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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
Devotions & Studies / October 10: Isaiah 43–44; Colossians 2
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 11, 2018, 06:08:14 AM »
October 10: Isaiah 43–44; Colossians 2


        Isaiah 43–44


          Isaiah 43–44 (Listen)
Israel's Only Savior

43   But now thus says the LORD,  he who created you, O Jacob,    he who formed you, O Israel:  “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;    I have called you by name, you are mine.2   When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;  when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,    and the flame shall not consume you.3   For I am the LORD your God,    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.  I give Egypt as your ransom,    Cush and Seba in exchange for you.4   Because you are precious in my eyes,    and honored, and I love you,  I give men in return for you,    peoples in exchange for your life.5   Fear not, for I am with you;    I will bring your offspring from the east,    and from the west I will gather you.6   I will say to the north, Give up,    and to the south, Do not withhold;  bring my sons from afar    and my daughters from the end of the earth,7   everyone who is called by my name,    whom I created for my glory,    whom I formed and made.”

8   Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes,    who are deaf, yet have ears!9   All the nations gather together,    and the peoples assemble.  Who among them can declare this,    and show us the former things?  Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right,    and let them hear and say, It is true.10   “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,    “and my servant whom I have chosen,  that you may know and believe me    and understand that I am he.  Before me no god was formed,    nor shall there be any after me.11   I, I am the LORD,    and besides me there is no savior.12   I declared and saved and proclaimed,    when there was no strange god among you;    and you are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and I am God.13   Also henceforth I am he;    there is none who can deliver from my hand;    I work, and who can turn it back?”

14   Thus says the LORD,    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:  “For your sake I send to Babylon    and bring them all down as fugitives,    even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.15   I am the LORD, your Holy One,    the Creator of Israel, your King.”

16   Thus says the LORD,    who makes a way in the sea,    a path in the mighty waters,17   who brings forth chariot and horse,    army and warrior;  they lie down, they cannot rise,    they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:18   “Remember not the former things,    nor consider the things of old.19   Behold, I am doing a new thing;    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness    and rivers in the desert.20   The wild beasts will honor me,    the jackals and the ostriches,  for I give water in the wilderness,    rivers in the desert,  to give drink to my chosen people,21     the people whom I formed for myself  that they might declare my praise.

22   “Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob;    but you have been weary of me, O Israel!23   You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings,    or honored me with your sacrifices.  I have not burdened you with offerings,    or wearied you with frankincense.24   You have not bought me sweet cane with money,    or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.  But you have burdened me with your sins;    you have wearied me with your iniquities.

25   “I, I am he    who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,    and I will not remember your sins.26   Put me in remembrance; let us argue together;    set forth your case, that you may be proved right.27   Your first father sinned,    and your mediators transgressed against me.28   Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary,    and deliver Jacob to utter destruction    and Israel to reviling.
Israel the Lord's Chosen

44   “But now hear, O Jacob my servant,    Israel whom I have chosen!2   Thus says the LORD who made you,    who formed you from the womb and will help you:  Fear not, O Jacob my servant,    Jeshurun whom I have chosen.3   For I will pour water on the thirsty land,    and streams on the dry ground;  I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,    and my blessing on your descendants.4   They shall spring up among the grass    like willows by flowing streams.5   This one will say, ‘I am the LORD's,’    another will call on the name of Jacob,  and another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD's,’    and name himself by the name of Israel.”
Besides Me There Is No God

6   Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel    and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:  “I am the first and I am the last;    besides me there is no god.7   Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.1    Let him declare and set it before me,  since I appointed an ancient people.    Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.8   Fear not, nor be afraid;    have I not told you from of old and declared it?    And you are my witnesses!  Is there a God besides me?    There is no Rock; I know not any.”
The Folly of Idolatry
9 All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. 10 Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11 Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
12 The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil.2 He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. 14 He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
18 They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
The Lord Redeems Israel

21   Remember these things, O Jacob,    and Israel, for you are my servant;  I formed you; you are my servant;    O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.22   I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud    and your sins like mist;  return to me, for I have redeemed you.

