August 31, 2023
A Prophecy of Deliverance from Foes
33 Woe to the destroyer,
who yourself have not been destroyed;
you treacherous one,
with whom no one has dealt treacherously!
When you have ceased to destroy,
you will be destroyed;
and when you have stopped dealing treacherously,
you will be dealt with treacherously.
2 O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
Be our arm every morning,
our salvation in the time of trouble.
3 At the sound of tumult, peoples fled;
before your majesty, nations scattered.
4 Spoil was gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
as locusts leap, they leaped upon it.
5 The Lord is exalted; he dwells on high;
he filled Zion with justice and righteousness;
6 he will be the stability of your times,
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.
7 Listen! The people of Ariel cry out in the streets;
the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
8 The highways are deserted;
travelers have quit the road.
The treaty is broken;
its oaths are despised,
the people are disregarded.
9 The land mourns and languishes;
Lebanon is confounded and withers away;
Sharon is like a desert,
and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.
10 “Now I will arise,” says the Lord,
“now I will lift myself up;
now I will be exalted.
11 You conceive chaff; you bring forth stubble;
wind like a fire will consume you.
12 And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,
like thorns cut down that are burned in the fire.”
13 Hear, you who are far away, what I have done,
and you who are near, acknowledge my might.
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
trembling has seized the godless:
“Who among us can live with the devouring fire?
Who among us can live with everlasting flames?”
15 Those who walk righteously and speak uprightly,
who despise the gain of oppression,
who wave away a bribe instead of accepting it,
who stop their ears from hearing of bloodshed
and shut their eyes from looking on evil,
16 they will live on the heights;
their refuge will be the fortresses of rocks;
their food will be supplied, their water assured.
The Land of the Majestic King
17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty;
they will behold a land that stretches far away.
18 Your mind will muse on the terror:
“Where is the one who counted?
Where is the one who weighed the tribute?
Where is the one who counted the towers?”
19 No longer will you see the insolent people,
the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,
stammering in a language that you cannot understand.
20 Look on Zion, the city of our appointed festivals!
Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
a quiet habitation, an immovable tent
whose stakes will never be pulled up
and none of whose ropes will be broken.
21 But there the Lord in majesty will be for us
a place of broad rivers and streams
where no galley with oars can go
nor stately ship can pass.
22 For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our ruler;
the Lord is our king; he will save us.
23 Your rigging hangs loose;
it cannot hold the mast firm in its place
or keep the sail spread out.
Then the blind will divide abundant spoil,
and the lame will take plunder.
24 And no inhabitant will say, “I am sick”;
the people who live there will be forgiven their iniquity.
Judgment on the Nations
34 Draw near, O nations, to hear;
O peoples, give heed!
Let the earth hear and all that fills it,
the world and all that comes from it.
2 For the Lord is enraged against all the nations
and furious against all their hordes;
he has doomed them, has given them over for slaughter.
3 Their slain shall be cast out,
and the stench of their corpses shall rise;
the mountains shall flow with their blood.
4 All the host of heaven shall rot away,
and the skies roll up like a scroll.
All their host shall wither
like a leaf withering on a vine
or fruit withering on a fig tree.
5 When my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens,
upon Edom it will fall,
upon the people I have doomed to judgment.
6 The Lord has a sword; it is sated with blood;
it is gorged with fat,
with the blood of lambs and goats,
with the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
7 Wild oxen shall fall with them
and young steers with the mighty bulls.
Their land shall be soaked with blood,
and their soil made rich with fat.
8 For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
a year of vindication for Zion’s cause.
9 And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch
and her soil into sulfur;
her land shall become burning pitch.
10 Night and day it shall not be quenched;
its smoke shall go up forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste;
no one shall pass through it forever and ever.
11 But the desert owl and the screech owl shall possess it;
the great owl and the raven shall live in it.
He shall stretch the line of confusion
and the plummet of chaos over it.
12 They shall call its nobles No Kingdom There,
and all its princes shall be nothing.
13 Thorns shall grow over its strongholds,
nettles and thistles in its fortresses.
It shall be the haunt of jackals,
an abode for ostriches.
14 Wildcats shall meet with hyenas;
goat-demons shall call to each other;
there also Lilith shall repose
and find a place to rest.
15 There shall the owl nest
and lay and hatch and brood in its shadow;
there also the buzzards shall gather,
each one with its mate.
16 Seek and read from the book of the Lord:
Not one of these shall be missing;
none shall be without its mate.
For his mouth, it has commanded,
and his spirit, it has gathered them.
17 He has cast the lot for them;
his hand has portioned it out to them with the line.
[[They shall possess it;
from generation to generation they shall live in it.
The Return of the Redeemed to Zion
35 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus 2 it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and shouting.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.]]
3 Strengthen the weak hands
and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf shall be opened;
6 then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp;
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
8 A highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
but it shall be for God’s people;
no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.
9 No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
1 Corinthians 6
Lawsuits among Believers
6 When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels, to say nothing of ordinary matters? 4 If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one person wise enough to decide between brothers and sisters? 6 Instead, brothers and sisters go to court against one another, and this before the unbelievers.
7 In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—and brothers and sisters at that.
9 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, men who engage in illicit sex, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, swindlers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Glorify God in Body and Spirit
12 “All things are permitted for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are permitted for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for sexual immorality but for the Lord and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” 17 But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Shun sexual immorality! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against the body itself. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.