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 (New Living Translation)

Ezekiel 7-9

The Coming of the End

Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel:

“The end is here!
    Wherever you look—
east, west, north, or south—
    your land is finished.
No hope remains,
    for I will unleash my anger against you.
I will call you to account
    for all your detestable sins.
I will turn my eyes away and show no pity.
    I will repay you for all your detestable sins.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
Disaster after disaster
    is coming your way!
The end has come.
    It has finally arrived.
    Your final doom is waiting!
O people of Israel, the day of your destruction is dawning.
    The time has come; the day of trouble is near.
Shouts of anguish will be heard on the mountains,
    not shouts of joy.
Soon I will pour out my fury on you
    and unleash my anger against you.
I will call you to account
    for all your detestable sins.
I will turn my eyes away and show no pity.
    I will repay you for all your detestable sins.
Then you will know that it is I, the Lord,
    who is striking the blow.

10 “The day of judgment is here;
    your destruction awaits!
The people’s wickedness and pride
    have blossomed to full flower.
11 Their violence has grown into a rod
    that will beat them for their wickedness.
None of these proud and wicked people will survive.
    All their wealth and prestige will be swept away.
12 Yes, the time has come;
    the day is here!
Buyers should not rejoice over bargains,
    nor sellers grieve over losses,
for all of them will fall
    under my terrible anger.
13 Even if the merchants survive,
    they will never return to their business.
For what God has said applies to everyone—
    it will not be changed!
Not one person whose life is twisted by sin
    will ever recover.

The Desolation of Israel

14 “The trumpet calls Israel’s army to mobilize,
    but no one listens,
    for my fury is against them all.
15 There is war outside the city
    and disease and famine within.
Those outside the city walls
    will be killed by enemy swords.
Those inside the city
    will die of famine and disease.
16 The survivors who escape to the mountains
    will moan like doves, weeping for their sins.
17 Their hands will hang limp,
    their knees will be weak as water.
18 They will dress themselves in burlap;
    horror and shame will cover them.
They will shave their heads
    in sorrow and remorse.

19 “They will throw their money in the streets,
    tossing it out like worthless trash.
Their silver and gold won’t save them
    on that day of the Lord’s anger.
It will neither satisfy nor feed them,
    for their greed can only trip them up.
20 They were proud of their beautiful jewelry
    and used it to make detestable idols and vile images.
Therefore, I will make all their wealth
    disgusting to them.
21 I will give it as plunder to foreigners,
    to the most wicked of nations,
    and they will defile it.
22 I will turn my eyes from them
    as these robbers invade and defile my treasured land.

23 “Prepare chains for my people,
    for the land is bloodied by terrible crimes.
    Jerusalem is filled with violence.
24 I will bring the most ruthless of nations
    to occupy their homes.
I will break down their proud fortresses
    and defile their sanctuaries.
25 Terror and trembling will overcome my people.
    They will look for peace but not find it.
26 Calamity will follow calamity;
    rumor will follow rumor.
They will look in vain
    for a vision from the prophets.
They will receive no teaching from the priests
    and no counsel from the leaders.
27 The king and the prince will stand helpless,
    weeping in despair,
and the people’s hands
    will tremble with fear.
I will bring on them
    the evil they have done to others,
and they will receive the punishment
    they so richly deserve.
Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Idolatry in the Temple

Then on September 17,[a] during the sixth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, while the leaders of Judah were in my home, the Sovereign Lord took hold of me. I saw a figure that appeared to be a man. From what appeared to be his waist down, he looked like a burning flame. From the waist up he looked like gleaming amber.[b] He reached out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair. Then the Spirit lifted me up into the sky and transported me to Jerusalem in a vision from God. I was taken to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple, where there is a large idol that has made the Lord very jealous. Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel was there, just as I had seen it before in the valley.

Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked, and there to the north, beside the entrance to the gate near the altar, stood the idol that had made the Lord so jealous.

“Son of man,” he said, “do you see what they are doing? Do you see the detestable sins the people of Israel are committing to drive me from my Temple? But come, and you will see even more detestable sins than these!” Then he brought me to the door of the Temple courtyard, where I could see a hole in the wall. He said to me, “Now, son of man, dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and found a hidden doorway.

