1 In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song: Our city is strong! We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. 2 Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful to enter. 3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! 4 Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock. 5 He humbles the proud and brings down the arrogant city. He brings it down to the dust. 6 The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot, and the needy walk all over it. 7 But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them. 8 LORD, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify your name. 9 In the night I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek you. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right. 10 Your kindness to the wicked does not make them do good. Although others do right, the wicked keep doing wrong and take no notice of the LORD ’s majesty. 11 O LORD, they pay no attention to your upraised fist. Show them your eagerness to defend your people. Then they will be ashamed. Let your fire consume your enemies. 12 LORD, you will grant us peace; all we have accomplished is really from you. 13 O LORD our God, others have ruled us, but you alone are the one we worship. 14 Those we served before are dead and gone. Their departed spirits will never return! You attacked them and destroyed them, and they are long forgotten. 15 O LORD, you have made our nation great; yes, you have made us great. You have extended our borders, and we give you the glory! 16 LORD, in distress we searched for you. We prayed beneath the burden of your discipline. 17 Just as a pregnant woman writhes and cries out in pain as she gives birth, so were we in your presence, LORD . 18 We, too, writhe in agony, but nothing comes of our suffering. We have not given salvation to the earth, nor brought life into the world. 19 But those who die in the LORD will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead! 20 Go home, my people, and lock your doors! Hide yourselves for a little while until the LORD ’s anger has passed. 21 Look! The LORD is coming from heaven to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will no longer hide those who have been killed. They will be brought out for all to see.
1 In that day the LORD will take his terrible, swift sword and punish Leviathan, the swiftly moving serpent, the coiling, writhing serpent. He will kill the dragon of the sea. 2 “In that day, sing about the fruitful vineyard. 3 I, the LORD, will watch over it, watering it carefully. Day and night I will watch so no one can harm it. 4 My anger will be gone. If I find briers and thorns growing, I will attack them; I will burn them up— 5 unless they turn to me for help. Let them make peace with me; yes, let them make peace with me.” 6 The time is coming when Jacob’s descendants will take root. Israel will bud and blossom and fill the whole earth with fruit! 7 Has the LORD struck Israel as he struck her enemies? Has he punished her as he punished them? 8 No, but he exiled Israel to call her to account. She was exiled from her land as though blown away in a storm from the east. 9 The LORD did this to purge Israel’s wickedness, to take away all her sin. As a result, all the pagan altars will be crushed to dust. No Asherah pole or pagan shrine will be left standing. 10 The fortified towns will be silent and empty, the houses abandoned, the streets overgrown with weeds. Calves will graze there, chewing on twigs and branches. 11 The people are like the dead branches of a tree, broken off and used for kindling beneath the cooking pots. Israel is a foolish and stupid nation, for its people have turned away from God. Therefore, the one who made them will show them no pity or mercy. 12 Yet the time will come when the LORD will gather them together like handpicked grain. One by one he will gather them—from the Euphrates River in the east to the Brook of Egypt in the west. 13 In that day the great trumpet will sound. Many who were dying in exile in Assyria and Egypt will return to Jerusalem to worship the LORD on his holy mountain.
1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges ; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. 9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. 14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy. 19 If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. 20 I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. 21 All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. 22 But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News. 23 I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here. 24 And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon. 25 Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need. 26 I am sending him because he has been longing to see you, and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill. 27 And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him—and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. 28 So I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him, and then I will not be so worried about you. 29 Welcome him in the Lord’s love and with great joy, and give him the honor that people like him deserve. 30 For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.