Daily reading for Sunday, November 17, 2013

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Ezekiel 35:1-36:38; James 1:1-18; Psalms 116:1-19; Proverbs 27:23-27 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ezekiel 35-36

A Prophecy against Edom

35 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, turn your face toward Mount Seir and prophesy against it. Say to it: This is what the Lord God says:

Look! I am against you, Mount Seir.
I will stretch out My hand against you
and make you a desolate waste.
I will turn your cities into ruins,
and you will become a desolation.
Then you will know that I am Yahweh.

“Because you maintained an ancient hatred and handed over the Israelites to the power of the sword in the time of their disaster, the time of final punishment, therefore, as I live”—this is the declaration of the Lord God—“I will destine you for bloodshed, and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, it will pursue you. I will make Mount Seir a desolate waste and will cut off from it those who come and go. I will fill its mountains with the slain; those slain by the sword will fall on your hills, in your valleys, and in all your ravines. I will make you a perpetual desolation; your cities will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.

10 “Because you said, ‘These two nations and two lands will be mine, and we will possess them’—though the Lord was there 11 therefore, as I live”—the declaration of the Lord God—“I will treat you according to the anger and jealousy you showed in your hatred of them. I will make Myself known among them[a] when I judge you. 12 Then you will know that I, Yahweh, have heard all the blasphemies you uttered against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are desolate. They have been given to us to devour!’ 13 You boasted against Me with your mouth, and spoke many words against Me. I heard it Myself!

14 “This is what the Lord God says: While the whole world rejoices, I will make you a desolation. 15 Just as you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel because it became a desolation, so I will deal with you: you will become a desolation, Mount Seir, and so will all Edom in its entirety. Then they will know that I am Yahweh.

Restoration of Israel’s Mountains

36 “Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say: Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord God says: Because the enemy has said about you, ‘Good! The ancient heights have become our possession,’ therefore, prophesy and say: This is what the Lord God says: Because they have made you desolate and have trampled you from every side, so that you became a possession for the rest of the nations and an object of people’s gossip and slander, therefore, mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God. This is what the Lord God says to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, to the desolate ruins and abandoned cities, which have become plunder and a mockery to the rest of the nations all around.

“This is what the Lord God says: Certainly in My burning zeal I speak against the rest of the nations and all of Edom, who took[b] My land as their own possession with wholehearted rejoicing and utter contempt so that its pastureland became[c] plunder. Therefore, prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys: This is what the Lord God says: Look, I speak in My burning zeal because you have endured the insults of the nations. Therefore this is what the Lord God says: I swear[d] that the nations all around you will endure their own insults.

“You, mountains of Israel, will produce your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel, since their arrival is near. Look! I am on your side; I will turn toward you, and you will be tilled and sown. 10 I will fill you with people, with the whole house of Israel in its entirety. The cities will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 I will fill you with people and animals, and they will increase and be fruitful. I will make you inhabited as you once were and make you better off than you were before. Then you will know that I am Yahweh. 12 I will cause people, My people Israel, to walk on you; they will possess you, and you will be their inheritance. You will no longer deprive them of their children.

13 “This is what the Lord God says: Because people are saying to you, ‘You devour men and deprive your nation of children,’ 14 therefore, you will no longer devour men and deprive your nation of children.”[e] This is the declaration of the Lord God. 15 “I will no longer allow the insults of the nations to be heard against you, and you will not have to endure the reproach of the peoples anymore; you will no longer cause your nation to stumble.”[f] This is the declaration of the Lord God.

Restoration of Israel’s People

16 The word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, while the house of Israel lived in their land, they defiled it with their conduct and actions. Their behavior before Me was like menstrual impurity. 18 So I poured out My wrath on them because of the blood they had shed on the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols. 19 I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered among the countries. I judged them according to their conduct and actions. 20 When they came to the nations where they went, they profaned My holy name, because it was said about them, ‘These are the people of Yahweh, yet they had to leave His land in exile.’ 21 Then I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they went.

22 “Therefore, say to the house of Israel: This is what the Lord God says: It is not for your sake that I will act, house of Israel, but for My holy name, which you profaned among the nations where you went. 23 I will honor the holiness of My great name, which has been profaned among the nations—the name you have profaned among them. The nations will know that I am Yahweh”—the declaration of the Lord God—“when I demonstrate My holiness through you in their sight.

