God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God. Psalm 62:11
Judgment on Ephraim
1 Woe to the proud crown of Ephraim’s drunkards
and to the fading flower of his glorious splendor,
which is on the summit of the fertile valley,
the pride of those who are overcome with wine!
2 Look, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong.
Like a hail storm, a destroying storm,
and like a storm of mighty waters overflowing,
he will cast them down to the earth with his hand.
3 The majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards
will be trodden under foot.
4 The fading flower of his glorious beauty,
which is at the summit of the fertile valley,
shall be like the first-ripe fig before the summer.
Whoever sees it will quickly take it in hand and swallow it.
5 On that day, the Lord of Hosts will become a crown of glory,
and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of his people,
6 a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
7 They also reel with wine
and stagger with strong drink.
The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink.
They are swallowed up by wine.
They stagger with strong drink.
They err in vision. They stumble in judgment.
8 For all their tables are completely full of vomit and filth.
9 To whom will he teach knowledge?
To whom will he explain the message?
To infants who have just been weaned from milk,
babies drawn from the breasts?
10 For it is precept on precept, precept on precept;
line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little.
11 With stammering lips and foreign tongue,
he will speak to this nation 12 to whom he said,
“This is the resting place. Let the weary rest,”
and “This is the place of repose.”
Yet they would not listen.
13 Therefore the Word of the Lord will become to them
precept on precept, precept on precept;
line on line, line on line;
here a little, there a little, that they may go,
falling backward, broken, snared, and captured.
A Cornerstone in Zion
14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers,
who rule this people in Jerusalem:
15 Because you have said,
“We have made a covenant with death,
and we are in agreement with Sheol.
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
it will not come to us,
for we have made lies our refuge,
and we have hidden ourselves under falsehood.”
16 Therefore the Lord God says,
“I have laid in Zion, a stone, as a foundation,
a tried stone, a precious cornerstone of a sure foundation.
He who believes will not give way to panic.
17 I will make justice the measuring line,
and righteousness the plumb line.
The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death shall be annulled,
and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand.
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
then you will be trampled down by it.
19 As often as it passes through,
it will seize you,
for morning by morning it will pass through,
by day and by night, and it will be nothing but terror
to understand the message.”
20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
and the blanket is too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21 For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim.
He will be angry as in the valley of Gibeon,
that he may do his work, his unusual work,
and bring to pass his act, his extraordinary act.
22 Now therefore do not be scoffers,
lest your bonds be made strong,
for I have heard a decree of destruction
from the Lord, God of Hosts, on the whole earth.
Give Ear to His Voice
23 Give ear, and hear my voice!
Listen, and hear my speech!
24 Does he who plows plow continually to plant seed?
Does he keep turning the soil and breaking the clods?
25 When he has leveled its surface, does he not plant the dill
and scatter the cumin seed and put in the wheat in rows,
the barley in the appointed place and the spelt in its place?
26 For his God instructs him in right judgment
and teaches him.
27 For the dill are not threshed with a sharp instrument,
nor is a cart wheel turned over the cumin,
but the dill is beaten out with a stick and the cumin with a rod.
28 Bread flour must be ground,
so he will not always be threshing it.
Although he drives the wheel of his threshing cart over it,
his horses do not grind it.
29 This also comes out from the Lord of Hosts,
who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.
Woe to the City of David
1 Woe to Ariel!
Ariel, the city where David encamped!
Add another year to your recurring feasts,
2 then I will afflict Ariel with suffering,
and there will be mourning and lamentation.
She shall be to me as an altar hearth.
3 I will encamp against you, surrounding you
and laying siege against you with posted troops.
I will raise siege works against you.
4 You will be brought down,
and will speak from the ground.
Your speech will be a mumble from the dust.
Your voice will be like a ghost out of the ground,
and your speech will whisper from the dust.
5 But the multitude of your foes will be like fine dust,
and the multitude of the ruthless ones like chaff that blows away.
Yes, it will be in an instant, suddenly.
6 You will be visited by the Lord of Hosts
with thunder, with earthquake, with great noise,
with whirlwind and storm, and with the flame of a devouring fire.
7 The multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
all who fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her
will be like a dream, a vision in the night.
8 It will be like when a hungry man dreams, he eats;
but he awakes, and his hunger is not satisfied;
or like when a thirsty man dreams, he drinks;
but he awakes, and he is faint, and he is still thirsty.
