Through the Bible – Day 269

Bible text(s)

Introduction

1I am Isaiah, the son of Amoz.

And this is the message that I was given about Judah and Jerusalem when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were the kings of Judah:

A guilty nation

2The LORD has said,

“Listen, heaven and earth!

The children I raised

have turned against me.

3Oxen and donkeys know

who owns and feeds them,

but my people won't ever learn.”

4Israel, you are a sinful nation

loaded down with guilt.

You are wicked and corrupt

and have turned from the LORD,

the holy God of Israel.

5Why be punished more?

Why not give up your sin?

Your head is badly bruised,

and you are weak all over.

6From your head to your toes

there isn't a healthy spot.

Bruises, cuts, and open sores

go without care

or oil to ease the pain.

A country in ruins

7Your country lies in ruins;

your towns are in ashes.

Foreigners and strangers

take and destroy your land

while you watch.

8Enemies surround Jerusalem,

alone like a hut in a vineyard

or in a cucumber field.

9Zion would have disappeared

like Sodom and Gomorrah,

if the LORD All-Powerful

had not let a few

of its people survive.

Justice, not sacrifices

10You are no better

than the leaders and people

of Sodom and Gomorrah!

So listen to the LORD God:

11“Your sacrifices

mean nothing to me.

I am sick of your offerings

of rams and choice cattle;

I don't like the blood

of bulls or lambs or goats.

12“Who asked you to bring all this

when you come to worship me?

Stay out of my temple!

13Your sacrifices are worthless,

and incense is disgusting.

I can't stand the evil you do

on your New Moon Festivals

or on your Sabbaths

and other times of worship.

14I hate your New Moon Festivals

and all others as well.

They are a heavy burden

I am tired of carrying.

15“No matter how much you pray,

I won't listen.

You are too violent.

16Wash yourselves clean!

I am disgusted

with your filthy deeds.

Stop doing wrong

17and learn to live right.

See that justice is done.

Defend widows and orphans

and help those in need.”

An invitation from the LORD

18I, the LORD, invite you

to come and talk it over.

Your sins are scarlet red,

but they will be whiter

than snow or wool.

19If you willingly obey me,

the best crops in the land

will be yours.

20But if you turn against me,

your enemies will kill you.

I, the LORD, have spoken.

The LORD condemns Jerusalem

21Jerusalem, you are like

an unfaithful wife.

Once your judges were honest

and your people lived right;

now you are a city

full of murderers.

22Your silver is fake,

and your wine

is watered down.

23Your leaders have rejected me

to become friends of crooks;

your rulers are looking

for gifts and bribes.

Widows and orphans

never get a fair trial.

24I am the LORD All-Powerful,

the mighty ruler of Israel,

and I make you a promise:

you are now my enemy,

and I will show my anger

by taking revenge on you.

25I will punish you terribly

and burn away everything

that makes you unfit

to worship me.

26Jerusalem, I will choose

judges and advisers

like those you had before.

Your new name will be

“Justice and Faithfulness”.

The LORD will save Jerusalem

27Jerusalem, you will be saved

by showing justice;

Zion's people who turn to me

will be saved

by doing right.

28But those rebellious sinners

who turn against me, the LORD,

will all disappear.

29You will be made ashamed

of those groves of trees

where you worshipped idols.

30You will be like a grove of trees

dying in a drought.

31Your strongest leaders

will be like dry wood

set on fire by their idols.

No one will be able to help,

as they all go up in flames.

Messages about Judah and Israel

Peace that lasts for ever

1This is the message that I was given about Judah and Jerusalem:

2In the future, the mountain

with the LORD's temple

will be the highest of all.

It will reach above the hills;

every nation will rush to it.

3Many people will come and say,

“Let's go to the mountain

of the LORD God of Jacob

and worship in his temple.”

The LORD will teach us his Law

from Jerusalem,

and we will obey him.

4He will settle arguments

between nations.

They will beat their swords

and their spears

into rakes and shovels;

they will never make war

or attack one another.

5People of Israel, let's live

by the light of the LORD.

Following sinful customs

6Our LORD, you have deserted

your people, Israel,

because they follow customs

of nations from the east.

They worship Philistine gods

and are close friends

of foreigners.

7They have endless treasures

of silver and gold;

they have countless horses

and war chariots.

8Everywhere in the country

they worship the idols

they have made.

9And so, all of them

will be ashamed and disgraced.

Don't help them!

A day of judgment

10Every one of you,

hide among the rocks

and in the ground,

because the LORD is fearsome,

marvellous, and glorious.

11When the LORD comes,

everyone who is proud

will be made humble,

and the LORD alone

will be honoured.

12The LORD All-Powerful

has chosen a day

when those who are proud

and conceited

will be put down.

13The tall and towering

cedars of Lebanon

will be destroyed.

So will the oak trees of Bashan,

14all high mountains and hills,

15every strong fortress,

16all the seagoing ships,

and every beautiful boat.

17When that day comes,

everyone who is proud

will be put down.

Only the LORD will be honoured.

18Idols will be gone for good.

19You had better hide

in caves and holes—

the LORD will be fearsome,

marvellous, and glorious

when he comes to terrify

people on earth.

20On that day everyone will throw

to the rats and bats

their idols of silver and gold

they made to worship.

21The LORD will be fearsome,

marvellous, and glorious

when he comes to terrify

people on earth—

they will hide in caves

and in the hills.

22Stop trusting the power

of humans.

They are all going to die,

so how can they help?

Isaiah 1:1-2:22CEVOpen in Bible reader

Paul's mission to the Gentiles

1Christ Jesus made me his prisoner, so that I could help you Gentiles. 2You have heard about God's kindness in choosing me to help you. 3In fact, this letter tells you a little about how God has shown me his mysterious ways. 4As you read the letter, you will also find out how well I really do understand the mystery about Christ. 5No one knew about this mystery until God's Spirit told it to his holy apostles and prophets. 6And the mystery is this: Because of Christ Jesus, the good news has given the Gentiles a share in the promises that God gave to the Jews. God has also let the Gentiles be part of the same body.

7God treated me with kindness. His power worked in me, and it became my job to spread the good news. 8I am the least important of all God's people. But God was kind and chose me to tell the Gentiles that because of Christ there are blessings that cannot be measured. 9God, who created everything, wanted me to help everyone understand the mysterious plan that had always been hidden in his mind. 10Then God would use the church to show the powers and authorities in the spiritual world that he has many different kinds of wisdom.

11God did this according to his eternal plan. And he was able to do what he had planned because of all that Christ Jesus our Lord had done. 12Christ now gives us courage and confidence, so that we can come to God by faith. 13That's why you should not be discouraged when I suffer for you. After all, it will bring honour to you.

Christ's love for us

14I kneel in prayer to the Father. 15All beings in heaven and on earth receive their life from him. 16God is wonderful and glorious. I pray that his Spirit will make you become strong followers 17and that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. Stand firm and be deeply rooted in his love. 18I pray that you and all God's people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep. 19I want you to know-all about Christ's love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is.

20-21I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will for ever bring praise to God. His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.

Ephesians 3:1-21CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.8
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