23   Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it;    shout, O depths of the earth;  break forth into singing, O mountains,    O forest, and every tree in it!  For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,    and will be glorified3 in Israel.

24   Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,    who formed you from the womb:  “I am the LORD, who made all things,    who alone stretched out the heavens,    who spread out the earth by myself,25   who frustrates the signs of liars    and makes fools of diviners,  who turns wise men back    and makes their knowledge foolish,26   who confirms the word of his servant    and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,  who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’    and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built,    and I will raise up their ruins’;27   who says to the deep, ‘Be dry;    I will dry up your rivers’;28   who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,    and he shall fulfill all my purpose’;  saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’    and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”

[1] 44:7 Or Who like me can proclaim it?

[2] 44:13 Hebrew stylus

[3] 44:23 Or will display his beauty


        Colossians 2


          Colossians 2 (Listen)
2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
Alive in Christ
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits1 of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities2 and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.3
Let No One Disqualify You
16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,4 puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

[1] 2:8 Or elementary principles; also verse 20

[2] 2:15 Probably demonic rulers and authorities

[3] 2:15 Or in it (that is, the cross)

[4] 2:18 Or about the things he has seen


Source: October 10: Isaiah 43–44; Colossians 2
Devotions & Studies / October 9: Isaiah 41–42; Colossians 1
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 10, 2018, 06:07:00 AM »
October 9: Isaiah 41–42; Colossians 1


        Isaiah 41–42


          Isaiah 41–42 (Listen)
Fear Not, for I Am with You

41   Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;    let the peoples renew their strength;  let them approach, then let them speak;    let us together draw near for judgment.

2   Who stirred up one from the east    whom victory meets at every step?1  He gives up nations before him,    so that he tramples kings underfoot;  he makes them like dust with his sword,    like driven stubble with his bow.3   He pursues them and passes on safely,    by paths his feet have not trod.4   Who has performed and done this,    calling the generations from the beginning?  I, the LORD, the first,    and with the last; I am he.

5   The coastlands have seen and are afraid;    the ends of the earth tremble;    they have drawn near and come.6   Everyone helps his neighbor    and says to his brother, “Be strong!”7   The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith,    and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil,  saying of the soldering, “It is good”;    and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved.

8   But you, Israel, my servant,    Jacob, whom I have chosen,    the offspring of Abraham, my friend;9   you whom I took from the ends of the earth,    and called from its farthest corners,  saying to you, “You are my servant,    I have chosen you and not cast you off”;10   fear not, for I am with you;    be not dismayed, for I am your God;  I will strengthen you, I will help you,    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11   Behold, all who are incensed against you    shall be put to shame and confounded;  those who strive against you    shall be as nothing and shall perish.12   You shall seek those who contend with you,    but you shall not find them;  those who war against you    shall be as nothing at all.13   For I, the LORD your God,    hold your right hand;  it is I who say to you, “Fear not,    I am the one who helps you.”

14   Fear not, you worm Jacob,    you men of Israel!  I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD;    your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.15   Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,    new, sharp, and having teeth;  you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,    and you shall make the hills like chaff;16   you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,    and the tempest shall scatter them.  And you shall rejoice in the LORD;    in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

17   When the poor and needy seek water,    and there is none,    and their tongue is parched with thirst,  I the LORD will answer them;    I the God of Israel will not forsake them.18   I will open rivers on the bare heights,    and fountains in the midst of the valleys.  I will make the wilderness a pool of water,    and the dry land springs of water.19   I will put in the wilderness the cedar,    the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.  I will set in the desert the cypress,    the plane and the pine together,20   that they may see and know,    may consider and understand together,  that the hand of the LORD has done this,    the Holy One of Israel has created it.
The Futility of Idols

21   Set forth your case, says the LORD;    bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.22   Let them bring them, and tell us    what is to happen.  Tell us the former things, what they are,    that we may consider them,  that we may know their outcome;    or declare to us the things to come.23   Tell us what is to come hereafter,    that we may know that you are gods;  do good, or do harm,    that we may be dismayed and terrified.224   Behold, you are nothing,    and your work is less than nothing;    an abomination is he who chooses you.

