Through the Bible – Day 278

Bible text(s)

Jerusalem will suffer

The LORD said:

1Jerusalem, city of David,

the place of my altar,

you are in for trouble!

Celebrate your festivals

year after year.

2I will still make you suffer,

and your people will cry

when I make an altar of you.

3I will surround you and prepare

to attack from all sides.

4From deep in the earth,

you will call out for help

with only a faint whisper.

5Then your cruel enemies

will suddenly be swept away

like dust in a storm.

6I, the LORD All-Powerful,

will come to your rescue

with a thundering earthquake

and a fiery whirlwind.

7Every brutal nation

that attacks Jerusalem

and makes it suffer

will disappear like a dream

when night is over.

8Those nations that attack

Mount Zion

will suffer from hunger

and thirst.

They will dream of food and drink

but wake up weary and hungry

and thirsty as ever.

Prophets who fool themselves

9Be shocked and stunned,

you prophets!

Refuse to see.

Get drunk and stagger,

but not from wine.

10The LORD has made you drowsy;

he put you into a deep sleep

and covered your head.

11Now his message is like a sealed letter to you. Some of you say, “We can't read it, because it's sealed.” 12Others say, “We can't read it, because we don't know how to read.”

13The Lord has said:

“These people praise me

with their words,

but they never really

think about me.

They worship me by repeating

rules made up by humans.

14So once again I will do things

that shock and amaze them,

and I will destroy the wisdom

of those who claim to know

and understand.”

15You are in for trouble,

if you try to hide your plans

from the LORD!

Or if you think what you do

in the dark can't be seen.

16You have it all backwards.

A clay dish doesn't say

to the potter,

“You didn't make me.

You don't even know how.”

Hope for the future

17Soon the forest of Lebanon

will become a field with crops,

thick as a forest.

18The deaf will be able to hear

whatever is read to them;

the blind will be freed

from a life of darkness.

19The poor and the needy

will celebrate and shout

because of the LORD,

the holy God of Israel.

20All who are cruel and arrogant

will be gone for ever.

Those who live by crime

will disappear,

21together with everyone

who tells lies in court

and keeps innocent people

from getting a fair trial.

22The LORD who rescued Abraham

has this to say

about Jacob's descendants:

“They will no longer

be ashamed and disgraced.

23When they see how great

I have made their nation,

they will praise and honour me,

the holy God of Israel.

24Everyone who is confused

will understand,

and all who have complained

will obey my teaching.”

Don't expect help from Egypt

1This is the LORD's message for his rebellious people:

“You follow your own plans

instead of mine;

you make treaties

without asking me,

and you keep on sinning.

2You trust Egypt for protection.

So you refuse my advice

and send messengers to Egypt

to beg their king for help.

3You will be disappointed,

completely disgraced

for trusting Egypt.

4The king's power reaches

from the city of Zoan

as far south as Hanes.

5But Egypt can't protect you,

and to trust that nation

is useless and foolish.”

6This is a message

about the animals

of the Southern Desert:

you people carry treasures

on donkeys and camels.

You travel to a feeble nation

through a troublesome desert

filled with lions

and flying fiery dragons.

7Egypt can't help you!

That's why I call that nation

a helpless monster.

Israel refuses to listen

8The LORD told me to write down his message for his people, so that it would be there for ever. 9They have turned against the LORD and can't be trusted. They have refused his teaching 10and have said to his messengers and prophets:

Don't tell us what God has shown you and don't preach the truth. Just say what we want to hear, even if it's false. 11Stop telling us what God has said! We don't want to hear any more about the holy God of Israel.

12Now this is the answer

of the holy God of Israel:

“You rejected my message,

and you trust in violence

and lies.

13This sin is like a crack

that makes a high wall

quickly crumble 14and shatter

like a crushed bowl.

There's not a piece left

big enough to carry hot coals

or to scoop up water.”

Trust the LORD

15The holy LORD God of Israel

had told all of you,

“I will keep you safe

if you turn back to me

and calm down.

I will make you strong

if you quietly trust me.”

Then you stubbornly 16said,

“No! We will safely escape

on speedy horses.”

But those who chase you

will be even faster.

17As few as five of them,

or even one, will be enough

to chase a thousand of you.

Finally, all that will be left

will be a few survivors

as lonely as a flag pole

on a barren hill.

The LORD will show mercy

18The LORD God is waiting

to show how kind he is

and to have pity on you.

