Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Moses and Aaron formed a divine partnership before Pharaoh. By himself, Moses felt weak and incapable. That's why the Lord sent him a prayer partner in Aaron. For the next four decades, these two men walked together doing great exploits for God.

"How could one person chase a thousand of them, and two people put ten thousand to flight . . . unless the Lord had given them up?" (Deuteronomy 32:30). Two people who are partners are five times more powerful than two individuals acting alone! Moses and Aaron did not realize how much they would need each other until after their first round with Pharaoh. Not only did Pharaoh reject them, but also their own people rejected them.

Solomon said, "Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

It is a scientific fact that geese flying in a flock honk to encourage each other. Moses needed a "honker" in Aaron, and you, too, need others to support you. Find your two or three "honkers," and take on the "Pharaoh" in your life!

Exodus 4:1-5:21

Signs for Moses

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listenS Ex 3:18 to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,”ver 17, 20; Ge 38:18; Ex 7:19; 8:5, 16; 14:16, 21; 17:5-6, 9; Nu 17:2; 20:8; Jos 8:18; Jdg 6:21; 1Sa 14:27; 2Ki 4:29 he replied.

The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake,Ex 7:8-12, 15 and he ran from it.Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.“This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believever 31; S Ex 3:6; 14:31; 19:9 that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprousThe Hebrew word for leprous was used for various diseases affecting the skin.—it had become as white as snow.Lev 13:2, 11; Nu 12:10; Dt 24:9; 2Ki 5:1, 27; 2Ch 26:21

“Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored,2Ki 5:14; Mt 8:3; Lk 17:12-14 like the rest of his flesh.

Then the Lord said, “If they do not believeS Ex 3:18 you or pay attention to the first sign,ver 30; Jdg 6:17; 1Ki 13:3; Isa 7:14; Jer 44:29 they may believe the second.But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become bloodEx 7:17-21 on the ground.”

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”S Ex 3:11

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute?Lk 1:20, 64 Who gives them sight or makes them blind?Ps 94:9; 146:8; Mt 11:5; Jn 10:21 Is it not I, the Lord?12 Now go;S Ex 3:10 I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”ver 15-16; Nu 23:5; Dt 18:15, 18; Isa 50:4; 51:16; Jer 1:9; Mt 10:19-20; Mk 13:11; S Lk 12:12

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”Jnh 1:1-3

14 Then the Lord’s anger burnedNu 11:1, 10, 33; 12:9; 16:15; 22:22; 24:10; 32:13; Dt 7:25; Jos 7:1; Job 17:8 against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meetver 27; 1Sa 10:2-5 you, and he will be glad to see you.15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth;ver 30; Nu 23:5, 12, 16; Dt 18:18; Jos 1:8; Isa 51:16; 59:21; Jer 1:9; 31:33 I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouthEx 7:1-2; Jer 15:19; 36:6 and as if you were God to him.Nu 33:1; Ps 77:20; 105:26; Mic 6:417 But take this staffS ver 2 in your handver 20; Ex 17:9 so you can perform the signsEx 7:9-21; 8:5, 16; 9:22; 10:12-15, 21-23; 14:15-18, 26; Nu 14:11; Dt 4:34; Ps 74:9; 78:43; 105:27 with it.”

Moses Returns to Egypt

18 Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Let me return to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive.”

Jethro said, “Go, and I wish you well.”

19 Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to killEx 2:15 you are dead.Ex 2:23; Mt 2:2020 So Moses took his wife and sons,Ex 2:22; 18:3; Ac 7:29 put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staffS ver 2 of God in his hand.

21 The Lord said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wondersS Ex 3:19, 20 I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heartEx 7:3, 13; 8:15; 9:12, 35; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8; Dt 2:30; Jos 11:20; 1Sa 6:6; Ps 105:25; Isa 6:10; 63:17; Jn 12:40; Ro 9:18 so that he will not let the people go.Ex 8:32; 9:1722 Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son,S Ge 10:15; Dt 32:6; Isa 9:6; 63:16; 64:8; Jer 3:19; 31:9; Hos 11:1; Mal 2:10; Ro 9:4; 2Co 6:1823 and I told you, “Let my son go,Ex 5:1; 7:16 so he may worshipS Ex 3:18 me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.’”Ge 49:3; Ex 11:5; 12:12, 29; Nu 8:17; 33:4; Ps 78:51; 105:36; 135:8; 136:10

24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met MosesHebrew him and was about to killNu 22:22 him.25 But ZipporahS Ex 2:21 took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskinGe 17:14; Jos 5:2, 3 and touched Moses’ feet with it.The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain. “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said.26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)

27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he met Moses at the mountainS Ex 3:1 of God and kissedS Ge 27:27; S 29:13 him.28 Then Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had sent him to say, and also about all the signs he had commanded him to perform.

