Daily reading for Sunday, December 1, 2013

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Daniel 8:1-27; 1 John 2:1-17; Psalms 120:1-7; Proverbs 28:25-26 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Daniel 8

Daniel’s Vision about the Ram and the Goat

In Belshazzar’s third year as king, I, Daniel, saw a vision. This vision came after the one I saw earlier. In my vision I saw myself in the fortress of Susa in the province of Elam. In my vision I saw myself at Ulai Gate. I looked up and saw a single ram standing beside the gate. The ram had two long horns, one longer than the other, though the longer one had grown up later. I saw the ram charging west, north, and south. No other animal could stand in front of it, and no one could escape from its power. It did anything it pleased and continued to grow.

As I was watching closely, I saw a male goat coming from the west. It crossed the whole earth without touching it. This goat had a prominent horn between its eyes. The goat was coming toward the two-horned ram that I had seen standing beside the gate. It furiously ran at the ram. I saw it come closer to the ram. The goat was extremely angry with the ram, so it attacked the ram. It broke both of the ram’s horns. The ram didn’t have the strength to stand up against the goat. So the ram was thrown down on the ground and trampled. No one could rescue the ram from the goat’s power.

The male goat became very important. But when the goat became powerful, his large horn broke off. In its place grew four horns. They corresponded to the four winds of heaven. Out of one of the horns came a small horn. It gained power over the south, the east, and the beautiful land. 10 It continued to gain power until it reached the army of heaven. It threw some of the army of heaven, the stars, down on the ground and trampled them. 11 Then it attacked the commander of the army so that it took the daily burnt offering from him and wrecked his holy place. 12 In its rebelliousness it was given an army to put a stop to the daily burnt offering. It threw truth on the ground. The horn was successful in everything it did.[a]

13 Then I heard a holy one speaking. Another holy one said to the one who was speaking, “How long will the things in this vision—the daily burnt offering, the destructive rebellion, the surrender of the holy place, and the trampling of the army—take place?”

14 He told me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the holy place will be made acceptable to God.”

15 Now as I, Daniel, watched the vision and tried to understand it, I saw someone who looked like a man standing in front of me. 16 I heard a man in Ulai Gate call loudly, “Gabriel, explain the vision to this man.”

17 Gabriel came up beside me, and when he came, I was terrified and immediately knelt down.

He said to me, “Son of man, understand that the vision is about the end times.” 18 As he spoke to me, I fainted facedown on the ground, but he touched me and made me stand up. 19 He said, “I will tell you what will happen in the last days, the time of God’s anger, because the end time has been determined.

20 “The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kingdoms of Media and Persia. 21 The hairy male goat is the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is its first king. 22 The horn broke off, and four horns replaced it. Four kingdoms will come out of that nation, but they won’t be as strong as the first king was.

23 “In the last days of those kingdoms, when rebellions are finished, a stern-looking king who understands mysterious things will rise to power. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own strength. He will cause astounding destruction and will be successful in everything he does. He will destroy those who are powerful along with some holy people. 25 He will cleverly use his power to deceive others successfully. He will consider himself to be great and destroy many people when they don’t expect it. He will oppose the Commander of Commanders, but he will be defeated, though not by any human power. 26 The vision about the 2,300 evenings and mornings that was explained to you is true. Seal the vision, because it is about things that will happen in the distant future.”

27 I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up and worked for the king. The vision horrified me because I couldn’t understand it.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 8:12 Hebrew meaning of this verse uncertain.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

1 John 2:1-17

My dear children, I’m writing this to you so that you will not sin. Yet, if anyone does sin, we have Jesus Christ, who has God’s full approval. He speaks on our behalf when we come into the presence of the Father. He is the payment for our sins, and not only for our sins, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Those Who Know Christ Obey His Commandments

We are sure that we know Christ if we obey his commandments. The person who says, “I know him,” but doesn’t obey his commandments is a liar. The truth isn’t in that person. But whoever obeys what Christ says is the kind of person in whom God’s love is perfected. That’s how we know we are in Christ. Those who say that they live in him must live the same way he lived.

Dear friends, it’s not as though I’m writing to give you a new commandment. Rather, I’m giving you an old commandment that you’ve had from the beginning. It’s the old commandment you’ve already heard. On the other hand, I’m writing to give you a new commandment. It’s a truth that exists in Christ and in you: The darkness is fading, and the true light is already shining.

Those who say that they are in the light but hate other believers are still in the dark. 10 Those who love other believers live in the light. Nothing will destroy the faith of those who live in the light. 11 Those who hate other believers are in the dark and live in the dark. They don’t know where they’re going, because they can’t see in the dark.

Don’t Love the World

12 I’m writing to you, dear children, because your sins are forgiven through Christ.

13 I’m writing to you, fathers, because you know Christ who has existed from the beginning.

I’m writing to you, young people, because you have won the victory over the evil one.

14 I’ve written to you, children, because you know the Father.

I’ve written to you, fathers, because you know Christ, who has existed from the beginning.

I’ve written to you, young people, because you are strong and God’s word lives in you. You have won the victory over the evil one.

15 Don’t love the world and what it offers. Those who love the world don’t have the Father’s love in them. 16 Not everything that the world offers—physical gratification, greed, and extravagant lifestyles—comes from the Father. It comes from the world, and 17 the world and its evil desires are passing away. But the person who does what God wants lives forever.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Psalm 120

Psalm 120

A song for going up to worship.

When I was in trouble, I cried out to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
O Lord, rescue me from lying lips
    and from a deceitful tongue.

You deceitful tongue, what can the Lord give you?
    What more can he do for you?
        He will give you a warrior’s sharpened arrows and red-hot coals.

How horrible it is to live as a foreigner in Meshech
    or to stay in the tents of Kedar.
        I have lived too long with those who hate peace.
        I am for peace, but when I talk about it,
            they only talk about war.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

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

Proverbs 28:25-26

25 A greedy person stirs up a fight,
    but whoever trusts the Lord prospers.

26 Whoever trusts his own heart is a fool.
    Whoever walks in wisdom will survive.

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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