Daily reading for Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reading Plan:
Version:
 

Isaiah 62:6-65:25; Philippians 2:19-30; Psalms 73:1-28; Proverbs 24:13-14 (Contemporary English Version)

Isaiah 62:6-65:25

Jerusalem, on your walls
I have stationed guards,
    whose duty it is
to speak out day and night,
    without resting.
They must remind the Lord
    and not let him rest
till he makes Jerusalem strong
    and famous everywhere.

The Lord has given his word
    and made this promise:
“Never again will I give
    to your enemies
the grain and grapes
    for which you struggled.
As surely as you harvest
    your grain and grapes,
you will eat your bread
    with thankful hearts,
and you will drink your wine
    in my temple.”

10 People of Jerusalem,
    open your gates!
Repair the road to the city
    and clear it of stones;
raise a banner to help
    the nations find their way.
11 Here is what the Lord has said
    for all the earth to hear:
“Soon I will come to save
the city of Zion,
    and to reward you.
12 Then you will be called,
‘The Lord’s Own People,
    The Ones He Rescued!'
Your city will be known
as a good place to live
    and a city full of people.”

The Lord’s Victory over the Nations

63 Who is this coming
from Bozrah[a] in Edom
    with clothes stained red?
Who is this hero marching
    in his glorious uniform?

“It’s me, the Lord!
I have won the battle,
    and I can save you!”

What are those red spots?
Your clothes look stained
    from stomping on grapes.[b]

“I alone stomped the grapes!
    None of the nations helped.
I stomped nations in my anger
and stained my clothes
    with their blood.
I did this because I wanted
    to take revenge—
the time had come
    to rescue my people.
No one was there to help me
    or to give support;
my mighty arm won the battle,
    strengthened by my anger.
In my fury I stomped on nations
    and made them drunk;
their blood poured out
    everywhere on earth.”

The Lord’s Goodness to His People

I will tell about the kind deeds
the Lord has done.
    They deserve praise!
The Lord has shown mercy
to the people of Israel;
    he has been kind and good.

The Lord rescued his people,
and said,
“They are mine.
    They won’t betray me.”
It troubled the Lord
to see them in trouble,
    and his angel saved them.[c]
The Lord was truly merciful,
    so he rescued his people.
He took them in his arms
and carried them all those years.

10 Then the Lord’s people
turned against him
and made
    his Holy Spirit sad.
So he became their enemy
    and attacked them.
11 But his people remembered
what had happened
    during the time of Moses.[d]
Didn’t the Lord[e] bring them
and their leaders
    safely through the sea?
Didn’t he[f] give them
    his Holy Spirit?
12 The glorious power of the Lord
    marched beside Moses.
The Lord will be praised forever
    for dividing the sea.
13 He led his people across
like horses running wild
    without stumbling.
14 His Spirit gave them rest,
just as cattle find rest
    when led into a valley.[g]
The name of the Lord was praised
    for doing these things.

A Prayer for Mercy and Help

15 Please, Lord, look down
    from your holy and glorious
home in the heavens
    and see what’s going on.
Have you lost interest?
    Where is your power?
Show that you care about us[h]
    and have mercy!
16 Our ancestors Abraham and Jacob
    have both rejected us.
But you are still our Father;
you have been our protector
    since ancient times.

17 Why did you make us turn away
    from you, our Lord?
Why did you make us want
    to disobey you?
Please change your mind!
We are your servants,
    your very own people.
18 For a little while,
    your temple belonged to us;[i]
and now our enemies
    have torn it down.
19 We act as though you
had never ruled us
    or called us your people.
64 Rip the heavens apart!
Come down, Lord;
    make the mountains tremble.
Be a spark that starts a fire
    causing water to boil.[j]
Then your enemies will know
    who you are;
all nations will tremble
    because you are nearby.

Your fearsome deeds
    have completely amazed us;
even the mountains shake
    when you come down.
You are the only God
    ever seen or heard of
who works miracles
    for his followers.

