Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Restoration is such a biblical idea. The Bible is full of stories of broken lives, wrecked dreams, and dashed hopes. But in these stories, the power of faith brings such a dramatic turnaround in each situation that the people involved cannot contain their emotions.

There may have been a situation you practically gave up on, but then God reversed it miraculously. Perhaps Psalm 126:2 describes how you and your loved ones felt as you laughed and joyfully sang aloud of the Lord's deliverance.

Hosea 6:2 (NIV) describes a scene of two days of death and a third day of resurrection: "After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence." This is a direct prophecy of Jesus' resurrection on the third day. His disciples had lost all hope, when suddenly He walked out of the grave!

Maybe today your hopes are lying dead inside the grave with Satan's guards at the door. Take courage-the third day is coming! "Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert. Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest" (Psalm 126:4-6).

Hosea 6:1-9:17

Israel Unrepentant

“Come, let us returnS Isa 10:20; S 19:22 to the Lord.

He has torn us to piecesS Job 16:9; La 3:11; Hos 5:14

but he will heal us;S Nu 12:13; S Jer 3:22

he has injured us

but he will bind up our wounds.S Dt 32:39; S Job 5:18; S Jer 30:17; Hos 14:4

After two days he will revive us;Ps 30:5; S 80:18

on the third dayS Mt 16:21 he will restoreS Ps 71:20 us,

that we may live in his presence.

Let us acknowledge the Lord;

let us press on to acknowledge him.

As surely as the sun rises,

he will appear;

he will come to us like the winter rains,S Job 4:3; Joel 2:23

like the spring rains that water the earth.Ps 72:6; Hos 11:10; 12:6

“What can I do with you, Ephraim?Hos 11:8

What can I do with you, Judah?

Your love is like the morning mist,

like the early dew that disappears.Hos 7:1; 13:3

Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,

I killed you with the words of my mouthJer 1:9-10; 5:14; 23:29

then my judgments go forth like the sun.The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.Heb 4:12

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,S 1Sa 15:22; S Isa 1:11; Mt 9:13*; 12:7*; Mk 12:33

and acknowledgmentS Jer 4:22; S Hos 2:20 of God rather than burnt offerings.S Ps 40:6; Mic 6:8

As at Adam,Or Like Adam; or Like human beings they have broken the covenant;S Ge 9:11; S Jer 11:10; Hos 8:1

they were unfaithfulS Hos 5:7 to me there.

Gilead is a city of evildoers,Hos 12:11

stained with footprints of blood.

As marauders lie in ambush for a victim,Ps 10:8

so do bands of priests;

they murderS Hos 4:2 on the road to Shechem,

carrying out their wicked schemes.Jer 5:30-31; 7:9-10; S Eze 22:9; S Hos 5:1; 7:1

10 I have seen a horribleS Jer 5:30 thing in Israel:

There Ephraim is given to prostitution,

Israel is defiled.S Jer 23:14; S Eze 23:7; S Hos 5:3

11 “Also for you, Judah,

a harvestJer 51:33; Joel 3:13 is appointed.

“Whenever I would restore the fortunesS Ps 126:1; Zep 2:7 of my people,

whenever I would heal Israel,

the sins of Ephraim are exposed

and the crimes of Samaria revealed.S Eze 24:13; S Hos 6:4

They practice deceit,ver 13

thieves break into houses,S Ex 22:2; Hos 4:2

bandits rob in the streets;S Hos 6:9; 12:1

but they do not realize

that I rememberS Jer 14:10; S 44:21; S Hos 8:13 all their evil deeds.S Job 35:15; Hos 9:15

Their sins engulf them;Jer 2:19; 4:18

they are always before me.

“They delight the king with their wickedness,

the princes with their lies.Jer 28:1-4; S Hos 4:2; 10:13; Mic 7:3

They are all adulterers,S Jer 9:2

burning like an oven

whose fire the baker need not stir

from the kneading of the dough till it rises.

On the day of the festival of our king

the princes become inflamed with wine,S Isa 28:1, 7

and he joins hands with the mockers.S Ps 1:1

Their hearts are like an oven;Ps 21:9

they approach him with intrigue.

Their passion smolders all night;

in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.

