The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday September 23, 2019 (NIV)

Isaiah 41:17-43:13

17 And when people thirst, when those poor souls with parched tongues
look in vain for something to drink,
I, the Eternal, the God of Israel, won’t leave them to suffer. I will respond
18 By making the hard, brown hills sparkle with streams of fresh water
and causing valleys to come alive with springs.
I will see that gentle pools wait on the desert floor for the weary traveler,
and great fountains bubble up from dry ground;
19 In the desert, I will plant cedars, woody acacias,
myrtles, and olive trees.
I will establish great cypresses to flourish in the desert places,
plant oaks and pine trees side by side.

20 They’ll see all this and understand. They’ll ponder together
and come to know that it is the power of the Eternal One that produced this.
They will know that the Holy One of Israel created it.

21 Eternal One: Present your case. Lay out your arguments
and call your witnesses to appear before the King of Jacob.

God and Israel now become judge and jury as the nations bring their idols and make the case that their handmade gods can indeed predict the future.

22-23 Come on and bring your idols. Now tell us what is to come,
and while you’re at it, tell us what happened before.
Can you explain to us so that we, too, may understand?
Go ahead, tell us what the future holds.
Surely you can, if you are truly gods. Do good, or do bad.
Just do something—anything—to amaze or frighten us.
24 Sure enough, you are not gods; you are nothing at all.
You have nothing to show for your work or yourselves.
Fools! Only fools would choose you to be their god. Detestable.

25 Eternal One: I, the Lord, I have called up for service
one from the north, and he comes from the rising sun
and he will invoke My name.
He will render rulers like mud under his shoes,
trampling them down like so much clay.
26 Did any of you gods tell us about this long ago, so we would know?
Did any of you indicate to us that we might agree, “He is right”?
No, no one told us. No one made an announcement, and no one hears what you say.
27 I was the first to say to Zion, “Look, here they are!”
I sent a messenger to announce the good news to Jerusalem.
28 But I am looking, and there isn’t anyone.
I have asked around, and no one knows, no one can tell Me.
29 See here, all of these so-called gods are false;
their works are nothing;
These cast-metal images are like wind, sheer emptiness.

42 Eternal One: Look here, let Me present My servant;
I have taken hold of him. He is My chosen, and I delight in him.
I have put My Spirit on him; by this he will bring justice to the nations.

This poem is the first of several Servant Songs. God’s special Servant is described in various ways. In this song (42:1–9), the Servant is portrayed as one who faithfully establishes justice in the world and serves as a light for the nations. In the second song (49:1–13), the Servant is called from the womb and ordained to restore the nation of Israel and take salvation to the ends of the earth. In the third song (50:4–9), the Servant is portrayed as a teacher, intimately in touch with God, yet brutally beaten and disgraced by his enemies. In the fourth song (52:13–53:12), the suffering and rejection of God’s Servant takes priority over his other tasks; yet even in his suffering God is working to repair the world from the harm done by sin and evil.

Eternal One: He will not scream or yell,
crying out for all to hear.
What is bruised and bent, he will not break;
he will not blow out a smoldering candle.
Rather, he will faithfully turn his attention to doing justice.
And though he faces obstacles, resistance, and great pressure,
he will not crack; he will not give up until things are set right.
Even the coastlands wait patiently for his instruction.

God, the Eternal One, who made the starry skies,
stretched them tight above and around;
Who cast the shimmering globe of earth and filled it with life;
who gives breath and animates the people;
Who walks and talks with life-giving spirit has this to say:

Eternal One: I am the Eternal One. By righteousness I have called you.
I will take you by the hand and keep you safe.
You are given as a covenant between Me and the people:
a light for the nations, a shining beacon to the world.
You will open blind eyes so they will see again.
You will lead prisoners, blinking, out from caverns of captivity,
from cells pitch black with despair.
I am the Eternal One.
I Am is My name.
My beauty is unique, a weighty splendor all My own.
And nothing else—no idols could possibly gain My praise.
Look here, what’s done is done and gone.
The now is new, and there’s hope in the not-yet.
I will tell you what’s to come, even before the events are brand-new.

10 So make up a song like none other. Sing a new song to the Eternal.
And let His praise echo clear across the earth.
Let those who go to sea set sail with praise in the air.
Let those who live along the waters’ edge sing His praise.
11 Let desert places, urban and rural, wild and settled, sing!
Let the settlements of Kedar and those in the craggy cliffs of Sela join in the celebration.
The peaks of mountains, too, raise your voices with a great, glad cry.
12 Let them all give glory to the Eternal.
Let them praise the One who is, was, and will be heard along the coasts.
13 As a hero throws himself into battle, the Eternal will take on His enemies;
with passion, shouting out a deafening roar, He will power over them.

14 Eternal One: As a woman fiercely strains to give birth, I will gasp, pant, and cry out.
I have been quiet for a long time; I have held back in the face of it all.
Well, no more.
15 When My power is loosed, I will make level the heights
and render them bare.
I will dry up the rivers until bare islands appear,
and empty the sweet water from the pools.
16 I will escort the blind down roads they do not know,
guide them down paths they’ve never seen.
I will smooth their passage and light their way.
I will indeed do it—they are abandoned no more.

17 Meanwhile, those who put their stock in worthless images,
who worship things impotent and breakable
And say to idols, “You are our gods,”
will be turned away and mortified.

18 Eternal One: You, deaf to the world, hear!
You, blind in your eyes, look! And you will see.
19 My servant is as blind as any.
Who could be more deaf than the one who goes where I direct and tells what I want told?

The identity of the Servant is much debated. On the one hand, Isaiah often refers to God’s people, Israel, as “the servant of the Eternal” (41:8–9; 42:19; 45:4; especially 49:3). Yet at other times the Servant seems to be an individual, distinct from Israel, with a special mission to and for Israel. Early Christians hear these Servant Songs and reflect on Jesus’ significance; they better understand His role as the light of the world, teacher, and Suffering Servant of God. They see His life and ministry as the embodiment and representative of true Israel and therefore the fulfillment of these words. They use the prophet’s poetry to formulate songs and sermons that express not only Jesus’ unique relationship to God but also His unique career as the Light of the world.

Who is as blind as the one committed to do what the Eternal One wills,
the servant of the Eternal?
20 The seer-of-much nevertheless doesn’t get it;
privy to sound and speech and tone, he still doesn’t hear.
21 On account of God’s goodness, His right ways and deeds,
the Eternal was pleased to make the instruction grand and glorious.
22 But this people is compromised.
They’ve been plundered and robbed.
They have lost—things, liberty, place, and name.
They are all trapped in holes and tucked away in prisons.
They’ve been plundered and depleted with none to the rescue.
They’ve been stolen away with none to insist, “Give them back.”
23 Is there anyone who understands? Who, out of all of you, will pay attention,
understand, and take note concerning what’s to come?

God is the one who lies behind these events. He makes it possible for His people to be defeated and taken away.

24 Wasn’t it the Lord, because we turned our backs,
who gave up Jacob’s descendants, Israel, for robbery and plunder?
We refused to live as God would have us live. We did not heed
the instruction that God gave us through Moses so long ago.
25 That’s why God sent all fury against Jacob
in the shape of war, and we were burned.
We experienced all this;
Yet we didn’t get it. God’s people did not take it to heart.

43 Eternal One: Remember who created you, O Jacob?
Who shaped you, O Israel?
See, you have nothing to fear. I, who made you, will take you back.
I have chosen you, named you as My own.
When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm;
you will not be engulfed in raging rivers.
If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs,
keep going; you won’t be burned.
Because I, the Eternal One, am your God.
I am the Holy One of Israel, and I will save you.
I have traded in nations to win you back,
Egypt, Cush, and Seba, in exchange for your freedom.
Because you are special to Me and I love you,
I gladly give up other peoples in exchange for you;
They are trivial by comparison to your weighty significance.

5-6 So don’t be afraid. I am here.
I will reunite you with your children,
bringing them back from wherever in the world they are—East, West, North, or South.
No place will be able to hold you when I demand your release, when I order them,
“Bring My children—My sons and daughters—from far away.
Bring the ones who are called by My name;
the ones I made, shaped, and created for My profound glory.”
Even though they fail and seem blind and deaf (and not for lack of eyes or ears),
bring them out.

All the nations gather together; peoples from all over the world assemble.
Who among them could have forseen this?
Let them call their witnesses to make their case, prove they are in the right—
that it is the truth.

10 Eternal One: You are My witnesses; You are My proof.

You whom I chose for special purpose, My servant,
in order that you would know Me, trust Me, be faithful to Me,
Understand that I alone am God; no god was formed before Me,
and there will be no god after Me.
11 I, I am the Eternal;
there is no Savior except for Me,
12 I alone told that this victory would happen. Then I saved you and made it known.
No other god worked among you—You know the truth.
You can testify that it is so; as I declare, I alone am God.
13 Indeed, from day one, I am He. No one can wrest another from My hand.
I make things happen; who can turn them around?

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Ephesians 2

Often in his letters, Paul records his prayers for his churches. He is constantly talking with God about those he considers his spiritual children. He prays that God will grant them wisdom, knowledge, and great power. This is the same power that was at work when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in heaven. Ultimately Paul knows all powers have been subjected to Jesus, the God-man, and He is destined to be head over all creation. In the resurrection of Jesus, the ultimate redemption of the cosmos has begun, and the church is the first act of God’s glorious drama.

As for you, don’t you remember how you used to just exist? Corpses, dead in life, buried by transgressions, wandering the course of this perverse world. You were the offspring of the prince of the power of air—oh, how he owned you, just as he still controls those living in disobedience. I’m not talking about the outsiders alone; we were all guilty of falling headlong for the persuasive passions of this world; we all have had our fill of indulging the flesh and mind, obeying impulses to follow perverse thoughts motivated by dark powers. As a result, our natural inclinations led us to be children of wrath, just like the rest of humankind.

But God, with the unfathomable richness of His love and mercy focused on us, united us with the Anointed One and infused our lifeless souls with life—even though we were buried under mountains of sin—and saved us by His grace. He raised us up with Him and seated us in the heavenly realms with our beloved Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King. He did this for a reason: so that for all eternity we will stand as a living testimony to the incredible riches of His grace and kindness that He freely gives to us by uniting us with Jesus the Anointed. 8-9 For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazing. 10 For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago.

The relationship between faith and works is often misunderstood. Some think that salvation is God’s reward for good deeds. If that’s true, then it can’t possibly be a gift. If it were a reward, then heaven would be a place where people might compare notes on what they did to make it through the gates. But Paul is confident in the truth of the gospel. The truth is that salvation is God’s gift through Jesus. Grace and faith make salvation real in us. When we are transformed by grace, then we become His new creation and begin to live out the good works He has planned for us. Works, then, aren’t the cause of salvation; they are its result. To put it another way, works aren’t the means of salvation; they are its presence.

11 So never forget how you used to be. Those of you born as outsiders to Israel were outcasts, branded “the uncircumcised” by those who bore the sign of the covenant in their flesh, a sign made with human hands. 12 You had absolutely no connection to the Anointed; you were strangers, separated from God’s people. You were aliens to the covenant they had with God; you were hopelessly stranded without God in a fractured world. 13 But now, because of Jesus the Anointed and His sacrifice, all of that has changed. God gathered you who were so far away and brought you near to Him by the royal blood of the Anointed, our Liberating King.

14 He is the embodiment of our peace, sent once and for all to take down the great barrier of hatred and hostility that has divided us so that we can be one. 15 He offered His body on the sacrificial altar to bring an end to the law’s ordinances and dictations that separated Jews from the outside nations. His desire was to create in His body one new humanity from the two opposing groups, thus creating peace. 16 Effectively the cross becomes God’s means to kill off the hostility once and for all so that He is able to reconcile them both to God in this one new body.

17 The Great Preacher of peace and love came for you, and His voice found those of you who were near and those who were far away. 18 By Him both have access to the Father in one Spirit. 19 And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household. 20 You are being built on a solid foundation: the message of the prophets and the voices of God’s chosen emissaries[a] with Jesus, the Anointed Himself, the precious cornerstone. 21 The building is joined together stone by stone—all of us chosen and sealed in Him, rising up to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In Him you are being built together, creating a sacred dwelling place among you where God can live in the Spirit.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:20 Literally, apostles
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 67

Psalm 67

For the worship leader. A song accompanied by strings.

Psalm 67 echoes the priestly blessing (Numbers 6:24–26) and invites all nations to join in praise to the one True God.

May God pour His grace and blessings into us
and turn His face to shine His light on us.

[pause][a]

So all those on earth will learn to follow Your way
and see Your saving power come to redeem all nations.
May all people live to praise You, Our True God;
may all come to praise You.

May all nations celebrate together, singing joy-filled songs of praise to You
because You judge the people fairly
and give guidance to all the nations of the earth.

[pause]

May the people praise You with their whole hearts, O God;
may every man, woman, and child on the earth praise You.

The land has supplied a bountiful harvest,
and the True God, our God, has poured out His blessings to us all.
God is the source of our blessings;
may every corner of the earth respect and revere Him.

Footnotes:

  1. 67:1 Literally, selah, likely a musical direction from a Hebrew root meaning “to lift up”
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 23:29-35

29 Who is wallowing in anguish? Who is full of sorrow?
Who has conflicts? Who has complaints?
Who has bruises and can’t remember where they came from?
Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 You know who: those who stay up late finishing off the wine,
those who can’t stop savoring spiced wines.
31 Look away from the enticing beauty of wine, the deep red hue;
ignore how it shimmers in the cup
and glides down your throat.
32 Eventually, when you least expect it, it strikes like a snake;
it stings like viper venom.
33 Your vision will blur, and you’ll imagine strange things;
you will say crazy, hurtful things and regret it later.
34 You will reel and stagger as if caught on a wave of seasickness,
as a sailor who holds on to a mast for dear life.
35 You will say, “They slapped me, but it didn’t hurt.
They beat me, and I didn’t feel a thing!
Whenever I wake up from this stupor,
I’ll have another drink!”

