July 19

1 Kings 20

1Now Ben-hadad, king of Aram, got all his army together, and thirty-two kings with him, and horses and carriages of war; he went up and made war on Samaria, shutting it in.

2And he sent representatives into the town to Ahab, king of Israel;

3And they said to him, Ben-hadad says, Your silver and your gold are mine; and your wives and children are mine.

4And the king of Israel sent him an answer saying, As you say, my lord king, I am yours with all I have.

5Then the representatives came back again, and said, These are the words of Ben-hadad: I sent to you saying, Give up to me your silver and your gold, your wives and your children;

6But I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, to make a search through your house and the houses of your people, and everything which is pleasing in your eyes they will take away in their hands.

7Then the king of Israel sent for all the responsible men of the land, and said, Now will you take note and see the evil purpose of this man: he sent for my wives and my children, my silver and my gold, and I did not keep them back.

8And all the responsible men and the people said to him, Do not give attention to him or do what he says.

9So he said to the representatives of Ben-hadad, Say to my lord the king, All the orders you sent the first time I will do; but this thing I may not do. And the representatives went back with this answer.

10Then Ben-hadad sent to him, saying, May the gods’ punishment be on me if there is enough of the dust of Samaria for all the people at my feet to take some in their hands.

11And the king of Israel said in answer, Say to him, The time for loud talk is not when a man is putting on his arms, but when he is taking them off.

12Now when this answer was given to Ben-hadad, he was drinking with the kings in the tents, and he said to his men, Take up your positions. So they put themselves in position for attacking the town.

13Then a prophet came up to Ahab, king of Israel, and said, The Lord says, Have you seen all this great army? See, I will give it into your hands today, and you will see that I am the Lord.

14And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, The Lord says, By the servants of the chiefs who are over the divisions of the land. Then he said, By whom is the fighting to be started? And he made answer, By you.

15Then he got together the servants of all the chiefs who were over the divisions of the land, two hundred and thirty-two of them; and after them, he got together all the people, all the children of Israel, seven thousand.

16And in the middle of the day they went out. But Ben-hadad was drinking in the tents with the thirty-two kings who were helping him.

17And the servants of the chiefs who were over the divisions of the land went forward first; and when Ben-hadad sent out, they gave him the news, saying, Men have come out from Samaria.

18And he said, If they have come out for peace, take them living, and if they have come out for war, take them living.

19So the servants of the chiefs of the divisions of the land went out of the town, with the army coming after them.

20And every one of them put his man to death, and the Aramaeans went in flight with Israel after them; and Ben-hadad, king of Aram, got away safely on a horse with his horsemen.

21And the king of Israel went out and took the horses and the war-carriages, and made great destruction among the Aramaeans.

22Then the prophet came up to the king of Israel, and said to him, Now make yourself strong, and take care what you do, or a year from now the king of Aram will come up against you again.

23Then the king of Aram’s servants said to him, Their god is a god of the hills; that is why they were stronger than we: but if we make an attack on them in the lowlands, we will certainly be stronger than they.

24This is what you have to do: take away the kings from their positions, and put captains in their places;

25And get together another army like the one which came to destruction, horse for horse, and carriage for carriage; and let us make war on them in the lowlands, and certainly we will be stronger than they. And he gave ear to what they said, and did so.

26So, a year later, Ben-hadad got the Aramaeans together and went up to Aphek to make war on Israel.

27And the children of Israel got themselves together, and food was made ready and they went against them; the tents of the children of Israel were like two little flocks of goats before them, but all the country was full of the Aramaeans.

28And a man of God came up and said to the king of Israel, The Lord says, Because the Aramaeans have said, The Lord is a god of the hills and not of the valleys; I will give all this great army into your hands, and you will see that I am the Lord.

29Now the two armies kept their positions facing one another for seven days. And on the seventh day the fight was started; and the children of Israel put to the sword a hundred thousand Aramaean footmen in one day.

30But the rest went in flight to Aphek, into the town, where a wall came down on the twenty-seven thousand who were still living. And Ben-hadad went in flight into the town, into an inner room.

31Then his servants said to him, It is said that the kings of Israel are full of mercy: let us then put on haircloth, and cords on our heads, and go to the king of Israel; it may be that he will give you your life.

32So they put on haircloth, and cords on their heads, and came to the king of Israel and said, Your servant Ben-hadad says, Let me now keep my life. And he said, Is he still living? he is my brother.

33Now the men took it as a sign, and quickly took up his words; and they said, Ben-hadad is your brother. Then he said, Go and get him. So Ben-hadad came out to him and he made him get up into his carriage.

34And Ben-hadad said to him, The towns my father took from your father I will give back; and you may make streets for yourself in Damascus as my father did in Samaria. And as for me, at the price of this agreement you will let me go. So he made an agreement with him and let him go.

35And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his neighbour by the word of the Lord, Give me a wound. But the man would not.