The LORD always does right;

he blesses those who trust him.

19People of Jerusalem, you don't need to cry any more. The Lord is kind, and as soon as he hears your cries for help, he will come. 20The Lord has given you trouble and sorrow as your food and drink. But now you will again see the Lord, your teacher, and he will guide you. 21Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice saying, “This is the road! Now follow it.” 22Then you will treat your idols of silver and gold like rubbish; you will throw them away like filthy rags.

23The Lord will send rain to water the seeds you have planted—your fields will produce more crops than you need, and your cattle will graze in open pastures. 24Even the oxen and donkeys that plough your fields will be fed the finest grain.

25On that day people will be slaughtered and towers destroyed, but streams of water will flow from high hills and towering mountains. 26Then the LORD will bandage his people's injuries and heal the wounds he has caused. The moon will shine as bright as the sun, and the sun will shine seven times brighter than usual. It will be like the light of seven days all at once.

Assyria will be punished

27The LORD is coming

from far away

with his fiery anger

and thick clouds of smoke.

His angry words flame up

like a destructive fire;

28he breathes out a flood

that comes up to the neck.

He sifts the nations

and destroys them.

Then he puts a bridle

in every foreigner's mouth

and leads them to doom.

29The LORD's people will sing as they do when they celebrate a religious festival at night. The LORD is Israel's mighty rock, and his people will be as happy as they are when they follow the sound of flutes to the mountain where he is worshipped.

30The LORD will get furious. His fearsome voice will be heard, his arm will be seen ready to strike, and his anger will be like a destructive fire, followed by thunderstorms and hailstones. 31When the Assyrians hear the LORD's voice and see him striking with his iron rod, they will be terrified. 32He will attack them in battle, and each time he strikes them, it will be to the music of tambourines and harps.

33Long ago the LORD got a place ready for burning the body of the dead king. The place for the fire is deep and wide, the wood is piled high, and the LORD will start the fire by breathing out flaming sulphur.

Isaiah 29:1-30:33CEVOpen in Bible reader

Paul's service to the church

24I am glad that I can suffer for you. I am pleased also that in my own body I can continue the suffering of Christ for his body, the church. 25God's plan was to make me a servant of his church and to send me to preach his complete message to you. 26For many ages this message was kept secret from everyone, but now it has been explained to God's people. 27God did this because he wanted you Gentiles to understand his wonderful and glorious mystery. And the mystery is that Christ lives in you, and he is your hope of sharing in God's glory.

28We announce the message about Christ, and we use all our wisdom to warn and teach everyone, so that all Christ's followers will grow and become mature. 29That's why I work so hard and use the mighty power he gives me.

1I want you to know what a struggle I am going through for you, for God's people at Laodicea, and for all those followers who have never met me. 2I do it to encourage them. Then as their hearts are joined together in love, they will be wonderfully blessed with complete understanding. And they will truly know Christ. Not only is he the key to God's mystery, 3but all wisdom and knowledge are hidden away in him. 4I tell you these things to keep you from being fooled by fancy talk. 5Even though I am not with you, I keep thinking about you. I am glad to know that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.

Christ brings real life

6You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following him. 7Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.

8Don't let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments. These arguments may sound wise, but they are only human teachings. They come from the powers of this world and not from Christ.

9God lives fully in Christ. 10And you are fully grown because you belong to Christ, who is over every power and authority. 11Christ has also taken away your selfish desires, just as circumcision removes flesh from the body. 12And when you were baptized, it was the same as being buried with Christ. Then you were raised to life because you had faith in the power of God, who raised Christ from death. 13You were dead, because you were sinful and were not God's people. But God let Christ make you alive, when he forgave all our sins.

14God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away and nailed them to the cross. 15There Christ defeated all powers and forces. He let the whole world see them being led away as prisoners when he celebrated his victory.

16Don't let anyone tell you what you must eat or drink. Don't let them say that you must celebrate the New Moon festival, the Sabbath, or any other festival. 17These things are only a shadow of what was to come. But Christ is real!

18Don't be cheated by people who make a show of acting humble and who worship angels. They boast about seeing visions. But it is all nonsense, because their minds are filled with selfish desires. 19They are no longer part of Christ, who is the head of the whole body. Christ gives the body its strength, and he uses its joints and muscles to hold it together, as it grows by the power of God.

Colossians 1:24-2:19CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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