Day 344  – December 10, 2022

Ezekiel 15, 16; Psalm 131; Proverbs 28:12–15; Jude

Ezekiel 15, 16

1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, of all the wood of the branches in the forest, what would be made from the wood of the vine? 3 Would they take wood from it to make something for profit? Would they take a peg from it on which to hang some object? 4 It is only thrown into the fire to be consumed, for the fire consumes what is pruned from it each year; thus nothing is left. So will it be useful for profit? 5 Not even while it was whole would it be useful for profit. How much less useful would it be once the fire devoured it?
6 “Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘As the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I give to the fire to be consumed, so I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 7 and I shall set My face against them. They will get away from the fire, yet fire will devour them. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I set My face against them. 8 Thus I shall give the land over to ruin, because they utterly transgressed,’ says the Lord.”
God’s Love for Lawless Jerusalem
1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, testify emphatically to Jerusalem concerning her lawlessness. 3 You shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord to Jerusalem: “Your root and birth are from the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 As for your birth, on the day you were born they did not bind your breasts, nor were you washed in water. Neither were you salted with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. 5 Nor did My eye pity you to do any one of these things for you, to suffer anything for you; but you were cast out into the open field because of the perversity of your soul on the day you were born.
6 “As I passed by, I saw you defiled in your blood. So I said to you, ‘Let there be life out of your blood, and multiply.’ 7 I made you as a field in full bloom, and you multiplied, became great, and entered into great cities. Your breasts were firm and your hair grew, but you were naked and behaved improperly. 8 As I passed by and saw you, behold, it was your time, a time for lodging people. So I spread My wings over you, covered your shame, and swore an oath to you. I entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord. 9 “Then I washed you in water, washed away your blood, and anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you in embroidered garments with purple underneath. I dressed you with fine linen and covered you with a veil of fine silk. 11 I adorned you with jewelry and put bracelets on your wrists and a necklace around your neck. 12 I put a ring in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a crown of boasting on your head. 13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, oil, and honey. You became very beautiful. 14 Your name went out among the nations for your beauty, because it was perfected with elegance and beauty which I put upon you,” says the Lord.
Playing the Prostitute
15 “But you put your trust in your beauty, played the prostitute because of your name, and poured out your fornication on everyone passing by. 16 You took cloth from your garments, made idols of needlework for yourself, and committed fornication with them. But you should never have entered into such a thing, nor should this have taken place. 17 You also took the fine jewelry of My gold and silver that I gave you and made male images for yourself, and committed fornication with them. 18 You took your embroidered garments and clothed them. Then you set before them My oil and incense, 19 and took My bread which I gave you—the pastry of fine flour, oil, and honey I fed you—and set it before them as a fragrant offering; and so it was,” says the Lord. 20 “You also took your sons and daughters whom you bore, and sacrificed these to them to be destroyed, and committed fornication as if that were a small matter. 21 Besides your fornication, you slaughtered your children and offered them as a sacrifice to ward off evil from yourselves. 22 Thus you no longer remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and behaved improperly, and lived defiled in your blood.
  23 “So it came to pass, after all your evils,” says the Lord, 24 “that you also built for yourself a house of fornication, and made a public place for yourself in every street; 25 and at the beginning of every road, you built your brothel and ravaged your beauty. You spread your legs to everyone who passed by, and multiplied your acts of prostitution. 26 You committed fornication with the children of Egypt, your fleshly neighbor, and committed fornication in many ways, to provoke Me to anger. 27 So when I stretch out My hand against you, then I will abolish your customs and will deliver you over to souls who hate you, even to the daughters of foreign lands, who will turn you aside from your way wherein you were ungodly. 28 You also committed fornication with the daughters of Assyria, and even then you were not satisfied; indeed you committed fornication with them and were not satisfied. 29 You multiplied your covenants with the Chaldeans, and not even with these were you satisfied. 30 Why should I make a covenant with your daughter,” says the Lord, “when you do all these things, the deeds of a prostitute? So you committed threefold fornication.
An Adulterous Wife
31 “With your daughters, you built a house of prostitution at the beginning of every road, set up your high place in every street, and became as a prostitute gathering wages. 32 An adulterous wife is like you, who prefers a whore’s wages to her own husband. 33 She even gives wages to those who commit fornication with her; and you give wages to all your lovers, and load them with wages, so they should come to you from all around for your prostitution. 34 So there happened in you a perverseness in your prostitution beyond that of other women, and they committed fornication with you when you gave them wages; and no wages were received by you; thus perverseness happened in you.
35 “Now then, prostitute, hear the word of the Lord! 36 Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you poured out your money, and your shamefulness was uncovered in your prostitution with your lovers, and because of your many inventions of lawlessness, and the blood of your children you gave to them; 37 therefore, behold, I will gather against you all your lovers with whom you consorted, and all those you loved, and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will uncover your evil deeds before them, so they may see all your shame. 38 Thus I will be avenged on you with the vengeance of an adulteress, and bring upon you the blood of fury and jealousy. 39 I shall deliver you into their hands, and they will demolish your house of prostitution and destroy your high place. They will strip you of your clothes, take your proud jewelry, and leave you naked and in disgrace. 40 They also shall bring up a multitude against you to stone you with stones, and to strike you down with their swords. 41 They will burn down your houses and execute punishments on you in the sight of many women. Then I shall turn you back from prostitution, and you will no longer give wages. 42 So I shall discharge My anger against you, then My jealousy will depart from you. I shall be at rest and no longer concerned for you. 43 Because you did not remember the day of your youth, but grieved Me with all these things, therefore behold, I recompensed your deeds on your own head,’ says the Lord. For thus you committed ungodliness beyond all your other lawlessness.
44 “These are all the things they spoke against you in a parable, saying, ‘Like mother, like daughter!’ 45 You are your mother’s daughter, rejecting her husband and children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who reject their husbands and children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 Your elder sister who dwells with her daughters to the north of you is Samaria, and your younger sister who dwells to the south of you is Sodom and her daughters. 47 You not only walked in their ways and acted according to their lawlessness; but, as if that were too little, you excelled more than they in all your ways.
48 “As I live,” says the Lord, “surely your sister Sodom and her daughters have carried on in the manner you and your daughters have done. 49 Surely this was the lawless action of your sister Sodom, namely, arrogance. For in fullness of bread and abundance of wine, she and her daughter lived in self-indulgence. This belonged to her and her daughters, but they did not give a helping hand to the poor and needy. 50 So they were haughty and committed acts of lawlessness before Me; therefore, I removed them as I saw fit. 51 But Samaria did not commit half your sins, for you multiplied your lawlessness beyond them, and declared your sisters righteous by all the lawless deeds you committed. 52 Therefore, bear your punishment, for you corrupted your sisters by your sins, sins more lawless than their own. You made them appear more righteous than yourself. Yes, be disgraced, and bear your dishonor in which you declared your sisters righteous.
  53 “I will turn away from their faithlessness, the faithlessness of Sodom and her daughters, and I will turn away from the faithlessness of Samaria and her daughters. I will also turn away from your faithlessness in the midst of them, 54 so you may bear your punishment and be dishonored by all you did to provoke My anger. 55 But your sister Sodom and her daughters shall be restored as they were from the beginning, and Samaria and her daughters shall be restored as they were from the beginning. Even you and your daughters shall be restored as you were from the beginning. 56 Surely your sister Sodom was not mentioned by your mouth in the days of your arrogance, before your evils were uncovered. 57 Even now you are a disgrace to the daughters of Syria and all those around her, and to the daughters of the foreigners around you on every side. 58 By your deeds of ungodliness and lawlessness, you received these things,” says the Lord.
The Covenant Remembered
59 “For thus says the Lord: ‘I will deal with you as you have done, as you dishonored these things so as to break my covenant. 60 Nevertheless I shall remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and raise up an everlasting covenant for you. 61 Then you will remember your way and be utterly dishonored when you receive your older and younger sisters. I shall give them to you for strengthening, but not because of your covenant. 62 But I shall raise up My covenant with you. Then you will know that I am the Lord, 63 that you may remember and be ashamed, and may never open your mouth again because of your dishonor, when I am reconciled to you for all you did,’ says the Lord.”