24 “For I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone[g] and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances. 28 Then you will live in the land that I gave your fathers; you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will summon the grain and make it plentiful, and will not bring famine on you. 30 I will also make the fruit of the trees and the produce of the field plentiful, so that you will no longer experience reproach among the nations on account of famine.

31 “Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and detestable practices. 32 It is not for your sake that I will act”—the declaration of the Lord God—“let this be known to you. Be ashamed and humiliated because of your ways, house of Israel!

33 “This is what the Lord God says: On the day I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the ruins will be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of everyone who passes by. 35 Then they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden. The cities that were once ruined, desolate, and destroyed are now fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the nations that remain around you will know that I, Yahweh, have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I, Yahweh, have spoken and I will do it.

37 “This is what the Lord God says: I will respond to the house of Israel and do this for them: I will multiply them in number like a flock.[h] 38 So the ruined cities will be filled with a flock of people, just as the flock of sheep for sacrifice is filled[i] in Jerusalem during its appointed festivals. Then they will know that I am Yahweh.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 35:11 LXX reads you
  2. Ezekiel 36:5 Lit gave
  3. Ezekiel 36:5 Or contempt, to empty it of; Hb obscure
  4. Ezekiel 36:7 Lit lift up My hand
  5. Ezekiel 36:14 Alt Hb tradition reads and cause your nation to stumble
  6. Ezekiel 36:15 Some Hb mss, Tg read no longer bereave your nation of children
  7. Ezekiel 36:26 Lit stone from your flesh
  8. Ezekiel 36:37 Lit flock of people
  9. Ezekiel 36:38 Lit the flock of consecrated things, as the flock

James 1:1-18

Greeting

James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ:

To the 12 tribes in the Dispersion.[a]

Greetings.

Trials and Maturity

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. An indecisive[b] man is unstable in all his ways.

The brother of humble circumstances should boast in his exaltation, 10 but the one who is rich should boast in his humiliation because he will pass away like a flower of the field. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass; its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will wither away while pursuing his activities.

12 A man who endures trials[c] is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God[d] has promised to those who love Him.

13 No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil,[e] and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone. 14 But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. 15 Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dearly loved brothers. 17 Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning. 18 By His own choice, He gave us a new birth by the message of truth[f] so that we would be the firstfruits of His creatures.

Footnotes:

  1. James 1:1 Jewish people scattered throughout Gentile lands who spoke Gk and were influenced by Gk culture.
  2. James 1:8 Or A doubting, or A double-minded
  3. James 1:12 Lit trial, used as a collective
  4. James 1:12 Other mss read that the Lord
  5. James 1:13 Or evil persons, or evil things
  6. James 1:18 = the gospel

Psalm 116

Psalm 116

Thanks to God for Deliverance

I love the Lord because He has heard
my appeal for mercy.
Because He has turned His ear to me,
I will call out to Him as long as I live.

The ropes of death were wrapped around me,
and the torments of Sheol overcame me;
I encountered trouble and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of Yahweh:
“Yahweh, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is compassionate.
The Lord guards the inexperienced;
I was helpless, and He saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
For You, Lord, rescued me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.
I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
10 I believed, even when I said,
“I am severely afflicted.”
11 In my alarm I said,
“Everyone is a liar.”

12 How can I repay the Lord
for all the good He has done for me?
13 I will take the cup of salvation
and call on the name of Yahweh.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all His people.

15 The death of His faithful ones
is valuable in the Lord’s sight.
16 Lord, I am indeed Your servant;
I am Your servant, the son of Your female servant.
You have loosened my bonds.

17 I will offer You a sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of Yahweh.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all His people,
19 in the courts of the Lord’s house—
within you, Jerusalem.
Hallelujah!

Proverbs 27:23-27

23 Know well the condition of your flock,
and pay attention to your herds,
24 for wealth is not forever;
not even a crown lasts for all time.
25 When hay is removed and new growth appears
and the grain from the hills is gathered in,
26 lambs will provide your clothing,
and goats, the price of a field;
27 there will be enough goat’s milk for your food—
food for your household
and nourishment for your female servants.

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