Day 246 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. Israel is the vineyard. Judah is the Grapevine. 2 Corinthians 6: Workers for God
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2 Corinthians 6:3-18
2 Corinthians 7:1
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The Lord GOD All-Powerful will take away everything Judah and Jerusalem depend on.
He will take away all their food and water.
2 He will take away all their heroes and soldiers,
all their judges, prophets, fortune-tellers, leaders,
3 army officers and important officials, counselors, magicians
and those who claim they can control the future.
4 The LORD says:
“I will put young boys in charge of you. They will be your leaders.
5 The people will turn against each other.
Young people will not respect those who are older.
The common people will not respect the leaders.”
6 Looking for someone to be in charge,
a man will say to his own brother:
“You still have a coat, so you will be our leader.
You will be in charge of all these ruins!”
7 But the brother will refuse and say, “I cannot help you.
I don’t have enough food or clothes for my own family.
I cannot be your leader!”
8 This will happen because Jerusalem has stumbled,
and Judah has fallen.
They turned against the LORD.
They said and did things against him, right in front of his glorious eyes.
9 The look on their faces shows they are guilty.
They are like the people of Sodom; they don’t care who sees their sin.
But it will be very bad for them. They will get what they deserve.
10 Tell those who do what is right that all
will go well for them.
They will receive a reward for what they have done.
11 But it will be very bad for wicked people,
because they, too, will get what they deserve.
12 Even children will defeat my people,
and women will rule over them.
My people, your guides lead you the wrong way,
and they destroy the path you should follow.
God’s Decision About His People
13 Look, the LORD is standing to judge his people. 14 Here is the case the LORD will bring against the officials who lead his people:
“You have burned the vineyard,
and what you stole from the poor is still in your houses.
15 What gives you the right to hurt my people?
Why do you rub the faces of the poor in the dirt?”
The Lord GOD All-Powerful said this.
Warning to the Women of Jerusalem
16 The LORD says:
“The women in Zion are so proud!
They walk around with their heads held high,
flirting with their eyes.
They take quick steps to get attention by making noise with their ankle bracelets.”
17 So the Lord will cause sores all over their heads
and make their hair fall out.
18 The time will come when the Lord will take away everything they are proud of: the beautiful ankle bracelets, the necklaces that look like the sun and the moon, 19 the earrings, bracelets and veils, 20 the scarves, the ankle chains, the cloth belts worn around their waists, the bottles of perfume, the charms,* 21 the signet rings and the nose rings, 22 the fine dresses, robes, cloaks and purses, 23 the mirrors, linen dresses, turbans and long shawls.
24 Those women now have
sweet-smelling perfume, but it will get moldy and stink. Now they wear belts,
but then they will have only ropes to wear.
Now they have their hair fixed in fancy ways,
but then their heads will be shaved— they will have no hair.†
Now they have party dresses,
but then they will have only mourning clothes.
They have beauty marks on their faces now,
but then they will have another mark.
It will be a mark burned into their skin to show that they are slaves.
25 Your men will be killed with swords.
Your heroes will die in war.
26 There will be crying and sadness in the meeting places by the city gates.
Jerusalem will sit there empty,
like a woman who has lost everything to thieves and robbers
and now just sits on the ground and cries.
At that time seven women will grab one man and say, “Please marry us!
We will supply our own food and make our own clothes. You won’t have to do anything else if you let us wear your name and take away our shame.”
The Lord Will Bless His People
2 At that time the LORD’s plant* will be very beautiful and glorious. The people in Israel who survived will be very proud of what the land grows. 3 And all those who are left in Zion and Jerusalem will be called holy. Their names were on the list of people in Jerusalem who were allowed to live.
4 The Lord will wash away the filth from the daughters of Zion. He will wash away the blood from Jerusalem. With a spirit of judgment that burns like fire, he will make everything pure. 5 Then the LORD will create a cloud of smoke in the day and a bright flame of fire¶ at night over every building and over every meeting of the people on the mountain of Zion. And there will be a covering over everyone for protection. 6 It will be a shelter to protect the people from the heat of the sun and from all kinds of storms and rain.
My Friend and His Vineyard
Now I will sing a song for my friend, my love song about his vineyard.
My friend had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.
2 He dug and cleared the field
and planted the best grapevines there.
He built a tower in the middle
and cut a winepress into the stone.
He expected good grapes to grow there,
but there were only rotten ones.
3 My friend said, “You people living in Jerusalem and you people of Judah,
think about me and my vineyard.
4 What more could I do for my vineyard? I did everything I could.
I thought it would produce good grapes, but all the grapes it gave me were bitter. 5 So now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard:
I will pull up the thorn bushes that protect it
and let the wild animals graze there. I will break down the wall around it and let the animals trample it down.
6 I will turn my vineyard into useless land.
No one will care for the plants or work in the field.
Weeds and thorns will grow there.
I will command the clouds not to rain on it.”
7 The vineyard that belongs to the
LORD All-Powerful is the nation of Israel. The grapevine, the plant he loves, is the people of Judah.
2 Corinthians 6:3-18
3 We don’t want people to find anything wrong with our work. So we do nothing that will be a problem to others. 4 But in every way, we show that we are servants of God. We never give up, even though we face troubles, difficulties, and problems of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, thrown into prison, and faced riots. We have worked hard, often without sleep or food. 6 We show that we are God’s servants by our pure lives, by our understanding, by our patience, and by our kindness. We show it by the Holy Spirit, by genuine love, 7 by speaking the truth, and by depending on God’s power. This right way of living has prepared us to defend ourselves against every kind of attack.
8 Some people honor us, but others shame us. Some people say good things about us, but others say bad things. Some people say we are liars, but we speak the truth. 9 To some people we are not known, but we are well known. We seem to be dying, but look! We continue to live. We are punished, but we are not killed. 10 We have much sadness, but we are always rejoicing. We are poor, but we are making many people rich in faith. We have nothing, but really we have everything.
11 We have spoken freely to you people in Corinth. We have opened our hearts to you. 12 Our feelings of love for you have not stopped. It is you who have stopped your feelings of love for us. 13 I speak to you as if you were my chil- dren. Do the same as we have done— open your hearts also.
We Are God’s Temple
14 You are not the same as those who don’t believe. So don’t join yourselves to them. Good and evil don’t belong together. Light and darkness cannot share the same room. 15 How can there be any unity between Christ and the devil?* What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 God’s temple† cannot have anything to do with idols, and we are the temple of the living God. As God said,
“I will live with them and walk with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
17 “So come away from those people
and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.
Don’t use anything that is not clean, and I will accept you.”
18 “I will be your father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord All-Powerful.”
2 Corinthians 7:1
Dear friends, we have these promises from God. So we should make our-
selves pure—free from anything that makes our body or our soul unclean. Our respect for God should make us try to be completely holy in the way we live.
12 At the time God said this, there were only a few of his people,
and they were immigrants there.
13 They traveled around from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
14 But the Lord did not let anyone mistreat them.
He warned kings not to harm them.
15 He said, “Don’t hurt my chosen people.
Don’t harm my prophets.”
16 God caused a famine in their country, and they did not have enough food.
17 But he sent a man ahead of them—
Joseph, who had been sold as a slave.
18 They put chains on his feet
and an iron ring around his neck.
19 Joseph was a slave until the future he had seen really happened,
and the LORD’s message proved that Joseph was right.
20 So the king of Egypt set him free;
that nation’s ruler freed him from prison.
21 He put Joseph in charge of his house.
Joseph took care of everything the king owned.
22 Joseph gave instructions to the other leaders.
He taught the older men.
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