Daily reading for Monday, November 4, 2013

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Ezekiel 10:1-11:25; Hebrews 6:1-20; Psalms 105:16-36; Proverbs 27:1-2 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Ezekiel 10-11

The Glory of the Lord Leaves His Temple

10 As I looked at the dome over the heads of the angels,[a] I saw something that looked like a throne made of sapphire. The Lord said to the person dressed in linen, “Go between the wheels under the angels, and fill your hands with burning coals. Then scatter them over the city.” So he went between the wheels as I watched.

The angels were standing on the south side of the temple as the person went. A cloud filled the inner courtyard. The Lord’s glory rose from the angels to the entrance of the temple, the cloud filled the temple, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory filled the courtyard. The sound of the angels’ wings was heard as far as the outer courtyard. It was like the sound of the Almighty God when he speaks.

After the Lord had commanded the person dressed in linen to take burning coals from between the wheels beside the angels, the person went in and stood beside one of the wheels. One of the angels reached into the fire that was between the angels and took out some coals. This angel put them in the hands of the person dressed in linen. The person took them and left.

The angels appeared to have what looked like human hands under their wings. As I looked, I saw four wheels beside the angels, one wheel beside each of the angels. The wheels looked like beryl. 10 All four wheels looked the same. Each was like a wheel within a wheel. 11 Whenever the angels moved, they moved in any of the four directions without turning as they moved. They always moved in the direction they faced without turning as they moved. 12 Their entire bodies, their backs, hands, wings, and wheels were covered with eyes. Each of the angels had a wheel. 13 I heard that the wheels were called the whirling wheels. 14 Each of the angels had four faces. The first was the face of an angel, the second was the face of a human, the third was the face of a lion, and the fourth was the face of an eagle.

15 The angels rose. These were the living creatures that I saw at the Chebar River. 16 When the angels moved, the wheels moved beside them. When the angels lifted their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels didn’t leave their side. 17 When the angels stood still, the wheels stood still. When the angels rose, the wheels rose with them. The spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 18 Then the glory of the Lord left the temple’s entrance and stood over the angels. 19 The angels lifted their wings and rose from the ground. I was watching them as they left with the wheels beside them. The angels stood at the door to the east gate of the Lord’s temple, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.

20 These are the living creatures that I saw under the God of Israel at the Chebar River. I realized that they were angels. 21 Each had four faces and four wings, and under their wings were what looked like human hands. 22 Their faces looked exactly like the faces that I saw by the Chebar River. Each one went straight ahead.

Judgment on the Rulers of Israel

11 Then the Spirit lifted me and took me to the east gate of the Lord’s temple. (It’s the gate that faces east.) Twenty-five men were at the entrance of the gate. I saw among them Azzur’s son Jaazaniah and Benaiah’s son Pelatiah. They were leaders of the people.

Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who plan evil and give bad advice in this city. They say, ‘It’s almost time to rebuild homes. This city is a cooking pot, and we’re the meat.’ So prophesy against them. Prophesy, son of man.”

The Lord’s Spirit came to me and told me to say, “This is what the Lord says: You are saying these things, nation of Israel. But I know what’s going through your mind. You have killed many people in this city and have filled its streets with corpses.

“So this is what the Almighty Lord says: The corpses that you put in the middle of the city are the meat, and the city is the cooking pot. I will force you out of the city. You are afraid of swords, so I will bring swords to attack you, declares the Almighty Lord. I will force you out of the city. I will hand you over to foreigners, and I will punish you. 10 You will die in battle. I will judge you at Israel’s borders. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 11 The city will not be your cooking pot, and you will not be the meat in it. I will judge you at Israel’s borders. 12 Then you will know that I am the Lord. You haven’t lived by my laws, and you haven’t obeyed my rules. You have followed the standards set by the nations around you.”

13 While I was prophesying, Benaiah’s son Pelatiah died.

I immediately bowed down and cried out, “Almighty Lord, will you completely destroy all the remaining people in Israel?”

The Lord’s Promise to Gather Israel from the Nations

14 Then the Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 15 “Son of man, the people who live in Jerusalem are talking about your own relatives and about the entire nation of Israel. The people who live in Jerusalem say, ‘They are far away from the Lord. This land has been given to us as our own property.’

16 “So tell them, ‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, I have been their sanctuary for a little while among the countries where they’ve gone.’

