OT Reading – January 28

Zechariah 8-11

Zechariah 8

The Coming Peace and Prosperity of Zion

8 Then the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.’ Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.’ Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?’ declares the Lord of hosts. Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.’

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Let your hands be strong, you who are listening in these days to these words from the mouth of the prophets, those who spoke in the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, to the end that the temple might be built. 10 For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for animal; and for him who went out or came in there was no peace because of his enemies, and I set all men one against another. 11 But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 12 ‘For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things13 It will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you that you may become a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong.’

14 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Just as I purposed to do harm to you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and I have not relented, 15 so I have again purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear! 16 These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. 17 Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord.”

18 Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, 19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth months will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.’

20 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. 21 The inhabitants of one will go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I will also go.” 22 So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord.’ 23 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”

 

Zechariah 9

Prophecies against Neighboring Nations

9 The burden of the word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrach, with Damascus as its resting place (for the eyes of men, especially of all the tribes of Israel, are toward the Lord),

And Hamath also, which borders on it; Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise. For Tyre built herself a fortress And piled up silver like dust, And gold like the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will dispossess her And cast her wealth into the sea; And she will be consumed with fire. Ashkelon will see it and be afraid. Gaza too will writhe in great pain; Also Ekron, for her expectation has been confounded. Moreover, the king will perish from Gaza, And Ashkelon will not be inhabited. And a mongrel race will dwell in Ashdod, And I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. And I will remove their blood from their mouth And their detestable things from between their teeth. Then they also will be a remnant for our God, And be like a clan in Judah, And Ekron like a Jebusite. But I will camp around My house because of an army, Because of him who passes by and returns; And no oppressor will pass over them anymore, For now I have seen with My eyes. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.

Deliverance of Judah and Ephraim

11 As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I have set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. 12 Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you. 13 For I will bend Judah as My bow, I will fill the bow with Ephraim. And I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece; And I will make you like a warrior’s sword. 14 Then the Lord will appear over them, And His arrow will go forth like lightning; And the Lord God will blow the trumpet, And will march in the storm winds of the south. 15 The Lord of hosts will defend them. And they will devour and trample on the sling stones; And they will drink and be boisterous as with wine; And they will be filled like a sacrificial basin, Drenched like the corners of the altar. 16 And the Lord their God will save them in that day As the flock of His people; For they are as the stones of a crown, Sparkling in His land. 17 For what comeliness and beauty will be theirs! Grain will make the young men flourish, and new wine the virgins.

 

Zechariah 10

God Will Bless Judah and Ephraim

10 Ask rain from the Lord at the time of the spring rain—

The Lord who makes the storm clouds; And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man. For the teraphim speak iniquity, And the diviners see lying visions And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep, They are afflicted, because there is no shepherd. “My anger is kindled against the shepherds, And I will punish the male goats; For the Lord of hosts has visited His flock, the house of Judah, And will make them like His majestic horse in battle. “From them will come the cornerstone, From them the tent peg, From them the bow of battle, From them every ruler, all of them together. “They will be as mighty men, Treading down the enemy in the mire of the streets in battle; And they will fight, for the Lord will be with them; And the riders on horses will be put to shame. “I will strengthen the house of Judah, And I will save the house of Joseph, And I will bring them back, Because I have had compassion on them; And they will be as though I had not rejected them, For I am the Lord their God and I will answer them. “Ephraim will be like a mighty man, And their heart will be glad as if from wine; Indeed, their children will see it and be glad, Their heart will rejoice in the Lord. “I will whistle for them to gather them together, For I have redeemed them; And they will be as numerous as they were before. “When I scatter them among the peoples, They will remember Me in far countries, And they with their children will live and come back. 10 “I will bring them back from the land of Egypt And gather them from Assyria; And I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon Until no room can be found for them. 11 “And they will pass through the sea of distress And He will strike the waves in the sea, So that all the depths of the Nile will dry up; And the pride of Assyria will be brought down And the scepter of Egypt will depart. 12 “And I will strengthen them in the Lord, And in His name they will walk,” declares the Lord.

 

Zechariah 11

The Doomed Flock

11 Open your doors, O Lebanon,

That a fire may feed on your cedars. Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen, Because the glorious trees have been destroyed; Wail, O oaks of Bashan, For the impenetrable forest has come down. There is a sound of the shepherds’ wail, For their glory is ruined; There is a sound of the young lions’ roar, For the pride of the Jordan is ruined.

Thus says the Lord my God, “Pasture the flock doomed to slaughter. Those who buy them slay them and go unpunished, and each of those who sell them says, ‘Blessed be the Lord, for I have become rich!’ And their own shepherds have no pity on them. For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of the land,” declares the Lord; “but behold, I will cause the men to fall, each into another’s power and into the power of his king; and they will strike the land, and I will not deliver them from their power.”

So I pastured the flock doomed to slaughter, hence the afflicted of the flock. And I took for myself two staffs: the one I called Favor and the other I called Union; so I pastured the flock. Then I annihilated the three shepherds in one month, for my soul was impatient with them, and their soul also was weary of me. Then I said, “I will not pasture you. What is to die, let it die, and what is to be annihilated, let it be annihilated; and let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.” 10 I took my staff Favor and cut it in pieces, to break my covenant which I had made with all the peoples. 11 So it was broken on that day, and thus the afflicted of the flock who were watching me realized that it was the word of the Lord.12 I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. 13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord. 14 Then I cut in pieces my second staff Union, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

15 The Lord said to me, “Take again for yourself the equipment of a foolish shepherd.16 For behold, I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broken, or sustain the one standing, but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hoofs.

