« Isaiah 56 | Isaiah 57 | Isaiah 58 »
Israel’s Futile Idolatry57:1 The righteous man perishes,and no one lays it to heart;devout men are taken away,while no one understands.For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
2 he enters into peace;they rest in their bedswho walk in their uprightness.
3 But you, draw near,sons of the sorceress,offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.
4 Whom are you mocking?Against whom do you open your mouth wideand stick out your tongue?Are you not children of transgression,the offspring of deceit,
5 you who burn with lust among the oaks,under every green tree,who slaughter your children in the valleys,under the clefts of the rocks?
6 Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion;they, they, are your lot;to them you have poured out a drink offering,you have brought a grain offering.Shall I relent for these things?
7 On a high and lofty mountainyou have set your bed,and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
8 Behind the door and the doorpostyou have set up your memorial;for, deserting me, you have uncovered your bed,you have gone up to it,you have made it wide;and you have made a covenant for yourself with them,you have loved their bed,you have looked on nakedness.
9 You journeyed to the king with oiland multiplied your perfumes;you sent your envoys far off,and sent down even to Sheol.
10 You were wearied with the length of your way,but you did not say, “It is hopeless”;you found new life for your strength,and so you were not faint.
11 Whom did you dread and fear,so that you lied,and did not remember me,did not lay it to heart?Have I not held my peace, even for a long time,and 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!The wind will carry them all off,a breath will take them away.But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the landand shall inherit my holy mountain.
Comfort for the Contrite14 And it shall be said,“Build up, build up, prepare the way,remove every obstruction from my people’s way.”
15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:“I dwell in the high and holy place,and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,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 life that I made.
17 Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry,I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.
18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners,
19 creating the fruit of the lips.Peace, peace, to the far and to the 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 mire and dirt.
21 There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
« Isaiah 57 | Isaiah 58 | Isaiah 59 »
True and False Fasting58:1 “Cry aloud; do not hold back;lift up your voice like a trumpet;declare to my people their transgression,to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek me dailyand delight to know my ways,as if they were a nation that did righteousnessand did not forsake the judgment of their God;they ask of me righteous judgments;they delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,and oppress all your workers.
4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fightand to hit with a wicked fist.Fasting like yours this daywill not make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose,a day for a person to humble himself?Is it to bow down his head like a reed,and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?Will you call this a fast,and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the fast that I choose:to loose the bonds of wickedness,to undo the straps of the yoke,to let the oppressed go free,and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungryand bring the homeless poor into your house;when you see the naked, to cover him,and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,and your healing shall spring up speedily;your righteousness shall go before you;the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’If you take away the yoke from your midst,the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungryand satisfy the desire of the afflicted,then shall your light rise in the darknessand your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continuallyand satisfy your desire in scorched placesand make your bones strong;and you shall be like a watered garden,like a spring of water,whose waters do not fail.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;you shall be called the repairer of the breach,the restorer of streets to dwell in.
13 “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,from doing your pleasure on my holy day,and call the Sabbath a delightand the holy day of the Lord honorable;if you honor it, not going your own ways,or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
14 then you shall take delight in the Lord,and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
« Proverbs 1 | Proverbs 2 | Proverbs 3 »
The Value of Wisdom2:1 My son, if you receive my wordsand treasure up my commandments with you,
2 making your ear attentive to wisdomand inclining your heart to understanding;
3 yes, if you call out for insightand raise your voice for understanding,
4 if you seek it like silverand search for it as for hidden treasures,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lordand find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8 guarding the paths of justiceand watching over the way of his saints.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justiceand equity, every good path;
10 for wisdom will come into your heart,and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 discretion will watch over you,understanding will guard you,
12 delivering you from the way of evil,from men of perverted speech,
13 who forsake the paths of uprightnessto walk in the ways of darkness,
14 who rejoice in doing eviland delight in the perverseness of evil,
15 men whose paths are crooked,and who are devious in their ways.
16 So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,from the adulteress with her smooth words,
17 who forsakes the companion of her youthand forgets the covenant of her God;
18 for her house sinks down to death,and her paths to the departed;
19 none who go to her come back,nor do they regain the paths of life.
20 So you will walk in the way of the goodand keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will inhabit the land,and those with integrity will remain in it,
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.
« Hebrews 13 | James 1 | James 2 »
Greeting 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Testing of Your Faith2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,
10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away.
11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Hearing and Doing the Word19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
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