Daily reading for Friday, November 8, 2013

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Ezekiel 18:1-19:14; Hebrews 9:1-10; Psalms 106:32-48; Proverbs 27:10 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ezekiel 18-19

Personal Responsibility for Sin

18 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel:

The fathers eat sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge?

As I live”—this is the declaration of the Lord God—“you will no longer use this proverb in Israel. Look, every life belongs to Me. The life of the father is like the life of the son—both belong to Me. The person who sins is the one who will die.

“Now suppose a man is righteous and does what is just and right: He does not eat at the mountain shrines or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor’s wife or come near a woman during her menstrual impurity. He doesn’t oppress anyone but returns his collateral to the debtor. He does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing. He doesn’t lend at interest or for profit but keeps his hand from wrongdoing and carries out true justice between men. He follows My statutes and keeps My ordinances, acting faithfully. Such a person is righteous; he will certainly live.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

10 “Now suppose the man has a violent son, who sheds blood and does any of these things, 11 though the father has done none of them. Indeed, when the son eats at the mountain shrines and defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12 and when he oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, and does not return collateral, and when he raises his eyes to the idols, commits detestable acts, 13 and lends at interest or for profit, will he live? He will not live! Since he has committed all these detestable acts, he will certainly die. His blood will be on him.

14 “Now suppose he has a son who sees all the sins his father has committed, and though he sees them, he does not do likewise. 15 He does not eat at the mountain shrines or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor’s wife. 16 He doesn’t oppress anyone, hold collateral, or commit robbery. He gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing. 17 He keeps his hand from harming the poor, not taking interest or profit on a loan. He practices My ordinances and follows My statutes. Such a person will not die for his father’s iniquity. He will certainly live.

18 “As for his father, he will die for his own iniquity because he practiced fraud, robbed his brother, and did what was wrong among his people. 19 But you may ask, ‘Why doesn’t the son suffer punishment for the father’s iniquity?’ Since the son has done what is just and right, carefully observing all My statutes, he will certainly live. 20 The person who sins is the one who will die. A son won’t suffer punishment for the father’s iniquity, and a father won’t suffer punishment for the son’s iniquity. The righteousness of the righteous person will be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked person will be on him.

21 “Now if the wicked person turns from all the sins he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is just and right, he will certainly live; he will not die. 22 None of the transgressions he has committed will be held against him. He will live because of the righteousness he has practiced. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?” This is the declaration of the Lord God. “Instead, don’t I take pleasure when he turns from his ways and lives? 24 But when a righteous person turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, committing the same detestable acts that the wicked do, will he live? None of the righteous acts he did will be remembered. He will die because of the treachery he has engaged in and the sin he has committed.

25 “But you say, ‘The Lord’s way isn’t fair.’ Now listen, house of Israel: Is it My way that is unfair? Instead, isn’t it your ways that are unfair? 26 When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, he will die for this. He will die because of the iniquity he has practiced. 27 But if a wicked person turns from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will preserve his life. 28 He will certainly live because he thought it over and turned from all the transgressions he had committed; he will not die. 29 But the house of Israel says, ‘The Lord’s way isn’t fair.’ Is it My ways that are unfair, house of Israel? Instead, isn’t it your ways that are unfair?

30 “Therefore, house of Israel, I will judge each one of you according to his ways.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. “Repent and turn from all your transgressions, so they will not be a stumbling block that causes your punishment. 31 Throw off all the transgressions you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die, house of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in anyone’s death.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. “So repent and live!

A Lament for Israel’s Princes

19 “Now, lament for the princes of Israel and say:

What was your mother? A lioness!
She lay down among the lions;
she reared her cubs among the young lions.
She brought up one of her cubs,
and he became a young lion.
After he learned to tear prey,
he devoured people.
When the nations heard about him,
he was caught in their pit.
Then they led him away with hooks
to the land of Egypt.

When she saw that she waited in vain,
that her hope was lost,
she took another of her cubs
and made him a young lion.
He prowled among the lions,
and he became a young lion.
After he learned to tear prey,
he devoured people.
He devastated their strongholds[a]
and destroyed their cities.
The land and everything in it shuddered
at the sound of his roaring.
Then the nations from the surrounding provinces
set out against him.
They spread their net over him;
he was caught in their pit.
They put a wooden yoke on him[b] with hooks
and led him away to the king of Babylon.
They brought him into the fortresses
so his roar could no longer be heard
on the mountains of Israel.

10 Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard,[c]
planted by the water;
it was fruitful and full of branches
because of plentiful waters.
11 It had strong branches, fit for the scepters of rulers;
its height towered among the clouds.[d]
So it was conspicuous for its height
as well as its many branches.
12 But it was uprooted in fury,
thrown to the ground,
and the east wind dried up its fruit.
Its strong branches were torn off and dried up;
fire consumed them.
13 Now it is planted in the wilderness,
in a dry and thirsty land.
14 Fire has gone out from its main branch[e]
and has devoured its fruit,
so that it no longer has a strong branch,
a scepter for ruling.

This is a lament and should be used as a lament.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 19:7 Tg, Aq; MT reads knew their widows
  2. Ezekiel 19:9 Or put him in a cage
  3. Ezekiel 19:10 Some Hb mss; other Hb mss read blood
  4. Ezekiel 19:11 Or thick foliage
  5. Ezekiel 19:14 Lit from the branch of its parts

Hebrews 9:1-10

Old Covenant Ministry

Now the first covenant also had regulations for ministry and an earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was set up, and in the first room, which is called the holy place, were the lampstand, the table, and the presentation loaves. Behind the second curtain, the tabernacle was called the most holy place. It contained the gold altar of incense and the ark of the covenant, covered with gold on all sides, in which there was a gold jar containing the manna, Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. The cherubim of glory were above it overshadowing the mercy seat. It is not possible to speak about these things in detail right now.

With these things set up this way, the priests enter the first room repeatedly, performing their ministry. But the high priest alone enters the second room, and he does that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was making it clear that the way into the most holy place had not yet been disclosed while the first tabernacle was still standing. This is a symbol for the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the worshiper’s conscience. 10 They are physical regulations and only deal with food, drink, and various washings imposed until the time of restoration.

Psalm 106:32-48

32 They angered the Lord at the waters of Meribah,
and Moses suffered[a] because of them;
33 for they embittered his spirit,[b]
and he spoke rashly with his lips.

34 They did not destroy the peoples
as the Lord had commanded them
35 but mingled with the nations
and adopted their ways.
36 They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons.
38 They shed innocent blood—
the blood of their sons and daughters
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
so the land became polluted with blood.
39 They defiled themselves by their actions
and prostituted themselves by their deeds.

40 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against His people,
and He abhorred His own inheritance.
41 He handed them over to the nations;
those who hated them ruled them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them,
and they were subdued under their power.
43 He rescued them many times,
but they continued to rebel deliberately
and were beaten down by their sin.

44 When He heard their cry,
He took note of their distress,
45 remembered His covenant with them,
and relented according to the riches
of His faithful love.
46 He caused them to be pitied
before all their captors.

47 Save us, Yahweh our God,
and gather us from the nations,
so that we may give thanks to Your holy name
and rejoice in Your praise.

48 May Yahweh, the God of Israel, be praised
from everlasting to everlasting.
Let all the people say, “Amen!”
Hallelujah!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 106:32 Lit and it was evil for Moses
  2. Psalm 106:33 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Jer; other Hb mss read they rebelled against His Spirit

Proverbs 27:10

10 Don’t abandon your friend or your father’s friend,
and don’t go to your brother’s house
in your time of calamity;
better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

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