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Every Day in the Word 

Old Testament: Isaiah 49–51

Isaiah 49–51 (Listen)

The Servant of the Lord

49   Listen to me, O coastlands,
    and give attention, you peoples from afar.
  The LORD called me from the womb,
    from the body of my mother he named my name.
  He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
    in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
  he made me a polished arrow;
    in his quiver he hid me away.
  And he said to me, “You are my servant,
    Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”Or I will display my beauty">1
  But I said, “I have labored in vain;
    I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
  yet surely my right is with the LORD,
    and my recompense with my God.”
  And now the LORD says,
    he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
  to bring Jacob back to him;
    and that Israel might be gathered to him—
  for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,
    and my God has become my strength—
  he says:
  “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
    to raise up the tribes of Jacob
    and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
  I will make you as a light for the nations,
    that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
  Thus says the LORD,
    the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
  to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
    the servant of rulers:
  “Kings shall see and arise;
    princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
  because of the LORD, who is faithful,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

The Restoration of Israel

  Thus says the LORD:
  “In a time of favor I have answered you;
    in a day of salvation I have helped you;
  I will keep you and give you
    as a covenant to the people,
  to establish the land,
    to apportion the desolate heritages,
  saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’
    to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’
  They shall feed along the ways;
    on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
10   they shall not hunger or thirst,
    neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,
  for he who has pity on them will lead them,
    and by springs of water will guide them.
11   And I will make all my mountains a road,
    and my highways shall be raised up.
12   Behold, these shall come from afar,
    and behold, these from the north and from the west,Hebrew from the sea">2
    and these from the land of Syene.”Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Sinim">3
13   Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
    break forth, O mountains, into singing!
  For the LORD has comforted his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted.
14   But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
    my Lord has forgotten me.”
15   “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
  Even these may forget,
    yet I will not forget you.
16   Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are continually before me.
17   Your builders make haste;Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Your children make haste">4
    your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.
18   Lift up your eyes around and see;
    they all gather, they come to you.
  As I live, declares the LORD,
    you shall put them all on as an ornament;
    you shall bind them on as a bride does.
19   “Surely your waste and your desolate places
    and your devastated land—
  surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,
    and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20   The children of your bereavement
    will yet say in your ears:
  ‘The place is too narrow for me;
    make room for me to dwell in.’
21   Then you will say in your heart:
    ‘Who has borne me these?
  I was bereaved and barren,
    exiled and put away,
    but who has brought up these?
  Behold, I was left alone;
    from where have these come?’”
22   Thus says the Lord GOD:
  “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,
    and raise my signal to the peoples;
  and they shall bring your sons in their arms,Hebrew in their bosom">5
    and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23   Kings shall be your foster fathers,
    and their queens your nursing mothers.
  With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
    and lick the dust of your feet.
  Then you will know that I am the LORD;
    those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”
24   Can the prey be taken from the mighty,
    or the captives of a tyrantDead Sea Scroll, Syriac, Vulgate (see also verse 25); Masoretic Text of a righteous man">6 be rescued?
25   For thus says the LORD:
  “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
    and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,
  for I will contend with those who contend with you,
    and I will save your children.
26   I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
    and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
  Then all flesh shall know
    that I am the LORD your Savior,
    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience

50   Thus says the LORD:
  “Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce,
    with which I sent her away?
  Or which of my creditors is it
    to whom I have sold you?
  Behold, for your iniquities you were sold,
    and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.
  Why, when I came, was there no man;
    why, when I called, was there no one to answer?
  Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?
    Or have I no power to deliver?
  Behold, by my rebuke I dry up the sea,
    I make the rivers a desert;
  their fish stink for lack of water
    and die of thirst.
  I clothe the heavens with blackness
    and make sackcloth their covering.”
  The Lord GOD has given me
    the tongue of those who are taught,
  that I may know how to sustain with a word
    him who is weary.
  Morning by morning he awakens;
    he awakens my ear
    to hear as those who are taught.
  The Lord GOD has opened my ear,
    and I was not rebellious;
    I turned not backward.
  I gave my back to those who strike,
    and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
  I hid not my face
    from disgrace and spitting.
  But the Lord GOD helps me;
    therefore I have not been disgraced;
  therefore I have set my face like a flint,
    and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
    He who vindicates me is near.
  Who will contend with me?
    Let us stand up together.
  Who is my adversary?
    Let him come near to me.
  Behold, the Lord GOD helps me;
    who will declare me guilty?
  Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;
    the moth will eat them up.
10   Who among you fears the LORD
    and obeys the voice of his servant?
  Let him who walks in darkness
    and has no light
  trust in the name of the LORD
    and rely on his God.
11   Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
    who equip yourselves with burning torches!
  Walk by the light of your fire,
    and by the torches that you have kindled!
  This you have from my hand:
    you shall lie down in torment.

The Lord’s Comfort for Zion

51   “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
    you who seek the LORD:
  look to the rock from which you were hewn,
    and to the quarry from which you were dug.
  Look to Abraham your father
    and to Sarah who bore you;
  for he was but one when I called him,
    that I might bless him and multiply him.
  For the LORD comforts Zion;
    he comforts all her waste places
  and makes her wilderness like Eden,
    her desert like the garden of the LORD;
  joy and gladness will be found in her,
    thanksgiving and the voice of song.
  “Give attention to me, my people,
    and give ear to me, my nation;
  for a lawOr for teaching; also verse 7">7 will go out from me,
    and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.
  My righteousness draws near,
    my salvation has gone out,
    and my arms will judge the peoples;
  the coastlands hope for me,
    and for my arm they wait.
  Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
    and look at the earth beneath;
  for the heavens vanish like smoke,
    the earth will wear out like a garment,
    and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;Or will die like gnats">8
  but my salvation will be forever,
    and my righteousness will never be dismayed.
  “Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
    the people in whose heart is my law;
  fear not the reproach of man,
    nor be dismayed at their revilings.
  For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
    and the worm will eat them like wool,
  but my righteousness will be forever,
    and my salvation to all generations.”
  Awake, awake, put on strength,
    O arm of the LORD;
  awake, as in days of old,
    the generations of long ago.
  Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
    who pierced the dragon?
10   Was it not you who dried up the sea,
    the waters of the great deep,
  who made the depths of the sea a way
    for the redeemed to pass over?
11   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.
12   “I, I am he who comforts you;
    who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,
    of the son of man who is made like grass,
13   and have forgotten the LORD, your Maker,
    who stretched out the heavens
    and laid the foundations of the earth,
  and you fear continually all the day
    because of the wrath of the oppressor,
  when he sets himself to destroy?
    And where is the wrath of the oppressor?
14   He who is bowed down shall speedily be released;
    he shall not die and go down to the pit,
    neither shall his bread be lacking.
15   I am the LORD your God,
    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
    the LORD of hosts is his name.
16   And I have put my words in your mouth
    and covered you in the shadow of my hand,
  establishingOr planting">9 the heavens
    and laying the foundations of the earth,
    and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”
17   Wake yourself, wake yourself,
    stand up, O Jerusalem,
  you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD
    the cup of his wrath,
  who have drunk to the dregs
    the bowl, the cup of staggering.
18   There is none to guide her
    among all the sons she has borne;
  there is none to take her by the hand
    among all the sons she has brought up.
19   These two things have happened to you—
    who will console you?—
  devastation and destruction, famine and sword;
    who will comfort you?Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Masoretic Text how shall I comfort you">10
20   Your sons have fainted;
    they lie at the head of every street
    like an antelope in a net;
  they are full of the wrath of the LORD,
    the rebuke of your God.
21   Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted,
    who are drunk, but not with wine:
22   Thus says your Lord, the LORD,
    your God who pleads the cause of his people:
  “Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
  the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more;
23   and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
    who have said to you,
    ‘Bow down, that we may pass over’;
  and you have made your back like the ground
    and like the street for them to pass over.”

Footnotes

[1] 49:3 Or I will display my beauty
[2] 49:12 Hebrew from the sea
[3] 49:12 Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Sinim
[4] 49:17 Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Your children make haste
[5] 49:22 Hebrew in their bosom
[6] 49:24 Dead Sea Scroll, Syriac, Vulgate (see also verse 25); Masoretic Text of a righteous man
[7] 51:4 Or for teaching; also verse 7
[8] 51:6 Or will die like gnats
[9] 51:16 Or planting
[10] 51:19 Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Masoretic Text how shall I comfort you

(ESV)

New Testament: James 4:1–10

James 4:1–10 (Listen)

Warning Against Worldliness

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passionsGreek pleasures; also verse 3">1 are at war within you?Greek in your members">2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people!Or You adulteresses!">3 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Footnotes

[1] 4:1 Greek pleasures; also verse 3
[2] 4:1 Greek in your members
[3] 4:4 Or You adulteresses!

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 98

Psalm 98 (Listen)

Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord

A Psalm.

98   Oh sing to the LORD a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things!
  His right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
  The LORD has made known his salvation;
    he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
  He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
  All the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.
  Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
    break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
  Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
    with the lyre and the sound of melody!
  With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
  Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    the world and those who dwell in it!
  Let the rivers clap their hands;
    let the hills sing for joy together
  before the LORD, for he comes
    to judge the earth.
  He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 25:25–27

Proverbs 25:25–27 (Listen)

25   Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
    so is good news from a far country.
26   Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
    is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
27   It is not good to eat much honey,
    nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.The meaning of the Hebrew line is uncertain">1

Footnotes

[1] 25:27 The meaning of the Hebrew line is uncertain

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 46–48

Isaiah 46–48 (Listen)

The Idols of Babylon and the One True God

46   Bel bows down; Nebo stoops;
    their idols are on beasts and livestock;
  these things you carry are borne
    as burdens on weary beasts.
  They stoop; they bow down together;
    they cannot save the burden,
    but themselves go into captivity.
  “Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the house of Israel,
  who have been borne by me from before your birth,
    carried from the womb;
  even to your old age I am he,
    and to gray hairs I will carry you.
  I have made, and I will bear;
    I will carry and will save.
  “To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
    and compare me, that we may be alike?
  Those who lavish gold from the purse,
    and weigh out silver in the scales,
  hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
    then they fall down and worship!
  They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
    they set it in its place, and it stands there;
    it cannot move from its place.
  If one cries to it, it does not answer
    or save him from his trouble.
  “Remember this and stand firm,
    recall it to mind, you transgressors,
    remember the former things of old;
  for I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me,
10   declaring the end from the beginning
    and from ancient times things not yet done,
  saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
    and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11   calling a bird of prey from the east,
    the man of my counsel from a far country.
  I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
    I have purposed, and I will do it.
12   “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
    you who are far from righteousness:
13   I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
    and my salvation will not delay;
  I will put salvation in Zion,
    for Israel my glory.”

The Humiliation of Babylon

47   Come down and sit in the dust,
    O virgin daughter of Babylon;
  sit on the ground without a throne,
    O daughter of the Chaldeans!
  For you shall no more be called
    tender and delicate.
  Take the millstones and grind flour,
    put off your veil,
  strip off your robe, uncover your legs,
    pass through the rivers.
  Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
    and your disgrace shall be seen.
  I will take vengeance,
    and I will spare no one.
  Our Redeemer—the LORD of hosts is his name—
    is the Holy One of Israel.
  Sit in silence, and go into darkness,
    O daughter of the Chaldeans;
  for you shall no more be called
    the mistress of kingdoms.
  I was angry with my people;
    I profaned my heritage;
  I gave them into your hand;
    you showed them no mercy;
  on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy.
  You said, “I shall be mistress forever,”
    so that you did not lay these things to heart
    or remember their end.
  Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures,
    who sit securely,
  who say in your heart,
    “I am, and there is no one besides me;
  I shall not sit as a widow
    or know the loss of children”:
  These two things shall come to you
    in a moment, in one day;
  the loss of children and widowhood
    shall come upon you in full measure,
  in spite of your many sorceries
    and the great power of your enchantments.
10   You felt secure in your wickedness;
    you said, “No one sees me”;
  your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray,
  and you said in your heart,
    “I am, and there is no one besides me.”
11   But evil shall come upon you,
    which you will not know how to charm away;
  disaster shall fall upon you,
    for which you will not be able to atone;
  and ruin shall come upon you suddenly,
    of which you know nothing.
12   Stand fast in your enchantments
    and your many sorceries,
    with which you have labored from your youth;
  perhaps you may be able to succeed;
    perhaps you may inspire terror.
13   You are wearied with your many counsels;
    let them stand forth and save you,
  those who divide the heavens,
    who gaze at the stars,
  who at the new moons make known
    what shall come upon you.
14   Behold, they are like stubble;
    the fire consumes them;
  they cannot deliver themselves
    from the power of the flame.
  No coal for warming oneself is this,
    no fire to sit before!
15   Such to you are those with whom you have labored,
    who have done business with you from your youth;
  they wander about, each in his own direction;
    there is no one to save you.

Israel Refined for God’s Glory

48   Hear this, O house of Jacob,
    who are called by the name of Israel,
    and who came from the waters of Judah,
  who swear by the name of the LORD
    and confess the God of Israel,
    but not in truth or right.
  For they call themselves after the holy city,
    and stay themselves on the God of Israel;
    the LORD of hosts is his name.
  “The former things I declared of old;
    they went out from my mouth, and I announced them;
    then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.
  Because I know that you are obstinate,
    and your neck is an iron sinew
    and your forehead brass,
  I declared them to you from of old,
    before they came to pass I announced them to you,
  lest you should say, ‘My idol did them,
    my carved image and my metal image commanded them.’
  “You have heard; now see all this;
    and will you not declare it?
  From this time forth I announce to you new things,
    hidden things that you have not known.
  They are created now, not long ago;
    before today you have never heard of them,
    lest you should say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’
  You have never heard, you have never known,
    from of old your ear has not been opened.
  For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously,
    and that from before birth you were called a rebel.
  “For my name’s sake I defer my anger;
    for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
    that I may not cut you off.
10   Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
    I have triedOr I have chosen">1 you in the furnace of affliction.
11   For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
    for how should my nameHebrew lacks my name">2 be profaned?
    My glory I will not give to another.

