My heart is steadfast, O God. I will sing, and I will make music from my soul. Psalm 108:1
The Parable of the Lord’s Sword
1 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach toward the sanctuaries, and prophesy against the land of Israel. 3 Tell her that this is what the Lord says: ‘I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. 4 Seeing then that I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore I will unsheath my sword against all flesh from the south to the north. 5 All flesh will know that I, the Lord, have drawn my sword from its sheath. It will not return again.’
6 Therefore moan, son of man. You shall moan before their eyes with a broken heart and with bitterness. 7 It shall be, when they ask you, ‘Why do you moan?’ that you shall say, ‘Because of the news, for it is coming! Every heart will melt in fear, and every hand will be feeble. Every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Yes, it is coming, and it shall be done, declares the Lord God.”
8 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 9 “Son of man, prophesy, and tell them that this is what the Lord says:
‘A sword! A sword!
It is sharpened
and also polished.
10 It is sharpened that it may slaughter.
It is polished that it may flash like lightning.
Should we then rejoice?
You have despised the scepter of my son,
with the wood of every tree.
11 It is given to be polished,
that it may be handled.
The sword is sharpened.
Yes, it is polished
to put it into the hand of the killer.
12 Cry out and wail, son of man,
for it is on my people.
It is on all the princes of Israel.
They are delivered over to the sword with my people.
Therefore beat your thigh.
13 For there is a trial.
What if even the scepter that condemns
no longer continues?’ declares the Lord God.
14 ‘You therefore, son of man, prophesy
and strike your hands together.
Let the sword be doubled the third time,
the sword of the fatally wounded.
It is the sword of the great one
who is fatally wounded,
which enters into their rooms.
15 I have set the threatening sword against all their gates,
that their heart may melt in fear,
and their stumbling multiplied.
Ah! It is shining like lightning.
It is pointed for slaughter.
16 Gather together.
Go to the right.
Set yourselves in array.
Go to the left,
wherever your face is set.
17 I will also strike my hands together,
and I will cause my wrath to rest.’
I, the Lord, have spoken it.”
18 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 19 “Also, you, son of man, appoint two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come. Both routes will come from the same land. Mark out a place at the head of the way to the city. 20 You shall appoint a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah in Jerusalem, the fortified city.
21 For the king of Babylon stood at the top of the fork in the road, to practice divination where he shook the arrows back and forth, consulted the teraphim, and examined the livers of sacrificed animals.
22 In his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem: to set up battering rams, to order the slaughter, to give the battle cry, to set battering rams against the gates, and to build siege walls. 23 It will seem to them like a false divination to those who have sworn oaths with them, but the king of Babylon will call their iniquity to their memory that they may be taken captive.
24 Therefore the Lord God says: ‘Because you have caused your iniquity to be remembered, your transgressions are uncovered, so that all your deeds and your sins are exposed. Because you have brought it to memory, you will be taken captive.
25 You, deadly, wounded, wicked one,
the prince of Israel,
the day has come for you,
the time of the final punishment.
26 The Lord God says:
‘Remove the turban,
and take off the crown.
This will not be as it was.
Exalt that which is low,
and humble that which is high.
27 I will overturn, overturn, overturn it.
This also will be no more,
until he comes whose right it is,
and I will give it.’
28 You, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘The Lord God says this concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach:
‘A sword! A sword is drawn!
It is polished for the slaughter,
to cause it to devour,
that it may be like lightning;
29 while they see for you false visions,
while they divine lies to you,
to lay you on the necks
of the wicked who are mortally wounded,
whose day has come in the time of their final punishment.
30 Cause it to return into its sheath.
In the place where you were created,
in the land of your birth, I will judge you.
31 I will pour out my indignation on you.
I will blow on you with the fire of my wrath.
I will deliver you into the hand of brutish men,
skillful to destroy.
32 You will be fuel for the fire.
Your blood will be in the midst of the land.
You will be remembered no more;
for I, the Lord, have spoken it.’ ”
The Sins of Jerusalem
1 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “You, son of man, will you judge? Will you judge the bloody city? Then show her all her abominations.
3 You shall tell her that this is what the Lord God says: ‘O city that sheds blood within herself, bringing her own judgement on herself and making idols to her own defilement! 4 You are guilty from the blood you have shed, and are defiled from the idols which you have made, you have caused the end of your days, and have come to the end of your years. Therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations and a mockery to other countries. 5 Those who are near and those who are far will mock you, infamous one, full of tumult.
