Daily reading for Monday, November 11, 2013
Today's audio is from the CEB. Switch to the CEB to read along with the audio.
Ezekiel 23:1-49; Hebrews 10:18-39; Psalms 109:1-31; Proverbs 27:13 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
Samaria and Jerusalem Acted Like Prostitutes
23 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 2 “Son of man, there were once two women, daughters of the same mother. 3 They became prostitutes in Egypt when they were young. There men fondled and caressed their breasts.
4 “The older girl was named Oholah, and the younger girl was named Oholibah. I married them, and they gave birth to sons and daughters. Oholah represents Samaria, and Oholibah represents Jerusalem. 5 Oholah acted like a prostitute, although she was my wife. She lusted after her Assyrian lovers who lived nearby. 6 They were governors and commanders clothed in purple. They were all handsome young men who rode on horses. 7 She became a prostitute for all the important men in Assyria. She dishonored herself with the idols of all those with whom she fell in love. 8 She continued the prostitution that she started in Egypt. When she was young, men went to bed with her, caressed her breasts, and treated her like a prostitute.
9 “That is why I handed her over to her lovers, to the Assyrians whom she lusted after. 10 They stripped her naked, took away her sons and daughters, and killed her with a sword. Women gossiped about how she was punished.
11 “Even though her younger sister Oholibah saw this, Oholibah lusted after men more than her sister did. Oholibah’s prostitution became worse than her sister’s prostitution. 12 She lusted after the Assyrians who were nearby. They were governors and commanders in full dress. They were mounted horsemen, all of them desirable young men. 13 I saw that she was dishonoring herself. Both sisters acted the same way. 14 Yet, she carried her prostitution even further. She saw pictures of men carved on walls. They were figures of Babylonian men, painted in bright red. 15 The men had belts around their waists and flowing turbans on their heads. All of them looked like Babylonian officers who were born in Babylon. 16 She fell in love with them at first sight and sent messengers to them in Babylonia. 17 So these men came from Babylon, went to bed with her, and dishonored her with their lust. After they had dishonored her, she turned away from them in disgust.
18 “She carried out her prostitution openly, and she lay around naked. I turned away from her in disgust as I had turned away from her sister. 19 She remembered how she had been a prostitute in Egypt when she was young. So she took part in even more prostitution. 20 She lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose semen was like that of horses. 21 So she longed to do the sinful things she did when she was young in Egypt, when young men caressed and fondled her breasts.
22 “Oholibah, this is what the Almighty Lord says: I’m going to stir up your lovers against you. They are the lovers you turned away from in disgust. I will bring them against you from every side. 23 I will bring men from Babylon and from all Babylonia, men from Pekod, Shoa, and Koa, as well as all the Assyrians. They are desirable young men, governors and commanders, military officers and important men. All of them ride on horses. 24 They will attack you from the north,[a] with chariots and wagons and with a large number of troops. They will attack you from all around with small and large shields and with helmets. I have handed you over to them for punishment. They will punish you with their own kind of punishment. 25 I will direct my burning anger against you so that they will deal with you in anger. They will cut off your nose and ears and kill everyone who remains. They will take your sons and your daughters and burn down whatever is left. 26 They will rip off your clothes and take away your beautiful jewels. 27 I will put a stop to your sinning and to your prostitution, which you began in Egypt. You won’t desire these things anymore or remember Egypt anymore.
28 “This is what the Almighty Lord says: I’m going to hand you over to those you hate and to those you turned away from in disgust. 29 They will treat you hatefully and take away everything that you have worked for. They will leave you naked and bare. The shame of your prostitution will be revealed. 30 Your sinning and your prostitution have done this to you, because you lusted after the nations and dishonored yourself with their idols. 31 You’ve acted the same way as your sister. That is why I will put her cup in your hand. 32 This is what the Almighty Lord says:
You will drink from your sister’s cup,
a cup that is deep and wide.
You will be scorned and mocked,
because this cup holds so much.
33 The cup of your sister Samaria will be filled
with drunkenness and sorrow.
34 You will drink from it and drain it.
You will break it into pieces
and tear your breasts off your body.
I have spoken, declares the Almighty Lord.
35 “This is what the Almighty Lord says: You have forgotten me and turned your back on me. So you will be punished for your sinning and prostitution.”
36 The Lord said to me, “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah and tell them about their disgusting practices? 37 They have committed adultery. Their hands are covered with blood. They commit adultery with their idols. They have sacrificed the children they gave birth to for me as burnt offerings to idols. 38 They have also done this to me: They have polluted my holy places when they do these things and dishonored the days to worship me. 39 When they sacrificed their children to their idols, they came into my holy place and dishonored it. That is what they’ve done in my temple.
40 “They even sent messengers to invite men to come from far away. When the men arrived, they washed themselves for the men, painted their eyes, and put on their jewels. 41 They sat on their fine couches with tables in front of them. They put my incense and my olive oil on their tables.
42 “I heard the noise from a carefree crowd. A large number of people came from the desert, and they put bracelets on the women’s wrists and beautiful crowns on their heads. 43 Then I said, ‘She is worn out from her acts of adultery.’ Yet, men continued to have sex with her. 44 Men slept with her. They slept with those sinful women, Oholah and Oholibah just as they slept with a prostitute. 45 Righteous people will punish these women for adultery and for murder, because these women have committed adultery and their hands are covered with blood.
