Daily reading for Tuesday, October 1, 2013

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Isaiah 62:6-65:25; Philippians 2:19-30; Psalms 73:1-28; Proverbs 24:13-14 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Isaiah 62:6-65:25

I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem.
    They will never be silent day or night.
    Whoever calls on the Lord, do not give yourselves any rest,
and do not give him any rest until he establishes Jerusalem
    and makes it an object of praise throughout the earth.
The Lord has sworn with his right hand and with his mighty arm,
    “I will never again let your enemies eat your grain,
        nor will foreigners drink the new wine which you made.”
            Those who harvest grain
                will eat it and praise the Lord.
            Those who gather grapes
                will drink wine in my holy courtyards.

10 Go through! Go through the gates!
    Prepare a way for the people!
    Build up! Build up the highway!
    Clear away the stones!
    Raise a flag for the people!

11 The Lord has announced to the ends of the earth:
    “Tell my people Zion,
        ‘Your Savior is coming.
        His reward is with him,
            and the people he has won arrive ahead of him.’”

12 They will be called Holy People, Those Reclaimed by the Lord,
    and you will be called Sought After, a City Not Deserted.

The Lord Alone Wins His Victory

63 Who is this coming from Bozrah in Edom
    with his clothes stained bright red?
    Who is this dressed in splendor,
    going forward with great strength?

“It is I, the Lord. I am coming to announce my victory.
    I am powerful enough to save you.”

Why are your clothes red
    and your garments like those who trample grapes in a winepress?

“I have trampled alone in the winepress.
    No one was with me.
    In my anger I trampled on people.
    In my wrath I stomped on them.
    Their blood splattered my clothes
    so all my clothing has been stained.
I planned the day of vengeance.
    The year for my reclaiming you has come.
I looked, but there was no help.
    I was astounded that there was no outside support.
    So with my own power I won a victory.
    My anger supported me.
        In my anger I trampled on people.
        In my wrath I made them drunk
            and poured their blood on the ground.”

The Lord’s People Pray for His Help

I will acknowledge the Lord’s acts of mercy,
    and sing the praises of the Lord,
        because of everything that the Lord has done for us.
            He has done many good things for the nation of Israel
                because of his compassion and his unlimited mercy.
He said, “They are my people,
    children who will not lie to me.”
        So he became their Savior.
In all their troubles he was troubled,
    and he was the Messenger who saved them.
    In his love and compassion he reclaimed them.
    He always held them and carried them in the past.
10 But they rebelled and offended his Holy Spirit.
    So he turned against them as their enemy; he fought against them.

11 Then his people remembered Moses and the distant past.
    Where is the one who brought them out of the sea
        with the shepherds of his flock?
    Where is the one who put his Holy Spirit in them?
12 Where is the one who sent his powerful arm
    to support the right hand of Moses?
    Where is the one who divided the water in front of them
        to make an everlasting name for himself?
13 Where is the one who led them through the deep water?
    Like horses in the wilderness,
    they didn’t stumble.
14 Like animals going down into a valley,
    they were given rest by the Lord’s Spirit.
        In this way you guided your people
            to make an honored name for yourself.

15 Look down and see from heaven, from your holy and beautiful dwelling.
    Where is your determination and might?
    Where is the longing of your heart and your compassion?
        Don’t hold back.
16 You are our Father.
    Even though Abraham doesn’t know us
        and Israel doesn’t pay attention to us,
            O Lord, you are our Father.
                Your name is our Defender From Everlasting.
17 O Lord, why do you let us wander from your ways
    and become so stubborn that we are unable to fear you?
        Return for the sake of your servants.
            They are the tribes that belong to you.

18 Your holy people possessed the land for a little while.
    Our enemies have trampled on your holy place.
19 We have become like those whom you never ruled,
    like those who are not called by your name.

64 [a]If only you would split open the heavens and come down!
    The mountains would quake at your presence.
        Be like the fire that kindles brushwood and makes water boil.
    Come down to make your name known to your enemies.
    The nations will tremble in your presence.
When you did awe-inspiring things that we didn’t expect,
    you came down and the mountains quaked in your presence.
No one has ever heard,
    no one has paid attention,
        and no one has seen any god except you.
            You help those who wait for you.

