Day 342 – December 8, 2022

Ezekiel 8-11; Psalms 127, 128; Proverbs 28:1–5; 2 John

Ezekiel 8-11

1 Again it came to pass in the sixth year, in the fifth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord came upon me. 2 Then I looked, and behold, there was the likeness of a man, as of fire from His waist down, and from His waist up like the appearance of amber. 3 He extended what looked like a hand and raised me up by the crown of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between the earth and the sky and brought me in a vision of God to Jerusalem, to the porches of the inner gate that looks to the north, where the pillar of idolatry was. 4 Behold, the glory of the Lord God of Israel was there, like the vision I saw in the plain.
5 Then He said to me, “Son of man, lift your eyes toward the north.” So I lifted my eyes toward the north, and behold, I looked from the north toward the eastern gate. 6 Then He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing? They commit great acts of lawlessness here to keep Me from My sanctuary. Now you will see even greater acts of lawlessness.”
  7 So He brought me to the porches of the court. 8 Then He said to me, “Son of man, dig a hole.” So I dug, and behold, a door. 9 He said to me, “Go in, and see the lawless deeds they are doing here.” 10 So I went in, and behold, I saw vain abominations—all the idols of the house of Israel were portrayed on the wall all around. 11 There were seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and the smoke of the incense rose up. 12 Then He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are doing, each one of them in their private bedroom? For they said, ‘The Lord does not see; the Lord has forsaken the land.’ ”
13 Then He said to me, “You will see even greater acts of lawlessness they are doing.” 14 So He brought me to the porches of the court of the Lord’s house that faces north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 15 Then He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see worse practices than these.” 16 So He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house; and behold, there, at the outer entrance of the Lord’s temple, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty men. They stood with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, with their faces in the opposite direction; and they were worshiping the sun.
17 Then He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? This is not a trivial thing for the house of Judah to commit these lawless acts which they commit here, is it? For they have filled the land with lawlessness, and behold, they are as those who treat Me with contempt. 18 As for Me, I shall treat them in anger. My eye will not spare, nor will I have mercy.”
1 Then He cried out in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “The punishment of the city is near, and each had instruments of destruction in his hand.” 2 Behold, six men were coming from the way of the high gate that looks toward the north, and each one’s ax was in his hand. One man among them was clothed with a full-length robe, with a belt of sapphire about his waist. They entered and stood near the bronze altar.
3 Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherubim, and the glory which was over them went into the inner court of the house. He called to the man clothed with the long robe with the belt on his waist, 4 and He said to him, “Go through the midst of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the lawless deeds taking place within her.” 5 To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill. Let not your eyes spare, and have no mercy. 6 Utterly destroy old men and youth, and virgins, infants, and women, but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark. Begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were inside the house. 7 Then He said to them, “Defile the house, and go out and fill the roads with the dead, and smite.”
8 So it was, as they were smiting, I fell on my face and cried out, and said, “Alas, O Lord, are You wiping out all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your anger on Jerusalem?” 9 Then He said to me, “The wrongdoing of the house of Israel and Judah has become exceedingly great, for the land is full of many peoples, and the city is full of wrongdoings and uncleanness. For they said, ‘The Lord forsook the land, and the Lord does not look upon it.’ 10 My eye will not spare, nor will I have mercy, but I will recompense their deeds on their own heads.” 11 Then behold, the man clothed with the long robe and girded with the belt on his waist reported back and said, “I have done as You commanded me.”
The Glory Leaves the Temple
1 Then I looked, and behold, over the firmament above the heads of the cherubim, there was the likeness of a throne over them, like a sapphire stone. 2 He spoke to the man clothed with the long robe, “Go in between the wheels underneath the cherubim, and fill your hands with coals of fire from among the cherubim, and scatter them over the city.” So he went in as I watched.
  3 Now the cherubim were standing on the right side of the house as the man was entering, and the cloud filled the inner court. 4 Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherubim into the inner court of the house. The cloud filled the house, and the court was filled with the brightness of the Lord’s glory. 5 The sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of Almighty God when He speaks.
6 Then it came to pass, as He was commanding the man clothed in the sacred robe, saying, “Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubim,” that he went in and stood near the wheels. 7 A cherub stretched out his hand into the midst of the fire, between the cherubim, and took and put it into the hands of the man clothed with the sacred garment. The man took it and went out. 8 I saw the cherubim having the likeness of men’s hands under their wings.
9 I looked, and behold, four wheels were standing near the cherubim, one wheel by each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like that of a precious stone. 10 As for their appearance, there was one likeness to the four, as when a wheel is in the midst of a wheel. 11 When they went, they went on their four sides. They did not turn when they went, for they followed in the direction the first head was looking, but they did not turn as they went. 12 Their backs and hands, and their wings and wheels, were all full of eyes all around their four wheels. 13 As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing, “wheel.”
14 The cherubim were the same living creatures I saw by the River Chebar. 15 When the cherubim went, the wheels close to them went; and when the cherubim lifted their wings to mount up from the earth, the wheels did not turn. 16 When the cherubim stood, the wheels stood; and when the cherubim mounted up, the wheels mounted up with them, because the spirit of life was in them.
17 Then the glory of the Lord departed from the house and went upon the cherubim. 18 The cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood by the porches of the door of the Lord’s house opposite them. The glory of the God of Israel was over and above them.
19 This is the living creature I saw under the God of Israel, by the River Chebar, and I knew they were cherubim. 20 Each had four faces and each had eight wings, and the likeness of a man’s hand was under their wings. 21 As for the likeness of their faces, these are the same faces I saw under the glory of the God of Israel by the River Chebar; and they went straight forward.
Wicked Rulers Will Be Judges
1 Moreover the Spirit took me up and brought me to the front gate of the Lord’s house, the gate which looks eastward; and behold, on the porches of the gate were about twenty-five men. I saw in the midst of them Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, the princes of the people. 2 Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who plan worthless things and give evil counsel in this city, 3 who say, ‘Have not the houses been constructed recently? This city is the cauldron, and we are the meat.’ 4 Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, son of man!”
5 Then the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me and said to me, “Say this, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Thus you have said, O house of Israel; for I know the deliberations of your spirit. 6 You multiplied your dead in this city and filled its streets with the wounded. 7 Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Your dead, whom you trampled in its midst, they are the meat, and this city is the cauldron; but I shall bring you out of the midst of it. 8 You fear the sword; thus I will bring a sword upon you,’ says the Lord. 9 ‘I will bring you out of its midst and deliver you into the hands of foreigners, and execute judgments on you. 10 You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the borders of Israel, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 11 This city shall not be your cauldron, nor shall you be the meat in its midst. I will judge you at the borders of Israel. 12 You shall know that I am the Lord.’ ” ’ ”
  13 Then it came to pass while I was prophesying that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. So I fell on my face and cried with a loud voice, “Alas, alas, O Lord! Will you make a complete end to the remnant of Israel?”
God Will Restore the Exiles
14 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 15 “Son of man, your brethren, and the men of your captivity, and all the house of Israel are at their end, to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, ‘Keep far away from the Lord. This land was given to us as an inheritance.’ 16 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I will reject them among the nations, and scatter them into every land; yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries wherever they may go.’ ” 17 Therefore I said, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I shall also receive them from the nations, and gather them from the countries where I scattered them; and I will give them the land of Israel.’ ” 18 They shall enter there and remove all its abominations and lawlessness from it. 19 Then I will give them another heart and put a new spirit within them. I shall remove the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 so they may walk in My commandments, keep My ordinances, and do them. They will be My people, and I shall be their God. 21 But as for the heart set upon their abominations and lawlessness—as their heart went after these things—so I have recompensed their ways on their own heads,” says the Lord.
22 Then the cherubim lifted up their wings with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was high above them. 23 Then the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain opposite the city. 24 The Spirit took me up—in a vision by the Spirit of God—and brought me to the land of the Chaldeans, to the captivity. Then I rose up from the vision I saw, 25 and spoke to the host of captives all the words the Lord made known to me.

