12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.14Do everything without grumbling or arguing,15so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky16as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.20I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.21For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.22But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.23I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.24And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.25But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.26For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.27Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.28Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety.29So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him,30because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
1The word of the LORD came to me:2“Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary. Prophesy against the land of Israel3and say to her: ‘This is what the LORD says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked.4Because I am going to cut off the righteous and the wicked, my sword will be unsheathed against everyone from south to north.5Then all people will know that I the LORD have drawn my sword from its sheath; it will not return again.’6“Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief.7And when they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt with fear and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every leg will be wet with urine.’ It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign LORD.”8The word of the LORD came to me:9“Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Lord says: “ ‘A sword, a sword, sharpened and polished—10sharpened for the slaughter, polished to flash like lightning! “ ‘Shall we rejoice in the scepter of my royal son? The sword despises every such stick.11“ ‘The sword is appointed to be polished, to be grasped with the hand; it is sharpened and polished, made ready for the hand of the slayer.12Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people; it is against all the princes of Israel. They are thrown to the sword along with my people. Therefore beat your breast.13“ ‘Testing will surely come. And what if even the scepter, which the sword despises, does not continue? declares the Sovereign LORD.’14“So then, son of man, prophesy and strike your hands together. Let the sword strike twice, even three times. It is a sword for slaughter— a sword for great slaughter, closing in on them from every side.15So that hearts may melt with fear and the fallen be many, I have stationed the sword for slaughterat all their gates. Look! It is forged to strike like lightning, it is grasped for slaughter.16Slash to the right, you sword, then to the left, wherever your blade is turned.17I too will strike my hands together, and my wrath will subside. I the LORD have spoken.”18The word of the LORD came to me:19“Son of man, mark out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to take, both starting from the same country. Make a signpost where the road branches off to the city.20Mark out one road for the sword to come against Rabbah of the Ammonites and another against Judah and fortified Jerusalem.21For the king of Babylon will stop at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He will cast lots with arrows, he will consult his idols, he will examine the liver.22Into his right hand will come the lot for Jerusalem, where he is to set up battering rams, to give the command to slaughter, to sound the battle cry, to set battering rams against the gates, to build a ramp and to erect siege works.23It will seem like a false omen to those who have sworn allegiance to him, but he will remind them of their guilt and take them captive.24“Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘Because you people have brought to mind your guilt by your open rebellion, revealing your sins in all that you do—because you have done this, you will be taken captive.25“ ‘You profane and wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose time of punishment has reached its climax,26this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low.27A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! The crown will not be restored until he to whom it rightfully belongs shall come; to him I will give it.’28“And you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says about the Ammonites and their insults: “ ‘A sword, a sword, drawn for the slaughter, polished to consume and to flash like lightning!29Despite false visions concerning you and lying divinations about you, it will be laid on the necks of the wicked who are to be slain, whose day has come, whose time of punishment has reached its climax.30“ ‘Let the sword return to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your ancestry, I will judge you.31I will pour out my wrath on you and breathe out my fiery anger against you; I will deliver you into the hands of brutal men, men skilled in destruction.32You will be fuel for the fire, your blood will be shed in your land, you will be remembered no more; for I the LORD have spoken.’ ”
1The word of the LORD came to me:2“Son of man, will you judge her? Will you judge this city of bloodshed? Then confront her with all her detestable practices3and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You city that brings on herself doom by shedding blood in her midst and defiles herself by making idols,4you have become guilty because of the blood you have shed and have become defiled by the idols you have made. You have brought your days to a close, and the end of your years has come. Therefore I will make you an object of scorn to the nations and a laughingstock to all the countries.5Those who are near and those who are far away will mock you, you infamous city, full of turmoil.6“ ‘See how each of the princes of Israel who are in you uses his power to shed blood.7In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the foreigner and mistreated the fatherless and the widow.8You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths.9In you are slanderers who are bent on shedding blood; in you are those who eat at the mountain shrines and commit lewd acts.10In you are those who dishonor their father’s bed; in you are those who violate women during their period, when they are ceremonially unclean.11In you one man commits a detestable offense with his neighbor’s wife, another shamefully defiles his daughter-in-law, and another violates his sister, his own father’s daughter.12In you are people who accept bribes to shed blood; you take interest and make a profit from the poor. You extort unjust gain from your neighbors. And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign LORD.13“ ‘I will surely strike my hands together at the unjust gain you have made and at the blood you have shed in your midst.14Will your courage endure or your hands be strong in the day I deal with you? I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.15I will disperse you among the nations and scatter you through the countries; and I will put an end to your uncleanness.16When you have been defiled in the eyes of the nations, you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”17Then the word of the LORD came to me:18“Son of man, the people of Israel have become dross to me; all of them are the copper, tin, iron and lead left inside a furnace. They are but the dross of silver.19Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘Because you have all become dross, I will gather you into Jerusalem.20As silver, copper, iron, lead and tin are gathered into a furnace to be melted with a fiery blast, so will I gather you in my anger and my wrath and put you inside the city and melt you.21I will gather you and I will blow on you with my fiery wrath, and you will be melted inside her.22As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted inside her, and you will know that I the LORD have poured out my wrath on you.’ ”23Again the word of the LORD came to me:24“Son of man, say to the land, ‘You are a land that has not been cleansed or rained on in the day of wrath.’25There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her.26Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.27Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain.28Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says’—when the LORD has not spoken.29The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice.30“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.31So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.”
1This is what the LORD says: “Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.2When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to deliver you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; their fish rot for lack of water and die of thirst.3I clothe the heavens with darkness and make sackcloth its covering.”4The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.5The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away.6I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.7Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.8He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!9It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.10Who among you fears the LORDand obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORDand rely on their God.11But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.