Revelation 18 (Listen)

The Fall of Babylon

After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. And he called out with a mighty voice,

  “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
    She has become a dwelling place for demons,
  a haunt for every unclean spirit,
    a haunt for every unclean bird,
    a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
  For all nations have drunk
    the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
  and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
    and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,

  “Come out of her, my people,
    lest you take part in her sins,
  lest you share in her plagues;
  for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
    and God has remembered her iniquities.
  Pay her back as she herself has paid back others,
    and repay her double for her deeds;
    mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
  As she glorified herself and lived in luxury,
    so give her a like measure of torment and mourning,
  since in her heart she says,
    ‘I sit as a queen,
  I am no widow,
    and mourning I shall never see.’
  For this reason her plagues will come in a single day,
    death and mourning and famine,
  and she will be burned up with fire;
    for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”

And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,

  “Alas! Alas! You great city,
    you mighty city, Babylon!
  For in a single hour your judgment has come.”

11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12 cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.

14   “The fruit for which your soul longed
    has gone from you,
  and all your delicacies and your splendors
    are lost to you,
    never to be found again!”

15 The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,

16   “Alas, alas, for the great city
    that was clothed in fine linen,
      in purple and scarlet,
    adorned with gold,
      with jewels, and with pearls!
17   For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.”

And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off 18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,

  “What city was like the great city?”

19 And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out,

  “Alas, alas, for the great city
    where all who had ships at sea
    grew rich by her wealth!
  For in a single hour she has been laid waste.
20   Rejoice over her, O heaven,
    and you saints and apostles and prophets,
  for God has given judgment for you against her!”

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

  “So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,
    and will be found no more;
22   and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters,
    will be heard in you no more,
  and a craftsman of any craft
    will be found in you no more,
  and the sound of the mill
    will be heard in you no more,
23   and the light of a lamp
    will shine in you no more,
  and the voice of bridegroom and bride
    will be heard in you no more,
  for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
    and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
24   And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
    and of all who have been slain on earth.”

(ESV)

Deuteronomy 14 (Listen)

Clean and Unclean Food

“You are the sons of the LORD your God. You shall not cut yourselves or make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

“You shall not eat any abomination. These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain sheep. Every animal that parts the hoof and has the hoof cloven in two and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cloven you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, because they chew the cud but do not part the hoof, are unclean for you. And the pig, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch.

“Of all that are in the waters you may eat these: whatever has fins and scales you may eat. 10 And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.

11 “You may eat all clean birds. 12 But these are the ones that you shall not eat: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, 13 the kite, the falcon of any kind; 14 every raven of any kind; 15 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind; 16 the little owl and the short-eared owl, the barn owl 17 and the tawny owl, the carrion vulture and the cormorant, 18 the stork, the heron of any kind; the hoopoe and the bat. 19 And all winged insects are unclean for you; they shall not be eaten. 20 All clean winged things you may eat.

21 “You shall not eat anything that has died naturally. You may give it to the sojourner who is within your towns, that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God.

“You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.

Tithes

22 “You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. 23 And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24 And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the LORD your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the LORD your God chooses, to set his name there, 25 then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the LORD your God chooses 26 and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. 27 And you shall not neglect the Levite who is within your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance with you.

28 “At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. 29 And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.

(ESV)

Proverbs 2 (Listen)

The Value of Wisdom

  My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
  making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
  yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
  if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
  then you will understand the fear of the LORD
    and find the knowledge of God.
  For the LORD gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
  he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
  guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
  Then you will understand righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path;
10   for wisdom will come into your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11   discretion will watch over you,
    understanding will guard you,
12   delivering you from the way of evil,
    from men of perverted speech,
13   who forsake the paths of uprightness
    to walk in the ways of darkness,
14   who rejoice in doing evil
    and delight in the perverseness of evil,
15   men whose paths are crooked,
    and who are devious in their ways.
16   So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
    from the adulteress with her smooth words,
17   who forsakes the companion of her youth
    and forgets the covenant of her God;
18   for her house sinks down to death,
    and her paths to the departed;
19   none who go to her come back,
    nor do they regain the paths of life.
20   So you will walk in the way of the good
    and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21   For the upright will inhabit the land,
    and those with integrity will remain in it,
22   but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
    and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

(ESV)

Psalm 36 (Listen)

How Precious Is Your Steadfast Love

To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the LORD.

  Transgression speaks to the wicked
    deep in his heart;
  there is no fear of God
    before his eyes.
  For he flatters himself in his own eyes
    that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
  The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
    he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
  He plots trouble while on his bed;
    he sets himself in a way that is not good;
    he does not reject evil.
  Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
  Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
    your judgments are like the great deep;
    man and beast you save, O LORD.
  How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
  They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
  For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light do we see light.
10   Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
    and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
11   Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
    nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12   There the evildoers lie fallen;
    they are thrust down, unable to rise.

(ESV)