Isaiah 8-9 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Coming Assyrian Invasion
8 Then the Lord said to me, “Make a large signboard and clearly write this name on it: Maher-shalal-hash-baz.[a]” 2 I asked Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah, both known as honest men, to witness my doing this.
3 Then I slept with my wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, “Call him Maher-shalal-hash-baz. 4 For before this child is old enough to say ‘Papa’ or ‘Mama,’ the king of Assyria will carry away both the abundance of Damascus and the riches of Samaria.”
5 Then the Lord spoke to me again and said, 6 “My care for the people of Judah is like the gently flowing waters of Shiloah, but they have rejected it. They are rejoicing over what will happen to[b] King Rezin and King Pekah.[c] 7 Therefore, the Lord will overwhelm them with a mighty flood from the Euphrates River[d]—the king of Assyria and all his glory. This flood will overflow all its channels 8 and sweep into Judah until it is chin deep. It will spread its wings, submerging your land from one end to the other, O Immanuel.
9 “Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified.
A Call to Trust the Lord
11 The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said,
12 “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do,
16 Preserve the teaching of God;
18 I and the children the Lord has given me serve as signs and warnings to Israel from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies who dwells in his Temple on Mount Zion.
19 Someone may say to you, “Let’s ask the mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. With their whisperings and mutterings, they will tell us what to do.” But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead?
20 Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. 21 They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven 22 and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.
Hope in the Messiah
9 [f]Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.
2 [g]The people who walk in darkness
6 For a child is born to us,
The Lord’s Anger against Israel
8 The Lord has spoken out against Jacob;
11 But the Lord will bring Rezin’s enemies against Israel
13 For after all this punishment, the people will still not repent.
18 This wickedness is like a brushfire.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10 New Living Translation (NLT)
Paul’s Vision and His Thorn in the Flesh
12 This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I[a] was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. 3 Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know 4 that I was caught up[b] to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.
5 That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. 6 If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Psalm 55 New Living Translation (NLT)
For the choir director: A psalm[a] of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.
1 Listen to my prayer, O God.
4 My heart pounds in my chest.
9 Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans,
12 It is not an enemy who taunts me—
15 Let death stalk my enemies;
16 But I will call on God,
20 As for my companion, he betrayed his friends;
22 Give your burdens to the Lord,
23 But you, O God, will send the wicked
Proverbs 23:4-5 New Living Translation (NLT)
4 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.
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