The Lord’s Call to Israel

12   “Listen to me, O Jacob,
    and Israel, whom I called!
  I am he; I am the first,
    and I am the last.
13   My hand laid the foundation of the earth,
    and my right hand spread out the heavens;
  when I call to them,
    they stand forth together.
14   “Assemble, all of you, and listen!
    Who among them has declared these things?
  The LORD loves him;
    he shall perform his purpose on Babylon,
    and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans.
15   I, even I, have spoken and called him;
    I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.
16   Draw near to me, hear this:
    from the beginning I have not spoken in secret,
    from the time it came to be I have been there.”
  And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit.
17   Thus says the LORD,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
  “I am the LORD your God,
    who teaches you to profit,
    who leads you in the way you should go.
18   Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!
    Then your peace would have been like a river,
    and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;
19   your offspring would have been like the sand,
    and your descendants like its grains;
  their name would never be cut off
    or destroyed from before me.”
20   Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea,
    declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it,
  send it out to the end of the earth;
    say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob!”
21   They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
    he made water flow for them from the rock;
    he split the rock and the water gushed out.
22   “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”

Footnotes

[1] 48:10 Or I have chosen
[2] 48:11 Hebrew lacks my name

(ESV)

New Testament: James 3:13–18

James 3:13–18 (Listen)

Wisdom from Above

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 97

Psalm 97 (Listen)

The Lord Reigns

97   The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;
    let the many coastlands be glad!
  Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
  Fire goes before him
    and burns up his adversaries all around.
  His lightnings light up the world;
    the earth sees and trembles.
  The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
  The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
    and all the peoples see his glory.
  All worshipers of images are put to shame,
    who make their boast in worthless idols;
    worship him, all you gods!
  Zion hears and is glad,
    and the daughters of Judah rejoice,
    because of your judgments, O LORD.
  For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth;
    you are exalted far above all gods.
10   O you who love the LORD, hate evil!
    He preserves the lives of his saints;
    he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11   Light is sownMost Hebrew manuscripts; one Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome Light dawns">1 for the righteous,
    and joy for the upright in heart.
12   Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous,
    and give thanks to his holy name!

Footnotes

[1] 97:11 Most Hebrew manuscripts; one Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome Light dawns

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 25:23–24

Proverbs 25:23–24 (Listen)

23   The north wind brings forth rain,
    and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24   It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 44–45

Isaiah 44–45 (Listen)

Israel the Lord’s Chosen

44   “But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
    Israel whom I have chosen!
  Thus says the LORD who made you,
    who formed you from the womb and will help you:
  Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
    Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
  For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;
  I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
    and my blessing on your descendants.
  They shall spring up among the grass
    like willows by flowing streams.
  This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’s,’
    another will call on the name of Jacob,
  and another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’
    and name himself by the name of Israel.”

Besides Me There Is No God

  Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel
    and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
  “I am the first and I am the last;
    besides me there is no god.
  Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.Or Who like me can proclaim it?">1
    Let him declare and set it before me,
  since I appointed an ancient people.
    Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
  Fear not, nor be afraid;
    have I not told you from of old and declared it?
    And you are my witnesses!
  Is there a God besides me?
    There is no Rock; I know not any.”

The Folly of Idolatry

All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. 10 Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11 Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.

12 The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil.Hebrew stylus">2 He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. 14 He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”

18 They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

The Lord Redeems Israel

21   Remember these things, O Jacob,
    and Israel, for you are my servant;
  I formed you; you are my servant;
    O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
22   I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
    and your sins like mist;
  return to me, for I have redeemed you.
23   Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it;
    shout, O depths of the earth;
  break forth into singing, O mountains,
    O forest, and every tree in it!
  For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
    and will be glorifiedOr will display his beauty">3 in Israel.
24   Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
    who formed you from the womb:
  “I am the LORD, who made all things,
    who alone stretched out the heavens,
    who spread out the earth by myself,
25   who frustrates the signs of liars
    and makes fools of diviners,
  who turns wise men back
    and makes their knowledge foolish,
26   who confirms the word of his servant
    and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,
  who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’
    and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built,
    and I will raise up their ruins’;
27   who says to the deep, ‘Be dry;
    I will dry up your rivers’;
28   who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,
    and he shall fulfill all my purpose’;
  saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’
    and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”

Cyrus, God’s Instrument

45   Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus,
    whose right hand I have grasped,
  to subdue nations before him
    and to loose the belts of kings,
  to open doors before him
    that gates may not be closed:
  “I will go before you
    and level the exalted places,Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint level the mountains">4
  I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
    and cut through the bars of iron,
  I will give you the treasures of darkness
    and the hoards in secret places,
  that you may know that it is I, the LORD,
    the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
  For the sake of my servant Jacob,
    and Israel my chosen,
  I call you by your name,
    I name you, though you do not know me.
  I am the LORD, and there is no other,
    besides me there is no God;
    I equip you, though you do not know me,
  that people may know, from the rising of the sun
    and from the west, that there is none besides me;
    I am the LORD, and there is no other.
  I form light and create darkness;
    I make well-being and create calamity;
    I am the LORD, who does all these things.
  “Shower, O heavens, from above,
    and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
  let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
    let the earth cause them both to sprout;
    I the LORD have created it.
  “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
    a pot among earthen pots!
  Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
    or ‘Your work has no handles’?
10   Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
    or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”
11   Thus says the LORD,
    the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:
  “Ask me of things to come;
    will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?A slight emendation yields will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands?">5
12   I made the earth
    and created man on it;
  it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
    and I commanded all their host.
13   I have stirred him up in righteousness,
    and I will make all his ways level;
  he shall build my city
    and set my exiles free,
  not for price or reward,”
    says the LORD of hosts.

The Lord, the Only Savior

14   Thus says the LORD:
  “The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
    and the Sabeans, men of stature,
  shall come over to you and be yours;
    they shall follow you;
    they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.
  They will plead with you, saying:
    ‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other,
    no god besides him.’”
15   Truly, you are a God who hides himself,
    O God of Israel, the Savior.
16   All of them are put to shame and confounded;
    the makers of idols go in confusion together.
17   But Israel is saved by the LORD
    with everlasting salvation;
  you shall not be put to shame or confounded
    to all eternity.
18   For thus says the LORD,
  who created the heavens
    (he is God!),
  who formed the earth and made it
    (he established it;
  he did not create it empty,
    he formed it to be inhabited!):
  “I am the LORD, and there is no other.
19   I did not speak in secret,
    in a land of darkness;
  I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
    ‘Seek me in vain.’Hebrew in emptiness">6
  I the LORD speak the truth;
    I declare what is right.
20   “Assemble yourselves and come;
    draw near together,
    you survivors of the nations!
  They have no knowledge
    who carry about their wooden idols,
  and keep on praying to a god
    that cannot save.
21   Declare and present your case;
    let them take counsel together!
  Who told this long ago?
    Who declared it of old?
  Was it not I, the LORD?
    And there is no other god besides me,
  a righteous God and a Savior;
    there is none besides me.
22   “Turn to me and be saved,
    all the ends of the earth!
    For I am God, and there is no other.
23   By myself I have sworn;
    from my mouth has gone out in righteousness
    a word that shall not return:
  ‘To me every knee shall bow,
    every tongue shall swear allegiance.’Septuagint every tongue shall confess to God">7
24   “Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me,
    are righteousness and strength;
  to him shall come and be ashamed
    all who were incensed against him.
25   In the LORD all the offspring of Israel
    shall be justified and shall glory.”

Footnotes

[1] 44:7 Or Who like me can proclaim it?
[2] 44:13 Hebrew stylus
[3] 44:23 Or will display his beauty
[4] 45:2 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint level the mountains
[5] 45:11 A slight emendation yields will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands?
[6] 45:19 Hebrew in emptiness
[7] 45:23 Septuagint every tongue shall confess to God

(ESV)

New Testament: James 3:1–12

James 3:1–12 (Listen)

Taming the Tongue

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,Or wheel of birth">1 and set on fire by hell.Greek Gehenna">2 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,Or brothers and sisters; also verse 12">3 these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Footnotes

[1] 3:6 Or wheel of birth
[2] 3:6 Greek Gehenna
[3] 3:10 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 12

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 96

Psalm 96 (Listen)

Worship in the Splendor of Holiness

96   Oh sing to the LORD a new song;
    sing to the LORD, all the earth!
  Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
    tell of his salvation from day to day.
  Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous works among all the peoples!
  For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
  For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
    but the LORD made the heavens.
  Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
  Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
    ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
    bring an offering, and come into his courts!
  Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;Or in holy attire">1
    tremble before him, all the earth!
10   Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!
    Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
    he will judge the peoples with equity.”
11   Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
    let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12     let the field exult, and everything in it!
  Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13     before the LORD, for he comes,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
  He will judge the world in righteousness,
    and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Footnotes

[1] 96:9 Or in holy attire

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 25:20–22

Proverbs 25:20–22 (Listen)

20   Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
    is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
    and like vinegar on soda.
21   If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
    and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22   for you will heap burning coals on his head,
    and the LORD will reward you.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 42–43

Isaiah 42–43 (Listen)

The Lord’s Chosen Servant

42   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.
  He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
    or make it heard in the street;
  a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
    he will faithfully bring forth justice.
  He will not grow faint or be discouragedOr bruised">1
    till he has established justice in the earth;
    and the coastlands wait for his law.
  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:
  “I am the LORD; I have called youThe Hebrew for you is singular; four times in this verse">2 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,
    to open the eyes that are blind,
  to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
    from the prison those who sit in darkness.
  I am the LORD; that is my name;
    my glory I give to no other,
    nor my praise to carved idols.
  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,Or into coastlands">3
    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,Or as the one at peace with me">4
    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   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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  Fear not, for I am with you;
    I will bring your offspring from the east,
    and from the west I will gather you.
  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,
  everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”
  Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
    who are deaf, yet have ears!
  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?”
14   Thus says the LORD,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
  “For your sake I send to Babylon
    and bring them all down as fugitives,
    even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.
15   I am the LORD, your Holy One,
    the Creator of Israel, your King.”
16   Thus says the LORD,
    who makes a way in the sea,
    a path in the mighty waters,
17   who brings forth chariot and horse,
    army and warrior;
  they lie down, they cannot rise,
    they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
18   “Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
19   Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
  I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.
20   The wild beasts will honor me,
    the jackals and the ostriches,
  for I give water in the wilderness,
    rivers in the desert,
  to give drink to my chosen people,
21     the people whom I formed for myself
  that they might declare my praise.
22   “Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob;
    but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
23   You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings,
    or honored me with your sacrifices.
  I have not burdened you with offerings,
    or wearied you with frankincense.
24   You have not bought me sweet cane with money,
    or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.
  But you have burdened me with your sins;
    you have wearied me with your iniquities.
25   “I, I am he
    who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
    and I will not remember your sins.
26   Put me in remembrance; let us argue together;
    set forth your case, that you may be proved right.
27   Your first father sinned,
    and your mediators transgressed against me.
28   Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary,
    and deliver Jacob to utter destruction
    and Israel to reviling.

Footnotes

[1] 42:4 Or bruised
[2] 42:6 The Hebrew for you is singular; four times in this verse
[3] 42:15 Or into coastlands
[4] 42:19 Or as the one at peace with me

(ESV)

New Testament: James 2:14–26

James 2:14–26 (Listen)

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what goodOr benefit">1 is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

Footnotes

[1] 2:16 Or benefit

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 95

Psalm 95 (Listen)

Let Us Sing Songs of Praise

95   Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
    let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
  Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
  For the LORD is a great God,
    and a great King above all gods.
  In his hand are the depths of the earth;
    the heights of the mountains are his also.
  The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.
  Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
    let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
  For he is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.
  Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
    as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
  when your fathers put me to the test
    and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
10   For forty years I loathed that generation
    and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart,
    and they have not known my ways.”
11   Therefore I swore in my wrath,
    “They shall not enter my rest.”

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 25:18–19

Proverbs 25:18–19 (Listen)

18   A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
    is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
19   Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
    is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 39–41

Isaiah 39–41 (Listen)

Envoys from Babylon

39 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. 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. 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.” 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.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: 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. 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.” Then Hezekiah said 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   Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
  that her warfareOr hardship">1 is ended,
    that her iniquity is pardoned,
  that she has received from the LORD’s hand
    double for all her sins.
  A voice cries:Or A voice of one crying">2
  “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
  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.
  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

  A voice says, “Cry!”
    And I said,Revocalization based on Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Vulgate; Masoretic Text And someone says">3 “What shall I cry?”
  All flesh is grass,
    and all its beautyOr all its constancy">4 is like the flower of the field.
  The grass withers, the flower fades
    when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
    surely the people are grass.
  The grass withers, the flower fades,
    but the word of our God will stand forever.

The Greatness of God

  Go on up to a high mountain,
    O Zion, herald of good news;Or O herald of good news to Zion">5
  lift up your voice with strength,
    O Jerusalem, herald of good news;Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem">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 measuredOr has directed">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 woodOr He chooses valuable 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   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.
  Who stirred up one from the east
    whom victory meets at every step?Or whom righteousness calls to follow?">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.
  He pursues them and passes on safely,
    by paths his feet have not trod.
  Who has performed and done this,
    calling the generations from the beginning?
  I, the LORD, the first,
    and with the last; I am he.
  The coastlands have seen and are afraid;
    the ends of the earth tremble;
    they have drawn near and come.
  Everyone helps his neighbor
    and says to his brother, “Be strong!”
  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.
  But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
  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.
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.Or that we may both be dismayed and see">10
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 sayOr Formerly I said">11 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.

