Today’s Bible Reading

July 19

Old Testament I
Judges 13
Judges 13 tells the story of the birth of Samson, who would become one of the most famous judges of Israel. The chapter begins with the Israelites once again doing evil in the eyes of the Lord, and as a result, God allows them to be oppressed by the Philistines for 40 years.

During this time, an angel of the Lord appears to a barren woman named Manoah's wife and tells her that she will have a son who will be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from birth, and that he will begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines.

Manoah's wife tells her husband about the encounter, and he prays to God for the angel to return and give them more instructions. God answers Manoah's prayer, and the angel appears to them again, instructing them on how to raise their son, including guidelines on his diet and behavior.

Manoah and his wife follow the angel's instructions, and soon after, Manoah's wife gives birth to a son named Samson. The chapter ends with the statement that the Spirit of the Lord began to stir Samson, indicating that he was being prepared for his role as a deliverer of Israel.

Old Testament II
Isaiah 34, 35
Isaiah 34 describes the judgment of God upon the nations who have rebelled against Him. The chapter uses vivid and graphic language to depict the destruction that will come upon these nations. It speaks of a day of vengeance for the Lord, when His anger will be poured out upon the earth. The chapter also describes the desolation of the land, with images of wild animals taking over and the earth becoming a wasteland. The ultimate message is one of the righteousness of God and the importance of following His ways, lest we face His judgment.

Isaiah 35, in contrast, paints a picture of the restoration that will come when the Lord returns. The chapter speaks of the wilderness blooming like a rose, and the desert becoming a fertile land. It talks of the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, and the lame walking, as the Lord brings healing to His people. The chapter also describes the highway of holiness that will be established, and the ransomed of the Lord returning to Zion with singing and joy. The ultimate message is one of hope and the promise of redemption for those who trust in the Lord.

New Testament
1 Corinthians 11:2-34
1 Corinthians 11:2-34 is a passage in which the Apostle Paul addresses the issue of proper conduct during worship services.

In the first section of this passage (verses 2-16), Paul emphasizes the importance of gender distinctions in worship. He notes that men should not cover their heads during prayer or prophesying, while women should cover their heads as a sign of submission. Paul argues that this is a matter of honoring the God-ordained order of creation, in which men are the head of women.

In the second section (verses 17-22), Paul rebukes the Corinthians for their improper behavior during the Lord's Supper. He notes that some members of the church are eating and drinking to excess, while others are going hungry. Paul emphasizes that the Lord's Supper is a time for solemn remembrance of Christ's sacrifice and should not be treated lightly.

In the final section (verses 23-34), Paul gives instructions for how the Lord's Supper should be observed. He emphasizes that it should be done in remembrance of Christ and that participants should examine themselves before partaking. Paul notes that those who partake in an unworthy manner are guilty of sinning against Christ's body and blood.

Overall, Paul emphasizes the importance of proper conduct during worship services, including honoring gender distinctions and treating the Lord's Supper with the reverence it deserves.