Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Leadership is an awesome responsibility. To stand before others as a leader implies two great responsibilities. First, Ezekiel said that a leader is a watchman (Ezekiel 33:2). The watchman's job is to stand upon the wall and never relax his vigilance in looking for the enemy. The watchman is no respecter of persons, but he issues the warning for all to hear. If the watchman is sleeping, afraid, or unconcerned about giving the warning, the Lord will hold him accountable for the blood of his people.

The leader's second responsibility is as a shepherd (Ezekiel 34:2). The leader is not only to lead but also to feed the flock of God. The leader who spends all his time and attention feeding himself neglects his flock. Ezekiel rebuked such leaders, saying, "You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the broken bones. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with force and cruelty" (v. 4). Shepherds should never be harsh, brutal, or uncaring, but rather they should serve as examples of kindness and concern to their flocks.

Leaders who fulfill the dual roles of watchman and shepherd should be highly respected. "Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit" (Hebrews 13:17).

Obey and pray for your watchman and shepherd, for your spiritual life is in his hands.

Ezekiel 33:1-34:31

Renewal of Ezekiel’s Call as Watchman

33 The word of the Lord came to me:“Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the swordS Lev 26:25; S Jer 12:12 against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman,S 1Sa 14:16; Isa 21:6-9; S Jer 51:12and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpetS Ex 20:18; S Nu 10:7; Hos 5:8; 8:1 to warn the people,then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning2Ch 25:16 and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head.S Lev 20:9; S Jer 6:17; Zec 1:4; Ac 18:6Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head.S Lev 20:9 If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves.S Ex 9:21But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’Isa 56:10-11; S Eze 3:18

“Son of man, I have made you a watchmanS Isa 52:8 for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.Jer 1:17; 26:2When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,ver 14’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die forOr in; also in verse 9 their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.S Isa 3:11; S Eze 18:4But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so,S Ps 7:12 they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.Eze 3:17-19

10 “Son of man, say to the Israelites, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting awayS Lev 26:16 because ofOr away in them. How then can we live?S Lev 26:39; S Eze 4:17”’11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.S La 3:33 Turn!S 2Ch 30:9; S Isa 19:22; S Jer 3:12 Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’Jer 44:7-8; S Eze 18:23; Hos 11:8; Joel 2:12; S 1Ti 2:4

12 “Therefore, son of man, say to your people,ver 2 ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’2Ch 7:14; S Eze 3:20; S 18:2113 If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done.Heb 10:38; 2Pe 2:20-2114 And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is justS Jer 22:3 and right—15 if they give back what they took in pledgeS Ex 22:26 for a loan, return what they have stolen,Ex 22:1-4; S Lev 6:2-5 follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die.Isa 55:7; Jer 18:7-8; S Lk 19:816 None of the sinsS Jer 50:20 that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.S Isa 43:25

17 “Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But it is their way that is not just.18 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil,Jer 18:10 they will die for it.S Eze 3:2019 And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so.S ver 14-1520 Yet you Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to your own ways.”S Job 34:11

Jerusalem’s Fall Explained

21 In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month on the fifth day, a man who had escapedEze 24:26 from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen!S 2Ki 25:4, 10; Jer 39:1-2; 52:4-7; S Eze 32:122 Now the evening before the man arrived, the hand of the Lord was on me,S Eze 1:3 and he opened my mouthEze 29:21; Lk 1:64 before the man came to me in the morning. So my mouth was opened and I was no longer silent.Eze 3:26-27; S 24:27

23 Then the word of the Lord came to me:24 “Son of man, the people living in those ruinsEze 36:4 in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many;S Dt 1:10 surely the land has been given to us as our possession.’Isa 51:2; Jer 40:7; Eze 11:15; Lk 3:8; Ac 7:525 Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you eatJer 7:21 meat with the bloodS Ge 9:4 still in it and look to your idols and shed blood, should you then possess the land?Jer 7:9-10; S Eze 22:6, 2726 You rely on your sword, you do detestable things,Jer 41:7 and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife.Eze 22:11 Should you then possess the land?’

