Bible Reading Plan

Thursday, April 27


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Judges 7:1-8:17

Gideon’s 300 Chosen Men

1Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him, rose early and camped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.

2The LORD said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’3“Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’” So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained.

4Then the LORD said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”5So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.”6Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water.7The LORD said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.”8So the 300 men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets into their hands. And Gideon sent all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the 300 men; and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.

9Now the same night it came about that the LORD said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hands.10“But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp,11and you will hear what they say; and afterward your hands will be strengthened that you may go down against the camp.” So he went with Purah his servant down to the outposts of the army that was in the camp.12Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the sons of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore.13When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, “Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat.”14His friend replied, “This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given Midian and all the camp into his hand.”

15When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. He returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the LORD has given the camp of Midian into your hands.”16He divided the 300 men into three companies, and he put trumpets and empty pitchers into the hands of all of them, with torches inside the pitchers.17He said to them, “Look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do.18“When I and all who are with me blow the trumpet, then you also blow the trumpets all around the camp and say, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.’”

Confusion of the Enemy

19So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands.20When the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”21Each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran, crying out as they fled.22When they blew 300 trumpets, the LORD set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.23The men of Israel were summoned from Naphtali and Asher and all Manasseh, and they pursued Midian.

24Gideon sent messengers throughout all the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down against Midian and take the waters before them, as far as Beth-barah and the Jordan.” So all the men of Ephraim were summoned and they took the waters as far as Beth-barah and the Jordan.25They captured the two leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, and they killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and they killed Zeeb at the wine press of Zeeb, while they pursued Midian; and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon from across the Jordan.

Zebah and Zalmunna Routed

1Then the men of Ephraim said to him, “What is this thing you have done to us, not calling us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they contended with him vigorously.2But he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?3“God has given the leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb into your hands; and what was I able to do in comparison with you?” Then their anger toward him subsided when he said that.

4Then Gideon and the 300 men who were with him came to the Jordan and crossed over, weary yet pursuing.5He said to the men of Succoth, “Please give loaves of bread to the people who are following me, for they are weary, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”6The leaders of Succoth said, “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hands, that we should give bread to your army?”7Gideon said, “All right, when the LORD has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will thrash your bodies with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.”8He went up from there to Penuel and spoke similarly to them; and the men of Penuel answered him just as the men of Succoth had answered.9So he spoke also to the men of Penuel, saying, “When I return safely, I will tear down this tower.”

10Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their armies with them, about 15,000 men, all who were left of the entire army of the sons of the east; for the fallen were 120,000 swordsmen.11Gideon went up by the way of those who lived in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and attacked the camp when the camp was unsuspecting.12When Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued them and captured the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and routed the whole army.

13Then Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle by the ascent of Heres.14And he captured a youth from Succoth and questioned him. Then the youth wrote down for him the princes of Succoth and its elders, seventy-seven men.15He came to the men of Succoth and said, “Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, concerning whom you taunted me, saying, ‘Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are weary?’”16He took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and he disciplined the men of Succoth with them.17He tore down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city.

Luke 23:13-43

13Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people,14and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him.15“No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him.16“Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”17[Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]

18But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!”19(He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.)20Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again,21but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!”22And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”23But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail.24And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted.25And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their will.

Simon Bears the Cross

26When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

27And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him.28But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.29“For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’30“Then they will begin TOSAY TO THE MOUNTAINS, ‘FALL ON US,’ AND TO THE HILLS, ‘COVER US.’31“For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.

The Crucifixion

33When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.34But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.35And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”36The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine,37and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”38Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

39One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”40But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?41“And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”42And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”43And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Psalm 97:1-98:9

1The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;

Let the many islands be glad.

2Clouds and thick darkness surround Him;

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

3Fire goes before Him

And burns up His adversaries round about.

4His lightnings lit up the world;

The earth saw and trembled.

5The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the LORD,

At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

6The heavens declare His righteousness,

And all the peoples have seen His glory.

7Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images,

Who boast themselves of idols;

Worship Him, all you gods.

8Zion heard this and was glad,

And the daughters of Judah have rejoiced

Because of Your judgments, O LORD.

9For You are the LORD Most High over all the earth;

You are exalted far above all gods.

10Hate evil, you who love the LORD,

Who preserves the souls of His godly ones;

He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

11Light is sown like seed for the righteous

And gladness for the upright in heart.

12Be glad in the LORD, you righteous ones,

And give thanks to His holy name.

1O sing to the LORD a new song,

For He has done wonderful things,

His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.

2The LORD has made known His salvation;

He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.

3He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

4Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth;

Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.

5Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,

With the lyre and the sound of melody.

6With trumpets and the sound of the horn

Shout joyfully before the King, the LORD.

7Let the sea roar and all it contains,

The world and those who dwell in it.

8Let the rivers clap their hands,

Let the mountains sing together for joy

9Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth;

He will judge the world with righteousness

And the peoples with equity.

Proverbs 14:7-8

7Leave the presence of a fool,

Or you will not discern words of knowledge.

8The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way,

But the foolishness of fools is deceit.