Oh, my Strength, I watch for you, for God is my high tower. Psalm 59:9

Isaiah 19-21

Isaiah 19

An Oracle Against Egypt

1 An Oracle against Egypt:
“Behold, God rides on a swift cloud, and comes to Egypt. The idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence; and the heart of Egypt will melt within it. 2 I will stir up the Egyptians against the Egyptians, and they will fight everyone against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. 3 The spirit of Egypt will fail within it. I will destroy its counsel. They will seek the idols, the charmers, those who have familiar spirits, and the wizards. 4 I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel lord. A fierce king will rule over them,” says the Lord, God of Armies.

5 The waters will fail from the sea, and the river will be wasted and become dry. 6 The rivers will become foul. The streams of Egypt will be diminished and dried up. The reeds and flags will wither away. 7 The meadows by the Nile, by the brink of the Nile, and all the sown fields of the Nile, will become dry, be driven away, and be no more. 8 The fishermen will lament, and all those who fish in the Nile will mourn, and those who spread nets on the waters will languish. 9 Moreover those who work in combed flax, and those who weave white cloth, will be confounded. 10 The pillars will be broken in pieces. All those who work for hire will be grieved in soul.

11 The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish. The counsel of the wisest counselors of Pharaoh has become stupid. How do you say to Pharaoh, “I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?” 12 Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you now; and let them know what God of Armies has purposed concerning Egypt. 13 The princes of Zoan have become fools. The princes of Memphis are deceived. They have caused Egypt to go astray, who are the cornerstone of her tribes. 14 God has mixed a spirit of perverseness in the middle of her; and they have caused Egypt to go astray in all of its works, like a drunken man staggers in his vomit. 15 Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, which head or tail, palm branch or rush, may do.

Blessing to Egypt, Assyria, Israel

16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women. They will tremble and fear because of the shaking of God of Armies’s hand, which he shakes over them. 17 The land of Judah will become a terror to Egypt. Everyone to whom mention is made of it will be afraid, because of the plans of God of Armies, which he determines against it. 18 In that day, there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan, and swear to God of Armies. One will be called “The city of destruction.”

19 In that day, there will be an altar to God in the middle of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to God at its border. 20 It will be for a sign and for a witness to God of Armies in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to God because of oppressors, and he will send them a savior and a defender, and he will deliver them. 21 God will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know God in that day. Yes, they will worship with sacrifice and offering, and will vow a vow to God, and will perform it. 22 God will strike Egypt, striking and healing. They will return to God, and he will be entreated by them, and will heal them.

23 In that day there will be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria; and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

24 In that day, Israel will be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing within the earth; 25 because God of Armies has blessed them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”

Isaiah 20

A Sign against Egypt and Ethiopia

1In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it; 2 at that time God spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loosen the sackcloth from off your waist, and take your sandals from off your feet.” He did so, walking naked and barefoot. 3 God said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder concerning Egypt and concerning Ethiopia, 4 so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Ethiopia, young and old, naked and barefoot, and with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. 5 They will be dismayed and confounded, because of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory. 6 The inhabitants of this coast land will say in that day, ‘Behold, this is our expectation, where we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria. And we, how will we escape?’ ”

Isaiah 21

Babylon is Fallen

1 The burden of the wilderness of the sea.
As whirlwinds in the South sweep through, it comes from the wilderness, from an awesome land. 2 A grievous vision is declared to me. The treacherous man deals treacherously, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, Elam; attack! I have stopped all of Media’s sighing. 3 Therefore my thighs are filled with anguish. Pains have seized me, like the pains of a woman in labor. I am in so much pain that I can’t hear. I so am dismayed that I can’t see. 4 My heart flutters. Horror has frightened me. The twilight that I desired has been turned into trembling for me. 5 They prepare the table. They set the watch. They eat. They drink. Rise up, you princes, oil the shield! 6 For the Lord said to me, “Go, set a watchman. Let him declare what he sees. 7 When he sees a troop, horsemen in pairs, a troop of donkeys, a troop of camels, he shall listen diligently with great attentiveness.” 8 He cried like a lion: “Lord, I stand continually on the watchtower in the daytime, and every night I stay at my post. 9 Behold, here comes a troop of men, horsemen in pairs.” He answered, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the engraved images of her gods are broken to the ground.

10 You are my threshing, and the grain of my floor!” That which I have heard from God of Armies, the God of Israel, I have declared to you.

A Prophecy against Edom

11 The burden of Dumah.
One calls to me out of Seir, “Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?” 12 The watchman said, “The morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire. Come back again.”

A Prophecy against Arabia

13 The burden on Arabia.
In the forest in Arabia you will lodge, you caravans of Dedanites. 14 They brought water to him who was thirsty. The inhabitants of the land of Tema met the fugitives with their bread. 15 For they fled away from the swords, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow, and from the heat of battle. 16 For the Lord said to me, “Within a year, as a worker bound by contract would count it, all the glory of Kedar will fail, 17 and the residue of the number of the archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, will be few; for God, the God of Israel, has spoken it.”

Galatians 2:1-10

The Council at Jerusalem

1 Then after a period of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me. 2 I went up by revelation, and I laid before them the Good News which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately before those who were respected, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain. 3 But not even Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 This was because of the false brothers secretly brought in, who stole in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage, 5 to whom we gave no place in the way of subjection, not for an hour, that the truth of the Good News might continue with you. 6 But from those who were reputed to be important—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God doesn’t show partiality to man—they, I say, who were respected imparted nothing to me, 7 but to the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the Good News for the uncircumcised, even as Peter with the Good News for the circumcised— 8 for he who worked through Peter in the apostleship with the circumcised also worked through me with the Gentiles— 9 and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, those who were reputed to be pillars, gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision. 10 They only asked us to remember the poor—which very thing I was also zealous to do.

Psalm 59

Deliver Me From My Enemies, My God

For the Chief Musician. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” A poem by David, when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.

1 Deliver me from my enemies, my God.
Set me on high from those who rise up against me.
2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity.
Save me from the bloodthirsty men.
3 For they lie in wait for me.
The mighty gather themselves together against me,
not for my disobedience, nor for my sin, God.
4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.
Rise up, behold, and help me!
5 You, Lord God of Armies, the God of Israel,
rouse yourself to punish the nations.
Show no mercy to the wicked traitors.
Selah.
6 They return at evening, howling like dogs,
and prowl around the city.
7 They spew with their mouth.
Swords are in their lips,
“For”, they say, “who hears us?”
8 But you, God, laugh at them.
You scoff at all the nations.
9 Oh, my Strength, I watch for you,
for God is my high tower.
10 My God will go before me with his loving kindness.
God will let me look at my enemies in triumph.
11 Don’t kill them, or my people may forget.
Scatter them by your power, and bring them down, Lord our shield.
12 For the sin of their mouth, and the words of their lips,
let them be caught in their pride,
for the curses and lies which they utter.
13 Consume them in wrath.
Consume them, and they will be no more.
Let them know that God rules in Jacob,
to the ends of the earth.
Selah.
14 At evening let them return.
Let them howl like a dog, and go around the city.
15 They shall wander up and down for food,
and wait all night if they aren’t satisfied.

16 But I will sing of your strength.
Yes, I will sing aloud of your loving kindness in the morning.
For you have been my high tower,
a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 To you, my strength, I will sing praises.
For God is my high tower, the God of my mercy.

Proverbs 23:13-14

13 Do not withhold correction from a child.
If you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
14 Punish him with the rod,
and save his soul from the grave.

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