Daily reading for Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Ezekiel 14:12-16:41; Hebrews 7:18-28; Psalms 106:1-12; Proverbs 27:4-6 (New English Translation)
12 The word of the Lord came to me: 13 “Son of man, suppose a country sins against me by being unfaithful, and I stretch out my hand against it, cut off its bread supply, cause famine to come on it, and kill both people and animals. 14 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would save only their own lives by their righteousness, declares the sovereign Lord.
15 “Suppose I were to send wild animals through the land and kill its children, leaving it desolate, without travelers due to the wild animals. 16 Even if these three men were in it, as surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, they could not save their own sons or daughters; they would save only their own lives, and the land would become desolate.
17 “Or suppose I were to bring a sword against that land and say, ‘Let a sword pass through the land,’ and I were to kill both people and animals. 18 Even if these three men were in it, as surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, they could not save their own sons or daughters—they would save only their own lives.
19 “Or suppose I were to send a plague into that land, and pour out my rage on it with bloodshed, killing both people and animals. 20 Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, they could not save their own son or daughter; they would save only their own lives by their righteousness.
21 “For this is what the sovereign Lord says: How much worse will it be when I send my four terrible judgments—sword, famine, wild animals, and plague—to Jerusalem to kill both people and animals! 22 Yet some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out. They will come out to you, and when you see their behavior and their deeds, you will be consoled about the catastrophe I have brought on Jerusalem—for everything I brought on it. 23 They will console you when you see their behavior and their deeds, because you will know that it was not without reason that I have done everything which I have done in it, declares the sovereign Lord.”
Burning a Useless Vine
15 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, of all the woody branches among the trees of the forest, what happens to the wood of the vine? 3 Can wood be taken from it to make anything useful? Or can anyone make a peg from it to hang things on? 4 No! It is thrown in the fire for fuel; when the fire has burned up both ends of it and it is charred in the middle, will it be useful for anything? 5 Indeed! If it was not made into anything useful when it was whole, how much less can it be made into anything when the fire has burned it up and it is charred?
6 “Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Like the wood of the vine is among the trees of the forest which I have provided as fuel for the fire—so I will provide the residents of Jerusalem as fuel. 7 I will set my face against them—although they have escaped from the fire, the fire will still consume them! Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them. 8 I will make the land desolate because they have acted unfaithfully, declares the sovereign Lord.”
God’s Unfaithful Bride
16 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her abominable practices 3 and say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord 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, on the day you were born your umbilical cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water; you were certainly not rubbed down with salt, nor wrapped with blankets. 5 No eye took pity on you to do even one of these things for you to spare you; you were thrown out into the open field because you were detested on the day you were born.
6 “‘I passed by you and saw you kicking around helplessly in your blood. I said to you as you lay there in your blood, “Live!” I said to you as you lay there in your blood, “Live!” 7 I made you plentiful like sprouts in a field; you grew tall and came of age so that you could wear jewelry. Your breasts had formed and your hair had grown, but you were still naked and bare.
8 “‘Then I passed by you and watched you, noticing that you had reached the age for love. I spread my cloak over you and covered your nakedness. I swore a solemn oath to you and entered into a marriage covenant with you, declares the sovereign Lord, and you became mine.
9 “‘Then I bathed you in water, washed the blood off you, and anointed you with fragrant oil. 10 I dressed you in embroidered clothing and put fine leather sandals on your feet. I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 I adorned you with jewelry. I put bracelets on your hands 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 You were adorned with gold and silver, while your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidery. You ate the finest flour, honey, and olive oil. You became extremely beautiful and attained the position of royalty. 14 Your fame spread among the nations because of your beauty; your beauty was perfect because of the splendor which I bestowed on you, declares the sovereign Lord.
15 “‘But you trusted in your beauty and capitalized on your fame by becoming a prostitute. You offered your sexual favors to every man who passed by so that your beauty became his. 16 You took some of your clothing and made for yourself decorated high places; you engaged in prostitution on them. You went to him to become his. 17 You also took your beautiful jewelry, made of my gold and my silver I had given to you, and made for yourself male images and engaged in prostitution with them. 18 You took your embroidered clothing and used it to cover them; you offered my olive oil and my incense to them. 19 As for my food that I gave you—the fine flour, olive oil, and honey I fed you—you placed it before them as a soothing aroma. That is exactly what happened, declares the sovereign Lord.
