Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The bride spoken of in Revelation 21:2 provides us with an appropriate description of the city of the New Jerusalem, filled with the faithful believers in Christ. All history closes with a description of the marriage of Christ to His Church, an eternal romance in which believers will be in covenant with Him forever.

This description of the Bride of Christ is, in fact, a picture of a godly marriage. It symbolizes a covenant of faithfulness and commitment so that all the world may see how Christ will care for His Church. For this reason, God declared his hatred of divorce (Malachi 2:16), as it destroys the beautiful picture of covenant faithfulness.

Proverbs 31:10-24 describes "a virtuous and capable wife." Her beauty, grace, wisdom, and faithfulness, as well as her relationship with her offspring and husband, all portray the qualities of the Bride of Christ. All that God is working in your life is designed to prepare you to be married to Christ forever. One day, the Holy Spirit will usher the Church to the gate of heaven and then march her down the main street of the New Jerusalem to be married to Christ.

Get ready, Bride of Christ. Your greatest day is approaching!

Malachi 1:1-2:17

A prophecy:S Na 1:1 The wordAc 7:38; Ro 3:1-2; 1Pe 4:11 of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.Malachi means my messenger.

Israel Doubts God’s Love

“I have lovedS Dt 4:37 you,” says the Lord.

“But you ask,ver 6, 7; Mal 2:14, 17; 3:7, 13 ‘How have you loved us?’

“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob,S Jer 46:27; Ro 9:13*but Esau I have hated,Lk 14:26 and I have turned his hill country into a wastelandS Isa 34:10 and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.S Isa 13:22

EdomS Isa 11:14; S 34:11 may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuildIsa 9:10 the ruins.”

But this is what the Lord Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish.S Isa 34:5 They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord.S La 4:22; S Eze 25:12-14; S 26:14You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘GreatPs 35:27; 48:1; Mic 5:4 is the Lord—even beyond the borders of Israel!’Isa 45:22; 52:10; S Am 1:11-12

Breaking Covenant Through Blemished Sacrifices

“A son honors his father,S Lev 20:9; Mt 15:4; 23:9 and a slave his master.Lk 6:46 If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respectS Dt 31:12; S Isa 1:2 due me?” says the Lord Almighty.Job 5:17

“It is you priests who show contempt for my name.

“But you ask,S ver 2 ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’

“By offering defiled foodver 12; Lev 21:6 on my altar.

“But you ask,S ver 2 ‘How have we defiled you?’

“By saying that the Lord’s tableS Eze 23:41 is contemptible.When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals,S Lev 1:3; S Dt 15:21 is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleasedS Ge 32:20 with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.S Isa 43:23

“Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offeringsLev 23:33-44; Ps 51:17; Mic 6:6-8; Ro 12:1; Heb 13:16 from your hands, will he acceptS Jer 6:20 you?”—says the Lord Almighty.

10 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors,2Ch 28:24 so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleasedS Hos 5:6 with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will acceptLev 22:20 no offeringver 13; Isa 1:11-14; Jer 14:12; Mal 2:12 from your hands.11 My name will be greatS Isa 24:15; 56:6 among the nations,S Isa 6:3; S 12:4 from where the sun rises to where it sets.S Ps 113:3; S Mt 8:11 In every place incenseIsa 60:6-7; Rev 5:8; 8:3 and pure offeringsS Isa 19:21; Heb 13:15 will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.

12 “But you profane it by saying, ‘The Lord’s tableS Eze 41:22 is defiled,’ and, ‘Its foodS ver 7 is contemptible.’13 And you say, ‘What a burden!’Isa 43:22-24 and you sniff at it contemptuously,S Nu 14:11” says the Lord Almighty.

