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Devotions & Studies / October 20: Jeremiah 3–4; 2 Thessalonians 3
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 21, 2018, 12:24:40 AM »
October 20: Jeremiah 3–4; 2 Thessalonians 3


        Jeremiah 3–4


          Jeremiah 3–4 (Listen)

3   “If1 a man divorces his wife    and she goes from him  and becomes another man's wife,    will he return to her?  Would not that land be greatly polluted?  You have played the whore with many lovers;    and would you return to me?      declares the LORD.2   Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see!    Where have you not been ravished?  By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers    like an Arab in the wilderness.  You have polluted the land    with your vile whoredom.3   Therefore the showers have been withheld,    and the spring rain has not come;  yet you have the forehead of a whore;    you refuse to be ashamed.4   Have you not just now called to me,    ‘My father, you are the friend of my youth—5   will he be angry forever,    will he be indignant to the end?’  Behold, you have spoken,    but you have done all the evil that you could.”
Faithless Israel Called to Repentance
6 The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore? 7 And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. 9 Because she took her whoredom lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10 Yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, declares the LORD.”
11 And the LORD said to me, “Faithless Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say,

  “‘Return, faithless Israel,      declares the LORD.  I will not look on you in anger,    for I am merciful,      declares the LORD;  I will not be angry forever.13   Only acknowledge your guilt,    that you rebelled against the LORD your God  and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree,    and that you have not obeyed my voice,      declares the LORD.14   Return, O faithless children,      declares the LORD;    for I am your master;  I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,    and I will bring you to Zion.
15 “‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the LORD, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the LORD.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. 17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage.

19   “‘I said,    How I would set you among my sons,  and give you a pleasant land,    a heritage most beautiful of all nations.  And I thought you would call me, My Father,    and would not turn from following me.20   Surely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband,    so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel,      declares the LORD.’”

21   A voice on the bare heights is heard,    the weeping and pleading of Israel's sons  because they have perverted their way;    they have forgotten the LORD their God.22   “Return, O faithless sons;    I will heal your faithlessness.”  “Behold, we come to you,    for you are the LORD our God.23   Truly the hills are a delusion,    the orgies2 on the mountains.  Truly in the LORD our God    is the salvation of Israel.
24 “But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.”

4   “If you return, O Israel,      declares the LORD,    to me you should return.  If you remove your detestable things from my presence,    and do not waver,2   and if you swear, ‘As the LORD lives,’    in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,  then nations shall bless themselves in him,    and in him shall they glory.”
3 For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem:

  “Break up your fallow ground,    and sow not among thorns.4   Circumcise yourselves to the LORD;    remove the foreskin of your hearts,    O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem;  lest my wrath go forth like fire,    and burn with none to quench it,    because of the evil of your deeds.”
Disaster from the North
5 Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,

  “Blow the trumpet through the land;    cry aloud and say,  ‘Assemble, and let us go    into the fortified cities!’6   Raise a standard toward Zion,    flee for safety, stay not,  for I bring disaster from the north,    and great destruction.7   A lion has gone up from his thicket,    a destroyer of nations has set out;    he has gone out from his place  to make your land a waste;    your cities will be ruins    without inhabitant.8   For this put on sackcloth,    lament and wail,  for the fierce anger of the LORD    has not turned back from us.”
9 “In that day, declares the LORD, courage shall fail both king and officials. The priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded.” 10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD, surely you have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ whereas the sword has reached their very life.”
11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A hot wind from the bare heights in the desert toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow or cleanse, 12 a wind too full for this comes for me. Now it is I who speak in judgment upon them.”

13   Behold, he comes up like clouds;    his chariots like the whirlwind;  his horses are swifter than eagles—    woe to us, for we are ruined!14   O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil,    that you may be saved.  How long shall your wicked thoughts    lodge within you?15   For a voice declares from Dan    and proclaims trouble from Mount Ephraim.16   Warn the nations that he is coming;    announce to Jerusalem,  “Besiegers come from a distant land;    they shout against the cities of Judah.17   Like keepers of a field are they against her all around,    because she has rebelled against me,      declares the LORD.18   Your ways and your deeds    have brought this upon you.  This is your doom, and it is bitter;    it has reached your very heart.”
Anguish over Judah's Desolation

19   My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!    Oh the walls of my heart!  My heart is beating wildly;    I cannot keep silent,  for I hear the sound of the trumpet,    the alarm of war.20   Crash follows hard on crash;    the whole land is laid waste.  Suddenly my tents are laid waste,    my curtains in a moment.21   How long must I see the standard    and hear the sound of the trumpet?

22   “For my people are foolish;    they know me not;  they are stupid children;    they have no understanding.  They are ‘wise’—in doing evil!    But how to do good they know not.”

23   I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void;    and to the heavens, and they had no light.24   I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking,    and all the hills moved to and fro.25   I looked, and behold, there was no man,    and all the birds of the air had fled.26   I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert,    and all its cities were laid in ruins    before the LORD, before his fierce anger.
27 For thus says the LORD, “The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.

28   “For this the earth shall mourn,    and the heavens above be dark;  for I have spoken; I have purposed;    I have not relented, nor will I turn back.”

29   At the noise of horseman and archer    every city takes to flight;  they enter thickets; they climb among rocks;    all the cities are forsaken,    and no man dwells in them.30   And you, O desolate one,  what do you mean that you dress in scarlet,    that you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,    that you enlarge your eyes with paint?  In vain you beautify yourself.    Your lovers despise you;    they seek your life.31   For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor,    anguish as of one giving birth to her first child,  the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath,    stretching out her hands,  “Woe is me! I am fainting before murderers.”

[1] 3:1 Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew Saying, “If

[2] 3:23 Hebrew commotion


        2 Thessalonians 3


          2 Thessalonians 3 (Listen)
Pray for Us
3 Finally, brothers,1 pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored,2 as happened among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.3 4 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
Warning Against Idleness
6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.4
13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

[1] 3:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 6, 13

[2] 3:1 Or glorified

[3] 3:3 Or evil

[4] 3:12 Greek to eat their own bread


Source: October 20: Jeremiah 3–4; 2 Thessalonians 3
Devotions & Studies / October 19: Jeremiah 1–2; 2 Thessalonians 2
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 20, 2018, 06:19:50 AM »
October 19: Jeremiah 1–2; 2 Thessalonians 2


        Jeremiah 1–2


          Jeremiah 1–2 (Listen)

1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
The Call of Jeremiah
4 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

5   “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,  and before you were born I consecrated you;  I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the LORD said to me,

  “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;  for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,  and whatever I command you, you shall speak.8   Do not be afraid of them,  for I am with you to deliver you,      declares the LORD.”
9 Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me,

  “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.10   See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,  to pluck up and to break down,  to destroy and to overthrow,  to build and to plant.”
11 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond1 branch.” 12 Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”
13 The word of the LORD came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” 14 Then the LORD said to me, “Out of the north disaster2 shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the LORD, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, dress yourself for work;3 arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.”
Israel Forsakes the Lord
2 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD,

  “I remember the devotion of your youth,    your love as a bride,  how you followed me in the wilderness,    in a land not sown.3   Israel was holy to the LORD,    the firstfruits of his harvest.  All who ate of it incurred guilt;    disaster came upon them,      declares the LORD.”
4 Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the LORD:

  “What wrong did your fathers find in me    that they went far from me,  and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?6   They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD    who brought us up from the land of Egypt,  who led us in the wilderness,    in a land of deserts and pits,  in a land of drought and deep darkness,    in a land that none passes through,    where no man dwells?’7   And I brought you into a plentiful land    to enjoy its fruits and its good things.  But when you came in, you defiled my land    and made my heritage an abomination.8   The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’    Those who handle the law did not know me;  the shepherds4 transgressed against me;    the prophets prophesied by Baal    and went after things that do not profit.

