Today’s Bible Reading

July 21

Old Testament I
Judges 16
Judges 16 is a chapter in the Old Testament book of Judges that tells the story of Samson and Delilah.

The chapter begins with Samson going to Gaza, where he spends the night with a prostitute. When the people of Gaza find out that Samson is in the city, they plot to capture him. However, Samson is able to escape by tearing down the city gates and carrying them away.

Samson then falls in love with Delilah, a woman from the valley of Sorek. The Philistine leaders approach Delilah and offer her a large sum of money if she can discover the secret of Samson's great strength. Delilah tries to get the secret out of Samson three times, but he lies to her each time.

Finally, Samson tells Delilah that his strength comes from his hair, which has never been cut. Delilah shaves his head while he is sleeping, and the Philistines are able to capture him. They gouge out his eyes and take him to Gaza, where he is forced to work as a slave.

One day, the Philistines gather in a temple to celebrate their victory over Samson. They bring Samson out to entertain them, but he prays to God for strength one last time. God grants his request, and Samson uses his remaining strength to bring down the temple, killing himself and thousands of Philistines.

The chapter ends with the Israelites retrieving Samson's body and burying him in his father's tomb.

Old Testament II
Isaiah 37:8-38
Isaiah 37:8-38 describes the story of King Hezekiah of Judah and the Assyrian invasion of Jerusalem. When Hezekiah received a threatening letter from the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, he sought the Lord's help and sent his officials to the prophet Isaiah for guidance.

Isaiah reassured Hezekiah that the Lord would protect Jerusalem and defeat the Assyrians. The Lord sent an angel to strike down the Assyrian army, and Sennacherib returned to Assyria without attacking Jerusalem.

After this victory, Hezekiah became ill and was near death. He prayed to the Lord and Isaiah came to him with a message from God, saying that Hezekiah would recover and live for 15 more years. As a sign of this promise, the shadow on the sundial moved back ten steps.

Hezekiah's recovery was a testimony to God's power and faithfulness, and he praised the Lord for His mercy and salvation.

New Testament
1 Corinthians 13
1 Corinthians 13 is a famous chapter in the Bible that describes the importance of love in the Christian faith. The chapter is often called the "Love Chapter" because it emphasizes the supremacy of love over other spiritual gifts.

In the first three verses, the apostle Paul emphasizes that even if he had all the spiritual gifts and could perform great miracles, without love he would be nothing. Love is the foundation of all spiritual gifts and without it, they are meaningless.

The next several verses describe what love is and what it is not. Love is patient and kind, it does not envy or boast, it is not arrogant or rude, it does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

In verse 8, Paul states that love never ends, unlike the other spiritual gifts which will eventually pass away. Love is eternal and will endure forever.

In verses 9-12, Paul explains that our understanding of love and spiritual gifts is currently limited, but one day we will have a full understanding of them when we see God face to face.

In the final verses, Paul emphasizes the importance of love above all other spiritual gifts. He encourages believers to pursue love and to desire spiritual gifts, but to do so in a way that prioritizes love.

Overall, 1 Corinthians 13 teaches us that love is the most important aspect of the Christian faith. Love should be the foundation of all our actions and attitudes, and we should strive to love others as Christ loved us.