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December 13
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Daily Devotional

If ever we needed a lesson on the importance of treating people properly it is with how Edom treated Israel. Edomites are the descendants of Esau. When Israel was journeying from Egypt to the Promised Land, they needed to pass through the Land of Edom and the Edomites refused.

Israel had to travel all the way around Edom and God took note of this. Then the Edomites opposed Saul’s leadership. They were known to fight against their own brothers and God took note.

When judgment time came, God reminded Edom of all they did to hurt their own people. Edom had never been criticized for worshipping idols or rebelling against God. Their fault was how they treated other people.

God does care how we treat others. It is not about whether we are right or wrong in the situation. It is about honoring other people as though they are God’s child—because they are! Evaluate how you treat others and make certain that you are treating people around you in a God-honoring way.

December 12
Old Testament

Obadiah

This is the vision that the Sovereign Lordrevealed to Obadiah concerning the land of Edom.

Edom’s Judgment Announced

We have heard a message from the Lord
    that an ambassador was sent to the nations to say,
“Get ready, everyone!
    Let’s assemble our armies and attack Edom!”

The Lord says to Edom,
“I will cut you down to size among the nations;
    you will be greatly despised.
You have been deceived by your own pride
    because you live in a rock fortress
    and make your home high in the mountains.
‘Who can ever reach us way up here?’
    you ask boastfully.
But even if you soar as high as eagles
    and build your nest among the stars,
I will bring you crashing down,”
    says the Lord.

“If thieves came at night and robbed you
    (what a disaster awaits you!),
    they would not take everything.
Those who harvest grapes
    always leave a few for the poor.
    But your enemies will wipe you out completely!
Every nook and cranny of Edoma]
    will be searched and looted.
    Every treasure will be found and taken.

“All your allies will turn against you.
    They will help to chase you from your land.
They will promise you peace
    while plotting to deceive and destroy you.
Your trusted friends will set traps for you,
    and you won’t even know about it.
At that time not a single wise person
    will be left in the whole land of Edom,”
    says the Lord.
“For on the mountains of Edom
    I will destroy everyone who has understanding.
The mightiest warriors of Teman
    will be terrified,
and everyone on the mountains of Edom
    will be cut down in the slaughter.

Reasons for Edom’s Punishment

10 “Because of the violence you did
    to your close relatives in Israel,b]
you will be filled with shame
    and destroyed forever.
11 When they were invaded,
    you stood aloof, refusing to help them.
Foreign invaders carried off their wealth
    and cast lots to divide up Jerusalem,
    but you acted like one of Israel’s enemies.

12 “You should not have gloated
    when they exiled your relatives to distant lands.
You should not have rejoiced
    when the people of Judah suffered such misfortune.
You should not have spoken arrogantly
    in that terrible time of trouble.
13 You should not have plundered the land of Israel
    when they were suffering such calamity.
You should not have gloated over their destruction
    when they were suffering such calamity.
You should not have seized their wealth
    when they were suffering such calamity.
14 You should not have stood at the crossroads,
    killing those who tried to escape.
You should not have captured the survivors
    and handed them over in their terrible time of trouble.

Edom Destroyed, Israel Restored

15 “The day is near when I, the Lord,
    will judge all godless nations!
As you have done to Israel,
    so it will be done to you.
All your evil deeds
    will fall back on your own heads.
16 Just as you swallowed up my people
    on my holy mountain,
so you and the surrounding nations
    will swallow the punishment I pour out on you.
Yes, all you nations will drink and stagger
    and disappear from history.

17 “But Jerusalemc] will become a refuge for those who escape;
    it will be a holy place.
And the people of Israeld] will come back
    to reclaim their inheritance.
18 The people of Israel will be a raging fire,
    and Edom a field of dry stubble.
The descendants of Joseph will be a flame
    roaring across the field, devouring everything.
There will be no survivors in Edom.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!

19 “Then my people living in the Negev
    will occupy the mountains of Edom.
Those living in the foothills of Judahe]
    will possess the Philistine plains
    and take over the fields of Ephraim and Samaria.
And the people of Benjamin
    will occupy the land of Gilead.
20 The exiles of Israel will return to their land
    and occupy the Phoenician coast as far north as Zarephath.
The captives from Jerusalem exiled in the northf]
    will return home and resettle the towns of the Negev.
21 Those who have been rescuedg] will go up toh] Mount Zion in Jerusalem
    to rule over the mountains of Edom.
And the Lord himself will be king!”