All of them are hot as an oven;

they devour their rulers.

All their kings fall,Hos 13:10

and none of them callsver 16; S Ps 14:4; S Isa 9:13; Zep 1:6 on me.

“Ephraim mixesver 11; Ps 106:35; S Hos 5:13 with the nations;

Ephraim is a flat loaf not turned over.

Foreigners sap his strength,Isa 1:7; Hos 8:7

but he does not realize it.

His hair is sprinkled with gray,

but he does not notice.

10 Israel’s arrogance testifies against him,Hos 5:5

but despite all this

he does not returnHos 5:4 to the Lord his God

or searchver 14; S Isa 9:13 for him.

11 “Ephraim is like a dove,S Ge 8:8

easily deceived and senseless—

now calling to Egypt,ver 16; Hos 9:6

now turning to Assyria.S ver 8; S Jer 2:18; S La 5:6; Hos 9:3; 12:1

12 When they go, I will throw my netS Eze 12:13; S 32:3 over them;

I will pull them down like the birds in the sky.

When I hear them flocking together,

I will catch them.

13 WoeHos 9:12 to them,

because they have strayedJer 14:10; S Eze 34:4-6; Hos 9:17 from me!

Destruction to them,

because they have rebelled against me!

I long to redeem them

but they speak about mever 1; Jer 51:9; Mt 23:37 falsely.S Ps 116:11

14 They do not cry out to me from their heartsJer 3:10

but wail on their beds.

They slash themselves,Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts They gather together appealing to their gods

for grain and new wine,Am 2:8

but they turn away from me.S ver 10; S Hos 4:10; 9:1; 13:16

15 I trainedHos 11:3 them and strengthened their arms,

but they plot evilPs 2:1; S 140:2; Na 1:9, 11 against me.

16 They do not turn to the Most High;S ver 7

they are like a faulty bow.S Ps 78:9, 57

Their leaders will fall by the sword

because of their insolentMal 3:14 words.

For this they will be ridiculedS Eze 23:32

in the land of Egypt.S ver 11; Hos 9:3; 11:5

Israel to Reap the Whirlwind

“Put the trumpetS Nu 10:2; S Eze 33:3 to your lips!

An eagleS Dt 28:49; Jer 4:13 is over the house of the Lord

because the people have broken my covenantS Jer 11:10

and rebelled against my law.S Hos 4:6; S 6:7

Israel cries out to me,

‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’

But Israel has rejected what is good;

an enemy will pursue him.S Mt 7:23; Tit 1:16

They set up kings without my consent;

they choose princes without my approval.Hos 13:10

With their silver and gold

they make idolsS Hos 2:8; 13:1-2 for themselves

to their own destruction.

Samaria, throw out your calf-idol!ver 6; Hos 10:5

My anger burns against them.

How long will they be incapable of purity?Jer 13:27

They are from Israel!

This calf—a metalworker has made it;

it is not God.S Jer 16:20; Hos 14:3

It will be broken in pieces,

that calfS Ex 32:4 of Samaria.S ver 5

“They sow the wind

and reap the whirlwind.S Job 4:8; Pr 22:8; Isa 66:15; Hos 10:12-13; Na 1:3; Gal 6:8

The stalk has no head;

it will produce no flour.S Dt 28:38; S Isa 17:11; Hos 9:16

Were it to yield grain,

foreigners would swallow it up.Hos 2:9; S 7:9

Israel is swallowed up;Jer 51:34

now she is among the nations

like something no one wants.Jer 22:28

For they have gone up to AssyriaS Jer 2:18

like a wild donkeyS Ge 16:12 wandering alone.

Ephraim has sold herself to lovers.S Jer 22:20; Eze 23:5; S Hos 5:13

10 Although they have sold themselves among the nations,

I will now gather them together.S Eze 16:37; S 22:20

They will begin to waste awayJer 42:2

under the oppression of the mighty king.

