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December 16: Hosea 2–5; John 10:19–42; Psalm 136; Proverbs 30:5–6

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Old Testament: Hosea 2–5 Hosea 2–5

Hosea 2–5

Israel's Unfaithfulness Punished

Say to your brothers, “You are my people,”1 and to your sisters, “You have received mercy.”2

  “Plead with your mother, plead—
    for she is not my wife,
    and I am not her husband—
  that she put away her whoring from her face,
    and her adultery from between her breasts;
  lest I strip her naked
    and make her as in the day she was born,
  and make her like a wilderness,
    and make her like a parched land,
    and kill her with thirst.
  Upon her children also I will have no mercy,
    because they are children of whoredom.
  For their mother has played the whore;
    she who conceived them has acted shamefully.
  For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
    who give me my bread and my water,
    my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’
  Therefore I will hedge up her3 way with thorns,
    and I will build a wall against her,
    so that she cannot find her paths.
  She shall pursue her lovers
    but not overtake them,
  and she shall seek them
    but shall not find them.
  Then she shall say,
    ‘I will go and return to my first husband,
    for it was better for me then than now.’
  And she did not know
    that it was I who gave her
    the grain, the wine, and the oil,
  and who lavished on her silver and gold,
    which they used for Baal.
  Therefore I will take back
    my grain in its time,
    and my wine in its season,
  and I will take away my wool and my flax,
    which were to cover her nakedness.
  Now I will uncover her lewdness
    in the sight of her lovers,
    and no one shall rescue her out of my hand.
  And I will put an end to all her mirth,
    her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths,
    and all her appointed feasts.
  And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,
    of which she said,
  ‘These are my wages,
    which my lovers have given me.’
  I will make them a forest,
    and the beasts of the field shall devour them.
  And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals
    when she burned offerings to them
  and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry,
    and went after her lovers
    and forgot me, declares the LORD.

The Lord's Mercy on Israel

  “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
    and bring her into the wilderness,
    and speak tenderly to her.
  And there I will give her her vineyards
    and make the Valley of Achor4 a door of hope.
  And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
    as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

“And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish5 the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.

  “And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD,
    I will answer the heavens,
    and they shall answer the earth,
  and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,
    and they shall answer Jezreel,6
    and I will sow her for myself in the land.
  And I will have mercy on No Mercy,7
    and I will say to Not My People,8 ‘You are my people’;
    and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”

Hosea Redeems His Wife

And the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech9 of barley. And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days.

The Lord Accuses Israel

  Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel,
    for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land.
  There is no faithfulness or steadfast love,
    and no knowledge of God in the land;
  there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery;
    they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
  Therefore the land mourns,
    and all who dwell in it languish,
  and also the beasts of the field
    and the birds of the heavens,
    and even the fish of the sea are taken away.
  Yet let no one contend,
    and let none accuse,
    for with you is my contention, O priest.10
  You shall stumble by day;
    the prophet also shall stumble with you by night;
    and I will destroy your mother.
  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
    because you have rejected knowledge,
    I reject you from being a priest to me.
  And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
    I also will forget your children.
  The more they increased,
    the more they sinned against me;
    I will change their glory into shame.
  They feed on the sin11 of my people;
    they are greedy for their iniquity.
  And it shall be like people, like priest;
    I will punish them for their ways
    and repay them for their deeds.
  They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
    they shall play the whore, but not multiply,
  because they have forsaken the LORD
    to cherish whoredom, wine, and new wine,
    which take away the understanding.
  My people inquire of a piece of wood,
    and their walking staff gives them oracles.
  For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray,
    and they have left their God to play the whore.
  They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains
    and burn offerings on the hills,
  under oak, poplar, and terebinth,
    because their shade is good.
  Therefore your daughters play the whore,
    and your brides commit adultery.
  I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore,
    nor your brides when they commit adultery;
  for the men themselves go aside with prostitutes
    and sacrifice with cult prostitutes,
  and a people without understanding shall come to ruin.
  Though you play the whore, O Israel,
    let not Judah become guilty.
  Enter not into Gilgal,
    nor go up to Beth-aven,
    and swear not, “As the LORD lives.”
  Like a stubborn heifer,
    Israel is stubborn;
  can the LORD now feed them
    like a lamb in a broad pasture?
  Ephraim is joined to idols;
    leave him alone.
  When their drink is gone, they give themselves to whoring;
    their rulers12 dearly love shame.
  A wind has wrapped them13 in its wings,
    and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