9   “Therefore I still contend with you,      declares the LORD,    and with your children's children I will contend.10   For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see,    or send to Kedar and examine with care;    see if there has been such a thing.11   Has a nation changed its gods,    even though they are no gods?  But my people have changed their glory    for that which does not profit.12   Be appalled, O heavens, at this;    be shocked, be utterly desolate,      declares the LORD,13   for my people have committed two evils:  they have forsaken me,    the fountain of living waters,  and hewed out cisterns for themselves,    broken cisterns that can hold no water.

14   “Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?    Why then has he become a prey?15   The lions have roared against him;    they have roared loudly.  They have made his land a waste;    his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant.16   Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes    have shaved5 the crown of your head.17   Have you not brought this upon yourself    by forsaking the LORD your God,    when he led you in the way?18   And now what do you gain by going to Egypt    to drink the waters of the Nile?  Or what do you gain by going to Assyria    to drink the waters of the Euphrates?619   Your evil will chastise you,    and your apostasy will reprove you.  Know and see that it is evil and bitter    for you to forsake the LORD your God;    the fear of me is not in you,      declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

20   “For long ago I broke your yoke    and burst your bonds;    but you said, ‘I will not serve.’  Yes, on every high hill    and under every green tree    you bowed down like a whore.21   Yet I planted you a choice vine,    wholly of pure seed.  How then have you turned degenerate    and become a wild vine?22   Though you wash yourself with lye    and use much soap,    the stain of your guilt is still before me,      declares the Lord GOD.23   How can you say, ‘I am not unclean,    I have not gone after the Baals’?  Look at your way in the valley;    know what you have done—  a restless young camel running here and there,24     a wild donkey used to the wilderness,  in her heat sniffing the wind!    Who can restrain her lust?  None who seek her need weary themselves;    in her month they will find her.25   Keep your feet from going unshod    and your throat from thirst.  But you said, ‘It is hopeless,    for I have loved foreigners,    and after them I will go.’

26   “As a thief is shamed when caught,    so the house of Israel shall be shamed:  they, their kings, their officials,    their priests, and their prophets,27   who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’    and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’  For they have turned their back to me,    and not their face.  But in the time of their trouble they say,    ‘Arise and save us!’28   But where are your gods    that you made for yourself?  Let them arise, if they can save you,    in your time of trouble;  for as many as your cities    are your gods, O Judah.

29   “Why do you contend with me?    You have all transgressed against me,      declares the LORD.30   In vain have I struck your children;    they took no correction;  your own sword devoured your prophets    like a ravening lion.31   And you, O generation, behold the word of the LORD.  Have I been a wilderness to Israel,    or a land of thick darkness?  Why then do my people say, ‘We are free,    we will come no more to you’?32   Can a virgin forget her ornaments,    or a bride her attire?  Yet my people have forgotten me    days without number.

33   “How well you direct your course    to seek love!  So that even to wicked women    you have taught your ways.34   Also on your skirts is found    the lifeblood of the guiltless poor;  you did not find them breaking in.    Yet in spite of all these things35   you say, ‘I am innocent;    surely his anger has turned from me.’  Behold, I will bring you to judgment    for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’36   How much you go about,    changing your way!  You shall be put to shame by Egypt    as you were put to shame by Assyria.37   From it too you will come away    with your hands on your head,  for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust,    and you will not prosper by them.

[1] 1:11 Almond sounds like the Hebrew for watching (compare verse 12)

[2] 1:14 The Hebrew word can mean evil, harm, or disaster, depending on the context; so throughout Jeremiah

[3] 1:17 Hebrew gird up your loins

[4] 2:8 Or rulers

[5] 2:16 Hebrew grazed

[6] 2:18 Hebrew the River


        2 Thessalonians 2


          2 Thessalonians 2 (Listen)
The Man of Lawlessness
2 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,1 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness2 is revealed, the son of destruction,3 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Stand Firm
13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits4 to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

[1] 2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 13, 15

[2] 2:3 Some manuscripts sin

[3] 2:3 Greek the son of perdition (a Hebrew idiom)

[4] 2:13 Some manuscripts chose you from the beginning


Source: October 19: Jeremiah 1–2; 2 Thessalonians 2
Devotions & Studies / October 18: Isaiah 65–66; 2 Thessalonians 1
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 19, 2018, 06:14:21 AM »
October 18: Isaiah 65–66; 2 Thessalonians 1


        Isaiah 65–66


          Isaiah 65–66 (Listen)
Judgment and Salvation

65   I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me;    I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.  I said, “Here I am, here I am,”    to a nation that was not called by1 my name.2   I spread out my hands all the day    to a rebellious people,  who walk in a way that is not good,    following their own devices;3   a people who provoke me    to my face continually,  sacrificing in gardens    and making offerings on bricks;4   who sit in tombs,    and spend the night in secret places;  who eat pig's flesh,    and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels;5   who say, “Keep to yourself,    do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.”  These are a smoke in my nostrils,    a fire that burns all the day.6   Behold, it is written before me:    “I will not keep silent, but I will repay;  I will indeed repay into their lap7     both your iniquities and your fathers' iniquities together,      says the LORD;  because they made offerings on the mountains    and insulted me on the hills,  I will measure into their lap    payment for their former deeds.”2

8   Thus says the LORD:  “As the new wine is found in the cluster,    and they say, ‘Do not destroy it,    for there is a blessing in it,’  so I will do for my servants' sake,    and not destroy them all.9   I will bring forth offspring from Jacob,    and from Judah possessors of my mountains;  my chosen shall possess it,    and my servants shall dwell there.10   Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks,    and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,    for my people who have sought me.11   But you who forsake the LORD,    who forget my holy mountain,  who set a table for Fortune    and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny,12   I will destine you to the sword,    and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter,  because, when I called, you did not answer;    when I spoke, you did not listen,  but you did what was evil in my eyes    and chose what I did not delight in.”

13   Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:  “Behold, my servants shall eat,    but you shall be hungry;  behold, my servants shall drink,    but you shall be thirsty;  behold, my servants shall rejoice,    but you shall be put to shame;14   behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart,    but you shall cry out for pain of heart    and shall wail for breaking of spirit.15   You shall leave your name to my chosen for a curse,    and the Lord GOD will put you to death,    but his servants he will call by another name,16   so that he who blesses himself in the land    shall bless himself by the God of truth,  and he who takes an oath in the land    shall swear by the God of truth;  because the former troubles are forgotten    and are hidden from my eyes.
New Heavens and a New Earth

17   “For behold, I create new heavens    and a new earth,  and the former things shall not be remembered    or come into mind.18   But be glad and rejoice forever    in that which I create;  for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,    and her people to be a gladness.19   I will rejoice in Jerusalem    and be glad in my people;  no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping    and the cry of distress.20   No more shall there be in it    an infant who lives but a few days,    or an old man who does not fill out his days,  for the young man shall die a hundred years old,    and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.21   They shall build houses and inhabit them;    they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.22   They shall not build and another inhabit;    they shall not plant and another eat;  for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,    and my chosen shall long enjoy3 the work of their hands.23   They shall not labor in vain    or bear children for calamity,4  for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD,    and their descendants with them.24   Before they call I will answer;    while they are yet speaking I will hear.25   The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;    the lion shall eat straw like the ox,    and dust shall be the serpent's food.  They shall not hurt or destroy    in all my holy mountain,”      says the LORD.
The Humble and Contrite in Spirit

66   Thus says the LORD:  “Heaven is my throne,    and the earth is my footstool;  what is the house that you would build for me,    and what is the place of my rest?2   All these things my hand has made,    and so all these things came to be,      declares the LORD.  But this is the one to whom I will look:    he who is humble and contrite in spirit    and trembles at my word.

3   “He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man;    he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck;  he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig's blood;    he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.  These have chosen their own ways,    and their soul delights in their abominations;4   I also will choose harsh treatment for them    and bring their fears upon them,  because when I called, no one answered,    when I spoke, they did not listen;  but they did what was evil in my eyes    and chose that in which I did not delight.”

5   Hear the word of the LORD,    you who tremble at his word:  “Your brothers who hate you    and cast you out for my name's sake  have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified,    that we may see your joy’;    but it is they who shall be put to shame.

