Isaiah 28; Isaiah 29; Philippians 3

1 Woe to the majestic crown of Ephraim's drunkards, and to the fading flower of its beautiful splendor, which is on the summit above the rich valley. [Woe] to those overcome with wine. 2 Look, the Lord has a strong and mighty one- like a devastating hail storm, like a storm with strong flooding waters. He will bring it across the land with [His] hand. 3 The majestic crown of Ephraim's drunkards will be trampled underfoot. 4 The fading flower of his beautiful splendor, which is on the summit above the rich valley, will be like a ripe fig before the summer harvest. Whoever sees it will swallow it while it is still in his hand. 5 On that day the Lord of Hosts will become a crown of beauty and a diadem of splendor to the remnant of His people, 6 a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate. 7 These also stagger because of wine and stumble under the influence of beer: priest and prophet stagger because of beer, they are confused by wine. They stumble because of beer, they are muddled in [their] visions, they stumble in [their] judgments. 8 Indeed, all their tables are covered with vomit; there is no place without a stench. 9 Who is he trying to teach? Who is he trying to instruct? Infants [just] weaned from milk? Babies removed from the breast? 10 For [he says]: "Law after law, law after law, line after line, line after line, a little here, a little there." 11 So He will speak to this people with stammering speech and in a foreign language. 12 He had said to them: "This is the place of rest, let the weary rest; this is the place of repose." But they would not listen. 13 Then the word of the Lord came to them: "Law after law, law after law, line after line, line after line, a little here, a little there," so they go stumbling backwards, to be broken, trapped, and captured. 14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you mockers who rule this people in Jerusalem. 15 For you said, "We have cut a deal with Death, and we have made an agreement with Sheol; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, it will not touch us, because we have made falsehood our refuge and have hidden behind treachery." 16 Therefore the Lord God said: "Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable. 17 And I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the mason's level." Hail will sweep away the false refuge, and water will flood your hiding place. 18 Your deal with Death will be dissolved, and your agreement with Sheol will not last. When the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be trampled. 19 Every time it passes through, it will carry you away; it will pass through every morning- every day and every night. Only terror will cause you to understand the message. 20 Indeed, the bed is too short to stretch out on, and its cover too small to wrap up in. 21 For the Lord will rise up as [He did] at Mount Perazim. He will rise in wrath, as at the valley of Gibeon, to do His work, His strange work, and to perform His task, His disturbing task. 22 So now, do not mock, or your shackles will become stronger. Indeed, I have heard from the Lord God of Hosts a decree of destruction for the whole land. 23 Listen and hear my voice. Pay attention and hear what I say. 24 Does the plowman plow every day to plant seed? Does he [continuously] break up and cultivate the soil? 25 When he has leveled its surface, does he not then scatter cumin and sow black cumin? He plants wheat in rows and barley in plots, with spelt as their border. 26 His God teaches him order; He instructs him. 27 Certainly black cumin is not threshed with a threshing board, and a cart wheel is not rolled over the cumin. But black cumin is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod. 28 Bread grain is crushed, but is not threshed endlessly. Though the wheel of [the farmer's] cart rumbles, his horses do not crush it. 29 This also comes from the Lord of Hosts. He gives wonderful advice; He gives great wisdom.
1 Woe to Ariel, Ariel, the city where David camped! Continue year after year; let the festivals recur. 2 I will oppress Ariel, and there will be mourning and crying, and she will be to Me like an Ariel. 3 I will camp in a circle around you; I will besiege you with earth ramps, and I will set up my siege towers against you. 4 You will be brought down; you will speak from the ground, and your words will come from low in the dust. Your voice will be like that of a spirit from the ground; your speech will whisper from the dust. 5 The multitude of your foes will be like fine dust, and the multitude of the ruthless, like blowing chaff. Then suddenly, in an instant, 6 you will be visited by the Lord of Hosts with thunder, earthquake, and loud noise, storm, tempest, and a flame of consuming fire. 7 The multitude of all the nations going out to battle against Ariel- all the attackers, the siege-works against her, and those who oppress her- will then be like a dream, a vision in the night. 8 It will be like a hungry one who dreams he is eating, then wakes and is still hungry; and like a thirsty one who dreams he is drinking, then wakes and is still thirsty, longing for water. So will be the multitude of all the nations who go to battle against Mount Zion. 9 Stop and be astonished; blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with beer. 10 For the Lord has poured out on you an overwhelming urge to sleep; He has shut your eyes-the prophets, and covered your heads-the seers. 11 For you the entire vision will be like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to one who can read and he is asked to read it, he will say, "I can't read it, because it is sealed." 12 And if the document is given to one who cannot read and he is asked to read it, he will say, "I can't read." 13 The Lord said: Because these people approach Me with their mouths to honor Me with lip-service- yet their hearts are far from Me, and their worship [consists of] man-made rules learned [by rote]- 14 therefore I will again confound these people with wonder after wonder. The wisdom of their wise men will vanish, and the understanding of the perceptive will be hidden. 15 Woe to those who go to great lengths to hide their plans from the Lord. [They do] their works in darkness, and say, "Who sees us? Who knows us?" 16 You have turned things around, as if the potter were the same as the clay. How can what is made say about its maker, "He didn't make me"? How can what is formed say about the one who formed it, "He doesn't understand [what he's doing]"? 17 Isn't [it true that] in just a little while Lebanon will become an orchard, and the orchard will seem like a forest? 18 On that day the deaf will hear the words of a document, and out of a deep darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 19 The humble will have joy after joy in the Lord, and the poor people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the ruthless one will vanish, the scorner will disappear, and all those who lie in wait with evil intent will be killed- 21 those who, with [their] speech, accuse a person of wrongdoing, who set a trap at the gate for the mediator, and without cause deprive the righteous of justice. 22 Therefore, the Lord who redeemed Abraham says this about the house of Jacob: Jacob will no longer be ashamed and his face will no longer be pale. 23 For when he sees his children, the work of My hands within his [nation], they will honor My name, they will honor the Holy One of Jacob and stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24 Those who are confused will gain understanding and those who grumble will accept instruction.
1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write to you again about this is no trouble for me and is a protection for you. 2 Watch out for "dogs," watch out for evil workers, watch out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh- 4 although I once had confidence in the flesh too. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, persecuting the church; as to the righteousness that is in the law, blameless. 7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ-the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 [My goal] is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. 12 Not that I have already reached [the goal] or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this to you also. 16 In any case, we should live up to whatever [truth] we have attained. 17 Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. 18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, 20 but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.
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