Daily reading for Sunday, November 3, 2013

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Ezekiel 7:1-9:11; Hebrews 5:1-14; Psalms 105:1-15; Proverbs 26:28 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Ezekiel 7-9

The Lord’s Judgment on Israel

The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, “Son of man, this is what the Almighty Lord says to the people in the land of Israel: The end is coming! The end is coming to the four corners of the earth. Now the end is coming for you. I will send my anger against you. I will judge you for the way you have lived, and I will punish you for all the detestable things that you have done. I will not have compassion for you or feel sorry for you. I will pay you back for the way you have lived and for the detestable things you have done. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

“This is what the Almighty Lord says: One disaster after another is coming. The end is coming. The end is coming. It is stirring itself up against you. It is coming! Destruction is coming to you, inhabitants of the land. The time is coming. The day is near. There will be confusion. There will be no joy in the mountains. Soon I will pour out my fury on you and unleash my anger on you. I will judge you for the way you have lived, and I will punish you for all the detestable things that you have done. I will not have compassion or feel sorry. I will pay you back for the way you have lived and for the detestable things that you are still doing. Then you will know that I am the Lord and that I am the one attacking you.

10 “The day is near! It is coming! Destruction is coming! Wrongdoing has blossomed. Arrogance has flourished. 11 Violence has grown into a weapon for punishing wickedness. None of the people will be left. None of that crowd, none of their wealth, and nothing of value will be left. 12 The time is coming. The day is near. Buyers will not rejoice, and sellers will not mourn, because my fury will be against the whole crowd. 13 Sellers will not live long enough to buy back what they have sold. The visions against that crowd will not change. Because of their sins, none of the people will live. 14 They have blown a ram’s horn, and everything is ready. But no one will go into battle, because my fury is against their whole crowd.

15 “Outside are swords, and inside are plagues and famines. Whoever is in a field will die in battle. Whoever is in the city will be devoured by famines and plagues. 16 Those who survive will escape to the mountains. They will moan like doves in the valleys. They will moan because of their sins. 17 Every hand will hang limp, and every knee will be as weak as water. 18 They will put on sackcloth, and horror will cover them. All their faces will be covered with shame, and every head will be shaved. 19 They will throw their silver and gold into the streets like garbage. Their silver and gold won’t be able to rescue them on the day of the Lord’s anger. It will no longer satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs. Their silver and gold caused them to fall into sin. 20 They were proud of their beautiful jewels and used them to make disgusting and detestable statues of false gods. That is why I will make their jewels disgusting. 21 I will hand their jewels over to foreigners as loot and to the most evil people on earth as prizes. These foreigners will dishonor the people of Israel. 22 I will turn my face away from the people of Israel, and foreigners will dishonor my treasured place. Robbers will go in and dishonor it.

23 “Get the chains ready! The land is filled with murder, and the city is filled with violence. 24 So I will send the most evil nation, and it will take possession of people’s houses. I will stop those who are strong from feeling proud, and their holy places will be dishonored. 25 Anguish is coming. People will look for peace, but there will be none. 26 One disaster will happen after another. One rumor will follow another. People will ask for a vision from a prophet. The teachings of priests and the advice of leaders will disappear. 27 Kings will mourn, and princes will give up hope. The common people will lose their courage. I will give them what they deserve and judge them as they have judged others. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Idolatry in Jerusalem

On the fifth day of the sixth month in the sixth year, I was sitting in my home. Judah’s leaders were sitting in front of me. The power of the Almighty Lord came over me. As I looked, I saw something that looked like a human. From the waist down its body looked like fire, and from the waist up its body looked like glowing metal. It stretched out what looked like a hand and grabbed me by the hair on my head. In these visions from God, the Spirit carried me between heaven and earth. He took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the temple. That was where an idol that stirs up God’s anger was located. There I saw the glory of Israel’s God as I did in the vision that I saw in the valley.

God said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked toward the north, and there in the entrance to the north gate beside the altar, I saw the idol that stirs up God’s anger.

He asked me, “Son of man, do you see what the people of Israel are doing? The people of Israel are doing very disgusting things here, things that will force me to go far away from my holy place. But you will see even more disgusting things.”

Then he took me to the entrance of the courtyard. As I looked, I saw a hole in the wall. He said to me, “Son of man, dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall, and I saw a door.

He said to me, “Go in, and see the wicked, disgusting things that the people of Israel are doing here.” 10 So I went in and looked. I saw that the walls were covered with drawings of every kind of crawling creature, every kind of disgusting animal, and all the idols in the nation of Israel. 11 In front of these drawings stood 70 of Israel’s leaders. Jaazaniah, son of Shaphan, was standing with the leaders. Each of them was holding an incense burner in his hand, and a cloud of incense went up.

