Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Thirty-First Day of Great Lent
 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, `The LORD did not appear to you.’”
 The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.”
 And he said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.
 But the LORD said to Moses, “Put out your hand, and take it by the tail” — so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand —
 “that they may believe 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.”
 Again, the LORD said to him, “Put your hand into your bosom.” And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.
 Then God said, “Put your hand back into your bosom.” So he put his hand back into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh.
 “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or heed the first sign, they may believe the latter sign.
 If they will not believe even these two signs or heed your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it upon the dry ground; and the water which you shall take from the Nile will become blood upon the dry ground.”
 But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either heretofore or since thou hast spoken to thy servant; but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”
 Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, send, I pray, some other person.”
 Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well; and behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you he will be glad in his heart.
 And you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do.
 He shall speak for you to the people; and he shall be a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God.
 And you shall take in your hand this rod, with which you shall do the signs.”
 Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Let me go back, I pray, to my kinsmen in Egypt and see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”
 And the LORD said to Moses in Mid’ian, “Go back to Egypt; for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.”
 So Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on an ass, and went back to the land of Egypt; and in his hand Moses took the rod of God.
 And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.
 Proclaim this among the nations:
stir up the mighty men.
Let all the men of war draw near,
let them come up.
 Beat your plowshares into swords,
and your pruning hooks into spears;
let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”
 Hasten and come,
all you nations round about,
gather yourselves there.
Bring down thy warriors, O LORD.
 Let the nations bestir themselves,
and come up to the valley of Jehosh’aphat;
for there I will sit to judge
all the nations round about.
 Put in the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe.
Go in, tread,
for the wine press is full.
The vats overflow,
for their wickedness is great.
 Multitudes, multitudes,
in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near
in the valley of decision.
 The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
 And the LORD roars from Zion,
and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
and the heavens and the earth shake.
But the LORD is a refuge to his people,
a stronghold to the people of Israel.
 “So you shall know that I am the LORD your God,
who dwell in Zion, my holy mountain.
And Jerusalem shall be holy
and strangers shall never again pass through it.
 “And in that day
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
and the hills shall flow with milk,
and all the stream beds of Judah
shall flow with water;
and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD
and water the valley of Shittim.
 “Egypt shall become a desolation
and Edom a desolate wilderness,
for the violence done to the people of Judah,
because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
 But Judah shall be inhabited for ever,
and Jerusalem to all generations.
 I will avenge their blood, and I will not clear the guilty,
for the LORD dwells in Zion.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America