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Saturday September 23 2017 Isaiah 41:17-43:13 17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 19 I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, 20 that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. The Futility of Idols 21 Set forth your case, says the Lord; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. 22 Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. 23 Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified. [1] 24 Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you. 25 I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name; he shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay. 26 Who declared it from the beginning, that we might know, and beforehand, that we might say, “He is right”? There was none who declared it, none who proclaimed, none who heard your words. 27 I was the first to say [2] to Zion, “Behold, here they are!” and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good news. 28 But when I look, there is no one; among these there is no counselor who, when I ask, gives an answer. 29 Behold, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing; their metal images are empty wind. The Lord's Chosen Servant 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged [3] till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. 5 Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: 6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. 8 I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. 9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” Sing to the Lord a New Song 10 Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. 11 Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. 12 Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare his praise in the coastlands. 13 The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. 14 For a long time I have held my peace; I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor; I will gasp and pant. 15 I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn the rivers into islands, [4] and dry up the pools. 16 And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. 17 They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to metal images, “You are our gods.” Israel's Failure to Hear and See 18 Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see! 19 Who is blind but my servant, or deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as my dedicated one, [5] or blind as the servant of the Lord? 20 He sees many things, but does not observe them; his ears are open, but he does not hear. 21 The Lord was pleased, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify his law and make it glorious. 22 But this is a people plundered and looted; they are all of them trapped in holes and hidden in prisons; they have become plunder with none to rescue, spoil with none to say, “Restore!” 23 Who among you will give ear to this, will attend and listen for the time to come? 24 Who gave up Jacob to the looter, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned, in whose ways they would not walk, and whose law they would not obey? 25 So he poured on him the heat of his anger and the might of battle; it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand; it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart. Israel's Only Savior 43:1 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. 4 Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. 5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. 6 I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” 8 Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears! 9 All the nations gather together, and the peoples assemble. Who among them can declare this, and show us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right, and let them hear and say, It is true. 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. 11 I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior. 12 I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am God. 13 Also henceforth I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can turn it back?” Ephesians 2 By Grace Through Faith 2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body [6] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But [7] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. One in Christ 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, [8] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by [9] the Spirit. Psalm 67 Make Your Face Shine upon Us To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song. 67:1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah 2 that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah 5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. 7 God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him! Psalms 1-7 Book One The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked 1:1 Blessed is the man [10] who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law [11] of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. The Reign of the Lord's Anointed 2:1 Why do the nations rage [12] and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. 5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, 6 “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” 7 I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You shall break [13] them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” 10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Save Me, O My God A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. 3:1 O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; 2 many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah [14] 3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. 4 I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah 5 I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. 6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. 7 Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. 8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah Answer Me When I Call To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. 4:1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! 2 O men, [15] how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 Be angry, [16] and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Lead Me in Your Righteousness To the choirmaster: for the flutes. A Psalm of David. 5:1 Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. 2 Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. 3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you [17] and watch. 4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. 5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. 6 You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. 7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you. 8 Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. 9 For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. 10 Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. 11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. 12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield. O Lord, Deliver My Life To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments; according to The Sheminith. [18] A Psalm of David. 6:1 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. 2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. 3 My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long? 4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. 5 For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? 6 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. 7 My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes. 8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. 9 The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment. In You Do I Take Refuge A Shiggaion [19] of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjaminite. 