Bible Gateway The Daily Audio Bible Reading Plan (VOICE) 2016-12-02T00:00:00-05:00 Powered by Bible Gateway http://www.biblegateway.com http://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/daily-audio-bible?version=VOICE The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday December 2, 2016 (VOICE)

Daniel 9:1-11

Daniel: 1-2 In the first year that Darius the Mede (Ahasuerus’ son) ruled over the Babylonians, I, Daniel, was studying the word of the Eternal One according to the prophet Jeremiah and discovered in the scrolls the number of years that Jerusalem must lie desolate before it is restored, that is, seventy years.

Darius is a title and may refer to Cyrus about 539 b.c. or Artaxerxes I (Ahasuerus’ son) in 465 b.c.

After learning this, I turned to the Lord God, praying diligently, begging for His mercy, grieving and fasting in sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Eternal One my God, praising His greatness and confessing our sins: Lord God, You are great and awesome! You are always faithful to the covenant You made with us. Your unfailing love extends to all who love You and keep Your commandments. But we have sinned and wronged You. We have acted wickedly in our rebellion, going so far as to disregard Your commandments and regulations. We have ignored the message given through Your servants, the prophets, who spoke on Your behalf to our kings, princes, ancestors, indeed every last person of the land. O Lord, You always do what is right. It is Your due, but we deserve nothing this day but public and open shame. The people of Judah, Jerusalem—indeed of all Israel, those who are in neighboring regions and those who are in the farthest reaches, driven into exile by You for all the treacherous acts they committed against You—we all deserve nothing but shame. Eternal One, public and open shame is our due, for we have sinned against You, all of us, our kings, princes, and ancestors. But You, O Lord our God, still show us compassion and forgiveness even though we have openly rebelled against You. 10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Eternal our God, for we have failed to live by the teachings You gave us directly through Your servants, the prophets. 11 All the people of Israel have abandoned Your teachings, deserted Your covenant, and refused to obey Your voice. This is why the curse and the oath inscribed in the law of Moses,[a] the servant of God, has been poured out on us—for we have sinned against You. 12 By unleashing on us this great calamity, You have carried out Your solemn words warning us and our leaders who led us astray. Under all of heaven, nothing like what happened to Jerusalem has ever happened before. 13 All the calamity that has befallen us fulfills the warnings written in Moses’ law; but despite our adversity, we have not sought the favor of the Eternal our God by walking away from our sins and pursuing insight into Your truth. 14 And now we have earned the misery that the Eternal has stored up for us. Truly, the Eternal our God was right to do all He has done, for we refused to obey His voice.

Daniel is just one man, yet he carries the sins of his nation to God and pleads with the Almighty to forgive and rescue His people. Their collective failures to live up to the covenant they made with God has scattered the chosen people to the four corners of the earth and have brought ruin to Jerusalem. After reading the prophet Jeremiah, Daniel knows that the calamity will not be over until God’s people come back to Him. With fasting and prayer, Daniel hopes to begin the process of restoration.

God’s covenant with Israel includes provisions for both blessings and curses. When the people follow God and keep His teaching, they can expect to live peacefully in the land God promised. But when the covenant people rebel against God and ignore His teaching, their actions—or lack of actions—bring into effect the curses. Daniel appeals to God’s own interest as the One who cares about His name and His reputation. The fate of Jerusalem and His people reflects on Him.

15 Now, Lord our God, You have made Your name great among the nations to this day by liberating Your enslaved people from the land of Egypt with powerful deeds; yet we have sinned against You, our Liberator, and we have acted wickedly. 16 Lord, the reputation of Your city Jerusalem has suffered, and Your people are mocked by those around us because we and our ancestors have done wrong. I beg You to spare Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; turn away Your burning anger and fiery wrath from Your people according to all Your covenant mercies. 17 Now, God, please hear the prayers and petitions voiced today by your servant. Shine Your face on Your destroyed and desolate sanctuary for the sake of Your name, my Lord. 18 Lend an ear, my God, and hear this prayer. Open Your eyes and see our deserted streets and witness the devastation across the city that bears Your name. We are crying to You and asking for mercy, not because we are righteous and deserve it. No, we bring these petitions to you because we know of Your great mercy. 19 Lord, hear our prayer! Lord, forgive our sins! Lord, pay attention to our plight and act without delay, not for our sake, my God, but for Yours because these people and this city bear Your name.

20 For much of the day I was pleading and praying, confessing my sin and the sins of my people Israel, presenting my case to the Eternal One my God on behalf of Jerusalem, His holy mountain. 21 About the time of the evening sacrifice, while I was still pleading and praying and almost completely exhausted, the man Gabriel, who had appeared to me in an earlier vision, appeared again and reached out to me.

Gabriel (to me): 22 Daniel, I have come for one purpose: to offer you insight and understanding into these matters. 23 When you began your pleading earlier today, a word was issued. I was instructed to come and tell you about it, for you are highly regarded by God. So pay close attention so you can understand the vision.

