Daily reading for Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Ezekiel 24:1-26:21; Hebrews 11:1-16; Psalms 110:1-7; Proverbs 27:14 (Common English Bible)
The useless pot
24 In the ninth year, on the tenth day of the tenth month, the Lord’s word came to me: 2 Human one, write down today’s date, because today the king of Babylon has set up camp at Jerusalem—today! 3 Compose a parable for the rebels’ household and say to them, The Lord God proclaims:
Put on the pot, set it on,
and fill it with water.
4 Add meat to it,
every good piece.
With shoulder and thigh,
the meatiest bones, fill it up.
5 Take the flock’s best animal;
arrange the wood[a] beneath it.
Bring it to a rolling boil,
and cook its bones in it.
6 The Lord God proclaims: Horror! You bloody city, you corroded pot; pot whose corrosion can’t be removed! Empty it piece by piece. She is rejected[b] 7 because her blood is still with her. She didn’t pour it out on the ground so that it could be covered with dirt, but she spread it out on a bare rock. 8 In order to arouse wrath, to guarantee vengeance, I will spread her blood on a bare rock, never to be covered.
9 So now the Lord God proclaims:
Horror! You bloody city!
I myself will add fuel to the fire!
10 Pile on the wood, light the fire, and cook the meat.
Season it well and let the bones be charred.
11 Let the pot stand empty on its coals
until it’s so hot that its copper glows,
its impurities melt in it,
and its corrosion is consumed.
12 It’s a worthless task.
Even by fire its great corrosion isn’t removed.
13 How your betrayals defile you! I cleansed you, but you didn’t come clean from your impurities. You won’t be clean again until I have exhausted my anger against you. 14 I, the Lord, have spoken! It’s coming, and I’ll do it. I won’t relent or have any pity or compassion. Your punishments will fit your ways and your deeds! This is what the Lord God says.
Ezekiel’s wife dies
15 The Lord’s word came to me: 16 Human one, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you in a single stroke. Don’t mourn or weep. Don’t even let your tears well up. 17 Sigh inwardly; be deathly still. Don’t perform mourning rites, but bind on your turban and put your shoes on your feet. And don’t cover your upper lip or eat in human company.
18 I spoke with the people in the morning, and by evening my wife was dead. The next morning I did as I was commanded. 19 The people asked, “Won’t you tell us what your actions mean for us?”
20 So I said to them, The Lord’s word came to me: 21 Say to the house of Israel, the Lord God proclaims: I’m about to make my sanctuary impure, the pride of your strength, the delight of your eyes. Your heart’s desire, the sons and daughters you left behind, will fall by the sword. 22 You will do as I have done. You will neither cover your upper lip nor eat in human company. 23 Your turbans will be on your heads, your sandals on your feet. You won’t mourn or weep. You will waste away in your guilt, all of you groaning to each other. 24 Ezekiel is your sign. You will do everything that he has done. When this happens, you will know that I am the Lord God.
25 And you, human one: On the day that I take from them their proud stronghold—their crowning joy, the delight of their eyes—and their sons and daughters, whose fate weighs on them, 26 on that day, a refugee will come to you so that you yourself will hear the news. 27 On that day your mouth will be opened to the refugee, and you will speak and no longer be silent. You will be their sign, and they will know that I am the Lord.
Against the neighboring nations
25 The Lord’s word came to me: 2 Human one, face the Ammonites and prophesy against them. 3 Say to the Ammonites: Hear the Lord God’s word! The Lord God proclaims: You laughed when my sanctuary was degraded, when Israel’s fertile land was laid waste, and when the house of Judah went into exile; 4 therefore, I’m handing you over to people in the east for them to take possession. They will set up their encampments against you, establish residence, devour your fruit, and drink your milk. 5 I’ll make Rabbah into pastureland for camels and Ammon a resting place for flocks. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
6 The Lord God proclaims: Because you clapped your hands and stamped your feet when you rejoiced with utter contempt for Israel’s fertile land, 7 I’m about to overpower you. Nations will plunder you. I will cut you off from the peoples, remove you from the lands, and utterly destroy you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
8 The Lord God proclaims: Because Moab and Seir say, “Aha! The house of Judah has become like all the nations,” 9 I’ll open up the flank of Moab from the cities at its border, the land’s splendid cities, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. 10 I’ll hand it over, along with the Ammonites, to people in the east for them to take possession. And so Ammon will no longer be remembered among the nations. 11 I’ll execute judgments in Moab, and they will know that I am the Lord.
12 The Lord God proclaims: Edom acted with excessive force against the house of Judah. The Judeans were guilty, but Edom’s vengeance was excessive. 13 So the Lord God now proclaims: I’ll overpower Edom, eliminate all living creatures, and make it a wasteland from Teman to Dedan. They will fall by the sword. 14 I will execute my vengeance in Edom through my people Israel’s power. They will act in Edom according to my anger and fury, and they will know my vengeance. This is what the Lord God says.
15 The Lord God proclaims: When the Philistines set out to right the wrongs done to them, they enacted revenge with utter contempt and old hatreds. 16 So now the Lord God proclaims: I will overpower the Philistines, eliminate the Cherethites, and obliterate all who are left along the coastline. 17 I will act against them with great vengeance and with wrathful punishments. When I execute my vengeance against them, they will know that I am the Lord.
