Daily reading for Thursday, November 21, 2013

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Ezekiel 42:1-43:27; James 5:1-20; Psalms 119:1-16; Proverbs 28:6-7 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Ezekiel 42-43

The Courtyards of the Lord’s New Temple

42 Then the man led me out toward the north to the outer courtyard. He brought me to the side rooms opposite both the open area and the northern building. The building that faced north was 175 feet long and 87½ feet wide. Opposite the inner courtyard was an area that was 35 feet wide, and opposite the pavement of the outer courtyard were corridors facing corridors on all three stories. In front of the side rooms was a walkway, 17½ feet wide and 175 feet long. The doors of these side rooms faced north.

The side rooms on the third story were narrower than those on the first or second stories of the building because the corridors took space away from them. The rooms were in three stories. They didn’t have pillars like the pillars in the courtyards. That is why the rooms on the third story were set farther back than those on the first and second stories. There was a wall which ran parallel to the side rooms and the outer courtyard. It ran alongside the side rooms for 87½ feet. The row of rooms in the outer courtyard was 87½ feet long. The rooms that faced the temple were 175 feet long. These lower side rooms had an entrance on the east side. A person was able to enter the outer courtyard through them.

10 There were side rooms parallel to the wall of the courtyard on the south side.[a] They faced the open area and the building. 11 There was a walkway in front of them like the one that was in front of the side rooms on the north side. These side rooms were as long and as wide as the northern rooms. They had the same exits, dimensions, and doors. 12 The doors to the south rooms were the same as the doors to the north rooms. There was a doorway at the other end of the walkway that was parallel to the corresponding wall that ran eastward. People entered through that doorway.

13 Then the man said to me, “The northern and southern side rooms that face the open area are holy rooms. These rooms are where the priests who come near the Lord eat the holiest offerings. Because these rooms are holy, the priests keep the holiest offerings there: the grain offerings, the offerings for sin, and the guilt offerings. 14 Once the priests enter the holy place, they must not go out of the holy place into the outer courtyard until they leave behind the clothes that they wore as they served. These clothes are holy. The priests must put on other clothes. Then they can go into the area that is for the people.”

15 When the man had finished measuring the inner part of the temple area, he led me out through the east gate. Then he measured all the way around the outer area. 16 He measured the east side with a measuring stick. It was 875 feet long according to the measuring stick. 17 He measured the north side. It was 875 feet long according to the measuring stick. 18 He measured the south side. It was 875 feet long according to the measuring stick. 19 He came around to the west side and measured it. It was 875 feet long according to the measuring stick. 20 So he measured all four sides. There was a wall all around it. The wall was 875 feet long and 875 feet wide. It separated what was holy from what was unholy.

The Glory of the Lord Fills the New Temple

43 Then the man took me to the east gate. I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the sound of rushing water, and the earth was shining because of his glory. This vision was like the one I saw when he came[b] to destroy Jerusalem and like the one I saw by the Chebar River. I immediately bowed down. The Lord’s glory came into the temple through the east gate.

The Spirit lifted me and brought me into the inner courtyard. I saw the Lord’s glory fill the temple. I heard someone speaking to me from inside the temple while the man was standing beside me. The voice said to me, “Son of man, this is the place where my throne is and the place where my feet rest. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. Then the people of Israel and their kings will no longer dishonor my holy name by acting like prostitutes, nor will they dishonor it with the dead bodies of their kings. They put their doorway by my doorway and their doorposts by my doorposts. Only a wall separated me from them. They dishonored my holy name because of the disgusting things that they have done. So I destroyed them in my anger. Now they must stop acting like prostitutes and take the dead bodies of their kings far away from me. Then I will live among them forever.

10 “Son of man, describe this temple to the people of Israel. Then they will be ashamed because of their sins. Let them study the plans. 11 Suppose they are ashamed of everything that they have done. Then show them the design of the temple, its arrangements, its exits and entrances—its entire design. Tell them about all its rules and regulations. Then write these things down for them so that they can remember its design and follow all its rules.

12 “This is a regulation of the temple: The whole area all the way around the top of the mountain is most holy. Yes, this is a regulation of the temple.”

The Altar in the New Temple

13 These are the measurements of the altar, using royal measurements. (The royal measuring stick was 21 inches long.) The base of the altar was 21 inches high and 21 inches wide. All around the edge of the altar was a rim measuring 9 inches wide. This was the height of the altar: 14 From the base on the ground to the lower ledge it was 3½ feet high, and from the lower ledge to the upper ledge it was 7 feet high and 21 inches wide. 15 The place where the sacrifices were burned was 7 feet high. There were four horns above it. 16 It was square, 21 feet wide and 21 feet long. 17 The upper ledge was also square. It was 24½ feet long and 24½ feet wide. It had a rim all the way around that was 10½ inches wide. Its base was 21 inches. The steps to the altar faced east.

