Daily reading for Saturday, September 14, 2013

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Isaiah 15:1-18:7; Galatians 1:1-24; Psalms 58:1-11; Proverbs 23:12 (New International Version)

Isaiah 15-18

A Prophecy Against Moab

15 A prophecy against Moab:

Ar in Moab is ruined,
    destroyed in a night!
Kir in Moab is ruined,
    destroyed in a night!
Dibon goes up to its temple,
    to its high places to weep;
    Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba.
Every head is shaved
    and every beard cut off.
In the streets they wear sackcloth;
    on the roofs and in the public squares
they all wail,
    prostrate with weeping.
Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,
    their voices are heard all the way to Jahaz.
Therefore the armed men of Moab cry out,
    and their hearts are faint.

My heart cries out over Moab;
    her fugitives flee as far as Zoar,
    as far as Eglath Shelishiyah.
They go up the hill to Luhith,
    weeping as they go;
on the road to Horonaim
    they lament their destruction.
The waters of Nimrim are dried up
    and the grass is withered;
the vegetation is gone
    and nothing green is left.
So the wealth they have acquired and stored up
    they carry away over the Ravine of the Poplars.
Their outcry echoes along the border of Moab;
    their wailing reaches as far as Eglaim,
    their lamentation as far as Beer Elim.
The waters of Dimon[a] are full of blood,
    but I will bring still more upon Dimon[b]
a lion upon the fugitives of Moab
    and upon those who remain in the land.

16 Send lambs as tribute
    to the ruler of the land,
from Sela, across the desert,
    to the mount of Daughter Zion.
Like fluttering birds
    pushed from the nest,
so are the women of Moab
    at the fords of the Arnon.

“Make up your mind,” Moab says.
    “Render a decision.
Make your shadow like night—
    at high noon.
Hide the fugitives,
    do not betray the refugees.
Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you;
    be their shelter from the destroyer.”

The oppressor will come to an end,
    and destruction will cease;
    the aggressor will vanish from the land.
In love a throne will be established;
    in faithfulness a man will sit on it—
    one from the house[c] of David
one who in judging seeks justice
    and speeds the cause of righteousness.

We have heard of Moab’s pride
    how great is her arrogance!—
of her conceit, her pride and her insolence;
    but her boasts are empty.
Therefore the Moabites wail,
    they wail together for Moab.
Lament and grieve
    for the raisin cakes of Kir Hareseth.
The fields of Heshbon wither,
    the vines of Sibmah also.
The rulers of the nations
    have trampled down the choicest vines,
which once reached Jazer
    and spread toward the desert.
Their shoots spread out
    and went as far as the sea.[d]
So I weep, as Jazer weeps,
    for the vines of Sibmah.
Heshbon and Elealeh,
    I drench you with tears!
The shouts of joy over your ripened fruit
    and over your harvests have been stilled.
10 Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards;
    no one sings or shouts in the vineyards;
no one treads out wine at the presses,
    for I have put an end to the shouting.
11 My heart laments for Moab like a harp,
    my inmost being for Kir Hareseth.
12 When Moab appears at her high place,
    she only wears herself out;
when she goes to her shrine to pray,
    it is to no avail.

13 This is the word the Lord has already spoken concerning Moab. 14 But now the Lord says: “Within three years, as a servant bound by contract would count them, Moab’s splendor and all her many people will be despised, and her survivors will be very few and feeble.”

A Prophecy Against Damascus

17 A prophecy against Damascus:

“See, Damascus will no longer be a city
    but will become a heap of ruins.
The cities of Aroer will be deserted
    and left to flocks, which will lie down,
    with no one to make them afraid.
The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
    and royal power from Damascus;
the remnant of Aram will be
    like the glory of the Israelites,”
declares the Lord Almighty.

“In that day the glory of Jacob will fade;
    the fat of his body will waste away.
It will be as when reapers harvest the standing grain,
    gathering the grain in their arms—
as when someone gleans heads of grain
    in the Valley of Rephaim.
Yet some gleanings will remain,
    as when an olive tree is beaten,
leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches,
    four or five on the fruitful boughs,”
declares the Lord, the God of Israel.

In that day people will look to their Maker
    and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
They will not look to the altars,
    the work of their hands,
and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles[e]
    and the incense altars their fingers have made.

In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation.

10 You have forgotten God your Savior;
    you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.
Therefore, though you set out the finest plants
    and plant imported vines,
11 though on the day you set them out, you make them grow,
    and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud,
yet the harvest will be as nothing
    in the day of disease and incurable pain.

12 Woe to the many nations that rage
    they rage like the raging sea!
Woe to the peoples who roar
    they roar like the roaring of great waters!
13 Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters,
    when he rebukes them they flee far away,
driven before the wind like chaff on the hills,
    like tumbleweed before a gale.
14 In the evening, sudden terror!
    Before the morning, they are gone!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
    the lot of those who plunder us.

A Prophecy Against Cush

18 Woe to the land of whirring wings[f]
    along the rivers of Cush,[g]
which sends envoys by sea
    in papyrus boats over the water.

Go, swift messengers,
to a people tall and smooth-skinned,
    to a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
    whose land is divided by rivers.

All you people of the world,
    you who live on the earth,
when a banner is raised on the mountains,
    you will see it,
and when a trumpet sounds,
    you will hear it.
This is what the Lord says to me:
    “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place,
like shimmering heat in the sunshine,
    like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone
    and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives,
    and cut down and take away the spreading branches.
They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey
    and to the wild animals;
the birds will feed on them all summer,
    the wild animals all winter.

At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord Almighty

from a people tall and smooth-skinned,
    from a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
    whose land is divided by rivers

the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the Lord Almighty.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 15:9 Dimon, a wordplay on Dibon (see verse 2), sounds like the Hebrew for blood.
  2. Isaiah 15:9 Dimon, a wordplay on Dibon (see verse 2), sounds like the Hebrew for blood.
  3. Isaiah 16:5 Hebrew tent
  4. Isaiah 16:8 Probably the Dead Sea
  5. Isaiah 17:8 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah
  6. Isaiah 18:1 Or of locusts
  7. Isaiah 18:1 That is, the upper Nile region
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.

Galatians 1

Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead and all the brothers and sisters[a] with me,

To the churches in Galatia:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

No Other Gospel

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul Called by God

11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.

18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas[b] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.

21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.

Footnotes:

  1. Galatians 1:2 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 11; and in 3:15; 4:12, 28, 31; 5:11, 13; 6:1, 18.
  2. Galatians 1:18 That is, Peter
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.

Psalm 58

Psalm 58[a]

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam.[b]

Do you rulers indeed speak justly?
    Do you judge people with equity?
No, in your heart you devise injustice,
    and your hands mete out violence on the earth.

Even from birth the wicked go astray;
    from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies.
Their venom is like the venom of a snake,
    like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,
that will not heed the tune of the charmer,
    however skillful the enchanter may be.

Break the teeth in their mouths, O God;
    Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions!
Let them vanish like water that flows away;
    when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.
May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along,
    like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.

Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns
    whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.[c]
10 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged,
    when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Then people will say,
    “Surely the righteous still are rewarded;
    surely there is a God who judges the earth.”

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 58:1 In Hebrew texts 58:1-11 is numbered 58:2-12.
  2. Psalm 58:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  3. Psalm 58:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.
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.

Proverbs 23:12

Saying 12

12 Apply your heart to instruction
    and your ears to words of knowledge.

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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