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Isaiah 58, 59, 60

False and True Worship

58Shout out, do not hold back!
   Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
   to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet day after day they seek me
   and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practised righteousness
   and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgements,
   they delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why do we fast, but you do not see?
   Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?’
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast-day,
   and oppress all your workers.
4 Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
   and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
   will not make your voice heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose,
   a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
   and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
   a day acceptable to the Lord?


6 Is not this the fast that I choose:
   to loose the bonds of injustice,
   to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
   and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
   and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
   and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator* shall go before you,
   the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
   you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.


If you remove the yoke from among you,
   the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
10 if you offer your food to the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
   and your gloom be like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
   and satisfy your needs in parched places,
   and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
   like a spring of water,
   whose waters never fail.
12 Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
   you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
   the restorer of streets to live in.


13 If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
   from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;
if you call the sabbath a delight
   and the holy day of the Lord honourable;
if you honour it, not going your own ways,
   serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;*
14 then you shall take delight in the Lord,
   and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,
   for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Injustice and Oppression to Be Punished

59See, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save,
   nor his ear too dull to hear.
2 Rather, your iniquities have been barriers
   between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
   so that he does not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood,
   and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies,
   your tongue mutters wickedness.
4 No one brings suit justly,
   no one goes to law honestly;
they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,
   conceiving mischief and begetting iniquity.
5 They hatch adders’ eggs,
   and weave the spider’s web;
whoever eats their eggs dies,
   and the crushed egg hatches out a viper.
6 Their webs cannot serve as clothing;
   they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their works are works of iniquity,
   and deeds of violence are in their hands.
7 Their feet run to evil,
   and they rush to shed innocent blood;
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
   desolation and destruction are in their highways.
8 The way of peace they do not know,
   and there is no justice in their paths.
Their roads they have made crooked;
   no one who walks in them knows peace.


9 Therefore justice is far from us,
   and righteousness does not reach us;
we wait for light, and lo! there is darkness;
   and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
10 We grope like the blind along a wall,
   groping like those who have no eyes;
we stumble at noon as in the twilight,
   among the vigorous* as though we were dead.
11 We all growl like bears;
   like doves we moan mournfully.
We wait for justice, but there is none;
   for salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions before you are many,
   and our sins testify against us.
Our transgressions indeed are with us,
   and we know our iniquities:
13 transgressing, and denying the Lord,
   and turning away from following our God,
talking oppression and revolt,
   conceiving lying words and uttering them from the heart.
14 Justice is turned back,
   and righteousness stands at a distance;
for truth stumbles in the public square,
   and uprightness cannot enter.
15 Truth is lacking,
   and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.


The Lord saw it, and it displeased him
   that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one,
   and was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm brought him victory,
   and his righteousness upheld him.
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
   and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
   and wrapped himself in fury as in a mantle.
18 According to their deeds, so will he repay;
   wrath to his adversaries, requital to his enemies;
   to the coastlands he will render requital.
19 So those in the west shall fear the name of the Lord,
   and those in the east, his glory;
for he will come like a pent-up stream
   that the wind of the Lord drives on.


20 And he will come to Zion as Redeemer,
   to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, says the Lord.
21And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the Lord: my spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouths of your children, or out of the mouths of your children’s children, says the Lord, from now on and for ever.

The Ingathering of the Dispersed

60Arise, shine; for your light has come,
   and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
2 For darkness shall cover the earth,
   and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
   and his glory will appear over you.
3 Nations shall come to your light,
   and kings to the brightness of your dawn.


4 Lift up your eyes and look around;
   they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
   and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
5 Then you shall see and be radiant;
   your heart shall thrill and rejoice,*
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
   the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
6 A multitude of camels shall cover you,
   the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
   all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
   and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.
7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you,
   the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
they shall be acceptable on my altar,
   and I will glorify my glorious house.