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday September 22, 2019 (NIV)

Isaiah 39:1-41:16

39 The man who was king of Babylon, Merodach-baladan (Baladan’s son), heard about Hezekiah—how he was so very sick and then got better. So he sent envoys to Hezekiah with letters and a gift. Hezekiah was delighted at the kind gesture from so great a king, so he welcomed his guests and showed them the best of Judah’s treasures and talents—silver and gold, precious spices, and oils that wafted the smells of paradise. He gave them a tour of his armory and showed them all of Judah’s military equipment and everything they’d stashed away for future need. Hezekiah held nothing back from their appreciative eyes. He showed them everything in his house and his kingdom.

When Isaiah the prophet heard about Hezekiah’s tour, he hurried to the palace and confronted Hezekiah.

Isaiah: What in the world have you done? Where did these people come from? And what did you talk with them about?

Hezekiah (puzzled by Isaiah’s obvious distress): They came from a great distance simply to extend kind wishes for my recovery from their king! They came from Babylon.

Isaiah: What did you show them? What have they seen in your palace?

Hezekiah: Well, everything. They have seen all that I own. I put all of my treasures on display. I didn’t hold back anything from them.

During Isaiah’s life, the Northern Kingdom (composed of ten Israelite tribes) flourishes and then falls, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah is battered by surrounding nations but persists. Eventually the Southern Kingdom itself falls, not to Assyria but to Babylon. Shockingly, the Babylonians destroy the capital and raze the temple where the Holy One of Israel is uniquely present with the people.

The Lord determines these events because their failings—as Isaiah described in such detail—and their refusal to correct their attitudes and behavior necessitate punishment on the order of national destruction. God’s covenant people have broken their part of the agreement and be-come unfit to live as people of Zion.

The scene has shifted. The situation has changed. The threat from Assyria now seems a distant memory. A new reality encompasses the people of God: Jerusalem and its glorious temple have been destroyed, and the key citizens of Judah have been carried off into exile by the Babylonians.

While tradition credits the entire book to Isaiah of Jerusalem, many scholars think these next 16 chapters are recorded by another prophet years later in the spirit of that great prophet of Jerusalem who proclaimed much of the previous writings. Whether this was Isaiah speaking in the future prophetically or another person used by the Spirit to continue Isaiah’s ministry, the traditions and ideas of Isaiah are so closely followed by the next chapters that they have been collected and included in this large book named after Isaiah. The time and circumstances are different, so the message is a bit different too. It is equally passionate about righteousness, Zion, and the Holy One of Israel. These events occur about two centuries after Isaiah’s death in the land of exile—Babylon.

Isaiah: Listen well to what the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, has said: “The time is coming when everything in your palace—everything of value kept, passed down, and stored by your ancestors to this present time—will be taken away to Babylon. Of everything that you showed this Babylonian contingent, nothing will be left. Absolutely nothing will remain here,” says the Eternal One. “Even some of your sons yet to be born will be taken to exile. They will be castrated and forced to serve in the Babylonian royal house.”

Hezekiah: The message you have spoken from the Eternal is good.

“At least,” Hezekiah thought to himself, “during my lifetime things will be peaceful and secure.”

40 “Comfort, comfort My people,” says your God.
“With gentle words, tender and kind,
Assure Jerusalem, this chosen city from long ago,
that her battles are over.
The terror, the bloodshed, the horror of My punishing work is done.
This place has paid for its guilt; iniquity is pardoned;
its term of incarceration is complete.
It has endured double the punishment it was due.”

A voice is wailing, “In the wilderness, get it ready! Prepare the way;
make it a straight shot. The Eternal would have it so.
Straighten the way in the wandering desert
to make the crooked road wide and straight for our God.[a]
Where there are steep valleys, treacherous descents,
raise the highway; lift it up;
bring down the dizzying heights.
Fill in the potholes and gullies, the rough places.
Iron out the shoulders flat and wide.
The Lord will be, really be, among us.
The radiant glory of the Lord will be revealed.
All flesh together will take it in. Believe it.
None other than God, the Eternal, has spoken.”[b]

During the time of Jesus, John the Baptist wanders around Israel in the tradition of the Hebrew prophets warning the people that they need to correct their attitudes and behaviors, to bring them better in line with what God expects and desires. He declares (warns, actually) that God is coming and will set things right. During the circumstances of exile, the people don’t fully understand who or what this voice in the wilderness will be; centuries later, as the early Christian community looks back over the life of Jesus and John, they recognize the anonymous voice.

A voice says, “Declare!”
But what shall I declare?
All life is like the grass.
All of its grace and beauty fades like the wild flowers in a field.

The grass withers, the flower fades
as the breath of the Eternal One blows away.
People are no different from grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
nothing lasts except the word of our God.
It will stand forever.[c]

Isaiah’s message is not just doom and gloom. God determines that His people may return home to rebuild their lives! God uses the new king, Cyrus of Persia, to accomplish this glorious restoration. God does not allow His punishment to last forever.

Now, in this new time, God smoothes the rocky way between Mesopotamia and all Israel; He makes the deserts between the present place of exile and their home just east of the Mediterranean Sea burst with sweet water and bloom with beauty and good things to eat. Treacherous roads and threatening beasts yield to God’s desire that they return safely.

In chapters 40–55, for the most part, the message is one of comfort and encouragement to God’s downtrodden and discouraged people. Many centuries later, these words will be understood in light of the Anointed One.

Ascend a high mountain,
you herald of good tidings, O Zion;
With a clear, strong voice make known to everyone
the joy that belongs to God’s chosen place,
O, Jerusalem, You herald of good tidings!
Make the news ring out! Don’t be afraid!
Say to these cities, this Judah: “Behold your God!”
10 The Lord, the Eternal, comes with power, with unstoppable might;
He will take control without question or delay.
He will see to it that wages are paid,
repairs are made, and all is set right again.
11 He will feed His fold like a shepherd;
He will gather together His lambs—the weak and the wobbly ones—into His arms.
He will carry them close to His bosom,
and tenderly lead like a shepherd the mother of her lambs.

12 Who has taken count and measured out all earth’s waters in a single, cupped palm
and determined heaven’s expanse with an outstretched hand?
Who has counted out exactly how many grains of dirt are here on earth,
and weighed the mountains and hills on scales?

13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Eternal One?
Can anyone claim to be His advisor?[d]
14 To whom did God turn for advice or instruction?
Whom did He consult about right and wrong?
Who directed Him down the path of justice or imparted to Him knowledge
or taught Him the way of understanding?

15 Face it; the nations are nothing but a drop in the bucket,
only a smidgen on the scales by the reckoning of God.
He can pick up entire islands as if they are grains of dirt.
16 Even if we had all the resources of Lebanon—
all of its trees to burn for fuel, all of its animals for burnt offerings—
How could we think that we’ve got enough to give to God?
17 All the countries of the world don’t add up to anything. In the eyes of God
they are less than nothing;
they are empty wastelands.

18 So would you try to find someone to compare to Him?
Can you think of anything that has a likeness to God?
19 An idol? Hardly. They are made by human hands.
Even if they are overlaid with gold, decorated with silver,
And shaped by the world’s best artisans,
they are subject to tarnish, tearing, and breaking.
20 Those who cannot afford such an extravagant offering
select a choice hardwood that will not rot,
And seek a skilled artisan to fashion an image
that will not totter and fall.

21 Don’t you know, haven’t you heard or even been told
from your earliest memories how the earth came to be?
22 Who else could have done it except God, enthroned high above the earth?
From such a vantage people seem like grasshoppers to Him.
Who else but God could stretch out the skies as if they were a curtain,
draw them tight, suspend them over our heads like the roof of a tent?
23 God reduces the rulers and judges,
the rich and powerful of the earth, to nothing;

24 They scarcely are planted, take root and start growing,
before God blows a withering breath,
And storm winds carry them away like chaff.

25 The Holy One asks, “Do you really think you can find
someone or something to compare to Me? My equal?”
26 Look at the myriad of stars and constellations above you.
Who set them to burning, each in its place?
Who knows those countless lights each by name?
They obediently shine, each in its place,
because God has the great strength and strong power to make it so.

27 Why, then, do you, Jacob, inheritors of God’s promise,
you, Israel, chosen of God—
Why do you say, “My troubled path is hidden from the Eternal;
God has lost all interest in My cause”?
28 Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
The Eternal, the Everlasting God,
The Creator of the whole world, never gets tired or weary.
His wisdom is beyond understanding.
29 God strengthens the weary
and gives vitality to those worn down by age and care.
30 Young people will get tired;
strapping young men will stumble and fall.
31 But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength.
They will soar on wings as eagles.
They will run—never winded, never weary.
They will walk—never tired, never faint.

41 Eternal One: Keep quiet and listen to Me, lands along the seacoast;
give the people of the nations a chance to regain their strength.
Let them come close, all together, to speak their minds and present their case;
let’s consider the facts and make a judgment.
Who brought up this eastern hero? Who called up his justice service?
He lays nations at his feet and makes an end of their kings.
With a thrust of his sword and the bend of his bow,
this hero turns kings and their armies into dust.
With agility and speed unmatched, he chases them down
and is himself unscathed, even though he is passing over unfamiliar land.
Who has performed these deeds and accomplished this purpose?
Who calls each generation into being from the first on down?

It is I, the Eternal One your God.
I am the first.
And to the very last, I am the One.

The lands along the seacoast have seen and are scared.
The ends of earth take to shaking and yet still they draw near.
They try to bolster each other up saying,
“Have courage, brother, have courage!”
Recognizing their mutual dependence, the artisan encourages the goldsmith;
the one who hammers the metal emboldens the one who welds,
Saying, “Looks good! Fine job!” and fastens the idols together with nails,
making it stand firm and stable.

The nations fashion new idols in the hopes these new gods will be able to protect them during the coming battles against the eastern hero, Cyrus of Persia. If powerful Babylon can fall before him and his mighty army, what chance do other nations have? But Israel has nothing to fear. For God’s covenant people, Cyrus’ rise to power is good news; his ascension and Babylon’s defeat are God’s answers to their anxious prayers. Cyrus’ campaign to build his empire is not simply the will of man or a coincidence of history; it is the outworking of God’s plan to redeem and restore His scattered people. It was God who sent His disobedient covenant partners into exile; it will be God who brings them back home.

Eternal One: But you, My servant, Israel,
Jacob whom I have chosen and descendant of My friend, Abraham,
I have reached to wherever you are in the farthest corners of earth,
and the most hidden places therein.
I have called to you and said, “You are my servant.
I have chosen you, not thrown you away!”
10 So don’t be afraid. I am here, with you;
don’t be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, help you.
I am here with My right hand to make right and to hold you up.
11 Look, everyone who hated you and sought to do you wrong
will be embarrassed and confused.
Whoever challenged you with hot-headed bluster
will become as if they never were, and nevermore will be.
12 You may go looking for them, but you won’t find them;
because those who tried to fight with you will become as if they never were.
13 After all, it is I, the Eternal One your God,
who has hold of your right hand,
Who whispers in your ear, “Don’t be afraid. I will help you.”

14 So don’t be afraid, Jacob, though you are nothing but a worm.
People of Israel, you little bug, you have nothing to fear.

Eternal One: I will help you. I am One who saves you,
the Holy One of Israel.
15 I will turn you into a formidable threshing sledge
with brand new sharp blades that will mow down entire mountains
and turn the hills into chaff.
16 You will separate value from waste, and a great wind
and a strong storm will take away what is useless and unimportant.
You will take joy in the Eternal.
You will glow with pride in the Holy One of Israel.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Ephesians 1

Paul, an emissary[a] of Jesus the Anointed, directly commissioned as His representative by the will of God, to the saints [in Ephesus][b] faithful in Jesus the Anointed.

May God the Father and the Lord Jesus the Anointed surround you with grace and peace.

This letter begins with praise and thanksgiving to

  • God the Father, who blesses us
  • Jesus, who redeems us
  • the Holy Spirit, who seals us.

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One, who grants us every spiritual blessing in these heavenly realms where we live in the Anointed—not because of anything we have done, but because of what He has done for us. God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world; He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him. He destined us to be adopted as His children through the covenant Jesus the Anointed inaugurated in His sacrificial life. This was His pleasure and His will for us. Ultimately God is the one worthy of praise for showing us His grace; He is merciful and marvelous, freely giving us these gifts in His Beloved. Visualize this: His blood freely flowing down the cross, setting us free! We are forgiven for our sinful ways by the richness of His grace, which He has poured all over us. With all wisdom and insight, He has enlightened us to the great mystery at the center of His will. With immense pleasure, He laid out His intentions through Jesus, 10 a plan that will climax when the time is right as He returns to create order and unity—both in heaven and on earth—when all things are brought together under the Anointed’s royal rule. In Him 11 we stand to inherit even more. As His heirs, we are predestined to play a key role in His unfolding purpose that is energizing everything to conform to His will. 12 As a result, we—the first to place our hope in the Anointed One—will live in a way to bring Him glory and praise. 13 Because you, too, have heard the word of truth—the good news of your salvation—and because you believed in the One who is truth, your lives are marked with His seal. This is none other than the Holy Spirit who was promised 14 as the guarantee toward the inheritance we are to receive when He frees and rescues all who belong to Him. To God be all praise and glory!

This letter begins with praise and thanksgiving offered to God. Paul celebrates all the spiritual “blessings” available to all believers in Jesus, the Anointed One. This means that He is the one through whom God has acted to rescue the world. But more than that, He is the Lord to whom we belong and the spiritual place where all believers are presently located. In God’s purpose, heaven has come down to where we live so that we now occupy this wonderful realm where salvation is at work, where God’s truth and beauty are a reality, and where we wait as the rest of His plan is worked out.

