Daily reading for Monday, November 25, 2013

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Daniel 1:1-2:23; 1 Peter 3:8-4:6; Psalms 119:65-80; Proverbs 28:14 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Daniel 1-2:23

Daniel’s Captivity in Babylon

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar[a] king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it. The Lord handed Jehoiakim king of Judah over to him, along with some of the vessels from the house of God. Nebuchadnezzar carried them to the land of Babylon,[b] to the house of his god,[c] and put the vessels in the treasury of his god.

The king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his court officials,[d] to bring some of the Israelites from the royal family and from the nobility— young men without any physical defect, good-looking, suitable for instruction in all wisdom, knowledgeable, perceptive, and capable of serving in the king’s palace—and to teach them the Chaldean language and literature. The king assigned them daily provisions from the royal food and from the wine that he drank. They were to be trained for three years, and at the end of that time they were to serve in the king’s court.[e] Among them, from the descendants of Judah, were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. The chief official gave them other names: he gave the name Belteshazzar to Daniel, Shadrach to Hananiah, Meshach to Mishael, and Abednego to Azariah.

Faithfulness in Babylon

Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief official not to defile himself. God had granted Daniel favor and compassion from the chief official, 10 yet he said to Daniel, “My lord the king assigned your food and drink. I’m afraid of what would happen if he saw your faces looking thinner than those of the other young men your age. You would endanger my life[f] with the king.”

11 So Daniel said to the guard whom the chief official had assigned to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for 10 days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then examine our appearance and the appearance of the young men who are eating the king’s food, and deal with your servants based on what you see.” 14 He agreed with them about this and tested them for 10 days. 15 At the end of 10 days they looked better and healthier[g] than all the young men who were eating the king’s food. 16 So the guard continued to remove their food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables.

Faithfulness Rewarded

17 God gave these four young men knowledge and understanding in every kind of literature and wisdom. Daniel also understood visions and dreams of every kind. 18 At the end of the time that the king had said to present them, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king interviewed them, and among all of them, no one was found equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they began to serve in the king’s court. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding that the king consulted them about, he found them 10 times[h] better than all the diviner-priests and mediums in his entire kingdom. 21 Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that troubled him, and sleep deserted him. So the king gave orders to summon the diviner-priests, mediums, sorcerers, and Chaldeans[i] to tell the king his dreams. When they came and stood before the king, he said to them, “I have had a dream and am anxious to understand it.”

The Chaldeans spoke to the king (Aramaic[j] begins here): “May the king live forever. Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”

The king replied to the Chaldeans, “My word is final: If you don’t tell me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb,[k] and your houses will be made a garbage dump. But if you make the dream and its interpretation known to me, you’ll receive gifts, a reward, and great honor from me. So make the dream and its interpretation known to me.”

They answered a second time, “May the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will give the interpretation.”

The king replied, “I know for certain you are trying to gain some time, because you see that my word is final. If you don’t tell me the dream, there is one decree for you. You have conspired to tell me something false or fraudulent until the situation changes. So tell me the dream and I will know you can give me its interpretation.”

10 The Chaldeans answered the king, “No one on earth can make known what the king requests. Consequently, no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked anything like this of any diviner-priest, medium, or Chaldean. 11 What the king is asking is so difficult that no one can make it known to him except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals.” 12 Because of this, the king became violently angry and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 The decree was issued that the wise men were to be executed, and they searched for Daniel and his friends, to execute them.

14 Then Daniel responded with tact and discretion to Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard,[l] who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon. 15 He asked Arioch, the king’s officer, “Why is the decree from the king so harsh?”[m] Then Arioch explained the situation to Daniel. 16 So Daniel went and asked the king to give him some time, so that he could give the king the interpretation.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about the matter, 18 urging them to ask the God of heaven for mercy concerning this mystery, so Daniel and his friends would not be killed with the rest of Babylon’s wise men. 19 The mystery was then revealed to Daniel in a vision at night, and Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and declared:

May the name of God
be praised forever and ever,
for wisdom and power belong to Him.
21 He changes the times and seasons;
He removes kings and establishes kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those
who have understanding.
22 He reveals the deep and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
and light dwells with Him.
23 I offer thanks and praise to You,
God of my fathers,
because You have given me
wisdom and power.
And now You have let me know
what we asked of You,
for You have let us know
the king’s mystery.[n]

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 1:1 Or Nebuchadrezzar
  2. Daniel 1:2 Lit Shinar
  3. Daniel 1:2 Or gods
  4. Daniel 1:3 Or his eunuchs
  5. Daniel 1:5 Lit to stand before the king
  6. Daniel 1:10 Lit would make my head guilty
  7. Daniel 1:15 Lit fatter of flesh
  8. Daniel 1:20 Lit hands
  9. Daniel 2:2 In this chap. Chaldeans are influential Babylonian wise men.
  10. Daniel 2:4 Dn 2:4–7:28 is written in Aram.
  11. Daniel 2:5 Lit be made into limbs
  12. Daniel 2:14 Or executioners
  13. Daniel 2:15 Or urgent
  14. Daniel 2:23 Lit matter

1 Peter 3:8-4:6

Do No Evil

Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers,[a] and be compassionate and humble,[b] not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing.

