John 8:48–59; 2 Peter 3:10–18; Job 7; Ezekiel 20–21

Before Abraham Was, I Am

48 The Jews answered him, Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and ghave a demon? 49 Jesus answered, I do not have a demon, but hI honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet iI do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, jI say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never ksee death. 52 The Jews said to him, Now we know that you have a demon! lAbraham died, as did the prophets, yet myou say, If anyone keeps my word, he will never ntaste death. 53 oAre you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be? 54 Jesus answered, pIf I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. qIt is my Father who glorifies me, rof whom you say, He is our God.1 55 But syou have not known him. tI know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be ua liar vlike you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 wYour father Abraham xrejoiced ythat he would see my day. zHe saw it and was glad. 57 So the Jews said to him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?2 58 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, aI am. 59 So bthey picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.


10 But zthe day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then athe heavens will pass away with a roar, and bthe heavenly bodies1 will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.2

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, cwhat sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 dwaiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and ethe heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for fnew heavens and a new earth gin which righteousness dwells.

Final Words

14 hTherefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him iwithout spot or jblemish, and kat peace. 15 And count lthe patience of our Lord as salvation, just as mour beloved brother Paul also wrote to you naccording to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. oThere are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, pas they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, qknowing this beforehand, rtake care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But sgrow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. tTo him be the glory both now and to the day of ueternity. Amen.


Job Continues: My Life Has No Hope

Has not man ra hard service on earth,

and are not his sdays like the days of a hired hand?

Like a slave who longs for tthe shadow,

and like ua hired hand who looks for his vwages,

so I am allotted months of wemptiness,

xand nights of misery are apportioned to me.

yWhen I lie down I say, When shall I arise?

But the night is long,

and I am full of tossing till the dawn.

My flesh is clothed with zworms and adirt;

my skin hardens, then bbreaks out afresh.

My days are cswifter than da weaver’s shuttle

and come to their end without hope.

Remember that my life is a ebreath;

my eye will never again see good.

fThe eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;

while your eyes are on me, gI shall be gone.

As hthe cloud fades and vanishes,

so he who igoes down to Sheol does not come up;

10  he jreturns no more to his house,

nor does his kplace know him anymore.

11  Therefore I will not lrestrain my mouth;

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;

I will mcomplain in nthe bitterness of my soul.

12  Am I the sea, or oa sea monster,

that you set a guard over me?

13  pWhen I say, My bed will comfort me,

my couch will ease my complaint,

14  then you scare me with dreams

and terrify me with visions,

15  so that I would choose strangling

and death rather than my qbones.

16  I rloathe my life; I would not live forever.

sLeave me alone, for my days are ta breath.

17  uWhat is man, that you make so much of him,

and that you set your heart on him,

18  vvisit him every morning

and wtest him every moment?

19  How long will you not xlook away from me,

nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit?

20  If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind?

Why have you made me yyour mark?

Why have I become a burden to you?

21  Why do you not pardon my transgression

and take away my iniquity?

For now I shall lie in zthe earth;

you will aseek me, bbut I shall not be.


Israel’s Continuing Rebellion

20 qIn the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, certain of rthe elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, sand sat before me. And the word of the Lord came to me: tSon of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God, Is it to inquire of me that you come? uAs I live, declares the Lord God, vI will not be inquired of by you. wWill you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? xLet them know the abominations of their fathers, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: yOn the day when I chose Israel, zI swore1 to the offspring of the house of Jacob, amaking myself known to them in the land of Egypt; zI swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God. On that day I swore to them that bI would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land bflowing with milk and honey, cthe most glorious of all lands. And I said to them, dCast away the detestable things eyour eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with fthe idols of Egypt; gI am the Lord your God. hBut they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. iNone of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.

Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them jand spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. kBut I acted lfor the sake of my name, mthat it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, nin whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 oSo I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 pI gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, qby which, if a person does them, he shall live. 12 Moreover, I gave them rmy Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, sthat they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. 13 tBut the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. uThey did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; vand my Sabbaths they greatly profaned.

tThen I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them. 14 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, win whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Moreover, xI swore to them in the wilderness ythat I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land zflowing with milk and honey, zthe most glorious of all lands, 16 because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; afor their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless, bmy eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or cmake a full end of them in the wilderness.

18 And I said to dtheir children in the wilderness, Do not walk ein the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, fnor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 gI am the Lord your God; hwalk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, 20 and ikeep my Sabbaths holy that jthey may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God. 21 kBut the children lrebelled against me. mThey did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths.

nThen I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 oBut I withheld my hand pand acted for the sake of my name, qthat it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 rMoreover, sI swore to them in the wilderness tthat I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, uand their eyes were set on their fathers’ idols. 25 vMoreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, 26 and I defiled them through wtheir very gifts win their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it xthat they might know that I am the Lord.