7:1 O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me, 2 lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver. 3 O Lord my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands, 4 if I have repaid my friend [20] with evil or plundered my enemy without cause, 5 let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the ground and lay my glory in the dust. Selah 6 Arise, O Lord, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies; awake for me; you have appointed a judgment. 7 Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you; over it return on high. 8 The Lord judges the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. 9 Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous— you who test the minds and hearts, [21] O righteous God! 10 My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. 11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. 12 If a man [22] does not repent, God [23] will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; 13 he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts. 14 Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. 15 He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. 16 His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends. 17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. Proverbs 23:29-35 29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. 31 Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. 32 In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. 33 Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. 34 You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast. [24] 35 “They struck me,” you will say, [25] “but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink.” (ESV) Footnotes [1] 41:23 Or that we may both be dismayed and see [2] 41:27 Or Formerly I said [3] 42:4 Or bruised [4] 42:15 Or into coastlands [5] 42:19 Or as the one at peace with me [6] 2:3 Greek flesh [7] 2:4 Or And [8] 2:19 Or sojourners [9] 2:22 Or in [10] 1:1 The singular Hebrew word for man (ish) is used here to portray a representative example of a godly person; see preface [11] 1:2 Or instruction [12] 2:1 Or nations noisily assemble [13] 2:9 Revocalization yields (compare Septuagint) You shall rule [14] 3:2 The meaning of the Hebrew word Selah, used frequently in the Psalms, is uncertain. It may be a musical or liturgical direction [15] 4:2 Or O men of rank [16] 4:4 Or Be agitated [17] 5:3 Or I direct my prayer to you [18] 6:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term [19] 7:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term [20] 7:4 Hebrew the one at peace with me [21] 7:9 Hebrew the hearts and kidneys [22] 7:12 Hebrew he [23] 7:12 Hebrew he [24] 23:34 Or of the rigging [25] 23:35 Hebrew lacks you will say
Sunday, September 17 2017 Isaiah 25:1-28:13 God Will Swallow Up Death Forever 25:1 O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. 2 For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the foreigners' palace is a city no more; it will never be rebuilt. 3 Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you. 4 For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall, 5 like heat in a dry place. You subdue the noise of the foreigners; as heat by the shade of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is put down. 6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7 And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. 9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” 10 For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain, and Moab shall be trampled down in his place, as straw is trampled down in a dunghill. [1] 11 And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim, but the Lord will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill [2] of his hands. 12 And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust. You Keep Him in Perfect Peace 26:1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks. 2 Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. 3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. 5 For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust. 6 The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.” 7 The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous. 8 In the path of your judgments, O Lord, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. 9 My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 10 If favor is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly and does not see the majesty of the Lord. 11 O Lord, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed. Let the fire for your adversaries consume them. 12 O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works. 13 O Lord our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone we bring to remembrance. 14 They are dead, they will not live; they are shades, they will not arise; to that end you have visited them with destruction and wiped out all remembrance of them. 15 But you have increased the nation, O Lord, you have increased the nation; you are glorified; you have enlarged all the borders of the land. 16 O Lord, in distress they sought you; they poured out a whispered prayer when your discipline was upon them. 17 Like a pregnant woman who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near to giving birth, so were we because of you, O Lord; 18 we were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind. We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen. 19 Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. 21 For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain. The Redemption of Israel 27:1 In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea. 2 In that day, “A pleasant vineyard, [3] sing of it! 3 I, the Lord, am its keeper; every moment I water it. Lest anyone punish it, I keep it night and day; 4 I have no wrath. Would that I had thorns and briers to battle! I would march against them, I would burn them up together. 5 Or let them lay hold of my protection, let them make peace with me, let them make peace with me.” 6 In days to come [4] Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots and fill the whole world with fruit. 7 Has he struck them as he struck those who struck them? Or have they been slain as their slayers were slain? 8 Measure by measure, [5] by exile you contended with them; he removed them with his fierce breath [6] in the day of the east wind. 9 Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be atoned for, and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin: [7] when he makes all the stones of the altars like chalkstones crushed to pieces, no Asherim or incense altars will remain standing. 10 For the fortified city is solitary, a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness; there the calf grazes; there it lies down and strips its branches. 11 When its boughs are dry, they are broken; women come and make a fire of them. For this is a people without discernment; therefore he who made them will not have compassion on them; he who formed them will show them no favor. 12 In that day from the river Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt the Lord will thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one by one, O people of Israel. 13 And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem. Judgment on Ephraim and Jerusalem 28:1 Ah, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, and the fading flower of its glorious beauty, which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome with wine! 2 Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong; like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest, like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters, he casts down to the earth with his hand. 3 The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim will be trodden underfoot; 4 and the fading flower of its glorious beauty, which is on the head of the rich valley, will be like a first-ripe fig before the summer: when someone sees it, he swallows it as soon as it is in his hand. 5 In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory, [8] and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people, 6 and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate. 7 These also reel with wine and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed by [9] wine, they stagger with strong drink, they reel in vision, they stumble in giving judgment. 