“When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices,S ver 10 should I accept them from your hands?”S Dt 15:21 says the Lord.14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animalEx 12:5; S Lev 22:18-21 to the Lord. For I am a great king,Ps 95:3; S Ob 1:21; 1Ti 6:15” says the Lord Almighty,Jer 46:18 “and my name is to be fearedS Dt 28:58 among the nations.Ps 72:8-11

Additional Warning to the Priests

“And now, you priests, this warning is for you.ver 7If you do not listen,Jer 13:17 and if you do not resolve to honorMt 15:7-9; Jn 5:23; 1Ti 6:16; Rev 5:12-13 my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curseS Dt 11:26; S 28:20 on you, and I will curse your blessings.Nu 6:23-27 Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.

“Because of you I will rebuke your descendantsOr will blight your grain; I will smear on your faces the dungS Ex 29:14; S Lev 4:11; S Job 9:31 from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it.1Ki 14:10And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with LeviS Nu 3:12 may continue,” says the Lord Almighty.“My covenant was with him, a covenantDt 33:9; Ps 25:10; 103:18; S Mt 26:28; S Lk 22:20; Heb 7:22 of life and peace,S Nu 25:12 and I gave them to him; this called for reverenceS Dt 14:23; S 28:58; Ps 119:161; Heb 12:28 and he revered me and stood in awe of my name.True instructionS Dt 33:10 was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walkedS Ge 5:22 with me in peaceLk 2:14; S Jn 14:27; Gal 5:22 and uprightness,S Ps 25:21 and turned many from sin.S Ro 11:14; Jas 5:19-20

“For the lips of a priestS Jer 18:18 ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messengerS Nu 27:21; S 2Ch 36:15; Mt 11:10; Mk 1:2 of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth.S Lev 10:11; S 2Ch 17:7But you have turned from the wayS Ex 32:8; Jer 2:8 and by your teaching have caused many to stumble;S Jer 18:15 you have violated the covenantJer 33:21; S Eze 22:26 with Levi,”S Hos 4:6 says the Lord Almighty.“So I have caused you to be despisedS 1Sa 2:30; S Ps 22:6; S Jer 51:37 and humiliatedS Ps 35:4; Jer 3:25; Ac 8:32-33 before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partialityS Ex 18:16; S Lev 19:15; Ac 10:34; Ro 2:11 in matters of the law.”S 1Sa 2:17

Breaking Covenant Through Divorce

10 Do we not all have one FatherOr father?S Ex 4:22; Mt 5:16; 6:4, 18; Lk 11:2; 1Co 8:6 Did not one God create us?S Job 4:17; Isa 43:1 Why do we profane the covenantEx 19:5; S 2Ki 17:15; Jer 31:32 of our ancestors by being unfaithfulS Zep 3:3-4 to one another?

11 Judah has been unfaithful. A detestableS Isa 1:13; S 48:8 thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord lovesS Dt 4:37 by marryingS Ne 13:23 women who worship a foreign god.S Ex 34:16; Jer 3:7-912 As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord removeS 1Sa 2:30-33; S Eze 24:21 him from the tents of JacobOr 12 May the Lord remove from the tents of Jacob anyone who gives testimony in behalf of the man who does thisS Nu 24:5; 2Sa 20:1—even though he brings an offeringS Mal 1:10 to the Lord Almighty.

13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears.S Jer 11:11 You weep and wailPs 39:12 because he no longer looks with favorPs 66:18; Jer 14:12 on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.Isa 58:214 You ask,S Mal 1:2 “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witnessS Ge 21:30; S Jos 24:22 between you and the wife of your youth.S Pr 5:18 You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.S Eze 16:8; Heb 13:4

15 Has not the one God made you?S Ge 2:24; Mt 19:4-6 You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.The meaning of the Hebrew for the first part of this verse is uncertain.S Dt 14:2; 1Co 7:14 So be on your guard,S Dt 4:15 and do not be unfaithfulS Isa 54:6; 1Co 7:10; Heb 13:4 to the wife of your youth.

16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,S Dt 24:1; Mt 5:31-32; 19:4-9; Mk 10:4-5” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”Or “I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “because the man who divorces his wife covers his garment with violence,”S Ge 6:11; 34:25; S Pr 4:17; S Isa 58:4 says the Lord Almighty.

