Nov 18 - Nov 22
Hey, Grace’rs,

Here are your Bible readings for the week. You can use this as a part of your FAITH5 huddle each night:

Share…1 high and 1 low from the day.
Read…the Bible passage for today.
Talk…what one new thing did you learn about God or life from the Bible passage?
Pray…for each other
Bless…each other

(If you are using the  Essential Bible Companion, you will want to read the brief introduction to the corresponding book of the Bible.)
This week: Habukkuk 2 and Zephaniah 3

Habukkuk 2

I will climb up to my watchtower
     and stand at my guardpost.
There I will wait to see what the Lord says
     and how he will answer my complaint.

2   Then the Lord said to me,

“Write my answer plainly on tablets,
     so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.
This vision is for a future time.
     It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
     for it will surely take place.
     It will not be delayed.
“Look at the proud!
     They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked.
     But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.[ b ]
Wealth is treacherous,
     and the arrogant are never at rest.
They open their mouths as wide as the grave,[ d ]
     and like death, they are never satisfied.
In their greed they have gathered up many nations
     and swallowed many peoples.
“But soon their captives will taunt them.
     They will mock them, saying,
‘What sorrow awaits you thieves!
     Now you will get what you deserve!
You’ve become rich by extortion,
     but how much longer can this go on?’
Suddenly, your debtors will take action.
     They will turn on you and take all you have,
     while you stand trembling and helpless.
Because you have plundered many nations,
     now all the survivors will plunder you.
You committed murder throughout the countryside
     and filled the towns with violence.
“What sorrow awaits you who build big houses
     with money gained dishonestly!
You believe your wealth will buy security,
     putting your family’s nest beyond the reach of danger.
But by the murders you committed,
     you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives.
The very stones in the walls cry out against you,
     and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint.

Habukkuk 2

What sorrow awaits you who build cities
     with money gained through murder and corruption!
Has not the Lord of Heaven’s Armies promised
     that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes?
They work so hard,
     but all in vain!
For as the waters fill the sea,
     the earth will be filled with an awareness
     of the glory of the Lord.
“What sorrow awaits you who make your neighbors drunk!
     You force your cup on them
     so you can gloat over their shameful nakedness.
But soon it will be your turn to be disgraced.
     Come, drink and be exposed!
Drink from the cup of the Lord’s judgment,
     and all your glory will be turned to shame.
You cut down the forests of Lebanon.
     Now you will be cut down.
You destroyed the wild animals,
     so now their terror will be yours.
You committed murder throughout the countryside
     and filled the towns with violence.
“What good is an idol carved by man,
     or a cast image that deceives you?
How foolish to trust in your own creation—
     a god that can’t even talk!
What sorrow awaits you who say to wooden idols,
     ‘Wake up and save us!’
To speechless stone images you say,
     ‘Rise up and teach us!’
     Can an idol tell you what to do?
They may be overlaid with gold and silver,
     but they are lifeless inside.
But the Lord is in his holy Temple.
     Let all the earth be silent before him.”

Zephaniah 3

What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem,
     the city of violence and crime!
No one can tell it anything;
     it refuses all correction.
It does not trust in the Lord
     or draw near to its God.
Its leaders are like roaring lions
     hunting for their victims.
Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time,
     who by dawn have left no trace of their prey.
Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain.
     Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions.
But the Lord is still there in the city,
     and he does no wrong.
Day by day he hands down justice,
     and he does not fail.
     But the wicked know no shame.

Zephaniah 3

“I have wiped out many nations,
     devastating their fortress walls and towers.
Their streets are now deserted;
     their cities lie in silent ruin.
There are no survivors—
     none at all.
I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now!
     Surely they will listen to my warnings.
Then I won’t need to strike again,
     destroying their homes.’
But no, they get up early
     to continue their evil deeds.
Therefore, be patient,” says the Lord.
     “Soon I will stand and accuse these evil nations.
For I have decided to gather the kingdoms of the earth
     and pour out my fiercest anger and fury on them.
All the earth will be devoured
     by the fire of my jealousy.
“Then I will purify the speech of all people,
     so that everyone can worship the Lord together.
My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia[ a ]
     will come to present their offerings.
On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed,
     for you will no longer be rebels against me.
I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you.
     There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain.
Those who are left will be the lowly and humble,
     for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.
The remnant of Israel will do no wrong;
     they will never tell lies or deceive one another.
They will eat and sleep in safety,
     and no one will make them afraid.”

Zephaniah 3

Sing, O daughter of Zion;
     shout aloud, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
     O daughter of Jerusalem!
For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment
     and will disperse the armies of your enemy.
And the Lord himself, the King of Israel,
     will live among you!
At last your troubles will be over,
     and you will never again fear disaster.
On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be,
     “Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid!
For the Lord your God is living among you.
     He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
     With his love, he will calm all your fears.[ b ]
     He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
“I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals;
     you will be disgraced no more.[ c ]
And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you.
     I will save the weak and helpless ones;
I will bring together
     those who were chased away.
I will give glory and fame to my former exiles,
     wherever they have been mocked and shamed.
On that day I will gather you together
     and bring you home again.
I will give you a good name, a name of distinction,
     among all the nations of the earth,
as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes.
     I, the Lord, have spoken!”

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