6   “The sound of an uproar from the city!    A sound from the temple!  The sound of the LORD,    rendering recompense to his enemies!
Rejoice with Jerusalem

7   “Before she was in labor    she gave birth;  before her pain came upon her    she delivered a son.8   Who has heard such a thing?    Who has seen such things?  Shall a land be born in one day?    Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?  For as soon as Zion was in labor    she brought forth her children.9   Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?”    says the LORD;  “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”    says your God.

10   “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,    all you who love her;  rejoice with her in joy,    all you who mourn over her;11   that you may nurse and be satisfied    from her consoling breast;  that you may drink deeply with delight    from her glorious abundance.”5

12   For thus says the LORD:  “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,    and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;  and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,    and bounced upon her knees.13   As one whom his mother comforts,    so I will comfort you;    you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.14   You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;    your bones shall flourish like the grass;  and the hand of the LORD shall be known to his servants,    and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.
Final Judgment and Glory of the Lord

15   “For behold, the LORD will come in fire,    and his chariots like the whirlwind,  to render his anger in fury,    and his rebuke with flames of fire.16   For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment,    and by his sword, with all flesh;    and those slain by the LORD shall be many.
17 “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig's flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the LORD.
18 “For I know6 their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming7 to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. 21 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD.

22   “For as the new heavens and the new earth    that I make  shall remain before me, says the LORD,    so shall your offspring and your name remain.23   From new moon to new moon,    and from Sabbath to Sabbath,  all flesh shall come to worship before me,  declares the LORD.
24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

[1] 65:1 Or that did not call upon

[2] 65:7 Or I will first measure their payment into their lap

[3] 65:22 Hebrew shall wear out

[4] 65:23 Or for sudden terror

[5] 66:11 Or breast

[6] 66:18 Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew lacks know

[7] 66:18 Hebrew and it is coming


        2 Thessalonians 1


          2 Thessalonians 1 (Listen)
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers,1 as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.
The Judgment at Christ's Coming
5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from2 the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

[1] 1:3 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters

[2] 1:9 Or destruction that comes from


Source: October 18: Isaiah 65–66; 2 Thessalonians 1
Devotions & Studies / October 17: Isaiah 62–64; 1 Thessalonians 5
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 18, 2018, 06:06:28 AM »
October 17: Isaiah 62–64; 1 Thessalonians 5


        Isaiah 62–64


          Isaiah 62–64 (Listen)
Zion's Coming Salvation

62   For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,    and for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet,  until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,    and her salvation as a burning torch.2   The nations shall see your righteousness,    and all the kings your glory,  and you shall be called by a new name    that the mouth of the LORD will give.3   You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,    and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.4   You shall no more be termed Forsaken,1    and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,2  but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,3    and your land Married;4  for the LORD delights in you,    and your land shall be married.5   For as a young man marries a young woman,    so shall your sons marry you,  and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,    so shall your God rejoice over you.

6   On your walls, O Jerusalem,    I have set watchmen;  all the day and all the night    they shall never be silent.  You who put the LORD in remembrance,    take no rest,7   and give him no rest    until he establishes Jerusalem    and makes it a praise in the earth.8   The LORD has sworn by his right hand    and by his mighty arm:  “I will not again give your grain    to be food for your enemies,  and foreigners shall not drink your wine    for which you have labored;9   but those who garner it shall eat it    and praise the LORD,  and those who gather it shall drink it    in the courts of my sanctuary.”5

10   Go through, go through the gates;    prepare the way for the people;  build up, build up the highway;    clear it of stones;    lift up a signal over the peoples.11   Behold, the LORD has proclaimed    to the end of the earth:  Say to the daughter of Zion,    “Behold, your salvation comes;  behold, his reward is with him,    and his recompense before him.”12   And they shall be called The Holy People,    The Redeemed of the LORD;  and you shall be called Sought Out,    A City Not Forsaken.
The Lord's Day of Vengeance

63   Who is this who comes from Edom,    in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,  he who is splendid in his apparel,    marching in the greatness of his strength?  “It is I, speaking in righteousness,    mighty to save.”

2   Why is your apparel red,    and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?

3   “I have trodden the winepress alone,    and from the peoples no one was with me;  I trod them in my anger    and trampled them in my wrath;  their lifeblood6 spattered on my garments,    and stained all my apparel.4   For the day of vengeance was in my heart,    and my year of redemption7 had come.5   I looked, but there was no one to help;    I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;  so my own arm brought me salvation,    and my wrath upheld me.6   I trampled down the peoples in my anger;    I made them drunk in my wrath,    and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
The Lord's Mercy Remembered

7   I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD,    the praises of the LORD,  according to all that the LORD has granted us,    and the great goodness to the house of Israel  that he has granted them according to his compassion,    according to the abundance of his steadfast love.8   For he said, “Surely they are my people,    children who will not deal falsely.”    And he became their Savior.9   In all their affliction he was afflicted,8    and the angel of his presence saved them;  in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;    he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

10   But they rebelled    and grieved his Holy Spirit;  therefore he turned to be their enemy,    and himself fought against them.11   Then he remembered the days of old,    of Moses and his people.9  Where is he who brought them up out of the sea    with the shepherds of his flock?  Where is he who put in the midst of them    his Holy Spirit,12   who caused his glorious arm    to go at the right hand of Moses,  who divided the waters before them    to make for himself an everlasting name,13     who led them through the depths?  Like a horse in the desert,    they did not stumble.14   Like livestock that go down into the valley,    the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest.  So you led your people,    to make for yourself a glorious name.
Prayer for Mercy

15   Look down from heaven and see,    from your holy and beautiful10 habitation.  Where are your zeal and your might?    The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion    are held back from me.16   For you are our Father,    though Abraham does not know us,    and Israel does not acknowledge us;  you, O LORD, are our Father,    our Redeemer from of old is your name.17   O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways    and harden our heart, so that we fear you not?  Return for the sake of your servants,    the tribes of your heritage.18   Your holy people held possession for a little while;11    our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary.19   We have become like those over whom you have never ruled,    like those who are not called by your name.

64   Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,    that the mountains might quake at your presence—2   12 as when fire kindles brushwood    and the fire causes water to boil—  to make your name known to your adversaries,    and that the nations might tremble at your presence!3   When you did awesome things that we did not look for,    you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.4   From of old no one has heard    or perceived by the ear,  no eye has seen a God besides you,    who acts for those who wait for him.5   You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,    those who remember you in your ways.  Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;    in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?136   We have all become like one who is unclean,    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.  We all fade like a leaf,    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.7   There is no one who calls upon your name,    who rouses himself to take hold of you;  for you have hidden your face from us,    and have made us melt in14 the hand of our iniquities.

8   But now, O LORD, you are our Father;    we are the clay, and you are our potter;    we are all the work of your hand.9   Be not so terribly angry, O LORD,    and remember not iniquity forever.    Behold, please look, we are all your people.10   Your holy cities have become a wilderness;    Zion has become a wilderness,    Jerusalem a desolation.11   Our holy and beautiful15 house,    where our fathers praised you,  has been burned by fire,    and all our pleasant places have become ruins.12   Will you restrain yourself at these things, O LORD?    Will you keep silent, and afflict us so terribly?

