Daily reading for Thursday, November 14, 2013

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Ezekiel 29:1-30:26; Hebrews 11:32-12:13; Psalms 112:1-10; Proverbs 27:17 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Ezekiel 29-30

Judgment on Egypt

29 On the twelfth day of the tenth month in the tenth year, the Lord spoke his word to me. He said, “Son of man, turn to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and prophesy against him and against all Egypt. Tell him, ‘This is what the Almighty Lord says:

I’m against you, Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
    You are like a monster crocodile lying in the Nile River.
    You say, “The Nile River is mine. I made it for myself.”

“‘I will put hooks in your jaws
    and make the fish in the Nile River stick to your scales.
    I will pull you out of your river
    with all the fish in the Nile sticking to your scales.
I will leave you in the desert, you and all the fish from the Nile.
    You will fall in an open field.
        No one will pick you up or bury you.
    I will feed you to wild animals and birds.
Then all those living in Egypt will know that I am the Lord.
    Egypt, you have become like a broken walking stick
    to the nation of Israel.
When Israel grabbed you, you splintered and tore up their shoulders.
    When they leaned on you, you broke, and they wrenched their backs.

“‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: I am going to attack you with a sword. I will kill people and animals. Egypt will become a wasteland and a pile of rubble. Then you will know that I am the Lord. You said, “The Nile River is mine. I made it.” 10 That is why I’m against you and the Nile River. I will turn Egypt into a pile of rubble. It will become a wasteland, from Migdol to Syene, all the way to the border of Sudan. 11 No human or animal will walk through it, and no one will live there for 40 years. 12 I will make Egypt the most desolate country in the world. For 40 years Egypt’s cities will lie in ruins. They will be ruined more than any other city. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and force them into other countries.

13 “‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: After 40 years I will gather the Egyptians from the nations where they have been scattered. 14 I will bring back the Egyptian captives and return them to Pathros,[a] the land they came from. There they will be a weak kingdom. 15 They will be the weakest kingdom, and they will never rule the nations again. I will make them so weak that they will never rule the nations again. 16 The nation of Israel will never trust Egypt again. The people of Israel will remember how wrong they were whenever they turned to Egypt for help. Then they will know that I am the Almighty Lord.’”

17 On the first day of the first month in the twenty-seventh year, the Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 18 “Son of man, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon made his army fight hard against Tyre. Every soldier’s head was worn bald, and every soldier’s shoulder was rubbed raw. Yet, he and his army got no reward for their hard-fought battle against Tyre. 19 This is what the Almighty Lord says: I’m going to give Egypt to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He will carry off its wealth, take its prized possessions, and loot it. That will be the pay for his army. 20 I have given him Egypt as pay for what he has done. Nebuchadnezzar and his army worked for me, declares the Almighty Lord.

21 “On that day I will make the people of Israel strong again, and I will give you, Ezekiel, something to say among them. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Nebuchadnezzar Will Conquer Egypt

30 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, “Son of man, prophesy. Say, ‘This is what the Almighty Lord says:

Cry for that day!
The day is near. The day of the Lord is near.
    It will be a gloomy day, a time of trouble for the nations.
There will be war in Egypt and anguish in Ethiopia.
    Many Egyptians will fall dead.
    People will take away Egypt’s wealth,
        and its foundations will be torn down.
Sudan, Put, Lud, all the Arabs, the Libyans,
    and people from the promised land will die in battle.

“‘This is what the Lord says:

All Egypt’s allies will die.
    Egypt’s strength will disappear.
        People will die in war from Migdol to Syene,
            declares the Almighty Lord.

“‘Egypt will become the most desolate country in the world, and Egypt’s cities will lie in ruins. They will be ruined more than other cities. Then they will know that I am the Lord, because I will set fire to Egypt and all her defenders will be killed. On that day I will send messengers in ships to terrify those who live in safety in Sudan. The people of Sudan will be in anguish when Egypt is in trouble. That day is coming!

10 “‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: I will use King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to bring an end to Egypt. 11 He and his troops, the most ruthless troops among the nations, will be brought to destroy the land. They will draw their swords to attack Egypt and fill the land with dead bodies. 12 I will dry up the Nile River and sell the land to wicked people. I will have foreigners destroy the land and everything in it. I, the Lord, have spoken.

