Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The fourth chapter of Revelation portrays an awesome scene. In this passage we get our first glimpse of heaven's glorious landscape and beauty. Even though we know in our hearts that heaven is real, to have it described is breathtaking: "I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it! The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones- jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow" (vv. 2-3).

Rainbow colors of precious jewels were all around the throne of God. Before the throne were the twenty-four elders, the seven lamps of the Spirit of God, and the sea of glass. Four awesome creatures surrounded the throne, and day and night, they cry, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty-the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come" (v. 8).

The earthly ark of the covenant was just a little gold-plated box that symbolized this awesome throne. David's heart's desire was to build a place for that ark in Zion, for God had said, "This is my home where I will live forever. . . . I will live here, for this is the place I desired" (Psalm 132:14).

Make spending time in God's presence the greatest desire of your life. One day your eyes will see Him face-to-face upon the throne of His glory.

Obadiah 1-21

Obadiah’s Vision1-4pp — Jer 49:14-165-6pp — Jer 49:9-10

The visionS Isa 1:1 of Obadiah.

This is what the Sovereign Lord says about EdomS Ge 25:14; S Isa 11:14; S 34:11; 63:1-6; Jer 49:7-22; S Eze 25:12-14; S 32:29; S Am 1:11-12

We have heard a message from the Lord:

An envoyIsa 18:2 was sent to the nations to say,

“Rise, let us go against her for battle”Jer 6:4-5

“See, I will make you smallNu 24:18 among the nations;

you will be utterly despised.

The prideS Isa 16:6 of your heart has deceived you,

you who live in the clefts of the rocksOr of Selafn Isa 16:1

and make your home on the heights,

you who say to yourself,

‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’S 2Ch 25:11-12

Though you soar like the eagle

and make your nestS Isa 10:14 among the stars,

from there I will bring you down,”S Isa 14:13

declares the Lord.S Job 20:6

“If thieves came to you,

if robbers in the night—

oh, what a disaster awaits you!—

would they not steal only as much as they wanted?

If grape pickers came to you,

would they not leave a few grapes?S Dt 4:27; 24:21; S Isa 24:13

But how Esau will be ransacked,

his hidden treasures pillaged!

All your alliesJer 30:14 will force you to the border;

your friends will deceive and overpower you;

those who eat your breadS Ps 41:9 will set a trap for you,The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.

but you will not detect it.

“In that day,” declares the Lord,

“will I not destroyJob 5:12; Isa 29:14 the wise men of Edom,

those of understanding in the mountains of Esau?

Your warriors, Teman,S Ge 36:11, 34 will be terrified,

and everyone in Esau’s mountains

will be cut down in the slaughter.

10 Because of the violenceS Joel 3:19 against your brother Jacob,Ps 137:7; Am 1:11-12

you will be covered with shame;

you will be destroyed forever.S Ps 137:7; S Eze 25:12-14; 35:9

11 On the day you stood aloof

while strangers carried off his wealth

and foreigners entered his gates

and cast lotsS Job 6:27; S Eze 24:6 for Jerusalem,

you were like one of them.S Am 1:6

12 You should not gloatPr 24:17 over your brother

in the day of his misfortune,S Job 31:29

nor rejoiceS Eze 35:15 over the people of Judah

in the day of their destruction,S Pr 17:5

nor boastPs 137:7 so much

in the day of their trouble.S Eze 25:6; Mic 4:11; 7:8

13 You should not march through the gates of my people

in the day of their disaster,

nor gloat over them in their calamityS Eze 35:5

in the day of their disaster,

nor seize their wealth

in the day of their disaster.

14 You should not wait at the crossroads

to cut down their fugitives,S 1Ki 18:4

nor hand over their survivors

in the day of their trouble.

15 “The day of the Lord is nearS Jer 46:10; S Eze 30:3; S Joel 2:31; S Am 5:18

for all nations.

As you have done, it will be done to you;

your deedsS Jer 50:29; Hab 2:8 will return upon your own head.