29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the eldersS Ex 3:16 of the Israelites,30 and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signsS ver 8 before the people,31 and they believed.S Ex 3:18 And when they heard that the Lord was concernedS Ex 2:25 about them and had seen their misery,S Ge 16:11 they bowed down and worshiped.S Ge 24:26

Bricks Without Straw

Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go,S Ex 4:23 so that they may hold a festivalS Ex 3:18 to me in the wilderness.’”

Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord,Jdg 2:10; Job 21:15; Mal 3:14 that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”Ex 3:19

Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journeyS Ge 30:36 into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plaguesLev 26:25; Nu 14:12; Dt 28:21; 2Sa 24:13 or with the sword.”

But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor?S Ex 1:11; 6:6-7 Get back to your work!”Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous,S Ge 12:2 and you are stopping them from working.”

That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave driversS Ge 15:13 and overseers in charge of the people:“You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks;S Ge 11:3 let them go and gather their own straw.But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota.ver 14, 18 They are lazy;ver 17 that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’Ex 10:11Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”

10 Then the slave driversver 13; Ex 1:11 and the overseers went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you any more straw.11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reducedver 19 at all.’”12 So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw.13 The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, “Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.”14 And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed,ver 16; Isa 10:24 demanding, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?”

15 Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants this way?16 Your servants are given no straw, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.”

17 Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy!ver 8 That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’18 Now get to work.S Ge 15:13 You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.”

19 The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.”20 When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them,21 and they said, “May the Lord look on you and judgeS Ge 16:5 you! You have made us obnoxiousS Ge 34:30 to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a swordEx 16:3; Nu 14:3; 20:3 in their hand to kill us.”S Ex 1:13; S 14:11

Signs of the Lord’s Power

But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?”

Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied.

“Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back.

Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand.

“Perform this sign,” the Lord told him. “Then they will believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—really has appeared to you.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out again, his hand was white as snow with a severe skin disease.Or with leprosy. The Hebrew word used here can describe various skin diseases.“Now put your hand back into your cloak,” the Lord said. So Moses put his hand back in, and when he took it out again, it was as healthy as the rest of his body.

The Lord said to Moses, “If they do not believe you and are not convinced by the first miraculous sign, they will be convinced by the second sign.And if they don’t believe you or listen to you even after these two signs, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on the dry ground. When you do, the water from the Nile will turn to blood on the ground.”

10 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord?12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

13 But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”

14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you.15 Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do.16 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say.17 And take your shepherd’s staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you.”

Moses Returns to Egypt

18 So Moses went back home to Jethro, his father-in-law. “Please let me return to my relatives in Egypt,” Moses said. “I don’t even know if they are still alive.”

“Go in peace,” Jethro replied.

19 Before Moses left Midian, the Lord said to him, “Return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you have died.”

20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God.

21 And the Lord told Moses, “When you arrive back in Egypt, go to Pharaoh and perform all the miracles I have empowered you to do. But I will harden his heart so he will refuse to let the people go.22 Then you will tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son.23 I commanded you, “Let my son go, so he can worship me.” But since you have refused, I will now kill your firstborn son!’”

24 On the way to Egypt, at a place where Moses and his family had stopped for the night, the Lord confronted him and was about to kill him.25 But Moses’ wife, Zipporah, took a flint knife and circumcised her son. She touched his feetThe Hebrew word for “feet” may refer here to the male sex organ. with the foreskin and said, “Now you are a bridegroom of blood to me.”26 (When she said “a bridegroom of blood,” she was referring to the circumcision.) After that, the Lord left him alone.

27 Now the Lord had said to Aaron, “Go out into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So Aaron went and met Moses at the mountain of God, and he embraced him.28 Moses then told Aaron everything the Lord had commanded him to say. And he told him about the miraculous signs the Lord had commanded him to perform.

29 Then Moses and Aaron returned to Egypt and called all the elders of Israel together.30 Aaron told them everything the Lord had told Moses, and Moses performed the miraculous signs as they watched.31 Then the people of Israel were convinced that the Lord had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

Moses and Aaron Speak to Pharaoh

After this presentation to Israel’s leaders, Moses and Aaron went and spoke to Pharaoh. They told him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Let my people go so they may hold a festival in my honor in the wilderness.”

“Is that so?” retorted Pharaoh. “And who is the Lord? Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I don’t know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.”

