December 18: Daily Bible Reading


Hosea 10–14; John 11:55–12:19; Psalm 138; Proverbs 30:10

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Hosea 10–14

10   Israel is a luxuriant vine
    that yields its fruit.
  The more his fruit increased,
    the more altars he built;
  as his country improved,
    he improved his pillars.
  Their heart is false;
    now they must bear their guilt.
  The LORD1 will break down their altars
    and destroy their pillars.

  For now they will say:
    “We have no king,
  for we do not fear the LORD;
    and a king—what could he do for us?”
  They utter mere words;
    with emptyOr vain (see Exodus 20:7)'2 oaths they make covenants;
  so judgment springs up like poisonous weeds
    in the furrows of the field.
  The inhabitants of Samaria tremble
    for the calfOr calves'3 of Beth-aven.
  Its people mourn for it, and so do its idolatrous priests—
    those who rejoiced over it and over its glory—
    for it has departedOr has gone into exile'4 from them.
  The thing itself shall be carried to Assyria
    as tribute to the great king.Or to King Jareb'5
  Ephraim shall be put to shame,
    and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol.Or counsel'6

  Samaria's king shall perish
    like a twig on the face of the waters.
  The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel,
    shall be destroyed.
  Thorn and thistle shall grow up
    on their altars,
  and they shall say to the mountains, “Cover us,”
    and to the hills, “Fall on us.”

  From the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel;
    there they have continued.
    Shall not the war against the unjustHebrew the children of injustice'7 overtake them in Gibeah?
10   When I please, I will discipline them,
    and nations shall be gathered against them
    when they are bound up for their double iniquity.

11   Ephraim was a trained calf
    that loved to thresh,
    and I spared her fair neck;
  but I will put Ephraim to the yoke;
    Judah must plow;
    Jacob must harrow for himself.
12   Sow for yourselves righteousness;
    reap steadfast love;
    break up your fallow ground,
  for it is the time to seek the LORD,
    that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

13   You have plowed iniquity;
    you have reaped injustice;
    you have eaten the fruit of lies.
  Because you have trusted in your own way
    and in the multitude of your warriors,
14   therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people,
    and all your fortresses shall be destroyed,
  as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle;
    mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.
15   Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
    because of your great evil.
  At dawn the king of Israel
    shall be utterly cut off.

The Lord's Love for Israel

11   When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.
  The more they were called,
    the more they went away;
  they kept sacrificing to the Baals
    and burning offerings to idols.

  Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
    I took them up by their arms,
    but they did not know that I healed them.
  I led them with cords of kindness,Or humaneness; Hebrew man'8
    with the bands of love,
  and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
    and I bent down to them and fed them.

  They shall notOr surely'9 return to the land of Egypt,
    but Assyria shall be their king,
    because they have refused to return to me.
  The sword shall rage against their cities,
    consume the bars of their gates,
    and devour them because of their own counsels.
  My people are bent on turning away from me,
    and though they call out to the Most High,
    he shall not raise them up at all.

  How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
    How can I hand you over, O Israel?
  How can I make you like Admah?
    How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
  My heart recoils within me;
    my compassion grows warm and tender.
  I will not execute my burning anger;
    I will not again destroy Ephraim;
  for I am God and not a man,
    the Holy One in your midst,
    and I will not come in wrath.Or into the city'10

10   They shall go after the LORD;
    he will roar like a lion;
  when he roars,
    his children shall come trembling from the west;
11   they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt,
    and like doves from the land of Assyria,
    and I will return them to their homes, declares the LORD.
12   Ch 12:1 in Hebrew'11 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
    and the house of Israel with deceit,
  but Judah still walks with God
    and is faithful to the Holy One.
12   Ephraim feeds on the wind
    and pursues the east wind all day long;
  they multiply falsehood and violence;
    they make a covenant with Assyria,
    and oil is carried to Egypt.

The Lord's Indictment of Israel and Judah

  The LORD has an indictment against Judah
    and will punish Jacob according to his ways;
    he will repay him according to his deeds.
  In the womb he took his brother by the heel,
    and in his manhood he strove with God.
  He strove with the angel and prevailed;
    he wept and sought his favor.
  He met GodHebrew him'12 at Bethel,
    and there God spoke with us—
  the LORD, the God of hosts,
    the LORD is his memorial name:
  “So you, by the help of your God, return,
    hold fast to love and justice,
    and wait continually for your God.”

  A merchant, in whose hands are false balances,
    he loves to oppress.
  Ephraim has said, “Ah, but I am rich;
    I have found wealth for myself;
  in all my labors they cannot find in me iniquity or sin.”
  I am the LORD your God
    from the land of Egypt;
  I will again make you dwell in tents,
    as in the days of the appointed feast.

