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 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
The Two Immoral Sisters
23 The word of the Lord came to me again: 2 “Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother, 3 who acted like prostitutes in Egypt, behaving promiscuously in their youth. Their breasts were fondled there, and their virgin nipples caressed. 4 The older one was named Oholah,[a] and her sister was Oholibah.[b] They became Mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah represents Samaria and Oholibah represents Jerusalem.
5 “Oholah acted like a prostitute even though she was Mine. She lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians: warriors 6 dressed in blue, governors and prefects, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on steeds. 7 She offered her sexual favors to them; all of them were the elite of Assyria. She defiled herself with all those she lusted after and with all their idols. 8 She didn’t give up her promiscuity that began in Egypt, when men slept with her in her youth, caressed her virgin nipples, and poured out their lust on her. 9 Therefore, I handed her over to her lovers, the Assyrians she lusted for. 10 They exposed her nakedness, seized her sons and daughters, and killed her with the sword. Since they executed judgment against her, she became notorious among women.
11 “Now her sister Oholibah saw this, but she was even more depraved in her lust than Oholah, and made her promiscuous acts worse than those of her sister. 12 She lusted after the Assyrians: governors and prefects, warriors splendidly dressed, horsemen riding on steeds, all of them desirable young men. 13 And I saw that she had defiled herself; both of them had taken the same path. 14 But she increased her promiscuity when she saw male figures carved on the wall, images of the Chaldeans, engraved in vermilion, 15 wearing belts on their waists and flowing turbans on their heads; all of them looked like officers, a depiction of the Babylonians in Chaldea, the land of their birth. 16 At the sight of them[c] she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 17 Then the Babylonians came to her, to the bed of love, and defiled her with their lust. But after she was defiled by them, she turned away from them in disgust. 18 When she flaunted her promiscuity and exposed her nakedness, I turned away from her in disgust just as I turned away from her sister. 19 Yet she multiplied her acts of promiscuity, remembering the days of her youth when she acted like a prostitute in the land of Egypt 20 and lusted after their lovers, whose sexual members were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of stallions. 21 So you revisited the indecency of your youth, when the Egyptians caressed your nipples to enjoy your youthful breasts.
22 “Therefore Oholibah, this is what the Lord God says: I am going to incite your lovers against you, those you turned away from in disgust. I will bring them against you from every side: 23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans; Pekod, Shoa, and Koa; and all the Assyrians with them—desirable young men, all of them governors and prefects, officers and administrators, all of them riding on horses. 24 They will come against you with an alliance of nations and with weapons, chariots, and[d] wagons. They will set themselves against you on every side with shields, bucklers, and helmets. I will delegate judgment to them, and they will judge you by their own standards. 25 When I vent My jealous rage on you, they will deal with you in wrath. They will cut off your nose and ears, and your descendants will fall by the sword. They will seize your sons and daughters, and your descendants will be consumed by fire. 26 They will strip off your clothes and take your beautiful jewelry. 27 So I will put an end to your indecency and sexual immorality, which began in the land of Egypt, and you will not look longingly at them or remember Egypt anymore.
28 “For this is what the Lord God says: I am going to hand you over to those you hate, to those you turned away from in disgust. 29 They will treat you with hatred, take all you have worked for, and leave you stark naked, so that the shame of your debauchery will be exposed, both your indecency and promiscuity. 30 These things will be done to you because you acted like a prostitute with the nations, defiling yourself with their idols. 31 You have followed the path of your sister, so I will put her cup in your hand.”
32 This is what the Lord God says:
You will drink your sister’s cup,
which is deep and wide.
You will be an object of[e] ridicule and scorn,
for it holds so much.
33 You will be filled with drunkenness and grief,
with a cup of devastation and desolation,
the cup of your sister Samaria.
34 You will drink it and drain it;
then you will gnaw its broken pieces,
and tear your breasts.
For I have spoken.
This is the declaration of the Lord God.
35 Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: “Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, you must bear the consequences of your indecency and promiscuity.”
