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Song of Trust in God’s Protection 26:1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security.
2 “Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, The one that remains faithful.
3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.
4 “Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.
5 “For He has brought low those who dwell on high, the unassailable city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He casts it to the dust.
6 “The foot will trample it, The feet of the afflicted, the steps of the helpless.”
7 The way of the righteous is smooth; O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.
8 Indeed, while following the way of Your judgments, O LORD, We have waited for You eagerly; Your name, even Your memory, is the desire of our souls.
9 At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
10 Though the wicked is shown favor, He does not learn righteousness; He deals unjustly in the land of uprightness, And does not perceive the majesty of the LORD.
11 O LORD, Your hand is lifted up yet they do not see it. They see Your zeal for the people and are put to shame; Indeed, fire will devour Your enemies.
12 LORD, You will establish peace for us, Since You have also performed for us all our works.
13 O LORD our God, other masters besides You have ruled us; But through You alone we confess Your name.
14 The dead will not live, the departed spirits will not rise; Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, And You have wiped out all remembrance of them.
15 You have increased the nation, O LORD, You have increased the nation, You are glorified; You have extended all the borders of the land.
16 O LORD, they sought You in distress; They could only whisper a prayer, Your chastening was upon them.
17 As the pregnant woman approaches the time to give birth, She writhes and cries out in her labor pains, Thus were we before You, O LORD.
18 We were pregnant, we writhed in labor, We gave birth, as it seems, only to wind. We could not accomplish deliverance for the earth, Nor were inhabitants of the world born.
19 Your dead will live; Their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, For your dew is as the dew of the dawn, And the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.
20 Come, my people, enter into your rooms And close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while Until indignation runs its course.
21 For behold, the LORD is about to come out from His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; And the earth will reveal her bloodshed And will no longer cover her slain.
The Deliverance of Israel27:1 In that day the LORD will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, With His fierce and great and mighty sword, Even Leviathan the twisted serpent; And He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea.
2 In that day, “A vineyard of wine, sing of it!
3 “I, the LORD, am its keeper; I water it every moment. So that no one will damage it, I guard it night and day.
4 “I have no wrath. Should someone give Me briars and thorns in battle, Then I would step on them, I would burn them completely.
5 “Or let him rely on My protection, Let him make peace with Me, Let him make peace with Me.”
6 In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout, And they will fill the whole world with fruit.
7 Like the striking of Him who has struck them, has He struck them? Or like the slaughter of His slain, have they been slain?
8 You contended with them by banishing them, by driving them away. With His fierce wind He has expelled them on the day of the east wind.
9 Therefore through this Jacob’s iniquity will be forgiven; And this will be the full price of the pardoning of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones like pulverized chalk stones; When Asherim and incense altars will not stand.
10 For the fortified city is isolated, A homestead forlorn and forsaken like the desert; There the calf will graze, And there it will lie down and feed on its branches.
11 When its limbs are dry, they are broken off; Women come and make a fire with them, For they are not a people of discernment, Therefore their Maker will not have compassion on them. And their Creator will not be gracious to them.
12 In that day the LORD will start His threshing from the flowing stream of the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt, and you will be gathered up one by one, O sons of Israel.
13 It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.
Ephraim’s Captivity Predicted28:1 Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty, Which is at the head of the fertile valley Of those who are overcome with wine!
2 Behold, the Lord has a strong and mighty agent; As a storm of hail, a tempest of destruction, Like a storm of mighty overflowing waters, He has cast it down to the earth with His hand.
3 The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim is trodden under foot.
4 And the fading flower of its glorious beauty, Which is at the head of the fertile valley, Will be like the first-ripe fig prior to summer, Which one sees, And as soon as it is in his hand, He swallows it.
5 In that day the LORD of hosts will become a beautiful crown And a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people;
6 A spirit of justice for him who sits in judgment, A strength to those who repel the onslaught at the gate.
7 And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; They reel while having visions, They totter when rendering judgment.
8 For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place.
9 “To whom would He teach knowledge, And to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast?
10 “For He says, ‘Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there.’”
11 Indeed, He will speak to this people Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,
12 He who said to them, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary,” And, “Here is repose,” but they would not listen.
13 So the word of the LORD to them will be, “Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there,” That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.
Judah Is Warned14 Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”
16 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
17 “I will make justice the measuring line And righteousness the level; Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies And the waters will overflow the secret place.