16 Just as you drankIsa 51:17 on my holy hill,S Ex 15:17

so all the nations will drinkJer 25:15; 49:12; S La 4:21-22 continually;

they will drink and drink

and be as if they had never been.S La 4:21; S Eze 25:12-14

17 But on Mount Zion will be deliverance;S Ps 69:35; S Isa 14:1-2; Joel 2:32; S Am 9:11-15

it will be holy,S Ps 74:2; S Isa 4:3

and Jacob will possess his inheritance.Zec 8:12

18 Jacob will be a fire

and Joseph a flame;

Esau will be stubble,

and they will set him on fireS Isa 1:31 and destroyZec 12:6 him.

There will be no survivorsS Jer 49:10

from Esau.”

The Lord has spoken.

19 People from the Negev will occupy

the mountains of Esau,

and people from the foothills will possess

the land of the Philistines.Isa 11:14

They will occupy the fields of Ephraim and Samaria,S Jer 31:5

and BenjaminS Nu 1:36 will possess Gilead.

20 This company of Israelite exiles who are in Canaan

will possess the land as far as Zarephath;1Ki 17:9-10; Lk 4:26

the exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad

will possess the towns of the Negev.S Jer 33:13

21 DeliverersS Dt 28:29; S Jdg 3:9 will go up onOr from Mount Zion

to govern the mountains of Esau.

And the kingdom will be the Lord’s.S Ps 22:28; 47:9; 66:4; S Da 2:44; Zec 14:9, 16; Mal 1:14; Rev 11:15

This is the vision that the Sovereign Lord revealed 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 EdomHebrew Esau; also in 8b, 9, 18, 19, 21.

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,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.

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 JerusalemHebrew Mount Zion. will become a refuge for those who escape;

it will be a holy place.

And the people of IsraelHebrew house of Jacob; also in 18. See note on 10. 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 JudahHebrew the Shephelah.

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 northHebrew in Sepharad.

will return home and resettle the towns of the Negev.

21 Those who have been rescuedAs in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads Rescuers. will go up toOr from. Mount Zion in Jerusalem

to rule over the mountains of Edom.

And the Lord himself will be king!”

The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.

Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.

The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.

If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes?

How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!

All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.

Shall I not in that day, saith the Lord, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?

And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.

10 For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

11 In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.

12 But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.

13 Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;

14 Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.

15 For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.

17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.

19 And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.

20 And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.

21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord's.

Revelation 4:1-11

The Throne in Heaven

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing openS Mt 3:16 in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpetRev 1:10 said, “Come up here,Rev 11:12 and I will show you what must take place after this.”Rev 1:19; 22:6At once I was in the Spirit,S Rev 1:10 and there before me was a throne in heavenver 9, 10; 1Ki 22:19; Isa 6:1; Eze 1:26-28; Da 7:9; Rev 20:11 with someone sitting on it.And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasperRev 21:11 and ruby.Rev 21:20 A rainbowEze 1:28; Rev 10:1 that shone like an emeraldRev 21:19 encircled the throne.Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders.ver 10; Rev 5:6, 8, 14; 11:16; 19:4 They were dressed in whiteS Rev 3:4, 5 and had crowns of gold on their heads.From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder.Ex 19:16; Rev 8:5; 11:19; 16:18 In front of the throne, seven lampsZec 4:2 were blazing. These are the seven spiritsThat is, the sevenfold SpiritS Rev 1:4 of God.Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass,Rev 15:2 clear as crystal.

