Day 256 | Isaiah prophesies about God's help for his people | 2 Corinthians: Final warnings from Paul
Day 256 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. Isaiah prophesies about God's help for his people. 2 Corinthians: Final warnings from Paul.
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2 Corinthians 13
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19 You people who live in Jerusalem
on Mount Zion will not continue crying. The Lord will hear your crying, and he will comfort you. When he hears you, he will help you.
20 The Lord might give you sorrow and
pain like the bread and water you eat and drink every day. But God is your teacher, and he will not continue to hide from you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. 21 If you wander from the right path, either to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice behind you saying, “You should go this way. Here is the right way.”
22 Then you will take your idols cov-
ered with gold and silver and make them unfit to be used again. You will throw them away like filthy rags† and say, “Go away!”
23 At that time the Lord will send you rain. You will plant seeds, and the ground will grow food for you. You will have a very large harvest. You will have plenty of food in the fields for your ani- mals. There will be large fields for your sheep. 24 Even the oxen and donkeys you
*30:10 dreams Or “visions”. Special kinds of dreams God used to speak to his prophets.
†30:22 You … rags Or “You will throw those gods away like menstrual cloths.”
use to plough your fields will eat the very best food,* not just straw. 25 Ev- ery mountain and hill will have streams filled with water. These things will hap- pen after many people are killed and the enemy’s towers are pulled down.
26 The light from the moon will be as bright as the sun. And the light from the sun will be seven times brighter— the light of seven days all in one day! This will happen when the LORD mends the broken bones of his people and heals the wounds he has given them.
27 Look! The LORD is coming from far
His anger is like a fire with thick clouds of smoke.
His mouth is filled with anger,
and his tongue is like a burning fire.
28 His breath is like a great river
that rises until it reaches the throat.
He will judge the nations
as if putting them through a strainer that separates the ones fit for destruction.
He will put a bit in their mouths
to lead them to the place they don’t want to go.
29 You will sing happy songs,
like the nights when you begin a festival. You will be very happy walking to the
and listening to the flute on the way to worship the Rock of Israel.
30 The LORD will cause all people to hear
his great voice
and to see his powerful arm come down in anger.
That arm will be like a great fire that burns everything.
His power will be like a great storm with much rain and hail.
31 Assyria will be frightened by the
and the stick that will beat him.
32 And as the LORD beats Assyria,
his people will keep the rhythm with their drums and harps.
33 Topheth† has been made ready for a
It is ready for the king.
It was made very deep and wide.
There is a very big pile of wood and fire there,
and the LORD’s breath will come
like a stream of burning sulphur to start the fire.
Israel Should Depend on God’s Power
Look at the people going down to Egypt for help.
They think the horses they get will save them.
They hope the many chariots
and powerful soldiers will protect them.
But the people don’t trust the Holy One of Israel.
They didn’t ask the LORD for help.
2 But he is the wise one who is bringing the disaster,
and he does what he says he will do. The Lord will attack those who are evil and all who try to help them.
3 The Egyptians are only human, not
The horses from Egypt are only animals, not spirit.
The LORD will stretch out his arm, and the helper will be defeated.
And those who wanted help will fall. They will all be destroyed together.
*30:24 best food This may mean grain that has been separated from the husks, or it may mean fodder—a mixture of grain, straw and leaves that has been allowed to ferment.
†30:33 Topheth Gehenna, the Valley of Hinnom. In this valley people killed their children to honour the false god Molech.
4 The LORD said to me:
“When a lion or its cub catches an animal to eat,
the lion stands over the dead animal and roars,
and nothing can frighten it away. If men come and yell at the lion, the lion will not be afraid.
They might make a lot of noise, but the lion will not run away.”
In the same way, the LORD All-Powerful will come down to Mount Zion.
He will fight on that hill.
5 Just as birds fly over their nest to pro- tect it,
so the LORD All-Powerful will defend*
Jerusalem. He will save her.
He will protect and save Jerusalem.
6 People of Israel, you should come back to the God you turned away from. 7 That is because when those things hap- pen, people will reject the gold and sil- ver idols you made when you sinned against me.
8 “It is true that Assyria will be defeated with a sword,
but it will not be a human sword that defeats him.
Assyria will be destroyed,
but that destruction will not come from a man’s sword.
Assyria will run away from God’s sword, but the young men will be caught and
9 Their place of safety will be destroyed. Their leaders will be defeated,
and they will abandon their flag.” The LORD, whose fireplace is on Zion and whose oven† is in Jerusalem,
is the one who says this.
Leaders Should Be Good and Fair
Listen to what I say!
A king should rule in a way that brings justice.
Leaders should make fair decisions when they lead the people.
2 Then the king‡ would be like a shelter
to hide from the wind and rain,
like streams of water in a dry land
and like the cool shadow of a large rock in a hot land.
