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 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ezekiel 7-9

Announcement of the End

And the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, this is what the Lord God says to the land of Israel:

An end! The end has come
on the four corners of the land.
The end is now upon you;
I will send My anger against you
and judge you according to your ways.
I will punish you for all your detestable practices.
I will not look on you with pity or spare you,
but I will punish you for your ways
and for your detestable practices within you.
Then you will know that I am Yahweh.”

This is what the Lord God says:

Look, one disaster after another is coming!
An end has come; the end has come!
It has awakened against you.
Look, it is coming!
Doom[a] has come on you,
inhabitants of the land.
The time has come; the day is near.
There will be panic on the mountains
and not celebration.

I will pour out My wrath on you very soon;
I will exhaust My anger against you
and judge you according to your ways.
I will punish you for all your detestable practices.
I will not look on you with pity or spare you.
I will punish you for your ways
and for your detestable practices within you.
Then you will know
that it is I, Yahweh, who strikes.

10 Look, the day is coming!
Doom has gone out.
The rod has blossomed;
arrogance has bloomed.
11 Violence has grown into a rod of wickedness.
None of them will remain:
none of their multitude,
none of their wealth,
and none of the eminent[b] among them.

12 The time has come; the day has arrived.
Let the buyer not rejoice
and the seller not mourn,
for wrath is on all her masses.
13 The seller will certainly not return
to what was sold
as long as he and the buyer remain alive.[c]
For the vision concerning all its people
will not be revoked,
and none of them will preserve
his life because of his iniquity.

14 They have blown the trumpet
and prepared everything,
but no one goes to war,
for My wrath is on all her masses.
15 The sword is on the outside;
plague and famine are on the inside.
Whoever is in the field will die by the sword,
and famine and plague will devour
whoever is in the city.

16 The survivors among them will escape
and live on the mountains
like doves of the valley,
all of them moaning,
each over his own iniquity.
17 All their hands will become weak,
and all their knees will turn to water.
18 They will put on sackcloth,
and horror will overwhelm them.
Shame will cover all their faces,
and all their heads will be bald.

19 They will throw their silver into the streets,
and their gold will seem like something filthy.
Their silver and gold will be unable to save them
in the day of the Lord’s wrath.
They will not satisfy their appetites
or fill their stomachs,
for these were the stumbling blocks
that brought about their iniquity.

20 He appointed His beautiful ornaments for majesty,
but[d] they made their abhorrent images from them,
their detestable things.
Therefore, I have made these
into something filthy for them.
21 I will hand these things over
to foreigners as plunder
and to the wicked of the earth as spoil,
and they will profane them.
22 I will turn My face from the wicked
as they profane My treasured place.
Violent men will enter it and profane it.

23 Forge the chain,
for the land is filled with crimes of bloodshed,
and the city is filled with violence.
24 So I will bring the most evil of nations
to take possession of their houses.
I will put an end to the pride of the strong,
and their sacred places will be profaned.
25 Anguish is coming!
They will seek peace, but there will be none.
26 Disaster after disaster will come,
and there will be rumor after rumor.
Then they will seek a vision from a prophet,
but instruction will perish from the priests
and counsel from the elders.
27 The king will mourn;
the prince will be clothed in grief;
and the hands of the people of the land will tremble.
I will deal with them according to their own conduct,
and I will judge them by their own standards.
Then they will know that I am Yahweh.

Visionary Journey to Jerusalem

In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting in front of me, and there the hand of the Lord God came down on me. I looked, and there was a form that had the appearance of a man.[e] From what seemed to be His waist down was fire, and from His waist up was something that looked bright, like the gleam of amber. He stretched out what appeared to be a hand and took me by the hair of my head. Then the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and carried me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the inner gate that faces north, where the offensive statue that provokes jealousy was located. I saw the glory of the God of Israel there, like the vision I had seen in the plain.

Pagan Practices in the Temple

The Lord said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” I looked to the north, and there was this offensive statue north of the altar gate, at the entrance. He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing here, more detestable things that the house of Israel is committing, so that I must depart from My sanctuary? You will see even more detestable things.”

Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked there was a hole in the wall. He said to me, “Son of man, dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall, and there was a doorway. He said to me, “Go in and see the terrible and detestable things they are committing here.” 10 I went in and looked, and there engraved all around the wall was every form of detestable thing, crawling creatures and beasts, as well as all the idols of the house of Israel.

