Today’s Bible Reading

July 18

Old Testament I
Judges 11:29 - 12:15
Judges 11:29-40 tells the story of Jephthah, a mighty warrior who was cast out by his family because he was the son of a prostitute. When the Ammonites threatened Israel, the leaders of Israel called on Jephthah to lead them in battle. Jephthah made a vow to God that he would sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house if he was victorious in battle.

Jephthah was successful in defeating the Ammonites, but the first thing that came out of his house was his daughter. Jephthah was devastated but kept his vow to God and sacrificed his daughter. The story of Jephthah is a tragic example of the dangers of making hasty vows to God.

In Judges 12:1-7, there is a conflict between Jephthah's tribe, the Gileadites, and the tribe of Ephraim. The Ephraimites were upset that they were not called to join in the battle against the Ammonites and threatened to burn down Jephthah's house. The Gileadites were able to defeat the Ephraimites, and the conflict was resolved.

Judges 12:8-15 lists the judges who came after Jephthah and their respective reigns. Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon all judged Israel, and their reigns were marked by peace and prosperity. These judges are not as well-known as some of the others in the book of Judges, but they were important leaders who helped to guide the people of Israel.

Old Testament II
Isaiah 33
Isaiah 33 is a prophetic message of hope for the people of Judah, who are facing threats from their enemies. The chapter begins with a prayer for deliverance, acknowledging God's righteousness and sovereignty, and asking for his protection.

The Lord responds to the prayer by promising to be gracious to the people and to bring about their salvation. He declares that he will put an end to their enemies' plans and will cause them to flee in fear. The chapter goes on to describe the blessings that will come upon the people of Judah, including prosperity, security, and righteousness.

Isaiah 33 also warns of the consequences of rejecting God's ways and living in sin. The chapter concludes with a description of the glorious future that awaits those who put their trust in the Lord and follow his ways, including the restoration of Jerusalem and the presence of God himself among his people.

New Testament
1 Corinthians 10:15 - 11:1
In 1 Corinthians 10:15-11:1, Paul continues to address the issue of idolatry and its impact on the Corinthian church. He reminds the Corinthians that as Christians, they are partakers of the body and blood of Christ, and therefore cannot also partake in the table of demons. He urges them to flee from idolatry and warns them of the dangers of provoking the Lord to jealousy.

Paul then turns to the issue of head coverings in worship, which was a cultural practice in ancient Corinth. He emphasizes that Christ is the head of every man, and man is the head of woman, just as God is the head of Christ. He argues that men should not have their heads covered while praying or prophesying, while women should have their heads covered as a sign of submission to authority.

Finally, Paul calls on the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitates Christ. He reminds them of his own sacrifice and commitment to spreading the Gospel, and encourages them to follow his example of self-denial and devotion to Christ.

Overall, this passage emphasizes the importance of avoiding idolatry and honoring the authority structures that God has established. It also calls on Christians to imitate Christ and his selfless love and sacrifice.