10   I spoke to the prophets;
    it was I who multiplied visions,
    and through the prophets gave parables.
11   If there is iniquity in Gilead,
    they shall surely come to nothing:
  in Gilgal they sacrifice bulls;
    their altars also are like stone heaps
    on the furrows of the field.
12   Jacob fled to the land of Aram;
    there Israel served for a wife,
    and for a wife he guarded sheep.
13   By a prophet the LORD brought Israel up from Egypt,
    and by a prophet he was guarded.
14   Ephraim has given bitter provocation;
    so his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him
    and will repay him for his disgraceful deeds.

The Lord's Relentless Judgment on Israel

13   When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;
    he was exalted in Israel,
    but he incurred guilt through Baal and died.
  And now they sin more and more,
    and make for themselves metal images,
  idols skillfully made of their silver,
    all of them the work of craftsmen.
  It is said of them,
    “Those who offer human sacrifice kiss calves!”
  Therefore they shall be like the morning mist
    or like the dew that goes early away,
  like the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor
    or like smoke from a window.

  But I am the LORD your God
    from the land of Egypt;
  you know no God but me,
    and besides me there is no savior.
  It was I who knew you in the wilderness,
    in the land of drought;
  but when they had grazed,Hebrew according to their pasture'13 they became full,
    they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
    therefore they forgot me.
  So I am to them like a lion;
    like a leopard I will lurk beside the way.
  I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs;
    I will tear open their breast,
  and there I will devour them like a lion,
    as a wild beast would rip them open.

  He destroysOr I will destroy'14 you, O Israel,
    for you are against me, against your helper.
10   Where now is your king, to save you in all your cities?
    Where are all your rulers—
  those of whom you said,
    “Give me a king and princes”?
11   I gave you a king in my anger,
    and I took him away in my wrath.

12   The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up;
    his sin is kept in store.
13   The pangs of childbirth come for him,
    but he is an unwise son,
  for at the right time he does not present himself
    at the opening of the womb.

14   I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol;
    I shall redeem them from Death.Or Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death?'15
  O Death, where are your plagues?
    O Sheol, where is your sting?
    Compassion is hidden from my eyes.

15   Though he may flourish among his brothers,
    the east wind, the wind of the LORD, shall come,
    rising from the wilderness,
  and his fountain shall dry up;
    his spring shall be parched;
  it shall strip his treasury
    of every precious thing.
16   Ch 14:1 in Hebrew'16 Samaria shall bear her guilt,
    because she has rebelled against her God;
  they shall fall by the sword;
    their little ones shall be dashed in pieces,
    and their pregnant women ripped open.

A Plea to Return to the Lord

14   Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God,
    for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
  Take with you words
    and return to the LORD;
  say to him,
    “Take away all iniquity;
  accept what is good,
    and we will pay with bulls
    the vowsSeptuagint, Syriac pay the fruit'17 of our lips.
  Assyria shall not save us;
    we will not ride on horses;
  and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
    to the work of our hands.
  In you the orphan finds mercy.”

  I will heal their apostasy;
    I will love them freely,
    for my anger has turned from them.
  I will be like the dew to Israel;
    he shall blossom like the lily;
    he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
  his shoots shall spread out;
    his beauty shall be like the olive,
    and his fragrance like Lebanon.
  They shall return and dwell beneath myHebrew his'18 shadow;
    they shall flourish like the grain;
  they shall blossom like the vine;
    their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

  O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
    It is I who answer and look after you.Hebrew him'19
  I am like an evergreen cypress;
    from me comes your fruit.

  Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
    whoever is discerning, let him know them;
  for the ways of the LORD are right,
    and the upright walk in them,
    but transgressors stumble in them.

John 11:55–12:19

55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 They were looking forGreek were seeking for'1 Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany

12 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a poundGreek litra; a litra (or Roman pound) was equal to about 11 1/2 ounces or 327 grams'2 of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denariiA denarius was a day's wage for a laborer"3 and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep itOr Leave her alone; she intended to keep it'4 for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

The Plot to Kill Lazarus

When the large crowd of the Jews learned that JesusGreek he'5 was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

The Triumphal Entry

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15   “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
  behold, your king is coming,
    sitting on a donkey's colt!”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

Psalm 138

Give Thanks to the Lord

Of David.

138   I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
  I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted above all things
    your name and your word.Or you have exalted your word above all your name'1
  On the day I called, you answered me;
    my strength of soul you increased.Hebrew you made me bold in my soul with strength'2

  All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth,
  and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
    for great is the glory of the LORD.
  For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,
    but the haughty he knows from afar.

  Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life;
  you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    and your right hand delivers me.
  The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Proverbs 30:10

10   Do not slander a servant to his master,
    lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.

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