Week 38, Day 1

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The reading for today is Isaiah 64-66; 2 Corinthians 2.

Isaiah 64

Would that you would tear the heavens and come down;
the mountains would quake before you,
as fire kindles brushwood,
the fire causes water to boil,
to make your name known to your adversaries,
that the nations might tremble from your presence.
When you did terrible deeds which we did not expect, you came down;
the mountains quaked because of your presence.
And since ancient times they have not heard,
have not listened,
no eye has seen a God except you;
he acts for the one who waits for him.
You meet with the one who rejoices,
one who does righteousness.
In your ways they remember you.
Look! You were angry and we sinned against them in ancient times and we were saved.
And we all have become like the unclean,
and all our deeds of justice like a menstrual cloth,
And we all wither like a leaf,
and our iniquities take us away like the wind.
And there is no one who calls on your name,
who pulls himself up to keep hold of you,
for you have hidden your face from us,
and melted us into the hand of our iniquity.
Yet now Yahweh, you are our father;
we are the clay and you are our potter,
and we all are the work of your hand.
You must not be exceedingly angry, Yahweh,
and you must not remember iniquity forever!

Look! Behold, now! We all are your people!

Your holy cities have become a wilderness;
Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
Our holy and beautiful temple, where our ancestors praised you has been burned by fire,
and all our precious objects have become ruins.
Will you control yourself because of these, Yahweh?
Will you be silent?
And will you oppress us exceedingly?

Isaiah 65

"I let myself be sought by those who did not ask;
I let myself be found by those who did not seek me.
I said, ‘Here I am; here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name;
I spread out my hands all day to a stubborn people,
those who walk after their thoughts in the way that is not good,
the people who provoke me to anger continually to my face,
slaughtering for sacrifices in the garden,
and making smoke offerings on bricks,
who sit in graves
and spend the night in secret places,
who eat the flesh of swine
with a fragment of impurity in their vessels,
who say, "Keep to yourself!
You must not come near me, for I am too holy for you!"
These are a smoke in my nostrils,
a fire burning all day.
Look! It is written before me: I will not be silent, but I will repay;
and I will repay in the fold of their garment
your iniquities and the iniquities of your ancestors together, says Yahweh,
because they made smoke offerings on the mountains
and they taunted me on the hills,
I will measure their punishment from the beginning into the fold of their garment."

Thus says Yahweh: "Just as the new wine is found in the cluster, and they say ‘You must not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it,’ so I will do for the sake of my servants by not destroying everyone.

And I will bring descendant s out from Jacob,
and a people from Judah to take possession of my mountain,
and my chosen ones shall inherit it,
and my servants shall settle there.
And Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks,
and the valley of Achor a resting place for herds
for my people who have sought me.
But you who forsake Yahweh,
forgetting my holy mountain,
who set a table for Fortune,
and who pour out a jug of mixed wine for Destiny,
and I will remit you to the sword,
and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter,
because I called, but you did not answer;
I spoke, but you did not listen,
but you did the evil in my eyes,
and you chose that in which I do not delight."

Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh:

"Look! My servants shall eat but you, you shall be hungry.
Look! My servants shall drink but you, you shall be thirsty.
Look! My servants shall rejoice but you, you shall be ashamed.
Look! My servants shall shout for joy, but you, you shall cry out for pain and howl for sadness.
And you shall leave your name to my chosen ones as a curse,
and the Lord Yahweh will kill you, and he will give his servants another name.
Whoever blesses himself in the land shall bless himself by the God of trustworthiness,
and the one who swears an oath in the land shall swear by the God of trustworthiness,
because the former troubles are forgotten,
and they are hidden from my eyes.

For look! I am about to create new heavens and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered,
and they shall not come to mind.
But rejoice and shout in exultation forever and ever over what I am about to create!
For look! I am about to create Jerusalem as a source of rejoicing,
and her people as a source of joy.
And I will shout in exultation over Jerusalem,
and I will rejoice over my people,
and the sound of weeping shall no longer be heard in it,
or the sound of a cry for help.
There will no longer be a nursing infant who lives only a few days,
or an old man who does not fill his days,
for the boy will die a hundred years old,
and the one who fails to reach a hundred years will be considered accursed.
And they shall build houses and inhabit them,
and they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat.
For the days of my people shall be like the days of a tree,
and my chosen ones shall enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labor for nothing,
and they shall not give birth to horror,
for they shall be offspring blessed by Yahweh,
and their descendants with them.
And this will happen: before they call, I myself will answer;
while still they are speaking, I myself will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed like one,
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
but dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall do no evil,
and they shall not destroy on all my holy mountain," says Yahweh.