8 For all tables are full of filthy vomit, with no space left. 9 “To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast? 10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” 11 For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue the Lord will speak to this people, 12 to whom he has said, “This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose”; yet they would not hear. 13 And the word of the Lord will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Galatians 3:10-22 The Righteous Shall Live by Faith 10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” [10] 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit [11] through faith. The Law and the Promise 15 To give a human example, brothers: [12] even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. 19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Psalm 61 Lead Me to the Rock To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David. 61:1 Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; 2 from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, 3 for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. 4 Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah 5 For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. 6 Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations! 7 May he be enthroned forever before God; appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him! 8 So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day. Proverbs 23:17-18 17 Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. 18 Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. (ESV) Footnotes [1] 25:10 The Hebrew words for dunghill and for the Moabite town Madmen (Jeremiah 48:2) sound alike [2] 25:11 Or in spite of the skill [3] 27:2 Many Hebrew manuscripts A vineyard of wine [4] 27:6 Hebrew In those to come [5] 27:8 Or By driving her away; the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain [6] 27:8 Or wind [7] 27:9 Septuagint and this is the blessing when I take away his sin [8] 28:5 The Hebrew words for glory and hosts sound alike [9] 28:7 Or confused by [10] 3:11 Or The one who by faith is righteous will live [11] 3:14 Greek receive the promise of the Spirit [12] 3:15 Or brothers and sisters
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Monday September 18 2017 Isaiah 28:14-30:11 A Cornerstone in Zion 14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem! 15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement, when the overwhelming whip passes through it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter”; 16 therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid [1] as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’ 17 And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line; and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters will overwhelm the shelter.” 18 Then your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be beaten down by it. 19 As often as it passes through it will take you; for morning by morning it will pass through, by day and by night; and it will be sheer terror to understand the message. 20 For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on, and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in. 21 For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim; as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused; to do his deed—strange is his deed! and to work his work—alien is his work! 22 Now therefore do not scoff, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord God of hosts against the whole land. 23 Give ear, and hear my voice; give attention, and hear my speech. 24 Does he who plows for sowing plow continually? Does he continually open and harrow his ground? 25 When he has leveled its surface, does he not scatter dill, sow cumin, and put in wheat in rows and barley in its proper place, and emmer [2] as the border? 26 For he is rightly instructed; his God teaches him. 27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin, but dill is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod. 28 Does one crush grain for bread? No, he does not thresh it forever; [3] when he drives his cart wheel over it with his horses, he does not crush it. 29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom. The Siege of Jerusalem 29:1 Ah, Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped! Add year to year; let the feasts run their round. 2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be moaning and lamentation, and she shall be to me like an Ariel. [4] 3 And I will encamp against you all around, and will besiege you with towers and I will raise siegeworks against you. 4 And you will be brought low; from the earth you shall speak, and from the dust your speech will be bowed down; your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost, and from the dust your speech shall whisper. 5 But the multitude of your foreign foes shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff. And in an instant, suddenly, 6 you will be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire. 7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, all that fight against her and her stronghold and distress her, shall be like a dream, a vision of the night. 8 As when a hungry man dreams he is eating and awakes with his hunger not satisfied, or as when a thirsty man dreams he is drinking and awakes faint, with his thirst not quenched, so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion. 9 Astonish yourselves [5] and be astonished; blind yourselves and be blind! Be drunk, but not with wine; stagger, but not with strong drink! 10 For the Lord has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes (the prophets), and covered your heads (the seers). 11 And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.” 13 And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, 14 therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.” 15 Ah, you who hide deep from the Lord your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” 16 You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”? 17 Is it not yet a very little while until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest? 18 In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see. 19 The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the ruthless shall come to nothing and the scoffer cease, and all who watch to do evil shall be cut off, 21 who by a word make a man out to be an offender, and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate, and with an empty plea turn aside him who is in the right. 22 Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: “Jacob shall no more be ashamed, no more shall his face grow pale. 23 For when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in his midst, they will sanctify my name; they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24 And those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur will accept instruction.” Do Not Go Down to Egypt 30:1 “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, [6] but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; 2 who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! 3 Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation. 