But the generous devise generous things, and in generosity will he stand. Isaiah 32:8
Woe to Those Relying on Egypt
1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
and rely on horses,
and trust in chariots because they are many,
and in horsemen because they are very strong.
They do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
and they do not seek the Lord!
2 Yet he also is wise and will bring disaster,
and will not call back his words,
but will arise against the house of the evildoers,
and against the help of those who work iniquity.
3 Now the Egyptians are men, and not God,
and their horses flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
both he who helps shall stumble,
and he who is helped shall fall,
and they all shall be consumed together.
4 For the Lord says to me,
“As the lion or the young lion roaring over his prey,
when a band of shepherds is called together against him,
he is not afraid of their shouts,
or disturbed by their noise,
so the Lord of Hosts will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its heights.
5 Like birds hovering,
so the Lord of Hosts will protect Jerusalem.
He will protect and deliver it.
He will pass over and preserve it.”
6 Return to him from whom you have deeply revolted, Israelites. 7 For on that day everyone shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold—sin which your own hands have made for you.
8 “The Assyrian will fall by the sword, not of man,
and the sword, not of mankind, shall devour him.
He will flee from the sword,
and his young men will become subject to forced labor.
9 His rock will pass away because of terror,
and his princes will be afraid of the banner,”
says the Lord, whose fire is in Zion,
and his furnace in Jerusalem.
A Righteous King
1 Look! A righteous king is reigning!
and just princes are ruling!
2 Each shall be like a hiding place from the wind,
and a cover from the storm,
like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a large rock in a weary land.
3 The eyes of those who see will not be weak,
and the ears of those who hear will listen.
4 The heart of the rash will understand knowledge,
and the tongue of those who stammer will be ready to speak plainly.
5 The fool will no longer be called noble,
nor the scoundrel be highly respected.
6 For the fool will speak folly,
and his heart will work iniquity,
to practice profanity,
and to utter error against the Lord,
to make empty the soul of the hungry
and to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.
7 The ways of the scoundrel are evil.
He devises wicked plans
to destroy the humble with lies,
even when the needy speaks rightly.
8 But the noble devise noble plans,
and on noble things he stands.
The Women of Jerusalem
9 Rise up, you women who are at ease!
Hear my voice!
You careless daughters,
give ear to my speech!
10 For in a few days beyond a year
you will be troubled, you careless women,
for the vintage will fail.
The harvest will not come.
11 Tremble, you women who are at ease!
Be troubled, you careless ones!
Strip yourselves. Make yourselves naked,
and put sackcloth on your waist.
12 Beat your breasts for the delightful fields,
for the fruitful vine.
13 Thorns and briers will come up on my people’s land,
yes, on all the houses of joy in the joyous city.
14 For the palace will be forsaken.
The populous city will be deserted.
The hill and the watchtower will be barren forever,
a delight for wild donkeys,
a pasture of flocks,
15 until the Spirit is poured on us from on high,
and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field is considered a forest.
16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness will remain in the fruitful field.
17 The work of righteousness will be peace,
and the effect of righteousness,
will be quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in a peaceful dwelling place,
in safe dwellings and in quiet resting places,
19 though hail flattens the forest,
and the city is leveled completely.
20 Blessed are you who sow beside abundant streams,
where you send out the feet of the ox and the donkey.
The Lord is Exalted
1 Woe to you who destroy, but you were not destroyed,
and who betray, but nobody betrayed you!
When you have finished destroying, you will be destroyed,
and when you have finished betraying, you will be betrayed.
2 O Lord, be gracious to us. We have waited for you.
Be our strength every morning,
our salvation also in the time of trouble.
3 At the sound of the thunder, the peoples have fled.
When you lift yourself up, the nations are scattered.
4 Your plunder will be gathered as the caterpillar gathers.
Men will leap on it as locusts leap.
5 The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high.
He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
6 There will be stability in your times,
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.
The fear of the Lord is your treasure.
7 Their valiant ones cry outside,
the ambassadors of peace weep bitterly.
8 The highways are desolate.
The traveling man ceases.
The covenant is broken.
He has despised the cities.
He does not respect man.
9 The land mourns and languishes.
Lebanon is confounded and withers away.
Sharon is like a desert, and Bashan and Carmel are stripped bare.
10 “Now I will arise,” says the Lord.
“Now I will lift myself up.
Now I will be exalted.
11 You will conceive chaff.
You will give birth to stubble.
Your breath is a fire that will devour you.
12 The peoples will be like the burning of lime,
like thorns that are cut down and burned in the fire.
13 Hear, you who are far off, what I have done,
and, you who are near, acknowledge my might.”
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid.
Trembling has seized the godless ones.
Who among us can live with the devouring fire?
Who among us can live with everlasting burning?
15 He who walks righteously
and speaks blamelessly,
he who despises the gain of oppression,
who gestures with his hands, refusing to take a bribe,
who stops his ears from hearing of blood,
and shuts his eyes from looking at evil—
16 he will dwell on high.
His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks.
His bread will be supplied.
His waters will be sure.
17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty.
They will see a distant land.
18 Your heart will meditate on the terror.
Where is he who counted?
Where is he who weighed?
Where is he who counted the towers?
19 You will no longer see the fierce people,
a people of a deep speech that you cannot comprehend,
with a strange language that you cannot understand.
20 Look at Zion, the city of our appointed festivals.
Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet dwelling place,
a tent that will not be removed.
Its stakes will never be plucked up,
nor will any of its cords be broken.
21 But there the Lord will be with us in majesty,
a place of wide rivers and streams,
in which no galley with oars will go,
neither will any gallant ship pass by there.
22 For the Lord is our judge.
The Lord is our lawgiver.
The Lord God is our king.
He will save us.
23 Your rigging is untied.
They could not strengthen the foot of their mast.
They could not spread the sail.
Then the prey of a great plunder was divided.
The lame took the prey.
24 The inhabitant will not say, “I am sick.”
The people who dwell therein will be forgiven their iniquity.
Freedom in Christ
1 Stand firm, therefore, in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
2 I, Paul, tell you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 Yes, I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 You are alienated from Christ, you who desire to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from grace.
5 For we, through the Spirit, by faith wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision amounts to anything, but faith working through love. 7 You were running well! Who interfered with you that you should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9 A little yeast grows through the whole lump. 10 I have confidence toward you in the Lord that you will think no other way. But he who troubles you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 But I, brothers, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish that those who disturb you would cut themselves off.
13 For you, brothers, were called for freedom. Only do not use your freedom for gain to the flesh, but through love be servants to one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, be careful that you do not consume one another.
Thirsting for God
A Psalm by David, when he was in the desert of Judah.
1 God, you are my God.
I will earnestly seek you.
My soul thirsts for you.
My flesh longs for you,
in a dry and weary land, where there is no water.
2 So I have seen you in the sanctuary,
watching your power and your glory.
3 Because your loving kindness is better than life,
my lips shall praise you.
4 So I will bless you while I live.
I will lift up my hands in your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with the richest food.
My mouth shall praise you with joyful lips,
6 when I remember you on my bed,
and think about you in the night watches.
7 For you have been my help.
I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings.
8 My soul stays close to you.
Your right hand holds me up.
9 But those who seek my life to destroy it
shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 They shall be given over to the power of the sword.
They shall be jackal food.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God.
Everyone who swears by him will praise him,
for the mouth of those who speak lies shall be silenced.
22 Listen to your father who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.