Today’s Bible Reading

September 25

Old Testament I
1 Kings 17
1 Kings 17 introduces us to the prophet Elijah during the reign of King Ahab of Israel. In the beginning of the chapter, Elijah prophesies to Ahab that there will be a drought in the land because of the king's disobedience to God.

God then directs Elijah to hide by the Brook Cherith, where he is fed by ravens who bring him bread and meat in the morning and evening. However, when the brook dries up due to the drought, God tells Elijah to go to Zarephath, where he will be provided for by a widow.

When Elijah arrives in Zarephath, he finds the widow gathering sticks and asks her for a drink of water and a piece of bread. The widow tells Elijah that she only has enough flour and oil to make one last meal for herself and her son before they die of starvation. However, Elijah tells her to make him a small cake first, promising that God will provide for her and her son if she obeys. The widow does as Elijah asks and miraculously, her flour and oil do not run out until the drought ends.

Later in the chapter, the widow's son becomes sick and dies, and the widow blames Elijah for his death. Elijah takes the boy to his room, cries out to God, and begs for the boy's life to be restored. God hears Elijah's prayer and the boy is brought back to life.

In conclusion, 1 Kings 17 shows us the power of God to provide for his servants even in times of drought and famine. It also demonstrates Elijah's faith and obedience to God, as well as his compassion towards the widow and her son.

Old Testament II
Jeremiah 36, 45
Jeremiah 36 is a chapter that describes the events surrounding the writing and reading of a scroll containing the prophecies of Jeremiah. The prophet is instructed by God to write down all of the words that he had spoken against Israel and Judah and to read them aloud to the people in the temple. Jeremiah dictates the prophecies to his scribe, Baruch, who writes them down on a scroll. Baruch reads the scroll to the people in the temple, but it ultimately ends up in the hands of the king, Jehoiakim. The king is angered by the contents of the scroll and orders it to be burned, but God instructs Jeremiah to rewrite the scroll and add even more prophecies.

Jeremiah 45 is a short chapter that focuses on a specific individual, Baruch, who was Jeremiah's scribe. In this chapter, Baruch expresses his frustration and despair to Jeremiah about the difficulties he has faced in serving as a prophet's assistant. Jeremiah responds with words of comfort and assurance, telling Baruch that although he will face difficult times, he will ultimately be spared and his life will be preserved. The chapter ends with a reminder that in the midst of all the turmoil and suffering, God is still in control and will ultimately bring about justice and redemption.

New Testament
Philemon 1
Philemon is a short letter written by the apostle Paul to Philemon, a Christian who lived in Colossae. In the letter, Paul encourages Philemon to receive back his runaway slave, Onesimus, who had become a Christian while in Rome and was now returning to his former master. Paul also offers to pay any debts owed by Onesimus and asks Philemon to receive him as a brother in Christ rather than as a slave.

Paul appeals to Philemon's Christian character and love for the Lord, reminding him of the grace and forgiveness that he himself has received through Christ. He also expresses his hope that Philemon will go beyond what is required and welcome Onesimus as a dear brother and partner in the gospel.

The letter demonstrates Paul's concern for the unity of the Christian community, regardless of social status or cultural background. It also illustrates the transformative power of the gospel, as Onesimus goes from being a runaway slave to a fellow worker and beloved brother in Christ.

Overall, Philemon is a beautiful example of Paul's pastoral care and his commitment to the gospel message of reconciliation and redemption. It challenges us to extend grace and forgiveness to those who have wronged us and to view our fellow believers through the lens of brotherhood in Christ.