10 For the one who wants to love life
and to see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit,
11 and he must turn away from evil
and do what is good.
He must seek peace and pursue it,
12 because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and His ears are open to their request.
But the face of the Lord is against
those who do what is evil.[c]

Undeserved Suffering

13 And who will harm[d] you if you are deeply committed to what is good?[e] 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed,[f] 15 but honor[g] the Messiah[h] as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason[i] for the hope that is in you. 16 However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear,[j][k] so that when you are accused,[l] those who denounce your Christian life[m] will be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will,[n] than for doing evil.

18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all,[o]
the righteous for the unrighteous,[p]
that He might bring you[q] to God,
after being put to death in the fleshly realm[r]
but made alive in the spiritual realm.[s]

19 In that state[t] He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison[u] 20 who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while an ark was being prepared. In it a few—that is, eight people[v]—were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge[w] of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 22 Now that He has gone into heaven, He is at God’s right hand with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him.

Following Christ

Therefore, since Christ suffered[x] in the flesh,[y] equip[z] yourselves also with the same resolve[aa]—because the one who suffered in the flesh has finished with sin[ab] in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires,[ac] but for God’s will. For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the pagans choose to do:[ad] carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. So they are surprised that you don’t plunge with them into the same flood[ae] of wild living—and they slander you. They will give an account to the One who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead, so that, although they might be judged by men in the fleshly realm,[af] they might live by God in the spiritual realm.[ag]

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Peter 3:8 Lit sympathetic, loving the brothers
  2. 1 Peter 3:8 Other mss read courteous
  3. 1 Peter 3:12 Ps 34:12-16
  4. 1 Peter 3:13 Or mistreat, or do evil to
  5. 1 Peter 3:13 Or you are partisans for the good; lit you are zealots
  6. 1 Peter 3:14 Is 8:12
  7. 1 Peter 3:15 Or sanctify; lit set apart
  8. 1 Peter 3:15 Other mss read set God
  9. 1 Peter 3:15 Or who demands of you an accounting
  10. 1 Peter 3:16 Lit good
  11. 1 Peter 3:16 Or keeping a clear conscience
  12. 1 Peter 3:16 Other mss read when they speak against you as evildoers
  13. 1 Peter 3:16 Lit your good behavior in Christ
  14. 1 Peter 3:17 Lit if the will of God should will
  15. 1 Peter 3:18 Other mss read died for sins on our behalf; other mss read died for our sins; other mss read died for sins on your behalf
  16. 1 Peter 3:18 Or the Righteous One in the place of the unrighteous many
  17. 1 Peter 3:18 Other mss read us
  18. 1 Peter 3:18 Or in the flesh
  19. 1 Peter 3:18 Or in the spirit, or in the Spirit
  20. 1 Peter 3:19 Or In whom, or At that time, or In which
  21. 1 Peter 3:19 Perhaps fallen supernatural beings or angels; 2Pt 2:4; Jd 6
  22. 1 Peter 3:20 Lit souls
  23. 1 Peter 3:21 Or the appeal
  24. 1 Peter 4:1 Other mss read suffered for us
  25. 1 Peter 4:1 The phrase “in the flesh” probably means in human experience.
  26. 1 Peter 4:1 Or arm
  27. 1 Peter 4:1 Or perspective, or attitude
  28. 1 Peter 4:1 Or the one who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin
  29. 1 Peter 4:2 Lit for desires of human beings
  30. 1 Peter 4:3 Or Gentiles
  31. 1 Peter 4:4 Lit you don’t run with them into the same pouring out
  32. 1 Peter 4:6 Or in the flesh
  33. 1 Peter 4:6 Or in the spirit

Psalm 119:65-80

ט Tet

65 Lord, You have treated Your servant well,
just as You promised.
66 Teach me good judgment and discernment,
for I rely on Your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I keep Your word.
68 You are good, and You do what is good;
teach me Your statutes.
69 The arrogant have smeared me with lies,
but I obey Your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are hard and insensitive,
but I delight in Your instruction.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I could learn Your statutes.
72 Instruction from Your lips is better for me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

י Yod

73 Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding
so that I can learn Your commands.
74 Those who fear You will see me and rejoice,
for I put my hope in Your word.
75 I know, Lord, that Your judgments are just
and that You have afflicted me fairly.
76 May Your faithful love comfort me
as You promised Your servant.
77 May Your compassion come to me
so that I may live,
for Your instruction is my delight.
78 Let the arrogant be put to shame
for slandering me with lies;
I will meditate on Your precepts.
79 Let those who fear You,
those who know Your decrees, turn to me.
80 May my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes
so that I will not be put to shame.

Proverbs 28:14

14 Happy is the one who is always reverent,
but one who hardens his heart falls into trouble.

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