Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The stump in this dream typified King Nebuchadnezzar. His pride had brought him to the point of his becoming obnoxious to God. Indeed, he ruled the entire known world and lived in the most magnificent city in the world. His construction of the hanging gardens of Babylon is still considered one of the eight wonders of the world. However, the time came when God had to humble him.

Nebuchadnezzar may have been king, but God is "Chairman" of the "Ways and Means Committee"! He is in charge, and "he is able to humble those who are proud" (Daniel 4:37). God removed Nebuchadnezzar's intellect and made him eat grass like a cow for seven years. In His mercy, however, He did not totally destroy him, but left him as a stump, restoring everything to him the moment the trial was over.

You may feel like you have lost everything, but in fact, your stump is still intact. God may have disciplined you, but He still loves you. And when God restores you, it will be with "even greater honor than before" (v. 36).

Cheer up, all you "stumps." The best is yet to be!

Daniel 4:1-37

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of a Tree

In Aramaic texts 4:1-3 is numbered 3:31-33, and 4:4-37 is numbered 4:1-34.King Nebuchadnezzar,

To the nations and peoples of every language,S Da 3:4 who live in all the earth:

May you prosper greatly!Da 6:25

It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signsPs 74:9 and wonders that the Most High GodS Da 3:26 has performed for me.

How great are his signs,

how mighty his wonders!S Ps 105:27; Da 6:27

His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;

his dominion enduresDa 2:44 from generation to generation.

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contentedPs 30:6; S Isa 32:9 and prosperous.I had a dreamS Da 2:1 that made me afraid. As I was lying in bed,Ps 4:4 the images and visions that passed through my mindDa 2:28 terrified me.ver 19; S Ge 41:8; S Job 3:26; Da 2:3; 5:6So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpretDa 2:2 the dream for me.When the magicians,S Ge 41:8 enchanters, astrologersOr Chaldeans and divinersS Isa 44:25; S Da 2:2 came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me.S Da 2:10Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar,S Da 1:7 after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy godsS Ge 41:38 is in him.)

I said, “Belteshazzar, chiefDa 2:48 of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy godsDa 5:11-12 is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me.10 These are the visions I saw while lying in bed:S ver 5; Ps 4:4 I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous.Eze 31:3-411 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth.S Eze 19:11; 31:512 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the wild animals found shelter, and the birds lived in its branches;S Eze 17:23; S Mt 13:32 from it every creature was fed.

13 “In the visions I saw while lying in bed,ver 10; Da 7:1 I looked, and there before me was a holy one,S ver 23; S Dt 33:2 a messenger,Or watchman; also in verses 17 and 23 coming down from heaven.14 He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the treeS Job 24:20 and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches.S Eze 31:12; S Mt 3:1015 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field.

“‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth.16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven timesOr years; also in verses 23, 25 and 32 pass by for him.ver 23, 32

17 “‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most Highver 2, 25; Ps 83:18 is sovereignS Ps 103:19; Jer 27:5-7; Da 2:21; 5:18-21; Ro 13:1 over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliestDa 11:21; Mt 23:12 of people.’

18 “This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me.S Ge 41:8; Da 5:8, 15 But you can,S Ge 41:15 because the spirit of the holy godsS Ge 41:38 is in you.”ver 7-9; S Da 1:20

Daniel Interprets the Dream

19 Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrifiedS ver 5; S Ge 41:8; Da 7:15, 28; 8:27; 10:16-17 him. So the king said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.”S Ge 40:12

Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries!20 The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth,21 with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the wild animals, and having nesting places in its branches for the birdsS Eze 31:622 Your Majesty, you are that tree!S 2Sa 12:7 You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.Jer 27:7; Da 5:18-19

23 “Your Majesty saw a holy one,ver 13; Da 8:13 a messenger, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’S Eze 31:3-4; Da 5:21

24 “This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decreeJob 40:12; Ps 107:40; Jer 40:2 the Most High has issued against my lord the king:25 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenchedS Job 24:8 with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most HighS ver 17 is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.Jer 27:5; S Da 2:47; 5:2126 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its rootsver 15 means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.S Da 2:3727 Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed.Isa 55:6-7 It may be that then your prosperityJer 29:7 will continue.S Dt 24:13; 1Ki 21:29; S Ps 41:3; S Pr 28:13; S Eze 18:22