17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd Who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm And on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered And his right eye will be blind.”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

OT Reading – January 26

Zechariah 1-4

Zechariah 1

A Call to Repentance

1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo saying, “The Lord was very angry with your fathers. Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the Lord of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.”’ But they did not listen or give heed to Me,” declares the Lord. “Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? But did not My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? Then they repented and said, ‘As the Lord of hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us.’”’”

Patrol of the Earth

On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, as follows: I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel and white horses behind him. Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “I will show you what these are.” 10 And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are those whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth.” 11 So they answered the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees and said, “We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth is peaceful and quiet.”

12 Then the angel of the Lord said, “O Lord of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?” 13 The Lord answered the angel who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words. 14 So the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion. 15 But I am very angry with the nations who are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they furthered the disaster.” 16 Therefore thus says the Lord, “I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem.”’ 17 Again, proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.”’”

18 Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, there were four horns. 19 So I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these?” And he answered me, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.” 20 Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21 I said, “What are these coming to do?” And he said, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah so that no man lifts up his head; but these craftsmen have come to terrify them, to throw down the horns of the nations who have lifted up their horns against the land of Judah in order to scatter it.”

 

Zechariah 2

God’s Favor to Zion

2 Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. So I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see how wide it is and how long it is.” And behold, the angel who was speaking with me was going out, and another angel was coming out to meet him, and said to him, “Run, speak to that young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it. For I,’ declares the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’”

“Ho there! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the Lord, “for I have dispersed you as the four winds of the heavens,” declares the Lord. “Ho, Zion! Escape, you who are living with the daughter of Babylon.” For thus says the Lord of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye. For behold, I will wave My hand over them so that they will be plunder for their slaves. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me. 10 Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” declares the Lord. 11 “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 The Lord will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.

13 “Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for He is aroused from His holy habitation.”

 

Zechariah 3

Joshua, the High Priest

3 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the Lord was standing by.

And the angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here.

The Branch

Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you—indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch. For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 ‘In that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘every one of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and under his fig tree.’”

 

Zechariah 4

The Golden Lampstand and Olive Trees

4 Then the angel who was speaking with me returned and roused me, as a man who is awakened from his sleep. He said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it; also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side.” Then I said to the angel who was speaking with me saying, “What are these, my lord?” So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”

Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 10 For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.”

11 Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left?” 12 And I answered the second time and said to him, “What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?” 13 So he answered me, saying, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” 14 Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

November 12 – OT Reading

Lamentations 1 – 3:36

Lamentations 1

The Sorrows of Zion

1 How lonely sits the city That was full of people! She has become like a widow Who was once great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces Has become a forced laborer! She weeps bitterly in the night And her tears are on her cheeks; She has none to comfort her Among all her lovers. All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; They have become her enemies. Judah has gone into exile under affliction And under harsh servitude; She dwells among the nations, But she has found no rest; All her pursuers have overtaken her In the midst of distress. The roads of Zion are in mourning Because no one comes to the appointed feasts. All her gates are desolate; Her priests are groaning, Her virgins are afflicted, And she herself is bitter. Her adversaries have become her masters, Her enemies prosper; For the Lord has caused her grief Because of the multitude of her transgressions; Her little ones have gone away As captives before the adversary. All her majesty Has departed from the daughter of Zion; Her princes have become like deer That have found no pasture; And they have fled without strength Before the pursuer. In the days of her affliction and homelessness Jerusalem remembers all her precious things That were from the days of old, When her people fell into the hand of the adversary And no one helped her. The adversaries saw her, They mocked at her ruin. Jerusalem sinned greatly, Therefore she has become an unclean thing. All who honored her despise her Because they have seen her nakedness; Even she herself groans and turns away. Her uncleanness was in her skirts; She did not consider her future. Therefore she has fallen astonishingly; She has no comforter. “See, O Lord, my affliction, For the enemy has magnified himself!” 10 The adversary has stretched out his hand Over all her precious things, For she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary, The ones whom You commanded That they should not enter into Your congregation. 11 All her people groan seeking bread; They have given their precious things for food To restore their lives themselves. “See, O Lord, and look, For I am despised.” 12 “Is it nothing to all you who pass this way? Look and see if there is any pain like my pain Which was severely dealt out to me, Which the Lord inflicted on the day of His fierce anger. 13 “From on high He sent fire into my bones, And it prevailed over them. He has spread a net for my feet; He has turned me back; He has made me desolate, Faint all day long. 14 “The yoke of my transgressions is bound; By His hand they are knit together. They have come upon my neck; He has made my strength fail. The Lord has given me into the hands Of those against whom I am not able to stand. 15 “The Lord has rejected all my strong men In my midst; He has called an appointed time against me To crush my young men; The Lord has trodden as in a wine press The virgin daughter of Judah. 16 “For these things I weep; My eyes run down with water; Because far from me is a comforter, One who restores my soul. My children are desolate Because the enemy has prevailed.” 17 Zion stretches out her hands; There is no one to comfort her; The Lord has commanded concerning Jacob That the ones round about him should be his adversaries; Jerusalem has become an unclean thing among them. 18 “The Lord is righteous; For I have rebelled against His command; Hear now, all peoples, And behold my pain; My virgins and my young men Have gone into captivity. 19 “I called to my lovers, but they deceived me; My priests and my elders perished in the city While they sought food to restore their strength themselves. 20 “See, O Lord, for I am in distress; My spirit is greatly troubled; My heart is overturned within me, For I have been very rebellious. In the street the sword slays; In the house it is like death. 21 “They have heard that I groan; There is no one to comfort me; All my enemies have heard of my calamity; They are glad that You have done it. Oh, that You would bring the day which You have proclaimed, That they may become like me. 22 “Let all their wickedness come before You; And deal with them as You have dealt with me For all my transgressions; For my groans are many and my heart is faint.”

