Day 85 | God makes the Bronze Snake of Healing | Balaam worries about the Israelites | Jesus appoints his 12 Apostles
Day 85 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. God makes the Bronze Snake of Healing. Balaam worries about the Israelites. Jesus appoints his 12 Apostles.
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Luke 6: 12-36
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4 The Israelites left Mount Hor and traveled on the road that goes to the Red Sea. They did this to go around the country of Edom. But the people be- came impatient. 5 They began complaining against God and Moses.
The people said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? We will die here in the desert! There is no bread and no water! And we hate this terrible food!”
6 So the LORD sent poisonous snakes among the people. The snakes bit the people, and many of the Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We know that we sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD. Ask him to take away these snakes.”
So Moses prayed for them. 8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a bronze snake and put it on a pole. If anyone is bitten by a snake, that person should look at the bronze snake on the pole. Then that person will not die.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Then when a snake bit anyone, that person looked at the bronze snake on the pole and lived.
The Journey to Moab
10 The Israelites left that place and camped at Oboth. 11 Then they left Oboth and camped at Iye Abarim in the desert east of Moab. 12 They left that place and camped in Zered Valley. 13 Then they moved and camped across from the Arnon River in the desert that begins at the Ammonite border. The Arnon River was the border between Moab and the Amorites. 14 That is why these words are found in the Book of the Wars of the LORD: “Waheb in Suphah, and the Valleys of the Arnon, 15 and the hills by the valleys that lead to the town of Ar. These places are at the border of Moab.” 16 The Israelites left that place and traveled to Beer.
There is a well in Beer, where the LORD said to Moses, “Bring the people together here, and I will give them water.”
17 Then the Israelites sang this song: “Well, flow with water! Sing about it! 18 This is the well that princes dug. It was opened up by our great leaders, using their staffs and walking sticks.” From the desert, the Israelites traveled to the town of Mattanah. 19 And from Mattanah they went to Nahaliel. Then from Nahaliel they went to Bamoth. 20 From Bamoth they traveled to a valley in the land that once belonged to Moab. In this place the top of the Pisgah Mountain looks over the desert.
Sihon and Og
21 The Israelites sent some men to King Sihon of the Amorites. The men said to the king, 22 “Allow us to travel through your country. We will not go through any field or vineyard. We will not drink water from any of your wells. We will travel only along King’s Road. We will stay on that road un- til we have traveled through your country.”
23 But King Sihon would not allow the Israelites to travel through his country. He gathered his whole army and marched out to the desert to fight against the Israelites. The king’s army fought against the Israelites at Jahaz. 24 But the Israelites defeated the king and took his land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River. The Israelites took the land as far as the Ammonite border. They stopped at that border because it was strongly defended by the Ammonites. 25 Israel took all the Amorite cities and began living in them. They even defeated the city of Heshbon and all the small towns around it. 26 Heshbon was the city where Sihon, the Amorite king, lived. In the past Sihon had fought with the king of Moab. Sihon had taken the land as far as the Arnon River.
27 That is why the singers sing this song: “Go in and rebuild Heshbon! Make Sihon’s city strong. 28 A fire began in Heshbon. That fire began in Sihon’s city. The fire destroyed Ar in Moab. It burned* the hills above Arnon River. 29 It is bad for you, Moab! Chemosh, your god, has left you in ruins! He has let Sihon, king of the Amorites, chase away your men and take your women as prisoners. 30 But we defeated those Amorites. We destroyed their towns from Heshbon to Dibon, from Nashim to Nophah, near Medeba.”
31 So the Israelites made their camp in the land of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent some men to look at the town of Jazer. Then the Israelites captured that town and the small towns that were around it. They forced the Amorites who were living there to leave. 33 Then the Israelites traveled on the road towards Bashan. King Og of Bashan and his whole army marched out to meet the Israelites. They fought at Edrei.
34 But the LORD said to Moses, “Don’t be afraid of that king. I will allow you to defeat him. You will take his whole army and all his land. Do the same to him as you did to Sihon, the Amorite king who lived in Heshbon.”
35 So the Israelites defeated Og and his army. They killed him, his sons and all his army, until no one was left alive. Then the Israelites took all his land.
Balaam and the King of Moab
The Israelites traveled on and camped in the plains of Moab on the other side of the Jordan River across from Jericho. 2 King Balak son of Zippor saw everything the Israelites had done to the Amorites. 3 He and all the Moabites were frightened of the Israelites because there were so many of them. They were very afraid.
4 The Moabites said to the leaders of Midian, “This huge group of people will destroy everything around us, the way an ox eats all the grass in a field.”
So King Balak 5 sent some men to Balaam son of Beor. Balaam was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River. This was where Balaam’s people lived. This was Balak’s message: “A new nation of people has come out of Egypt. There are so many people that they cover all the land. They have camped next to me. 6 Come and help me. These people are too powerful for me. I know that you have great power. If you bless people, good things happen to them. And if you curse people, bad things happen to them. So come and curse these people. Maybe then I will be able to defeat them and force them to leave my country.”
