Daily reading for Friday, November 15, 2013

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Ezekiel 31:1-32:32; Hebrews 12:14-29; Psalms 113:1-114:8; Proverbs 27:18-20 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Ezekiel 31-32

Egypt Will Be Conquered as Assyria Was Conquered

31 On the first day of the third month in the eleventh year, the Lord spoke his word to me. He said, “Son of man, say to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and his many people,

‘Was there ever anyone as great as you?
What about Assyria?
    It was a cedar in Lebanon
        with fine branches that shaded the forest.
    It was very tall.
    Its top was among the clouds.
        Water made the tree grow,
            and underground springs made it tall.
        Rivers flowed around the place where the tree was planted.
        Streams ran beside all the other trees around it.
That is why it grew taller than all the other trees in the field.
    Its branches became large and long because of so much water.
        All the birds made their nests in its branches.
        All the wild animals gave birth to their young under it.
        All the powerful nations lived in its shade.
So the tree was big and beautiful with its long branches.
    Its roots reached down to many sources of water.
The cedar trees in God’s garden couldn’t compare to it.
    The pine trees couldn’t equal its branches.
    The plane trees couldn’t measure up to its branches.
    All the trees in God’s garden couldn’t match its beauty.
I was the one who made it beautiful with its many branches.
    This tree was the envy of all the trees in Eden, in God’s garden.

10 “‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: The tree grew very tall, and its top reached the clouds. It became arrogant because it was so tall. 11 So I handed it over to a mighty ruler among the nations, and he surely dealt with it. I forced it out because of its wickedness. 12 Foreigners from the most ruthless nation cut it down and threw it away. Its branches fell on the mountains and in every valley. Its broken branches fell in every ravine in the land. All the nations in the world came out from under its shade and left. 13 All the birds perched on the fallen tree, and all the wild animals lived in its branches. 14 Then all the other trees growing by the water were kept from becoming arrogant because of their height, and their tops were no longer allowed to reach the clouds. So no tree, even if it is well-watered, will ever stand that tall. Every tree is going to die and go below the earth to join those who have died and gone down to the pit.

15 “‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: When the tree went down to the grave, I made people mourn. I covered the underground springs and held back the rivers. The many water sources stopped flowing. I made Lebanon mourn for the tree, and all the trees in the field fainted as they grieved over it. 16 I made the nations tremble in fear at the sound of the tree’s crash. I brought the tree down to the grave to join those who had gone down to the pit. Then all the trees in Eden, the choicest and best trees of Lebanon, and all the trees that were well-watered were comforted below the earth. 17 They had gone down with the tree in the grave to join others killed in battle. All who lived in its shadow were scattered among the nations.

18 “‘This tree is you, Pharaoh, and all your many people. No tree in Eden has ever been as honorable and as great as you. But you will be brought down below the earth with the trees of Eden. You will lie among the godless people who were killed in battle, declares the Almighty Lord.’”

A Funeral Song about Pharaoh

32 On the first day of the twelfth month in the twelfth year, the Lord spoke his word to me. He said, “Son of man, sing a funeral song for Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Tell him,

‘You think you are like a lion among the nations.
    Instead, you are like a crocodile in the water.
        You splash around in the water.
        You stir up the water with your feet.
        You make the streams muddy.

“‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: When many nations gather together, I will spread my net over you, and they will haul you up in a net. I will throw you on the ground and toss you into an open field. I will make birds perch on you, and wild animals from all over the earth will feed on you. I will scatter your flesh on the hills and fill the valleys with your rotting corpse. I will drench the earth with your flowing blood all the way to the mountains. Ravines will be filled with your dead body.

“‘When I put out your light, I will cover the sky and darken the stars. I will cover the sun with clouds, and the moon won’t shine anymore. I will darken all the lights shining in the sky above you. I will bring darkness over your land, declares the Almighty Lord.

“‘I will make many people troubled when I spread the news of your destruction among the nations to countries that you haven’t heard of. 10 Many people will be shocked by what I will do to you. Their kings will shudder when I swing my sword in their faces. When you die, all of them will tremble in fear for their own lives.

11 “‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: The sword of the king of Babylon will attack you. 12 I will cut down your people with the swords of warriors. All of them will be the most ruthless warriors among the nations. They will shatter the pride of Egypt and destroy its many people. 13 I will also destroy all the animals beside its many water sources. The feet of humans and the hoofs of animals won’t stir up the water anymore. 14 Then I will make its water clear and make its streams flow like oil, declares the Almighty Lord. 15 I will turn Egypt into a wasteland. I will take everything in the land, and I will kill all the people who live there. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’

16 “This is a funeral song. The people from the nations will sing this song. They will sing it as they mourn for Egypt and its many people,” declares the Almighty Lord.

The Egyptians Will Join the Other Nations in the Grave

17 On the fifteenth day of the month in the twelfth year, the Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 18 “Son of man, cry for the many people of Egypt. Bring them down along with the other mighty nations. Send them down below the earth to be with those who have gone down to the pit.

19 Tell them, ‘Are you more beautiful than anyone else? Go down and join the godless people.’

20 “The Egyptians will lie among those who were killed in battle. A sword has been drawn. Drag Egypt and all its people away. 21 The mightiest warriors will say to Pharaoh from the grave, ‘You and your defenders have come down, and you now lie with the godless people who were killed in battle.’

