Daily reading for Saturday, November 2, 2013

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Ezekiel 3:16-6:14; Hebrews 4:1-16; Psalms 104:24-35; Proverbs 26:27 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ezekiel 3:16-6:14

Ezekiel as a Watchman

16 Now at the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me. 18 If I say to the wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but you do not warn him—you don’t speak out to warn him about his wicked way in order to save his life—that wicked person will die for his iniquity. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood. 19 But if you warn a wicked person and he does not turn from his wickedness or his wicked way, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your life. 20 Now if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, and I put a stumbling block in front of him, he will die. If you did not warn him, he will die because of his sin and the righteous acts he did will not be remembered. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood. 21 But if you warn the righteous person that he should not sin, and he does not sin, he will indeed live because he listened to your warning, and you will have saved your life.”

22 Then the hand of the Lord was on me there, and He said to me, “Get up, go out to the plain, and I will speak with you there.” 23 So I got up and went out to the plain. The Lord’s glory was present there, like the glory I had seen by the Chebar Canal, and I fell facedown. 24 The Spirit entered me and set me on my feet. He spoke with me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 And you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and bind you with them so you cannot go out among them. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, and you will be mute and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you will say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says.’ Let the one who listens, listen, and let the one who refuses, refuse—for they are a rebellious house.

Jerusalem’s Siege Dramatized

“Now you, son of man, take a brick, set it in front of you, and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. Then lay siege against it: construct a siege wall, build a ramp, pitch military camps, and place battering rams against it on all sides. Take an iron plate and set it up as an iron wall between yourself and the city. Turn your face toward it so that it is under siege, and besiege it. This will be a sign for the house of Israel.

“Then lie down on your left side and place the iniquity[a] of the house of Israel on it. You will bear their iniquity for the number of days you lie on your side. For I have assigned you the years of their iniquity according to the number of days you lie down, 390 days; so you will bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. When you have completed these days, lie down again, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year. You must turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared, and prophesy against it. Be aware that I will put cords on you so you cannot turn from side to side until you have finished the days of your siege.

“Also take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt. Put them in a single container and make them into bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the number of days you lie on your side, 390 days. 10 The food you eat each day will be eight ounces[b] by weight; you will eat it from time to time.[c] 11 You are also to drink water by measure, a sixth of a gallon,[d] which you will drink from time to time. 12 You will eat it as you would a barley cake and bake it over dried human excrement in their sight.” 13 The Lord said, “This is how the Israelites will eat their bread—ceremonially unclean—among the nations where I will banish them.”

14 But I said, “Oh, Lord God, I have never been defiled. From my youth until now I have not eaten anything that died naturally or was mauled by wild beasts. And impure meat has never entered my mouth.”

15 He replied to me, “Look, I will let you use cow dung instead of human excrement, and you can make your bread over that.” 16 Then He said to me, “Son of man, I am going to cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem. They will anxiously eat bread rationed by weight and in dread drink water by measure. 17 So they will lack bread and water; everyone will be devastated and waste away because of their iniquity.

Ezekiel Dramatizes Jerusalem’s Fall

“Now you, son of man, take a sharp sword, use it as you would a barber’s razor, and shave your head and beard. Then take a set of scales and divide the hair. You are to burn up a third of it in the city when the days of the siege have ended; you are to take a third and slash it with the sword all around the city; and you are to scatter a third to the wind, for I will draw a sword to chase after them. But you are to take a few strands from the hair and secure them in the folds of your robe. Take some more of them, throw them into the fire, and burn them in it. A fire will spread from it to the whole house of Israel.

“This is what the Lord God says: I have set this Jerusalem in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. But she has rebelled against My ordinances with more wickedness than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that surround her. For her people have rejected My ordinances and have not walked in My statutes.

“Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: Because you have been more insubordinate than the nations around you—you have not walked in My statutes or kept My ordinances; you have not even kept the ordinances of the nations around you— therefore, this is what the Lord God says: See, I am against you, Jerusalem, and I will execute judgments within you in the sight of the nations. Because of all your detestable practices, I will do to you what I have never done before and what I will never do again. 10 As a result, fathers will eat their sons within Jerusalem,[e] and sons will eat their fathers. I will execute judgments against you and scatter all your survivors to every direction of the wind.

11 “Therefore, as I live”—this is the declaration of the Lord God—“I am going to cut you off and show you no pity, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable practices and abominations. Yes, I will not spare you. 12 A third of your people will die by plague and be consumed by famine within you; a third will fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter a third to every direction of the wind, and I will draw a sword to chase after them. 13 When My anger is spent and I have vented My wrath on them, I will be appeased. Then after I have spent My wrath on them, they will know that I, Yahweh, have spoken in My jealousy.