 

Lamentations 2

God’s Anger over Israel

2 How the Lord has covered the daughter of Zion With a cloud in His anger! He has cast from heaven to earth The glory of Israel, And has not remembered His footstool In the day of His anger. The Lord has swallowed up; He has not spared All the habitations of Jacob. In His wrath He has thrown down The strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He has brought them down to the ground; He has profaned the kingdom and its princes. In fierce anger He has cut off All the strength of Israel; He has drawn back His right hand From before the enemy. And He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire Consuming round about. He has bent His bow like an enemy; He has set His right hand like an adversary And slain all that were pleasant to the eye; In the tent of the daughter of Zion He has poured out His wrath like fire. The Lord has become like an enemy. He has swallowed up Israel; He has swallowed up all its palaces, He has destroyed its strongholds And multiplied in the daughter of Judah Mourning and moaning. And He has violently treated His tabernacle like a garden booth; He has destroyed His appointed meeting place. The Lord has caused to be forgotten The appointed feast and sabbath in Zion, And He has despised king and priest In the indignation of His anger. The Lord has rejected His altar, He has abandoned His sanctuary; He has delivered into the hand of the enemy The walls of her palaces. They have made a noise in the house of the Lord As in the day of an appointed feast. The Lord determined to destroy The wall of the daughter of Zion. He has stretched out a line, He has not restrained His hand from destroying, And He has caused rampart and wall to lament; They have languished together. Her gates have sunk into the ground, He has destroyed and broken her bars. Her king and her princes are among the nations; The law is no more. Also, her prophets find No vision from the Lord. 10 The elders of the daughter of Zion Sit on the ground, they are silent. They have thrown dust on their heads; They have girded themselves with sackcloth. The virgins of Jerusalem Have bowed their heads to the ground. 11 My eyes fail because of tears, My spirit is greatly troubled; My heart is poured out on the earth Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, When little ones and infants faint In the streets of the city. 12 They say to their mothers, “Where is grain and wine?” As they faint like a wounded man In the streets of the city, As their life is poured out On their mothers’ bosom. 13 How shall I admonish you? To what shall I compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem? To what shall I liken you as I comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is as vast as the sea; Who can heal you? 14 Your prophets have seen for you False and foolish visions; And they have not exposed your iniquity So as to restore you from captivity, But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles. 15 All who pass along the way Clap their hands in derision at you; They hiss and shake their heads At the daughter of Jerusalem, “Is this the city of which they said, ‘The perfection of beauty, A joy to all the earth’?” 16 All your enemies Have opened their mouths wide against you; They hiss and gnash their teeth. They say, “We have swallowed her up! Surely this is the day for which we waited; We have reached it, we have seen it.” 17 The Lord has done what He purposed; He has accomplished His word Which He commanded from days of old. He has thrown down without sparing, And He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you; He has exalted the might of your adversaries. 18 Their heart cried out to the Lord, “O wall of the daughter of Zion, Let your tears run down like a river day and night; Give yourself no relief, Let your eyes have no rest. 19 “Arise, cry aloud in the night At the beginning of the night watches; Pour out your heart like water Before the presence of the Lord; Lift up your hands to Him For the life of your little ones Who are faint because of hunger At the head of every street.” 20 See, O Lord, and look! With whom have You dealt thus? Should women eat their offspring, The little ones who were born healthy? Should priest and prophet be slain In the sanctuary of the Lord? 21 On the ground in the streets Lie young and old; My virgins and my young men Have fallen by the sword. You have slain them in the day of Your anger, You have slaughtered, not sparing. 22 You called as in the day of an appointed feast My terrors on every side; And there was no one who escaped or survived In the day of the Lord’s anger. Those whom I bore and reared, My enemy annihilated them.

 

Lamentations 3

Jeremiah Shares Israel’s Affliction

3 I am the man who has seen affliction Because of the rod of His wrath. He has driven me and made me walk In darkness and not in light. Surely against me He has turned His hand Repeatedly all the day. He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away, He has broken my bones. He has besieged and encompassed me with bitterness and hardship. In dark places He has made me dwell, Like those who have long been dead. He has walled me in so that I cannot go out; He has made my chain heavy. Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer. He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked. 10 He is to me like a bear lying in wait, Like a lion in secret places. 11 He has turned aside my ways and torn me to pieces; He has made me desolate. 12 He bent His bow And set me as a target for the arrow. 13 He made the arrows of His quiver To enter into my inward parts. 14 I have become a laughingstock to all my people, Their mocking song all the day. 15 He has filled me with bitterness, He has made me drunk with wormwood. 16 He has broken my teeth with gravel; He has made me cower in the dust. 17 My soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness. 18 So I say, “My strength has perished, And so has my hope from the Lord.”