27 “Say this to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those who are left in the ruins will fall by the sword, those out in the country I will give to the wild animals to be devoured, and those in strongholds and caves will die of a plague.1Sa 13:6; Isa 2:19; S Jer 42:22; S Eze 7:15; S 14:21; 39:428 I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud strength will come to an end, and the mountainsS Isa 41:15 of Israel will become desolate so that no one will cross them.S Ge 6:7; Jer 9:1029 Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land a desolateS Lev 26:34 waste because of all the detestable things they have done.’S Jer 18:16; S 44:22; Eze 36:4; Mic 7:13

30 “As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.’31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit beforeS Eze 8:1 you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedyPs 119:36 for unjust gain.Ps 78:36-37; S Isa 29:13; S 33:15; S Jer 3:10; S 6:17; S Eze 22:27; Mt 13:22; 1Jn 3:1832 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songsS 1Ki 4:32 with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.Mk 6:20

33 “When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.S 1Sa 3:20; S Jer 28:9; S Eze 2:5

The Lord Will Be Israel’s Shepherd

34 The word of the Lord came to me:“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock?Ps 78:70-72; Isa 40:11; Jer 3:15; S 23:1; Mic 3:11; Jn 10:11; 21:15-17; Jude 1:12You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.Isa 56:11; S Eze 22:27; Am 6:4; Zec 11:5You have not strengthened the weak or healedS Isa 3:7 the sick or bound upS Isa 1:6 the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.ver 16; S Lev 25:43; Mic 3:3; Zec 11:15-17So they were scattered because there was no shepherd,S Nu 27:17 and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.ver 28; S Isa 56:9; Ac 20:29My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill.S Jer 50:6 They were scatteredS Lev 26:33; S Ps 95:10; S Jer 10:21 over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.2Ch 18:16; Ps 142:4; Hos 7:13; S Mt 9:36; 18:12-13; Lk 15:5; 1Pe 2:25

“‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plunderedS Jdg 2:14 and has become food for all the wild animals,S Isa 56:9 and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock,Jude 1:12therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am againstS Jer 21:13 the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescueS Ps 72:14 my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.1Sa 2:29-30; S Jer 23:2; Zec 10:3

11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheepS Ps 119:176 and look after them.12 As a shepherdIsa 40:11; S Jer 31:10; Zec 10:3; Lk 19:10 looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.S Eze 32:713 I will bring them out from the nations and gatherS Ge 48:21; S Dt 30:4 them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land.S Isa 66:20; S Jer 23:8; S Eze 11:17; Mic 4:6 I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.Jer 23:3; S Jer 50:19; S Eze 28:25; 36:2414 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of IsraelS Eze 20:40 will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasturePs 23:2; S 37:3 on the mountains of Israel.S Isa 65:10; Eze 36:29-30; 37:22; Am 9:14; Mic 7:1415 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down,Zep 3:13 declares the Sovereign Lord.Ps 23:1-2; S Jer 33:12; Mic 5:416 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind upS Ps 147:3 the injured and strengthen the weak,Mic 4:6; Zep 3:19 but the sleek and the strong I will destroy.Lk 19:10 I will shepherd the flock with justice.Isa 10:16; S Jer 31:8; Lk 5:32

17 “‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats.Mt 25:32-3318 Is it not enoughS Ge 30:15 for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet?S Eze 32:2 Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.Mt 25:3221 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your hornsS Dt 33:17 until you have driven them away,22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.Ps 72:12-14; Jer 23:2-3; Eze 20:37-3823 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tendIsa 40:11 them; he will tend them and be their shepherd.S Isa 31:4; Mic 5:424 I the Lord will be their God,Eze 36:28 and my servant DavidPs 89:49 will be prince among them.S Isa 53:4; Zec 13:7 I the Lord have spoken.Jer 23:4-5; S 30:9; S 33:14; Jn 10:16; Rev 7:17

25 “‘I will make a covenantS Eze 16:62 of peaceS Nu 25:12 with them and rid the land of savage beastsLev 26:6 so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety.S Lev 25:18; Isa 11:6-9; Hos 2:1826 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing.Or I will cause them and the places surrounding my hill to be named in blessings (see Gen. 48:20); or I will cause them and the places surrounding my hill to be seen as blessedS Ge 12:2 I will send down showers in season;Ps 68:9; Joel 2:23 there will be showers of blessing.Dt 11:13-15; S 28:12; Isa 44:327 The trees will yield their fruitS Ps 72:16 and the ground will yield its crops;S Job 14:9; S Ps 67:6 the people will be secureS Nu 24:21 in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yokeS Lev 26:13 and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them.S Jer 30:8; S Eze 20:42; S 28:2528 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety,S Jer 32:37 and no one will make them afraid.S Jer 30:10; S Eze 28:26; 39:26; Hos 11:11; Am 9:15; Zep 3:13; Zec 14:1129 I will provide for them a land renownedS Isa 4:2 for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famineEze 36:29 in the land or bear the scornS Ps 137:3; Eze 36:6; Joel 2:19 of the nations.Eze 36:1530 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord.S Eze 14:11; 37:2731 You are my sheep,S Ps 28:9 the sheep of my pasture,S Jer 23:1 and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Ezekiel as Israel’s Watchman

