2 Thessalonians 3; Isaiah 29; Isaiah 30; Psalms 119:1-32

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2 Thessalonians 3

1 Finally, pray for us, brothers, that the Lord's message may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you,
2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not all have faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen and guard you from the evil one.
4 We have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do what we command.
5 May the Lord direct your hearts to God's love and Christ's endurance.
6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not according to the tradition received from us.
7 For you yourselves know how you must imitate us: we were not irresponsible among you;
8 we did not eat anyone's bread free of charge; instead, we labored and toiled, working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you.
9 It is not that we don't have the right [to support], but we did it to make ourselves an example to you so that you would imitate us.
10 In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: "If anyone isn't willing to work, he should not eat."
11 For we hear that there are some among you who walk irresponsibly, not working at all, but interfering with the work [of others].
12 Now we command and exhort such people, by the Lord Jesus Christ, that quietly working, they may eat their own bread.
13 Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
14 And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take note of that person; don't associate with him, so that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet don't treat him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
16 May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
17 This greeting is in my own hand-Paul. This is a sign in every letter; this is how I write.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

Isaiah 29

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.

Isaiah 30

1 Woe to the rebellious children! [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. They carry out a plan, but not Mine, They make an alliance, but against My will, piling sin on top of sin.
2 They set out to go down to Egypt without asking My advice, in order to seek shelter under Pharaoh's protection and take refuge in Egypt's shadow.
3 But Pharaoh's protection will become your shame, and refuge in Egypt's shadow your disgrace.
4 For though his princes are at Zoan and his messengers reach as far as Hanes,
5 everyone will be ashamed because of a people who can't help. They are of no benefit, they are no help; they are good for nothing but shame and reproach.
6 An oracle about the animals of the Negev: Through a land of trouble and distress, of lioness and lion, of viper and flying serpent, they carry their wealth on the backs of donkeys and their treasures on the humps of camels, to a people who will not help them.
7 Egypt's help is completely worthless; therefore, I call her: Rahab Who Just Sits.
8 Go now, write it on a tablet in their presence and inscribe it on a scroll; it will be for the future, forever and ever.
9 They are a rebellious people, deceptive children, children who do not obey the Lord's instruction.
10 They say to the seers, "Do not see," and to the prophets, "Do not prophesy the truth to us. Tell us flattering things. Prophesy illusions.
11 Get out of the way! Leave the pathway. Rid us of the Holy One of Israel."
12 Therefore the Holy One of Israel says: "Because you have rejected this message and have trusted in oppression and deceit, and have depended on them,
13 this iniquity of yours will be like a spreading breach, a bulge in a high wall whose collapse will come very suddenly.
14 Its collapse will be like the shattering of a potter's jar, crushed to pieces, so that not even a fragment of pottery will be found among its shattered remains- no fragment large enough to take fire from a hearth or scoop water from a cistern."
15 For the Lord God , the Holy One of Israel, has said: "You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence. But you are not willing."
16 You say, "No! We will escape on horses"- therefore you will escape!- and, "We will ride on fast horses"- but those who pursue you will be faster.
17 One thousand [will flee] at the threat of one, at the threat of five you will flee, until you alone remain like a [solitary] pole on a mountaintop or a banner on a hill.
18 Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. Happy are all who wait patiently for Him.
19 For you people will live on Zion in Jerusalem and will never cry again. He will show favor to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears, He will answer you.
20 The Lord will give you meager bread and water during oppression, but your Teacher will not hide Himself any longer. Your eyes will see your Teacher,
21 and whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: "This is the way. Walk in it."
22 Then you will defile your silver-plated idols and your gold-plated images. You will throw them away like menstrual cloths, and call them filth.
23 Then He will send rain for your seed that you have sown in the ground, and the food, the produce of the ground, will be rich and plentiful. On that day your cattle will graze in open pastures.
24 The oxen and donkeys that work the ground will eat salted fodder scattered with winnowing shovel and fork.
25 Streams and watercourses will be on every high mountain and every raised hill on the day of great slaughter when the towers fall.
26 The moonlight will be as bright as the sunlight, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter-like the light of seven days-on the day that the Lord bandages His people's injuries and heals the wounds He inflicted.
27 Look, Yahweh comes from far away, His anger burning and heavy with smoke. His lips are full of fury, and His tongue is like a consuming fire.
28 His breath is like an overflowing torrent that rises to the neck. [He comes] to sift the nations in a sieve of destruction and to put a bridle on the jaws of the peoples to lead [them] astray.
29 Your singing will be like that on the night of a holy festival, And [your] heart will rejoice like one who walks [to the music] of a flute, going up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel.
30 And the Lord will make the splendor of His voice heard and reveal His arm striking in angry wrath and a flame of consuming fire, in driving rain, a torrent, and hailstones.
31 Assyria will be shattered by the voice of the Lord. He will strike with a rod.
32 And every stroke of the appointed staff that the Lord brings down on him will be [to the sound] of tambourines and lyres; He will fight against him with brandished weapons.
33 Indeed! Topheth has been ready for the king for a long time now. His funeral pyre is deep and wide, with plenty of fire and wood. The breath of the Lord, like a torrent of brimstone, kindles it.

Psalms 119:1-32

1 How happy are those whose way is blameless, who live according to the law of the Lord!
2 Happy are those who keep His decrees and seek Him with all their heart.
3 They do nothing wrong; they follow His ways.
4 You have commanded that Your precepts be diligently kept.
5 If only my ways were committed to keeping Your statutes!
6 Then I would not be ashamed when I think about all Your commands.
7 I will praise You with a sincere heart when I learn Your righteous judgments.
8 I will keep Your statutes; never abandon me.
9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping Your word.
10 I have sought You with all my heart; don't let me wander from Your commands.
11 I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.
12 Lord, may You be praised; teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I proclaim all the judgments from Your mouth.
14 I rejoice in the way [revealed by] Your decrees as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways.
16 I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
17 Deal generously with Your servant so that I might live; then I will keep Your word.
18 Open my eyes so that I may see wonderful things in Your law.
19 I am a stranger on earth; do not hide Your commands from me.
20 I am continually overcome by longing for Your judgments.
21 You rebuke the proud, the accursed, who wander from Your commands.
22 Take insult and contempt away from me, for I have kept Your decrees.
23 Though princes sit together speaking against me, Your servant will think about Your statutes;
24 Your decrees are my delight and my counselors.
25 My life is down in the dust; give me life through Your word.
26 I told You about my life, and You listened to me; teach me Your statutes.
27 Help me understand the meaning of Your precepts so that I can meditate on Your wonders.
28 I am weary from grief; strengthen me through Your word.
29 Keep me from the way of deceit, and graciously give me Your instruction.
30 I have chosen the way of truth; I have set Your ordinances [before me].
31 I cling to Your decrees; Lord, do not put me to shame.
32 I pursue the way of Your commands, for You broaden my understanding.