“Go in,” he said, “and see the wicked and detestable sins they are committing in there!” 10 So I went in and saw the walls engraved with all kinds of crawling animals and detestable creatures. I also saw the various idols[c] worshiped by the people of Israel. 11 Seventy leaders of Israel were standing there with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan in the center. Each of them held an incense burner, from which a cloud of incense rose above their heads.

12 Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the leaders of Israel are doing with their idols in dark rooms? They are saying, ‘The Lord doesn’t see us; he has deserted our land!’” 13 Then the Lord added, “Come, and I will show you even more detestable sins than these!”

14 He brought me to the north gate of the Lord’s Temple, and some women were sitting there, weeping for the god Tammuz. 15 “Have you seen this?” he asked. “But I will show you even more detestable sins than these!”

16 Then he brought me into the inner courtyard of the Lord’s Temple. At the entrance to the sanctuary, between the entry room and the bronze altar, there were about twenty-five men with their backs to the sanctuary of the Lord. They were facing east, bowing low to the ground, worshiping the sun!

17 “Have you seen this, son of man?” he asked. “Is it nothing to the people of Judah that they commit these detestable sins, leading the whole nation into violence, thumbing their noses at me, and provoking my anger? 18 Therefore, I will respond in fury. I will neither pity nor spare them. And though they cry for mercy, I will not listen.”

The Slaughter of Idolaters

Then the Lord thundered, “Bring on the men appointed to punish the city! Tell them to bring their weapons with them!” Six men soon appeared from the upper gate that faces north, each carrying a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man dressed in linen, who carried a writer’s case at his side. They all went into the Temple courtyard and stood beside the bronze altar.

Then the glory of the God of Israel rose up from between the cherubim, where it had rested, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. And the Lord called to the man dressed in linen who was carrying the writer’s case. He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.”

Then I heard the Lord say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all—old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin right here at the Temple.” So they began by killing the seventy leaders.

“Defile the Temple!” the Lord commanded. “Fill its courtyards with corpses. Go!” So they went and began killing throughout the city.

While they were out killing, I was all alone. I fell face down on the ground and cried out, “O Sovereign Lord! Will your fury against Jerusalem wipe out everyone left in Israel?”

Then he said to me, “The sins of the people of Israel and Judah are very, very great. The entire land is full of murder; the city is filled with injustice. They are saying, ‘The Lord doesn’t see it! The Lord has abandoned the land!’ 10 So I will not spare them or have any pity on them. I will fully repay them for all they have done.”

11 Then the man in linen clothing, who carried the writer’s case, reported back and said, “I have done as you commanded.”

Footnotes:

  1. 8:1 Hebrew on the fifth day of the sixth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on September 17, 592 b.c.; also see note on 1:1.
  2. 8:2 Or like burnished metal.
  3. 8:10 The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Hebrews 5

Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins. And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses. That is why he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as theirs.

And no one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He must be called by God for this work, just as Aaron was. That is why Christ did not honor himself by assuming he could become High Priest. No, he was chosen by God, who said to him,

“You are my Son.
    Today I have become your Father.[a]

And in another passage God said to him,

“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”[b]

While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. 10 And God designated him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

A Call to Spiritual Growth

11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.[c] You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

Footnotes:

  1. 5:5 Or Today I reveal you as my Son. Ps 2:7.
  2. 5:6 Ps 110:4.
  3. 5:12 Or about the oracles of God.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 105:1-15

Psalm 105

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
    Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
Exult in his holy name;
    rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.
Remember the wonders he has performed,
    his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
you children of his servant Abraham,
    you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.

He is the Lord our God.
    His justice is seen throughout the land.
He always stands by his covenant—
    the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
This is the covenant he made with Abraham
    and the oath he swore to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
    and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant:
11 “I will give you the land of Canaan
    as your special possession.”

12 He said this when they were few in number,
    a tiny group of strangers in Canaan.
13 They wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
14 Yet he did not let anyone oppress them.
    He warned kings on their behalf:
15 “Do not touch my chosen people,
    and do not hurt my prophets.”

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 26:28

28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
    and flattering words cause ruin.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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