12 God asked me, “Son of man, do you see what the leaders of the nation of Israel are doing in secret? Each of them is in the room where his god is, and each one of them is thinking, ‘The Lord doesn’t see me. The Lord has abandoned this land.’”

13 Then he said to me, “You will see even more disgusting things that they are doing.”

14 He brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the Lord’s temple. Women were sitting there and crying for the god Tammuz. 15 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this? You will see even more disgusting things than these.”

16 Then he brought me into the inner courtyard of the Lord’s temple. There at the entrance to the Lord’s temple, between the entrance and the altar, were about 25 men who had their backs turned to the Lord’s temple. They were facing east and worshiping the rising sun. 17 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this? Isn’t it bad enough that the people of Judah have done these disgusting things that you have seen here? Yet, they also fill the land with violence and continue to provoke me even more. Look how they insult me in the worst possible way.[a] 18 So I will take action because I’m angry, and I won’t have compassion for them or feel sorry for them. Even if they shout in my ears, I won’t listen to them.”

The Lord Orders the Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem

Then I heard the Lord call out with a loud voice. He said, “Come here, those who are going to punish this city. Each of you should bring your weapon with you.” So six men came from the upper north gate. Each one brought a deadly weapon with him. Among them was a person dressed in linen who was carrying paper and pen. The men came in and stood by the bronze altar. Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the angels,[b] where it had been, to the temple’s entrance. The Lord called to the person dressed in linen who was carrying paper and pen.

The Lord said to that person, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of those who sigh and groan about all the disgusting things that are being done in the city.”

Then he said to the others as I was listening, “Follow him throughout the city and kill. Don’t have any compassion, and don’t feel sorry. Kill old men, young men, old women, young women, and children. But don’t come near anyone who has a mark on him. Start with my holy place.” So they started with the old men in front of the temple.

He said to them, “Dishonor the temple! Fill its courtyards with dead people, and then leave.” So they went out and killed the people in the city.

As they were killing people, I was left alone. So I immediately bowed down. I cried, “Almighty Lord, will you destroy everyone who is left in Israel while you pour out your anger on Jerusalem?”

He answered me, “The wickedness of the nations of Israel and Judah is terrible. The land is filled with murder, and the city is filled with wrongdoing. They think that the Lord has abandoned the land and that he doesn’t see. 10 But I will not have compassion or feel sorry. I will do to them what they have done to others.”

11 Then the person dressed in linen who was carrying paper and pen reported, “I did everything you commanded.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 8:17 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
  2. Ezekiel 9:3 Or “cherubim.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Hebrews 5

Every chief priest is chosen from humans to represent them in front of God, that is, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin. The chief priest can be gentle with people who are ignorant and easily deceived, because he also has weaknesses. Because he has weaknesses, he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins in the same way that he does for the sins of his people.

No one takes this honor for himself. Instead, God calls him as he called Aaron. So Christ did not take the glory of being a chief priest for himself. Instead, the glory was given to him by God, who said,

“You are my Son.
    Today I have become your Father.”

In another place in Scripture, God said,

“You are a priest forever,
    in the way Melchizedek was a priest.”

During his life on earth, Jesus prayed to God, who could save him from death. He prayed and pleaded with loud crying and tears, and he was heard because of his devotion to God. Although Jesus was the Son of God, he learned to be obedient through his sufferings. After he had finished his work, he became the source of eternal salvation for everyone who obeys him. 10 God appointed him chief priest in the way Melchizedek was a priest.

You Need Someone to Teach You

11 We have a lot to explain about this. But since you have become too lazy to pay attention, explaining it to you is hard. 12 By now you should be teachers. Instead, you still need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food. 13 All those who live on milk lack the experience to talk about what is right. They are still babies. 14 However, solid food is for mature people, whose minds are trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Psalm 105:1-15

Psalm 105

Give thanks to the Lord.
    Call on him.
    Make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him.
    Make music to praise him.
    Meditate on all the miracles he has performed.
Brag about his holy name.
    Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Search for the Lord and his strength.
    Always seek his presence.
Remember the miracles he performed,
    the amazing things he did, and the judgments he pronounced,
        you descendants of his servant Abraham,
        you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.

He is the Lord our God.
    His judgments are pronounced throughout the earth.
He always remembers his promise,[a]
    the word that he commanded for a thousand generations,
        the promise that he made to Abraham,
            and his sworn oath to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it as a law for Jacob,
    as an everlasting promise to Israel,
11 by saying, “I will give you the land of Canaan.
    It is your share of the inheritance.”

12 While the people of Israel were few in number,
    a small group of foreigners living in that land,
13 they wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
14 He didn’t permit anyone to oppress them.
    He warned kings about them:
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones
    or harm my prophets.”

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 105:8 Or “covenant.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Proverbs 26:28

28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
    and a flattering mouth causes ruin.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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