Daily reading for Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Today's audio is from the GW. Switch to the GW to read along with the audio.
Daniel 2:24-3:30; 1 Peter 4:7-5:14; Psalms 119:81-96; Proverbs 28:15-16 (Complete Jewish Bible)
24 So Dani’el went to see Aryokh, whom the king had charged with destroying the sages of Bavel, and said to him, “Don’t destroy the sages of Bavel! Bring me before the king, and I will give the king the interpretation.” 25 Quickly Aryokh brought Dani’el before the king and told him, “I have found one of the exiles of Y’hudah who will reveal the interpretation to his majesty.” 26 The king said to Dani’el (who had been renamed Belt’shatzar), “Can you tell me what I dreamt and what it means?” 27 Dani’el answered the king, “No sage, exorcist, magician or astrologer can tell his majesty the secret he has asked about. 28 But there is a God in heaven who unlocks mysteries, and he has revealed to King N’vukhadnetzar what will happen in the acharit-hayamim. Here are your dream and the visions you had in your head when you were in bed.
29 “Your majesty, when you were in bed, you began thinking about what would take place in the future; and he who reveals secrets has revealed to you what will happen. 30 Yet this secret has not been revealed to me because I am wiser than anyone living, but so that the meaning can be made known to your majesty, and then you can understand the thoughts of your own mind.
31 “Your majesty had a vision of a statue, very large and extremely bright; it stood in front of you and its appearance was terrifying. 32 The head of the statue was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its trunk and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, and its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you watched, a stone separated itself without any human hand, struck the statue on its feet made of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken into pieces which became like the chaff on a threshing-floor in summer; the wind blew them away without leaving a trace. But the stone which had struck the statue grew into a huge mountain that filled the whole earth.
36 “That is what you dreamt, and now we will give the king its interpretation. 37 Your majesty, king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; 38 so that wherever people, wild animals or birds in the air live, he has handed them over to you and enabled you to rule them all — you are the head of gold. 39 But after you another kingdom will rise, inferior to you; then a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule the whole world. 40 The fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron. Iron can break anything into pieces, pulverize it and crush it. So just as iron can crush anything, this kingdom will break the other kingdoms into pieces and crush them. 41 Finally, you saw the feet and toes made partly of pottery clay and partly of iron; this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the firmness of iron, since you saw the iron mixed with clay from the ground. 42 Just as the toes of the feet were part iron and part clay, this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 You saw the iron mixed with clay; that means that they will cement their alliances by intermarriages; but they won’t stick together any more than iron blends with clay.
44 “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will establish a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not pass into the hands of another people. It will break to pieces and consume all those kingdoms; but it, itself, will stand forever — 45 like the stone you saw, which, without human hands, separated itself from the mountain and broke to pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold. The great God has revealed to the king what will come about in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation is reliable.”
46 Then King N’vukhadnetzar fell on his face and worshipped Dani’el; he ordered that a grain offering and incense be offered to him. 47 To Dani’el the king said, “Your God is indeed the God of gods, the Lord of kings and a revealer of secrets, since you have been able to reveal this secret.” 48 The king promoted Dani’el to a high rank, gave him many rich gifts and made him governor of the entire province of Bavel and head of all the sages of Bavel. 49 At Dani’el’s request, the king put Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go in charge of the affairs of the province of Bavel, while Dani’el remained in attendance on the king.
3 N’vukhadnetzar the king had a gold statue made, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, which he set up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Bavel. 2 Then N’vukhadnetzar the king summoned the viceroys, prefects, governors, judges, treasurers, counselors, sheriffs and all the provincial officials to assemble and come to the dedication of the statue which N’vukhadnetzar the king had set up. 3 The viceroys, prefects, governors, judges, treasurers, counselors, sheriffs and all the provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the statue which N’vukhadnetzar the king had set up. They stood in front of the statue that N’vukhadnetzar had set up; 4 and a herald proclaimed, “Peoples! Nations! Languages! You are ordered 5 that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, zither, lute, bagpipe and the rest of the musical instruments, you fall down and worship the gold statue that N’vukhadnetzar the king has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship is to be thrown immediately into a blazing hot furnace.” 7 Therefore, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, zither, lute and the rest of the musical instruments, all the peoples, nations and languages fell down and worshipped the gold statue that N’vukhadnetzar the king had set up.
8 But then some Kasdim approached and began denouncing the Jews. 9 They said to N’vukhadnetzar the king, “May the king live forever! 10 Your majesty, you have ordered that everyone who hears sound of the horn, pipe, harp, zither, lute, bagpipe and the rest of the musical instruments is to fall down and worship the gold statue; 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship is to be thrown into a blazing hot furnace. 12 There are some Jews whom you have put in charge of the affairs of the province of Bavel, Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go; and these men, your majesty, have paid no attention to you. They do not serve your gods, and they do not worship the gold statue you set up.”
13 In a raging fury N’vukhadnetzar ordered that Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go be brought. When the men had been brought before the king, 14 N’vukhadnetzar said to them, “Shadrakh! Meishakh! ‘Aved-N’go! Is it true that you neither serve my gods nor worship the gold statue I set up? 15 All right, then. If you are prepared, when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, zither, lute, bagpipe and the rest of the musical instruments, to fall down and worship the gold statue, very well. But if you won’t worship, you will immediately be thrown into a blazing hot furnace — and what god will save you from my power then?” 16 Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go answered the king, “Your question doesn’t require an answer from us. 17 Your majesty, if our God, whom we serve, is able to save us, he will save us from the blazing hot furnace and from your power. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will neither serve your gods nor worship the gold statue which you have set up.”
