Day 260 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. The Lord speaks to Isaiah about the coming Christ. Galatians 3: Why God made the Law
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The Lord Is the Eternal Creator
“Faraway countries, be quiet and listen to me!
Nations be brave.
Come to me and speak.
We will meet together
and decide who is right.
2 Who woke up the man who is coming from the east?
He called Justice to march with him. He uses his sword to crush nations. He uses his bow and conquers kings—
they run away like straw blown by the wind.
3 He chases armies and is never hurt.
He goes places he has never been before.
4 Who was able to make all this happen?
Who controlled the lives of everyone from the beginning?
I, the LORD, am the one.
I was here at the beginning,
and I will be here when all things are finished.
5 “People along the coast saw this,
and they were frightened. Nations at the ends of the earth shook with fear.
They have come near. They have arrived.
6 Workers help each other;
they encourage each other to be strong.
7 One worker cuts wood to make a statue.
He encourages the man who works with gold.
Another worker uses a hammer and makes the metal smooth.
Then he encourages the man at the anvil.
This last worker says, ‘This work is good; the metal will not come off.’
Then he nails the statue to a base so that it will not fall over.
And it never moves!
Only the Lord Can Save Us
8 “You, Israel, are my servant. Jacob, I chose you.
You are from the family of my friend, Abraham.
9 You were in a faraway country,
but I reached out to you.
I called you from that faraway place. I said, ‘You are my servant.’
I chose you,
and I have not rejected you.
10 Don’t worry—I am with you. Don’t be afraid—I am your God.
I will make you strong and help you.
I will support you with my right hand that brings victory.
11 Look, some people are angry with you,
but they will be ashamed and disgraced.
Your enemies will be completely destroyed.
12 You will look for the people who were
but you will not be able to find them.
Those who fought against you will disappear completely.
13 I am the LORD your God,
who holds your right hand.
And I tell you, ‘Don’t be afraid! I will help you.’
14 People of Israel, descendants of Jacob,
you may be weak and worthless,* but do not be afraid.
I myself will help you.”
This is what the LORD himself says. “I am the Holy One of Israel,
the one who saves you.
15 Look, I have made you like a new threshing board
with many sharp teeth.
You will trample mountains and crush them.
You will make the hills† like chaff.
16 You will throw them into the air,
and the wind will blow them away and scatter them.
Then you will be happy in the LORD.
You will be proud of the Holy One of Israel.
17 “The poor and needy look for water,
but they cannot find any.
Their tongues are dry with thirst.
I, the LORD, will answer their prayers.
I, the God of Israel, will not leave them to die.
18 I will make rivers flow on dry hills.
I will make springs of water flow through the valleys.
I will change the desert into a lake filled with water.
There will be springs of water in that dry land.
19 I will make trees grow in the desert.
There will be cedar, acacia, olive, cypress, fir and pine trees.
20 Then people will see what I did and
know who did it.
They will think about what happened. Then they will understand that I, the
LORD, made this happen,
that the Holy One of Israel created it all.”
The Lord Challenges the False Gods
21 The LORD, the king of Jacob, says: “Come, present your arguments.
Show me your proof.
22 Let your idols come in and tell us what will happen.
Idols, tell us what happened in the beginning.
We will listen closely so that we can make a decision.
Tell us what will happen in the future. 23 What signs did you give in the past to prove that you really are gods?
Do anything, good or bad,
so that we can see that you are alive. Then we might fear and respect you. 24 No, you false gods are worthless. You can’t do anything.
Anyone who worships you is as disgusting as you are.
25 “I called someone in the north to come.
He is coming from the east where the sun rises.
I have called him by name.
He tramples kings
the way a potter softens clay with his feet.
26 Who told us about this before it happened
so that we could say he was right? None of your idols told us anything. They didn’t say a word,
and they cannot hear anything you say.
27 I was the first one to tell Zion about these things.
I sent a messenger to Jerusalem to say: ‘Look, your people are coming back!’
28 I looked at those false gods.
Not one of them said anything. They had no advice to offer.
I asked them questions, but they didn’t say a word.
29 Those gods are all less than nothing.
They cannot do anything. They are worthless.
The Lord’s Special Servant
“Here is my servant, the one I support.
He is the one I have chosen,
and I am very pleased with him. I have filled him with my Spirit,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry out or shout
or try to make himself heard in the streets.
3 He will not break even a crushed reed.
He will not put out even the weakest flame.
He will bring true justice.
4 He will not grow weak or give up
until he has brought justice to the world.
Even people in faraway places will hope to receive his teachings.”
The Lord Is Ruler and Creator of the World
5 The LORD, the true God, said these things.
He is the one who created the sky and spread it out over the earth.
He formed the earth and everything it produced.
He breathes life into all the people on earth.
He gives a spirit to everyone who walks on the earth.
6 “I, the LORD, was right to call you.
I will hold your hand and protect you.
You will be the sign of my agreement with the people.
You will be a light for the other nations.
7 You will make the blind able to see.
You will free those who are held as captives.
You will lead those who live in darkness out of their prison.
8 “I am the LORD;
that is my name.
I will not give my glory to another.
I will not let statues take the praise that should be mine.
9 In the past I told you what would
happen, and it happened!
Now I am telling you something new,
and I am telling you now, before it happens.”
A Song of Praise to the Lord
10 Sing a new song* to the LORD; praise him everywhere on earth— all you who sail on the seas, everything in the sea,
and all you people in faraway places! 11 Deserts and cities, villages of Kedar, praise the Lord!
People living in Sela, sing for joy!