Hope of Relief in God’s Mercy

19 Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. 20 Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me. 21 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. 26 It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the Lord. 27 It is good for a man that he should bear The yoke in his youth. 28 Let him sit alone and be silent Since He has laid it on him. 29 Let him put his mouth in the dust, Perhaps there is hope. 30 Let him give his cheek to the smiter, Let him be filled with reproach. 31 For the Lord will not reject forever, 32 For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness. 33 For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the sons of men. 34 To crush under His feet All the prisoners of the land, 35 To deprive a man of justice In the presence of the Most High, 36 To defraud a man in his lawsuit— Of these things the Lord does not approve.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

October 22 – OT Reading

Jeremiah 7-9

Jeremiah 7

Message at the Temple Gate

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house and proclaim there this word and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah, who enter by these gates to worship the Lord!’” Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’ For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.

“Behold, you are trusting in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known, 10 then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—that you may do all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” declares the Lord.

12 “But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things,” declares the Lord, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, 14 therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim.

16 “As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me. 19 Do they spite Me?” declares the Lord. “Is it not themselves they spite, to their own shame?” 20 Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.”

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh. 22 For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent you all My servants the prophets, daily rising early and sending them. 26 Yet they did not listen to Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck; they did more evil than their fathers.

27 “You shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you; and you shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 You shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God or accept correction; truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.

29 ‘Cut off your hair and cast it away,
And take up a lamentation on the bare heights;
For the Lord has rejected and forsaken
The generation of His wrath.’

30 For the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in My sight,” declares the Lord, “they have set their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.

32 “Therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of the Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place. 33 The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34 Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin.

 

Jeremiah 8

The Sin and Treachery of Judah

“At that time,” declares the Lord, “they will bring out the bones of the kings of Judah and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves. They will spread them out to the sun, the moon and to all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served, and which they have gone after and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered or buried; they will be as dung on the face of the ground. And death will be chosen rather than life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family, that remains in all the places to which I have driven them,” declares the Lord of hosts.

“You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord,

“Do men fall and not get up again?
Does one turn away and not repent?
“Why then has this people, Jerusalem,
Turned away in continual apostasy?
They hold fast to deceit,
They refuse to return.
“I have listened and heard,
They have spoken what is not right;
No man repented of his wickedness,
Saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turned to his course,
Like a horse charging into the battle.
“Even the stork in the sky
Knows her seasons;
And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush
Observe the time of their migration;
But My people do not know
The ordinance of the Lord.

“How can you say, ‘We are wise,
And the law of the Lord is with us’?
But behold, the lying pen of the scribes
Has made it into a lie.
“The wise men are put to shame,
They are dismayed and caught;
Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord,
And what kind of wisdom do they have?
10 “Therefore I will give their wives to others,
Their fields to new owners;
Because from the least even to the greatest
Everyone is greedy for gain;
From the prophet even to the priest
Everyone practices deceit.
11 “They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.
12 “Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done?
They certainly were not ashamed,
And they did not know how to blush;
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time of their punishment they shall be brought down,”
Says the Lord.

13 “I will surely snatch them away,” declares the Lord;
“There will be no grapes on the vine
And no figs on the fig tree,
And the leaf will wither;
And what I have given them will pass away.”’”
14 Why are we sitting still?
Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities
And let us perish there,
Because the Lord our God has doomed us
And given us poisoned water to drink,
For we have sinned against the Lord.
15 We waited for peace, but no good came;
For a time of healing, but behold, terror!
16 From Dan is heard the snorting of his horses;
At the sound of the neighing of his stallions
The whole land quakes;
For they come and devour the land and its fullness,
The city and its inhabitants.
17 “For behold, I am sending serpents against you,
Adders, for which there is no charm,
And they will bite you,” declares the Lord.

18 My sorrow is beyond healing,
My heart is faint within me!
19 Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land:
“Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not within her?”
“Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?”
20 “Harvest is past, summer is ended,
And we are not saved.”
21 For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken;
I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?

Jeremiah 9

A Lament over Zion

Oh that my head were waters
And my eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night
For the slain of the daughter of my people!
Oh that I had in the desert
A wayfarers’ lodging place;
That I might leave my people
And go from them!
For all of them are adulterers,
An assembly of treacherous men.
“They bend their tongue like their bow;
Lies and not truth prevail in the land;
For they proceed from evil to evil,
And they do not know Me,” declares the Lord.
“Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor,
And do not trust any brother;
Because every brother deals craftily,
And every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
“Everyone deceives his neighbor
And does not speak the truth,
They have taught their tongue to speak lies;
They weary themselves committing iniquity.
“Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit;
Through deceit they refuse to know Me,” declares the Lord.

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts,

“Behold, I will refine them and assay them;
For what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people?
“Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
It speaks deceit;
With his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor,
But inwardly he sets an ambush for him.
“Shall I not punish them for these things?” declares the Lord.
“On a nation such as this
Shall I not avenge Myself?

10 “For the mountains I will take up a weeping and wailing,
And for the pastures of the wilderness a dirge,
Because they are laid waste so that no one passes through,
And the lowing of the cattle is not heard;
Both the birds of the sky and the beasts have fled; they are gone.
11 “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
A haunt of jackals;
And I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.”

