Daily reading for Saturday, November 9, 2013

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Ezekiel 20:1-49; Hebrews 9:11-28; Psalms 107:1-43; Proverbs 27:11 (New Living Translation)

Ezekiel 20

The Rebellion of Israel

20 On August 14,[a] during the seventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, some of the leaders of Israel came to request a message from the Lord. They sat down in front of me to wait for his reply. Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, tell the leaders of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: How dare you come to ask me for a message? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will tell you nothing!’

“Son of man, bring charges against them and condemn them. Make them realize how detestable the sins of their ancestors really were. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: When I chose Israel—when I revealed myself to the descendants of Jacob in Egypt—I took a solemn oath that I, the Lord, would be their God. I took a solemn oath that day that I would bring them out of Egypt to a land I had discovered and explored for them—a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the best of all lands anywhere. Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols[b] of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God.’

“But they rebelled against me and would not listen. They did not get rid of the vile images they were obsessed with, or forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I threatened to pour out my fury on them to satisfy my anger while they were still in Egypt. But I didn’t do it, for I acted to protect the honor of my name. I would not allow shame to be brought on my name among the surrounding nations who saw me reveal myself by bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. 10 So I brought them out of Egypt and led them into the wilderness. 11 There I gave them my decrees and regulations so they could find life by keeping them. 12 And I gave them my Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and me. It was to remind them that I am the Lord, who had set them apart to be holy.

13 “But the people of Israel rebelled against me, and they refused to obey my decrees there in the wilderness. They wouldn’t obey my regulations even though obedience would have given them life. They also violated my Sabbath days. So I threatened to pour out my fury on them, and I made plans to utterly consume them in the wilderness. 14 But again I held back in order to protect the honor of my name before the nations who had seen my power in bringing Israel out of Egypt. 15 But I took a solemn oath against them in the wilderness. I swore I would not bring them into the land I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful place on earth. 16 For they had rejected my regulations, refused to follow my decrees, and violated my Sabbath days. Their hearts were given to their idols. 17 Nevertheless, I took pity on them and held back from destroying them in the wilderness.

18 “Then I warned their children not to follow in their parents’ footsteps, defiling themselves with their idols. 19 ‘I am the Lord your God,’ I told them. ‘Follow my decrees, pay attention to my regulations, 20 and keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the Lord your God.’

21 “But their children, too, rebelled against me. They refused to keep my decrees and follow my regulations, even though obedience would have given them life. And they also violated my Sabbath days. So again I threatened to pour out my fury on them in the wilderness. 22 Nevertheless, I withdrew my judgment against them to protect the honor of my name before the nations that had seen my power in bringing them out of Egypt. 23 But I took a solemn oath against them in the wilderness. I swore I would scatter them among all the nations 24 because they did not obey my regulations. They scorned my decrees by violating my Sabbath days and longing for the idols of their ancestors. 25 I gave them over to worthless decrees and regulations that would not lead to life. 26 I let them pollute themselves[c] with the very gifts I had given them, and I allowed them to give their firstborn children as offerings to their gods—so I might devastate them and remind them that I alone am the Lord.

Judgment and Restoration

27 “Therefore, son of man, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: Your ancestors continued to blaspheme and betray me, 28 for when I brought them into the land I had promised them, they offered sacrifices on every high hill and under every green tree they saw! They roused my fury as they offered up sacrifices to their gods. They brought their perfumes and incense and poured out their liquid offerings to them. 29 I said to them, ‘What is this high place where you are going?’ (This kind of pagan shrine has been called Bamah—‘high place’—ever since.)

30 “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: Do you plan to pollute yourselves just as your ancestors did? Do you intend to keep prostituting yourselves by worshiping vile images? 31 For when you offer gifts to them and give your little children to be burned as sacrifices,[d] you continue to pollute yourselves with idols to this day. Should I allow you to ask for a message from me, O people of Israel? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will tell you nothing.

32 “You say, ‘We want to be like the nations all around us, who serve idols of wood and stone.’ But what you have in mind will never happen. 33 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will rule over you with an iron fist in great anger and with awesome power. 34 And in anger I will reach out with my strong hand and powerful arm, and I will bring you back[e] from the lands where you are scattered. 35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will judge you face to face. 36 I will judge you there just as I did your ancestors in the wilderness after bringing them out of Egypt, says the Sovereign Lord. 37 I will examine you carefully and hold you to the terms of the covenant. 38 I will purge you of all those who rebel and revolt against me. I will bring them out of the countries where they are in exile, but they will never enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

