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Isaiah 45:11-48

11 Thus says the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:
“Ask me of things to come;
    will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?[a]
12 I made the earth
    and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
    and I commanded all their host.
13 I have stirred him up in righteousness,
    and I will make all his ways level;
he shall build my city
    and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,”
    says the Lord of hosts.

The Lord, the Only Savior

14 Thus says the Lord:
“The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
    and the Sabeans, men of stature,
shall come over to you and be yours;
    they shall follow you;
    they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.
They will plead with you, saying:
    ‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other,
    no god besides him.’”

15 Truly, you are a God who hides himself,
    O God of Israel, the Savior.
16 All of them are put to shame and confounded;
    the makers of idols go in confusion together.
17 But Israel is saved by the Lord
    with everlasting salvation;
you shall not be put to shame or confounded
    to all eternity.

18 For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
    (he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
    (he established it;
he did not create it empty,
    he formed it to be inhabited!):
“I am the Lord, and there is no other.
19 I did not speak in secret,
    in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
    ‘Seek me in vain.’[b]
I the Lord speak the truth;
    I declare what is right.

20 “Assemble yourselves and come;
    draw near together,
    you survivors of the nations!
They have no knowledge
    who carry about their wooden idols,
and keep on praying to a god
    that cannot save.
21 Declare and present your case;
    let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
    Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the Lord?
    And there is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
    there is none besides me.

22 “Turn to me and be saved,
    all the ends of the earth!
    For I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn;
    from my mouth has gone out in righteousness
    a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
    every tongue shall swear allegiance.’[c]

24 “Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
    are righteousness and strength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
    all who were incensed against him.
25 In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
    shall be justified and shall glory.”

The Idols of Babylon and the One True God

46 Bel bows down; Nebo stoops;
    their idols are on beasts and livestock;
these things you carry are borne
    as burdens on weary beasts.
They stoop; they bow down together;
    they cannot save the burden,
    but themselves go into captivity.

“Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
    carried from the womb;
even to your old age I am he,
    and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
    I will carry and will save.

“To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
    and compare me, that we may be alike?
Those who lavish gold from the purse,
    and weigh out silver in the scales,
hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
    then they fall down and worship!
They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
    they set it in its place, and it stands there;
    it cannot move from its place.
If one cries to it, it does not answer
    or save him from his trouble.

“Remember this and stand firm,
    recall it to mind, you transgressors,
    remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
    and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
    and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
    the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
    I have purposed, and I will do it.

12 “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
    you who are far from righteousness:
13 I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
    and my salvation will not delay;
I will put salvation in Zion,
    for Israel my glory.”

The Humiliation of Babylon

47 Come down and sit in the dust,
    O virgin daughter of Babylon;
sit on the ground without a throne,
    O daughter of the Chaldeans!
For you shall no more be called
    tender and delicate.
Take the millstones and grind flour,
    put off your veil,
strip off your robe, uncover your legs,
    pass through the rivers.
Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
    and your disgrace shall be seen.
I will take vengeance,
    and I will spare no one.
Our Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name—
    is the Holy One of Israel.

Sit in silence, and go into darkness,
    O daughter of the Chaldeans;
for you shall no more be called
    the mistress of kingdoms.
I was angry with my people;
    I profaned my heritage;
I gave them into your hand;
    you showed them no mercy;
on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy.
You said, “I shall be mistress forever,”
    so that you did not lay these things to heart
    or remember their end.

Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures,
    who sit securely,
who say in your heart,
    “I am, and there is no one besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow
    or know the loss of children”:
These two things shall come to you
    in a moment, in one day;
the loss of children and widowhood
    shall come upon you in full measure,
in spite of your many sorceries
    and the great power of your enchantments.

10 You felt secure in your wickedness;
    you said, “No one sees me”;
your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray,
and you said in your heart,
    “I am, and there is no one besides me.”
11 But evil shall come upon you,
    which you will not know how to charm away;
disaster shall fall upon you,
    for which you will not be able to atone;
and ruin shall come upon you suddenly,
    of which you know nothing.