36 Then the Lord said to me: “Son of man, will you pass judgment against Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare their detestable practices to them. 37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands; they have committed adultery with their idols. They have even made the children they bore to Me pass through the fire as food for the idols. 38 They also did this to Me: they defiled My sanctuary on that same day and profaned My Sabbaths. 39 On the same day they slaughtered their children for their idols, they entered My sanctuary to profane it. Yes, that is what they did inside My house.
40 “In addition, they sent for men who came from far away when a messenger was dispatched to them. And look how they came! You bathed, painted your eyes, and adorned yourself with jewelry for them. 41 You sat on a luxurious couch with a table spread before it, on which you had set My incense and oil. 42 The sound of a carefree crowd was there. Drunkards[f] from the desert were brought in, along with common men. They put bracelets on the women’s hands and beautiful crowns on their heads. 43 Then I said concerning this woman worn out by adultery: Will they now have illicit sex with her, even her? 44 Yet they had sex with her as one does with a prostitute. This is how they had sex with Oholah and Oholibah, those obscene women. 45 But righteous men will judge them the way adulteresses and those who shed blood are judged, for they are adulteresses and blood is on their hands.
46 “This is what the Lord God says: Summon[g] an assembly against them and consign them to terror and plunder. 47 The assembly will stone them and cut them down with their swords. They will kill their sons and daughters and burn their houses with fire. 48 So I will put an end to indecency in the land, and all the women will be admonished not to imitate your indecent behavior. 49 They will repay you for your indecency, and you will bear the consequences for your sins of idolatry. Then you will know that I am the Lord Yahweh.”
18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
Exhortations to Godliness
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, 25 not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Warning against Deliberate Sin
26 For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries. 28 If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane[a] the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know the One who has said, Vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay,[b][c] and again, The Lord will judge His people.[d] 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
32 Remember the earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to taunts and afflictions, and at other times you were companions of those who were treated that way. 34 For you sympathized with the prisoners[e] and accepted with joy the confiscation of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves have a better and enduring possession.[f] 35 So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised.
39 But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.
Prayer against an Enemy
For the choir director. A Davidic psalm.
1 God of my praise, do not be silent.
2 For wicked and deceitful mouths open against me;
they speak against me with lying tongues.
3 They surround me with hateful words
and attack me without cause.
4 In return for my love they accuse me,
but I continue to pray.[a]
5 They repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my love.
6 Set a wicked person over him;
let an accuser[b] stand at his right hand.
7 When he is judged, let him be found guilty,
and let his prayer be counted as sin.
8 Let his days be few;
let another take over his position.
9 Let his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow.
10 Let his children wander as beggars,
searching for food far[c] from their demolished homes.
11 Let a creditor seize all he has;
let strangers plunder what he has worked for.
12 Let no one show him kindness,
and let no one be gracious to his fatherless children.
13 Let the line of his descendants be cut off;
let their name be blotted out in the next generation.
14 Let his ancestors’ guilt
be remembered before the Lord,
and do not let his mother’s sin be blotted out.
15 Let their sins[d] always remain before the Lord,
and let Him erase[e] all memory of them from the earth.
16 For he did not think to show kindness,
but pursued the afflicted, poor, and brokenhearted
in order to put them to death.
17 He loved cursing—let it fall on him;
he took no delight in blessing—let it be far from him.
18 He wore cursing like his coat—
let it enter his body like water
and go into his bones like oil.
19 Let it be like a robe he wraps around himself,
like a belt he always wears.
20 Let this be the Lord’s payment to my accusers,
to those who speak evil against me.
21 But You, Yahweh my Lord,
deal kindly with me because of Your name;
deliver me because of the goodness of Your faithful love.
22 For I am afflicted and needy;
my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like a lengthening shadow;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees are weak from fasting,
and my body is emaciated.[f]
25 I have become an object of ridicule to my accusers;[g]
when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn.
26 Help me, Lord my God;
save me according to Your faithful love
27 so they may know that this is Your hand
and that You, Lord, have done it.
28 Though they curse, You will bless.
When they rise up, they will be put to shame,
but Your servant will rejoice.
29 My accusers will be clothed with disgrace;
they will wear their shame like a cloak.
30 I will fervently thank the Lord with my mouth;
I will praise Him in the presence of many.
31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy
to save him from those who would condemn him.