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Bible in one year


December 23


Habakkuk 1:1-17
1. This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received from the LORD in a vision.
2. How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But you do not listen! "Violence!" I cry, but you do not come to save.
3. Must I forever see this sin and misery all around me? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.
4. The law has become paralyzed and useless, and there is no justice given in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, and justice is perverted with bribes and trickery.
5. The LORD replied, "Look at the nations and be amazed! Watch and be astounded at what I will do! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it.
6. I am raising up the Babylonians to be a new power on the world scene. They are a cruel and violent nation who will march across the world and conquer it.
7. They are notorious for their cruelty. They do as they like, and no one can stop them.
8. Their horses are swifter than leopards. They are a fierce people, more fierce than wolves at dusk. Their horsemen race forward from distant places. Like eagles they swoop down to pounce on their prey.
9. "On they come, all of them bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a wind from the desert, sweeping captives ahead of them like sand.
10. They scoff at kings and princes and scorn all their defenses. They simply pile ramps of earth against their walls and capture them!
11. They sweep past like the wind and are gone. But they are deeply guilty, for their own strength is their god."
12. O LORD my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal--is your plan in all of this to wipe us out? Surely not! O LORD our Rock, you have decreed the rise of these Babylonians to punish and correct us for our terrible sins.
13. You are perfectly just in this. But will you, who cannot allow sin in any form, stand idly by while they swallow us up? Should you be silent while the wicked destroy people who are more righteous than they?
14. Are we but fish to be caught and killed? Are we but creeping things that have no leader to defend them from their enemies?
15. Must we be strung up on their hooks and dragged out in their nets while they rejoice?
16. Then they will worship their nets and burn incense in front of them. "These nets are the gods who have made us rich!" they will claim.
17. Will you let them get away with this forever? Will they succeed forever in their heartless conquests?

Habakkuk 2:1-20
1. I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how he will answer my complaint.
2. Then the LORD said to me, "Write my answer in large, clear letters on a tablet, so that a runner can read it and tell everyone else.
3. But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.
4. "Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked; but the righteous will live by their faith.
5. Wealth is treacherous, and the arrogant are never at rest. They range far and wide, with their mouths opened as wide as death, but they are never satisfied. In their greed they have gathered up many nations and peoples.
6. But the time is coming when all their captives will taunt them, saying, `You thieves! At last justice has caught up with you! Now you will get what you deserve for your oppression and extortion!'
7. Suddenly, your debtors will rise up in anger. They will turn on you and take all you have, while you stand trembling and helpless.
8. You have plundered many nations; now they will plunder you. You murderers! You have filled the countryside with violence and all the cities, too.
9. "How terrible it will be for you who get rich by unjust means! You believe your wealth will buy security, putting your families beyond the reach of danger.
10. But by the murders you committed, you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives.
11. The very stones in the walls of your houses cry out against you, and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint.
12. "How terrible it will be for you who build cities with money gained by murder and corruption!
13. Has not the LORD Almighty promised that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes? They work so hard, but all in vain!
14. For the time will come when all the earth will be filled, as the waters fill the sea, with an awareness of the glory of the LORD.
15. "How terrible it will be for you who make your neighbors drunk! You force your cup on them so that you can gloat over their nakedness and shame.
16. But soon it will be your turn! Come, drink and be exposed! Drink from the cup of the LORD's judgment, and all your glory will be turned to shame.
17. You cut down the forests of Lebanon. Now you will be cut down! You terrified the wild animals you caught in your traps. Now terror will strike you because of your murder and violence in cities everywhere!
18. "What have you gained by worshiping all your man-made idols? How foolish to trust in something made by your own hands! What fools you are to believe such lies!
19. How terrible it will be for you who beg lifeless wooden idols to save you. You ask speechless stone images to tell you what to do. Can an idol speak for God? They may be overlaid with gold and silver, but they are lifeless inside.
20. But the LORD is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him."

Habakkuk 3:1-19
1. This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk:
2. I have heard all about you, LORD, and I am filled with awe by the amazing things you have done. In this time of our deep need, begin again to help us, as you did in years gone by. Show us your power to save us. And in your anger, remember your mercy.
3. I see God, the Holy One, moving across the deserts from Edom and Mount Paran. His brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise! What a wonderful God he is!
4. Rays of brilliant light flash from his hands. He rejoices in his awesome power.
5. Pestilence marches before him; plague follows close behind.
6. When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills. But his power is not diminished in the least!
7. I see the peoples of Cushan and Midian trembling in terror.
8. Was it in anger, LORD, that you struck the rivers and parted the sea? Were you displeased with them? No, you were sending your chariots of salvation!
9. You were commanding your weapons of power! You split open the earth with flowing rivers!
10. The mountains watched and trembled. Onward swept the raging waters. The mighty deep cried out, lifting its hands to the LORD.
11. The lofty sun and moon began to fade, obscured by brilliance from your arrows and the flashing of your glittering spear.
12. You marched across the land in awesome anger and trampled the nations in your fury.
13. You went out to rescue your chosen people, to save your anointed ones. You crushed the heads of the wicked and laid bare their bones from head to toe.
14. With their own weapons, you destroyed those who rushed out like a whirlwind, thinking Israel would be easy prey.
15. You trampled the sea with your horses, and the mighty waters piled high.
16. I trembled inside when I heard all this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror. I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us.
17. Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty,
18. yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.
19. The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains. (For the choir director: This prayer is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.)

Psalms 146:1-10
1. Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, I tell myself.
2. I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God even with my dying breath.
3. Don't put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.
4. When their breathing stops, they return to the earth, and in a moment all their plans come to an end.
5. But happy are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God.
6. He is the one who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He is the one who keeps every promise forever,
7. who gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners.
8. The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts the burdens of those bent beneath their loads. The LORD loves the righteous.
9. The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.
10. The LORD will reign forever. O Jerusalem, your God is King in every generation! Praise the LORD!

Proverbs 30:17-17
17. The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures.

Revelation 13:1-18
1. And now in my vision I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God.
2. This beast looked like a leopard, but it had bear's feet and a lion's mouth! And the dragon gave him his own power and throne and great authority.
3. I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery--but the fatal wound was healed! All the world marveled at this miracle and followed the beast in awe.
4. They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they worshiped the beast. "Is there anyone as great as the beast?" they exclaimed. "Who is able to fight against him?"
5. Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do what he wanted for forty-two months.
6. And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and all who live in heaven, who are his temple.
7. And the beast was allowed to wage war against God's holy people and to overcome them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation.
8. And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life, which belongs to the Lamb who was killed before the world was made.
9. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand.
10. The people who are destined for prison will be arrested and taken away. Those who are destined for death will be killed. But do not be dismayed, for here is your opportunity to have endurance and faith.
11. Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, and he spoke with the voice of a dragon.
12. He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And he required all the earth and those who belong to this world to worship the first beast, whose death-wound had been healed.
13. He did astounding miracles, such as making fire flash down to earth from heaven while everyone was watching.
14. And with all the miracles he was allowed to perform on behalf of the first beast, he deceived all the people who belong to this world. He ordered the people of the world to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life.
15. He was permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.
16. He required everyone--great and small, rich and poor, slave and free--to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead.
17. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name.
18. Wisdom is needed to understand this. Let the one who has understanding solve the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.