13 “‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: I will destroy the statues and put an end to the idols in Memphis. A prince will never rise again in Egypt. I will spread fear throughout Egypt. 14 I will destroy Pathros, set fire to Zoan, and bring punishment on Thebes. 15 I will pour out my fury on Sin, Egypt’s fortress, and I will kill many people in Thebes. 16 I will set fire to Egypt. Sin will be in much pain. Thebes will be broken into pieces, and Memphis will be in trouble every day. 17 The young men from Heliopolis and Bubastis will die in battle, and people from these cities will go into exile. 18 At Tahpanhes the day will turn dark when I break Egypt’s power. Egypt’s strong army will be defeated. Clouds will cover Egypt, and people from its villages will go into exile. 19 Then they will know that I am the Lord, because I will bring punishment on Egypt.’”

20 On the seventh day of the first month in the eleventh year, the Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 21 “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. His arm isn’t bandaged, so it can’t heal and be strong enough to hold a sword.

22 “This is what the Almighty Lord says: I’m against Pharaoh, king of Egypt. I will break both his arms, the healthy one and the broken one. I will make the sword fall from his hand. 23 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and force them into other countries. 24 I will make the arms of the king of Babylon strong. I will put my sword in his hand, but I will break Pharaoh’s arms. Pharaoh will groan like a person who is dying. 25 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but Pharaoh’s arms will fall. Then they will know that I am the Lord, because I will put my sword in the hand of the king of Babylon. He will strike Egypt with it. 26 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and force them into other countries. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 29:14 Or “southern Egypt.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Hebrews 11:32-12:13

32 What more should I say? I don’t have enough time to tell you about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33 Through faith they conquered kingdoms, did what God approved, and received what God had promised. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 put out raging fires, and escaped death. They found strength when they were weak. They were powerful in battle and defeated other armies. 35 Women received their loved ones back from the dead. Other believers were brutally tortured but refused to be released so that they might gain eternal life. 36 Some were made fun of and whipped, and some were chained and put in prison. 37 Some were stoned to death, sawed in half, and killed with swords. Some wore the skins of sheep and goats. Some were poor, abused, and mistreated. 38 The world didn’t deserve these good people. Some wandered around in deserts and mountains and lived in caves and holes in the ground.

39 All these people were known for their faith, but none of them received what God had promised. 40 God planned to give us something very special so that we would gain eternal life with them.

Faith Directs Our Lives

12 Since we are surrounded by so many examples of faith, we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up. We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Then he received the highest position in heaven, the one next to the throne of God. Think about Jesus, who endured opposition from sinners, so that you don’t become tired and give up.

You struggle against sin, but your struggles haven’t killed you. You have forgotten the encouraging words that God speaks to you as his children:

“My child, pay attention when the Lord disciplines you.
    Don’t give up when he corrects you.
The Lord disciplines everyone he loves.
    He severely disciplines everyone he accepts as his child.”

Endure your discipline. God corrects you as a father corrects his children. All children are disciplined by their fathers. If you aren’t disciplined like the other children, you aren’t part of the family. On earth we have fathers who disciplined us, and we respect them. Shouldn’t we place ourselves under the authority of God, the father of spirits, so that we will live? 10 For a short time our fathers disciplined us as they thought best. Yet, God disciplines us for our own good so that we can become holy like him. 11 We don’t enjoy being disciplined. It always seems to cause more pain than joy. But later on, those who learn from that discipline have peace that comes from doing what is right.

12 Strengthen your tired arms and weak knees. 13 Keep walking along straight paths so that your injured leg won’t get worse. Instead, let it heal.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Psalm 112

Psalm 112[a]

Hallelujah!

Blessed is the person who fears the Lord
    and is happy to obey his commands.
        His descendants will grow strong on the earth.
        The family of a decent person will be blessed.
            Wealth and riches will be in his home.
            His righteousness continues forever.
Light will shine in the dark for a decent person.
    He is merciful, compassionate, and fair.

All goes well for the person who is generous and lends willingly.
    He earns an honest living.
        He will never fail.
        A righteous person will always be remembered.
            He is not afraid of bad news.
            His heart remains secure, full of confidence in the Lord.
            His heart is steady, and he is not afraid.
                In the end he will look triumphantly at his enemies.
            He gives freely to poor people.
            His righteousness continues forever.
            His head is raised in honor.
10 The wicked person sees this and becomes angry.
    He angrily grits his teeth and disappears.
        The hope that wicked people have will vanish.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 112:1 Psalm 112 is a poem in Hebrew alphabetical order.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Proverbs 27:17

17 As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens the wits of another.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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