Daily reading for Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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Ezekiel 14:12-16:41; Hebrews 7:18-28; Psalms 106:1-12; Proverbs 27:4-6 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Ezekiel 14:12-16:41

12 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 13 “Son of man, suppose a country sins against me by being unfaithful to me. I will use my power against it, cut off its food supply, send a famine to it, and destroy its people and animals. 14 Even if these three men—Noah, Daniel, and Job—were in that country, they would, by their righteousness, rescue only themselves,” declares the Almighty Lord.

15 “Suppose I send wild animals through that country and they make it childless and turn it into such a wasteland that no one travels through it because of the animals. 16 As I live, declares the Almighty Lord, not even Noah, Daniel, and Job could rescue their own sons or daughters. They could rescue only themselves. And the country would become a wasteland.

17 “Suppose I bring a war against that country by saying, ‘I will let a war go throughout this country.’ Suppose I destroy the people and the animals in it. 18 As I live, declares the Almighty Lord, not even Noah, Daniel, and Job could rescue their sons or daughters. They could rescue only themselves.

19 “Suppose I send a plague into that country or pour out my fury on it by killing people and destroying animals. 20 As I live, declares the Almighty Lord, not even Noah, Daniel, and Job could, by their righteousness, rescue their sons or daughters. They could rescue only themselves.

21 “This is what the Almighty Lord says: I will surely send four terrible punishments against Jerusalem. I will send wars, famines, wild animals, and plagues. They will destroy people and animals. 22 But some people will survive. Some of your sons and daughters will be brought out. When they come out to you, you will see how they live. Then you will be comforted after the disasters that I will bring on Jerusalem, after every disaster that I will bring against it. 23 You will be comforted when you see how they live. Then you will know that everything I have done was done for a reason,” declares the Almighty Lord.

Jerusalem Is Compared to Wood from a Wild Vine

15 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, “Son of man, what good is the wood from a vine? Is it better than the wood from a tree in the forest? Do people use it to make something? Do they make a peg from it to hang things on? No! It is only thrown into the fire as fuel. The fire burns up both its ends and chars its middle. Then can it be used to make anything? When the vine was in perfect condition, it couldn’t be made into anything. How can it be used to make anything after the fire has burned and charred it?

“So this is what the Almighty Lord says: As a vine is taken from among the trees in the forest to be used to feed the fire, so I will take the people who live in Jerusalem to punish them. I will turn against the people of Jerusalem. Even though they have escaped one fire, another fire will burn them. Then they will know that I am the Lord, because I will turn against them. I will turn the country into a wasteland because they have been unfaithful,” declares the Almighty Lord.

A Description of Jerusalem’s Sins

16 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, “Son of man, make known to the people of Jerusalem the disgusting things they have done. Tell them, ‘This is what the Almighty Lord says to the people of Jerusalem: Your birthplace and your ancestors were in the land of the Canaanites. Your father was an Amorite, and your mother was a Hittite. When you were born, your umbilical cord wasn’t cut. You weren’t washed with water to make you clean. You weren’t rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloth. No one who saw you felt sorry enough for you to do any of these things. But you were thrown into an open field. You were rejected when you were born.

“‘Then I went by you and saw you kicking around in your own blood. I said to you, “Live.” I made you grow like a plant in the field. You grew up, matured, and became a young woman. Your breasts developed, and your hair grew. Yet, you were naked and bare.

“‘I went by you again and looked at you. You were old enough to make love to. So I spread my robe over you, and covered your naked body. I promised to love you, and I exchanged marriage vows with you. You became mine, declares the Almighty Lord.

“‘Then I bathed you with water, and I washed off your blood. I poured olive oil over you. 10 I put an embroidered dress on you and fine leather sandals on your feet. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 I gave you jewelry. I put bracelets on your wrists and a necklace around your neck. 12 I put a ring in your nose, earrings on your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 So you wore gold and silver jewelry. You were dressed in fine linen, silk, and embroidered clothes. Your food was flour, honey, and olive oil. You were very beautiful, and eventually you became a queen. 14 You became famous in every nation because of your beauty. Your beauty was perfect because I gave you my glory, declares the Almighty Lord.

15 “‘But you trusted your beauty, and you used your fame to become a prostitute. You had sex with everyone who walked by. 16 You took some of your clothes and made your worship sites colorful. This is where you acted like a prostitute. Such things shouldn’t happen. They shouldn’t occur. 17 You took your beautiful gold and silver jewelry that I had given you and made male idols for yourself. Then you committed adultery with them. 18 You took off your embroidered clothes and covered the idols with them. You offered my olive oil and incense in their presence. 19 You also offered them sweet and fragrant sacrifices. You gave flour, olive oil, and honey—all the food that I gave you to eat. This is what happened, declares the Almighty Lord.

20 “‘You took your sons and daughters, who belonged to me, and you sacrificed them as food to idols. Wasn’t your prostitution enough? 21 You slaughtered my children and presented them as burnt offerings to idols. 22 With all the disgusting things that you did and all your acts of prostitution, you didn’t remember the time when you were young. You didn’t remember when you were naked and bare, kicking around in your own blood.