11 “Though Ephraim built many altars for sin offerings,

these have become altars for sinning.Hos 10:1; 12:11

12 I wrote for them the many things of my law,

but they regarded them as something foreign.S ver 1

13 Though they offer sacrifices as gifts to me,

and though they eatS Jer 7:21 the meat,

the Lord is not pleased with them.S Jer 6:20; Hos 9:4

Now he will rememberHos 7:2; 9:9; Am 8:7 their wickedness

and punish their sins:S Hos 4:9

They will return to Egypt.Hos 9:3, 6

14 Israel has forgottenS Dt 32:18; S Isa 17:10; S Hos 2:13 their MakerS Ps 95:6

and built palaces;

Judah has fortified many towns.

But I will send fire on their cities

that will consume their fortresses.”Jer 5:17; S 17:27; Am 2:5

Punishment for Israel

Do not rejoice, Israel;

do not be jubilantIsa 22:12-13 like the other nations.

For you have been unfaithfulS Ps 73:27; S Isa 24:16; S Hos 7:14; 10:5 to your God;

you love the wages of a prostituteS Ge 30:15

at every threshing floor.

Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people;

the new wineIsa 24:7; Hos 2:9; Joel 1:10 will fail them.

They will not remainLev 25:23 in the Lord’s land;

Ephraim will return to EgyptS Hos 7:16; S 8:13

and eat unclean food in Assyria.Eze 4:13; S Hos 7:11; 10:5; Am 7:17

They will not pour out wine offeringsJoel 1:9, 13; 2:14 to the Lord,

nor will their sacrifices pleaseS Hos 8:13 him.

Such sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners;S Jer 16:7

all who eat them will be unclean.S Dt 26:14; Hag 2:13-14

This food will be for themselves;

it will not come into the temple of the Lord.S Eze 4:13-14

What will you doIsa 10:3; Jer 5:31 on the day of your appointed festivals,S Hos 2:11

on the feast days of the Lord?

Even if they escape from destruction,

Egypt will gather them,S Hos 7:11; S 8:13

and MemphisS Isa 19:13 will bury them.S Jer 42:22

Their treasures of silverZep 1:11 will be taken over by briers,

and thornsIsa 5:6; Hos 10:8 will overrun their tents.

The days of punishmentIsa 34:8; Jer 10:15; Mic 7:4; Lk 21:22 are coming,

the days of reckoningS Job 31:14 are at hand.

Let Israel know this.

Because your sinsJer 16:18 are so many

and your hostility so great,

the prophet is considered a fool,S 1Sa 10:11; Isa 44:25; S La 2:14; Eze 14:9-10

the inspired person a maniac.S Jer 29:26; Hos 14:1

The prophet, along with my God,

is the watchman over Ephraim,Or The prophet is the watchman over Ephraim, / the people of my God

yet snaresS Hos 5:1 await him on all his paths,

and hostility in the house of his God.S Eze 22:26

They have sunk deep into corruption,Zep 3:7

as in the days of Gibeah.Jdg 19:16-30; S Hos 5:8

God will rememberS Hos 8:13 their wickedness

and punish them for their sins.S Hos 4:9

10 “When I found Israel,

it was like finding grapes in the desert;

when I saw your ancestors,

it was like seeing the early fruitS SS 2:13 on the figS Isa 28:4 tree.

But when they came to Baal Peor,Nu 25:1-5; Ps 106:28-29

they consecrated themselves to that shameful idolJer 11:13; S Hos 4:14

and became as vile as the thing they loved.

11 Ephraim’s gloryS Isa 17:3 will fly away like a birdS Hos 4:7; 10:5

no birth, no pregnancy, no conception.ver 14

12 Even if they rear children,

I will bereavever 16; S Eze 24:21 them of every one.

WoeHos 7:13 to them

when I turn away from them!S Dt 31:17

13 I have seen Ephraim,S Ps 78:67 like Tyre,

planted in a pleasant place.S Eze 27:3

But Ephraim will bring out

their children to the slayer.”S Job 15:22; S La 2:22

14 Give them, Lord

what will you give them?

Give them wombs that miscarry

and breasts that are dry.ver 11; Lk 23:29

15 “Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal,S Hos 4:15

I hated them there.

Because of their sinful deeds,S Hos 7:2

I will drive them out of my house.

I will no longer love them;S Jer 12:8

all their leaders are rebellious.S Isa 1:23; S Hos 4:9; 5:2

16 EphraimS Hos 5:11 is blighted,

their root is withered,

they yield no fruit.S Job 15:32; S Hos 8:7

Even if they bear children,

I will slayS ver 12 their cherished offspring.”