25   I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,    from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name;  he shall trample on rulers as on mortar,    as the potter treads clay.26   Who declared it from the beginning, that we might know,    and beforehand, that we might say, “He is right”?  There was none who declared it, none who proclaimed,    none who heard your words.27   I was the first to say3 to Zion, “Behold, here they are!”    and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good news.28   But when I look, there is no one;    among these there is no counselor    who, when I ask, gives an answer.29   Behold, they are all a delusion;    their works are nothing;    their metal images are empty wind.
The Lord's Chosen Servant

42   Behold my servant, whom I uphold,    my chosen, in whom my soul delights;  I have put my Spirit upon him;    he will bring forth justice to the nations.2   He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,    or make it heard in the street;3   a bruised reed he will not break,    and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;    he will faithfully bring forth justice.4   He will not grow faint or be discouraged4    till he has established justice in the earth;    and the coastlands wait for his law.

5   Thus says God, the LORD,    who created the heavens and stretched them out,    who spread out the earth and what comes from it,  who gives breath to the people on it    and spirit to those who walk in it:6   “I am the LORD; I have called you5 in righteousness;    I will take you by the hand and keep you;  I will give you as a covenant for the people,    a light for the nations,7     to open the eyes that are blind,  to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,    from the prison those who sit in darkness.8   I am the LORD; that is my name;    my glory I give to no other,    nor my praise to carved idols.9   Behold, the former things have come to pass,    and new things I now declare;  before they spring forth    I tell you of them.”
Sing to the Lord a New Song

10   Sing to the LORD a new song,    his praise from the end of the earth,  you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,    the coastlands and their inhabitants.11   Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,    the villages that Kedar inhabits;  let the habitants of Sela sing for joy,    let them shout from the top of the mountains.12   Let them give glory to the LORD,    and declare his praise in the coastlands.13   The LORD goes out like a mighty man,    like a man of war he stirs up his zeal;  he cries out, he shouts aloud,    he shows himself mighty against his foes.

14   For a long time I have held my peace;    I have kept still and restrained myself;  now I will cry out like a woman in labor;    I will gasp and pant.15   I will lay waste mountains and hills,    and dry up all their vegetation;  I will turn the rivers into islands,6    and dry up the pools.16   And I will lead the blind    in a way that they do not know,  in paths that they have not known    I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light,    the rough places into level ground.  These are the things I do,    and I do not forsake them.17   They are turned back and utterly put to shame,    who trust in carved idols,  who say to metal images,    “You are our gods.”
Israel's Failure to Hear and See

18   Hear, you deaf,    and look, you blind, that you may see!19   Who is blind but my servant,    or deaf as my messenger whom I send?  Who is blind as my dedicated one,7    or blind as the servant of the LORD?20   He sees many things, but does not observe them;    his ears are open, but he does not hear.21   The LORD was pleased, for his righteousness' sake,    to magnify his law and make it glorious.22   But this is a people plundered and looted;    they are all of them trapped in holes    and hidden in prisons;  they have become plunder with none to rescue,    spoil with none to say, “Restore!”23   Who among you will give ear to this,    will attend and listen for the time to come?24   Who gave up Jacob to the looter,    and Israel to the plunderers?  Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned,    in whose ways they would not walk,    and whose law they would not obey?25   So he poured on him the heat of his anger    and the might of battle;  it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand;    it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart.

[1] 41:2 Or whom righteousness calls to follow?