[1] 62:4 Hebrew Azubah

[2] 62:4 Hebrew Shemamah

[3] 62:4 Hebrew Hephzibah

[4] 62:4 Hebrew Beulah

[5] 62:9 Or in my holy courts

[6] 63:3 Or their juice; also verse 6

[7] 63:4 Or the year of my redeemed

[8] 63:9 Or he did not afflict

[9] 63:11 Or Then his people remembered the days of old, of Moses

[10] 63:15 Or holy and glorious

[11] 63:18 Or They have dispossessed your holy people for a little while

[12] 64:2 Ch 64:1 in Hebrew

[13] 64:5 Or in your ways is continuance, that we might be saved

[14] 64:7 Masoretic Text; Septuagint, Syriac, Targum have delivered us into

[15] 64:11 Or holy and glorious


        1 Thessalonians 5


          1 Thessalonians 5 (Listen)
The Day of the Lord
5 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers,1 you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children2 of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Final Instructions and Benediction
12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,3 encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
25 Brothers, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

[1] 5:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 4, 12, 14, 25, 26, 27

[2] 5:5 Or sons; twice in this verse

[3] 5:14 Or disorderly, or undisciplined


Source: October 17: Isaiah 62–64; 1 Thessalonians 5
Devotions & Studies / October 16: Isaiah 59–61; 1 Thessalonians 4
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 17, 2018, 12:05:06 AM »
October 16: Isaiah 59–61; 1 Thessalonians 4


        Isaiah 59–61


          Isaiah 59–61 (Listen)
Evil and Oppression

59   Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,    or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;2   but your iniquities have made a separation    between you and your God,  and your sins have hidden his face from you    so that he does not hear.3   For your hands are defiled with blood    and your fingers with iniquity;  your lips have spoken lies;    your tongue mutters wickedness.4   No one enters suit justly;    no one goes to law honestly;  they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,    they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.5   They hatch adders' eggs;    they weave the spider's web;  he who eats their eggs dies,    and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.6   Their webs will not serve as clothing;    men will not cover themselves with what they make.  Their works are works of iniquity,    and deeds of violence are in their hands.7   Their feet run to evil,    and they are swift to shed innocent blood;  their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;    desolation and destruction are in their highways.8   The way of peace they do not know,    and there is no justice in their paths;  they have made their roads crooked;    no one who treads on them knows peace.

9   Therefore justice is far from us,    and righteousness does not overtake us;  we hope for light, and behold, darkness,    and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.10   We grope for the wall like the blind;    we grope like those who have no eyes;  we stumble at noon as in the twilight,    among those in full vigor we are like dead men.11   We all growl like bears;    we moan and moan like doves;  we hope for justice, but there is none;    for salvation, but it is far from us.12   For our transgressions are multiplied before you,    and our sins testify against us;  for our transgressions are with us,    and we know our iniquities:13   transgressing, and denying the LORD,    and turning back from following our God,  speaking oppression and revolt,    conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.
Judgment and Redemption

14   Justice is turned back,    and righteousness stands far away;  for truth has stumbled in the public squares,    and uprightness cannot enter.15   Truth is lacking,    and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

  The LORD saw it, and it displeased him1    that there was no justice.16   He saw that there was no man,    and wondered that there was no one to intercede;  then his own arm brought him salvation,    and his righteousness upheld him.17   He put on righteousness as a breastplate,    and a helmet of salvation on his head;  he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,    and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.18   According to their deeds, so will he repay,    wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;    to the coastlands he will render repayment.19   So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west,    and his glory from the rising of the sun;  for he will come like a rushing stream,2    which the wind of the LORD drives.

20   “And a Redeemer will come to Zion,    to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD.
21 “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children's offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.”
The Future Glory of Israel

60   Arise, shine, for your light has come,    and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.2   For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,    and thick darkness the peoples;  but the LORD will arise upon you,    and his glory will be seen upon you.3   And nations shall come to your light,    and kings to the brightness of your rising.

4   Lift up your eyes all around, and see;    they all gather together, they come to you;  your sons shall come from afar,    and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.5   Then you shall see and be radiant;    your heart shall thrill and exult,3  because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,    the wealth of the nations shall come to you.6   A multitude of camels shall cover you,    the young camels of Midian and Ephah;    all those from Sheba shall come.  They shall bring gold and frankincense,    and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.7   All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you;    the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;  they shall come up with acceptance on my altar,    and I will beautify my beautiful house.

8   Who are these that fly like a cloud,    and like doves to their windows?9   For the coastlands shall hope for me,    the ships of Tarshish first,  to bring your children from afar,    their silver and gold with them,  for the name of the LORD your God,    and for the Holy One of Israel,    because he has made you beautiful.

10   Foreigners shall build up your walls,    and their kings shall minister to you;  for in my wrath I struck you,    but in my favor I have had mercy on you.11   Your gates shall be open continually;    day and night they shall not be shut,  that people may bring to you the wealth of the nations,    with their kings led in procession.12   For the nation and kingdom    that will not serve you shall perish;    those nations shall be utterly laid waste.13   The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,    the cypress, the plane, and the pine,  to beautify the place of my sanctuary,    and I will make the place of my feet glorious.14   The sons of those who afflicted you    shall come bending low to you,  and all who despised you    shall bow down at your feet;  they shall call you the City of the LORD,    the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

15   Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,    with no one passing through,  I will make you majestic forever,    a joy from age to age.16   You shall {Please choose a better word} the milk of nations;    you shall nurse at the breast of kings;  and you shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

17   Instead of bronze I will bring gold,    and instead of iron I will bring silver;  instead of wood, bronze,    instead of stones, iron.  I will make your overseers peace    and your taskmasters righteousness.18   Violence shall no more be heard in your land,    devastation or destruction within your borders;  you shall call your walls Salvation,    and your gates Praise.

19   The sun shall be no more    your light by day,  nor for brightness shall the moon    give you light;4  but the LORD will be your everlasting light,    and your God will be your glory.520   Your sun shall no more go down,    nor your moon withdraw itself;  for the LORD will be your everlasting light,    and your days of mourning shall be ended.21   Your people shall all be righteous;    they shall possess the land forever,  the branch of my planting, the work of my hands,    that I might be glorified.622   The least one shall become a clan,    and the smallest one a mighty nation;  I am the LORD;    in its time I will hasten it.
The Year of the Lord's Favor

61   The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,    because the LORD has anointed me  to bring good news to the poor;7    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,  to proclaim liberty to the captives,    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;82   to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,    and the day of vengeance of our God;    to comfort all who mourn;3   to grant to those who mourn in Zion—    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,  the oil of gladness instead of mourning,    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;  that they may be called oaks of righteousness,    the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.94   They shall build up the ancient ruins;    they shall raise up the former devastations;  they shall repair the ruined cities,    the devastations of many generations.

5   Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks;    foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;6   but you shall be called the priests of the LORD;    they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;  you shall eat the wealth of the nations,    and in their glory you shall boast.7   Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion;    instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;  therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;    they shall have everlasting joy.

8   For I the LORD love justice;    I hate robbery and wrong;10  I will faithfully give them their recompense,    and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.9   Their offspring shall be known among the nations,    and their descendants in the midst of the peoples;  all who see them shall acknowledge them,    that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed.

10   I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;    my soul shall exult in my God,  for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,  as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.11   For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,    and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,  so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise    to sprout up before all the nations.

[1] 59:15 Hebrew and it was evil in his eyes

[2] 59:19 Hebrew a narrow river

[3] 60:5 Hebrew your heart shall tremble and grow wide

[4] 60:19 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Targum add by night

[5] 60:19 Or your beauty

[6] 60:21 Or that I might display my beauty

[7] 61:1 Or afflicted

[8] 61:1 Or the opening [of the eyes] to those who are blind; Septuagint and recovery of sight to the blind

[9] 61:3 Or that he may display his beauty

[10] 61:8 Or robbery with a burnt offering


        1 Thessalonians 4


          1 Thessalonians 4 (Listen)
A Life Pleasing to God
4 Finally, then, brothers,1 we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:2 that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body3 in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
The Coming of the Lord
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,4 that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

[1] 4:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 10, 13

[2] 4:3 Or your holiness

[3] 4:4 Or how to take a wife for himself; Greek how to possess his own vessel

[4] 4:15 Or by the word of the Lord


Source: October 16: Isaiah 59–61; 1 Thessalonians 4
Devotions & Studies / October 15: Isaiah 56–58; 1 Thessalonians 3
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 16, 2018, 12:36:23 AM »
October 15: Isaiah 56–58; 1 Thessalonians 3


        Isaiah 56–58


          Isaiah 56–58 (Listen)
Salvation for Foreigners

56   Thus says the LORD:  “Keep justice, and do righteousness,  for soon my salvation will come,    and my righteousness be revealed.2   Blessed is the man who does this,    and the son of man who holds it fast,  who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it,    and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

3   Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say,    “The LORD will surely separate me from his people”;  and let not the eunuch say,    “Behold, I am a dry tree.”4   For thus says the LORD:  “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,    who choose the things that please me    and hold fast my covenant,5   I will give in my house and within my walls    a monument and a name    better than sons and daughters;  I will give them an everlasting name    that shall not be cut off.