20 “‘You took your sons and your daughters whom you bore to me and you sacrificed them as food for the idols to eat. As if your prostitution not enough, 21 you slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols. 22 And with all your abominable practices and prostitution you did not remember the days of your youth when you were naked and bare, kicking around in your blood.
23 “‘After all of your evil—“Woe! Woe to you!” declares the sovereign Lord— 24 you built yourself a chamber and put up a pavilion in every public square. 25 At the head of every street you erected your pavilion and you disgraced your beauty when you spread your legs to every passerby and multiplied your promiscuity. 26 You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your sexually aroused neighbors, multiplying your promiscuity and provoking me to anger. 27 So see here, I have stretched out my hand against you and cut off your rations. I have delivered you into the power of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed by your obscene conduct. 28 You engaged in prostitution with the Assyrians because your sexual desires were insatiable; you prostituted yourself with them and yet you were still not satisfied. 29 Then you multiplied your promiscuity to the land of merchants, Babylonia, but you were not satisfied there either.
30 “‘How sick is your heart, declares the sovereign Lord, when you perform all of these acts, the deeds of a bold prostitute. 31 When you built your chamber at the head of every street and put up your pavilion in every public square, you were not like a prostitute, because you scoffed at payment.
32 “‘Adulterous wife, who prefers strangers instead of her own husband! 33 All prostitutes receive payment, but instead you give gifts to every one of your lovers. You bribe them to come to you from all around for your sexual favors! 34 You were different from other prostitutes because no one solicited you. When you gave payment and no payment was given to you, you became the opposite!
35 “‘Therefore O prostitute, hear the word of the Lord: 36 This is what the sovereign Lord says: Because your lust was poured out and your nakedness was uncovered in your prostitution with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because of the blood of your children you have given to them, 37 therefore, take note: I am about to gather all your lovers whom you enjoyed, both all those you loved and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around, and I will expose your nakedness to them, and they will see all your nakedness. 38 I will punish you as an adulteress and murderer deserves. I will avenge your bloody deeds with furious rage. 39 I will give you into their hands and they will destroy your chambers and tear down your pavilions. They will strip you of your clothing and take your beautiful jewelry and leave you naked and bare. 40 They will summon a mob who will stone you and hack you in pieces with their swords. 41 They will burn down your houses and execute judgments on you in front of many women. Thus I will put a stop to your prostitution, and you will no longer give gifts to your clients.
18 On the one hand a former command is set aside because it is weak and useless, 19 for the law made nothing perfect. On the other hand a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. 20 And since this was not done without a sworn affirmation—for the others have become priests without a sworn affirmation, 21 but Jesus did so with a sworn affirmation by the one who said to him, “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever’”— 22 accordingly Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 And the others who became priests were numerous, because death prevented them from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently since he lives forever. 25 So he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 For it is indeed fitting for us to have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need to do every day what those priests do, to offer sacrifices first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people, since he did this in offering himself once for all. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men subject to weakness, but the word of solemn affirmation that came after the law appoints a son made perfect forever.
1 Praise the Lord!
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
and his loyal love endures!
2 Who can adequately recount the Lord’s mighty acts,
or relate all his praiseworthy deeds?
3 How blessed are those who promote justice,
and do what is right all the time!
4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people!
Pay attention to me, when you deliver,
5 so I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
rejoice along with your nation,
and boast along with the people who belong to you.
6 We have sinned like our ancestors;
we have done wrong, we have done evil.
7 Our ancestors in Egypt failed to appreciate your miraculous deeds,
they failed to remember your many acts of loyal love,
and they rebelled at the sea, by the Red Sea.
8 Yet he delivered them for the sake of his reputation,
that he might reveal his power.
9 He shouted at the Red Sea and it dried up;
he led them through the deep water as if it were a desert.
10 He delivered them from the power of the one who hated them,
and rescued them from the power of the enemy.
11 The water covered their enemies;
not even one of them survived.
12 They believed his promises;
they sang praises to him.
4 Wrath is cruel and anger is overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?
5 Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.