Daily reading for Saturday, November 30, 2013

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Daniel 7:1-28; 1 John 1:1-10; Psalms 119:153-176; Proverbs 28:23-24 (Good News Translation)

Daniel 7

DANIEL DESCRIBES HIS VISIONS (7.1—12.13)

Daniel's Vision of the Four Beasts

In the first year that Belshazzar was king of Babylonia, I had a dream and saw a vision in the night. I wrote the dream down, and this is the record of what I saw that night:

Winds were blowing from all directions and lashing the surface of the ocean. Four huge beasts came up out of the ocean, each one different from the others. The first one looked like a lion, but had wings like an eagle. While I was watching, the wings were torn off. The beast was lifted up and made to stand up straight. And then a human mind was given to it.

The second beast looked like a bear standing on its hind legs. It was holding three ribs between its teeth, and a voice said to it, “Go on, eat as much meat as you can!”

While I was watching, another beast appeared. It looked like a leopard, but on its back there were four wings, like the wings of a bird, and it had four heads. It had a look of authority about it.

As I was watching, a fourth beast appeared. It was powerful, horrible, terrifying. With its huge iron teeth it crushed its victims, and then it trampled on them. Unlike the other beasts, it had ten horns. While I was staring at the horns, I saw a little horn coming up among the others. It tore out three of the horns that were already there. This horn had human eyes and a mouth that was boasting proudly.

The Vision of the One Who Has Been Living Forever

While I was looking, thrones were put in place. One who had been living forever sat down on one of the thrones. His clothes were white as snow, and his hair was like pure wool. His throne, mounted on fiery wheels, was blazing with fire, 10 and a stream of fire was pouring out from it. There were many thousands of people there to serve him, and millions of people stood before him. The court began its session, and the books were opened.

11 While I was looking, I could still hear the little horn bragging and boasting. As I watched, the fourth beast was killed, and its body was thrown into the flames and destroyed. 12 The other beasts had their power taken away, but they were permitted to go on living for a limited time.

13 During this vision in the night, I saw what looked like a human being. He was approaching me, surrounded by clouds, and he went to the one who had been living forever and was presented to him. 14 He was given authority, honor, and royal power, so that the people of all nations, races, and languages would serve him. His authority would last forever, and his kingdom would never end.

The Visions Are Explained

15 The visions I saw alarmed me, and I was deeply disturbed.[a] 16 I went up to one of those standing there and asked him to explain it all. So he told me the meaning. 17 He said, “These four huge beasts are four empires which will arise on earth. 18 And the people of the Supreme God will receive royal power and keep it forever and ever.”

19 Then I wanted to know more about the fourth beast, which was not like any of the others—the terrifying beast which crushed its victims with its bronze claws and iron teeth and then trampled on them. 20 And I wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and the horn that had come up afterward and had made three of the horns fall. It had eyes and a mouth and was boasting proudly. It was more terrifying than any of the others.

21 While I was looking, that horn made war on God's people and conquered them. 22 Then the one who had been living forever came and pronounced judgment in favor of[b] the people of the Supreme God. The time had arrived for God's people to receive royal power.

23 This is the explanation I was given: “The fourth beast is a fourth empire that will be on the earth and will be different from all other empires. It will crush the whole earth and trample it down. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will rule that empire. Then another king will appear; he will be very different from the earlier ones and will overthrow three kings. 25 He will speak against the Supreme God and oppress God's people. He will try to change their religious laws and festivals, and God's people will be under his power for three and a half years. 26 Then the heavenly court will sit in judgment, take away his power, and destroy him completely. 27 The power and greatness of all the kingdoms on earth will be given to the people of the Supreme God. Their royal power will never end, and all rulers on earth will serve and obey them.”

28 This is the end of the account. I was so frightened that I turned pale, and I kept everything to myself.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 7:15 Aramaic has two additional words, the meaning of which is unclear.
  2. Daniel 7:22 pronounced judgment in favor of; or gave the right to judge to.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

1 John 1

The Word of Life

We write to you about the Word of life, which has existed from the very beginning. We have heard it, and we have seen it with our eyes; yes, we have seen it, and our hands have touched it. When this life became visible, we saw it; so we speak of it and tell you about the eternal life which was with the Father and was made known to us. What we have seen and heard we announce to you also, so that you will join with us in the fellowship that we have with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We write this in order that our[a] joy may be complete.

God Is Light

Now the message that we have heard from his Son and announce is this: God is light, and there is no darkness at all in him. If, then, we say that we have fellowship with him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions. But if we live in the light—just as he is in the light—then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make a liar out of God, and his word is not in us.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 John 1:4 our; some manuscripts have your.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Psalm 119:153-176

A Plea for Help

153 Look at my suffering, and save me,
    because I have not neglected your law.
154 Defend my cause, and set me free;
    save me, as you have promised.
155 The wicked will not be saved,
    for they do not obey your laws.
156 But your compassion, Lord, is great;
    show your mercy and save me!
157 I have many enemies and oppressors,
    but I do not fail to obey your laws.
158 When I look at those traitors, I am filled with disgust,
    because they do not keep your commands.
159 See how I love your instructions, Lord.
    Your love never changes, so save me!
160 The heart of your law is truth,
    and all your righteous judgments are eternal.

Dedication to the Law of the Lord

161 Powerful people attack me unjustly,
    but I respect your law.
162 How happy I am because of your promises—
    as happy as someone who finds rich treasure.
163 I hate and detest all lies,
    but I love your law.
164 Seven times each day I thank you
    for your righteous judgments.
165 Those who love your law have perfect security,
    and there is nothing that can make them fall.
166 I wait for you to save me, Lord,
    and I do what you command.
167 I obey your teachings;
    I love them with all my heart.
168 I obey your commands and your instructions;
    you see everything I do.

A Prayer for Help

169 Let my cry for help reach you, Lord!
    Give me understanding, as you have promised.
170 Listen to my prayer,
    and save me according to your promise!
171 I will always praise you,
    because you teach me your laws.
172 I will sing about your law,
    because your commands are just.
173 Always be ready to help me,
    because I follow your commands.
174 How I long for your saving help, O Lord!
    I find happiness in your law.
175 Give me life, so that I may praise you;
    may your instructions help me.
176 I wander about like a lost sheep;
    so come and look for me, your servant,
    because I have not neglected your laws.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Proverbs 28:23-24

23 Correct someone, and afterward he will appreciate it more than flattery.

24 Anyone who thinks it isn't wrong to steal from his parents is no better than a common thief.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

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