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Bible in one year


April 20


Judges 5:1-31
1. On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:
2. "When Israel's leaders take charge, and the people gladly follow--bless the LORD!
3. "Listen, you kings! Pay attention, you mighty rulers! For I will sing to the LORD. I will lift up my song to the LORD, the God of Israel.
4. "LORD, when you set out from Seir and marched across the fields of Edom, the earth trembled and the cloudy skies poured down rain.
5. The mountains quaked at the coming of the LORD. Even Mount Sinai shook in the presence of the LORD, the God of Israel.
6. "In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, and in the days of Jael, people avoided the main roads, and travelers stayed on crooked side paths.
7. There were few people left in the villages of Israel--until Deborah arose as a mother for Israel.
8. When Israel chose new gods, war erupted at the city gates. Yet not a shield or spear could be seen among forty thousand warriors in Israel!
9. My heart goes out to Israel's leaders, and to those who gladly followed. Bless the LORD!
10. "You who ride on fine donkeys and sit on fancy saddle blankets, listen! And you who must walk along the road, listen!
11. Listen to the village musicians gathered at the watering holes. They recount the righteous victories of the LORD, and the victories of his villagers in Israel. Then the people of the LORD marched down to the city gates.
12. "Wake up, Deborah, wake up! Wake up, wake up, and sing a song! Arise, Barak! Lead your captives away, son of Abinoam!
13. "Down from Tabor marched the remnant against the mighty. The people of the LORD marched down against mighty warriors.
14. They came down from Ephraim--a land that once belonged to the Amalekites, and Benjamin also followed you. From Makir the commanders marched down; from Zebulun came those who carry the rod of authority.
15. The princes of Issachar were with Deborah and Barak. They followed Barak, rushing into the valley. But in the tribe of Reuben there was great indecision.
16. Why did you sit at home among the sheepfolds--to hear the shepherds whistle for their flocks? In the tribe of Reuben there was great indecision.
17. Gilead remained east of the Jordan. And Dan, why did he stay home? Asher sat unmoved at the seashore, remaining in his harbors.
18. But Zebulun risked his life, as did Naphtali, on the battlefield.
19. "The kings of Canaan fought at Taanach near Megiddo's springs, but they carried off no treasures of battle.
20. The stars fought from heaven. The stars in their orbits fought against Sisera.
21. The Kishon River swept them away--that ancient river, the Kishon. March on, my soul, with courage!
22. Then the horses' hooves hammered the ground, the galloping, galloping of Sisera's mighty steeds.
23. `Let the people of Meroz be cursed,' said the angel of the LORD. `Let them be utterly cursed because they did not come to help the LORD, to help the LORD against the mighty warriors.'
24. "Most blessed is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. May she be blessed above all women who live in tents.
25. Sisera asked for water, and Jael gave him milk. In a bowl fit for kings, she brought him yogurt.
26. Then with her left hand she reached for a tent peg, and with her right hand she reached for the workman's hammer. She hit Sisera, crushing his head. She pounded the tent peg through his head, piercing his temples.
27. He sank, he fell, he lay dead at her feet.
28. "From the window Sisera's mother looked out. Through the window she watched for his return, saying, `Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why don't we hear the sound of chariot wheels?'
29. A reply comes from her wise women, and she repeats these words to herself:
30. `They are dividing the captured goods they found--a woman or two for every man. There are gorgeous robes for Sisera, and colorful, beautifully embroidered robes for me.'
31. "LORD, may all your enemies die as Sisera did! But may those who love you rise like the sun at full strength!" Then there was peace in the land for forty years.