36Then he said to him, Because you have not given ear to the voice of the Lord, straight away when you have gone from me a lion will put you to death. And when he had gone, straight away a lion came rushing at him and put him to death.

37Then he came across another man, and said, Give me a wound. And the man gave him a blow wounding him.

38So the prophet went away, and pulling his head-band over his eyes to keep his face covered, took his place by the road waiting for the king.

39And when the king went by, crying out to him he said, Your servant went out into the fight; and a man came out to me with another man and said, Keep this man: if by any chance he gets away, your life will be the price of his life, or you will have to give a talent of silver in payment.

40But while your servant was turning this way and that, he was gone. Then the king of Israel said to him, You are responsible; you have given the decision against yourself.

41Then he quickly took the head-band from his eyes; and the king of Israel saw that he was one of the prophets.

42And he said to him, These are the words of the Lord: Because you have let go from your hands the man whom I had put to the curse, your life will be taken for his life, and your people for his people.

43Then the king of Israel went back to his house, bitter and angry, and came to Samaria.

Amos 4:4-13

4Come to Beth-el and do evil; to Gilgal, increasing the number of your sins; come with your offerings every morning and your tenths every three days:

5Let that which is leavened be burned as a praise-offering, let the news of your free offerings be given out publicly; for this is pleasing to you, O children of Israel, says the Lord.

6But in all your towns I have kept food from your teeth, and in all your places there has been need of bread: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord.

7And I have kept back the rain from you, when it was still three months before the grain-cutting: I sent rain on one town and kept it back from another: one part was rained on, and the part where there was no rain became a waste.

8So two or three towns went wandering to one town looking for water, and did not get enough: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord.

9I have sent destruction on your fields by burning and disease: the increase of your gardens and your vine-gardens, your fig-trees and your olive-trees, has been food for worms: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord.

10I have sent disease among you, as it was in Egypt: I have put your young men to the sword, and have taken away your horses; I have made the evil smell from your tents come up to your noses: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord.

11And I have sent destruction among you, as when God sent destruction on Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a burning stick pulled out of the fire: and still you have not come back to me, says the Lord.

12So this is what I will do to you, O Israel: and because I will do this to you, be ready for a meeting with your God, O Israel.

13For see, he who gave form to the mountains and made the wind, giving knowledge of his purpose to man, who makes the morning dark, and is walking on the high places of the earth: the Lord, the God of armies, is his name.

1 Corinthians 7:1-24

1Now, as to the things in your letter to me: It is good for a man to have nothing to do with a woman.

2But because of the desires of the flesh, let every man have his wife, and every woman her husband.

3Let the husband give to the wife what is right; and let the wife do the same to the husband.

4The wife has not power over her body, but the husband; and in the same way the husband has not power over his body, but the wife.

5Do not keep back from one another what is right, but only for a short time, and by agreement, so that you may give yourselves to prayer, and come together again; so that Satan may not get the better of you through your loss of self-control.

6But this I say as my opinion, and not as an order of the Lord.

7It is my desire that all men might be even as I am. But every man has the power of his special way of life given him by God, one in this way and one in that.

8But I say to the unmarried and to the widows, It is good for them to be even as I am.

9But if they have not self-control let them get married; for married life is better than the burning of desire.

10But to the married I give orders, though not I but the Lord, that the wife may not go away from her husband

11(Or if she goes away from him, let her keep unmarried, or be united to her husband again); and that the husband may not go away from his wife.

12But to the rest I say, and not the Lord; If a brother has a wife who is not a Christian, and it is her desire to go on living with him, let him not go away from her.

13And if a woman has a husband who is not a Christian, and it is his desire to go on living with her, let her not go away from her husband.

14For the husband who has not faith is made holy through his Christian wife, and the wife who is not a Christian is made holy through the brother: if not, your children would be unholy, but now are they holy.

15But if the one who is not a Christian has a desire to go away, let it be so: the brother or the sister in such a position is not forced to do one thing or the other: but it is God’s pleasure that we may be at peace with one another.

16For how may you be certain, O wife, that you will not be the cause of salvation to your husband? or you, O husband, that you may not do the same for your wife?

17Only, as the Lord has given to a man, and as is the purpose of God for him, so let him go on living. And these are my orders for all the churches.

18If any man who is a Christian has had circumcision, let him keep so; and if any man who is a Christian has not had circumcision, let him make no change.

19Circumcision is nothing, and its opposite is nothing, but only doing the orders of God is of value.

20Let every man keep the position in which he has been placed by God.

21If you were a servant when you became a Christian, let it not be a grief to you; but if you have a chance to become free, make use of it.

22For he who was a servant when he became a Christian is the Lord’s free man; and he who was free when he became a Christian is the Lord’s servant.

23It is the Lord who has made payment for you: be not servants of men.

24My brothers, let every man keep in that condition which is the purpose of God for him.

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