July 11th, 2019

Thursday of Trinity 3


First Reading: Judg. 6:25-40

 25That night the LORD said to him, "Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down(A) the Asherah that is beside it 26and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of the(B) stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down." 27So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night.

Gideon Destroys the Altar of Baal
 28When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built. 29And they said to one another, "Who has done this thing?" And after they had searched and inquired, they said, "Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing." 30Then the men of the town said to Joash, "Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it." 31But Joash said to all who stood against him, "Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down." 32Therefore on that day Gideon[a] was called(C) Jerubbaal, that is to say, "Let Baal contend against him," because he broke down his altar.

 33Now(D) all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East came together, and they crossed the Jordan and encamped in(E) the Valley of Jezreel. 34But(F) the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon,(G) and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him. 35(H) And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they too were called out to follow him. And he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them.

The Sign of the Fleece
 36(I) Then Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, 37behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said." 38And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. 39Then Gideon said to God,(J) "Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew." 40And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Second Reading: Acts 15:6-21

 6(A) The(B) apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. 7And after there had been much(C) debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you,(D) that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear(E) the word of(F) the gospel and believe. 8And God,(G) who knows the heart,(H) bore witness to them,(I) by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9and(J) he made no distinction between us and them,(K) having cleansed their hearts(L) by faith. 10Now, therefore, why(M) are you putting God to the test(N) by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples(O) that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11But we(P) believe that we will be(Q) saved through(R) the grace of the Lord Jesus,(S) just as they will."

 12And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul(T) as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13After they finished speaking,(U) James replied, "Brothers, listen to me. 14(V) Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them(W) a people for his name. 15And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,
 16(X) "'After this I will return,and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;I will rebuild its ruins,
    and I will restore it, 17that the remnant[a] of mankind(Y) may seek the Lord,
   and all the Gentiles(Z) who are called by my name,
    says the Lord, who makes these things 18(AA) known from of old.'

 19Therefore(AB) my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who(AC) turn to God, 20but should write to them(AD) to abstain from(AE) the things polluted by idols, and from(AF) sexual immorality, and from(AG) what has been strangled, and from blood. 21For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him,(AH) for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues."

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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