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Isaiah 41:17-43:13; Ephesians 2:1-22; Psalms 67:1-7; Proverbs 23:29-35 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Isaiah 41:17-43:13

17 “The poor and needy are looking for water, but there is none.
    Their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, will answer them.
I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.
18     I will make rivers flow on bare hilltops.
    I will make springs flow through valleys.
        I will turn deserts into lakes.
        I will turn dry land into springs.
19     I will plant cedar, acacia, myrtle, and wild olive trees in the desert.
    I will place cedar, fir, and cypress trees together in the wilderness.
20 People will see and know.
Together they will consider and understand
    that the Lord’s power has done this,
    that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 “Present your case,” says the Lord.
“Bring forward your best arguments,” says Jacob’s king.
22 “Bring your idols so they can tell us what’s going to happen.
    Explain past events that your idols told you about
        so that we may consider them
            and know what their outcome will be.
                Tell us about future events.
23     Tell us what’s going to happen
        so that we may know that you are gods.
    Yes, do something, good or evil,
        to intimidate us and make us afraid.
24 You are nothing!
You can’t do anything!
    Whoever chooses you is disgusting.

25 “I have raised up someone from the north, and he has come.
    He will call on my name from the east.
    He will attack rulers as if they were mud,
        as if he were treading on clay like a potter.
26 Who revealed this from the beginning so that we could know it?
Who revealed this from the past so that we could say that he was right?
    No one revealed it.
    No one announced it.
    No one heard your words.
27 I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look, here they are.’
I gave Jerusalem a messenger with the good news.
28 When I look, there is no one.
    There is no one to advise them.
When I ask them a question,
    will they give an answer?
29 All of them are nothing.[a]
    They can’t do anything.
    Their statues are nothing but air.”

The Lord’s Servant Will Bring Righteousness to the World

    Here is my servant, whom I support.
Here is my chosen one, with whom I am pleased.
I have put my Spirit on him.
    He will bring justice to the nations.
    He will not cry out or raise his voice.
    He will not make his voice heard in the streets.
    He will not break off a damaged cattail.
    He will not even put out a smoking wick.
    He will faithfully bring about justice.
    He will not be discouraged or crushed
        until he has set up justice on the earth.
    The coastlands will wait for his teachings.

The Lord God created the heavens and stretched them out.
    He shaped the earth and all that comes from it.
    He gave life to the people who are on it
        and breath to those who walk on it.

This is what the Lord God says:

I, the Lord, have called you to do what is right.
    I will take hold of your hand.
    I will protect you.
    I will appoint you as my promise[b] to the people,
        as my light to the nations.
            You will give sight to the blind,
                bring prisoners out of prisons,
                    and bring those who live in darkness
                        out of dungeons.
I am the Lord; that is my name.
    I will not give my glory to anyone else
        or the praise I deserve to idols.
What I said in the past has come true.
    I will reveal new things before they happen.

A Song about the Lord, the Warrior

10 Sing a new song to the Lord.
Sing his praise from the ends of the earth,
    you people who sail on the seas
        and all the creatures that live in them,
    you coastlands and all who live on them.
11 Let those who live in the desert and its cities raise their voices.
Let those who live in the settlements of Kedar praise him.
Let those who live in Sela sing for joy.
    Let them shout from the tops of the mountains.
12     Let them give glory to the Lord
        and announce his praise on the coastlands.
13 The Lord marches out like a warrior.
    He prepares himself for battle like a soldier.
        He shouts, gives the battle cry, and overpowers his enemies.

14 I have been silent for a long time.
I kept quiet and held myself back.
But like a woman in childbirth I will cry out.
    I will gasp and pant.
15 I will lay waste to mountains and hills.
I will dry up all their vegetation.
I will turn rivers into islands.
I will dry up ponds.
16 I will lead the blind on unfamiliar roads.
I will lead them on unfamiliar paths.
I will turn darkness into light in front of them.
I will make rough places smooth.
    These are the things I will do for them,
        and I will never abandon them.
17             Then those who trust idols
                and those who say to statues,
                    “You are our gods”
                        will be turned away and put to shame.

The Lord Will Bring Israel Home

18 Listen, you deaf people.
Look, you blind people, so that you can see.
19 Who is blind except my servant
    or deaf like the messenger I send?
Who is blind like the one who has my trust
    or blind like the servant of the Lord?
20 You have seen much, but you do not observe anything.
Your ears are open, but you hear nothing.
21 The Lord is pleased because he does what is right.
    He praises the greatness of his teachings and makes them glorious.
22         But these people are robbed and looted.
            They are all trapped in pits and hidden in prisons.
            They have become prey with no one to rescue them.
            They have become loot with no one to say, “Give it back.”
23 Who among you will listen to this?
Is there anyone who will pay attention and listen in the future?
24 Who gave Jacob away as loot
    and handed Israel over to robbers?
Wasn’t it the Lord, against whom we have sinned?
    They didn’t want to live his way.
    They didn’t obey his teachings.
25 So he poured out his burning anger and the horrors of war on them.
    It engulfed them in flames, but they did not understand.
    It burned them, but they did not take it to heart.