4 For though his officials are at Zoan and his envoys reach Hanes, 5 everyone comes to shame through a people that cannot profit them, that brings neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace.” 6 An oracle on the beasts of the Negeb. Through a land of trouble and anguish, from where come the lioness and the lion, the adder and the flying fiery serpent, they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, to a people that cannot profit them. 7 Egypt's help is worthless and empty; therefore I have called her “Rahab who sits still.” A Rebellious People 8 And now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever. [7] 9 For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord; 10 who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, 11 leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” Galatians 3:23-4:31 23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave [8] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. Sons and Heirs 4:1 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, [9] though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles [10] of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Paul's Concern for the Galatians 8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain. 12 Brothers, [11] I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of the blessing you felt? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? [12] 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, 19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you. Example of Hagar and Sarah 21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; [13] she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.” 28 Now you, [14] brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman. Psalm 62 My Soul Waits for God Alone To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. 62:1 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. 2 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. 3 How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? 4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Selah 5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 7 On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah 9 Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. 10 Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them. 11 Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, 12 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work. Proverbs 23 23:1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what [15] is before you, 2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. 3 Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food. 4 Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. 5 When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven. 6 Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; [16] do not desire his delicacies, 7 for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. [17] “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. 8 You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten, and waste your pleasant words. 9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words. 10 Do not move an ancient landmark or enter the fields of the fatherless, 11 for their Redeemer is strong; he will plead their cause against you. 12 Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge. 13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. 14 If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. 15 My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. 16 My inmost being [18] will exult when your lips speak what is right. 17 Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. 18 Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. 19 Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. 20 Be not among drunkards [19] or among gluttonous eaters of meat, 21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags. 22 Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. 23 Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. 24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. 25 Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice. 26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe [20] my ways. 27 For a prostitute is a deep pit; an adulteress [21] is a narrow well. 28 She lies in wait like a robber and increases the traitors among mankind. 29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. 31 Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. 32 In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. 33 Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. 34 You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast. [22] 35 “They struck me,” you will say, [23] “but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink.” Proverbs 19-21 19:1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool. 2 Desire [24] without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. 3 When a man's folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord. 4 Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend. 5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape. 6 Many seek the favor of a generous man, [25] and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts. 7 All a poor man's brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words, but does not have them. [26] 8 Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good. 9 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish. 10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury, much less for a slave to rule over princes. 11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. 12 A king's wrath is like the growling of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass. 13 A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. 14 House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord. 15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. 16 Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises his ways will die. 17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. 18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death. 19 A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again. 20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. 21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. 22 What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. 23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. 24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth. 25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge. 26 He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach. 27 Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge. 28 A worthless witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity. 29 Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and beating for the backs of fools. 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. [27] 2 The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life. 3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling. 4 The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. 5 The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. 6 Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? 7 The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him! 8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes. 9 Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”? 10 Unequal [28] weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord. 11 Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright. [29] 12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both. 13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread. 14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts. 15 There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. 16 Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners. [30] 17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel. 18 Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war. 19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. [31] 20 If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness. 21 An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end. 22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. 23 Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good. 24 A man's steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way? 25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,” and to reflect only after making vows. 26 A wise king winnows the wicked and drives the wheel over them. 27 The spirit [32] of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. 