You help all who gladly obey
and do what you want,
    but sin makes you angry.
Only by your help
    can we ever be saved.[k]
We are unfit to worship you;
each of our good deeds
    is merely a filthy rag.
We dry up like leaves;
our sins are storm winds
    sweeping us away.
No one worships in your name
    or remains faithful.
You have turned your back on us
and let our sins melt us away.[l]

You, Lord, are our Father.
    We are nothing but clay,
but you are the potter
    who molded us.
Don’t be so furious
or keep our sins
    in your thoughts forever!
Remember that all of us
    are your people.
10 Every one of your towns
has turned into a desert,
    especially Jerusalem.
11 Zion’s glorious and holy temple
where our ancestors praised you
    has been destroyed by fire.
Our beautiful buildings
    are now a pile of ruins.
12 When you see these things,
how can you just sit there
    and make us suffer more?

The Lord Will Punish the Guilty

65 I, the Lord, was ready
answer even those
    who were not asking
and to be found by those
    who were not searching.
To a nation that refused
to worship me,[m]
    I said, “Here I am!”

All day long I have reached out
to stubborn and sinful people
    going their own way.
They keep making me angry
    by sneering at me,
while offering sacrifices
    to idols in gardens
and burning incense
    to them on bricks.
They spend their nights
    hiding in burial caves;
they eat the meat of pigs,[n]
cooked in sauces
    made of stuff unfit to eat.
And then they say to others,
“Don’t come near us!
    We’re dedicated to God.”
Such people are like smoke,
    irritating my nose all day.
I have written this down;
    I won’t keep silent.
I’ll pay them back
    just as their sins deserve.
I, the Lord, will make them pay
for their sins
and for those
    of their ancestors—
they have disgraced me
by burning incense
    on mountains.

Here is what the Lord says:
    A cluster of grapes
    that produces wine
    is worth keeping!
So, because of my servants,
    I won’t destroy everyone.
I have chosen the people
    of Israel and Judah,
and I will bless them
    with many descendants.
They will settle here
in this land of mountains,
    and it will be theirs.
10 My people will worship me.
Then the coastlands of Sharon
    and the land as far
    as Achor Valley[o]
will turn into pastureland
where cattle and sheep
    will feed and rest.

11 What will I, the Lord, do
if any of you reject me
    and my holy mountain?
What will happen to you
    for offering food and wine
to the gods you call
    “Good Luck” and “Fate”?
12 Your luck will end!
I will see to it
that you
    are slaughtered with swords.
You refused to answer
    when I called out;
you paid no attention
    to my instructions.
Instead, you did what I hated,
    knowing it was wrong.

13 I, the Lord God, will give
food and drink
to my servants,
    and they will celebrate.
But all of you sinners
will go hungry and thirsty,
    overcome with disgrace.
14 My servants will laugh and sing,
but you will be sad
    and cry out in pain.
15 I, the Lord God, promise
    to see that you are killed
and that my chosen servants use
    your names
as curse words.
But I will give new names[p]
    to my servants.[q]
16 I am God! I can be trusted.
Your past troubles are gone;
    I no longer think of them.
When you pray for someone
    to receive a blessing,
or when you make a promise,
    you must do it in my name.
I alone am the God
    who can be trusted.

The Lord’s New Creation

17 I am creating new heavens
    and a new earth;
everything of the past
    will be forgotten.
18 Celebrate and be glad forever!
I am creating a Jerusalem,
    full of happy people.
19 I will celebrate with Jerusalem
    and all of its people;
there will be no more crying
    or sorrow in that city.

20 No child will die in infancy;
everyone will live
    to a ripe old age.
Anyone a hundred years old
    will be considered young,
and to die younger than that
    will be considered a curse.

21 My people will live
    in the houses they build;
they will enjoy grapes
    from their own vineyards.
22 No one will take away
    their homes or vineyards.
My chosen people will live
    to be as old as trees,
and they will enjoy
    what they have earned.
23 Their work won’t be wasted,
and their children won’t die
    of dreadful diseases.[r]
I will bless their children
    and their grandchildren.
24 I will answer their prayers
    before they finish praying.

25 Wolves and lambs
    will graze together;
lions and oxen
    will feed on straw.
Snakes will eat only dirt!
They won’t bite
or harm anyone
    on my holy mountain.
I, the Lord, have spoken!

