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Bible Reading Plan
Daily Bible Reading
December 14 - Bible-in-a-Year
Rebellious Israel Purged
1 In the seventh year, in the fifth month on the tenth day, some of the elders of Israel came to inquire(a) of the Lord , and they sat down in front of me.(b)
2 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 3 "Son of man, speak to the elders(c) of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Have you come to inquire(d) of me? As surely as I live, I will not let you inquire of me, declares the Sovereign Lord .(e)'
4 "Will you judge them? Will you judge them, son of man? Then confront them with the detestable practices of their ancestors(f) 5 and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose(g) Israel, I swore with uplifted hand(h) to the descendants of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, "I am the Lord your God.(i)" 6 On that day I swore(j) to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey,(k) the most beautiful of all lands.(l) 7 And I said to them, "Each of you, get rid of the vile images(m) you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols(n) of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.(o)"
8 "‘But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me;(p) they did not get rid of the vile images they had set their eyes on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.(q) So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in Egypt.(r) 9 But for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt.(s) I did it to keep my name from being profaned(t) in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites. 10 Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.(u) 11 I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, by which the person who obeys them will live.(v) 12 Also I gave them my Sabbaths(w) as a sign(x) between us,(y) so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.(z)
13 "‘Yet the people of Israel rebelled(aa) against me in the wilderness. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws(ab)—by which the person who obeys them will live—and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths.(ac) So I said I would pour out my wrath(ad) on them and destroy(ae) them in the wilderness.(af) 14 But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned(ag) in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.(ah) 15 Also with uplifted hand I swore(ai) to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land I had given them—a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands(aj)— 16 because they rejected my laws(ak) and did not follow my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths. For their hearts(al) were devoted to their idols.(am) 17 Yet I looked on them with pity and did not destroy(an) them or put an end to them in the wilderness. 18 I said to their children in the wilderness, "Do not follow the statutes of your parents(ao) or keep their laws or defile yourselves(ap) with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God;(aq) follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.(ar) 20 Keep my Sabbaths(as) holy, that they may be a sign(at) between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.(au)"
21 "‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws,(av) of which I said, "The person who obeys them will live by them," and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger(aw) against them in the wilderness.(ax) 22 But I withheld(ay) my hand, and for the sake of my name(az) I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the wilderness that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter(ba) them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees(bb) and desecrated my Sabbaths,(bc) and their eyes lusted after(bd) their parents' idols.(be) 25 So I gave(bf) them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live;(bg) 26 I defiled them through their gifts—the sacrifice(bh) of every firstborn—that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the Lord .(bi)'
27 "Therefore, son of man, speak to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In this also your ancestors(bj) blasphemed(bk) me by being unfaithful to me:(bl) 28 When I brought them into the land(bm) I had sworn to give them and they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices, made offerings that aroused my anger, presented their fragrant incense and poured out their drink offerings.(bn) 29 Then I said to them: What is this high place(bo) you go to?'" (It is called Bamah[a] to this day.)
Rebellious Israel Renewed
30 "Therefore say to the Israelites: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Will you defile yourselves(bp) the way your ancestors did and lust after their vile images?(bq) 31 When you offer your gifts—the sacrifice of your children(br) in the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, you Israelites? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord , I will not let you inquire of me.(bs)
32 "‘You say, "We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone." But what you have in mind will never happen. 33 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord , I will reign over you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm(bt) and with outpoured wrath.(bu) 34 I will bring you from the nations(bv) and gather(bw) you from the countries where you have been scattered—with a mighty hand(bx) and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath.(by) 35 I will bring you into the wilderness(bz) of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment(ca) upon you. 36 As I judged your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign Lord .(cb) 37 I will take note of you as you pass under my rod,(cc) and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.(cd) 38 I will purge(ce) you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord .(cf)
39 "‘As for you, people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go and serve your idols,(cg) every one of you! But afterward you will surely listen to me and no longer profane my holy name(ch) with your gifts and idols.(ci) 40 For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel,(cj) declares the Sovereign Lord , there in the land all the people of Israel will serve me, and there I will accept them. There I will require your offerings(ck) and your choice gifts,[b] along with all your holy sacrifices.(cl) 41 I will accept you as fragrant incense(cm) when I bring you out from the nations and gather(cn) you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy(co) through you in the sight of the nations.(cp) 42 Then you will know that I am the Lord ,(cq) when I bring you into the land of Israel,(cr) the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your ancestors.(cs) 43 There you will remember your conduct(ct) and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves(cu) for all the evil you have done.(cv) 44 You will know that I am the Lord , when I deal with you for my name's sake(cw) and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, you people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord .(cx)'"
Prophecy Against the South
45 The word of the Lord came to me: 46 "Son of man, set your face toward(cy) the south; preach against the south and prophesy against(cz) the forest of the southland.(da) 47 Say to the southern forest:(db) ‘Hear the word of the Lord . This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume(dc) all your trees, both green and dry. The blazing flame will not be quenched, and every face from south to north(dd) will be scorched by it.(de) 48 Everyone will see that I the Lord have kindled it; it will not be quenched.(df)'"
49 Then I said, "Sovereign Lord ,(dg) they are saying of me, ‘Isn't he just telling parables?(dh)'"[c]
The Servant of the Lord
1 Listen(a) to me, you islands;(b)
hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was born(c) the Lord called(d) me;
from my mother's womb he has spoken my name.(e)
2 He made my mouth(f) like a sharpened sword,(g)
in the shadow of his hand(h) he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrow(i)
and concealed me in his quiver.
