Day 257 of the One Year Audio Bible Experience Podcast. God will punish His enemies and help His people. Introduction to Galatians
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The Lord Will Show His Power
Look at you.
You attack others when you have not been attacked.
You turn against others when no one has turned against you.
So when you stop your attacks, you will be attacked.
When you stop turning against others, they will turn against you.
2 LORD, be kind to us.
We have waited for your help. Give us strength every morning. Save us when we are in trouble.
3 Your powerful voice makes people run
away in fear.
Your greatness causes the nations to run away.
4 You people stole things in war.
Those things will be taken from you. Many will come and take your wealth.
It will be like the times when locusts come and eat all your crops.
5 The LORD is very great.
He lives in the high heavens.
He fills Zion with justice and goodness.
6 Jerusalem, you are rich with wisdom and knowledge of God.
You are rich with salvation. You respect the LORD,
and that makes you rich.
7 But listen! The messengers are crying outside.
The messengers* who bring peace are crying very hard.
8 The roads are empty;
there is no one walking along the paths. People don’t respect each other.
They have broken the agreements they made,
and they refuse to believe what wit- nesses† tell them.
9 The land is sick and dying.
Lebanon is dying
and Sharon Valley is dry and empty.
Bashan and Carmel once grew beautiful plants,
but now those plants have stopped growing.
10 The LORD says:
“Now, I will stand
and show people how great and powerful I am.
11 You people have done useless things.
These things are like hay and straw. They are worth nothing!
Your breath is like a fire that will burn you.
12 People will be burned until their
bones become lime.‡
They will burn quickly like thorns and dry bushes.”
13 You people in faraway lands,
listen to what I have done.
You people who are near me, learn about my power.
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid.
Those who do wrong shake with fear.
They say, “Can any of us live through this fire that destroys?
Who can live near this fire that burns forever?”
15 Good, honest people who refuse to hurt others for money,
who refuse to take bribes or listen to plans to murder other people,
and who do not look at plans for doing bad things—
16 they will live safely in high places.
They will be protected in high rock fortresses.
They will always have food and water.
17 Your eyes will see the King in his beauty.
You will see the great land.
18–19 When you think about the troubles you had in the past, you will wonder,
“Where are those foreigners who spoke languages we could not understand?
Where are the officials and tax collectors from other lands?
Where are the spies who counted our de- fence towers?”
God Will Protect Jerusalem
20 Look at Zion, the city of our religious festivals.
Look at Jerusalem—that beautiful place of rest.
Jerusalem is like a tent that will never be moved.
The pegs that hold her in place will never be pulled up.
Her ropes will never be broken,
21–23 because the LORD is our powerful leader there.
That land is a place with streams and wide rivers,
but there will be no enemy boats or powerful ships on those rivers.
You men who work on such boats can stop your work with the ropes.
You cannot make the mast strong enough.
You will not be able to open your sails, because the LORD is our judge.
He makes our laws. He is our king.
He saves us.
The LORD will give us our wealth. Even the lame will get their share.
24 No one living there will say, “I am sick,”
because everyone living there has had their guilt removed.
God Will Punish His Enemies
All you nations, come near and listen!
Listen, all you people.
The earth and everyone on it should listen to these things.
Everything in this world should hear this.
2 The LORD is angry with all the nations
and their armies.
He will destroy them completely. He will put them all to death.
3 Those who are killed will be thrown
The smell will rise from their bodies.
Their blood will flow down the mountains.
4 Every star in the sky will disappear,
and the skies will be rolled shut like a scroll.*
Everything in the sky will wither and fall like dead leaves from the vine,
like figs dried up on the tree.
5 God says:
“When my sword is finished with everything in the sky,
it will come down on Edom. I have judged them guilty,
and they must die.”
6 The LORD has decided on a time for sacrifice in Bozrah,
a time for killing in all of Edom.
So the sword of the LORD is covered with blood and fat blood from the “goats”
and fat from the kidneys of the “rams”.† 7 So the rams, the cattle and even the
strong bulls will be killed.
The land will be wet with their blood. The soil will be soaked with their fat.
8 Yes, the LORD has chosen a time for punishment.
He has chosen a year when people must pay for the wrong they did to Zion.
9 Edom’s rivers will be like hot tar,
and the ground will be like burning sulphur.
10 The fires will burn day and night,
and the smoke will rise forever.
Year after year Edom will lie empty.
No one will ever travel through that land again.
11 Birds and small animals will own the land.
It will be a home for desert owls and ravens.
God will look carefully at Edom
and decide to make it empty and useless.
12 People will call Edom the Kingdom of Nothing.
The leaders there will have nothing left to rule.
13 Thorns and wild bushes will cover
the palaces and walls that protected the cities.
It will be a place where jackals roam, a place for owls to live.
14 Wildcats and wild dogs will gather there.
Wild goats* will call out to each other.
Night creatures† will spend some time there
and find a place to rest.
15 Snakes will make their homes there and lay their eggs.
The eggs will open,
and small snakes will crawl from the dark places.
Birds that eat dead things will gather there
like women visiting their friends.
