Bible 2016: 31 December Daily Bible Reading
Context and Comment:
The angel shows John the river of the water of life. This river of living water is pictured as being as bright as crystal. God and the Lamb are on the throne and the river of life is flowing from the throne through the middle of the street of the city. All who belong to this city have access to the river of the water of life for it flows through the middle of the city right down its main street. Zechariah and Ezekiel use the same imagery for this:
- Zechariah 14:8, On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.
- Ezekiel 47:1-2, Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side.
On either side of the river of the water of life is the tree of life. The tree of life yields fruit each month and the leaves bring healing to the nations. This imagery also comes from Ezekiel’s prophecy.
- Ezekiel 47:7, As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other.
- Ezekiel 47:12, And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”
The river of the water of life and the tree of life are symbolic of eternal fellowship with God.
3 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, he comes!” says Yahweh of Armies. 2 “But who can endure the day of his coming? And who will stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like launderer’s soap; 3 and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer to Yahweh offerings in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to Yahweh, as in the days of old, and as in ancient years. 5 I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against the perjurers, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and who deprive the foreigner of justice, and don’t fear me,” says Yahweh of Armies. 6 “For I, Yahweh, don’t change; therefore you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my ordinances, and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says Yahweh of Armies. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ 8 Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with the curse; for you rob me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this,” says Yahweh of Armies, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there will not be room enough for. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before its time in the field,” says Yahweh of Armies. 12 “All nations shall call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says Yahweh of Armies.
13 “Your words have been stout against me,” says Yahweh. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against you?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God;’ and ‘What profit is it that we have followed his instructions, and that we have walked mournfully before Yahweh of Armies? 15 Now we call the proud happy; yes, those who work wickedness are built up; yes, they tempt God, and escape.’ 16 Then those who feared Yahweh spoke one with another; and Yahweh listened, and heard, and a book of memory was written before him, for those who feared Yahweh, and who honored his name. 17 They shall be mine,” says Yahweh of Armies, “my own possession in the day that I make, and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him. 18 Then you shall return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who doesn’t serve him.
4 “For, behold, the day comes, it burns as a furnace; and all the proud, and all who work wickedness, will be stubble; and the day that comes will burn them up,” says Yahweh of Armies, “that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But to you who fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings. You will go out, and leap like calves of the stall. 3 You shall tread down the wicked; for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I make,” says Yahweh of Armies.
4 “Remember the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, even statutes and ordinances. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
22 He showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. On this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no night, and they need no lamp light; for the Lord God will illuminate them. They will reign forever and ever.
6 He said to me, “These words are faithful and true. The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel to show to his bondservants the things which must happen soon.”
7 “Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8 Now I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who had shown me these things. 9 He said to me, “See you don’t do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers, the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” 10 He said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 11 He who acts unjustly, let him act unjustly still. He who is filthy, let him be filthy still. He who is righteous, let him do righteousness still. He who is holy, let him be holy still.”
12 “Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14 Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify these things to you for the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David; the Bright and Morning Star.”
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” He who hears, let him say, “Come!” He who is thirsty, let him come. He who desires, let him take the water of life freely. 18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues which are written in this book. 19 If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book. 20 He who testifies these things says, “Yes, I come quickly.”
Amen! Yes, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints. Amen.
150 Praise Yah!
Praise God in his sanctuary!
Praise him in his heavens for his acts of power!
2 Praise him for his mighty acts!
Praise him according to his excellent greatness!
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet!
Praise him with harp and lyre!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dancing!
Praise him with stringed instruments and flute!
5 Praise him with loud cymbals!
Praise him with resounding cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise Yah!
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing.
She laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom.
Faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
and doesn’t eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed.
Her husband also praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain;
but a woman who fears Yahweh, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands!
Let her works praise her in the gates!