Mark 8:22-38; Mark 9:1; 2 Samuel 20; 2 Samuel 21; Hosea 1; Hosea 2:1

Mark 8:22-38

Healing a Blind Man

22 Then they came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to Him and begged Him to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and brought him out of the village. Spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?" 24 He looked up and said, "I see people-they look to me like trees walking." 25 Again Jesus placed His hands on the man's eyes, and he saw distinctly. He was cured and could see everything clearly. 26 Then He sent him home, saying, "Don't even go into the village."

Peter's Confession of the Messiah

27 Jesus went out with His disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the road He asked His disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" 28 They answered Him, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, one of the prophets." 29 "But you," He asked them again, "who do you say that I am?" Peter answered Him, "You are the Messiah!" 30 And He strictly warned them to tell no one about Him.

His Death and Resurrection Predicted

31 Then He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, be killed, and rise after three days. 32 He was openly talking about this. So Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and looking at His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind Me, Satan, because you're not thinking about God's concerns, but man's!"

Take Up Your Cross

34 Summoning the crowd along with His disciples, He said to them, "If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it. 36 For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life? 37 What can a man give in exchange for his life? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

Mark 9:1

1 Then He said to them, "I assure you: There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God come in power."

2 Samuel 20

Sheba's Revolt

1 Now a wicked man, a Benjaminite named Sheba son of Bichri, happened to be there. He blew the ram's horn and shouted: We have no portion in David, no inheritance in Jesse's son. Each man to his tent, Israel! 2 So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bichri, but the men of Judah from the Jordan all the way to Jerusalem remained loyal to their king. 3 When David came to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the 10 concubines he had left to take care of the palace and placed them under guard. He provided for them, but he was not intimate with them. They were confined until the day of their death, living as widows. 4 The king said to Amasa, "Summon the men of Judah to me within three days and be here yourself." 5 Amasa went to summon Judah, but he took longer than the time allotted him. 6 So David said to Abishai, "Sheba son of Bichri will do more harm to us than Absalom. Take your lord's soldiers and pursue him, or he will find fortified cities and elude us." 7 So Joab's men, the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the warriors marched out under Abishai's command; they left Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bichri. 8 They were at the great stone in Gibeon when Amasa joined them. Joab was wearing his uniform and over it was a belt around his waist with a sword in its sheath. As he approached, [the sword] fell out. 9 Joab asked Amasa, "Are you well, my brother?" Then with his right hand Joab grabbed Amasa by the beard to kiss him. 10 Amasa was not on guard against the sword in Joab's hand, and Joab stabbed him in the stomach with it and spilled his intestines out on the ground. Joab did not stab him again for Amasa was dead. Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bichri. 11 One of Joab's young men had stood over Amasa saying, "Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David, follow Joab!" 12 Now Amasa was writhing in his blood in the middle of the highway, and the man had seen that all the people stopped. So he moved Amasa from the highway to the field and threw a garment over him because he realized that all those who encountered Amasa were stopping. 13 When he was removed from the highway, all the men passed by and followed Joab to pursue Sheba son of Bichri. 14 Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of Beth-maacah. All the Berites came together and followed him. 15 Joab's troops came and besieged Sheba in Abel of Beth-maacah. They built an assault ramp against the outer wall of the city. While all the troops with Joab were battering the wall to make it collapse, 16 a wise woman called out from the city, "Listen! Listen! Please tell Joab to come here and let me speak with him." 17 When he had come near her, the woman asked, "Are you Joab?" "I am," he replied. "Listen to the words of your servant," she said to him. He answered, "I'm listening." 18 She said, "In the past they used to say, 'Seek counsel in Abel,' and that's how they settled [disputes]. 19 I am a peaceful person, one of the faithful in Israel, but you're trying to destroy a city that is like a mother in Israel. Why would you devour the Lord's inheritance?" 20 Joab protested: "Never! I do not want to destroy! 21 That is not [my] intention. There is a man named Sheba son of Bichri, from the hill country of Ephraim, who has rebelled against King David. Deliver this one man, and I will withdraw from the city." The woman replied to Joab, "All right. His head will be thrown over the wall to you." 22 The woman went to all the people with her wise counsel, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bichri and threw it to Joab. So he blew the ram's horn, and they dispersed from the city, each to his own tent. Joab returned to the king in Jerusalem. 23 Joab commanded the whole army of Israel; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and Pelethites; 24 Adoram was in charge of forced labor; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was court historian; 25 Sheva was court secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 and in addition, Ira the Jairite was David's priest.

