Day 96 – 1 Kingdoms 5-7; Psalm 79; Proverbs 17:1–5; Luke 8:26–56

1 Kingdoms 5-7

1 The Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 And the Philistines took the ark of the Lord and brought it into the house of their god Dagon. They set it by Dagon. 3 And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, they entered the house of Dagon, and they looked and beheld Dagon falling on its face in the presence of the ark of God. So they raised Dagon and returned it to its place. And the hand of the Lord was heavy upon Ashdod. He tormented all within her borders; He smote them in their private parts. 4 Then it came to pass, when they arose early in the morning, behold Dagon had again fallen on his face before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. And the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were broken off, each in front of the threshold, and both the wrists of his hands were leaning on the doorway; only the torso of Dagon remained. 5 So to this day, the priests of Dagon and any who come into the house of Dagon do not tread on, but step over, the threshold of the house of Dagon in Ashdod because of this.
6 But the hand of the Lord was heavy on the people of Ashdod. He came upon them and in their ships. He brought forth disease among them. He infested their country with mice, and there was a great calamity of death in the city. 7 And when the men of Ashdod saw how it was, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is harsh upon us and Dagon our god.” 8 Therefore they sent and brought together all the lords of the Philistines in the same place and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?”
  And the people of Gath said, “Let the ark of the God of Israel come to us.” So the ark of God came to Gath. 9 And it came to be, after it entered Gath, that the hand of the Lord came upon the city. An exceedingly great state of confusion struck the men of the city, both small and great. He struck them in their private parts, and they made for themselves images of these. 10 Then they sent away the ark of God to Ashkelon, and it came about, when the ark of God came to Ashkelon, the people of Ashkelon cried out, saying, “Why did you turn the ark of the God of Israel toward us to kill us and our people?” 11 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel and let it return to its own place, so it does not kill us and our people,” for it came about that a widespread panic of death spread throughout the entire city. 12 And the living and those not dying were struck in their private parts, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.
Return of the Ark to Israel
1 For seven months the ark was in the country of the Philistines, and their land was infested with mice. 2 And the Philistines called for their priests, their prophets, and their enchanters, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Instruct us as to how we should return it to its place.” 3 So they said, “If you send away the ark of the covenant of the God of Israel, do not send it away empty. Instead, give it as an offering for the plague. Then you shall be healed and be atoned for. Otherwise His hand may never be removed from you.”
4 Then they said, “What shall we offer to Him for this torment?” They answered, “Five golden emerods for each of the number of lords of the Philistines, since the same offense was on all of you, on your leaders and the people. 5 And for each lord, add a gold mouse that images the mice utterly ravaging your land. Then you shall give glory to the Lord; perhaps He may lighten His hand from you, from off your gods, and from off your land. 6 Why do you yet harden your hearts, as did Egypt, and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? Was it not when he mocked them that they let the people go, and they departed? 7 Now therefore, make a new wagon and take two cows with firstborn calves, and hitch the cows to the wagon. But lead the newly born calves to the pen. 8 Now take the ark and set it on the wagon, and place the offering of the golden vessels you shall render to Him in a chest next to it. And send it away and let it depart. 9 Then you shall see; if it goes through Beth Shemesh, by way of the coasts, then He brought upon us this great evil. But if not, then we shall know His hand did not touch us, but only by mere chance.” 10 And the Philistines did so.
They took two cows, each having firstborn calves, and hitched them to the wagon, putting the calves into the pen. 11 Onto the wagon they placed the ark, and the chest, and the mice made of gold. 12 The cows went straight ahead, by way of Beth-Shemesh, on the only beaten path. They proceeded and labored and did not turn aside either to the right or to the left. And the lords of the Philistines followed it to the border of Beth-Shemesh.
13 Now the men of Beth-Shemesh were in the valley to reap the harvest of their wheat. They lifted up their eyes and saw the ark of the Lord, and they rejoiced to greet it. 14 The wagon came to a stop in the field of Joshua of Beth-Shemesh. And next to the wagon they set a large stone. They split the wood of the wagon and offered the cows as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. 15 The Levites took up the ark of the Lord and with it the chest and the gold vessels and put them on the large stone. And on this day the men of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the Lord. 16 So when the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned on the same day to Ashkelon.
17 These are the places the gold emerods were given as an offering to the Lord: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, and one for Ekron. 18 And the gold mice were according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, from the cities being fortified as far as the villages of Pherezite, and as far as the great stone where they placed the ark of the covenant of the Lord, in the field of Joshua of Beth-Shemesh.
  19 Now the sons of Jechoniah were not pleased, nor were the people of Beth-Shemesh, because as they looked at the ark of the Lord, the Lord smote fifty thousand and seventy men from among them. And the people mourned because of the people the Lord smote such a deadly blow.
The Ark at Kirjath Jearim
20 And the men of Beth-Shemesh said, “Who shall be able to come before this holy Lord? And to whom shall the ark of the Lord go up from us?” 21 So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of the Lord, so come down and take it up with you.”
1 Then the men of Kirjath Jearim came and brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill. They consecrated Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the covenant of the Lord safe.
Samuel as Judge in Israel
2 It came to pass that from the very day the ark was in Kirjath Jearim, the days multiplied to become twenty years. And all the house of Israel watched for the Lord. 3 Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, if you put away the foreign gods and the sacred groves from among you, and if you prepare your hearts for the Lord and serve Him alone, He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the sacred groves for Ashtoreths, and served the Lord alone. 5 And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” 6 So they gathered at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out upon the earth before the Lord. And there they fasted on that day and said, “We sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the sons of Israel at Mizpah. 7 When the Philistines heard that the sons of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines marched up against Israel. And when the sons of Israel heard of it, they were afraid before the Philistines. 8 So the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, and He will save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 And Samuel took one suckling lamb and offered it with all the people as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. Then Samuel cried out to the Lord concerning Israel, and the Lord heard him. 10 Now as Samuel was offering the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to do battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud noise against the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down below Beth Car.
12 Then Samuel took one stone and set it up between Mizpah and the older one, and called it Ebenezer, a Stone of Help, saying, “The Lord helped us here.” 13 So the Lord humbled the Philistines, and they no longer came into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 And the cities which the Philistines took from the children of Israel were returned; they returned them to Israel from Ekron to Gath, and they took the coast of Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. There was peace between Israel and the Amorites. 15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 He went yearly on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and he judged Israel in all those holy places. 17 But he always returned to Ramah, for his home was there, and there he judged Israel, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

