Day 349 December 15
Wine is a mocker; beer a carouser.
Those it leads astray won’t become wise.
2 A king is as terrifying as a lion’s growl.
Those who anger him may lose their life.
3 It is honorable to back off from a fight,
but fools jump right in.
4 The lazy don’t plow during winter;
at harvest they look but find nothing.
5 Advice comes from the deep waters of the heart;
those with understanding can draw it out.
6 Many people will say that they are loyal,
but who can find a reliable person?
7 The righteous live with integrity;
happy are their children who come after them.
8 A king who sits on his judgment throne
sifts out all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, “I’m innocent to the core;
I’m cleansed from my sin”?
10 False weights and measures—
the Lord detests them both.
11 Even young people are known by their actions,
whether their conduct is pure and upright.
12 Ears to hear and eyes to see—
the Lord made them both.
10 The king removed his royal ring from his finger and handed it to Haman, Hammedatha the Agagite’s son, enemy of the Jews. 11 The king said to Haman, “Both the money and the people are under your power. Do as you like with them.” 12 So in the first month, on the thirteenth day, royal scribes were summoned to write down everything that Haman ordered. The orders were for the king’s rulers and the governors in charge of each province, as well as for the officials of each people. They wrote in the alphabet of each province and in the language of each people. They wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed the order with the king’s royal ring. 13 Fast runners were to take the order to all the provinces of the king. The order commanded people to wipe out, kill, and destroy all the Jews, both young and old, even women and little children. This was to happen on a single day—the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar). They were also to seize their property. 14 A copy of the order was to become law in each province and to be posted in public for all peoples to read. The people were to be ready for this day to do as the order commanded. 15 Driven by the king’s order, the runners left Susa just as the law became public in the fortified part of Susa. While the king and Haman sat down to have a drink, the city of Susa was in total shock.
The Lamb opened the seventh seal. Then there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 I saw the seven angels who stand in front of God. Seven trumpets were given to them.
3 Another angel came and stood at the altar. He had a shallow gold cup for burning incense. He was given a lot of incense to offer on the golden altar in front of the throne. With the incense he offered the prayers of all God’s people. 4 The smoke of the incense together with the prayers of God’s people rose up from the angel’s hand. It went up in front of God.
5 Then the angel took the cup and filled it with fire from the altar. He threw it down on the earth. There were rumblings and thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
Prayer: from the beginning to the end, be our starting point and our haven of rest. Amen.