[2] 41:23 Or that we may both be dismayed and see

[3] 41:27 Or Formerly I said

[4] 42:4 Or bruised

[5] 42:6 The Hebrew for you is singular; four times in this verse

[6] 42:15 Or into coastlands

[7] 42:19 Or as the one at peace with me


        Colossians 1


          Colossians 1 (Listen)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brothers1 in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.2 He is a faithful minister of Christ on your3 behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks4 to the Father, who has qualified you5 to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Preeminence of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by6 him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation7 under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Paul's Ministry to the Church
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

[1] 1:2 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] 1:7 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word sundoulos, see Preface

[3] 1:7 Some manuscripts our

[4] 1:12 Or patience, with joy giving thanks

[5] 1:12 Some manuscripts us

[6] 1:16 That is, by means of; or in

[7] 1:23 Or to every creature


Source: October 9: Isaiah 41–42; Colossians 1
Devotions & Studies / October 8: Isaiah 39–40; Philippians 4
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 09, 2018, 12:34:21 AM »
October 8: Isaiah 39–40; Philippians 4


        Isaiah 39–40


          Isaiah 39–40 (Listen)
Envoys from Babylon
39 At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2 And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 3 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” Hezekiah said, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” 4 He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: 6 Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the LORD. 7 And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.”
Comfort for God's People

40   Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.2   Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,    and cry to her  that her warfare1 is ended,    that her iniquity is pardoned,  that she has received from the LORD's hand    double for all her sins.

3   A voice cries:2  “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.4   Every valley shall be lifted up,    and every mountain and hill be made low;  the uneven ground shall become level,    and the rough places a plain.5   And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,    and all flesh shall see it together,    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
The Word of God Stands Forever

6   A voice says, “Cry!”    And I said,3 “What shall I cry?”  All flesh is grass,    and all its beauty4 is like the flower of the field.7   The grass withers, the flower fades    when the breath of the LORD blows on it;    surely the people are grass.8   The grass withers, the flower fades,    but the word of our God will stand forever.
The Greatness of God

9   Go on up to a high mountain,    O Zion, herald of good news;5  lift up your voice with strength,    O Jerusalem, herald of good news;6    lift it up, fear not;  say to the cities of Judah,    “Behold your God!”10   Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,    and his arm rules for him;  behold, his reward is with him,    and his recompense before him.11   He will tend his flock like a shepherd;    he will gather the lambs in his arms;  he will carry them in his bosom,    and gently lead those that are with young.

12   Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand    and marked off the heavens with a span,  enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure    and weighed the mountains in scales    and the hills in a balance?13   Who has measured7 the Spirit of the LORD,    or what man shows him his counsel?14   Whom did he consult,    and who made him understand?  Who taught him the path of justice,    and taught him knowledge,    and showed him the way of understanding?15   Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,    and are accounted as the dust on the scales;    behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.16   Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,    nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.17   All the nations are as nothing before him,    they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

18   To whom then will you liken God,    or what likeness compare with him?19   An idol! A craftsman casts it,    and a goldsmith overlays it with gold    and casts for it silver chains.20   He who is too impoverished for an offering    chooses wood8 that will not rot;  he seeks out a skillful craftsman    to set up an idol that will not move.

21   Do you not know? Do you not hear?    Has it not been told you from the beginning?    Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?22   It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;  who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,    and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;23   who brings princes to nothing,    and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

24   Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,    scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,  when he blows on them, and they wither,    and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25   To whom then will you compare me,    that I should be like him? says the Holy One.26   Lift up your eyes on high and see:    who created these?  He who brings out their host by number,    calling them all by name;  by the greatness of his might    and because he is strong in power,    not one is missing.

27   Why do you say, O Jacob,    and speak, O Israel,  “My way is hidden from the LORD,    and my right is disregarded by my God”?28   Have you not known? Have you not heard?  The LORD is the everlasting God,    the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary;    his understanding is unsearchable.29   He gives power to the faint,    and to him who has no might he increases strength.30   Even youths shall faint and be weary,    and young men shall fall exhausted;31   but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;  they shall run and not be weary;    they shall walk and not faint.