Psalm 79

1 For the End, concerning things that shall be changed; a testimony for Asaph, a psalm concerning the Assyrian.
2 Give heed, O You who shepherd Israel;
Reveal Yourself, O You who lead Joseph like a flock,
Who sit upon the cherubim.
3 Raise up Your power
Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh,
And come for our salvation.
4 O God, convert us,
And reveal Your face, and we shall be saved.
5 O Lord God of hosts,
How long will You be angry with the prayer of Your servant?
6 Will You feed us the bread of tears,
And will You give us as drink tears in measure?
7 You made us an offense to our neighbors,
And our enemies sneered at us.
8 O Lord God, convert us,
And reveal Your face, and we shall be saved.
9 You removed a vineyard from Egypt;
You cast out the nations and planted it;
10 You prepared the way before it,
And You planted its roots; and the earth was filled.
11 Its shade covered the mountains,
And its vines the cedars of God;
12 Its branches reached to the sea
And its shoots as far as the river.
13 Why did You pull down its hedge,
And all who pass on the road gather its grapes?
14 A wild swine from the forest laid it waste,
A solitary wild beast devoured it.
15 O God of hosts, convert us now;
Look down from heaven and behold,
And visit this vineyard
16 Which Your right hand planted, and perfect it.
And visit the son of man, whom You strengthened for Yourself.
17 It was set on fire and uprooted,
But they shall perish at the rebuke of Your face.
18 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
And upon the son of man, whom You strengthened for Yourself;
19 Then we will not turn away from You;
You will give us life, and we will call upon Your name.
20 O Lord God of hosts, convert us,
and reveal Your face, and we shall be saved.

Proverbs 17:1–5

1 Better is a morsel with enjoyment in peace
Than a house full of many good things and unrighteous sacrifices with quarreling.
2 A servant with discernment shall rule over masters without discernment,
And will divide portions among brethren.
3 As silver and gold are tested in a furnace,
So are chosen hearts before the Lord.
4 An evil man heeds the tongue of the lawless,
But a righteous man pays no attention to false lips.
5 He who laughs at the poor provokes the One who made him,
And he who rejoices in destruction will not be unpunished;
But he who has compassion will be shown mercy.

Luke 8:26–56

26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee.
27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs.
28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!”
29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.
30 Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him.
31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them.
33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.
34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country.
35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.
36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed.
37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.
38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying,
39 “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed
40 So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him.
41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house,
42 for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him.
43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,
44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
  45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”
46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.”
47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.
48 And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.”
50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”
51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl.
52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.”
53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.
54 But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.”
55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.
56 And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.

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