Day 251 | Isaiah prophesies the demise and then the unity of Egypt | 2 Corinthians:Paul defends his Ministry
Day 251 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. Isaiah prophesies the demise and then the unity of Egypt. 2 Corinthians: Paul defends his Ministry
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2 Corinthians 10
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God’s Message to Aram
This is a message about Damascus:
“Damascus is now a city, but it will be destroyed.
Only ruined buildings will be left there. 2 People will leave the cities of Aroer.‡ Flocks of sheep will wander freely in
those empty towns;
there will be no one to bother them.
3 The fortress cities of Ephraim will be destroyed.
The government in Damascus will be finished.
Those left in Aram will lose everything, just like the people of Israel,” says the LORD All-Powerful.
4 “At that time Jacob’s wealth will all be gone.
Yes, Israel will be like a sick man who has become weak and thin.
5 “That time will be like the grain harvest in Rephaim Valley. The workers gather the plants that grow in the field. Then they cut the heads of grain from the plants and collect the grain.
6 “That time will also be like the olive harvest. People knock olives from the trees, but a few olives are usually left at the top of each tree. Four or five olives are left on some of the top branches. It will be the same for those cities,” says the LORD All-Powerful.
7 Then the people will look up to the one who made them. Their eyes will see the Holy One of Israel. 8 They will not trust the great things they have made. They will not go to the special gardens§ and altars they made for false gods. 9 At that time all the walled cities will be empty. They will be like the mountains and the forests†† in the land before the Israelites came. In the past all the people ran away because the Israelites were coming. In the future, the country will be empty again.
10 This will happen because you have
forgotten the God who saves you.
You have not remembered that God is your place of safety.
You brought some very good grapevines from faraway places.
You might plant those grapevines, but they will not grow.
11 You will plant your grapevines one
day and try to make them grow, and the next day they will blossom.
But at harvest time, you will go to gather the fruit from the plants,
and you will see that everything is dead. A sickness will kill all the plants.
12 Listen to the many nations!
Their loud roaring sounds are like the noise from the sea.
Listen, it is like the crashing of waves in the sea.
13 And like the waves,
they will rush away when God speaks harshly to them.
They will be like chaff blown away by the wind.
They will be like weeds chased by a storm.
14 That evening, our people will be frightened by the enemy.
By morning, the enemy will be gone.
That is what will happen to those who try to attack us!
That is the end for those who try to destroy us.
God’s Message to Ethiopia
Look at the land along the rivers of Ethiopia where you can hear
the buzzing of insect wings. 2 That land
sends people down the Nile River in reed boats.
Fast messengers, go to the people who are tall and smooth, who are feared far and wide.
Their powerful nation defeats all its enemies.
It is the land divided by rivers. Go and warn them!
3 Like a flag on a hill,
everyone on earth will see what happens.
Like a trumpet call,
everyone in the country will hear it.
4 The LORD said to me:
“I will be in the place prepared for me.† I will quietly watch these things happen. On a beautiful summer day, at noon, people will be resting.
It will be during the hot harvest time when there is no rain, but only early morning dew.
5 Then something terrible will happen. Earlier in the year, the flowers bloomed and the new grapes formed buds and began to grow.
But before the crop is harvested,
the enemy will come and cut the plants.
They will break the vines and throw them away.
6 The vines will be left for the birds from the mountains
and the wild animals to eat.
The birds will feed on them throughout the summer,
and that winter the wild animals will eat the vines.”
7 At that time a special offering will be brought to the LORD All-Powerful from the people who are tall and smooth, from those who are feared far and wide, from that powerful nation that defeats other countries and whose land is di- vided by rivers.‡ This offering will be brought to the LORD’s place on Mount Zion.
God’s Message to Egypt
A message about Egypt:
Look, the LORD is coming on a fast cloud.
He will enter Egypt, and all the false gods of Egypt will shake with fear.
Egypt’s courage will melt away like hot wax.
2 The LORD says:
“I will cause the Egyptians to fight against themselves.
Men will fight their brothers. Neighbors will be against neighbors. Cities will be against cities.
Kingdoms will be against kingdoms.
3 The Egyptians will be afraid and confused.
They will ask their false gods and spirits of the dead what they should do.
They will seek advice from ghosts and spirits of their dead ancestors, but I will ruin their plans.”
4 The Lord GOD All-Powerful says: “I will give Egypt to a hard master.
A powerful king will rule over the people.”
5 The water in the Nile River will dry up and disappear.
6 All the rivers will smell bad. Egypt’s canals will dry up,
and the water plants will die.
7 All the plants along the riverbanks, even the crops beside the Nile,
will dry up and blow away.
8 The fishermen, all who fish in the Nile, will be so sad they will cry.
They depend on the Nile for their food, but it will be dry.
9 Those who make cloth from flax,
who weave it into linen, will all be sad.
10 Those who weave cloth will be broken,
and those who work for money will be depressed.
11 The leaders of the city of Zoan† are fools.
Pharaoh’s “wise advisers” give bad advice.
They say they are wise.
They say they are from the old family of the kings,
but they are not as smart as they think.
12 Egypt, where are your wise men? They should learn what the LORD All-
Powerful has planned for Egypt.
