Psalm 78:1–7; Joshua 24:1–3; Joshua 24:14–25; Matthew 25:1–13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

Tell the Coming Generation

A Maskil1 of hAsaph.

78  iGive ear, O my people, to my teaching;

incline your ears to the words of my mouth!

jI will open my mouth kin a parable;

I will utter dark sayings from of old,

things that we have heard and known,

that our lfathers have told us.

We will not mhide them from their children,

but ntell to the coming generation

the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,

and othe wonders that he has done.

He established pa testimony in qJacob

and appointed a law in qIsrael,

which he commanded our fathers

to teach to their children,

that rthe next generation might know them,

the children yet unborn,

and arise and tell them to their children,

so that they should set their hope in God

and not forget sthe works of God,

but tkeep his commandments;


The Covenant Renewal at Shechem

24 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel cto Shechem and dsummoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And ethey presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, Long ago, fyour fathers lived beyond the Euphrates,1 Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and gthey served other gods. hThen I took your father Abraham from beyond the River2 and iled him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. jI gave him Isaac.


Choose Whom You Will Serve

14 gNow therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. hPut away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 iAnd if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, jchoose this day whom you will serve, whether hthe gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or kthe gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. lBut as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

16 Then the people answered, Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, 17 for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. 18 And the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.

19 But Joshua said to the people, You are not able to serve the Lord, for he is ma holy God. He is na jealous God; ohe will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20 pIf you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then qhe will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good. 21 And the people said to Joshua, No, but we will serve the Lord. 22 Then Joshua said to the people, You are witnesses against yourselves that ryou have chosen the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. 23 He said, Then sput away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord, the God of Israel. 24 And the people said to Joshua, The Lord our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey. 25 So Joshua tmade a covenant with the people that day, and put in place ustatutes and rules for them at Shechem.


The Parable of the Ten Virgins

25 Then the kingdom of heaven will be like dten virgins who took their lamps1 and went to meet ethe bridegroom.2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wwise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom fwas delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But gat midnight there was a cry, Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. Then all those virgins rose and htrimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. But the wise answered, saying, Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and ithose who were ready went in with him to jthe marriage feast, and kthe door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, lLord, lord, open to us. 12 lBut he answered, Truly, I say to you, mI do not know you. 13 nWatch therefore, for you oknow neither the day nor the hour.


The Coming of the Lord

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, gthat you may not grieve as others do hwho have no hope. 14 For isince we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him jthose who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you kby a word from the Lord,1 that lwe who are alive, who are left until mthe coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For nthe Lord himself will descend ofrom heaven pwith a cry of command, with the voice of qan archangel, and rwith the sound of the trumpet of God. And sthe dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be tcaught up together with them uin the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so vwe will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.