Footnotes

  1. 6 Hebrew Esau; also in 8b, 9, 18, 19, 21.
  2. 10 Hebrew your brother Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
  3. 17a Hebrew Mount Zion.
  4. 17b Hebrew house of Jacob; also in 18. See note on 10.
  5. 19 Hebrew the Shephelah.
  6. 20 Hebrew in Sepharad.
  7. 21a As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads Rescuers.
  8. 21b Or from.
New Testament

Revelation 4

Worship in Heaven

Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” And instantly I was in the Spirit,a] and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spiritb] of God. In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal.

In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back. The first of these living beings was like a lion; the second was like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
    the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”

Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,

11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
    and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

Footnotes

  1. 4:2 Or in spirit.
  2. 4:5 Greek They are the seven spirits.
Psalm

Psalm 132

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

Lord, remember David
    and all that he suffered.
He made a solemn promise to the Lord.
    He vowed to the Mighty One of Israel,a]
“I will not go home;
    I will not let myself rest.
I will not let my eyes sleep
    nor close my eyelids in slumber
until I find a place to build a house for the Lord,
    a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel.”

We heard that the Ark was in Ephrathah;
    then we found it in the distant countryside of Jaar.
Let us go to the sanctuary of the Lord;
    let us worship at the footstool of his throne.
Arise, O Lord, and enter your resting place,
    along with the Ark, the symbol of your power.
May your priests be clothed in godliness;
    may your loyal servants sing for joy.
10 For the sake of your servant David,
    do not reject the king you have anointed.
11 The Lord swore an oath to David
    with a promise he will never take back:
“I will place one of your descendants
    on your throne.
12 If your descendants obey the terms of my covenant
    and the laws that I teach them,
then your royal line
    will continue forever and ever.”

13 For the Lord has chosen Jerusalemb];
    he has desired it for his home.
14 “This is my resting place forever,” he said.
    “I will live here, for this is the home I desired.
15 I will bless this city and make it prosperous;
    I will satisfy its poor with food.
16 I will clothe its priests with godliness;
    its faithful servants will sing for joy.
17 Here I will increase the power of David;
    my anointed one will be a light for my people.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
    but he will be a glorious king.”

Footnotes

  1. 132:2 Hebrew of Jacob; also in 132:5. See note on 44:4.
  2. 132:13 Hebrew Zion.
Proverbs

Proverbs 29:24-25

24 If you assist a thief, you only hurt yourself.
    You are sworn to tell the truth, but you dare not testify.

25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap,
    but trusting the Lord means safety.

Old Testament

Obadiah

This is the vision that the Sovereign Lordrevealed to Obadiah concerning the land of Edom.

Edom’s Judgment Announced

We have heard a message from the Lord
    that an ambassador was sent to the nations to say,
“Get ready, everyone!
    Let’s assemble our armies and attack Edom!”

The Lord says to Edom,
“I will cut you down to size among the nations;
    you will be greatly despised.
You have been deceived by your own pride
    because you live in a rock fortress
    and make your home high in the mountains.
‘Who can ever reach us way up here?’
    you ask boastfully.
But even if you soar as high as eagles
    and build your nest among the stars,
I will bring you crashing down,”
    says the Lord.

“If thieves came at night and robbed you
    (what a disaster awaits you!),
    they would not take everything.
Those who harvest grapes
    always leave a few for the poor.
    But your enemies will wipe you out completely!
Every nook and cranny of Edoma]
    will be searched and looted.
    Every treasure will be found and taken.

“All your allies will turn against you.
    They will help to chase you from your land.
They will promise you peace
    while plotting to deceive and destroy you.
Your trusted friends will set traps for you,
    and you won’t even know about it.
At that time not a single wise person
    will be left in the whole land of Edom,”
    says the Lord.
“For on the mountains of Edom
    I will destroy everyone who has understanding.
The mightiest warriors of Teman
    will be terrified,
and everyone on the mountains of Edom
    will be cut down in the slaughter.

Reasons for Edom’s Punishment

10 “Because of the violence you did
    to your close relatives in Israel,b]
you will be filled with shame
    and destroyed forever.
11 When they were invaded,
    you stood aloof, refusing to help them.
Foreign invaders carried off their wealth
    and cast lots to divide up Jerusalem,
    but you acted like one of Israel’s enemies.