The Dream Is Fulfilled

28 All this happenedNu 23:19 to King Nebuchadnezzar.29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon,30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the gloryIsa 13:19 of my majesty?”S Isa 10:13; S 37:24-25; Da 5:20; Hab 1:11; 2:4

31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.S 2Sa 22:28; Da 5:2032 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”S Job 9:12

33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenchedS Job 24:8 with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.Da 5:20-21

34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanityS Job 12:20 was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.Da 12:7

His dominion is an eternal dominion;

his kingdomIsa 37:16 endures from generation to generation.Ps 145:13; S Da 2:44; 5:21; 6:26; Lk 1:33

35 All the peoples of the earth

are regarded as nothing.S Isa 40:17

He does as he pleasesDt 21:8; Ps 115:3; S 135:6; Jnh 1:14

with the powers of heaven

and the peoples of the earth.

No one can hold backS Isa 14:27 his handS Dt 32:39

or say to him: “What have you done?”S Job 9:4; S Isa 14:24; S 45:9; Da 5:21; Ro 9:20

36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom.S Pr 22:4; Da 5:18 My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exaltS Ex 15:2 and glorifyS Ps 34:3 the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just.Dt 32:4; Ps 33:4-5 And those who walk in pridePs 18:27; S 119:21 he is able to humble.S Job 31:4; 40:11-12; S Isa 13:11; Da 5:20, 23; Mt 23:12

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream about a Tree

Verses 4:1-3 are numbered 3:31-33 in Aramaic text.King Nebuchadnezzar sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world:

“Peace and prosperity to you!

“I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me.

How great are his signs,

how powerful his wonders!

His kingdom will last forever,

his rule through all generations.

Verses 4:4-37 are numbered 4:1-34 in Aramaic text.“I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living in my palace in comfort and prosperity.But one night I had a dream that frightened me; I saw visions that terrified me as I lay in my bed.So I issued an order calling in all the wise men of Babylon, so they could tell me what my dream meant.When all the magicians, enchanters, astrologers,Or Chaldeans. and fortune-tellers came in, I told them the dream, but they could not tell me what it meant.At last Daniel came in before me, and I told him the dream. (He was named Belteshazzar after my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)

“I said to him, ‘Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too great for you to solve. Now tell me what my dream means.

10 “‘While I was lying in my bed, this is what I dreamed. I saw a large tree in the middle of the earth.11 The tree grew very tall and strong, reaching high into the heavens for all the world to see.12 It had fresh green leaves, and it was loaded with fruit for all to eat. Wild animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches. All the world was fed from this tree.

13 “‘Then as I lay there dreaming, I saw a messenger,Aramaic a watcher; also in 4:23. a holy one, coming down from heaven.14 The messenger shouted,

“Cut down the tree and lop off its branches!

Shake off its leaves and scatter its fruit!

Chase the wild animals from its shade

and the birds from its branches.

15 But leave the stump and the roots in the ground,

bound with a band of iron and bronze

and surrounded by tender grass.

Now let him be drenched with the dew of heaven,

and let him live with the wild animals among the plants of the field.

16 For seven periods of time,

let him have the mind of a wild animal

instead of the mind of a human.

17 For this has been decreed by the messengersAramaic the watchers.;

it is commanded by the holy ones,

so that everyone may know

that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world.

He gives them to anyone he chooses—

even to the lowliest of people.”

18 “‘Belteshazzar, that was the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now tell me what it means, for none of the wise men of my kingdom can do so. But you can tell me because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.’

Daniel Explains the Dream

19 “Upon hearing this, Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) was overcome for a time, frightened by the meaning of the dream. Then the king said to him, ‘Belteshazzar, don’t be alarmed by the dream and what it means.’