15 This is why, when I heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus that is present in your community and of your great love for all God’s people, 16 I haven’t stopped thanking Him for you. I am continually speaking to Him on your behalf in my prayers. Here’s what I say:

17 God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, Father of Glory: I call out to You on behalf of Your people. Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know You. 18 Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. 19 Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power.

Friends, it is this same might and resurrection power that 20 He used in the Anointed One to raise Him from the dead and to position Him at His right hand in heaven. There is nothing over Him. 21 He’s above all rule, authority, power, and dominion; over every name invoked, over every title bestowed in this age and the next. 22 God has placed all things beneath His feet and anointed Him as the head over all things for His church. 23 This church is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 Literally, apostle
  2. 1:1 Some early manuscripts omit this portion.
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 66

Psalm 66

For the worship leader. A song.

Shout out to God, all the earth.
Erupt with joy to the one True God!
Sing of the glory due His name!
Offer Him the most magnificent praises!
Say to God, “All You have done is wondrous and causes fear!
Your power is mighty, and Your enemies pretend to submit to You.
The entire earth will bow down to worship You
and will sing glory-songs to You;
they will sing praises to Your name!

[pause][a]

Come and witness the True God’s endless works.
His miraculous deeds done on behalf of humanity inspire fear.
He transformed the sea into dry land;
our people passed through the river on foot!
Rejoice in Him; celebrate what He did there!
By His great might, He rules forever;
His eyes watch over all the nations,
so no one should go up against Him.

[pause]

Everyone, bless our True God!
Let praise-filled voices be heard near and far—at home and on foreign soil!
Praise the One who gives us life and keeps us safe,
who does not allow us to stumble in the darkness.
10 For You have put us to the test, O God;
You have refined us as silver is refined.
11 You trapped us with a snare;
You have laid upon our backs a heavy burden.
12 You allowed us to be conquered and let our enemies run over us.
We journeyed through dangers, through fire and flood,
But You led us finally to a safe place, a land rich and abundant.

13 I will come into Your temple with burnt offerings;
I will fulfill my promises to You—
14 The oaths that parted my lips
and were promises my mouth freely made when I was suffering and in anguish.
15 I will bring You my sacrifices—plump beasts
and the sweet smoke of consecrated rams—
I will also offer You bulls and goats.

[pause]

16 Come and listen, everyone who reveres the True God,
and I will tell you what He has done for me.
17 I cried out to Him with my mouth,
and I praised Him with my tongue.
18 If I entertain evil in my heart,
the Lord will not hear me.
19 But surely God has heard me;
He has paid attention to the urgency of my request.

20 May the True God be blessed,
for He did not turn away from my prayer
nor did He hold back His loyal love from me.

Footnotes:

  1. 66:4 Literally, selah, likely a musical direction from a Hebrew root meaning “to lift up”
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 23:25-28

25 So make your parents happy;
delight your mother—after all, she brought you into this world.

26 My son, devote yourself to me fully.
Observe my ways, and follow my directions:
27 Being drawn to a prostitute is like falling down into a deep well,
and being involved with a wicked woman is like descending into a narrow well.
You may never get out alive.
28 She waits for you, ready to ambush you like a thief
and ready to multiply unfaithfulness among men.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday September 21, 2019 (NIV)

Isaiah 37-38

37 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went to the Lord’s temple. Eliakim the palace supervisor, Shebna the scribe, and the leading priests, clothed in sackcloth, sent this message to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz: “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘This is a day of distress, insults, and humiliation, as when a baby is ready to leave the birth canal, but the mother lacks the strength to push it through. Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all these things the chief adviser has spoken on behalf of his master, the king of Assyria, who sent him to taunt the living God. When the Lord your God hears, perhaps he will punish him for the things he has said. So pray for this remnant that remains.’”

When King Hezekiah’s servants came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master this: ‘This is what the Lord says: “Don’t be afraid because of the things you have heard—these insults the king of Assyria’s servants have hurled against me. Look, I will take control of his mind; he will receive a report and return to his own land. I will cut him down with a sword in his own land.”’”

When the chief adviser heard the king of Assyria had departed from Lachish, he left and went to Libnah, where the king was campaigning. The king heard that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia was marching out to fight him. He again sent messengers to Hezekiah, ordering them: 10 “Tell King Hezekiah of Judah this: ‘Don’t let your God in whom you trust mislead you when he says, “Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 11 Certainly you have heard how the kings of Assyria have annihilated all lands. Do you really think you will be rescued? 12 Were the nations whom my predecessors destroyed—the nations of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden in Telassar—rescued by their gods? 13 Where are the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’”

14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to the Lord’s temple and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord: 16 “O Lord who commands armies, O God of Israel, who is enthroned on the cherubim! You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the sky and the earth. 17 Pay attention, Lord, and hear! Open your eyes, Lord, and observe! Listen to this entire message Sennacherib sent and how he taunts the living God! 18 It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all the nations and their lands. 19 They have burned the gods of the nations, for they are not really gods, but only the product of human hands manufactured from wood and stone. That is why the Assyrians could destroy them. 20 Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power, so all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”

21 Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘Because you prayed to me concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria, 22 this is what the Lord says about him:

“The virgin daughter Zion
despises you—she makes fun of you;
daughter Jerusalem
shakes her head after you.
23 Whom have you taunted and hurled insults at?
At whom have you shouted
and looked so arrogantly?
At the Holy One of Israel!
24 Through your messengers you taunted the sovereign master,
‘With my many chariots I climbed up
the high mountains,
the slopes of Lebanon.
I cut down its tall cedars
and its best evergreens.
I invaded its most remote regions,
its thickest woods.
25 I dug wells
and drank water.
With the soles of my feet I dried up
all the rivers of Egypt.’
26 Certainly you must have heard!
Long ago I worked it out,
in ancient times I planned it,
and now I am bringing it to pass.
The plan is this:
Fortified cities will crash
into heaps of ruins.
27 Their residents are powerless;
they are terrified and ashamed.
They are as short-lived as plants in the field
or green vegetation.
They are as short-lived as grass on the rooftops
when it is scorched by the east wind.
28 I know where you live
and everything you do
and how you rage against me.
29 Because you rage against me
and the uproar you create has reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose,
and my bridle between your lips,
and I will lead you back
the way you came.”

30 “This will be your reminder that I have spoken the truth: This year you will eat what grows wild, and next year what grows on its own. But the year after that you will plant seed and harvest crops; you will plant vines and consume their produce. 31 Those who remain in Judah will take root in the ground and bear fruit.

32 “For a remnant will leave Jerusalem;
survivors will come out of Mount Zion.
The intense devotion of the Lord who commands armies will accomplish this.
33 So this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
‘He will not enter this city,
nor will he shoot an arrow here.
He will not attack it with his shielded warriors,
nor will he build siege works against it.
34 He will go back the way he came—
he will not enter this city,’ says the Lord.
35 I will shield this city and rescue it for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.”’”

36 The Lord’s messenger went out and killed 185,000 troops in the Assyrian camp. When they got up early the next morning, there were all the corpses! 37 So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and went on his way. He went home and stayed in Nineveh. 38 One day, as he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword. They ran away to the land of Ararat; his son Esarhaddon replaced him as king.

The Lord Hears Hezekiah’s Prayer

38 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Give instructions to your household, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’” Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Please, Lord. Remember how I have served you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion, and how I have carried out your will.” Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.

The Lord told Isaiah, “Go and tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will add fifteen years to your life, and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city.”’” 21 Isaiah ordered, “Let them take a fig cake and apply it to the ulcerated sore and he will get well.” 22 Hezekiah said, “What is the confirming sign that I will go up to the Lord’s temple?” Isaiah replied, “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said: Look, I will make the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.” And then the shadow went back ten steps.

Hezekiah’s Song of Thanks

This is the prayer of King Hezekiah of Judah when he was sick and then recovered from his illness:

10 “I thought,
‘In the middle of my life I must walk through the gates of Sheol,
I am deprived of the rest of my years.’
11 “I thought,
‘I will no longer see the Lord in the land of the living,
I will no longer look on humankind with the inhabitants of the world.
12 My dwelling place is removed and taken away from me
like a shepherd’s tent.
I rolled up my life like a weaver rolls cloth;
from the loom he cuts me off.
You turn day into night and end my life.
13 I cry out until morning;
like a lion he shatters all my bones;
you turn day into night and end my life.
14 Like a swallow or a thrush I chirp,
I coo like a dove;
my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky.
O sovereign master, I am oppressed;
help me!
15 What can I say?
He has decreed and acted.
I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief.
16 O sovereign master, your decrees can give men life;
may years of life be restored to me.
Restore my health and preserve my life.’
17 “Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit.
You delivered me from the Pit of oblivion.
For you removed all my sins from your sight.
18 Indeed Sheol does not give you thanks;
death does not praise you.
Those who descend into the Pit do not anticipate your faithfulness.
19 The living person, the living person, he gives you thanks,
as I do today.
A father tells his sons about your faithfulness.
20 The Lord is about to deliver me,
and we will celebrate with music
for the rest of our lives in the Lord’s temple.”

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Galatians 6

Support One Another

Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too. Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Let each one examine his own work. Then he can take pride in himself and not compare himself with someone else. For each one will carry his own load.

Now the one who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with the one who teaches it. Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows, because the person who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith.

Final Instructions and Benediction

11 See what big letters I make as I write to you with my own hand!

12 Those who want to make a good showing in external matters are trying to force you to be circumcised. They do so only to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For those who are circumcised do not obey the law themselves, but they want you to be circumcised so that they can boast about your flesh. 14 But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation! 16 And all who will behave in accordance with this rule, peace and mercy be on them, and on the Israel of God.

17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Psalm 65

Psalm 65

For the music director; a psalm of David, a song.

Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion.
Vows made to you are fulfilled.
You hear prayers;
all people approach you.
Our record of sins overwhelms me,
but you forgive our acts of rebellion.
How blessed is the one whom you choose,
and allow to live in your palace courts.
May we be satisfied with the good things of your house—
your holy palace.
You answer our prayers by performing awesome acts of deliverance,
O God, our savior.
All the ends of the earth trust in you,
as well as those living across the wide seas.
You created the mountains by your power,
and demonstrated your strength.
You calm the raging seas
and their roaring waves,
as well as the commotion made by the nations.
Even those living in the most remote areas are awestruck by your acts;
you cause those living in the east and west to praise you.
You visit the earth and give it rain;
you make it rich and fertile
with overflowing streams full of water.
You provide grain for them,
for you prepare the earth to yield its crops.
10 You saturate its furrows,
and soak its plowed ground.
With rain showers you soften its soil,
and make its crops grow.
11 You crown the year with your good blessings,
and you leave abundance in your wake.
12 The pastures in the wilderness glisten with moisture,
and the hills are clothed with joy.
13 The meadows are clothed with sheep,
and the valleys are covered with grain.
They shout joyfully, yes, they sing.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Proverbs 23:24

24 The father of a righteous person will rejoice greatly;
whoever fathers a wise child will have joy in him.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday September 20, 2019 (NIV)

Isaiah 33:10-36:22

10 “Now I will rise up,” says the Lord.
“Now I will exalt myself;
now I will magnify myself.
11 You conceive straw,
you give birth to chaff;
your breath is a fire that destroys you.
12 The nations will be burned to ashes;
like thorn bushes that have been cut down, they will be set on fire.
13 You who are far away, listen to what I have done!
You who are close by, recognize my strength!”
14 Sinners are afraid in Zion;
panic grips the godless.
They say, ‘Who among us can coexist with destructive fire?
Who among us can coexist with unquenchable fire?’
15 The one who lives uprightly
and speaks honestly;
the one who refuses to profit from oppressive measures
and rejects a bribe;
the one who does not plot violent crimes
and does not seek to harm others—
16 This is the person who will live in a secure place;
he will find safety in the rocky, mountain strongholds;
he will have food
and a constant supply of water.
17 You will see a king in his splendor;
you will see a wide land.
18 Your mind will recall the terror you experienced,
and you will ask yourselves, “Where is the scribe?
Where is the one who weighs the money?
Where is the one who counts the towers?”
19 You will no longer see a defiant people
whose language you do not comprehend,
whose derisive speech you do not understand.
20 Look at Zion, the city where we hold religious festivals!
You will see Jerusalem,
a peaceful settlement,
a tent that stays put;
its stakes will never be pulled up;
none of its ropes will snap in two.
21 Instead the Lord will rule there as our mighty king.
Rivers and wide streams will flow through it;
no war galley will enter;
no large ships will sail through.
22 For the Lord, our ruler,
the Lord, our commander,
the Lord, our king—
he will deliver us.
23 Though at this time your ropes are slack,
the mast is not secured,
and the sail is not unfurled,
at that time you will divide up a great quantity of loot;
even the lame will drag off plunder.
24 No resident of Zion will say, “I am ill”;
the people who live there will have their sin forgiven.

The Lord Will Judge Edom

34 Come near, you nations, and listen!
Pay attention, you people!
The earth and everything it contains must listen,
the world and everything that lives in it.
For the Lord is angry at all the nations
and furious with all their armies.
He will annihilate them and slaughter them.
Their slain will be left unburied,
their corpses will stink;
the hills will soak up their blood.
All the stars in the sky will fade away,
the sky will roll up like a scroll;
all its stars will wither,
like a leaf withers and falls from a vine
or a fig withers and falls from a tree.
He says, “Indeed, my sword has slaughtered heavenly powers.
Look, it now descends on Edom,
on the people I will annihilate in judgment.”
The Lord’s sword is dripping with blood,
it is covered with fat;
it drips with the blood of young rams and goats
and is covered with the fat of rams’ kidneys.
For the Lord is holding a sacrifice in Bozrah,
a bloody slaughter in the land of Edom.
Wild oxen will be slaughtered along with them,
as well as strong bulls.
Their land is drenched with blood,
their soil is covered with fat.
For the Lord has planned a day of revenge,
a time when he will repay Edom for her hostility toward Zion.
Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch
and her soil into brimstone;
her land will become burning pitch.
10 Night and day it will burn;
its smoke will ascend continually.
Generation after generation it will be a wasteland
and no one will ever pass through it again.
11 Owls and wild animals will live there,
all kinds of wild birds will settle in it.
The Lord will stretch out over her
the measuring line of ruin
and the plumb line of destruction.
12 Her nobles will have nothing left to call a kingdom
and all her officials will disappear.
13 Her fortresses will be overgrown with thorns;
thickets and weeds will grow in her fortified cities.
Jackals will settle there;
ostriches will live there.
14 Wild animals and wild dogs will congregate there;
wild goats will bleat to one another.
Yes, nocturnal animals will rest there
and make for themselves a nest.
15 Owls will make nests and lay eggs there;
they will hatch them and protect them.
Yes, hawks will gather there,
each with its mate.
16 Carefully read the scroll of the Lord!
Not one of these creatures will be missing,
none will lack a mate.
For the Lord has issued the decree,
and his own spirit gathers them.
17 He assigns them their allotment;
he measures out their assigned place.
They will live there permanently;
they will settle in it through successive generations.

