Today’s Bible Reading

July 15

Old Testament I
Judges 8
Judges 8 continues the story of Gideon, who had just defeated the Midianites with the help of God. After the battle, the Israelites wanted to make Gideon their king, but he refused, saying that only God was their king.

Gideon then pursued the remaining Midianite leaders, captured them, and killed them. The Israelites were grateful for Gideon's leadership and asked him to rule over them, but he once again refused, asking only for the gold earrings the Israelites had taken from their defeated enemies.

Using the gold, Gideon made an ephod, which became an object of worship for the Israelites. Gideon's family also became wealthy, and he had many wives and children.

However, the peace in Israel did not last long. Gideon died, and the Israelites once again turned away from God and worshipped idols. They forgot about the lessons they had learned under Gideon's leadership and began to live in sin.

The chapter concludes by introducing Abimelech, Gideon's son by a concubine, who will play a significant role in the subsequent events.

Old Testament II
Isaiah 29
Isaiah 29 begins with a warning to Jerusalem, which is called "Ariel," meaning "lion of God." The city is told that it will be besieged and humbled, and the people will mourn and lament. The Lord is angry with the people of Jerusalem because they worship Him with their lips but not with their hearts.

In verses 7-8, the prophet describes a vision of the enemy's sudden attack on Jerusalem, which will be like a dream or a vision of the night. The people of Jerusalem will be caught off guard and will not be prepared for the attack.

In verses 9-12, the Lord says that He will bring judgment on the wise and learned men of Jerusalem who think they are clever and can deceive others. He will confuse their minds and they will be unable to understand what is happening around them.

In verses 13-16, the Lord says that the people of Jerusalem are hypocrites who honor Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. They worship Him in vain, teaching human precepts instead of the commandments of God. Therefore, the Lord will perform a marvelous work among them, showing His power and wisdom.

In verses 17-24, Isaiah prophesies that the deaf will hear, the blind will see, and the meek will rejoice in the Lord. Those who are currently wicked and unjust will be punished, and the people of Jerusalem will be restored. The oppressors will be brought low, and the poor and needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

In conclusion, Isaiah 29 warns the people of Jerusalem of impending judgment because of their hypocrisy and their failure to truly worship and honor the Lord. However, the chapter also offers hope that the Lord will restore the city and its people, punishing the wicked and bringing joy to the meek and humble.

New Testament
1 Corinthians 8
1 Corinthians 8 is a chapter in which Paul addresses the issue of eating food sacrificed to idols. In the city of Corinth, it was common for meat to be sold in the marketplace that had been previously offered to idols in the pagan temples. Some of the believers in Corinth were concerned about eating this meat, while others were not.

Paul begins by emphasizing that knowledge can lead to arrogance, but love edifies. He asserts that while idols themselves are nothing, some believers may still have a weak conscience and feel guilty about eating meat offered to idols. Therefore, those who have knowledge about the true nature of idols should be careful not to cause their weaker brothers and sisters to stumble.

Paul uses himself as an example of someone who is willing to give up his rights for the sake of others. He reminds the Corinthians that their ultimate goal should be to glorify God in all that they do.

In conclusion, Paul teaches that while it may be permissible to eat meat offered to idols, it is more important to consider the well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We should be willing to sacrifice our own freedoms for the sake of others, and always seek to glorify God in our actions.