So be on your guard,Ps 51:10 and do not be unfaithful.

Breaking Covenant Through Injustice

17 You have weariedS Isa 1:14 the Lord with your words.

“How have we wearied him?” you ask.S Mal 1:2

By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleasedPs 5:4 with them” or “Where is the God of justice?S Ge 18:25; S Job 8:3; S Eze 18:25

This is the messageHebrew An Oracle: The message. that the Lord gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi.Malachi means “my messenger.”

The Lord’s Love for Israel

“I have always loved you,” says the Lord.

But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?”

And the Lord replies, “This is how I showed my love for you: I loved your ancestor Jacob,but I rejected his brother, Esau, and devastated his hill country. I turned Esau’s inheritance into a desert for jackals.”

Esau’s descendants in Edom may say, “We have been shattered, but we will rebuild the ruins.”

But the Lord of Heaven’s Armies replies, “They may try to rebuild, but I will demolish them again. Their country will be known as ‘The Land of Wickedness,’ and their people will be called ‘The People with Whom the Lord Is Forever Angry.’When you see the destruction for yourselves, you will say, ‘Truly, the Lord’s greatness reaches far beyond Israel’s borders!’”

Unworthy Sacrifices

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name!

“But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’

“You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar.

“Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices?As in Greek version; Hebrew reads defiled you?

“You defile them by saying the altar of the Lord deserves no respect.When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

10 “How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings.11 But my name is honoredOr will be honored. by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offerOr will offer. sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

12 “But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it’s all right to defile the Lord’s table.13 You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the Lord,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Think of it! Animals that are stolen and crippled and sick are being presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?” asks the Lord.

14 “Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and my name is feared among the nations!

A Warning to the Priests

“Listen, you priests—this command is for you!Listen to me and make up your minds to honor my name,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “or I will bring a terrible curse against you. I will curse even the blessings you receive. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you have not taken my warning to heart.I will punish your descendants and splatter your faces with the manure from your festival sacrifices, and I will throw you on the manure pile.Then at last you will know it was I who sent you this warning so that my covenant with the Levites can continue,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“The purpose of my covenant with the Levites was to bring life and peace, and that is what I gave them. This required reverence from them, and they greatly revered me and stood in awe of my name.They passed on to the people the truth of the instructions they received from me. They did not lie or cheat; they walked with me, living good and righteous lives, and they turned many from lives of sin.

“The words of a priest’s lips should preserve knowledge of God, and people should go to him for instruction, for the priest is the messenger of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.But you priests have left God’s paths. Your instructions have caused many to stumble into sin. You have corrupted the covenant I made with the Levites,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.“So I have made you despised and humiliated in the eyes of all the people. For you have not obeyed me but have shown favoritism in the way you carry out my instructions.”

A Call to Faithfulness

10 Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? Then why do we betray each other, violating the covenant of our ancestors?

11 Judah has been unfaithful, and a detestable thing has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. The men of Judah have defiled the Lord’s beloved sanctuary by marrying women who worship idols.12 May the Lord cut off from the nation of IsraelHebrew from the tents of Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation. every last man who has done this and yet brings an offering to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

13 Here is another thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, weeping and groaning because he pays no attention to your offerings and doesn’t accept them with pleasure.14 You cry out, “Why doesn’t the Lord accept my worship?” I’ll tell you why! Because the Lord witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows.

15 Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his.Or Didn’t the one Lord make us and preserve our life and breath? or Didn’t the one Lord make her, both flesh and spirit? The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.16 “For I hate divorce!”Hebrew For he hates divorcing. says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,Hebrew to cover one’s garment with violence.” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”

17 You have wearied the Lord with your words.

“How have we wearied him?” you ask.

You have wearied him by saying that all who do evil are good in the Lord’s sight, and he is pleased with them. You have wearied him by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”

The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.