6   “And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,    to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD,    and to be his servants,  everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,    and holds fast my covenant—7   these I will bring to my holy mountain,    and make them joyful in my house of prayer;  their burnt offerings and their sacrifices    will be accepted on my altar;  for my house shall be called a house of prayer    for all peoples.”8   The Lord GOD,    who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,  “I will gather yet others to him    besides those already gathered.”
Israel's Irresponsible Leaders

9   All you beasts of the field, come to devour—    all you beasts in the forest.10   His watchmen are blind;    they are all without knowledge;  they are all silent dogs;    they cannot bark,  dreaming, lying down,    loving to slumber.11   The dogs have a mighty appetite;    they never have enough.  But they are shepherds who have no understanding;    they have all turned to their own way,    each to his own gain, one and all.12   “Come,” they say, “let me get wine;    let us fill ourselves with strong drink;  and tomorrow will be like this day,    great beyond measure.”
Israel's Futile Idolatry

57   The righteous man perishes,    and no one lays it to heart;  devout men are taken away,    while no one understands.  For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;2     he enters into peace;  they rest in their beds    who walk in their uprightness.3   But you, draw near,    sons of the sorceress,    offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.4   Whom are you mocking?    Against whom do you open your mouth wide    and stick out your tongue?  Are you not children of transgression,    the offspring of deceit,5   you who burn with lust among the oaks,1    under every green tree,  who slaughter your children in the valleys,    under the clefts of the rocks?6   Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion;    they, they, are your lot;  to them you have poured out a drink offering,    you have brought a grain offering.    Shall I relent for these things?7   On a high and lofty mountain    you have set your bed,    and there you went up to offer sacrifice.8   Behind the door and the doorpost    you have set up your memorial;  for, deserting me, you have uncovered your bed,    you have gone up to it,    you have made it wide;  and you have made a covenant for yourself with them,    you have loved their bed,    you have looked on nakedness.29   You journeyed to the king with oil    and multiplied your perfumes;  you sent your envoys far off,    and sent down even to Sheol.10   You were wearied with the length of your way,    but you did not say, “It is hopeless”;  you found new life for your strength,    and so you were not faint.3

11   Whom did you dread and fear,    so that you lied,  and did not remember me,    did not lay it to heart?  Have I not held my peace, even for a long time,    and you do not fear me?12   I will declare your righteousness and your deeds,    but they will not profit you.13   When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!    The wind will carry them all off,    a breath will take them away.  But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land    and shall inherit my holy mountain.
Comfort for the Contrite

14   And it shall be said,  “Build up, build up, prepare the way,    remove every obstruction from my people's way.”15   For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:  “I dwell in the high and holy place,    and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,  to revive the spirit of the lowly,    and to revive the heart of the contrite.16   For I will not contend forever,    nor will I always be angry;  for the spirit would grow faint before me,    and the breath of life that I made.17   Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry,    I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,    but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.18   I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;    I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners,19     creating the fruit of the lips.  Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the LORD,    “and I will heal him.20   But the wicked are like the tossing sea;    for it cannot be quiet,    and its waters toss up mire and dirt.21   There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
True and False Fasting

58   “Cry aloud; do not hold back;    lift up your voice like a trumpet;  declare to my people their transgression,    to the house of Jacob their sins.2   Yet they seek me daily    and delight to know my ways,  as if they were a nation that did righteousness    and did not forsake the judgment of their God;  they ask of me righteous judgments;    they delight to draw near to God.3   ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?    Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’  Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,4    and oppress all your workers.4   Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight    and to hit with a wicked fist.  Fasting like yours this day    will not make your voice to be heard on high.5   Is such the fast that I choose,    a day for a person to humble himself?  Is it to bow down his head like a reed,    and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?  Will you call this a fast,    and a day acceptable to the LORD?

6   “Is not this the fast that I choose:    to loose the bonds of wickedness,    to undo the straps of the yoke,  to let the oppressed5 go free,    and to break every yoke?7   Is it not to share your bread with the hungry    and bring the homeless poor into your house;  when you see the naked, to cover him,    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?8   Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,    and your healing shall spring up speedily;  your righteousness shall go before you;    the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.9   Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;    you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’  If you take away the yoke from your midst,    the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,10   if you pour yourself out for the hungry    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,  then shall your light rise in the darkness    and your gloom be as the noonday.11   And the LORD will guide you continually    and satisfy your desire in scorched places    and make your bones strong;  and you shall be like a watered garden,    like a spring of water,    whose waters do not fail.12   And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;  you shall be called the repairer of the breach,    the restorer of streets to dwell in.

13   “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,    from doing your pleasure6 on my holy day,  and call the Sabbath a delight    and the holy day of the LORD honorable;  if you honor it, not going your own ways,    or seeking your own pleasure,7 or talking idly;814   then you shall take delight in the LORD,    and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;9  I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

[1] 57:5 Or among the terebinths

[2] 57:8 Or on a monument (see 56:5); Hebrew on a hand

[3] 57:10 Hebrew and so you were not sick

[4] 58:3 Or pursue your own business

[5] 58:6 Or bruised

[6] 58:13 Or business

[7] 58:13 Or pursuing your own business

[8] 58:13 Hebrew or speaking a word

[9] 58:14 Or of the land


        1 Thessalonians 3


          1 Thessalonians 3 (Listen)
3 Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker1 in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, 3 that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. 4 For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. 5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.
Timothy's Encouraging Report
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you—7 for this reason, brothers,2 in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. 8 For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?
11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

[1] 3:2 Some manuscripts servant

[2] 3:7 Or brothers and sisters


Source: October 15: Isaiah 56–58; 1 Thessalonians 3
Devotions & Studies / October 14: Isaiah 53–55; 1 Thessalonians 2
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 15, 2018, 12:19:08 AM »
October 14: Isaiah 53–55; 1 Thessalonians 2


        Isaiah 53–55


          Isaiah 53–55 (Listen)

53   Who has believed what he has heard from us?1    And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?2   For he grew up before him like a young plant,    and like a root out of dry ground;  he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,    and no beauty that we should desire him.3   He was despised and rejected2 by men,    a man of sorrows3 and acquainted with4 grief;5  and as one from whom men hide their faces6    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4   Surely he has borne our griefs    and carried our sorrows;  yet we esteemed him stricken,    smitten by God, and afflicted.5   But he was pierced for our transgressions;    he was crushed for our iniquities;  upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,    and with his wounds we are healed.6   All we like sheep have gone astray;    we have turned—every one—to his own way;  and the LORD has laid on him    the iniquity of us all.

7   He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,    yet he opened not his mouth;  like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,    so he opened not his mouth.8   By oppression and judgment he was taken away;    and as for his generation, who considered  that he was cut off out of the land of the living,    stricken for the transgression of my people?9   And they made his grave with the wicked    and with a rich man in his death,  although he had done no violence,    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10   Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;    he has put him to grief;7  when his soul makes8 an offering for guilt,    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;  the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.11   Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see9 and be satisfied;  by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,    make many to be accounted righteous,    and he shall bear their iniquities.12   Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,10    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,11  because he poured out his soul to death    and was numbered with the transgressors;  yet he bore the sin of many,    and makes intercession for the transgressors.
The Eternal Covenant of Peace

54   “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;    break forth into singing and cry aloud,    you who have not been in labor!  For the children of the desolate one will be more    than the children of her who is married,” says the LORD.2   “Enlarge the place of your tent,    and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;  do not hold back; lengthen your cords    and strengthen your stakes.3   For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,    and your offspring will possess the nations    and will people the desolate cities.

