Isaiah 1; Isaiah 2; Galatians 5

1 This book contains the messages about Judah and Jerusalem which God revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz during the time when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. 2 The Lord said, "Earth and sky, listen to what I am saying! The children I brought up have rebelled against me. 3 Cattle know who owns them, and donkeys know where their master feeds them. But that is more than my people Israel know. They don't understand at all." 4 You are doomed, you sinful nation, you corrupt and evil people! Your sins drag you down! You have rejected the Lord, the holy God of Israel, and have turned your backs on him. 5 Why do you keep on rebelling? Do you want to be punished even more? Israel, your head is already covered with wounds, and your heart and mind are sick. 6 From head to foot there is not a healthy spot on your body. You are covered with bruises and sores and open wounds. Your wounds have not been cleaned or bandaged. No medicine has been put on them. 7 Your country has been devastated, and your cities have been burned to the ground. While you look on, foreigners take over your land and bring everything to ruin. 8 Jerusalem alone is left, a city under siege - as defenseless as a guard's hut in a vineyard or a shed in a cucumber field. 9 If the Lord Almighty had not let some of the people survive, Jerusalem would have been totally destroyed, just as Sodom and Gomorrah were. 10 Jerusalem, your rulers and your people are like those of Sodom and Gomorrah. Listen to what the Lord is saying to you. Pay attention to what our God is teaching you. 11 He says, "Do you think I want all these sacrifices you keep offering to me? I have had more than enough of the sheep you burn as sacrifices and of the fat of your fine animals. I am tired of the blood of bulls and sheep and goats. 12 Who asked you to bring me all this when you come to worship me? Who asked you to do all this tramping around in my Temple? 13 It's useless to bring your offerings. I am disgusted with the smell of the incense you burn. I cannot stand your New Moon Festivals, your Sabbaths, and your religious gatherings; they are all corrupted by your sins. 14 I hate your New Moon Festivals and holy days; they are a burden that I am tired of bearing. 15 "When you lift your hands in prayer, I will not look at you. No matter how much you pray, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with blood. 16 Wash yourselves clean. Stop all this evil that I see you doing. Yes, stop doing evil 17 and learn to do right. See that justice is done - help those who are oppressed, give orphans their rights, and defend widows." 18 The Lord says, "Now, let's settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool. 19 If you will only obey me, you will eat the good things the land produces. 20 But if you defy me, you are doomed to die. I, the Lord, have spoken." 21 The city that once was faithful is behaving like a whore! At one time it was filled with righteous people, but now only murderers remain. 22 Jerusalem, you were once like silver, but now you are worthless; you were like good wine, but now you are only water. 23 Your leaders are rebels and friends of thieves; they are always accepting gifts and bribes. They never defend orphans in court or listen when widows present their case. 24 So now, listen to what the Lord Almighty, Israel's powerful God, is saying: "I will take revenge on you, my enemies, and you will cause me no more trouble. 25 I will take action against you. I will purify you the way metal is refined, and will remove all your impurity. 26 I will give you rulers and advisers like those you had long ago. Then Jerusalem will be called the righteous, faithful city." 27 Because the Lord is righteous, he will save Jerusalem and everyone there who repents. 28 But he will crush everyone who sins and rebels against him; he will kill everyone who forsakes him. 29 You will be sorry that you ever worshiped trees and planted sacred gardens. 30 You will wither like a dying oak, like a garden that no one waters. 31 Just as straw is set on fire by a spark, so powerful people will be destroyed by their own evil deeds, and no one will be able to stop the destruction.
1 Here is the message which God gave to Isaiah son of Amoz about Judah and Jerusalem: 2 In days to come the mountain where the Temple stands will be the highest one of all, towering above all the hills. Many nations will come streaming to it, 3 and their people will say, "Let us go up the hill of the Lord, to the Temple of Israel's God. He will teach us what he wants us to do; we will walk in the paths he has chosen. For the Lord's teaching comes from Jerusalem; from Zion he speaks to his people." 4 He will settle disputes among great nations. They will hammer their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will never again go to war, never prepare for battle again. 5 Now, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light which the Lord gives us! 6 O God, you have forsaken your people, the descendants of Jacob! The land is full of magic practices from the East and from Philistia. The people follow foreign customs. 7 Their land is full of silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses, and there is no end to their chariots. 8 Their land is full of idols, and they worship objects that they have made with their own hands. 9 Everyone will be humiliated and disgraced. Do not forgive them, Lord! 10 They will hide in caves in the rocky hills or dig holes in the ground to try to escape from the Lord's anger and to hide from his power and glory! 11 A day is coming when human pride will be ended and human arrogance destroyed. Then the Lord alone will be exalted. 12 On that day the Lord Almighty will humble everyone who is powerful, everyone who is proud and conceited. 13 He will destroy the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the oaks in the land of Bashan. 14 He will level the high mountains and hills, 15 every high tower, and the walls of every fortress. 16 He will sink even the largest and most beautiful ships. 17 Human pride will be ended, and human arrogance will be destroyed. Idols will completely disappear, and the Lord alone will be exalted on that day. 19 People will hide in caves in the rocky hills or dig holes in the ground to try to escape from the Lord's anger and to hide from his power and glory, when he comes to shake the earth. 20 When that day comes, they will throw away the gold and silver idols they have made, and abandon them to the moles and the bats. 21 When the Lord comes to shake the earth, people will hide in holes and caves in the rocky hills to try to escape from his anger and to hide from his power and glory. 22 Put no more confidence in mortals. What are they worth?
1 Freedom is what we have - Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again. 2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you that if you allow yourselves to be circumcised, it means that Christ is of no use to you at all. 3 Once more I warn any man who allows himself to be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the whole Law. 4 Those of you who try to be put right with God by obeying the Law have cut yourselves off from Christ. You are outside God's grace. 5 As for us, our hope is that God will put us right with him; and this is what we wait for by the power of God's Spirit working through our faith. 6 For when we are in union with Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor the lack of it makes any difference at all; what matters is faith that works through love. 7 You were doing so well! Who made you stop obeying the truth? How did he persuade you? 8 It was not done by God, who calls you. 9 "It takes only a little yeast to make the whole batch of dough rise," as they say. 10 But I still feel confident about you. Our life in union with the Lord makes me confident that you will not take a different view and that whoever is upsetting you will be punished by God. 11 But as for me, my friends, if I continue to preach that circumcision is necessary, why am I still being persecuted? If that were true, then my preaching about the cross of Christ would cause no trouble. 12 I wish that the people who are upsetting you would go all the way; let them go on and castrate themselves! 13 As for you, my friends, you were called to be free. But do not let this freedom become an excuse for letting your physical desires control you. Instead, let love make you serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is summed up in one commandment: "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." 15 But if you act like wild animals, hurting and harming each other, then watch out, or you will completely destroy one another. 16 What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature. 17 For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do. 18 If the Spirit leads you, then you are not subject to the Law. 19 What human nature does is quite plain. It shows itself in immoral, filthy, and indecent actions; 20 in worship of idols and witchcraft. People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry, and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups; 21 they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other things like these. I warn you now as I have before: those who do these things will not possess the Kingdom of God. 22 But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. 25 The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives. 26 We must not be proud or irritate one another or be jealous of one another.
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