Day 342 December 8
The Lord detests dishonest scales,
but delights in an accurate weight.
2 When pride comes, so does shame,
but wisdom brings humility.
3 Integrity guides the virtuous,
but dishonesty ruins the treacherous.
4 Riches don’t help in the day of wrath,
but righteousness rescues from death.
5 The righteousness of the innocent makes their path straight,
but the wicked fall in their wickedness.
6 Those who do right are saved by their righteousness,
but the untrustworthy are caught by their own desires.
7 When the wicked die, their hope perishes.
Yes, any hope based on money perishes.
8 The righteous are saved from distress,
and the wicked take their place.
9 The godless destroy their neighbors by their words,
but the righteous are saved by their knowledge.
10 When the righteous succeed, a city rejoices;
when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.
11 A city is honored by the blessing of the virtuous;
it is destroyed by the words of the wicked.
12 Whoever despises their neighbor lacks sense;
a sensible person keeps quiet.
13 A slanderer walks around revealing secrets,
but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence.
14 Without guidance, a people will fall,
but there is victory with many counselors.
15 Guaranteeing the debt of a stranger brings big trouble,
but the one who refuses to shake hands will be secure.
16 A gracious woman gains honor;
violent men gain only wealth.
17 Kind persons benefit themselves,
but cruel people harm themselves.
This happened in the days of Ahasuerus, the same Ahasuerus who ruled over one hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia.[a] 2 In those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, 3 in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his officials and ministers. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were present, 4 while he displayed the great wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and pomp of his majesty for many days, one hundred eighty days in all.
5 When these days were completed, the king gave for all the people present in the citadel of Susa, both great and small, a banquet lasting for seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace. 6 There were white cotton curtains and blue hangings tied with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings[b] and marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and colored stones. 7 Drinks were served in golden goblets, goblets of different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished according to the bounty of the king. 8 Drinking was by flagons, without restraint; for the king had given orders to all the officials of his palace to do as each one desired. 9 Furthermore, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women in the palace of King Ahasuerus.
Revelation 4 – after the readings to the 7 churches first century church the revelation continues:
After this I looked, and there in front of me was a door standing open in heaven. I heard the voice I had heard before. It sounded like a trumpet. The voice said, “Come up here. I will show you what must happen after this.”
2 At once the Holy Spirit took complete control of me. There in front of me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 The One who sat there shone like jewels. Around the throne was a rainbow that looked like an emerald.
4 Twenty-four other thrones surrounded that throne. Twenty-four elders were sitting on them. The elders were dressed in white. They had gold crowns on their heads.
5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and thunder. Seven lamps were blazing in front of the throne. These stand for the seven spirits of God. 6 There was something that looked like a sea of glass in front of the throne. It was as clear as crystal.
In the inner circle, around the throne, were four living creatures. They were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first creature looked like a lion. The second looked like an ox. The third had a man’s face. The fourth looked like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings. Each creature was covered all over with eyes, even under the wings. Day and night, they never stop saying,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God who rules over all.
He was, and he is, and he will come.”
9 The living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to the One who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever. 10 At the same time, the 24 elders fall down and worship the One who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns in front of the throne. They say,
11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God!
You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power.
You are worthy because you created all things.
They were created and they exist.
That is the way you planned it.”
Prayer: as Advent waiting continues, be my strength and my shield. Amen.