28 Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld. 29 The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair. 30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts. 21:1 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. 2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. 3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. 4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp [33] of the wicked, are sin. 5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. 6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death. [34] 7 The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just. 8 The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is upright. 9 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife. 10 The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes. 11 When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge. 12 The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked; he throws the wicked down to ruin. 13 Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. 14 A gift in secret averts anger, and a concealed bribe, [35] strong wrath. 15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. 16 One who wanders from the way of good sense will rest in the assembly of the dead. 17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich. 18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the traitor for the upright. 19 It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. 20 Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. 21 Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor. 22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust. 23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. 24 “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride. 25 The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. 26 All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back. 27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent. 28 A false witness will perish, but the word of a man who hears will endure. 29 A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright gives thought to [36] his ways. 30 No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord. 31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord. (ESV) Footnotes [1] 28:16 Dead Sea Scroll I am laying [2] 28:25 A type of wheat [3] 28:28 Or Grain is crushed for bread; he will surely thresh it, but not forever [4] 29:2 Ariel could mean lion of God, or hero (2 Samuel 23:20), or altar hearth (Ezekiel 43:15-16) [5] 29:9 Or Linger awhile [6] 30:1 Hebrew who weave a web [7] 30:8 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Targum, Vulgate, and Greek versions; Masoretic Text forever and ever [8] 3:28 Greek bondservant [9] 4:1 Greek bondservant; also verse 7 [10] 4:3 Or elemental spirits; also verse 9 [11] 4:12 Or Brothers and sisters; also verses 28, 31 [12] 4:16 Or by dealing truthfully with you [13] 4:25 Some manuscripts For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia [14] 4:28 Some manuscripts we [15] 23:1 Or who [16] 23:6 Hebrew whose eye is evil [17] 23:7 Or for as he calculates in his soul, so is he [18] 23:16 Hebrew My kidneys [19] 23:20 Hebrew those who drink too much wine [20] 23:26 Or delight in [21] 23:27 Hebrew a foreign woman [22] 23:34 Or of the rigging [23] 23:35 Hebrew lacks you will say [24] 19:2 Or A soul [25] 19:6 Or of a noble [26] 19:7 The meaning of the Hebrew sentence is uncertain [27] 20:1 Or will not become wise [28] 20:10 Or Two kinds of; also verse 23 [29] 20:11 Or Even a child can dissemble in his actions, though his conduct seems pure and upright [30] 20:16 Or for an adulteress (compare 27:13) [31] 20:19 Hebrew with one who is simple in his lips [32] 20:27 Hebrew breath [33] 21:4 Or the plowing [34] 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death [35] 21:14 Hebrew a bribe in the bosom [36] 21:29 Or establishes
Tuesday September 19 2017 Isaiah 30:12-33:9 12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, “Because you despise this word and trust in oppression and perverseness and rely on them, 13 therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant; 14 and its breaking is like that of a potter's vessel that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a shard is found with which to take fire from the hearth, or to dip up water out of the cistern.” 15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning [1] and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling, 16 and you said, “No! We will flee upon horses”; therefore you shall flee away; and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”; therefore your pursuers shall be swift. 17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill. The Lord Will Be Gracious 18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. 19 For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. 22 Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!” 23 And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, 24 and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow. 27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar, burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke; [2] his lips are full of fury, and his tongue is like a devouring fire; 28 his breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches up to the neck; to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction, and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads astray. 29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. 30 And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones. 31 The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, when he strikes with his rod. 32 And every stroke of the appointed staff that the Lord lays on them will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. Battling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. 33 For a burning place [3] has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it. Woe to Those Who Go Down to Egypt 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord! 2 And yet he is wise and brings disaster; he does not call back his words, but will arise against the house of the evildoers and against the helpers of those who work iniquity. 3 The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together. 4 For thus the Lord said to me, “As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey, and when a band of shepherds is called out against him he is not terrified by their shouting or daunted at their noise, so the Lord of hosts will come down to fight [4] on Mount Zion and on its hill. 5 Like birds hovering, so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem; he will protect and deliver it; he will spare and rescue it.” 6 Turn to him from whom people [5] have deeply revolted, O children of Israel. 7 For in that day everyone shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you. 8 “And the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of man; and a sword, not of man, shall devour him; and he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be put to forced labor. 9 His rock shall pass away in terror, and his officers desert the standard in panic,” declares the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and whose furnace is in Jerusalem. A King Will Reign in Righteousness 32:1 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. 2 Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. 3 Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will give attention. 4 The heart of the hasty will understand and know, and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly. 5 The fool will no more be called noble, nor the scoundrel said to be honorable. 6 For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the Lord, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink. 7 As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil; he plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right. 