The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday September 23, 2017 (NIV)

Isaiah 41:17-43:13

The Lord Helps the Poor

17 When the poor and needy
are dying of thirst
and cannot find water,
I, the Lord God of Israel,
will come to their rescue.
I won’t forget them.
18 I will make rivers flow
on mountain peaks.
I will send streams
to fill the valleys.
Dry and barren land
will flow with springs
and become a lake.
19 I will fill the desert
with all kinds of trees—
cedars, acacias, and myrtles;
olive and cypress trees;
fir trees and pines.
20 Everyone will see this
and know that I,
the holy Lord God of Israel,
created it all.

Idols Are Useless

21 I am the Lord,
the King of Israel!
Come argue your case with me.
Present your evidence.
22 Come near me, you idols.[a]
Tell us about the past,
and we will think about it.
Tell us about the future,
so we will know
what is going to happen.
23 Prove that you are gods
by making your predictions
come true.
Do something good or evil,
so we can be amazed
and terrified.[b]
24 You idols are nothing,
and you are powerless.[c]
To worship you
would be disgusting.

25 I, the Lord, appointed a ruler
in the north;
now he comes from the east
to honor my name.
He tramples[d] kings like mud,
as potters trample clay.[e]
26 Did any of you idols predict
what would happen?
Did any of you get it right?
None of you told about this
or even spoke a word.
27 I was the first to tell
the people of Jerusalem,
“Look, it’s happening!”[f]
I was the one who announced
this good news to Zion.

28 None of these idols
are able to give advice
or answer questions.
29 They are nothing,[g]
and they can do nothing—
they are less
than a passing breeze.

The Lord’s Servant

42 Here is my servant!

I have made him strong.
He is my chosen one;
I am pleased with him.
I have given him my Spirit,
and he will bring justice
to the nations.
He won’t shout or yell
or call out in the streets.
He won’t break off a bent reed
or put out a dying flame,
but he will make sure
that justice is done.
He won’t quit or give up
until he brings justice
everywhere on earth,
and people in foreign nations
long for his teaching.

I am the Lord God.
I created the heavens
like an open tent above.
I made the earth and everything
that grows on it.
I am the source of life
for all who live on this earth,
so listen to what I say.
I chose you to bring justice,
and I am here at your side.
I selected and sent you[h]
to bring light
and my promise of hope
to the nations.
You will give sight
to the blind;
you will set prisoners free
from dark dungeons.

My name is the Lord!
I won’t let idols or humans
share my glory and praise.
Everything has happened
just as I said it would;
now I will announce
what will happen next.

Sing Praises to the Lord

10 Tell the whole world to sing
a new song to the Lord!
Tell those who sail the ocean
and those who live far away
to join in the praise.
11 Tell the tribes of the desert
and everyone in the mountains[i]
to celebrate and sing.
12 Let them announce
his praises everywhere.
13 The Lord is marching out
like an angry soldier,
shouting with all his might
while attacking his enemies.

The Lord Will Help His People

14 For a long time, I, the Lord,
have held my temper;
now I will scream and groan
like a woman giving birth.
15 I will destroy the mountains
and what grows on them;
I will dry up rivers and ponds.

16 I will lead the blind on roads
they have never known;
I will guide them on paths
they have never traveled.
Their road is dark and rough,
but I will give light
to keep them from stumbling.
This is my solemn promise.

17 Everyone who worships idols
as though they were gods
will be terribly ashamed.

God’s People Won’t Obey

18 You people are deaf and blind,
but the Lord commands you
to listen and to see.
19 No one is as blind or deaf
as his messenger,
his chosen servant,
20 who sees and hears so much,
but pays no attention.

21 The Lord always does right,
and so he wanted his Law
to be greatly praised.[j]
22 But his people were trapped
and imprisoned in holes
with no one to rescue them.
All they owned had been taken,
and no one was willing
to give it back.
23 Why won’t his people
ever learn to listen?

24 Israel sinned and refused
to obey the Lord
or follow his instructions.
So the Lord let them be robbed
of everything they owned.
25 He was furious with them
and punished their nation
with the fires of war.
Still they paid no attention.
They didn’t even care
when they were surrounded
and scorched by flames.

The Lord Has Rescued His People

43 Descendants of Jacob,
I, the Lord, created you
and formed your nation.
Israel, don’t be afraid.
I have rescued you.
I have called you by name;
now you belong to me.
When you cross deep rivers,
I will be with you,
and you won’t drown.
When you walk through fire,
you won’t be burned
or scorched by the flames.