Footnotes

[1] 40:2 Or hardship
[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] 41:23 Or that we may both be dismayed and see
[11] 41:27 Or Formerly I said

(ESV)

New Testament: James 2:1–13

James 2:1–13 (Listen)

The Sin of Partiality

My brothers,Or brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 14">1 show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Footnotes

[1] 2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 14

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 94

Psalm 94 (Listen)

The Lord Will Not Forsake His People

94   O LORD, God of vengeance,
    O God of vengeance, shine forth!
  Rise up, O judge of the earth;
    repay to the proud what they deserve!
  O LORD, how long shall the wicked,
    how long shall the wicked exult?
  They pour out their arrogant words;
    all the evildoers boast.
  They crush your people, O LORD,
    and afflict your heritage.
  They kill the widow and the sojourner,
    and murder the fatherless;
  and they say, “The LORD does not see;
    the God of Jacob does not perceive.”
  Understand, O dullest of the people!
    Fools, when will you be wise?
  He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
  He who formed the eye, does he not see?
10   He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
  He who teaches man knowledge—
11     the LORD—knows the thoughts of man,
    that they are but a breath.Septuagint they are futile">1
12   Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD,
    and whom you teach out of your law,
13   to give him rest from days of trouble,
    until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14   For the LORD will not forsake his people;
    he will not abandon his heritage;
15   for justice will return to the righteous,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.
16   Who rises up for me against the wicked?
    Who stands up for me against evildoers?
17   If the LORD had not been my help,
    my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
18   When I thought, “My foot slips,”
    your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.
19   When the cares of my heart are many,
    your consolations cheer my soul.
20   Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
    those who frameOr fashion">2 injustice by statute?
21   They band together against the life of the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.Hebrew condemn innocent blood">3
22   But the LORD has become my stronghold,
    and my God the rock of my refuge.
23   He will bring back on them their iniquity
    and wipe them out for their wickedness;
    the LORD our God will wipe them out.

Footnotes

[1] 94:11 Septuagint they are futile
[2] 94:20 Or fashion
[3] 94:21 Hebrew condemn innocent blood

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 25:17

Proverbs 25:17 (Listen)

17   Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house,
    lest he have his fill of you and hate you.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 37–38

Isaiah 37–38 (Listen)

Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah’s Help

37 As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the LORD. 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. 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. 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.’”

When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 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. 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.’”

The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that the king had left Lachish. Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Cush,Probably Nubia">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,
    blightedSome Hebrew manuscripts and 2 Kings 19:26; most Hebrew manuscripts a field">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 185,000 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 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.”Or live; also verses 9, 21">3 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 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.

Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: “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.Hebrew to your days">4 I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.

“This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he has promised: 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.The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain">5

A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10   I said, In the middleOr In the quiet">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 myselfOr (with Targum) I cried for help">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?”

Footnotes

[1] 37:9 Probably Nubia
[2] 37:27 Some Hebrew manuscripts and 2 Kings 19:26; most Hebrew manuscripts 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

(ESV)

New Testament: James 1:19–27

James 1:19–27 (Listen)

Hearing and Doing the Word

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 93

Psalm 93 (Listen)

The Lord Reigns

93   The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty;
    the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.
  Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
  Your throne is established from of old;
    you are from everlasting.
  The floods have lifted up, O LORD,
    the floods have lifted up their voice;
    the floods lift up their roaring.
  Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
    mightier than the waves of the sea,
    the LORD on high is mighty!
  Your decrees are very trustworthy;
    holiness befits your house,
    O LORD, forevermore.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 25:16

Proverbs 25:16 (Listen)

16   If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
    lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 34–36

Isaiah 34–36 (Listen)

Judgment on the Nations

34   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.
  For the LORD is enraged against all the nations,
    and furious against all their host;
    he has devoted them to destruction,That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verse 5">1 has given them over for slaughter.
  Their slain shall be cast out,
    and the stench of their corpses shall rise;
    the mountains shall flow with their blood.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  For the LORD has a day of vengeance,
    a year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
  And the streams of EdomHebrew her streams">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 porcupineThe identity of the animals rendered hawk and porcupine is uncertain">3 shall possess it,
    the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.
  He shall stretch the line of confusionHebrew formlessness">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.Or owls">5
14   And wild animals shall meet with hyenas;
    the wild goat shall cry to his fellow;
  indeed, there the night birdIdentity uncertain">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   The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
    the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
  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.
  Strengthen the weak hands,
    and make firm the feeble knees.
  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.”
  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
  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;
  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.
  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.Or if they are fools, they shall not wander in it">7
  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 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. And the king of Assyria sent the RabshakehRabshakeh is the title of a high-ranking Assyrian military officer">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. 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.

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? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 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. 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”? 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. 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 meHebrew Make a blessing 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.

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

(ESV)

New Testament: James 1:1–18

James 1:1–18 (Listen)

Greeting

James, a servantFor the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface">1 of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

Greetings.

Testing of Your Faith

Count it all joy, my brothers,Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 16, 19">2 when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grassOr a wild flower">3 he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning">4 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Footnotes

[1] 1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
[2] 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 16, 19
[3] 1:10 Or a wild flower
[4] 1:17 Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 92

Psalm 92 (Listen)

How Great Are Your Works

A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath.

92   It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
    to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
  to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
    and your faithfulness by night,
  to the music of the lute and the harp,
    to the melody of the lyre.
  For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
    at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
  How great are your works, O LORD!
    Your thoughts are very deep!
  The stupid man cannot know;
    the fool cannot understand this:
  that though the wicked sprout like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
  they are doomed to destruction forever;
    but you, O LORD, are on high forever.
  For behold, your enemies, O LORD,
    for behold, your enemies shall perish;
    all evildoers shall be scattered.
10   But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
    you have poured over meCompare Syriac; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain">1 fresh oil.
11   My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
    my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.
12   The righteous flourish like the palm tree
    and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13   They are planted in the house of the LORD;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
14   They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,
15   to declare that the LORD is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Footnotes

[1] 92:10 Compare Syriac; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 25:15

Proverbs 25:15 (Listen)

15   With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
    and a soft tongue will break a bone.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 31–33

Isaiah 31–33 (Listen)

Woe to Those Who Go Down to Egypt

31   WoeOr Ah,">1 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!
  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.
  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.
  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 fightThe Hebrew words for hosts and to fight sound alike">2 on Mount Zion and on its hill.
  Like birds hovering, so the LORD of hosts
    will protect Jerusalem;
  he will protect and deliver it;
    he will spare and rescue it.”

Turn to him from whom peopleHebrew they">3 have deeply revolted, O children of Israel. 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.

  “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.
  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   Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
    and princes will rule in justice.
  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.
  Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
    and the ears of those who hear will give attention.
  The heart of the hasty will understand and know,
    and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.
  The fool will no more be called noble,
    nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
  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.
  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.
  But he who is noble plans noble things,
    and on noble things he stands.

Complacent Women Warned of Disaster

  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 trustOr security">4 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   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.
  O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
    Be our arm every morning,
    our salvation in the time of trouble.
  At the tumultuous noise peoples flee;
    when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered,
  and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
    as locusts leap, it is leapt upon.
  The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
    he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,
  and he will be the stability of your times,
    abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
    the fear of the LORD is Zion’sHebrew his">5 treasure.
  Behold, their heroes cry in the streets;
    the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
  The highways lie waste;
    the traveler ceases.
  Covenants are broken;
    citiesMasoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll witnesses">6 are despised;
    there is no regard for man.
  The land mourns and languishes;
    Lebanon is confounded and withers away;
  Sharon is like a desert,
    and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.
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.

Footnotes

[1] 31:1 Or Ah,
[2] 31:4 The Hebrew words for hosts and to fight sound alike
[3] 31:6 Hebrew they
[4] 32:17 Or security
[5] 33:6 Hebrew his
[6] 33:8 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll witnesses

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 13:20–25

Hebrews 13:20–25 (Listen)

Benediction

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in usSome manuscripts you">1 that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

22 I appeal to you, brothers,Or brothers and sisters">2 bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. 23 You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. 24 Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with all of you.

Footnotes

[1] 13:21 Some manuscripts you
[2] 13:22 Or brothers and sisters

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 91

Psalm 91 (Listen)

My Refuge and My Fortress

91   He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
  I will saySeptuagint He will say">1 to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
  For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
  He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
  You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
  nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
  A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
  You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.
  Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refugeOr For you, O Lord, are my refuge! You have made the Most High your dwelling place">2
10   no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.
11   For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12   On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13   You will tread on the lion and the adder;
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14   “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15   When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.
16   With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Footnotes

[1] 91:2 Septuagint He will say
[2] 91:9 Or For you, O Lord, are my refuge! You have made the Most High your dwelling place

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 25:11–14

Proverbs 25:11–14 (Listen)

11   A word fitly spoken
    is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12   Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
    is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
13   Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
    is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
    he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14   Like clouds and wind without rain
    is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 29–30

Isaiah 29–30 (Listen)

The Siege of Jerusalem

29   Ah, Ariel, Ariel,
    the city where David encamped!
  Add year to year;
    let the feasts run their round.
  Yet I will distress Ariel,
    and there shall be moaning and lamentation,
    and she shall be to me like an Ariel.Ariel could mean lion of God, or hero (2 Samuel 23:20), or altar hearth (Ezekiel 43:15–16)">1
  And I will encamp against you all around,
    and will besiege you with towers
    and I will raise siegeworks against you.
  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.
  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,
    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.
  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.
  As when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he is eating,
    and awakes with his hunger not satisfied,
  or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, 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.
  Astonish yourselvesOr Linger awhile">2 and be astonished;
    blind yourselves and be blind!
  Be drunk,Or They are drunk">3 but not with wine;
    stagger,Or they stagger">4 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   “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the LORD,
  “who carry out a plan, but not mine,
  and who make an alliance,Hebrew who weave a web">5 but not of my Spirit,
    that they may add sin to sin;
  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!
  Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
    and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.
  For though his officials are at Zoan
    and his envoys reach Hanes,
  everyone comes to shame
    through a people that cannot profit them,
  that brings neither help nor profit,
    but shame and disgrace.”

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.
  Egypt’s help is worthless and empty;
    therefore I have called her
    “Rahab who sits still.”

A Rebellious People

  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.Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Targum, Vulgate, and Greek versions; Masoretic Text forever and ever">6
  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.”
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 returningOr repentance">7 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;Hebrew in weight of uplifted clouds">8
  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 placeOr For Topheth">9 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.

Footnotes

[1] 29:2 Ariel could mean lion of God, or hero (2 Samuel 23:20), or altar hearth (Ezekiel 43:15–16)
[2] 29:9 Or Linger awhile
[3] 29:9 Or They are drunk
[4] 29:9 Or they stagger
[5] 30:1 Hebrew who weave a web
[6] 30:8 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Targum, Vulgate, and Greek versions; Masoretic Text forever and ever
[7] 30:15 Or repentance
[8] 30:27 Hebrew in weight of uplifted clouds
[9] 30:33 Or For Topheth

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 13:1–19

Hebrews 13:1–19 (Listen)

Sacrifices Pleasing to God

13 Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

  “The Lord is my helper;
    I will not fear;
  what can man do to me?”

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tentOr tabernacle">1 have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. 19 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.

Footnotes

[1] 13:10 Or tabernacle

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 90

Psalm 90 (Listen)

Book Four

From Everlasting to Everlasting

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

90   Lord, you have been our dwelling placeSome Hebrew manuscripts (compare Septuagint) our refuge">1
    in all generations.
  Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
  You return man to dust
    and say, “Return, O children of man!”Or of Adam">2
  For a thousand years in your sight
    are but as yesterday when it is past,
    or as a watch in the night.
  You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
    like grass that is renewed in the morning:
  in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
    in the evening it fades and withers.
  For we are brought to an end by your anger;
    by your wrath we are dismayed.
  You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
  For all our days pass away under your wrath;
    we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10   The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
  yet their spanOr pride">3 is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11   Who considers the power of your anger,
    and your wrath according to the fear of you?
12   So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13   Return, O LORD! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
14   Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15   Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16   Let your work be shown to your servants,
    and your glorious power to their children.
17   Let the favorOr beauty">4 of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!

Footnotes

[1] 90:1 Some Hebrew manuscripts (compare Septuagint) our refuge
[2] 90:3 Or of Adam
[3] 90:10 Or pride
[4] 90:17 Or beauty

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 25:7–10

Proverbs 25:7–10 (Listen)

  for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
    than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
  What your eyes have seen
    do not hastily bring into court,Or presence of a noble, as your eyes have seen. 8Do not go hastily out to court">1
  forHebrew or else">2 what will you do in the end,
    when your neighbor puts you to shame?
  Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
    and do not reveal another’s secret,
10   lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
    and your ill repute have no end.

Footnotes

[1] 25:8 Or presence of a noble, as your eyes have seen. 8Do not go hastily out to court
[2] 25:8 Hebrew or else

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 26–28

Isaiah 26–28 (Listen)

You Keep Him in Perfect Peace

26 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.
  Open the gates,
    that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
  You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.
  Trust in the LORD forever,
    for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
  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.
  The foot tramples it,
    the feet of the poor,
    the steps of the needy.”
  The path of the righteous is level;
    you make level the way of the righteous.
  In the path of your judgments,
    O LORD, we wait for you;
  your name and remembrance
    are the desire of our soul.
  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 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.

  In that day,
  “A pleasant vineyard,Many Hebrew manuscripts A vineyard of wine">1 sing of it!
    I, the LORD, am its keeper;
    every moment I water it.
    Lest anyone punish it,
  I keep it night and day;
    I have no wrath.
  Would that I had thorns and briers to battle!
    I would march against them,
    I would burn them up together.
  Or let them lay hold of my protection,
    let them make peace with me,
    let them make peace with me.”
  In days to comeHebrew In those to come">2 Jacob shall take root,
    Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots
    and fill the whole world with fruit.
  Has he struck them as he struck those who struck them?
    Or have they been slain as their slayers were slain?
  Measure by measure,Or By driving her away; the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain">3 by exile you contended with them;
    he removed them with his fierce breathOr wind">4 in the day of the east wind.
  Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be atoned for,
    and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:Septuagint and this is the blessing when I take away his sin">5
  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 EuphratesHebrew from the River">6 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   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!
  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.
  The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim
    will be trodden underfoot;
  and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
    which is on the head of the rich valley,
  will be like a first-ripe figOr fruit">7 before the summer:
    when someone sees it, he swallows it
    as soon as it is in his hand.
  In that day the LORD of hosts will be a crown of glory,The Hebrew words for glory and hosts sound alike">8
    and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,
  and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
    and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
  These also reel with wine
    and stagger with strong drink;
  the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink,
    they are swallowed byOr confused by">9 wine,
    they stagger with strong drink,
  they reel in vision,
    they stumble in giving judgment.
  For all tables are full of filthy vomit,
    with no space left.
  “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.