14 “I will make you a ruin and a disgrace among the nations around you, in the sight of everyone who passes by. 15 So you[f] will be a disgrace and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations around you when I execute judgments against you in anger, wrath, and furious rebukes. I, Yahweh, have spoken. 16 When I shoot deadly arrows of famine at them, arrows for destruction that I will send to destroy you, inhabitants of Jerusalem, I will intensify the famine against you and cut off your supply of bread. 17 I will send famine and dangerous animals against you. They will leave you childless, Jerusalem. Plague and bloodshed will sweep through you, and I will bring a sword against you. I, Yahweh, have spoken.”

Prophecy against Israel’s Idolatry

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, turn your face toward the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them. You are to say: Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! This is what the Lord God says to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: I am about to bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places. Your altars will be desolated and your incense altars smashed. I will throw down your slain in front of your idols. I will lay the corpses of the Israelites in front of their idols and scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you live the cities will be in ruins and the high places will be desolate, so that your altars will lie in ruins and be desecrated,[g] your idols smashed and obliterated, your incense altars cut down, and your works wiped out. The slain will fall among you, and you will know that I am Yahweh.

“Yet I will leave a remnant when you are scattered among the nations, for throughout the countries there will be some of you who will escape the sword. Then your survivors will remember Me among the nations where they are taken captive, how I was crushed by their promiscuous hearts that turned away from Me and by their eyes that lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves because of the evil things they did, their detestable practices of every kind. 10 And they will know that I am the Lord; I did not threaten to bring this disaster on them without a reason.

Lament over the Fall of Jerusalem

11 “This is what the Lord God says: Clap your hands, stamp your feet, and cry out over all the evil and detestable practices of the house of Israel, who will fall by the sword, famine, and plague. 12 The one who is far off will die by plague; the one who is near will fall by the sword; and the one who remains and is spared[h] will die of famine. In this way I will exhaust My wrath on them. 13 You will all know that I am Yahweh when their slain lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, and under every green tree and every leafy oak—the places where they offered pleasing aromas to all their idols. 14 I will stretch out My hand against them, and wherever they live I will make the land a desolate waste, from the wilderness to Diblah.[i] Then they will know that I am Yahweh.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 4:4 Or punishment
  2. Ezekiel 4:10 Lit 20 shekels
  3. Ezekiel 4:10 Or it at set times
  4. Ezekiel 4:11 Lit hin
  5. Ezekiel 5:10 Lit you
  6. Ezekiel 5:15 DSS, LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg; MT reads she
  7. Ezekiel 6:6 Hb obscure
  8. Ezekiel 6:12 Or besieged
  9. Ezekiel 6:14 Some Hb mss, some LXX mss read Riblah; 2Kg 23:33; Jr 39:5

Hebrews 4

The Promised Rest

Therefore, while the promise to enter His rest remains, let us fear that none of you should miss it.[a] For we also have received the good news just as they did; but the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith[b] (for we who have believed enter the rest), in keeping with what[c] He has said:

So I swore in My anger,
they will not enter My rest.[d]

And yet His works have been finished since the foundation of the world, for somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in this way:

And on the seventh day
God rested from all His works.[e]

Again, in that passage He says, They will never enter My rest.[f] Since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience, again, He specifies a certain day—today—speaking through David after such a long time, as previously stated:

Today, if you hear His voice,
do not harden your hearts.[g]

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. 10 For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. 11 Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.

12 For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. 13 No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.

Our Great High Priest

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 4:1 Or that any of you might seem to have missed it
  2. Hebrews 4:2 Other mss read since it was not united by faith in those who heard
  3. Hebrews 4:3 Or rest), just as
  4. Hebrews 4:3 Ps 95:11
  5. Hebrews 4:4 Gn 2:2
  6. Hebrews 4:5 Ps 95:11
  7. Hebrews 4:7 Ps 95:7-8

Psalm 104:24-35

24 How countless are Your works, Lord!
In wisdom You have made them all;
the earth is full of Your creatures.[a]
25 Here is the sea, vast and wide,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
26 There the ships move about,
and Leviathan, which You formed to play there.

27 All of them wait for You
to give them their food at the right time.
28 When You give it to them,
they gather it;
when You open Your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
29 When You hide Your face,
they are terrified;
when You take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
30 When You send Your breath,[b]
they are created,
and You renew the face of the earth.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in His works.
32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles;
He touches the mountains,
and they pour out smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to Him;
I will rejoice in the Lord.
35 May sinners vanish from the earth
and wicked people be no more.
My soul, praise Yahweh!
Hallelujah!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 104:24 Lit possessions
  2. Psalm 104:30 Or Spirit

Proverbs 26:27

27 The one who digs a pit will fall into it,
and whoever rolls a stone—
it will come back on him.

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