7 The leaders of Moab and Midian left. They went to talk to Balaam. They carried with them money to pay him for his service.* Then they told him what Balak had said. 8 Balaam said to them, “Stay here for the night. I will talk to the LORD and tell you the answer he gives me.” So the leaders of Moab stayed there with Bal- aam that night. 9 God came to Balaam and asked, “Who are these men with you?”
10 Balaam said to God, “The king of Moab, Balak son of Zippor, sent them to give me a message. 11 This is the message: A new nation of people has come out of Egypt. There are so many people that they cover the land. So come and curse these people. Then maybe I will be able to fight them and force them to leave my land.”
12 But God said to Balaam, “Don’t go with them. You must not curse those people. They are my people.”
13 The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak’s leaders, “Go back to your own country. The LORD will not let me go with you.”
14 So the leaders of Moab went back to Balak and told him this. They said, “Bal- aam refused to come with us.” 15 So Balak sent other leaders to Bal- aam. This time he sent many more than the first time. And these leaders were much more important than the first ones he sent. 16 They went to Balaam and said, “This is what Balak son of Zippor says to you: “Please don’t let anything stop you from coming. 17 I will pay you very well, and I will do whatever you ask. Come and curse these people for me.”
18 Balaam gave Balak’s officials his answer. He said, “I must obey the LORD my God. I cannot do anything, great or small, against his command. Even if King Balak offers to give me his beautiful home filled with silver and gold, I will not do anything against the Lord’s command. 19 But you can stay here tonight like the other men did, and during the night I will learn what the LORD wants to tell me.”
20 That night God came to Balaam. God said, “These men have come again to ask you to go with them. Go with them, but do only what I tell you to do.”
Jesus Chooses His Twelve Apostles (Matt. 10:1-4; Mark 3:13-19)
12 A few days later, Jesus went out to the hills to pray. He stayed there all night praying to God. 13 The next morning he called together his followers. He chose twelve of them and called them apostles: 14 Simon, the one Jesus named Peter, Andrew, brother of Peter, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James, the son of Alphaeus, Simon, called the Zealot, 16 Judas, the son of James, Judas Iscariot, the one who later turned against Jesus.
Jesus Teaches and Heals the People (Matt. 4:23-25; 5:1-12)
17 Jesus and the apostles came down from the mountain. Jesus stood on a flat place. A large crowd of his followers were there. Also, there were many people from all around Judea, Jerusalem and the coastal areas near Tyre and Sidon. 18 They all came to hear Jesus teach and to be healed of their sicknesses. He healed the people who were troubled by evil spirits. 19 Everyone was trying to touch him, because power was coming out from him. Jesus healed them all. 20 Jesus looked at his followers and said, “Great blessings belong to you who are poor. God’s kingdom belongs to you. 21 Great blessings belong to you who are hungry now. You will be filled. Great blessings belong to you who are crying now. You will be happy and laughing.
22 “People will hate you because you belong to the Son of Man. They will make you leave their group. They will insult you. They will think it is wrong even to say your name. When these things happen, know that great blessings belong to you. 23 You can be happy then and jump for joy, because you have a great reward in heaven. The ancestors of those people did the same things to the prophets.
24 “But how bad it will be for you rich people, because you had your easy life. 25 How bad it will be for you people who are full now, because you will be hungry. How bad it will be for you people who are laughing now, because you will be sad and cry.
26 “Expect the worst when everyone says good things about you. Their ancestors did the same thing when they were praising false prophets.
Love Your Enemies (Matt. 5:38-48; 7:12a)
27 “But I say to you people who are listening to me, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. 28 Ask God to bless the people who ask for bad things to happen to you. Pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone hits you on the side of your face, let them hit the other side too. If someone takes your coat, don’t stop them from taking your shirt too. 30 Give to everyone who asks you for something. When someone takes something that is yours, don’t ask for it back. 31 Do for others what you want them to do for you.
32 “If you love only those who love you, should you get any special praise for doing that? No, even sinners love those who love them! 33 If you do good only to those who do good to you, should you get any special praise for doing that? No, even sinners do that! 34 If you lend things to people, always expecting to get something back, should you get any special praise for that? No, even sinners lend to other sinners so that they can get back the same amount!
35 “I’m telling you to love your enemies and do good to them. Lend to people without expecting to get anything back. If you do this, you will have a great reward. You will be children of the Most High God. Yes, because God is good even to the people who are full of sin and not thankful. 36 Give love and mercy the same as your Father gives love and mercy.
21 The wicked borrow money and never pay it back, but good people are kind and generous.
22 Everyone the Lord blesses will get the land he promised, but everyone he curses will be destroyed.
23 If the LORD is pleased with the way people live, he makes sure they are successful.
24 If they stumble, they will not fall, because the LORD reaches out to steady them.
25 I was young, and now I am old, but I have never seen good people left with no one to help them; I have never seen their children begging for food.
26 They are kind and generous, and their children are a blessing.
27 Stop doing anything evil and do good, and you will always have a place to live in the land.
28 The LORD loves what is right, and he will never leave his faithful people without help. He will always protect them, but he will destroy the families of the wicked.
29 Good people will get the land God promised and will live in it forever.
30 Those who do what is right give good advice. Their decisions are always fair.
31 They have learned God’s teachings, and they will never stop living right.
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