8 But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands. Complacent Women Warned of Disaster 9 Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech. 10 In little more than a year you will shudder, you complacent women; for the grape harvest fails, the fruit harvest will not come. 11 Tremble, you women who are at ease, shudder, you complacent ones; strip, and make yourselves bare, and tie sackcloth around your waist. 12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine, 13 for the soil of my people growing up in thorns and briers, yes, for all the joyous houses in the exultant city. 14 For the palace is forsaken, the populous city deserted; the hill and the watchtower will become dens forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks; 15 until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest. 16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. 17 And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust [6] forever. 18 My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. 19 And it will hail when the forest falls down, and the city will be utterly laid low. 20 Happy are you who sow beside all waters, who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free. O Lord, Be Gracious to Us 33:1 Ah, you destroyer, who yourself have not been destroyed, you traitor, whom none has betrayed! When you have ceased to destroy, you will be destroyed; and when you have finished betraying, they will betray you. 2 O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. 3 At the tumultuous noise peoples flee; when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered, 4 and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers; as locusts leap, it is leapt upon. 5 The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, 6 and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion's [7] treasure. 7 Behold, their heroes cry in the streets; the envoys of peace weep bitterly. 8 The highways lie waste; the traveler ceases. Covenants are broken; cities [8] are despised; there is no regard for man. 9 The land mourns and languishes; Lebanon is confounded and withers away; Sharon is like a desert, and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves. Galatians 5:1-12 Christ Has Set Us Free 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified [9] by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. 7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers, [10] still preach [11] circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves! Psalm 63 My Soul Thirsts for You A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. 3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, 6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; 7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. 8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. 9 But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; 10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. 11 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped. Proverbs 23:22 22 Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. (ESV) Footnotes [1] 30:15 Or repentance [2] 30:27 Hebrew in weight of uplifted clouds [3] 30:33 Or For Topheth [4] 31:4 The Hebrew words for hosts and to fight sound alike [5] 31:6 Hebrew they [6] 32:17 Or security [7] 33:6 Hebrew his [8] 33:8 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll witnesses [9] 5:4 Or counted righteous [10] 5:11 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 13 [11] 5:11 Greek proclaim
Wednesday September 20 2017 Isaiah 33:10-36:22 10 “Now I will arise,” says the Lord, “now I will lift myself up; now I will be exalted. 11 You conceive chaff; you give birth to stubble; your breath is a fire that will consume you. 12 And the peoples will be as if burned to lime, like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.” 13 Hear, you who are far off, what I have done; and you who are near, acknowledge my might. 14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?” 15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil, 16 he will dwell on the heights; his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks; his bread will be given him; his water will be sure. 17 Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty; they will see a land that stretches afar. 18 Your heart will muse on the terror: “Where is he who counted, where is he who weighed the tribute? Where is he who counted the towers?” 19 You will see no more the insolent people, the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend, stammering in a tongue that you cannot understand. 20 Behold Zion, the city of our appointed feasts! Your eyes will see Jerusalem, an untroubled habitation, an immovable tent, whose stakes will never be plucked up, nor will any of its cords be broken. 21 But there the Lord in majesty will be for us a place of broad rivers and streams, where no galley with oars can go, nor majestic ship can pass. 22 For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; he will save us. 23 Your cords hang loose; they cannot hold the mast firm in its place or keep the sail spread out. Then prey and spoil in abundance will be divided; even the lame will take the prey. 24 And no inhabitant will say, “I am sick”; the people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity. Judgment on the Nations 34:1 Draw near, O nations, to hear, and give attention, O peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that fills it; the world, and all that comes from it. 2 For the Lord is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host; he has devoted them to destruction, [1] has given them over for slaughter. 3 Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood. 4 All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree. 5 For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom, upon the people I have devoted to destruction. 6 The Lord has a sword; it is sated with blood; it is gorged with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah, a great slaughter in the land of Edom. 7 Wild oxen shall fall with them, and young steers with the mighty bulls. Their land shall drink its fill of blood, and their soil shall be gorged with fat. 8 For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the cause of Zion. 9 And the streams of Edom [2] shall be turned into pitch, and her soil into sulfur; her land shall become burning pitch. 10 Night and day it shall not be quenched; its smoke shall go up forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it forever and ever. 11 But the hawk and the porcupine [3] shall possess it, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. He shall stretch the line of confusion [4] over it, and the plumb line of emptiness. 12 Its nobles—there is no one there to call it a kingdom, and all its princes shall be nothing. 13 Thorns shall grow over its strongholds, nettles and thistles in its fortresses. It shall be the haunt of jackals, an abode for ostriches. [5] 14 And wild animals shall meet with hyenas; the wild goat shall cry to his fellow; indeed, there the night bird [6] settles and finds for herself a resting place. 15 There the owl nests and lays and hatches and gathers her young in her shadow; indeed, there the hawks are gathered, each one with her mate. 16 Seek and read from the book of the Lord: Not one of these shall be missing; none shall be without her mate. For the mouth of the Lord has commanded, and his Spirit has gathered them. 17 He has cast the lot for them; his hand has portioned it out to them with the line; they shall possess it forever; from generation to generation they shall dwell in it. The Ransomed Shall Return 35:1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; 2 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. 3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 8 And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. [7] 9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. 