Isaiah 43-44 Amplified Bible (AMP)
43 But now, this is what the Lord, your Creator says, O Jacob,
Israel Is God’s Witness
Babylon to Be Destroyed
14 This is what the Lord your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says,
“For your sake I have sent [one] to Babylon,
16 This is what the Lord says,
He who makes a way through the sea
The Shortcomings of Israel
The Blessings of Israel
44 “But now listen, O Jacob, My servant,
6 “For the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts says this,
‘I am the First and I am the Last;
The Folly of Idolatry
9 All who make carved idols are nothing. Their precious objects are worthless [to them], and their own witnesses (worshipers) fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. 10 Who has made a god or cast an idol which is profitable for nothing? 11 In fact, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble, let them stand up, let them be terrified, let them together be put to shame.
12 The ironsmith shapes iron and uses a chisel and works it over the coals. He forms the [idol’s] core with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He also becomes hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and grows tired. 13 The carpenter stretches out a measuring line, he marks out the shape [of the idol] with red chalk; he works it with planes and outlines it with the compass; and he makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, that it may sit in a house. 14 He cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and lets it grow strong for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also kindles a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god [from the same wood] and worships it. He makes it into a carved idol [with his own hands] and falls down and worships it! 16 He burns half of the wood in the fire; over this half he [cooks and] eats meat, he roasts meat and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17 But from what is left of the wood he makes a god, his carved idol. He falls down before it, he worships it and prays to it and says, “Save me, for you are my god.”
18 They do not know, nor do they understand, for God has muddied their eyes so that they cannot see, and their hearts (minds) as well so that they cannot understand. 19 No one remembers, nor has knowledge and understanding [enough] to say [to himself], “I have burned half of this log in the fire, and also baked bread on its coals and have roasted meat and eaten it. Then I make the rest of it into an repulsive thing [to God]; I bow down [to worship] before a block of wood!” 20 That kind of man (the idolater) feeds on ashes [and is satisfied with ashes]! A deceived mind has led him astray, so that he cannot save himself, or ask, “Is this thing [that I am holding] in my right hand not a lie?”
God Forgives and Redeems
24 For the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb says this,
“I am the Lord, Maker of all things,
1 Thessalonians 2 Amplified Bible (AMP)
2 For you know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you has not been ineffective (fruitless, in vain), 2 but after we had already suffered and been outrageously treated in Philippi, as you know, yet in [the strength of] our God we summoned the courage to proclaim boldly to you the good news of God [regarding salvation] amid great opposition. 3 For our appeal does not come from delusion or impure motives, nor [is it motivated] by deceit [our message is complete, accurate, and based on the truth—it does not change]. 4 But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel [that tells the good news of salvation through faith in Christ], so we speak, not as [if we were trying] to please people [to gain power and popularity], but to please God who examines our hearts [expecting our best]. 5 For as you well know, we never came with words of flattery nor with a pretext for greed—God is our witness— 6 nor did we seek glory and honor from people, neither from you nor from anyone else, though as apostles of Christ we had the power to assert our authority. 7 But we behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother tenderly caring for her own children. 8 Having such a deep affection for you, we [a]were delighted to share with you not only God’s good news but also our own lives, because you had become so very dear to us.
9 For you remember, [b]believers, our labor and hardship. We worked night and day [practicing our trade] in order not to be a [financial] burden to any of you while we proclaimed the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, how unworldly and just and blameless was our behavior toward you who believe [in our Lord Jesus Christ]. 11 For you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you just as a father does [in dealing with] his own children, [guiding you] 12 to live lives [of honor, moral courage, and personal integrity] worthy of the God who [saves you and] calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
13 And we also thank God continually for this, that when you received the word of God [concerning salvation] which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its inherent, supernatural power in those of faith]. 14 For you, [c]brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, because you too suffered the same [kind of] persecution from your own countrymen, as they did from the Jews, 15 who [d]killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and harassed and drove us out; and [they] continue to be highly displeasing to God and [to show themselves] hostile to all people, 16 forbidding us from speaking to the Gentiles (non-Jews) so that they may be saved. So, as always, they fill up [to the brim] the measure of their sins [allotted to them by God]. But [God’s] wrath has come upon them at last [completely and forever].
17 But since we were taken away from you, believers, for a little while—in person, but not in heart—we endeavored, with great longing to see you face to face. 18 For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again [wanted to come], but Satan hindered us. 19 For who is [the object of] our hope or joy or our victor’s wreath of triumphant celebration [when we stand] in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are [indeed] our glory and our joy!
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