[1] 40:2 Or hardship

[2] 40:3 Or A voice of one crying

[3] 40:6 Revocalization based on Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Vulgate; Masoretic Text And someone says

[4] 40:6 Or all its constancy

[5] 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Zion

[6] 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem

[7] 40:13 Or has directed

[8] 40:20 Or He chooses valuable wood


        Philippians 4


          Philippians 4 (Listen)
4 Therefore, my brothers,1 whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer
2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion,2 help these women, who have labored3 side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness4 be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned5 and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
God's Provision
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
14 Yet it was kind of you to share6 my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.7 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Final Greetings
21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household.
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

[1] 4:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 8, 21

[2] 4:3 Or loyal Syzygus; Greek true yokefellow

[3] 4:3 Or strived (see 1:27)

[4] 4:5 Or gentleness

[5] 4:9 Or these things— 9which things you have also learned

[6] 4:14 Or have fellowship in

[7] 4:17 Or I seek the profit that accrues to your account


Source: October 8: Isaiah 39–40; Philippians 4
Devotions & Studies / October 7: Isaiah 37–38; Philippians 3
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 08, 2018, 06:25:08 AM »
October 7: Isaiah 37–38; Philippians 3


        Isaiah 37–38


          Isaiah 37–38 (Listen)
Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah's Help
37 As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the LORD. 2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz. 3 They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. 4 It may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the LORD your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’”
5 When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me. 7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’”
8 The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that the king had left Lachish. 9 Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Cush,1 “He has set out to fight against you.” And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?’”
Hezekiah's Prayer for Deliverance
14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: 16 “O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 20 So now, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the LORD.”
Sennacherib's Fall
21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him:

  “‘She despises you, she scorns you—    the virgin daughter of Zion;  she wags her head behind you—    the daughter of Jerusalem.

23   “‘Whom have you mocked and reviled?    Against whom have you raised your voice  and lifted your eyes to the heights?    Against the Holy One of Israel!24   By your servants you have mocked the Lord,    and you have said, With my many chariots  I have gone up the heights of the mountains,    to the far recesses of Lebanon,  to cut down its tallest cedars,    its choicest cypresses,  to come to its remotest height,    its most fruitful forest.25   I dug wells    and drank waters,  to dry up with the sole of my foot    all the streams of Egypt.

26   “‘Have you not heard    that I determined it long ago?  I planned from days of old    what now I bring to pass,  that you should make fortified cities    crash into heaps of ruins,27   while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,    are dismayed and confounded,  and have become like plants of the field    and like tender grass,  like grass on the housetops,    blighted2 before it is grown.

28   “‘I know your sitting down    and your going out and coming in,    and your raging against me.29   Because you have raged against me    and your complacency has come to my ears,  I will put my hook in your nose    and my bit in your mouth,  and I will turn you back on the way    by which you came.’
30 “And this shall be the sign for you: this year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that. Then in the third year sow and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
33 “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the LORD. 35 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”
36 And the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 37 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh. 38 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of Ararat, Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.
Hezekiah's Sickness and Recovery
38 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.”3 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 and said, “Please, O LORD, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.4 6 I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.
7 “This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he has promised: 8 Behold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.5
9 A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10   I said, In the middle6 of my days    I must depart;  I am consigned to the gates of Sheol    for the rest of my years.11   I said, I shall not see the LORD,    the LORD in the land of the living;  I shall look on man no more    among the inhabitants of the world.12   My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me    like a shepherd's tent;  like a weaver I have rolled up my life;    he cuts me off from the loom;  from day to night you bring me to an end;13     I calmed myself7 until morning;  like a lion he breaks all my bones;    from day to night you bring me to an end.

14   Like a swallow or a crane I chirp;    I moan like a dove.  My eyes are weary with looking upward.    O Lord, I am oppressed; be my pledge of safety!15   What shall I say? For he has spoken to me,    and he himself has done it.  I walk slowly all my years    because of the bitterness of my soul.

16   O Lord, by these things men live,    and in all these is the life of my spirit.    Oh restore me to health and make me live!17   Behold, it was for my welfare    that I had great bitterness;  but in love you have delivered my life    from the pit of destruction,  for you have cast all my sins    behind your back.18   For Sheol does not thank you;    death does not praise you;  those who go down to the pit do not hope    for your faithfulness.19   The living, the living, he thanks you,    as I do this day;  the father makes known to the children    your faithfulness.

