Today’s Bible Reading

July 24

Old Testament I
Judges 20
Judges 20 describes the aftermath of the horrific crime committed against the Levite's concubine in Gibeah, which led to a civil war between the Israelites and the tribe of Benjamin.

In response to the crime, the Israelites gather together and seek counsel from God. They decide to confront the tribe of Benjamin and demand that they hand over the perpetrators of the crime. However, the tribe of Benjamin refuses to do so, and instead, they prepare for battle.

The Israelites ask God which tribe should go first in battle, and God chooses Judah. The Israelites suffer a heavy defeat in the first battle, but they seek God's guidance and try again the next day. This time, they are victorious, but the tribe of Benjamin does not surrender.

The Israelites continue to fight against the tribe of Benjamin for several days, and the tribe of Benjamin suffers heavy losses. However, they refuse to give up, and the Israelites eventually resort to a deceptive tactic to defeat them.

They set an ambush and lure the tribe of Benjamin into attacking, only to retreat and draw the tribe of Benjamin into a trap. The Israelites succeed in defeating the tribe of Benjamin and killing most of their warriors.

After the battle, the Israelites mourn the loss of so many of their own, and they vow not to give their daughters in marriage to the tribe of Benjamin. However, they eventually change their minds and find a way to provide wives for the remaining Benjamites.

The story ends with the Israelites rebuilding their relationship with God and with one another, and they continue to serve the Lord for the remainder of the book of Judges.

Old Testament II
Isaiah 41:1-20
Isaiah 41:1-20 is a passage in which God speaks to the prophet Isaiah, giving him a message to deliver to the people of Israel. The chapter begins with God addressing the nations of the earth, inviting them to come and present their case before him. He challenges them to bring forth their strongest arguments and to prove that they are gods, but they are unable to do so.

God then turns his attention to Israel, reminding them of their special relationship with him. He tells them not to fear, for he is with them and will help them. He promises to uphold them with his righteous right hand, and to make them into a new threshing instrument that will crush mountains and hills.

God goes on to remind Israel of their history and of the times when he has come to their aid in the past. He tells them that he will continue to be their protector and provider, even in the midst of their enemies. He promises to give them water in the desert and to make streams flow in the wasteland.

God then speaks of the foolishness of those who trust in idols, which are nothing more than the work of human hands. He contrasts this with the glory of his own majesty and power, declaring that there is no one like him. He tells Israel that they are his servant, whom he has chosen and not rejected.

In the final section of the passage, God calls on the people of Israel to trust in him alone. He promises to pour out his blessings on them and to be their help in times of trouble. He tells them that they will be like a new plant that grows from a dry ground, and that they will blossom and flourish like the trees of Lebanon. He declares that he will do all of this for his own sake, for his own glory and honor.

New Testament
1 Corinthians 15:35-58
1 Corinthians 15:35-58 is a section of Paul's letter to the Corinthians where he addresses the resurrection of the dead. In this passage, Paul responds to those who doubt the possibility of bodily resurrection by explaining the nature of the resurrection body and its relationship to the natural body.

Paul begins by acknowledging the skepticism of some, asking rhetorically, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" (v. 35). He then uses the analogy of a seed to illustrate the transformation that takes place in the resurrection. Just as a seed is sown in the ground and transforms into a plant, so too the natural body is sown in death and raised to new life as a spiritual body (v. 36-38).

Paul goes on to explain that the resurrection body is not a mere continuation of the natural body, but rather a transformation into something new and glorious. He describes the natural body as perishable, dishonorable, and weak, while the resurrection body is imperishable, glorious, and powerful (v. 42-44).

Paul also explains that the resurrection is a result of Christ's victory over death, and that those who belong to Christ will be raised in a similar way. He contrasts the first Adam, who brought death into the world, with the second Adam, who brought life through his resurrection (v. 45-49).

Finally, Paul declares that the resurrection of the dead is a victory over death and sin, and that those who are raised will experience a transformation that enables them to inherit the kingdom of God. He proclaims, "Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (v. 54-55).

Paul concludes by exhorting the Corinthians to stand firm in their faith, knowing that their labor in the Lord is not in vain. He encourages them to live in light of the resurrection, knowing that their bodies will be transformed and that they will ultimately be victorious over death and sin (v. 56-58).