The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday September 26, 2020 (NIV)

Isaiah 48:12-50:11

12 Israel, my chosen people,
listen to me.
I alone am the Lord,
the first and the last.
13 With my own hand
I created the earth
and stretched out the sky.
They obey my every command.

The Lord Speaks to the Nations

14 Gather around me, all of you!
Listen to what I say.
Did any of your idols
predict this would happen?
Did they say that my friend[a]
would do
what I want done
to Babylonia?[b]
15 I was the one who chose him.
I have brought him this far,
and he will be successful.
16 Come closer and listen!
I have never kept secret
the things I have said,
and I was here
before time began.

It Is Best To Obey the Lord

By the power of his Spirit
the Lord God has sent me
17 with this message:
People of Israel,
I am the holy Lord God,
the one who rescues you.
For your own good,
I teach you,
and I lead you
along the right path.
18 How I wish that you
had obeyed my commands!
Your success and good fortune
would then have overflowed
like a flooding river.
19 Your nation would be blessed
with more people
than there are grains of sand
along the seashore.
And I would never have let
your country be destroyed.

20 Now leave Babylon!
Celebrate as you go.
Be happy and shout
for everyone to hear,
“The Lord has rescued
his servant Israel!
21 He led us through the desert
and made water flow from a rock
to satisfy our thirst.
22 But the Lord has promised
that none who are evil
will live in peace.”

The Work of the Lord’s Servant

49 Everyone, listen,
even you foreign nations
across the sea.
The Lord chose me
and gave me a name
before I was born.
He made my words pierce
like a sharp sword
or a pointed arrow;
he kept me safely hidden
in the palm of his hand.
The Lord said to me,
“Israel, you are my servant;
and because of you
I will be highly honored.”

I said to myself,
“I’m completely worn out;
my time has been wasted.
But I did it for the Lord God,
and he will reward me.”

Even before I was born,
the Lord God chose me
to serve him and to lead back
the people of Israel.
So the Lord has honored me
and made me strong.

Now the Lord says to me,
“It isn’t enough for you
to be merely my servant.
You must do more than lead back
from the tribes
of Israel.
I have placed you here as a light
for other nations;
you must take my saving power
to everyone on earth.”

The Lord Will Rescue His People

Israel, I am the holy Lord God,
the one who rescues you.
You are slaves of rulers
and of a nation
who despises you.[c]
Now this is what I promise:
Kings and rulers will honor you
by kneeling at your feet.
You can trust me! I am your Lord,
the holy God of Israel,
and you are my chosen ones.

The Lord Will Lead His People Home

This is what the Lord says:
I will answer your prayers
because I have set a time
when I will help
by coming to save you.
I have chosen you
to take my promise of hope
to other nations.[d]
You will rebuild the country
from its ruins,
then people will come
and settle there.
You will set prisoners free
from dark dungeons
to see the light of day.

On their way home,
they will find plenty to eat,
even on barren hills.
10 They won’t go hungry
or get thirsty;
they won’t be bothered
by the scorching sun
or hot desert winds.
I will be merciful
while leading them along
to streams of water.
11 I will level the mountains
and make roads.
12 Then my people will return
from distant lands
in the north and the west
and from the city of Syene.[e]

The Lord’s Mercy

13 Tell the heavens and the earth
to celebrate and sing;
command every mountain
to join in the song.
The Lord’s people have suffered,
but he has shown mercy
and given them comfort.

14 The people of Zion said,
“The Lord has turned away
and forgotten us.”

15 The Lord answered,
“Could a mother forget a child
who nurses at her breast?
Could she fail to love an infant
who came from her own body?
Even if a mother could forget,
I will never forget you.
16 A picture of your city
is drawn on my hand.
You are always in my thoughts!

17 “Your city will be built faster
than it was destroyed[f]
those who attacked it
will retreat and leave.
18 Look around! You will see
your people coming home.
As surely as I live,
I, the Lord, promise
that your city with its people
will be as lovely as a bride
wearing her jewelry.”

Jerusalem’s Bright Future

19 Jerusalem is now in ruins!
Nothing is left of the city.
But it will be rebuilt
and soon overcrowded;
its cruel enemies
will be gone far away.

20 Jerusalem is a woman
whose children were born
while she was in deep sorrow[g]
over the loss of her husband.
Now those children
will come and seek room
in the crowded city,
21 and Jerusalem will ask,
“Am I really their mother?
How could I have given birth
when I was still mourning
in a foreign land?
Who raised these children?
Where have they come from?”

22 The Lord God says:
“I will soon give a signal
for the nations
to return your sons
and your daughters
to the arms of Jerusalem.
23 The kings and queens
of those nations
where they were raised
will come and bow down.
They will take care of you
just like a slave
taking care of a child.
Then you will know
that I am the Lord.
You won’t be disappointed
if you trust me.”

The Lord Is on Our Side

24 Is it possible to rescue victims
from someone strong
and cruel?[h]
25 But the Lord has promised
to fight on our side
and to rescue our children
from those strong
and violent enemies.
26 He will make those cruel people
dine on their own flesh
and get drunk from drinking
their own blood.
Then everyone will know
that the Lord is our Savior;
the powerful God of Israel
has rescued his people.

