Through the Bible – Day 286

Bible text(s)

The Lord's servant

The work of the LORD's servant

1Everyone, listen,

even you foreign nations

across the sea.

The LORD chose me

and gave me a name

before I was born.

2He made my words pierce

like a sharp sword

or a pointed arrow;

he kept me safely hidden

in the palm of his hand.

3The LORD said to me,

“Israel, you are my servant;

and because of you

I will be highly honoured.”

4I said to myself,

“I'm completely worn out;

my time has been wasted.

But I did it for the LORD God,

and he will reward me.”

5Even before I was born,

the LORD God chose me

to serve him and to lead back

the people of Israel.

So the LORD has honoured me

and made me strong.

6Now the LORD says to me,

“It isn't enough for you

to be merely my servant.

You must do more than lead back

survivors from the tribes

of Israel.

I have placed you here as a light

for other nations;

you must take my saving power

to everyone on earth.”

The LORD will rescue his people

7Israel, I am the holy LORD God,

the one who rescues you.

You are slaves of rulers

and of a nation

who despises you.

Now this is what I promise:

kings and rulers will honour you

by kneeling at your feet.

You can trust me! I am your LORD,

the holy God of Israel,

and you are my chosen ones.

The LORD will lead his people home

8This is what the LORD says:

I will answer your prayers

because I have set a time

when I will help

by coming to save you.

I have chosen you

to take my promise of hope

to other nations.

You will rebuild the country

from its ruins,

then people will come

and settle there.

9You will set prisoners free

from dark dungeons

to see the light of day.

On their way home,

they will find plenty to eat,

even on barren hills.

10They won't go hungry

or get thirsty;

they won't be bothered

by the scorching sun

or hot desert winds.

I will be merciful

while leading them along

to streams of water.

11I will level the mountains

and make roads.

12Then my people will return

from distant lands

in the north and the west

and from the city of Syene.

The LORD's mercy

13Tell the heavens and the earth

to celebrate and sing;

command every mountain

to join in the song.

The LORD's people have suffered,

but he has shown mercy

and given them comfort.

14The people of Zion said,

“The LORD has turned away

and forgotten us.”

15The LORD answered,

“Could a mother forget a child

who nurses at her breast?

Could she fail to love an infant

who came from her own body?

Even if a mother could forget,

I will never forget you.

16A picture of your city

is drawn on my hand.

You are always in my thoughts!

17“Your city will be built faster

than it was destroyed

those who attacked it

will retreat and leave.

18Look around! You will see

your people coming home.

As surely as I live,

I, the LORD, promise

that your city with its people

will be as lovely as a bride

wearing her jewellery.”

Jerusalem's bright future

19Jerusalem is now in ruins!

Nothing is left of the city.

But it will be rebuilt

and soon overcrowded;

its cruel enemies

will be gone far away.

20Jerusalem is a woman

whose children were born

while she was in deep sorrow

over the loss of her husband.

Now those children

will come and seek room

in the crowded city,

21and Jerusalem will ask,

“Am I really their mother?

How could I have given birth

when I was still mourning

in a foreign land?

Who raised these children?

Where have they come from?”

22The LORD God says:

“I will soon give a signal

for the nations

to return your sons

and your daughters

to the arms of Jerusalem.

23The kings and queens

of those nations

where they were raised

will come and bow down.

They will take care of you

just like a slave

taking care of a child.

Then you will know

that I am the LORD.

You won't be disappointed

if you trust me.”

The LORD is on our side

24Is it possible to rescue victims

from someone strong

and cruel?

25But the LORD has promised

to fight on our side

and to rescue our children

from those strong

and violent enemies.

26He will make those cruel people

dine on their own flesh

and get drunk from drinking

their own blood.

Then everyone will know

that the LORD is our Saviour;

the powerful God of Israel

has rescued his people.

The LORD's power to punish

1The LORD says, “Children,

I didn't divorce your mother

or sell you to pay debts;

I divorced her and sold you

because of your sins.

2I came and called out,

but you didn't answer.

Have I lost my power

to rescue and save?

At my command oceans and rivers

turn into deserts;

fish rot and stink

for lack of water.

3I make the sky turn dark

like the sackcloth

you wear at funerals.”

God's servant must suffer

4The LORD God gives me

the right words

to encourage the weary.

Each morning he awakens me

eager to learn his teaching;

5he made me willing to listen

and not rebel or run away.

6I let them beat my back

and pull out my beard.

I didn't turn aside

when they insulted me

and spat in my face.

7But the LORD God keeps me

from being disgraced.

So I refuse to give up,

because I know

God will never let me down.

8My protector is nearby;

no one can stand here

to accuse me of wrong.

9The LORD God will help me

and prove I am innocent.

My accusers will wear out

like moth-eaten clothes.

10None of you respect the LORD

or obey his servant.

You walk in the dark

instead of the light;

you don't trust the name

of the LORD your God.

11Go ahead and walk in the light

of the fires you have lit.

But with his own hand,

the LORD will punish you

and make you suffer.

Isaiah 49:1-50:11CEVOpen in Bible reader

The Lord has not returned yet

The Lord's return

1When our Lord Jesus returns, we will be gathered up to meet him. So I ask you, my friends, 2not to be easily upset or disturbed by people who claim that the Lord has already come. They may say that they heard this directly from the Holy Spirit, or from someone else, or even that they read it in one of our letters. 3But don't be fooled! People will rebel against God. Then before the Lord returns, the wicked one who is doomed to be destroyed will appear. 4He will boast and oppose everything that is holy or sacred. He will even sit in God's temple and claim to be God. 5Don't you remember that I told you this while I was still with you?

6You already know what is holding this wicked one back until it is time for him to come. 7His mysterious power is already at work, but someone is holding him back. And the wicked one won't appear until that someone is out of the way. 8Then he will appear, but the Lord Jesus will kill him simply by breathing on him. He will be completely destroyed by the Lord's glorious return.

9When the wicked one appears, Satan will pretend to perform all kinds of miracles, wonders, and signs. 10Lost people will be fooled by his evil deeds. They could be saved, but they will refuse to love the truth and accept it. 11So God will make sure that they are fooled into believing a lie. 12All of them will be punished, because they would rather do evil than believe the truth.

Be faithful

13My friends, the Lord loves you, and it is only natural for us to thank God for you. God chose you to be the first ones to be saved. His Spirit made you holy, and you put your faith in the truth. 14God used our preaching as his way of inviting you to share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15My friends, that's why you must remain faithful and follow closely what we taught you in person and by our letters.

16God our Father loves us. He is kind and has given us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope. We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father 17will encourage you and help you always to do and say the right thing.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.8
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