You greeted the one who gladly does right and remembers your ways.
    You showed your anger, because we’ve sinned.
    We’ve continued to sin for a long time.
        Can we still be saved?
We’ve all become unclean,[b]
    and all our righteous acts are like permanently stained rags.
    All of us shrivel like leaves,
        and our sins carry us away like the wind.
No one calls on your name
    or tries to hold on to you.
        You have hidden your face from us.
        You have let us be ruined by our sins.

But now, Lord, you are our Father.
    We are the clay, and you are our potter.
        We are the work of your hands.
Don’t be too angry, Lord.
    Don’t remember our sin forever.
    Now look, we are all your people.
10 Your holy cities have become a desert.
    Zion has become a desert.
    Jerusalem is a wasteland.
11 Our holy and beautiful temple, where our ancestors praised you,
    has been burned to the ground.
        All that we valued has been ruined.
12 Despite these things, Lord, will you hold back?
    Will you be silent and make us suffer more than we can bear?

The Lord Answers His People’s Prayer

65 I was ready to answer those who didn’t ask.
    I was found by those who weren’t looking for me.
    I said, “Here I am! Here I am!”
        to a nation that didn’t worship me.
I stretched out my hands all day long to stubborn people.
    They chose to go the wrong direction.
    They followed their own plans.
These people constantly and openly provoked me.
    They offered sacrifices in gardens
        and burnt incense on brick altars.
They sat among the graves and spent their nights in caves.
    They ate pork and in their pots made broth from unclean foods.
They said, “Stay away! Don’t touch me!
    I’m holier than you are.”
    They have become like smoke in my nose,
        like a smoldering fire all day long.

“Look! It is written in front of me.

    I will not be silent, but I will repay.
    I will repay you in full.
I will repay you for your sins
    and for the sins of your ancestors,” says the Lord.
    They burnt incense on the mountains and slandered me on the hills,
    so I will be the first to pay them back in full.

This is what the Lord says:

When someone finds juice for new wine in a cluster of grapes,
    another person will say,
        “Don’t destroy it, because there’s a blessing in it.”
    In the same way, I will do this for my servants:
    I will not destroy everything.
I will bring with me Jacob’s descendant,
    one who will inherit my mountains from Judah.
        My chosen ones will inherit them.
        My servants will live there.
10 The Sharon Plain will be a pasture for flocks.
    The Achor Valley will be a resting place for cattle
    and for my people who search for me.
11 You have abandoned the Lord
    and forgotten my holy mountain.
    You have prepared a table for the god of good fortune
    and offered cups full of spiced wine to the goddess of destiny.
12 Now I will destine you for death.
    All of you will bow to be slaughtered.
        I called, but you didn’t answer.
        I spoke, but you didn’t listen.
            You did what I consider evil.
            You chose what I don’t like.

13 This is what the Lord God says:

My servants will eat, but you will be hungry.
    My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty.
    My servants will be glad, but you will be ashamed.
14 My servants will sing because of the gladness in their hearts.
    But you will cry because of your sadness
        and wail because of your depression.
15 Your name will be used as a curse by my chosen ones.
    The Almighty Lord will kill you
        and call his servants by another name.
16 Whoever asks for a blessing in the land
    will be blessed by the God of Truth.
    Whoever swears an oath in the land
    will swear by the God of Truth.
        Past troubles are forgotten.
        They are hidden from my eyes.

17 I will create a new heaven and a new earth.
    Past things will not be remembered.
    They will not come to mind.
18 Be glad, and rejoice forever in what I’m going to create,
    because I’m going to create Jerusalem to be a delight
        and its people to be a joy.
19 I will rejoice about Jerusalem and be glad about my people.
    Screaming and crying will no longer be heard in the city.
20 There will no longer be an infant who lives for only a few days
    or an old man who doesn’t live a long life.
    Whoever lives to be a hundred years old will be thought of as young.
    Whoever dies before he is a hundred years old will be cursed as a sinner.
21 They will build houses and live there.
    They will plant vineyards and eat fruit from them.
22 They will not build homes and have others live there.
    They will not plant and have others eat from it.
        My people will live as long as trees,
            and my chosen ones will enjoy what they’ve done.
23 They will never again work for nothing.
    They will never again give birth to children who die young,
        because they will be offspring blessed by the Lord.
            The Lord will bless their descendants as well.
24 Before they call, I will answer.
    While they’re still speaking, I will hear.
25 Wolves and lambs will feed together,
    lions will eat straw like oxen,
        and dust will be food for snakes.
    “They will not hurt or destroy anyone anywhere on my holy mountain,”
    says the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 64:1 Isaiah 64:1–12 in English Bibles is Isaiah 63:19b–64:11 in the Hebrew Bible.
  2. Isaiah 64:6 “Unclean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is not presentable to God.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Philippians 2:19-30

