The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday September 22, 2017 (NIV)

Isaiah 39:1-41:16

Isaiah Speaks the Lord’s Message to Hezekiah

39 Merodach Baladan, the son of Baladan, was now king of Babylonia. And when he learned that Hezekiah was well, he sent messengers with letters and a gift for him. Hezekiah welcomed the messengers and showed them all the silver, the gold, the spices, and the fine oils that were in his storehouse. He even showed them where he kept his weapons. Nothing in his palace or in his entire kingdom was kept hidden from them.

I asked Hezekiah, “Where did these men come from? What did they want?”

“They came all the way from Babylonia,” Hezekiah answered.

“What did you show them?” I asked.

Hezekiah answered, “I showed them everything in my kingdom.”

Then I told Hezekiah:

I have a message for you from the Lord All-Powerful. One day everything you and your ancestors have stored up will be taken to Babylonia. The Lord has promised that nothing will be left. Some of your own sons will be taken to Babylonia, where they will be disgraced and made to serve in the king’s palace.

Hezekiah thought, “At least our nation will be at peace for a while.” So he told me, “The message you brought from the Lord is good.”

Encourage God’s People

40 Our God has said:

“Encourage my people!
Give them comfort.
Speak kindly to Jerusalem
and announce:
Your slavery is past;
your punishment is over.
I, the Lord, made you pay
double for your sins.”

Someone is shouting:
“Clear a path in the desert!
Make a straight road
for the Lord our God.
Fill in the valleys;
flatten every hill
and mountain.
Level the rough
and rugged ground.
Then the glory of the Lord
will appear for all to see.
The Lord has promised this!”

Someone told me to shout,
and I asked,
“What should I shout?”
We humans are merely grass,
and we last no longer
than wild flowers.
At the Lord’s command,
flowers and grass disappear,
and so do we.
Flowers and grass fade away,
but what our God has said
will never change.

Your God Is Here!

There is good news
for the city of Zion.
Shout it as loud as you can[a]
from the highest mountain.
Don’t be afraid to shout
to the towns of Judah,
“Your God is here!”
10 Look! The powerful Lord God
is coming
to rule
with his mighty arm.
He brings with him
what he has taken in war,
and he rewards his people.
11 The Lord cares for his nation,
just as shepherds care
for their flocks.
He carries the lambs
in his arms,
while gently leading
the mother sheep.

Who Compares with God?

12 Did any of you measure
the ocean by yourself
or stretch out the sky
with your own hands?
Did you put the soil
of the earth in a bucket
or weigh the hills and mountains
on balance scales?

13 Has anyone told the Lord[b]
what he must do
or given him advice?
14 Did the Lord ask anyone
to teach him wisdom
and justice?
Who gave him knowledge
and understanding?
15 To the Lord, all nations
are merely a drop in a bucket
or dust on balance scales;
all of the islands
are but a handful of sand.
16 The cattle
on Lebanon’s mountains
would not be enough
to offer
as a sacrifice to God,
and the trees would not
be enough for the fire.
17 God thinks of the nations
as far less than nothing.

18 Who compares with God?
Is anything like him?
19 Is an idol at all like God?
It is made of bronze
with a thin layer of gold,
and decorated with silver.
20 Or special wood may be chosen[c]
because it doesn’t rot—
then skilled hands
take care to make an idol
that won’t fall on its face.

God Rules the Whole Earth

21 Don’t you know?
Haven’t you heard?
Isn’t it clear that God
created the world?[d]
22 God is the one who rules
the whole earth,
and we that live here
are merely insects.
He spread out the heavens
like a curtain or an open tent.

23 God brings down rulers
and turns them into nothing.
24 They are like flowers
freshly sprung up
and starting to grow.
But when God blows on them,
they wilt
and are carried off
like straw in a storm.

25 The holy God asks,
“Who compares with me?
Is anyone my equal?”

26 Look at the evening sky!
Who created the stars?
Who gave them each a name?
Who leads them like an army?
The Lord is so powerful
that none of the stars
are ever missing.

The Lord Gives Strength

27 You people of Israel, say,
“God pays no attention to us!
He doesn’t care if we
are treated unjustly.”

But how can you say that?
28 Don’t you know?
Haven’t you heard?
The Lord is the eternal God,
Creator of the earth.
He never gets weary or tired;
his wisdom cannot be measured.

29 The Lord gives strength
to those who are weary.
30 Even young people get tired,
then stumble and fall.
31 But those who trust the Lord
will find new strength.
They will be strong like eagles
soaring upward on wings;
they will walk and run
without getting tired.

The Lord Controls Human Events

41 Be silent and listen,
every island in the sea.
Have courage and come near,
every one of you nations.
Let’s settle this matter!
Who appointed this ruler
from the east?[e]
Who puts nations and kings
in his power?[f]
His sword and his arrows
turn them to dust
blown by the wind.
He goes after them so quickly
that his feet
barely touch the ground—
he doesn’t even get hurt.

Who makes these things happen?
Who controls human events?
I do! I am the Lord.
I was there at the beginning;
I will be there at the end.
Islands and foreign nations
saw what I did
and trembled
as they came near.

What Can Idols Do?

Worshipers of idols
comfort each other,
saying, “Don’t worry!”
Woodcarvers, goldsmiths,
and other workers[g]
encourage one another and say,
“We’ve done a great job!”
Then they nail the idol down,
so it won’t fall over.

The Lord’s Chosen Servant

Israel, you are my servant.
I chose you,
the family
of my friend Abraham.
From far across the earth
I brought you here and said,
“You are my chosen servant.
I haven’t forgotten you.”