4   “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;    be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;  for you will forget the shame of your youth,    and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.5   For your Maker is your husband,    the LORD of hosts is his name;  and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,    the God of the whole earth he is called.6   For the LORD has called you    like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,  like a wife of youth when she is cast off,    says your God.7   For a brief moment I deserted you,    but with great compassion I will gather you.8   In overflowing anger for a moment    I hid my face from you,  but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”    says the LORD, your Redeemer.

9   “This is like the days of Noah12 to me:    as I swore that the waters of Noah    should no more go over the earth,  so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,    and will not rebuke you.10   For the mountains may depart    and the hills be removed,  but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”    says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

11   “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted,    behold, I will set your stones in antimony,    and lay your foundations with sapphires.1312   I will make your pinnacles of agate,14    your gates of carbuncles,15    and all your wall of precious stones.13   All your children shall be taught by the LORD,    and great shall be the peace of your children.14   In righteousness you shall be established;    you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;    and from terror, for it shall not come near you.15   If anyone stirs up strife,    it is not from me;  whoever stirs up strife with you    shall fall because of you.16   Behold, I have created the smith    who blows the fire of coals    and produces a weapon for its purpose.  I have also created the ravager to destroy;17     no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,    and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD    and their vindication16 from me, declares the LORD.”
The Compassion of the Lord

55   “Come, everyone who thirsts,    come to the waters;  and he who has no money,    come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk    without money and without price.2   Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?  Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,    and delight yourselves in rich food.3   Incline your ear, and come to me;    hear, that your soul may live;  and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,    my steadfast, sure love for David.4   Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,    a leader and commander for the peoples.5   Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,    and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,  because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,    for he has glorified you.

6   “Seek the LORD while he may be found;    call upon him while he is near;7   let the wicked forsake his way,    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;  let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.8   For my thoughts are not your thoughts,    neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.9   For as the heavens are higher than the earth,    so are my ways higher than your ways    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10   “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven    and do not return there but water the earth,  making it bring forth and sprout,    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,11   so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;    it shall not return to me empty,  but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

12   “For you shall go out in joy    and be led forth in peace;  the mountains and the hills before you    shall break forth into singing,    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.13   Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;    instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;  and it shall make a name for the LORD,    an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

[1] 53:1 Or Who has believed what we have heard?

[2] 53:3 Or forsaken

[3] 53:3 Or pains; also verse 4

[4] 53:3 Or and knowing

[5] 53:3 Or sickness; also verse 4

[6] 53:3 Or as one who hides his face from us

[7] 53:10 Or he has made him sick

[8] 53:10 Or when you make his soul

[9] 53:11 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll he shall see light

[10] 53:12 Or with the great

[11] 53:12 Or with the numerous

[12] 54:9 Some manuscripts For this is as the waters of Noah

[13] 54:11 Or lapis lazuli

[14] 54:12 Or jasper, or ruby

[15] 54:12 Or crystal

[16] 54:17 Or righteousness


        1 Thessalonians 2


          1 Thessalonians 2 (Listen)
Paul's Ministry to the Thessalonians
2 For you yourselves know, brothers,1 that our coming to you was not in vain. 2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. 3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery,2 as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle3 among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
13 And we also thank God constantly4 for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men5 but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,6 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!7
Paul's Longing to See Them Again
17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

[1] 2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 9, 14, 17

[2] 2:5 Or with a flattering speech

[3] 2:7 Some manuscripts infants

[4] 2:13 Or without ceasing

[5] 2:13 The Greek word anthropoi can refer to both men and women

[6] 2:14 The Greek word Ioudaioi can refer to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, who opposed the Christian faith in that time

[7] 2:16 Or completely, or forever


Source: October 14: Isaiah 53–55; 1 Thessalonians 2
Devotions & Studies / October 13: Isaiah 50–52; 1 Thessalonians 1
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 14, 2018, 12:36:57 AM »
October 13: Isaiah 50–52; 1 Thessalonians 1


        Isaiah 50–52


          Isaiah 50–52 (Listen)
Israel's Sin and the Servant's Obedience

50   Thus says the LORD:  “Where is your mother's certificate of divorce,    with which I sent her away?  Or which of my creditors is it    to whom I have sold you?  Behold, for your iniquities you were sold,    and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.2   Why, when I came, was there no man;    why, when I called, was there no one to answer?  Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?    Or have I no power to deliver?  Behold, by my rebuke I dry up the sea,    I make the rivers a desert;  their fish stink for lack of water    and die of thirst.3   I clothe the heavens with blackness    and make sackcloth their covering.”

4   The Lord GOD has given me    the tongue of those who are taught,  that I may know how to sustain with a word    him who is weary.  Morning by morning he awakens;    he awakens my ear    to hear as those who are taught.5   The Lord GOD has opened my ear,    and I was not rebellious;    I turned not backward.6   I gave my back to those who strike,    and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;  I hid not my face    from disgrace and spitting.

7   But the Lord GOD helps me;    therefore I have not been disgraced;  therefore I have set my face like a flint,    and I know that I shall not be put to shame.8     He who vindicates me is near.  Who will contend with me?    Let us stand up together.  Who is my adversary?    Let him come near to me.9   Behold, the Lord GOD helps me;    who will declare me guilty?  Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;    the moth will eat them up.

10   Who among you fears the LORD    and obeys the voice of his servant?  Let him who walks in darkness    and has no light  trust in the name of the LORD    and rely on his God.11   Behold, all you who kindle a fire,    who equip yourselves with burning torches!  Walk by the light of your fire,    and by the torches that you have kindled!  This you have from my hand:    you shall lie down in torment.
The Lord's Comfort for Zion

51   “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,    you who seek the LORD:  look to the rock from which you were hewn,    and to the quarry from which you were dug.2   Look to Abraham your father    and to Sarah who bore you;  for he was but one when I called him,    that I might bless him and multiply him.3   For the LORD comforts Zion;    he comforts all her waste places  and makes her wilderness like Eden,    her desert like the garden of the LORD;  joy and gladness will be found in her,    thanksgiving and the voice of song.

4   “Give attention to me, my people,    and give ear to me, my nation;  for a law1 will go out from me,    and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.5   My righteousness draws near,    my salvation has gone out,    and my arms will judge the peoples;  the coastlands hope for me,    and for my arm they wait.6   Lift up your eyes to the heavens,    and look at the earth beneath;  for the heavens vanish like smoke,    the earth will wear out like a garment,    and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;2  but my salvation will be forever,    and my righteousness will never be dismayed.

7   “Listen to me, you who know righteousness,    the people in whose heart is my law;  fear not the reproach of man,    nor be dismayed at their revilings.8   For the moth will eat them up like a garment,    and the worm will eat them like wool,  but my righteousness will be forever,    and my salvation to all generations.”

9   Awake, awake, put on strength,    O arm of the LORD;  awake, as in days of old,    the generations of long ago.  Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,    who pierced the dragon?10   Was it not you who dried up the sea,    the waters of the great deep,  who made the depths of the sea a way    for the redeemed to pass over?11   And the ransomed of the LORD shall return    and come to Zion with singing;  everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;    they shall obtain gladness and joy,    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

12   “I, I am he who comforts you;    who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,    of the son of man who is made like grass,13   and have forgotten the LORD, your Maker,    who stretched out the heavens    and laid the foundations of the earth,  and you fear continually all the day    because of the wrath of the oppressor,  when he sets himself to destroy?    And where is the wrath of the oppressor?14   He who is bowed down shall speedily be released;    he shall not die and go down to the pit,    neither shall his bread be lacking.15   I am the LORD your God,    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—    the LORD of hosts is his name.16   And I have put my words in your mouth    and covered you in the shadow of my hand,  establishing3 the heavens    and laying the foundations of the earth,    and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”

17   Wake yourself, wake yourself,    stand up, O Jerusalem,  you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD    the cup of his wrath,  who have drunk to the dregs    the bowl, the cup of staggering.18   There is none to guide her    among all the sons she has borne;  there is none to take her by the hand    among all the sons she has brought up.19   These two things have happened to you—    who will console you?—  devastation and destruction, famine and sword;    who will comfort you?420   Your sons have fainted;    they lie at the head of every street    like an antelope in a net;  they are full of the wrath of the LORD,    the rebuke of your God.