23 “‘How horrible! How horrible it will be for you! declares the Almighty Lord. After all your wickedness, 24 you built yourself platforms and illegal worship sites in every city square. 25 You also built worship sites at the head of every street. You used your beauty to seduce people there. You offered your body to everyone who passed by. You increased your acts of prostitution. 26 You had sex with your lustful neighbors, the Egyptians. You used your prostitution to make me angry.

27 “‘So I used my power against you. I took away some of your land, and I handed you over to your greedy enemies, the Philistines, who were ashamed of what you had done.

28 “‘You had sex with the Assyrians because you weren’t satisfied. You still weren’t satisfied. 29 So you increased your acts of prostitution to include the land of the merchants, the Babylonians. Even after that, you weren’t satisfied.

30 “‘You have no will power! declares the Almighty Lord. You do everything a shameless prostitute does. 31 You build your platforms at the head of every street and place your illegal worship sites in every square. Yet, you aren’t like other prostitutes, because you don’t want to be paid. 32 You are an adulterous wife who prefers strangers to her husband. 33 All prostitutes get paid. But you give gifts to all your lovers and bribe them to come to you from all directions to have sex with you. 34 You are a different kind of prostitute. No one goes after you for favors. You are the opposite. You pay them, and you don’t accept payment.

Jerusalem’s Punishment

35 “‘Listen to the word of the Lord, you prostitute. 36 This is what the Almighty Lord says: You exposed yourself and uncovered your naked body when you gave yourself to your lovers and to all your disgusting idols. You also killed your children and sacrificed their blood to these idols. 37 That is why I will gather all your lovers with whom you found pleasure. I will have all those who love you and hate you gather around. I will uncover your body for them, and they will see you naked. 38 I will punish you the same way that those who are guilty of prostitution and murder are punished. I will give you the death penalty in my fury and burning anger. 39 I will hand you over to your lovers. They will destroy your platforms and tear down your illegal worship sites. They will tear off your clothes, take away your beautiful jewelry, and leave you naked and bare. 40 They will also bring a mob against you. They will stone you and cut you into pieces with their swords. 41 They will burn your houses and punish you in the presence of many women. I will put an end to your prostitution, and you will no longer pay others.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Hebrews 7:18-28

18 The former requirements are rejected because they are weak and useless. 19 Moses’ Teachings couldn’t accomplish everything that God required. But we have something else that gives us greater confidence and allows us to approach God.

20 None of this happened without an oath. The men from the tribe of Levi may have become priests without an oath, 21 but Jesus became a priest when God took an oath. God said about him, “The Lord has taken an oath and will not change his mind. You are a priest forever.” 22 In this way Jesus has become the guarantee of a better promise.[a]

23 There was a long succession of priests because when a priest died he could no longer serve. 24 But Jesus lives forever, so he serves as a priest forever. 25 That is why he is always able to save those who come to God through him. He can do this because he always lives and intercedes for them.

26 We need a chief priest who is holy, innocent, pure, set apart from sinners, and who has the highest position in heaven. 27 We need a priest who doesn’t have to bring daily sacrifices as those chief priests did. First they brought sacrifices for their own sins, and then they brought sacrifices for the sins of the people. Jesus brought the sacrifice for the sins of the people once and for all when he sacrificed himself. 28 Moses’ Teachings designated mortals as chief priests even though they had weaknesses. But God’s promise, which came after Moses’ Teachings, designated the Son who forever accomplished everything that God required.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 7:22 Or “covenant.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Psalm 106:1-12

Psalm 106

Hallelujah!

Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,
    because his mercy endures forever.
Who can speak about all the mighty things the Lord has done?
    Who can announce all the things for which he is worthy of praise?
Blessed are those who defend justice
    and do what is right at all times.

Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people.
    Come to help me with your salvation
so that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
    find joy in our people’s happiness,
        and brag with the people who belong to you.

We have sinned, and so did our ancestors.
    We have done wrong.
    We are guilty.
When our ancestors were in Egypt,
    they gave no thought to your miracles.
        They did not remember your numerous acts of mercy,
            so they rebelled at the sea, the Red Sea.

He saved them because of his reputation
    so that he could make his mighty power known.
He angrily commanded the Red Sea, and it dried up.
    He led them through deep water as though it were a desert.
10 He rescued them from the power of the one who hated them.
    He rescued them from the enemy.
11 Water covered their adversaries.
    Not one Egyptian survived.
12 Then our ancestors believed what he said.
    They sang his praise.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Proverbs 27:4-6

Anger is cruel, and fury is overwhelming,
    but who can survive jealousy?

Open criticism is better than unexpressed love.
Wounds made by a friend are intended to help,
    but an enemy’s kisses are too much to bear.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 27:6 Hebrew meaning of “are too much to bear” uncertain.
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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