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 laidDead Sea Scroll I am laying">10 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 emmerA type of wheat">11 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;Or Grain is crushed for bread; he will surely thresh it, but not forever">12
  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.

Footnotes

[1] 27:2 Many Hebrew manuscripts A vineyard of wine
[2] 27:6 Hebrew In those to come
[3] 27:8 Or By driving her away; the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[4] 27:8 Or wind
[5] 27:9 Septuagint and this is the blessing when I take away his sin
[6] 27:12 Hebrew from the River
[7] 28:4 Or fruit
[8] 28:5 The Hebrew words for glory and hosts sound alike
[9] 28:7 Or confused by
[10] 28:16 Dead Sea Scroll I am laying
[11] 28:25 A type of wheat
[12] 28:28 Or Grain is crushed for bread; he will surely thresh it, but not forever

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 12:3–29

Hebrews 12:3–29 (Listen)

Do Not Grow Weary

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

  “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    nor be weary when reproved by him.
  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assemblyOr church">1 of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Footnotes

[1] 12:23 Or church

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 89:30–52

Psalm 89:30–52 (Listen)

30   If his children forsake my law
    and do not walk according to my rules,Or my just decrees">1
31   if they violate my statutes
    and do not keep my commandments,
32   then I will punish their transgression with the rod
    and their iniquity with stripes,
33   but I will not remove from him my steadfast love
    or be false to my faithfulness.
34   I will not violate my covenant
    or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
35   Once for all I have sworn by my holiness;
    I will not lie to David.
36   His offspring shall endure forever,
    his throne as long as the sun before me.
37   Like the moon it shall be established forever,
    a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah
38   But now you have cast off and rejected;
    you are full of wrath against your anointed.
39   You have renounced the covenant with your servant;
    you have defiled his crown in the dust.
40   You have breached all his walls;
    you have laid his strongholds in ruins.
41   All who pass by plunder him;
    he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42   You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
    you have made all his enemies rejoice.
43   You have also turned back the edge of his sword,
    and you have not made him stand in battle.
44   You have made his splendor to cease
    and cast his throne to the ground.
45   You have cut short the days of his youth;
    you have covered him with shame. Selah
46   How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever?
    How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47   Remember how short my time is!
    For what vanity you have created all the children of man!
48   What man can live and never see death?
    Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah
49   Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,
    which by your faithfulness you swore to David?
50   Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked,
    and how I bear in my heart the insultsHebrew lacks the insults">2 of all the many nations,
51   with which your enemies mock, O LORD,
    with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed.
52   Blessed be the LORD forever!
      Amen and Amen.

Footnotes

[1] 89:30 Or my just decrees
[2] 89:50 Hebrew lacks the insults

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 25:1–7

Proverbs 25:1–7 (Listen)

More Proverbs of Solomon

25 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.

  It is the glory of God to conceal things,
    but the glory of kings is to search things out.
  As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
    so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
  Take away the dross from the silver,
    and the smith has material for a vessel;
  take away the wicked from the presence of the king,
    and his throne will be established in righteousness.
  Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence
    or stand in the place of the great,
  for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
    than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
  What your eyes have seen

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 23–25

Isaiah 23–25 (Listen)

An Oracle Concerning Tyre and Sidon

23 The oracle concerning Tyre.

  Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
    for Tyre is laid waste, without house or harbor!
  From the land of CyprusHebrew Kittim; also verse 12">1
    it is revealed to them.
  Be still, O inhabitants of the coast;
    the merchants of Sidon, who cross the sea, have filled you.
  And on many waters
  your revenue was the grain of Shihor,
    the harvest of the Nile;
    you were the merchant of the nations.
  Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken,
    the stronghold of the sea, saying:
  “I have neither labored nor given birth,
    I have neither reared young men
    nor brought up young women.”
  When the report comes to Egypt,
    they will be in anguishHebrew they will have labor pains">2 over the report about Tyre.
  Cross over to Tarshish;
    wail, O inhabitants of the coast!
  Is this your exultant city
    whose origin is from days of old,
  whose feet carried her
    to settle far away?
  Who has purposed this
    against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,
  whose merchants were princes,
    whose traders were the honored of the earth?
  The LORD of hosts has purposed it,
    to defile the pompous pride of all glory,The Hebrew words for glory and hosts sound alike">3
    to dishonor all the honored of the earth.
10   Cross over your land like the Nile,
    O daughter of Tarshish;
    there is no restraint anymore.
11   He has stretched out his hand over the sea;
    he has shaken the kingdoms;
  the LORD has given command concerning Canaan
    to destroy its strongholds.
12   And he said:
  “You will no more exult,
    O oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon;
  arise, cross over to Cyprus,
    even there you will have no rest.”

13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people that was not;Or that has become nothing">4 Assyria destined it for wild beasts. They erected their siege towers, they stripped her palaces bare, they made her a ruin.

14   Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
    for your stronghold is laid waste.

15 In that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, like the daysOr lifetime">5 of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute:

16   “Take a harp;
    go about the city,
    O forgotten prostitute!
  Make sweet melody;
    sing many songs,
    that you may be remembered.”

17 At the end of seventy years, the LORD will visit Tyre, and she will return to her wages and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Her merchandise and her wages will be holy to the LORD. It will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who dwell before the LORD.

Judgment on the Whole Earth

24   Behold, the LORD will empty the earthOr land; also throughout this chapter">6 and make it desolate,
    and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
  And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;
    as with the slave, so with his master;
    as with the maid, so with her mistress;
  as with the buyer, so with the seller;
    as with the lender, so with the borrower;
    as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
  The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered;
    for the LORD has spoken this word.
  The earth mourns and withers;
    the world languishes and withers;
    the highest people of the earth languish.
  The earth lies defiled
    under its inhabitants;
  for they have transgressed the laws,
    violated the statutes,
    broken the everlasting covenant.
  Therefore a curse devours the earth,
    and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
  therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
    and few men are left.
  The wine mourns,
    the vine languishes,
    all the merry-hearted sigh.
  The mirth of the tambourines is stilled,
    the noise of the jubilant has ceased,
    the mirth of the lyre is stilled.
  No more do they drink wine with singing;
    strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
10   The wasted city is broken down;
    every house is shut up so that none can enter.
11   There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
    all joy has grown dark;
    the gladness of the earth is banished.
12   Desolation is left in the city;
    the gates are battered into ruins.
13   For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth
    among the nations,
  as when an olive tree is beaten,
    as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done.
14   They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
    over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west.Hebrew from the sea">7
15   Therefore in the eastHebrew in the realm of light, or with the fires">8 give glory to the LORD;
    in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
16   From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
    of glory to the Righteous One.
  But I say, “I waste away,
    I waste away. Woe is me!
  For the traitors have betrayed,
    with betrayal the traitors have betrayed.”
17   Terror and the pit and the snareThe Hebrew words for terror, pit, and snare sound alike">9
    are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!
18   He who flees at the sound of the terror
    shall fall into the pit,
  and he who climbs out of the pit
    shall be caught in the snare.
  For the windows of heaven are opened,
    and the foundations of the earth tremble.
19   The earth is utterly broken,
    the earth is split apart,
    the earth is violently shaken.
20   The earth staggers like a drunken man;
    it sways like a hut;
  its transgression lies heavy upon it,
    and it falls, and will not rise again.
21   On that day the LORD will punish
    the host of heaven, in heaven,
    and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
22   They will be gathered together
    as prisoners in a pit;
  they will be shut up in a prison,
    and after many days they will be punished.
23   Then the moon will be confounded
    and the sun ashamed,
  for the LORD of hosts reigns
    on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
  and his glory will be before his elders.

God Will Swallow Up Death Forever

25   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.
  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.
  Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
    cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
  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,
    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.
  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.
  And he will swallow up on this mountain
    the covering that is cast over all peoples,
    the veil that is spread over all nations.
    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.
  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.The Hebrew words for dunghill and for the Moabite town Madmen (Jeremiah 48:2) sound alike">10
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 skillOr in spite of the skill">11 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.

Footnotes

[1] 23:1 Hebrew Kittim; also verse 12
[2] 23:5 Hebrew they will have labor pains
[3] 23:9 The Hebrew words for glory and hosts sound alike
[4] 23:13 Or that has become nothing
[5] 23:15 Or lifetime
[6] 24:1 Or land; also throughout this chapter
[7] 24:14 Hebrew from the sea
[8] 24:15 Hebrew in the realm of light, or with the fires
[9] 24:17 The Hebrew words for terror, pit, and snare sound alike
[10] 25:10 The Hebrew words for dunghill and for the Moabite town Madmen (Jeremiah 48:2) sound alike
[11] 25:11 Or in spite of the skill

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 11–12:2

Hebrews 11–12:2 (Listen)

By Faith

11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two,Some manuscripts add they were tempted">1 they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Footnotes

[1] 11:37 Some manuscripts add they were tempted

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 89:1–29

Psalm 89:1–29 (Listen)

I Will Sing of the Steadfast Love of the Lord

A MaskilProbably a musical or liturgical term">1 of Ethan the Ezrahite.

89   I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever;
    with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.
  For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever;
    in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”
  You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
    I have sworn to David my servant:
  ‘I will establish your offspring forever,
    and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah
  Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD,
    your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!
  For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD?
    Who among the heavenly beingsHebrew the sons of God, or the sons of might">2 is like the LORD,
  a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,
    and awesome above all who are around him?
  O LORD God of hosts,
    who is mighty as you are, O LORD,
    with your faithfulness all around you?
  You rule the raging of the sea;
    when its waves rise, you still them.
10   You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
    you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11   The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours;
    the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.
12   The north and the south, you have created them;
    Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.
13   You have a mighty arm;
    strong is your hand, high your right hand.
14   Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
    steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
15   Blessed are the people who know the festal shout,
    who walk, O LORD, in the light of your face,
16   who exult in your name all the day
    and in your righteousness are exalted.
17   For you are the glory of their strength;
    by your favor our horn is exalted.
18   For our shield belongs to the LORD,
    our king to the Holy One of Israel.
19   Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one,Some Hebrew manuscripts godly ones">3 and said:
    “I have granted help to one who is mighty;
    I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20   I have found David, my servant;
    with my holy oil I have anointed him,
21   so that my hand shall be established with him;
    my arm also shall strengthen him.
22   The enemy shall not outwit him;
    the wicked shall not humble him.
23   I will crush his foes before him
    and strike down those who hate him.
24   My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him,
    and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
25   I will set his hand on the sea
    and his right hand on the rivers.
26   He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,
    my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
27   And I will make him the firstborn,
    the highest of the kings of the earth.
28   My steadfast love I will keep for him forever,
    and my covenant will stand firmOr will remain faithful">4 for him.
29   I will establish his offspring forever
    and his throne as the days of the heavens.

Footnotes

[1] 89:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 89:6 Hebrew the sons of God, or the sons of might
[3] 89:19 Some Hebrew manuscripts godly ones
[4] 89:28 Or will remain faithful

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:30–34

Proverbs 24:30–34 (Listen)

30   I passed by the field of a sluggard,
    by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
31   and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
    the ground was covered with nettles,
    and its stone wall was broken down.
32   Then I saw and considered it;
    I looked and received instruction.
33   A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest,
34   and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    and want like an armed man.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 20–22

Isaiah 20–22 (Listen)

A Sign Against Egypt and Cush

20 In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and captured it—at that time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet,” and he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

Then the LORD said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush,Probably Nubia">1 so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt. Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?’”

Fallen, Fallen Is Babylon

21 The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.

  As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
    it comes from the wilderness,
    from a terrible land.
  A stern vision is told to me;
    the traitor betrays,
    and the destroyer destroys.
  Go up, O Elam;
    lay siege, O Media;
  all the sighing she has caused
    I bring to an end.
  Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;
    pangs have seized me,
    like the pangs of a woman in labor;
  I am bowed down so that I cannot hear;
    I am dismayed so that I cannot see.
  My heart staggers; horror has appalled me;
    the twilight I longed for
    has been turned for me into trembling.
  They prepare the table,
    they spread the rugs,Or they set the watchman">2
    they eat, they drink.
  Arise, O princes;
    oil the shield!
  For thus the Lord said to me:
  “Go, set a watchman;
    let him announce what he sees.
  When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
    riders on donkeys, riders on camels,
  let him listen diligently,
    very diligently.”
  Then he who saw cried out:Dead Sea Scroll, Syriac; Masoretic Text Then a lion cried out, or Then he cried out like a lion">3
  “Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,
    continually by day,
  and at my post I am stationed
    whole nights.
  And behold, here come riders,
    horsemen in pairs!”
  And he answered,
    “Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
  and all the carved images of her gods
    he has shattered to the ground.”
10   O my threshed and winnowed one,
    what I have heard from the LORD of hosts,
    the God of Israel, I announce to you.

11 The oracle concerning Dumah.

  One is calling to me from Seir,
    “Watchman, what time of the night?
    Watchman, what time of the night?”
12   The watchman says:
  “Morning comes, and also the night.
    If you will inquire, inquire;
    come back again.”

13 The oracle concerning Arabia.

  In the thickets in Arabia you will lodge,
    O caravans of Dedanites.
14   To the thirsty bring water;
    meet the fugitive with bread,
    O inhabitants of the land of Tema.
15   For they have fled from the swords,
    from the drawn sword,
  from the bent bow,
    and from the press of battle.