21   Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted,    who are drunk, but not with wine:22   Thus says your Lord, the LORD,    your God who pleads the cause of his people:  “Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;  the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more;23   and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,    who have said to you,    ‘Bow down, that we may pass over’;  and you have made your back like the ground    and like the street for them to pass over.”
The Lord's Coming Salvation

52   Awake, awake,    put on your strength, O Zion;  put on your beautiful garments,    O Jerusalem, the holy city;  for there shall no more come into you    the uncircumcised and the unclean.2   Shake yourself from the dust and arise;    be seated, O Jerusalem;  loose the bonds from your neck,    O captive daughter of Zion.
3 For thus says the LORD: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” 4 For thus says the Lord GOD: “My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing.5 5 Now therefore what have I here,” declares the LORD, “seeing that my people are taken away for nothing? Their rulers wail,” declares the LORD, “and continually all the day my name is despised. 6 Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here I am.”

7   How beautiful upon the mountains    are the feet of him who brings good news,  who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,    who publishes salvation,    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”8   The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;    together they sing for joy;  for eye to eye they see    the return of the LORD to Zion.9   Break forth together into singing,    you waste places of Jerusalem,  for the LORD has comforted his people;    he has redeemed Jerusalem.10   The LORD has bared his holy arm    before the eyes of all the nations,  and all the ends of the earth shall see    the salvation of our God.

11   Depart, depart, go out from there;    touch no unclean thing;  go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves,    you who bear the vessels of the LORD.12   For you shall not go out in haste,    and you shall not go in flight,  for the LORD will go before you,    and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
He Was Pierced for Our Transgressions

13   Behold, my servant shall act wisely;6    he shall be high and lifted up,    and shall be exalted.14   As many were astonished at you—    his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,    and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—15   so shall he sprinkle7 many nations.    Kings shall shut their mouths because of him,  for that which has not been told them they see,    and that which they have not heard they understand.

[1] 51:4 Or for teaching; also verse 7

[2] 51:6 Or will die like gnats

[3] 51:16 Or planting

[4] 51:19 Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Masoretic Text how shall I comfort you

[5] 52:4 Or the Assyrian has oppressed them of late

[6] 52:13 Or shall prosper

[7] 52:15 Or startle


        1 Thessalonians 1


          1 Thessalonians 1 (Listen)
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.
The Thessalonians' Faith and Example
2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly1 mentioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers2 loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. 9 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

[1] 1:2 Or without ceasing

[2] 1:4 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters


Source: October 13: Isaiah 50–52; 1 Thessalonians 1
Devotions & Studies / October 12: Isaiah 48–49; Colossians 4
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 13, 2018, 12:08:24 AM »
October 12: Isaiah 48–49; Colossians 4


        Isaiah 48–49


          Isaiah 48–49 (Listen)
Israel Refined for God's Glory

48   Hear this, O house of Jacob,    who are called by the name of Israel,    and who came from the waters of Judah,  who swear by the name of the LORD    and confess the God of Israel,    but not in truth or right.2   For they call themselves after the holy city,    and stay themselves on the God of Israel;    the LORD of hosts is his name.

3   “The former things I declared of old;    they went out from my mouth, and I announced them;    then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.4   Because I know that you are obstinate,    and your neck is an iron sinew    and your forehead brass,5   I declared them to you from of old,    before they came to pass I announced them to you,  lest you should say, ‘My idol did them,    my carved image and my metal image commanded them.’

6   “You have heard; now see all this;    and will you not declare it?  From this time forth I announce to you new things,    hidden things that you have not known.7   They are created now, not long ago;    before today you have never heard of them,    lest you should say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’8   You have never heard, you have never known,    from of old your ear has not been opened.  For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously,    and that from before birth you were called a rebel.

9   “For my name's sake I defer my anger;    for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,    that I may not cut you off.10   Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;    I have tried1 you in the furnace of affliction.11   For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,    for how should my name2 be profaned?    My glory I will not give to another.
The Lord's Call to Israel

12   “Listen to me, O Jacob,    and Israel, whom I called!  I am he; I am the first,    and I am the last.13   My hand laid the foundation of the earth,    and my right hand spread out the heavens;  when I call to them,    they stand forth together.

14   “Assemble, all of you, and listen!    Who among them has declared these things?  The LORD loves him;    he shall perform his purpose on Babylon,    and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans.15   I, even I, have spoken and called him;    I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.16   Draw near to me, hear this:    from the beginning I have not spoken in secret,    from the time it came to be I have been there.”  And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit.

17   Thus says the LORD,    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:  “I am the LORD your God,    who teaches you to profit,    who leads you in the way you should go.18   Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!    Then your peace would have been like a river,    and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;19   your offspring would have been like the sand,    and your descendants like its grains;  their name would never be cut off    or destroyed from before me.”

20   Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea,    declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it,  send it out to the end of the earth;    say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob!”21   They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;    he made water flow for them from the rock;    he split the rock and the water gushed out.

22   “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”
The Servant of the Lord

49   Listen to me, O coastlands,    and give attention, you peoples from afar.  The LORD called me from the womb,    from the body of my mother he named my name.2   He made my mouth like a sharp sword;    in the shadow of his hand he hid me;  he made me a polished arrow;    in his quiver he hid me away.3   And he said to me, “You are my servant,    Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”34   But I said, “I have labored in vain;    I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;  yet surely my right is with the LORD,    and my recompense with my God.”

5   And now the LORD says,    he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,  to bring Jacob back to him;    and that Israel might be gathered to him—  for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,    and my God has become my strength—6   he says:  “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant    to raise up the tribes of Jacob    and to bring back the preserved of Israel;  I will make you as a light for the nations,    that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

7   Thus says the LORD,    the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,  to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,    the servant of rulers:  “Kings shall see and arise;    princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;  because of the LORD, who is faithful,    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
The Restoration of Israel

8   Thus says the LORD:  “In a time of favor I have answered you;    in a day of salvation I have helped you;  I will keep you and give you    as a covenant to the people,  to establish the land,    to apportion the desolate heritages,9   saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’    to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’  They shall feed along the ways;    on all bare heights shall be their pasture;10   they shall not hunger or thirst,    neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,  for he who has pity on them will lead them,    and by springs of water will guide them.11   And I will make all my mountains a road,    and my highways shall be raised up.12   Behold, these shall come from afar,    and behold, these from the north and from the west,4    and these from the land of Syene.”5

13   Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;    break forth, O mountains, into singing!  For the LORD has comforted his people    and will have compassion on his afflicted.

14   But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;    my Lord has forgotten me.”

15   “Can a woman forget her nursing child,    that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?  Even these may forget,    yet I will not forget you.16   Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;    your walls are continually before me.17   Your builders make haste;6    your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.18   Lift up your eyes around and see;    they all gather, they come to you.  As I live, declares the LORD,    you shall put them all on as an ornament;    you shall bind them on as a bride does.

19   “Surely your waste and your desolate places    and your devastated land—  surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,    and those who swallowed you up will be far away.20   The children of your bereavement    will yet say in your ears:  ‘The place is too narrow for me;    make room for me to dwell in.’21   Then you will say in your heart:    ‘Who has borne me these?  I was bereaved and barren,    exiled and put away,    but who has brought up these?  Behold, I was left alone;    from where have these come?’”

