Daily reading for Sunday, November 24, 2013

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Ezekiel 47:1-48:35; 1 Peter 2:11-3:7; Psalms 119:49-64; Proverbs 28:12-13 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Ezekiel 47-48

Water Flowing from the Temple

47 Then the man took me back to the door of the temple. I saw water flowing from under the entrance of the temple toward the east. (The temple faced east.) The water was flowing under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. Then he led me through the north gate and around to the outer east gate. The water was flowing down the south side of the gate.

With a measuring line in his hand, the man went eastward. He measured off 1,500 feet and led me through the water. The water came up to my ankles. Then he measured off another 1,500 feet and led me through the water. The water came up to my knees. He measured off another 1,500 feet and led me through the water. The water came up to my waist. Then he measured another 1,500 feet. But the water had risen so much that it became a river which I couldn’t cross. The river was too deep to cross except by swimming. Then he asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”

Then the man led me back along the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw many trees on both sides of the river. Then the man said to me, “This water flows through the land to the east, down into the Jordan Valley, and into the Dead Sea. When the water flows into the Dead Sea, it will replace the salt water there with fresh water. Wherever the river flows, there will be many fish and animals. The river will make the water in the Dead Sea fresh. Wherever the river flows, it will bring life. 10 From En Gedi to En Eglaim people will be standing on the shore of the sea with their fishing nets spread out. As many kinds of fish will be there as there are in the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the water in the swamps and marshes won’t become fresh. It will remain salty. 12 All kinds of fruit trees will grow on both sides of the river. Their leaves won’t wither, and they won’t fail to produce fruit. Each month they will produce fresh fruit because this water flows from the holy place. The fruit will be good food, and the leaves will be used for healing.”

Dividing the Land for the Lord’s People

13 This is what the Almighty Lord says: These are the borders of the land that is to be divided among the 12 tribes of Israel. Joseph gets two parts. 14 Divide the land equally. I raised my hand and swore that I would give the land to your ancestors. So this land will be your inheritance.

15 This is the northern border for the land: On the north side the border will run from the Mediterranean Sea all the way to Hethlon and Hamath Pass. It will run through the city of Zedad and through 16 Berothah and Sibraim, which are between the borders of Damascus and Hamath. It will run to Hazer Hatticon, which is on the border of Hauran. 17 So the border will run from the Mediterranean Sea to Hazar Enon on the border of Damascus. The border of Hamath will lie to the north. This is the north side.

18 On the east side the border will run between Hauran and Damascus. The Jordan River will serve as the border between Gilead and the land of Israel. The border will continue from the Dead Sea down to Tamar. This is the east side.

19 On the south side the border will run from Tamar to the oasis at Meribah in Kadesh along the ravine to the Mediterranean Sea. This is the southern border.

20 On the west side the Mediterranean Sea is the border up to a point opposite Hamath Pass. This is the west side.

21 Divide this land among yourselves for each of the tribes of Israel. 22 Divide it by drawing lots. This land will be for you. It will also be for the foreign residents who live among you and have given birth to children while they lived with you. Think of them as Israelites. They will draw lots with you for their inheritance among the tribes of Israel. 23 Foreign residents will receive their share of the inheritance with the people of the tribe among whom they are living, declares the Almighty Lord.

48 These are the names of the tribes. Beginning at the northern border, Dan will have one part of the land. It will extend from the road to Hethlon to Hamath Pass and Hazar Enon, on the northern border of Damascus near Hamath, from the eastern border to the western border.

Asher will have one part of the land and border Dan on the south. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border.

Naphtali will have one part of the land and border Asher on the south. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border.

Manasseh will have one part of the land and border Naphtali on the south. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border.

Ephraim will have one part of the land and border Manasseh on the south. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border.

Reuben will have one part of the land and border Ephraim on the south. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border.

Judah will have one part of the land and border Reuben on the south. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border.

The land that you set aside as a special gift for the Lord will border Judah on the south. It will be 43,750 feet wide, and it will be as long as one of the sections of the tribes. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border, and the holy place will be in the middle of it.

This special land that you set aside for the Lord will be 43,750 feet long and 17,500 feet wide. 10 This holy area will belong to the priests. On the north side it will be 43,750 feet long. On the west side it will be 17,500 feet wide. On the east side it will be 17,500 feet wide. On the south side it will be 43,750 feet long. The Lord’s holy place will be in the middle of it. 11 This land that has been set apart will belong to the priests who are descendants of Zadok. They took care of my holy place. They didn’t wander away with the Israelites as the Levites did. 12 So they will have a special portion from the land. It will be the holiest part of land, next to the land belonging to the Levites.

13 Alongside the land belonging to the priests will be the land belonging to the Levites. It will be 43,750 feet long and 17,500 feet wide. 14 They must not sell any of it or trade any of it. They must not let others have the best part of the land, because the land is the Lord’s and it is holy.

15 A strip of land, 8,750 feet wide by 43,750 feet long, will be left for cities, homes, and pastures. The city will be in the middle of it. 16 These will be the measurements for the city: On the north side it will be 7,875 feet long. On the south side it will be 7,875 feet long. On the east side it will be 7,875 feet wide. And on the west side it will be 7,875 feet wide. 17 The city’s pastureland will be 4,375 feet on the north, 4,375 feet on the south, 4,375 feet on the east, and 4,375 feet on the west. 18 The rest of the land borders the holy area and runs lengthwise. This land will be 17,500 feet on its east side and 17,500 feet on its west side. It will be used to provide food for the city workers. 19 City workers from all the tribes in Israel will farm it. 20 The whole area will be 43,750 feet square. You must give this land as a special gift to the Lord along with the city property.