10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Sennacherib Invades Judah 36:1 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 2 And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh [8] from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field. 3 And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder. 4 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 5 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 6 Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 7 But if you say to me, “We trust in the Lord our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”? 8 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 9 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master's servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.’” 11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 12 But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?” 13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. 15 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me [9] and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’” 21 But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, “Do not answer him.” 22 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh. Galatians 5:13-26 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. Walk by the Spirit 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, [10] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Psalm 64 Hide Me from the Wicked To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. 64:1 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy. 2 Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the throng of evildoers, 3 who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows, 4 shooting from ambush at the blameless, shooting at him suddenly and without fear. 5 They hold fast to their evil purpose; they talk of laying snares secretly, thinking, “Who can see them?” 6 They search out injustice, saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.” For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep! 7 But God shoots his arrow at them; they are wounded suddenly. 8 They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them; all who see them will wag their heads. 9 Then all mankind fears; they tell what God has brought about and ponder what he has done. 10 Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult! Proverbs 23:23 23 Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. (ESV) Footnotes [1] 34:2 That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verse 5 [2] 34:9 Hebrew her streams [3] 34:11 The identity of the animals rendered hawk and porcupine is uncertain [4] 34:11 Hebrew formlessness [5] 34:13 Or owls [6] 34:14 Identity uncertain [7] 35:8 Or if they are fools, they shall not wander in it [8] 36:2 Rabshakeh is the title of a high-ranking Assyrian military officer [9] 36:16 Hebrew Make a blessing with me [10] 5:21 Some manuscripts add murder
Thursday September 21 2017 Isaiah 37-38 Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah's Help 37:1 As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. 2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz. 3 They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. 4 It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’” 5 When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me. 7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’” 8 The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that the king had left Lachish. 9 Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, [1] “He has set out to fight against you.” And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?’” Hezekiah's Prayer for Deliverance 14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 20 So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.” Sennacherib's Fall 21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him: “‘She despises you, she scorns you— the virgin daughter of Zion; she wags her head behind you— the daughter of Jerusalem. 23 “‘Whom have you mocked and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes to the heights? Against the Holy One of Israel! 24 By your servants you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon, to cut down its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses, to come to its remotest height, its most fruitful forest. 25 I dug wells and drank waters, to dry up with the sole of my foot all the streams of Egypt. 26 “‘Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass, that you should make fortified cities crash into heaps of ruins, 27 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength, are dismayed and confounded, and have become like plants of the field and like tender grass, like grass on the housetops, blighted [2] before it is grown. 28 “‘I know your sitting down and your going out and coming in, and your raging against me. 29 Because you have raged against me and your complacency has come to my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will turn you back on the way by which you came.’ 30 “And this shall be the sign for you: this year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that. Then in the third year sow and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 33 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. 35 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.” 36 And the angel of the Lord went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 37 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh. 38 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of Ararat, Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place. Hezekiah's Sickness and Recovery 38:1 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.” [3] 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 and said, “Please, O Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. [4] 6 I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city. 7 “This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he has promised: 8 Behold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined. [5] 9 A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness: 10 I said, In the middle [6] of my days I must depart; I am consigned to the gates of Sheol for the rest of my years. 11 I said, I shall not see the Lord, the Lord in the land of the living; I shall look on man no more among the inhabitants of the world. 12 My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me like a shepherd's tent; like a weaver I have rolled up my life; he cuts me off from the loom; from day to night you bring me to an end; 13 I calmed myself [7] until morning; like a lion he breaks all my bones; from day to night you bring me to an end. 14 Like a swallow or a crane I chirp; I moan like a dove. My eyes are weary with looking upward. O Lord, I am oppressed; be my pledge of safety! 15 What shall I say? For he has spoken to me, and he himself has done it. I walk slowly all my years because of the bitterness of my soul. 16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. Oh restore me to health and make me live! 17 Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back. 18 For Sheol does not thank you; death does not praise you; those who go down to the pit do not hope for your faithfulness. 19 The living, the living, he thanks you, as I do this day; the father makes known to the children your faithfulness. 20 The Lord will save me, and we will play my music on stringed instruments all the days of our lives, at the house of the Lord. 21 Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover.” 22 Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?” Galatians 6 Bear One Another's Burdens 6:1 Brothers, [8] if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load. 6 One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Final Warning and Benediction 11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which [9] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. 