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Psalm 107:10-22 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
    prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
    and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labour;
    they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
    and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
    and cuts through bars of iron.

17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways
    and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
18 They loathed all food
    and drew near the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them;
    he rescued them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
22 Let them sacrifice thank-offerings
    and tell of his works with songs of joy.

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.

Galatians 1 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

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 to 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 - UK (NIVUK)

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

Isaiah 33-35 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Distress and help

33 Woe to you, destroyer,
    you who have not been destroyed!
Woe to you, betrayer,
    you who have not been betrayed!
When you stop destroying,
    you will be destroyed;
when you stop betraying,
    you will be betrayed.

Lord, be gracious to us;
    we long for you.
Be our strength every morning,
    our salvation in time of distress.
At the uproar of your army, the peoples flee;
    when you rise up, the nations scatter.
Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;
    like a swarm of locusts people pounce on it.

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
    he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
    a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
    the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.[a]

Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;
    the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are deserted,
    no travellers are on the roads.
The treaty is broken,
    its witnesses[b] are despised,
    no one is respected.
The land dries up and wastes away,
    Lebanon is ashamed and withers;
Sharon is like the Arabah,
    and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.

10 ‘Now will I arise,’ says the Lord.
    ‘Now will I be exalted;
    now will I be lifted up.
11 You conceive chaff,
    you give birth to straw;
    your breath is a fire that consumes you.
12 The peoples will be burned to ashes;
    like cut thorn-bushes they will be set ablaze.’

13 You who are far away, hear what I have done;
    you who are near, acknowledge my power!
14 The sinners in Zion are terrified;
    trembling grips the godless:
‘Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?
    Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?’
15 Those who walk righteously
    and speak what is right,
who reject gain from extortion
    and keep their hands from accepting bribes,
who stop their ears against plots of murder
    and shut their eyes against contemplating evil –
16 they are the ones who will dwell on the heights,
    whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.
Their bread will be supplied,
    and water will not fail them.

17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty
    and view a land that stretches afar.
18 In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror:
    ‘Where is that chief officer?
Where is the one who took the revenue?
    Where is the officer in charge of the towers?’
19 You will see those arrogant people no more,
    people whose speech is obscure,
    whose language is strange and incomprehensible.

20 Look on Zion, the city of our festivals;
    your eyes will see Jerusalem,
    a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved;
its stakes will never be pulled up,
    nor any of its ropes broken.
21 There the Lord will be our Mighty One.
    It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams.
No galley with oars will ride them,
    no mighty ship will sail them.
22 For the Lord is our judge,
    the Lord is our lawgiver,
the Lord is our king;
    it is he who will save us.

23 Your rigging hangs loose:
    the mast is not held secure,
    the sail is not spread.
Then an abundance of spoils will be divided
    and even the lame will carry off plunder.
24 No one living in Zion will say, ‘I am ill’;
    and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.

Judgment against the nations

34 Come near, you nations, and listen;
    pay attention, you peoples!
Let the earth hear, and all that is in it,
    the world, and all that comes out of it!
The Lord is angry with all nations;
    his wrath is on all their armies.
He will totally destroy[c] them,
    he will give them over to slaughter.
Their slain will be thrown out,
    their dead bodies will stink;
    the mountains will be soaked with their blood.
All the stars in the sky will be dissolved
    and the heavens rolled up like a scroll;
all the starry host will fall
    like withered leaves from the vine,
    like shrivelled figs from the fig-tree.

My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;
    see, it descends in judgment on Edom,
    the people I have totally destroyed.
The sword of the Lord is bathed in blood,
    it is covered with fat –
the blood of lambs and goats,
    fat from the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah
    and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
And the wild oxen will fall with them,
    the bull calves and the great bulls.
Their land will be drenched with blood,
    and the dust will be soaked with fat.

For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
    a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause.
Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch,
    her dust into burning sulphur;
    her land will become blazing pitch!
10 It will not be quenched night or day;
    its smoke will rise for ever.
From generation to generation it will lie desolate;
    no one will ever pass through it again.
11 The desert owl[d] and screech owl[e] will possess it;
    the great owl[f] and the raven will nest there.
God will stretch out over Edom
    the measuring line of chaos
    and the plumb-line of desolation.
12 Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom,
    all her princes will vanish away.
13 Thorns will overrun her citadels,
    nettles and brambles her strongholds.
She will become a haunt for jackals,
    a home for owls.
14 Desert creatures will meet with hyenas,
    and wild goats will bleat to each other;
there the night creatures will also lie down
    and find for themselves places of rest.
15 The owl will nest there and lay eggs,
    she will hatch them, and care for her young
    under the shadow of her wings;
there also the falcons will gather,
    each with its mate.

16 Look in the scroll of the Lord and read:

None of these will be missing,
    not one will lack her mate.
For it is his mouth that has given the order,
    and his Spirit will gather them together.
17 He allots their portions;
    his hand distributes them by measure.
They will possess it for ever
    and dwell there from generation to generation.

Joy of the redeemed

35 The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
    the splendour of our God.

Strengthen the feeble hands,
    steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
    ‘Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
    he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
    he will come to save you.’

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
    and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
    and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
    the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
    grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

And a highway will be there;
    it will be called the Way of Holiness;
    it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
    wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there,
    nor any ravenous beast;
    they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10     and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
    everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 33:6 Or is a treasure from him
  2. Isaiah 33:8 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text / the cities
  3. Isaiah 34:2 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 5.
  4. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain.
  5. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain.
  6. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds 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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