Through The Bible Monday 12-24-18 Devotions
A Lampstand and Two Olive Trees
4 Then the angel who had been talking with me returned and woke me, as though I had been asleep. 2 “What do you see now?” he asked.
I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl of oil on top of it. Around the bowl are seven lamps, each having seven spouts with wicks. 3 And I see two olive trees, one on each side of the bowl.” 4 Then I asked the angel, “What are these, my lord? What do they mean?”
5 “Don’t you know?” the angel asked.
“No, my lord,” I replied.
6 Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 7 Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!’[a]”
8 Then another message came to me from the Lord: 9 “Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. 10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”
(The seven lamps[b] represent the eyes of the Lord that search all around the world.)
11 Then I asked the angel, “What are these two olive trees on each side of the lampstand, 12 and what are the two olive branches that pour out golden oil through two gold tubes?”
13 “Don’t you know?” he asked.
“No, my lord,” I replied.
14 Then he said to me, “They represent the two anointed ones[c] who stand in the court of the Lord of all the earth.”
A Flying Scroll
5 I looked up again and saw a scroll flying through the air.
2 “What do you see?” the angel asked.
“I see a flying scroll,” I replied. “It appears to be about 30 feet long and 15 feet wide.[d]”
3 Then he said to me, “This scroll contains the curse that is going out over the entire land. One side of the scroll says that those who steal will be banished from the land; the other side says that those who swear falsely will be banished from the land. 4 And this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: I am sending this curse into the house of every thief and into the house of everyone who swears falsely using my name. And my curse will remain in that house and completely destroy it—even its timbers and stones.”
A Woman in a Basket
5 Then the angel who was talking with me came forward and said, “Look up and see what’s coming.”
6 “What is it?” I asked.
He replied, “It is a basket for measuring grain,[e] and it’s filled with the sins[f] of everyone throughout the land.”
7 Then the heavy lead cover was lifted off the basket, and there was a woman sitting inside it. 8 The angel said, “The woman’s name is Wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and closed the heavy lid again.
9 Then I looked up and saw two women flying toward us, gliding on the wind. They had wings like a stork, and they picked up the basket and flew into the sky.
10 “Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel.
11 He replied, “To the land of Babylonia,[g] where they will build a temple for the basket. And when the temple is ready, they will set the basket there on its pedestal.”
6 Then I looked up again and saw four chariots coming from between two bronze mountains. 2 The first chariot was pulled by red horses, the second by black horses, 3 the third by white horses, and the fourth by powerful dappled-gray horses. 4 “And what are these, my lord?” I asked the angel who was talking with me.
5 The angel replied, “These are the four spirits[h] of heaven who stand before the Lord of all the earth. They are going out to do his work. 6 The chariot with black horses is going north, the chariot with white horses is going west,[i] and the chariot with dappled-gray horses is going south.”
7 The powerful horses were eager to set out to patrol the earth. And the Lord said, “Go and patrol the earth!” So they left at once on their patrol.
8 Then the Lord summoned me and said, “Look, those who went north have vented the anger of my Spirit[j] there in the land of the north.”
The Crowning of Jeshua
9 Then I received another message from the Lord: 10 “Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah will bring gifts of silver and gold from the Jews exiled in Babylon. As soon as they arrive, meet them at the home of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11 Accept their gifts, and make a crown from the silver and gold. Then put the crown on the head of Jeshua[k] son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Here is the man called the Branch. He will branch out from where he is and build the Temple of the Lord. 13 Yes, he will build the Temple of the Lord. Then he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne,[l] and there will be perfect harmony between his two roles.’
14 “The crown will be a memorial in the Temple of the Lord to honor those who gave it—Heldai,[m] Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah[n] son of Zephaniah.”
15 People will come from distant lands to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. And when this happens, you will know that my messages have been from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. All this will happen if you carefully obey what the Lord your God says.
4:7 Hebrew ‘Grace, grace to it.’
4:10 Or The seven facets (see 3:9); Hebrew reads These seven.
4:14 Or two heavenly beings; Hebrew reads two sons of fresh oil.
5:2 Hebrew 20 cubits [9.2 meters] long and 10 cubits [4.6 meters] wide.
5:6a Hebrew an ephah [20 quarts or 22 liters]; also in 5:7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
5:6b As in Greek version; Hebrew reads the appearance.
5:11 Hebrew the land of Shinar.
6:5 Or the four winds.
6:6 Hebrew is going after them.
6:8 Hebrew have given my Spirit rest.
6:11 Hebrew Joshua, a variant spelling of Jeshua.
6:13 Or There will be a priest by his throne.
6:14a As in Syriac version (compare 6:10); Hebrew reads Helem.
6:14b As in Syriac version (compare 6:10); Hebrew reads Hen.
11 Some people curse their father
and do not thank their mother.
12 They are pure in their own eyes,
but they are filthy and unwashed.
13 They look proudly around,
casting disdainful glances.
14 They have teeth like swords
and fangs like knives.
