December 13

Isaiah 48

1Give ear to this, O family of Jacob, you who are named by the name of Israel, and have come out of the body of Judah; who take oaths by the name of the Lord, and make use of the name of the God of Israel, but not truly and not in good faith.

2For they say that they are of the holy town, and put their faith in the God of Israel: the Lord of armies is his name.

3I gave word in the past of the things which came about; they came from my mouth, and I made them clear: suddenly I did them, and they came about.

4Because I saw that your heart was hard, and that your neck was an iron cord, and your brow brass;

5For this reason I made it clear to you in the past, before it came I gave you word of it: for fear that you might say, My god did these things, and my pictured and metal images made them come about.

6All this has come to your ears and you have seen it; will you not give witness to it? I am now making clear new things, even secret things, of which you had no knowledge.

7They have only now been effected, and not in the past: and before this day they had not come to your ears; for fear that you might say, I had knowledge of them.

8Truly you had no word of them, no knowledge of them; no news of them in the past had come to your ears; because I saw how false was your behaviour, and that your heart was turned against me from your earliest days.

9Because of my name I will put away my wrath, and for my praise I will keep myself from cutting you off.

10See, I have been testing you for myself like silver; I have put you through the fire of trouble.

11For myself, even because of my name, I will do it; for I will not let my name be shamed; and my glory I will not give to another.

12Give ear to me, Jacob, and Israel, my loved one; I am he, I am the first and I am the last.

13Yes, by my hand was the earth placed on its base, and by my right hand the heavens were stretched out; at my word they take up their places.

14Come together, all of you, and give ear; who among you has given news of these things? the Lord’s loved one will do his pleasure with Babylon, and with the seed of the Chaldaeans.

15I, even I, have given the word; I have sent for him: I have made him come, and have given effect to his undertakings.

16Come near to me, and give ear to this; from the start I did not keep it secret; from the time of its coming into existence I was there: and now the Lord God has sent me, and given me his spirit.

17The Lord who takes up your cause, the Holy One of Israel, says, I am the Lord your God, who is teaching you for your profit, guiding you by the way in which you are to go.

18If only you had given ear to my orders, then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea:

19Your seed would have been like the sand, and your offspring like the dust: your name would not be cut off or come to an end before me.

20Go out of Babylon, go in flight from the Chaldaeans; with the sound of song make it clear, give the news, let the word go out even to the end of the earth: say, The Lord has taken up the cause of his servant Jacob.

21They had no need of water when he was guiding them through the waste lands: he made water come out of the rock for them: the rock was parted and the waters came flowing out.

22There is no peace, says the Lord, for the evil-doers.

Ezekiel 19

1Take up now a song of grief for the ruler of Israel, and say,

2What was your mother? Like a she-lion among lions, stretched out among the young lions she gave food to her little ones.

3And one of her little ones came to growth under her care, and became a young lion, learning to go after beasts for his food; and he took men for his meat.

4And the nations had news of him; he was taken in the hole they had made: and, pulling him with hooks, they took him into the land of Egypt.

5Now when she saw that her hope was made foolish and gone, she took another of her little ones and made him into a young lion.

6And he went up and down among the lions and became a young lion, learning to go after beasts for his food; and he took men for his meat.

7And he sent destruction on their widows and made waste their towns; and the land and everything in it became waste because of the loud sound of his voice.

8Then the nations came against him from the kingdoms round about: their net was stretched over him and he was taken in the hole they had made.

9They made him a prisoner with hooks, and took him to the king of Babylon; they put him in the strong place so that his voice might be sounding no longer on the mountains of Israel.

10Your mother was in comparison like a vine, planted by the waters: she was fertile and full of branches because of the great waters.

11And she had a strong rod for a rod of authority for the rulers, and it became tall among the clouds and it was seen lifted up among the number of its branches.

12But she was uprooted in burning wrath, and made low on the earth; the east wind came, drying her up, and her branches were broken off; her strong rod became dry, the fire made a meal of it.

13And now she is planted in the waste land, in a dry and unwatered country.

14And fire has gone out from her rod, causing the destruction of her branches, so that there is no strong rod in her to be the ruler’s rod of authority. This is a song of grief, and it was for a song of grief.

Philippians 1:12-30

12Now it is my purpose to make clear to you, brothers, that the cause of the good news has been helped by my experiences;

13So that it became clear through all the Praetorium, and to all the rest, that I was a prisoner on account of Christ;

14And most of the brothers in the Lord, taking heart because of my chains, are all the stronger to give the word of God without fear.

15Though some are preaching Christ out of envy and competition, others do it out of a good heart:

16These do it from love, conscious that I am responsible for the cause of the good news:

17But those are preaching Christ in a spirit of competition, not from their hearts, but with the purpose of giving me pain in my prison.

18What then? only that in every way, falsely or truly, the preaching of Christ goes on; and in this I am glad, and will be glad.

19For I am conscious that this will be for my salvation, through your prayer and the giving out of the stored wealth of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

20In the measure of my strong hope and belief that in nothing will I be put to shame, but that without fear, as at all times, so now will Christ have glory in my body, by life or by death.

21For to me life is Christ and death is profit.

22But if I go on living in the flesh–if this is the fruit of my work–then I do not see what decision to make.

23I am in a hard position between the two, having a desire to go away and be with Christ, which is very much better:

24Still, to go on in the flesh is more necessary because of you.

25And being certain of this, I am conscious that I will go on, yes, and go on with you all, for your growth and joy in the faith;

26So that your pride in me may be increased in Christ Jesus through my being present with you again.

27Only let your behaviour do credit to the good news of Christ, so that if I come and see you or if I am away from you, I may have news of you that you are strong in one spirit, working together with one soul for the faith of the good news;

28Having no fear of those who are against you; which is a clear sign of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God;

29Because to you it has been given in the cause of Christ not only to have faith in him, but to undergo pain on his account:

30Fighting the same fight which you saw in me, and now have word of in me.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: As They Were Coming Down The Mountain 121411 « Mennonite Preacher

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