12 Stand fast in your enchantments
    and your many sorceries,
    with which you have labored from your youth;
perhaps you may be able to succeed;
    perhaps you may inspire terror.
13 You are wearied with your many counsels;
    let them stand forth and save you,
those who divide the heavens,
    who gaze at the stars,
who at the new moons make known
    what shall come upon you.

14 Behold, they are like stubble;
    the fire consumes them;
they cannot deliver themselves
    from the power of the flame.
No coal for warming oneself is this,
    no fire to sit before!
15 Such to you are those with whom you have labored,
    who have done business with you from your youth;
they wander about, each in his own direction;
    there is no one to save you.

Israel Refined for God's Glory

48 Hear this, O house of Jacob,
    who are called by the name of Israel,
    and who came from the waters of Judah,
who swear by the name of the Lord
    and confess the God of Israel,
    but not in truth or right.
For they call themselves after the holy city,
    and stay themselves on the God of Israel;
    the Lord of hosts is his name.

“The former things I declared of old;
    they went out from my mouth, and I announced them;
    then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.
Because I know that you are obstinate,
    and your neck is an iron sinew
    and your forehead brass,
I declared them to you from of old,
    before they came to pass I announced them to you,
lest you should say, ‘My idol did them,
    my carved image and my metal image commanded them.’

“You have heard; now see all this;
    and will you not declare it?
From this time forth I announce to you new things,
    hidden things that you have not known.
They are created now, not long ago;
    before today you have never heard of them,
    lest you should say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’
You have never heard, you have never known,
    from of old your ear has not been opened.
For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously,
    and that from before birth you were called a rebel.

“For my name's sake I defer my anger;
    for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
    that I may not cut you off.
10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
    I have tried[d] you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
    for how should my name[e] be profaned?
    My glory I will not give to another.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 45:11 A slight emendation yields will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands?
  2. Isaiah 45:19 Hebrew in emptiness
  3. Isaiah 45:23 Septuagint every tongue shall confess to God
  4. Isaiah 48:10 Or I have chosen
  5. Isaiah 48:11 Hebrew lacks my name
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Ephesians 4:1-16

Unity in the Body of Christ

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says,

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”[a]

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?[b] 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[c] and teachers,[d] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[e] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Footnotes:

  1. Ephesians 4:8 The Greek word anthropoi can refer to both men and women
  2. Ephesians 4:9 Or the lower parts of the earth?
  3. Ephesians 4:11 Or pastors
  4. Ephesians 4:11 Or the shepherd-teachers
  5. Ephesians 4:13 Greek to a full-grown man
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Psalm 68:19-35

19 Blessed be the Lord,
    who daily bears us up;
    God is our salvation. Selah
20 Our God is a God of salvation,
    and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.
21 But God will strike the heads of his enemies,
    the hairy crown of him who walks in his guilty ways.
22 The Lord said,
    “I will bring them back from Bashan,
I will bring them back from the depths of the sea,
23 that you may strike your feet in their blood,
    that the tongues of your dogs may have their portion from the foe.”

24 Your procession is[a] seen, O God,
    the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary—
25 the singers in front, the musicians last,
    between them virgins playing tambourines:
26 “Bless God in the great congregation,
    the Lord, O you[b] who are of Israel's fountain!”
27 There is Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead,
    the princes of Judah in their throng,
    the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.

28 Summon your power, O God,[c]
    the power, O God, by which you have worked for us.
29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem
    kings shall bear gifts to you.
30 Rebuke the beasts that dwell among the reeds,
    the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples.
Trample underfoot those who lust after tribute;
    scatter the peoples who delight in war.[d]
31 Nobles shall come from Egypt;
    Cush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God.

32 O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;
    sing praises to the Lord, Selah
33 to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
    behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
34 Ascribe power to God,
    whose majesty is over Israel,
    and whose power is in the skies.
35 Awesome is God from his[e] sanctuary;
    the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed be God!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 68:24 Or has been
  2. Psalm 68:26 The Hebrew for you is plural here
  3. Psalm 68:28 By revocalization (compare Septuagint); Hebrew Your God has summoned your power
  4. Psalm 68:30 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
  5. Psalm 68:35 Septuagint; Hebrew your
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Proverbs 24:3-4

By wisdom a house is built,
    and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled
    with all precious and pleasant riches.

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English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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