17 My God will rejectS Jer 6:30 them

because they have not obeyedS Hos 4:10 him;

they will be wanderers among the nations.S Dt 28:65; S Hos 7:13

A Call to Repentance

“Come, let us return to the Lord.

He has torn us to pieces;

now he will heal us.

He has injured us;

now he will bandage our wounds.

In just a short time he will restore us,

so that we may live in his presence.

Oh, that we might know the Lord!

Let us press on to know him.

He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn

or the coming of rains in early spring.”

“O IsraelHebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel. and Judah,

what should I do with you?” asks the Lord.

“For your love vanishes like the morning mist

and disappears like dew in the sunlight.

I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces—

to slaughter you with my words,

with judgments as inescapable as light.

I want you to show love,Greek version translates this Hebrew term as to show mercy. Compare Matt 9:13; 12:7.

not offer sacrifices.

I want you to know meHebrew to know God.

more than I want burnt offerings.

But like Adam,Or But at Adam. you broke my covenant

and betrayed my trust.

“Gilead is a city of sinners,

tracked with footprints of blood.

Priests form bands of robbers,

waiting in ambush for their victims.

They murder travelers along the road to Shechem

and practice every kind of sin.

10 Yes, I have seen something horrible in Ephraim and Israel:

My people are defiled by prostituting themselves with other gods!

11 “O Judah, a harvest of punishment is also waiting for you,

though I wanted to restore the fortunes of my people.

Israel’s Love for Wickedness

“I want to heal Israel, but itsHebrew Ephraim’s, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; similarly in 7:8, 11. sins are too great.

Samaria is filled with liars.

Thieves are on the inside

and bandits on the outside!

Its people don’t realize

that I am watching them.

Their sinful deeds are all around them,

and I see them all.

“The people entertain the king with their wickedness,

and the princes laugh at their lies.

They are all adulterers,

always aflame with lust.

They are like an oven that is kept hot

while the baker is kneading the dough.

On royal holidays, the princes get drunk with wine,

carousing with those who mock them.

Their hearts are like an oven

blazing with intrigue.

Their plot smoldersHebrew Their baker sleeps. through the night,

and in the morning it breaks out like a raging fire.

Burning like an oven,

they consume their leaders.

They kill their kings one after another,

and no one cries to me for help.

“The people of Israel mingle with godless foreigners,

making themselves as worthless as a half-baked cake!

Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength,

but they don’t even know it.

Their hair is gray,

but they don’t realize they’re old and weak.

10 Their arrogance testifies against them,

yet they don’t return to the Lord their God

or even try to find him.

11 “The people of Israel have become like silly, witless doves,

first calling to Egypt, then flying to Assyria for help.

12 But as they fly about,

I will throw my net over them

and bring them down like a bird from the sky.

I will punish them for all the evil they do.Hebrew I will punish them because of what was reported against them in the assembly.

13 “What sorrow awaits those who have deserted me!

Let them die, for they have rebelled against me.

I wanted to redeem them,

but they have told lies about me.

14 They do not cry out to me with sincere hearts.

Instead, they sit on their couches and wail.

They cut themselves,As in Greek version; Hebrew reads They gather together. begging foreign gods for grain and new wine,

and they turn away from me.

15 I trained them and made them strong,

yet now they plot evil against me.

16 They look everywhere except to the Most High.

They are as useless as a crooked bow.

Their leaders will be killed by their enemies

because of their insolence toward me.

Then the people of Egypt

will laugh at them.

Israel Harvests the Whirlwind

“Sound the alarm!

The enemy descends like an eagle on the people of the Lord,

for they have broken my covenant

and revolted against my law.

Now Israel pleads with me,

‘Help us, for you are our God!’

But it is too late.

The people of Israel have rejected what is good,

and now their enemies will chase after them.

The people have appointed kings without my consent,

and princes without my approval.

By making idols for themselves from their silver and gold,

they have brought about their own destruction.

“O Samaria, I reject this calf—

this idol you have made.

My fury burns against you.

How long will you be incapable of innocence?

This calf you worship, O Israel,

was crafted by your own hands!