The multitude of all the nations
that fight against Mount Zion will be like that.
9 Pause and wonder!
Blind yourselves and be blind!
They are drunken, but not with wine.
They stagger, but not with strong drink.
10 For the Lord has poured out on you
a spirit of deep sleep
and has closed your eyes, O prophets,
and he has covered your heads, O seers.
11 All vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is educated, saying, “Read this, please,” and he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed,” 12 and the book is delivered to one who is not educated, saying, “Read this, please,” and he says, “I cannot read.”
13 The Lord said,
“These people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but they have removed their heart far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment of men which has been taught.
14 Therefore I will proceed to do amazing things among this people,
wonder upon wonder,
and the wisdom of their wise men will perish,
and the understanding of their prudent men will be hidden.”
15 Woe to those who deeply hide their counsel from the Lord,
and whose deeds are in the dark, and who say,
“Who sees us?” and “Who knows us?”
16 You turn things upside down!
Should the potter be thought to be like clay,
that the thing made should say about him who made it,
“He didn’t make me,”
or the thing formed say of him who formed it,
“He has no understanding?”
Sanctification to the Godly
17 In a very little while
will Lebanon not be turned into a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field will be regarded as a forest?
18 On that day, the deaf will hear the words of the book,
and the eyes of the blind will see from obscurity and from darkness.
19 The humble also will increase their joy in the Lord,
and the poor among men will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the ruthless is brought to nothing,
and the scoffer ceases,
and all those who are watching for the opportunity to do evil are cut off—
21 who, by a word, indict a man,
and lay a snare for the judge at the gate,
and who deprive the innocent of justice with false testimony.
22 Therefore the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says concerning the house of Jacob:
“Jacob shall no longer be ashamed,
nor shall his face grow pale.
23 But when he sees his children,
the work of my hands, in their midst,
they will honor my name.
Yes, they will honor the Holy One of Jacob
and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Those who erred in spirit will understand,
and those who complained will accept instruction.”
The Worthless Treaty with Egypt
1 “Woe to the rebellious children”, says the Lord,
“who take counsel, but not from me,
and who make an alliance, but not with my Spirit,
that they may add sin to sin,
2 who set out to go down into Egypt,
and have not asked my advice,
to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh,
and to take refuge in the shadow of Egypt!
3 Therefore the strength of Pharaoh will be your shame,
and the refuge in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.
4 For their princes are at Zoan,
and their ambassadors have reached to Hanes.
5 They shall all be ashamed
because of a people that cannot profit them,
that are not a help nor profit, but a shame and reproach.”
6 The burden against the animals of the South:
Through the land of trouble and anguish,
of the lioness and the lion,
the viper and fiery flying serpent,
they carry their riches on the shoulders of young donkeys,
and their treasures on the humps of camels,
to an unprofitable people.
7 For Egypt helps in vain and for no purpose,
therefore I have called her Rahab Who Sits Still.
8 Now go, write it before them on a tablet,
and inscribe it in a book,
that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.
9 For it is a rebellious people, a lying generation,
who will not hear the law of the Lord,
10 who tell the seers, “Don’t see!”
and the prophets, “Don’t prophesy to us right things.
Tell us good things. Prophesy deceit.
11 Get out of the way. Turn away from the path.
Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”
12 Therefore the Holy One of Israel says,
“Because you reject this word,
and trust in oppression and perverseness, and rely on it,
13 therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall,
swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly in an instant.
14 He will break it as a potter’s vessel is broken,
breaking it in pieces without sparing it,
so that there will not be found among the broken pieces,
a piece good enough to take fire from the hearth,
or to dip up water out of the cistern.”
15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“You will be saved by repenting and resting.
Your strength will be in quiet confidence,”
but you refused.
16 You said, “No, for we will flee on horses,”
therefore you will flee, and,
“We will ride on the swift,”
therefore those who pursue you will be swift.
17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one.
At the threat of five, you will flee until you are left
like a beacon on the top of a mountain,
and like a banner on a hill.
18 Therefore the Lord will wait,
that he may be gracious to you;
and therefore he will be exalted,
that he may have mercy on you;
for God is a God of justice.
Blessed are all those who wait for him.