They devour the poor from the earth
and the needy from among humanity.
15 The leech has two suckers
that cry out, “More, more!”[a] There are three things that are never satisfied—
no, four that never say, “Enough!”:
16 the grave,[b] the barren womb,
the thirsty desert,
the blazing fire.
17 The eye that mocks a father
and despises a mother’s instructions
will be plucked out by ravens of the valley
and eaten by vultures.
18 There are three things that amaze me—
no, four things that I don’t understand:
19 how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman.
20 An adulterous woman consumes a man,
then wipes her mouth and says, “What’s wrong with that?”
21 There are three things that make the earth tremble—
no, four it cannot endure:
22 a slave who becomes a king,
an overbearing fool who prospers,
23 a bitter woman who finally gets a husband,
a servant girl who supplants her mistress.
30:15 Hebrew two daughters who cry out, “Give, give!”
30:16 Hebrew Sheol.
The Fall of Babylon
18 After all this I saw another angel come down from heaven with great authority, and the earth grew bright with his splendor. 2 He gave a mighty shout:
“Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen!
She has become a home for demons.
She is a hideout for every foul[a] spirit,
a hideout for every foul vulture
and every foul and dreadful animal.[b] 3 For all the nations have fallen[c] because of the wine of her passionate immorality.
The kings of the world
have committed adultery with her.
Because of her desires for extravagant luxury,
the merchants of the world have grown rich.”
4 Then I heard another voice calling from heaven,
“Come away from her, my people.
Do not take part in her sins,
or you will be punished with her.
5 For her sins are piled as high as heaven,
and God remembers her evil deeds.
6 Do to her as she has done to others.
Double her penalty[d] for all her evil deeds.
She brewed a cup of terror for others,
so brew twice as much[e] for her.
7 She glorified herself and lived in luxury,
so match it now with torment and sorrow.
She boasted in her heart,
‘I am queen on my throne.
I am no helpless widow,
and I have no reason to mourn.’
8 Therefore, these plagues will overtake her in a single day—
death and mourning and famine.
She will be completely consumed by fire,
for the Lord God who judges her is mighty.”
9 And the kings of the world who committed adultery with her and enjoyed her great luxury will mourn for her as they see the smoke rising from her charred remains. 10 They will stand at a distance, terrified by her great torment. They will cry out,
“How terrible, how terrible for you,
O Babylon, you great city!
In a single moment
God’s judgment came on you.”
11 The merchants of the world will weep and mourn for her, for there is no one left to buy their goods. 12 She bought great quantities of gold, silver, jewels, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet cloth; things made of fragrant thyine wood, ivory goods, and objects made of expensive wood; and bronze, iron, and marble. 13 She also bought cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, wagons, and bodies—that is, human slaves.
14 “The fancy things you loved so much
are gone,” they cry.
“All your luxuries and splendor
are gone forever,
never to be yours again.”
15 The merchants who became wealthy by selling her these things will stand at a distance, terrified by her great torment. They will weep and cry out,
16 “How terrible, how terrible for that great city!
She was clothed in finest purple and scarlet linens,
decked out with gold and precious stones and pearls!
17 In a single moment
all the wealth of the city is gone!”
And all the captains of the merchant ships and their passengers and sailors and crews will stand at a distance. 18 They will cry out as they watch the smoke ascend, and they will say, “Where is there another city as great as this?” 19 And they will weep and throw dust on their heads to show their grief. And they will cry out,
“How terrible, how terrible for that great city!
The shipowners became wealthy
by transporting her great wealth on the seas.
In a single moment it is all gone.”
20 Rejoice over her fate, O heaven
and people of God and apostles and prophets!
For at last God has judged her
for your sakes.
21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a huge millstone. He threw it into the ocean and shouted,
“Just like this, the great city Babylon
will be thrown down with violence
and will never be found again.
22 The sound of harps, singers, flutes, and trumpets
will never be heard in you again.
No craftsmen and no trades
will ever be found in you again.
The sound of the mill
will never be heard in you again.
23 The light of a lamp
will never shine in you again.
The happy voices of brides and grooms
will never be heard in you again.
For your merchants were the greatest in the world,
and you deceived the nations with your sorceries.
24 In your[f] streets flowed the blood of the prophets and of God’s holy people
and the blood of people slaughtered all over the world.”
18:2a Greek unclean; also in each of the two following phrases.
18:2b Some manuscripts condense the last two lines to read a hideout for every foul [unclean] and dreadful vulture.
18:3 Some manuscripts read have drunk.
18:6a Or Give her an equal penalty.
18:6b Or brew just as much.
18:24 Greek her.
1 Praise the Lord!
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.
3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
there is no help for you there.
4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.
5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel[a] as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.
7 He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
9 The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.
10 The Lord will reign forever.
He will be your God, O Jerusalem,[b] throughout the generations.
Praise the Lord!
146:5 Hebrew of Jacob. See note on 44:4.
146:10 Hebrew Zion.
Tuesday, December 25, 2018