4 November 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading, Ezekiel sees the working of God’s providence in the governments of the Earth. The Spirit of life, the Spirit of God, directs all creatures, in heaven and on earth, so as to make them serve the Divine purpose. God removes by degrees from a provoking people; and, when ready to depart, would return to them, if they were a repenting, praying people. We should all seek the Lord while he may be found, and to call on him while he is near, and cause us all to walk humbly and watchfully with our God.
Today’s passage in Hebrews references Genesis 22:17.
10 Then I looked, and see, in the expanse that was over the head of the cherubim there appeared above them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. 2 He spoke to the man clothed in linen, and said, Go in between the whirling wheels, even under the cherub, and fill both your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city. He went in as I watched. 3 Now the cherubim stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. 4 Yahweh’s glory mounted up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of Yahweh’s glory. 5 The sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of God Almighty when he speaks. 6 It came to pass, when he commanded the man clothed in linen, saying, Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim, that he went in, and stood beside a wheel. 7 The cherub stretched out his hand from between the cherubim to the fire that was between the cherubim, and took of it, and put it into the hands of him who was clothed in linen, who took it and went out. 8 There appeared in the cherubim the form of a man’s hand under their wings. 9 I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside one cherub, and another wheel beside another cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like a beryl stone. 10 As for their appearance, the four of them had one likeness, like a wheel within a wheel. 11 When they went, they went in their four directions: they didn’t turn as they went, but to the place where the head looked they followed it; they didn’t turn as they went. 12 Their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes all around, even the wheels that the four of them had. 13 As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing, the whirling wheels. 14 Every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third face the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. 15 The cherubim mounted up: this is the living creature that I saw by the river Chebar. 16 When the cherubim went, the wheels went beside them; and when the cherubim lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the wheels also didn’t turn from beside them. 17 When they stood, these stood; and when they mounted up, these mounted up with them: for the spirit of the living creature was in them. 18 Yahweh’s glory went out from over the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. 19 The cherubim lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight when they went out, and the wheels beside them: and they stood at the door of the east gate of Yahweh’s house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 20 This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river Chebar; and I knew that they were cherubim. 21 Every one had four faces, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings. 22 As for the likeness of their faces, they were the faces which I saw by the river Chebar, their appearances and themselves; they went every one straight forward.
11 Moreover the Spirit lifted me up, and brought me to the east gate of Yahweh’s house, which looks eastward: and see, at the door of the gate twenty-five men; and I saw among them Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. 2 He said to me, Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity, and who give wicked counsel in this city; 3 who say, The time is not near to build houses: this is the cauldron, and we are the meat. 4 Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, son of man. 5 Yahweh’s Spirit fell on me, and he said to me, Speak, Yahweh says: Thus you have said, house of Israel; for I know the things that come into your mind. 6 You have multiplied your slain in this city, and you have filled its streets with the slain. 7 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Your slain whom you have laid in the middle of it, they are the meat, and this is the cauldron; but you shall be brought out of the middle of it. 8 You have feared the sword; and I will bring the sword on you, says the Lord Yahweh. 9 I will bring you out of the middle of it, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you. 10 You shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 11 This shall not be your cauldron, neither shall you be the meat in the middle of it; I will judge you in the border of Israel; 12 and you shall know that I am Yahweh: for you have not walked in my statutes, neither have you executed my ordinances, but have done after the ordinances of the nations that are around you. 13 When I prophesied, Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down on my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, “Ah Lord Yahweh! will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?”
14 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 15 “Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, the men of your relatives, and all the house of Israel, all of them, to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Go far away from Yahweh. This land has been given to us for a possession.’” 16 Therefore say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Whereas I have removed them far off among the nations, and whereas I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them a sanctuary for a little while in the countries where they have come. 17 Therefore say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. 18 They shall come there, and they shall take away all the detestable things of it and all its abominations from there. 19 I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh; 20 that they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for them whose heart walks after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their way on their own heads, says the Lord Yahweh. 22 Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, and the wheels were beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 23 Yahweh’s glory went up from the middle of the city, and stood on the mountain which is on the east side of the city. 24 The Spirit lifted me up, and brought me in the vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me. 25 Then I spoke to them of the captivity all the things that Yahweh had shown me.
6 Therefore leaving the teaching of the first principles of Christ, let us press on to perfection—not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, of faith toward God, 2 of the teaching of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 This will we do, if God permits. 4 For concerning those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify the Son of God for themselves again, and put him to open shame. 7 For the land which has drunk the rain that comes often on it, and produces a crop suitable for them for whose sake it is also tilled, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and thistles, it is rejected and near being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
9 But, beloved, we are persuaded of better things for you, and things that accompany salvation, even though we speak like this. 10 For God is not unrighteous, so as to forget your work and the labor of love which you showed toward his name, in that you served the saints, and still do serve them. 11 We desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end, 12 that you won’t be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises. 13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 Thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by a greater one, and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation. 17 In this way God, being determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath; 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil; 20 where as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
16 He called for a famine on the land.
He destroyed the food supplies.
17 He sent a man before them.
Joseph was sold for a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles.
His neck was locked in irons,
19 until the time that his word happened,
and Yahweh’s word proved him true.
20 The king sent and freed him;
even the ruler of peoples, and let him go free.
21 He made him lord of his house,
and ruler of all of his possessions;
22 to discipline his princes at his pleasure,
and to teach his elders wisdom.
23 Israel also came into Egypt.
Jacob lived in the land of Ham.
24 He increased his people greatly,
and made them stronger than their adversaries.
25 He turned their heart to hate his people,
to conspire against his servants.
26 He sent Moses, his servant,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27 They performed miracles among them,
and wonders in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness, and made it dark.
They didn’t rebel against his words.
29 He turned their waters into blood,
and killed their fish.
30 Their land swarmed with frogs,
even in the rooms of their kings.
31 He spoke, and swarms of flies came,
and lice in all their borders.
32 He gave them hail for rain,
with lightning in their land.
33 He struck their vines and also their fig trees,
and shattered the trees of their country.
34 He spoke, and the locusts came,
and the grasshoppers, without number,
35 ate up every plant in their land;
and ate up the fruit of their ground.
36 He struck also all the firstborn in their land,
the first fruits of all their manhood.
27 Don’t boast about tomorrow;
for you don’t know what a day may bring.
2 Let another man praise you,
and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.