20   The LORD will save me,    and we will play my music on stringed instruments  all the days of our lives,    at the house of the LORD.
21 Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover.” 22 Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?”

[1] 37:9 Probably Nubia

[2] 37:27 Some Hebrew manuscripts and 2 Kings 19:26; most Hebrew manuscripts a field

[3] 38:1 Or live; also verses 9, 21

[4] 38:5 Hebrew to your days

[5] 38:8 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain

[6] 38:10 Or In the quiet

[7] 38:13 Or (with Targum) I cried for help


        Philippians 3


          Philippians 3 (Listen)
Righteousness Through Faith in Christ
3 Finally, my brothers,1 rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God2 and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law,3 blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Straining Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

[1] 3:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 13, 17

[2] 3:3 Some manuscripts God in spirit

[3] 3:6 Greek in the law


Source: October 7: Isaiah 37–38; Philippians 3
Devotions & Studies / October 6: Isaiah 34–36; Philippians 2
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 07, 2018, 06:07:25 AM »
October 6: Isaiah 34–36; Philippians 2


        Isaiah 34–36


          Isaiah 34–36 (Listen)
Judgment on the Nations

34   Draw near, O nations, to hear,    and give attention, O peoples!  Let the earth hear, and all that fills it;    the world, and all that comes from it.2   For the LORD is enraged against all the nations,    and furious against all their host;    he has devoted them to destruction,1 has given them over for slaughter.3   Their slain shall be cast out,    and the stench of their corpses shall rise;    the mountains shall flow with their blood.4   All the host of heaven shall rot away,    and the skies roll up like a scroll.  All their host shall fall,    as leaves fall from the vine,    like leaves falling from the fig tree.

5   For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;    behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom,    upon the people I have devoted to destruction.6   The LORD has a sword; it is sated with blood;    it is gorged with fat,    with the blood of lambs and goats,    with the fat of the kidneys of rams.  For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah,    a great slaughter in the land of Edom.7   Wild oxen shall fall with them,    and young steers with the mighty bulls.  Their land shall drink its fill of blood,    and their soil shall be gorged with fat.

8   For the LORD has a day of vengeance,    a year of recompense for the cause of Zion.9   And the streams of Edom2 shall be turned into pitch,    and her soil into sulfur;    her land shall become burning pitch.10   Night and day it shall not be quenched;    its smoke shall go up forever.  From generation to generation it shall lie waste;    none shall pass through it forever and ever.11   But the hawk and the porcupine3 shall possess it,    the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.  He shall stretch the line of confusion4 over it,    and the plumb line of emptiness.12   Its nobles—there is no one there to call it a kingdom,    and all its princes shall be nothing.

13   Thorns shall grow over its strongholds,    nettles and thistles in its fortresses.  It shall be the haunt of jackals,    an abode for ostriches.514   And wild animals shall meet with hyenas;    the wild goat shall cry to his fellow;  indeed, there the night bird6 settles    and finds for herself a resting place.

15   There the owl nests and lays    and hatches and gathers her young in her shadow;  indeed, there the hawks are gathered,    each one with her mate.16   Seek and read from the book of the LORD:    Not one of these shall be missing;    none shall be without her mate.  For the mouth of the LORD has commanded,    and his Spirit has gathered them.17   He has cast the lot for them;    his hand has portioned it out to them with the line;  they shall possess it forever;    from generation to generation they shall dwell in it.
The Ransomed Shall Return

35   The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;    the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;2   it shall blossom abundantly    and rejoice with joy and singing.  The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,    the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.  They shall see the glory of the LORD,    the majesty of our God.

3   Strengthen the weak hands,    and make firm the feeble knees.4   Say to those who have an anxious heart,    “Be strong; fear not!  Behold, your God    will come with vengeance,  with the recompense of God.    He will come and save you.”