They should be the ones to tell you what will happen.
13 The leaders of Zoan have been fooled.
The leaders of Memphis‡ have believed lies,
so they lead Egypt the wrong way.
14 The LORD confused them,
so they wander around and lead Egypt the wrong way.
Everything they do is wrong.
They are like drunks rolling in their vomit.
15 There is nothing the leaders can do.
They are “the heads and the tails”.
They are “the tops and the stalks of plants”.
16 At that time the Egyptians will be like frightened women. They will be afraid of the LORD All-Powerful because he will raise his arm to punish the people. 17 The land of Judah brings fear to everyone in Egypt. Anyone in Egypt who hears the name Judah will be afraid. This will happen because the LORD All-Powerful has planned terrible things to happen to Egypt. 18 At that time there will be five cities in Egypt where people speak Hebrew.§ One of these cities will be named “Destruction City”. The people in these cities will promise to follow the LORD All-Powerful.
19 At that time there will be an altar for the LORD in the middle of Egypt. At the border of Egypt, there will be a monument to show honor to the LORD. 20 This will be a sign to show that the LORD All-Powerful does amazing things. Any time the people cry for help from the LORD, he will send help. He will send someone to save and defend the people—to rescue the people from those who hurt them.
21 At that time the LORD will make
himself known to the Egyptians, and they really will know the LORD. They will serve him and give him many sacrifices. They will make promises* to the LORD, and they will do what they promise. 22 The LORD will punish the Egyptians, but then he will heal them, and they will come back to him. The LORD will listen to their prayers and heal them.
23 At that time there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. Then the Assyrians will go to Egypt, and the Egyp- tians will go to Assyria. Egypt will work with Assyria.† 24 Then Israel, Assyria, and Egypt will join together and control the land. This will be a blessing for the land. 25 The LORD All-Powerful will give a blessing to these countries: Egypt, you are my people. Assyria, I made you. Israel, I own you. You are all blessed!
2 Corinthians 10
Paul Defends His Ministry
I, Paul, am begging you with the gentleness and the kindness of Christ. Some say that I am bold when I am writing to you from a distance, but that I am afraid to say anything when I am there with you. 2 They think the reasons for what we do are the same as those of the world. I plan to be very bold against those people when I come. Please don’t make me have to use that same boldness with you. 3 We live in this world, but we don’t fight our battles in the same way the world does. 4 The weapons we use are not human ones. Our weapons have power from God and can destroy the enemy’s strong places. We destroy people’s arguments, 5 and we tear down every proud idea that raises itself up against the knowledge of God. We also capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ. 6 We are ready to punish anyone there who does not obey, but first we want you to be fully obedient.
7 You must look at the facts before you. If you feel sure you belong to Christ, you must remember that we belong to Christ the same as you do. 8 It may seem as though we boast too much about the authority the Lord gave us. But he gave us this authority to strengthen you, not to hurt you. So I will not be ashamed of whatever boasting we do. 9 I don’t want you to think that I am trying to scare you with my letters. 10 Some people say, “Paul’s letters are harsh and strong, but when he is with us, he is weak and what he says is worthless.” 11 Those people should know this: when we are there with you, we will show the same power that we show now in our letters.
12 We don’t dare put ourselves in the same class with those who think they are so important. We don’t compare our- selves to them. They use themselves to measure themselves, and they judge themselves by what they themselves are. This shows that they know nothing.
13 But we will not boast about anything outside the work that was given us to do. We will limit our boasting to the work God gave us, but this work includes our work with you. 14 We would be boasting too much only if we had not already come to you. But we have come to you with the Good News about Christ. 15 We limit our boasting to the work that is ours. We don’t boast about the work other people have done. We hope that your faith will continue to grow. We hope that you will help our work to grow much larger. 16 We want to tell the Good News in the areas beyond your city. We don’t want to boast about work that has already been done in someone else’s area. 17 “Whoever boasts should boast only about the Lord.” 18 What people say about themselves means nothing. What counts is whether the Lord says they have done well.
16 The people became jealous of Moses and of Aaron, the LORD’s holy priest.
17 The ground opened up and swallowed Dathan.
Then the ground closed up and covered Abiram’s group.
18 Then a fire burned that group of people;
it burned those wicked people.
19 The people made a gold calf at Mount Horeb.
They worshipped a statue!
20 They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull!
21 They forgot all about God who saved them,
who did the miracles in Egypt.
22 He did amazing things there in Ham’s country!
He did awesome things at the Red Sea!
23 God said he would destroy those people,
but Moses, the leader he chose, stood in the way.
God was very angry, but Moses begged him to stop,
so God did not destroy the people.
24 But then they refused to go into the wonderful land of Canaan.
They did not believe that God would help them defeat the people there.
25 Our ancestors complained in their tents
and refused to obey the LORD.
26 So he gave them a warning and vowed that they would die in the desert.
27 He promised to scatter them among the nations
and to let other people defeat their descendants.
28 At Peor they joined in worshipping Baal
and ate sacrifices to honor the dead.
29 These bad things they did made the LORD angry,
so a terrible sickness began to spread among them.
30 But Phinehas began punishing those doing wrong,
and the sickness stopped.
31 So Phinehas will always be remembered
for doing what was right.
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