It is not God!

Therefore, it must be smashed to bits.

“They have planted the wind

and will harvest the whirlwind.

The stalks of grain wither

and produce nothing to eat.

And even if there is any grain,

foreigners will eat it.

The people of Israel have been swallowed up;

they lie among the nations like an old discarded pot.

Like a wild donkey looking for a mate,

they have gone up to Assyria.

The people of IsraelHebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 8:11. have sold themselves—

sold themselves to many lovers.

10 But though they have sold themselves to many allies,

I will now gather them together for judgment.

Then they will writhe

under the burden of the great king.

11 “Israel has built many altars to take away sin,

but these very altars became places for sinning!

12 Even though I gave them all my laws,

they act as if those laws don’t apply to them.

13 The people love to offer sacrifices to me,

feasting on the meat,

but I do not accept their sacrifices.

I will hold my people accountable for their sins,

and I will punish them.

They will return to Egypt.

14 Israel has forgotten its Maker and built great palaces,

and Judah has fortified its cities.

Therefore, I will send down fire on their cities

and will burn up their fortresses.”

Hosea Announces Israel’s Punishment

O people of Israel,

do not rejoice as other nations do.

For you have been unfaithful to your God,

hiring yourselves out like prostitutes,

worshiping other gods on every threshing floor.

So now your harvests will be too small to feed you.

There will be no grapes for making new wine.

You may no longer stay here in the Lord’s land.

Instead, you will return to Egypt,

and in Assyria you will eat food

that is ceremonially unclean.

There you will make no offerings of wine to the Lord.

None of your sacrifices there will please him.

They will be unclean, like food touched by a person in mourning.

All who present such sacrifices will be defiled.

They may eat this food themselves,

but they may not offer it to the Lord.

What then will you do on festival days?

How will you observe the Lord’s festivals?

Even if you escape destruction from Assyria,

Egypt will conquer you, and MemphisMemphis was the capital of northern Egypt. will bury you.

Nettles will take over your treasures of silver;

thistles will invade your ruined homes.

The time of Israel’s punishment has come;

the day of payment is here.

Soon Israel will know this all too well.

Because of your great sin and hostility,

you say, “The prophets are crazy

and the inspired men are fools!”

The prophet is a watchman over IsraelHebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 9:11, 13, 16. for my God,

yet traps are laid for him wherever he goes.

He faces hostility even in the house of God.

The things my people do are as depraved

as what they did in Gibeah long ago.

God will not forget.

He will surely punish them for their sins.

10 The Lord says, “O Israel, when I first found you,

it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert.

When I saw your ancestors,

it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season.

But then they deserted me for Baal-peor,

giving themselves to that shameful idol.

Soon they became vile,

as vile as the god they worshiped.

11 The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird,

for your children will not be born

or grow in the womb

or even be conceived.

12 Even if you do have children who grow up,

I will take them from you.

It will be a terrible day when I turn away

and leave you alone.

13 I have watched Israel become as beautiful as Tyre.

But now Israel will bring out her children for slaughter.”

14 O Lord, what should I request for your people?

I will ask for wombs that don’t give birth

and breasts that give no milk.

15 The Lord says, “All their wickedness began at Gilgal;

there I began to hate them.

I will drive them from my land

because of their evil actions.

I will love them no more

because all their leaders are rebels.

16 The people of Israel are struck down.

Their roots are dried up,

and they will bear no more fruit.

And if they give birth,

I will slaughter their beloved children.”

17 My God will reject the people of Israel

because they will not listen or obey.

They will be wanderers,

homeless among the nations.

Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.

Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood.

And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness.

10 I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled.

11 Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.

When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without.

And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.

They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.

They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.

In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine; he stretched out his hand with scorners.

For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire.

They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me.

Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.

Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.

10 And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the Lord their God, nor seek him for all this.

11 Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.

12 When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard.

13 Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.

14 And they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me.

15 Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me.

16 They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.

Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.

Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee.

Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.

They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.

Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?

For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.

Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.

For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.

10 Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes.

11 Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.

12 I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.

13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the Lord accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.

14 For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.

Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.

The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.

They shall not dwell in the Lord's land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.

They shall not offer wine offerings to the Lord, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the Lord.

