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Bible Reading Plan
Daily Bible Reading
December 9 - Bible-in-a-Year
1 Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me.(a) 2 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 3 "Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts(b) and put wicked stumbling blocks(c) before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?(d) 4 Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. 5 I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted(e) me for their idols.'(f)
6 "Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent!(g) Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!(h)
7 "‘When any of the Israelites or any foreigner(i) residing in Israel separate themselves from me and set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block(j) before their faces and then go to a prophet to inquire(k) of me, I the Lord will answer them myself. 8 I will set my face against(l) them and make them an example(m) and a byword.(n) I will remove them from my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord .(o)
9 "‘And if the prophet(p) is enticed(q) to utter a prophecy, I the Lord have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel.(r) 10 They will bear their guilt—the prophet will be as guilty as the one who consults him. 11 Then the people of Israel will no longer stray(s) from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people,(t) and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign Lord .(u)'"
Jerusalem's Judgment Inescapable
12 The word of the Lord came to me: 13 "Son of man, if a country sins(v) against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply(w) and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals,(x) 14 even if these three men—Noah,(y) Daniel[a](z) and Job(aa)—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness,(ab) declares the Sovereign Lord .
15 "Or if I send wild beasts(ac) through that country and they leave it childless and it becomes desolate so that no one can pass through it because of the beasts,(ad) 16 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord , even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved, but the land would be desolate.(ae)
17 "Or if I bring a sword(af) against that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass throughout the land,' and I kill its people and their animals,(ag) 18 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord , even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved.
19 "Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out my wrath(ah) on it through bloodshed,(ai) killing its people and their animals,(aj) 20 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord , even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter. They would save only themselves by their righteousness.(ak)
21 "For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: How much worse will it be when I send against Jerusalem my four dreadful judgments(al)—sword(am) and famine(an) and wild beasts and plague(ao)—to kill its men and their animals!(ap) 22 Yet there will be some survivors(aq)—sons and daughters who will be brought out of it.(ar) They will come to you, and when you see their conduct(as) and their actions, you will be consoled(at) regarding the disaster I have brought on Jerusalem—every disaster I have brought on it. 23 You will be consoled when you see their conduct and their actions, for you will know that I have done nothing in it without cause, declares the Sovereign Lord .(au)"
Jerusalem as a Useless Vine
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 "Son of man, how is the wood of a vine(a) different from that of a branch from any of the trees in the forest? 3 Is wood ever taken from it to make anything useful?(b) Do they make pegs(c) from it to hang things on? 4 And after it is thrown on the fire as fuel and the fire burns both ends and chars the middle, is it then useful for anything?(d) 5 If it was not useful for anything when it was whole, how much less can it be made into something useful when the fire has burned it and it is charred?
6 "Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As I have given the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest as fuel for the fire, so will I treat the people living in Jerusalem. 7 I will set my face against(e) them. Although they have come out of the fire(f), the fire will yet consume them. And when I set my face against them, you will know that I am the Lord .(g) 8 I will make the land desolate(h) because they have been unfaithful,(i) declares the Sovereign Lord ."
Israel the Chosen
1 "But now listen, Jacob, my servant,(a)
Israel, whom I have chosen.(b)
2 This is what the Lord says—
he who made(c) you, who formed you in the womb,(d)
and who will help(e) you:
Do not be afraid,(f) Jacob, my servant,(g)
Jeshurun,[a](h) whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water(i) on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;(j)
I will pour out my Spirit(k) on your offspring,
and my blessing(l) on your descendants.(m)
4 They will spring up like grass(n) in a meadow,
like poplar trees(o) by flowing streams.(p)
5 Some will say, ‘I belong(q) to the Lord ';
others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand,(r) ‘The Lord 's,'(s)
and will take the name Israel.
The Lord, Not Idols
6 "This is what the
Israel's King(t) and Redeemer,(u) the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;(v)
apart from me there is no God.(w)
7 Who then is like me?(x) Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come—
yes, let them foretell(y) what will come.
8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim(z) this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God(aa) besides me?
No, there is no other Rock;(ab) I know not one."
9 All who make idols(ac) are nothing,
and the things they treasure are worthless.(ad)
Those who would speak up for them are blind;(ae)
they are ignorant, to their own shame.(af)
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,(ag)
which can profit nothing?(ah)
11 People who do that will be put to shame;(ai)
such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
they will be brought down to terror and shame.(aj)
12 The blacksmith(ak) takes a tool
and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
he forges it with the might of his arm.(al)
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
he drinks no water and grows faint.(am)
13 The carpenter(an) measures with a line
and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,(ao)
human form in all its glory,
that it may dwell in a shrine.(ap)
14 He cut down cedars,
or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
or planted a pine,(aq) and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel(ar) for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships(as) it;
he makes an idol and bows(at) down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
"Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.(au)"
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.(av)
He prays(aw) to it and says,
"Save(ax) me! You are my god!"
18 They know nothing, they understand(ay) nothing;
their eyes(az) are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding(ba) to say,
"Half of it I used for fuel;(bb)
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable(bc) thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?"(bd)
20 Such a person feeds on ashes;(be) a deluded(bf) heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
"Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?(bg)"
21 "Remember(bh) these things, Jacob,
for you, Israel, are my servant.(bi)
I have made you, you are my servant;(bj)
Israel, I will not forget you.(bk)
22 I have swept away(bl) your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return(bm) to me,
for I have redeemed(bn) you."
23 Sing for joy,(bo) you heavens, for the
has done this;
shout aloud, you earth(bp) beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,(bq)
you forests and all your trees,(br)
for the Lord has redeemed(bs) Jacob,
he displays his glory(bt) in Israel.
Jerusalem to Be Inhabited
24 "This is what the
your Redeemer,(bu) who formed(bv) you in the womb:(bw)
I am the
the Maker of all things,
who stretches out the heavens,(bx)
who spreads out the earth(by) by myself,
25 who foils(bz) the signs of false prophets
and makes fools of diviners,(ca)
who overthrows the learning of the wise(cb)
and turns it into nonsense,(cc)
26 who carries out the words(cd) of his servants
and fulfills(ce) the predictions of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem,(cf) ‘It shall be inhabited,'
of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,'
and of their ruins,(cg) ‘I will restore them,'(ch)
27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry,
and I will dry up(ci) your streams,'
28 who says of Cyrus,(cj) ‘He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem,(ck) "Let it be rebuilt,"
and of the temple,(cl) "Let its foundations(cm) be laid."'
1 1 Follow God's example,(a) therefore, as dearly loved children(b) 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us(c) and gave himself up for us(d) as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.(e)
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality,(f) or of any kind of impurity, or of greed,(g) because these are improper for God's holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk(h) or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.(i) 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater(j)—has any inheritance(k) in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a](l) 6 Let no one deceive you(m) with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath(n) comes on those who are disobedient.(o) 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once(p) darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light(q) 9 (for the fruit(r) of the light consists in all goodness,(s) righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.(t) 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness,(u) but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light(v) becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
"Wake up, sleeper,(w)
rise from the dead,(x)
and Christ will shine on you."(y)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live(z)—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity,(aa) because the days are evil.(ab) 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.(ac) 18 Do not get drunk on wine,(ad) which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,(ae) 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.(af) Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks(ag) to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
the Third Sunday after Epiphany