Day 341 – December 7, 2022

Ezekiel 4-7; Psalms 125, 126; Proverbs 27:25–29; 1 John 4:20-5:21

Ezekiel 4-7

1 “As for you, son of man, take a brick for yourself and lay it before you. You shall put it before your face and outline the city of Jerusalem on it. 2 On this outline you shall draw a wall, build a rampart round about it, put a barricade against it, place armies around it, and arrange it with engines of war all around. 3 Then take for yourself a frying-pan made of iron, and set it as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face against the city, and it shall be in confinement; and you shall shut it up completely. This will be a sign to the children of Israel.
4 “You shall sleep on your left side and lay the acts of unrighteousness of the house of Israel upon it. For one hundred and fifty days, for this number of days, you shall sleep on it; for you shall bear their acts of unrighteousness. 5 For I have laid on you their two acts of unrighteousness according to the number of the days, one hundred and ninety days. You shall bear the acts of unrighteousness of the house of Israel. 6 When you accomplish all this, then you shall sleep on your right side; and you shall bear the acts of unrighteousness of the house of Judah for forty days. I have appointed you a day for each year. 7 You shall set your face toward the confinement of Jerusalem; and you shall strengthen your arm and prophesy against it. 8 Behold, I have appointed chains for you, and you may not turn from one side to the other until the days of your confinement are accomplished.
9 “Also take for yourself wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt; put them into one vessel made of earth, and make loaves of bread for yourself. According to the number of days you sleep on your side, one hundred and ninety days, you shall eat them. 10 Your food which you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from time to time you shall eat them. 11 You shall also drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin, and from time to time you shall drink. 12 You shall eat them as a barley cake baked in ashes. You shall bake them in their sight in the filth of human dung. 13 Then you shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: So shall the children of Israel eat unclean things among the Gentiles.’ ”
14 So I said, “Not so, O Lord God of Israel. Behold, my soul has not defiled itself with uncleanness, nor from my youth up until now have I eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has day-old meat entered my mouth.” 15 Then He said to me, “Behold, I give you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your loaves of bread upon it.” 16 Then He said to me, “Son of man, behold, I will break the support of bread in Jerusalem, and they shall eat bread by weight and in want and drink water by measure and in a state of ruin, 17 so as to become in need of bread and water. A man shall destroy his brother, and they shall waste away in their wrongdoings.
Jerusalem’s Desolation Prophesied
1 “As for you, son of man, take for yourself a sword sharper than a barber’s razor. Acquire it for yourself, and shave your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair. 2 One-fourth you shall burn in the midst of the city, at the completion of the days of the confinement. Then you shall take one-fourth and burn it up in its midst, and one-fourth you shall cut up around about all sides with the sword; and one-fourth you shall scatter to the wind. Thus I will unsheathe a sword after them. 3 You shall also take from there a small amount of hair and wrap it in the fold of your garment. 4 Then from this amount, again take some and throw it into the midst of the fire and burn it in the fire. Fire shall come forth from it, and you shall say to all the house of Israel, 5 ‘Thus says the Lord: “This is Jerusalem; I have put her in the midst of the surrounding countries, in the midst of the nations. 6 So you shall speak of My ordinances to the lawless one among the nations, and my laws to the lawless one from the surrounding countries; because they rejected My ordinances, and have not walked in My laws.” 7 Therefore thus says the Lord: “Because your opportunity for lawlessness is taken from the nations around you, and you have not walked in my laws, nor kept My ordinances—indeed you have not even kept the ordinances of the nations around you—” 8 therefore, thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will execute judgment in your midst in the sight of the nations. 9 I will do among you what I have not done, and the likes of which I will not do again, because of all your abominations. 10 Therefore fathers shall eat their children in your midst, and children shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments among you, and all of you who remain, I will scatter to every wind. 11 Therefore, as I live,” says the Lord, “surely, because you defiled My holy things with all your abominations, I also will reject you. My eye will not spare, nor will I have any mercy. 12 One-fourth of you shall be destroyed by death, and one-fourth shall be consumed in your midst by famine. One-fourth of you I will scatter to every wind, and one-fourth of you will fall by the sword all around you, for I will unsheathe a sword after them. 13 Thus shall My anger and My wrath be accomplished against them. You will come to know this because I, the Lord, have spoken in My zeal, when I accomplish My anger against them. 14 I will make you desolate, along with your daughters around you, in the sight of everyone who travels through. 15 You shall be mournful and miserable among the nations around you when I execute judgments among you, in the vengeance of my anger. I, the Lord, have spoken. 16 When I send forth against them My arrows of famine, and they are extinguished, I also shall break your supply of bread. 17 So I will send against you famine and evil beasts and shall punish you. Death and blood shall pass through upon you, and I will bring a sword against you, all about you. I, the Lord, have spoken.” ’ ”
The Lord Condemns Idolatry
1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them. 3 You shall say, ‘You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord to the mountains and hills, and to the ravines and valleys: “Behold, I shall bring a sword against you and destroy your high places. 4 Your altars, along with your sacred precincts, shall be broken down. I shall cast down your wounded in the presence of your idols, 5 and scatter your bones all around your altars. 6 In all your dwelling places, the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be abolished, so as to destroy your altars and break your idols in pieces and remove your sacred precincts.
7 “The wounded shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the Lord, 8 when some among you are escaping from the sword among the nations and when you are scattered among the countries. 9 Then those of you who escape among the nations where they were taken captive will remember Me. For I swore an oath against their heart, which went away from Me and committed fornication, and against their eyes, which committed fornication after their practices. They shall mourn over themselves amid all their abominations. 10 Then they shall come to know that I, the Lord, have spoken.”
11 ‘Thus says the Lord: “Clap your hands and stamp your feet, and say, ‘Good, well done! Good, well done!’ Because of all the abominations of the house of Israel, they shall fall by the sword, by death, and by famine. 12 He who is near shall fall by the sword, and he who is far off shall die an untimely death; and he who is in the confinement shall perish by famine. Thus will I accomplish My wrath upon them. 13 Then you shall come to know that I am the Lord, when your wounded are among your idols, all around your altars, on every high hill, and under every shady tree where they offered a sweet aroma to their idols. 14 So I will stretch out My hand against them, and appoint the land for destruction and ruin, from the desert of Diblah, in all their dwelling places. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”
Judgment Is Near for Israel
1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “You, son of man, speak and say, ‘Thus says the Lord to the land of Israel: “An end has come; the end has come upon the four corners of the land. 3 An end has come upon you who dwell in the land. 4 The time has come; the day is near, not with tumult nor with travail. 5 Now it is near. I shall pour out my wrath upon you and accomplish My anger among you. I shall judge you in your ways and cause all your abominations to come upon you. 6 My eye will not spare, neither will I show mercy; because I will cause your ways to come against you. Your abominations shall be in your midst, and you will know that I am the Lord who smites. 7 Now the end has come to you. I shall send judgment upon you, take vengeance on your ways, and recompense all your abominations upon you. 8 My eye will not spare against you, nor will I have mercy; because I will cause your way to come against you, and your abominations shall be in your midst. You shall know that I am the Lord.”
9 ‘For thus says the Lord: 10 “Behold, the end has come. Behold, the day of the Lord. Although the rod has blossomed, arrogance has risen forth. 11 The support of the lawless one shall be crushed, and without either tumult or haste. 12 The time has come, behold the day. Let not the buyer rejoice, and let not the seller mourn. 13 For the one who buys shall no longer turn to the one who sells, and a man shall no longer have control over his life. 14 Blow with the trumpet and judge all at once. 15 There shall be war by the sword from without and death and famine from within. He who is in the field will die by the sword, and famine and death shall destroy those in the city. 16 Those who are saved and survive will be on the mountains; I will slay all the rest—each one in his wrongdoings. 17 All hands shall be feeble, and all legs will be stained with urine. 18 They will clothe themselves with sackcloth, and astonishment shall cover them. Shame will be on them—on every face, and baldness on every head. 19 They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be disregarded. Their souls will not be satisfied, nor their stomachs filled; because it became their stumbling block of wrongdoings.
20 “As for their choice of adornment, they displayed these in arrogance and made their abominable images from them. For this reason I caused these things to be uncleanness to them. 21 I will hand over these things into the hands of foreigners, to plunder these things; and I will give these things to the troublemakers of the land as booty, and they shall desecrate them. 22 I will turn My face away from them, and they will defile My place of service. They will enter it unguardedly and desecrate it.
23 “They will create disorder, because the land is full of peoples, and the city is full of lawlessness. 24 I will turn back the pride of their strength, and their holy things shall be defiled. 25 Though propitiation shall come and one shall seek peace, there shall be none.
26 “There will be woe upon woe, and message upon message, and a vision will be sought from a prophet; but the law will perish from the priest, and counsel from the elders. 27 The ruler shall clothe himself with destruction, and the hands of the people of the land will weaken. I will do to them according to their ways and reward them according to their judgments. Then they shall know that I am the Lord!” ’ ”

