Daily reading for Friday, November 1, 2013

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Ezekiel 1:1-3:15; Hebrews 3:1-19; Psalms 104:1-23; Proverbs 26:24-26 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Ezekiel 1-3:15

In the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was among the exiles by the K’var River, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month, which was during the fifth year of King Y’hoyakhin’s exile, the word of Adonai came to the cohen Yechezk’el son of Buzi, in the land of the Kasdim by the K’var River; there the hand of Adonai was on him.

I looked and saw a windy storm approaching from the north and a huge cloud with flashing fire, glowing brightly all around with the color of gleaming amber from within the fire. Inside, there appeared to be four living creatures that looked like human beings; but each one had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight, with feet like calves’ hoofs. They glittered like burnished bronze. Beneath their wings they had human hands on their four sides. The four of them had faces and wings as follows: they touched one another with their wings; they did not turn when they moved, but each one moved straight forward; 10 as for the appearance of their faces, they had human faces [in front], each of the four had a lion’s face on the right, each of the four had a bull’s face on the left, and each of the four had an eagle’s face [toward the rear] — 11 thus their faces. As for their wings, each had two that stretched upward and joined those of others, and two more that covered their bodies. 12 Each [living creature] moved in the direction of any of its faces; in whichever direction the spirit wanted to go, they went, without turning as they moved — 13 thus the appearance of the living creatures.

With them was something that looked like fiery coals burning the way torches do, with the fire flashing here and there between the living creatures; the fire had a brilliance, and out of the fire went lightning. 14 The living creatures kept speeding here and there like flashes of lightning.

15 As I gazed at the living creatures, I saw wheels on the ground, one next to each of the four-faced living creatures. 16 All four wheels looked the same: their inner parts gleamed like beryl, and their structure seemed to be that of a wheel inside a wheel. 17 When they moved, they could go in any of the four directions without turning as they moved. 18 Their rims were tall and fearsome, because the rims of all four were full of eyes all around. 19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels moved along with them; and when the creatures were lifted off the ground, the wheels went with them. 20 Wherever the spirit was to go, they went, in the direction the spirit wanted to go. The wheels were lifted up next to them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When [the living creatures] moved, [the wheels] moved; when the former stood still, the latter stood still; and when the former were lifted off the ground, the wheels were lifted up next to them; because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

22 Over the heads of the living creatures was what appeared to be a dome glittering like ice; it was awesome, spread out over their heads, above them. 23 Under the dome each had a pair of wings spread out straight toward those of others, and each had a pair which covered his body. 24 I heard the sound of their wings when they moved; it was like the sound of rushing water, like the voice of Shaddai, like the noise of a tumultuous crowd or army. When they stopped, they lowered their wings. 25 Whenever there was a sound from above the dome over their heads, they stopped and lowered their wings.

26 Above the dome that was over their heads was something like a throne that looked like a sapphire. On it, above it, was what appeared to be a person. 27 I saw what looked like gleaming, amber-colored fire radiating from what appeared to be his waist upward. Downward from what appeared to be his waist, I saw what looked like fire, giving a brilliant light all around him. 28 This brilliance around him looked like a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. This was how the appearance of the glory of Adonai looked. When I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of someone speaking.

He said to me, “Human being! Stand up! I want to speak with you!” As he spoke to me, a spirit entered me and put me on my feet, and I heard him who was speaking to me. He said, “Human being! I am sending you to the people of Isra’el, that nation of rebels who have rebelled against me — they and their ancestors have been transgressing against me to this very day. Because they are defiant, hardhearted children, I am sending you; and you are to tell them, ‘Here is what Adonai Elohim says.’ Whether they listen or not, this rebellious house will still know that a prophet has been among them!

“As for you, human being, don’t be afraid of them or their words, even if briars and thorns surround you, and you sit among scorpions. Don’t be afraid of their words or be upset by their looks, for they are a rebellious house. You are to speak my words to them, whether they listen or not, for they are very rebellious. But you, human being, hear what I am telling you: don’t you be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth, and eat what I am about to give you.”

When I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me, holding a scroll. 10 He spread it out in front of me, and it was covered with writing front and back. Written on it were laments, dirges and woes.

He said to me, “Human being, eat what you see in front of you; eat this scroll. Then go and speak to the house of Isra’el.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat, as he said, “Human being, eat this scroll I am giving you; fill your insides with it.” When I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey.