3 He said to me, "You are my servant,(j)
Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.(k)"
4 But I said, "I have labored in vain;(l)
I have spent my strength for nothing at all.
Yet what is due me is in the Lord 's hand,(m)
and my reward(n) is with my God."(o)
5 And now the
he who formed me in the womb(p) to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
and gather Israel(q) to himself,
for I am[a] honored(r) in the eyes of the Lord
and my God has been my strength(s)—
6 he says:
"It is too small a thing for you to be my servant(t)
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.(u)
I will also make you a light(v) for the Gentiles,(w)
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth."(x)
7 This is what the
the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel(y)—
to him who was despised(z) and abhorred by the nation,
to the servant of rulers:
"Kings(aa) will see you and stand up,
princes will see and bow down,(ab)
because of the Lord , who is faithful,(ac)
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen(ad) you."
Restoration of Israel
8 This is what the Lord says:
"In the time of my favor(ae) I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;(af)
I will keep(ag) you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,(ah)
to restore the land(ai)
and to reassign its desolate inheritances,(aj)
9 to say to the captives,(ak) ‘Come out,'
and to those in darkness,(al) ‘Be free!'
"They will feed beside the roads
and find pasture on every barren hill.(am)
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,(an)
nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them.(ao)
He who has compassion(ap) on them will guide(aq) them
and lead them beside springs(ar) of water.
11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
and my highways(as) will be raised up.(at)
12 See, they will come from afar(au)—
some from the north, some from the west,(av)
some from the region of Aswan.[b]"
13 Shout for joy,(aw) you heavens;
rejoice, you earth;(ax)
burst into song, you mountains!(ay)
For the Lord comforts(az) his people
and will have compassion(ba) on his afflicted ones.(bb)
14 But Zion(bc) said, "The
has forsaken(bd) me,
the Lord has forgotten me."
15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child(be) she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!(bf)
16 See, I have engraved(bg) you on the palms of my hands;
your walls(bh) are ever before me.
17 Your children hasten back,
and those who laid you waste(bi) depart from you.
18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
all your children gather(bj) and come to you.
As surely as I live,(bk)" declares the Lord ,
"you will wear(bl) them all as ornaments;
you will put them on, like a bride.
19 "Though you were ruined and made desolate(bm)
and your land laid waste,(bn)
now you will be too small for your people,(bo)
and those who devoured(bp) you will be far away.
20 The children born during your bereavement
will yet say in your hearing,
‘This place is too small for us;
give us more space to live in.'(bq)
21 Then you will say in your heart,
‘Who bore me these?(br)
I was bereaved(bs) and barren;
I was exiled and rejected.(bt)
Who brought these(bu) up?
I was left(bv) all alone,(bw)
but these—where have they come from?'"
22 This is what the Sovereign Lord (bx) says:
"See, I will beckon to the nations,
I will lift up my banner(by) to the peoples;
they will bring(bz) your sons in their arms
and carry your daughters on their hips.(ca)
23 Kings(cb) will be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.(cc)
They will bow down(cd) before you with their faces to the ground;
they will lick the dust(ce) at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord ;(cf)
those who hope(cg) in me will not be disappointed.(ch)"
24 Can plunder be taken from warriors,(ci)
or captives be rescued from the fierce[c]?
25 But this is what the Lord says:
"Yes, captives(cj) will be taken from warriors,(ck)
and plunder retrieved from the fierce;(cl)
I will contend with those who contend with you,(cm)
and your children I will save.(cn)
26 I will make your oppressors(co) eat(cp) their own flesh;
they will be drunk on their own blood,(cq) as with wine.
Then all mankind will know(cr)
that I, the Lord , am your Savior,(cs)
your Redeemer,(ct) the Mighty One of Jacob.(cu)"
Imitating Christ's Humility
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,(a) if any tenderness and compassion,(b) 2 then make my joy complete(c) by being like-minded,(d) having the same love, being one(e) in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.(f) Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,(g) 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.(h)
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:(i)
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,(j)
did not consider equality with God(k) something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing(l)
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,(m)
being made in human likeness.(n)
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death(o)—
even death on a cross!(p)
9 Therefore God exalted him(q) to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,(r)
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,(s)
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,(t)
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,(u)
to the glory of God the Father.
the Third Sunday after Epiphany