5   Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,    and the ears of the deaf unstopped;6   then shall the lame man leap like a deer,    and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.  For waters break forth in the wilderness,    and streams in the desert;7   the burning sand shall become a pool,    and the thirsty ground springs of water;  in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,    the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

8   And a highway shall be there,    and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;  the unclean shall not pass over it.    It shall belong to those who walk on the way;    even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.79   No lion shall be there,    nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;  they shall not be found there,    but the redeemed shall walk there.10   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.
Sennacherib Invades Judah
36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 2 And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh8 from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field. 3 And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.
4 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 5 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 6 Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 7 But if you say to me, “We trust in the LORD our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”? 8 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 9 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master's servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 Moreover, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it.”’”
11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 12 But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?”
13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. 15 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, “The LORD will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me9 and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’”
21 But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, “Do not answer him.” 22 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

[1] 34:2 That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verse 5

[2] 34:9 Hebrew her streams

[3] 34:11 The identity of the animals rendered hawk and porcupine is uncertain

[4] 34:11 Hebrew formlessness

[5] 34:13 Or owls

[6] 34:14 Identity uncertain

[7] 35:8 Or if they are fools, they shall not wander in it

[8] 36:2 Rabshakeh is the title of a high-ranking Assyrian military officer

[9] 36:16 Hebrew Make a blessing with me


        Philippians 2


          Philippians 2 (Listen)
Christ's Example of Humility
2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,1 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,2 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,3 being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Lights in the World
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy's4 proven worth, how as a son5 with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died6 for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.

[1] 2:5 Or which was also in Christ Jesus

[2] 2:6 Or a thing to be held on to for advantage

[3] 2:7 Or slave (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)

[4] 2:22 Greek his

[5] 2:22 Greek child

[6] 2:30 Or he drew near to the point of death; compare verse 8


Source: October 6: Isaiah 34–36; Philippians 2
Devotions & Studies / October 5: Isaiah 31–33; Philippians 1
« Last post by |CoR| Cool_Hand_Luke on October 06, 2018, 06:06:58 AM »
October 5: Isaiah 31–33; Philippians 1


        Isaiah 31–33


          Isaiah 31–33 (Listen)
Woe to Those Who Go Down to Egypt

31   Woe1 to those who go down to Egypt for help    and rely on horses,  who trust in chariots because they are many    and in horsemen because they are very strong,  but do not look to the Holy One of Israel    or consult the LORD!2   And yet he is wise and brings disaster;    he does not call back his words,  but will arise against the house of the evildoers    and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.3   The Egyptians are man, and not God,    and their horses are flesh, and not spirit.  When the LORD stretches out his hand,    the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall,    and they will all perish together.

4   For thus the LORD said to me,  “As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey,    and when a band of shepherds is called out against him  he is not terrified by their shouting    or daunted at their noise,  so the LORD of hosts will come down    to fight2 on Mount Zion and on its hill.5   Like birds hovering, so the LORD of hosts    will protect Jerusalem;  he will protect and deliver it;    he will spare and rescue it.”
6 Turn to him from whom people3 have deeply revolted, O children of Israel. 7 For in that day everyone shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.

8   “And the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of man;    and a sword, not of man, shall devour him;  and he shall flee from the sword,    and his young men shall be put to forced labor.9   His rock shall pass away in terror,    and his officers desert the standard in panic,”  declares the LORD, whose fire is in Zion,    and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.
A King Will Reign in Righteousness

32   Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,    and princes will rule in justice.2   Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,    a shelter from the storm,  like streams of water in a dry place,    like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.3   Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,    and the ears of those who hear will give attention.4   The heart of the hasty will understand and know,    and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.5   The fool will no more be called noble,    nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.6   For the fool speaks folly,    and his heart is busy with iniquity,  to practice ungodliness,    to utter error concerning the LORD,  to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,    and to deprive the thirsty of drink.7   As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil;    he plans wicked schemes  to ruin the poor with lying words,    even when the plea of the needy is right.8   But he who is noble plans noble things,    and on noble things he stands.
Complacent Women Warned of Disaster