“Human being,” he said to me, “go to the house of Isra’el, and speak my words to them. For you are not being sent to a people with a difficult language and unintelligible speech, but to the house of Isra’el — not to many peoples with difficult languages and unintelligible speech, whose words you can’t understand when you hear them. Without doubt, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you. But the house of Isra’el will not be willing to listen to you, because they aren’t willing to listen to me; since all the house of Isra’el are obstinate and hardhearted. However, I am making you as defiant and obstinate as they are. Yes, I am making your resoluteness harder than flint, as hard as a diamond. So don’t be afraid of them or depressed by how they look at you, because they are a rebellious house.”

10 Then he said to me, “Human being, receive in your heart and hear with your ears all my words that I speak to you. 11 Then go to the exiles, to your countrymen; and speak to them. Tell them, ‘Here is what Adonai Elohim, says,’ whether they listen or not.”

12 A spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a very loud sound — blessed be the glory of Adonai from his place! 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they beat against each other, and the sound of the wheels next to them, a very loud sound. 14 So a spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and the heat of my spirit, with the hand of Adonai strong on me.

15 I went to the exiles who were living in Tel-Aviv, by the K’var River and stayed with them there in a stupefied state for seven days.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Hebrews 3

Therefore, brothers whom God has set apart, who share in the call from heaven, think carefully about Yeshua, whom we acknowledge publicly as God’s emissary and as cohen gadol. He was faithful to God, who appointed him; just as

“Moshe was faithful in all God’s house.”[a]

But Yeshua deserves more honor than Moshe, just as the builder of the house deserves more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the one who built everything is God.

Also, Moshe was faithful in all God’s house, as a servant giving witness to things God would divulge later. But the Messiah, as Son, was faithful over God’s house. And we are that house of his, provided we hold firmly to the courage and confidence inspired by what we hope for.

Therefore, as the Ruach HaKodesh says,

“Today, if you hear God’s voice,
don’t harden your hearts, as you did in the Bitter Quarrel
on that day in the Wilderness when you put God to the test.
Yes, your fathers put me to the test;
they challenged me, and they saw my work for forty years!
10 Therefore, I was disgusted with that generation —
I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
they have not understood how I do things’;
11 in my anger, I swore
that they would not enter my rest.”[b]

12 Watch out, brothers, so that there will not be in any one of you an evil heart lacking trust, which could lead you to apostatize from the living God! 13 Instead, keep exhorting each other every day, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you will become hardened by the deceit of sin. 14 For we have become sharers in the Messiah, provided, however, that we hold firmly to the conviction we began with, right through until the goal is reached.

15 Now where it says,

“Today, if you hear God’s voice,
don’t harden your hearts, as you did in the Bitter Quarrel,” [c]

16 who were the people who, after they heard, quarreled so bitterly? All those whom Moshe brought out of Egypt. 17 And with whom was God disgusted for forty years? Those who sinned — yes, they fell dead in the Wilderness! 18 And to whom was it that he swore that they would not enter his rest? Those who were disobedient. 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of lack of trust.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 3:2 Numbers 12:7
  2. Hebrews 3:11 Psalm 95:7–11
  3. Hebrews 3:15 Psalm 95:7–8
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Psalm 104:1-23

104 Bless Adonai, my soul!
Adonai, my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with glory and majesty,
wrapped in light as with a robe.
You spread out the heavens like a curtain,
you laid the beams of your palace on the water.
You make the clouds your chariot,
you ride on the wings of the wind.
You make winds your messengers,
fiery flames your servants.

You fixed the earth on its foundations,
never to be moved.
You covered it with the deep like a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled;
at the sound of your thunder they rushed away,
flowing over hills, pouring into valleys,
down to the place you had fixed for them.
You determined a boundary they could not cross;
they were never to cover the earth again.

10 You make springs gush forth in the vadis;
they flow between the hills,
11 supplying water to all the wild animals;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 On their banks the birds of the air build their nests;
among the branches they sing.
13 You water the mountains from your palace;
the earth is satisfied with how you provide —
14 You grow grass for the cattle;
and for people you grow the plants they need
to bring forth bread from the earth,
15 wine that gladdens the human heart,
oil to make faces glow,
and food to sustain their strength.

16 Adonai’s trees are satisfied —
the cedars of the L’vanon, which he has planted.
17 In them sparrows build their nests,
while storks live in the fir trees.
18 For the wild goats there are the high mountains,
while the coneys find refuge in the rocks.

19 You made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to set.
20 You bring darkness, and it is night,
the time when all forest animals prowl.
21 The young lions roar after their prey
and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, they slink away
and lie down to rest in their dens;
23 while people go out to their work,
laboring on till evening.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 26:24-26

24 He who hates may hide it with his speech;
    but inside, he harbors deceit.
25 He may speak pleasantly, but don’t trust him;
    for seven abominations are in his heart.
26 His hatred may be concealed by deceit,
    but his wickedness will be revealed in the assembly.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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