12 Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined, laid waste like a desert, so that no one passes through? 13 The Lord said, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it, 14 but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them,” 15 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink. 16 I will scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them until I have annihilated them.”

17 Thus says the Lord of hosts,

“Consider and call for the mourning women, that they may come;
And send for the wailing women, that they may come!
18 “Let them make haste and take up a wailing for us,
That our eyes may shed tears
And our eyelids flow with water.
19 “For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion,
‘How are we ruined!
We are put to great shame,
For we have left the land,
Because they have cast down our dwellings.’”
20 Now hear the word of the Lord, O you women,
And let your ear receive the word of His mouth;
Teach your daughters wailing,
And everyone her neighbor a dirge.
21 For death has come up through our windows;
It has entered our palaces
To cut off the children from the streets,
The young men from the town squares.
22 Speak, “Thus says the Lord,
‘The corpses of men will fall like dung on the open field,
And like the sheaf after the reaper,
But no one will gather them.’”

23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

25 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised— 26 Egypt and Judah, and Edom and the sons of Ammon, and Moab and all those inhabiting the desert who clip the hair on their temples; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised of heart.”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

October 21 – OT Reading

Jeremiah 4-6

Jeremiah 4

Judah Threatened with Invasion

“If you will return, O Israel,” declares the Lord,
Then you should return to Me.
And if you will put away your detested things from My presence,
And will not waver,
And you will swear, ‘As the Lord lives,’
In truth, in justice and in righteousness;
Then the nations will bless themselves in Him,
And in Him they will glory.”

For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem,

“Break up your fallow ground,
And do not sow among thorns.
“Circumcise yourselves to the Lord
And remove the foreskins of your heart,
Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Or else My wrath will go forth like fire
And burn with none to quench it,
Because of the evil of your deeds.”

Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,
“Blow the trumpet in the land;
Cry aloud and say,
‘Assemble yourselves, and let us go
Into the fortified cities.’
“Lift up a standard toward Zion!
Seek refuge, do not stand still,
For I am bringing evil from the north,
And great destruction.
“A lion has gone up from his thicket,
And a destroyer of nations has set out;
He has gone out from his place
To make your land a waste.
Your cities will be ruins
Without inhabitant.
“For this, put on sackcloth,
Lament and wail;
For the fierce anger of the Lord
Has not turned back from us.”

“It shall come about in that day,” declares the Lord, “that the heart of the king and the heart of the princes will fail; and the priests will be appalled and the prophets will be astounded.”

10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Surely You have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace’; whereas a sword touches the throat.”

11 In that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A scorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness in the direction of the daughter of My people—not to winnow and not to cleanse, 12 a wind too strong for this—will come at My command; now I will also pronounce judgments against them.

13 “Behold, he goes up like clouds,
And his chariots like the whirlwind;
His horses are swifter than eagles.
Woe to us, for we are ruined!”

14 Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem,
That you may be saved.
How long will your wicked thoughts
Lodge within you?
15 For a voice declares from Dan,
And proclaims wickedness from Mount Ephraim.
16 “Report it to the nations, now!
Proclaim over Jerusalem,
‘Besiegers come from a far country,
And lift their voices against the cities of Judah.
17 ‘Like watchmen of a field they are against her round about,
Because she has rebelled against Me,’ declares the Lord.
18 “Your ways and your deeds
Have brought these things to you.
This is your evil. How bitter!
How it has touched your heart!”

Lament over Judah’s Devastation

19 My soul, my soul! I am in anguish! Oh, my heart!
My heart is pounding in me;
I cannot be silent,
Because you have heard, O my soul,
The sound of the trumpet,
The alarm of war.
20 Disaster on disaster is proclaimed,
For the whole land is devastated;
Suddenly my tents are devastated,
My curtains in an instant.
21 How long must I see the standard
And hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 “For My people are foolish,
They know Me not;
They are stupid children
And have no understanding.
They are shrewd to do evil,
But to do good they do not know.”

23 I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void;
And to the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking,
And all the hills moved to and fro.
25 I looked, and behold, there was no man,
And all the birds of the heavens had fled.
26 I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a wilderness,
And all its cities were pulled down
Before the Lord, before His fierce anger.

27 For thus says the Lord,
“The whole land shall be a desolation,
Yet I will not execute a complete destruction.
28 “For this the earth shall mourn
And the heavens above be dark,
Because I have spoken, I have purposed,
And I will not change My mind, nor will I turn from it.”
29 At the sound of the horseman and bowman every city flees;
They go into the thickets and climb among the rocks;
Every city is forsaken,
And no man dwells in them.
30 And you, O desolate one, what will you do?
Although you dress in scarlet,
Although you decorate yourself with ornaments of gold,
Although you enlarge your eyes with paint,
In vain you make yourself beautiful.
Your lovers despise you;
They seek your life.
31 For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor,
The anguish as of one giving birth to her first child,
The cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath,
Stretching out her hands, saying,
“Ah, woe is me, for I faint before murderers.”

 

Jeremiah 5

Jerusalem’s Godlessness

“Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
And look now and take note.
And seek in her open squares,
If you can find a man,
If there is one who does justice, who seeks truth,
Then I will pardon her.
“And although they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’
Surely they swear falsely.”
O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth?
You have smitten them,
But they did not weaken;
You have consumed them,
But they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
They have refused to repent.

