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26 September 2017 Bible Reading

In today’s reading from Ephesians, we have the well-known “be angry and do not sin”. God also tells us to “be slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God”. Furthermore, God wants us to “put away anger and malice”.

When Jesus was criticized for healing on the Sabbath, he looked around upon the people there with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart. He looked around at them with anger—which wasn’t sin—grieved. He was angry at sin, not people.

Isaiah 48:12-50:11
12 “Listen to me, O Jacob,
and Israel my called:
I am he;
I am the first,
I am also the last.
13 Yes, my hand has laid the foundation of the earth,
and my right hand has spread out the heavens.
when I call to them, they stand up together.
14 “Assemble yourselves, all of you, and hear;
who among them has declared these things?
He whom Yahweh loves will do what he likes to Babylon,
and his arm will be against the Chaldeans.
15 I, even I, have spoken;
yes, I have called him.
I have brought him,
and he shall make his way prosperous.
16 “Come near to me and hear this:
“From the beginning I have not spoken in secret;
from the time that it happened, I was there.”
Now the Lord Yahweh has sent me,
with his Spirit.
17 Yahweh,
your Redeemer,
the Holy One of Israel says:
“I am Yahweh your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you by the way that you should go.
18 Oh that you had listened to my commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
19 Your offspring[a] also would have been as the sand,
and the descendants of your body like its grains.
His name would not be cut off nor destroyed from before me.”
20 Leave Babylon!
Flee from the Chaldeans!
With a voice of singing announce this,
tell it even to the end of the earth:
say, “Yahweh has redeemed his servant Jacob!”
21 They didn’t thirst when he led them through the deserts.
He caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them.
He split the rock also, and the waters gushed out.
22 “There is no peace”, says Yahweh, “for the wicked.”
49 Listen, islands, to me.
Listen, you peoples, from afar:
Yahweh has called me from the womb;
from the inside of my mother he has mentioned my name.
2 He has made my mouth like a sharp sword.
He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand.
He has made me a polished shaft.
He has kept me close in his quiver.
3 He said to me, “You are my servant;
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
4 But I said, “I have labored in vain.
I have spent my strength in vain for nothing;
yet surely the justice due to me is with Yahweh,
and my reward with my God.”
5 Now Yahweh says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob again to him,
and to gather Israel to him,
for I am honorable in Yahweh’s eyes,
and my God has become my strength.
6 Indeed, he says, “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and to restore the preserved of Israel?
I will also give you as a light to the nations,
that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth.”
7 Yahweh, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One,
says to him whom man despises, to him whom the nation abhors, to a servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and rise up;
princes, and they shall worship;
because of Yahweh who is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
8 Yahweh says, “In an acceptable time I have answered you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.
I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people,
to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritage:
9 saying to those who are bound, ‘Come out!’;
to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves!’
“They shall feed along the paths,
and their pasture shall be on all treeless heights.
10 They shall not hunger nor thirst;
neither shall the heat nor sun strike them:
for he who has mercy on them will lead them.
He will guide them by springs of water.
11 I will make all my mountains a road,
and my highways shall be exalted.
12 Behold, these shall come from afar;
and behold, these from the north and from the west;
and these from the land of Sinim.”
13 Sing, heavens; and be joyful, earth;
and break out into singing, mountains:
for Yahweh has comforted his people,
and will have compassion on his afflicted.
14 But Zion said, “Yahweh has forsaken me,
and the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Yes, these may forget,
yet I will not forget you!
16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
your walls are continually before me.
17 Your children hurry.
Your destroyers and those who devastated you will leave you.
18 Lift up your eyes all around, and see:
all these gather themselves together, and come to you.
As I live,” says Yahweh, “you shall surely clothe yourself with them all as with an ornament,
and dress yourself with them, like a bride.
19 “For, as for your waste and your desolate places,
and your land that has been destroyed,
surely now that land will be too small for the inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children of your bereavement will say in your ears,
‘This place is too small for me.
Give me a place to live in.’
21 Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has conceived these for me, since I have been bereaved of my children,
and am solitary, an exile, and wandering back and forth?
Who has brought these up?
Behold, I was left alone. Where were these?’”
22 Thus says the Lord Yahweh, “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,
and lift up my banner to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23 Kings shall be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth,
and lick the dust of your feet;
Then you will know that I am Yahweh;
and those who wait for me shall not be disappointed.”
24 Shall the plunder be taken from the mighty,
or the lawful captives be delivered?
25 But Yahweh says, “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,
and the plunder retrieved from the fierce;
for I will contend with him who contends with you,
and I will save your children.
26 I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh;
and they will be drunk on their own blood, as with sweet wine.
Then all flesh shall know that I, Yahweh, am your Savior,
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
50 Yahweh says, “Where is the bill of your mother’s divorce, with which I have put her away?
or to which of my creditors have I sold you?
Behold, you were sold for your iniquities,
and your mother was put away for your transgressions.
2 Why, when I came, was there no one?
when I called, why was there no one to answer?
Is my hand shortened at all, that it can’t redeem?
or have I no power to deliver?
Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea.
I make the rivers a wilderness:
their fish stink, because there is no water, and die for thirst.
3 I clothe the heavens with blackness,
and I make sackcloth their covering.”
4 The Lord Yahweh has given me the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with words him who is weary.
He wakens morning by morning,
he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.
5 The Lord Yahweh has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious.
I have not turned back.
6 I gave my back to those who beat me,
and my cheeks to those who plucked off the hair.
I didn’t hide my face from shame and spitting.
7 For the Lord Yahweh will help me.
Therefore I have not been confounded.
Therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be disappointed.
8 He who justifies me is near.
Who will bring charges against me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.
9 Behold, the Lord Yahweh will help me!
Who is he who will condemn me?
Behold, they will all grow old like a garment.
The moths will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears Yahweh,
and obeys the voice of his servant?
He who walks in darkness,
and has no light,
let him trust in Yahweh’s name,
and rely on his God.
11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
who adorn yourselves with torches around yourselves;
walk in the flame of your fire,
and among the torches that you have kindled.
You will have this from my hand:
You will lie down in sorrow.

