Today’s Bible Reading

September 4

Old Testament I
2 Samuel 20
2 Samuel 20 continues the account of David’s reign as king of Israel. A man named Sheba, who was from the tribe of Benjamin, rebelled against David and called for the people of Israel to join him. Joab, David’s general, pursued Sheba, and they came to the city of Abel Beth Maakah. Sheba hid in the city, and Joab besieged it. A wise woman inside the city convinced the people to cut off Sheba’s head and throw it to Joab. This ended the rebellion and brought peace to the land.

After this, there is a brief account of David’s administration. Joab is still the general, and Benaiah is the captain of the king’s bodyguard. Adoram is in charge of forced labor, and Jehoshaphat is the recorder. Sheva is the scribe, and Zadok and Abiathar are priests.

Overall, 2 Samuel 20 emphasizes the importance of loyalty and obedience to the king. It also shows the consequences of rebellion and the need for swift and decisive action to maintain peace and order in the kingdom. The wise woman’s counsel also highlights the power of negotiation and diplomacy in resolving conflicts.

Old Testament II
Jeremiah 4:3-31
Jeremiah 4:3-31 is a passage in which the prophet Jeremiah calls on the people of Judah to repent and turn away from their sinful ways. He warns them that if they do not repent, they will face destruction and exile.

In the first few verses, Jeremiah calls on the people to break up the fallow ground of their hearts and remove the idols from their midst. He urges them to circumcise themselves spiritually and turn back to God.

Jeremiah then speaks of the coming judgment that will fall upon the people if they do not repent. He describes the armies of Babylon as a destructive force that will lay waste to the land and destroy the cities of Judah.

Despite this warning, the people continue in their sin and refuse to turn back to God. Jeremiah laments their disobedience and the impending destruction that will come upon them.

In the final verses of the passage, Jeremiah describes the devastation that will come upon the land as a result of the Babylonian invasion. He speaks of the desolation and emptiness that will be left behind, as the people of Judah are taken into captivity.

Overall, Jeremiah 4:3-31 is a call to repentance and a warning of the consequences of continued disobedience. It serves as a reminder that God is just and will hold his people accountable for their actions.

New Testament
Galatians 5:10-26
Galatians 5:10-26 is a passage from Paul's letter to the Galatians where he contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruits of the Spirit.

In verse 10, Paul expresses confidence in the Galatians' faith and encourages them to persevere despite those who were trying to lead them astray.

In verses 11-12, he confronts those who were promoting circumcision as necessary for salvation and argues that this teaching only serves to create division and detract from the message of the cross.

Starting in verse 13, Paul begins to contrast the works of the flesh with the fruits of the Spirit. He encourages the Galatians to use their freedom in Christ to serve one another in love, rather than indulging in sinful desires.

In verses 16-18, Paul explains that the desires of the flesh are opposed to the desires of the Spirit, and those who are led by the Spirit will not be under the law.

In verses 19-21, Paul lists various works of the flesh such as sexual immorality, idolatry, and jealousy, and warns that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

In contrast, in verses 22-23, he lists the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness, and emphasizes that there is no law against such things.

In verses 24-26, Paul concludes by urging the Galatians to crucify the flesh with its passions and desires and to live by the Spirit. He encourages them to avoid conceit and provocation and to bear one another's burdens in order to fulfill the law of Christ.