The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday September 20, 2020 (NIV)

Isaiah 33:10-36:22

10 But the Lord says,
“Now I will do something
and be greatly praised.
11 Your deeds are straw
that will be set on fire
by your very own breath.
12 You will be burned to ashes
like thorns in a fire.
13 Everyone, both far and near,
come look at what I have done.
See my mighty power!”

Punishment and Rewards

14 Those terrible sinners
on Mount Zion tremble
as they ask in fear,
“How can we possibly live
where a raging fire
never stops burning?”

15 But there will be rewards
for those who live right
and tell the truth,
for those who refuse
to take money by force
or accept bribes,
for all who hate murder
and violent crimes.
16 They will live in a fortress
high on a rocky cliff,
where they will have food
and plenty of water.

The Lord Is Our King

17 With your own eyes
you will see the glorious King;
you will see his kingdom
reaching far and wide.
18 Then you will ask yourself,
“Where are those officials
who terrified us and forced us
to pay such heavy taxes?”
19 You will never again have to see
the proud people who spoke
a strange and foreign language
you could not understand.

20 Look to Mount Zion
where we celebrate
our religious festivals.
You will see Jerusalem,
secure as a tent with pegs
that cannot be pulled up
and fastened with ropes
that can never be broken.
21 Our wonderful Lord
will be with us!
There will be deep rivers
and wide streams
safe from enemy ships.[a]

The Lord Is Our Judge

22 The Lord is our judge
and our ruler;
the Lord is our king
and will keep us safe.
23 But your nation[b] is a ship
with its rigging loose,
its mast shaky,
and its sail not spread.

Someday even you that are lame
will take everything you want
from your enemies.
24 The Lord will forgive your sins,
and none of you will say,
“I feel sick.”

The Nations Will Be Judged

34 Everyone of every nation,
the entire earth,
and all of its creatures,
come here and listen!
The Lord is terribly angry
with the nations;
he has condemned them
to be slaughtered.
Their dead bodies will be left
to rot and stink;
their blood will flow
down the mountains.
Each star[c] will disappear—
the sky will roll up
like a scroll.[d]
Everything in the sky
will dry up and wilt
like leaves on a vine
or fruit on a tree.

Trouble for Edom

After the sword of the Lord
has done what it wants
to the skies above,[e]
it will come down on Edom,
the nation that the Lord
has doomed for destruction.

The sword of the Lord
is covered with blood
from lambs and goats,
together with fat
from kidneys of rams.
This is because the Lord
will slaughter many people
and make a sacrifice of them
in the city of Bozrah
and everywhere else
in Edom.
Edom’s leaders are wild oxen.
They are powerful bulls,
but they will die
with the others.
Their country will be soaked
with their blood,
and its soil made fertile
with their fat.

The Lord has chosen
the year and the day,
when he will take revenge
and come to Zion’s defense.
Edom’s streams will turn into tar
and its soil into sulfur—
then the whole country
will go up in flames.
10 It will burn night and day
and never stop smoking.
Edom will be a desert,
generation after generation;
no one will ever travel
through that land.
11 Owls, hawks, and wild animals[f]
will make it their home.
God will leave it in ruins,
merely a pile of rocks.

The End of Edom

12 Edom will be called
“Kingdom of Nothing.”
Its rulers will also be nothing.
13 Its palaces and fortresses
will be covered with thorns;
only wolves and ostriches
will make their home there.
14 Wildcats and hyenas
will hunt together,
demons will scream to demons,
and creatures of the night
will live among the ruins.
15 Owls will nest there
to raise their young
among its shadows,[g]
while families of buzzards
circle around.

16 In The Book of the Lord[h]
you can search
and find
where it is written,
“The Lord brought together
all of his creatures
by the power of his Spirit.
Not one is missing.”
17 The Lord has decided
where they each should live;
they will be there forever,
generation after generation.

God’s Splendor Will Be Seen

35 Thirsty deserts will be glad;
barren lands will celebrate
and blossom with flowers.
Deserts will bloom everywhere
and sing joyful songs.
They will be as majestic
as Mount Lebanon,
as glorious as Mount Carmel
or Sharon Valley.
Everyone will see
the wonderful splendor
of the Lord our God.

God Changes Everything

Here is a message for all
who are weak,
and worried:
“Cheer up! Don’t be afraid.
Your God is coming
to punish your enemies.
God will take revenge on them
and rescue you.”

The blind will see,
and the ears of the deaf
will be healed.
Those who were lame
will leap around like deer;
tongues once silent
will begin to shout.
Water will rush
through the desert.
Scorching sand
will turn into a lake,
and thirsty ground
will flow with fountains.
Grass will grow in wetlands,
where packs of wild dogs
once made their home.[i]

God’s Sacred Highway

A good road will be there,
and it will be named
“God’s Sacred Highway.”
It will be for God’s people;
no one unfit to worship God
will walk on that road.
And no fools can travel
on that highway.[j]
No lions or other wild animals
will come near that road;
only those the Lord has saved
will travel there.

10 The people the Lord has rescued
will come back singing
as they enter Zion.
Happiness will be a crown
they will always wear.
They will celebrate and shout
because all sorrows
and worries
will be gone far away.