21 Whatever is left on the east side and west side of the holy area and the city property will belong to the prince. This land will extend eastward from the holy area to the eastern border, and it will extend westward to the western border. Both of these areas are as long as one of the sections of the tribes. These areas belong to the prince, and the holy area with the holy place of the temple will be between them. 22 So the Levites’ property and the city’s property will be between the prince’s part of the land. What is between Judah’s and Benjamin’s boundaries will belong to the prince.

23 This is what the rest of the tribes will receive: Benjamin will have one part of the land. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border.

24 Simeon will have one part of the land and border Benjamin on the south. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border.

25 Issachar will have one part of the land and border Simeon on the south. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border.

26 Zebulun will have one part of the land and border Issachar on the south. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border.

27 Gad will have one part of the land and border Zebulun on the south. It will extend from the eastern border to the western border.

28 The southern border of Gad will run south from Tamar to the oasis at Meribah in Kadesh, and it will run along the Brook of Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. 29 This is the land you will divide as your inheritance among the tribes of Israel, and these are their areas, declares the Almighty Lord.

The New City of God

30 These will be the exits for the city: The north side will be 7,875 feet long. 31 The gates of the city will be named after the tribes of Israel. The three gates on the north side will be Reuben Gate, Judah Gate, and Levi Gate.

32 The east side will be 7,875 feet long. The three gates on the east side will be Joseph Gate, Benjamin Gate, and Dan Gate.

33 The south side will be 7,875 feet long. The three gates on the south side will be Simeon Gate, Issachar Gate, and Zebulun Gate.

34 The west side will be 7,875 feet long. The three gates on the west side will be Gad Gate, Asher Gate, and Naphtali Gate.

35 The city will measure about 31,500 feet all the way around. From then on the city’s name will be: The Lord Is There.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

1 Peter 2:11-3:7

11 Dear friends, since you are foreigners and temporary residents in the world, I’m encouraging you to keep away from the desires of your corrupt nature. These desires constantly attack you. 12 Live decent lives among unbelievers. Then, although they ridicule you as if you were doing wrong while they are watching you do good things, they will praise God on the day he comes to help you.

Respect the Authority of Others

13 Place yourselves under the authority of human governments to please the Lord. Obey the emperor. He holds the highest position of authority. 14 Also obey governors. They are people the emperor has sent to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. 15 God wants you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing what is right. 16 Live as free people, but don’t hide behind your freedom when you do evil. Instead, use your freedom to serve God. 17 Honor everyone. Love your brothers and sisters in the faith. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

18 Slaves, place yourselves under the authority of your owners and show them complete respect. Obey not only those owners who are good and kind, but also those who are unfair. 19 God is pleased if a person is aware of him while enduring the pains of unjust suffering. 20 What credit do you deserve if you endure a beating for doing something wrong? But if you endure suffering for doing something good, God is pleased with you.

21 God called you to endure suffering because Christ suffered for you. He left you an example so that you could follow in his footsteps. 22 Christ never committed any sin. He never spoke deceitfully. 23 Christ never verbally abused those who verbally abused him. When he suffered, he didn’t make any threats but left everything to the one who judges fairly. 24 Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross so that freed from our sins, we could live a life that has God’s approval. His wounds have healed you. 25 You were like lost sheep. Now you have come back to the shepherd and bishop[a] of your lives.

Wives, in a similar way, place yourselves under your husbands’ authority. Some husbands may not obey God’s word. Their wives could win these men for Christ by the way they live without saying anything. Their husbands would see how pure and reverent their lives are.

Wives must not let their beauty be something external. Beauty doesn’t come from hairstyles, gold jewelry, or clothes. Rather, beauty is something internal that can’t be destroyed. Beauty expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude which God considers precious. After all, this is how holy women who had confidence in God expressed their beauty in the past. They placed themselves under their husbands’ authority as Sarah did. Sarah obeyed Abraham and spoke to him respectfully. You became Sarah’s daughters by not letting anything make you afraid to do good.

Husbands, in a similar way, live with your wives with understanding since they are weaker than you are. Honor your wives as those who share God’s life-giving kindness[b] so that nothing will interfere with your prayers.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Peter 2:25 English equivalent difficult.
  2. 1 Peter 3:7 Or “grace.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Psalm 119:49-64

49 Remember the word you gave me.
    Through it you gave me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my misery:
    Your promise gave me a new life.
51 Arrogant people have mocked me with cruelty,
    yet I have not turned away from your teachings.
52 I remembered your regulations from long ago, O Lord,
    and I found comfort in them.
53 I am burning with anger because of wicked people,
    who abandon your teachings.
54 Your laws have become like psalms to me
    in this place where I am only a foreigner.
55 At night I remember your name, O Lord,
    and I follow your teachings.
56 This has happened to me
    because I have obeyed your guiding principles.

57 You are my inheritance, O Lord.
    I promised to hold on to your words.
58 With all my heart I want to win your favor.
    Be kind to me as you promised.
59 I have thought about my life,
    and I have directed my feet back to your written instructions.
60 Without any hesitation I hurry to obey your commandments.
61 Though the ropes of wicked people are tied around me,
    I never forget your teachings.
62 At midnight I wake up to give thanks to you
    for the regulations, which are based on your righteousness.
63 I am a friend to everyone who fears you
    and to everyone who follows your guiding principles.
64 Your mercy, O Lord, fills the earth.
    Teach me your laws.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Proverbs 28:12-13

12 When righteous people triumph, there is great glory,
    but when wicked people rise, people hide themselves.
13 Whoever covers over his sins does not prosper.
    Whoever confesses and abandons them receives compassion.

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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