Daily reading for Tuesday, November 19, 2013

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Ezekiel 39:1-40:27; James 2:18-3:18; Psalms 118:1-18; Proverbs 28:2 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Ezekiel 39-40:27

39 The Lord said, “Son of man, prophesy against Gog. Tell it, ‘This is what the Almighty Lord says: I am against you, Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and lead you. I will bring you from the far north and have you attack the mountains of Israel. Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand and make you drop the arrows in your right hand. You will die on the mountains of Israel with your troops and the armies that are with you. I will let you become food for every bird of prey and for every wild animal. You will die in the open field because I said so, declares the Almighty Lord. I will send fire on Magog and on those who live safely on the coasts. Then they will know that I am the Lord. I will make my holy name known among my people Israel, and I will never let them dishonor my holy name again. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.

“‘It’s coming! It will happen! declares the Almighty Lord. This is the day I have spoken about. Those living in the cities of Israel will go out. They will set fire to weapons and burn them. They will burn small and large shields, bows and arrows, and war clubs and spears. They will burn them for seven years. 10 They will not need to get wood from the field or cut down trees in the woods. They will make fires with the weapons. They will loot those who looted them, and they will grab things back from those who grabbed their things, declares the Almighty Lord.

11 “‘When that day comes, I will give Gog a burial place in Israel. It will be in Travelers Valley, east of the Dead Sea. It will block those who travel through the valley. Gog and his whole army will be buried there. So it will be called the valley of Gog’s troops. 12 The people of Israel will be burying them there for seven months to make the land clean.[a] 13 All the common people will be burying them. The people of Israel will be honored on the day of my victory, declares the Almighty Lord.

14 “‘People will be chosen to go through the land and make it clean. With the help of others they will bury the dead soldiers that are still on the ground. At the end of seven months they will begin their search. 15 Whenever they go through the land and see a human bone, they will set up a marker beside it until the grave diggers have buried that bone in the valley of Gog’s troops. 16 (A city named Hamonah[b] will also be there.) In this way they will cleanse the land.’

17 “Son of man, this is what the Almighty Lord says: Tell every kind of bird and every wild animal, ‘Assemble, and come together from all around for the sacrifice that I’m preparing for you. It will be a huge feast on the mountains of Israel. You can eat meat and drink blood there. 18 You can eat the meat of warriors and drink the blood of the princes of the earth. All of them will be killed like rams, lambs, goats, bulls and all the best animals of Bashan. 19 You can eat the best meat until you are full and drink blood until you are drunk at the sacrifice that I am preparing for you. 20 At my table you will be filled with horses and riders, warriors, and soldiers of every kind, declares the Almighty Lord.’

21 “I will show my greatness among the nations. All the nations will see how I will turn my power against them to punish them. 22 From that day on, the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 Then the nations will know that the people of Israel went into captivity because they did wrong and rebelled against me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies. They were killed in battle. 24 I paid them back for their uncleanness and their sins, and I hid my face from them.

25 “So this is what the Almighty Lord says: Now I will bring back Jacob’s captives and have compassion for the whole nation of Israel. I will stand up for my holy name. 26 When they live safely in a land where no one will frighten them, they will forget their shame and all the unfaithful things they have done against me. 27 I will bring them back from the other nations and gather them from the countries of their enemies. Many nations will see that I am holy. 28 Then my people will know that I am the Lord their God. I sent them into captivity among the nations, and I brought them back again to their land. I left none of them behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, because I will pour out my Spirit on the nation of Israel, declares the Almighty Lord.”

The New Temple of God

40 It was the tenth day of the month in the beginning of the twenty-fifth year of our captivity and fourteen years after Jerusalem was captured. At that time the Lord’s power came over me, and he brought me to Jerusalem. In visions, God brought me to Israel and set me down on a very high mountain. On the south side of the mountain were some buildings that looked like those in a city. He brought me closer. I saw a man who looked like he was covered with bronze. The man was holding a linen tape measure and a measuring stick, and he stood in a gateway. He said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, and listen with your ears. Pay close attention to everything I’m going to show you. You were brought here to be shown these things. Tell the nation of Israel everything that you see.”

The East Gateway

I saw a wall that surrounded the temple. The man had a measuring stick that was 10½ feet long. He measured the wall. It was 10½ feet thick and 10½ feet high.

Then the man went to the gateway that faced east. He went up its steps and measured the entrance to the gateway. It was 10½ feet wide. There were also guardrooms. Each guardroom was 10½ feet long and 10½ feet wide. The space between the guardrooms was 9 feet thick. And the entrance to the gateway by the entrance hall of the temple was 10½ feet wide. He also measured the entrance hall of the gateway. It extended 14 feet from the temple. Its recessed walls were 3½ feet thick. The gateway’s entrance hall faced the temple.

10 Now, there were three guardrooms on each side of the eastern gateway. All three rooms on each side were the same size, and the recessed walls on each side were the same size.

11 Then the man measured the width of the entrance to the gateway. It was 17½ feet wide, and the gateway was 23 feet long. 12 There was a barrier about 21 inches in front of each guardroom. The guardrooms were 10½ feet square.

13 He measured the gateway from the top of one guardroom to the top of the opposite guardroom. It was 44 feet wide from one door to the opposite door. 14 He also measured the entrance hall. It was 35 feet wide. In front of the entrance hall to the gateway was a courtyard on all sides.

15 The total length of the gateway from the front of the outer part to the front of the inner part of the entrance hall was 87½ feet.

16 The guardrooms and recessed walls inside the gateway had small windows all around. The entrance hall also had windows all around on the inside. Pictures of palm trees were carved on the recessed walls.

