Daily reading for Monday, December 16, 2013
Micah 5:1-7:20; Revelation 7:1-17; Psalms 135:1-21; Proverbs 30:5-6 (New International Version)
A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem
5 [a]Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
on the cheek with a rod.
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans[b] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.
4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
5 And he will be our peace
when the Assyrians invade our land
and march through our fortresses.
We will raise against them seven shepherds,
even eight commanders,
6 who will rule[c] the land of Assyria with the sword,
the land of Nimrod with drawn sword.[d]
He will deliver us from the Assyrians
when they invade our land
and march across our borders.
7 The remnant of Jacob will be
in the midst of many peoples
like dew from the Lord,
like showers on the grass,
which do not wait for anyone
or depend on man.
8 The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,
in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
which mauls and mangles as it goes,
and no one can rescue.
9 Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies,
and all your foes will be destroyed.
10 “In that day,” declares the Lord,
“I will destroy your horses from among you
and demolish your chariots.
11 I will destroy the cities of your land
and tear down all your strongholds.
12 I will destroy your witchcraft
and you will no longer cast spells.
13 I will destroy your idols
and your sacred stones from among you;
you will no longer bow down
to the work of your hands.
14 I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles[e]
when I demolish your cities.
15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath
on the nations that have not obeyed me.”
The Lord’s Case Against Israel
6 Listen to what the Lord says:
“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;
let the hills hear what you have to say.
2 “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;
listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
For the Lord has a case against his people;
he is lodging a charge against Israel.
3 “My people, what have I done to you?
How have I burdened you? Answer me.
4 I brought you up out of Egypt
and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you,
also Aaron and Miriam.
5 My people, remember
what Balak king of Moab plotted
and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
6 With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[f] with your God.
Israel’s Guilt and Punishment
9 Listen! The Lord is calling to the city—
and to fear your name is wisdom—
“Heed the rod and the One who appointed it.[g]
10 Am I still to forget your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house,
and the short ephah,[h] which is accursed?
11 Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales,
with a bag of false weights?
12 Your rich people are violent;
your inhabitants are liars
and their tongues speak deceitfully.
13 Therefore, I have begun to destroy you,
to ruin[i] you because of your sins.
14 You will eat but not be satisfied;
your stomach will still be empty.[j]
You will store up but save nothing,
because what you save[k] I will give to the sword.
15 You will plant but not harvest;
you will press olives but not use the oil,
you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.
16 You have observed the statutes of Omri
and all the practices of Ahab’s house;
you have followed their traditions.
Therefore I will give you over to ruin
and your people to derision;
you will bear the scorn of the nations.[l]”
7 What misery is mine!
I am like one who gathers summer fruit
at the gleaning of the vineyard;
there is no cluster of grapes to eat,
none of the early figs that I crave.
2 The faithful have been swept from the land;
not one upright person remains.
Everyone lies in wait to shed blood;
they hunt each other with nets.
3 Both hands are skilled in doing evil;
the ruler demands gifts,
the judge accepts bribes,
the powerful dictate what they desire—
they all conspire together.
4 The best of them is like a brier,
the most upright worse than a thorn hedge.
The day God visits you has come,
the day your watchmen sound the alarm.
Now is the time of your confusion.
5 Do not trust a neighbor;
put no confidence in a friend.
Even with the woman who lies in your embrace
guard the words of your lips.
6 For a son dishonors his father,
a daughter rises up against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.
7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me.
Israel Will Rise
8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light.
9 Because I have sinned against him,
I will bear the Lord’s wrath,
until he pleads my case
and upholds my cause.
He will bring me out into the light;
I will see his righteousness.
10 Then my enemy will see it
and will be covered with shame,
she who said to me,
“Where is the Lord your God?”
My eyes will see her downfall;
even now she will be trampled underfoot
like mire in the streets.
11 The day for building your walls will come,
the day for extending your boundaries.
12 In that day people will come to you
from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
even from Egypt to the Euphrates
and from sea to sea
and from mountain to mountain.
13 The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants,
as the result of their deeds.
Prayer and Praise
14 Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
which lives by itself in a forest,
in fertile pasturelands.[m]
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead
as in days long ago.
15 “As in the days when you came out of Egypt,
I will show them my wonders.”
16 Nations will see and be ashamed,
deprived of all their power.
They will put their hands over their mouths
and their ears will become deaf.
17 They will lick dust like a snake,
like creatures that crawl on the ground.
They will come trembling out of their dens;
they will turn in fear to the Lord our God
and will be afraid of you.
18 Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
20 You will be faithful to Jacob,
and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
in days long ago.
- Micah 5:1 In Hebrew texts 5:1 is numbered 4:14, and 5:2-15 is numbered 5:1-14.
- Micah 5:2 Or rulers
- Micah 5:6 Or crush
- Micah 5:6 Or Nimrod in its gates
- Micah 5:14 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah
- Micah 6:8 Or prudently
- Micah 6:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
- Micah 6:10 An ephah was a dry measure.
- Micah 6:13 Or Therefore, I will make you ill and destroy you; / I will ruin
- Micah 6:14 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
- Micah 6:14 Or You will press toward birth but not give birth, / and what you bring to birth
- Micah 6:16 Septuagint; Hebrew scorn due my people
- Micah 7:14 Or in the middle of Carmel
7 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.
The Great Multitude in White Robes
9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,
“they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
will shelter them with his presence.
16 ‘Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’[a]
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’[b]
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’[c]”
1 Praise the Lord.[a]
Praise the name of the Lord;
praise him, you servants of the Lord,
2 you who minister in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob to be his own,
Israel to be his treasured possession.
5 I know that the Lord is great,
that our Lord is greater than all gods.
6 The Lord does whatever pleases him,
in the heavens and on the earth,
in the seas and all their depths.
7 He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth;
he sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
8 He struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
the firstborn of people and animals.
9 He sent his signs and wonders into your midst, Egypt,
against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 He struck down many nations
and killed mighty kings—
11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
Og king of Bashan,
and all the kings of Canaan—
12 and he gave their land as an inheritance,
an inheritance to his people Israel.
13 Your name, Lord, endures forever,
your renown, Lord, through all generations.
14 For the Lord will vindicate his people
and have compassion on his servants.
15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
made by human hands.
16 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
17 They have ears, but cannot hear,
nor is there breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.
19 All you Israelites, praise the Lord;
house of Aaron, praise the Lord;
20 house of Levi, praise the Lord;
you who fear him, praise the Lord.
21 Praise be to the Lord from Zion,
to him who dwells in Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord.
- Psalm 135:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verses 3 and 21
5 “Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.