Psalm 125

1 An ode of ascents.
When the Lord returned the captives of Zion,
We became like those who are comforted.
2 Then our mouth was filled with joy,
And our tongue with exceeding joy.
Then they shall say among the Gentiles,
“The Lord did great things with them.”
3 The Lord has done great things with us;
We were glad.
4 Return, O Lord, our captivity
Like streams in the south.
5 Those who sow with tears
Shall reap with exceeding joy.
6 They went forth and wept,
Carrying their seeds with them;
But they shall return with exceeding joy,
Carrying their sheaves.

Psalm 126

Unless the Lord builds the house,
Those who build it labor in vain;
Unless the Lord guard the city,
Those who guard it stay awake in vain.
2 It is in vain for you to rise early,
To awaken from your rest,
You who eat the bread of grief,
When He gives His beloved ones sleep.
3 Behold, children are the Lord’s inheritance;
The fruit of the womb His reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a mighty one,
So are the children of those who were outcasts.
5 Blessed is the man who shall fulfill his desire with them;
They shall not be ashamed, when they speak to their enemies at the gate.

Proverbs 27:25–29

25 Know thoroughly the souls of your sheep,
And you will set your heart on your flocks,
26 Since strength and might are not in man forever,
Neither are they transmitted from generation to generation.
27 Take care of the green plants in the field, and cut the herbs short,
And gather the grass of the mountains.
28 That you may have the wool of sheep for clothing,
Honor the field, so there may be lambs for you.
29 My son, you have strong sayings from me for your life
And for the life of your servants.

1 John 4:20-5:21

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
The Certainty of God’s Witness
6 This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.
10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
Confidence and Compassion in Prayer
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.
17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.
Knowing the True—Rejecting the False
18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

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