9   Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice;    you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.10   In little more than a year    you will shudder, you complacent women;  for the grape harvest fails,    the fruit harvest will not come.11   Tremble, you women who are at ease,    shudder, you complacent ones;  strip, and make yourselves bare,    and tie sackcloth around your waist.12   Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,    for the fruitful vine,13   for the soil of my people    growing up in thorns and briers,  yes, for all the joyous houses    in the exultant city.14   For the palace is forsaken,    the populous city deserted;  the hill and the watchtower    will become dens forever,  a joy of wild donkeys,    a pasture of flocks;15   until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,    and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,    and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.16   Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,    and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.17   And the effect of righteousness will be peace,    and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust4 forever.18   My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,    in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.19   And it will hail when the forest falls down,    and the city will be utterly laid low.20   Happy are you who sow beside all waters,    who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.
O Lord, Be Gracious to Us

33   Ah, you destroyer,    who yourself have not been destroyed,  you traitor,    whom none has betrayed!  When you have ceased to destroy,    you will be destroyed;  and when you have finished betraying,    they will betray you.

2   O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you.    Be our arm every morning,    our salvation in the time of trouble.3   At the tumultuous noise peoples flee;    when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered,4   and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;    as locusts leap, it is leapt upon.

5   The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;    he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,6   and he will be the stability of your times,    abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;    the fear of the LORD is Zion's5 treasure.

7   Behold, their heroes cry in the streets;    the envoys of peace weep bitterly.8   The highways lie waste;    the traveler ceases.  Covenants are broken;    cities6 are despised;    there is no regard for man.9   The land mourns and languishes;    Lebanon is confounded and withers away;  Sharon is like a desert,    and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.

10   “Now I will arise,” says the LORD,    “now I will lift myself up;    now I will be exalted.11   You conceive chaff; you give birth to stubble;    your breath is a fire that will consume you.12   And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,    like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.”

13   Hear, you who are far off, what I have done;    and you who are near, acknowledge my might.14   The sinners in Zion are afraid;    trembling has seized the godless:  “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire?    Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?”15   He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,    who despises the gain of oppressions,  who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,    who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed    and shuts his eyes from looking on evil,16   he will dwell on the heights;    his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;    his bread will be given him; his water will be sure.

17   Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty;    they will see a land that stretches afar.18   Your heart will muse on the terror:    “Where is he who counted, where is he who weighed the tribute?    Where is he who counted the towers?”19   You will see no more the insolent people,    the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,    stammering in a tongue that you cannot understand.20   Behold Zion, the city of our appointed feasts!    Your eyes will see Jerusalem,    an untroubled habitation, an immovable tent,  whose stakes will never be plucked up,    nor will any of its cords be broken.21   But there the LORD in majesty will be for us    a place of broad rivers and streams,  where no galley with oars can go,    nor majestic ship can pass.22   For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver;    the LORD is our king; he will save us.

23   Your cords hang loose;    they cannot hold the mast firm in its place    or keep the sail spread out.  Then prey and spoil in abundance will be divided;    even the lame will take the prey.24   And no inhabitant will say, “I am sick”;    the people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity.

[1] 31:1 Or Ah,

[2] 31:4 The Hebrew words for hosts and to fight sound alike

[3] 31:6 Hebrew they

[4] 32:17 Or security

[5] 33:6 Hebrew his

[6] 33:8 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll witnesses


        Philippians 1


          Philippians 1 (Listen)
1 Paul and Timothy, servants1 of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers2 and deacons:3
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace,4 both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
The Advance of the Gospel
12 I want you to know, brothers,5 that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard6 and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word7 without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
To Live Is Christ
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
27 Only let your manner of life be worthy8 of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

[1] 1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface

[2] 1:1 Or bishops; Greek episkopoi

[3] 1:1 Or servants, or ministers; Greek diakonoi

[4] 1:7 Or you all have fellowship with me in grace

[5] 1:12 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; also verse 14

[6] 1:13 Greek in the whole praetorium

[7] 1:14 Some manuscripts add of God

[8] 1:27 Greek Only behave as citizens worthy


Source: October 5: Isaiah 31–33; Philippians 1
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