Then I said, “They are only the poor,
They are foolish;
For they do not know the way of the Lord
Or the ordinance of their God.
“I will go to the great
And will speak to them,
For they know the way of the Lord
And the ordinance of their God.”
But they too, with one accord, have broken the yoke
And burst the bonds.
Therefore a lion from the forest will slay them,
A wolf of the deserts will destroy them,
A leopard is watching their cities.
Everyone who goes out of them will be torn in pieces,
Because their transgressions are many,
Their apostasies are numerous.

“Why should I pardon you?
Your sons have forsaken Me
And sworn by those who are not gods.
When I had fed them to the full,
They committed adultery
And trooped to the harlot’s house.
“They were well-fed lusty horses,
Each one neighing after his neighbor’s wife.
“Shall I not punish these people,” declares the Lord,
“And on a nation such as this
Shall I not avenge Myself?

10 “Go up through her vine rows and destroy,
But do not execute a complete destruction;
Strip away her branches,
For they are not the Lord’s.
11 “For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
Have dealt very treacherously with Me,” declares the Lord.
12 They have lied about the Lord
And said, “Not He;
Misfortune will not come on us,
And we will not see sword or famine.
13 “The prophets are as wind,
And the word is not in them.
Thus it will be done to them!”

Judgment Proclaimed

14 Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts,
“Because you have spoken this word,
Behold, I am making My words in your mouth fire
And this people wood, and it will consume them.
15 “Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord.
“It is an enduring nation,
It is an ancient nation,
A nation whose language you do not know,
Nor can you understand what they say.
16 “Their quiver is like an open grave,
All of them are mighty men.
17 “They will devour your harvest and your food;
They will devour your sons and your daughters;
They will devour your flocks and your herds;
They will devour your vines and your fig trees;
They will demolish with the sword your fortified cities in which you trust.

18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not make you a complete destruction. 19 It shall come about when they say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ then you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’

20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob
And proclaim it in Judah, saying,
21 ‘Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
Who have eyes but do not see;
Who have ears but do not hear.
22 ‘Do you not fear Me?’ declares the Lord.
‘Do you not tremble in My presence?
For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it.
Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.
23 ‘But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
They have turned aside and departed.
24 ‘They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God,
Who gives rain in its season,
Both the autumn rain and the spring rain,
Who keeps for us
The appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25 ‘Your iniquities have turned these away,
And your sins have withheld good from you.
26 ‘For wicked men are found among My people,
They watch like fowlers lying in wait;
They set a trap,
They catch men.
27 ‘Like a cage full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit;
Therefore they have become great and rich.
28 ‘They are fat, they are sleek,
They also excel in deeds of wickedness;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the orphan, that they may prosper;
And they do not defend the rights of the poor.
29 ‘Shall I not punish these people?’ declares the Lord,
‘On a nation such as this
Shall I not avenge Myself?’

30 “An appalling and horrible thing
Has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule on their own authority;
And My people love it so!
But what will you do at the end of it?

 

Jeremiah 6

Destruction of Jerusalem Impending

“Flee for safety, O sons of Benjamin,
From the midst of Jerusalem!
Now blow a trumpet in Tekoa
And raise a signal over Beth-haccerem;
For evil looks down from the north,
And a great destruction.
“The comely and dainty one, the daughter of Zion, I will cut off.
“Shepherds and their flocks will come to her,
They will pitch their tents around her,
They will pasture each in his place.
“Prepare war against her;
Arise, and let us attack at noon.
Woe to us, for the day declines,
For the shadows of the evening lengthen!
“Arise, and let us attack by night
And destroy her palaces!”

For thus says the Lord of hosts,

“Cut down her trees
And cast up a siege against Jerusalem.
This is the city to be punished,
In whose midst there is only oppression.
“As a well keeps its waters fresh,
So she keeps fresh her wickedness.
Violence and destruction are heard in her;
Sickness and wounds are ever before Me.
“Be warned, O Jerusalem,
Or I shall be alienated from you,
And make you a desolation,
A land not inhabited.”

Thus says the Lord of hosts,
“They will thoroughly glean as the vine the remnant of Israel;
Pass your hand again like a grape gatherer
Over the branches.”
10 To whom shall I speak and give warning
That they may hear?
Behold, their ears are closed
And they cannot listen.
Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it.
11 But I am full of the wrath of the Lord;
I am weary with holding it in.
“Pour it out on the children in the street
And on the gathering of young men together;
For both husband and wife shall be taken,
The aged and the very old.
12 “Their houses shall be turned over to others,
Their fields and their wives together;
For I will stretch out My hand
Against the inhabitants of the land,” declares the Lord.
13 “For from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is greedy for gain,
And from the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
14 “They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.
15 “Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done?
They were not even ashamed at all;
They did not even know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time that I punish them,
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.

16 Thus says the Lord,
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 “And I set watchmen over you, saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 “Therefore hear, O nations,
And know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 “Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people,
The fruit of their plans,
Because they have not listened to My words,
And as for My law, they have rejected it also.
20 “For what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba
And the sweet cane from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable
And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.”

21 Therefore, thus says the Lord,

“Behold, I am laying stumbling blocks before this people.
And they will stumble against them,
Fathers and sons together;
Neighbor and friend will perish.”