17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen. Psalm 65 O God of Our Salvation To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song. 65:1 Praise is due to you, [10] O God, in Zion, and to you shall vows be performed. 2 O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come. 3 When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions. 4 Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple! 5 By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; 6 the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might; 7 who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, 8 so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy. 9 You visit the earth and water it; [11] you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it. 10 You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. 11 You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. 12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, 13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy. Proverbs 23:24 24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. (ESV) Footnotes [1] 37:9 Probably Nubia [2] 37:27 Some Hebrew manuscripts and 2 Kings 19:26; most Hebrew manuscripts like a field [3] 38:1 Or live; also verses 9, 21 [4] 38:5 Hebrew to your days [5] 38:8 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain [6] 38:10 Or In the quiet [7] 38:13 Or (with Targum) I cried for help [8] 6:1 Or Brothers and sisters; also verse 18 [9] 6:14 Or through whom [10] 65:1 Or Praise waits for you in silence [11] 65:9 Or and make it overflow
Friday September 22 2017 Isaiah 39:1-41:16 Envoys from Babylon 39:1 At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2 And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 3 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” Hezekiah said, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” 4 He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.” 5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: 6 Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. 7 And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 8 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.” Comfort for God's People 40:1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare [1] is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice cries: [2] “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” The Word of God Stands Forever 6 A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, [3] “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty [4] is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. The Greatness of God 9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; [5] lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; [6] lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” 10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? 13 Who has measured [7] the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? 14 Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. 16 Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. 17 All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. 18 To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? 19 An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains. 20 He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood [8] that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an idol that will not move. 21 Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; 23 who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. 24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. 25 To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Fear Not, For I Am with You 41:1 Listen to me in silence, O coastlands; let the peoples renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgment. 2 Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step? [9] He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. 3 He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod. 4 Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he. 5 The coastlands have seen and are afraid; the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. 6 Everyone helps his neighbor and says to his brother, “Be strong!” 7 The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It is good”; and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved. 8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; 9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; 10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. 12 You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. 13 For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” 14 Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge, new, sharp, and having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and crush them, and you shall make the hills like chaff; 16 you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the Lord; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory. Ephesians 1 Greeting 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful [10] in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Spiritual Blessings in Christ 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us [11] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known [12] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee [13] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, [14] to the praise of his glory. Thanksgiving and Prayer 15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love [15] toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Psalm 66 How Awesome Are Your Deeds To the choirmaster. A Song. A Psalm. 66:1 Shout for joy to God, all the earth; 2 sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! 3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. 4 All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Selah 5 Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. 6 He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in him, 7 who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations— let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah 8 Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, 9 who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. 10 For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. 11 You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; 12 you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance. 13 I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will perform my vows to you, 14 that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble. 15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah 16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. 17 I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on [16] my tongue. [17] 18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me! Proverbs 23:25-28 25 Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice. 26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe [18] my ways. 27 For a prostitute is a deep pit; an adulteress [19] is a narrow well. 28 She lies in wait like a robber and increases the traitors among mankind. (ESV) Footnotes [1] 40:2 Or time of service [2] 40:3 Or A voice of one crying [3] 40:6 Revocalization based on Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Vulgate; Masoretic Text And someone says [4] 40:6 Or all its constancy [5] 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Zion [6] 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem [7] 40:13 Or has directed [8] 40:20 Or He chooses valuable wood [9] 41:2 Or whom righteousness calls to follow? [10] 1:1 Some manuscripts saints who are also faithful (omitting in Ephesus) [11] 1:5 Or before him in love, having predestined us [12] 1:9 Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . . [13] 1:14 Or down payment [14] 1:14 Or until God redeems his possession [15] 1:15 Some manuscripts omit your love [16] 66:17 Hebrew under [17] 66:17 Or and he was exalted with my tongue [18] 23:26 Or delight in [19] 23:27 Hebrew a foreign woman
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