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 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ezekiel 1-3:15

In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, while I was among the exiles by the Chebar Canal, the heavens opened and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month—it was the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile the word of the Lord came directly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar Canal. And the Lord’s hand was on him there.

Vision of the Lord’s Glory

I looked and there was a whirlwind coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing back and forth and brilliant light all around it. In the center of the fire, there was a gleam like amber. The form of four living creatures came from it. And this was their appearance: They had human form, but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the hooves of a calf, sparkling like the gleam of polished bronze. They had human hands under their wings on their four sides. All four of them had faces and wings. Their wings were touching. The creatures did not turn as they moved; each one went straight ahead. 10 The form of each of their faces was that of a man, and each of the four had the face of a lion on the right, the face of an ox on the left, and the face of an eagle. 11 That is what their faces were like. Their wings were spread upward; each had two wings touching that of another and two wings covering its body. 12 Each creature went straight ahead. Wherever the Spirit[a] wanted to go, they went without turning as they moved.

13 The form of the living creatures was like the appearance of burning coals of fire and torches. Fire was moving back and forth between the living creatures; it was bright, with lightning coming out of it. 14 The creatures were darting back and forth like flashes of lightning.

15 When I looked at the living creatures, there was one wheel on the ground beside each creature that had four faces. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their craftsmanship was like the gleam of beryl, and all four had the same form. Their appearance and craftsmanship was like a wheel within a wheel. 17 When they moved, they went in any of the four directions, without pivoting as they moved. 18 Their rims were large and frightening. Each of their four rims were full of eyes all around. 19 So when the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them, and when the creatures rose from the earth, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the Spirit[b] wanted to go, the creatures went in the direction the Spirit was moving. The wheels rose alongside them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, the wheels moved; when the creatures stood still, the wheels stood still; and when the creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose alongside them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

22 The shape of an expanse, with a gleam like awe-inspiring crystal, was spread out over the heads of the living creatures. 23 And under the expanse their wings extended one toward another. Each of them also had two wings covering their bodies. 24 When they moved, I heard the sound of their wings like the roar of mighty waters, like the voice of the Almighty, and a sound of commotion like the noise of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.

25 A voice came from above the expanse over their heads; when they stood still, they lowered their wings. 26 The shape of a throne with the appearance of sapphire[c] stone was above the expanse.[d] There was a form with the appearance of a human on the throne high above. 27 From what seemed to be His waist up, I saw a gleam like amber, with what looked like fire enclosing it all around. From what seemed to be His waist down, I also saw what looked like fire. There was a brilliant light all around Him. 28 The appearance of the brilliant light all around was like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. This was the appearance of the form of the Lord’s glory. When I saw it, I fell facedown and heard a voice speaking.

Mission to Rebellious Israel

He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak with you.” As He spoke to me, the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and I listened to the One who was speaking to me. He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to[e] the rebellious pagans[f] who have rebelled against Me. The Israelites and their ancestors have transgressed against Me to this day. The children are obstinate[g] and hardhearted. I am sending you to them, and you must say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says.’ Whether they listen or refuse to listen—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them.

“But you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions. Don’t be afraid of their words or be discouraged by the look on their faces, for they are a rebellious house. But speak My words to them whether they listen or refuse to listen, for they are rebellious.

“And you, son of man, listen to what I tell you: Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.” So I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me, and there was a written scroll in it. 10 When He unrolled it before me, it was written on the front and back; words of lamentation, mourning, and woe were written on it.

He said to me: “Son of man, eat what you find here. Eat this scroll, then go and speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He fed me the scroll. “Son of man,” He said to me, “eat[h] and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you.” So I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.

Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak My words to them. For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language but to the house of Israel. You are not being sent to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. No doubt, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you. But the house of Israel will not want to listen to you because they do not want to listen to Me. For the whole house of Israel is hardheaded and hardhearted. Look, I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. I have made your forehead like a diamond, harder than flint. Don’t be afraid of them or discouraged by the look on their faces, even though they are a rebellious house.”

10 Next He said to me: “Son of man, listen carefully to all My words that I speak to you and take them to heart. 11 Go to your people, the exiles, and speak to them. Tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God says,’ whether they listen or refuse to listen.”

