The Will of the Lord, and Man’s Rebellion
1 Again it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, that men from the elders of the house of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and they sat before me.†
2 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live,” says the Lord, “I will not answer your inquiries.’ ”
4 Shall I utterly take vengeance on them, son of man? Testify to them concerning the lawlessness of their fathers.
5 “You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “From the day I chose Israel and made Myself known to the seed of the house of Jacob, and to those in the land of Egypt, and helped them with My hand, saying, ‘I am the Lord your God’—
6 in that day I helped them with My hand to lead them from the land of Egypt into the land I prepared for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, a land more abundant than all other lands.
7 I said to them, ‘Let each of you cast away the abominations before his eyes, and not defile yourselves with the practices of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’
8 But they fell away from Me and were unwilling to obey Me. They did not cast away the abominations before their eyes, nor abandon the practices of Egypt. Then I said I would pour out My anger and accomplish My wrath among them in the land of Egypt.
9 So I acted that My name would not at all be desecrated in the sight of the nations in the midst of whom they were, and among whom I made Myself known in their sight, to lead them out of Egypt.
10 “I brought them out of Egypt and led them into the desert.
11 I gave them My ordinances and made known My requirements to them, which if a man will do them, he shall live by them.
12 I also gave them My Sabbaths as a sign between Me and them, so they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.
13 I said to the house of Israel in the desert, ‘You shall walk in my ordinances.’ But they did not walk in them, and they rejected my requirements, which if a man will do them, he shall live by them; and they desecrated my Sabbaths exceedingly. Thus I said I would pour out My anger upon them in the wilderness, to utterly destroy them.
14 So I acted that My name might not be at all desecrated before the nations before whose eyes I brought them out.
15 I swore an oath against them in the desert that I would no longer bring them into the land I gave them, a land flowing with milk and honey, a land sweeter than all other lands,
16 because they rejected My requirements and did not walk in My ordinances; instead, they desecrated My Sabbaths and walked after the inventions of their hearts.
17 Nevertheless My eye spared them from utter destruction, and I did not make an end to them in the wilderness.
18 “But I said to their children in the desert, ‘Do not walk in the customs of your fathers, nor observe their requirements, nor have fellowship with their practices, nor defile yourself with them.
19 I am the Lord your God. Walk in My ordinances, keep My requirements and do them.
20 Sanctify My Sabbaths, and let them be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’
21 But they rebelled against me, along with their children. They did not walk in My ordinances or keep My requirements, which if a man will do them, he shall live by them; and they desecrated My Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out My wrath upon them in the desert, to accomplish My wrath against them.
22 But I did this so My name would not be desecrated in the sight of the nations before whose eyes I brought them out.
23 Thus I swore an oath against them in the desert, that I might scatter them among the nations and disperse them in the countries,
24 because they did not keep My requirements and rejected My ordinances. They desecrated My Sabbaths, and their eyes went after the inventions of their fathers.
25 Therefore I gave them ordinances that were not good, and requirements in which they should not live.
26 I will defile them by their gifts, when I pass through upon everyone that opens the womb, that I may destroy them.’ ”
27 “Therefore speak to the house of Israel, son of man, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Up to this point, your fathers provoked Me by the transgressions they committed against Me.
28 But I led them into the land I swore with an oath to give them, and they saw every high hill and every shade tree. There they sacrificed to their gods; and there they appointed fragrant offerings and poured out their drink offerings.
29 Then I said to them, ‘What is this high place you go to?’ So they call its name Bamah, to this day.’ ”†
30 Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Do you defile yourselves with the lawlessness of your fathers, and commit fornication after their abominations?
31 You defile yourselves in the first fruits of your gifts with all your inventions to this very day. Shall I answer you, O house of Israel? As I live,” says the Lord, “I will not answer you, nor will an answer occur to your spirit;
32 for it will not be as you say, ‘We will be like the nations and like the tribes of the earth, to worship trees and stones.’
33 “Therefore, as I live,” says the Lord, “I will reign over you with a mighty hand, with a high arm, and with anger poured out.†
34 I shall lead you out from the peoples and will receive you from the countries where you were scattered, with a mighty hand, with a high arm, and with anger poured out.
35 I shall bring you into the desert of the peoples and will judge you face to face.
36 As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I shall judge you,” says the Lord.
37 “I will make you pass under my scepter and bring you in by number.
38 I will select the ungodly from among you, and those who revolted; for I shall lead them out of their sojourning, and they will not enter the land of Israel. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
39 “As for you, O house of Israel,” thus says the Lord and Master: “Each of you put away your practices, and after this, if you listen to Me, you will no longer desecrate My holy name with your gifts and practices.
40 For upon My holy mountain, the high mountain,” says the Lord and Master, “there all the house of Israel will serve Me to the end; and there I shall receive you, and look upon the first fruits of your offerings, together with all your holy objects.
41 I shall receive you as a fragrant aroma when I lead you out from the peoples, and receive you from the countries where you were scattered; and I shall be sanctified among you before the eyes of the peoples.
42 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I lead you into the land of Israel, into the land I swore by an oath to give your fathers.
43 There you will remember all your ways and practices which defiled you; and you shall bewail yourselves for all your evil.
44 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you in the way, that My name be not desecrated according to your evil ways and corrupt practices,” says the Lord.’ ”
81 My soul earnestly longs for Your salvation, And I hope in Your word.
82 My eyes strained to look at Your teaching, Saying, “When will You comfort me?”
83 I am like a leather bag in a frost; I did not forget Your ordinances.
84 How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment for me upon those who persecute me?
85 Transgressors described their meditations to me, But these are not like Your law, O Lord.
86 All Your commandments are truth; They persecuted me unjustly; help me.
87 They almost ended my life on earth, But I did not forsake Your commandments.
88 Give me life according to Your mercy, And I shall keep the testimonies of Your mouth.
89 Forever, O Lord, Your word continues in heaven.
90 Your truth continues from generation to generation; You laid the foundation of the earth, and it continues.
91 By Your arrangement each day continues, For all things are Your servants.
92 If Your law were not my meditation, I would have perished in my humiliation.
93 I will never forget Your ordinances, For in them You give me life, O Lord.
94 I am Yours; save me, For I search Your ordinances.
95 Sinners waited for me to kill me; I understood Your testimonies.
96 I saw the limit of every accomplishment; Your commandment is exceedingly broad.
Proverbs of Solomon 26
10 All flesh of men without discernment grievously suffers many things, For their illusion is brought to nothing.
11 As when a dog returns to his own vomit and becomes despicable, So is a man without discernment who returns to his own evil by his own sin.
12 There is shame that brings on sin, And there is shame that is glory and grace.
13 I saw a man who seemed to himself to be wise, But a man without discernment has more hope than he.
1 Peter 4
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,†
2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.
5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.†
Prepare for Heaven by Serving
7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.†
8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Prepare for the End by Suffering
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;†
13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.
16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?†
18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.