Daily reading for Sunday, November 3, 2013

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Ezekiel 7:1-9:11; Hebrews 5:1-14; Psalms 105:1-15; Proverbs 26:28 (New International Version)

Ezekiel 7-9

The End Has Come

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to the land of Israel:

“‘The end! The end has come
    upon the four corners of the land!
The end is now upon you,
    and I will unleash my anger against you.
I will judge you according to your conduct
    and repay you for all your detestable practices.
I will not look on you with pity;
    I will not spare you.
I will surely repay you for your conduct
    and for the detestable practices among you.

“‘Then you will know that I am the Lord.’

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘Disaster! Unheard-of[a] disaster!
    See, it comes!
The end has come!
    The end has come!
It has roused itself against you.
    See, it comes!
Doom has come upon you,
    upon you who dwell in the land.
The time has come! The day is near!
    There is panic, not joy, on the mountains.
I am about to pour out my wrath on you
    and spend my anger against you.
I will judge you according to your conduct
    and repay you for all your detestable practices.
I will not look on you with pity;
    I will not spare you.
I will repay you for your conduct
    and for the detestable practices among you.

“‘Then you will know that it is I the Lord who strikes you.

10 “‘See, the day!
    See, it comes!
Doom has burst forth,
    the rod has budded,
    arrogance has blossomed!
11 Violence has arisen,[b]
    a rod to punish the wicked.
None of the people will be left,
    none of that crowd—
none of their wealth,
    nothing of value.
12 The time has come!
    The day has arrived!
Let not the buyer rejoice
    nor the seller grieve,
    for my wrath is on the whole crowd.
13 The seller will not recover
    the property that was sold—
    as long as both buyer and seller live.
For the vision concerning the whole crowd
    will not be reversed.
Because of their sins, not one of them
    will preserve their life.

14 “‘They have blown the trumpet,
    they have made all things ready,
but no one will go into battle,
    for my wrath is on the whole crowd.
15 Outside is the sword;
    inside are plague and famine.
Those in the country
    will die by the sword;
those in the city
    will be devoured by famine and plague.
16 The fugitives who escape
    will flee to the mountains.
Like doves of the valleys,
    they will all moan,
    each for their own sins.
17 Every hand will go limp;
    every leg will be wet with urine.
18 They will put on sackcloth
    and be clothed with terror.
Every face will be covered with shame,
    and every head will be shaved.

19 “‘They will throw their silver into the streets,
    and their gold will be treated as a thing unclean.
Their silver and gold
    will not be able to deliver them
    in the day of the Lord’s wrath.
It will not satisfy their hunger
    or fill their stomachs,
    for it has caused them to stumble into sin.
20 They took pride in their beautiful jewelry
    and used it to make their detestable idols.
They made it into vile images;
    therefore I will make it a thing unclean for them.
21 I will give their wealth as plunder to foreigners
    and as loot to the wicked of the earth,
    who will defile it.
22 I will turn my face away from the people,
    and robbers will desecrate the place I treasure.
They will enter it
    and will defile it.

23 “‘Prepare chains!
    For the land is full of bloodshed,
    and the city is full of violence.
24 I will bring the most wicked of nations
    to take possession of their houses.
I will put an end to the pride of the mighty,
    and their sanctuaries will be desecrated.
25 When terror comes,
    they will seek peace in vain.
26 Calamity upon calamity will come,
    and rumor upon rumor.
They will go searching for a vision from the prophet,
    priestly instruction in the law will cease,
    the counsel of the elders will come to an end.
27 The king will mourn,
    the prince will be clothed with despair,
    and the hands of the people of the land will tremble.
I will deal with them according to their conduct,
    and by their own standards I will judge them.

“‘Then they will know that I am the Lord.’”

Idolatry in the Temple

In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day, while I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting before me, the hand of the Sovereign Lord came on me there. I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man.[c] From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal. He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood. And there before me was the glory of the God of Israel, as in the vision I had seen in the plain.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked, and in the entrance north of the gate of the altar I saw this idol of jealousy.

And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing—the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable.”

Then he brought me to the entrance to the court. I looked, and I saw a hole in the wall. He said to me, “Son of man, now dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and saw a doorway there.

And he said to me, “Go in and see the wicked and detestable things they are doing here.” 10 So I went in and looked, and I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and unclean animals and all the idols of Israel. 11 In front of them stood seventy elders of Israel, and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan was standing among them. Each had a censer in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising.

12 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.’” 13 Again, he said, “You will see them doing things that are even more detestable.”

14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord, and I saw women sitting there, mourning the god Tammuz. 15 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this.”

16 He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east.

17 He said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the people of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? Must they also fill the land with violence and continually arouse my anger? Look at them putting the branch to their nose! 18 Therefore I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them.”

Judgment on the Idolaters

Then I heard him call out in a loud voice, “Bring near those who are appointed to execute judgment on the city, each with a weapon in his hand.” And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar.

Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.

As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple.

Then he said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!” So they went out and began killing throughout the city. While they were killing and I was left alone, I fell facedown, crying out, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! Are you going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel in this outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?

He answered me, “The sin of the people of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice. They say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land; the Lord does not see.’ 10 So I will not look on them with pity or spare them, but I will bring down on their own heads what they have done.

11 Then the man in linen with the writing kit at his side brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 7:5 Most Hebrew manuscripts; some Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac Disaster after
  2. Ezekiel 7:11 Or The violent one has become
  3. Ezekiel 8:2 Or saw a fiery figure
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Hebrews 5

Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.

In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,

“You are my Son;
    today I have become your Father.”[a]

And he says in another place,

“You are a priest forever,
    in the order of Melchizedek.[b]

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Warning Against Falling Away

11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 5:5 Psalm 2:7
  2. Hebrews 5:6 Psalm 110:4
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Psalm 105:1-15

Psalm 105

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
    his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the Lord our God;
    his judgments are in all the earth.

He remembers his covenant forever,
    the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
    the oath he swore to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
    to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
    as the portion you will inherit.”

12 When they were but few in number,
    few indeed, and strangers in it,
13 they wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
14 He allowed no one to oppress them;
    for their sake he rebuked kings:
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
    do my prophets no harm.”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Proverbs 26:28

28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
    and a flattering mouth works ruin.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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