The Land and Its People Are Transformed

35 Let the desert and dry region be happy;
let the wilderness rejoice and bloom like a lily!
Let it richly bloom;
let it rejoice and shout with delight!
It is given the grandeur of Lebanon,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the grandeur of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that have gone limp,
steady the knees that shake!
Tell those who panic,
“Be strong! Do not fear!
Look, your God comes to avenge!
With divine retribution he comes to deliver you.”
Then blind eyes will open,
deaf ears will hear.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
the mute tongue will shout for joy;
for water will flow in the desert,
streams in the wilderness.
The dry soil will become a pool of water,
the parched ground springs of water.
Where jackals once lived and sprawled out,
grass, reeds, and papyrus will grow.
A thoroughfare will be there—
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not travel on it;
it is reserved for those authorized to use it—
fools will not stray into it.
No lions will be there,
no ferocious wild animals will be on it—
they will not be found there.
Those delivered from bondage will travel on it,
10 those whom the Lord has ransomed will return that way.
They will enter Zion with a happy shout.
Unending joy will crown them,
happiness and joy will overwhelm them;
grief and suffering will disappear.

Sennacherib Invades Judah

36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. The king of Assyria sent his chief adviser from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem, along with a large army. The chief adviser stood at the conduit of the upper pool which is located on the road to the field where they wash and dry cloth. Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went out to meet him.

The chief adviser said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: “What is your source of confidence? Your claim to have a strategy and military strength is just empty talk. In whom are you trusting, that you would dare to rebel against me? Look, you must be trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed staff. If someone leans on it for support, it punctures his hand and wounds him. That is what Pharaoh king of Egypt does to all who trust in him! Perhaps you will tell me, ‘We are trusting in the Lord our God.’ But Hezekiah is the one who eliminated his high places and altars and then told the people of Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship at this altar.’ Now make a deal with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, provided you can find enough riders for them. Certainly you will not refuse one of my master’s minor officials and trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen. 10 Furthermore it was by the command of the Lord that I marched up against this land to destroy it. The Lord told me, ‘March up against this land and destroy it!’”’”

11 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the chief adviser, “Speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak with us in the Judahite dialect in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 12 But the chief adviser said, “My master did not send me to speak these words only to your master and to you. His message is also for the men who sit on the wall, for they will eat their own excrement and drink their own urine along with you!”

13 The chief adviser then stood there and called out loudly in the Judahite dialect, “Listen to the message of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 This is what the king says: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you, for he is not able to rescue you! 15 Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will certainly rescue us; this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 16 Don’t listen to Hezekiah!’ For this is what the king of Assyria says, ‘Send me a token of your submission and surrender to me. Then each of you may eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink water from his own cistern, 17 until I come and take you to a land just like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Hezekiah is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will rescue us.” Has any of the gods of the nations rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, did any gods rescue Samaria from my power? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have rescued their lands from my power? So how can the Lord rescue Jerusalem from my power?’” 21 They were silent and did not respond, for the king had ordered, “Don’t respond to him.”

22 Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went to Hezekiah with their clothes torn in grief and reported to him what the chief adviser had said.

New English Translation (NET)

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Galatians 5:13-26

Practice Love

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 However, if you continually bite and devour one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, being jealous of one another.

New English Translation (NET)

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Psalm 64

Psalm 64

For the music director; a psalm of David.

Listen to me, O God, as I offer my lament!
Protect my life from the enemy’s terrifying attacks.
Hide me from the plots of evil men,
from the crowd of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongues like a sword;
they aim their arrow, a slanderous charge,
in order to shoot down the innocent in secluded places.
They shoot at him suddenly and are unafraid of retaliation.
They encourage one another to carry out their evil deed.
They plan how to hide snares,
and boast, “Who will see them?”
They devise unjust schemes;
they disguise a well-conceived plot.
Man’s inner thoughts cannot be discovered.
But God will shoot at them;
suddenly they will be wounded by an arrow.
Their slander will bring about their demise.
All who see them will shudder,
and all people will fear.
They will proclaim what God has done,
and reflect on his deeds.
10 The godly will rejoice in the Lord
and take shelter in him.
All the morally upright will boast.

New English Translation (NET)

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Proverbs 23:23

23 Acquire truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.

New English Translation (NET)

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday September 19, 2019 (NIV)

Isaiah 30:12-33:9

12 For this reason this is what the Holy One of Israel says:
“You have rejected this message;
you trust instead in your ability to oppress and trick,
and rely on that kind of behavior.
13 So this sin will become your downfall.
You will be like a high wall
that bulges and cracks and is ready to collapse;
it crumbles suddenly, in a flash.
14 It shatters in pieces like a clay jar,
so shattered to bits that none of it can be salvaged.
Among its fragments one cannot find a shard large enough
to scoop a hot coal from a fire
or to skim off water from a cistern.”
15 For this is what the master, the Lord, the Holy One of Israel says:
“If you repented and patiently waited for me, you would be delivered;
if you calmly trusted in me you would find strength,
but you are unwilling.
16 You say, ‘No, we will flee on horses,’
so you will indeed flee.
You say, ‘We will ride on fast horses,’
so your pursuers will be fast.
17 One thousand will scurry at the battle cry of one enemy soldier;
at the battle cry of five enemy soldiers you will all run away,
until the remaining few are as isolated
as a flagpole on a mountaintop
or a signal flag on a hill.”

The Lord Will Not Abandon His People

18 For this reason the Lord is ready to show you mercy;
he sits on his throne, ready to have compassion on you.
Indeed, the Lord is a just God;
all who wait for him in faith will be blessed.
19 For people will live in Zion;
in Jerusalem you will weep no more.
When he hears your cry of despair, he will indeed show you mercy;
when he hears it, he will respond to you.
20 The sovereign master will give you distress to eat
and suffering to drink;
but your teachers will no longer be hidden;
your eyes will see them.
21 You will hear a word spoken behind you, saying,
“This is the correct way, walk in it,”
whether you are heading to the right or the left.
22 You will desecrate your silver-plated idols
and your gold-plated images.
You will throw them away as if they were a menstrual rag,
saying to them, “Get out!”
23 He will water the seed you plant in the ground,
and the ground will produce crops in abundance.
At that time your cattle will graze in wide pastures.
24 The oxen and donkeys used in plowing
will eat seasoned feed winnowed with a shovel and pitchfork.
25 On every high mountain
and every high hill
there will be streams flowing with water,
at the time of great slaughter when the fortified towers collapse.
26 The light of the full moon will be like the sun’s glare
and the sun’s glare will be seven times brighter,
like the light of seven days,
when the Lord binds up his people’s fractured bones
and heals their severe wound.
27 Look, the name of the Lord comes from a distant place
in raging anger and awesome splendor.
He speaks angrily
and his word is like destructive fire.
28 His battle cry overwhelms like a flooding river
that reaches one’s neck.
He shakes the nations in a sieve that isolates the chaff;
he puts a bit into the mouth of the nations and leads them to destruction.
29 You will sing
as you do in the evening when you are celebrating a festival.
You will be happy like one who plays a flute
as he goes to the mountain of the Lord, the Rock who shelters Israel.
30 The Lord will give a mighty shout
and intervene in power,
with furious anger and flaming, destructive fire,
with a driving rainstorm and hailstones.
31 Indeed, the Lord’s shout will shatter Assyria;
he will beat them with a club.
32 Every blow from his punishing cudgel,
with which the Lord will beat them,
will be accompanied by music from the tambourine and harp,
and he will attack them with his weapons.
33 For the burial place is already prepared;
it has been made deep and wide for the king.
The firewood is piled high on it.
The Lord’s breath, like a stream flowing with brimstone,
will ignite it.

Egypt Will Disappoint

31 Those who go down to Egypt for help are as good as dead,
those who rely on war horses,
and trust in Egypt’s many chariots
and in their many, many horsemen.
But they do not rely on the Holy One of Israel
and do not seek help from the Lord.
Yet he too is wise and he will bring disaster;
he does not retract his decree.
He will attack the wicked nation,
and the nation that helps those who commit sin.
The Egyptians are mere humans, not God;
their horses are made of flesh, not spirit.
The Lord will strike with his hand;
the one who helps will stumble
and the one being helped will fall.
Together they will perish.

The Lord Will Defend Zion

Indeed, this is what the Lord says to me:
“The Lord will be like a growling lion,
like a young lion growling over its prey.
Though a whole group of shepherds gathers against it,
it is not afraid of their shouts
or intimidated by their yelling.
In this same way the Lord who commands armies will descend
to do battle on Mount Zion and on its hill.
Just as birds hover over a nest,
so the Lord who commands armies will protect Jerusalem.
He will protect and deliver it;
as he passes over he will rescue it.

You Israelites! Return to the one against whom you have so blatantly rebelled! For at that time everyone will get rid of the silver and gold idols your hands sinfully made.

Assyria will fall by a sword, but not one human-made;
a sword not made by humankind will destroy them.
They will run away from this sword
and their young men will be forced to do hard labor.
They will surrender their stronghold because of fear;
their officers will be afraid of the Lord’s battle flag.”
This is what the Lord says—
the one whose fire is in Zion,
whose firepot is in Jerusalem.

Justice and Wisdom Will Prevail

32 Look, a king will promote fairness;
officials will promote justice.
Each of them will be like a shelter from the wind
and a refuge from a rainstorm;
like streams of water in a dry region
and like the shade of a large cliff in a parched land.
Eyes will no longer be blind
and ears will be attentive.
The mind that acts rashly will possess discernment
and the tongue that stutters will speak with ease and clarity.
A fool will no longer be called honorable;
a deceiver will no longer be called principled.
For a fool speaks disgraceful things;
his mind plans out sinful deeds.
He commits godless deeds
and says misleading things about the Lord;
he gives the hungry nothing to satisfy their appetite
and gives the thirsty nothing to drink.
A deceiver’s methods are evil;
he dreams up evil plans
to ruin the poor with lies,
even when the needy are in the right.
An honorable man makes honorable plans;
his honorable character gives him security.

The Lord Will Give True Security

You complacent women,
get up and listen to me!
You carefree daughters,
pay attention to what I say!
10 In a year’s time
you carefree ones will shake with fear,
for the grape harvest will fail,
and the fruit harvest will not arrive.
11 Tremble, you complacent ones!
Shake with fear, you carefree ones!
Strip off your clothes and expose yourselves—
put sackcloth on your waist!
12 Mourn over the field,
over the delightful fields
and the fruitful vine!
13 Mourn over the land of my people,
which is overgrown with thorns and briers,
and over all the once-happy houses
in the city filled with revelry.
14 For the fortress is neglected;
the once-crowded city is abandoned.
Hill and watchtower
are permanently uninhabited.
Wild donkeys love to go there,
and flocks graze there.
15 This desolation will continue until new life is poured out on us from heaven.
Then the desert will become an orchard
and the orchard will be considered a forest.
16 Justice will settle down in the desert
and fairness will live in the orchard.
17 Fairness will produce peace
and result in lasting security.
18 My people will live in peaceful settlements,
in secure homes,
and in safe, quiet places.
19 Even if the forest is destroyed
and the city is annihilated,
20 you will be blessed,
you who plant seed by all the banks of the streams,
you who let your ox and donkey graze.

The Lord Will Restore Zion

33 The destroyer is as good as dead,
you who have not been destroyed!
The deceitful one is as good as dead,
the one whom others have not deceived!
When you are through destroying, you will be destroyed;
when you finish deceiving, others will deceive you!
Lord, be merciful to us! We wait for you.
Give us strength each morning!
Deliver us when distress comes.
The nations run away when they hear a loud noise;
the nations scatter when you spring into action!
Your plunder disappears as if locusts were eating it;
they swarm over it like locusts!
The Lord is exalted,
indeed, he lives in heaven;
he fills Zion with justice and fairness.
He is your constant source of stability;
he abundantly provides safety and great wisdom;
he gives all this to those who fear him.
Look, ambassadors cry out in the streets;
messengers sent to make peace weep bitterly.
Highways are empty,
there are no travelers.
Treaties are broken,
witnesses are despised,
human life is treated with disrespect.
The land dries up and withers away;
the forest of Lebanon shrivels up and decays.
Sharon is like the desert;
Bashan and Carmel are parched.

New English Translation (NET)

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Galatians 5:1-12

Freedom of the Believer

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery. Listen! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you at all! And I testify again to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be declared righteous by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace! For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait expectantly for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight—the only thing that matters is faith working through love.

You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from the one who calls you! A little yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise! 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will accept no other view. But the one who is confusing you will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 11 Now, brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those agitators would go so far as to castrate themselves!

New English Translation (NET)

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Psalm 63

Psalm 63

A psalm of David, written when he was in the Judean wilderness.

