Daily Bible Reading
How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved him in the desert!
They tested God again and again,
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They did not keep in mind his power,
or the day when he redeemed them from the foe;
when he displayed his signs in Egypt,
and his miracles in the fields of Zoan.
He turned their rivers to blood,
so that they could not drink of their streams.
He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them,
and frogs, which destroyed them.
He gave their crops to the caterpillar,
and the fruit of their labor to the locust.
He destroyed their vines with hail,
and their sycamores with frost.
He gave over their cattle to the hail,
and their flocks to thunderbolts.
He let loose on them his fierce anger,
wrath, indignation, and distress,
a company of destroying angels.
He made a path for his anger;
he did not spare them from death,
but gave their lives over to the plague.
He struck all the firstborn in Egypt,
the first issue of their strength in the tents of Ham.
Then he led out his people like sheep,
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid;
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
And he brought them to his holy hill,
to the mountain that his right hand had won.
He drove out nations before them;
he apportioned them for a possession
and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
Yet they tested the Most High God,
and rebelled against him.
They did not observe his decrees,
but turned away and were faithless like their ancestors;
they twisted like a treacherous bow.
For they provoked him to anger with their high places;
they moved him to jealousy with their idols.
When God heard, he was full of wrath,
and he utterly rejected Israel.
He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh,
the tent where he dwelt among mortals,
and delivered his power to captivity,
his glory to the hand of the foe.
He gave his people to the sword,
and vented his wrath on his heritage.
Fire devoured their young men,
and their girls had no marriage song.
Their priests fell by the sword,
and their widows made no lamentation.
Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
like a warrior shouting because of wine.
He put his adversaries to rout;
he put them to everlasting disgrace.
He rejected the tent of Joseph,
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
but he chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion, which he loves.
He built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
like the earth, which he has founded forever.
He chose his servant David,
and took him from the sheepfolds;
from tending the nursing ewes he brought him
to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
of Israel, his inheritance.
With upright heart he tended them,
and guided them with skillful hand.
Note: Today's Gospel reading is Matthew 13:18-23.
From the New Revised Standard Version. Reprinted with permission from HarperBibles.
Daily Offerings from Beliefnet