16 For thus the Lord said to me, “Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end. 17 And the remainder of the archers of the mighty men of the sons of Kedar will be few, for the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken.”

An Oracle Concerning Jerusalem

22 The oracle concerning the valley of vision.

  What do you mean that you have gone up,
    all of you, to the housetops,
  you who are full of shoutings,
    tumultuous city, exultant town?
  Your slain are not slain with the sword
    or dead in battle.
  All your leaders have fled together;
    without the bow they were captured.
  All of you who were found were captured,
    though they had fled far away.
  Therefore I said:
  “Look away from me;
    let me weep bitter tears;
  do not labor to comfort me
    concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
  For the Lord GOD of hosts has a day
    of tumult and trampling and confusion
    in the valley of vision,
  a battering down of walls
    and a shouting to the mountains.
  And Elam bore the quiver
    with chariots and horsemen,
    and Kir uncovered the shield.
  Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
    and the horsemen took their stand at the gates.
  He has taken away the covering of Judah.

In that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, and you saw that the breaches of the city of David were many. You collected the waters of the lower pool, 10 and you counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11 You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or see him who planned it long ago.

12   In that day the Lord GOD of hosts
    called for weeping and mourning,
    for baldness and wearing sackcloth;
13   and behold, joy and gladness,
    killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,
    eating flesh and drinking wine.
  “Let us eat and drink,
    for tomorrow we die.”
14   The LORD of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:
  “Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,”
    says the Lord GOD of hosts.

15 Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, “Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: 16 What have you to do here, and whom have you here, that you have cut out here a tomb for yourself, you who cut out a tomb on the height and carve a dwelling for yourself in the rock? 17 Behold, the LORD will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you 18 and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land. There you shall die, and there shall be your glorious chariots, you shame of your master’s house. 19 I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your station. 20 In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, 21 and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. 23 And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house. 24 And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father’s house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25 In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken.”

Footnotes

[1] 20:3 Probably Nubia
[2] 21:5 Or they set the watchman
[3] 21:8 Dead Sea Scroll, Syriac; Masoretic Text Then a lion cried out, or Then he cried out like a lion

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 10:19–39

Hebrews 10:19–39 (Listen)

The Full Assurance of Faith

19 Therefore, brothers,Or brothers and sisters">1 since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For,

  “Yet a little while,
    and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38   but my righteous one shall live by faith,
    and if he shrinks back,
  my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Footnotes

[1] 10:19 Or brothers and sisters

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 88

Psalm 88 (Listen)

I Cry Out Day and Night Before You

A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A MaskilProbably musical or liturgical terms">1 of Heman the Ezrahite.

88   O LORD, God of my salvation,
    I cry out day and night before you.
  Let my prayer come before you;
    incline your ear to my cry!
  For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
  I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
    I am a man who has no strength,
  like one set loose among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,
  like those whom you remember no more,
    for they are cut off from your hand.
  You have put me in the depths of the pit,
    in the regions dark and deep.
  Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah
  You have caused my companions to shun me;
    you have made me a horrorOr an abomination">2 to them.
  I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
    my eye grows dim through sorrow.
  Every day I call upon you, O LORD;
    I spread out my hands to you.
10   Do you work wonders for the dead?
    Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah
11   Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
    or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12   Are your wonders known in the darkness,
    or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13   But I, O LORD, cry to you;
    in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14   O LORD, why do you cast my soul away?
    Why do you hide your face from me?
15   Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
    I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain">3
16   Your wrath has swept over me;
    your dreadful assaults destroy me.
17   They surround me like a flood all day long;
    they close in on me together.
18   You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
    my companions have become darkness.Or darkness has become my only companion">4

Footnotes

[1] 88:1 Probably musical or liturgical terms
[2] 88:8 Or an abomination
[3] 88:15 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[4] 88:18 Or darkness has become my only companion

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:28–29

Proverbs 24:28–29 (Listen)

28   Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
    and do not deceive with your lips.
29   Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;
    I will pay the man back for what he has done.”

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 15–19

Isaiah 15–19 (Listen)

An Oracle Concerning Moab

15 An oracle concerning Moab.

  Because Ar of Moab is laid waste in a night,
    Moab is undone;
  because Kir of Moab is laid waste in a night,
    Moab is undone.
  He has gone up to the temple,Hebrew the house">1 and to Dibon,
    to the high placesOr temple, even Dibon to the high places">2 to weep;
  over Nebo and over Medeba
    Moab wails.
  On every head is baldness;
    every beard is shorn;
  in the streets they wear sackcloth;
    on the housetops and in the squares
    everyone wails and melts in tears.
  Heshbon and Elealeh cry out;
    their voice is heard as far as Jahaz;
  therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud;
    his soul trembles.
  My heart cries out for Moab;
    her fugitives flee to Zoar,
    to Eglath-shelishiyah.
  For at the ascent of Luhith
    they go up weeping;
  on the road to Horonaim
    they raise a cry of destruction;
  the waters of Nimrim
    are a desolation;
  the grass is withered, the vegetation fails,
    the greenery is no more.
  Therefore the abundance they have gained
    and what they have laid up
  they carry away
    over the Brook of the Willows.
  For a cry has gone
    around the land of Moab;
  her wailing reaches to Eglaim;
    her wailing reaches to Beer-elim.
  For the waters of DibonDead Sea Scroll, Vulgate (compare Syriac); Masoretic Text Dimon; twice in this verse">3 are full of blood;
    for I will bring upon Dibon even more,
  a lion for those of Moab who escape,
    for the remnant of the land.
16   Send the lamb to the ruler of the land,
  from Sela, by way of the desert,
    to the mount of the daughter of Zion.
  Like fleeing birds,
    like a scattered nest,
  so are the daughters of Moab
    at the fords of the Arnon.
  “Give counsel;
    grant justice;
  make your shade like night
    at the height of noon;
  shelter the outcasts;
    do not reveal the fugitive;
  let the outcasts of Moab
    sojourn among you;
  be a shelter to themSome Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac; Masoretic Text let my outcasts sojourn among you; as for Moab, be a shelter to them">4
    from the destroyer.
  When the oppressor is no more,
    and destruction has ceased,
  and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land,
  then a throne will be established in steadfast love,
    and on it will sit in faithfulness
    in the tent of David
  one who judges and seeks justice
    and is swift to do righteousness.”
  We have heard of the pride of Moab—
    how proud he is!—
  of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence;
    in his idle boasting he is not right.
  Therefore let Moab wail for Moab,
    let everyone wail.
  Mourn, utterly stricken,
    for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth.
  For the fields of Heshbon languish,
    and the vine of Sibmah;
  the lords of the nations
    have struck down its branches,
  which reached to Jazer
    and strayed to the desert;
  its shoots spread abroad
    and passed over the sea.
  Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer
    for the vine of Sibmah;
  I drench you with my tears,
    O Heshbon and Elealeh;
  for over your summer fruit and your harvest
    the shout has ceased.
10   And joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field,
  and in the vineyards no songs are sung,
    no cheers are raised;
  no treader treads out wine in the presses;
    I have put an end to the shouting.
11   Therefore my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab,
    and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth.

12 And when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself on the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.

13 This is the word that the LORD spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the LORD has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”

An Oracle Concerning Damascus

17 An oracle concerning Damascus.

  Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city
    and will become a heap of ruins.
  The cities of Aroer are deserted;
    they will be for flocks,
    which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.
  The fortress will disappear from Ephraim,
    and the kingdom from Damascus;
  and the remnant of Syria will be
    like the glory of the children of Israel,
      declares the LORD of hosts.
  And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
    and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
  And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain
    and his arm harvests the ears,
  and as when one gleans the ears of grain
    in the Valley of Rephaim.
  Gleanings will be left in it,
    as when an olive tree is beaten—
  two or three berries
    in the top of the highest bough,
  four or five
    on the branches of a fruit tree,
      declares the LORD God of Israel.

In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the Asherim or the altars of incense.

In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

10   For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
    and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge;
  therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
    and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
11   though you make them growOr though you carefully fence them">5 on the day that you plant them,
    and make them blossom in the morning that you sow,
  yet the harvest will flee awayOr will be a heap">6
    in a day of grief and incurable pain.
12   Ah, the thunder of many peoples;
    they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
  Ah, the roar of nations;
    they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
13   The nations roar like the roaring of many waters,
    but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,
  chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind
    and whirling dust before the storm.
14   At evening time, behold, terror!
    Before morning, they are no more!
  This is the portion of those who loot us,
    and the lot of those who plunder us.

An Oracle Concerning Cush

18   Ah, land of whirring wings
    that is beyond the rivers of Cush,Probably Nubia">7
  which sends ambassadors by the sea,
    in vessels of papyrus on the waters!
  Go, you swift messengers,
    to a nation tall and smooth,
  to a people feared near and far,
    a nation mighty and conquering,
    whose land the rivers divide.
  All you inhabitants of the world,
    you who dwell on the earth,
  when a signal is raised on the mountains, look!
    When a trumpet is blown, hear!
  For thus the LORD said to me:
  “I will quietly look from my dwelling
    like clear heat in sunshine,
    like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
  For before the harvest, when the blossom is over,
    and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
  he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks,
    and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.
  They shall all of them be left
    to the birds of prey of the mountains
    and to the beasts of the earth.
  And the birds of prey will summer on them,
    and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.

At that time tribute will be brought to the LORD of hosts

  from a people tall and smooth,
    from a people feared near and far,
  a nation mighty and conquering,
    whose land the rivers divide,

to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the LORD of hosts.

An Oracle Concerning Egypt

19 An oracle concerning Egypt.

  Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud
    and comes to Egypt;
  and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
    and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
  And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
    and they will fight, each against another
    and each against his neighbor,
    city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
  and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,
    and I will confoundOr I will swallow up">8 their counsel;
  and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers,
    and the mediums and the necromancers;
  and I will give over the Egyptians
    into the hand of a hard master,
  and a fierce king will rule over them,
    declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
  And the waters of the sea will be dried up,
    and the river will be dry and parched,
  and its canals will become foul,
    and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up,
    reeds and rushes will rot away.
  There will be bare places by the Nile,
    on the brink of the Nile,
  and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched,
    will be driven away, and will be no more.
  The fishermen will mourn and lament,
    all who cast a hook in the Nile;
  and they will languish
    who spread nets on the water.
  The workers in combed flax will be in despair,
    and the weavers of white cotton.
10   Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed,
    and all who work for pay will be grieved.
11   The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;
    the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.
  How can you say to Pharaoh,
    “I am a son of the wise,
    a son of ancient kings”?
12   Where then are your wise men?
    Let them tell you
    that they might know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt.
13   The princes of Zoan have become fools,
    and the princes of Memphis are deluded;
  those who are the cornerstones of her tribes
    have made Egypt stagger.
14   The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion,
  and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds,
    as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
15   And there will be nothing for Egypt
    that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.

Egypt, Assyria, Israel Blessed

16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts shakes over them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the LORD of hosts has purposed against them.

18 In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.Dead Sea Scroll and some other manuscripts City of the Sun">9

19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21 And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them. 22 And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.

23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”

Footnotes

[1] 15:2 Hebrew the house
[2] 15:2 Or temple, even Dibon to the high places
[3] 15:9 Dead Sea Scroll, Vulgate (compare Syriac); Masoretic Text Dimon; twice in this verse
[4] 16:4 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac; Masoretic Text let my outcasts sojourn among you; as for Moab, be a shelter to them
[5] 17:11 Or though you carefully fence them
[6] 17:11 Or will be a heap
[7] 18:1 Probably Nubia
[8] 19:3 Or I will swallow up
[9] 19:18 Dead Sea Scroll and some other manuscripts City of the Sun

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 9:11–10:18

Hebrews 9:11–10:18 (Listen)

Redemption Through the Blood of Christ

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come,Some manuscripts good things to come">1 then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctifyOr For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies">2 for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify ourSome manuscripts your">3 conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.The Greek word means both covenant and will; also verses 16, 17">4 16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All

10 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Consequently, when ChristGreek he">5 came into the world, he said,

  “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
    but a body have you prepared for me;
  in burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you have taken no pleasure.
  Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
    as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when ChristGreek this one">6 had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

16   “This is the covenant that I will make with them
    after those days, declares the Lord:
  I will put my laws on their hearts,
    and write them on their minds,”

17 then he adds,

  “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Footnotes

[1] 9:11 Some manuscripts good things to come
[2] 9:13 Or For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies
[3] 9:14 Some manuscripts your
[4] 9:15 The Greek word means both covenant and will; also verses 16, 17
[5] 10:5 Greek he
[6] 10:12 Greek this one

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 87

Psalm 87 (Listen)

Glorious Things of You Are Spoken

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. A Song.

87   On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
    the LORD loves the gates of Zion
    more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
  Glorious things of you are spoken,
    O city of God. Selah
  Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
    behold, Philistia and Tyre, with CushProbably Nubia">1
    “This one was born there,” they say.
  And of Zion it shall be said,
    “This one and that one were born in her”;
    for the Most High himself will establish her.
  The LORD records as he registers the peoples,
    “This one was born there.” Selah
  Singers and dancers alike say,
    “All my springs are in you.”