“Belteshazzar replied, ‘I wish the events foreshadowed in this dream would happen to your enemies, my lord, and not to you!20 The tree you saw was growing very tall and strong, reaching high into the heavens for all the world to see.21 It had fresh green leaves and was loaded with fruit for all to eat. Wild animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches.22 That tree, Your Majesty, is you. For you have grown strong and great; your greatness reaches up to heaven, and your rule to the ends of the earth.

23 “‘Then you saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, “Cut down the tree and destroy it. But leave the stump and the roots in the ground, bound with a band of iron and bronze and surrounded by tender grass. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven. Let him live with the animals of the field for seven periods of time.”

24 “‘This is what the dream means, Your Majesty, and what the Most High has declared will happen to my lord the king.25 You will be driven from human society, and you will live in the fields with the wild animals. You will eat grass like a cow, and you will be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses.26 But the stump and roots of the tree were left in the ground. This means that you will receive your kingdom back again when you have learned that heaven rules.

27 “‘King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.’

The Dream’s Fulfillment

28 “But all these things did happen to King Nebuchadnezzar.29 Twelve months later he was taking a walk on the flat roof of the royal palace in Babylon.30 As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.’

31 “While these words were still in his mouth, a voice called down from heaven, ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, this message is for you! You are no longer ruler of this kingdom.32 You will be driven from human society. You will live in the fields with the wild animals, and you will eat grass like a cow. Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses.’

33 “That same hour the judgment was fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven. He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws.

Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

34 “After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever.

His rule is everlasting,

and his kingdom is eternal.

35 All the people of the earth

are nothing compared to him.

He does as he pleases

among the angels of heaven

and among the people of the earth.

No one can stop him or say to him,

‘What do you mean by doing these things?’

36 “When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.

37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.”

Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.

I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.

How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.

I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:

I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.

Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.

Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.

But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my God, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,

O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.

10 Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.

11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:

12 The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.

13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;

14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:

15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:

16 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.

17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

18 This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.

19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.

20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;

21 Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:

22 It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.

23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:

25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.

27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.

29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.

30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.

32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.

34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.

37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

2 Peter 1:1-21

Simon Peter, a servantRo 1:1 and apostle of Jesus Christ,1Pe 1:1

To those who through the righteousnessRo 3:21-26 of our God and Savior Jesus ChristTit 2:13 have received a faith as precious as ours:

Grace and peace be yours in abundanceS Ro 1:7 through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.ver 3, 8; 2Pe 2:20; 3:18; S Php 3:8

Confirming One’s Calling and Election

His divine power1Pe 1:5 has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of himS ver 2 who called usS Ro 8:28 by his own glory and goodness.Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises,2Co 7:1 so that through them you may participate in the divine nature,Eph 4:24; Heb 12:10; 1Jn 3:2 having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.Jas 1:27; 2Pe 2:18-20

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;S ver 2; Col 2:3and to knowledge, self-control;S Ac 24:25 and to self-control, perseverance;S Heb 10:36 and to perseverance, godliness;ver 3and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.S Ro 12:10; 1Th 3:12For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductiveJn 15:2; Col 1:10; Tit 3:14 in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.S ver 2But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind,1Jn 2:11 forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.Eph 5:26; S Mt 1:21

10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family. make every effort to confirm your callingS Ro 8:28 and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble,Ps 15:5; 2Pe 3:17; Jude 2411 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdomPs 145:13; 2Ti 4:18 of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.2Pe 2:20; 3:18

Prophecy of Scripture

12 So I will always remind you of these things,Php 3:1; 1Jn 2:21; Jude 5 even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth2Jn 2 you now have.13 I think it is right to refresh your memory2Pe 3:1 as long as I live in the tent of this body,Isa 38:12; 2Co 5:1, 414 because I know that I will soon put it aside,2Ti 4:6 as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.Jn 13:36; 21:18, 1915 And I will make every effort to see that after my departureLk 9:31 you will always be able to remember these things.

