Daily reading for Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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3 Advent

Ps. 119:49–72; Ps. 49, [53]; Zech. 3:1–10; Rev. 4:1–8; Matt. 24:45–51 (New Revised Standard Version)

Psalm 119:49-72

49 Remember your word to your servant,
    in which you have made me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my distress,
    that your promise gives me life.
51 The arrogant utterly deride me,
    but I do not turn away from your law.
52 When I think of your ordinances from of old,
    I take comfort, O Lord.
53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
    those who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been my songs
    wherever I make my home.
55 I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
    and keep your law.
56 This blessing has fallen to me,
    for I have kept your precepts.

57 The Lord is my portion;
    I promise to keep your words.
58 I implore your favor with all my heart;
    be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 When I think of your ways,
    I turn my feet to your decrees;
60 I hurry and do not delay
    to keep your commandments.
61 Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,
    I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to praise you,
    because of your righteous ordinances.
63 I am a companion of all who fear you,
    of those who keep your precepts.
64 The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love;
    teach me your statutes.

65 You have dealt well with your servant,
    O Lord, according to your word.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
    for I believe in your commandments.
67 Before I was humbled I went astray,
    but now I keep your word.
68 You are good and do good;
    teach me your statutes.
69 The arrogant smear me with lies,
    but with my whole heart I keep your precepts.
70 Their hearts are fat and gross,
    but I delight in your law.
71 It is good for me that I was humbled,
    so that I might learn your statutes.
72 The law of your mouth is better to me
    than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Psalm 49

Psalm 49

The Folly of Trust in Riches

To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.

Hear this, all you peoples;
    give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
both low and high,
    rich and poor together.
My mouth shall speak wisdom;
    the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb;
    I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.

Why should I fear in times of trouble,
    when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
those who trust in their wealth
    and boast of the abundance of their riches?
Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life,[a]
    there is no price one can give to God for it.
For the ransom of life is costly,
    and can never suffice,
that one should live on forever
    and never see the grave.[b]

10 When we look at the wise, they die;
    fool and dolt perish together
    and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves[c] are their homes forever,
    their dwelling places to all generations,
    though they named lands their own.
12 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
    they are like the animals that perish.

13 Such is the fate of the foolhardy,
    the end of those[d] who are pleased with their lot.Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
    Death shall be their shepherd;
straight to the grave they descend,[e]
    and their form shall waste away;
    Sheol shall be their home.[f]
15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
    for he will receive me.Selah

16 Do not be afraid when some become rich,
    when the wealth of their houses increases.
17 For when they die they will carry nothing away;
    their wealth will not go down after them.
18 Though in their lifetime they count themselves happy
    —for you are praised when you do well for yourself—
19 they[g] will go to the company of their ancestors,
    who will never again see the light.
20 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
    they are like the animals that perish.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 49:7 Another reading is no one can ransom a brother
  2. Psalm 49:9 Heb the pit
  3. Psalm 49:11 Gk Syr Compare Tg: Heb their inward (thought)
  4. Psalm 49:13 Tg: Heb after them
  5. Psalm 49:14 Cn: Heb the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning
  6. Psalm 49:14 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  7. Psalm 49:19 Cn: Heb you
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Psalm 53

Psalm 53

Denunciation of Godlessness

To the leader: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David.

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they commit abominable acts;
    there is no one who does good.

God looks down from heaven on humankind
    to see if there are any who are wise,
    who seek after God.

They have all fallen away, they are all alike perverse;
    there is no one who does good,
    no, not one.

Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
    who eat up my people as they eat bread,
    and do not call upon God?

There they shall be in great terror,
    in terror such as has not been.
For God will scatter the bones of the ungodly;[a]
    they will be put to shame,[b] for God has rejected them.

O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
    When God restores the fortunes of his people,
    Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 53:5 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb him who encamps against you
  2. Psalm 53:5 Gk: Heb you have put (them) to shame
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Zechariah 3

Fourth Vision: Joshua and Satan

Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan[a] standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan,[b] “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan![c] The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this man a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was dressed with filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And to him he said, “See, I have taken your guilt away from you, and I will clothe you with festal apparel.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with the apparel; and the angel of the Lord was standing by.

Then the angel of the Lord assured Joshua, saying “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Now listen, Joshua, high priest, you and your colleagues who sit before you! For they are an omen of things to come: I am going to bring my servant the Branch. For on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven facets, I will engrave its inscription, says the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day. 10 On that day, says the Lord of hosts, you shall invite each other to come under your vine and fig tree.”

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 3:1 Or the Accuser; Heb the Adversary
  2. Zechariah 3:2 Or the Accuser; Heb the Adversary
  3. Zechariah 3:2 Or the Accuser; Heb the Adversary
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Revelation 4:1-8

The Heavenly Worship

After this I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the spirit,[a] and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne! And the one seated there looks like jasper and carnelian, and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald. Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders, dressed in white robes, with golden crowns on their heads. Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and in front of the throne burn seven flaming torches, which are the seven spirits of God; and in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal.

Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing,

“Holy, holy, holy,
the Lord God the Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come.”

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 4:2 Or in the Spirit
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Matthew 24:45-51

The Faithful or the Unfaithful Slave

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves[a] their allowance of food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49 and he begins to beat his fellow slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know. 51 He will cut him in pieces[b] and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 24:45 Gk to give them
  2. Matthew 24:51 Or cut him off
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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