33 Once again a message came to me from the Lord:“Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose one of their own to be a watchman.When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people.Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die.They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives.But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.’

“Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me.If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths.But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself.

The Watchman’s Message

10 “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?

12 “Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins.13 When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins.14 And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right.15 For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die.16 None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live.

17 “Your people are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right,’ but it is they who are not doing what’s right.18 For again I say, when righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and turn to evil, they will die.19 But if wicked people turn from their wickedness and do what is just and right, they will live.20 O people of Israel, you are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right.’ But I judge each of you according to your deeds.”

Explanation of Jerusalem’s Fall

21 On January 8,Hebrew On the fifth day of the tenth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on January 8, 585 B.c.; also see note on 1:1. during the twelfth year of our captivity, a survivor from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen!”22 The previous evening the Lord had taken hold of me and given me back my voice. So I was able to speak when this man arrived the next morning.

23 Then this message came to me from the Lord:24 “Son of man, the scattered remnants of Israel living among the ruined cities keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he gained possession of the entire land. We are many; surely the land has been given to us as a possession.’25 So tell these people, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You eat meat with blood in it, you worship idols,The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung. and you murder the innocent. Do you really think the land should be yours?26 Murderers! Idolaters! Adulterers! Should the land belong to you?’

27 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die by the sword. And I will send wild animals to eat those living in the open fields. Those hiding in the forts and caves will die of disease.28 I will completely destroy the land and demolish her pride. Her arrogant power will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate that no one will even travel through them.29 When I have completely destroyed the land because of their detestable sins, then they will know that I am the Lord.’

30 “Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the Lord is saying!’31 So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money.32 You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it!33 But when all these terrible things happen to them—as they certainly will—then they will know a prophet has been among them.”

The Shepherds of Israel

34 Then this message came to me from the Lord:“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: What sorrow awaits you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn’t shepherds feed their sheep?You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve.You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty.So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd, and they are easy prey for any wild animal.They have wandered through all the mountains and all the hills, across the face of the earth, yet no one has gone to search for them.

“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. And though you were my shepherds, you didn’t search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve.Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord.10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock. I will take away their right to feed the flock, and I will stop them from feeding themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey.

The Good Shepherd

11 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep.12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day.13 I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live.14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills.15 I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord.16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice!

17 “And as for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to his people: I will judge between one animal of the flock and another, separating the sheep from the goats.18 Isn’t it enough for you to keep the best of the pastures for yourselves? Must you also trample down the rest? Isn’t it enough for you to drink clear water for yourselves? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?19 Why must my flock eat what you have trampled down and drink water you have fouled?

20 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will surely judge between the fat sheep and the scrawny sheep.21 For you fat sheep pushed and butted and crowded my sick and hungry flock until you scattered them to distant lands.22 So I will rescue my flock, and they will no longer be abused. I will judge between one animal of the flock and another.23 And I will set over them one shepherd, my servant David. He will feed them and be a shepherd to them.24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be a prince among my people. I, the Lord, have spoken!

The Lord’s Covenant of Peace

25 “I will make a covenant of peace with my people and drive away the dangerous animals from the land. Then they will be able to camp safely in the wildest places and sleep in the woods without fear.26 I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing.27 The orchards and fields of my people will yield bumper crops, and everyone will live in safety. When I have broken their chains of slavery and rescued them from those who enslaved them, then they will know that I am the Lord.28 They will no longer be prey for other nations, and wild animals will no longer devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will frighten them.

