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Old Testament:  Isaiah 62-64

Isaiah 62

Isaiah's Prayer for Jerusalem
 1  Because I love Zion,
  I will not keep still.
Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem,
  I cannot remain silent.
I will not stop praying for her
  until her righteousness shines like the dawn,
  and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.
 2  The nations will see your righteousness.
  World leaders will be blinded by your glory.
And you will be given a new name
  by the LORD's own mouth.
 3  The LORD will hold you in his hand for all to see—
  a splendid crown in the hand of God.
 4  Never again will you be called "The Forsaken City" [4] 
  or "The Desolate Land." [4] 
Your new name will be "The City of God's Delight" [4] 
  and "The Bride of God," [4] 
for the LORD delights in you
  and will claim you as his bride.
 5  Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem,
  just as a young man commits himself to his bride.
Then God will rejoice over you
  as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.

 6  O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls;
  they will pray day and night, continually.
  Take no rest, all you who pray to the LORD.
 7  Give the LORD no rest until he completes his work,
  until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.
 8  The LORD has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength:
  "I will never again hand you over to your enemies.
Never again will foreign warriors come
  and take away your grain and new wine.
 9  You raised the grain, and you will eat it,
  praising the LORD.
Within the courtyards of the Temple,
  you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed."

 10  Go out through the gates!
  Prepare the highway for my people to return!
Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders;
  raise a flag for all the nations to see.
 11  The LORD has sent this message to every land:
  "Tell the people of Israel, [11] 
`Look, your Savior is coming.
  See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.'"
 12  They will be called "The Holy People"
  and "The People Redeemed by the LORD."
And Jerusalem will be known as "The Desirable Place"
  and "The City No Longer Forsaken."

Isaiah 63

Judgment against the LORD's Enemies
 1  Who is this who comes from Edom,
  from the city of Bozrah,
  with his clothing stained red?
Who is this in royal robes,
  marching in his great strength?

"It is I, the LORD, announcing your salvation!
  It is I, the LORD, who has the power to save!"

 2  Why are your clothes so red,
  as if you have been treading out grapes?

 3  "I have been treading the winepress alone;
  no one was there to help me.
In my anger I have trampled my enemies
  as if they were grapes.
In my fury I have trampled my foes.
  Their blood has stained my clothes.
 4  For the time has come for me to avenge my people,
  to ransom them from their oppressors.
 5  I was amazed to see that no one intervened
  to help the oppressed.
So I myself stepped in to save them with my strong arm,
  and my wrath sustained me.
 6  I crushed the nations in my anger
  and made them stagger and fall to the ground,
  spilling their blood upon the earth."

Praise for Deliverance
 7  "I will tell of the LORD's unfailing love. I will praise the LORD for all he has done. I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel, which he has granted according to his mercy and love."  8  He said, "They are my very own people.
  Surely they will not betray me again."
  And he became their Savior.
 9  In all their suffering he also suffered,
  and he personally [9]  rescued them.
In his love and mercy he redeemed them.
  He lifted them up and carried them
  through all the years.
 10  But they rebelled against him
  and grieved his Holy Spirit.
So he became their enemy
  and fought against them.

 11  Then they remembered those days of old
  when Moses led his people out of Egypt.
They cried out, "Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea,
  with Moses as their shepherd?
Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit
  to be among his people?
 12  Where is the one whose power was displayed
  when Moses lifted up his hand—
the one who divided the sea before them,
  making himself famous forever?
 13  Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea?
  They were like fine stallions
  racing through the desert, never stumbling.
 14  As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley,
  the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest.
You led your people, LORD,
  and gained a magnificent reputation."

Prayer for Mercy and Pardon
 15  LORD, look down from heaven;
  look from your holy, glorious home, and see us.
Where is the passion and the might
  you used to show on our behalf?
  Where are your mercy and compassion now?
 16  Surely you are still our Father!
  Even if Abraham and Jacob [16]  would disown us,
LORD, you would still be our Father.
  You are our Redeemer from ages past.
 17  LORD, why have you allowed us to turn from your path?
  Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you?
Return and help us, for we are your servants,
  the tribes that are your special possession.
 18  How briefly your holy people possessed your holy place,
  and now our enemies have destroyed it.
 19  Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you,
  as though we had never been known as your people.

Isaiah 64

 1   [1] Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down!
  How the mountains would quake in your presence!
 2   [2] As fire causes wood to burn
  and water to boil,
your coming would make the nations tremble.
  Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame!
 3  When you came down long ago,
  you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations.
  And oh, how the mountains quaked!
 4  For since the world began,
  no ear has heard
and no eye has seen a God like you,
  who works for those who wait for him!
 5  You welcome those who gladly do good,
  who follow godly ways.
But you have been very angry with us,
  for we are not godly.
We are constant sinners;
  how can people like us be saved?
 6  We are all infected and impure with sin.
  When we display our righteous deeds,
  they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
  and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
 7  Yet no one calls on your name
  or pleads with you for mercy.
Therefore, you have turned away from us
  and turned us over [7]  to our sins.

 8  And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.  9  Don't be so angry with us, LORD.
  Please don't remember our sins forever.
Look at us, we pray,
  and see that we are all your people.
 10  Your holy cities are destroyed.
  Zion is a wilderness;
  yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin.
 11  The holy and beautiful Temple
  where our ancestors praised you
has been burned down,
  and all the things of beauty are destroyed.
 12  After all this, LORD, must you still refuse to help us?
  Will you continue to be silent and punish us?
<<  62:4a Hebrew Azubah, which means "forsaken." 62:4b Hebrew Shemamah, which means "desolate." 62:4c Hebrew Hephzibah, which means "my delight is in her." 62:4d Hebrew Beulah, which means "married."
<<  62:11 Hebrew Tell the daughter of Zion.
<<  63:9 Hebrew and the angel of his presence.
<<  63:16 Hebrew Israel. See note on 14:1.
<<  64:1 In the Hebrew text this verse is included in 63:19.
<<  64:2 Verses 64:2-12 are numbered 64:1-11 in Hebrew text.
<<  64:7 As in Greek, Syriac, and Aramaic versions; Hebrew reads melted us.

New Testament:  1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 1

Greetings from Paul
 1  This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope.
   2  I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith.
  May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.

Warnings against False Teachings
 3  When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth.  4  Don't let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, [4]  which don't help people live a life of faith in God. [4] 
   5  The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.  6  But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions.  7  They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don't know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.
   8  We know that the law is good when used correctly.  9  For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders.  10  The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, [10]  liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching  11  that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.

Paul's Gratitude for God's Mercy
 12  I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him,  13  even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief.  14  Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.
   15  This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"—and I am the worst of them all.  16  But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.  17  All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen. Timothy's Responsibility
 18  Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord's battles.  19  Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.  20  Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.
<<  1:4a Greek in myths and endless genealogies, which cause speculation. 1:4b Greek a stewardship of God in faith.
<<  1:10 Or kidnappers.

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