I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
the God who saves you.
I gave up Egypt, Ethiopia,[k]
and the region of Seba[l]
in exchange for you.
To me, you are very dear,
and I love you.
That’s why I gave up nations
and people to rescue you.

Don’t be afraid! I am with you.
From both east and west
I will bring you together.
I will say to the north
and to the south,
“Free my sons and daughters!
Let them return
from distant lands.
They are my people—
I created each of them
to bring honor to me.”

The Lord Alone Is God

The Lord said:

Bring my people together.
They have eyes and ears,
but they can’t see or hear.
Tell everyone of every nation
to gather around.
None of them can honestly say,
“We told you so!”
If someone heard them say this,
then tell us about it now.

10 My people, you are my witnesses
and my chosen servant.
I want you to know me,
to trust me,
and understand
that I alone am God.
I have always been God;
there can be no others.

11 I alone am the Lord;
only I can rescue you.
12 I promised to save you,
and I kept my promise.
You are my witnesses
that no other god did this.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
13 I am God now and forever.
No one can snatch you from me
or stand in my way.


  1. 41.22 Come near. . . idols: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 41.23 and terrified: Or “when we see it.”
  3. 41.24 powerless: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 41.25 tramples: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. 41.25 trample clay: This was done to soften the clay and make it easier to shape.
  6. 41.27 Look. . . happening: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 41.29 nothing: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  8. 42.6 I selected. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  9. 42.11 desert. . . mountains: The Hebrew text includes the place names of Kedar in the desert and Sela in the mountains.
  10. 42.21 greatly praised: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 21.
  11. 43.3 Ethiopia: See the note at 11.11.
  12. 43.3 Seba: A region in southwest Arabia. Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba probably stood for all that was known of Africa in biblical times.

Ephesians 2

From Death to Life

In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God. You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil. He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn’t obey God. Once we were also ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds. We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else.

4-5 But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you. God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven. God did this so that in the future world he could show how truly good and kind he is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done. You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve.[a] This is God’s gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. It isn’t something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about. 10 God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That’s why he sent Christ to make us what we are.

United by Christ

11 Don’t forget that you are Gentiles. In fact, you used to be called “uncircumcised” by those who take pride in being circumcised. 12 At that time you did not know about Christ. You were foreigners to the people of Israel, and you had no part in the promises that God had made to them. You were living in this world without hope and without God, 13 and you were far from God. But Christ offered his life’s blood as a sacrifice and brought you near God.

14 Christ has made peace between Jews and Gentiles, and he has united us by breaking down the wall of hatred that separated us. Christ gave his own body 15 to destroy the Law of Moses with all its rules and commands. He even brought Jews and Gentiles together as though we were only one person, when he united us in peace. 16 On the cross Christ did away with our hatred for each other. He also made peace[b] between us and God by uniting Jews and Gentiles in one body. 17 Christ came and preached peace to you Gentiles, who were far from God, and peace to us Jews, who were near God. 18 And because of Christ, all of us can come to the Father by the same Spirit.

19 You Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens with everyone else who belongs to the family of God. 20 You are like a building with the apostles and prophets as the foundation and with Christ as the most important stone. 21 Christ is the one who holds the building together and makes it grow into a holy temple for the Lord. 22 And you are part of that building Christ has built as a place for God’s own Spirit to live.


  1. 2.8 treats us much better than we deserve: The Greek word charis, traditionally rendered <<grace,>> is translated here and other places in the CEV to express the overwhelming kindness of God.
  2. 2.16 He also made peace: Or <<The cross also made peace.’>

Psalm 67

(A psalm and a song for the music leader. Use with stringed instruments.)

Tell the Nations To Praise God

67 Our God, be kind and bless us!
Be pleased and smile.
Then everyone on earth
will learn to follow you,
and all nations will see
your power to save us.

Make everyone praise you
and shout your praises.
Let the nations celebrate
with joyful songs,
because you judge fairly
and guide all nations.
Make everyone praise you
and shout your praises.

Our God has blessed the earth
with a wonderful harvest!
Pray for his blessings
to continue
and for everyone on earth
to worship our God.

Proverbs 23:29-35


29 Who is always in trouble?
Who argues and fights?
Who has cuts and bruises?
Whose eyes are red?
30 Everyone who stays up late,
having just one more drink.
31 Don’t even look
at that colorful stuff
bubbling up in the glass!
It goes down so easily,
32 but later it bites
like a poisonous snake.
33 You will see weird things,
and your mind
will play tricks on you.
34 You will feel tossed about
like someone trying to sleep
on a ship in a storm.
35 You will be bruised all over,
without even remembering
how it all happened.
And you will lie awake asking,
“When will morning come,
so I can drink some more?”