O God, you are my God! I long for you!
My soul thirsts for you,
my flesh yearns for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
Yes, in the sanctuary I have seen you,
and witnessed your power and splendor.
Because experiencing your loyal love is better than life itself,
my lips will praise you.
For this reason I will praise you while I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
As if with choice meat you satisfy my soul.
My mouth joyfully praises you,
whenever I remember you on my bed,
and think about you during the nighttime hours.
For you are my deliverer;
under your wings I rejoice.
My soul pursues you;
your right hand upholds me.
Enemies seek to destroy my life,
but they will descend into the depths of the earth.
10 Each one will be handed over to the sword;
their corpses will be eaten by jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
everyone who takes oaths in his name will boast,
for the mouths of those who speak lies will be shut up.

New English Translation (NET)

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Proverbs 23:22

22 Listen to your father who begot you,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.

New English Translation (NET)

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday September 18, 2019 (NIV)

Isaiah 28:14-30:11

The Lord Will Judge Jerusalem

14 Therefore, listen to the Lord’s word,
you who mock,
you rulers of these people
who reside in Jerusalem!
15 For you say,
“We have made a treaty with death,
with Sheol we have made an agreement.
When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by
it will not reach us.
For we have made a lie our refuge,
we have hidden ourselves in a deceitful word.”
16 Therefore, this is what the sovereign master, the Lord, says:
“Look, I am laying a stone in Zion,
an approved stone,
set in place as a precious cornerstone for the foundation.
The one who maintains his faith will not panic.
17 I will make justice the measuring line,
fairness the plumb line;
hail will sweep away the unreliable refuge,
the floodwaters will overwhelm the hiding place.
18 Your treaty with death will be dissolved;
your agreement with Sheol will not last.
When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by,
you will be overrun by it.
19 Whenever it sweeps by, it will overtake you;
indeed, every morning it will sweep by,
it will come through during the day and the night.”
When this announcement is understood,
it will cause nothing but terror.
20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
and the blanket is too narrow to wrap around oneself.
21 For the Lord will rise up, as he did at Mount Perazim,
he will rouse himself, as he did in the Valley of Gibeon,
to accomplish his work,
his peculiar work,
to perform his task,
his strange task.
22 So now, do not mock,
or your chains will become heavier!
For I have heard a message about decreed destruction,
from the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, against the entire land.
23 Pay attention and listen to my message!
Be attentive and listen to what I have to say!
24 Does a farmer just keep on plowing at planting time?
Does he keep breaking up and harrowing his ground?
25 Once he has leveled its surface,
does he not scatter the seed of the caraway plant,
sow the seed of the cumin plant,
and plant the wheat, barley, and grain in their designated places?
26 His God instructs him;
he teaches him the principles of agriculture.
27 Certainly caraway seed is not threshed with a sledge,
nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin seed.
Certainly caraway seed is beaten with a stick,
and cumin seed with a flail.
28 Grain is crushed,
though one certainly does not thresh it forever.
The wheel of one’s wagon rolls over it,
but his horses do not crush it.
29 This also comes from the Lord who commands armies,
who gives supernatural guidance and imparts great wisdom.

Ariel is Besieged

29 Ariel is as good as dead—
Ariel, the town David besieged!
Keep observing your annual rituals,
celebrate your festivals on schedule.
I will threaten Ariel,
and she will mourn intensely
and become like an altar hearth before me.
I will lay siege to you on all sides;
I will besiege you with troops;
I will raise siege works against you.
You will fall;
while lying on the ground you will speak;
from the dust where you lie, your words will be heard.
Your voice will sound like a spirit speaking from the underworld;
from the dust you will chirp as if muttering an incantation.
But the horde of invaders will be like fine dust,
the horde of tyrants like chaff that is blown away.
It will happen suddenly, in a flash.
Judgment will come from the Lord who commands armies,
accompanied by thunder, earthquake, and a loud noise,
by a strong gale, a windstorm, and a consuming flame of fire.
It will be like a dream, a night vision.
There will be a horde from all the nations that fight against Ariel,
those who attack her and her stronghold and besiege her.
It will be like a hungry man dreaming that he is eating,
only to awaken and find that his stomach is empty.
It will be like a thirsty man dreaming that he is drinking,
only to awaken and find that he is still weak and his thirst unquenched.
So it will be for the horde from all the nations
that fight against Mount Zion.

God’s People Are Spiritually Insensitive

You will be shocked and amazed!
You are totally blind!
They are drunk, but not because of wine;
they stagger, but not because of beer.
10 For the Lord has poured out on you
a strong urge to sleep deeply.
He has shut your eyes (the prophets),
and covered your heads (the seers).

11 To you this entire prophetic revelation is like words in a sealed scroll. When they hand it to one who can read and say, “Read this,” he responds, “I can’t, because it is sealed.” 12 Or when they hand the scroll to one who can’t read and say, “Read this,” he says, “I can’t read.”

13 The sovereign master says,
“These people say they are loyal to me;
they say wonderful things about me,
but they are not really loyal to me.
Their worship consists of
nothing but man-made ritual.
14 Therefore I will again do an amazing thing for these people—
an absolutely extraordinary deed.
Wise men will have nothing to say,
the sages will have no explanations.”
15 Those who try to hide their plans from the Lord are as good as dead,
who do their work in secret and boast,
“Who sees us? Who knows what we’re doing?”
16 Your thinking is perverse!
Should the potter be regarded as clay?
Should the thing made say about its maker, “He didn’t make me”?
Or should the pottery say about the potter, “He doesn’t understand”?

Changes Are Coming

17 In just a very short time
Lebanon will turn into an orchard,
and the orchard will be considered a forest.
18 At that time the deaf will be able to hear words read from a scroll,
and the eyes of the blind will be able to see through deep darkness.
19 The downtrodden will again rejoice in the Lord;
the poor among humankind will take delight in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For tyrants will disappear,
those who taunt will vanish,
and all those who love to do wrong will be eliminated—
21 those who bear false testimony against a person,
who entrap the one who arbitrates at the city gate
and deprive the innocent of justice by making false charges.
22 So this is what the Lord, the one who delivered Abraham, says to the family of Jacob:
“Jacob will no longer be ashamed;
their faces will no longer show their embarrassment.
23 For when they see their children,
whom I will produce among them,
they will honor my name.
They will honor the Holy One of Jacob;
they will respect the God of Israel.
24 Those who stray morally will gain understanding;
those who complain will acquire insight.

Egypt Will Prove Unreliable

30 “The rebellious children are as good as dead,” says the Lord,
“those who make plans without consulting me,
who form alliances without consulting my Spirit,
and thereby compound their sin.
They travel down to Egypt
without seeking my will,
seeking Pharaoh’s protection,
and looking for safety in Egypt’s protective shade.
But Pharaoh’s protection will bring you nothing but shame,
and the safety of Egypt’s protective shade nothing but humiliation.
Though his officials are in Zoan
and his messengers arrive at Hanes,
all will be put to shame
because of a nation that cannot help them,
who cannot give them aid or help,
but only shame and disgrace.”
This is a message about the animals in the Negev:
Through a land of distress and danger,
inhabited by lionesses and roaring lions,
by snakes and darting adders,
they transport their wealth on the backs of donkeys,
their riches on the humps of camels,
to a nation that cannot help them.
Egypt is totally incapable of helping.
For this reason I call her
‘Proud one who is silenced.’”
Now go, write it down on a tablet in their presence,
inscribe it on a scroll,
so that it might be preserved for a future time
as an enduring witness.
For these are rebellious people—
they are lying children,
children unwilling to obey the Lord’s law.
10 They say to the visionaries, “See no more visions!”
and to the seers, “Don’t relate messages to us about what is right!
Tell us nice things,
relate deceptive messages.
11 Turn aside from the way,
stray off the path.
Remove from our presence the Holy One of Israel.”

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Galatians 3:23-4:31

Sons of God Are Heirs of Promise

23 Now before faith came we were held in custody under the law, being kept as prisoners until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 Thus the law had become our guardian until Christ, so that we could be declared righteous by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female—for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.

Now I mean that the heir, as long as he is a minor, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. But he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. So also we, when we were minors, were enslaved under the basic forces of the world. But when the appropriate time had come, God sent out his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we may be adopted as sons with full rights. And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, who calls “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son, then you are also an heir through God.

Heirs of Promise Are Not to Return to Law

Formerly when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods at all. But now that you have come to know God (or rather to be known by God), how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless basic forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 10 You are observing religious days and months and seasons and years. 11 I fear for you that my work for you may have been in vain. 12 I beg you, brothers and sisters, become like me, because I have become like you. You have done me no wrong!

Personal Appeal of Paul

13 But you know it was because of a physical illness that I first proclaimed the gospel to you, 14 and though my physical condition put you to the test, you did not despise or reject me. Instead, you welcomed me as though I were an angel of God, as though I were Christ Jesus himself! 15 Where then is your sense of happiness now? For I testify about you that if it were possible, you would have pulled out your eyes and given them to me! 16 So then, have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?

17 They court you eagerly, but for no good purpose; they want to exclude you, so that you would seek them eagerly. 18 However, it is good to be sought eagerly for a good purpose at all times, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My children—I am again undergoing birth pains until Christ is formed in you! 20 I wish I could be with you now and change my tone of voice, because I am perplexed about you.

An Appeal from Allegory

21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, do you not understand the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 But one, the son by the slave woman, was born by natural descent, while the other, the son by the free woman, was born through the promise. 24 These things may be treated as an allegory, for these women represent two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar represents Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written:

Rejoice, O barren woman who does not bear children;
break forth and shout, you who have no birth pains,
because the children of the desolate woman are more numerous
than those of the woman who has a husband.”

28 But you, brothers and sisters, are children of the promise like Isaac. 29 But just as at that time the one born by natural descent persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so it is now. 30 But what does the scripture say? “Throw out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the son” of the free woman. 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Psalm 62

Psalm 62

For the music director, Jeduthun; a psalm of David.

For God alone I patiently wait;
he is the one who delivers me.
He alone is my protector and deliverer.
He is my refuge; I will not be upended.
How long will you threaten a man?
All of you are murderers,
as dangerous as a leaning wall or an unstable fence.
They spend all their time planning how to bring him down.
They love to use deceit;
they pronounce blessings with their mouths,
but inwardly they utter curses. (Selah)
Patiently wait for God alone, my soul!
For he is the one who gives me confidence.
He alone is my protector and deliverer.
He is my refuge; I will not be upended.
God delivers me and exalts me;
God is my strong protector and my shelter.
Trust in him at all times, you people!
Pour out your hearts before him!
God is our shelter! (Selah)
Men are nothing but a mere breath;
human beings are unreliable.
When they are weighed in the scales,
all of them together are lighter than air.
10 Do not trust in what you can gain by oppression!
Do not put false confidence in what you can gain by robbery!
If wealth increases, do not become attached to it!
11 God has declared one principle;
two principles I have heard:
God is strong,
12 and you, O Lord, demonstrate loyal love.
For you repay men for what they do.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Proverbs 23:19-21

19 Listen, my child, and be wise,
and guide your heart on the right way.
20 Do not spend time among drunkards,
among those who eat too much meat,
21 because drunkards and gluttons become impoverished,
and drowsiness clothes them with rags.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday September 17, 2019 (NIV)

Isaiah 25:1-28:13

25 O Lord, you are my God!
I will exalt you in praise, I will extol your fame.
For you have done extraordinary things,
and executed plans made long ago exactly as you decreed.
Indeed, you have made the city into a heap of rubble,
the fortified town into a heap of ruins;
the fortress of foreigners is no longer a city,
it will never be rebuilt.
So a strong nation will extol you;
the towns of powerful nations will fear you.
For you are a protector for the poor,
a protector for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the rainstorm,
a shade from the heat.
Though the breath of tyrants is like a winter rainstorm,
like heat in a dry land,
you humble the boasting foreigners.
Just as the shadow of a cloud causes the heat to subside,
so he causes the song of tyrants to cease.
The Lord who commands armies will hold a banquet for all the nations on this mountain.
At this banquet there will be plenty of meat and aged wine—
tender meat and choicest wine.
On this mountain he will swallow up
the shroud that is over all the peoples,
the woven covering that is over all the nations;
he will swallow up death permanently.
The sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from every face,
and remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.
Indeed, the Lord has announced it!
At that time they will say,
“Look, here is our God!
We waited for him and he delivered us.
Here is the Lord! We waited for him.
Let’s rejoice and celebrate his deliverance!”
10 For the Lord’s power will make this mountain secure.
Moab will be trampled down where it stands,
as a heap of straw is trampled down in a manure pile.
11 Moab will spread out its hands in the middle of it,
just as a swimmer spreads his hands to swim;
the Lord will bring down Moab’s pride as it spreads its hands.
12 The fortified city (along with the very tops of your walls) he will knock down,
he will bring it down, he will throw it down to the dusty ground.

Judah Will Celebrate

26 At that time this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city!
The Lord’s deliverance, like walls and a rampart, makes it secure.
Open the gates so a righteous nation can enter—
one that remains trustworthy.
You keep completely safe the people who maintain their faith,
for they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord from this time forward,
even in Yah, the Lord, an enduring protector!
Indeed, the Lord knocks down those who live in a high place,
he brings down an elevated town;
he brings it down to the ground,
he throws it down to the dust.
It is trampled underfoot
by the feet of the oppressed,
by the soles of the poor.”