27 Therefore, yson of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by zdealing treacherously with me. 28 For when I had brought them into the land that aI swore to give them, then wherever they saw bany high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented cthe provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings. 29 (I said to them, dWhat is the high place to which you go? So its name is called Bamah2 to this day.)

30 Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: eWill you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go fwhoring after their detestable things? 31 When you present your gifts and goffer up your children in fire,3 you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And hshall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? iAs I live, declares the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.

32 jWhat is in your mind shall never happenthe thought, kLet us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, land worship wood and stone.

The Lord Will Restore Israel

33 iAs I live, declares the Lord God, msurely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and nwith wrath poured out I will be king over you. 34 oI will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. 35 pAnd I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, qand there I will enter into judgment with you rface to face. 36 sAs I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord God. 37 I will make you tpass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38 uI will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. vI will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, wbut they shall not enter the land of Israel. xThen you will know that I am the Lord.

39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord God: yGo serve every one of you his idols, now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; zbut my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.

40 aFor on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord God, there ball the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. cThere I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings. 41 As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when dI bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And eI will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42 fAnd you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that gI swore to give to your fathers. 43 hAnd there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, hand you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. 44 And you shall know that I am the Lord, iwhen I deal with you for my name’s sake, jnot according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.

45 4 And the word of the Lord came to me: 46 kSon of man, lset your face toward the southland;5 mpreach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb. 47 Say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, Behold, nI will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every ogreen tree in you and every odry tree. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and pall faces from south to north shall be scorched by it. 48 qAll flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it; it shall not be quenched. 49 Then I said, rAh, Lord God! They are saying of me, sIs he not a maker of parables?

The Lord Has Drawn His Sword

21 6 The word of the Lord came to me: tSon of man, uset your face toward Jerusalem and vpreach against the sanctuaries.7 Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the Lord: wBehold, I am against you and will draw xmy sword from its sheath and ywill cut off from you both righteous and wicked. Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. zAnd all flesh shall know that I am the Lord. I have drawn xmy sword from its sheath; ait shall not be sheathed again.

As for you, son of man, bgroan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, cgroan before their eyes. dAnd when they say to you, Why do you groan? you shall say, Because of the news ethat it is coming. fEvery heart will melt, and gall hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and gall knees will be weak as water. hBehold, it is ecoming, and it will be fulfilled, declares the Lord God.

And the word of the Lord came to me: tSon of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say:

iA sword, a sword is sharpened

and also polished,

10  jsharpened for slaughter,

jpolished to flash like lightning!

(Or kshall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, lwith everything of wood.)8 11 So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished mto be given into the hand of the slayer. 12 nCry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. oStrike therefore upon your thigh. 13 For it will not be a testingwhat could it do if you despise pthe rod?9 declares the Lord God.

14 As for you, qson of man, prophesy. rClap your hands and let the sword come down twice, syes, three times,10 the sword for those to be slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter, which surrounds them, 15 that their hearts may melt, and many stumble.11 At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; tit is taken up12 for slaughter. 16 Cut sharply to the right; set yourself to the left, wherever your face is directed. 17 I also will rclap my hands, uand I will satisfy my fury; vI the Lord have spoken.

18 The word of the Lord came to me again: 19 As for you, son of man, mark two ways for wthe sword of the king of Babylon to come. Both of them shall come from the same land. And make xa signpost; make it xat the head of the way to a city. 20 Mark a way yfor the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah, into Jerusalem the fortified. 21 For the king of Babylon stands zat the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults athe teraphim;13 he looks at the liver. 22 Into his right hand comes the divination for Jerusalem, bto set battering rams, to open the mouth with murder, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, cto cast up mounds, to build siege towers. 23 But to them it will seem like a false divination. dThey have sworn solemn oaths, but he brings their guilt to remembrance, ethat they may be taken.

24 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have made your guilt to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins appearbecause you have come to remembrance, fyou shall be taken in hand. 25 And you, O profane14 gwicked one, prince of Israel, hwhose day has come, ithe time of your final punishment, 26 thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. jExalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. kThis also shall not be, luntil he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.

28 And you, mson of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God nconcerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, oA sword, a sword pis drawn for the slaughter. oIt is polished to consume and to flash like lightning 29 while qthey see for you false visions, while they divine lies for youto place you on the necks of the profane wicked, rwhose day has come, the time of their final punishment. 30 pReturn it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, sI will judge you. 31 And tI will pour out my indignation upon you; uI will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of vbrutish men, skillful to destroy. 32 You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. wYou shall be no more remembered, xfor I the Lord have spoken.