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power,Mk 13:26; 14:62 but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.Mt 17:1-817 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”Matt. 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35S Mt 3:1718 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.Mt 17:6

19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable,1Pe 1:10, 11 and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lightPs 119:105 shining in a dark place, until the day dawnsLk 1:78 and the morning starRev 22:16 rises in your hearts.2Co 4:620 Above all, you must understand2Pe 3:3 that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God2Ti 3:16 as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.2Sa 23:2; Ac 1:16; 3:18; 1Pe 1:11

Greetings from Peter

This letter is from SimonGreek Simeon. Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.

I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairnessOr to you in the righteousness. of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior.

May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

Growing in Faith

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge,and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

10 So, dear brothers and sisters,Greek brothers. work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Paying Attention to Scripture

12 Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught.13 And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live.Greek as long as I am in this tent [or tabernacle].14 For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life,Greek I must soon put off my tent [or tabernacle].15 so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.

16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”Matt 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35.18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shinesOr rises. in your hearts.20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding,Or is a matter of one’s own interpretation.21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Psalm 119:97-112

מ Mem

97 Oh, how I love your law!S ver 47

I meditateS ver 15 on it all day long.

98 Your commands are always with me

and make me wiserver 130; S Dt 4:6; Ps 19:7; 2Ti 3:15 than my enemies.

99 I have more insight than all my teachers,

for I meditate on your statutes.ver 15

100 I have more understanding than the elders,

for I obey your precepts.S ver 56; S Dt 6:17

101 I have kept my feetPr 1:15 from every evil path

so that I might obey your word.S ver 57

102 I have not departed from your laws,S Dt 17:20

for you yourself have taughtS Dt 4:5 me.

103 How sweet are your words to my taste,

sweeter than honeyS Ps 19:10 to my mouth!Pr 24:13-14

104 I gain understandingS Ps 111:10 from your precepts;

therefore I hate every wrong path.ver 128

נ Nun

105 Your word is a lampPr 20:27; 2Pe 1:19 for my feet,

a lightver 130; Pr 6:23 on my path.

106 I have taken an oathS Ne 10:29 and confirmed it,

that I will follow your righteous laws.ver 7

107 I have suffered much;

preserve my life,S ver 25 Lord, according to your word.

108 Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth,Ps 51:15; 63:5; 71:8; 109:30

and teach me your laws.S ver 64

109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,S Jdg 12:3

I will not forgetS ver 61 your law.

110 The wicked have set a snarePs 25:15; S 64:5; Isa 8:14; Am 3:5 for me,

but I have not strayedver 10 from your precepts.

111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;

they are the joy of my heart.ver 14, 162

112 My heart is setS Ps 108:1 on keeping your decrees

to the very end.Or decrees / for their enduring rewardver 33

Mem

97 Oh, how I love your instructions!

I think about them all day long.

98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,

for they are my constant guide.

99 Yes, I have more insight than my teachers,

for I am always thinking of your laws.

100 I am even wiser than my elders,

for I have kept your commandments.

101 I have refused to walk on any evil path,

so that I may remain obedient to your word.

102 I haven’t turned away from your regulations,

for you have taught me well.

103 How sweet your words taste to me;

they are sweeter than honey.

104 Your commandments give me understanding;

no wonder I hate every false way of life.

Nun

105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet

and a light for my path.

106 I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again:

I will obey your righteous regulations.

107 I have suffered much, O Lord;

restore my life again as you promised.

108 Lord, accept my offering of praise,

and teach me your regulations.

109 My life constantly hangs in the balance,

but I will not stop obeying your instructions.

110 The wicked have set their traps for me,

but I will not turn from your commandments.

111 Your laws are my treasure;

they are my heart’s delight.

112 I am determined to keep your decrees

to the very end.

97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.

103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word.

108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me thy judgments.

109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.

110 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.

111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

Proverbs 28:17-18

17 Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder

will seek refuge1Sa 30:17; 1Ki 20:20; Jer 41:15; 44:14 in the grave;

let no one hold them back.

18 The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe,Jer 39:18

but the one whose ways are perverse will fallS Est 6:13; Pr 10:9 into the pit.Syriac (see Septuagint); Hebrew into one

17 A murderer’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave.

Don’t protect him!

18 The blameless will be rescued from harm,

but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed.

17 A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.

18 Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.

Nov 26 Nov 28
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