The Assyrians Surround Jerusalem

36 Hezekiah had been king of Judah for fourteen years when King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded the country and captured every walled city except Jerusalem. The Assyrian king ordered his army commander to leave the city of Lachish and to take a large army to Jerusalem.

The commander went there and stood on the road near the cloth makers' shops along the canal from the upper pool. Three of the king’s highest officials came out of Jerusalem to meet him. One of them was Hilkiah’s son Eliakim, who was the prime minister. The other two were Shebna, assistant to the prime minister, and Joah son of Asaph, keeper of the government records.

The Assyrian commander told them:

I have a message for Hezekiah from the great king of Assyria. Ask Hezekiah why he feels so sure of himself. Does he think he can plan and win a war with nothing but words? Who is going to help him, now that he has turned against the king of Assyria? Is he depending on Egypt and its king? That’s the same as leaning on a broken stick, and it will go right through his hand.

Is Hezekiah now depending on the Lord, your God? Didn’t Hezekiah tear down all except one of the Lord’s altars and places of worship?[k] Didn’t he tell the people of Jerusalem and Judah to worship at that one place?

The king of Assyria wants to make a bet with you people! He will give you two thousand horses, if you have enough troops to ride them. How could you even defeat our lowest ranking officer, when you have to depend on Egypt for chariots and cavalry? 10 Don’t forget that it was the Lord who sent me here with orders to destroy your nation!

11 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said, “Sir, we don’t want the people listening from the city wall to understand what you are saying. So please speak to us in Aramaic instead of Hebrew.”

12 The Assyrian army commander answered, “My king sent me to speak to everyone, not just to you leaders. These people will soon have to eat their own body waste and drink their own urine! And so will the three of you!”

13 Then, in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, he shouted out in Hebrew:

Listen to what the great king of Assyria says! 14 Don’t be fooled by Hezekiah. He can’t save you. 15 Don’t trust him when he tells you that the Lord will protect you from the king of Assyria. 16 Stop listening to Hezekiah. Pay attention to my king. Surrender to him. He will let you keep your own vineyards, fig trees, and cisterns 17 for a while. Then he will come and take you away to a country just like yours, where you can plant vineyards and raise your own grain.

18 Hezekiah claims the Lord will save you. But don’t be fooled by him. Were any other gods able to defend their land against the king of Assyria? 19 What happened to the gods of Hamath, Arpad, and Sepharvaim? Were the gods of Samaria able to protect their land against the Assyrian forces? 20 None of these gods kept their people safe from the king of Assyria. Do you think the Lord, your God, can do any better?

21-22 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah had been warned by King Hezekiah not to answer the Assyrian commander. So they tore their clothes in sorrow and reported to Hezekiah everything the commander had said.


  1. 33.21 safe. . . ships: This probably means that Jerusalem will have a lot of water, without the danger of attacks from enemy ships.
  2. 33.23 your nation: Possibly Judah or Assyria.
  3. 34.4 star: Stars were worshiped as gods.
  4. 34.4 scroll: A roll of paper or specially prepared leather used for writing on.
  5. 34.5 has done. . . above: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls “appears in the skies above.”
  6. 34.11 Owls. . . animals: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 34.15 Owls. . . shadows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  8. 34.16 The Book of the Lord: The book that Isaiah refers to is unknown.
  9. 35.7 where. . . home: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  10. 35.8 And. . . highway: Or “And not even a fool can miss that highway.”
  11. 36.7 worship: Hezekiah actually had torn down the places where idols were worshiped, and he had told the people to worship the Lord at the one place of worship in Jerusalem. But the Assyrian leader was confused and thought these were also places where the Lord was supposed to be worshiped.

Galatians 5:13-26

13 My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love. 14 All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself. 15 But if you keep attacking each other like wild animals, you had better watch out or you will destroy yourselves.

God’s Spirit and Our Own Desires

16 If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. 17 The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. 18 But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you.

19 People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. 20 They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are 21 envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God’s kingdom.

22 God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, 23 gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. 24 And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. 25 God’s Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit. 26 But don’t be conceited or make others jealous by claiming to be better than they are.

Psalm 64

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

Celebrate because of the Lord

64 Listen to my concerns, God,
and protect me
from my terrible enemies.
Keep me safe from secret plots
of corrupt and evil gangs.
Their words cut like swords,
and their cruel remarks
sting like sharp arrows.
They fearlessly ambush
and shoot innocent people.

They are determined to do evil,
and they tell themselves,
“Let’s set traps!
No one can see us.”[a]
They make evil plans and say,
“We’ll commit a perfect crime.
No one knows our thoughts.”[b]

But God will shoot his arrows
and quickly wound them.
They will be destroyed
by their own words,
and everyone who sees them
will tremble with fear.[c]
They will be afraid and say,
“Look at what God has done
and keep it all in mind.”

10 May the Lord bless his people
with peace and happiness
and let them celebrate.


  1. 64.5 us: One ancient translation; Hebrew “them.”
  2. 64.6 thoughts: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 6.
  3. 64.8 tremble with fear: Or “turn and run.”

Proverbs 23:23

23 Invest in truth and wisdom,
discipline and good sense,
and don’t part with them.