5 October 2017 Bible Reading
The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write this letter to the Colossian church to address a doctrinal problem. Paul heard some details from Epaphras. Epaphras had come to Rome to serve Paul during his imprisonment (Philemon 1:23), but also to speak with him about the dangerous teachings the Colossians were hearing. So Paul sent this letter, along with the letters to Philemon and to the Ephesians, with Tychicus, accompanied by Onesimus (Colossians 4:7; Philemon 1:10–12). Tychicus was a coworker of Paul who would have been able to help the Colossian believers understand and apply the apostle’s teachings in the letter.
19 My anguish, my anguish! I am pained at my very heart; my heart is disquieted in me; I can’t hold my peace; because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20 Destruction on destruction is cried; for the whole land is laid waste: suddenly are my tents destroyed, and my curtains in a moment. 21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 “For my people are foolish, they don’t know me. They are foolish children, and they have no understanding. They are skillful in doing evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” 23 I saw the earth, and, behold, it was waste and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I saw the mountains, and behold, they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth. 25 I saw, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the sky had fled. 26 I saw, and behold, the fruitful field was a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down at the presence of Yahweh, before his fierce anger. 27 For Yahweh says, “The whole land shall be a desolation; yet will I not make a full end. 28 For this the earth will mourn, and the heavens above be black; because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and I have not repented, neither will I turn back from it.”
29 Every city flees for the noise of the horsemen and archers; they go into the thickets, and climb up on the rocks: every city is forsaken, and not a man dwells therein. 30 You, when you are made desolate, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself with scarlet, though you deck yourself with ornaments of gold, though you enlarge your eyes with makeup, you make yourself beautiful in vain. Your lovers despise you. They seek your life. 31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, the anguish as of her who gives birth to her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, who gasps for breath, who spreads her hands, saying, “Woe is me now! For my soul faints before the murderers.”
5 “Run back and forth through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in its wide places, if you can find a man, if there are any who does justly, who seeks truth; and I will pardon her. 2 Though they say, ‘As Yahweh lives;’ surely they swear falsely.”
3 O Yahweh, don’t your eyes look on truth? You have stricken them, but they were not grieved. You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than a rock. They have refused to return.
4 Then I said, “Surely these are poor. They are foolish; for they don’t know the way of Yahweh, nor the law of their God. 5 I will go to the great men, and will speak to them; for they know the way of Yahweh, and the law of their God.” But these with one accord have broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. 6 Therefore a lion out of the forest shall kill them, a wolf of the evenings shall destroy them, a leopard shall watch against their cities; everyone who goes out there shall be torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many, and their backsliding is increased.
7 “How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me, and sworn by what are no gods. When I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery, and assembled themselves in troops at the prostitutes’ houses. 8 They were as fed horses roaming at large: everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife. 9 Shouldn’t I punish them for these things?” says Yahweh; “and shouldn’t my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
10 “Go up on her walls, and destroy; but don’t make a full end. Take away her branches; for they are not Yahweh’s. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me,” says Yahweh.
12 They have denied Yahweh, and said, “It is not he; neither shall evil come on us; neither shall we see sword nor famine. 13 The prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them.”
14 Therefore Yahweh, the God of Armies says, “Because you speak this word, behold, I will make my words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. 15 Behold, I will bring a nation on you from far, house of Israel,” says Yahweh. “It is a mighty nation. It is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you don’t know, neither understand what they say. 16 Their quiver is an open tomb, they are all mighty men. 17 They shall eat up your harvest, and your bread, which your sons and your daughters should eat. They shall eat up your flocks and your herds. They shall eat up your vines and your fig trees. They shall beat down your fortified cities, in which you trust, with the sword.
18 “But even in those days,” says Yahweh, “I will not make a full end with you. 19 It will happen, when you say, ‘Why has Yahweh our God done all these things to us?’ Then you shall say to them, ‘Just like you have forsaken me, and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’
20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 21 ‘Hear now this, foolish people, and without understanding; who have eyes, and don’t see; who have ears, and don’t hear: 22 Don’t you fear me?’ says Yahweh ‘Won’t you tremble at my presence, who have placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it can’t pass it? and though its waves toss themselves, yet they can’t prevail; though they roar, yet they can’t pass over it.’