Footnotes:

  1. 63.1 Bozrah: The main city of Edom.
  2. 63.2 stomping on grapes: This is one way that grapes were crushed to make them into juice.
  3. 63.9 It. . . them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 63.11 But. . . Moses: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. 63.11 the Lord: Or “Moses.”
  6. 63.11 he: Or “Moses.”
  7. 63.14 His. . . valley: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  8. 63.15 us: Hebrew “me.”
  9. 63.18 For. . . us: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  10. 64.2 Be. . . boil: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  11. 64.5 saved: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 5.
  12. 64.7 and let. . . away: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  13. 65.1 refused. . . me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  14. 65.4 burial. . . pigs: Coming in contact with the dead or eating the meat of pigs made a person unacceptable to God.
  15. 65.10 coastlands of Sharon. . . Achor Valley: Sharon is the coastal plain on the west, and Achor Valley is in the east near Jericho. These two places stand for the whole country.
  16. 65.15 new names: The giving of a new name suggests the beginning of a new life.
  17. 65.15 But I. . . servants: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  18. 65.23 their children. . . diseases: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Philippians 2:19-30

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 I want to be encouraged by news about you. So I hope the Lord Jesus will soon let me send Timothy to you. 20 I don’t have anyone else who cares about you as much as he does. 21 The others think only about what interests them and not about what concerns Christ Jesus. 22 But you know what kind of person Timothy is. He has worked with me like a son in spreading the good news. 23 I hope to send him to you, as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me. 24 And I feel sure that the Lord will also let me come soon.

25 I think I ought to send my dear friend Epaphroditus back to you. He is a follower and a worker and a soldier of the Lord, just as I am. You sent him to look after me, 26 but now he is eager to see you. He is worried, because you heard he was sick. 27 In fact, he was very sick and almost died. But God was kind to him, and also to me, and he kept me from being burdened down with sorrow.

28 Now I am more eager than ever to send Epaphroditus back again. You will be glad to see him, and I won’t have to worry any longer. 29 Be sure to give him a cheerful welcome, just as people who serve the Lord deserve. 30 He almost died working for Christ, and he risked his own life to do for me what you could not.

Psalm 73

BOOK III

(Psalms 73-89)

(A psalm by Asaph.)

God Is Good

73 God is truly good to Israel,[a]
    especially to everyone
    with a pure heart.
But I almost stumbled and fell,
    because it made me jealous
to see proud and evil people
    and to watch them prosper.
They never have to suffer,[b]
    they stay healthy,
    and they don’t have troubles
    like everyone else.

Their pride is like a necklace,
and they commit sin
    more often
    than they dress themselves.
Their eyes poke out with fat,
    and their minds are flooded
    with foolish thoughts.
They sneer and say cruel things,
    and because of their pride,
    they make violent threats.
They dare to speak against God
    and to order others around.

10 God will bring his people back,
    and they will drink the water
    he so freely gives.[c]

11 Only evil people would say,
    “God Most High cannot
    know everything!”
12 Yet all goes well for them,
    and they live in peace.
13 What good did it do me
to keep my thoughts pure
    and refuse to do wrong?
14 I am sick all day,
and I am punished
    each morning.
15 If I had said evil things,
    I would not have been loyal
    to your people.

16 It was hard for me
    to understand all this!
17 Then I went to your temple,
    and there I understood
    what will happen
    to my enemies.
18 You will make them stumble,
    never to get up again.
19 They will be terrified,
    suddenly swept away
    and no longer there.
20 They will disappear, Lord,
    despised like a bad dream
    the morning after.

21 Once I was bitter
    and brokenhearted.
22 I was stupid and ignorant,
    and I treated you
    as a wild animal would.
23 But I never really left you,
    and you hold my right hand.
24 Your advice has been my guide,
    and later you will welcome me
    in glory.[d]
25 In heaven I have only you,
    and on this earth
    you are all I want.
26 My body and mind may fail,
    but you are my strength
    and my choice forever.

27 Powerful Lord God,
all who stay far from you
    will be lost,
    and you will destroy those
    who are unfaithful.
28 It is good for me
    to be near you.
I choose you as my protector,
    and I will tell about
    your wonderful deeds.

Footnotes:

  1. 73.1 to Israel: Or “to those who do right.”
  2. 73.4 They. . . suffer: Or “They die a painless death.”
  3. 73.10 gives: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  4. 73.24 in glory: Or “with honor.”

Proverbs 24:13-14

-26-

13 Honey is good for you,
my children,
    and it tastes sweet.
14 Wisdom is like honey
    for your life—
    if you find it,
    your future is bright.

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