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Isaiah 9; Isaiah 10; Ephesians 3

1 Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when He humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in the future He will bring honor to the Way of the Sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations. 2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of darkness, a light has dawned. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy. [The people] have rejoiced before You as they rejoice at harvest time and as they rejoice when dividing spoils. 4 For You have shattered their burdensome yoke and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as [You did] on the day of Midian. 5 For the trampling boot of battle and the bloodied garments of war will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this. 8 The Lord sent a message against Jacob; it came against Israel. 9 All the people- Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria-will know it. They will say with pride and arrogance: 10 "The bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with cut stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars." 11 The Lord has raised up Rezin's adversaries against him and stirred up his enemies. 12 Aram from the east and Philistia from the west have consumed Israel with open mouths. In all this, His anger is not removed, and His hand is still raised [to strike]. 13 The people did not turn to Him who struck them; they did not seek the Lord of Hosts. 14 So the Lord cut off Israel's head and tail, palm branch and reed in a single day. 15 The head is the elder, the honored one; the tail is the prophet, the lying teacher. 16 The leaders of the people mislead [them], and those they mislead are swallowed up. 17 Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over Israel's young men and has no compassion on its fatherless and widows, for everyone is a godless evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. In all this, His anger is not removed, and His hand is still raised [to strike]. 18 For wickedness burns like a fire that consumes thorns and briers and kindles the forest thickets so that they go up in a column of smoke. 19 The land is scorched by the wrath of the Lord of Hosts, and the people are like fuel for the fire. No one has compassion on his brother. 20 They carve [meat] on the right, but they are [still] hungry; they have eaten on the left, but they are [still] not satisfied. Each one eats the flesh of his own arm. 21 Manasseh is with Ephraim, and Ephraim with Manasseh; together, both are against Judah. In all this, His anger is not removed, and His hand is still raised [to strike].
1 Woe to those enacting crooked statutes and writing oppressive laws 2 to keep the poor from getting a fair trial and to deprive the afflicted among my people of justice, so that widows can be their spoil and they can plunder the fatherless. 3 What will you do on the day of punishment when devastation comes from far away? Who will you run to for help? Where will you leave your wealth? 4 [There will be nothing to do] except crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain. In all this, His anger is not removed, and His hand is still raised [to strike]. 5 Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger- the staff in their hands is My wrath. 6 I will send him against a godless nation; I will command him [to go] against a people destined for My rage, to take spoils, to plunder, and to trample them down like clay in the streets. 7 But this is not what he intends; this is not what he plans. It is his intent to destroy and to cut off many nations. 8 For he says: Aren't all my commanders kings? 9 Isn't Calno like Carchemish? Isn't Hamath like Arpad? Isn't Samaria like Damascus? 10 As my hand seized the idolatrous kingdoms, whose idols exceeded those of Jerusalem and Samaria, 11 and as I did to Samaria and its idols will I not also do to Jerusalem and its idols? 12 But when the Lord finishes all His work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, [He will say,] "I will punish the king of Assyria for his arrogant acts and the proud look in his eyes." 13 For he said: I have done [this] by my own strength and wisdom, for I am clever. I abolished the borders of nations and plundered their treasures; like a mighty warrior, I subjugated the inhabitants. 14 My hand has reached out, as if into a nest, to seize the wealth of the nations. Like one gathering abandoned eggs, I gathered the whole earth. No wing fluttered; no beak opened or chirped. 15 Does an ax exalt itself above the one who chops with it? Does a saw magnify itself above the one who saws with it? As if a staff could wave those who lift it! As if a rod could lift what isn't wood! 16 Therefore the Lord God of Hosts will inflict an emaciating disease on the well-fed of Assyria, and He will kindle a burning fire under its glory. 17 Israel's Light will become a fire, and its Holy One, a flame. In one day it will burn up Assyria's thorns and thistles. 18 He will completely destroy the glory of its forests and orchards as a sickness consumes a person. 19 The remaining trees of its forest will be so few in number that a child could count them. 20 On that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no longer depend on the one who struck them, but they will faithfully depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 21 The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. 22 Israel, even if your people were as numerous as the sand of the sea, [only] a remnant of them will return. Destruction has been decreed; justice overflows. 23 For throughout the land the Lord God of Hosts is carrying out a destruction that was decreed. 24 Therefore, the Lord God of Hosts says this: "My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear Assyria, though he strikes you with a rod and raises his staff over you as the Egyptians did. 25 In just a little while My wrath will be spent and My anger will turn to their destruction." 26 And the Lord of Hosts will brandish a whip against him as [He did when He] struck Midian at the rock of Oreb; and He will raise His staff over the sea as [He did] in Egypt. 27 On that day his burden will fall from your shoulders, and his yoke from your neck. The yoke will be broken because of [his] fatness. 28 Assyria has come to Aiath and has gone through Migron, storing his equipment at Michmash. 29 They crossed over at the ford, saying, "We will spend the night at Geba." The people of Ramah are trembling; those at Gibeah of Saul have fled. 30 Cry aloud, daughter of Gallim! Listen, Laishah! Anathoth is miserable. 31 Madmenah has fled. The inhabitants of Gebim have sought refuge. 32 Today he will stand at Nob, shaking his fist at the mountain of Daughter Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33 Look, the Lord God of Hosts will chop off the branches with terrifying power, and the tall [trees] will be cut down, the high [trees] felled. 34 He is clearing the thickets of the forest with an ax, and Lebanon with its majesty will fall.
1 For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles- 2 you have heard, haven't you, about the administration of God's grace that He gave to me for you? 3 The mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have briefly written above. 4 By reading this you are able to understand my insight about the mystery of the Messiah. 5 This was not made known to people in other generations as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 the Gentiles are co-heirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7 I was made a servant of this [gospel] by the gift of God's grace that was given to me by the working of His power. 8 This grace was given to me-the least of all the saints!-to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of the Messiah, 9 and to shed light for all about the administration of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things. 10 This is so that God's multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens. 11 This is according to the purpose of the ages, which He made in the Messiah, Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness, access, and confidence through faith in Him. 13 So then I ask you not to be discouraged over my afflictions on your behalf, for they are your glory. 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. 16 [I pray] that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. [I pray that] you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth [of God's love], 19 and to know the Messiah's love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think-according to the power that works in you- 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
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