God’s People Anticipate Vindication

The way of the righteous is level,
the path of the righteous that you make is straight.
Yes, as your judgments unfold,
O Lord, we wait for you.
We desire your fame and reputation to grow.
I look for you during the night,
my spirit within me seeks you at dawn,
for when your judgments come upon the earth,
those who live in the world learn about justice.
10 If the wicked are shown mercy,
they do not learn about justice.
Even in a land where right is rewarded, they act unjustly;
they do not see the Lord’s majesty revealed.
11 O Lord, you are ready to act,
but they don’t even notice.
They will see and be put to shame by your angry judgment against humankind,
yes, fire will consume your enemies.
12 O Lord, you make us secure,
for even all we have accomplished, you have done for us.
13 O Lord, our God,
masters other than you have ruled us,
but we praise your name alone.
14 The dead do not come back to life,
the spirits of the dead do not rise.
That is because you came in judgment and destroyed them,
you wiped out all memory of them.
15 You have made the nation larger, O Lord,
you have made the nation larger and revealed your splendor,
you have extended all the borders of the land.
16 O Lord, in distress they looked for you;
they uttered incantations because of your discipline.
17 As when a pregnant woman gets ready to deliver
and strains and cries out because of her labor pains,
so were we because of you, O Lord.
18 We were pregnant, we strained,
we gave birth, as it were, to wind.
We cannot produce deliverance on the earth;
people to populate the world are not born.
19 Your dead will come back to life;
your corpses will rise up.
Wake up and shout joyfully, you who live in the ground!
For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew,
and the earth will bring forth its dead spirits.
20 Go, my people! Enter your inner rooms!
Close your doors behind you!
Hide for a little while,
until his angry judgment is over!
21 For look, the Lord is coming out of the place where he lives,
to punish the sin of those who live on the earth.
The earth will display the blood shed on it;
it will no longer cover up its slain.
27 At that time the Lord will punish
with his destructive, great, and powerful sword
Leviathan the fast-moving serpent,
Leviathan the squirming serpent;
he will kill the sea monster.
When that time comes,
sing about a delightful vineyard!
I, the Lord, protect it;
I water it regularly.
I guard it night and day,
so no one can harm it.
I am not angry.
I wish I could confront some thorns and briers!
Then I would march against them for battle;
I would set them all on fire,
unless they became my subjects
and made peace with me;
let them make peace with me.
The time is coming when Jacob will take root;
Israel will blossom and grow branches.
The produce will fill the surface of the world.
Has the Lord struck down Israel like he did their oppressors?
Has Israel been killed like their enemies?
When you summon her for divorce, you prosecute her;
he drives her away with his strong wind in the day of the east wind.
So in this way Jacob’s sin will be forgiven,
and this is how they will show they are finished sinning:
They will make all the stones of the altars
like crushed limestone,
and the Asherah poles and the incense altars will no longer stand.
10 For the fortified city is left alone;
it is a deserted settlement
and abandoned like the desert.
Calves graze there;
they lie down there
and eat its branches bare.
11 When its branches get brittle, they break;
women come and use them for kindling.
For these people lack understanding,
therefore the one who made them has no compassion on them;
the one who formed them has no mercy on them.

12 At that time the Lord will shake the tree, from the Euphrates River to the Stream of Egypt. Then you will be gathered up one by one, O Israelites. 13 At that time a large trumpet will be blown, and the ones lost in the land of Assyria will come, as well as the refugees in the land of Egypt. They will worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

The Lord Will Judge Samaria

28 The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards is doomed,
the withering flower, its beautiful splendor,
situated at the head of a rich valley,
the crown of those overcome with wine.
Look, the sovereign master sends a strong, powerful one.
With the force of a hailstorm or a destructive windstorm,
with the might of a driving, torrential rainstorm,
he will knock that crown to the ground with his hand.
The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards
will be trampled underfoot.
The withering flower, its beautiful splendor,
situated at the head of a rich valley,
will be like an early fig before harvest—
as soon as someone notices it,
he grabs it and swallows it.
At that time the Lord who commands armies will become a beautiful crown
and a splendid diadem for the remnant of his people.
He will give discernment to the one who makes judicial decisions,
and strength to those who defend the city from attackers.
Even these men stagger because of wine,
they stumble around because of beer—
priests and prophets stagger because of beer,
they are confused because of wine,
they stumble around because of beer;
they stagger while seeing prophetic visions,
they totter while making legal decisions.
Indeed, all the tables are covered with vomit;
no place is untouched.
Who is the Lord trying to teach?
To whom is he explaining a message?
Those just weaned from milk!
Those just taken from their mother’s breast!
10 Indeed, they will hear meaningless gibberish,
senseless babbling,
a syllable here, a syllable there.
11 For with mocking lips and a foreign tongue
he will speak to these people.
12 In the past he said to them,
“This is where security can be found.
Provide security for the one who is exhausted!
This is where rest can be found.”
But they refused to listen.
13 So the Lord’s word to them will sound like
meaningless gibberish,
senseless babbling,
a syllable here, a syllable there.
As a result, they will fall on their backsides when they try to walk,
and be injured, ensnared, and captured.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Galatians 3:10-22

10 For all who rely on doing the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the book of the law.” 11 Now it is clear no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous one will live by faith. 12 But the law is not based on faith, but the one who does the works of the law will live by them. 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.

Inheritance Comes from Promises and not Law

15 Brothers and sisters, I offer an example from everyday life: When a covenant has been ratified, even though it is only a human contract, no one can set it aside or add anything to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. Scripture does not say, “and to the descendants,” referring to many, but “and to your descendant,” referring to one, who is Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: The law that came four hundred thirty years later does not cancel a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to invalidate the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on the law, it is no longer based on the promise, but God graciously gave it to Abraham through the promise.

19 Why then was the law given? It was added because of transgressions, until the arrival of the descendant to whom the promise had been made. It was administered through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary is not for one party alone, but God is one. 21 Is the law therefore opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But the scripture imprisoned everything under sin so that the promise could be given—because of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ—to those who believe.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Psalm 61

Psalm 61

For the music director; to be played on a stringed instrument; written by David.

O God, hear my cry for help!
Pay attention to my prayer!
From the most remote place on earth
I call out to you in my despair.
Lead me up to a rocky summit where I can be safe!
Indeed, you are my shelter,
a strong tower that protects me from the enemy.
I will be a permanent guest in your home;
I will find shelter in the protection of your wings. (Selah)
For you, O God, hear my vows;
you grant me the reward that belongs to your loyal followers.
Give the king long life!
Make his lifetime span several generations!
May he reign forever before God!
Decree that your loyal love and faithfulness should protect him.
Then I will sing praises to your name continually,
as I fulfill my vows day after day.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Proverbs 23:17-18

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but rather be zealous in fearing the Lord all the time.
18 For surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday September 16, 2019 (NIV)

Isaiah 22-24

The Lord Will Judge Jerusalem

22 Here is a message about the Valley of Vision:
What is the reason
that all of you go up to the rooftops?
The noisy city is full of raucous sounds;
the town is filled with revelry.
Your slain were not cut down by the sword;
they did not die in battle.
All your leaders ran away together—
they fled to a distant place;
all your refugees were captured together—
they were captured without a single arrow being shot.
So I say:
“Don’t look at me!
I am weeping bitterly.
Don’t try to console me
concerning the destruction of my defenseless people.”
For the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies,
has planned a day of panic, defeat, and confusion.
In the Valley of Vision people shout
and cry out to the hill.
The Elamites picked up the quiver,
and came with chariots and horsemen;
the men of Kir prepared the shield.
Your very best valleys were full of chariots;
horsemen confidently took their positions at the gate.
They removed the defenses of Judah.
At that time you looked
for the weapons in the House of the Forest.
You saw the many breaks
in the walls of the City of David;
you stored up water in the lower pool.
10 You counted the houses in Jerusalem,
and demolished houses so you could have material to reinforce the wall.
11 You made a reservoir between the two walls
for the water of the old pool—
but you did not trust in the one who made it;
you did not depend on the one who formed it long ago!
12 At that time the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, called for weeping and mourning,
for shaved heads and sackcloth.
13 But look, there is outright celebration!
You say, “Kill the ox and slaughter the sheep,
eat meat and drink wine.
Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

14 The Lord who commands armies told me this: “Certainly this sin will not be forgiven as long as you live,” says the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies.

15 This is what the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, says:
“Go visit this administrator, Shebna, who supervises the palace, and tell him:
16 ‘What right do you have to be here? What relatives do you have buried here?
Why do you chisel out a tomb for yourself here?
He chisels out his burial site in an elevated place,
he carves out his tomb on a cliff.
17 Look, the Lord will throw you far away, you mere man!
He will wrap you up tightly.
18 He will wind you up tightly into a ball
and throw you into a wide, open land.
There you will die,
and there with you will be your impressive chariots,
which bring disgrace to the house of your master.
19 I will remove you from your office;
you will be thrown down from your position.

20 “At that time I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. 21 I will put your robe on him, tie your belt around him, and transfer your authority to him. He will become a protector of the residents of Jerusalem and of the people of Judah. 22 I will place the key to the house of David on his shoulder. When he opens the door, no one can close it; when he closes the door, no one can open it. 23 I will fasten him like a peg into a solid place; he will bring honor and respect to his father’s family. 24 His father’s family will gain increasing prominence because of him, including the offspring and the offshoots. All the small containers, including the bowls and all the jars will hang from this peg.’

25 “At that time,” says the Lord who commands armies, “the peg fastened into a solid place will come loose. It will be cut off and fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off.” Indeed, the Lord has spoken.

The Lord Will Judge Tyre

23 Here is a message about Tyre:
Wail, you large ships,
for the port is too devastated to enter!
From the land of Cyprus this news is announced to them.
Lament, you residents of the coast,
you merchants of Sidon who travel over the sea,
whose agents sail over the deep waters!
Grain from the Shihor region,
crops grown near the Nile she receives;
she is the trade center of the nations.
Be ashamed, O Sidon,
for the sea says this, O fortress of the sea:
“I have not gone into labor
or given birth;
I have not raised young men
or brought up young women.”
When the news reaches Egypt,
they will be shaken by what has happened to Tyre.
Travel to Tarshish!
Wail, you residents of the coast!
Is this really your boisterous city
whose origins are in the distant past,
and whose feet led her to a distant land to reside?
Who planned this for royal Tyre,
whose merchants are princes,
whose traders are the dignitaries of the earth?
The Lord who commands armies planned it—
to dishonor the pride that comes from all her beauty,
to humiliate all the dignitaries of the earth.
10 Daughter Tarshish, travel back to your land, as one crosses the Nile;
there is no longer any marketplace in Tyre.
11 The Lord stretched out his hand over the sea,
he shook kingdoms;
he gave the order
to destroy Canaan’s fortresses.
12 He said,
“You will no longer celebrate,
oppressed virgin daughter Sidon!
Get up, travel to Cyprus,
but you will find no relief there.”
13 Look at the land of the Chaldeans,
these people who have lost their identity!
The Assyrians have made it a home for wild animals.
They erected their siege towers,
demolished its fortresses,
and turned it into a heap of ruins.
14 Wail, you large ships,
for your fortress is destroyed!

15 At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the typical life span of a king. At the end of seventy years Tyre will try to attract attention again, like the prostitute in the popular song:

16 “Take the harp,
go through the city,
forgotten prostitute!
Play it well,
play lots of songs,
so you’ll be noticed!”

17 At the end of seventy years the Lord will revive Tyre. She will start making money again by selling her services to all the earth’s kingdoms. 18 Her profits and earnings will be set apart for the Lord. They will not be stored up or accumulated, for her profits will be given to those who live in the Lord’s presence and will be used to purchase large quantities of food and beautiful clothes.

The Lord Will Judge the Earth

24 Look, the Lord is ready to devastate the earth
and leave it in ruins;
he will mar its surface
and scatter its inhabitants.
Everyone will suffer—the priest as well as the people,
the master as well as the servant,
the elegant lady as well as the female attendant,
the seller as well as the buyer,
the borrower as well as the lender,
the creditor as well as the debtor.
The earth will be completely devastated
and thoroughly ransacked.
For the Lord has decreed this judgment.
The earth dries up and withers,
the world shrivels up and withers;
the prominent people of the earth fade away.
The earth is defiled by its inhabitants,
for they have violated laws,
disregarded the regulation,
and broken the permanent treaty.
So a treaty curse devours the earth;
its inhabitants pay for their guilt.
This is why the inhabitants of the earth disappear,
and are reduced to just a handful of people.
The new wine dries up,
the vines shrivel up,
all those who like to celebrate groan.
The happy sound of the tambourines stops,
the revelry of those who celebrate comes to a halt,
the happy sound of the harp ceases.
They no longer sing and drink wine;
the beer tastes bitter to those who drink it.
10 The ruined town is shattered;
all of the houses are shut up tight.
11 They howl in the streets because of what happened to the wine;
all joy turns to sorrow;
celebrations disappear from the earth.
12 The city is left in ruins;
the gate is reduced to rubble.
13 This is what will happen throughout the earth,
among the nations.
It will be like when they beat an olive tree,
and just a few olives are left at the end of the harvest.
14 They lift their voices and shout joyfully;
they praise the majesty of the Lord in the west.
15 So in the east extol the Lord,
along the seacoasts extol the fame of the Lord God of Israel.
16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs—
the Just One is majestic.
But I say, “I’m wasting away! I’m wasting away! I’m doomed!
Deceivers deceive, deceivers thoroughly deceive!”
17 Terror, pit, and snare
are ready to overtake you inhabitants of the earth!
18 The one who runs away from the sound of the terror
will fall into the pit;
the one who climbs out of the pit,
will be trapped by the snare.
For the floodgates of the heavens are opened up
and the foundations of the earth shake.
19 The earth is broken in pieces,
the earth is ripped to shreds,
the earth shakes violently.
20 The earth will stagger around like a drunk;
it will sway back and forth like a hut in a windstorm.
Its sin will weigh it down,
and it will fall and never get up again.

The Lord Will Become King

21 At that time the Lord will punish
the heavenly forces in the heavens
and the earthly kings on the earth.
22 They will be imprisoned in a pit,
locked up in a prison,
and after staying there for a long time, they will be punished.
23 The full moon will be covered up,
the bright sun will be darkened;
for the Lord who commands armies will rule
on Mount Zion in Jerusalem
in the presence of his assembly, in majestic splendor.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Galatians 2:17-3:9

17 But if while seeking to be justified in Christ we ourselves have also been found to be sinners, is Christ then one who encourages sin? Absolutely not! 18 But if I build up again those things I once destroyed, I demonstrate that I am one who breaks God’s law. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside God’s grace, because if righteousness could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing!