22   Thus says the Lord GOD:  “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,    and raise my signal to the peoples;  and they shall bring your sons in their arms,7    and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.23   Kings shall be your foster fathers,    and their queens your nursing mothers.  With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,    and lick the dust of your feet.  Then you will know that I am the LORD;    those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”

24   Can the prey be taken from the mighty,    or the captives of a tyrant8 be rescued?25   For thus says the LORD:  “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,    and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,  for I will contend with those who contend with you,    and I will save your children.26   I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,    and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.  Then all flesh shall know    that I am the LORD your Savior,    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

[1] 48:10 Or I have chosen

[2] 48:11 Hebrew lacks my name

[3] 49:3 Or I will display my beauty

[4] 49:12 Hebrew from the sea

[5] 49:12 Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Sinim

[6] 49:17 Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Your children make haste

[7] 49:22 Hebrew in their bosom

[8] 49:24 Dead Sea Scroll, Syriac, Vulgate (see also verse 25); Masoretic Text of a righteous man


        Colossians 4


          Colossians 4 (Listen)
4 Masters, treat your bondservants1 justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
Further Instructions
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Final Greetings
7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant2 in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers3 at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

[1] 4:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for servant in verse 12

[2] 4:7 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word sundoulos, see Preface

[3] 4:15 Or brothers and sisters


Source: October 12: Isaiah 48–49; Colossians 4
Devotions & Studies / October 11: Isaiah 45–47; Colossians 3
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 12, 2018, 06:07:06 AM »
October 11: Isaiah 45–47; Colossians 3


        Isaiah 45–47


          Isaiah 45–47 (Listen)
Cyrus, God's Instrument

45   Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus,    whose right hand I have grasped,  to subdue nations before him    and to loose the belts of kings,  to open doors before him    that gates may not be closed:2   “I will go before you    and level the exalted places,1  I will break in pieces the doors of bronze    and cut through the bars of iron,3   I will give you the treasures of darkness    and the hoards in secret places,  that you may know that it is I, the LORD,    the God of Israel, who call you by your name.4   For the sake of my servant Jacob,    and Israel my chosen,  I call you by your name,    I name you, though you do not know me.5   I am the LORD, and there is no other,    besides me there is no God;    I equip you, though you do not know me,6   that people may know, from the rising of the sun    and from the west, that there is none besides me;    I am the LORD, and there is no other.7   I form light and create darkness;    I make well-being and create calamity;    I am the LORD, who does all these things.

8   “Shower, O heavens, from above,    and let the clouds rain down righteousness;  let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;    let the earth cause them both to sprout;    I the LORD have created it.

9   “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,    a pot among earthen pots!  Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’    or ‘Your work has no handles’?10   Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’    or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”

11   Thus says the LORD,    the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:  “Ask me of things to come;    will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?212   I made the earth    and created man on it;  it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,    and I commanded all their host.13   I have stirred him up in righteousness,    and I will make all his ways level;  he shall build my city    and set my exiles free,  not for price or reward,”    says the LORD of hosts.
The Lord, the Only Savior

14   Thus says the LORD:  “The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,    and the Sabeans, men of stature,  shall come over to you and be yours;    they shall follow you;    they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.  They will plead with you, saying:    ‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other,    no god besides him.’”

15   Truly, you are a God who hides himself,    O God of Israel, the Savior.16   All of them are put to shame and confounded;    the makers of idols go in confusion together.17   But Israel is saved by the LORD    with everlasting salvation;  you shall not be put to shame or confounded    to all eternity.

18   For thus says the LORD,  who created the heavens    (he is God!),  who formed the earth and made it    (he established it;  he did not create it empty,    he formed it to be inhabited!):  “I am the LORD, and there is no other.19   I did not speak in secret,    in a land of darkness;  I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,    ‘Seek me in vain.’3  I the LORD speak the truth;    I declare what is right.

20   “Assemble yourselves and come;    draw near together,    you survivors of the nations!  They have no knowledge    who carry about their wooden idols,  and keep on praying to a god    that cannot save.21   Declare and present your case;    let them take counsel together!  Who told this long ago?    Who declared it of old?  Was it not I, the LORD?    And there is no other god besides me,  a righteous God and a Savior;    there is none besides me.

22   “Turn to me and be saved,    all the ends of the earth!    For I am God, and there is no other.23   By myself I have sworn;    from my mouth has gone out in righteousness    a word that shall not return:  ‘To me every knee shall bow,    every tongue shall swear allegiance.’4

24   “Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me,    are righteousness and strength;  to him shall come and be ashamed    all who were incensed against him.25   In the LORD all the offspring of Israel    shall be justified and shall glory.”
The Idols of Babylon and the One True God

46   Bel bows down; Nebo stoops;    their idols are on beasts and livestock;  these things you carry are borne    as burdens on weary beasts.2   They stoop; they bow down together;    they cannot save the burden,    but themselves go into captivity.

3   “Listen to me, O house of Jacob,    all the remnant of the house of Israel,  who have been borne by me from before your birth,    carried from the womb;4   even to your old age I am he,    and to gray hairs I will carry you.  I have made, and I will bear;    I will carry and will save.

5   “To whom will you liken me and make me equal,    and compare me, that we may be alike?6   Those who lavish gold from the purse,    and weigh out silver in the scales,  hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;    then they fall down and worship!7   They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,    they set it in its place, and it stands there;    it cannot move from its place.  If one cries to it, it does not answer    or save him from his trouble.

8   “Remember this and stand firm,    recall it to mind, you transgressors,9     remember the former things of old;  for I am God, and there is no other;    I am God, and there is none like me,10   declaring the end from the beginning    and from ancient times things not yet done,  saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,    and I will accomplish all my purpose,’11   calling a bird of prey from the east,    the man of my counsel from a far country.  I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;    I have purposed, and I will do it.

12   “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,    you who are far from righteousness:13   I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,    and my salvation will not delay;  I will put salvation in Zion,    for Israel my glory.”
The Humiliation of Babylon

47   Come down and sit in the dust,    O virgin daughter of Babylon;  sit on the ground without a throne,    O daughter of the Chaldeans!  For you shall no more be called    tender and delicate.2   Take the millstones and grind flour,    put off your veil,  strip off your robe, uncover your legs,    pass through the rivers.3   Your nakedness shall be uncovered,    and your disgrace shall be seen.  I will take vengeance,    and I will spare no one.4   Our Redeemer—the LORD of hosts is his name—    is the Holy One of Israel.

5   Sit in silence, and go into darkness,    O daughter of the Chaldeans;  for you shall no more be called    the mistress of kingdoms.6   I was angry with my people;    I profaned my heritage;  I gave them into your hand;    you showed them no mercy;  on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy.7   You said, “I shall be mistress forever,”    so that you did not lay these things to heart    or remember their end.

8   Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures,    who sit securely,  who say in your heart,    “I am, and there is no one besides me;  I shall not sit as a widow    or know the loss of children”:9   These two things shall come to you    in a moment, in one day;  the loss of children and widowhood    shall come upon you in full measure,  in spite of your many sorceries    and the great power of your enchantments.

10   You felt secure in your wickedness;    you said, “No one sees me”;  your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray,  and you said in your heart,    “I am, and there is no one besides me.”11   But evil shall come upon you,    which you will not know how to charm away;  disaster shall fall upon you,    for which you will not be able to atone;  and ruin shall come upon you suddenly,    of which you know nothing.

12   Stand fast in your enchantments    and your many sorceries,    with which you have labored from your youth;  perhaps you may be able to succeed;    perhaps you may inspire terror.13   You are wearied with your many counsels;    let them stand forth and save you,  those who divide the heavens,    who gaze at the stars,  who at the new moons make known    what shall come upon you.

14   Behold, they are like stubble;    the fire consumes them;  they cannot deliver themselves    from the power of the flame.  No coal for warming oneself is this,    no fire to sit before!15   Such to you are those with whom you have labored,    who have done business with you from your youth;  they wander about, each in his own direction;    there is no one to save you.

[1] 45:2 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint level the mountains

[2] 45:11 A slight emendation yields will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands?

[3] 45:19 Hebrew in emptiness

[4] 45:23 Septuagint every tongue shall confess to God


        Colossians 3


          Colossians 3 (Listen)
Put On the New Self
3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your1 life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:2 sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.3 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self4 with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,5 free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Rules for Christian Households
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters,6 not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

[1] 3:4 Some manuscripts our

[2] 3:5 Greek therefore your members that are on the earth

[3] 3:6 Some manuscripts add upon the sons of disobedience

[4] 3:9 Greek man; also as supplied in verse 10

[5] 3:11 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for Bondservants in verse 22

[6] 3:22 Or your masters according to the flesh


Source: October 11: Isaiah 45–47; Colossians 3
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