But Aaron and Moses persisted. “The God of the Hebrews has met with us,” they declared. “So let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness so we can offer sacrifices to the Lord our God. If we don’t, he will kill us with a plague or with the sword.”

Pharaoh replied, “Moses and Aaron, why are you distracting the people from their tasks? Get back to work!Look, there are many of your people in the land, and you are stopping them from their work.”

Making Bricks without Straw

That same day Pharaoh sent this order to the Egyptian slave drivers and the Israelite foremen:“Do not supply any more straw for making bricks. Make the people get it themselves!But still require them to make the same number of bricks as before. Don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy. That’s why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to our God.’Load them down with more work. Make them sweat! That will teach them to listen to lies!”

10 So the slave drivers and foremen went out and told the people: “This is what Pharaoh says: I will not provide any more straw for you.11 Go and get it yourselves. Find it wherever you can. But you must produce just as many bricks as before!”12 So the people scattered throughout the land of Egypt in search of stubble to use as straw.

13 Meanwhile, the Egyptian slave drivers continued to push hard. “Meet your daily quota of bricks, just as you did when we provided you with straw!” they demanded.14 Then they whipped the Israelite foremen they had put in charge of the work crews. “Why haven’t you met your quotas either yesterday or today?” they demanded.

15 So the Israelite foremen went to Pharaoh and pleaded with him. “Please don’t treat your servants like this,” they begged.16 “We are given no straw, but the slave drivers still demand, ‘Make bricks!’ We are being beaten, but it isn’t our fault! Your own people are to blame!”

17 But Pharaoh shouted, “You’re just lazy! Lazy! That’s why you’re saying, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to the Lord.’18 Now get back to work! No straw will be given to you, but you must still produce the full quota of bricks.”

19 The Israelite foremen could see that they were in serious trouble when they were told, “You must not reduce the number of bricks you make each day.”20 As they left Pharaoh’s court, they confronted Moses and Aaron, who were waiting outside for them.21 The foremen said to them, “May the Lord judge and punish you for making us stink before Pharaoh and his officials. You have put a sword into their hands, an excuse to kill us!”

And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.

And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.

And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.

And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.

And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.

10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?

12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.

14 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.

16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.

18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.

19 And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.

20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

21 And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him.

25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.

26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

27 And the Lord said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him.

28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.

29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel:

30 And Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.

31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.

And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.

And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.

And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.

And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,

Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.

And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.

Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.

10 And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw.

11 Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.

12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.

13 And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.

14 And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?

15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants?

16 There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people.

17 But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord.

18 Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.

19 And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task.

20 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh:

21 And they said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.

Matthew 18:1-20

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven18:1-5pp — Mk 9:33-37; Lk 9:46-48

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children,Mt 19:14; 1Pe 2:2 you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.S Mt 3:2Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.S Mk 9:35And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.Mt 10:40

Causing to Stumble

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.Mk 9:42; Lk 17:2Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!Lk 17:1If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble,S Mt 5:29 cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.And if your eye causes you to stumble,S Mt 5:29 gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.S Mt 5:22

The Parable of the Wandering Sheep18:12-14pp — Lk 15:4-7

10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angelsGe 48:16; Ps 34:7; Ac 12:11, 15; Heb 1:14 in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.[11] Some manuscripts include here the words of Luke 19:10.

12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Dealing With Sin in the Church

15 “If your brother or sisterThe Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a fellow disciple, whether man or woman; also in verses 21 and 35. sins,Some manuscripts sins against you go and point out their fault,Lev 19:17; Lk 17:3; Gal 6:1; Jas 5:19, 20 just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’Deut. 19:15Nu 35:30; Dt 17:6; 19:15; Jn 8:17; 2Co 13:1; 1Ti 5:19; Heb 10:2817 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church;1Co 6:1-6 and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.S Ro 16:17

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will beOr will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beOr will have been loosed in heaven.Mt 16:19; Jn 20:23

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for themS Mt 7:7 by my Father in heaven.20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”S Mt 28:20

The Greatest in the Kingdom

18 About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them.Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalfGreek in my name. is welcoming me.But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.

“What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting.So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet.And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.Greek the Gehenna of fire.

10 “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.Some manuscripts add verse 11, And the Son of Man came to save those who are lost. Compare Luke 19:10.

Parable of the Lost Sheep

12 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away!14 In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.

Correcting Another Believer

15 “If another believerGreek If your brother. sins against you,Some manuscripts do not include against you. go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses.17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbidOr bind, or lock. on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permitOr loose, or open. on earth will be permitted in heaven.

