Midianites.
11. Listen to what they are saying. After that you will not be afraid to attack them." So Gideon and his servant Purah went down to the edge of the enemy camp.
12. The Midianites, the people of Amalek, and all the other people from the east were camped in that valley. There were so many people that they seemed like a swarm of locusts. It seemed like they had as many camels as there are grains of sand on the seashore.
13. Gideon came to the enemy camp, and he heard a man talking. That man was telling his friend about a dream that he had. He was saying, "I dreamed that a round loaf of bread came rolling into the camp of the Midianites. That loaf of bread hit the tent so hard that the tent turned over and fell flat."
14. The man's friend knew the meaning of the dream. He said, "Your dream can only have one meaning. Your dream is about that man from Israel. It is about Gideon son of Joash. It means that God will let Gideon defeat the whole army of Midian."
15. After he heard the men talking about the dream and what it meant, Gideon bowed down to God. Then Gideon went back to the camp of the Israelites and called out to the people, "Get up! The Lord will help us defeat the Midianites."
16. Then Gideon divided the 300 men into three groups. He gave each man a trumpet and an empty jar with a burning torch inside it.
17. Then Gideon told the men, "Watch me and do what I do. Follow me to the edge of the enemy camp. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly what I do.
18. You men surround the enemy camp. I and all the men with me will blow our trumpets. When we blow our trumpets, you blow your trumpets too. Then shout these words: 'For the Lord and for Gideon!'"
19. So Gideon and the 100 men with him went to the edge of the enemy camp. They came there just after the enemy changed guards. It was during the middle watch of the night. Gideon and his men blew their trumpets and smashed their jars.
20. Then all three groups of Gideon's men blew their trumpets and smashed their jars. The men held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands. As they blew their trumpets, they shouted, "A sword for the Lord and a sword for Gideon!"
21. Gideon's men stayed where they were. But inside the camp, the men of Midian began shouting and running away.
22. When Gideon's 300 men blew their trumpets, the Lord caused the men of Midian to kill each other with their swords. The enemy army ran away to the city of Beth Shittah, which is toward the city of Zererah. They ran as far as the border of the city of Abel Meholah, which is near the city of Tabbath.
23. Then soldiers from the tribes of Naphtali, Asher, and all of Manasseh were told to chase the Midianites.
24. Gideon sent messengers through all the hill country of Ephraim. The messengers said, "Come down and attack the Midianites. Take control of the river as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan River. Do this before the Midianites get there." So they called all men from the tribe of Ephraim. They took control of the river as far as Beth Barah.
25. The men of Ephraim caught two of the Midianite leaders named Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at a place named the Rock of Oreb and Zeeb at a place named the Winepress of Zeeb. They continued chasing the Midianites, but first they cut off the heads of Oreb and Zeeb and took the heads to Gideon. Gideon was at the place where people cross the Jordan River.

Judges 8:1-35
1. The men of Ephraim were angry with Gideon. When they found him, they asked, "Why did you treat us this way? Why didn't you call us when you went to fight against the Midianites?"
2. But Gideon answered the men of Ephraim, "I have not done as well as you. You people of Ephraim have a much better harvest than my family, the Abiezers. At harvest time you leave more grapes in the vineyard than my family gathers! Isn't that true?
3. In the same way you have a better harvest now. God allowed you to capture Oreb and Zeeb, the leaders of Midian. How can I compare my success with what you did?" When the men of Ephraim heard Gideon's answer, they were not as angry as they had been.
4. Then Gideon and his 300 men came to the Jordan River and went across to the other side, but they were tired and hungry.
5. Gideon said to the men of the city of Succoth, "Give my soldiers something to eat. They are very tired. We are still chasing Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian."
6. But the leaders of the city of Succoth said to Gideon, "Why should we give your soldiers something to eat? You haven't caught Zebah and Zalmunna yet."
7. Then Gideon said, "The Lord will help me capture Zebah and Zalmunna. And since you would not give us any food, I will come back and beat you with thorns and briers from the desert."
8. Gideon left the city of Succoth and went to the city of Penuel. He asked the men of Penuel for food, just as he had asked the men of Succoth. But the men of Penuel gave Gideon the same answer that the men of Succoth had given.
9. So Gideon said to the men of Penuel, "After I win the victory, I will come back here and pull this tower down."
10. Zebah and Zalmunna and their army were in the city of Karkor. Their army had 15,000 soldiers in it. These soldiers were all who were left of the army of the people of the east. 120,000 strong soldiers of that army had already been killed.
11. Gideon and his men used Tent Dwellers' Road, which is east of the cities of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the enemy at Karkor. The enemy army did not expect the attack.
12. Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of the Midianites, ran away. But Gideon chased and caught them. Gideon and his men defeated the enemy army.
13. Then Gideon son of Joash returned from the battle. He and his men returned by going through a mountain pass called the Pass of Heres.
14. Gideon captured a young man from the city of Succoth. He asked the young man some questions. The young man wrote down some names for Gideon. The young man wrote down the names of the leaders and elders of the city of Succoth. He gave Gideon the names of 77 men.
15. When Gideon came to the city of Succoth, he said to the men of that city, "Here are Zebah and Zalmunna. You made fun of me by saying, 'Why should we give food to your tired soldiers? You have not caught Zebah and Zalmunna yet.'"
16. Gideon took the elders of the city of Succoth, and he beat them with thorns and briers from the desert to punish them.
17. Gideon also pulled down the tower in the city of Penuel and killed the men living in that city.
18. Then Gideon said to Zebah and Zalmunna, "You killed some men on Mount Tabor. What were the men like?" Zebah and Zalmunna answered, "They were like you. Each one of them seemed like a prince."
19. Gideon said, "Those men were my brothers, my mother's sons! As the Lord lives, if you had not killed them, I would not kill you now."
20. Then Gideon turned to Jether, his oldest son, and said, "Kill these kings." But Jether was only a boy and was afraid, so he would not take out his sword.
21. Then Zebah and Zalmunna said to Gideon, "Come on, kill us yourself. You are a man and strong enough to do the job." So Gideon got up and killed Zebah and Zalmunna. Then Gideon took the decorations shaped like the moon off their camels' necks.
22. The Israelites said to Gideon, "You saved us from the Midianites. So now rule over us. We want you, your son, and your grandson to rule over us."
23. But Gideon told the Israelites, "The Lord will be your ruler. I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you."
24. Some of the people who the men of Israel defeated were Ishmaelites. And the Ishmaelite men wore gold earrings. So Gideon said to the Israelites, "I want you to do this one thing for me. I want each of you to give me a gold earring from the things you took in the battle."
25. The Israelites said to Gideon, "We will gladly give you what you want." So they put a coat down on the ground, and each man threw an earring onto the coat.
26. When the earrings were gathered up, they weighed about 43 pounds. This did not include the other gifts the Israelites gave to Gideon. They also gave him jewelry shaped like the moon and jewelry shaped like teardrops. And they gave him purple robes. The kings of the Midianites had worn these things. They also gave him the chains from the camels of the Midianite kings.
27. Gideon used the gold to make an ephod, which he put in his hometown, the town called Ophrah. All the Israelites worshiped the ephod. In this way the Israelites were not faithful to God—they worshiped the ephod. The ephod became a trap that caused Gideon and his family to sin.
28. The Midianites were forced to be under the rule of the Israelites. The Midianites did not cause trouble anymore. And the land was at peace for 40 years, as long as Gideon was alive.
29. Jerub Baal (Gideon) son of Joash went home.
30. Gideon had 70 sons of his own. He had so many sons because he had many wives.
31. He had a slave woman who lived in the city of Shechem. He had a son by her. He named that son Abimelech.
32. So Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age. He was buried in the tomb that Joash, his father, owned. That tomb is in the city of Ophrah, where the family of Abiezer lives.
33. As soon as Gideon died, the Israelites again were not faithful to God—they followed Baal. They made Baal Berith their god.
34. The Israelites did not remember the Lord their God, even though the Lord had saved them from all their enemies who were living all around them.
35. The Israelites were not loyal to the family of Jerub Baal, even though he had done many good things for them.