17 “So tell them, ‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: I will bring them together from the nations and gather them from the countries where I’ve scattered them. I will give them the land of Israel. 18 They will come and remove all the disgusting and detestable things that are there. 19 I will give them a single purpose and put a new spirit in them. I will remove their stubborn hearts and give them obedient hearts. 20 Then they will live by my laws and obey my rules. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose minds are set on following detestable and disgusting idols, I will pay them back for what they have done, declares the Almighty Lord.’”

The Glory of the Lord Leaves Jerusalem

22 Then the angels[b] raised their wings, with the wheels beside them. The glory of the God of Israel was above them. 23 The Lord’s glory left the middle of the city and stopped above the mountain east of the city.

24 In this vision from God’s Spirit, the Spirit lifted me and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia. Then the vision I saw left me.

25 I told the exiles everything the Lord had shown me.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 10:1 Or “cherubim.”
  2. Ezekiel 11:22 Or “cherubim.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Hebrews 6

With this in mind, we should stop going over the elementary truths about Christ and move on to topics for more mature people. We shouldn’t repeat the basics about turning away from the useless things we did and the basics about faith in God. We shouldn’t repeat the basic teachings about such things as baptisms, setting people apart for holy tasks, dead people coming back to life, and eternal judgment. If God permits, we will do this.

Some people once had God’s light. They experienced the heavenly gift and shared in the Holy Spirit. They experienced the goodness of God’s word and the powers of the world to come. Yet, they have deserted Christ. They are crucifying the Son of God again and publicly disgracing him. Therefore, they cannot be led a second time to God.

God blesses the earth. So rain often falls on it, and it produces useful crops for farmers. However, if the earth produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

God Will Not Forget You

Dear friends, even though we say these things, we are still convinced that better things are in store for you and that they will save you. 10 God is fair. He won’t forget what you’ve done or the love you’ve shown for him. You helped his holy people, and you continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to prove that you’re working hard so that you will remain confident until the end. 12 Then, instead of being lazy, you will imitate those who are receiving the promises through faith and patience.

13 God made a promise to Abraham. Since he had no one greater on whom to base his oath, he based it on himself. 14 He said, “I will certainly bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 So Abraham received what God promised because he waited patiently for it.

16 When people take oaths, they base their oaths on someone greater than themselves. Their oaths guarantee what they say and end all arguments. 17 God wouldn’t change his plan. He wanted to make this perfectly clear to those who would receive his promise, so he took an oath. 18 God did this so that we would be encouraged. God cannot lie when he takes an oath or makes a promise. These two things can never be changed. Those of us who have taken refuge in him hold on to the confidence we have been given. 19 We have this confidence as a sure and strong anchor for our lives. This confidence goes into the holy place behind the curtain 20 where Jesus went before us on our behalf. He has become the chief priest forever in the way Melchizedek was a priest.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Psalm 105:16-36

16 He brought famine to the land.
    He took away their food supply.
17 He sent a man ahead of them.
    He sent Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 They hurt his feet with shackles,
    and cut into his neck with an iron collar.
19 The Lord’s promise tested him through fiery trials
    until his prediction came true.
20 The king sent someone to release him.
    The ruler of nations set him free.
21 He made Joseph the master of his palace
    and the ruler of all his possessions.
22 Joseph trained the king’s officers the way he wanted
    and taught his respected leaders wisdom.

23 Then Israel came to Egypt.
    Jacob lived as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
24 The Lord made his people grow rapidly in number
    and stronger than their enemies.
25 He changed their minds so that they hated his people,
    and they dealt treacherously with his servants.
26 He sent his servant Moses, and he sent Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27 They displayed his miraculous signs among them
    and did amazing things in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness and made their land dark.
    They did not rebel against his orders.
29 He turned their water into blood
    and caused their fish to die.
30 He made their land swarm with frogs,
    even in the kings’ bedrooms.
31 He spoke, and swarms of flies and gnats
    infested their whole territory.
32 He gave them hail and lightning
    instead of rain throughout their land.
33 He struck their grapevines and fig trees
    and smashed the trees in their territory.
34 He spoke, and countless locusts and grasshoppers came.
35 They devoured all the plants in the land.
    They devoured the crops in the fields.
36 He killed all the firstborn sons,
    the first ones born in the land when their fathers were young.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Proverbs 27:1-2

All about Life

27 Do not brag about tomorrow,
    because you do not know what another day may bring.
Praise should come from another person and not from your own mouth,
    from a stranger and not from your own lips.

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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