Through the Bible – Day 282

Bible text(s)

Isaiah speaks the LORD's message to Hezekiah

1Merodach Baladan, the son of Baladan, was now king of Babylonia. And when he learnt that Hezekiah was well, he sent messengers with letters and a gift for him. 2Hezekiah welcomed the messengers and showed them all the silver, the gold, the spices, and the fine oils that were in his storehouse. He even showed them where he kept his weapons. Nothing in his palace or in his entire kingdom was kept hidden from them.

3I asked Hezekiah, “Where did these men come from? What did they want?”

“They came all the way from Babylonia,” Hezekiah answered.

4“What did you show them?” I asked.

Hezekiah answered, “I showed them everything in my kingdom.”

5Then I told Hezekiah:

I have a message for you from the LORD All-Powerful. 6One day everything you and your ancestors have stored up will be taken to Babylonia. The LORD has promised that nothing will be left. 7Some of your own sons will be taken to Babylonia, where they will be disgraced and made to serve in the king's palace.

8Hezekiah thought, “At least our nation will be at peace for a while.” So he told me, “The message you brought from the LORD is good.”

The Lord will rescue his people

Encourage God's people

1Our God has said:

“Encourage my people!

Give them comfort.

2Speak kindly to Jerusalem

and announce:

Your slavery is past;

your punishment is over.

I, the LORD, made you pay

double for your sins.”

3Someone is shouting:

“Clear a path in the desert!

Make a straight road

for the LORD our God.

4Fill in the valleys;

flatten every hill

and mountain.

Level the rough

and rugged ground.

5Then the glory of the LORD

will appear for all to see.

The LORD has promised this!”

6Someone told me to shout,

and I asked,

“What should I shout?”

We humans are merely grass,

and we last no longer

than wild flowers.

7At the LORD's command,

flowers and grass disappear,

and so do we.

8Flowers and grass fade away,

but what our God has said

will never change.

Your God is here!

9There is good news

for the city of Zion.

Shout it as loud as you can

from the highest mountain.

Don't be afraid to shout

to the towns of Judah,

“Your God is here!”

10Look! The powerful LORD God

is coming to rule

with his mighty arm.

He brings with him

what he has taken in war,

and he rewards his people.

11The LORD cares for his nation,

just as shepherds care

for their flocks.

He carries the lambs

in his arms,

while gently leading

the mother sheep.

Who compares with God?

12Did any of you measure

the ocean by yourself

or stretch out the sky

with your own hands?

Did you put the soil

of the earth in a bucket

or weigh the hills and mountains

on balance scales?

13Has anyone told the LORD

what he must do

or given him advice?

14Did the LORD ask anyone

to teach him wisdom

and justice?

Who gave him knowledge

and understanding?

15To the LORD, all nations

are merely a drop in a bucket

or dust on balance scales;

all the islands

are but a handful of sand.

16The cattle

on Lebanon's mountains

would not be enough to offer

as a sacrifice to God,

and the trees would not

be enough for the fire.

17God thinks of the nations

as far less than nothing.

18Who compares with God?

Is anything like him?

19Is an idol at all like God?

It is made of bronze

with a thin layer of gold,

and decorated with silver.

20Or special wood may be chosen

because it doesn't rot—

then skilled hands

take care to make an idol

that won't fall on its face.

God rules the whole earth

21Don't you know?

Haven't you heard?

Isn't it clear that God

created the world?

22God is the one who rules

the whole earth,

and we who live here

are merely insects.

He spread out the heavens

like a curtain or an open tent.

23God brings down rulers

and turns them into nothing.

24They are like flowers

freshly sprung up

and starting to grow.

But when God blows on them,

they wilt and are carried off

like straw in a storm.

25The holy God asks,

“Who compares with me?

Is anyone my equal?”

26Look at the evening sky!

Who created the stars?

Who gave them each a name?

Who leads them like an army?

The LORD is so powerful

that none of the stars

are ever missing.

The LORD gives strength

27You people of Israel, say,

“God pays no attention to us!

He doesn't care if we

are treated unjustly.”

But how can you say that?

28Don't you know?

Haven't you heard?

The LORD is the eternal God,

Creator of the earth.

He never gets weary or tired;

his wisdom cannot be measured.

29The LORD gives strength

to those who are weary.

30Even young people get tired,

then stumble and fall.

31But those who trust the LORD

will find new strength.

They will be strong like eagles

soaring upward on wings;

they will walk and run

without getting tired.

The LORD controls human events

1Be silent and listen,

every island in the sea.

Have courage and come near,

every one of you nations.

Let's settle this matter!

2Who appointed this ruler

from the east?

Who puts nations and kings

in his power?

His sword and his arrows

turn them to dust

blown by the wind.