Footnotes

[1] 87:4 Probably Nubia

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:27

Proverbs 24:27 (Listen)

27   Prepare your work outside;
    get everything ready for yourself in the field,
    and after that build your house.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 13–14

Isaiah 13–14 (Listen)

The Judgment of Babylon

13 The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

  On a bare hill raise a signal;
    cry aloud to them;
  wave the hand for them to enter
    the gates of the nobles.
  I myself have commanded my consecrated ones,
    and have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger,
    my proudly exulting ones.Or those who exult in my majesty">1
  The sound of a tumult is on the mountains
    as of a great multitude!
  The sound of an uproar of kingdoms,
    of nations gathering together!
  The LORD of hosts is mustering
    a host for battle.
  They come from a distant land,
    from the end of the heavens,
  the LORD and the weapons of his indignation,
    to destroy the whole land.Or earth; also verse 9">2
  Wail, for the day of the LORD is near;
    as destruction from the AlmightyThe Hebrew words for destruction and almighty sound alike">3 it will come!
  Therefore all hands will be feeble,
    and every human heart will melt.
  They will be dismayed:
    pangs and agony will seize them;
    they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
  They will look aghast at one another;
    their faces will be aflame.
  Behold, the day of the LORD comes,
    cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
  to make the land a desolation
    and to destroy its sinners from it.
10   For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
    will not give their light;
  the sun will be dark at its rising,
    and the moon will not shed its light.
11   I will punish the world for its evil,
    and the wicked for their iniquity;
  I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant,
    and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
12   I will make people more rare than fine gold,
    and mankind than the gold of Ophir.
13   Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
    and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
  at the wrath of the LORD of hosts
    in the day of his fierce anger.
14   And like a hunted gazelle,
    or like sheep with none to gather them,
  each will turn to his own people,
    and each will flee to his own land.
15   Whoever is found will be thrust through,
    and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
16   Their infants will be dashed in pieces
    before their eyes;
  their houses will be plundered
    and their wives ravished.
17   Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them,
    who have no regard for silver
    and do not delight in gold.
18   Their bows will slaughterHebrew dash in pieces">4 the young men;
    they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
    their eyes will not pity children.
19   And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
    the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans,
  will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
    when God overthrew them.
20   It will never be inhabited
    or lived in for all generations;
  no Arab will pitch his tent there;
    no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.
21   But wild animals will lie down there,
    and their houses will be full of howling creatures;
  there ostrichesOr owls">5 will dwell,
    and there wild goats will dance.
22   HyenasOr foxes">6 will cry in its towers,
    and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
  its time is close at hand
    and its days will not be prolonged.

The Restoration of Jacob

14 For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the LORD’s land as male and female slaves.Or servants">7 They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

Israel’s Remnant Taunts Babylon

When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

  “How the oppressor has ceased,
    the insolent furyDead Sea Scroll (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate); the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain">8 ceased!
  The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked,
    the scepter of rulers,
  that struck the peoples in wrath
    with unceasing blows,
  that ruled the nations in anger
    with unrelenting persecution.
  The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
    they break forth into singing.
  The cypresses rejoice at you,
    the cedars of Lebanon, saying,
  ‘Since you were laid low,
    no woodcutter comes up against us.’
  Sheol beneath is stirred up
    to meet you when you come;
  it rouses the shades to greet you,
    all who were leaders of the earth;
  it raises from their thrones
    all who were kings of the nations.
10   All of them will answer
    and say to you:
  ‘You too have become as weak as we!
    You have become like us!’
11   Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
    the sound of your harps;
  maggots are laid as a bed beneath you,
    and worms are your covers.
12   “How you are fallen from heaven,
    O Day Star, son of Dawn!
  How you are cut down to the ground,
    you who laid the nations low!
13   You said in your heart,
    ‘I will ascend to heaven;
  above the stars of God
    I will set my throne on high;
  I will sit on the mount of assembly
    in the far reaches of the north;Or in the remote parts of Zaphon">9
14   I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.’
15   But you are brought down to Sheol,
    to the far reaches of the pit.
16   Those who see you will stare at you
    and ponder over you:
  ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
    who shook kingdoms,
17   who made the world like a desert
    and overthrew its cities,
    who did not let his prisoners go home?’
18   All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
    each in his own tomb;Hebrew house">10
19   but you are cast out, away from your grave,
    like a loathed branch,
  clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword,
    who go down to the stones of the pit,
    like a dead body trampled underfoot.
20   You will not be joined with them in burial,
    because you have destroyed your land,
    you have slain your people.
  “May the offspring of evildoers
    nevermore be named!
21   Prepare slaughter for his sons
    because of the guilt of their fathers,
  lest they rise and possess the earth,
    and fill the face of the world with cities.”

22 “I will rise up against them,” declares the LORD of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity,” declares the LORD. 23 “And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog,Possibly porcupine, or owl">11 and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the LORD of hosts.

An Oracle Concerning Assyria

24   The LORD of hosts has sworn:
  “As I have planned,
    so shall it be,
  and as I have purposed,
    so shall it stand,
25   that I will break the Assyrian in my land,
    and on my mountains trample him underfoot;
  and his yoke shall depart from them,
    and his burden from their shoulder.”
26   This is the purpose that is purposed
    concerning the whole earth,
  and this is the hand that is stretched out
    over all the nations.
27   For the LORD of hosts has purposed,
    and who will annul it?
  His hand is stretched out,
    and who will turn it back?

An Oracle Concerning Philistia

28 In the year that King Ahaz died came this oracle:

29   Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you,
    that the rod that struck you is broken,
  for from the serpent’s root will come forth an adder,
    and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.
30   And the firstborn of the poor will graze,
    and the needy lie down in safety;
  but I will kill your root with famine,
    and your remnant it will slay.
31   Wail, O gate; cry out, O city;
    melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you!
  For smoke comes out of the north,
    and there is no straggler in his ranks.
32   What will one answer the messengers of the nation?
  “The LORD has founded Zion,
    and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.”

Footnotes

[1] 13:3 Or those who exult in my majesty
[2] 13:5 Or earth; also verse 9
[3] 13:6 The Hebrew words for destruction and almighty sound alike
[4] 13:18 Hebrew dash in pieces
[5] 13:21 Or owls
[6] 13:22 Or foxes
[7] 14:2 Or servants
[8] 14:4 Dead Sea Scroll (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate); the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain
[9] 14:13 Or in the remote parts of Zaphon
[10] 14:18 Hebrew house
[11] 14:23 Possibly porcupine, or owl

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 8–9:10

Hebrews 8–9:10 (Listen)

Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tentOr tabernacle; also verse 5">1 that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, ChristGreek he">2 has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.

For he finds fault with them when he says:Some manuscripts For finding fault with it he says to them">3

  “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah,
  not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
    on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
  For they did not continue in my covenant,
    and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
10   For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    after those days, declares the Lord:
  I will put my laws into their minds,
    and write them on their hearts,
  and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
11   And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
    and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
  for they shall all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
12   For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
    and I will remember their sins no more.”

13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

The Earthly Holy Place

Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. For a tentOr tabernacle; also verses 11, 21">4 was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence.Greek the presentation of the loaves">5 It is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a second sectionGreek tent; also verses 6, 8">6 called the Most Holy Place, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age).Or which is symbolic for the age then present">7 According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.

Footnotes

[1] 8:2 Or tabernacle; also verse 5
[2] 8:6 Greek he
[3] 8:8 Some manuscripts For finding fault with it he says to them
[4] 9:2 Or tabernacle; also verses 11, 21
[5] 9:2 Greek the presentation of the loaves
[6] 9:3 Greek tent; also verses 6, 8
[7] 9:9 Or which is symbolic for the age then present

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 86

Psalm 86 (Listen)

Great Is Your Steadfast Love

A Prayer of David.

86   Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
  Preserve my life, for I am godly;
    save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
  Be gracious to me, O Lord,
    for to you do I cry all the day.
  Gladden the soul of your servant,
    for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
  For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
  Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
    listen to my plea for grace.
  In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
    for you answer me.
  There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like yours.
  All the nations you have made shall come
    and worship before you, O Lord,
    and shall glorify your name.
10   For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.
11   Teach me your way, O LORD,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    unite my heart to fear your name.
12   I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
13   For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
14   O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
    a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
    and they do not set you before them.
15   But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16   Turn to me and be gracious to me;
    give your strength to your servant,
    and save the son of your maidservant.
17   Show me a sign of your favor,
    that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
    because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:26

Proverbs 24:26 (Listen)

26   Whoever gives an honest answer
    kisses the lips.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 10–12

Isaiah 10–12 (Listen)

10   Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees,
    and the writers who keep writing oppression,
  to turn aside the needy from justice
    and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
  that widows may be their spoil,
    and that they may make the fatherless their prey!
  What will you do on the day of punishment,
    in the ruin that will come from afar?
  To whom will you flee for help,
    and where will you leave your wealth?
  Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners
    or fall among the slain.
  For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.

Judgment on Arrogant Assyria

  Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger;
    the staff in their hands is my fury!
  Against a godless nation I send him,
    and against the people of my wrath I command him,
  to take spoil and seize plunder,
    and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
  But he does not so intend,
    and his heart does not so think;
  but it is in his heart to destroy,
    and to cut off nations not a few;
  for he says:
  “Are not my commanders all kings?
  Is not Calno like Carchemish?
    Is not Hamath like Arpad?
    Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10   As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols,
    whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11   shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols
    as I have done to Samaria and her images?”

12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, heHebrew I">1 will punish the speechHebrew fruit">2 of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. 13 For he says:

  “By the strength of my hand I have done it,
    and by my wisdom, for I have understanding;
  I remove the boundaries of peoples,
    and plunder their treasures;
    like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones.
14   My hand has found like a nest
    the wealth of the peoples;
  and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken,
    so I have gathered all the earth;
  and there was none that moved a wing
    or opened the mouth or chirped.”
15   Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it,
    or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?
  As if a rod should wield him who lifts it,
    or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
16   Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts
    will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors,
  and under his glory a burning will be kindled,
    like the burning of fire.
17   The light of Israel will become a fire,
    and his Holy One a flame,
  and it will burn and devour
    his thorns and briers in one day.
18   The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land
    the LORD will destroy, both soul and body,
    and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19   The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few
    that a child can write them down.

The Remnant of Israel Will Return

20 In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For the Lord GOD of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.

24 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: “O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did. 25 For in a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. 26 And the LORD of hosts will wield against them a whip, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb. And his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt. 27 And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat.”The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain">3

28   He has come to Aiath;
  he has passed through Migron;
    at Michmash he stores his baggage;
29   they have crossed over the pass;
    at Geba they lodge for the night;
  Ramah trembles;
    Gibeah of Saul has fled.
30   Cry aloud, O daughter of Gallim!
    Give attention, O Laishah!
    O poor Anathoth!
31   Madmenah is in flight;
    the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.
32   This very day he will halt at Nob;
    he will shake his fist
    at the mount of the daughter of Zion,
    the hill of Jerusalem.
33   Behold, the Lord GOD of hosts
    will lop the boughs with terrifying power;
  the great in height will be hewn down,
    and the lofty will be brought low.
34   He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe,
    and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One.

The Righteous Reign of the Branch

11   There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
  And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
  And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.
  He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
  but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
  and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
  Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
  The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
    and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
  and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
    and a little child shall lead them.
  The cow and the bear shall graze;
    their young shall lie down together;
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
  The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
    and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
  They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain;
  for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
    as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush,Probably Nubia">4 from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.

12   He will raise a signal for the nations
    and will assemble the banished of Israel,
  and gather the dispersed of Judah
    from the four corners of the earth.
13   The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart,
    and those who harass Judah shall be cut off;
  Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah,
    and Judah shall not harass Ephraim.
14   But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west,
    and together they shall plunder the people of the east.
  They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab,
    and the Ammonites shall obey them.
15   And the LORD will utterly destroyHebrew devote to destruction">5
    the tongue of the Sea of Egypt,
  and will wave his hand over the RiverThat is, the Euphrates">6
    with his scorching breath,Or wind">7
  and strike it into seven channels,
    and he will lead people across in sandals.
16   And there will be a highway from Assyria
    for the remnant that remains of his people,
  as there was for Israel
    when they came up from the land of Egypt.

The Lord Is My Strength and My Song

12   YouThe Hebrew for you is singular in verse 1">8 will say in that day:
  “I will give thanks to you, O LORD,
    for though you were angry with me,
  your anger turned away,
    that you might comfort me.
  “Behold, God is my salvation;
    I will trust, and will not be afraid;
  for the LORD GOD9 is my strength and my song,
    and he has become my salvation.”

With joy youThe Hebrew for you is plural in verses 3, 4">10 will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:

  “Give thanks to the LORD,
    call upon his name,
  make known his deeds among the peoples,
    proclaim that his name is exalted.
  “Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;
    let this be made knownOr this is made known">11 in all the earth.
  Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
    for great in yourThe Hebrew for your in verse 6 is singular, referring to the inhabitant of Zion">12 midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

Footnotes

[1] 10:12 Hebrew I
[2] 10:12 Hebrew fruit
[3] 10:27 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
[4] 11:11 Probably Nubia
[5] 11:15 Hebrew devote to destruction
[6] 11:15 That is, the Euphrates
[7] 11:15 Or wind
[8] 12:1 The Hebrew for you is singular in verse 1
[9] 12:2 Hebrew for Yah, the Lord
[10] 12:3 The Hebrew for you is plural in verses 3, 4
[11] 12:5 Or this is made known
[12] 12:6 The Hebrew for your in verse 6 is singular, referring to the inhabitant of Zion

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 7

Hebrews 7 (Listen)

The Priestly Order of Melchizedek

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.

See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers,Or brothers and sisters">1 though these also are descended from Abraham. But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.

Jesus Compared to Melchizedek

11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him,

  “You are a priest forever,
    after the order of Melchizedek.”

18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:

  “The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind,
  ‘You are a priest forever.’”