Justification by Law or by Faith?

You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort? Have you suffered so many things for nothing?—if indeed it was for nothing. Does God then give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law or by your believing what you heard?

Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, so then, understand that those who believe are the sons of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” So then those who believe are blessed along with Abraham the believer.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Psalm 60

Psalm 60

For the music director; according to the shushan-eduth style; a prayer of David written to instruct others. It was written when he fought against Aram Naharaim and Aram-Zobah. That was when Joab turned back and struck down 12,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt.

O God, you have rejected us.
You suddenly turned on us in your anger.
Please restore us!
You made the earth quake; you split it open.
Repair its breaches, for it is ready to fall.
You have made your people experience hard times;
you have made us drink intoxicating wine.
You have given your loyal followers a rallying flag,
so that they might seek safety from the bow. (Selah)
Deliver by your power and answer me,
so that the ones you love may be safe.
God has spoken in his sanctuary:
“I will triumph! I will parcel out Shechem;
the Valley of Succoth I will measure off.
Gilead belongs to me,
as does Manasseh!
Ephraim is my helmet,
Judah my royal scepter.
Moab is my washbasin.
I will make Edom serve me.
I will shout in triumph over Philistia.”
Who will lead me into the fortified city?
Who will bring me to Edom?
10 Have you not rejected us, O God?
O God, you do not go into battle with our armies.
11 Give us help against the enemy,
for any help men might offer is futile.
12 By God’s power we will conquer;
he will trample down our enemies.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Proverbs 23:15-16

15 My child, if your heart is wise,
then my heart also will be glad;
16 my soul will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday September 15, 2019 (NIV)

Isaiah 19-21

The Lord Will Judge Egypt

19 Here is a message about Egypt:
Look, the Lord rides on a swift-moving cloud
and approaches Egypt.
The idols of Egypt tremble before him;
the Egyptians lose their courage.
“I will provoke civil strife in Egypt,
brothers will fight with each other,
as will neighbors,
cities, and kingdoms.
The Egyptians will panic,
and I will confuse their strategy.
They will seek guidance from the idols and from the spirits of the dead,
from the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, and from the magicians.
I will hand Egypt over to a harsh master;
a powerful king will rule over them,”
says the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies.
The water of the sea will be dried up,
and the river will dry up and be empty.
The canals will stink;
the streams of Egypt will trickle and then dry up;
the bulrushes and reeds will decay,
along with the plants by the mouth of the river.
All the cultivated land near the river
will turn to dust and be blown away.
The fishermen will mourn and lament,
all those who cast a fishhook into the river,
and those who spread out a net on the water’s surface will grieve.
Those who make clothes from combed flax will be embarrassed;
those who weave will turn pale.
10 Those who make cloth will be demoralized;
all the hired workers will be depressed.
11 The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools;
Pharaoh’s wise advisers give stupid advice.
How dare you say to Pharaoh,
“I am one of the sages,
one well-versed in the writings of the ancient kings?”
12 But where, oh where, are your wise men?
Let them tell you, let them find out
what the Lord who commands armies has planned for Egypt.
13 The officials of Zoan are fools,
the officials of Memphis are misled;
the rulers of her tribes lead Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has made them undiscerning;
they lead Egypt astray in all she does,
so that she is like a drunk sliding around in his own vomit.
15 Egypt will not be able to do a thing,
head or tail, shoots and stalk.

16 At that time the Egyptians will be like women. They will tremble and fear because the Lord who commands armies brandishes his fist against them. 17 The land of Judah will humiliate Egypt. Everyone who hears about Judah will be afraid because of what the Lord who commands armies is planning to do to them.

18 At that time five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord who commands armies. One will be called the City of the Sun. 19 At that time there will be an altar for the Lord in the middle of the land of Egypt, as well as a sacred pillar dedicated to the Lord at its border. 20 It will become a visual reminder in the land of Egypt of the Lord who commands armies. When they cry out to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a deliverer and defender who will rescue them. 21 The Lord will reveal himself to the Egyptians, and they will acknowledge the Lord’s authority at that time. They will present sacrifices and offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and fulfill them. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and then healing them. They will turn to the Lord and he will listen to their prayers and heal them.

23 At that time there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will visit Egypt, and the Egyptians will visit Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. 24 At that time Israel will be the third member of the group, along with Egypt and Assyria, and will be a recipient of blessing in the earth. 25 The Lord who commands armies will pronounce a blessing over the earth, saying, “Blessed be my people, Egypt, and the work of my hands, Assyria, and my special possession, Israel!”

20 The Lord revealed the following message during the year in which King Sargon of Assyria sent his commanding general to Ashdod, and he fought against it and captured it. At that time the Lord announced through Isaiah son of Amoz: “Go, remove the sackcloth from your waist and take your sandals off your feet.” He did as instructed and walked around in undergarments and barefoot. Later the Lord explained, “In the same way that my servant Isaiah has walked around in undergarments and barefoot for the past three years, as an object lesson and omen pertaining to Egypt and Cush, so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, both young and old. They will be in undergarments and barefoot, with the buttocks exposed; the Egyptians will be publicly humiliated. Those who put their hope in Cush and took pride in Egypt will be afraid and embarrassed. At that time those who live on this coast will say, ‘Look what has happened to our source of hope to whom we fled for help, expecting to be rescued from the king of Assyria! How can we escape now?’”

The Lord Will Judge Babylon

21 Here is a message about the Desert by the Sea:
Like strong winds blowing in the south,
one invades from the desert,
from a land that is feared.
I have received a distressing message:
“The deceiver deceives,
the destroyer destroys.
Attack, you Elamites!
Lay siege, you Medes!
I will put an end to all the groaning!”
For this reason my stomach churns;
cramps overwhelm me
like the contractions of a woman in labor.
I am disturbed by what I hear,
horrified by what I see.
My heart palpitates,
I shake in fear;
the twilight I desired
has brought me terror.
Arrange the table,
lay out the carpet,
eat and drink!
Get up, you officers,
smear oil on the shields!
For this is what the sovereign master has told me:
“Go, post a guard!
He must report what he sees.
When he sees chariots,
teams of horses,
riders on donkeys,
riders on camels,
he must be alert,
very alert.”
Then the guard cries out:
“On the watchtower, O sovereign master,
I stand all day long;
at my post
I am stationed every night.
Look what’s coming!
A charioteer,
a team of horses.”
When questioned, he replies,
“Babylon has fallen, fallen!
All the idols of her gods lie shattered on the ground!”
10 O my downtrodden people, crushed like stalks on the threshing floor,
what I have heard
from the Lord who commands armies,
the God of Israel,
I have reported to you.

Bad News for Seir

11 Here is a message about Dumah:
Someone calls to me from Seir,
“Watchman, what is left of the night?
Watchman, what is left of the night?”
12 The watchman replies,
“Morning is coming, but then night.
If you want to ask, ask;
come back again.”

The Lord Will Judge Arabia

13 Here is a message about Arabia:
In the thicket of Arabia you spend the night,
you Dedanite caravans.
14 Bring out some water for the thirsty.
You who live in the land of Tema,
bring some food for the fugitives.
15 For they flee from the swords—
from the drawn sword
and from the battle-ready bow
and from the severity of the battle.

16 For this is what the sovereign master has told me: “Within exactly one year all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end. 17 Just a handful of archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be left.” Indeed, the Lord God of Israel has spoken.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Galatians 2:1-16

Confirmation from the Jerusalem Apostles

Then after fourteen years I went up to Jerusalem again with Barnabas, taking Titus along too. I went there because of a revelation and presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did so only in a private meeting with the influential people, to make sure that I was not running—or had not run—in vain. Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, although he was a Greek. Now this matter arose because of the false brothers with false pretenses who slipped in unnoticed to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, to make us slaves. But we did not surrender to them even for a moment, in order that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.

But from those who were influential (whatever they were makes no difference to me; God shows no favoritism between people)—those influential leaders added nothing to my message. On the contrary, when they saw that I was entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised just as Peter was entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who empowered Peter for his apostleship to the circumcised also empowered me for my apostleship to the Gentiles) and when James, Cephas, and John, who had a reputation as pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we would go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They requested only that we remember the poor, the very thing I also was eager to do.

Paul Rebukes Peter

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he had clearly done wrong. 12 Until certain people came from James, he had been eating with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he stopped doing this and separated himself because he was afraid of those who were pro-circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also joined with him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray with them by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not behaving consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “If you, although you are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you try to force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Jews and Gentiles Are Justified by Faith

15 We are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, 16 yet we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

New English Translation (NET)

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Psalm 59

Psalm 59

For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; a prayer of David, written when Saul sent men to surround his house and murder him.

Deliver me from my enemies, my God!
Protect me from those who attack me!
Deliver me from evildoers!
Rescue me from violent men!
For look, they wait to ambush me;
powerful men stalk me,
but not because I have rebelled or sinned, O Lord.
Though I have done nothing wrong, they are anxious to attack.
Spring into action and help me! Take notice of me!
You, O Lord God, the invincible warrior, the God of Israel,
rouse yourself and punish all the nations!
Have no mercy on any treacherous evildoers! (Selah)
They return in the evening;
they growl like a dog
and prowl around outside the city.
Look, they hurl insults at me
and openly threaten to kill me,
for they say,
“Who hears?”
But you, O Lord, laugh in disgust at them;
you taunt all the nations.
You are my source of strength! I will wait for you!
For God is my refuge.
10 The God who loves me will help me;
God will enable me to triumph over my enemies.
11 Do not strike them dead suddenly,
because then my people might forget the lesson.
Use your power to make them homeless vagabonds and then bring them down,
O Lord who shields us!
12 They speak sinful words.
So let them be trapped by their own pride
and by the curses and lies they speak!
13 Angrily wipe them out! Wipe them out so they vanish!
Let them know that God rules
in Jacob and to the ends of the earth! (Selah)
14 They return in the evening;
they growl like a dog
and prowl around outside the city.
15 They wander around looking for something to eat;
they refuse to sleep until they are full.
16 As for me, I will sing about your strength;
I will praise your loyal love in the morning.
For you are my refuge
and my place of shelter when I face trouble.
17 You are my source of strength! I will sing praises to you!
For God is my refuge, the God who loves me.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Proverbs 23:13-14

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
even if you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 If you strike him with the rod,
you will deliver him from death.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday September 14, 2019 (NIV)

Isaiah 15-18

An Oracle Concerning Moab

15 An (A)oracle concerning (B)Moab.

Because (C)Ar of Moab is laid waste in a night,
Moab is undone;
because (D)Kir of Moab is laid waste in a night,
Moab is undone.
He has gone up to the temple,[a] and to (E)Dibon,
to the high places[b] to weep;
over (F)Nebo and over (G)Medeba
Moab (H)wails.
On every head is (I)baldness;
every beard is shorn;
in the streets they wear sackcloth;
on the housetops and in the squares
everyone wails and melts in tears.
(J)Heshbon and (K)Elealeh cry out;
their voice is heard as far as (L)Jahaz;
therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud;
his soul trembles.
My heart cries out for Moab;
her fugitives flee to Zoar,
to (M)Eglath-shelishiyah.
For at the (N)ascent of Luhith
they go up weeping;
on the road to (O)Horonaim
they raise a cry of destruction;
the waters of (P)Nimrim
are a desolation;
the grass is withered, the vegetation fails,
the greenery is no more.
(Q)Therefore the abundance they have gained
and what they have laid up
they carry away
over the Brook of the Willows.
For a cry has gone
around the land of Moab;
her wailing reaches to Eglaim;
her wailing reaches to Beer-elim.
For the waters of (R)Dibon[c] are full of blood;
for I will bring upon Dibon even more,
(S)a lion for those of Moab who escape,
for the remnant of the land.
16 (T)Send the lamb to the ruler of the land,
from (U)Sela, by way of the desert,
to the mount of the daughter of Zion.
Like fleeing birds,
like a scattered nest,
so are the daughters of Moab
at (V)the fords of the Arnon.

“Give counsel;
grant justice;
(W)make your shade like night
at the height of noon;
shelter the outcasts;
do not reveal the fugitive;
let (X)the outcasts of Moab
sojourn among you;
be a shelter to them[d]
from the destroyer.
When the oppressor is no more,
and destruction has ceased,
and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land,
(Y)then a throne will be established in steadfast love,
and on it will sit in faithfulness
in the tent of David
one who judges and seeks justice
and is swift to do righteousness.”

(Z)We have heard of the pride of Moab—
how proud he is!—
(AA)of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence;
in his idle boasting he is not right.
Therefore let Moab wail for Moab,
(AB)let everyone wail.
Mourn, utterly stricken,
for the (AC)raisin cakes of (AD)Kir-hareseth.

For the fields of Heshbon languish,
and (AE)the vine of Sibmah;
the lords of the nations
have struck down its branches,
which reached to Jazer
and strayed to the desert;
its shoots spread abroad
and passed over the sea.
Therefore (AF)I weep with (AG)the weeping of Jazer
for the vine of Sibmah;
I drench you with my tears,
O Heshbon and Elealeh;
for over (AH)your summer fruit and your harvest
the shout has ceased.
10 (AI)And joy and gladness are taken away from (AJ)the fruitful field,
and in the vineyards no (AK)songs are sung,
no cheers are raised;
no (AL)treader treads out wine (AM)in the presses;
I have put an end to the shouting.
11 Therefore (AN)my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab,
and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth.

12 And when Moab presents himself, when (AO)he wearies himself on (AP)the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.

13 This is the word that the Lord spoke concerning Moab (AQ)in the past. 14 But now the Lord has spoken, saying, “In three years, (AR)like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be (AS)very few and feeble.”

An Oracle Concerning Damascus

17 An (AT)oracle concerning (AU)Damascus.

Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city
and will become a heap of ruins.
The cities of (AV)Aroer are deserted;
they will be for flocks,
which will lie down, and (AW)none will make them afraid.
The fortress will disappear from (AX)Ephraim,
and the kingdom from (AY)Damascus;
and the remnant of Syria will be
like (AZ)the glory of the children of Israel,
declares the Lord of hosts.

