Bible in one year

December 1

Daniel 5:1-30
1. King Belshazzar gave a big dinner. He invited a thousand of his nobles to it. He drank wine with them.
2. While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to his servants. He commanded them to bring in some gold and silver cups. They were the cups his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem. Belshazzar had them brought in so everyone could drink from them. That included the king himself, his nobles, his wives and his concubines.
3. So the servants brought in the gold cups that had been taken from God's temple in Jerusalem. The king and his nobles drank from them. So did his wives and concubines.
4. As they drank the wine, they praised their gods. The statues of those gods were made out of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood or stone.
5. Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared. They wrote something on the plaster of the palace wall. It happened near the lampstand. The king watched the hand as it wrote.
6. His face turned pale. He became so afraid that his knees knocked together. His legs couldn't hold him up any longer.
7. The king sent for those who try to figure things out by using magic. He also sent for those who study the heavens. All of them were wise men in Babylon. He ordered that they be brought to him. He said to them, "I want one of you to read this writing and tell me what it means. If you do, you will be dressed in purple clothes. A gold chain will be put around your neck. And you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom."
8. Then all of the king's wise men came in. But they couldn't read the writing. They couldn't tell him what it meant.
9. So King Belshazzar became even more terrified. His face grew more pale. And his nobles were bewildered.
10. The queen heard the king and his nobles talking. So she came into the dining hall. "King Belshazzar, may you live forever!" she said. "Don't be afraid! Don't look so pale!
11. I know a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. He has understanding and wisdom and good sense just like the gods. That was discovered when your father Nebuchadnezzar was king. Nebuchadnezzar appointed him chief of those who tried to figure things out by using magic. He also put him in charge of those who studied the heavens.
12. "The man's name is Daniel. Your father called him Belteshazzar. He has a clever mind and knowledge and understanding. He is also able to tell what dreams mean. He can explain riddles and solve hard problems. Send for him. He'll tell you what the writing means."
13. So Daniel was brought to the king. The king said to him, "Are you Daniel? Are you one of the prisoners my father the king brought here from Judah?
14. I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you. I've also heard that you have understanding and good sense and special wisdom.
15. "The wise men and those who practice magic were brought to me. They were asked to read this writing and tell me what it means. But they couldn't.
16. "I have heard that you are able to explain things and solve hard problems. I hope you can read this writing and tell me what it means. If you can, you will be dressed in purple clothes. A gold chain will be put around your neck. And you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom."
17. Then Daniel answered the king. He said, "You can keep your gifts for yourself. You can give your rewards to someone else. But I will read the writing for you. I'll tell you what it means.
18. "King Belshazzar, the Most High God was good to your father Nebuchadnezzar. He gave him authority and greatness and glory and honor.
19. God gave him a high position. Then all of the people from every nation and language became afraid of the king. He put to death anyone he wanted to. He spared anyone he wanted to spare. He gave high positions to anyone he wanted to. And he brought down anyone he wanted to bring down.
20. "But his heart became very stubborn and proud. So he was removed from his royal throne. His glory was stripped away from him.
21. He was driven away from people. He was given the mind of an animal. He lived like the wild donkeys. He ate grass just as cattle do. His body became wet with the dew of heaven. He stayed that way until he recognized that the Most High God rules over all of the kingdoms of men. He puts anyone he wants to in charge of them.
22. "But you knew all of that, Belshazzar. After all, you are Nebuchadnezzar's son. In spite of that, you are still proud.
23. You have taken your stand against the Lord of heaven. You had your servants bring cups from his temple to you. You and your nobles drank wine from them. So did your wives and concubines. You praised your gods. The statues of those gods are made out of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood or stone. They can't see or hear or understand anything. But you didn't honor the God who holds in his hand your very life and everything you do.
24. So he sent the hand that wrote on the wall.
25. "Here is what was written. mene, mene, tekel, parsin
26. "And here is what those words mean. #1 means that God has limited the time of your rule. He has brought it to an end.
27. #1 means that you have been weighed on scales. And you haven't measured up to God's standard.
28. #1 means that your authority over your kingdom will be taken away from you. It will be given to the Medes and Persians."
29. Then Belshazzar commanded his servants to dress Daniel in purple clothes. So they did. They put a gold chain around his neck. And he was made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.
30. That very night Belshazzar, the king of Babylonia, was killed.

