Daily reading for Thursday, November 7, 2013

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Ezekiel 16:42-17:24; Hebrews 8:1-13; Psalms 106:13-31; Proverbs 27:7-9 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Ezekiel 16:42-17:24

42 Then I will rest from my fury against you, and I will stop being angry. I will be at peace. I will no longer be angry.

43 “‘You didn’t remember the time when you were young, and you made me very angry with all these things. So I will pay you back for what you have done, declares the Almighty Lord. Didn’t you make wicked plans in addition to all your disgusting practices?

44 “‘Everyone who uses proverbs will speak the following saying against you: Like mother, like daughter. 45 You are your mother’s daughter. She rejected her husband and her children. You are exactly like your sisters. They rejected their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite, and your father was an Amorite.

46 “‘Your older sister was Samaria. She and her daughters lived north of you. Your younger sister is Sodom. She lives south of you with her daughters. 47 You didn’t follow their ways. You didn’t do the same disgusting things that they did. It only took you a little time to be more corrupt than they ever were. 48 As I live, declares the Almighty Lord, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done. 49 This is what your sister Sodom has done wrong. She and her daughters were proud that they had plenty of food and had peace and security. They didn’t help the poor and the needy. 50 They were arrogant and did disgusting things in front of me. So I did away with them when I saw this.

51 “‘Samaria didn’t commit half the sins you did. You have done many more disgusting things than they ever did. Because of all the disgusting things that you have done, you make your sisters look innocent. 52 You will have to suffer disgrace because you accused your sisters. Yet, your sins are more disgusting than theirs. They look like they are innocent compared to you. Be ashamed of yourself and suffer disgrace, because you have made your sisters look like they are innocent.

53 “‘I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and Samaria and her daughters. I will also restore your fortune along with theirs. 54 You will have to suffer disgrace and be ashamed of everything you have done, including comforting them. 55 When Sodom and her daughters and Samaria and her daughters return to what they once were, you and your daughters will return to what you once were. 56 You didn’t mention your sister Sodom when you were arrogant. 57 You didn’t mention her before your wickedness was revealed. Now the daughters of Aram[a] and their neighbors despise you. The daughters of the Philistines also despise you. Those around you hate you. 58 You must suffer because of all the crude and disgusting things you have done, declares the Lord.

59 “‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: I will give you what you deserve. You despised your marriage vows and rejected my promise.[b] 60 I will remember the promise that I made with you when you were young, and I will make it a promise that will last forever. 61 Then you will remember what you have done. You will be ashamed when I return your older and younger sisters to you. I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of my promise with you. 62 Then I will make my promise with you, and you will know that I am the Lord. 63 You will remember and be ashamed. You will never again open your mouth because of your disgrace when I forgive you for everything you did, declares the Almighty Lord.’”

Judah Is Compared to a Tree

17 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, “Son of man, tell this riddle. Give this illustration to the nation of Israel. Say, ‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: A large eagle came to Lebanon. It had large wings with long, colorful feathers. It took hold of the top of a cedar tree. It broke off the highest twig and carried it to a country of merchants. It planted the twig in a city of merchants.

“‘Then it took a seedling from that country and planted the seedling in fertile soil. The eagle planted the seedling like a willow where there was plenty of water. The plant sprouted and grew into a low vine that spread over the ground. Its branches turned upward toward the eagle, but its roots grew downward. So it became a vine, producing branches and growing shoots.

“‘There was another large eagle with large wings and many feathers. Now, the vine stretched its roots toward this eagle and sent its branches toward the eagle so that the eagle could water it. The vine turned away from the garden where it was planted. It was planted in good soil beside plenty of water so that it could grow branches, bear fruit, and become a wonderful vine.’

“Tell the nation of Israel, ‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: Will this vine live and grow? Won’t the first eagle uproot it and tear off its fruit? Then it will wither. All the leaves on its branches will wither. It won’t take much strength or many people to pull the vine up by its roots. 10 It might be planted again, but will it live and grow? It will wither completely when the east wind blows on it. It will certainly wither in the garden where it is growing.’”

11 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 12 “Ask these rebellious people, ‘Don’t you know what this means?’ Tell them, ‘The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and captured its king and its leaders. He brought them home with him to Babylon. 13 Then he took someone from the royal family, made a treaty with him, and made him promise to be loyal. He took away the leading citizens from Judah 14 so that it would remain a humiliated country and be unable to regain its power. The country could only survive by keeping the treaty. 15 But the king of Judah rebelled against the king of Babylon by sending his messengers to Egypt to get horses and many soldiers. Will the king of Judah succeed? Will anyone who does such things escape? He can’t break a treaty and go unpunished.