Ephesians 4:17-32
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts; 19 who having become callous gave themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ that way; 21 if indeed you heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit; 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.
25 Therefore putting away falsehood, speak truth each one with his neighbor. For we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and don’t sin.” Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 and don’t give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, producing with his hands something that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but only what is good for building others up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.

Psalm 69:1-18
For the Chief Musician. To the tune of “Lilies.” By David.
69 Save me, God,
for the waters have come up to my neck!
2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold.
I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
3 I am weary with my crying.
My throat is dry.
My eyes fail, looking for my God.
4 Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head.
Those who want to cut me off, being my enemies wrongfully, are mighty.
I have to restore what I didn’t take away.
5 God, you know my foolishness.
My sins aren’t hidden from you.
6 Don’t let those who wait for you be shamed through me, Lord Yahweh of Armies.
Don’t let those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, God of Israel.
7 Because for your sake, I have borne reproach.
Shame has covered my face.
8 I have become a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my mother’s children.
9 For the zeal of your house consumes me.
The reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.
10 When I wept and I fasted,
that was to my reproach.
11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword to them.
12 Those who sit in the gate talk about me.
I am the song of the drunkards.
13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, Yahweh, in an acceptable time.
God, in the abundance of your loving kindness, answer me in the truth of your salvation.
14 Deliver me out of the mire, and don’t let me sink.
Let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters.
15 Don’t let the flood waters overwhelm me,
neither let the deep swallow me up.
Don’t let the pit shut its mouth on me.
16 Answer me, Yahweh, for your loving kindness is good.
According to the multitude of your tender mercies, turn to me.
17 Don’t hide your face from your servant,
for I am in distress.
Answer me speedily!
18 Draw near to my soul, and redeem it.
Ransom me because of my enemies.

Proverbs 24:5-6
5 A wise man has great power;
and a knowledgeable man increases strength;
6 for by wise guidance you wage your war;
and victory is in many advisors.

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