19 N’vukhadnetzar became so utterly enraged that his face was distorted with anger against Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go. He ordered the furnace made seven times hotter than usual. 20 Then he ordered some of the strongest men in his army to tie up Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go and throw them into the blazing hot furnace. 21 So these men were tied up in their cloaks, tunics, robes and other clothes, and thrown into the blazing hot furnace. 22 The king’s order was so urgent and the furnace so overheated that the men carrying Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go were burned to death by the flames. 23 These three men, Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go, fell, bound, into the blazing hot furnace.
24 Suddenly N’vukhadnetzar sprang to his feet. Alarmed, he asked his advisers, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound, into the flames?” They answered the king, “Yes, of course, your majesty.” 25 But he exclaimed, “Look! I see four men, not tied up, walking around there in the flames, unhurt; and the fourth looks like one of the gods!” 26 N’vukhadnetzar approached the opening of the blazing hot furnace and said, “Shadrakh! Meishakh! ‘Aved-N’go! You servants of El ‘Elyon! Come out, and come here!” Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go emerged from the flames. 27 The viceroys, prefects, governors and royal advisers who were there saw that the fire had had no power on the bodies of these men — not even their hair was singed, their clothes looked the same, and they didn’t smell of fire.
28 N’vukhadnetzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go! He sent his angel to deliver his servants who trusted in him. They defied the royal order to the point of being willing to give up their bodies, in order not to serve or worship any god but their own God. 29 Therefore I herewith decree that anyone, no matter from which people, nation or language, who says anything to insult the God of Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go is to be torn limb from limb, and his house is to be reduced to rubble; because there is no other god who can save like this.”
30 Then the king gave Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go higher rank in the province of Bavel.
1 Peter 4:7-5:14
7 The accomplishing of the goal of all things is close at hand. Therefore, keep alert and self-controlled, so that you can pray. 8 More than anything, keep loving each other actively; because love covers many sins.[a] 9 Welcome one another into your homes without grumbling. 10 As each one has received some spiritual gift, he should use it to serve others, like good managers of God’s many-sided grace — 11 if someone speaks, let him speak God’s words; if someone serves, let him do so out of strength that God supplies; so that in everything God may be glorified through Yeshua the Messiah — to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
12 Dear friends, don’t regard as strange the fiery ordeal occurring among you to test you, as if something extraordinary were happening to you. 13 Rather, to the extent that you share the fellowship of the Messiah’s sufferings, rejoice; so that you will rejoice even more when his Sh’khinah is revealed. 14 If you are being insulted because you bear the name of the Messiah, how blessed you are! For the Spirit of the Sh’khinah, that is, the Spirit of God, is resting on you! 15 Let none of you suffer for being a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or a meddler in other people’s affairs. 16 But if anyone suffers for being Messianic, let him not be ashamed; but let him bring glory to God by the way he bears this name. 17 For the time has come for the judgment to begin. It begins with the household of God; and if it starts with us, what will the outcome be for those who are disobeying God’s Good News? —
18 “If the righteous is barely delivered,
where will the ungodly and sinful end up?”[b]
19 So let those who are suffering according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator by continuing to do what is good.
5 Therefore, I urge the congregation leaders among you, as a fellow-leader and witness to the Messiah’s sufferings, as well as a sharer in the glory to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is in your care, exercising oversight not out of constraint, but willingly, as God wants; and not out of a desire for dishonest gain, but with enthusiasm; 3 also not as machers domineering over those in your care, but as people who become examples to the flock. 4 Then, when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive glory as your unfading crown.
5 Likewise, you who are less experienced, submit to leaders. Further, all of you should clothe yourselves in humility toward one another, because
God opposes the arrogant,
but to the humble he gives grace.[c]
6 Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that at the right time he may lift you up. 7 Throw all your anxieties upon him, because he cares about you.
8 Stay sober, stay alert! Your enemy, the Adversary, stalks about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand against him, firm in your trust, knowing that your brothers throughout the world are going through the same kinds of suffering. 10 You will have to suffer only a little while; after that, God, who is full of grace, the one who called you to his eternal glory in union with the Messiah, will himself restore, establish and strengthen you and make you firm. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.
12 Through Sila, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written you briefly, encouraging you and giving my witness that this is God’s true grace. Stand firm in it!
13 Your sister congregation in Bavel, chosen along with you, sends greetings to you, as does my son Mark. 14 Greet each other with a kiss of love.
“Shalom aleikhem!” to all who belong to the Messiah.
81 I am dying to know your salvation;
my hope is in your word.
82 My eyes fail from watching for your promise;
I ask, “When will you comfort me?”
83 For I have shriveled like a wineskin in a smoky room;
still, I don’t forget your laws.
84 How long can your servant stay alive?
When will you bring judgment on my persecutors?
85 The arrogant have dug pits for me to fall in;
this is not in keeping with your Torah!
86 All your mitzvot [show your] faithfulness;
they are hounding me with lies; help me!
87 They have nearly ended my life on earth,
but I have not abandoned your precepts.
88 In keeping with your grace, revive me;
and I will observe your spoken instructions.
89 Your word continues forever, Adonai,
firmly fixed in heaven;
90 your faithfulness through all generations;
you established the earth, and it stands.
91 Yes, it stands today, in keeping with your rulings;
for all things are your servants.
92 If your Torah had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my distress.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for with them you have made me alive.
94 I am yours; save me
because I seek your precepts.
95 The wicked hope to destroy me,
but I focus on your instruction.
96 I see the limits of all perfection,
but your mitzvah has no bounds.
15 Like a roaring lion or a bear prowling for food
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 A prince without discernment is a cruel oppressor,
but one who hates greed will prolong his life.