Judges 6:1-40
1. Again the Israelites did what was evil in the LORD's sight. So the LORD handed them over to the Midianites for seven years.
2. The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites fled to the mountains, where they made hiding places for themselves in caves and dens.
3. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel,
4. camping in the land and destroying crops as far away as Gaza. They left the Israelites with nothing to eat, taking all the sheep, oxen, and donkeys.
5. These enemy hordes, coming with their cattle and tents as thick as locusts, arrived on droves of camels too numerous to count. And they stayed until the land was stripped bare.
6. So Israel was reduced to starvation by the Midianites. Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD for help.
7. When they cried out to the LORD because of Midian,
8. the LORD sent a prophet to the Israelites. He said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of slavery in Egypt
9. and rescued you from the Egyptians and from all who oppressed you. I drove out your enemies and gave you their land.
10. I told you, `I am the LORD your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.' But you have not listened to me."
11. Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the oak tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash had been threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites.
12. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, "Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!"
13. "Sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn't they say, `The LORD brought us up out of Egypt'? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites."
14. Then the LORD turned to him and said, "Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!"
15. "But Lord," Gideon replied, "how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!"
16. The LORD said to him, "I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man."
17. Gideon replied, "If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the LORD speaking to me.
18. Don't go away until I come back and bring my offering to you." The LORD answered, "I will stay here until you return."
19. Gideon hurried home. He cooked a young goat, and with half a bushel of flour he baked some bread without yeast. Then, carrying the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, he brought them out and presented them to the angel, who was under the oak tree.
20. The angel of God said to him, "Place the meat and the unleavened bread on this rock, and pour the broth over it." And Gideon did as he was told.
21. Then the angel of the LORD touched the meat and bread with the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed all he had brought. And the angel of the LORD disappeared.
22. When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he cried out, "Sovereign LORD, I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!"
23. "It is all right," the LORD replied. "Do not be afraid. You will not die."
24. And Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and named it "The LORD Is Peace." The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day.
25. That night the LORD said to Gideon, "Take the second best bull from your father's herd, the one that is seven years old. Pull down your father's altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it.
26. Then build an altar to the LORD your God here on this hill, laying the stones carefully. Sacrifice the bull as a burnt offering on the altar, using as fuel the wood of the Asherah pole you cut down."
27. So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD had commanded. But he did it at night because he was afraid of the other members of his father's household and the people of the town. He knew what would happen if they found out who had done it.
28. Early the next morning, as the people of the town began to stir, someone discovered that the altar of Baal had been knocked down and that the Asherah pole beside it was gone. In their place a new altar had been built, and it had the remains of a sacrifice on it.
29. The people said to each other, "Who did this?" And after asking around and making a careful search, they learned that it was Gideon, the son of Joash.
30. "Bring out your son," they shouted to Joash. "He must die for destroying the altar of Baal and for cutting down the Asherah pole."
31. But Joash shouted to the mob, "Why are you defending Baal? Will you argue his case? Whoever pleads his case will be put to death by morning! If Baal truly is a god, let him defend himself and destroy the one who knocked down his altar!"
32. From then on Gideon was called Jerubbaal, which means "Let Baal defend himself," because he knocked down Baal's altar.
33. Soon afterward the armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east formed an alliance against Israel and crossed the Jordan, camping in the valley of Jezreel.
34. Then the Spirit of the LORD took possession of Gideon. He blew a ram's horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him.
35. He also sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, summoning their warriors, and all of them responded.
36. Then Gideon said to God, "If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised,
37. prove it to me in this way. I will put some wool on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised."
38. And it happened just that way. When Gideon got up the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water.
39. Then Gideon said to God, "Please don't be angry with me, but let me make one more request. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew."
40. So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.

Psalms 49:1-9
1. Listen to this, all you people! Pay attention, everyone in the world!
2. High and low, rich and poor--listen!
3. For my words are wise, and my thoughts are filled with insight.
4. I listen carefully to many proverbs and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.
5. There is no need to fear when times of trouble come, when enemies are surrounding me.
6. They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches.
7. Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God.
8. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough
9. to live forever and never see the grave.

Proverbs 14:20-21
20. The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many "friends."
21. It is sin to despise one's neighbors; blessed are those who help the poor.

Luke 15:1-10
1. Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.
2. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such despicable people--even eating with them!
3. So Jesus used this illustration:
4. "If you had one hundred sheep, and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it?
5. And then you would joyfully carry it home on your shoulders.
6. When you arrived, you would call together your friends and neighbors to rejoice with you because your lost sheep was found.
7. In the same way, heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away!
8. "Or suppose a woman has ten valuable silver coins and loses one. Won't she light a lamp and look in every corner of the house and sweep every nook and cranny until she finds it?
9. And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her because she has found her lost coin.
10. In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents."