The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday December 18, 2019 (NIV)

Habakkuk 1-3

Habakkuk’s Vision

The divine revelation that the prophet Habakkuk saw.

Habakkuk’s Question

How long, O Lord, am I to cry for help,
but you will not listen?
I cry out to you, “There’s violence!”
yet you will not come to the rescue.
Why do you make me see wrongdoing?
And why do you watch wickedness?
Destruction and violence are in front of me.
Quarrels and disputes arise.
That is why your teaching is numbed,
and justice is never carried out.
Wicked people surround righteous people
so that when justice is carried out, it’s perverted.

The Lord’s Answer

Look among the nations and watch.
Be amazed and astonished.
I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe even if it were reported to you.
I am going to send the Babylonians,
that fierce and reckless nation.
They will march throughout the earth
to take possession of lands that don’t belong to them.
They will be terrifying and fearsome.
They will carry out their own kind of justice and honor.
Their horses will be faster than leopards
and quicker than wolves in the evening.
Their riders will gallop along proudly.
Their riders will come from far away.
They will fly like an eagle that swoops down for its prey.
They will all come for violence.
Every face will be directed forward.
They will gather prisoners like sand.
10 They will make fun of kings and treat rulers as a joke.
They will laugh at every fortified city
and build a dirt ramp to capture it.
11 They will move quickly and pass through like the wind.
So they will be guilty,
because their own strength is their god.

Habakkuk’s Question

12 Didn’t you exist before time began, O Lord, my God, my Holy One?
We will not die!
O Lord, you have appointed the Babylonians to bring judgment.
O Rock, you have destined them to correct us.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look at evil.
You can’t watch wickedness.
Why do you keep watching treacherous people?
Why are you silent when wicked people swallow those
who are more righteous than they are?
14 You make all people like the fish in the sea,
like schools of sea life that have no ruler.
15 The Babylonians pull them all up with fishhooks,
drag them away in nets,
and gather them in dragnets.
So they rejoice and are happy.
16 That is why they sacrifice to their nets and burn incense to their dragnets.
They are rich and well fed because of them.
17 Will they keep on emptying their nets
and always kill nations without mercy?

Habakkuk Waits for the Lord’s Answer

I will stand at my guard post.
I will station myself on the wall.
I will watch to see what he will say to me
and what answer I will get to my complaint.

The Lord’s Answer

Then the Lord answered me,
“Write the vision.
Make it clear on tablets
so that anyone can read it quickly.
The vision will still happen at the appointed time.
It hurries toward its goal.
It won’t be a lie.
If it’s delayed, wait for it.
It will certainly happen.
It won’t be late.

“Look at the proud person. He is not right in himself.
But the righteous person will live because of his faithfulness.[a]
Also because wine is treacherous
he is arrogant and never rests.
He has a large appetite like the grave.
He is like death—never satisfied.
He gathers all the nations to himself.
He collects all the people to himself.
Won’t all of them ridicule him,
directing clever sayings and riddles at him, like:

“‘How horrible it will be for the one who makes himself rich
with what is not his own
and makes himself wealthy on loans.
How long will this go on?’
Won’t your creditors suddenly rise up
and those who are going to shake you wake up?
Then you will become their prize.
You have looted many nations.
All the rest of the people will loot you
because of the slaughter and violence done
to lands, cities, and all their inhabitants.

“‘How horrible it will be for the one who uses violence
to get things for his own household
in order to set his nest up high
and save himself from disaster.’
10 You have planned disgrace for your household
by cutting off many people and forfeiting your own life.
11 A stone in the wall will cry out.
A beam in the roof will answer it.

12 “‘How horrible it will be for the one who builds a city by slaughter
and founds a town by crime.’
13 Isn’t it from the Lord of Armies
that people grow tired only to feed the flames
and nations exhaust themselves for nothing?
14 But the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory
like the water covers the sea.

15 “‘How horrible it will be for the one who makes his neighbor drink
from the bowl of God’s rage,
making him drunk in order to stare at his nakedness.’
16 You are filled with disgrace rather than glory.
Drink! Yes you! And expose yourself as godless.
The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you,
and disgrace will cover your glory.
17 The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
and the destruction done to the animals will terrify you
because of the slaughter and violence done
to lands, cities, and all their inhabitants.

18 “What benefit is there in a carved idol
when its maker has carved it?
What benefit is there in a molded statue, a teacher of lies,
when its maker has molded it?
The one who formed it trusts himself
to make worthless idols that cannot speak.
19 ‘How horrible it will be for the one
who says to a piece of wood, “Wake up!”
and to a stone that cannot talk, “Get up!”’
Can that thing teach anyone?
Just look at it!
It’s covered with gold and silver,
but there’s absolutely no life in it.”

20 The Lord is in his holy temple.
All the earth should be silent in his presence.

A Psalm

A prayer of the prophet Habakkuk; according to shigionoth.[b]

Lord, I have heard the report about you.
Lord, I fear your work.
In the course of the years, renew it.
In the course of the years, reveal it.
In all this chaos, remember to be merciful.

God comes from Teman.
The Holy One comes from Mount Paran. Selah
His splendor covers the heavens.
His praise fills the earth.
His brightness is like the sunlight.
Rays of light stream from his hand.
That is where his power is hidden.
Diseases go ahead of him.
Plagues follow after him.
He stands and shakes the earth.
He casts a glance and startles the nations.
The oldest mountains break apart.
The ancient hills sink.
The ancient paths belong to him.
I see trouble in the tents of Cushan.
I see trembling in the tents of Midian.

The Lord is not angry with the rivers, is he?
If you are angry with the rivers,
if you are furious with the sea,
why do you ride your horses,
your chariots of salvation?
You get your bow ready for action,
for the arrows you promised. Selah
You split the land with rivers.
10 The mountains look at you. They writhe in pain.
Floodwaters pass by.
The deep ocean roars. Its waves rise up high.
11 The sun and the moon stand still.
They scatter at the light of your arrows,
at the bright lightning of your spear.

12 You march through the earth with fury.
You trample the nations in anger.
13 You go out to save your people,
to save your anointed.[c]
You crush the leader of the wicked household,
stripping him bare from head to toe. Selah
14 You pierce the leader of his gang with his own arrows.
His soldiers come like a violent storm to scatter me.
They are arrogant like those who secretly eat up the poor.
15 You march with your horses into the sea,
into the mighty raging waters.

16 I have heard, so there’s trembling within me.
At the report my lips quivered.
A rotten feeling has entered me.
I tremble where I stand.
I wait for the day of trouble
to come to the people who will attack us.
17 Even if the fig tree does not bloom
and the vines have no grapes,
even if the olive tree fails to produce
and the fields yield no food,
even if the sheep pen is empty
and the stalls have no cattle—
18 even then,
I will be happy with the Lord.
I will truly find joy in God, who saves me.
19 The Lord Almighty is my strength.
He makes my feet like those of a deer.
He makes me walk on the mountains.

For the choir director; on stringed instruments.


  1. Habakkuk 2:4 Masoretic Text; Greek “live because of my faith.”
  2. Habakkuk 3:1 Unknown musical term.
  3. Habakkuk 3:13 Or “to save with your anointed.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God's Word Mission Society.

Revelation 9

The Fifth and Sixth Angels Blow Their Trumpets

When the fifth angel blew his trumpet, I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky. The star was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. It opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and smoke came out of the shaft like the smoke from a large furnace. The smoke darkened the sun and the air. Locusts came out of the smoke onto the earth, and they were given power like the power of earthly scorpions. They were told not to harm any grass, green plant, or tree on the earth. They could harm only the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them. They were only allowed to torture them for five months. Their torture was like the pain of a scorpion’s sting. At that time people will look for death and never find it. They will long to die, but death will escape them.

The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. They seemed to have crowns that looked like gold on their heads. Their faces were like human faces. They had hair like women’s hair and teeth like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like iron. The noise from their wings was like the roar of chariots with many horses rushing into battle. 10 They had tails and stingers like scorpions. They had the power to hurt people with their tails for five months. 11 The king who ruled them was the angel from the bottomless pit. In Hebrew he is called Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

12 The first catastrophe is over. After these things there are two more catastrophes yet to come.

13 When the sixth angel blew his trumpet, I heard a voice from the four horns of the gold altar in front of God. 14 The voice said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are held at the great Euphrates River.” 15 The four angels who were ready for that hour, day, month, and year were released to kill one-third of humanity. 16 The soldiers on horses numbered 20,000 times 10,000. I heard how many there were.

17 In the vision that I had, the horses and their riders looked like this: The riders had breastplates that were fiery red, pale blue, and yellow. The horses had heads like lions. Fire, smoke, and sulfur came out of their mouths. 18 These three plagues—the fire, smoke, and sulfur which came out of their mouths—killed one-third of humanity. 19 The power of these horses is in their mouths and their tails. (Their tails have heads like snakes which they use to hurt people.)

20 The people who survived these plagues still did not turn to me and change the way they were thinking and acting. If they had, they would have stopped worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk. 21 They did not turn away from committing murder, practicing witchcraft, sinning sexually, or stealing.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God's Word Mission Society.

Psalm 137

Psalm 137

By the rivers of Babylon, we sat down and cried
as we remembered Zion.
We hung our lyres on willow trees.
It was there that those who had captured us demanded that we sing.
Those who guarded us wanted us to entertain them.
They said, “Sing a song from Zion for us!”

How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget how to play the lyre.
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth
if I don’t remember you,
if I don’t consider Jerusalem my highest joy.

O Lord, remember the people of Edom.
Remember what they did the day Jerusalem was captured.
They said, “Tear it down! Tear it down to its foundation.”
You destructive people of Babylon,
blessed is the one who pays you back
with the same treatment you gave us.
Blessed is the one who grabs your little children
and smashes them against a rock.

Psalm 138

By David.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God's Word Mission Society.

Proverbs 30:10

Against Slander

[To the audience]

10 “Do not slander a slave to his master.
The slave will curse you,
and you will be found guilty.”

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God's Word Mission Society.