46 “This is what the Almighty Lord says: Bring together a mob against the people of Samaria and Jerusalem. Hand them over to terror and looting. 47 Then the mob will stone them and kill them with swords. The mob will kill their sons and daughters and burn their homes. 48 So I will put a stop to the sinning in the land, and all the women will be warned not to sin as they do. 49 They will be punished for their sins, and they will pay for their sin of idolatry. Then they will know that I am the Almighty Lord.”
- Ezekiel 23:24 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
18 When sins are forgiven, there is no longer any need to sacrifice for sins.
19 Brothers and sisters, because of the blood of Jesus we can now confidently go into the holy place. 20 Jesus has opened a new and living way for us to go through the curtain. (The curtain is his own body.) 21 We have a superior priest in charge of God’s house. 22 We have been sprinkled with his blood to free us from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with clean water. So we must continue to come to him with a sincere heart and strong faith. 23 We must continue to hold firmly to our declaration of faith. The one who made the promise is faithful.
Encourage Each Other
24 We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. 25 We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.
26 If we go on sinning after we have learned the truth, no sacrifice can take away our sins. 27 All that is left is a terrifying wait for judgment and a raging fire that will consume God’s enemies. 28 If two or three witnesses accused someone of rejecting Moses’ Teachings, that person was shown no mercy as he was executed. 29 What do you think a person who shows no respect for the Son of God deserves? That person looks at the blood of the promise (the blood that made him holy) as no different from other people’s blood, and he insults the Spirit that God gave us out of his kindness.[a] He deserves a much worse punishment. 30 We know the God who said,
“I alone have the right to take revenge.
I will pay back.”
God also said,
“The Lord will judge his people.”
31 Falling into the hands of the living God is a terrifying thing.
32 Remember the past, when you first learned the truth. You endured a lot of hardship and pain. 33 At times you were publicly insulted and mistreated. At times you associated with people who were treated this way. 34 You suffered with prisoners. You were cheerful even though your possessions were stolen, since you know that you have a better and more permanent possession.[b]
35 So don’t lose your confidence. It will bring you a great reward. 36 You need endurance so that after you have done what God wants you to do, you can receive what he has promised.
37 “Yet, the one who is coming will come soon. He will not delay.
38 The person who has God’s approval will live by faith.
But if he turns back, I will not be pleased with him.”
39 We don’t belong with those who turn back and are destroyed. Instead, we belong with those who have faith and are saved.
For the choir director; a psalm by David.
1 O God, whom I praise, do not turn a deaf ear to me.
2 Wicked and deceitful people have opened their mouths against me.
They speak against me with lying tongues.
3 They surround me with hateful words.
They fight against me for no reason.
4 In return for my love, they accuse me,
but I pray for them.[a]
5 They reward me with evil instead of good
and with hatred instead of love.
6 I said, “Appoint the evil one to oppose him.
Let Satan stand beside him.
7 When he stands trial,
let him be found guilty.
Let his prayer be considered sinful.
8 Let his days be few in number.
Let someone else take his position.
9 “Let his children become fatherless and his wife a widow.
10 Let his children wander around and beg.
Let them seek help far from their ruined homes.
11 Let a creditor take everything he owns.
Let strangers steal what he has worked for.
12 Let no one be kind to him anymore.
Let no one show any pity to his fatherless children.
13 Let his descendants be cut off
and their family name be wiped out by the next generation.
14 Let the Lord remember the guilt of his ancestors
and not wipe out his mother’s sin.
15 Let their guilt and sin always remain on record
in front of the Lord.
Let the Lord remove every memory of him[b] from the earth,
16 because he did not remember to be kind.
“He drove oppressed, needy,
and brokenhearted people to their graves.
17 He loved to put curses on others,
so he, too, was cursed.
He did not like to bless others,
so he never received a blessing.
18 He wore cursing as though it were clothing,
so cursing entered his body like water
and his bones like oil.
19 Let cursing be his clothing,
a belt he always wears.”
20 This is how the Lord rewards those who accuse me,
those who say evil things against me.
21 O Lord Almighty, deal with me out of the goodness of your name.
Rescue me because of your mercy.
22 I am oppressed and needy.
I can feel the pain in my heart.
23 I fade away like a lengthening shadow.
I have been shaken off like a grasshopper.
24 My knees give way because I have been fasting.
My body has become lean, without any fat.
25 I have become the victim of my enemies’ insults.
They look at me and shake their heads.
26 Help me, O Lord my God.
Save me because of your mercy.
27 Then they will know that this is your doing,
that you, O Lord, are the one who saved me.
28 They may curse, but you will bless.
Let those who attack me be ashamed,
but let me rejoice.
29 Let those who accuse me wear disgrace as though it were clothing.
Let them be wrapped in their shame as though it were a robe.
30 With my mouth I will give many thanks to the Lord.
I will praise him among many people,
31 because he stands beside needy people
to save them from those who would condemn them to death.
13 Hold on to the garment of one who guarantees a stranger’s loan,
and hold responsible the person
who makes a loan in behalf of a foreigner.