Today’s Bible Reading

July 23

Old Testament I
Judges 19
Judges 19 tells the story of a Levite and his concubine who travel to the city of Gibeah, which is inhabited by the tribe of Benjamin. They hope to find a place to stay for the night, but no one offers them hospitality except for an old man. While they are eating and drinking, a group of wicked men from the city come and demand that the Levite be brought out to them so that they can have sex with him. The old man offers them his virgin daughter and the Levite's concubine instead, but they refuse and take the concubine.

The men then abuse and rape the concubine all night, and she dies at the doorstep of the house where they were staying. The Levite takes her body and cuts it into twelve pieces, sending one piece to each tribe of Israel as a sign of the evil that had been done in Gibeah.

The tribes of Israel are outraged by the actions of the Benjamites and demand that they hand over the men who committed the crime. The Benjamites refuse, and a war ensues between the tribe of Benjamin and the rest of Israel. The Israelites ultimately prevail, but not before suffering heavy losses.

The story highlights the moral decay and lack of hospitality in Gibeah, as well as the violent and retaliatory nature of the society at the time. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of justice and the consequences of sin.

Old Testament II
Isaiah 40
Isaiah 40 is a chapter of comfort and hope for the people of Israel. It begins with a command to "comfort my people" and declares that their sin has been pardoned and their punishment has been served. The chapter then goes on to describe the coming of a messenger who will prepare the way for the Lord, making straight paths in the wilderness and leveling the mountains and hills.

The Lord is then described as a shepherd who gathers his flock and carries them in his arms, gently leading those who are nursing young. The greatness of the Lord is emphasized, as he sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, holding the waters of the sea in the hollow of his hand and measuring the heavens with the span of his hand.

The chapter concludes with a powerful declaration that those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength and soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint. It emphasizes that the Lord is the everlasting God, who created the ends of the earth and will not grow tired or weary, and that his understanding no one can fathom.

Overall, Isaiah 40 encourages the people of Israel to put their trust in the Lord, who is powerful and merciful, and who will bring comfort and hope to those who wait for him.

New Testament
1 Corinthians 15:1-34
1 Corinthians 15:1-34 is a powerful exposition on the resurrection of Christ and its significance for believers. In this chapter, Paul addresses some false teachings in the Corinthian church, particularly regarding the resurrection of the dead.

Paul begins by reminding the Corinthians of the gospel message that he preached to them and which they believed in, namely that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures. He emphasizes the importance of this message, as it is the foundation of their faith and without it, their faith is in vain.

Next, Paul goes on to address the issue of the resurrection of the dead, which some in the Corinthian church were denying. He argues that if Christ did not rise from the dead, then their faith is worthless and they are still in their sins. But if Christ did rise from the dead, then this is proof that there is a resurrection of the dead and that believers will also be raised.

Paul emphasizes the reality of the resurrection and the transformation that will take place when believers are raised. He contrasts the earthly, mortal body with the heavenly, immortal body that believers will receive, which is imperishable, glorious, and powerful.

Paul then goes on to explain the sequence of events that will occur when Christ returns. He explains that the dead in Christ will rise first, and then those who are alive at the time of his coming will be transformed and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. He emphasizes that this is a glorious and joyful event for believers and encourages them to live in light of this future hope.

Finally, Paul concludes by urging the Corinthians to wake up and stop sinning, reminding them that their behavior has an impact on their future resurrection. He emphasizes that their labor in the Lord is not in vain, as it is ultimately for the glory of God.

In summary, 1 Corinthians 15:1-34 is a powerful exposition on the reality and significance of the resurrection of Christ and its implications for believers. It emphasizes the importance of the gospel message, the reality of the resurrection, the transformation that will take place, and the sequence of events that will occur when Christ returns. It also encourages believers to live in light of this future hope and to labor for the glory of God.