12 “You should not have gloated
    when they exiled your relatives to distant lands.
You should not have rejoiced
    when the people of Judah suffered such misfortune.
You should not have spoken arrogantly
    in that terrible time of trouble.
13 You should not have plundered the land of Israel
    when they were suffering such calamity.
You should not have gloated over their destruction
    when they were suffering such calamity.
You should not have seized their wealth
    when they were suffering such calamity.
14 You should not have stood at the crossroads,
    killing those who tried to escape.
You should not have captured the survivors
    and handed them over in their terrible time of trouble.

Edom Destroyed, Israel Restored

15 “The day is near when I, the Lord,
    will judge all godless nations!
As you have done to Israel,
    so it will be done to you.
All your evil deeds
    will fall back on your own heads.
16 Just as you swallowed up my people
    on my holy mountain,
so you and the surrounding nations
    will swallow the punishment I pour out on you.
Yes, all you nations will drink and stagger
    and disappear from history.

17 “But Jerusalemc] will become a refuge for those who escape;
    it will be a holy place.
And the people of Israeld] will come back
    to reclaim their inheritance.
18 The people of Israel will be a raging fire,
    and Edom a field of dry stubble.
The descendants of Joseph will be a flame
    roaring across the field, devouring everything.
There will be no survivors in Edom.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!

19 “Then my people living in the Negev
    will occupy the mountains of Edom.
Those living in the foothills of Judahe]
    will possess the Philistine plains
    and take over the fields of Ephraim and Samaria.
And the people of Benjamin
    will occupy the land of Gilead.
20 The exiles of Israel will return to their land
    and occupy the Phoenician coast as far north as Zarephath.
The captives from Jerusalem exiled in the northf]
    will return home and resettle the towns of the Negev.
21 Those who have been rescuedg] will go up toh] Mount Zion in Jerusalem
    to rule over the mountains of Edom.
And the Lord himself will be king!”

Footnotes

  1. 6 Hebrew Esau; also in 8b, 9, 18, 19, 21.
  2. 10 Hebrew your brother Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
  3. 17a Hebrew Mount Zion.
  4. 17b Hebrew house of Jacob; also in 18. See note on 10.
  5. 19 Hebrew the Shephelah.
  6. 20 Hebrew in Sepharad.
  7. 21a As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads Rescuers.
  8. 21b Or from.
New Testament

Revelation 4

Worship in Heaven

Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” And instantly I was in the Spirit,a] and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spiritb] of God. In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal.

In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back. The first of these living beings was like a lion; the second was like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
    the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”

Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,

11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
    and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

Footnotes

  1. 4:2 Or in spirit.
  2. 4:5 Greek They are the seven spirits.
Psalm

Psalm 132

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

Lord, remember David
    and all that he suffered.
He made a solemn promise to the Lord.
    He vowed to the Mighty One of Israel,a]
“I will not go home;
    I will not let myself rest.
I will not let my eyes sleep
    nor close my eyelids in slumber
until I find a place to build a house for the Lord,
    a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel.”

We heard that the Ark was in Ephrathah;
    then we found it in the distant countryside of Jaar.
Let us go to the sanctuary of the Lord;
    let us worship at the footstool of his throne.
Arise, O Lord, and enter your resting place,
    along with the Ark, the symbol of your power.
May your priests be clothed in godliness;
    may your loyal servants sing for joy.
10 For the sake of your servant David,
    do not reject the king you have anointed.
11 The Lord swore an oath to David
    with a promise he will never take back:
“I will place one of your descendants
    on your throne.
12 If your descendants obey the terms of my covenant
    and the laws that I teach them,
then your royal line
    will continue forever and ever.”

13 For the Lord has chosen Jerusalemb];
    he has desired it for his home.
14 “This is my resting place forever,” he said.
    “I will live here, for this is the home I desired.
15 I will bless this city and make it prosperous;
    I will satisfy its poor with food.
16 I will clothe its priests with godliness;
    its faithful servants will sing for joy.
17 Here I will increase the power of David;
    my anointed one will be a light for my people.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
    but he will be a glorious king.”

Footnotes

  1. 132:2 Hebrew of Jacob; also in 132:5. See note on 44:4.
  2. 132:13 Hebrew Zion.
Proverbs

Proverbs 29:24-25

24 If you assist a thief, you only hurt yourself.
    You are sworn to tell the truth, but you dare not testify.

25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap,
    but trusting the Lord means safety.

December 14 December 12 December 14