December 11

Isaiah 46

1Bel is bent down, Nebo is falling; their images are on the beasts and on the cattle: the things which you took about have become a weight to the tired beast.

2They are bent down, they are falling together: they were not able to keep their images safe, but they themselves have been taken prisoner.

3Give ear to me, O family of Jacob, and all the rest of the people of Israel, who have been supported by me from their birth, and have been my care from their earliest days:

4Even when you are old I will be the same, and when you are grey-haired I will take care of you: I will still be responsible for what I made; yes, I will take you and keep you safe.

5Who in your eyes is my equal? or what comparison will you make with me?

6As for those who take gold out of a bag, and put silver in the scales, they give payment to a gold-worker, to make it into a god; they go down on their faces and give it worship.

7They put him on their backs, and take him up, and put him in his fixed place, from which he may not be moved; if a man gives a cry for help to him, he is unable to give an answer, or get him out of his trouble.

8Keep this in mind and be shamed; let it come back to your memory, you sinners.

9Let the things which are past come to your memory: for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me;

10Making clear from the first what is to come, and from past times the things which have not so far come about; saying, My purpose is fixed, and I will do all my pleasure;

11Sending for a bird of strong flight from the east, the man of my purpose from a far country; I have said it, and I will give effect to it; the thing designed by me will certainly be done.

12Give ear to me, you feeble-hearted, who have no faith in my righteousness:

13My righteousness is near, it is not far off; salvation will come quickly; and I will make Zion free, and give Israel my glory.

Ezekiel 17

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

2Son of man, give out a dark saying, and make a comparison for the children of Israel,

3And say, This is what the Lord has said: A great eagle with great wings, full of long feathers of different colours, came to Lebanon, and took the top of the cedar:

4Biting off the highest of its young branches, he took it to the land of Canaan, and put it in a town of traders.

5And he took some of the seed of the land, planting it in fertile earth, placing it by great waters; he put it in like a willow-tree.

6And its growth went on and it became a vine, low and widely stretching, whose branches were turned to him and its roots were under him: so it became a vine, putting out branches and young leaves.

7And there was another eagle with great wings and thick feathers: and now this vine, pushing out its roots to him, sent out its branches in his direction from the bed where it was planted, so that he might give it water.

8He had it planted in a good field by great waters so that it might put out branches and have fruit and be a strong vine.

9Say, This is what the Lord has said: Will it do well? will he not have its roots pulled up and its branches cut off, so that all its young leaves may become dry and it may be pulled up by its roots?

10And if it is planted will it do well? will it not become quite dry at the touch of the east wind, drying up in the bed where it was planted?

11Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

12Say now to this uncontrolled people, Are these things not clear to you? Say to them, See, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and took its king and its rulers away with him to Babylon;

13And he took one of the sons of the king and made an agreement with him; and he put him under an oath, and took away the great men of the land:

14So that the kingdom might be made low with no power of lifting itself up, but might keep his agreement to be his servants.

15But he went against his authority in sending representatives to Egypt to get from them horses and a great army. Will he do well? will he be safe who does such things? if the agreement is broken will he be safe?

16By my life, says the Lord, truly in the place of the king who made him king, whose oath he put on one side and let his agreement with him be broken, even in Babylon he will come to his death.

17And Pharaoh with his strong army and great forces will be no help to him in the war, when they put up earthworks and make strong walls for the cutting off of lives:

18For he put his oath on one side in letting the agreement be broken; and though he had given his hand to it, he did all these things; he will not get away safe.

19And so the Lord has said, By my life, truly, for my oath which he put on one side, and my agreement which has been broken, I will send punishment on his head.

20My net will be stretched out over him, and he will be taken in my cords, and I will send him to Babylon, and there I will be his judge for the wrong which he has done against me.

21All his best fighting-men will be put to the sword, and the rest will be sent away to every wind: and you will be certain that I the Lord have said it.

22This is what the Lord has said: Further, I will take the highest top of the cedar and put it in the earth; cutting off from the highest of his young branches a soft one, I will have it planted on a high and great mountain;

23It will be planted on the high mountain of Israel: it will put out branches and have fruit and be a fair cedar: under it all birds of every sort will make their living-place, resting in the shade of its branches.

24And it will be clear to all the trees of the field that I the Lord have made low the high tree and made high the low tree, drying up the green tree and making the dry tree full of growth; I the Lord have said it and have done it.

Ephesians 6

1Children, do what is ordered by your fathers and mothers in the Lord: for this is right.

2Give honour to your father and mother (which is the first rule having a reward),

3So that all may be well for you, and your life may be long on the earth.

4And, you fathers, do not make your children angry: but give them training in the teaching and fear of the Lord.

5Servants, do what is ordered by those who are your natural masters, having respect and fear for them, with all your heart, as to Christ;

6Not only under your master’s eye, as pleasers of men; but as servants of Christ, doing the pleasure of God from the heart;

7Doing your work readily, as to the Lord, and not to men:

8In the knowledge that for every good thing anyone does, he will have his reward from the Lord, If he is a servant or if he is free.

9And, you masters, do the same things to them, not making use of violent words: in the knowledge that their Master and yours is in heaven, and he has no respect for a man’s position.

10Lastly, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his power.

11Take up God’s instruments of war, so that you may be able to keep your position against all the deceits of the Evil One.

12For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against authorities and powers, against the world-rulers of this dark night, against the spirits of evil in the heavens.

13For this reason take up all the arms of God, so that you may be able to be strong in the evil day, and, having done all, to keep your place.

14Take your place, then, having your body clothed with the true word, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness;

15Be ready with the good news of peace as shoes on your feet;

16And most of all, using faith as a cover to keep off all the flaming arrows of the Evil One.

17And take salvation for your head-dress and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18With prayers and deep desires, making requests at all times in the Spirit, and keeping watch, with strong purpose, in prayer for all the saints,

19And for me, that words may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make clear without fear the secret of the good news,

20For which I am a representative in chains, and that I may say without fear the things which it is right for me to say.

21But so that you may have knowledge of my business, and how I am, Tychicus, the well-loved brother and tested servant in the Lord, will give you news of all things:

22Whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, so that you may have knowledge of our position, and that he may give comfort to your hearts.

23Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

24Grace be with all those who have true love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

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