The Enemy from the North

22 Thus says the Lord,
“Behold, a people is coming from the north land,
And a great nation will be aroused from the remote parts of the earth.
23 “They seize bow and spear;
They are cruel and have no mercy;
Their voice roars like the sea,
And they ride on horses,
Arrayed as a man for the battle
Against you, O daughter of Zion!”
24 We have heard the report of it;
Our hands are limp.
Anguish has seized us,
Pain as of a woman in childbirth.
25 Do not go out into the field
And do not walk on the road,
For the enemy has a sword,
Terror is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth
And roll in ashes;
Mourn as for an only son,
A lamentation most bitter.
For suddenly the destroyer
Will come upon us.

27 “I have made you an assayer and a tester among My people,
That you may know and assay their way.”
28 All of them are stubbornly rebellious,
Going about as a talebearer.
They are bronze and iron;
They, all of them, are corrupt.
29 The bellows blow fiercely,
The lead is consumed by the fire;
In vain the refining goes on,
But the wicked are not separated.
30 They call them rejected silver,
Because the Lord has rejected them.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

October 13 – OT Reading

Isaiah 59-63

Isaiah 59

Separation from God

59 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken falsehood, Your tongue mutters wickedness. No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity. They hatch adders’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a snake breaks forth. Their webs will not become clothing, Nor will they cover themselves with their works; Their works are works of iniquity, And an act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, And they hasten to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, Devastation and destruction are in their highways. They do not know the way of peace, And there is no justice in their tracks; They have made their paths crooked, Whoever treads on them does not know peace.

A Confession of Wickedness

Therefore justice is far from us, And righteousness does not overtake us; We hope for light, but behold, darkness, For brightness, but we walk in gloom. 10 We grope along the wall like blind men, We grope like those who have no eyes; We stumble at midday as in the twilight, Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men. 11 All of us growl like bears, And moan sadly like doves; We hope for justice, but there is none, For salvation, but it is far from us. 12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You, And our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, And we know our iniquities: 13 Transgressing and denying the Lord, And turning away from our God, Speaking oppression and revolt, Conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words. 14 Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter. 15 Yes, truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey. Now the Lord saw, And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice. 16 And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him. 17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. 18 According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; To the coastlands He will make recompense. 19 So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream Which the wind of the Lord drives. 20 “A Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord.

21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.”

 

Isaiah 60

A Glorified Zion

60 “Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. “For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. “Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

“Lift up your eyes round about and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried in the arms. “Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will thrill and rejoice; Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you. “A multitude of camels will cover you, The young camels of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba will come; They will bring gold and frankincense, And will bear good news of the praises of the Lord. “All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you, The rams of Nebaioth will minister to you; They will go up with acceptance on My altar, And I shall glorify My glorious house. “Who are these who fly like a cloud And like the doves to their lattices? “Surely the coastlands will wait for Me; And the ships of Tarshish will come first, To bring your sons from afar, Their silver and their gold with them, For the name of the Lord your God, And for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you.

10 “Foreigners will build up your walls, And their kings will minister to you; For in My wrath I struck you, And in My favor I have had compassion on you. 11 “Your gates will be open continually; They will not be closed day or night, So that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, With their kings led in procession. 12 “For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, And the nations will be utterly ruined. 13 “The glory of Lebanon will come to you, The juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, To beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I shall make the place of My feet glorious. 14 “The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, And all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; And they will call you the city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

15 “Whereas you have been forsaken and hated With no one passing through, I will make you an everlasting pride, A joy from generation to generation. 16 “You will also suck the milk of nations And suck the breast of kings; Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. 17 “Instead of bronze I will bring gold, And instead of iron I will bring silver, And instead of wood, bronze, And instead of stones, iron. And I will make peace your administrators And righteousness your overseers. 18 “Violence will not be heard again in your land, Nor devastation or destruction within your borders; But you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise. 19 “No longer will you have the sun for light by day, Nor for brightness will the moon give you light; But you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, And your God for your glory. 20 “Your sun will no longer set, Nor will your moon wane; For you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, And the days of your mourning will be over. 21 “Then all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified. 22 “The smallest one will become a clan, And the least one a mighty nation. I, the Lord, will hasten it in its time.”

 

Isaiah 61

Exaltation of the Afflicted

61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations. Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks, And foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers. But you will be called the priests of the Lord; You will be spoken of as ministers of our God. You will eat the wealth of nations, And in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, Everlasting joy will be theirs. For I, the Lord, love justice, I hate robbery in the burnt offering; And I will faithfully give them their recompense And make an everlasting covenant with them. Then their offspring will be known among the nations, And their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them will recognize them Because they are the offspring whom the Lord has blessed.

10 I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise To spring up before all the nations.

 

Isaiah 62

Zion’s Glory and New Name

62 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the Lord will designate. You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,” Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”; But you will be called, “My delight is in her,” And your land, “Married”; For the Lord delights in you, And to Him your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, So your sons will marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you.

On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. The Lord has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm, “I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies; Nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored.” But those who garner it will eat it and praise the Lord; And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.

10 Go through, go through the gates, Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway, Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. 11 Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes; Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.” 12 And they will call them, “The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord”; And you will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.”