3He goes after them so quickly

that his feet

barely touch the ground—

he doesn't even get hurt.

4Who makes these things happen?

Who controls human events?

I do! I am the LORD.

I was there at the beginning;

I will be there at the end.

5Islands and foreign nations

saw what I did and trembled

as they came near.

What can idols do?

6Worshippers of idols

comfort each other,

saying, “Don't worry!”

7Woodcarvers, goldsmiths,

and other workers

encourage one another and say,

“We've done a great job!”

Then they nail the idol down,

so it won't fall over.

The LORD's chosen servant

8Israel, you are my servant.

I chose you, the family

of my friend Abraham.

9From far across the earth

I brought you here and said,

“You are my chosen servant.

I haven't forgotten you.”

10Don't be afraid. I am with you.

Don't tremble with fear.

I am your God.

I will make you strong,

as I protect you with my arm

and give you victories.

11Everyone who hates you

will be terribly disgraced;

those who attack

will vanish into thin air.

12You will look around

for those brutal enemies,

but you won't find them

because they will be gone.

13I am the LORD your God.

I am holding your hand,

so don't be afraid.

I am here to help you.

14People of Israel, don't worry,

though others may say,

“Israel is only a worm!”

I am the holy God of Israel,

who saves and protects you.

15I will let you be like a log

covered with sharp spikes.

You will grind and crush

every mountain and hill

until they turn to dust.

16A strong wind will scatter them

in all directions.

Then you will celebrate

and praise me, your LORD,

the holy God of Israel.

The LORD helps the poor

17When the poor and needy

are dying of thirst

and cannot find water,

I, the LORD God of Israel,

will come to their rescue.

I won't forget them.

18I will make rivers flow

on mountain peaks.

I will send streams

to fill the valleys.

Dry and barren land

will flow with springs

and become a lake.

19I will fill the desert

with all kinds of trees—

cedars, acacias, and myrtles;

olive and cypress trees;

fir trees and pines.

20Everyone will see this

and know that I,

the holy LORD God of Israel,

created it all.

Idols are useless

21I am the LORD,

the King of Israel!

Come, argue your case with me.

Present your evidence.

22Come near me, you idols.

Tell us about the past,

and we will think about it.

Tell us about the future,

so we will know

what is going to happen.

23Prove that you are gods

by making your predictions

come true.

Do something good or evil,

so we can be amazed

and terrified.

24You idols are nothing,

and you are powerless.

To worship you

would be disgusting.

25I, the LORD, appointed a ruler

in the north;

now he comes from the east

to honour my name.

He tramples kings like mud,

as potters trample clay.

26Did any of you idols predict

what would happen?

Did any of you get it right?

None of you told about this

or even spoke a word.

27I was the first to tell

the people of Jerusalem,

“Look, it's happening!”

I was the one who announced

this good news to Zion.

28None of these idols

are able to give advice

or answer questions.

29They are nothing,

and they can do nothing—

they are less

than a passing breeze.

Isaiah 39:1-41:29CEVOpen in Bible reader

Paul's work in Thessalonica

1My friends, you know that our time with you wasn't wasted. 2As you remember, we had been ill-treated and insulted at Philippi. But God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble. 3We didn't have any hidden motives when we won you over, and we didn't try to fool or trick anyone. 4God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn't speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives.

5You also know that we didn't try to flatter anyone. God himself knows that what we did wasn't a cover-up for greed. 6We were not trying to get you or anyone else to praise us. 7But as apostles, we could have demanded help from you. After all, Christ is the one who sent us. We chose to be like children or like a mother nursing her baby. 8We cared so much for you, and you became so dear to us, that we were willing to give our lives for you when we gave you God's message.

9My dear friends, you haven't forgotten our hard work and hardships. You remember how night and day we struggled to make a living, so that we could tell you God's message without being a burden to anyone. 10Both you and God are witnesses that we were pure and honest and innocent in our dealings with you followers of the Lord. 11You also know we did everything for you that parents would do for their own children. 12We begged, encouraged, and urged each of you to live in a way that would honour God. He is the one who chose you to share in his own kingdom and glory.

13We always thank God that you believed the message we preached. It came from him, and it isn't something made up by humans. You accepted it as God's message, and now he is working in you. 14My friends, you did just like God's churches in Judea and like the other followers of Christ Jesus there. And so, you were ill-treated by your own people, in the same way they were ill-treated by their people.

15Those Jews killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and they even chased us away. God doesn't like what they do and neither does anyone else. 16They keep us from speaking his message to the Gentiles and from leading them to be saved. The Jews have always gone too far with their sins. Now God has finally become angry and will punish them.

1 Thessalonians 2:1-16CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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