Sing from the top of your mountain.
12 Give glory to the LORD.
Praise him, all you people in faraway lands!
13 The LORD will go out like a strong soldier.
Like a man going into battle, he will be full of excitement.
He will shout with a loud cry, and he will defeat his enemies.
God Is Very Patient
14 The LORD says:
“For a long time I have said nothing.
I have controlled myself and kept quiet. But now I will cry out like a woman giving birth.
My breathing is getting faster and louder.
15 I will destroy the hills and mountains.
I will dry up all the plants that grow there.
I will change rivers to dry land and dry up pools of water.
16 Then I will lead the blind along a path
they never knew
to places where they have never been before.
I will change darkness into light for them.
I will make the rough ground smooth. I will do these things for them;
I will not abandon my people.
17 But some of them have left me.
They say to their gold statues, ‘You are my gods.’
They trust their false gods,
but they will be disappointed and shamed.
Israel Refused to Listen to God
18 “Deaf people, listen to me! Blind people, look and see!
19 In all the world, no one is more blind than my servant.
No one is more deaf than my messenger.
No one is more blind than my chosen people,
the servant of the LORD.
20 My people see what they should do, but they do not obey me.
They can hear with their ears, but they refuse to listen to me.”
21 The LORD wants them to do what is
He wants them to honour his wonderful teachings.‡
22 But look at his people.
Others have defeated them and have stolen from them.
They have been trapped in pits. They are locked in prisons.
People have taken advantage of them, and there is no one to protect them.
Others take their money,
and there is no one to say, “Give it back!”
23 Will any of you pay attention to this warning?
Will you ever learn to listen?
24 Who let Jacob be defeated?
Who let others take what belonged to Israel?
The LORD allowed them to do this.
We sinned against him, so he let others take away our wealth.
The people did not want to live the way he wanted.
They refused to listen to his teaching. 25 So he poured out his anger on them and brought wars against them.
It was as if there were fires all around them,
but they didn’t know what was happening.
It was as if they were burning, but they didn’t try to understand.
10 But people whose hope is based on
obeying the law’s commands are always under the threat of a curse. As the Scriptures say, “Everyone who fails to keep on doing everything written in the book of the law is under a curse.” 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by obeying the law’s commands. The Scriptures say, “The one who is right with God by faith will live.”
12 The law does not depend on faith.
No, it says that the only way a person will find life by the law is to obey its commands.§ 13 The law says we are under a curse for not always obeying it. But Christ took away that curse. He changed places with us and put himself under that curse. The Scriptures say, “Anyone who is hung on a tree** is un- der a curse.”†† 14 Because of what Christ Jesus did, the blessing God promised to Abraham was also given to the non- Jews. Christ died so that by believing in him we could receive the Spirit that God promised.
The Law and the Promise
15 Brothers and sisters, let me give you an example from everyday life. Think about an agreement that one person makes with another. After that agreement is made official, no one can reject it or add anything to it. 16 God made promises to Abraham and his descendant. The Scripture does not say, “and to your descendants”. That would mean many people. But it says, “and to your descendant”. That means only one, and that one is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: The agreement that God gave to Abraham was made official long before the law came. The law came 430 years later. It cannot cancel the agreement and change God’s promise.
18 The blessing God has for his people does not come through the law. If that were true, then it would not be God’s promise that brings it to us. But God freely gave his blessing to Abraham as a promise.
19 So what was the law for? The law was given to show the wrong things people do. The law would continue un- til the Descendant of Abraham came. This is the Descendant mentioned in the promise, which came directly from God. But the law was given through angels, and the angels used Moses as a mediator to give the law to the people. 20 But when God gave the promise, there was no mediator, because a mediator is not needed when there is only one side, and God is one.*
The Purpose of the Law of Moses
21 Does this mean that the law works against God’s promises? Of course not. The law was never God’s way of giving new life to people. If it were, then we could be made right with God by following the law. 22 But that was not the law’s purpose. The Scriptures put the whole world in prison under the control of sin. As a result, the only way for people to get what God promised would be through faith in Jesus Christ. It is given to those who believe in him.
23 Before this faith came, the law held us as prisoners. We had no freedom until God showed us the way of faith that was coming. 24 I mean the law was the guardian in charge of us until Christ came. After he came, we could be made right with God through faith. 25 Now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law to be our guardian. 26 That’s because you all belong to
Christ Jesus and are God’s children through faith. 27 Yes, you were all baptized to be united with Christ. So now Christ covers you completely like a new change of clothes. 28 Now, in Christ, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or free, male or female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus. 29 You belong to Christ, so you are Abraham’s descendants. This means that all the blessings God promised to Abraham belong to you.
28 Never move an old property line
that was marked long ago by your ancestors.
— 6 —
29 Skilled workers will always serve kings.
They will never have to work for less important people.
When you sit and eat with an important person,
don’t look around to see what food others are served.
2 Never eat too much,
even if you are very hungry.
3 Control your desire for his fine food. You may be sorry if you eat too much.
— 8 —
4 Don’t ruin your health trying to get rich.
Stop thinking all the time about wealth.
5 In the blink of an eye, money can disappear,
as if it grew wings and flew away like a bird.
— 9 —
6 Don’t eat with selfish people.
Control any desire you have for their finest foods.
7 They might tell you to eat and drink all
but they don’t really mean it.
They are the kind of people
who are only thinking about the cost.
8 Eating their food will only make you feel sorry,
and all your nice words will have been for nothing.
— 10 —
9 Don’t try to teach fools.
They will make fun of your wise words.
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