The Outer Courtyard

17 Then the man brought me into the outer courtyard. I saw rooms there and pavement all around the courtyard. There were 30 rooms along the edge of the pavement. 18 The pavement in the lower courtyard ran alongside the gateways. It was as wide as it was long. 19 The man measured the distance from the inside of the lower gateway to the outside of the inner courtyard. It was 175 feet from east to north.

The North Gateway

20 Then the man measured the length and width of the gateway, leading to the outer courtyard. This was the gateway that faced north. 21 Its three guardrooms, its recessed walls, and its entrance hall were the same size as those in the east gateway. The gateway was 87½ feet long and 44 feet wide. 22 Its windows, recessed walls, and palm tree pictures were the same size as those in the east gateway. Seven steps went up to it and led to its entrance hall. 23 The inner courtyard had a gateway opposite the north gate just like the east gateway. The man measured the distance from one gate to the other gate. It was 175 feet.

The South Gateway

24 Then the man led me to the south side, and I saw a gateway that faced south. He measured its recessed walls and its entrance hall. They were the same size as those of the other gateways. 25 The gateway and its entrance hall had windows on all sides like the windows in the other gateways. It was 87½ feet long and 44 feet wide. 26 Seven steps went up to it and led to its entrance hall. Pictures of palm trees were carved on the recessed walls, one picture on each side. 27 The inner courtyard had a gateway facing south. The man measured the distance from the gateway on the south side to its opposite gateway. It was 175 feet.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 39:12 “Clean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is presentable to God.
  2. Ezekiel 39:16 There is a play on words here between Hebrew hamon (troops) and Hamonah.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

James 2:18-3:18

18 Another person might say, “You have faith, but I do good things.” Show me your faith apart from the good things you do. I will show you my faith by the good things I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. That’s fine! The demons also believe that, and they tremble with fear.

20 You fool! Do you have to be shown that faith which does nothing is useless? 21 Didn’t our ancestor Abraham receive God’s approval as a result of what he did when he offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice on the altar? 22 You see that Abraham’s faith and what he did worked together. His faith was shown to be genuine by what he did. 23 The Scripture passage came true. It says, “Abraham believed God, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abraham’s approval by God.” So Abraham was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person receives God’s approval because of what he does, not only because of what he believes. 25 The same is true of the prostitute Rahab who welcomed the spies and sent them away on another road. She received God’s approval because of what she did.

26 A body that doesn’t breathe[a] is dead. In the same way faith that does nothing is dead.

Speak Wisely

Brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers. You know that we who teach will be judged more severely.

All of us make a lot of mistakes. If someone doesn’t make any mistakes when he speaks, he would be perfect. He would be able to control everything he does. We put bits in the mouths of horses to make them obey us, and we have control over everything they do. The same thing is true for ships. They are very big and are driven by strong winds. Yet, by using small rudders, pilots steer ships wherever they want them to go. In the same way the tongue is a small part of the body, but it can brag about doing important things.

A large forest can be set on fire by a little flame. The tongue is that kind of flame. It is a world of evil among the parts of our bodies, and it completely contaminates our bodies. The tongue sets our lives on fire, and is itself set on fire from hell. People have tamed all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures. Yet, no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison.

With our tongues we praise our Lord and Father. Yet, with the same tongues we curse people, who were created in God’s likeness. 10 Praise and curses come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen! 11 Do clean and polluted water flow out of the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree produce olives? Can a grapevine produce figs? In the same way, a pool of salt water can’t produce fresh water.

Live Wisely

13 Do any of you have wisdom and insight? Show this by living the right way with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and filled with self-centered ambition, don’t brag. Don’t say that you are wise when it isn’t true. 15 That kind of wisdom doesn’t come from above. It belongs to this world. It is self-centered and demonic. 16 Wherever there is jealousy and rivalry, there is disorder and every kind of evil.

17 However, the wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure. Then it is peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good deeds, impartial, and sincere. 18 A harvest that has God’s approval comes from the peace planted by peacemakers.

Footnotes:

  1. James 2:26 Or “A body without a spirit.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Psalm 118:1-18

Psalm 118

Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,
    because his mercy endures forever.
        Israel should say,
            “His mercy endures forever.”
        The descendants of Aaron should say,
            “His mercy endures forever.”
        Those who fear the Lord should say,
            “His mercy endures forever.”

During times of trouble I called on the Lord.
    The Lord answered me and set me free from all of them.
The Lord is on my side.
    I am not afraid.
        What can mortals do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper.
    I will see the defeat of those who hate me.
It is better to depend on the Lord
    than to trust mortals.
It is better to depend on the Lord
    than to trust influential people.

10 All the nations surrounded me,
    but armed with the name of the Lord, I defeated them.
11 They surrounded me. Yes, they surrounded me,
    but armed with the name of the Lord, I defeated them.
12 They swarmed around me like bees,
    but they were extinguished like burning thornbushes.
        So armed with the name of the Lord, I defeated them.
13 They pushed hard to make me fall,
    but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my song.
    He is my savior.

15 The sound of joyful singing and victory is heard
    in the tents of righteous people.
        The right hand of the Lord displays strength.
16 The right hand of the Lord is held high.
    The right hand of the Lord displays strength.
17 I will not die,
    but I will live and tell what the Lord has done.
18 The Lord disciplined me severely,
    but he did not allow me to be killed.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Proverbs 28:2

When a country is in revolt, it has many rulers,
    but only with a person who has understanding and knowledge
        will it last a long time.

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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