26 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the Lord’s word came to me:
2 Human one, because Tyre laughed at Jerusalem:
“The gate of the peoples is broken,
she lies open before me,
she is destroyed, but I will succeed!”
3 The Lord God now proclaims:
Tyre, I’m now against you!
Just as the sea hurls up its waves,
I will bring many nations up against you.
4 When they destroy the walls of Tyre
and throw down its towers,
I will scrape off all its dirt
and make it into a bare rock,
5 a place for drying nets
in the middle of the sea.
I have spoken! This is what the Lord God says.
It will become prey for the nations,
6 and its towns around it
will be put to the sword.
Then they will know that I am the Lord.
7 The Lord God proclaims:
I’m bringing Nebuchadrezzar against Tyre,
the king of Babylon from the north,
the greatest of all kings,
with horses, chariots, and charioteers,
an assembly, a great army.
8 The towns around you he will destroy with the sword.
Then he will build towers against you,
erect siege ramps against you,
and set up shields.
9 He will pound his battering ram against your walls;
with crowbars he will tear down your towers.
10 The dust from all his horses will cover you
when he enters your gates
as one who enters a breached city.
Your walls will quake
at the thundering of the charioteers and chariot wheels.
11 His horses’ hooves will trample all your courtyards;
he will cut down your people with the sword,
and the monuments to your strength he will bring down[c] to the ground.
12 They will destroy your wealth, plunder your goods,
tear down your walls, and raze your fine houses.
Your stone, lumber, and rubble they will dump into the sea.
13 I will bring an end to your cacophonous songs;
the sound of your lyres will never be heard again.
14 I will make you into a bare rock, a place for drying nets,
and you will never be rebuilt.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
This is what the Lord God says.
A lament for Tyre
15 The Lord God proclaims to Tyre: Won’t the coastlands quake at the news of your downfall, when the wounded groan, and when the slaughter in your midst goes on and on? 16 All the princes of the sea will come down from their thrones, remove their royal robes, and strip off their fine garments. They will be clothed only in terror as they sit on the ground. They will be so terrified, they won’t stop shuddering because of you. 17 They will sing a lament for you, and they will say:
How you have perished, queen of the sea,
city once praised,
who once dominated the sea,
she and her rulers,
who spread their terror abroad,
every one of them.
18 Now the wastelands tremble on the day of your fall.
Your expulsion horrifies the islands of the sea.
19 The Lord God proclaims: When I turn you into ruins like uninhabitable cities, when the deep sea washes over you and the raging seas cover you, 20 I will lead you down into the pit, to the everlasting people. I will install you in the world below,[d] in the everlasting ruins, with those who go down to the pit. And so you will neither rule nor radiate splendor in the land of the living. 21 I will terrify you, and you will disappear. You will be sought but never found again. This is what the Lord God says.
Description of faith
11 Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see. 2 The elders in the past were approved because they showed faith.
Acts of faith by God’s people
3 By faith we understand that the universe has been created by a word from God so that the visible came into existence from the invisible.
4 By faith Abel offered a better sacrifice to God than Cain, which showed that he was righteous, since God gave approval to him for his gift. Though he died, he’s still speaking through faith.
5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he didn’t see death, and he wasn’t found because God took him up.[a] He was given approval for having pleased God before he was taken up. 6 It’s impossible to please God without faith because the one who draws near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards people who try to find him.
7 By faith Noah responded with godly fear when he was warned about events he hadn’t seen yet. He built an ark to deliver his household. With his faith, he criticized the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes from faith.
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out without knowing where he was going.
9 By faith he lived in the land he had been promised as a stranger. He lived in tents along with Isaac and Jacob, who were coheirs of the same promise. 10 He was looking forward to a city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11 By faith even Sarah received the ability to have a child, though she herself was barren and past the age for having children, because she believed that the one who promised was faithful. 12 So descendants were born from one man (and he was as good as dead). They were as many as the number of the stars in the sky and as countless as the grains of sand on the seashore. 13 All of these people died in faith without receiving the promises, but they saw the promises from a distance and welcomed them. They confessed that they were strangers and immigrants on earth. 14 People who say this kind of thing make it clear that they are looking for a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking about the country that they had left, they would have had the opportunity to return to it. 16 But at this point in time, they are longing for a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God isn’t ashamed to be called their God—he has prepared a city for them.
Of David. A psalm.
110 What the Lord says to my master:
“Sit right beside me
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet!”
2 May the Lord make your mighty scepter
reach far from Zion!
Rule over your enemies!
3 Your people stand ready
on your day of battle.
“In holy grandeur, from the dawn’s womb, fight![a]
Your youthful strength is like the dew itself.”
4 The Lord has sworn a solemn pledge and won’t change his mind:
“You are a priest forever in line with Melchizedek.”[b]
5 My master, by your strong hand,
God has crushed kings on his day of wrath.[c]
6 God brings the nations to justice,
piling the dead bodies, crushing heads throughout the earth.
7 God drinks from a stream along the way,
then holds his head up high.[d]
14 Greeting a neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning
will be viewed as a curse.