December 12

Isaiah 47

1Come and take your seat in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; come down from your seat of power, and take your place on the earth, O daughter of the Chaldaeans: for you will never again seem soft and delicate.

2Take the crushing-stones and get the meal crushed: take off your veil, put away your robe, let your legs be uncovered, go through the rivers.

3The shame of your unclothed condition will be seen by all: I will give punishment without mercy,

4Says the Lord who takes up our cause; the Lord of armies is his name, the Holy One of Israel.

5Be seated in the dark without a word, O daughter of the Chaldaeans: for you will no longer be named, The Queen of Kingdoms.

6I was angry with my people, I put shame on my heritage, and gave them into your hands: you had no mercy on them; you put a cruel yoke on those who were old;

7And you said, I will be a queen for ever: you did not give attention to these things, and did not keep in mind what would come after.

8So now take note of this, you who are given up to pleasure, living without fear of evil, saying in your heart, I am, and there is no one like me; I will never be a widow, or have my children taken from me.

9But these two things will come on you suddenly in one day, the loss of children and of husband: in full measure they will come on you, for all your secret arts, and all your wonders.

10For you had faith in your evil-doing; you said, No one sees me; by your wisdom and knowledge you have been turned out of the way: and you have said in your heart, I am, and there is no other.

11Because of this evil will come on you, which may not be turned away for any price: and trouble will overtake you, from which no money will give salvation: destruction will come on you suddenly, without your knowledge.

12Go on now with your secret arts, and all your wonder-working, to which you have given yourself up from your earliest days; it may be that they will be of profit to you, or by them you may put fear into your attackers.

13But your mind is troubled by the number of your guides: let them now come forward for your salvation: the measurers of the heavens, the watchers of the stars, and those who are able to say from month to month what things are coming on you.

14Truly, they have become like dry stems, they have been burned in the fire; they are not able to keep themselves safe from the power of the flame: it is not a coal for warming them, or a fire by which a man may be seated.

15Small profit have you had from those who, from your earliest days, got great profit out of you; they have gone in flight, every one straight before him, and you have no saviour.

Ezekiel 18

1The word of the Lord came to me again, saying,

2Why do you make use of this saying about the land of Israel, The fathers have been tasting bitter grapes and the children’s teeth are on edge?

3By my life, says the Lord, you will no longer have this saying in Israel.

4See, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so the soul of the son is mine: death will be the fate of the sinner’s soul.

5But if a man is upright, living rightly and doing righteousness,

6And has not taken flesh with the blood for food, or given worship to the images of the children of Israel; if he has not had connection with his neighbour’s wife, or come near to a woman at the time when she is unclean;

7And has done no wrong to any, but has given back to the debtor what is his, and has taken no one’s goods by force, and has given food to him who was in need of it, and clothing to him who was without it;

8And has not given his money out at interest or taken great profits, and, turning his hand from evil-doing, has kept faith between man and man,

9And has been guided by my rules and has kept my laws and done them: he is upright, life will certainly be his, says the Lord.

10If he has a son who is a thief, a taker of life, who does any of these things,

11Who has taken flesh with the blood as food, and has had connection with his neighbour’s wife,

12Has done wrong to the poor and to him who is in need, and taken property by force, and has not given back to one in his debt what is his, and has given worship to images and has done disgusting things,

13And has given out his money at interest and taken great profits: he will certainly not go on living: he has done all these disgusting things: death will certainly be his fate; his blood will be on him.

14Now if he has a son who sees all his father’s sins which he has done, and in fear does not do the same:

15Who has not taken the flesh with the blood for food, or given worship to the images of the children of Israel, and has not had connection with his neighbour’s wife,

16Or done wrong to any, or taken anything from one in his debt, or taken goods by force, but has given food to him who was in need of it, and clothing to him who was without it;

17Who has kept his hand from evil-doing and has not taken interest or great profits, who has done my orders and been guided by my rules: he will certainly not be put to death for the evil-doing of his father; life will certainly be his.

18As for his father, because he was cruel, took goods by force, and did what is not good among his people, truly, death will overtake him in his evil-doing.

19But you say, Why does not the son undergo punishment for the evil-doing of the father? When the son has done what is ordered and right, and has kept my rules and done them, life will certainly be his.

20The soul which does sin will be put to death: the son will not be made responsible for the evil-doing of the father, or the father for the evil-doing of the son; the righteousness of the upright will be on himself, and the evil-doing of the evil-doer on himself.

21But if the evil-doer, turning away from all the sins which he has done, keeps my rules and does what is ordered and right, life will certainly be his; death will not be his fate.

22Not one of the sins which he has done will be kept in memory against him: in the righteousness which he has done he will have life.

23Have I any pleasure in the death of the evil-doer? says the Lord: am I not pleased if he is turned from his way so that he may have life?

24But when the upright man, turning away from his righteousness, does evil, like all the disgusting things which the evil man does, will he have life? Not one of his upright acts will be kept in memory: in the wrong which he has done and in his sin death will overtake him.

25But you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Give ear, now, O children of Israel; is my way not equal? are not your ways unequal?

26When the upright man, turning away from his righteousness, does evil, death will overtake him; in the evil which he has done death will overtake him.

27Again, when the evil-doer, turning away from the evil he has done, does what is ordered and right, he will have life for his soul.

28Because he had fear and was turned away from all the wrong which he had done, life will certainly be his, death will not be his fate.

29But still the children of Israel say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O children of Israel, are my ways not equal? are not your ways unequal?

30For this cause I will be your judge, O children of Israel, judging every man by his ways, says the Lord. Come back and be turned from all your sins; so that they may not be the cause of your falling into evil.

31Put away all your evil-doing in which you have done sin; and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit: why are you desiring death, O children of Israel?

32For I have no pleasure in the death of him on whom death comes, says the Lord: be turned back then, and have life.

Philippians 1:1-11

1Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, with the Bishops and Deacons of the church:

2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3I give praise to my God at every memory of you,

4And in all my prayers for you all, making my request with joy,

5Because of your help in giving the good news from the first day till now;

6For I am certain of this very thing, that he by whom the good work was started in you will make it complete till the day of Jesus Christ:

7So it is right for me to take thought for you all in this way, because I have you in my heart; for in my chains, and in my arguments before the judges in support of the good news, making clear that it is true, you all have your part with me in grace.

8For God is my witness, how my love goes out to you all in the loving mercies of Christ Jesus.

9And my prayer is that you may be increased more and more in knowledge and experience;

10So that you may give your approval to the best things; that you may be true and without wrongdoing till the day of Christ;

11Being full of the fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Advertisements

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