I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob,

And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever.

And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel.

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible.

And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts.

And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts.

10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.

12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.

13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord.

14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.

If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.

Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.

And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.

My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.

The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.

Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

12 The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts.

13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.

14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

17 Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

Revelation 21:1-27

A New Heaven and a New Earth

21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”Isaiah 65:17S 2Pe 3:13 for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,S Rev 6:14 and there was no longer any sea.I saw the Holy City,ver 10; Ne 11:18; Isa 52:1; Rev 11:2; 22:19 the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,ver 10; Heb 11:10; 12:22; Rev 3:12 prepared as a brideS Rev 19:7 beautifully dressed for her husband.And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.Ex 25:8; 2Ch 6:18; Eze 48:35; Zec 2:10 They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.S 2Co 6:16‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.S Rev 7:17 There will be no more death’Isaiah 25:8Isa 25:8; 1Co 15:26; Rev 20:14 or mourning or crying or pain,Isa 35:10; 65:19 for the old order of things has passed away.”S 2Co 5:17

He who was seated on the throneRev 4:9; 20:11 said, “I am making everything new!”ver 4 Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”Rev 19:9; 22:6

He said to me: “It is done.Rev 16:17 I am the Alpha and the Omega,Rev 1:8; 22:13 the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without costIsa 55:1 from the spring of the water of life.S Jn 4:10Those who are victoriousS Jn 16:33 will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.ver 3; 2Sa 7:14; 2Co 6:16; S Ro 8:14But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liarsver 27; Ps 5:6; 1Co 6:9; Heb 12:14; Rev 22:15—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.S Rev 9:17 This is the second death.”S Rev 2:11

The New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plaguesS Rev 15:1, 6, 7 came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride,S Rev 19:7 the wife of the Lamb.”10 And he carried me awayEze 40:2; Rev 17:3 in the SpiritS Rev 1:10 to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.S ver 211 It shone with the glory of God,ver 23; Isa 60:1, 2; Eze 43:2; Rev 15:8; 22:5 and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper,ver 18, 19; Rev 4:3 clear as crystal.Rev 4:612 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates,ver 15, 21, 25; Rev 22:14 and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.Eze 48:30-3413 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations,S Eph 2:20; Heb 11:10 and on them were the names of the twelve apostlesAc 1:26; Eph 2:20 of the Lamb.

15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rodEze 40:3; Rev 11:1 of gold to measure the city, its gatesS ver 12 and its walls.16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadiaThat is, about 1,400 miles or about 2,200 kilometers in length, and as wide and high as it is long.17 The angel measured the wall using humanRev 13:18 measurement, and it was 144 cubitsThat is, about 200 feet or about 65 meters thick.Or high18 The wall was made of jasper,S ver 11 and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.ver 2119 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone.Ex 28:17-20; Isa 54:11, 12; Eze 28:13 The first foundation was jasper,S ver 11 the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby,Rev 4:3 the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.The precise identification of some of these precious stones is uncertain.21 The twelve gatesS ver 12 were twelve pearls,Isa 54:12 each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.ver 18

22 I did not see a templeJn 4:21, 23 in the city, because the Lord God AlmightyS Rev 1:8 and the LambS Rev 5:6 are its temple.23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of GodS ver 11 gives it light,Isa 24:23; 60:19, 20; Rev 22:5 and the LambS Rev 5:6 is its lamp.24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.ver 26; Isa 60:3, 525 On no day will its gatesS ver 12 ever be shut,Isa 60:11 for there will be no night there.Zec 14:7; Rev 22:526 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.ver 2427 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful,Isa 52:1; Joel 3:17; Rev 22:14, 15 but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.S Rev 20:12

The New Jerusalem

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.Some manuscripts read God himself will be with them, their God.He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

10 So he took me in the SpiritOr in spirit. to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.11 It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal.12 The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates.13 There were three gates on each side—east, north, south, and west.14 The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall.16 When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles.Greek 12,000 stadia [2,220 kilometers].17 Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thickGreek 144 cubits [65 meters]. (according to the human standard used by the angel).