10 Don’t be afraid. I am with you.
Don’t tremble with fear.
I am your God.
I will make you strong,
as I protect you with my arm
and give you victories.
11 Everyone who hates you
will be terribly disgraced;
those who attack
will vanish into thin air.
12 You will look around
for those brutal enemies,
but you won’t find them
because they will be gone.

13 I am the Lord your God.
I am holding your hand,
so don’t be afraid.
I am here to help you.

14 People of Israel, don’t worry,
though others may say,
“Israel is only a worm!”
I am the holy God of Israel,
who saves and protects you.
15 I will let you be like a log
covered with sharp spikes.[h]
You will grind and crush
every mountain and hill[i]
until they turn to dust.
16 A strong wind will scatter them
in all directions.
Then you will celebrate
and praise me, your Lord,
the holy God of Israel.


  1. 40.9 There. . . can: Or “City of Jerusalem, you have good news. Shout it as loud as you can.”
  2. 40.13 the Lord: Or “the Lord’s Spirit.”
  3. 40.20 Or. . . chosen: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. Two kinds of idols seem to be described: bronze idols covered with gold (verse 19) and wooden idols (verse 20).
  4. 40.21 Isn’t. . . world: Or “Hasn’t it been clear since the time of creation?”
  5. 41.2 ruler from the east: Probably Cyrus (see 44.28; 45.1; 48.14).
  6. 41.2 Who puts. . . power: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 41.7 and other workers: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  8. 41.15 I will let. . . sharp spikes: In ancient times a heavy object was sometimes dragged over wheat or barley to separate the grain from the husk. This was called threshing.
  9. 41.15 mountain and hill: These stand for the power and pride of Israel’s enemies.

Ephesians 1

From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.

To God’s people who live in Ephesus and[a] are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.

I pray that God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!

Christ Brings Spiritual Blessings

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for the spiritual blessings that Christ has brought us from heaven! Before the world was created, God had Christ choose us to live with him and to be his holy and innocent and loving people. God was kind[b] and decided that Christ would choose us to be God’s own adopted children. God was very kind to us because of the Son he dearly loves, and so we should praise God.

7-8 Christ sacrificed his life’s blood to set us free, which means that our sins are now forgiven. Christ did this because God was so kind to us. God has great wisdom and understanding, and by what Christ has done, God has shown us his own mysterious ways. 10 Then when the time is right, God will do all that he has planned, and Christ will bring together everything in heaven and on earth.

11 God always does what he plans, and that’s why he appointed Christ to choose us. 12 He did this so that we Jews would bring honor to him and be the first ones to have hope because of him. 13 Christ also brought you the truth, which is the good news about how you can be saved. You put your faith in Christ and were given the promised Holy Spirit to show that you belong to God. 14 The Spirit also makes us sure that we will be given what God has stored up for his people. Then we will be set free, and God will be honored and praised.

Paul’s Prayer

15 I have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people. 16 So I never stop being grateful for you, as I mention you in my prayers. 17 I ask the glorious Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will make you wise and let you understand what it means to know God. 18 My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God’s people.

19 I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used 20 when he raised Christ from death and let him sit at his right side[c] in heaven. 21 There Christ rules over all forces, authorities, powers, and rulers. He rules over all beings in this world and will rule in the future world as well. 22 God has put all things under the power of Christ, and for the good of the church he has made him the head of everything. 23 The church is Christ’s body and is filled with Christ who completely fills everything.[d]


  1. 1.1 live in Ephesus and: Some manuscripts do not have these words.
  2. 1.4,5 holy and innocent and loving people. God was kind: Or <<holy and innocent people. God was loving and kind.’>
  3. 1.20 right side: The place of power and honor.
  4. 1.23 and is filled with Christ who completely fills everything: Or <<which completely fills Christ and fully completes his work.’>

Psalm 66

(A song and a psalm for the music leader.)

Shout Praises to God

66 Tell everyone on this earth
to shout praises to God!
Sing about his glorious name.
Honor him with praises.
Say to God, “Everything you do
is fearsome,
and your mighty power makes
your enemies come crawling.
You are worshiped by everyone!
We all sing praises to you.”

Come and see the fearsome things
our God has done!
When God made the sea dry up,
our people walked across,
and because of him,
we celebrated there.
His mighty power rules forever,
and nothing the nations do
can be hidden from him.
So don’t turn against God.

All of you people,
come praise our God!
Let his praises be heard.
God protects us from death
and keeps us steady.

10 Our God, you tested us,
just as silver is tested.
11 You trapped us in a net
and gave us heavy burdens.
12 You sent war chariots
to crush our skulls.
We traveled through fire
and through floods,
but you brought us
to a land of plenty.

13 I will bring sacrifices
into your house, my God,
and I will do what I promised
14 when I was in trouble.
15 I will sacrifice my best sheep
and offer bulls and goats
on your altar.

16 All who worship God,
come here and listen;
I will tell you everything
God has done for me.
17 I prayed to the Lord,
and I praised him.
18 If my thoughts had been sinful,
he would have refused
to hear me.
19 But God did listen
and answered my prayer.
20 Let’s praise God!
He listened when I prayed,
and he is always kind.

Proverbs 23:25-28

25 Make your parents proud,
especially your mother.


26 My son, pay close attention,
and gladly follow
my example.
27 Bad women and unfaithful wives
are like a deep pit—
28 they are waiting to attack you
like a gang of robbers
with victim after victim.