Day 318 November 14
On that day, when the scroll from Moses was being read to the people, they found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter God’s assembly. 2 This is because they hadn’t met the Israelites with food and water but instead hired Balaam against them to curse them. Yet our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 When the people heard this law, they separated out from Israel all those of mixed descent.
4 Now before this, however, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed to be in charge of the storerooms of our God’s house and who was related to Tobiah, 5 prepared a large room for Tobiah to use. This was the room where they had previously kept the grain offering, the incense, and the equipment, together with the tenth-part gifts of grain, wine, and oil. These items were for the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers as well as the portions for the priests.
6 I wasn’t in Jerusalem while this was happening because I had gone to Babylon’s King Artaxerxes in the thirty-second year of the king. After some time, I asked the king’s permission 7 and returned to Jerusalem. That was when I saw the wrong that Eliashib had done on behalf of Tobiah by preparing him a room in the courtyards of God’s house. 8 I was very angry and threw all of Tobiah’s household furniture out of the room. 9 Then I gave orders that the rooms be purified, and I put back the temple equipment, along with the grain offering and the incense.
10 I also found out that the Levites hadn’t been given their portions, so they and the singers who did the work had gone back to their fields. 11 So I scolded the officials, asking, “Why is God’s house being neglected?” I gathered them together and set them in their stations.
12 Then all Judah brought the tenth-part gifts of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13 I appointed the priest Shelemiah, the scribe Zadok, and Pedaiah of the Levites to be in charge over the storehouses. I also appointed Hanan, Zaccur’s son and Mattaniah’s grandson, as their assistant. These men were considered trustworthy, and their task was to hand out shares to their colleagues.
14 Remember me, my God, concerning this. Don’t erase my good deeds that I have done for my God’s house and for its services.
2 Corinthians 2:12-17
12 When I arrived in Troas to preach the Good News about Christ, I found that the Lord had opened the way for the work there. 13 But I was deeply worried, because I could not find our brother Titus. So I said good-bye to the people there and went on to Macedonia.
14 But thanks be to God! For in union with Christ we are always led by God as prisoners in Christ’s victory procession. God uses us to make the knowledge about Christ spread everywhere like a sweet fragrance. 15 For we are like a sweet-smelling incense offered by Christ to God, which spreads among those who are being saved and those who are being lost. 16 For those who are being lost, it is a deadly stench that kills; but for those who are being saved, it is a fragrance that brings life. Who, then, is capable for such a task? 17 We are not like so many others, who handle God’s message as if it were cheap merchandise; but because God has sent us, we speak with sincerity in his presence, as servants of Christ.
1 Peter 2:18-25
18 Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. 19 For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20 If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
Prayer: Lord, show me your glory, I pray. Amen.