11 Seventy elders from the house of Israel were standing before them, with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had a firepan in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising up. 12 Then He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his idol? For they are saying, ‘The Lord does not see us. The Lord has abandoned the land.’” 13 Again He said to me, “You will see even more detestable things, which they are committing.”

14 So He brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the Lord’s house, and I saw women sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 15 And He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see even more detestable things than these.”

16 So He brought me to the inner court of the Lord’s house, and there were about 25 men at the entrance of the Lord’s temple, between the portico and the altar, with their backs to the Lord’s temple and their faces turned to the east. They were bowing to the east in worship of the sun. 17 And He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Is it not enough for the house of Judah to commit the detestable things they are practicing here, that they must also fill the land with violence and repeatedly provoke Me to anger, even putting the branch to their nose?[f][g] 18 Therefore I will respond with wrath. I will not show pity or spare them. Though they cry out in My ears with a loud voice, I will not listen to them.”

Vision of Slaughter in Jerusalem

Then He called to me directly with a loud voice, “Come near, executioners of the city, each of you with a destructive weapon in his hand.” And I saw six men coming from the direction of the Upper Gate, which faces north, each with a war club in his hand. There was another man among them, clothed in linen, with writing equipment at his side. They came and stood beside the bronze altar.

Then the glory of the God of Israel rose from above the cherub where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. He called to the man clothed in linen with the writing equipment at his side. “Pass throughout the city of Jerusalem,” the Lord said to him, “and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the detestable practices committed in it.”

He spoke as I listened to the others, “Pass through the city after him and start killing; do not show pity or spare them! Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, as well as the older women and little children, but do not come near anyone who has the mark. Now begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple. Then He said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!” So they went out killing people in the city.

While they were killing, I was left alone. And I fell facedown and cried out, “Oh, Lord God! Are You going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel when You pour out Your wrath on Jerusalem?”

He answered me: “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is extremely great; the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity. For they say, ‘The Lord has abandoned the land; He does not see.’ 10 But as for Me, I will not show pity or spare them. I will bring their actions down on their own heads.” 11 Then the man clothed in linen with the writing equipment at his side reported back, “I have done as You commanded me.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 7:7 Hb obscure
  2. Ezekiel 7:11 Some Hb mss, Syr, Vg read and no rest
  3. Ezekiel 7:13 Lit sold, while still in life is their life
  4. Ezekiel 7:20 Or They turned their beautiful ornaments into objects of pride, and
  5. Ezekiel 8:2 LXX; MT, Vg read of fire
  6. Ezekiel 8:17 Ancient Jewish tradition reads My nose
  7. Ezekiel 8:17 Possibly a pagan ritual or a euphemism for offensive behavior

Hebrews 5

The Messiah, a High Priest

For every high priest taken from men is appointed in service[a] to God for the people, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he is also subject to weakness. Because of this, he must make a sin offering for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honor on himself; instead, a person is called by God, just as Aaron was. In the same way, the Messiah did not exalt Himself to become a high priest, but the One who said to Him, You are My Son; today I have become Your Father,[b] also said in another passage, You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.[c]

During His earthly life,[d] He offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Though He was God’s Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. After He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him, 10 and He was declared by God a high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

The Problem of Immaturity

11 We have a great deal to say about this, and it’s difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. 12 Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 5:1 Lit things
  2. Hebrews 5:5 Ps 2:7
  3. Hebrews 5:6 Gn 14:18-20; Ps 110:4
  4. Hebrews 5:7 Lit In the days of His flesh

Psalm 105:1-15

Psalm 105

God’s Faithfulness to His People

Give thanks to Yahweh, call on His name;
proclaim His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
tell about all His wonderful works!
Honor His holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
Search for the Lord and for His strength;
seek His face always.
Remember the wonderful works He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments He has pronounced,[a]
you offspring of Abraham His servant,
Jacob’s descendants—His chosen ones.

He is the Lord our God;
His judgments govern the whole earth.
He remembers His covenant forever,
the promise He ordained
for a thousand generations
the covenant He made with Abraham,
swore[b] to Isaac,
10 and confirmed to Jacob as a decree
and to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 “I will give the land of Canaan to you
as your inherited portion.”

12 When they were few in number,
very few indeed,
and temporary residents in Canaan,
13 wandering from nation to nation
and from one kingdom to another,
14 He allowed no one to oppress them;
He rebuked kings on their behalf:
15 “Do not touch My anointed ones,
or harm My prophets.”

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 105:5 Lit judgments of His mouth
  2. Psalm 105:9 Lit and His oath

Proverbs 26:28

28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes,
and a flattering mouth causes ruin.

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