16 Look in the LORD’s scroll and read what it says:
Not one of these will be missing. Not one will be without its mate.
God said he would make this happen, so his Spirit will bring them together.
17 God decided what he should do with them,
and then he chose a place for them.
He drew a line and showed them their land.
So they will own that land forever. They will live there year after year.
God Will Comfort His People
The dry desert will rejoice.
The desert will be glad and blossom.
2 It will be covered with flowers and
dance with joy.
It will be as beautiful as the forest of Lebanon,
the hill of Carmel and the Sharon Valley.
This will happen because all people will see the glory of the LORD.
They will see the beauty of our God. 3 Make the weak arms strong again, and strengthen the weak knees.
4 Say to those who are afraid and confused,
“Be strong! Don’t be afraid! Look, your God will come,
and he will punish your enemies.
He will pay them back for what they have done.
He will come and save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
so that they can see;
the ears of the deaf will be opened so that they can hear.
6 Those who are lame will dance like deer,
and those who cannot speak now
will use their voices to sing happy songs. This will happen when springs of water begin to flow in the dry desert.
7 Now people see mirages that look like water,
but then there will be real pools of water.
There will be wells in the dry land
and water will flow from the ground.
Tall water plants will grow where wild animals once ruled.
8 There will be a great road there,
a highway called “The Holy Road”.
Evil people will not be allowed to use that road.
It will be only for those who follow the right way,
never for those who live foolishly.
9 There will be no dangers on that road— no lions or other animals that attack
The only people to travel that road will be the people God saves.
10 The LORD will make his people free,
and they will come back to him. They will come into Zion rejoicing. They will be happy forever.
Their happiness will be like a crown on their heads.
Gladness and joy will fill them completely.
Sorrow and sadness will be far, far away.
Greetings from Paul, an apostle. I was chosen to be an apostle, but not
by any group or person here on earth. I did not receive my authority from any human. It came directly from Christ Je- sus* and God the Father, who raised Je- sus from death. 2 Greetings also from all those in God’s family who are with me.
To the churches in Galatia:
3 I pray that God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ will be good to you and give you peace. 4 Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice for our sins to free us from the evil powers that rule this world we live in. He did this because it is what God our Father wanted. 5 Glory to God for ever and ever! Amen.
We Told You the Only Good News
6 A short time ago God chose you to follow him. He chose you by the grace that comes through Christ. But now I am amazed that you are already turning away and believing something different from the Good News we told you. 7 There is no other message that is the Good News, but some people are confusing you. They want to change the Good
News about Christ. 8 We told you the only Good News. And I ask that God’s curse fall on any person who tells you a different message—even if that person is one of us or an angel from heaven! 9 I will say again what I have said before: may God’s curse fall on anyone who tells you something different from the Good News you have already accepted!
10 Does this sound like someone who
tells people only what they want to hear? No, I am trying to please God, not people. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Paul’s Authority Is From God
11 Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that the Good News I told you was not made up by any human. 12 I did not get my message from another person. It is not something I was taught. Jesus Christ himself revealed to me the Good News I tell people.
13 You have heard about the things I did in the past when I was devoted to the Jewish religion. I persecuted the church of God terribly. In fact, it was my goal to destroy it. 14 That’s because I was more serious about our Jewish way of life than most other Jews my age. I did more than any of them to make sure we all fol- lowed the traditions we received from our ancestors.
15 But God had special plans for me
even before I was born.‡ So he chose me through his grace. It pleased him 16 to let me see and know his Son so that I could tell the Good News about him to the non-Jewish people. And that’s the
very next thing I did. I did not ask for ad- vice or help from anyone. 17 I did not go to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away to Arabia. Later, I went back to the city of Damascus.
18 Three years later I went to Jerusalem to meet Peter.* I stayed with him for 15 days. 19 I met no other apostles—only James, the brother of the Lord. 20 God knows there is nothing untrue in any of this. 21 Later, I went to the areas of Syria and Cilicia.
22 But during that time, the churches in Judea that belong to Christ had never met me. 23 They had only heard this about me: “This man was persecuting us. But now he is telling people about the same faith that he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God for what he was doing with me.
10 Some of God’s people were prisoners,
locked behind bars in dark prisons.
11 That was because they had fought against what God said.
They refused to listen to the advice of God Most High.
12 God made life hard for those people
because of what they did. They stumbled and fell,
and there was no one to help them.
13 They were in trouble, so they called to the LORD for help,
and he saved them from their troubles. 14 He took them out of their dark prisons; he broke the ropes that held them.
15 Thank the LORD for his faithful love and for the amazing things he does for people.
16 He breaks down their bronze gates; he shatters their iron bars.
17 Some people became fools and turned
and they suffered for the evil they did.
18 They became so sick that they refused to eat,
so they almost died.
19 They were in trouble, so they called to the LORD for help,
and he saved them from their troubles.
20 He gave the command and healed them,
so they were saved from the grave.
21 Thank the LORD for his faithful love and for the amazing things he does for people.
22 Offer sacrifices of thanks to him
and sing with joy about all that he has done.
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