 

Isaiah 63

God’s Vengeance on the Nations

63 Who is this who comes from Edom, With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, This One who is majestic in His apparel, Marching in the greatness of His strength? “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? “I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment. “For the day of vengeance was in My heart, And My year of redemption has come. “I looked, and there was no one to help, And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; So My own arm brought salvation to Me, And My wrath upheld Me. “I trod down the peoples in My anger And made them drunk in My wrath, And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

God’s Ancient Mercies Recalled

I shall make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, According to all that the Lord has granted us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has granted them according to His compassion And according to the abundance of His lovingkindnesses. For He said, “Surely, they are My people, Sons who will not deal falsely.” So He became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. 10 But they rebelled And grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them. 11 Then His people remembered the days of old, of Moses. Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them, 12 Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, Who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, 13 Who led them through the depths? Like the horse in the wilderness, they did not stumble; 14 As the cattle which go down into the valley, The Spirit of the Lord gave them rest. So You led Your people, To make for Yourself a glorious name.

“You Are Our Father”

15 Look down from heaven and see from Your holy and glorious habitation; Where are Your zeal and Your mighty deeds? The stirrings of Your heart and Your compassion are restrained toward me. 16 For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us And Israel does not recognize us. You, O Lord, are our Father, Our Redeemer from of old is Your name. 17 Why, O Lord, do You cause us to stray from Your ways And harden our heart from fearing You? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage. 18 Your holy people possessed Your sanctuary for a little while, Our adversaries have trodden it down. 19 We have become like those over whom You have never ruled, Like those who were not called by Your name.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

October 10 – OT Reading

Isaiah 54-58

Isaiah 54

The Fertility of Zion

54 “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous Than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord. “Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cords And strengthen your pegs. “For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations And will resettle the desolate cities.

“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. “For the Lord has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” Says your God. “For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you. “In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the Lord your Redeemer.

“For this is like the days of Noah to Me, When I swore that the waters of Noah Would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you Nor will I rebuke you. 10 “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the Lord who has compassion on you.

11 “O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, Behold, I will set your stones in antimony, And your foundations I will lay in sapphires. 12 “Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, And your gates of crystal, And your entire wall of precious stones. 13 “All your sons will be taught of the Lord; And the well-being of your sons will be great. 14 “In righteousness you will be established; You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; And from terror, for it will not come near you. 15 “If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will fall because of you. 16 “Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals And brings out a weapon for its work; And I have created the destroyer to ruin. 17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.

 

Isaiah 55

The Free Offer of Mercy

55 “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David. “Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, A leader and commander for the peoples. “Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, And a nation which knows you not will run to you, Because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 12 “For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, And it will be a memorial to the Lord, For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”

 

Isaiah 56

Rewards for Obedience to God

56 Thus says the Lord, “Preserve justice and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come And My righteousness to be revealed. “How blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who takes hold of it; Who keeps from profaning the sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from His people.” Nor let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”

For thus says the Lord,

“To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant, To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, And a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.

“Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the Lord, To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath And holds fast My covenant; Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” The Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, “Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered.”

All you beasts of the field, All you beasts in the forest, Come to eat. 10 His watchmen are blind, All of them know nothing. All of them are mute dogs unable to bark, Dreamers lying down, who love to slumber; 11 And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one. 12 “Come,” they say, “let us get wine, and let us drink heavily of strong drink; And tomorrow will be like today, only more so.”

 

Isaiah 57

Evil Leaders Rebuked

57 The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil, He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, Each one who walked in his upright way. “But come here, you sons of a sorceress, Offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute. “Against whom do you jest? Against whom do you open wide your mouth And stick out your tongue? Are you not children of rebellion, Offspring of deceit, Who inflame yourselves among the oaks, Under every luxuriant tree, Who slaughter the children in the ravines, Under the clefts of the crags? “Among the smooth stones of the ravine Is your portion, they are your lot; Even to them you have poured out a drink offering, You have made a grain offering. Shall I relent concerning these things? “Upon a high and lofty mountain You have made your bed. You also went up there to offer sacrifice. “Behind the door and the doorpost You have set up your sign; Indeed, far removed from Me, you have uncovered yourself, And have gone up and made your bed wide. And you have made an agreement for yourself with them, You have loved their bed, You have looked on their manhood. “You have journeyed to the king with oil And increased your perfumes; You have sent your envoys a great distance And made them go down to Sheol. 10 “You were tired out by the length of your road, Yet you did not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewed strength, Therefore you did not faint.

11 “Of whom were you worried and fearful When you lied, and did not remember Me Nor give Me a thought? Was I not silent even for a long time So you do not fear Me? 12 “I will declare your righteousness and your deeds, But they will not profit you. 13 “When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry all of them up, And a breath will take them away. But he who takes refuge in Me will inherit the land And will possess My holy mountain.”

14 And it will be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people.” 15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite. 16 “For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry; For the spirit would grow faint before Me, And the breath of those whom I have made. 17 “Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him; I hid My face and was angry, And he went on turning away, in the way of his heart. 18 “I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners, 19 Creating the praise of the lips. Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near,” Says the Lord, “and I will heal him.” 20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud. 21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

 

Isaiah 58

Observances of Fasts

58 “Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins. “Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God. ‘Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’ Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, And drive hard all your workers. “Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. “Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord? “Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, 10 And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday. 11 “And the Lord will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. 12 “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

Keeping the Sabbath

13 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, And honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word, 14 Then you will take delight in the Lord, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)