24 The decree has been issued: your people and your holy city have 70 sevens of time[b] to bring rebellion to a close, to put an end to sin, to wipe away guilt, to bring in a righteousness that endures, to seal up the prophet’s vision, and to anoint the most sacred place. 25 Know and understand this: from the proclamation of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the arrival of the Anointed Ruler, there will be 7 weeks of time. For 62 weeks of time the community will be restored, the city rebuilt with broad streets and deep defenses, even through times of trouble. 26 After those 62 weeks of time the Anointed One will be cut down and have nothing; then the warriors[c] of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and defile the sanctuary. Its end will come swiftly as in a flood and to the end there will be war. The decree has been issued: Desolation.

27 And that prince will make a binding treaty with many people for a one-week period of time. In the middle of that one period he will put a stop to all sacrifices and offerings to the Lord. And at the height[d] of his atrocities he will set up an abominable idol that desecrates the most holy place, until the desolation decreed is finally poured out on the defiler.[e]

Although God has countless heavenly messengers, only two are named in the Bible: Gabriel and Michael. These heavenly messengers fill many functions in the Bible; for example, they are members of God’s divine council, they lead the heavenly army, and they deliver the words of God. In Daniel, Gabriel is a messenger in the most literal sense, bringing a revelation to Daniel through the explanations of a dream and of Scripture. Gabriel’s announcements about the coming Liberator do not end with Daniel. In the New Testament book of Luke, he is the one who announces the impending births of John the Baptist and Jesus to Zechariah and Mary, respectively.

10 1-2 In the third year of King Cyrus’ reign over the Persian Empire, Daniel, who had been named Belteshazzar by his Babylonian captors, received a word from God through another vision. The message proved reliable, and it had to do with a great war. Daniel understood the word and gained insight into the future through this vision. Here is his account.

These events happen around 535 b.c., when Babylonia is part of Persia.

Daniel: When I received this vision, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three weeks. I had eaten very little, no meat and no rich foods at all. I had not enjoyed the taste of wine, nor had I used any oils to bathe or groom myself. I continued this way throughout the three full weeks. The vision came to me on the 24th day of the 1st month. As I was on the bank of the great Tigris River, I lifted my eyes and saw what seemed at first to be a man dressed in linen clothing. Around his waist was a belt made of the purest gold. His body had the appearance of yellow topaz; his face was bright like flashes of lightning; his eyes flamed like torches; his arms and legs sparkled like polished bronze; his voice sounded like thunder. I, Daniel, alone saw this man and heard his voice. Though there were others around me who did not see this sight, they were still overcome with fear and ran to hide. I did not. I was left all alone to witness this glorious sight. My strength soon left me. My face was drained of its natural color, and I was confused. I had no energy at all. Then I heard his voice and caught the sound of his words. As I did, I fell into a deep sleep—my face pressed to the ground. 10 Just then, a mighty hand touched me and lifted my trembling body onto my hands and knees.

Messenger: 11 Daniel, you are highly regarded by God. I have been sent to help you understand the destiny of your people. Stand up and listen carefully to what I have to tell you.

As he spoke, I slowly rose to my feet, though I was still shaking.

Messenger: 12 Do not be afraid, Daniel. From the very first day that you began to pursue understanding and humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard. I have been sent in response to what you’ve said. 13 I would have been here sooner; however, for the past 21 days the spirit prince of Persia opposed me and prevented my coming to you. Then Michael, one of the chief princes of heaven, came to my aid because I alone was busy dealing with the kings of Persia. 14 I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the last days,[f] for this vision is about a time yet to come.

15 As he was saying all this to me, I dropped my head and looked at the ground, completely quiet, unable to respond. 16 Then one who looked like the sons of men approached and touched my lips. After that I was able to open my mouth and speak again. I turned to the one standing before me.

Daniel: My lord, what I have seen has left me utterly depressed. I have no strength left. 17 How can I, your humble servant, even begin to address someone like you, my lord? My strength is gone, and I can hardly catch my breath.

18 Again the one who looked like a man reached out and touched me. With that I felt my strength begin to return.

Messenger: 19 Do not be afraid, you who are highly regarded by God. May peace rest on you and make you whole; be strong; be brave.

At his words, I grew even stronger.

Daniel: Please continue, my lord, for your words have given me strength.

Messenger: 20 Do you realize, now, the reason I have come to you? Soon I must return to continue the fight with the spirit prince of Persia. When I do go, the spirit prince of Greece will come to do battle. 21 Nevertheless, I will tell you what is inscribed in the scroll of truth. No one stands with me against the guardians except for Michael, your heavenly prince.