Daniel 6:1-28
1. It pleased Darius to appoint 120 royal rulers over his entire kingdom.
2. He placed three leaders over them. One of the leaders was Daniel. The royal rulers were made accountable to the three leaders. Then the king wouldn't lose any of his wealth.
3. Daniel did a better job than the other two leaders or any of the royal rulers. He was an unusually good and able man. So the king planned to put him in charge of the whole kingdom.
4. But the other two leaders and the royal rulers heard about it. So they looked for a reason to bring charges against Daniel. They tried to find something wrong with the way he ran the government. But they weren't able to. They couldn't find any fault with his work. He could always be trusted. He never did anything wrong. And he always did what he was supposed to.
5. Finally those men said, "It's almost impossible for us to come up with a reason to bring charges against this man Daniel. If we do, it will have to be in connection with the law of his God."
6. So the two leaders and the royal rulers went as a group to the king. They said, "King Darius, may you live forever!
7. All of the royal leaders, high officials, royal rulers, advisers and governors want to make a suggestion. We've agreed that you should give an order. And you should make sure it's obeyed. Here is the command you should give. King Darius, during the next 30 days don't let any of your people pray to any god or man except to you. If they do, throw them into the lions' den.
8. "Now give the order. Write it down in the laws of the Medes and Persians. Then it can't be changed."
9. So King Darius put the order in writing.
10. Daniel found out that the king had signed the order. In spite of that, he did just as he had always done before. He went home to his upstairs room. Its windows opened toward Jerusalem. He went to his room three times a day to pray. He got down on his knees and gave thanks to his God.
11. Some of the other royal officials went to where Daniel was staying. They saw him praying and asking God for help.
12. So they went to the king. They spoke to him about his royal order. They said, "King Darius, didn't you sign an official order? It said that for the next 30 days none of your people could pray to any god or man except to you. If they did, they would be thrown into the lions' den." The king answered, "The order must still be obeyed. It's one of the laws of the Medes and Persians. So it can't be changed."
13. Then they spoke to the king again. They said, "Daniel is one of the prisoners from Judah. He doesn't pay any attention to you, King Darius. He doesn't obey the order you put in writing. He still prays to his God three times a day."
14. When the king heard that, he was very upset. He didn't want Daniel to be harmed in any way. Until sunset, he did everything he could to save him.
15. Then the men went as a group to the king. They said to him, "King Darius, remember that no order or law you make can be changed. That's what the laws of the Medes and Persians require."
16. So the king gave the order. Daniel was brought out and thrown into the lions' den. The king said to him, "You always serve your God faithfully. So may he save you!"
17. A stone was brought and placed over the opening of the den. The king sealed it with his own special ring. He also sealed it with the rings of his nobles. Then nothing could be done to help Daniel.
18. The king returned to his palace. He didn't eat anything that night. He didn't ask for anything to be brought to him for his enjoyment. And he couldn't sleep.
19. As soon as the sun began to rise, the king got up. He hurried to the lions' den.
20. When he got near it, he called out to Daniel. His voice was filled with great concern. He said, "Daniel! You serve the living God. You always serve him faithfully. So has he been able to save you from the lions?"
21. Daniel answered, "My king, may you live forever!
22. My God sent his angel. And his angel shut the mouths of the lions. They haven't hurt me at all. That's because I haven't done anything wrong in God's sight. I've never done anything wrong to you either, my king."
23. The king was filled with joy. He ordered his servants to lift Daniel out of the den. So they did. They didn't see any wounds on him. That's because he had trusted in his God.
24. Then the king gave another order. The men who had said bad things about Daniel were brought in. They were thrown into the lions' den. So were their wives and children. Before they hit the bottom of the den, the lions attacked them. And the lions crushed all of their bones.
25. Then King Darius wrote to the people from every nation and language in the whole world. He said, "May you have great success!
26. "I order people in every part of my kingdom to respect and honor Daniel's God. "He is the living God. He will live forever. His kingdom will not be destroyed. His rule will never end.
27. He sets people free and saves them. He does miraculous signs and wonders. He does them in the heavens and on the earth. He has saved Daniel from the power of the lions."
28. So Daniel had success while Darius was king. Things went well with him during the rule of Cyrus, the Persian.

