December 14

Isaiah 49

1Give ear, O sea-lands, to me; and take note, you peoples from far: I have been marked out by the Lord from the first; when I was still in my mother’s body, he had my name in mind:

2And he has made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shade of his hand he has kept me; and he has made me like a polished arrow, keeping me in his secret place;

3And he said to me, You are my servant, Israel, in whom my glory will be seen;

4And I said, I have undergone weariness for nothing, I have given my strength for no purpose or profit: but still the Lord will take up my cause, and my God will give me my reward.

5And now, says the Lord, who made me his servant when I was still in my mother’s body, so that I might make Jacob come back to him, and so that Israel might come together to him: and I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord, and my God became my strength.

6It is not enough for one who is my servant to put the tribes of Jacob again in their place, and to get back those of Israel who have been sent away: my purpose is to give you as a light to the nations, so that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth.

7The Lord who takes up Israel’s cause, even his Holy One, says to him whom men make sport of, who is hated by the nations, a servant of rulers: Kings will see and get up from their places, and chiefs will give worship: because of the Lord who keeps faith; even the Holy One of Israel who has taken you for himself.

8This is the word of the Lord: I have given ear to you at a good time, and I have been your helper in a day of salvation: and I will keep you safe, and will make you a glory for the people, putting the land in order, and giving them the heritages which now are waste;

9Saying to those who are in chains, Go free; to those who are in the dark, Come out into the light. They will get food by the way wherever they go, and have grass-lands on all the dry mountain-tops.

10They will not be in need of food or drink, or be troubled by the heat or the sun: for he who has mercy on them will be their guide, taking them by the springs of water.

11And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways will be lifted up.

12See, these are coming from far; and these from the north and the west; and these from the land of Sinim.

13Let your voice be loud in song, O heavens; and be glad, O earth; make sounds of joy, O mountains, for the Lord has given comfort to his people, and will have mercy on his crushed ones.

14But Zion said, The Lord has given me up, I have gone from his memory.

15Will a woman give up the child at her breast, will she be without pity for the fruit of her body? yes, these may, but I will not let you go out of my memory.

16See, your name is marked on my hands; your walls are ever before me.

17Your builders are coming quickly; your haters and those who made you waste will go out of you.

18Let your eyes be lifted up round about, and see: they are all coming together to you. By my life, says the Lord, truly you will put them all on you as an ornament, and be clothed with them like a bride.

19For though the waste places of your land have been given to destruction, now you will not be wide enough for your people, and those who made you waste will be far away.

20The children to whom you gave birth in other lands will say in your ears, The place is not wide enough for me: make room for me to have a resting-place.

21Then you will say in your heart, Who has given me all these children? when my children had been taken from me, and I was no longer able to have others, who took care of these? when I was by myself, where then were these?

22This is the word of the Lord God: See, I will make a sign with my hand to the nations, and put up my flag for the peoples; and they will take up your sons on their beasts, and your daughters on their backs.

23And kings will take care of you, and queens will give you their milk: they will go down on their faces before you, kissing the dust of your feet; and you will be certain that I am the Lord, and that those who put their hope in me will not be shamed.

24Will the goods of war be taken from the strong man, or the prisoners of the cruel one be let go?

25But the Lord says, Even the prisoners of the strong will be taken from him, and the cruel made to let go his goods: for I will take up your cause against your haters, and I will keep your children safe.

26And the flesh of your attackers will be taken by themselves for food; and they will take their blood for drink, as if it was sweet wine: and all men will see that I the Lord am your saviour, even he who takes up your cause, the Strong One of Jacob.

Ezekiel 20

1Now it came about in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, that certain of the responsible men of Israel came to get directions from the Lord and were seated before me.

2Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

3Son of man, say to the responsible men of Israel, This is what the Lord has said: Have you come to get directions from me? By my life, says the Lord, you will get no directions from me.

4Will you be their judge, O son of man, will you be their judge? make clear to them the disgusting ways of their fathers,

5And say to them, This is what the Lord has said: In the day when I took Israel for myself, when I made an oath to the seed of the family of Jacob, and I gave them knowledge of myself in the land of Egypt, saying to them with an oath, I am the Lord your God;

6In that day I gave my oath to take them out of the land of Egypt into a land which I had been searching out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the glory of all lands:

7And I said to them, Let every man among you put away the disgusting things to which his eyes are turned, and do not make yourselves unclean with the images of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.

8But they would not be controlled by me, and did not give ear to me; they did not put away the disgusting things to which their eyes were turned, or give up the images of Egypt: then I said I would let loose my passion on them to give full effect to my wrath against them in the land of Egypt.

9And I was acting for the honour of my name, so that it might not be made unclean before the eyes of the nations among whom they were, and before whose eyes I gave them knowledge of myself, by taking them out of the land of Egypt.

10So I made them go out of the land of Egypt and took them into the waste land.

11And I gave them my rules and made clear to them my orders, which, if a man keeps them, will be life to him.

12And further, I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, so that it might be clear that I, who make them holy, am the Lord.

13But the children of Israel would not be controlled by me in the waste land: they were not guided by my rules, and they were turned away from my orders, which, if a man does them, will be life to him; and they had no respect for my Sabbaths: then I said that I would let loose my passion on them in the waste land, and put an end to them.

14And I was acting for the honour of my name, so that it might not be made unclean in the eyes of the nations, before whose eyes I had taken them out.