And in that day (BA)the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
and (BB)the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
And it shall be (BC)as when the reaper gathers standing grain
and his arm harvests the ears,
and as when one gleans the ears of grain
in (BD)the Valley of Rephaim.
(BE)Gleanings will be left in it,
as when an olive tree is beaten—
two or three berries
in the top of the highest bough,
four or five
on the branches of a fruit tree,
declares the Lord God of Israel.

(BF)In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. (BG)He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the (BH)Asherim or the altars of incense.

(BI)In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

10 For (BJ)you have forgotten the God of your salvation
and have not remembered the (BK)Rock of your refuge;
therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
11 though you make them grow[e] on the day that you plant them,
and make them blossom in the morning that you sow,
yet the harvest will flee away[f]
in a day of grief and incurable pain.

12 Ah, (BL)the thunder of many peoples;
they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
Ah, the roar of nations;
they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
13 (BM)The nations roar like the roaring of many waters,
(BN)but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,
chased (BO)like chaff on the mountains before the wind
and (BP)whirling dust before the storm.
14 (BQ)At evening time, behold, terror!
Before morning, they are no more!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
and the lot of those who plunder us.

An Oracle Concerning Cush

18 Ah, land of (BR)whirring wings
that is beyond the rivers of (BS)Cush,[g]
which (BT)sends ambassadors by the sea,
in vessels of papyrus on the waters!
Go, you swift messengers,
to a nation (BU)tall and smooth,
to a people feared near and far,
a nation (BV)mighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide.

All you inhabitants of the world,
you who dwell on the earth,
when (BW)a signal is raised on the mountains, look!
When a trumpet is blown, hear!
For thus the Lord said to me:
“I will quietly look (BX)from my dwelling
like clear heat in sunshine,
like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
(BY)For before the harvest, when the blossom is over,
and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks,
and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.
(BZ)They shall all of them be left
to the birds of prey of the mountains
and to the beasts of the earth.
And the birds of prey will summer on them,
and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.

(CA)At that time tribute will be brought to the Lord of hosts

from a people (CB)tall and smooth,
from a people feared near and far,
a nation mighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide,

to (CC)Mount Zion, the place of the (CD)name of the Lord of hosts.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 15:2 Hebrew the house
  2. Isaiah 15:2 Or temple, even Dibon to the high places
  3. Isaiah 15:9 Dead Sea Scroll, Vulgate (compare Syriac); Masoretic Text Dimon; twice in this verse
  4. Isaiah 16:4 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac; Masoretic Text let my outcasts sojourn among you; as for Moab, be a shelter to them
  5. Isaiah 17:11 Or though you carefully fence them
  6. Isaiah 17:11 Or will be a heap
  7. Isaiah 18:1 Probably Nubia

Cross references:

  1. Isaiah 15:1 : [See ch. 14:28 above]; See ch. 13:1
  2. Isaiah 15:1 : See Jer. 48; Ezek. 25:8-11; Amos 2:1-3; Zeph. 2:8, 9
  3. Isaiah 15:1 : Num. 21:15, 28
  4. Isaiah 15:1 : [ch. 16:7, 11]
  5. Isaiah 15:2 : Num. 21:30
  6. Isaiah 15:2 : Deut. 34:1
  7. Isaiah 15:2 : Num. 21:30
  8. Isaiah 15:2 : ch. 13:6
  9. Isaiah 15:2 : See ch. 3:24
  10. Isaiah 15:4 : Num. 32:37
  11. Isaiah 15:4 : Num. 32:37
  12. Isaiah 15:4 : Jer. 48:34
  13. Isaiah 15:5 : [See ver. 4 above]; Jer. 48:34
  14. Isaiah 15:5 : Jer. 48:5
  15. Isaiah 15:5 : Jer. 48:5
  16. Isaiah 15:6 : [Num. 32:36]
  17. Isaiah 15:7 : Jer. 48:36
  18. Isaiah 15:9 : [ver. 2]
  19. Isaiah 15:9 : [2 Kgs. 17:25; Jer. 50:17]
  20. Isaiah 16:1 : 2 Kgs. 3:4
  21. Isaiah 16:1 : ch. 42:11; 2 Kgs. 14:7
  22. Isaiah 16:2 : Judg. 11:18
  23. Isaiah 16:3 : [1 Kgs. 18:4]
  24. Isaiah 16:4 : 1 Sam. 22:3
  25. Isaiah 16:5 : ch. 32:1, 2; Dan. 7:14, 27; Mic. 4:7; Luke 1:33
  26. Isaiah 16:6 : Jer. 48:29; Zeph. 2:10
  27. Isaiah 16:6 : Judg. 3:14; 2 Kgs. 13:20; [2 Chr. 20:1]
  28. Isaiah 16:7 : ch. 15:3
  29. Isaiah 16:7 : 2 Sam. 6:19; [ver. 9]
  30. Isaiah 16:7 : 2 Kgs. 3:25; [ch. 15:1]
  31. Isaiah 16:8 : Jer. 48:32
  32. Isaiah 16:9 : [ch. 15:5]
  33. Isaiah 16:9 : [See ver. 8 above]; Jer. 48:32
  34. Isaiah 16:9 : [ver. 7]
  35. Isaiah 16:10 : Jer. 48:33
  36. Isaiah 16:10 : [ch. 9:3]
  37. Isaiah 16:10 : [Judg. 9:27]
  38. Isaiah 16:10 : ch. 63:3; Jer. 25:30
  39. Isaiah 16:10 : ch. 5:2
  40. Isaiah 16:11 : ch. 15:5; Jer. 48:36
  41. Isaiah 16:12 : [1 Kgs. 18:29]
  42. Isaiah 16:12 : ch. 15:2; [Num. 22:41; 23:14, 28]
  43. Isaiah 16:13 : See Amos 2:1-3
  44. Isaiah 16:14 : ch. 21:16
  45. Isaiah 16:14 : [ch. 10:22]
  46. Isaiah 17:1 : See ch. 13:1
  47. Isaiah 17:1 : ch. 7:8; Zech. 9:1; See Jer. 49:23-27; Amos 1:3-5
  48. Isaiah 17:2 : Deut. 2:36; Josh. 13:25
  49. Isaiah 17:2 : Mic. 4:4
  50. Isaiah 17:3 : ch. 7:16; 8:4
  51. Isaiah 17:3 : ch. 7:16; 8:4
  52. Isaiah 17:3 : [1 Sam. 4:21]
  53. Isaiah 17:4 : [See ver. 3 above]; [1 Sam. 4:21]
  54. Isaiah 17:4 : ch. 10:16
  55. Isaiah 17:5 : [ch. 24:1]
  56. Isaiah 17:5 : See 2 Sam. 5:18
  57. Isaiah 17:6 : ch. 24:13
  58. Isaiah 17:7 : [Hos. 8:14]
  59. Isaiah 17:8 : ch. 27:9; Mic. 5:13, 14
  60. Isaiah 17:8 : Ex. 34:13; See Deut. 16:21
  61. Isaiah 17:9 : [ch. 27:10]
  62. Isaiah 17:10 : Ps. 106:21
  63. Isaiah 17:10 : ch. 26:4; [Deut. 32:4, 18, 31]
  64. Isaiah 17:12 : See ch. 22:5-7
  65. Isaiah 17:13 : [ch. 33:3]
  66. Isaiah 17:13 : Ps. 9:5; [Joel 3:2]
  67. Isaiah 17:13 : See Ps. 1:4
  68. Isaiah 17:13 : Ps. 83:13
  69. Isaiah 17:14 : [Ps. 30:5]
  70. Isaiah 18:1 : [ch. 8:8; 17:12]
  71. Isaiah 18:1 : 2 Kgs. 19:9
  72. Isaiah 18:2 : ch. 30:4
  73. Isaiah 18:2 : ver. 7
  74. Isaiah 18:2 : [2 Sam. 8:2]
  75. Isaiah 18:3 : See ch. 5:26
  76. Isaiah 18:4 : Ps. 11:4
  77. Isaiah 18:5 : [Ezek. 31:3, 12, 13]
  78. Isaiah 18:6 : [See ver. 5 above]; [Ezek. 31:3, 12, 13]
  79. Isaiah 18:7 : Ps. 68:31
  80. Isaiah 18:7 : ver. 2
  81. Isaiah 18:7 : [ch. 25:10]
  82. Isaiah 18:7 : 2 Sam. 7:13
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Galatians 1

Greeting

Paul, an (A)apostle—(B)not from men nor through man, but (C)through Jesus Christ and God the Father, (D)who raised him from the dead— and all (E)the brothers[a] who are with me,

To (F)the churches of Galatia:

(G)Grace to you and peace (H)from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, (I)who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present (J)evil age, according to the will of (K)our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

No Other Gospel

I am astonished that you are (L)so quickly deserting (M)him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to (N)a different gospel— (O)not that there is another one, but (P)there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or (Q)an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, (R)let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, (S)let him be accursed.

10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying (T)to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a (U)servant[b] of Christ.

Paul Called by God

11 For (V)I would have you know, brothers, that (W)the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel.[c] 12 (X)For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it (Y)through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of (Z)my former life in Judaism, how (AA)I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely (AB)zealous was I for (AC)the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he (AD)who had set me apart (AE)before I was born,[d] and who (AF)called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to[e] me, in order (AG)that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;[f] 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

18 Then (AH)after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James (AI)the Lord's brother. 20 (In what I am writing to you, (AJ)before God, I do not lie!) 21 (AK)Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown in person to (AL)the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.

Footnotes:

  1. Galatians 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verse 11
  2. Galatians 1:10 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
  3. Galatians 1:11 Greek not according to man
  4. Galatians 1:15 Greek set me apart from my mother's womb
  5. Galatians 1:16 Greek in
  6. Galatians 1:16 Greek with flesh and blood

Cross references:

  1. Galatians 1:1 : See 2 Cor. 1:1
  2. Galatians 1:1 : ver. 11, 12
  3. Galatians 1:1 : Acts 9:6; 20:24; 22:10, 15, 21; 26:16; [1 Tim. 1:1; Titus 1:3]
  4. Galatians 1:1 : See Acts 2:24
  5. Galatians 1:2 : Phil. 4:21
  6. Galatians 1:2 : Acts 16:6; 1 Cor. 16:1
  7. Galatians 1:3 : Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3
  8. Galatians 1:3 : 1 Tim. 1:2
  9. Galatians 1:4 : See Matt. 20:28; Rom. 4:25; 1 Cor. 15:3
  10. Galatians 1:4 : [Eph. 2:2; 1 John 5:19]; See John 15:19
  11. Galatians 1:4 : Phil. 4:20; 1 Thess. 1:3; 3:11, 13
  12. Galatians 1:6 : [ch. 4:13; Acts 16:6; 18:23]
  13. Galatians 1:6 : ch. 5:8
  14. Galatians 1:6 : 2 Cor. 11:4; [1 Tim. 1:3]
  15. Galatians 1:7 : [Acts 4:12; 1 Cor. 3:11]
  16. Galatians 1:7 : ch. 5:10; Acts 15:24; See 2 Cor. 11:13
  17. Galatians 1:8 : 2 Cor. 11:14
  18. Galatians 1:8 : See Rom. 9:3
  19. Galatians 1:9 : [See ver. 8 above]; See Rom. 9:3
  20. Galatians 1:10 : 1 Thess. 2:4; [Rom. 2:29; 1 Cor. 10:33; Eph. 6:6; Col. 3:22]
  21. Galatians 1:10 : [Rom. 1:1]
  22. Galatians 1:11 : 1 Cor. 15:1
  23. Galatians 1:11 : See Rom. 2:16
  24. Galatians 1:12 : ver. 1; 1 Cor. 11:23; 15:3; [Acts 22:14]
  25. Galatians 1:12 : ver. 16; See 1 Cor. 2:10; 2 Cor. 12:1
  26. Galatians 1:13 : [Acts 26:4]
  27. Galatians 1:13 : See Acts 8:3
  28. Galatians 1:14 : Phil. 3:6; See Acts 21:20
  29. Galatians 1:14 : [Jer. 9:14; 2 Tim. 1:3]; See Matt. 15:2
  30. Galatians 1:15 : Acts 13:2; Rom. 1:1
  31. Galatians 1:15 : Isa. 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:15
  32. Galatians 1:15 : ver. 6
  33. Galatians 1:16 : ch. 2:9; See Acts 9:15
  34. Galatians 1:18 : [Acts 9:22, 23]
  35. Galatians 1:19 : See Matt. 12:46; Acts 12:17
  36. Galatians 1:20 : See Rom. 1:9; 9:1
  37. Galatians 1:21 : [Acts 9:30; 11:25, 26; 13:1]
  38. Galatians 1:22 : 1 Thess. 2:14
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Psalm 58

God Who Judges the Earth

To the choirmaster: according to (A)Do Not Destroy. A (B)Miktam[a] of David.

58 Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?[b]
Do you judge the children of man uprightly?
No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
your hands (C)deal out violence on earth.

The wicked are (D)estranged from the womb;
they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
(E)They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
so that it (F)does not hear the voice of charmers
or of the cunning enchanter.

O God, (G)break the teeth in their mouths;
tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
Let them (H)vanish like water that runs away;
when he (I)aims his arrows, let them be blunted.
Let them be like the snail (J)that dissolves into slime,
like (K)the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of (L)thorns,
whether green or ablaze, may he (M)sweep them away![c]

10 (N)The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
he will (O)bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Mankind will say, “Surely there is (P)a reward for the righteous;
surely there is a God who (Q)judges on earth.”

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 58:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
  2. Psalm 58:1 Or you mighty lords (by revocalization; Hebrew in silence)
  3. Psalm 58:9 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Proverbs 23:12

12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.