11 Messenger: Darius the Mede had been on the throne less than one year when I came forward to back him and strengthen him.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:11 Leviticus 26:14–45; Deuteronomy 28:15–68
  2. 9:24 Literally, weeks
  3. 9:26 Literally, people
  4. 9:27 Literally, wing
  5. 9:27 Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14
  6. 10:14 This is a reference to the end of the age, but not to the end of the world.
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

1 John 2:18-3:16

18 My children, this is the final hour. You have heard that the antiChrist, the greatest enemy to His kingdom, is coming, but in fact, many antiChrists are already here. This development tells us how late it really is. 19 A group has left us, but they were not part of our family. If they were truly our brothers and sisters, they would have remained for the duration with us. When they left, they made it ever so obvious that they were not part of us.

20 You have been given an anointing, a special touch from the Holy One. You know the truth.[a] 21 I am not writing to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it. You know that no lie belongs to the truth. 22 The liar is the one who says, “Jesus is not really the Anointed One.” This is the antiChrist, the one denying both the Father and the Son. 23 Anyone who denies the Son does not know the Father. The one affirming the Son enjoys an intimate relationship with the Father as well.

24 Let the good news, the story you have heard from the beginning of your journey, live in and take hold of you. If that happens and you focus on the good news, then you will always remain in a relationship with the Son and the Father. 25 This is what He promised us: eternal life.

26 I also am writing to warn you about some who are attempting to deceive you. 27 You have an anointing. You received it from Him, and His anointing remains on you. You do not need any other teacher. But as His anointing instructs you in all the essentials (all the truth uncontaminated by darkness and lies), it teaches you this: “Remain connected to Him.”

28 So now, my little children, live in Him, so that whenever He is revealed, we will have confidence and not have to hang our heads in shame before Him when He comes. 29 If you know that He is just and faithful, then you also know that everyone who lives faithfully and acts justly has been born into a new life through Him.

Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children. And in the same way the world didn’t recognize Him, the world does not recognize us either.

When we feel like we are not good enough to be loved by God, we should remember that God’s love is greater than our doubts. We must silence the sounds of condemnation so we can hear the voice of God’s loving assurance and remember that He has selected us to be part of His family.

My loved ones, we have been adopted into God’s family; and we are officially His children now. The full picture of our destiny is not yet clear, but we know this much: when Jesus appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him just as He is. All those who focus their hopes on Him and His coming seek to purify themselves just as He is pure.

Everyone who lives a life of habitual sin is living in moral anarchy. That’s what sin is. You realize that He came to eradicate sins, that there is not the slightest bit of sin in Him. The ones who live in an intimate relationship with Him do not persist in sin, but anyone who persists in sin has not seen and does not know the real Jesus.

Children, don’t let anyone pull one over on you. The one doing the right thing is just imitating Jesus, the Righteous One.

If you are wondering if your faith is authentic, take a look at your life. Are you doing what is right?

The one persisting in sin belongs to the diabolical one, who has been all about sin from the beginning. That is why the Son of God came into our world: to destroy the plague of destruction inflicted on the world by the diabolical one.

Everyone who has been born into God’s family avoids sin as a lifestyle because the genes of God’s children come from God Himself. Therefore, a child of God can’t live a life of persistent sin. 10 So it is not hard to figure out who are the children of God and who are the children of the diabolical one: those who lack right standing and those who don’t show love for one another do not belong to God.

11 The central truth—the one you have heard since the beginning of your faith—is that we must love one another. 12 Please do not act like Cain, who was of the evil one. He brutally murdered his own brother.[b] Why would he do something so despicable? Because his life was devoted to evil and selfishness, and his brother chose to do what is right.

13 Brothers and sisters, don’t be shocked if the corrupt world despises you. 14 We know that we have crossed over from death to real life because we are devoted to true love for our brothers and sisters. Anyone who does not love lives among corpses.

Do you ever wonder if you are just silently sleeping through days, months, and years? There is one indicator of real life: true love for others.

15 Everyone who hates other members of God’s family is a murderer. Does a murderer possess the beautiful life that never ends? No. 16 We know what true love looks like because of Jesus. He gave His life for us, and He calls us to give our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:20 Other manuscripts read “all things.”
  2. 3:12 Genesis 4:8
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 121

Psalm 121

A song for those journeying to worship.

I look up at the vast size of the mountains—
from where will my help come in times of trouble?
The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountains
will send the help I need.

He holds you firmly in place;
He will not let you fall.
He who keeps you will never take His eyes off you and never drift off to sleep.
What a relief! The One who watches over Israel
never leaves for rest or sleep.

The Eternal keeps you safe,
so close to Him that His shadow is a cooling shade to you.
Neither bright light of sun
nor dim light of moon will harm you.

The Eternal will keep you safe
from all of life’s evils,
From your first breath to the last breath you breathe,
from this day and forever.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 28:27-28

27 Whoever gives to the poor will have what he needs,
but the one who shuts his eyes to their plight will face curse after curse.

28 When the wicked have the upper hand, people go into hiding;
but when they perish, the good folk will begin to increase.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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