17 September 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading from Isaiah, we have a prophecy providing comfort for God’s people in time of distress by a contemplation of future blessings. Isaiah 26:19 contains the definite promise of a resurrection of the righteous dead.
Today’s passage in Galatians references Deuteronomy 27:26; Habakkuk 2:4; Leviticus 18:5; and Deuteronomy 21:23.
25 Yahweh, you are my God. I will exalt you! I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago, in complete faithfulness and truth. 2 For you have made a city into a heap, a fortified city into a ruin, a palace of strangers to be no city. It will never be built. 3 Therefore a strong people will glorify you. A city of awesome nations will fear you. 4 For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat, when the blast of the dreaded ones is like a storm against the wall. 5 As the heat in a dry place will you bring down the noise of strangers; as the heat by the shade of a cloud, the song of the dreaded ones will be brought low. 6 In this mountain, Yahweh of Armies will make all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of choice wines, of fat things full of marrow, of well refined choice wines. 7 He will destroy in this mountain the surface of the covering that covers all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He has swallowed up death forever! The Lord Yahweh will wipe away tears from off all faces. He will take the reproach of his people away from off all the earth, for Yahweh has spoken it. 9 It shall be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God! We have waited for him, and he will save us! This is Yahweh! We have waited for him. We will be glad and rejoice in his salvation!” 10 For in this mountain Yahweh’s hand will rest.
Moab will be trodden down in his place, even like straw is trodden down in the water of the dunghill. 11 He will spread out his hands in the middle of it, like one who swims spreads out hands to swim, but his pride will be humbled together with the craft of his hands. 12 He has brought the high fortress of your walls down, laid low, and brought to the ground, even to the dust.
26 In that day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city.
God appoints salvation for walls and bulwarks.
2 Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter:
the one which keeps faith.
3 You will keep whoever’s mind is steadfast in perfect peace,
because he trusts in you.
4 Trust in Yahweh forever;
for in Yah, Yahweh, is an everlasting Rock.
5 For he has brought down those who dwell on high, the lofty city.
He lays it low.
He lays it low even to the ground.
He brings it even to the dust.
6 The foot shall tread it down;
Even the feet of the poor,
and the steps of the needy.”
7 The way of the just is uprightness.
You who are upright make the path of the righteous level.
8 Yes, in the way of your judgments, Yahweh, have we waited for you. Your name and your renown are the desire of our soul. 9 With my soul have I desired you in the night. Yes, with my spirit within me will I seek you earnestly; for when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 10 Let favor be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness. In the land of uprightness he will deal wrongfully, and will not see Yahweh’s majesty. 11 Yahweh, your hand is lifted up, yet they don’t see; but they will see your zeal for the people, and be disappointed. Yes, fire will consume your adversaries. 12 Yahweh, you will ordain peace for us, for you have also done all our work for us. 13 Yahweh our God, other lords besides you have had dominion over us, but by you only will we make mention of your name. 14 The dead shall not live. The departed spirits shall not rise. Therefore you have visited and destroyed them, and caused all memory of them to perish. 15 You have increased the nation, O Yahweh. You have increased the nation! You are glorified! You have enlarged all the borders of the land. 16 Yahweh, in trouble they have visited you. They poured out a prayer when your chastening was on them. 17 Like as a woman with child, who draws near the time of her delivery, is in pain and cries out in her pangs; so we have been before you, Yahweh. 18 We have been with child. We have been in pain. We gave birth, it seems, only to wind. We have not worked any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. 19 Your dead shall live. My dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth will cast out the departed spirits.
20 Come, my people, enter into your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for a little moment, until the indignation is past. 21 For, behold, Yahweh comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth also will disclose her blood, and will no longer cover her slain.
27 In that day, Yahweh with his hard and great and strong sword will punish leviathan, the fleeing serpent, and leviathan the twisted serpent; and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea. 2 In that day, sing to her, “A pleasant vineyard! 3 I, Yahweh, am its keeper. I will water it every moment. Lest anyone damage it, I will keep it night and day. 4 Wrath is not in me, but if I should find briers and thorns, I would do battle! I would march on them and I would burn them together. 5 Or else let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me. Let him make peace with me.”
6 In days to come, Jacob will take root. Israel will blossom and bud. They will fill the surface of the world with fruit. 7 Has he struck them as he struck those who struck them? Or are they killed like those who killed them were killed? 8 In measure, when you send them away, you contend with them. He has removed them with his rough blast in the day of the east wind. 9 Therefore by this the iniquity of Jacob will be forgiven, and this is all the fruit of taking away his sin: that he makes all the stones of the altar as chalk stones that are beaten in pieces, so that the Asherah poles and the incense altars shall rise no more. 10 For the fortified city is solitary, a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness. The calf will feed there, and there he will lie down, and consume its branches. 11 When its boughs are withered, they will be broken off. The women will come and set them on fire, for they are a people of no understanding. Therefore he who made them will not have compassion on them, and he who formed them will show them no favor. 12 It will happen in that day, that Yahweh will thresh from the flowing stream of the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt; and you will be gathered one by one, children of Israel. 13 It will happen in that day that a great trumpet will be blown; and those who were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and those who were outcasts in the land of Egypt, shall come; and they will worship Yahweh in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.
28 Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fertile valley of those who are overcome with wine! 2 Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one. Like a storm of hail, a destroying storm, and like a storm of mighty waters overflowing, he will cast them down to the earth with his hand. 3 The crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim will be trodden under foot. 4 The fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fertile valley, shall be like the first-ripe fig before the summer; which someone picks and eats as soon as he sees it. 5 In that day, Yahweh of Armies will become a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the residue of his people; 6 and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate. 7 They also reel with wine, and stagger with strong drink. The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink. They are swallowed up by wine. They stagger with strong drink. They err in vision. They stumble in judgment. 8 For all tables are completely full of filthy vomit and filthiness. 9 Whom will he teach knowledge? To whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts? 10 For it is precept on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little. 11 But he will speak to this nation with stammering lips and in another language; 12 to whom he said, “This is the resting place. Give rest to weary”; and “This is the refreshing”; yet they would not hear. 13 Therefore Yahweh’s word will be to them precept on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little; that they may go, fall backward, be broken, be snared, and be taken.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who doesn’t continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, “The righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not of faith, but, “The man who does them will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,” 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 15 Brothers, speaking of human terms, though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been confirmed, no one makes it void, or adds to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his offspring. He doesn’t say, “To descendants”, as of many, but as of one, “To your offspring”, which is Christ. 17 Now I say this. A covenant confirmed beforehand by God in Christ, the law, which came four hundred thirty years after, does not annul, so as to make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by promise.
19 What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring[i] should come to whom the promise has been made. It was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not between one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most certainly righteousness would have been of the law. 22 But the Scriptures imprisoned all things under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
For the Chief Musician. For a stringed instrument. By David.
61 Hear my cry, God.
Listen to my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth, I will call to you, when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been a refuge for me,
a strong tower from the enemy.
4 I will dwell in your tent forever.
I will take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
5 For you, God, have heard my vows.
You have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
6 You will prolong the king’s life;
his years shall be for generations.
7 He shall be enthroned in God’s presence forever.
Appoint your loving kindness and truth, that they may preserve him.
8 So I will sing praise to your name forever,
that I may fulfill my vows daily.
17 Don’t let your heart envy sinners;
but rather fear Yahweh all the day long.
18 Indeed surely there is a future hope,
and your hope will not be cut off.