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Isaiah 43, 44, 45

Restoration and Protection Promised

43But now thus says the Lord,
   he who created you, O Jacob,
   he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, 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 Saviour.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
   Ethiopia* and Seba in exchange for you.
4 Because you are precious in my sight,
   and honoured, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
   nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not fear, 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 them up’,
   and to the south, ‘Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away
   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 forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
   who are deaf, yet have ears!
9 Let all the nations gather together,
   and let the peoples assemble.
Who among them declared this,
   and foretold to us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to justify them,
   and let them hear and say, ‘It is true.’
10 You are my witnesses, says the Lord,
   and my servant whom I have chosen,
so 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 saviour.
12 I declared and saved and proclaimed,
   when there was no strange god among you;
   and you are my witnesses, says the Lord.
13 I am God, and also henceforth I am He;
   there is no one who can deliver from my hand;
   I work and who can hinder it?


14 Thus says the Lord,
   your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
For your sake I will send to Babylon
   and break down all the bars,
   and the shouting of the Chaldeans will be turned to lamentation.*
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 out chariot and horse,
   army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
   they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
18 Do not remember the former things,
   or consider the things of old.
19 I am about to do 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 animals will honour 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
so 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 honoured 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 Accuse me, let us go to trial;
   set forth your case, so that you may be proved right.
27 Your first ancestor sinned,
   and your interpreters transgressed against me.
28 Therefore I profaned the princes of the sanctuary,
   I delivered Jacob to utter destruction,
   and Israel to reviling.

God’s Blessing on Israel

44But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
   Israel whom I have chosen!
2 Thus says the Lord who made you,
   who formed you in the womb and will help you:
Do not fear, 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 descendants,
   and my blessing on your offspring.
4 They shall spring up like a green tamarisk,
   like willows by flowing streams.
5 This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’,
   another will be called by the name of Jacob,
yet another will write on the hand, ‘The Lord’s’,
   and adopt the name of Israel.


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 them proclaim it,
   let them declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?*
   Let them tell us* what is yet to be.
8 Do not fear, or be afraid;
   have I not told you from of old and declared it?
   You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
   There is no other rock; I know not one.

The Absurdity of Idol-Worship

9 All who make idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit; their witnesses neither see nor know. And so they will be put to shame. 10Who would fashion a god or cast an image that can do no good? 11Look, all its devotees shall be put to shame; the artisans too are merely human. Let them all assemble, let them stand up; they shall be terrified, they shall all be put to shame.

12 The blacksmith fashions it* and works it over the coals, shaping it with hammers, and forging it with his strong arm; he becomes hungry and his strength fails, he drinks no water and is faint. 13The carpenter stretches a line, marks it out with a stylus, fashions it with planes, and marks it with a compass; he makes it in human form, with human beauty, to be set up in a shrine. 14He cuts down cedars or chooses a holm tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15Then it can be used as fuel. Part of it he takes and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Then he makes a god and worships it, makes it a carved image and bows down before it. 16Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he roasts meat, eats it, and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, ‘Ah, I am warm, I can feel the fire!’ 17The rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, bows down to it, and worships it; he prays to it and says, ‘Save me, for you are my god!’

18 They do not know, nor do they comprehend; for their eyes are shut, so that they cannot see, and their minds as well, so that they cannot understand. 19No 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. Now shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?’ 20He feeds on ashes; a deluded mind has led him astray, and he cannot save himself or say, ‘Is not this thing in my right hand a fraud?’

Israel Is Not Forgotten


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 swept away 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 glorified in Israel.


24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
   who formed you in the womb:
I am the Lord, who made all things,
   who alone stretched out the heavens,
   who by myself spread out the earth;
25 who frustrates the omens of liars,
   and makes fools of diviners;
who turns back the wise,
   and makes their knowledge foolish;
26 who confirms the word of his servant,
   and fulfils the prediction of his messengers;
who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited’,
   and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,
   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 carry out all my purpose’;
and who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be rebuilt’,
   and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’

Cyrus, God’s Instrument

45Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
   whose right hand I have grasped
to subdue nations before him
   and strip kings of their robes,
to open doors before him—
   and the gates shall not be closed:
2 I will go before you
   and level the mountains,*
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 riches hidden in secret places,
so 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 surname you, though you do not know me.
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other;
   besides me there is no god.
   I arm you, though you do not know me,
6 so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
   and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
   I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7 I form light and create darkness,
   I make weal and create woe;
   I the Lord do all these things.


8 Shower, O heavens, from above,
   and let the skies rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation may spring up,*
   and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also;
   I the Lord have created it.


9 Woe to you who strive with your Maker,
   earthen vessels with the potter!*
Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, ‘What are you making?’
   or ‘Your work has no handles’?
10 Woe to anyone who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
   or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labour?’
11 Thus says the Lord,
   the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Will you question me* about my children,
   or command me concerning the work of my hands?
12 I made the earth,
   and created humankind upon it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
   and I commanded all their host.
13 I have aroused Cyrus* in righteousness,
   and I will make all his paths straight;
he shall build my city
   and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,
   says the Lord of hosts.
14 Thus says the Lord:
The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia,*
   and the Sabeans, tall 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 make supplication to you, saying,
   ‘God is with you alone, and there is no other;
   there is no god besides him.’
15 Truly, you are a God who hides himself,
   O God of Israel, the Saviour.
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 a chaos,
   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 chaos.’
I the Lord speak the truth,
   I declare what is right.

Idols Cannot Save Babylon


20 Assemble yourselves and come together,
   draw near, you survivors of the nations!
They have no knowledge—
   those 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?
   There is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Saviour;
   there is no one 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 forth in righteousness
   a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
   every tongue shall swear.’


24 Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
   are righteousness and strength;
all who were incensed against him
   shall come to him and be ashamed.
25 In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
   shall triumph and glory.

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Psalm 39

Prayer for Wisdom and Forgiveness

To the leader: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
1 I said, ‘I will guard my ways
   that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
   as long as the wicked are in my presence.’
2 I was silent and still;
   I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse,
3   my heart became hot within me.
While I mused, the fire burned;
   then I spoke with my tongue:


4Lord, let me know my end,
   and what is the measure of my days;
   let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a few handbreadths,
   and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath.
          Selah
6   Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
   they heap up, and do not know who will gather.


7 ‘And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
   My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions.
   Do not make me the scorn of the fool.
9 I am silent; I do not open my mouth,
   for it is you who have done it.
10 Remove your stroke from me;
   I am worn down by the blows* of your hand.


11 ‘You chastise mortals
   in punishment for sin,
consuming like a moth what is dear to them;
   surely everyone is a mere breath.
          Selah


12 ‘Hear my prayer, O Lord,
   and give ear to my cry;
   do not hold your peace at my tears.
For I am your passing guest,
   an alien, like all my forebears.
13 Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again,
   before I depart and am no more.’

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II Timothy 3

Godlessness in the Last Days

3You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. 2For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them! 6For among them are those who make their way into households and captivate silly women, overwhelmed by their sins and swayed by all kinds of desires, 7who are always being instructed and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people, of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith, also oppose the truth. 9But they will not make much progress, because, as in the case of those two men,* their folly will become plain to everyone.

Paul’s Charge to Timothy

10 Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11my persecutions, and my suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All scripture is inspired by God and is* useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

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10 February 2011

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.7 10 February 2011.