29 “And I will make their land famous for its crops, so my people will never again suffer from famines or the insults of foreign nations.30 In this way, they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them. And they will know that they, the people of Israel, are my people, says the Sovereign Lord.31 You are my flock, the sheep of my pasture. You are my people, and I am your God. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

33 Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:

If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;

Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.

He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?

11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.

13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;

15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.

16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.

18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.

19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.

20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.

21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten.

22 Now the hand of the Lord was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.

23 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

24 Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.

25 Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land?

26 Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour's wife: and shall ye possess the land?

27 Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.

28 For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through.

29 Then shall they know that I am the Lord, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.

30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord.

31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.

32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

33 And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

34 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.

My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord;

As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;

Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord;

10 Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

11 For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.

16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.

18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?

19 And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

20 Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.

21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;

22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.

24 And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.

25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.

28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.

29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.

30 Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God.

31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.

Hebrews 13:1-25

Concluding Exhortations

13 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.S Ro 12:10Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers,Job 31:32; Mt 25:35; S Ro 12:13 for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.Ge 18:1-33; 19:1-3Continue to remember those in prisonMt 25:36; Col 4:18; Heb 10:34 as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Marriage should be honored by all,Mal 2:15; 1Co 7:38; 1Ti 4:3 and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.Dt 22:22; 1Co 6:9; Rev 22:15Keep your lives free from the love of moneyS 1Ti 3:3 and be content with what you have,Php 4:11; 1Ti 6:6, 8 because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;

never will I forsake you.”Deut. 31:6Dt 31:6, 8; Jos 1:5

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.

What can mere mortals do to me?”Psalm 118:6,7Ps 118:6, 7

Remember your leaders,ver 17, 24; 1Co 16:16 who spoke the word of GodS Heb 4:12 to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitateHeb 6:12 their faith.Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.Ps 102:27; Heb 1:12

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.Eph 4:14 It is good for our hearts to be strengthenedCol 2:7 by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods,Col 2:16 which is of no benefit to those who do so.Heb 9:1010 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacleHeb 8:5 have no right to eat.1Co 9:13; 10:18

11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering,Lev 16:15 but the bodies are burned outside the camp.Ex 29:14; Lev 4:12, 21; 9:11; 16:2712 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gateJn 19:17 to make the people holyS Eph 5:26 through his own blood.S Ro 3:2513 Let us, then, go to himLk 9:23 outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.Heb 11:2614 For here we do not have an enduring city,Heb 12:27 but we are looking for the city that is to come.Php 3:20; Heb 11:10, 27; 12:22

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice1Pe 2:5 of praise—the fruit of lipsIsa 57:19; Hos 14:2 that openly profess his name.16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others,Ro 12:13 for with such sacrificesPhp 4:18 God is pleased.

17 Have confidence in your leadersver 7, 24 and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over youIsa 62:6; Ac 20:28 as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

18 Pray for us.S 1Th 5:25 We are sure that we have a clear conscienceS Ac 23:1 and desire to live honorably in every way.19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.Phm 22

Benediction and Final Greetings

20 Now may the God of peace,S Ro 15:33 who through the blood of the eternal covenantGe 9:16; 17:7, 13, 19; Isa 55:3; 61:8; Eze 37:26; S Mt 26:28 brought back from the deadS Ac 2:24 our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,S Jn 10:1121 equip you with everything good for doing his will,2Co 9:8 and may he work in usS Php 2:13 what is pleasing to him,1Jn 3:22 through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.S Ro 11:36

22 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly.1Pe 5:12

23 I want you to know that our brother TimothyS Ac 16:1 has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.

24 Greet all your leadersver 7, 17 and all the Lord’s people. Those from ItalyAc 18:2 send you their greetings.

25 Grace be with you all.S Col 4:18

Concluding Words

13 Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.Greek Continue in brotherly love.Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,

“I will never fail you.

I will never abandon you.”Deut 31:6, 8.

So we can say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper,

so I will have no fear.

What can mere people do to me?”Ps 118:6.

Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them.

10 We have an altar from which the priests in the TabernacleOr tent. have no right to eat.11 Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp.12 So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood.13 So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore.14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

17 Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

18 Pray for us, for our conscience is clear and we want to live honorably in everything we do.19 And especially pray that I will be able to come back to you soon.

20 Now may the God of peace—

who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,

the great Shepherd of the sheep,

and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—

21 may he equip you with all you need

for doing his will.

May he produce in you,Some manuscripts read in us.

through the power of Jesus Christ,

every good thing that is pleasing to him.