43 The Lord created Jacob and formed Israel. Now, this is what the Lord says:

Do not be afraid, because I have reclaimed you.
    I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through the sea, I am with you.
When you go through rivers, they will not sweep you away.
When you walk through fire, you will not be burned,
    and the flames will not harm you.
I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
    Egypt is the ransom I exchanged for you.
    Sudan and Seba are the price I paid for you.
Since you are precious to me, you are honored and I love you.
    I will exchange others for you.
        Nations will be the price I pay for your life.

Do not be afraid, because I am with you.
    I will bring your descendants from the east
        and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, “Give them up,”
    and to the south, “Do not keep them.”
Bring my sons from far away
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth.
Bring everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.
Bring the people who are blind but still have eyes,
    the people who are deaf but still have ears.
All nations have gathered together, and people have assembled.
    Who among them could have revealed this?
    Who among them could have foretold this to us?
        They should bring their witnesses to prove that they were right.
            Let the people hear them. Then they will say that it is true.

10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord.
“I have chosen you as my servant
    so that you can know and believe in me
        and understand that I am the one who did this.
No god was formed before me,
    and there will be none after me.
11 I alone am the Lord,
    and there is no savior except me.
12 I have revealed it to you, I have saved you,
    and I have announced it to you.
        There was no foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses that I am God,” declares the Lord.
13 “From the first day I was the one who did this.
    No one can rescue people from my power.
When I do something, who can undo it?”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 41:29 Dead Sea Scrolls, Syriac, Targum; Masoretic Text “They are false.”
  2. Isaiah 42:6 Or “covenant.”
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Ephesians 2

God Saved Us because of His Great Love for Us

You were once dead because of your failures and sins. You followed the ways of this present world and its spiritual ruler. This ruler continues to work in people who refuse to obey God. All of us once lived among these people, and followed the desires of our corrupt nature. We did what our corrupt desires and thoughts wanted us to do. So, because of our nature, we deserved God’s anger just like everyone else.

But God is rich in mercy because of his great love for us. We were dead because of our failures, but he made us alive together with Christ. (It is God’s kindness[a] that saved you.) God has brought us back to life together with Christ Jesus and has given us a position in heaven with him. He did this through Christ Jesus out of his generosity to us in order to show his extremely rich kindness in the world to come. God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it. 10 God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.

God Has United Jewish and Non-Jewish People

11 Remember that once you were not Jewish physically. Those who called themselves “the circumcised” because of what they had done to their bodies called you “the uncircumcised.” 12 Also, at that time you were without Christ. You were excluded from citizenship in Israel, and the pledges[b] God made in his promise were foreign to you. You had no hope and were in the world without God.

13 But now through Christ Jesus you, who were once far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 So he is our peace. In his body he has made Jewish and non-Jewish people one by breaking down the wall of hostility that kept them apart. 15 He brought an end to the commandments and demands found in Moses’ Teachings so that he could take Jewish and non-Jewish people and create one new humanity in himself. So he made peace. 16 He also brought them back to God in one body by his cross, on which he killed the hostility. 17 He came with the Good News of peace for you who were far away and for those who were near. 18 So Jewish and non-Jewish people can go to the Father in one Spirit.

19 That is why you are no longer foreigners and outsiders but citizens together with God’s people and members of God’s family. 20 You are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone. 21 In him all the parts of the building fit together and grow into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 Through him you, also, are being built in the Spirit together with others into a place where God lives.

Footnotes:

  1. Ephesians 2:5 Or “grace.”
  2. Ephesians 2:12 Or “covenants.”
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Psalm 67

Psalm 67

For the choir director; on stringed instruments; a psalm; a song.

May God have pity on us and bless us!
May he smile on us. Selah
    Then your ways will be known on earth,
        your salvation throughout all nations.

Let everyone give thanks to you, O God.
Let everyone give thanks to you.
Let the nations be glad and sing joyfully
    because you judge everyone with justice
        and guide the nations on the earth. Selah
Let the people give thanks to you, O God.
Let all the people give thanks to you.
    The earth has yielded its harvest.
May God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
    and may all the ends of the earth worship him.

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Proverbs 23:29-35

29 Who has trouble?
Who has misery?
Who has quarrels?
Who has a complaint?
Who has wounds for no reason?
Who has bloodshot eyes?
30     Those who drink glass after glass of wine
        and mix it with everything.
31 Do not look at wine
    because it is red,
    because it sparkles in the cup,
    because it goes down smoothly.
32         Later it bites like a snake
            and strikes like a poisonous snake.
33     Your eyes will see strange sights,
        and your mouth will say embarrassing things.
34     You will be like someone lying down in the middle of the sea
        or like someone lying down on top of a ship’s mast, saying,
35             “They strike me, but I feel no pain.
            They beat me, but I’m not aware of it.
                Whenever I wake up, I’m going to look for another drink.”

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GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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