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Showing posts from September, 2021

bible reading oct 1-3

Bible reading for weekend Oct 1 -- 3 Oct 1 -- Ezekiel 34 and Psalms 83-84 Oct 2 -- Ezekiel 35 and Psalm 85 Oct 3 -- Ezekiel 36 and Psalm 86 ================   "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules." (Ezekiel 36:26-27) BAD SHEPHERDS, GOOD SHEPHERD (ch 34). Ever since King David, the first shepherd-turned-king, the leaders of Judah were designated as shepherds, who were called to exercise oversight and care for God's people. They were to feed, guide, care for, and protect the flock of God. Generally, they did this poorly (vv 1-10). Where they failed, God himself would step in (vv 11-31). Over 18 times in this chapter God says, "I will..." or "I myself will...", that is, he will be the shepherd who seeks, gathers, feeds, and protect

bible reading sept 29-30

  Bible reading for September 29 -- 30 Sept 29 -- Ezekiel 32 and Psalm 80 Sept 30 -- Ezekiel 33 and Psalms 81-82 ================   "Son of man, wail over the multitude of Egypt, and send them down, her and the daughters of majestic nations, to the world below, to those who have gone down to the pit: 'Whom do you surpass in beauty? Go down and be laid to rest with the uncircumcised.'" (Ezekiel 32:18-19) ONCE MAJESTIC NATIONS (ch 32). As I am writing this, workers in our backyard are taking down a large tree, a beautiful ash, which has been dying from the emerald ash borer infestation. In the Bible empires and kingdoms are compared to large trees which provide beauty, shade, food, and shelter for God's creatures (cf 17:23). But these same trees can become proud, diseased, weak, and rotten, and so must be taken down. The previous chapter contains a lament for the mighty empire of Egypt. With irony (and personification) it is written that the trees of Eden "e

bible reading sept 27-28

  Bible reading for September 27 -- 28 Sept 27 -- Ezekiel 30 and Psalm 78:40-72 Sept 28 -- Ezekiel 31 and Psalm 79 ================   "Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: 'Wail, "Alas for the day!" For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near; it will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations.'" (Ezekiel 30:2-3) THE FAILURE OF EGYPT (CH 30-31). The greatness of Egypt (with her military power) was very attractive to the Judeans as a hedge against Babylonian power. But it would all be in vain (see also Jeremiah's words in Jer 46). Read more about these chapters here .       ================    "He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance. With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand." (Psalm 78:70-72) THE SHEPHERD KING (Ps 78). This psalm of Asaph reflects on the dis

bible reading sep 24-26

Bible reading for weekend September 24 -- 26 Sep 24 -- Ezekiel 27 and Psalms 75-76 Sep 25 -- Ezekiel 28 and Psalm 77 Sep 26 -- Ezekiel 29 and Psalm 78:1-39 ================   "Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared." (Ezekiel 28:12-13) I am out of town for a few days, but I'll continue to send you the reading schedule and point you to the NET Bible notes on Ezekiel by Dr. Thomas Constable.         ================    "For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lif

bible reading sep 22-23

  Bible reading for September 22 -- 23 Sep 22 -- Ezekiel 25 and Psalm 73 Sep 23 -- Ezekiel 26 and Psalm 74 ================   "She shall be in the midst of the sea a place for the spreading of nets, for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. And she shall become plunder for the nations, and her daughters on the mainland shall be killed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 26:5-6)   ISRAEL'S NEIGHBORS NOT SPARED (ch 25-26). The Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and the city-state of Tyre, are all called out for judgment. They too will experience the military wrath of Babylon. Read more here from the NET Bible notes on Ezekiel by Tom Constable. ================    "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."  (Psalm 74:18-19) IS HE WORTH IT? (Ps 73) The Psalmist Asaph (see 1 Chron 15:16-17) is asking: wh

bible reading sept 20-21

Bible reading for September 20 -- 21 Sep 20 -- Ezekiel 23 and Psalms 70-71 Sep 21 -- Ezekiel 24 and Psalm 72 ================   "I am the LORD. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 24:14)   This week, due to time constraints, I am referring you to the NET Bible notes on Ezekiel by Tom Constable, one of my former professors. My posts on the Psalms readings will be taken from last year's posts. ================    "So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come." (Psalm 71:18) AGES AND STAGES (Ps 70-71). Many of the psalms in books I and II are tied to stages and events in David's life, as noted often in the superscription. Psalm 70 is a short lament, and Psalm 71 recognizes God's work in David'

bible reading sep 17-19

  Bible reading for weekend September 17 -- 19 Sep 17 -- Ezekiel 20 and Psalms 66-67 Sep 18 -- Ezekiel 21 and Psalm 68 Sep 19 -- Ezekiel 22 and Psalm 69 ================   "But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt." (Ezekiel 20:9) FOR THE SAKE OF HIS NAME (ch 20). The elders come to Ezekiel to inquire from the Lord. But surely one cannot legitimately pray to God -- the only God -- while also looking to other gods for help (Ex 19:4-6; 20:3-6). God alone is the Source of all life and blessing. This chapter gives an historical recap of Israel's continued rejection of the Lord. He judged them in righteousness, but also in mercy spared them (vv 13, 17). God's redemption, then as now, has the purpose of revealing God's glory, making his name known -- "for the sake of my name." Whether in judgment

