Today’s Bible Reading

July 17

Old Testament I
Judges 10:6 - 11:28
Judges 10:6-11:28 is the story of Jephthah, one of the judges of Israel. The passage begins by describing how the Israelites once again turned away from God and began worshiping false gods. As a result, God allowed the Philistines and Ammonites to oppress them for 18 years.

After crying out to God for help, the Israelites appointed Jephthah, a mighty warrior, as their leader. Jephthah attempted to negotiate with the Ammonites to avoid war, but they refused and prepared to attack Israel.

Jephthah then made a vow to God, promising that if God gave him victory over the Ammonites, he would offer as a burnt offering whatever came out of his house to greet him upon his return. Jephthah went to battle and defeated the Ammonites.

When Jephthah returned home, his daughter, who had come out to greet him, was the first thing he saw. Jephthah was devastated by his vow and the fact that he would have to sacrifice his daughter. His daughter, however, accepted her fate and asked for two months to roam the hills with her friends and mourn her virginity.

After this time, Jephthah fulfilled his vow and sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering to God. The passage concludes by noting that this practice of making vows to God and offering sacrifices had become a common occurrence among the Israelites.

The story of Jephthah is a tragic one, highlighting the dangers of making rash vows and the consequences of idolatry. It also shows the importance of seeking God's guidance and relying on His strength rather than our own.

Old Testament II
Isaiah 31, 32
Isaiah 31:

In Isaiah 31, the prophet delivers a message of warning to those who trust in Egypt for help instead of relying on God. Isaiah admonishes the people of Judah not to seek the aid of Egypt, saying that it will only lead to shame and disappointment. Instead, Isaiah urges the people to trust in God and his power to save them. He reminds them that God is sovereign and powerful, and that he will come to their aid if they turn to him.

Isaiah 32:

Isaiah 32 is a message of hope and comfort for the people of Judah. The prophet tells of a time when a righteous king will reign in Judah, bringing peace, justice, and prosperity to the land. He describes the blessings that will come with this reign, including the restoration of the land and the establishment of security and stability for the people. Isaiah also speaks of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the people, bringing wisdom and understanding to those who seek God. The chapter ends with a call to righteousness, urging the people to turn from their sin and embrace God's ways in order to receive his blessings.

New Testament
1 Corinthians 9:24 - 10:34
1 Corinthians 9:24-27: In this passage, the apostle Paul uses the metaphor of a race to encourage the Corinthian believers to live their lives with discipline and purpose, just as athletes do. He explains that just as athletes must train their bodies to compete, believers must exercise self-control and discipline in their spiritual lives to receive the ultimate prize, which is eternal life.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13: Paul uses the example of the Israelites in the wilderness to warn the Corinthians against falling into the same sins that led to the Israelites' downfall. He reminds them that even though the Israelites were blessed by God and witnessed many miracles, they still rebelled against God and suffered the consequences. Paul urges the Corinthians to learn from this example and avoid the same mistakes.

1 Corinthians 10:14-22: Paul cautions the Corinthians against participating in idol worship and pagan rituals, emphasizing that believers cannot simultaneously worship God and demons. He urges them to flee from all forms of idolatry and to partake only in activities that honor God.

1 Corinthians 10:23-30: Paul encourages the Corinthians to exercise their freedom in Christ, but also to consider how their actions may impact others. He advises them to avoid causing others to stumble, and to prioritize love and unity within the church.

1 Corinthians 10:31-33: Paul concludes by urging the Corinthians to do all things for the glory of God, and to strive to be a positive example to those around them. He emphasizes that believers should not seek their own benefit, but the benefit of others, so that they may be saved.