23 “But this people has a revolting and a rebellious heart; they have revolted and gone. 24 Neither do they say in their heart, ‘Let us now fear Yahweh our God, who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season; who preserves to us the appointed weeks of the harvest.’
25 “Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good from you. 26 For among my people are found wicked men. They watch, as fowlers lie in wait. They set a trap. They catch men. 27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit. Therefore they have become great, and grew rich. 28 They have grown fat. They shine; yes, they excel in deeds of wickedness. They don’t plead the cause, the cause of the fatherless, that they may prosper; and they don’t judge the right of the needy.
29 “Shall I not punish for these things?” says Yahweh. “Shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
30 “An astonishing and horrible thing has happened in the land. 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority; and my people love to have it so. What will you do in the end of it?
6 “Flee for safety, you children of Benjamin, out of the middle of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise up a signal on Beth Haccherem; for evil looks out from the north, and a great destruction. 2 I will cut off the comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion. 3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come to her; they shall pitch their tents against her all around; they shall feed everyone in his place.”
4 “Prepare war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! For the day declines, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 5 Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces.” 6 For Yahweh of Armies said, “Cut down trees, and cast up a mound against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression within her. 7 As a well produces its waters, so she produces her wickedness: violence and destruction is heard in her; before me continually is sickness and wounds. 8 Be instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, a land not inhabited.”
9 Yahweh of Armies says, “They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel like a vine. Turn again your hand as a grape gatherer into the baskets.”
10 To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they can’t listen. Behold, Yahweh’s word has become a reproach to them. They have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of Yahweh’s wrath. I am weary with holding in.
“Pour it out on the children in the street,
and on the assembly of young men together;
for even the husband with the wife shall be taken,
the aged with him who is full of days.
12 Their houses shall be turned to others,
their fields and their wives together;
for I will stretch out my hand on the inhabitants of the land, says Yahweh.”
13 “For from their least even to their greatest, everyone is given to covetousness;
and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely.
14 They have healed also the hurt of my people superficially,
saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace.
21 You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil deeds, 22 yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without defect and blameless before him, 23 if it is so that you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Good News which you heard, which is being proclaimed in all creation under heaven; of which I, Paul, was made a servant.
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the assembly; 25 of which I was made a servant, according to the stewardship of God which was given me toward you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints, 27 to whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; 28 whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; 29 for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.
2 For I desire to have you know how greatly I struggle for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and gaining all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden. 4 Now this I say that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.
For the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm by Asaph.
77 My cry goes to God!
Indeed, I cry to God for help,
and for him to listen to me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord.
My hand was stretched out in the night, and didn’t get tired.
My soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remember God, and I groan.
I complain, and my spirit is overwhelmed.
4 You hold my eyelids open.
I am so troubled that I can’t speak.
5 I have considered the days of old,
the years of ancient times.
6 I remember my song in the night.
I consider in my own heart;
my spirit diligently inquires:
7 “Will the Lord reject us forever?
Will he be favorable no more?
8 Has his loving kindness vanished forever?
Does his promise fail for generations?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he, in anger, withheld his compassion?”
10 Then I thought, “I will appeal to this:
the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember Yah’s deeds;
for I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will also meditate on all your work,
and consider your doings.
13 Your way, God, is in the sanctuary.
What god is great like God?
14 You are the God who does wonders.
You have made your strength known among the peoples.
15 You have redeemed your people with your arm,
the sons of Jacob and Joseph.
16 The waters saw you, God.
The waters saw you, and they writhed.
The depths also convulsed.
17 The clouds poured out water.
The skies resounded with thunder.
Your arrows also flashed around.
18 The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind.
The lightnings lit up the world.
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea;
your paths through the great waters.
Your footsteps were not known.
20 You led your people like a flock,
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
23 These also are sayings of the wise.
To show partiality in judgment is not good.
24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous”;
peoples shall curse him, and nations shall abhor him—
25 but it will go well with those who convict the guilty,
and a rich blessing will come on them.