22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermostThat is, completely; or at all times">2 those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

Footnotes

[1] 7:5 Or brothers and sisters
[2] 7:25 That is, completely; or at all times

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 85

Psalm 85 (Listen)

Revive Us Again

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

85   LORD, you were favorable to your land;
    you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
  You forgave the iniquity of your people;
    you covered all their sin. Selah
  You withdrew all your wrath;
    you turned from your hot anger.
  Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
    and put away your indignation toward us!
  Will you be angry with us forever?
    Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
  Will you not revive us again,
    that your people may rejoice in you?
  Show us your steadfast love, O LORD,
    and grant us your salvation.
  Let me hear what God the LORD will speak,
    for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
    but let them not turn back to folly.
  Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
    that glory may dwell in our land.
10   Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11   Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
    and righteousness looks down from the sky.
12   Yes, the LORD will give what is good,
    and our land will yield its increase.
13   Righteousness will go before him
    and make his footsteps a way.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:23–25

Proverbs 24:23–25 (Listen)

More Sayings of the Wise

23 These also are sayings of the wise.

  Partiality in judging is not good.
24   Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
    will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
25   but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
    and a good blessing will come upon them.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 8–9

Isaiah 8–9 (Listen)

The Coming Assyrian Invasion

Then the LORD said to me, “Take a large tablet and write on it in common characters,Hebrew with a man’s stylus">1 ‘Belonging to Maher-shalal-hash-baz.’Maher-shalal-hash-baz means The spoil speeds, the prey hastens">2 And I will get reliable witnesses, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, to attest for me.”

And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the LORD said to me, “Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz; for before the boy knows how to cry ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”

The LORD spoke to me again: “Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and rejoice over Rezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River,That is, the Euphrates">3 mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.”

  Be broken,Or Be evil">4 you peoples, and be shattered;Or dismayed">5
    give ear, all you far countries;
  strap on your armor and be shattered;
    strap on your armor and be shattered.
10   Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing;
    speak a word, but it will not stand,
    for God is with us.The Hebrew for God is with us is Immanuel">6

Fear God, Wait for the Lord

11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”

16 Bind up the testimony; seal the teachingOr law; also verse 20">7 among my disciples. 17 I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. 19 And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 21 They will pass through the land,Hebrew it">8 greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously againstOr speak contemptuously by">9 their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. 22 And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.

For to Us a Child Is Born

Ch 8:23 in Hebrew">10 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.Or of the Gentiles">11

  Ch 9:1 in Hebrew">12 The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
  those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
    on them has light shone.
  You have multiplied the nation;
    you have increased its joy;
  they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
  For the yoke of his burden,
    and the staff for his shoulder,
    the rod of his oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.
  For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
    and every garment rolled in blood
    will be burned as fuel for the fire.
  For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
  and the government shall be uponOr is upon">13 his shoulder,
    and his name shall be calledOr is called">14
  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
  on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
  with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Judgment on Arrogance and Oppression

  The Lord has sent a word against Jacob,
    and it will fall on Israel;
  and all the people will know,
    Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria,
    who say in pride and in arrogance of heart:
10   “The bricks have fallen,
    but we will build with dressed stones;
  the sycamores have been cut down,
    but we will put cedars in their place.”
11   But the LORD raises the adversaries of Rezin against him,
    and stirs up his enemies.
12   The Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west
    devour Israel with open mouth.
  For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.
13   The people did not turn to him who struck them,
    nor inquire of the LORD of hosts.
14   So the LORD cut off from Israel head and tail,
    palm branch and reed in one day—
15   the elder and honored man is the head,
    and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail;
16   for those who guide this people have been leading them astray,
    and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.
17   Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men,
    and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows;
  for everyone is godless and an evildoer,
    and every mouth speaks folly.Or speaks disgraceful things">15
  For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.
18   For wickedness burns like a fire;
    it consumes briers and thorns;
  it kindles the thickets of the forest,
    and they roll upward in a column of smoke.
19   Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts
    the land is scorched,
  and the people are like fuel for the fire;
    no one spares another.
20   They slice meat on the right, but are still hungry,
    and they devour on the left, but are not satisfied;
  each devours the flesh of his own arm,
21   Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim devours Manasseh;
    together they are against Judah.
  For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.

Footnotes

[1] 8:1 Hebrew with a man’s stylus
[2] 8:1 Maher-shalal-hash-baz means The spoil speeds, the prey hastens
[3] 8:7 That is, the Euphrates
[4] 8:9 Or Be evil
[5] 8:9 Or dismayed
[6] 8:10 The Hebrew for God is with us is Immanuel
[7] 8:16 Or law; also verse 20
[8] 8:21 Hebrew it
[9] 8:21 Or speak contemptuously by
[10] 9:1 Ch 8:23 in Hebrew
[11] 9:1 Or of the Gentiles
[12] 9:2 Ch 9:1 in Hebrew
[13] 9:6 Or is upon
[14] 9:6 Or is called
[15] 9:17 Or speaks disgraceful things

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 5:11–6:20

Hebrews 5:11–6:20 (Listen)

Warning Against Apostasy

11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings,Or baptisms (that is, cleansing rites)">1 the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

The Certainty of God’s Promise

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,Greek he">2 having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Footnotes

[1] 6:2 Or baptisms (that is, cleansing rites)
[2] 6:15 Greek he

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 84

Psalm 84 (Listen)

My Soul Longs for the Courts of the Lord

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith.Probably a musical or liturgical term">1 A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

84   How lovely is your dwelling place,
    O LORD of hosts!
  My soul longs, yes, faints
    for the courts of the LORD;
  my heart and flesh sing for joy
    to the living God.
  Even the sparrow finds a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may lay her young,
  at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
    my King and my God.
  Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
    ever singing your praise! Selah
  Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    in whose heart are the highways to Zion.Hebrew lacks to Zion">2
  As they go through the Valley of Baca
    they make it a place of springs;
    the early rain also covers it with pools.
  They go from strength to strength;
    each one appears before God in Zion.
  O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
    give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
  Behold our shield, O God;
    look on the face of your anointed!
10   For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11   For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
    the LORD bestows favor and honor.
  No good thing does he withhold
    from those who walk uprightly.
12   O LORD of hosts,
    blessed is the one who trusts in you!

Footnotes

[1] 84:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 84:5 Hebrew lacks to Zion

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:21–22

Proverbs 24:21–22 (Listen)

21   My son, fear the LORD and the king,
    and do not join with those who do otherwise,
22   for disaster will arise suddenly from them,
    and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 5–7

Isaiah 5–7 (Listen)

The Vineyard of the Lord Destroyed

  Let me sing for my beloved
    my love song concerning his vineyard:
  My beloved had a vineyard
    on a very fertile hill.
  He dug it and cleared it of stones,
    and planted it with choice vines;
  he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
    and hewed out a wine vat in it;
  and he looked for it to yield grapes,
    but it yielded wild grapes.
  And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem
    and men of Judah,
  judge between me and my vineyard.
  What more was there to do for my vineyard,
    that I have not done in it?
  When I looked for it to yield grapes,
    why did it yield wild grapes?
  And now I will tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard.
  I will remove its hedge,
    and it shall be devoured;Or grazed over; compare Exodus 22:5">1
  I will break down its wall,
    and it shall be trampled down.
  I will make it a waste;
    it shall not be pruned or hoed,
    and briers and thorns shall grow up;
  I will also command the clouds
    that they rain no rain upon it.
  For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts
    is the house of Israel,
  and the men of Judah
    are his pleasant planting;
  and he looked for justice,
    but behold, bloodshed;The Hebrew words for justice and bloodshed sound alike">2
  for righteousness,
    but behold, an outcry!The Hebrew words for righteous and outcry sound alike">3

Woe to the Wicked

  Woe to those who join house to house,
    who add field to field,
  until there is no more room,
    and you are made to dwell alone
    in the midst of the land.
  The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing:
  “Surely many houses shall be desolate,
    large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.
10   For ten acresHebrew ten yoke, the area ten yoke of oxen can plow in a day">4 of vineyard shall yield but one bath,
    and a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.”A bath was about 6 gallons or 22 liters; a homer was about 6 bushels or 220 liters; an ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters">5
11   Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
    that they may run after strong drink,
  who tarry late into the evening
    as wine inflames them!
12   They have lyre and harp,
    tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,
  but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD,
    or see the work of his hands.
13   Therefore my people go into exile
    for lack of knowledge;Or without their knowledge">6
  their honored men go hungry,Or die of hunger">7
    and their multitude is parched with thirst.
14   Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite
    and opened its mouth beyond measure,
  and the nobility of JerusalemHebrew her nobility">8 and her multitude will go down,
    her revelers and he who exults in her.
15   Man is humbled, and each one is brought low,
    and the eyes of the haughtyHebrew high">9 are brought low.
16   But the LORD of hosts is exaltedHebrew high">10 in justice,
    and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.
17   Then shall the lambs graze as in their pasture,
    and nomads shall eat among the ruins of the rich.
18   Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
    who draw sin as with cart ropes,
19   who say: “Let him be quick,
    let him speed his work
    that we may see it;
  let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,
    and let it come, that we may know it!”
20   Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
  who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
  who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
21   Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!
22   Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
23   who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right!
24   Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
    and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
  so their root will be as rottenness,
    and their blossom go up like dust;
  for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,
    and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25   Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people,
    and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,
    and the mountains quaked;
  and their corpses were as refuse
    in the midst of the streets.
  For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.
26   He will raise a signal for nations far away,
    and whistle for them from the ends of the earth;
  and behold, quickly, speedily they come!
27   None is weary, none stumbles,
    none slumbers or sleeps,
  not a waistband is loose,
    not a sandal strap broken;
28   their arrows are sharp,
    all their bows bent,
  their horses’ hoofs seem like flint,
    and their wheels like the whirlwind.
29   Their roaring is like a lion,
    like young lions they roar;
  they growl and seize their prey;
    they carry it off, and none can rescue.
30   They will growl over it on that day,
    like the growling of the sea.
  And if one looks to the land,
    behold, darkness and distress;
  and the light is darkened by its clouds.

Isaiah’s Vision of the Lord

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the trainOr hem">11 of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

  “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
  the whole earth is full of his glory!”Or may his glory fill the whole earth">12

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

Isaiah’s Commission from the Lord

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

  “‘Keep on hearing,Or Hear indeed">13 but do not understand;
  keep on seeing,Or see indeed">14 but do not perceive.’
10   Make the heart of this people dull,Hebrew fat">15
    and their ears heavy,
    and blind their eyes;
  lest they see with their eyes,
    and hear with their ears,
  and understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.”
11   Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
  And he said:
  “Until cities lie waste
    without inhabitant,
  and houses without people,
    and the land is a desolate waste,
12   and the LORD removes people far away,
    and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13   And though a tenth remain in it,
    it will be burnedOr purged">16 again,
  like a terebinth or an oak,
    whose stump remains
    when it is felled.”
  The holy seedOr offspring">17 is its stump.

Isaiah Sent to King Ahaz

In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not yet mount an attack against it. When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league withHebrew Syria has rested upon">18 Ephraim,” the heart of AhazHebrew his heart">19 and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

And the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-jashubShear-jashub means A remnant shall return">20 your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field. And say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying, “Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer itHebrew let us split it open">21 for ourselves, and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,” thus says the Lord GOD:

  “‘It shall not stand,
    and it shall not come to pass.
  For the head of Syria is Damascus,
    and the head of Damascus is Rezin.
  And within sixty-five years
    Ephraim will be shattered from being a people.
  And the head of Ephraim is Samaria,
    and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
  If youThe Hebrew for you is plural in verses 9, 13, 14">22 are not firm in faith,
    you will not be firm at all.’”

The Sign of Immanuel

10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the LORD yourThe Hebrew for you and your is singular in verses 11, 16, 17">23 God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.” 13 And heThat is, Isaiah">24 said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.Immanuel means God is with us">25 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. 17 The LORD will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria!”

18 In that day the LORD will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 19 And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.Or watering holes, or brambles">26

20 In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired beyond the RiverThat is, the Euphrates">27—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.

21 In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep, 22 and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat curds and honey.

23 In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekelsA shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams">28 of silver, will become briers and thorns. 24 With bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns. 25 And as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.

Footnotes

[1] 5:5 Or grazed over; compare Exodus 22:5
[2] 5:7 The Hebrew words for justice and bloodshed sound alike
[3] 5:7 The Hebrew words for righteous and outcry sound alike
[4] 5:10 Hebrew ten yoke, the area ten yoke of oxen can plow in a day
[5] 5:10 A bath was about 6 gallons or 22 liters; a homer was about 6 bushels or 220 liters; an ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters
[6] 5:13 Or without their knowledge
[7] 5:13 Or die of hunger
[8] 5:14 Hebrew her nobility
[9] 5:15 Hebrew high
[10] 5:16 Hebrew high
[11] 6:1 Or hem
[12] 6:3 Or may his glory fill the whole earth
[13] 6:9 Or Hear indeed
[14] 6:9 Or see indeed
[15] 6:10 Hebrew fat
[16] 6:13 Or purged
[17] 6:13 Or offspring
[18] 7:2 Hebrew Syria has rested upon
[19] 7:2 Hebrew his heart
[20] 7:3 Shear-jashub means A remnant shall return
[21] 7:6 Hebrew let us split it open
[22] 7:9 The Hebrew for you is plural in verses 9, 13, 14
[23] 7:11 The Hebrew for you and your is singular in verses 11, 16, 17
[24] 7:13 That is, Isaiah
[25] 7:14 Immanuel means God is with us
[26] 7:19 Or watering holes, or brambles
[27] 7:20 That is, the Euphrates
[28] 7:23 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 4:14–5:10

Hebrews 4:14–5:10 (Listen)

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,

  “You are my Son,
    today I have begotten you”;

as he says also in another place,

  “You are a priest forever,
    after the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, JesusGreek he">1 offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

Footnotes

[1] 5:7 Greek he

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 83

Psalm 83 (Listen)

O God, Do Not Keep Silence

A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.

83   O God, do not keep silence;
    do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
  For behold, your enemies make an uproar;
    those who hate you have raised their heads.
  They lay crafty plans against your people;
    they consult together against your treasured ones.
  They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
    let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”
  For they conspire with one accord;
    against you they make a covenant—
  the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
    Moab and the Hagrites,
  Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
    Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
  Asshur also has joined them;
    they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah
  Do to them as you did to Midian,
    as to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10   who were destroyed at En-dor,
    who became dung for the ground.
11   Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
    all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12   who said, “Let us take possession for ourselves
    of the pastures of God.”
13   O my God, make them like whirling dust,Or like a tumbleweed">1
    like chaff before the wind.
14   As fire consumes the forest,
    as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15   so may you pursue them with your tempest
    and terrify them with your hurricane!
16   Fill their faces with shame,
    that they may seek your name, O LORD.
17   Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
    let them perish in disgrace,
18   that they may know that you alone,
    whose name is the LORD,
    are the Most High over all the earth.

