John 7:37–44; 2 Peter 1:1–11; Job 1; Ezekiel 1–3

Rivers of Living Water

37 yOn the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, zIf anyone thirsts, let him acome to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, bas1 the Scripture has said, cOut of his heart will flow rivers of dliving water. 39 Now ethis he said about the Spirit, fwhom those who believed in him were to receive, gfor as yet the Spirit had not been hgiven, ibecause Jesus was not yet glorified.

Division Among the People

40 When they heard these words, jsome of the people said, This really is kthe Prophet. 41 Others said, This is lthe Christ. But some said, mIs the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes nfrom the offspring of David, and comes ofrom Bethlehem, the village pwhere David was? 43 So there was qa division among the people over him. 44 rSome of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.


2 Peter Illustration

2 Peter

Greeting

Simeon1 Peter, a servant2 and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained aa faith of equal standing with ours bby the righteousness of our cGod and Savior Jesus Christ:

dMay grace and peace be multiplied to you ein the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Confirm Your Calling and Election

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him fwho called us to3 his own glory and excellence,4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become gpartakers of the divine nature, hhaving escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith iwith virtue,5 and virtue jwith knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control kwith steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness lwith brotherly affection, and brotherly affection mwith love. For if these qualities6 are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or nunfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he ois blind, having forgotten that he was pcleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers,7 be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and qelection, for if you practice these qualities ryou will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you san entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Job Illustration

Job

Job’s Character and Wealth

There was a man in the land of aUz whose name was bJob, and that man was cblameless and upright, one who dfeared God and eturned away from evil. There were born to him fseven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all gthe people of the east. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and hconsecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and ioffer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, It may be that my children have sinned, and jcursed1 God in their hearts. Thus Job did continually.

Satan Allowed to Test Job

Now there was a day when kthe sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and lSatan2 also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, From where have you come? Satan answered the Lord and said, From mgoing to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it. And the Lord said to Satan, Have you nconsidered my oservant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, pa blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? Then Satan answered the Lord and said, Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put qa hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have rblessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But sstretch out your hand and ttouch all that he has, and he will ucurse you vto your face. 12 And the Lord said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand. So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Satan Takes Job’s Property and Children

13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and wthe Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants3 with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you. 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, xThe fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you. 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, yThe Chaldeans formed zthree groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you. 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, aYour sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across bthe wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.

20 Then Job arose and ctore his drobe and eshaved his head fand fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, gNaked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I hreturn. The Lord igave, and the Lord has taken away; jblessed be the name of the Lord.

22 kIn all this Job did not sin or charge God with lwrong.


Ezekiel Illustration

Ezekiel

Ezekiel in Babylon

aIn the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by bthe Chebar canal, cthe heavens were opened, and I saw dvisions of God.1 On the fifth day of the month (it was ethe fifth year of fthe exile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel gthe priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by bthe Chebar canal, and hthe hand of the Lord was upon him there.

The Glory of the Lord

As I looked, behold, ia stormy wind came jout of the north, and a great cloud, with kbrightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, las it were gleaming metal.2 And from the midst of it came the likeness of mfour living creatures. nAnd this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, obut each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled plike burnished bronze. Under their wings qon their four sides rthey had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. sEach one of them went straight forward, qwithout turning as they went. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, teach had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while utwo covered their bodies. 12 sAnd each went straight forward. vWherever the spirit3 would go, they went, without turning as they went. 13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was wlike burning coals of fire, wlike the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. xAnd the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14 And the living creatures ydarted to and fro, zlike the appearance of a flash of lightning.

15 aNow as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.4 16 aAs for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like bthe gleaming of beryl. cAnd the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. 17 dWhen they went, they went ein any of their four directions5 fwithout turning as they went. 18 And their rims were tall and awesome, gand the rims of all four were full of eyes all around. 19 hAnd when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; iand when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. 20 jWherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, jfor the spirit of the living creatures6 was in the wheels. 21 hWhen those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; iand when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, jfor the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

22 Over the heads of the living creatures there was kthe likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring lcrystal, spread out above their heads. 23 And under the expanse their wings were mstretched out straight, one toward another. nAnd each creature had two wings covering its body. 24 And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings olike the sound of many waters, like pthe sound of the qAlmighty, a sound of tumult rlike the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings. 25 And there came a voice from above sthe expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.

26 And above the expanse over their heads there was tthe likeness of a throne, tin appearance ulike sapphire;7 and seated above the likeness of a throne was va likeness with a human appearance. 27 And wupward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were xgleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and ythere was brightness around him.8 28 Like the appearance of zthe bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.

Such was the appearance of the likeness of athe glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, bI fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

Ezekiel’s Call

And he said to me, cSon of man,9 dstand on your feet, and I will speak with you. And as he spoke to me, ethe Spirit entered into me and fset me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to gnations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. hThey and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are iimpudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord God. And jwhether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are ga rebellious house) kthey will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, lbe not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, mthough briers and thorns are with you and you sit on nscorpions.10 Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, jwhether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.

But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. oBe not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and peat what I give you. And when I looked, behold, qa hand was stretched out to me, and behold, ra scroll of a book was in it. 10 And he spread it before me. And it had writing son the front and on the back, and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe.

And he said to me, cSon of man, eat whatever you find here. tEat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. uThen I ate it, and it was in my mouth vas sweet as honey.

And he said to me, wSon of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. xSurely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you. yBut the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel zhave a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. aBehold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like bemery harder than flint have I made your forehead. cFear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. 10 Moreover, he said to me, Son of man, dall my words that I shall speak to you receive ein your heart, and hear with your ears. 11 And go to the exiles, fto your people, and speak to them and say to them, gThus says the Lord God, hwhether they hear or refuse to hear.

12 iThen the Spirit11 lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice12 of ja great earthquake: Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place! 13 It was the sound of the wings of kthe living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of la great earthquake. 14 mThe Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the nhand of the Lord being strong upon me. 15 oAnd I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling oby the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling.13 And pI sat there qoverwhelmed among them rseven days.

A Watchman for Israel

16 sAnd at the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: 17 tSon of man, uI have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall vgive them warning from me. 18 wIf I say to the wicked, xYou shall surely die, vand you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person yshall die for14 his iniquity, zbut his blood I will require at your hand. 19 aBut if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, bbut you cwill have delivered your soul. 20 dAgain, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, eand I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. vBecause you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, dand his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, zbut his blood I will require at your hand. 21 But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.

22 fAnd the hand of the Lord was upon me there. And he said to me, Arise, go out into gthe valley,15 and hthere I will speak with you. 23 So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, ithe glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory that I had seen jby the Chebar canal, iand I fell on my face. 24 kBut the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and he spoke with me and said to me, Go, shut yourself within your house. 25 And you, O son of man, behold, lcords will be placed upon you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people. 26 And I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that myou shall be mute and unable to reprove them, nfor they are a rebellious house. 27 oBut when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, pThus says the Lord God. qHe who will hear, let him hear; and he who will refuse to hear, let him refuse, for they are a rebellious house.