8 April 2017 Bible Reading
If the world knew the time of Jesus’ second coming, how would they receive Him? We’ve all heard some version of the idea that we should live each day as if it were our last, but none of us do it. If we knew that this week, this month, or even this year were our last, what would we do differently today? What might we do this week? Truth is that we live our lives with a remarkable arrogance that flies in the face of the certainty of our own mortality.
28 For they are a nation void of counsel.
There is no understanding in them.
29 Oh that they were wise, that they understood this,
that they would consider their latter end!
30 How could one chase a thousand,
and two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
and Yahweh had delivered them up?
31 For their rock is not as our Rock,
even our enemies themselves concede.
32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom,
of the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are poison grapes.
Their clusters are bitter.
33 Their wine is the poison of serpents,
the cruel venom of asps.
34 “Isn’t this laid up in store with me,
sealed up among my treasures?
35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
at the time when their foot slides;
for the day of their calamity is at hand.
Their doom rushes at them.”
36 For Yahweh will judge his people,
and have compassion on his servants,
when he sees that their power is gone;
that there is no one remaining, shut up or left at large.
37 He will say, “Where are their gods,
the rock in which they took refuge;
38 which ate the fat of their sacrifices,
and drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let them rise up and help you!
Let them be your protection.
39 “See now that I myself am he.
There is no god with me.
I kill and I make alive.
I wound and I heal.
There is no one who can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven and declare,
as I live forever,
41 if I sharpen my glittering sword,
my hand grasps it in judgment;
I will take vengeance on my adversaries,
and will repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood.
My sword shall devour flesh with the blood of the slain and the captives,
from the head of the leaders of the enemy.”
43 Rejoice, you nations, with his people,
for he will avenge the blood of his servants.
He will take vengeance on his adversaries,
and will make atonement for his land and for his people.
44 Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun. 45 Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel. 46 He said to them, “Set your heart to all the words which I testify to you today, which you shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. 47 For it is no vain thing for you; because it is your life, and through this thing you shall prolong your days in the land, where you go over the Jordan to possess it.”
48 Yahweh spoke to Moses that same day, saying, 49 “Go up into this mountain of Abarim, to Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is across from Jericho; and see the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel for a possession. 50 Die on the mountain where you go up, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor, and was gathered to his people; 51 because you trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah of Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because you didn’t uphold my holiness among the children of Israel. 52 For you shall see the land from a distance; but you shall not go there into the land which I give the children of Israel.”
35 “Let your waist be dressed and your lamps burning. 36 Be like men watching for their lord, when he returns from the marriage feast; that, when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. 37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord will find watching when he comes. Most certainly I tell you, that he will dress himself, and make them recline, and will come and serve them. 38 They will be blessed if he comes in the second or third watch, and finds them so. 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched, and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore be ready also, for the Son of Man is coming in an hour that you don’t expect him.”
41 Peter said to him, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everybody?”
42 The Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the right times? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his lord will find doing so when he comes. 44 Truly I tell you, that he will set him over all that he has. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My lord delays his coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken, 46 then the lord of that servant will come in a day when he isn’t expecting him, and in an hour that he doesn’t know, and will cut him in two, and place his portion with the unfaithful. 47 That servant, who knew his lord’s will, and didn’t prepare, nor do what he wanted, will be beaten with many stripes, 48 but he who didn’t know, and did things worthy of stripes, will be beaten with few stripes. To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.
49 “I came to throw fire on the earth. I wish it were already kindled. 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, no, but rather division. 52 For from now on, there will be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against her mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
54 He said to the multitudes also, “When you see a cloud rising from the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it happens. 55 When a south wind blows, you say, ‘There will be a scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you don’t interpret this time? 57 Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 For when you are going with your adversary before the magistrate, try diligently on the way to be released from him, lest perhaps he drag you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will by no means get out of there, until you have paid the very last penny.”
56 Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God,
and didn’t keep his testimonies;
57 but turned back, and dealt treacherously like their fathers.
They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places,
and moved him to jealousy with their engraved images.
59 When God heard this, he was angry,
and greatly abhorred Israel;
60 So that he abandoned the tent of Shiloh,
the tent which he placed among men;
61 and delivered his strength into captivity,
his glory into the adversary’s hand.
62 He also gave his people over to the sword,
and was angry with his inheritance.
63 Fire devoured their young men.
Their virgins had no wedding song.
64 Their priests fell by the sword,
and their widows couldn’t weep.
24 The hands of the diligent ones shall rule,
but laziness ends in slave labor.