Psalm 131

1 An ode of ascents.
Remember David, O Lord,
And all his meekness,
2 How he swore to the Lord,
How he vowed to the God of Jacob,
3 “I shall not enter my dwelling,
I shall not recline on my bed,
4 I shall not close my eyes in sleep
Nor my eyelids for dozing,
Nor give any rest to my temples,
5 Until I find a place for the Lord,
A tabernacle for the God of Jacob.”
6 Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;
We found it in the plains of the wood;
7 Let us enter into His tabernacles;
Let us worship at the place where His feet stood.
8 Arise, O Lord, into Your rest,
You and the ark of Your holiness;
9 Your priests shall clothe themselves in righteousness;
Your saints shall greatly rejoice.
10 For Your servant David’s sake,
Do not turn away from the face of Your anointed.
11 The Lord swore to David this truth, and He shall not reject it,
“I shall set upon your throne one from the fruit of your loins.
12 If your sons keep My covenant
And these testimonies I shall teach them,
Then their sons shall sit upon your throne forever.”
13 For the Lord has chosen Zion;
He chose her for His dwelling:
14 “This is My place of rest unto ages of ages;
Here I shall dwell, for I have chosen her.
15 Blessing, I shall bless her provision;
I shall satisfy her poor with bread;
16 And I shall clothe her priests with salvation,
And her saints shall rejoice exceedingly with great joy;
17 There I shall cause to spring up a horn for David;
There I prepared a lamp for my anointed;
18 His enemies I shall clothe with shame;
Upon him shall My sanctification flourish.”

Proverbs 28:12–15

12 A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But a poor man shall disapprove of his thoughts.
13 Great glory arises because of the help of the righteous,
But in places of the ungodly, men are conquered.
14 He who hides his own ungodliness shall not prosper,
But he who leads his own rebuttal shall be loved.
15 Blessed is the man who shall be discreet in all things because of godly fear,
But the man who hardens his heart shall fall into evils.


1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,
To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:
2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
Contend for the Faith
3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Old and New Apostates
5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;
7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.
11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
Apostates Depraved and Doomed
12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;
  13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
15 “to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
Apostates Predicted
16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.
17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:
18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.
19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
Maintain Your Life with God
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction;
23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
Glory to God
24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.

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