Day 284

Daily Bible Reading

(ESV: Through The Bible)

Isaiah 45-47 (Listen)

Cyrus, God's Instrument

45:1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
  whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
  and to loose the belts of kings,
to open doors before him
  that gates may not be closed:
“I will go before you
  and level the exalted places, [1]
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
  and cut through the bars of iron,
I will give you the treasures of darkness
  and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
  the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
For the sake of my servant Jacob,
  and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
  I name you, though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
  besides me there is no God;
  I equip you, though you do not know me,
that people may know, from the rising of the sun
  and from the west, that there is none besides me;
  I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness,
  I make well-being and create calamity,
  I am the Lord, who does all these things.

“Shower, O heavens, from above,
  and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
  let the earth cause them both to sprout;
  I the Lord have created it.

“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
  a pot among earthen pots!
Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
  or ‘Your work has no handles’?
Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
  or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”

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? [2]
I made the earth
  and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
  and I commanded all their host.
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

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.’”

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

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.
I did not speak in secret,
  in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
  ‘Seek me in vain.’ [3]
I the Lord speak the truth;
  I declare what is right.

“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.
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.

“Turn to me and be saved,
  all the ends of the earth!
  For I am God, and there is no other.
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.’ [4]

“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.
In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
  shall be justified and shall glory.”

The Idols of Babylon and the One True God

46:1 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,
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,’
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.

“Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
  you who are far from righteousness:
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

47:1 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.

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.”
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.

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.
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.

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!
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.

Colossians 3 (Listen)

Put On the New Self

3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your [5] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: [6] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. [7] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self [8] with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, [9] free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Rules for Christian Households

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Slaves, [10] obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, [11] not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.


[1] 45:2 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint level the mountains
[2] 45:11 A slight emendation yields will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands?
[3] 45:19 Hebrew in emptiness
[4] 45:23 Septuagint every tongue shall confess to God
[5] 3:4 Some manuscripts our
[6] 3:5 Greek therefore your members that are on the earth
[7] 3:6 Some manuscripts add upon the sons of disobedience
[8] 3:9 Greek man; also as supplied in verse 10
[9] 3:11 Greek bondservant
[10] 3:22 Or Servants; Greek Bondservants
[11] 3:22 Or your masters according to the flesh




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