15 “I am the high and holy God, who lives forever. I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and repentant, so that I can restore their confidence and hope. 16 I gave my people life, and I will not continue to accuse them or be angry with them forever.[a] 17 I was angry with them because of their sin and greed, and so I punished them and abandoned them. But they were stubborn and kept on going their own way.
18 “I have seen how they acted, but I will heal them. I will lead them and help them, and I will comfort those who mourn. 19 (A)I offer peace to all, both near and far! I will heal my people. 20 But evil people are like the restless sea, whose waves never stop rolling in, bringing filth and muck. 21 (B)There is no safety for sinners,” says the Lord.
58 The Lord says, “Shout as loud as you can! Tell my people Israel about their sins! 2 They worship me every day, claiming that they are eager to know my ways and obey my laws. They say they want me to give them just laws and that they take pleasure in worshiping me.”
3 The people ask, “Why should we fast if the Lord never notices? Why should we go without food if he pays no attention?”
The Lord says to them, “The truth is that at the same time you fast, you pursue your own interests and oppress your workers. 4 Your fasting makes you violent, and you quarrel and fight. Do you think this kind of fasting will make me listen to your prayers? 5 When you fast, you make yourselves suffer; you bow your heads low like a blade of grass and spread out sackcloth and ashes to lie on. Is that what you call fasting? Do you think I will be pleased with that?
6 “The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. 7 (C)Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives.
8 “Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. 9 When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond.
“If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word; 10 if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon. 11 And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry. 12 Your people will rebuild what has long been in ruins, building again on the old foundations. You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses.”
The Reward for Keeping the Sabbath
13 The Lord says, “If you treat the Sabbath as sacred and do not pursue your own interests on that day; if you value my holy day and honor it by not traveling, working, or talking idly on that day, 14 then you will find the joy that comes from serving me. I will make you honored all over the world, and you will enjoy the land I gave to your ancestor, Jacob. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
The Prophet Condemns the People's Sins
59 Don't think that the Lord is too weak to save you or too deaf to hear your call for help! 2 It is because of your sins that he doesn't hear you. It is your sins that separate you from God when you try to worship him. 3 You are guilty of lying, violence, and murder.
4 You go to court, but you do not have justice on your side. You depend on lies to win your case. You carry out your plans to hurt others. 5-6 The evil plots you make are as deadly as the eggs of a poisonous snake. Crush an egg, out comes a snake! But your plots will do you no good—they are as useless as clothing made of cobwebs! 7 (D)You are always planning something evil, and you can hardly wait to do it. You never hesitate to murder innocent people. You leave ruin and destruction wherever you go, 8 and no one is safe when you are around. Everything you do is unjust. You follow a crooked path, and no one who walks that path will ever be safe.
The People Confess Their Sin
9 The people say, “Now we know why God does not save us from those who oppress us. We hope for light to walk by, but there is only darkness, 10 and we grope about like blind people. We stumble at noon, as if it were night, as if we were in the dark world of the dead. 11 We are frightened and distressed. We long for God to save us from oppression and wrong, but nothing happens.
12 “Lord, our crimes against you are many. Our sins accuse us. We are well aware of them all. 13 We have rebelled against you, rejected you, and refused to follow you. We have oppressed others and turned away from you. Our thoughts are false; our words are lies. 14 Justice is driven away, and right cannot come near. Truth stumbles in the public square, and honesty finds no place there. 15 There is so little honesty that those who stop doing evil find themselves the victims of crime.”
The Lord Prepares to Rescue His People
The Lord has seen this, and he is displeased that there is no justice. 16 (E)He is astonished to see that there is no one to help the oppressed. So he will use his own power to rescue them and to win the victory. 17 (F)He will wear justice like a coat of armor and saving power like a helmet. He will clothe himself with the strong desire to set things right and to punish and avenge the wrongs that people suffer. 18 He will punish his enemies according to what they have done, even those who live in distant lands. 19 From east to west everyone will fear him and his great power. He will come like a rushing river, like a strong wind.
20 (G)The Lord says to his people, “I will come to Jerusalem to defend you and to save all of you that turn from your sins. 21 And I make a covenant with you: I have given you my power and my teachings to be yours forever, and from now on you are to obey me and teach your children and your descendants to obey me for all time to come.”
- Isaiah 57:16 I gave my people … forever; or I will not continue to accuse them or be angry with them forever, for then they would die—the very people to whom I gave life.
