December 10

Isaiah 45

1The Lord says to the man of his selection, to Cyrus, whom I have taken by the right hand, putting down nations before him, and taking away the arms of kings; making the doors open before him, so that the ways into the towns may not be shut;

2I will go before you, and make the rough places level: the doors of brass will be broken, and the iron rods cut in two:

3And I will give you the stores of the dark, and the wealth of secret places, so that you may be certain that I am the Lord, who gave you your name, even the God of Israel.

4Because of Jacob my servant, and Israel whom I have taken for myself, I have sent for you by name, giving you a name of honour, though you had no knowledge of me.

5I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God but me: I will make you ready for war, though you had no knowledge of me:

6So that they may see from the east and from the west that there is no God but me: I am the Lord, and there is no other.

7I am the giver of light and the maker of the dark; causing blessing, and sending troubles; I am the Lord, who does all these things.

8Let righteousness come down, O heavens, from on high, and let the sky send it down like rain: let the earth be open to give the fruit of salvation, causing righteousness to come up with it; I the Lord have made it come about.

9Cursed is he who has an argument with his Maker, the pot which has an argument with the Potter! Will the wet earth say to him who is working with it, What are you doing, that your work has nothing by which it may be gripped?

10Cursed is he who says to a father, To what are you giving life? or to a woman, What are you in birth-pains with?

11The Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, says, Will you put a question to me about the things which are to come, or will you give me orders about my sons, and the work of my hands?

12I have made the earth, forming man on it: by my hands the heavens have been stretched out, and all the stars put in their ordered places.

13I have sent him out to overcome the nations, and I will make all his ways straight: I will give him the work of building my town, and he will let my prisoners go free, without price or reward, says the Lord of armies.

14The Lord says, The workmen of Egypt, and the traders of Ethiopia, and the tall Sabaeans, will come over the sea to you, and they will be yours; they will go after you; in chains they will come over: and they will go down on their faces before you, and will make prayer to you, saying, Truly, God is among you; and there is no other God.

15Truly, you have a secret God, the God of Israel is a Saviour!

16All those who have gone against him will be put to shame; the makers of images will be made low.

17But the Lord will make Israel free with an eternal salvation: you will not be put to shame or made low for ever and ever.

18For this is the word of the Lord who made the heavens; he is God; the maker and designer of the earth; who made it not to be a waste, but as a living-place for man: I am the Lord, and there is no other.

19I have not given my word in secret, in a place in the underworld; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, Go into a waste land to make request of me: I the Lord say what is true, my word is righteousness.

20Come together, even come near, you nations who are still living: they have no knowledge who take up their image of wood, and make prayer to a god in whom is no salvation.

21Give the word, put forward your cause, let us have a discussion together: who has given news of this in the past? who made it clear in early times? did not I, the Lord? and there is no God but me; a true God and a saviour; there is no other.

22Let your hearts be turned to me, so that you may have salvation, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no other.

23By myself have I taken an oath, a true word has gone from my mouth, and will not be changed, that to me every knee will be bent, and every tongue will give honour.

24Only in the Lord will Jacob overcome and be strong: together all those who were angry with him will be put to shame and come to destruction.

25In the Lord will all the seed of Israel get their rights, and they will give glory to him.

Ezekiel 16

1And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

2Son of man, make clear to Jerusalem her disgusting ways,

3And say, This is what the Lord has said to Jerusalem: Your start and your birth was from the land of the Canaanite; an Amorite was your father and your mother was a Hittite.

4As for your birth, on the day of your birth your cord was not cut and you were not washed in water to make you clean; you were not salted or folded in linen bands.

5No eye had pity on you to do any of these things to you or to be kind to you; but you were put out into the open country, because your life was hated at the time of your birth.

6And when I went past you and saw you stretched out in your blood, I said to you, Though you are stretched out in your blood, have life;

7And be increased in number like the buds of the field; and you were increased and became great, and you came to the time of love: your breasts were formed and your hair was long; but you were uncovered and without clothing.

8Now when I went past you, looking at you, I saw that your time was the time of love; and I put my skirts over you, covering your unclothed body: and I gave you my oath and made an agreement with you, says the Lord, and you became mine.

9Then I had you washed with water, washing away all your blood and rubbing you with oil.

10And I had you clothed with needlework, and put leather shoes on your feet, folding fair linen about you and covering you with silk.

11And I made you fair with ornaments and put jewels on your hands and a chain on your neck.

12And I put a ring in your nose and ear-rings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.

13So you were made beautiful with gold and silver; and your clothing was of the best linen and silk and needlework; your food was the best meal and honey and oil: and you were very beautiful.

14You were so beautiful that the story of you went out into all nations; you were completely beautiful because of my glory which I had put on you, says the Lord.

15But you put your faith in the fact that you were beautiful, acting like a loose woman because you were widely talked of, and offering your cheap love to everyone who went by, whoever it might be.

16And you took your robes and made high places for yourself ornamented with every colour, acting like a loose woman on them, without shame or fear.

17And you took the fair jewels, my silver and gold which I had given to you, and made for yourself male images, acting like a loose woman with them;

18And you took your robes of needlework for their clothing, and put my oil and my perfume before them.

19And my bread which I gave you, the best meal and oil and honey which I gave you for your food, you put it before them for a sweet smell, says the Lord.

20And you took your sons and your daughters whom I had by you, offering even these to them to be their food. Was your loose behaviour so small a thing,

21That you put my children to death and gave them up to go through the fire to them?

22And in all your disgusting and false behaviour you had no memory of your early days, when you were uncovered and without clothing, stretched out in your blood.

23And it came about, after all your evil-doing, says the Lord,

24That you made for yourself an arched room in every open place.