bible reading sept 15-16

Bible reading for September 15 -- 16 Sep 15 -- Ezekiel 18 and Psalms 62-63 Sep 16 -- Ezekiel 19 and Psalms 64-65 ================   "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live." (Ezekiel 18:32) THE SOUL WHO SINS (ch 18). It seems there was a popular belief that since the Lord spoke of generational sins and judgment (Ex 20:5; 34:7), then the punishment the Jews were then experiencing at the hands of Babylon was due -- unfairly, in their minds -- to past generations of Jews. Jeremiah also refers to this belief (Jer 31:29-30). But the Lord asserts, "The soul who sins shall die" (vv 4, 20). That current generation of Jews, by persisting in idolatry and injustice, had reaffirmed (rather than repudiated) the actions of their forebears. If a descendant sees the sins of his or her forebears and repents, then that generational guilt is broken (v 14; cf Ezek 33:14-16). The scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day thought they would

bible reading sept 13-14

Bible reading for September 13 -- 14 Sep 13 -- Ezekiel 16 and Psalms 58-59 Sep 14 -- Ezekiel 17 and Psalms 60-61 ================   "I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD..." (Ezekiel 16:62) YOUR CHEATING HEART (ch 16). Israel's physical ancestry traced back to Abraham who lived in Ur of the Chaldees. But their spiritual culture, their pedigree once settled in the land, was more like the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites (vv 3, 45), and even like the city of Sodom. This chapter is a poignant parable of God's longsuffering care for his people, being like a loving husband rejected by his wife. Israel's beauty and wealth, given to her by her Lord, lifts her up in pride and immorality (v 15; cf Lucifer in 28:17). Idols are allowed on every street (v 23) and the blood of their children ran down in the pagan sacrifices (vv 20, 36). The blessings from their glorious Lord were turned to self-glory. Like Sodom (v 49; cf Gen 19; Lev 18:

bible reading sept 10-12

  Bible reading for weekend September 10 -- 12 Sep 10 -- Ezekiel 13 and Psalms 52-54 Sep 11 -- Ezekiel 14 and Psalm 55 Sep 12 -- Ezekiel 15 and Psalms 56-57 ================   "Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life, therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 13:22-23) POPULAR RELIGION CONDEMNED (ch 13-14). Three groups are called out for condemnation: false prophets, and prophetesses, and some key leaders. They were all saying what the people wanted to hear -- things will be all right, peace and security is near, and your best life is arriving soon (cf Jer 6:14; Mic 3:5). It was a popular religion of the day (cf 1 Thess 5:3). All this originated in their own minds and imaginations, which they mistook for the Lord spe

bible reading sept 8-9

  Bible reading for September 8 -- 9 Sep 8 -- Ezekiel 11 and Psalm 50 Sep 9 -- Ezekiel 12 and Psalm 51 ================   "And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God." (Ezekiel 10:18) BAD LEADERS, BRIGHT PROMISE (ch 11). Israel was chronically plagued by bad leadership (vv 1-12). In the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the rulers of Judah and their advisors, along with the popular prophets, urged the people of Jerusalem to hold out against the Babylonian siege. God had plainly told them through Jeremiah to not fight the Babylonians but to peacefully surrender. But in their pride and zeal they resisted and faced a long siege, starvation, disease, and finally, violence and enslavement by the Babylonians. But there's a bright ray of hope (vv 16-20),

bible reading sept 6-7

  Bible reading for September 6 -- 7 Sep 6 -- Ezekiel 9 and Psalm 48 Sep 7 -- Ezekiel 10 and Psalm 49 ================   "Then the glory of the LORD went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim." (Ezekiel 10:18) MARKED OUT (ch 9) . In a vision Ezekiel sees Jerusalem's upcoming destruction from a heavenly point of view. Executioners (lit., officers, guards) approach the city along with an angelic scribe. The individuals to be spared are marked with a tav , last letter of Hebrew alphabet, which at that time looked like an x or + (v 4). Compare this with Revelation 7:3, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads." Besides idolatry the people were punished for their violence and injustice (v 9). For an excellent pictorial overview of the book of Ezekiel I recommend this Bible Project video . THE GLORY DEPARTING (ch 10). In the vision Ezekiel is seeing the appearance of God

bible reading sep 3-5

  Bible reading for weekend September 3 -- 5 Sep 3 -- Ezekiel 6 and Psalm 44 Sep 4 -- Ezekiel 7 and Psalm 45 Sep 5 -- Ezekiel 8 and Psalm 46-47 ================   "According to their way I will do to them, and according to their judgments I will judge them, and they shall know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 7:27) JUDGMENT UPON IDOLATRY (ch 6-8). The big thing to note in these chapters is that God's judgment is coming upon Israel (specifically, Jerusalem and Judah) for her idolatry. She, called to be a people who worship God alone, has become just like the pagan nations. There are even idols in the courts of the temple of the Lord. What's so bad about idolatry? Mainly it dishonors God. But also it's a lie. When I was a boy some of my friends would carry a lucky rabbit's foot. I was never sure how the foot of a dead rabbit might bring good fortune, but it was a popular belief. Idolatry runs the gamut from silly superstitions to Satanic orgies. At the heart of it