18 Then the man said to me, “Son of man, this is what the Almighty Lord says: These are the rules for sacrificing burnt offerings and for sprinkling blood on the altar after the altar is built. 19 Give a young bull to the priests as an offering for sin. These priests are Zadok’s descendants, men from the tribe of Levi, who can come near me and serve me. 20 Take some of the bull’s blood, and put it on the altar’s four horns, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the rim all the way around the altar. When you do this, you will remove sin from the altar and make peace with the Lord. 21 Then take a young bull as an offering for sin, and burn it in the place appointed near the temple, outside the holy place.

22 “On the second day bring a male goat that has no defects as an offering for sin. Remove sin from the altar as you did with the young bull. 23 When you finish removing sin, offer a young bull and a ram that have no defects. 24 Offer them to the Lord. The priests must throw salt on them and offer them as burnt offerings to the Lord. 25 Every day for seven days you must sacrifice a goat, a young bull, and a ram from the flock as an offering for sin. They must be animals that have no defects. 26 For seven days the priests should make peace with the Lord at the altar, purify it, and consecrate it. 27 When those days are over, on the eighth day, the priests must sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar. Then I will accept them, declares the Almighty Lord.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 42:10 Greek; Masoretic Text “east side.”
  2. Ezekiel 43:3 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Greek, Latin; other Hebrew manuscripts “When I came.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

James 5

Advice to Rich People

Pay attention to this if you’re rich. Cry and moan about the misery that is coming to you. Your riches have decayed, and your clothes have been eaten by moths. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be used as evidence against you. Like fire, it will destroy your body.

You have stored up riches in these last days. The wages you refused to pay the people who harvested your fields shout to God against you. The Lord of Armies has heard the cries of those who gather the crops. You have lived in luxury and pleasure here on earth. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered people who have God’s approval, even though they didn’t resist you.

Be Patient

Brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord comes again. See how farmers wait for their precious crops to grow. They wait patiently for fall and spring rains. You, too, must be patient. Don’t give up hope. The Lord will soon be here. Brothers and sisters, stop complaining about each other, or you will be condemned. Realize that the judge is standing at the door.

10 Brothers and sisters, follow the example of the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. They were patient when they suffered unjustly. 11 We consider those who endure to be blessed. You have heard about Job’s endurance. You saw that the Lord ended Job’s suffering because the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Don’t Take Oaths

12 Above all things, my brothers and sisters, do not take an oath on anything in heaven or on earth. Do not take any oath. If you mean yes, say yes. If you mean no, say no. Do this so that you won’t be condemned.

Prayer Is Powerful

13 If any of you are having trouble, pray. If you are happy, sing psalms. 14 If you are sick, call for the church leaders. Have them pray for you and anoint you with olive oil[a] in the name of the Lord. 15 (Prayers offered in faith will save those who are sick, and the Lord will cure them.) If you have sinned, you will be forgiven. 16 So admit your sins to each other, and pray for each other so that you will be healed.

Prayers offered by those who have God’s approval are effective. 17 Elijah was human like us. Yet, when he prayed that it wouldn’t rain, no rain fell on the ground for three-and-a-half years. 18 Then he prayed again. It rained, and the ground produced crops.

Help Those Who Have Wandered Away from the Truth

19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you wanders from the truth, someone can bring that person back. 20 Realize that whoever brings a sinner back from the error of his ways will save him from death, and many sins will be forgiven.

Footnotes:

  1. James 5:14 People in ancient times used olive oil for healing.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Psalm 119:1-16

Psalm 119[a]

Blessed are those whose lives have integrity,
    those who follow the teachings of the Lord.
Blessed are those who obey his written instructions.
    They wholeheartedly search for him.
They do nothing wrong.
    They follow his directions.
You have commanded
    that your guiding principles be carefully followed.
I pray that my ways may become firmly established
    so that I can obey your laws.
        Then I will never feel ashamed
            when I study all your commandments.
I will give thanks to you
    as I learn your regulations, which are based on your righteousness.
I will obey your laws.
    Never abandon me.

How can a young person keep his life pure?
    He can do it by holding on to your word.
10 I wholeheartedly searched for you.
    Do not let me wander away from your commandments.
11 I have treasured your promise in my heart
    so that I may not sin against you.
12 Thanks be to you, O Lord.
    Teach me your laws.
13 With my lips I have repeated
    every regulation that comes from your mouth.
14 I find joy in the way shown by your written instructions
    more than I find joy in all kinds of riches.
15 I want to reflect on your guiding principles
    and study your ways.
16 Your laws make me happy.
    I never forget your word.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 119:1 Psalm 119 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 28:6-7

Better to be a poor person who has integrity
    than to be rich and double-dealing.

Whoever follows God’s teachings is a wise son.
    Whoever associates with gluttons disgraces his father.

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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