19 For the people will dwell in Zion at Jerusalem. You will weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. When he hears you, he will answer you. 20 Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be hidden any more. Your eyes will see your teachers.
21 When you turn to the right, and when you turn to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way. Walk in it.” 22 You shall desecrate your engraved images, overlaid in silver, and your molten images, of plated gold. You shall cast them away like a menstrual cloth. You shall tell it, “Go away!”
23 He will give the rain for your seed, with which you will sow the ground, and bread of the increase of the ground will be rich and plentiful. In that day, your livestock will feed in large pastures. 24 The oxen likewise and the young donkeys that till the ground will eat savory feed, which has been winnowed with the shovel and with the fork.
25 There will be brooks and streams of water on every lofty mountain and on every high hill in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wound they were struck.
27 The name of the Lord comes from far away,
burning with his anger and in thick rising smoke.
His lips are full of indignation. His tongue is like a devouring fire.
28 His breath is like an overflowing stream
that reaches to the neck,
to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction.
A bridle that leads to ruin will be in the jaws of the peoples.
29 You will have a song,
as in the night when a holy feast is kept,
and gladness of heart,
as when one goes with a flute
to come to the mountain of the Lord,
to the Rock of Israel.
30 The Lord will cause his glorious voice to be heard,
and will show the descent of his arm,
with the indignation of his anger,
and the flame of a devouring fire,
with a blast, storm, and hailstones.
31 For through the voice of the Lord the Assyrian will be dismayed.
He will strike him with his rod.
32 Every stroke of the rod of punishment,
which the Lord will lay on him,
will be with the sound of tambourines and harps.
He will fight with them in battles, brandishing weapons.
33 For his burning place has long been ready.
Yes, for the king it is prepared.
He has made its pyre deep and large with fire and much wood.
The breath of the Lord like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.
Sons and Heirs
1 But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the day appointed by the father. 3 So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law, 5 that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children. 6 And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Paul’s Concern for the Galatians
8 However at that time, not knowing God, you Gentiles were enslaved to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, why do you return back to the weak and miserable elemental principles. Do you desire to be in bondage to them all over again? 10 You observe days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am afraid for you, that I might have wasted my labor for you.
12 I beg you, brothers, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong, 13 but you know that because of weakness in the flesh I preached the Gospel to you the first time. 14 That which was a temptation to you in my flesh, you did not despise nor reject, but you received me like an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
15 What was the blessing you enjoyed? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So then, have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They zealously seek you but without good intentions. No, they desire to alienate you, that you may seek them. 18 But it is always good to be zealous for a good cause, and not only when I am present with you.
19 My little children, of whom I am again in travail until Christ is formed in you— 20 but I could wish to be present with you now, and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
Hagar and Sarah
21 Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the servant and one by the free woman. 23 However, the son by the servant was born according to the flesh, but the son by the free woman was born through the promise. 24 These things contain an allegory, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children to bondage, which is Hagar. 25 For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to the Jerusalem that exists now, for she is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written,
“Sing, O barren one, you who did not give birth.
Break out into singing and cry aloud, you who did not labor with child.
For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife. a
28 Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But as then, he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 However what does the Scripture say? Throw the servant and her son out, for the son of the servant will not inherit with the son of the free woman.
31 So then, brothers, we are not children of a servant, but of the free woman.
Waiting on God
For the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm by David.
1 My soul rests in God alone.
My salvation is from him.
2 He alone is my rock, my salvation, and my fortress.
I will never be greatly shaken.
3 How long will you assault a man?
Would all of you throw him down,
like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence?
4 They fully intend to throw him down from his lofty place.
They delight in lies.
They bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly.
5 My soul, wait in silence for God alone,
for my expectation is from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress.
I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor is with God.
The rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people.
Pour out your heart before him.
God is a refuge for us.
9 Surely men of low degree are just a breath,
and men of high degree are a lie.
In the balances they will go up.
They are together lighter than a breath.
10 Do not trust in oppression.
Do not become worthless in robbery.
If riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.
11 The Lord has spoken once;
twice I have heard this,
that power belongs to the Lord.
12 Also to you, Lord, belongs loving kindness,
for you reward every man according to his work.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the right path!
20 Do not be among ones drinking too much wine,
or those who gorge themselves on meat,
21 for the drunkard and the glutton shall become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.