Day 345 – December 11, 2022

Ezekiel 17-19; Psalms 132, 133; Proverbs 28:16–20; Revelation 1

Ezekiel 17-19

1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, pose a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel. 3 You shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “A great eagle—with large wings, spreading them out very far, and full of talons, and with the design to enter Lebanon—took the choice branches of the cedar. 4 He nipped off its topmost tender twig, carried it to the land of Canaan, and set it in the fortified city. 5 Then he took some of the seed of the land, planted it in a fertile field by much water, and set it in a conspicuous place. 6 So it grew and became a weak vine, small in size as to its appearance. Its branches were on it and its roots under it. So it became a vine, put forth shoots, and extended into a vine that grows up trees.
7 “But there was another great eagle with large wings and many talons; and behold, this vine and her roots turned itself toward him, and stretched its branches toward him, that he might water it together with the soil where it was planted. 8 She thrives in a good field by much water, so as to produce shoots and bear fruit, that she may be a large vine.’ ”
9 “Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Will it prosper? Will not the roots of her tender stem and fruit be blighted, and all its shoots be withered? Yes, no mighty arm or many people will be needed to pluck it up by its roots. 10 Behold, it thrives, but will it prosper? Will it not utterly wither when the wind and burning heat touch it? It shall be dried up, its growth together with it soil.” ’ ”
11 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 12 “Son of man, say now to the house that provokes, ‘Do you not understand what these things mean?’ Tell them, ‘When the king of Babylon comes to Jerusalem, he will take its king and rulers, and take them with himself to Babylon. 13 He will also take one from the royal seed, and make a covenant with him, and place him under oath. 14 Then he will take away the leaders of the land that it may become a weak kingdom, so as never to lift itself up, that he may preserve his covenant and establish it. 15 But this one shall revolt from him and send his messengers to Egypt, so they might give him horses and many people. Will he prosper? Will he who acts as an adversary escape? Can he break the covenant and be delivered? 16 As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘he shall certainly die in the midst of Babylon, in the place where the king dwells who made him king, who dishonored My oath and broke My covenant. 17 But with a small army and few people, Pharaoh shall wage war against him by throwing up a mound and building engines of war, so as to carry away souls. 18 So he will not escape when he does all these things to him, because he dishonored the oath by breaking the covenant, although he gave his hand in trust.’ 19 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “As I live, surely My covenant which he broke and My oath which he dishonored—I will recompense these things on his head. 20 I will spread My net over him, and he shall be caught in its enclosure. 21 His whole line of battle will fall by the sword, and those who remain I will scatter to every wind. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken.’ ”
22 “Therefore, thus says the Lord: ‘I shall take the choice branches of the cedar from its top and nip off their heart, and plant it on a high mountain. 23 I shall hang it on a lofty mountain of Israel, yes, I will plant it; and it will bring forth shoots, produce fruit, and be a great cedar. Under it, every kind of wild animal will take rest, every kind of bird will rest in its shade, and its branches will be restored. 24 So all the trees of the field will know that I, the Lord, am He who humbles the high tree and exalts the humble tree, who dries up the green tree and makes the dry tree flourish. I, the Lord, have spoken and will do it.’ ”
  Personal Accountability
1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, what is the meaning of this parable among the children of Israel which says, ‘The fathers eat unripe grapes, and the children’s teeth grind’? 3 As I live,” says the Lord, “you shall no longer use this parable in Israel. 4 For all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine.
“The soul who sins, he shall die. 5 But the man who is righteous and does judgment and righteousness, 6 who will not eat on the mountains, or lift up his eyes to the inventions of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife, and who will not approach a woman during her menstruation, 7 or oppress any man, but who will restore to the debtor his pledge, and commit no robbery, but who will give his bread to the hungry and cover the naked, 8 and who will not lend his money with interest, but will turn his hand from wrongdoing, and do righteous judgment between a man and his neighbor, 9 and walk in My ordinances, and keep My requirements to do them—this man is righteous. He will surely live!” says the Lord.
10 “But if he begets a troublesome son, who sheds blood, commits sins, 11 does not walk in the way of his righteous father, but eats on the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12 oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, sets his eyes on the idols, commits lawlessness, 13 exacts interest, and takes unjust gains—this son shall not live, because he did all this lawlessness. He will surely die, and his blood shall be upon himself.
14 “If, however, he begets a son who sees all the sins his father commits, but fears and does not do according to these things— 15 does not eat on the mountains, nor sets his eyes on the inventions of the house of Israel, nor defiles his neighbor’s wife, 16 nor oppresses anyone, nor withholds a pledge, nor commits robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry, covers the naked, 17 and turns his hand from wrongdoing, nor receives interest, nor takes unjust gains, but does righteousness and walks in My ordinances—this son shall not die for the wrongdoings of his father. He will surely live. 18 As for his father, if he cruelly oppresses and robs his brother, and does these contrary things in the midst of My people, he shall die in his wrongdoing.