Psalms 49:10-20
10. Look, the wise die the same as fools and stupid people. They die and leave their wealth to others.
11. The grave will be their new home forever. And how much land they owned will not make any difference.
12. People might be wealthy, but they cannot stay here forever. They will die like the animals.
13. That is what happens to all who trust in themselves and to anyone who accepts their way of life. Selah
14. They are just like sheep, but the grave will be their pen. Death will be their shepherd. When morning comes, the good people will enjoy victory, as the bodies of the proud slowly rot in the grave, far away from their fancy houses.
15. But God will pay the price to save me from the grave. He will take me to be with him. Selah
16. Don't be afraid of people just because they are rich. Don't be afraid of people just because they have big, fancy houses.
17. They will not take anything with them when they die. They will not take their wealth with them.
18. A wealthy man might tell himself how well he has done in life. And other people might praise him.
19. But the time will come for him to die and go to his ancestors. And he will never again see the light of day.
20. Wealthy people don't seem to understand that they will die like the animals.

Proverbs 14:22-24
22. Whoever works to do good will find love and loyalty. It is a mistake to work at doing evil.
23. If you work hard, you will have plenty. If you do nothing but talk, you will not have enough.
24. A wise person's reward is wealth, but a fool's reward is foolishness.

Luke 15:11-32
11. Then Jesus said, "There was a man who had two sons.
12. The younger son said to his father, 'Give me now the part of your property that I am supposed to receive someday.' So the father divided his wealth between his two sons.
13. "A few days later the younger son gathered up all that he had and left. He traveled far away to another country, and there he wasted his money living like a fool.
14. After he spent everything he had, there was a terrible famine throughout the country. He was hungry and needed money.
15. So he went and got a job with one of the people who lived there. The man sent him into the fields to feed pigs.
16. He was so hungry that he wanted to eat the food the pigs were eating. But no one gave him anything.
17. "The son realized that he had been very foolish. He thought, 'All my father's hired workers have plenty of food. But here I am, almost dead because I have nothing to eat.
18. I will leave and go to my father. I will say to him: Father, I have sinned against God and have done wrong to you.
19. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But let me be like one of your hired workers.'
20. So he left and went to his father. "While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him coming and felt sorry for him. So he ran to him and hugged and kissed him.
21. The son said, 'Father, I have sinned against God and have done wrong to you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22. "But the father said to his servants, 'Hurry! Bring the best clothes and put them on him. Also, put a ring on his finger and good sandals on his feet.
23. And bring our best calf and kill it so that we can celebrate with plenty to eat.
24. My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found!' So they began to have a party.
25. "The older son had been out in the field. When he came near the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing.
26. So he called to one of the servant boys and asked, 'What does all this mean?'
27. The boy said, 'Your brother has come back, and your father killed the best calf to eat. He is happy because he has his son back safe and sound.'
28. "The older son was angry and would not go in to the party. So his father went out and begged him to come in.
29. But he said to his father, 'Look, for all these years I have worked like a slave for you. I have always done what you told me to do, and you never gave me even a young goat for a party with my friends.
30. But then this son of yours comes home after wasting your money on prostitutes, and you kill the best calf for him!'
31. "His father said to him, 'Oh, my son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32. But this was a day to be happy and celebrate. Your brother was dead, but now he is alive. He was lost, but now he is found.'"