The Lord’s Power To Punish

50 The Lord says, “Children,
I didn’t divorce your mother
or sell you to pay debts;
I divorced her and sold you
because of your sins.
I came and called out,
but you didn’t answer.
Have I lost my power
to rescue and save?
At my command oceans and rivers
turn into deserts;
fish rot and stink
for lack of water.
I make the sky turn dark
like the sackcloth
you wear at funerals.”

God’s Servant Must Suffer

The Lord God gives me
the right words
to encourage the weary.
Each morning he awakens me
eager to learn his teaching;
he made me willing to listen
and not rebel or run away.

I let them beat my back
and pull out my beard.
I didn’t turn aside
when they insulted me
and spit in my face.
But the Lord God keeps me
from being disgraced.
So I refuse to give up,
because I know
God will never let me down.

My protector is nearby;
no one can stand here
to accuse me of wrong.
The Lord God will help me
and prove I am innocent.
My accusers will wear out
like moth-eaten clothes.

10 None of you respect the Lord
or obey his servant.
You walk in the dark
instead of the light;
you don’t trust the name
of the Lord your God.[i]
11 Go ahead and walk in the light
of the fires you have set.[j]
But with his own hand,
the Lord will punish you
and make you suffer.


  1. 48.14 my friend: Probably Cyrus (see 44.28; 45.1).
  2. 48.14 Babylonia: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 14.
  3. 49.7 You. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 49.8 my. . . nations: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. 49.12 Syene: The Dead Sea Scrolls; the Standard Hebrew Text “Sinim.” The reference may be to modern Aswan, a city in southern Egypt.
  6. 49.17 Your city. . . destroyed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 49.20 whose children. . . sorrow: These “children” are Jews who were born in foreign countries during the time that Jerusalem was in ruins. Jerusalem probably stands for all the cities in Judah that were destroyed by the Babylonians.
  8. 49.24 cruel: The Dead Sea Scrolls and two ancient translations; the Standard Hebrew Text “good.”
  9. 50.10 God: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  10. 50.11 Go. . . set: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Ephesians 4:17-32

The Old Life and the New Life

17 As a follower of the Lord, I order you to stop living like stupid, godless people. 18 Their minds are in the dark, and they are stubborn and ignorant and have missed out on the life that comes from God. They no longer have any feelings about what is right, 19 and they are so greedy that they do all kinds of indecent things.

20-21 But that isn’t what you were taught about Jesus Christ. He is the truth, and you heard about him and learned about him. 22 You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. 23 Let the Spirit change your way of thinking 24 and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy.

Rules for the New Life

25 We are part of the same body. Stop lying and start telling each other the truth. 26 Don’t get so angry that you sin. Don’t go to bed angry 27 and don’t give the devil a chance.

28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Be honest and work hard, so you will have something to give to people in need.

29 Stop all your dirty talk. Say the right thing at the right time and help others by what you say.

30 Don’t make God’s Spirit sad. The Spirit makes you sure that someday you will be free from your sins.

31 Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. 32 Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.

Psalm 69:1-18

(By David for the music leader. To the tune “Lilies.”)

God Can Be Trusted

69 Save me, God!
I am about to drown.
I am sinking deep in the mud,
and my feet are slipping.
I am about to be swept under
by a mighty flood.
I am worn out from crying,
and my throat is dry.
I have waited for you
till my eyes are blurred.

There are more people
who hate me for no reason
than there are hairs
on my head.
Many terrible enemies
want to destroy me, God.
Am I supposed to give back
something I didn’t steal?
You know my foolish sins.
Not one is hidden from you.

Lord God All-Powerful,
ruler of Israel,
don’t let me embarrass anyone
who trusts and worships you.
It is for your sake alone
that I am insulted
and blush with shame.
I am like a stranger
to my relatives
and like a foreigner
to my own family.

My love for your house
burns in me like a fire,
and when others insulted you,
they insulted me as well.
10 I cried and went without food,[a]
but they still insulted me.
11 They sneered at me
for wearing sackcloth[b]
to show my sorrow.
12 Rulers and judges gossip
about me,
and drunkards make up songs
to mock me.

13 But I pray to you, Lord.
So when the time is right,
answer me
and help me
with your wonderful love.
14 Don’t let me sink in the mud,
but save me from my enemies
and from the deep water.
15 Don’t let me be
swept away by a flood
or drowned in the ocean
or swallowed by death.

16 Answer me, Lord!
You are kind and good.
Pay attention to me!
You are truly merciful.
17 Don’t turn away from me.
I am your servant,
and I am in trouble.
Please hurry and help!
18 Come and save me
from my enemies.


  1. 69.10 went without food: See the note at 35.13.
  2. 69.11 sackcloth: See the note at 30.11.

Proverbs 24:5-6


Wisdom brings strength,
and knowledge gives power.
Battles are won
by listening to advice
and making a lot of plans.