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Psalm 106:40-48 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

40 Therefore the Lord was angry with his people
    and abhorred his inheritance.
41 He gave them into the hands of the nations,
    and their foes ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them
    and subjected them to their power.
43 Many times he delivered them,
    but they were bent on rebellion
    and they wasted away in their sin.
44 Yet he took note of their distress
    when he heard their cry;
45 for their sake he remembered his covenant
    and out of his great love he relented.
46 He caused all who held them captive
    to show them mercy.

47 Save us, Lord our God,
    and gather us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
    and glory in your praise.

48 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.

Let all the people say, ‘Amen!’

Praise the Lord.

New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Paul’s vision and his thorn

12 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows. And I know that this man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows – was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 27-28 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Deliverance of Israel

27 In that day,

the Lord will punish with his sword –
    his fierce, great and powerful sword –
Leviathan the gliding serpent,
    Leviathan the coiling serpent;
he will slay the monster of the sea.

In that day –

‘Sing about a fruitful vineyard:
    I, the Lord, watch over it;
    I water it continually.
I guard it day and night
    so that no one may harm it.
    I am not angry.
If only there were briers and thorns confronting me!
    I would march against them in battle;
    I would set them all on fire.
Or else let them come to me for refuge;
    let them make peace with me,
    yes, let them make peace with me.’

In days to come Jacob will take root,
    Israel will bud and blossom
    and fill all the world with fruit.

Has the Lord struck her
    as he struck down those who struck her?
Has she been killed
    as those were killed who killed her?
By warfare[a] and exile you contend with her –
    with his fierce blast he drives her out,
    as on a day the east wind blows.
By this, then, will Jacob’s guilt be atoned for,
    and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:
when he makes all the altar stones
    to be like limestone crushed to pieces,
no Asherah poles[b] or incense altars
    will be left standing.
10 The fortified city stands desolate,
    an abandoned settlement, forsaken like the wilderness;
there the calves graze,
    there they lie down;
    they strip its branches bare.
11 When its twigs are dry, they are broken off
    and women come and make fires with them.
For this is a people without understanding;
    so their Maker has no compassion on them,
    and their Creator shows them no favour.

12 In that day the Lord will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, Israel, will be gathered up one by one. 13 And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

Woe to the leaders of Ephraim and Judah

28 Woe to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards,
    to the fading flower, his glorious beauty,
set on the head of a fertile valley –
    to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine!
See, the Lord has one who is powerful and strong.
    Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind,
like a driving rain and a flooding downpour,
    he will throw it forcefully to the ground.
That wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards,
    will be trampled underfoot.
That fading flower, his glorious beauty,
    set on the head of a fertile valley,
will be like figs ripe before harvest –
    as soon as people see them and take them in hand,
    they swallow them.

In that day the Lord Almighty
    will be a glorious crown,
a beautiful wreath
    for the remnant of his people.
He will be a spirit of justice
    to the one who sits in judgment,
a source of strength
    to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

And these also stagger from wine
    and reel from beer:
priests and prophets stagger from beer
    and are befuddled with wine;
they reel from beer,
    they stagger when seeing visions,
    they stumble when rendering decisions.
All the tables are covered with vomit
    and there is not a spot without filth.

‘Who is it he is trying to teach?
    To whom is he explaining his message?
To children weaned from their milk,
    to those just taken from the breast?
10 For it is:
    do this, do that,
    a rule for this, a rule for that;[c]
    a little here, a little there.’

11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues
    God will speak to this people,
12 to whom he said,
    ‘This is the resting-place, let the weary rest’;
and, ‘This is the place of repose’–
    but they would not listen.
13 So then, the word of the Lord to them will become:
    do this, do that,
    a rule for this, a rule for that;
    a little here, a little there –
so that as they go they will fall backwards;
    they will be injured and snared and captured.

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
    who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 You boast, ‘We have entered into a covenant with death,
    with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement.
When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
    it cannot touch us,
for we have made a lie our refuge
    and falsehood[d] our hiding-place.’

16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
    a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
    will never be stricken with panic.
17 I will make justice the measuring line
    and righteousness the plumb-line;
hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie,
    and water will overflow your hiding-place.
18 Your covenant with death will be annulled;
    your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand.
When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
    you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it comes it will carry you away;
    morning after morning, by day and by night,
    it will sweep through.’

The understanding of this message
    will bring sheer terror.
20 The bed is too short to stretch out on,
    the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.
21 The Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim,
    he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon –
to do his work, his strange work,
    and perform his task, his alien task.
22 Now stop your mocking,
    or your chains will become heavier;
the Lord, the Lord Almighty, has told me
    of the destruction decreed against the whole land.

23 Listen and hear my voice;
    pay attention and hear what I say.
24 When a farmer ploughs for planting, does he plough continually?
    Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 When he has levelled the surface,
    does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,[e]
    barley in its plot,[f]
    and spelt in its field?
26 His God instructs him
    and teaches him the right way.

27 Caraway is not threshed with a sledge,
    nor is the cartwheel rolled over cummin;
caraway is beaten out with a rod,
    and cummin with a stick.
28 Grain must be ground to make bread;
    so one does not go on threshing it for ever.
The wheels of a threshing-cart may be rolled over it,
    but one does not use horses to grind grain.
29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
    whose plan is wonderful,
    whose wisdom is magnificent.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 27:8 See Septuagint; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  2. Isaiah 27:9 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah
  3. Isaiah 28:10 Hebrew / sav lasav sav lasav / kav lakav kav lakav (probably meaningless sounds mimicking the prophet’s words); also in verse 13
  4. Isaiah 28:15 Or false gods
  5. Isaiah 28:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  6. Isaiah 28:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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