Psalm 127

1 An ode of ascents.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
Who walk in His ways.
2 You shall eat the fruits of your labor;
You are blessed, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a vine, prospering on the sides of your house;
Your children like newly planted olive trees
Around your table.
4 Behold, so shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
5 May the Lord bless you from Zion,
And may you see the good things of Jerusalem
All the days of your life;
6 May you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel.

Psalm 128

1 An ode of ascents.
“Many times they warred against me from my youth,”
Let Israel now say;
2 “Many times they warred against me from my youth,
Yet they did not overcome me.
3 The sinners schemed behind my back;
They prolonged their lawlessness.”
4 The righteous Lord cut in pieces the necks of sinners.
5 Let all who hate Zion
Be shamed and turned back.
6 Let them become like grass on the housetops,
Which withers before it is plucked up;
7 Like grass with which the reaper does not fill his hand,
Nor the gatherer of sheaves, his bosom;
8 Neither do those who pass by say to them,
“The Lord’s blessing be upon you;
In the Lord’s name, we bless you.”

Proverbs 28:1–5

1 An ungodly man flees when no one is pursuing,
But a righteous man is confident as a lion.
2 Condemnations arise because of the sins of the ungodly,
But an astute man quenches them.
3 A bold man harasses the poor with ungodliness.
As a driving and unprofitable rain,
4 So those who forsake the law praise ungodliness,
But those who love the law surround themselves with a wall.
5 Evil men do not understand judgment,
But those who seek the Lord shall understand it in everything.

2 John

1 The Elder,
To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth,
2 because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
Walk in Christ’s Commandments
4 I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.
5 And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.
6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.
Beware of Antichrist Deceivers
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
John’s Farewell Greeting
12 Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
13 The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.

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