Isaiah 3; Isaiah 4; Galatians 6

1 Now the Lord, the Almighty Lord, is about to take away from Jerusalem and Judah everything and everyone that the people depend on. He is going to take away their food and their water, 2 their heroes and their soldiers, their judges and their prophets, their fortunetellers and their statesmen, 3 their military and civilian leaders, their politicians and everyone who uses magic to control events. 4 The Lord will let the people be governed by immature boys. 5 Everyone will take advantage of everyone else. Young people will not respect their elders, and worthless people will not respect their superiors. 6 A time will come when the members of a clan will choose one of their number and say to him, "You at least have something to wear, so be our leader in this time of trouble." 7 But he will answer, "Not me! I can't help you. I don't have any food or clothes either. Don't make me your leader!" 8 Yes, Jerusalem is doomed! Judah is collapsing! Everything they say and do is against the Lord; they openly insult God himself. 9 Their prejudices will be held against them. They sin as openly as the people of Sodom did. They are doomed, and they have brought it on themselves. 10 The righteous will be happy, and things will go well for them. They will get to enjoy what they have worked for. 11 But evil people are doomed; what they have done to others will now be done to them. 12 Moneylenders oppress my people, and their creditors cheat them. My people, your leaders are misleading you, so that you do not know which way to turn. 13 The Lord is ready to state his case; he is ready to judge his people. 14 The Lord is bringing the elders and leaders of his people to judgment. He makes this accusation: "You have plundered vineyards, and your houses are full of what you have taken from the poor. 15 You have no right to crush my people and take advantage of the poor. I, the Sovereign Lord Almighty, have spoken." 16 The Lord said, "Look how proud the women of Jerusalem are! They walk along with their noses in the air. They are always flirting. They take dainty little steps, and the bracelets on their ankles jingle. 17 But I will punish them - I will shave their heads and leave them bald." 18 A day is coming when the Lord will take away from the women of Jerusalem everything they are so proud of - the ornaments they wear on their ankles, on their heads, on their necks, 19 and on their wrists. He will take away their veils 20 and their hats; the magic charms they wear on their arms and at their waists; 21 the rings they wear on their fingers and in their noses; 22 all their fine robes, gowns, cloaks, and purses; 23 their revealing garments, their linen handkerchiefs, and the scarves and long veils they wear on their heads. 24 Instead of using perfumes, they will stink; instead of fine belts, they will wear coarse ropes; instead of having beautiful hair, they will be bald; instead of fine clothes, they will be dressed in rags; their beauty will be turned to shame! 25 The men of the city, yes, even the strongest men, will be killed in war. 26 The city gates will mourn and cry, and the city itself will be like a woman sitting on the ground, stripped naked.
1 When that time comes, seven women will grab hold of one man and say, "We can feed and clothe ourselves, but please let us say you are our husband, so that we won't have to endure the shame of being unmarried." 2 The time is coming when the Lord will make every plant and tree in the land grow large and beautiful. All the people of Israel who survive will take delight and pride in the crops that the land produces. 3 Everyone who is left in Jerusalem, whom God has chosen for survival, will be called holy. 4 By his power the Lord will judge and purify the nation and wash away the guilt of Jerusalem and the blood that has been shed there. 5 Then over Mount Zion and over all who are gathered there, the Lord will send a cloud in the daytime and smoke and a bright flame at night. God's glory will cover and protect the whole city. 6 His glory will shade the city from the heat of the day and make it a place of safety, sheltered from the rain and storm.
1 My friends, if someone is caught in any kind of wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should set him right; but you must do it in a gentle way. And keep an eye on yourselves, so that you will not be tempted, too. 2 Help carry one another's burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are something when you really are nothing, you are only deceiving yourself. 4 You should each judge your own conduct. If it is good, then you can be proud of what you yourself have done, without having to compare it with what someone else has done. 5 For each of you have to carry your own load. 6 If you are being taught the Christian message, you should share all the good things you have with your teacher. 7 Do not deceive yourselves; no one makes a fool of God. You will reap exactly what you plant. 8 If you plant in the field of your natural desires, from it you will gather the harvest of death; if you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life. 9 So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest. 10 So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith. 11 See what big letters I make as I write to you now with my own hand! 12 The people who are trying to force you to be circumcised are the ones who want to show off and boast about external matters. They do it, however, only so that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Even those who practice circumcision do not obey the Law; they want you to be circumcised so that they can boast that you submitted to this physical ceremony. 14 As for me, however, I will boast only about the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; for by means of his cross the world is dead to me, and I am dead to the world. 15 It does not matter at all whether or not one is circumcised; what does matter is being a new creature. 16 As for those who follow this rule in their lives, may peace and mercy be with them - with them and with all of God's people! 17 To conclude: let no one give me any more trouble, because the scars I have on my body show that I am the slave of Jesus. 18 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, my friends. Amen.
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