Daily reading for Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Today's audio is from the NET. Switch to the NET to read along with the audio.
Ezekiel 14:12-16:41; Hebrews 7:18-28; Psalms 106:1-12; Proverbs 27:4-6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Four Devastating Judgments
12 The word of the Lord came to me: 13 “Son of man, if a land sins against Me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out My hand against it to cut off its supply of bread, to send famine through it, and to wipe out both man and animal from it, 14 even if these three men—Noah, Daniel, and Job—were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.
15 “If I allow dangerous animals to pass through the land and depopulate it so that it becomes desolate, with no one passing through it for fear of the animals, 16 even if these three men were in it, as I live”—the declaration of the Lord God—“they could not deliver their sons or daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.
17 “Or if I bring a sword against that land and say: Let a sword pass through it, so that I wipe out both man and animal from it, 18 even if these three men were in it, as I live”—the declaration of the Lord God—“they could not deliver their sons or daughters, but they alone would be delivered.
19 “Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out My wrath on it with bloodshed to wipe out both man and animal from it, 20 even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live”—the declaration of the Lord God—“they could not deliver their son or daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.
21 “For this is what the Lord God says: How much worse will it be when I send My four devastating judgments against Jerusalem—sword, famine, dangerous animals, and plague—in order to wipe out both man and animal from it! 22 Even so, there will be survivors left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out. Indeed, they will come out to you, and you will observe their conduct and actions. Then you will be consoled about the devastation I have brought on Jerusalem, about all I have brought on it. 23 They will bring you consolation when you see their conduct and actions, and you will know that it was not without cause that I have done what I did to it.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.
Parable of the Useless Vine
15 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, how does the wood of the vine, that branch among the trees of the forest, compare to any other wood? 3 Can wood be taken from it to make something useful? Or can anyone make a peg from it to hang things on? 4 In fact, it is put into the fire as fuel. The fire devours both of its ends, and the middle is charred. Can it be useful for anything? 5 Even when it was whole it could not be made into a useful object. How much less can it ever be made into anything useful when the fire has devoured it and it is charred!
6 “Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire as fuel, so I will give up the residents of Jerusalem. 7 I will turn against them. They may have escaped from the fire, but it will still consume them. And you will know that I am Yahweh when I turn against them. 8 I will make the land desolate because they have acted unfaithfully.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.
Parable of God’s Adulterous Wife
16 The word of the Lord came to me again: 2 “Son of man, explain Jerusalem’s detestable practices to her. 3 You are to say: This is what the Lord God says to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth were in the land of the Canaanites. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 As for your birth, your umbilical cord wasn’t cut on the day you were born, and you weren’t washed clean[a] with water. You were not rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. 5 No one cared enough about you to do even one of these things out of compassion for you. But you were thrown out into the open field because you were despised on the day you were born.
6 “I passed by you and saw you lying in your blood, and I said to you as you lay in your blood: Live! Yes, I said to you as you lay in your blood: Live![b] 7 I made you thrive[c] like plants of the field. You grew up and matured and became very beautiful.[d] Your breasts were formed and your hair grew, but you were stark naked.
8 “Then I passed by you and saw you, and you were indeed at the age for love. So I spread the edge of My garment over you and covered your nakedness. I pledged Myself to you, entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. 9 “I washed you with water, rinsed off your blood, and anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you in embroidered cloth and provided you with leather sandals. I also wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 I adorned you with jewelry, putting bracelets on your wrists and a chain around your neck. 12 I put a ring in your nose, earrings on your ears, and a beautiful tiara on your head. 13 So you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was made of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey, and oil. You became extremely beautiful and attained royalty. 14 Your fame spread among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor, which I had bestowed on you.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.
15 “But you were confident in your beauty and acted like a prostitute because of your fame. You lavished your sexual favors on everyone who passed by. Your beauty became his.[e] 16 You took some of your garments and made colorful high places for yourself, and you engaged in prostitution on them. These places should not have been built, and this should never have happened![f] 17 You also took your beautiful jewelry made from the gold and silver I had given you, and you made male images so that you could engage in prostitution with them. 18 Then you took your embroidered garments to cover them, and set My oil and incense before them. 19 You also set before them as a pleasing aroma the food I gave you—the fine flour, oil, and honey that I fed you. That is what happened.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.