25You put up your high places at the top of every street, and made the grace of your form a disgusting thing, opening your feet to everyone who went by, increasing your loose ways.

26And you went with the Egyptians, your neighbours, great of flesh; increasing your loose ways, moving me to wrath.

27Now, then, my hand is stretched out against you, cutting down your fixed amount, and I have given you up to the desire of your haters, the daughters of the Philistines who are shamed by your loose ways.

28And you went with the Assyrians, because of your desire which was without measure; you were acting like a loose woman with them, and still you had not enough.

29And you went on in your loose ways, even as far as the land of Chaldaea, and still you had not enough.

30How feeble is your heart, says the Lord, seeing that you do all these things, the work of a loose and overruling woman;

31For you have made your arched room at the top of every street, and your high place in every open place; though you were not like a loose woman in getting together your payment.

32The untrue wife who takes strange lovers in place of her husband!

33They give payment to all loose women: but you give rewards to your lovers, offering them payment so that they may come to you on every side for your cheap love.

34And in your loose behaviour you are different from other women, for no one goes after you to make love to you: and because you give payment and no payment is given to you, in this you are different from them.

35For this cause, O loose woman, give ear to the voice of the Lord:

36This is what the Lord has said: Because your unclean behaviour was let loose and your body uncovered in your loose ways with your lovers and with your disgusting images, and for the blood of your children which you gave to them;

37For this cause I will get together all your lovers with whom you have taken your pleasure, and all those to whom you have given your love, with all those who were hated by you; I will even make them come together against you on every side, and I will have you uncovered before them so that they may see your shame.

38And you will be judged by me as women are judged who have been untrue to their husbands and have taken life; and I will let loose against you passion and bitter feeling.

39I will give you into their hands, and your arched room will be overturned and your high places broken down; they will take your clothing off you and take away your fair jewels: and when they have done, you will be uncovered and shamed.

40And they will get together a meeting against you, stoning you with stones and wounding you with their swords.

41And they will have you burned with fire, sending punishments on you before the eyes of great numbers of women; and I will put an end to your loose ways, and you will no longer give payment.

42And the heat of my wrath against you will have an end, and my bitter feeling will be turned away from you, and I will be quiet and will be angry no longer.

43Because you have not kept in mind the days when you were young, but have been troubling me with all these things; for this reason I will make the punishment of your ways come on your head, says the Lord, because you have done this evil thing in addition to all your disgusting acts.

44See, in every common saying about you it will be said, As the mother is, so is her daughter.

45You are the daughter of your mother whose soul is turned in disgust from her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters who were turned in disgust from their husbands and their children: your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.

46Your older sister is Samaria, living at your left hand, she and her daughters: and your younger sister, living at your right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.

47Still you have not gone in their ways or done the disgusting things which they have done; but, as if that was only a little thing, you have gone deeper in evil than they in all your ways.

48By my life, says the Lord, Sodom your sister never did, she or her daughters, what you and your daughters have done.

49Truly, this was the sin of your sister Sodom: pride, a full measure of food, and the comforts of wealth in peace, were seen in her and her daughters, and she gave no help to the poor or to those in need.

50They were full of pride and did what was disgusting to me: and so I took them away as you have seen.

51And Samaria has not done half your sins; but you have made the number of your disgusting acts greater than theirs, making your sisters seem more upright than you by all the disgusting things which you have done.

52And you yourself will be put to shame, in that you have given the decision for your sisters; through your sins, which are more disgusting than theirs, they are more upright than you: truly, you will be shamed and made low, for you have made your sisters seem upright.

53And I will let their fate be changed, the fate of Sodom and her daughters, and the fate of Samaria and her daughters, and your fate with theirs.

54So that you will be shamed and made low because of all you have done, when I have mercy on you.

55And your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, will go back to their first condition, and Samaria and her daughters will go back to their first condition, and you and your daughters will go back to your first condition.

56Was not your sister Sodom an oath in your mouth in the day of your pride,

57Before your shame was uncovered? Now you have become like her a word of shame to the daughters of Edom and all who are round about you, the daughters of the Philistines who put shame on you round about.

58The reward of your evil designs and your disgusting ways has come on you, says the Lord.

59For this is what the Lord has said: I will do to you as you have done, you who, putting the oath on one side, have let the agreement be broken.

60But still I will keep in mind the agreement made with you in the days when you were young, and I will make with you an eternal agreement.

61Then at the memory of your ways you will be overcome with shame, when I take your sisters, the older and the younger, and give them to you for daughters, but not by your agreement.

62And I will make my agreement with you; and you will be certain that I am the Lord:

63So that, at the memory of these things, you may be at a loss, never opening your mouth because of your shame; when you have my forgiveness for all you have done, says the Lord.

Ephesians 5:21-33

21Letting yourselves be ruled by one another in the fear of Christ.

22Wives, be under the authority of your husbands, as of the Lord.

23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body.

24And as the church is under Christ’s authority, so let wives be under the rule of their husbands in all things.

25Husbands, have love for your wives, even as Christ had love for the church, and gave himself for it;

26So that he might make it holy, having made it clean with the washing of water by the word,

27And might take it for himself, a church full of glory, not having one mark or fold or any such thing; but that it might be holy and complete.

28Even so it is right for husbands to have love for their wives as for their bodies. He who has love for his wife has love for himself:

29For no man ever had hate for his flesh; but he gives it food and takes care of it, even as Christ does for the church;

30Because we are parts of his body.

31For this cause will a man go away from his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

32This is a great secret: but my words are about Christ and the church.

33But do you, everyone, have love for his wife, even as for himself; and let the wife see that she has respect for her husband.

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