8 Who are these that fly like a cloud,
   and like doves to their windows?
9 For the coastlands shall wait for me,
   the ships of Tarshish first,
to bring your children from far away,
   their silver and gold with them,
for the name of the Lord your God,
   and for the Holy One of Israel,
   because he has glorified you.
10 Foreigners shall build up your walls,
   and their kings shall minister to you;
for in my wrath I struck you down,
   but in my favour I have had mercy on you.
11 Your gates shall always be open;
   day and night they shall not be shut,
so that nations shall bring you their wealth,
   with their kings led in procession.
12 For the nation and kingdom
   that will not serve you shall perish;
   those nations shall be utterly laid waste.
13 The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,
   the cypress, the plane, and the pine,
to beautify the place of my sanctuary;
   and I will glorify where my feet rest.
14 The descendants of those who oppressed you
   shall come bending low to you,
and all who despised you
   shall bow down at your feet;
they shall call you the City of the Lord,
   the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15 Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,
   with no one passing through,
I will make you majestic for ever,
   a joy from age to age.
16 You shall suck the milk of nations,
   you shall suck the breasts of kings;
and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Saviour
   and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.


17 Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
   instead of iron I will bring silver;
instead of wood, bronze,
   instead of stones, iron.
I will appoint Peace as your overseer
   and Righteousness as your taskmaster.
18 Violence shall no more be heard in your land,
   devastation or destruction within your borders;
you shall call your walls Salvation,
   and your gates Praise.

God the Glory of Zion


19 The sun shall no longer be
   your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon
   give light to you by night;*
but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
   and your God will be your glory.
20 Your sun shall no more go down,
   or your moon withdraw itself;
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
   and your days of mourning shall be ended.
21 Your people shall all be righteous;
   they shall possess the land for ever.
They are the shoot that I planted, the work of my hands,
   so that I might be glorified.
22 The least of them shall become a clan,
   and the smallest one a mighty nation;
I am the Lord;
   in its time I will accomplish it quickly.

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Psalm 44

National Lament and Prayer for Help

To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Maskil.
1 We have heard with our ears, O God,
   our ancestors have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
   in the days of old:
2 you with your own hand drove out the nations,
   but them you planted;
you afflicted the peoples,
   but them you set free;
3 for not by their own sword did they win the land,
   nor did their own arm give them victory;
but your right hand, and your arm,
   and the light of your countenance,
   for you delighted in them.


4 You are my King and my God;
   you command* victories for Jacob.
5 Through you we push down our foes;
   through your name we tread down our assailants.
6 For not in my bow do I trust,
   nor can my sword save me.
7 But you have saved us from our foes,
   and have put to confusion those who hate us.
8 In God we have boasted continually,
   and we will give thanks to your name for ever.
          Selah


9 Yet you have rejected us and abased us,
   and have not gone out with our armies.
10 You made us turn back from the foe,
   and our enemies have taken spoil for themselves.
11 You have made us like sheep for slaughter,
   and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You have sold your people for a trifle,
   demanding no high price for them.


13 You have made us the taunt of our neighbours,
   the derision and scorn of those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations,
   a laughing-stock* among the peoples.
15 All day long my disgrace is before me,
   and shame has covered my face
16 at the words of the taunters and revilers,
   at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.


17 All this has come upon us,
   yet we have not forgotten you,
   or been false to your covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back,
   nor have our steps departed from your way,
19 yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals,
   and covered us with deep darkness.


20 If we had forgotten the name of our God,
   or spread out our hands to a strange god,
21 would not God discover this?
   For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Because of you we are being killed all day long,
   and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.


23 Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
   Awake, do not cast us off for ever!
24 Why do you hide your face?
   Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25 For we sink down to the dust;
   our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up, come to our help.
   Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.

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Philemon

THE LETTER OF PAUL TO

Philemon

Salutation

1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,*

To Philemon our dear friend and co-worker, 2to Apphia our sister,* to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in your house:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philemon’s Love and Faith

4 When I remember you* in my prayers, I always thank my God 5because I hear of your love for all the saints and your faith towards the Lord Jesus. 6I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we* may do for Christ. 7I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.

Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

8 For this reason, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do your duty, 9yet I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love—and I, Paul, do this as an old man, and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus.* 10I am appealing to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become during my imprisonment. 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful* both to you and to me. 12I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you. 13I wanted to keep him with me, so that he might be of service to me in your place during my imprisonment for the gospel; 14but I preferred to do nothing without your consent, in order that your good deed might be voluntary and not something forced. 15Perhaps this is the reason he was separated from you for a while, so that you might have him back for ever, 16no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, a beloved brother—especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

17 So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay it. I say nothing about your owing me even your own self. 20Yes, brother, let me have this benefit from you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ. 21Confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.

22 One thing more—prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping through your prayers to be restored to you.

Final Greetings and Benediction

23 Epaphras, my fellow-prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you,* 24and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow-workers.

25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.*

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oremus Bible Browser
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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.