6 Every prince of Israel has used his power for the shedding of blood. 7 In you have they treated father and mother with contempt. Among you they have oppressed the foreigner. In you they have wronged the fatherless and the widow.
8 You have despised my holy things and have profaned my Sabbaths. 9 Slanderous men have been in you to shed blood. In you they have eaten on the mountain shrines and have committed lewd acts among you.
10 In you men have sexual intercourse with their father’s wives and intercourse with women during their menstrual period. 11 One has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife, and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law. Another in you has had intercourse with his sister, his father’s daughter.
12 In you have they taken bribes to shed blood. You have taken interest and profit on loans and have greedily gained from your neighbors through oppression, and you have forgotten me, declares the Lord God.
13 Therefore I strike my hands together at the dishonest gain which you have made and at the blood which you have shed within you. 14 Can your heart endure, or will your hands have the strength to endure when I deal with you? I, the Lord, have spoken it, and will do this. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you throughout the countries. I will purge the filth from you. 16 When you have been profaned in your own sight and in the sight of the nations, then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ”
The Refining Furnace
17 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become worthless junk to me. All of them are a pile of bronze, tin, iron, and lead in the furnace. They are the waste from silver.
19 Therefore this is what the Lord God says: ‘Because all of you have become worthless junk, therefore, I will gather you in the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As they gather silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into the furnace, to blow fire on it and melt it, so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will lay you there, and melt you. 21 Yes, I will gather you, and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you will be melted in its midst. 22 As silver is melted in the furnace, so you will be melted, and you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out my wrath on you.’ ”
23 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, tell her, ‘In the day of my indignation you will be like an unclean land without rain.’ 25 The conspiracy of her prophets within her is like a roaring lion ravening the prey. They have devoured souls. They have taken treasure and precious things. They have made many widows within her.
26 Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, nor have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean and have hidden their eyes from my Sabbaths. So I am profaned among them.
27 Her princes within her are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, that they may get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets have plastered them with whitewash, seeing false visions, and divining lies to them, saying, ‘The Lord God says,’ when the Lord has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have used oppression and exercised robbery. Yes, they have troubled the poor and needy and have wrongfully oppressed the foreigner.
30 I sought for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I would not destroy it, but I found no one. 31 Therefore I have poured out my indignation on them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have brought their own ways down on their own heads,” says the Lord God.
Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All
1 For the law, having been a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things, can never, with the same sacrifices which they offer continually, year after year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Or else would they not have ceased being offered, because the worshipers, once they have been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?
3 But in those sacrifices there is a yearly reminder of sins. 4 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore when Christ came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings, you never desired, but you prepared a body for me.
6 In burnt offerings and offerings for sin, you took no delight.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am. In the scroll, it is written of me. I have come to do your will, O God.’ ” a
8 Previously saying, “Sacrifices and offerings, and burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you did not desire, nor did you take pleasure in them” (those which are offered according to the law). 9 Then he has said, “I have come to do your will.” He takes away the first, that he may establish the second, 10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Every priest indeed stands day after day, serving and often offering the same sacrifices which can never take away sins, 12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting until his enemies are made the footstool of his feet. 14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying,
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them:
‘After those days,’ says the Lord,
‘I will put my laws on their heart,
I will also write them on their mind.’ ” b
Then he says,
17 “I will remember their sins and their iniquities no more.” c
18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
a Psalm 40:6-8
b Jeremiah 31:33
c Jeremiah 31:34
Israel’s Kingdom Blessing
A Song. A Psalm by David.
1 My heart is steadfast, O God.
I will sing, and I will make music from my soul.
2 Wake up, harp and lyre!
I will wake up the dawn.
3 I will give thanks to you, Lord, among the nations.
I will sing praises to you among the peoples.
4 For your loving kindness is higher than the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the heavens.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth.
6 That your beloved may be delivered,
save with your right hand, and answer us.
7 God has spoken from his sanctuary: “In triumph,
I will divide Shechem, and measure out the valley of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine. Manasseh is mine.
Ephraim also is my helmet.
Judah is my scepter.
9 Moab is my wash pot.
I will toss my sandal on Edom.
I will shout over Philistia.”
10 Who will bring me into the fortified city?
Who has led me to Edom?
11 Have you not rejected us, O God?
You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
12 Give us help against the enemy,
for the help of man is worthless.
13 Through God, we will perform valiantly.
For it is he who will tread down our enemies.
12 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge,
but the simple continue on and suffer for it.