December 6

Isaiah 41

1Come quietly before me, O sea-lands, and let the peoples get together their strength: let them come near; then let them say what they have to say: let us put forward our cause against one another.

2Who sent out from the east one who is right wherever he goes? he gives the nations into his hands, and makes him ruler over kings; he gives them as the dust to his sword, as dry stems before the wind to his bow.

3He goes after them safely, not touching the road with his feet.

4Whose purpose and work was it? His who sent out the generations from the start. I the Lord, the first, and with the last, I am he.

5The sea-lands saw it, and were in fear; the ends of the earth were shaking: they came near.

6They gave help everyone to his neighbour; and everyone said to his brother, Take heart!

7So the metal-worker put heart into the gold-worker, and he who was hammering the metal smooth said kind words to the iron-worker, saying of the plate, It is ready: and he put it together with nails, so that there might be no slipping.

8But as for you, Israel, my servant, and you, Jacob, whom I have taken for myself, the seed of Abraham my friend:

9You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and sent for from its farthest parts, saying to you, You are my servant, whom I have taken for myself, and whom I have not given up:

10Have no fear, for I am with you; do not be looking about in trouble, for I am your God; I will give you strength, yes, I will be your helper; yes, my true right hand will be your support.

11Truly, all those who are angry with you will be made low and put to shame: those desiring to do you wrong will come to nothing and never again be seen.

12You will make search for your haters but they will not be there; those who make war against you will be as nothing and will come to destruction.

13For I, the Lord your God, have taken your right hand in mine, saying to you, Have no fear; I will be your helper.

14Have no fear, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will be your helper, says the Lord, even he who takes up your cause, the Holy One of Israel.

15See, I will make you like a new grain-crushing instrument with teeth, crushing the mountains small, and making the hills like dry stems.

16You will send the wind over them, and it will take them away; they will go in all directions before the storm-wind: you will have joy in the Lord, and be glad in the Holy One of Israel.

17The poor and crushed are looking for water where no water is, and their tongue is dry for need of it: I the Lord will give ear to their prayer, I the God of Israel will not give them up.

18I will make rivers on the dry mountain-tops, and fountains in the valleys: I will make the waste land a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

19I will put in the waste land the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive-tree; and in the lowland will be planted the fir-tree, the plane, and the cypress together:

20So that they may see and be wise and give their mind to it, and that it may be clear to them all that the hand of the Lord has done this, and that the Holy One of Israel has made it.

21Put forward your cause, says the Lord; let your strong argument come out, says the King of Jacob.

22Let the future be made clear to us: give us news of the past things, so that we may give thought to them; or of the things to come, so that we may see if they are true.

23Give us word of what will be after this, so that we may be certain that you are gods: yes, do good or do evil, so that we may all see it and be surprised.

24But you are nothing, and your work is of no value: foolish is he who takes you for his gods.

25I have sent for one from the north, and from the dawn he has come; in my name he will get rulers together and go against them; they will be like dust, even as the wet earth is stamped on by the feet of the potter.

26Who has given knowledge of it from the first, so that we may be certain of it? and from the start, so that we may say, His word is true? There is no one who gives news, or says anything, or who gives ear to your words.

27I was the first to give word of it to Zion, and I gave the good news to Jerusalem.

28And I saw that there was no man, even no wise man among them, who might give an answer to my questions.

29Truly they are all nothing, their works are nothing and of no value: their metal images are of no more use than wind.

Ezekiel 8

1Now in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, when I was in my house and the responsible men of Judah were seated before me, the hand of the Lord came on me there.

2And looking, I saw a form like fire; from the middle of his body and down there was fire: and up from the middle of his body a sort of shining, like electrum.

3And he put out the form of a hand and took me by the hair of my head; and the wind, lifting me up between the earth and the heaven, took me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the way into the inner door facing to the north; where was the seat of the image of envy.

4And I saw the glory of the Lord there, as in the vision which I saw in the valley.

5Then he said to me, Son of man, now let your eyes be lifted up in the direction of the north; and on looking in the direction of the north, to the north of the doorway of the altar, I saw this image of envy by the way in.

6And he said to me, Son of man, do you see what they are doing? even the very disgusting things which the children of Israel are doing here, causing me to go far away from my holy place? but you will see other most disgusting things.

7And he took me to the door of the open place; and looking, I saw a hole in the wall.

8And he said to me, Son of man, make a hole in the wall: and after making a hole in the wall I saw a door.