20 “You even took your sons and daughters you bore to Me and sacrificed them to these images as food. Wasn’t your prostitution enough? 21 You slaughtered My children and gave them up when you passed them through the fire to the images. 22 In all your detestable practices and acts of prostitution, you did not remember the days of your youth when you were stark naked and lying in your blood.
23 “Then after all your evil—Woe, woe to you!”—the declaration of the Lord God— 24 “you built yourself a mound and made yourself an elevated place in every square. 25 You built your elevated place at the head of every street and turned your beauty into a detestable thing. You spread your legs to everyone who passed by and increased your prostitution. 26 You engaged in promiscuous acts with Egyptian men, your well-endowed neighbors, and increased your prostitution to provoke Me to anger.
27 “Therefore, I stretched out My hand against you and reduced your provisions. I gave you over to the desire of those who hate you, the Philistine women, who were embarrassed by your indecent behavior. 28 Then you engaged in prostitution with the Assyrian men because you were not satisfied. Even though you did this with them, you were still not satisfied. 29 So you extended your prostitution to Chaldea, the land of merchants, but you were not even satisfied with this!
30 “How your heart was inflamed with lust”—the declaration of the Lord God—“when you did all these things, the acts of a brazen prostitute, 31 building your mound at the head of every street and making your elevated place in every square. But you were unlike a prostitute because you scorned payment. 32 You adulterous wife, who receives strangers instead of her husband! 33 Men give gifts to all prostitutes, but you gave gifts to all your lovers. You bribed them to come to you from all around for your sexual favors. 34 So you were the opposite of other women in your acts of prostitution; no one solicited you. When you paid a fee instead of one being paid to you, you were the opposite.
35 “Therefore, you prostitute, hear the word of the Lord! 36 This is what the Lord God says: Because your lust was poured out and your nakedness exposed by your acts of prostitution with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols and the blood of your children that you gave to them, 37 I am therefore going to gather all the lovers you pleased—all those you loved as well as all those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and expose your nakedness to them so they see you completely naked. 38 I will judge you the way adulteresses and those who shed blood are judged. Then I will bring about your bloodshed in wrath and jealousy. 39 I will hand you over to them, and they will level your mounds and tear down your elevated places. They will strip off your clothes, take your beautiful jewelry, and leave you stark naked. 40 They will bring a mob against you to stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. 41 Then they will burn down your houses and execute judgments against you in the sight of many women. I will stop you from being a prostitute, and you will never again pay fees for lovers.
18 So the previous command is annulled because it was weak and unprofitable 19 (for the law perfected nothing), but a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
20 None of this happened without an oath. For others became priests without an oath, 21 but He became a priest with an oath made by the One who said to Him:
The Lord has sworn,
and He will not change His mind,
You are a priest forever.[a]
22 So Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.
23 Now many have become Levitical priests, since they are prevented by death from remaining in office. 24 But because He remains forever, He holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore, He is always able to save[b] those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them.
26 For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do—first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all when He offered Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son, who has been perfected forever.
Israel’s Unfaithfulness to God
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Who can declare the Lord’s mighty acts
or proclaim all the praise due Him?
3 How happy are those who uphold justice,
who practice righteousness at all times.
4 Remember me, Lord,
when You show favor to Your people.
Come to me with Your salvation
5 so that I may enjoy the prosperity
of Your chosen ones,
rejoice in the joy of Your nation,
and boast about Your heritage.
6 Both we and our fathers have sinned;
we have done wrong and have acted wickedly.
7 Our fathers in Egypt did not grasp
the significance of Your wonderful works
or remember Your many acts of faithful love;
instead, they rebelled by the sea—the Red Sea.
8 Yet He saved them because of His name,
to make His power known.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
He led them through the depths as through a desert.
10 He saved them from the hand of the adversary;
He redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11 Water covered their foes;
not one of them remained.
12 Then they believed His promises
and sang His praise.
4 Fury is cruel, and anger a flood,
but who can withstand jealousy?
5 Better an open reprimand
than concealed love.
6 The wounds of a friend are trustworthy,
but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.