19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.20 For where two or three gather together as my followers,Greek gather together in my name. I am there among them.”

18 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Psalm 22:19-31

19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.S ver 11

You are my strength;S Ps 18:1 come quicklyPs 38:22; 70:5; 141:1 to help me.Ps 40:13

20 Deliver me from the sword,S Job 5:20; Ps 37:14

my precious lifePs 35:17 from the power of the dogs.Php 3:2

21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;S ver 13; S Job 4:10

save me from the horns of the wild oxen.ver 12; S Nu 23:22

22 I will declare your name to my people;

in the assemblyPs 26:12; 40:9, 10; 68:26 I will praise you.Ps 35:18; Heb 2:12*

23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!Ps 33:2; 66:8; 86:12; 103:1; 106:1; 113:1; 117:1; 135:19

All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!Ps 50:15; Isa 24:15; 25:3; 49:23; 60:9; Jer 3:17

Revere him,S Dt 14:23; Ps 33:8 all you descendants of Israel!

24 For he has not despisedPs 102:17 or scorned

the suffering of the afflicted one;S Ps 9:12

he has not hidden his facePs 13:1; 27:9; 69:17; 102:2; 143:7 from him

but has listened to his cry for help.S Job 24:12; S 36:5; Heb 5:7

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;Ps 26:12; 35:18; 40:9; 82:1

before those who fear youHebrew him I will fulfill my vows.S Nu 30:2

26 The poor will eatPs 107:9 and be satisfied;

those who seek the Lord will praise him—Ps 40:16

may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earthS Ps 2:8

will remember and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations

will bow down before him,Ps 86:9; 102:22; Da 7:27; Mic 4:1

28 for dominion belongs to the LordPs 47:7-8; Zec 14:9

and he rules over the nations.

29 All the richPs 45:12 of the earth will feast and worship;Ps 95:6; 96:9; 99:5; Isa 27:13; 49:7; 66:23; Zec 14:16

all who go down to the dustIsa 26:19 will kneel before him—

those who cannot keep themselves alive.Ps 89:48

30 PosterityIsa 53:10; 54:3; 61:9; 66:22 will serve him;

future generationsPs 102:18 will be told about the Lord.

31 They will proclaim his righteousness,S Ps 5:8; 40:9

declaring to a people yet unborn:Ps 71:18; 78:6; 102:18

He has done it!Lk 18:31; 24:44

19 O Lord, do not stay far away!

You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!

20 Save me from the sword;

spare my precious life from these dogs.

21 Snatch me from the lion’s jaws

and from the horns of these wild oxen.

22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.Hebrew my brothers.

I will praise you among your assembled people.

23 Praise the Lord, all you who fear him!

Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!

Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!

24 For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.

He has not turned his back on them,

but has listened to their cries for help.

25 I will praise you in the great assembly.

I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.

26 The poor will eat and be satisfied.

All who seek the Lord will praise him.

Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.

27 The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.

All the families of the nations will bow down before him.

28 For royal power belongs to the Lord.

He rules all the nations.

29 Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.

Bow before him, all who are mortal,

all whose lives will end as dust.

30 Our children will also serve him.

Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.

31 His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.

They will hear about everything he has done.

19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

28 For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.

29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

Proverbs 5:15-21

15 Drink water from your own cistern,

running water from your own well.

16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,

your streams of water in the public squares?

17 Let them be yours alone,

never to be shared with strangers.

18 May your fountainSS 4:12-15 be blessed,

and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.S Dt 20:7; Pr 2:17; Ecc 9:9; Mal 2:14

19 A loving doe, a graceful deerSS 4:5; 8:14

may her breasts satisfy you always,

may you ever be intoxicated with her love.

20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?

Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

21 For your ways are in full viewS Ps 119:168 of the Lord,

and he examinesJer 29:23 all your paths.S Job 10:4; S 14:16; Pr 15:3; Jer 32:19; S Heb 4:13

15 Drink water from your own well—

share your love only with your wife.Hebrew Drink water from your own cistern, / flowing water from your own well.

16 Why spill the water of your springs in the streets,

having sex with just anyone?Hebrew Why spill your springs in the streets, / your streams in the city squares?

17 You should reserve it for yourselves.

Never share it with strangers.

18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.

Rejoice in the wife of your youth.

19 She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.

Let her breasts satisfy you always.

May you always be captivated by her love.

20 Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman,

or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?

21 For the Lord sees clearly what a man does,

examining every path he takes.

15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.

17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee.

18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings.

Jan 26 Jan 28
Bible Gateway