Footnotes

[1] 83:13 Or like a tumbleweed

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:19–20

Proverbs 24:19–20 (Listen)

19   Fret not yourself because of evildoers,
    and be not envious of the wicked,
20   for the evil man has no future;
    the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 2–4

Isaiah 2–4 (Listen)

The Mountain of the Lord

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

  It shall come to pass in the latter days
    that the mountain of the house of the LORD
  shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and shall be lifted up above the hills;
  and all the nations shall flow to it,
    and many peoples shall come, and say:
  “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
    to the house of the God of Jacob,
  that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.”
  For out of Zion shall go forth the law,Or teaching">1
    and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
  He shall judge between the nations,
    and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
  and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
  nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war anymore.
  O house of Jacob,
    come, let us walk
    in the light of the LORD.

The Day of the Lord

  For you have rejected your people,
    the house of Jacob,
  because they are full of things from the east
    and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines,
    and they strike hands with the children of foreigners.
  Their land is filled with silver and gold,
    and there is no end to their treasures;
  their land is filled with horses,
    and there is no end to their chariots.
  Their land is filled with idols;
    they bow down to the work of their hands,
    to what their own fingers have made.
  So man is humbled,
    and each one is brought low—
    do not forgive them!
10   Enter into the rock
    and hide in the dust
  from before the terror of the LORD,
    and from the splendor of his majesty.
11   The haughty looks of man shall be brought low,
    and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled,
  and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
12   For the LORD of hosts has a day
    against all that is proud and lofty,
    against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low;
13   against all the cedars of Lebanon,
    lofty and lifted up;
    and against all the oaks of Bashan;
14   against all the lofty mountains,
    and against all the uplifted hills;
15   against every high tower,
    and against every fortified wall;
16   against all the ships of Tarshish,
    and against all the beautiful craft.
17   And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled,
    and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low,
    and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
18   And the idols shall utterly pass away.
19   And people shall enter the caves of the rocks
    and the holes of the ground,Hebrew dust">2
  from before the terror of the LORD,
    and from the splendor of his majesty,
    when he rises to terrify the earth.
20   In that day mankind will cast away
    their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
  which they made for themselves to worship,
    to the moles and to the bats,
21   to enter the caverns of the rocks
    and the clefts of the cliffs,
  from before the terror of the LORD,
    and from the splendor of his majesty,
    when he rises to terrify the earth.
22   Stop regarding man
    in whose nostrils is breath,
    for of what account is he?

Judgment on Judah and Jerusalem

  For behold, the Lord GOD of hosts
    is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
  support and supply,Hebrew staff">3
    all support of bread,
    and all support of water;
  the mighty man and the soldier,
    the judge and the prophet,
    the diviner and the elder,
  the captain of fifty
    and the man of rank,
  the counselor and the skillful magician
    and the expert in charms.
  And I will make boys their princes,
    and infantsOr caprice">4 shall rule over them.
  And the people will oppress one another,
    every one his fellow
    and every one his neighbor;
  the youth will be insolent to the elder,
    and the despised to the honorable.
  For a man will take hold of his brother
    in the house of his father, saying:
  “You have a cloak;
    you shall be our leader,
  and this heap of ruins
    shall be under your rule”;
  in that day he will speak out, saying:
  “I will not be a healer;Hebrew binder of wounds">5
    in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
  you shall not make me
    leader of the people.”
  For Jerusalem has stumbled,
    and Judah has fallen,
  because their speech and their deeds are against the LORD,
    defying his glorious presence.Hebrew the eyes of his glory">6
  For the look on their faces bears witness against them;
    they proclaim their sin like Sodom;
    they do not hide it.
  Woe to them!
    For they have brought evil on themselves.
10   Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them,
    for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
11   Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him,
    for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
12   My people—infants are their oppressors,
    and women rule over them.
  O my people, your guides mislead you
    and they have swallowed upOr they have confused">7 the course of your paths.
13   The LORD has taken his place to contend;
    he stands to judge peoples.
14   The LORD will enter into judgment
    with the elders and princes of his people:
  “It is you who have devouredOr grazed over; compare Exodus 22:5">8 the vineyard,
    the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
15   What do you mean by crushing my people,
    by grinding the face of the poor?”
      declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
16   The LORD said:
  Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
    and walk with outstretched necks,
    glancing wantonly with their eyes,
  mincing along as they go,
    tinkling with their feet,
17   therefore the Lord will strike with a scab
    the heads of the daughters of Zion,
    and the LORD will lay bare their secret parts.

18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; 19 the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; 20 the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; 21 the signet rings and nose rings; 22 the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; 23 the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.

24   Instead of perfume there will be rottenness;
    and instead of a belt, a rope;
  and instead of well-set hair, baldness;
    and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth;
    and branding instead of beauty.
25   Your men shall fall by the sword
    and your mighty men in battle.
26   And her gates shall lament and mourn;
    empty, she shall sit on the ground.

And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.”

The Branch of the Lord Glorified

In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.Or purging">9 Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

Footnotes

[1] 2:3 Or teaching
[2] 2:19 Hebrew dust
[3] 3:1 Hebrew staff
[4] 3:4 Or caprice
[5] 3:7 Hebrew binder of wounds
[6] 3:8 Hebrew the eyes of his glory
[7] 3:12 Or they have confused
[8] 3:14 Or grazed over; compare Exodus 22:5
[9] 4:4 Or purging

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 3:7–4:13

Hebrews 3:7–4:13 (Listen)

A Rest for the People of God

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

  “Today, if you hear his voice,
  do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
    on the day of testing in the wilderness,
  where your fathers put me to the test
    and saw my works for forty years.
10   Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
  and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
    they have not known my ways.’
11   As I swore in my wrath,
    ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

  “Today, if you hear his voice,
  do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.Some manuscripts it did not meet with faith in the hearers">1 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,

  “As I swore in my wrath,
  ‘They shall not enter my rest,’”

although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said,

  “They shall not enter my rest.”

Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,

  “Today, if you hear his voice,
  do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, GodGreek he">2 would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Footnotes

[1] 4:2 Some manuscripts it did not meet with faith in the hearers
[2] 4:8 Greek he

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 82

Psalm 82 (Listen)

Rescue the Weak and Needy

A Psalm of Asaph.

82   God has taken his place in the divine council;
    in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
  “How long will you judge unjustly
    and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
  Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
    maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
  Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
  They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
    they walk about in darkness;
    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
  I said, “You are gods,
    sons of the Most High, all of you;
  nevertheless, like men you shall die,
    and fall like any prince.”Or fall as one man, O princes">1
  Arise, O God, judge the earth;
    for you shall inherit all the nations!

Footnotes

[1] 82:7 Or fall as one man, O princes

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:17–18

Proverbs 24:17–18 (Listen)

17   Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
    and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
18   lest the LORD see it and be displeased,
    and turn away his anger from him.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Isaiah 1

Isaiah 1 (Listen)

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

The Wickedness of Judah

  Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
    for the LORD has spoken:
  “ChildrenOr Sons; also verse 4">1 have I reared and brought up,
    but they have rebelled against me.
  The ox knows its owner,
    and the donkey its master’s crib,
  but Israel does not know,
    my people do not understand.”
  Ah, sinful nation,
    a people laden with iniquity,
  offspring of evildoers,
    children who deal corruptly!
  They have forsaken the LORD,
    they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
    they are utterly estranged.
  Why will you still be struck down?
    Why will you continue to rebel?
  The whole head is sick,
    and the whole heart faint.
  From the sole of the foot even to the head,
    there is no soundness in it,
  but bruises and sores
    and raw wounds;
  they are not pressed out or bound up
    or softened with oil.
  Your country lies desolate;
    your cities are burned with fire;
  in your very presence
    foreigners devour your land;
    it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
  And the daughter of Zion is left
    like a booth in a vineyard,
  like a lodge in a cucumber field,
    like a besieged city.
  If the LORD of hosts
    had not left us a few survivors,
  we should have been like Sodom,
    and become like Gomorrah.
10   Hear the word of the LORD,
    you rulers of Sodom!
  Give ear to the teachingOr law">2 of our God,
    you people of Gomorrah!
11   “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
    says the LORD;
  I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
    and the fat of well-fed beasts;
  I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
    or of lambs, or of goats.
12   “When you come to appear before me,
    who has required of you
    this trampling of my courts?
13   Bring no more vain offerings;
    incense is an abomination to me.
  New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
    I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14   Your new moons and your appointed feasts
    my soul hates;
  they have become a burden to me;
    I am weary of bearing them.
15   When you spread out your hands,
    I will hide my eyes from you;
  even though you make many prayers,
    I will not listen;
    your hands are full of blood.
16   Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
    remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
  cease to do evil,
17     learn to do good;
  seek justice,
    correct oppression;
  bring justice to the fatherless,
    plead the widow’s cause.
18   “Come now, let us reasonOr dispute">3 together, says the LORD:
  though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
  though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool.
19   If you are willing and obedient,
    you shall eat the good of the land;
20   but if you refuse and rebel,
    you shall be eaten by the sword;
    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

The Unfaithful City

21   How the faithful city
    has become a whore,Or become unchaste">4
    she who was full of justice!
  Righteousness lodged in her,
    but now murderers.
22   Your silver has become dross,
    your best wine mixed with water.
23   Your princes are rebels
    and companions of thieves.
  Everyone loves a bribe
    and runs after gifts.
  They do not bring justice to the fatherless,
    and the widow’s cause does not come to them.
24   Therefore the Lord declares,
    the LORD of hosts,
    the Mighty One of Israel:
  “Ah, I will get relief from my enemies
    and avenge myself on my foes.
25   I will turn my hand against you
    and will smelt away your dross as with lye
    and remove all your alloy.
26   And I will restore your judges as at the first,
    and your counselors as at the beginning.
  Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness,
    the faithful city.”
27   Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
    and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
28   But rebels and sinners shall be broken together,
    and those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
29   For theySome Hebrew manuscripts you">5 shall be ashamed of the oaks
    that you desired;
  and you shall blush for the gardens
    that you have chosen.
30   For you shall be like an oak
    whose leaf withers,
    and like a garden without water.
31   And the strong shall become tinder,
    and his work a spark,
  and both of them shall burn together,
    with none to quench them.

Footnotes

[1] 1:2 Or Sons; also verse 4
[2] 1:10 Or law
[3] 1:18 Or dispute
[4] 1:21 Or become unchaste
[5] 1:29 Some Hebrew manuscripts you

(ESV)

New Testament: Hebrews 3:1–6

Hebrews 3:1–6 (Listen)

Jesus Greater Than Moses

Therefore, holy brothers,Or brothers and sisters; also verse 12">1 you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’sGreek his; also verses 5, 6">2 house. For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.Some manuscripts insert firm to the end">3

Footnotes

[1] 3:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 12
[2] 3:2 Greek his; also verses 5, 6
[3] 3:6 Some manuscripts insert firm to the end

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 81

Psalm 81 (Listen)

Oh, That My People Would Listen to Me

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith.Probably a musical or liturgical term">1 Of Asaph.

81   Sing aloud to God our strength;
    shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
  Raise a song; sound the tambourine,
    the sweet lyre with the harp.
  Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
    at the full moon, on our feast day.
  For it is a statute for Israel,
    a ruleOr just decree">2 of the God of Jacob.
  He made it a decree in Joseph
    when he went out overOr against">3 the land of Egypt.
  I hear a language I had not known:
  “I relieved yourHebrew his; also next line">4 shoulder of the burden;
    your hands were freed from the basket.
  In distress you called, and I delivered you;
    I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
  Hear, O my people, while I admonish you!
    O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
  There shall be no strange god among you;
    you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10   I am the LORD your God,
    who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
    Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
11   “But my people did not listen to my voice;
    Israel would not submit to me.
12   So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
    to follow their own counsels.
13   Oh, that my people would listen to me,
    that Israel would walk in my ways!
14   I would soon subdue their enemies
    and turn my hand against their foes.
15   Those who hate the LORD would cringe toward him,
    and their fate would last forever.
16   But he would feed youThat is, Israel; Hebrew him">5 with the finest of the wheat,
    and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Footnotes

[1] 81:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 81:4 Or just decree
[3] 81:5 Or against
[4] 81:6 Hebrew his; also next line
[5] 81:16 That is, Israel; Hebrew him

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:15–16

Proverbs 24:15–16 (Listen)

15   Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
    do no violence to his home;
16   for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
    but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Song of Solomon 5–8

Song of Solomon 5–8 (Listen)

He

  I came to my garden, my sister, my bride,
    I gathered my myrrh with my spice,
    I ate my honeycomb with my honey,
    I drank my wine with my milk.

Others

  Eat, friends, drink,
    and be drunk with love!

The Bride Searches for Her Beloved

She

  I slept, but my heart was awake.
  A sound! My beloved is knocking.
  “Open to me, my sister, my love,
    my dove, my perfect one,
  for my head is wet with dew,
    my locks with the drops of the night.”
  I had put off my garment;
    how could I put it on?
  I had bathed my feet;
    how could I soil them?
  My beloved put his hand to the latch,
    and my heart was thrilled within me.
  I arose to open to my beloved,
    and my hands dripped with myrrh,
  my fingers with liquid myrrh,
    on the handles of the bolt.
  I opened to my beloved,
    but my beloved had turned and gone.
  My soul failed me when he spoke.
  I sought him, but found him not;
    I called him, but he gave no answer.
  The watchmen found me
    as they went about in the city;
  they beat me, they bruised me,
    they took away my veil,
&