Turn from Evil and Live
19 “Yet you say, ‘Why does a son not bear the wrongdoing of his father?’ Because the son practiced righteousness, showed mercy, kept all My commandments and did them. Thus he will surely live. 20 But the soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the wrongdoing of his father, nor shall the father bear the wrongdoing of his son. The righteousness of a righteous man shall be upon himself, and the lawlessness of a lawless man shall be upon himself. 21 But if a lawless man turns from all the lawless deeds he commits, keeps all My commandments, does righteousness and shows mercy, he will surely live and not die. 22 None of the transgressions he commits will be remembered. In the righteousness he does, he shall live. 23 Do I ever will the death of a lawless man,” says the Lord, “since My will is for him to turn from the evil way and live? 24 But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits a wrongdoing, according to all the lawlessness a lawless man commits, then all the righteousness he does shall not be remembered. In the transgression he falls into and in his sins he commits, in these he shall die.
25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord’s way is not straight.’ Hear now, all the house of Israel, is My way not straight? Is your way straight? 26 When the righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits a transgression, and dies in the transgression he commits, he should die because of it. 27 Again when a lawless man turns away from the lawlessness he commits and does judgment and righteousness, then he guards his life; 28 for he turned himself away from all the ungodliness he committed. He will surely live and not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The Lord’s way is not right.’ Is not My way right, O house of Israel? Is not your way wrong? 30 I shall judge you, O house of Israel, each one according to his way,” says the Lord. “Return and turn away from all your ungodliness, and it shall not be to you as a punishment for wrongdoing. 31 Cast away from yourself all your ungodliness you commit against Me, and make a new heart and a new spirit for yourselves. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I do not will the death of the one who dies,” says the Lord.
  A Song of Lament
1 “As for you, son of man, take up a lamentation for the prince of Israel. 2 You shall say, ‘Why did your mother became a young lion in the midst of lions? Among the lions she multiplied her young lions. 3 Then one of her young lions leaped off. He became a lion, and learned to catch prey—he devoured men. 4 The nations also heard of him. He was taken in their pit, and they brought him in a muzzle to the land of Egypt. 5 So she saw he was driven away from her, and her assurance perished.
‘Then she took another of her young lions and made him a lion. 6 He lived among the lions and became a lion. He learned to catch prey—he devoured men. 7 He prowled in his boldness, laid waste their cities, and destroyed the land with its fullness by the noise of his roaring. 8 Then the nations came against him from the countries all around, and spread their nets over him. He was taken in their pit. 9 They put him in a muzzle, and he came to the king of Babylon in a cage for wild animals. So they led him into a prison so his voice would not be heard on the mountains of Israel.
10 ‘Your mother was like a vine, like a blossom on a pomegranate tree, planted in water. Her fruit and branches grew because of much water. 11 She became a rod of strength for a tribe of leaders. She was exalted in her greatness in the midst of the stems, and saw her greatness in the multitude of her branches. 12 But she was broken to pieces in anger, for she was thrown down on the ground, and the wind and burning heat dried her chosen branches. She was punished, and the rod of her strength withered—fire consumed it. 13 So now they have planted her in the desert, in a waterless land. 14 Fire went out from the rod of her chosen branches and devoured her. There was no rod of strength in her. Her tribe is a parable of lamentation, and it shall be for a lamentation.’ ”

Psalm 132

1 An ode of ascents; by David.
Behold now, what is so good or so pleasant
As for brothers to dwell together in unity?
2 It is like fragrant oil running down upon the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down upon the border of his garment;
3 It is like the dew of Hermon, running down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing
And life forever.

Psalm 133

1 An ode of ascents.
Behold now, bless the Lord,
All you servants of the Lord,
Who stand in the house of the Lord,
In the courts of the house of our God.
2 In the nights, lift up your hands to the holy of holies
And bless the Lord.
3 May the Lord bless you from Zion,
He who made heaven and earth.

Proverbs 28:16–20

16 A hungry lion and a thirsty wolf
Is he who, being poor, tyrannizes over poor people.
17 A king in need of revenues is a great oppressor,
But he who hates unrighteousness shall live a long time.
18 He who becomes surety for a man charged with murder
Shall be a fugitive and unsafe.
19 Instruct your son, and he shall love you;
And he shall give honor to your soul,
Lest he follow a lawless people.
20 He who walks righteously shall be helped,
But he who walks in crooked ways shall be entangled therein.

Revelation 1

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Greeting the Seven Churches
4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
  Vision of the Son of Man
9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.
18 “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
19 “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.
20 “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

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