39 “As for you, O people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go right ahead and worship your idols, but sooner or later you will obey me and will stop bringing shame on my holy name by worshiping idols. 40 For on my holy mountain, the great mountain of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord, the people of Israel will someday worship me, and I will accept them. There I will require that you bring me all your offerings and choice gifts and sacrifices. 41 When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch. 42 Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know that I am the Lord. 43 You will look back on all the ways you defiled yourselves and will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. 44 You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

Judgment against the Negev

45 [f]Then this message came to me from the Lord: 46 “Son of man, turn and face the south[g] and speak out against it; prophesy against the brushlands of the Negev. 47 Tell the southern wilderness, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Hear the word of the Lord! I will set you on fire, and every tree, both green and dry, will be burned. The terrible flames will not be quenched and will scorch everything from south to north. 48 And everyone in the world will see that I, the Lord, have set this fire. It will not be put out.’”

49 Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, they are saying of me, ‘He only talks in riddles!’”

Footnotes:

  1. 20:1 Hebrew In the fifth month, on the tenth day, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This day was August 14, 591 b.c.; also see note on 1:1.
  2. 20:7 The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung; also in 20:8, 16, 18, 24, 31, 39.
  3. 20:25-26 Or I gave them worthless decrees and regulations. . . . I polluted them.
  4. 20:31 Or and make your little children pass through the fire.
  5. 20:34 Greek version reads I will welcome you. Compare 2 Cor 6:17.
  6. 20:45 Verses 20:45-49 are numbered 21:1-5 in Hebrew text.
  7. 20:46 Hebrew toward Teman.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Hebrews 9:11-28

Christ Is the Perfect Sacrifice

11 So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come.[a] He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. 12 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.

13 Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. 14 Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds[b] so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. 15 That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.

16 Now when someone leaves a will,[c] it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead.[d] 17 The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is still alive, the will cannot be put into effect.

18 That is why even the first covenant was put into effect with the blood of an animal. 19 For after Moses had read each of God’s commandments to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats,[e] along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God’s law and all the people, using hyssop branches and scarlet wool. 20 Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.”[f] 21 And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the Tabernacle and on everything used for worship. 22 In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.

23 That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.

24 For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. 25 And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. 26 If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age[g] to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.

27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:11 Some manuscripts read that are about to come.
  2. 9:14 Greek from dead works.
  3. 9:16a Or covenant; also in 9:17.
  4. 9:16b Or Now when someone makes a covenant, it is necessary to ratify it with the death of a sacrifice.
  5. 9:19 Some manuscripts do not include and goats.
  6. 9:20 Exod 24:8.
  7. 9:26 Greek the ages.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 107

Book Five (Psalms 107–150)

Psalm 107

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.
Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
    Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
    from east and west,
    from north and south.

Some wandered in the wilderness,
    lost and homeless.
Hungry and thirsty,
    they nearly died.
Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them straight to safety,
    to a city where they could live.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
For he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom,
    imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
11 They rebelled against the words of God,
    scorning the counsel of the Most High.
12 That is why he broke them with hard labor;
    they fell, and no one was there to help them.
13 Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
14 He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom;
    he snapped their chains.
15 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
16 For he broke down their prison gates of bronze;
    he cut apart their bars of iron.

17 Some were fools; they rebelled
    and suffered for their sins.
18 They couldn’t stand the thought of food,
    and they were knocking on death’s door.
19 Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
    snatching them from the door of death.
21 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
    and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

23 Some went off to sea in ships,
    plying the trade routes of the world.
24 They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action,
    his impressive works on the deepest seas.
25 He spoke, and the winds rose,
    stirring up the waves.
26 Their ships were tossed to the heavens
    and plunged again to the depths;
    the sailors cringed in terror.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards
    and were at their wits’ end.
28 Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
29 He calmed the storm to a whisper
    and stilled the waves.
30 What a blessing was that stillness
    as he brought them safely into harbor!
31 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
32 Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation
    and before the leaders of the nation.

33 He changes rivers into deserts,
    and springs of water into dry, thirsty land.
34 He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands,
    because of the wickedness of those who live there.
35 But he also turns deserts into pools of water,
    the dry land into springs of water.
36 He brings the hungry to settle there
    and to build their cities.
37 They sow their fields, plant their vineyards,
    and harvest their bumper crops.
38 How he blesses them!
    They raise large families there,
    and their herds of livestock increase.

39 When they decrease in number and become impoverished
    through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
40 the Lord pours contempt on their princes,
    causing them to wander in trackless wastelands.
41 But he rescues the poor from trouble
    and increases their families like flocks of sheep.
42 The godly will see these things and be glad,
    while the wicked are struck silent.
43 Those who are wise will take all this to heart;
    they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 27:11

11 Be wise, my child,[a] and make my heart glad.
    Then I will be able to answer my critics.

Footnotes:

  1. 27:11 Hebrew my son.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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