18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass.19 The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones:The identification of some of these gemstones is uncertain. the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.

21 The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.

22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory.25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there.26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city.27 Nothing evilOr ceremonially unclean. will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Psalm 149:1-9

Psalm 149

Praise the Lord.Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 9Ps 33:2; 103:1

Sing to the Lord a new song,S Ps 28:7; S 96:1; Rev 5:9

his praise in the assemblyS Ps 1:5 of his faithful people.

Let Israel rejoiceIsa 13:3; Jer 51:48 in their Maker;S Job 10:3; Ps 95:6; Isa 44:2; 45:11; 54:5

let the people of Zion be glad in their King.Ps 10:16; 47:6; Isa 32:1; Zec 9:9

Let them praise his name with dancingS Ex 15:20

and make music to him with timbrel and harp.S Ps 57:8

For the Lord takes delightPs 35:27; 147:11 in his people;

he crowns the humble with victory.Ps 132:16

Let his faithful people rejoiceS Ps 132:16 in this honor

and sing for joy on their beds.Job 35:10; Ps 42:8

May the praise of God be in their mouthsPs 66:17

and a double-edgedHeb 4:12; Rev 1:16 sword in their hands,Ne 4:17

to inflict vengeanceS Nu 31:3; S Dt 32:41 on the nations

and punishmentPs 81:15 on the peoples,

to bind their kings with fetters,S 2Sa 3:34; S Isa 14:1-2

their nobles with shackles of iron,2Ch 33:11

to carry out the sentence written against them—Dt 7:1; Eze 28:26

this is the glory of all his faithful people.S Ps 145:10

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 149

Praise the Lord!

Sing to the Lord a new song.

Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.

O Israel, rejoice in your Maker.

O people of Jerusalem,Hebrew Zion. exult in your King.

Praise his name with dancing,

accompanied by tambourine and harp.

For the Lord delights in his people;

he crowns the humble with victory.

Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them.

Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.

Let the praises of God be in their mouths,

and a sharp sword in their hands—

to execute vengeance on the nations

and punishment on the peoples,

to bind their kings with shackles

and their leaders with iron chains,

to execute the judgment written against them.

This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones.

Praise the Lord!

149 Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;

To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;

To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.

Proverbs 31:10-24

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 Verses 10-31 are an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.A wife of noble characterS Ru 3:11; S Pr 18:22 who can find?Pr 8:35

She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husbandS Ge 2:18 has full confidence in her

and lacks nothing of value.S Pr 12:4

12 She brings him good, not harm,

all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax

and works with eager hands.1Ti 2:9-10

14 She is like the merchant ships,

bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still night;

she provides food for her family

and portions for her female servants.

16 She considers a field and buys it;

out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;

her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,

and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff

and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor

and extends her hands to the needy.Dt 15:11

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;

for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;

she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,

where he takes his seat among the eldersS Ex 3:16 of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,

and supplies the merchants with sashes.

A Wife of Noble Character

10 Verses 10-31 comprise a Hebrew acrostic poem; each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?

She is more precious than rubies.

11 Her husband can trust her,

and she will greatly enrich his life.

12 She brings him good, not harm,

all the days of her life.

13 She finds wool and flax

and busily spins it.

14 She is like a merchant’s ship,

bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household

and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.

16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;

with her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She is energetic and strong,

a hard worker.

18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;

her lamp burns late into the night.

19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,

her fingers twisting fiber.

20 She extends a helping hand to the poor

and opens her arms to the needy.

21 She has no fear of winter for her household,

for everyone has warmAs in Greek and Latin versions; Hebrew reads scarlet. clothes.

22 She makes her own bedspreads.

She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.

23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,

where he sits with the other civic leaders.

24 She makes belted linen garments

and sashes to sell to the merchants.

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

Dec 29 Dec 31
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