Isaiah 66

Thus says Yahweh:

"Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is the footstool for my feet.
Where is this house that you would build for me?
And where is this resting place for me?
And my hand has made all these things,
and all these came to be,"

declares Yahweh, "but I look to this one:

to the humble and the contrite of spirit
and the one frightened at my word.
The one who slaughters a bull strikes a man;
the one who slaughters a lamb for sacrifice breaks the neck of a dog.
The one who offers an offering, the blood of swine;
the one who offers frankincense blesses an idol.
Indeed, they themselves have chosen their ways,
and their soul delights in their abhorrence.
Indeed, I myself I will choose their ill treatment,
and I will bring them objects of their dread,
because I called, and no one answered;
I spoke and they did not listen,
but they did the evil in my eyes,
and they chose that in which I do not delight."

Hear the word of Yahweh, you who are frightened at his word:

Your brothers who hate you,
who exclude you for my name’s sake have said,
"Let Yahweh be honored so that we may see your joy!"
But they themselves shall be ashamed.
A voice, an uproar from the city!
A voice from the temple!
The voice of Yahweh paying back his enemies!

Before she was in labor she gave birth;
before labor pains came to her, she gave birth to a son.
Who has heard anything like this?
Who has seen anything like these things?
Can a land be born in one day?
Or can a nation be born in a moment?

Yet when she was in labor, Zion indeed gave birth to her children.

Shall I myself I break open and not deliver?" says Yahweh,
"or I who delivers lock up the womb?" says your God.
"Rejoice with Jerusalem
and shout in exultation with her, all those who love her!
Rejoice with her in joy, all those who mourn over her,
so that you may suck and be satisfied from her consoling breast,
so that you may drink deeply and refresh yourselves from her heavy breast."

For thus says Yahweh:

"Look! I am about to spread prosperity out to her like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream,
and you shall suck and be carried on the hip;
and you shall you shall be played with on the knees.
As a man whose mother comforts him, so I myself will comfort you,
and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

And you shall see and your heart shall rejoice,
and your bones shall flourish like the grass,
and the hand of Yahweh shall make itself known to his servants,
and he shall curse his enemies.
For look! Yahweh will come in fire,
and his chariots like the storm wind,
to give back his anger in wrath,
and his rebuke in flames of fire.
For Yahweh enters into judgment on all flesh with fire and his sword,
and those slain by Yahweh shall be many.
Those who sanctify themselves
and those who cleanse themselves to go into the gardens after the one in the middle,
eating the flesh of swine
and detestable things and rodents together

shall come to an end!" declares Yahweh.

"And I—their works and thoughts!—am about to come to gather all nations and tongues,
and they shall come and see my glory.
And I will set a sign among them,
and I will send survivors from them to the nations:
Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow;
Tubal and Javan, the faraway coastlands
that have not heard of my fame,
and have not seen my glory.

And they shall declare my glory among the nations, and bring all your countrymen from all the nations as an offering to Yahweh on horses and chariots and in litters and on mules and camels, to my holy mountain, Jerusalem," says Yahweh, "just as the sons of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel to the house of Yahweh. And indeed, I will take some of them as priests and the Levites," says Yahweh. "For just as the new heavens and earth that I am about to make shall stand before me," declares Yahweh, "so shall your descendants and your name stand.

And this shall happen: From new moon to new moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath all flesh shall come to bow in worship before me," says Yahweh. "And they shall go out and look at the corpses of the people who have rebelled against me,

for their worm shall not die,
and their fire shall not be quenched,
and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

2 Corinthians 2

For I have decided this for myself, not to come to you again in sorrow. For if I cause you sorrow, then who will make me glad except the one who is caused to be sad by me? And I wrote this very thing in order that when I came, I would not experience sorrow from those who ought to have made me glad, because I have confidence about you all, that my joy belongs to all of you. For out of great distress and anguish of heart I wrote to you through many tears, not so that you may be caused to be sad, but so that you may know the love that I have especially for you.

But if anyone has caused sorrow, he has not caused me sorrow, but to some degreein order not to say too muchto all of you. This punishment by the majority is sufficient for such a person. So then, you should rather forgive and comfort him, lest somehow this person should be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Therefore I urge you to confirm your love for him. Because for this reason also I wrote, in order that I could know your proven character, whether you are obedient in everything. Now to whomever you forgive anything, I also do; for indeed, whatever I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, it is for your sake in the presence of Christ, in order that we may not be exploited by Satan (for we are not ignorant of his schemes).

Now when I arrived in Troas for the gospel of Christ and a door was opened for me by the Lord, I did not experience rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother, but saying farewell to them, I departed for Macedonia. But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ, and who reveals the fragrance of the knowledge of him through us in every place. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to those on the one hand an odor from death to death, and to those on the other hand a fragrance from life to life. And who is qualified for these things? For we are not like the majority who peddle the word of God, but as from pure motives—but as from God—we speak before God in Christ.

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