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures,ver 8, 9; Eze 1:5; Rev 5:6; 6:1; 7:11; 14:3; 15:7; 19:4 and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.Eze 1:18; 10:12The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.Eze 1:10; 10:14Each of the four living creaturesS ver 6 had six wingsIsa 6:2 and was covered with eyes all around,Eze 1:18 even under its wings. Day and nightRev 14:11 they never stop saying:

“‘Holy, holy, holy

is the Lord God Almighty,’Isaiah 6:3Isa 6:3; S Rev 1:8

who was, and is, and is to come.”S Rev 1:4

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the thronever 2; Ps 47:8; S Rev 5:1 and who lives for ever and ever,S Rev 1:1810 the twenty-four eldersS ver 4 fall down before himDt 33:3; Rev 5:8, 14; 7:11; 11:16 who sits on the throneS ver 2 and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,Rev 1:6; 5:12

for you created all things,

and by your will they were created

and have their being.”Ac 14:15; Rev 10:6

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,Or in spirit. 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 SpiritGreek They are the seven spirits. 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.”

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Psalm 132:1-18

Psalm 132132:8-10pp — 2Ch 6:41-42

A song of ascents.

Lord, remember David

and all his self-denial.1Sa 18:11; S 2Sa 15:14

He swore an oath to the Lord,

he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:S Ge 49:24; Isa 49:26; 60:16

“I will not enter my houseS 2Sa 7:2, 27

or go to my bed,

I will allow no sleep to my eyes

or slumber to my eyelids,

till I find a placeS 1Ki 8:17; Ac 7:46 for the Lord,

a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

We heard it in Ephrathah,S 1Sa 17:12

we came upon it in the fields of Jaar:Or heard of it in Ephrathah, / we found it in the fields of Jearim. (See 1 Chron. 13:5,6) (And no quotation marks around verses 7-9)S Jos 9:17; S 1Sa 7:2

“Let us go to his dwelling place,S 2Sa 15:25; Ps 5:7; 122:1

let us worship at his footstool,S 1Ch 28:2 saying,

‘Arise, Lord,S Nu 10:35 and come to your resting place,

you and the ark of your might.

May your priests be clothed with your righteousness;S Job 27:6; Isa 61:3, 10; Zec 3:4; Mal 3:3; Eph 6:14

may your faithful peoplePs 16:3; 30:4; 149:5 sing for joy.’”

10 For the sake of your servant David,

do not reject your anointed one.

11 The Lord swore an oath to David,S Ps 89:3-4, 35

a sure oath he will not revoke:

“One of your own descendantsS 1Ch 17:11-14; S Mt 1:1; Lk 3:31

I will place on your throne.

12 If your sons keep my covenant2Ch 6:16; S Ps 25:10

and the statutes I teach them,

then their sons will sit

on your throneLk 1:32; Ac 2:30 for ever and ever.”

13 For the Lord has chosen Zion,S Ex 15:17; Ps 48:1-2; S 68:16

he has desired it for his dwelling,S 1Ki 8:13 saying,

14 “This is my resting place for ever and ever;ver 8; Ps 68:16

here I will sit enthroned,S 2Sa 6:2; Ps 80:1 for I have desired it.

15 I will bless her with abundant provisions;

her poor I will satisfy with food.Ps 107:9; 147:14

16 I will clothe her priestsS 2Ch 6:41 with salvation,

and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.S Job 8:21; Ps 149:5

17 “Here I will make a hornHorn here symbolizes strong one, that is, king. growS 1Sa 2:10; Ps 92:10; Eze 29:21; S Lk 1:69 for David

and set up a lamp1Ki 11:36; 2Ki 8:19; 2Ch 21:7; Ps 18:28 for my anointed one.S Ps 84:9

18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,S Job 8:22

but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”S 2Sa 12:30

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,Hebrew of Jacob; also in 132:5. See note on 44:4.

“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 JerusalemHebrew Zion.;

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.”

132 Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions:

How he sware unto the Lord, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob;

Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed;

I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids,

Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.

Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.

We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool.

Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.

Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.

10 For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed.

11 The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.

12 If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.

13 For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

15 I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.

16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.

17 There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.

18 His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.

Proverbs 29:24-25

24 The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies;

they are put under oath and dare not testify.S Lev 5:1

25 FearS 1Sa 15:24 of man will prove to be a snare,

but whoever trusts in the LordPr 28:25 is kept safe.S Pr 16:20

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.

24 Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not.

25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

Dec 12 Dec 14
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