16 “‘As I live, declares the Almighty Lord, the king of Judah will die in Babylonia. He will die in the country of the king who appointed him king of Judah. The king of Judah broke his promise and his treaty with the king of Babylon. 17 Even with a large army and many people, Pharaoh will not be able to help him in battle when the Babylonians put up dirt ramps and set up blockades to kill many people. 18 The king of Judah broke the promise and the treaty that he pledged to keep. He did all these things, and he can’t go unpunished.

19 “‘So this is what the Almighty Lord says: As I live, I will certainly punish you for rejecting my promise and hating my treaty. 20 I will spread my net over you to catch you in my trap. I will take you to Babylon and judge you there for rebelling against me. 21 The best of your troops will die in battle. Anyone who remains will be scattered in every direction that the wind blows. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken.

22 “‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: I, too, will take hold of the top of a cedar tree. I will break off the highest twig and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 I will plant it on a high mountain in Israel. It will grow branches and produce fruit. It will become a magnificent cedar tree. Every kind of bird will nest in it and find a home in the shelter of its branches. 24 Then all the trees in the field will know that I am the Lord. I cut down tall trees, and I make small trees grow tall. I dry up green trees, and I make dry trees grow. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 16:57 Some Hebrew manuscripts; other Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac “Edom.”
  2. Ezekiel 16:59 Or “covenant.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Hebrews 8

Jesus’ Priestly Work Is Superior to Other Priests’ Work

The main point we want to make is this: We do have this kind of chief priest. This chief priest has received the highest position, the throne of majesty in heaven. He serves as priest of the holy place and of the true tent set up by the Lord and not by any human.

Every chief priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices. Therefore, this chief priest had to offer something. If he were on earth, he would not even be a priest. On earth other priests offer gifts by following the instructions that Moses gave. They serve at a place that is a pattern, a shadow, of what is in heaven. When Moses was about to make the tent, God warned him, “Be sure to make everything based on the plan I showed you on the mountain.”

Jesus has been given a priestly work that is superior to the Levitical priests’ work. He also brings a better promise[a] from God that is based on better guarantees. If nothing had been wrong with the first promise, no one would look for another one. But God found something wrong with his people and said to them,

“The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new promise to Israel and Judah. It will not be like the promise that I made to their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of Egypt. They rejected that promise, so I ignored them, says the Lord. 10 But this is the promise that I will make to Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my teachings inside them, and I will write those teachings on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 11 No longer will each person teach his neighbors or his relatives by saying, ‘Know the Lord.’ All of them from the least important to the most important will all know me 12 because I will forgive their wickedness and I will no longer hold their sins against them.”

13 God made this new promise and showed that the first promise was outdated. What is outdated and aging will soon disappear.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 8:6 Or “covenant.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Psalm 106:13-31

13 They quickly forgot what he did.
    They did not wait for his advice.
14 They had an unreasonable desire for food in the wilderness.
    In the desert they tested God.
15 He gave them what they asked for.
    He also gave them a degenerative disease.

16 In the camp certain men became envious of Moses.
    They also became envious of Aaron, the Lord’s holy one.
17 The ground split open and swallowed Dathan.
    It buried Abiram’s followers.
18 A fire broke out among their followers.
    Flames burned up wicked people.

19 At Mount Horeb they made a statue of a calf.
    They worshiped an idol made of metal.
20 They traded their glorious God[a]
    for the statue of a bull that eats grass.
21 They forgot God, their savior,
    the one who did spectacular things in Egypt,
22 miracles in the land of Ham,
    and terrifying things at the Red Sea.
23 God said he was going to destroy them,
    but Moses, his chosen one, stood in his way
        to prevent him from exterminating them.

24 They refused to enter the pleasant land.
    They did not believe what he said.
25 They complained in their tents.
    They did not obey the Lord.
26 Raising his hand, he swore
    that he would kill them in the wilderness,
27 kill their descendants among the nations,
    and scatter them throughout various lands.

28 They joined in worshiping the god Baal while they were at Peor,
    and they ate what was sacrificed to the dead.
29 They infuriated God by what they did,
    and a plague broke out among them.
30 Then Phinehas stood between God and the people,
    and the plague was stopped.
31 Because of this, Phinehas was considered righteous forever,
    throughout every generation.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 106:20 Or “their glory.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Proverbs 27:7-9

One who is full despises honey,
    but to one who is hungry,
        even bitter food tastes sweet.
Like a bird wandering from its nest,
    so is a husband wandering from his home.

Perfume and incense make the heart glad,
    but the sweetness of a friend is a fragrant forest.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 27:9 Or “is sincere advice.”
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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