Ezekiel 20:6-21New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
6 On that day I promised I would bring them out of Egypt. I told them I would take them to a land I had found for them. It had plenty of milk and honey. It was the most beautiful land of all. 7 I said to them, ‘Each of you must get rid of the statues of the evil gods you worship. Do not make yourselves “unclean” by worshiping the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’
8 “ ‘ “But they refused to obey me. They would not listen to me. They did not get rid of the evil gods they worshiped. And they did not turn away from Egypt’s gods. So I said I would pour out all my great anger on them in Egypt. 9 I wanted my name to be honored. So I brought my people out of Egypt. I did it to keep my name from being treated as if it were not holy. I didn’t want this to happen in front of the nations around my people. I had made myself known to Israel in the sight of those nations. 10 So I led them out of Egypt. I brought them into the Desert of Sinai. 11 I gave them my rules. I made my laws known to them. The person who obeys them will live by them. 12 I also told them to observe my Sabbath days. That is the sign of the covenant I made with them. I wanted them to know that I made them holy. I am the Lord.
13 “ ‘ “But in the desert the people of Israel refused to obey me. They did not follow my rules. They turned their backs on my laws. The person who obeys them will live by them. They totally misused my Sabbath days. So I said I would pour out my great anger on them. I would destroy them in the desert. 14 But I wanted my name to be honored. I kept it from being treated as if it were not holy. I did not want that to happen in front of the nations. They had seen me bring Israel out of Egypt. 15 I also raised my hand and made a promise in the desert. I told my people I would not bring them into the land I had given them. It had plenty of milk and honey. It was the most beautiful land of all. 16 But they turned their backs on my laws. They did not obey my rules. They misused my Sabbath days. Their hearts were committed to worshiping the statues of their gods. 17 Then I felt sorry for them. So I did not destroy them. I did not put an end to them in the desert. 18 I spoke to their children there. I said, ‘Do not follow the rules your parents gave you. Do not obey their laws. Do not make yourselves “unclean” by worshiping their gods. 19 I am the Lord your God. So follow my rules. Be careful to obey my laws. 20 Keep my Sabbath days holy. That is the sign of the covenant I made with you. You will know that I am the Lord your God.’
21 “ ‘ “But their children refused to obey me. They did not follow my rules. They were not careful to keep my laws. The person who obeys them will live by them. They misused my Sabbath days. So I said I would pour out all my great anger on them in the desert.
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