3 Then people would actually see what
they look at.
They would actually listen to what they hear.
4 People who are now confused would be
able to understand.
Those who cannot speak clearly now would be able to speak clearly and quickly.
5 Fools¶ would not be called great men.
People would not respect men who make secret plans.
6 Fools say foolish things,
and in their minds they plan evil things to do.
They want to do what is wrong. They say bad things about the LORD.
They don’t let hungry people eat their food.
They don’t let thirsty people drink the water.
7 They use evil like a tool
and plan ways to steal from the poor.
They tell lies about the poor
and keep them from being judged fairly.
8 But a good leader plans good things to do,
and that will make him a leader over other leaders.
*31:5 defend Literally, “fight on” or “fight against”.
†31:9 fireplace … oven That is, the altar in the Temple.
‡32:2 king Literally, “man”.
¶32:5 Fools Here, this means people who don’t follow God and his wise teachings.
Hard Times Are Coming
9 Some of you women are calm now; you feel safe.
But you should stand and listen to the words I say.
10 You feel safe now,
but after one year you will be troubled.
That is because you will not gather grapes next year—
there will be no grapes to gather. 11 Women, you are calm now, but you should be afraid.
You feel safe now,
but you should be worried.
Take off your nice clothes and put on rags;
wrap them around your waist.
12 Beat your breasts in sorrow.
Cry because your fields are empty. Your vineyards once gave grapes, but now they are empty.
13 Cry for the land of my people.
Cry because only thorns and weeds will grow there.
Cry for the city and for all the houses that were once filled with joy.
14 People will leave the capital city.
The palace and towers will be left empty. People will not live in houses;
they will live in caves.
Wild donkeys and sheep will live in the city;
animals will go there to eat grass.
15 But God will again send us his Spirit from above.
Then the desert will become rich farmland,
and the farmland will be as green as a forest.
16 The whole land will be filled with jus-
tice and fairness—
from the desert to the farmland.
17 That justice will bring peace
and safety forever.
18 My people will be safe in their homes and in their calm, peaceful fields.
19 The forest may be gone
and the city destroyed,
20 but God’s blessings will be yours.
The seed you plant beside the streams will grow,
and your cattle and donkeys will roam free.
2 Corinthians 13
Final Warnings and Greetings
This will be my third time to visit you. And remember, “For every
complaint there must be two or three people to say that they know it is true.”* 2 When I was with you the second time, I gave a warning to those who had sinned. I am not there now, but I am giving an- other warning to them and to anyone else who has sinned: when I come to you again, I will punish you. 3 You want proof that Christ is speaking through me. My proof is that he is not weak in deal- ing with you but is showing his power among you. 4 It is true that Christ was weak when he was killed on the cross, but he lives now by God’s power. It is also true that we share his weakness, but in dealing with you, we will be alive in him by God’s power.
5 Look closely at yourselves. Test your-
selves to see if you are living in the faith. Don’t you realize that Jesus Christ is in you? Of course, if you fail the test—
if you are not living in the faith—then Christ is not living in you. 6 But I hope you will see that we have not failed the test. 7 We pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Our concern here is not for people to see that we have passed the test in our work with you. Our main concern is that you do what is right, even if it looks as if we have failed the test. 8 We cannot do anything that is against the truth but only what promotes the truth. 9 We are happy to be weak if you are strong. And this is what we pray— that your lives will be made completely right again. 10 I’m writing this before I come so that when I am there I will not
have to use my authority to punish you. The Lord gave me that authority to make you stronger, not to destroy you.
11 Now, brothers and sisters, be filled
with joy. Try to make everything right, and do what I have asked you to do. Agree with each other, and live in peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Give each other the special greeting
of God’s people.* All of God’s holy peo- ple here send you their greetings.†
13 I pray that you will all enjoy the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship‡ of the Holy Spirit.
Thirty Wise Sayings
17 Listen carefully to these words from the wise. Pay attention to what I have learned. 18 It will be good for you to remember these words and have them ready when they are needed. 19 I will teach you these things now. I want you to trust the Lord. 20 I have written 30 sayings for you.[a] These are words of advice and wisdom. 21 They will teach you things that you can know for sure to be true. Then you can give good answers to the one who sent you.
— 1 —
22 It is easy to steal from the poor, but don’t do it. And don’t take advantage of them in court. 23 The Lord is on their side. He supports the poor, and he will take from those who take from them.
— 2 —
24 Don’t be friends with people who become angry easily. Don’t stay around quick-tempered people. 25 If you do, you may learn to be like them. Then you will have the same problems they do.
— 3 —
26 Don’t promise to pay someone else’s debt. 27 If you cannot pay, you will lose everything you have. So why should you lose the bed you sleep on?
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