Through the Bible – Day 285

Bible text(s)

Babylonia's gods are helpless

The LORD said:

1The gods Bel and Nebo

are down on their knees,

as wooden images of them

are carried away

on weary animals.

2They are down on their knees

to rescue the heavy load,

but the images are still taken

to a foreign country.

3You survivors in Israel,

listen to me, the LORD.

Since the day you were born,

I have carried you along.

4I will still be the same

when you are old and grey,

and I will take care of you.

I created you. I will carry you

and always keep you safe.

5Can anyone compare with me?

Is anyone my equal?

6Some people hire a goldsmith

and give silver and gold

to be formed into an idol

for them to worship.

7They carry the idol

on their shoulders,

then put it on a stand,

but it cannot move.

They call out to the idol

when they are in trouble,

but it doesn't answer,

and it cannot help.

8Now keep this in mind,

you sinful people.

And don't ever forget it.

The LORD alone is God

9I alone am God!

There are no other gods;

no one is like me.

Think about what happened

many years ago.

10From the very beginning,

I told what would happen

long before it took place.

I kept my word 11and brought

someone from a distant land

to do what I wanted.

He attacked from the east,

like a hawk swooping down.

Now I will keep my promise

and do what I planned.

12You people are stubborn

and far from being safe,

so listen to me.

13I will soon come to save you.

I am not far away

and will waste no time;

I take pride in Israel

and will save Jerusalem.

Babylon will fall

The LORD said:

1City of Babylon,

you are delicate

and untouched,

but that will change.

Surrender your royal power

and sit in the dust.

2Start grinding grain!

Take off your veil.

Strip off your fine clothes

and cross over rivers.

3You will suffer the shame

of going naked,

because I will take revenge,

and no one can escape.

4I am the LORD All-Powerful,

the holy God of Israel.

I am their Saviour.

5Babylon, be silent!

Sit in the dark.

No longer will nations

accept you as their queen.

6I was angry with my people.

So I let you take their land

and bring disgrace on them.

You showed them no mercy,

but were especially cruel

to those who were old.

7You thought that you

would be queen for ever.

You didn't care what you did;

it never entered your mind

that you might get caught.

8You think that you alone

are all-powerful,

that you won't be a widow

or lose your children.

All you care about is pleasure,

but listen to what I say.

9Your magic powers and charms

will suddenly fail,

then you will be a widow

and lose your children.

10You hid behind evil

like a shield and said,

“No one can see me!”

You were fooled by your wisdom

and your knowledge;

you felt sure that you alone

were in full control.

11But without warning,

disaster will strike—

and your magic charms

won't help at all.

12Keep using your magic powers

and your charms

as you have always done.

Perhaps—just perhaps—

you will frighten somebody!

13You have worn yourself out,

asking for advice

from those who study the stars

and tell the future

month after month.

Go and ask them how to be saved

from what will happen.

14People who trust the stars

are as helpless as straw

in a flaming fire.

No one can even keep warm,

sitting by a fire

that feeds only on straw.

15These are the fortune-tellers

you have done business with

all your life.

But they don't know

where they are going,

and they can't save you.

The LORD corrects his people

1People of Israel,

you come from Jacob's family

and the tribe of Judah.

You claim to worship me,

the LORD God of Israel,

but you are lying.

2You call Jerusalem your home

and say you depend on me,

the LORD All-Powerful,

the God of Israel.

3Long ago I announced

what was going to be,

then without warning,

I made it happen.

4I knew you were stubborn

and hard-headed.

5And I told you these things,

so that when they happened

you would not say,

“The idols we worship did this.”

6You heard what I said,

and you have seen it happen.

Now admit that it's true!

I will show you secrets

you have never known.

7Today I am doing something new,

something you cannot say

you have heard before.

8You have never been willing

to listen to what I say;

from the moment of your birth,

I knew you would rebel.

The LORD warns Israel

9I, the LORD, am true to myself;

I will be praised for not punishing

and destroying you.

10I tested you in hard times

just as silver is refined

in a heated furnace.

11I did this because of who I am.

I refuse to be dishonoured

or share my praise

with any other god.

12Israel, my chosen people,

listen to me.

I alone am the LORD,

the first and the last.

13With my own hand

I created the earth

and stretched out the sky.

They obey my every command.

The LORD speaks to the nations

14Gather around me, all of you!

Listen to what I say.

Did any of your idols

predict this would happen?

Did they say that my friend

would do what I want done

to Babylonia?

15I was the one who chose him.

I have brought him this far,

and he will be successful.

16Come closer and listen!

I have never kept secret

the things I have said,

and I was here

before time began.

It is best to obey the LORD

By the power of his Spirit

the LORD God has sent me

17with this message:

People of Israel,

I am the holy LORD God,

the one who rescues you.

For your own good,

I teach you, and I lead you

along the right path.

18How I wish that you

had obeyed my commands!

Your success and good fortune

would then have overflowed

like a flooding river.

19Your nation would be blessed

with more people

than there are grains of sand

along the seashore.

And I would never have let

your country be destroyed.

20Now leave Babylon!

Celebrate as you go.

Be happy and shout

for everyone to hear,

“The LORD has rescued

his servant Israel!

21He led us through the desert

and made water flow from a rock

to satisfy our thirst.

22But the LORD has promised

that none who are evil

will live in peace.”

Isaiah 46:1-48:22CEVOpen in Bible reader

Greetings

1From Paul, Silas, and Timothy.

To the church in Thessalonica, the people of God our Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!

The Lord's return will bring justice

3My dear friends, we always have good reason to thank God for you, because your faith in God and your love for each other keep growing all the time. 4That's why we boast about you to all God's churches. We tell them how patient you are and how you keep on having faith, even though you are going through a lot of trouble and suffering.

5All this shows that God judges fairly and that he is making you fit to share in his kingdom for which you are suffering. 6It is only right for God to punish everyone who is causing you trouble, 7but he will give you relief from your troubles. He will do the same for us, when the Lord Jesus comes from heaven with his powerful angels 8and with a flaming fire.

Our Lord Jesus will punish anyone who doesn't know God and won't obey his message. 9Their punishment will be eternal destruction, and they will be kept far from the presence of our Lord and his glorious strength. 10This will happen on that day when the Lord returns to be praised and honoured by all who have faith in him and belong to him. This includes you, because you believed what we said.

11God chose you, and we keep praying that God will make you worthy of being his people. We pray for God's power to help you do all the good things that you hope to do and that your faith makes you want to do. 12Then, because God and our Lord Jesus Christ are so kind, you will bring honour to the name of our Lord Jesus, and he will bring honour to you.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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