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Isaiah 49, 50, 51

The Servant’s Mission

49Listen to me, O coastlands,
   pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
   while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
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.’
4 But I said, ‘I have laboured in vain,
   I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
   and my reward with my God.’


5 And now the Lord says,
   who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
   and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honoured in the sight 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 restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to 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 nations,
   the slave of rulers,
‘Kings shall see and stand up,
   princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
   the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.’

Zion’s Children to Be Brought Home


8 Thus says the Lord:
In a time of favour I have answered you,
   on a day of salvation I have helped you;
I have kept you and given 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, ‘Show yourselves.’
They shall feed along the ways,
   on all the bare heights* shall be their pasture;
10 they shall not hunger or thirst,
   neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
   and by springs of water will guide them.
11 And I will turn all my mountains into a road,
   and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Lo, these shall come from far away,
   and lo, these from the north and from the west,
   and these from the land of Syene.*


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 suffering ones.


14 But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me,
   my Lord has forgotten me.’
15 Can a woman forget her nursing-child,
   or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
   yet I will not forget you.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
   your walls are continually before me.
17 Your builders outdo your destroyers,*
   and those who laid you waste go away from you.
18 Lift up your eyes all around and see;
   they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, says the Lord,
   you shall put all of them on like an ornament,
   and like a bride you shall bind them on.


19 Surely your waste and your desolate places
   and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too crowded for your inhabitants,
   and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children born in the time of your bereavement
   will yet say in your hearing:
‘The place is too crowded for me;
   make room for me to settle.’
21 Then you will say in your heart,
   ‘Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
   exiled and put away—
   so who has reared these?
I was left all alone—
   where then have these come from?’


22 Thus says the Lord God:
I will soon lift up my hand to the nations,
   and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
   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 tyrant* be rescued?
25 But 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 Saviour,
   and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

50Thus says the Lord:
Where is your mother’s bill of divorce
   with which I put her away?
Or which of my creditors is it
   to whom I have sold you?
No, because of your sins you were sold,
   and for your transgressions your mother was put away.
2 Why was no one there when I came?
   Why did no one answer when I called?
Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?
   Or have I no power to deliver?
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.

The Servant’s Humiliation and Vindication


4 The Lord God has given me
   the tongue of a teacher,*
that I may know how to sustain
   the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens—
   wakens my ear
   to listen as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear,
   and I was not rebellious,
   I did not turn backwards.
6 I gave my back to those who struck me,
   and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
   from insult and spitting.


7 The Lord God helps me;
   therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like 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 are my adversaries?
   Let them confront me.
9 It is the Lord God who helps me;
   who will declare me guilty?
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,
who walks in darkness
   and has no light,
yet trusts in the name of the Lord
   and relies upon his God?
11 But all of you are kindlers of fire,
   lighters of firebrands.*
Walk in the flame of your fire,
   and among the brands that you have kindled!
This is what you shall have from my hand:
   you shall lie down in torment.

Blessings in Store for God’s People

51Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,
   you that 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,
   but I blessed him and made him many.
3 For the Lord will comfort Zion;
   he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make 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 Listen to me, my people,
   and give heed to me, my nation;
for a teaching will go out from me,
   and my justice for a light to the peoples.
5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,
   my salvation has gone out
   and my arms will rule the peoples;
the coastlands wait for me,
   and for my arm they hope.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
   and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens will vanish like smoke,
   the earth will wear out like a garment,
   and those who live on it will die like gnats;*
but my salvation will be for ever,
   and my deliverance will never be ended.


7 Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
   you people who have my teaching in your hearts;
do not fear the reproach of others,
   and do not be dismayed when they revile you.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
   and the worm will eat them like wool;
but my deliverance will be for ever,
   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 cross over?
11 So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
   and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
   they shall obtain joy and gladness,
   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


12 I, I am he who comforts you;
   why then are you afraid of a mere mortal who must die,
   a human being who fades like grass?
13 You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
   who stretched out the heavens
   and laid the foundations of the earth.
You fear continually all day long
   because of the fury of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction.
   But where is the fury of the oppressor?
14 The oppressed shall speedily be released;
   they shall not die and go down to the Pit,
   nor shall they lack bread.
15 For I am the Lord your God,
   who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
   the Lord of hosts is his name.
16 I have put my words in your mouth,
   and hidden you in the shadow of my hand,
stretching out* the heavens
   and laying the foundations of the earth,
   and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’


17 Rouse yourself, rouse yourself!
   Stand up, O Jerusalem,
you who have drunk at the hand of the Lord
   the cup of his wrath,
who have drunk to the dregs
   the bowl of staggering.
18 There is no one to guide her
   among all the children she has borne;
there is no one to take her by the hand
   among all the children she has brought up.
19 These two things have befallen you
   —who will grieve with you?—
devastation and destruction, famine and sword—
   who will comfort you?*
20 Your children 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 wounded,*
   who are drunk, but not with wine:
22 Thus says your Sovereign, the Lord,
   your God who pleads the cause of his people:
See, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
you shall drink no more
   from the bowl of my wrath.
23 And I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
   who have said to you,
   ‘Bow down, that we may walk on you’;
and you have made your back like the ground
   and like the street for them to walk on.

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Psalm 41

Assurance of God’s Help and a Plea for Healing

To the leader. A Psalm of David.
1 Happy are those who consider the poor;*
   the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.
2 The Lord protects them and keeps them alive;
   they are called happy in the land.
   You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.
3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed;
   in their illness you heal all their infirmities.*


4 As for me, I said, ‘O Lord, be gracious to me;
   heal me, for I have sinned against you.’
5 My enemies wonder in malice
   when I will die, and my name perish.
6 And when they come to see me, they utter empty words,
   while their hearts gather mischief;
   when they go out, they tell it abroad.
7 All who hate me whisper together about me;
   they imagine the worst for me.


8 They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me,
   that I will not rise again from where I lie.
9 Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted,
   who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.
10 But you, O Lord, be gracious to me,
   and raise me up, that I may repay them.


11 By this I know that you are pleased with me;
   because my enemy has not triumphed over me.
12 But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
   and set me in your presence for ever.


13 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
   from everlasting to everlasting.Amen and Amen.

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Titus 1

THE LETTER OF PAUL TO

Titus

Salutation

1Paul, a servant* of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, 2in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began— 3in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Saviour,

4 To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share:

Grace* and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.

Titus in Crete

5 I left you behind in Crete for this reason, that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: 6someone who is blameless, married only once,* whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. 7For a bishop,* as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; 8but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. 9He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.

10 There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision; 11they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what it is not right to teach. 12It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said,
‘Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.’
13That testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in the faith, 14not paying attention to Jewish myths or to commandments of those who reject the truth. 15To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. 16They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

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v 2.2.7
10 February 2011

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