9And he said to me, Go in and see the evil and disgusting things which they are doing here.

10So I went in and saw; and there every sort of living thing which goes flat on the earth, and unclean beasts, and all the images of the children of Israel, were pictured round about on the wall.

11And before them seventy of the responsible men of the children of Israel had taken their places, every man with a vessel for burning perfumes in his hand, and in the middle of them was Jaazaniah, the son of Shaphan; and a cloud of smoke went up from the burning perfume.

12And he said to me, Son of man, have you seen what the responsible men of the children of Israel do in the dark, every man in his room of pictured images? for they say, The Lord does not see us; the Lord has gone away from the land.

13Then he said to me, You will see even more disgusting things which they do.

14Then he took me to the door of the way into the Lord’s house looking to the north; and there women were seated weeping for Tammuz.

15Then he said to me, Have you seen this, O son of man? you will see even more disgusting things than these.

16And he took me into the inner square of the Lord’s house, and at the door of the Temple of the Lord, between the covered way and the altar, there were about twenty-five men with their backs turned to the Temple of the Lord and their faces turned to the east; and they were worshipping the sun, turning to the east.

17Then he said to me, Have you seen this, O son of man? is it a small thing to the children of Judah that they do the disgusting things which they are doing here? for they have made the land full of violent behaviour, making me angry again and again: and see, they put the branch to my nose.

18For this reason I will let loose my wrath: my eye will not have mercy, and I will have no pity.

Ezekiel 9

1Then crying out in my hearing in a loud voice, he said, Let the overseers of the town come near, every man armed.

2And six men came from the way of the higher doorway looking to the north, every man with his axe in his hand: and one man among them was clothed in linen, with a writer’s inkpot at his side. And they went in and took their places by the brass altar.

3And the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the winged ones on which it was resting, to the doorstep of the house. And crying out to the man clothed in linen who had the writer’s inkpot at his side,

4The Lord said to him, Go through the town, through the middle of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the brows of the men who are sorrowing and crying for all the disgusting things which are done in it.

5And to these he said in my hearing, Go through the town after him using your axes: do not let your eyes have mercy, and have no pity:

6Give up to destruction old men and young men and virgins, little children and women: but do not come near any man who has the mark on him: and make a start at my holy place. So they made a start with the old men who were before the house.

7And he said to them, Make the house unclean, make the open places full of dead: go forward and send destruction on the town.

8Now while they were doing so, and I was untouched, I went down on my face, and crying out, I said, Ah, Lord! will you give all the rest of Israel to destruction in letting loose your wrath on Jerusalem?

9Then he said to me, The sin of the children of Israel and Judah is very, very great, and the land is full of blood and the town full of evil ways: for they say, The Lord has gone away from the land, and the Lord does not see.

10And as for me, my eye will not have mercy, and I will have no pity, but I will send the punishment of their ways on their heads.

11Then the man clothed in linen, who had the inkpot at his side, came back and said, I have done what you gave me orders to do.

Ephesians 3

1For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles,

2If that ordering of the grace of God has come to your knowledge, which was given to me for you,

3How by revelation the secret was made clear to me, as I said before in a short letter,

4By the reading of which you will be clear about my knowledge of the secret of Christ;

5Which in other generations was not given to the sons of men, but the revelation of it has now been made to his holy Apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

6Which is that the Gentiles have a part in the heritage, and in the same body, and in the same hope in Christ through the good news,

7Of which I was made a preacher, through that grace of God which was given to me in the measure of the working of his power.

8To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, was this grace given, so that I might make clear to the Gentiles the good news of the unending wealth of Christ:

9And make all men see what is the ordering of the secret which from the first has been kept in God who made all things;

10So that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavens might be made clear through the church the wide-shining wisdom of God,

11Which is seen in his eternal purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord:

12By whom we come near to God without fear through faith in him.

13For this reason it is my prayer that you may not become feeble because of my troubles for you, which are your glory.

14For this cause I go down on my knees before the Father,

15From whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

16That in the wealth of his glory he would make you strong with power through his Spirit in your hearts;

17So that Christ may have his place in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and based in love,

18May have strength to see with all the saints how wide and long and high and deep it is,

19And to have knowledge of the love of Christ which is outside all knowledge, so that you may be made complete as God himself is complete.

20Now to him who is able to do in full measure more than all our desires or thoughts, through the power which is working in us,

21To him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations for ever and ever. So be it.

Advertisements

One comment

  1. Pingback: My high places | daily meditation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s