All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

22 I urge you, dear brothers and sisters,Greek brothers. to pay attention to what I have written in this brief exhortation.

23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released from jail. If he comes here soon, I will bring him with me to see you.

24 Greet all your leaders and all the believers there.Greek all of God’s holy people. The believers from Italy send you their greetings.

25 May God’s grace be with you all.

13 Let brotherly love continue.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.

12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

19 But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.

20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.

23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.

24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.

25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

Psalm 115:1-18

Psalm 115115:4-11pp — Ps 135:15-20

Not to us, Lord, not to us

but to your name be the glory,Ps 29:2; 66:2; 96:8

because of your love and faithfulness.S Ex 34:6

Why do the nations say,

“Where is their God?”S Ps 42:3

Our God is in heaven;Ezr 5:11; Ne 1:4; Ps 103:19; 136:26; Mt 6:9

he does whatever pleases him.Ps 135:6

But their idols are silver and gold,Rev 9:20

made by human hands.S 2Ki 19:18; S 2Ch 32:19; Jer 10:3-5; Ac 19:26

They have mouths, but cannot speak,Jer 10:5

eyes, but cannot see.

They have ears, but cannot hear,

noses, but cannot smell.

They have hands, but cannot feel,

feet, but cannot walk,

nor can they utter a sound with their throats.

Those who make them will be like them,

and so will all who trust in them.

All you Israelites, trustPs 37:3; 62:8 in the Lord

he is their help and shield.

10 House of Aaron,Ex 30:30; Ps 118:3 trust in the Lord

he is their help and shield.

11 You who fear him,Ps 22:23; 103:11; 118:4 trust in the Lord

he is their help and shield.

12 The Lord remembersS 1Ch 16:15 us and will bless us:S Ge 12:2

He will bless his people Israel,

he will bless the house of Aaron,

13 he will bless those who fearS Ps 112:1 the Lord

small and great alike.

14 May the Lord cause you to flourish,Dt 1:11

both you and your children.

15 May you be blessed by the Lord,

the Maker of heavenS Ge 1:1; Ac 14:15; S Rev 10:6 and earth.

16 The highest heavens belong to the Lord,S Ps 89:11

but the earth he has givenS Ge 1:28; Ps 8:6-8 to mankind.

17 It is not the deadPs 88:10-12 who praise the Lord,

those who go down to the place of silence;

18 it is we who extol the Lord,S Ps 111:1

both now and forevermore.S Ps 113:2

Praise the Lord.Hebrew Hallelu YahPs 28:6; 33:2; 103:1

Psalm 115

Not to us, O Lord, not to us,

but to your name goes all the glory

for your unfailing love and faithfulness.

Why let the nations say,

“Where is their God?”

Our God is in the heavens,

and he does as he wishes.

Their idols are merely things of silver and gold,

shaped by human hands.

They have mouths but cannot speak,

and eyes but cannot see.

They have ears but cannot hear,

and noses but cannot smell.

They have hands but cannot feel,

and feet but cannot walk,

and throats but cannot make a sound.

And those who make idols are just like them,

as are all who trust in them.

O Israel, trust the Lord!

He is your helper and your shield.

10 O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the Lord!

He is your helper and your shield.

11 All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord!

He is your helper and your shield.

12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us.

He will bless the people of Israel

and bless the priests, the descendants of Aaron.

13 He will bless those who fear the Lord,

both great and lowly.

14 May the Lord richly bless

both you and your children.

15 May you be blessed by the Lord,

who made heaven and earth.

16 The heavens belong to the Lord,

but he has given the earth to all humanity.

17 The dead cannot sing praises to the Lord,

for they have gone into the silence of the grave.

18 But we can praise the Lord

both now and forever!

Praise the Lord!

115 Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.

Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?

But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:

They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:

They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.

They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.

10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.

11 Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.

12 The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.

13 He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great.

14 The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children.

15 Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth.

16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

17 The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.

18 But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the Lord.

Proverbs 27:21-22

21 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,S Pr 17:3

but people are tested by their praise.

22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar,

grinding them like grain with a pestle,

you will not remove their folly from them.

21 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,

but a person is tested by being praised.Or by flattery.

22 You cannot separate fools from their foolishness,

even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.

21 As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.

22 Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

Nov 15 Nov 17
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