Isaiah 65; Isaiah 66; 1 Timothy 2

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Isaiah 65

1 I was ready to answer those who didn't ask. I was found by those who weren't looking for me. I said, "Here I am! Here I am!" to a nation that didn't worship me.
2 I stretched out my hands all day long to stubborn people. They chose to go the wrong direction. They followed their own plans.
3 These people constantly and openly provoked me. They offered sacrifices in gardens and burnt incense on brick altars.
4 They sat among the graves and spent their nights in caves. They ate pork and in their pots made broth from unclean foods.
5 They said, "Stay away! Don't touch me! I'm holier than you are." They have become like smoke in my nose, like a smoldering fire all day long.
6 "Look! It is written in front of me. I will not be silent, but I will repay. I will repay you in full.
7 I will repay you for your sins and for the sins of your ancestors," says the LORD. They burnt incense on the mountains and slandered me on the hills, so I will be the first to pay them back in full.
8 This is what the LORD says: When someone finds juice for new wine in a cluster of grapes, another person will say, "Don't destroy it, because there's a blessing in it." In the same way, I will do this for my servants: I will not destroy everything.
9 I will bring [with me] Jacob's descendant, one who will inherit my mountains from Judah. My chosen ones will inherit them. My servants will live there.
10 The Sharon Plain will be a pasture for flocks. The Achor Valley will be a resting place for cattle and for my people who search for me.
11 You have abandoned the LORD and forgotten my holy mountain. You have prepared a table for the god of good fortune and offered cups full of spiced wine to the goddess of destiny.
12 Now I will destine you for death. All of you will bow to be slaughtered. I called, but you didn't answer. I spoke, but you didn't listen. You did what I consider evil. You chose what I don't like.
13 This is what the LORD God says: My servants will eat, but you will be hungry. My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty. My servants will be glad, but you will be ashamed.
14 My servants will sing because of the gladness in their hearts. But you will cry because of your sadness and wail because of your depression.
15 Your name will be used as a curse by my chosen ones. The Almighty LORD will kill you and call his servants by another name.
16 Whoever asks for a blessing in the land will be blessed by the God of Truth. Whoever swears an oath in the land will swear by the God of Truth. Past troubles are forgotten. They are hidden from my eyes.
17 I will create a new heaven and a new earth. Past things will not be remembered. They will not come to mind.
18 Be glad, and rejoice forever in what I'm going to create, because I'm going to create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people to be a joy.
19 I will rejoice about Jerusalem and be glad about my people. Screaming and crying will no longer be heard in the city.
20 There will no longer be an infant who lives for only a few days or an old man who doesn't live a long life. Whoever lives to be a hundred years old will be thought of as young. Whoever dies before he is a hundred years old will be cursed as a sinner.
21 They will build houses and live there. They will plant vineyards and eat fruit from them.
22 They will not build homes and have others live there. They will not plant and have others eat from it. My people will live as long as trees, and my chosen ones will enjoy what they've done.
23 They will never again work for nothing. They will never again give birth to children who die young, because they will be offspring blessed by the LORD. The LORD will bless their descendants as well.
24 Before they call, I will answer. While they're still speaking, I will hear.
25 Wolves and lambs will feed together, lions will eat straw like oxen, and dust will be food for snakes. "They will not hurt or destroy anyone anywhere on my holy mountain," says the LORD.

