30 November 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s reading from Daniel 7 includes Daniel’s vision in the first year of Belshazzar’s reign: four beasts coming from the sea. The first, the Babylonian empire, was like a lion with eagle’s wings. Its wings were plucked off, it was lifted up and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. The second beast, the Medo-Persian empire, was like a bear with three ribs between its teeth – it was commanded to devour much flesh. The third beast, the Greek empire, was like a leopard with four heads and four bird’s wings on its back. It was given dominion. The fourth beast, the Roman empire, has iron teeth, and ten horns, which are then replaced by a single conspicuous horn. One like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven. He comes to the Ancient of Days, and is given everlasting dominion.
7 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head on his bed: then he wrote the dream and told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the sky broke out on the great sea. 3 Four great animals came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I saw until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand on two feet as a man; and a man’s heart was given to it. 5 Behold, another animal, a second, like a bear; and it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus to it, Arise, devour much flesh. 6 After this I saw, and behold, another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the animal had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and, behold, a fourth animal, awesome and powerful, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the animals that were before it; and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots: and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. 9 I saw until thrones were placed, and one who was ancient of days sat: his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came out from before him: thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11 I saw at that time because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke; I saw even until the animal was slain, and its body destroyed, and it was given to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the animals, their dominion was taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. 13 I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 There was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 15 As for me, Daniel, my spirit was grieved within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 These great animals, which are four, are four kings, who shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. 19 Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth animal, which was diverse from all of them, exceedingly terrible, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet; 20 and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three fell, even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke great things, whose look was more stout than its fellows. 21 I saw, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth animal shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings. 25 He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time. 26 But the judgment shall be set, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it to the end. 27 The kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole sky, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts much troubled me, and my face was changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
1 John 1
1 That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life 2 (and the life was revealed, and we have seen, and testify, and declare to you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was revealed to us); 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us. Yes, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 And we write these things to you, that our joy may be fulfilled.
5 This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don’t tell the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we haven’t sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
153 Consider my affliction, and deliver me,
for I don’t forget your law.
154 Plead my cause, and redeem me!
Revive me according to your promise.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked,
for they don’t seek your statutes.
156 Great are your tender mercies, Yahweh.
Revive me according to your ordinances.
157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries.
I haven’t swerved from your testimonies.
158 I look at the faithless with loathing,
because they don’t observe your word.
159 Consider how I love your precepts.
Revive me, Yahweh, according to your loving kindness.
160 All of your words are truth.
Every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.
SIN AND SHIN
161 Princes have persecuted me without a cause,
but my heart stands in awe of your words.
162 I rejoice at your word,
as one who finds great plunder.
163 I hate and abhor falsehood.
I love your law.
164 Seven times a day, I praise you,
because of your righteous ordinances.
165 Those who love your law have great peace.
Nothing causes them to stumble.
166 I have hoped for your salvation, Yahweh.
I have done your commandments.
167 My soul has observed your testimonies.
I love them exceedingly.
168 I have obeyed your precepts and your testimonies,
for all my ways are before you.
169 Let my cry come before you, Yahweh.
Give me understanding according to your word.
170 Let my supplication come before you.
Deliver me according to your word.
171 Let my lips utter praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
172 Let my tongue sing of your word,
for all your commandments are righteousness.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I have longed for your salvation, Yahweh.
Your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live, that I may praise you.
Let your ordinances help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep.
Seek your servant, for I don’t forget your commandments.
23 One who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than one who flatters with the tongue.
24 Whoever robs his father or his mother, and says, “It’s not wrong.”
He is a partner with a destroyer.