2 Samuel 21

Justice for the Gibeonites

1 During David's reign there was a famine for three successive years, so David inquired of the Lord. The Lord answered, "It is because of the blood shed by Saul and his family when he killed the Gibeonites." 2 The Gibeonites were not Israelites but rather a remnant of the Amorites. The Israelites had taken an oath concerning them, but Saul had tried to kill them in his zeal for the Israelites and Judah. So David summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. 3 He asked the Gibeonites, "What should I do for you? How can I wipe out this guilt so that you will bring a blessing on the Lord's inheritance?" 4 The Gibeonites said to him, "We are not asking for money from Saul or his family, and we cannot put anyone to death in Israel." "Whatever you say, I will do for you," he said. 5 They replied to the king, "As for the man who annihilated us and plotted to exterminate us so we would not exist within the whole territory of Israel, 6 let seven of his male descendants be handed over to us so we may hang them in the presence of the Lord at Gibeah of Saul, the Lord's chosen." The king answered, "I will hand them over." 7 David spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul's son Jonathan, because of the oath of the Lord that was between David and Jonathan, Saul's son. 8 But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, who were the two sons whom Rizpah daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul, and the five sons whom Merabdaughter of Saul had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite 9 and handed them over to the Gibeonites. They hanged them on the hill in the presence of the Lord; the seven of them died together. They were executed in the first days of the harvest at the beginning of the barley harvest.

The Burial of Saul's Family

10 Rizpah, Aiah's daughter, took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock from the beginning of the harvest until the rain poured down from heaven on the bodies. She kept the birds of the sky from them by day and the wild animals by night. 11 When it was reported to David what Saul's concubine Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, had done, 12 he went and got the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the leaders of Jabesh-gilead. They had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan where the Philistines had hung them the day the Philistines killed Saul at Gilboa. 13 David had the bones brought from there. They also gathered up the bones of Saul's family who had been hung. 14 They [also] buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan at Zela in the land of Benjamin in the tomb of Saul's father Kish. They did everything the king commanded. After this, God answered prayer for the land.

The Philistine Giants

15 The Philistines again waged war against Israel. David went down with his soldiers, and they fought the Philistines, but David became exhausted. 16 Then Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giant, whose bronze spear weighed about eight pounds and who wore new armor, intended to kill David. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to his aid, struck the Philistine, and killed him. Then David's men swore to him: "You must never again go out with us to battle. You must not extinguish the lamp of Israel." 18 After this, there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob. At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giant. 19 Once again there was a battle with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam. 20 At Gath there was still another battle. A huge man was there with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot-24 in all. He, too, was descended from the giant. 21 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan, son of David's brother Shimei, killed him. 22 These four were descended from the giant in Gath and were killed by David and his soldiers.

Hosea 1

1 The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel.

Hosea's Marriage and Children

2 When the Lord first spoke to Hosea, He said this to him: Go and marry a promiscuous wife and [have] children of promiscuity, for the whole land has been promiscuous by abandoning the Lord. 3 So he went and married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 Then the Lord said to him: Name him Jezreel, for in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu and put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. 6 She conceived again and gave birth to a daughter, and the Lord said to him: Name her No Compassion, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel. I will certainly take them away. 7 But I will have compassion on the house of Judah, and I will deliver them by the Lord their God. I will not deliver them by bow, sword, or war, or by horses and cavalry. 8 After Gomer had weaned No Compassion, she conceived and gave birth to a son. 9 Then the Lord said: Name him Not My People, for you are not My people, and I will not be your God. 10 Yet the number of the Israelites will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted. And in the place where they were told: You are not My people, they will be called: Sons of the living God. 11 And the Judeans and the Israelites will be gathered together. They will appoint for themselves a single ruler, and go up from the land. For the day of Jezreel will be great.

Hosea 2:1

1 Call your brothers: My People and your sisters: Compassion.
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