22 “Assyria is there with its whole army, and the graves of its soldiers are all around it. All of its soldiers are dead. They have been killed in battle. 23 Their graves are in the deepest parts of the pit. Assyria’s army lies around its grave. All of its soldiers are dead. They have been killed in battle. They once terrified people in the land of the living.

24 “Elam is there with all its soldiers, and the graves of its soldiers are all around it. All of its soldiers are dead. They have been killed in battle. They went down below the earth as godless people. They once terrified people in the land of the living. Now they suffer disgrace with those who have gone down to the pit. 25 A bed has been made for Elam among the dead. The graves of its soldiers are all around it. The soldiers were godless people. They were killed in battle because they terrified others in the land of the living. Now they suffer disgrace with those who have gone down to the pit. They lie among the dead.

26 “Meshech and Tubal are there with all their soldiers, and the graves of their soldiers are all around them. Their soldiers were all godless people. They were killed in battle because they terrified others in the land of the living. 27 They don’t lie with the godless warriors who died and went down to the grave with their weapons of war. Their swords were placed under their heads. Their shields were placed on their bones because they terrified others in the land of the living.

28 “You Egyptians will be crushed with the godless people, and you will lie with those who were killed in battle.

29 “Edom is there with its kings and its princes. They used to be powerful, but now they lie with those who were killed in battle. They lie there with the godless people and with those who have gone down to the pit.

30 “All the rulers from the north and all the people from Sidon are there. They, too, went down with the dead. They are disgraced because they terrified people with their power. They were godless people. Now they lie with those who were killed in battle. They suffer disgrace with those who went down to the pit.

31 “Pharaoh and his army will see these things and be comforted over all the soldiers who have been killed in battle, declares the Almighty Lord. 32 I terrified people in the land of the living. Pharaoh and all his soldiers will be laid among the godless people who were killed in battle,” declares the Almighty Lord.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Hebrews 12:14-29

14 Try to live peacefully with everyone, and try to live holy lives, because if you don’t, you will not see the Lord. 15 Make sure that everyone has kindness[a] from God so that bitterness doesn’t take root and grow up to cause trouble that corrupts many of you. 16 Make sure that no one commits sexual sin or is as concerned about earthly things as Esau was. He sold his rights as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterwards, when he wanted to receive the blessing that the firstborn son was to receive, he was rejected. Even though he begged and cried for the blessing, he couldn’t do anything to change what had happened.

18 You have not come to something that you can feel, to a blazing fire, to darkness, to gloom, to a storm, 19 to a trumpet’s blast, and to a voice. When your ancestors heard that voice, they begged not to hear it say another word. 20 They couldn’t obey the command that was given, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that even Moses said he was trembling and afraid.

22 Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to tens of thousands of angels joyfully gathered together 23 and to the assembly of God’s firstborn children (whose names are written in heaven). You have come to a judge (the God of all people) and to the spirits of people who have God’s approval and have gained eternal life. 24 You have come to Jesus, who brings the new promise[b] from God, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better message than Abel’s.

25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen when God speaks. Your ancestors didn’t escape when they refused to listen to God, who warned them on earth. We certainly won’t escape if we turn away from God, who warns us from heaven. 26 When God spoke to your ancestors, his voice shook the earth. But now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the sky.”

27 The words once more show clearly that God will change what he has made. These are the things that can be shaken. Then only the things that cannot be shaken will remain. 28 Therefore, we must be thankful that we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Because we are thankful, we must serve God with fear and awe in a way that pleases him. 29 After all, our God is a destructive fire.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 12:15 Or “grace.”
  2. Hebrews 12:24 Or “covenant.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Psalm 113-114

Psalm 113

Hallelujah!

You servants of the Lord, praise him.
    Praise the name of the Lord.
Thank the name of the Lord now and forever.
From where the sun rises to where the sun sets,
    the name of the Lord should be praised.
The Lord is high above all the nations.
    His glory is above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God?
    He is seated on his high throne.
He bends down to look at heaven and earth.
He lifts the poor from the dust.
    He lifts the needy from a garbage heap.
He seats them with influential people,
    with the influential leaders of his people.
He makes a woman who is in a childless home
    a joyful mother.

Hallelujah!

Psalm 114

When Israel left Egypt,
    when Jacob’s family left people who spoke a foreign language,
Judah became his holy place and Israel became his kingdom.
    The Red Sea looked at this and ran away.
        The Jordan River turned back.
            The mountains jumped like rams.
            The hills jumped like lambs.
        Red Sea, why did you run away?
        Jordan River, what made you turn back?
            Mountains, what made you jump like rams?
            Hills, what made you jump like lambs?
Earth, tremble in the presence of the Lord,
    in the presence of the God of Jacob.
        He turns a rock into a pool filled with water
            and turns flint into a spring flowing with water.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Proverbs 27:18-20

18 Whoever takes care of a fig tree can eat its fruit,
    and whoever protects his master is honored.
19 As a face is reflected in water,
    so a person is reflected by his heart.
20 Hell and decay are never satisfied,
    and a person’s eyes are never satisfied.

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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