18 “Your covenant with death will be canceled, And your pact with Sheol will not stand; When the overwhelming scourge passes through, Then you become its trampling place.
19 “As often as it passes through, it will seize you; For morning after morning it will pass through, anytime during the day or night, And it will be sheer terror to understand what it means.”
20 The bed is too short on which to stretch out, And the blanket is too small to wrap oneself in.
21 For the LORD will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be stirred up as in the valley of Gibeon, To do His task, His unusual task, And to work His work, His extraordinary work.
22 And now do not carry on as scoffers, Or your fetters will be made stronger; For I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts Of decisive destruction on all the earth.
23 Give ear and hear my voice, Listen and hear my words.
24 Does the farmer plow continually to plant seed? Does he continually turn and harrow the ground?
25 Does he not level its surface And sow dill and scatter cummin And plant wheat in rows, Barley in its place and rye within its area?
26 For his God instructs and teaches him properly.
27 For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, Nor is the cartwheel driven over cummin; But dill is beaten out with a rod, and cummin with a club.
28 Grain for bread is crushed, Indeed, he does not continue to thresh it forever. Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage it, He does not thresh it longer.
29 This also comes from the LORD of hosts, Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.
Jerusalem Is Warned29:1 Woe, O Ariel, Ariel the city where David once camped! Add year to year, observe your feasts on schedule.
2 I will bring distress to Ariel, And she will be a city of lamenting and mourning; And she will be like an Ariel to me.
3 I will camp against you encircling you, And I will set siegeworks against you, And I will raise up battle towers against you.
4 Then you will be brought low; From the earth you will speak, And from the dust where you are prostrate Your words will come. Your voice will also be like that of a spirit from the ground, And your speech will whisper from the dust.
5 But the multitude of your enemies will become like fine dust, And the multitude of the ruthless ones like the chaff which blows away; And it will happen instantly, suddenly.
6 From the LORD of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, With whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire.
7 And the multitude of all the nations who wage war against Ariel, Even all who wage war against her and her stronghold, and who distress her, Will be like a dream, a vision of the night.
8 It will be as when a hungry man dreams-- And behold, he is eating; But when he awakens, his hunger is not satisfied, Or as when a thirsty man dreams-- And behold, he is drinking, But when he awakens, behold, he is faint And his thirst is not quenched. Thus the multitude of all the nations will be Who wage war against Mount Zion.
9 Be delayed and wait, Blind yourselves and be blind; They become drunk, but not with wine, They stagger, but not with strong drink.
10 For the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers.
11 The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”
12 Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”
13 Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”
15 Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the LORD, And whose deeds are done in a dark place, And they say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?”
16 You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?
Blessing after Discipline17 Is it not yet just a little while Before Lebanon will be turned into a fertile field, And the fertile field will be considered as a forest?
18 On that day the deaf will hear words of a book, And out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.
19 The afflicted also will increase their gladness in the LORD, And the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the ruthless will come to an end and the scorner will be finished, Indeed all who are intent on doing evil will be cut off;
21 Who cause a person to be indicted by a word, And ensnare him who adjudicates at the gate, And defraud the one in the right with meaningless arguments.
22 Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: “Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now turn pale;
23 But when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, They will sanctify My name; Indeed, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob And will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 “Those who err in mind will know the truth, And those who criticize will accept instruction.
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God’s Abundant Favor to Earth and Man.
For the choir director. A Psalm of David. A Song.65:1 There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God, And to You the vow will be performed.
2 O You who hear prayer, To You all men come.
3 Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You forgive them.
4 How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You To dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple.
5 By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation, You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea;
6 Who establishes the mountains by His strength, Being girded with might;
7 Who stills the roaring of the seas, The roaring of their waves, And the tumult of the peoples.
8 They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.
9 You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it; The stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth.
10 You water its furrows abundantly, You settle its ridges, You soften it with showers, You bless its growth.
11 You have crowned the year with Your bounty, And Your paths drip with fatness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness drip, And the hills gird themselves with rejoicing.
13 The meadows are clothed with flocks And the valleys are covered with grain; They shout for joy, yes, they sing.
1 CORINTHIANS 4
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Servants of Christ 4:1 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.
3 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.
4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.
5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.
7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
8 You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.
9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.
11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;
12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;
13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.
17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.
19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.
20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.
21 What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
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