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Psalm 89:9-13 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

You rule over the surging sea;
    when its waves mount up, you still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like one of the slain;
    with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
11 The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
    you founded the world and all that is in it.
12 You created the north and the south;
    Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
13 Your arm is endowed with power;
    your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.

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.

Romans 9:1-21 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Paul’s anguish over Israel

I speak the truth in Christ – I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit – I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, for ever praised![a] Amen.

God’s sovereign choice

It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’[b] In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: ‘At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.’[c]

10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad – in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls – she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’[d] 13 Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’[e]

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’[f]

16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’[g] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?’ 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?”’[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 9:5 Or Messiah, who is over all. God be for ever praised! Or Messiah. God who is over all be for ever praised!
  2. Romans 9:7 Gen. 21:12
  3. Romans 9:9 Gen. 18:10,14
  4. Romans 9:12 Gen. 25:23
  5. Romans 9:13 Mal. 1:2,3
  6. Romans 9:15 Exodus 33:19
  7. Romans 9:17 Exodus 9:16
  8. Romans 9:20 Isaiah 29:16; 45:9
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.

Hosea 11:12-14:9 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Israel’s sin

12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
    Israel with deceit.
And Judah is unruly against God,
    even against the faithful Holy One.[a]
12 [b]Ephraim feeds on the wind;
    he pursues the east wind all day
    and multiplies lies and violence.
He makes a treaty with Assyria
    and sends olive oil to Egypt.
The Lord has a charge to bring against Judah;
    he will punish Jacob[c] according to his ways
    and repay him according to his deeds.
In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel;
    as a man he struggled with God.
He struggled with the angel and overcame him;
    he wept and begged for his favour.
He found him at Bethel
    and talked with him there –
the Lord God Almighty,
    the Lord is his name!
But you must return to your God;
    maintain love and justice,
    and wait for your God always.

The merchant uses dishonest scales
    and loves to defraud.
Ephraim boasts,
    ‘I am very rich; I have become wealthy.
With all my wealth they will not find in me
    any iniquity or sin.’

‘I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
    as in the days of your appointed festivals.
10 I spoke to the prophets,
    gave them many visions
    and told parables through them.’

11 Is Gilead wicked?
    Its people are worthless!
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?
    Their altars will be like piles of stones
    on a ploughed field.
12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram[d];
    Israel served to get a wife,
    and to pay for her he tended sheep.
13 The Lord used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,
    by a prophet he cared for him.
14 But Ephraim has aroused his bitter anger;
    his Lord will leave on him the guilt of his bloodshed
    and will repay him for his contempt.

The Lord’s anger against Israel

13 When Ephraim spoke, people trembled;
    he was exalted in Israel.
    But he became guilty of Baal worship and died.
Now they sin more and more;
    they make idols for themselves from their silver,
cleverly fashioned images,
    all of them the work of craftsmen.
It is said of these people,
    ‘They offer human sacrifices!
    They kiss[e] calf-idols!’
Therefore they will be like the morning mist,
    like the early dew that disappears,
    like chaff swirling from a threshing-floor,
    like smoke escaping through a window.

‘But I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt.
You shall acknowledge no God but me,
    no Saviour except me.
I cared for you in the wilderness,
    in the land of burning heat.
When I fed them, they were satisfied;
    when they were satisfied, they became proud;
    then they forgot me.
So I will be like a lion to them,
    like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
Like a bear robbed of her cubs,
    I will attack them and rip them open;
like a lion I will devour them –
    a wild animal will tear them apart.

‘You are destroyed, Israel,
    because you are against me, against your helper.
10 Where is your king, that he may save you?
    Where are your rulers in all your towns,
of whom you said,
    “Give me a king and princes”?
11 So in my anger I gave you a king,
    and in my wrath I took him away.
12 The guilt of Ephraim is stored up,
    his sins are kept on record.
13 Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him,
    but he is a child without wisdom;
when the time arrives,
    he doesn’t have the sense to come out of the womb.

14 ‘I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;
    I will redeem them from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
    Where, O grave, is your destruction?

‘I will have no compassion,
15     even though he thrives among his brothers.
An east wind from the Lord will come,
    blowing in from the desert;
his spring will fail
    and his well dry up.
His storehouse will be plundered
    of all its treasures.
16 The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
    because they have rebelled against their God.
They will fall by the sword;
    their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
    their pregnant women ripped open.’[f]

Repentance to bring blessing

14 [g]Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
    Your sins have been your downfall!
Take words with you
    and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
    ‘Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
    that we may offer the fruit of our lips.[h]
Assyria cannot save us;
    we will not mount war-horses.
We will never again say “Our gods”
    to what our own hands have made,
    for in you the fatherless find compassion.’

‘I will heal their waywardness
    and love them freely,
    for my anger has turned away from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
    he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
    he will send down his roots;
    his young shoots will grow.
His splendour will be like an olive tree,
    his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
People will dwell again in his shade;
    they will flourish like the corn,
they will blossom like the vine –
    Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
Ephraim, what more have I[i] to do with idols?
    I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper;
    your fruitfulness comes from me.’

Who is wise? Let them realise these things.
    Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
    the righteous walk in them,
    but the rebellious stumble in them.

Footnotes:

  1. Hosea 11:12 In Hebrew texts this verse (11:12) is numbered 12:1.
  2. Hosea 12:1 In Hebrew texts 12:1-14 is numbered 12:2-15.
  3. Hosea 12:2 Jacob means he grasps the heel, a Hebrew idiom for he takes advantage of or he deceives.
  4. Hosea 12:12 That is, North-west Mesopotamia
  5. Hosea 13:2 Or ‘Men who sacrifice / kiss
  6. Hosea 13:16 In Hebrew texts this verse (13:16) is numbered 14:1.
  7. Hosea 14:1 In Hebrew texts 14:1-9 is numbered 14:2-10.
  8. Hosea 14:2 Or offer our lips as sacrifices of bulls
  9. Hosea 14:8 Or Hebrew; Septuagint What more has Ephraim
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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