Punishment Coming for Israel and Judah

  Hear this, O priests!
    Pay attention, O house of Israel!
  Give ear, O house of the king!
    For the judgment is for you;
  for you have been a snare at Mizpah
    and a net spread upon Tabor.
  And the revolters have gone deep into slaughter,
    but I will discipline all of them.
  I know Ephraim,
    and Israel is not hidden from me;
  for now, O Ephraim, you have played the whore;
    Israel is defiled.
  Their deeds do not permit them
    to return to their God.
  For the spirit of whoredom is within them,
    and they know not the LORD.
  The pride of Israel testifies to his face;14
    Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in his guilt;
    Judah also shall stumble with them.
  With their flocks and herds they shall go
    to seek the LORD,
  but they will not find him;
    he has withdrawn from them.
  They have dealt faithlessly with the LORD;
    for they have borne alien children.
    Now the new moon shall devour them with their fields.
  Blow the horn in Gibeah,
    the trumpet in Ramah.
  Sound the alarm at Beth-aven;
    we follow you,15 O Benjamin!
  Ephraim shall become a desolation
    in the day of punishment;
  among the tribes of Israel
    I make known what is sure.
  The princes of Judah have become
    like those who move the landmark;
  upon them I will pour out
    my wrath like water.
  Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment,
    because he was determined to go after filth.16
  But I am like a moth to Ephraim,
    and like dry rot to the house of Judah.
  When Ephraim saw his sickness,
    and Judah his wound,
  then Ephraim went to Assyria,
    and sent to the great king.17
  But he is not able to cure you
    or heal your wound.
  For I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
    and like a young lion to the house of Judah.
  I, even I, will tear and go away;
    I will carry off, and no one shall rescue.
  I will return again to my place,
    until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face,
    and in their distress earnestly seek me.

Footnotes

[1] 2:1 Hebrew ammi, which means my people
[2] 2:1 Hebrew ruhama, which means she has received mercy
[3] 2:6 Hebrew your
[4] 2:15 Achor means trouble; compare Joshua 7:26
[5] 2:18 Hebrew break
[6] 2:22 Jezreel means God will sow
[7] 2:23 Hebrew Lo-ruhama
[8] 2:23 Hebrew Lo-ammi
[9] 3:2 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams; a homer was about 6 bushels or 220 liters; a lethech was about 3 bushels or 110 liters
[10] 4:4 Or for your people are like those who contend with the priest
[11] 4:8 Or sin offering
[12] 4:18 Hebrew shields
[13] 4:19 Hebrew her
[14] 5:5 Or in his presence
[15] 5:8 Or after you
[16] 5:11 Or to follow human precepts
[17] 5:13 Or to King Jareb

(ESV)

New Testament: John 10:19–42 John 10:19–42

John 10:19–42

There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

I and the Father Are One

At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me,1 is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.”

The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there.

Footnotes

[1] 10:29 Some manuscripts What my Father has given to me

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 136 Psalm 136

Psalm 136

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

136   Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and brought Israel out from among them,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  but overthrew1 Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who led his people through the wilderness,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who struck down great kings,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and killed mighty kings,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  Sihon, king of the Amorites,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and Og, king of Bashan,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and gave their land as a heritage,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  a heritage to Israel his servant,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and rescued us from our foes,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  he who gives food to all flesh,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the God of heaven,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

Footnotes

[1] 136:15 Hebrew shook off

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 30:5–6 Proverbs 30:5–6

Proverbs 30:5–6

  Every word of God proves true;
    he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
  Do not add to his words,
    lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

(ESV)

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