Isaiah 66

1 This is what the LORD says: Heaven is my throne. The earth is my footstool. Where can you build a house or resting place for me?
2 I have made all these things. "That is why all these things have come into being," declares the LORD. I will pay attention to those who are humble and sorry [for their sins] and who tremble at my word.
3 Whoever kills a bull is like someone who kills a person. Whoever sacrifices a lamb is like someone who breaks a dog's neck. Whoever offers a grain sacrifice is like someone who [offers] pig's blood. Whoever burns incense is like someone who worships an idol. People have certainly chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in detestable things.
4 So I will choose harsh treatment for them and bring on them what they fear. I called, but no one answered. I spoke, but they didn't listen. They did what I consider evil. They chose what I don't like.
5 Listen to the word of the LORD, all who tremble at his word. Your relatives, who hate you and exclude you for my name's sake, say, "Let the LORD show his glory; then we will see your joy." But they will be put to shame.
6 Listen to the uproar from the city. Listen to the sound from the temple. It is the sound of the LORD paying back his enemies as they deserve.
7 Before a woman goes into labor, she gives birth. Before she has labor pains, she delivers a child.
8 Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a country be born in one day? Can a nation be born in a moment? When Zion went into labor, she also gave birth to her children.
9 "Do I bring a mother to the moment of birth and not let her deliver?" asks the LORD. "Do I cause a mother to deliver and then make her unable to have children?" asks your God.
10 All who love Jerusalem, be happy and rejoice with her. All who mourn for her, be glad with her.
11 You will nurse and be satisfied from her comforting breasts. You will nurse to your heart's delight at her full breasts.
12 This is what the LORD says: I will offer you peace like a river and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream. You will nurse and be carried in Jerusalem's arms and cuddled on her knees.
13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you. You will be comforted in Jerusalem.
14 When you see it, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like new grass. The power of the LORD will be made known to his servants, but he will condemn his enemies.
15 The LORD will come with fire and with his chariots like a thunderstorm. He will pay them back with his burning anger and punish them with flames of fire.
16 The LORD will judge with fire, and he will judge all people with his sword. Many people will be struck dead by the LORD.
17 People make themselves holy and prepare themselves for their garden rituals. They go into the garden and devour pork, disgusting things, and mice. "They will come to an end at the same time," declares the LORD.
18 Because of their actions and their thoughts, I am coming to gather the nations of every language. They will come and see my glory.
19 I will set up a sign among them and send some of their survivors to the nations: to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Meshech, Rosh, Tubal, Javan, and to the distant coastlands who have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will tell about my glory among the nations.
20 They will bring all your relatives from every nation like a grain offering to the LORD. "They will come on horses, in chariots, in wagons, on mules and camels to my holy mountain, Jerusalem," declares the LORD. They will come like the people of Israel who bring their grain offerings in clean dishes to the LORD's temple.
21 "I will make some of them priests and Levites," declares the LORD.
22 "The new heaven and earth that I am about to make will continue in my presence," declares the LORD. "So your descendants and your name will also continue in my presence.
23 From one month to the next and from one week to the next all people will come to worship me," declares the LORD.
24 Then they will go out and look at the corpses of those who have rebelled against me. The worms that eat them will not die. The fire that burns them will not go out. All humanity will be disgusted by them.

1 Timothy 2

1 First of all, I encourage you to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people,
2 for rulers, and for everyone who has authority over us. Pray for these people so that we can have a quiet and peaceful life always lived in a godly and reverent way.
3 This is good and pleases God our Savior.
4 He wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth.
5 There is one God. There is also one mediator between God and humans--a human, Christ Jesus.
6 He sacrificed himself for all people to free them from their sins. This message is valid for every era.
7 I was appointed to spread this Good News and to be an apostle to teach people who are not Jewish about faith and truth. I'm telling you the truth. I'm not lying.
8 I want men to offer prayers everywhere. They should raise their hands in prayer after putting aside their anger and any quarrels they have with anyone.
9 I want women to show their beauty by dressing in appropriate clothes that are modest and respectable. Their beauty will be shown by what they do, not by their hair styles or the gold jewelry, pearls, or expensive clothes they wear.
10 This is what is proper for women who claim to have reverence for God.
11 A woman must learn in silence, in keeping with her position.
12 I don't allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. Instead, she should be quiet.
13 After all, Adam was formed first, then Eve.
14 Besides that, Adam was not deceived. It was the woman who was deceived and sinned.
15 However, she [and all women] will be saved through the birth of the child, if they lead respectable lives in faith, love, and holiness.