What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the Lord?

For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles.

The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.

The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.

They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.

10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.

11 As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.

12 Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!

13 Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.

14 Give them, O Lord: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.

16 Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.

17 My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.

3 John 1-15

The elder,S Ac 11:30; 2Jn 1

To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.It gave me great joy when some believersver 5, 10; S Ac 1:16 came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.2Jn 4I have no greater joy than to hear that my childrenS 1Jn 2:1 are walking in the truth.ver 3

Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters,The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family.S ver 3 even though they are strangers to you.Ro 12:13; Heb 13:2They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way1Co 16:11; 2Co 1:16 in a manner that honorsS Eph 4:1 God.It was for the sake of the NameS Jn 15:21 that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans.Ac 20:33, 35We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.

I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us.10 So when I come,ver 14; 2Jn 12 I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers.ver 5 He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.Jn 9:22, 34

11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.Ps 34:14; 37:27 Anyone who does what is good is from God.1Jn 2:29 Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.1Jn 3:6, 9, 1012 Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone1Ti 3:7—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.Jn 19:35; 21:24

13 I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink.14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.2Jn 12

Peace to you.S Ro 1:7; S Eph 6:23 The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.Jn 10:3


This letter is from John, the elder.Greek From the elder.

I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth.

Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.Some of the traveling teachersGreek the brothers; also in verses 5 and 10. recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth.I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.

Caring for the Lord’s Workers

Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you.They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God.For they are traveling for the Lord,Greek They went out on behalf of the Name. and they accept nothing from people who are not believers.Greek from Gentiles.So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.

I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us.10 When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church.

11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.Greek they have not seen God.

12 Everyone speaks highly of Demetrius, as does the truth itself. We ourselves can say the same for him, and you know we speak the truth.


13 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to write it with pen and ink.14 For I hope to see you soon, and then we will talk face to face.

15 Some English translations combine verses 14 and 15 into verse 14.Peace be with you.

Your friends here send you their greetings. Please give my personal greetings to each of our friends there.

The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;

Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:

Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.

We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:

14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

Psalm 126:1-6

Psalm 126

A song of ascents.

When the Lord restoredEzr 1:1-3; Ps 85:1; Hos 6:11 the fortunes ofOr Lord brought back the captives to Zion,

we were like those who dreamed.Or those restored to health

Our mouths were filled with laughter,S Ge 21:6

our tongues with songs of joy.S Job 8:21; S Ps 65:8

Then it was said among the nations,

“The Lord has done great thingsS Dt 10:21; Ps 71:19; Lk 1:49 for them.”

The Lord has done great thingsPs 106:21; Joel 2:21, 26 for us,

and we are filled with joy.S Ps 9:2; 16:11

Restore our fortunes,Or Bring back our captivesS Dt 30:3 Lord,

like streams in the Negev.S Ps 107:35; Isa 43:19; 51:3

Those who sow with tearsPs 6:6; 80:5; Jer 50:4

will reapGal 6:9 with songs of joy.Ps 16:11; 20:5; 23:6; Isa 35:10; 51:11; 60:15; 61:7; Jer 31:6-7, 12

Those who go out weeping,S Nu 25:6; S Ps 30:5

carrying seed to sow,

will return with songs of joy,

carrying sheaves with them.

Psalm 126

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,Hebrew Zion.

it was like a dream!

We were filled with laughter,

and we sang for joy.

And the other nations said,

“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”

Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!

What joy!

Restore our fortunes, Lord,

as streams renew the desert.

Those who plant in tears

will harvest with shouts of joy.

They weep as they go to plant their seed,

but they sing as they return with the harvest.

126 When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.

The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Proverbs 29:12-14

12 If a ruler2Ki 21:9 listens to lies,

all his officials become wicked.S Job 34:30

13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common:

The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.S Pr 22:2; Mt 5:45

14 If a king judges the poor with fairness,

his throne will be established forever.S ver 4; Ps 72:1-5; S Pr 16:12

12 If a ruler pays attention to liars,

all his advisers will be wicked.

13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common—

the Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.

14 If a king judges the poor fairly,

his throne will last forever.

12 If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.

13 The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.

14 The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.

Dec 6 Dec 8
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