12 The Spirit then lifted me up, and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me—praise the glory of the Lord in His place!— 13 with the[i] sound of the living creatures’ wings brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a great rumbling sound. 14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I left in bitterness and in an angry spirit, and the Lord’s hand was on me powerfully. 15 I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were living by the Chebar Canal, and I sat there among them stunned for seven days.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 1:12 Or spirit
  2. Ezekiel 1:20 Or spirit
  3. Ezekiel 1:26 Or lapis lazuli
  4. Ezekiel 1:26 Lit expanse that was over their head
  5. Ezekiel 2:3 Or Israelites [and] to
  6. Ezekiel 2:3 LXX omits to the rebellious pagans
  7. Ezekiel 2:4 Lit hard of face
  8. Ezekiel 3:3 Lit feed your belly
  9. Ezekiel 3:13 Some emend to behind me as the glory of the Lord rose from His place: 13 the

Hebrews 3

Our Apostle and High Priest

Therefore, holy brothers and companions in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession; He was faithful to the One who appointed Him, just as Moses was in all God’s household. For Jesus is considered worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder has more honor than the house. Now every house is built by someone, but the One who built everything is God. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s household, as a testimony to what would be said in the future. But Christ was faithful as a Son over His household. And we are that household if we hold on to the courage and the confidence of our hope.[a]

Warning against Unbelief

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

Today, if you hear His voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
and saw My works 10 for 40 years.
Therefore I was provoked with that generation
and said, “They always go astray in their hearts,
and they have not known My ways.”
11 So I swore in My anger,
“They will not enter My rest.”[b]

12 Watch out, brothers, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God. 13 But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception. 14 For we have become companions of the Messiah if we hold firmly until the end the reality[c] that we had at the start. 15 As it is said:

Today, if you hear His voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.[d]

16 For who heard and rebelled? Wasn’t it really all who came out of Egypt under Moses? 17 And who was He provoked with for 40 years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And who did He swear to that they would not enter His rest, if not those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 3:6 Other mss add firm to the end
  2. Hebrews 3:11 Ps 95:7-11
  3. Hebrews 3:14 Or confidence
  4. Hebrews 3:15 Ps 95:7-8

Psalm 104:1-23

Psalm 104

God the Creator

My soul, praise Yahweh!
Lord my God, You are very great;
You are clothed with majesty and splendor.
He wraps Himself in light as if it were a robe,
spreading out the sky like a canopy,
laying the beams of His palace
on the waters above,
making the clouds His chariot,
walking on the wings of the wind,
and making the winds His messengers,[a]
flames of fire His servants.

He established the earth on its foundations;
it will never be shaken.
You covered it with the deep
as if it were a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
At Your rebuke the waters fled;
at the sound of Your thunder they hurried away
mountains rose and valleys sank[b]
to the place You established for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
they will never cover the earth again.

10 He causes the springs to gush into the valleys;
they flow between the mountains.
11 They supply water for every wild beast;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky live beside the springs;
they sing among the foliage.
13 He waters the mountains from His palace;
the earth is satisfied by the fruit of Your labor.

14 He causes grass to grow for the livestock
and provides crops for man to cultivate,
producing food from the earth,
15 wine that makes man’s heart glad—
making his face shine with oil—
and bread that sustains man’s heart.

16 The trees of the Lord flourish,[c]
the cedars of Lebanon that He planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
the stork makes its home in the pine trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the cliffs are a refuge for hyraxes.

19 He made the moon to mark the[d] festivals;[e]
the sun knows when to set.
20 You bring darkness, and it becomes night,
when all the forest animals stir.
21 The young lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises; they go back
and lie down in their dens.
23 Man goes out to his work
and to his labor until evening.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 104:4 Or angels
  2. Psalm 104:8 Or away. They flowed over the mountains and went down valleys
  3. Psalm 104:16 Lit are satisfied
  4. Psalm 104:19 Lit moon for
  5. Psalm 104:19 Or the appointed times

Proverbs 26:24-26

24 A hateful person disguises himself with his speech
and harbors deceit within.
25 When he speaks graciously, don’t believe him,
for there are seven abominations in his heart.
26 Though his hatred is concealed by deception,
his evil will be revealed in the assembly.

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