Paul Will Send Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 I hope that the Lord Jesus will allow me to send Timothy to you soon so that I can receive some encouraging news about you. 20 I don’t have anyone else like Timothy. He takes a genuine interest in your welfare. 21 Everyone else looks after his own interests, not after those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know what kind of person Timothy proved to be. Like a father and son we worked hard together to spread the Good News. 23 I hope to send him as soon as I see how things are going to turn out for me. 24 But the Lord gives me confidence that I will come to visit you soon.

25 I feel that I must send Epaphroditus—my brother, coworker, and fellow soldier—back to you. You sent him as your personal representative to help me in my need. 26 He has been longing to see all of you and is troubled because you heard that he was sick. 27 Indeed, he was so sick that he almost died. But God had mercy not only on him but also on me and kept me from having one sorrow on top of another. 28 So I’m especially eager to send him to you. In this way you will have the joy of seeing him again and I will feel relieved. 29 Give him a joyful Christian welcome. Make sure you honor people like Epaphroditus highly. 30 He risked his life and almost died for the work of Christ in order to make up for the help you couldn’t give me.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Psalm 73

BOOK THREE

(Psalms 73–89)

Psalm 73

A psalm by Asaph.

God is truly good to Israel,
    to those whose lives are pure.

But my feet had almost stumbled.
    They had almost slipped
        because I was envious of arrogant people
            when I saw the prosperity that wicked people enjoy.

They suffer no pain.
    Their bodies are healthy.
They have no drudgery in their lives like ordinary people.
    They are not plagued with problems like others.
That is why they wear arrogance like a necklace
    and acts of violence like clothing.
Their eyes peer out from their fat faces,[a]
    and their imaginations run wild.
They ridicule.
    They speak maliciously.
    They speak arrogantly about oppression.
They verbally attack heaven,
    and they order people around on earth.
10 That is why God’s people turn to wickedness[b]
    and swallow their words.
11 Then wicked people ask, “What does God know?”
    “Does the Most High know anything?”
12 Look how wicked they are!
    They never have a worry.
        They grow more and more wealthy.

13 I’ve received no reward for keeping my life pure
    and washing my hands of any blame.
14 I’m plagued with problems all day long,
    and every morning my punishment begins again.
15 If I had said, “I will continue to talk like that,”
    I would have betrayed God’s people.

16 But when I tried to understand this,
    it was too difficult for me.
17 Only when I came into God’s holy place
    did I finally understand what would happen to them.

18 You put them in slippery places
    and make them fall into ruin.
19 They are suddenly destroyed.
    They are completely swept away by terror!
20 As someone gets rid of a dream when he wakes up,
    so you, O Lord, get rid of the thought of them
        when you wake up.

21 When my heart was filled with bitterness
    and my mind was seized with envy,
22 I was stupid, and I did not understand.
    I was like a dumb animal in your presence.
23 Yet, I am always with you.
    You hold on to my right hand.
24 With your advice you guide me,
    and in the end you will take me to glory.
25 As long as I have you,
    I don’t need anyone else in heaven or on earth.
26 My body and mind may waste away,
    but God remains the foundation of my life
        and my inheritance forever.
27 Without a doubt, those who are far from you will die.
    You destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

28 Being united with God is my highest good.
    I have made the Almighty Lord my refuge
        so that I may report everything that he has done.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 73:7 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
  2. Psalm 73:10 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Proverbs 24:13-14

13 Eat honey, my son, because it is good.
    Honey that flows from the honeycomb tastes sweet.
14 The knowledge of wisdom is like that for your soul.
    If you find it, then there is a future,
        and your hope will never be cut off.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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