1 (A)From Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus—
To all God's people in Philippi who are in union with Christ Jesus, including the church leaders and helpers:
2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Paul's Prayer for His Readers
3 I thank my God for you every time I think of you; 4 and every time I pray for you all, I pray with joy 5 because of the way in which you have helped me in the work of the gospel from the very first day until now. 6 And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus. 7 You are always in my heart! And so it is only right for me to feel as I do about you. For you have all shared with me in this privilege that God has given me, both now that I am in prison and also while I was free to defend the gospel and establish it firmly. 8 God is my witness that I tell the truth when I say that my deep feeling for you all comes from the heart of Christ Jesus himself.
9 I pray that your love will keep on growing more and more, together with true knowledge and perfect judgment, 10 so that you will be able to choose what is best. Then you will be free from all impurity and blame on the Day of Christ. 11 Your lives will be filled with the truly good qualities which only Jesus Christ can produce, for the glory and praise of God.
To Live Is Christ
12 I want you to know, my friends, that the things that have happened to me have really helped the progress of the gospel. 13 (B)As a result, the whole palace guard and all the others here know that I am in prison because I am a servant of Christ. 14 And my being in prison has given most of the believers more confidence in the Lord, so that they grow bolder all the time to preach the message[a] fearlessly.
15 Of course some of them preach Christ because they are jealous and quarrelsome, but others from genuine good will. 16 These do so from love, because they know that God has given me the work of defending the gospel. 17 The others do not proclaim Christ sincerely, but from a spirit of selfish ambition; they think that they will make more trouble for me while I am in prison.
18 It does not matter! I am happy about it—just so Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives. And I will continue to be happy, 19 because I know that by means of your prayers and the help which comes from the Spirit of Jesus Christ I shall be set free. 20 My deep desire and hope is that I shall never fail in my duty, but that at all times, and especially right now, I shall be full of courage, so that with my whole being I shall bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21 For what is life? To me, it is Christ. Death, then, will bring more. 22 But if by continuing to live I can do more worthwhile work, then I am not sure which I should choose. 23 I am pulled in two directions. I want very much to leave this life and be with Christ, which is a far better thing; 24 but for your sake it is much more important that I remain alive. 25 I am sure of this, and so I know that I will stay. I will stay on with you all, to add to your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that when I am with you again, you will have even more reason to be proud of me in your life in union with Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 1:14 the message; some manuscripts have God's message.
The Prayer of an Elderly Person
71 Lord, I have come to you for protection;
never let me be defeated!
2 Because you are righteous, help me and rescue me.
Listen to me and save me!
3 Be my secure shelter
and a strong fortress[a] to protect me;
you are my refuge and defense.
4 My God, rescue me from wicked people,
from the power of cruel and evil people.
5 Sovereign Lord, I put my hope in you;
I have trusted in you since I was young.
6 I have relied on you all my life;
you have protected[b] me since the day I was born.
I will always praise you.
7 My life has been an example to many,
because you have been my strong defender.
8 All day long I praise you
and proclaim your glory.
9 Do not reject me now that I am old;
do not abandon me now that I am feeble.
10 My enemies want to kill me;
they talk and plot against me.
11 They say, “God has abandoned him;
let's go after him and catch him;
there is no one to rescue him.”
12 Don't stay so far away, O God;
my God, hurry to my aid!
13 May those who attack me
be defeated and destroyed.
May those who try to hurt me
be shamed and disgraced.
14 I will always put my hope in you;
I will praise you more and more.
15 I will tell of your goodness;
all day long I will speak of your salvation,
though it is more than I can understand.
16 I will go in the strength of the Lord God;
I will proclaim your goodness, yours alone.
17 You have taught me ever since I was young,
and I still tell of your wonderful acts.
18 Now that I am old and my hair is gray,
do not abandon me, O God!
Be with me while I proclaim your power and might
to all generations to come.
19 Your righteousness, God, reaches the skies.
You have done great things;
there is no one like you.
20 You have sent troubles and suffering on me,
but you will restore my strength;
you will keep me from the grave.
21 You will make me greater than ever;
you will comfort me again.
22 I will indeed praise you with the harp;
I will praise your faithfulness, my God.
On my harp I will play hymns to you,
the Holy One of Israel.
23 I will shout for joy as I play for you;
with my whole being I will sing
because you have saved me.
24 I will speak of your righteousness all day long,
because those who tried to harm me
have been defeated and disgraced.
9 Any scheme a fool thinks up is sinful. People hate a person who has nothing but scorn for others.
10 If you are weak in a crisis, you are weak indeed.