15And further, I gave my oath to them in the waste land, that I would not take them into the land which I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the glory of all lands;

16Because they were turned away from my orders, and were not guided by my rules, and had no respect for my Sabbaths: for their hearts went after their images.

17But still my eye had pity on them and I kept them from destruction and did not put an end to them completely in the waste land.

18And I said to their children in the waste land, Do not be guided by the rules of your fathers or keep their orders or make yourselves unclean with their images:

19I am the Lord your God; be guided by my rules and keep my orders and do them:

20And keep my Sabbaths holy; and they will be a sign between me and you so that it may be clear to you that I am the Lord your God.

21But the children would not be controlled by me; they were not guided by my rules, and they did not keep and do my orders, which, if a man does them, will be life to him; and they had no respect for my Sabbaths: then I said I would let loose my passion on them to give full effect to my wrath against them in the waste land.

22And I was acting for the honour of my name, so that it might not be made unclean in the eyes of the nations, before whose eyes I had taken them out.

23Further, I gave my oath to them in the waste land that I would send them wandering among the nations, driving them out among the countries;

24Because they had not done my orders, but had been turned away from my rules, and had not given respect to my Sabbaths, and their eyes were turned to the images of their fathers.

25And further, I gave them rules which were not good and orders in which there was no life for them;

26I made them unclean in the offerings they gave, causing them to make every first child go through the fire, so that I might put an end to them.

27For this cause, son of man, say to the children of Israel, This is what the Lord has said: In this your fathers have further put shame on my name by doing wrong against me.

28For when I had taken them into the land which I made an oath to give to them, then they saw every high hill and every branching tree and made their offerings there, moving me to wrath by their offerings; and there the sweet smell of their offerings went up and their drink offerings were drained out.

29Then I said to them, What is this high place where you go to no purpose? And it is named Bamah to this day.

30For this cause say to the children of Israel, This is what the Lord has said: Are you making yourselves unclean as your fathers did? are you being untrue to me by going after their disgusting works?

31And when you give your offerings, causing your sons to go through the fire, you make yourselves unclean with all your images to this day; and will you come to me for directions, O children of Israel? By my life, says the Lord, you will get no direction from me.

32And that which comes into your minds will never take place; when you say, We will be like the nations, like the families of the countries, servants of wood and stone;

33By my life, says the Lord, truly, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with burning wrath let loose, I will be King over you:

34And I will take you out from the peoples and get you together out of the countries where you are wandering, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with burning wrath let loose:

35And I will take you into the waste land of the peoples, and there I will take up the cause with you face to face.

36As I took up the cause with your fathers in the waste land of the land of Egypt, so will I take up the cause with you says the Lord.

37And I will make you go under the rod and will make you small in number:

38Clearing out from among you all those who are uncontrolled and who are sinning against me; I will take them out of the land where they are living, but they will not come into the land of Israel: and you will be certain that I am the Lord.

39As for you, O children of Israel, the Lord has said: Let every man completely put away his images and give ear to me: and let my holy name no longer be shamed by your offerings and your images.

40For in my holy mountain, in the high mountain of Israel, says the Lord, there all the children of Israel, all of them, will be my servants in the land; there I will take pleasure in them, and there I will be worshipped with your offerings and the first-fruits of the things you give, and with all your holy things.

41I will take pleasure in you as in a sweet smell, when I take you out from the peoples and get you together from the countries where you have been sent in flight; and I will make myself holy in you before the eyes of the nations.

42And you will be certain that I am the Lord, when I take you into the land of Israel, into the country which I made an oath to give to your fathers.

43And there, at the memory of your ways and of all the things you did to make yourselves unclean, you will have bitter hate for yourselves because of all the evil things you have done.

44And you will be certain that I am the Lord, when I take you in hand for the honour of my name, and not for your evil ways or your unclean doings, O children of Israel, says the Lord.

45Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

46Son of man, let your face be turned to the south, let your words be dropped to the south, and be a prophet against the woodland of the South;

47And say to the woodland of the South, Give ear to the words of the Lord: this is what the Lord has said: See, I will have a fire lighted in you, for the destruction of every green tree in you and every dry tree: the flaming flame will not be put out, and all faces from the south to the north will be burned by it.

48And all flesh will see that I the Lord have had it lighted: it will not be put out.

49Then I said, Ah, Lord! they say of me, Is he not a maker of stories?

Philippians 2:1-11

1If then there is any comfort in Christ, any help given by love, any uniting of hearts in the Spirit, any loving mercies and pity,

2Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in harmony and of one mind;

3Doing nothing through envy or through pride, but with low thoughts of self let everyone take others to be better than himself;

4Not looking everyone to his private good, but keeping in mind the things of others.

5Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus,

6To whom, though himself in the form of God, it did not seem that to take for oneself was to be like God;

7But he made himself as nothing, taking the form of a servant, being made like men;

8And being seen in form as a man, he took the lowest place, and let himself be put to death, even the death of the cross.

9For this reason God has put him in the highest place and has given to him the name which is greater than every name;

10So that at the name of Jesus every knee may be bent, of those in heaven and those on earth and those in the underworld,

11And that every tongue may give witness that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. Pingback: As They Were Coming Down The Mountain 121411 « Mennonite Preacher
  2. Pingback: Be Grateful For What You Have | ricklee's poetry plus

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