Psalms 136:10-26
10. Give thanks to the One who killed the oldest son of each family in Egypt. His faithful love continues forever.
11. He brought the people of Israel out of Egypt. His faithful love continues forever.
12. He did it by reaching out his mighty hand and powerful arm. His faithful love continues forever.
13. Give thanks to the One who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love continues forever.
14. He brought Israel through the middle of it. His faithful love continues forever.
15. But he swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. His faithful love continues forever.
16. Give thanks to the One who led his people through the desert. His faithful love continues forever.
17. He killed great kings. His faithful love continues forever.
18. He struck down mighty kings. His faithful love continues forever.
19. He killed Sihon, the king of the Amorites. His faithful love continues forever.
20. He killed Og, the king of Bashan. His faithful love continues forever.
21. He gave their land as a gift. His faithful love continues forever.
22. He gave it as a gift to his servant Israel. His faithful love continues forever.
23. Give thanks to the One who remembered us when things were going badly for us. His faithful love continues forever.
24. He set us free from our enemies. His faithful love continues forever.
25. He gives food to every creature. His faithful love continues forever.
26. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love continues forever.

Proverbs 29:12-13
12. If rulers listen to lies, all their officials become evil.
13. The Lord gives sight to the eyes of poor people and those who beat others down. That's what they both have in common.

2 Peter 2:1-22
1. But there were also false prophets among the people. In the same way there will be false teachers among you. In secret they will bring in teachings that will destroy you. They will even turn against the Lord and Master who died to save them. His death paid for their sins. They will quickly destroy themselves.
2. Many people will follow their shameful ways. They will give the way of truth a bad name.
3. Those teachers are never satisfied. They want to get something out of you. So they make up stories to take advantage of you. They have been under a sentence of death for a long time. The One who will destroy them has not been sleeping.
4. God did not spare angels when they sinned. Instead, he sent them to hell. He put them in dark prisons. He will keep them there until he judges them.
5. God did not spare the world's ungodly people long ago. He brought the flood on them. But Noah preached about the right way to live. God kept him safe. He also saved seven others.
6. God judged the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He burned them to ashes. He made them an example of what is going to happen to ungodly people.
7. God saved Lot. He was a man who did what was right. He was shocked by the dirty, sinful lives of people who didn't obey God's laws.
8. That good man lived among them day after day. He saw and heard the evil things they were doing. They were breaking God's laws. And his godly spirit was deeply troubled.
9. So the Lord knows how to keep godly people safe in times of testing. He also knows how to keep ungodly people under guard until the day they will be judged. In the meantime, he continues to punish them.
10. Most of all, this is true of people who follow the evil longings of their sinful natures. They hate to be under authority. Those false prophets are bold and proud. They aren't afraid to speak evil things against heavenly beings.
11. Angels are stronger and more powerful than those people. But even angels don't bring to the Lord evil charges against heavenly beings.
12. Those people speak evil about things they don't understand. They are like wild animals. They do what comes naturally to them. They are born only to be caught and destroyed. Just like animals, they too will die.
13. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to have wild parties in the middle of the day. They are like spots and stains. They enjoy their sinful pleasures while they eat with you.
14. They stare at women who are not their wives. They want to have sex with them. They never stop sinning. They trap those who are not firm in their faith. They have mastered the art of getting what they want. God has placed them under his curse.
15. They have left God's way. They have wandered off. They follow the way of Balaam, son of Beor. He loved to get paid for doing his evil work.
16. But a donkey corrected him for the wrong he did. Animals don't speak. But the donkey spoke with a human voice. It tried to stop the prophet from doing a very dumb thing.
17. Those false prophets are like springs without water. They are like mists driven by a storm. The blackest darkness is reserved for them.
18. They speak empty, bragging words. They make their appeal to the earthly longings of people's sinful nature. They tempt new believers who are just escaping from the company of sinful people.
19. They promise to give freedom to the new believers. But they themselves are slaves to sinful living. A person is a slave to anything that controls him.
20. They may have escaped the sin of the world. They may have come to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But what if they are once again caught up in sin? And what if it has become their master? Then they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.
21. What if they had not known the way of godliness? That would have been better than to have known it and then to have turned their backs on it. The way of godliness is the sacred command that was passed on to them.
22. What the proverbs say about them is true. "A dog returns to where it has thrown up."--(Proverbs 26:11) And, "A pig that is washed goes back to rolling in the mud."