Daily reading for Monday, September 30, 2013

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Isaiah 9-10, Ephesians 3 (New International Version)

Isaiah 9-10

[a]Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

The Lord’s Anger Against Israel

The Lord has sent a message against Jacob;
    it will fall on Israel.
All the people will know it—
    Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria
who say with pride
    and arrogance of heart,
10 “The bricks have fallen down,
    but we will rebuild with dressed stone;
the fig trees have been felled,
    but we will replace them with cedars.
11 But the Lord has strengthened Rezin’s foes against them
    and has spurred their enemies on.
12 Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west
    have devoured Israel with open mouth.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

13 But the people have not returned to him who struck them,
    nor have they sought the Lord Almighty.
14 So the Lord will cut off from Israel both head and tail,
    both palm branch and reed in a single day;
15 the elders and dignitaries are the head,
    the prophets who teach lies are the tail.
16 Those who guide this people mislead them,
    and those who are guided are led astray.
17 Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men,
    nor will he pity the fatherless and widows,
for everyone is ungodly and wicked,
    every mouth speaks folly.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

18 Surely wickedness burns like a fire;
    it consumes briers and thorns,
it sets the forest thickets ablaze,
    so that it rolls upward in a column of smoke.
19 By the wrath of the Lord Almighty
    the land will be scorched
and the people will be fuel for the fire;
    they will not spare one another.
20 On the right they will devour,
    but still be hungry;
on the left they will eat,
    but not be satisfied.
Each will feed on the flesh of their own offspring[b]:
21     Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, and Ephraim on Manasseh;
    together they will turn against Judah.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

10 Woe to those who make unjust laws,
    to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights
    and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
    and robbing the fatherless.
What will you do on the day of reckoning,
    when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
    Where will you leave your riches?
Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives
    or fall among the slain.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

God’s Judgment on Assyria

“Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger,
    in whose hand is the club of my wrath!
I send him against a godless nation,
    I dispatch him against a people who anger me,
to seize loot and snatch plunder,
    and to trample them down like mud in the streets.
But this is not what he intends,
    this is not what he has in mind;
his purpose is to destroy,
    to put an end to many nations.
‘Are not my commanders all kings?’ he says.
    ‘Has not Kalno fared like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad,
    and Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand seized the kingdoms of the idols,
    kingdoms whose images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria—
11 shall I not deal with Jerusalem and her images
    as I dealt with Samaria and her idols?’”

12 When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes. 13 For he says:

“‘By the strength of my hand I have done this,
    and by my wisdom, because I have understanding.
I removed the boundaries of nations,
    I plundered their treasures;
    like a mighty one I subdued[c] their kings.
14 As one reaches into a nest,
    so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations;
as people gather abandoned eggs,
    so I gathered all the countries;
not one flapped a wing,
    or opened its mouth to chirp.’”

15 Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it,
    or the saw boast against the one who uses it?
As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up,
    or a club brandish the one who is not wood!
16 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
    will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors;
under his pomp a fire will be kindled
    like a blazing flame.
17 The Light of Israel will become a fire,
    their Holy One a flame;
in a single day it will burn and consume
    his thorns and his briers.
18 The splendor of his forests and fertile fields
    it will completely destroy,
    as when a sick person wastes away.
19 And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few
    that a child could write them down.

The Remnant of Israel

20 In that day the remnant of Israel,
    the survivors of Jacob,
will no longer rely on him
    who struck them down
but will truly rely on the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
21 A remnant will return,[d] a remnant of Jacob
    will return to the Mighty God.
22 Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel,
    only a remnant will return.
Destruction has been decreed,
    overwhelming and righteous.
23 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, will carry out
    the destruction decreed upon the whole land.

24 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says:

“My people who live in Zion,
    do not be afraid of the Assyrians,
who beat you with a rod
    and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did.
25 Very soon my anger against you will end
    and my wrath will be directed to their destruction.

26 The Lord Almighty will lash them with a whip,
    as when he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb;
and he will raise his staff over the waters,
    as he did in Egypt.
27 In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders,
    their yoke from your neck;
the yoke will be broken
    because you have grown so fat.[e]

28 They enter Aiath;
    they pass through Migron;
    they store supplies at Mikmash.
29 They go over the pass, and say,
    “We will camp overnight at Geba.
Ramah trembles;
    Gibeah of Saul flees.
30 Cry out, Daughter Gallim!
    Listen, Laishah!
    Poor Anathoth!
31 Madmenah is in flight;
    the people of Gebim take cover.
32 This day they will halt at Nob;
    they will shake their fist
at the mount of Daughter Zion,
    at the hill of Jerusalem.

33 See, the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
    will lop off the boughs with great power.
The lofty trees will be felled,
    the tall ones will be brought low.
34 He will cut down the forest thickets with an ax;
    Lebanon will fall before the Mighty One.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 9:1 In Hebrew texts 9:1 is numbered 8:23, and 9:2-21 is numbered 9:1-20.
  2. Isaiah 9:20 Or arm
  3. Isaiah 10:13 Or treasures; / I subdued the mighty,
  4. Isaiah 10:21 Hebrew shear-jashub (see 7:3 and note); also in verse 22
  5. Isaiah 10:27 Hebrew; Septuagint broken / from your shoulders
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Ephesians 3

God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Footnotes:

  1. Ephesians 3:15 The Greek for family (patria) is derived from the Greek for father (pater).
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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