Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Paul was determined never to yield to anything opposed to the truth of the Gospel. He wrote to the Ephesians, "Do not give the devil a foothold" (Ephesians 4:27 NIV).

The duty of the Christian parent, pastor, or leader is to "be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Similarly, the Lord warned Isaiah about the need for alertness, saying,

"Put a watchman on the city wall to shout out what he sees. Tell him to sound the alert when he sees chariots drawn by horses and warriors mounted on donkeys and camels" (Isaiah 21:6-7).

Satan seeks to weasel his way into our churches and families through our slack oversight, our tolerance of his encroachment, and our yielding to his advances. Even when the great apostle Peter was being swayed by the hypocrisy of the Judaizers, Paul stood boldly against him, saying, "I had to oppose him publicly, speaking strongly against what he was doing, for it was very wrong" (Galatians 2:11).

The enemy hates your liberty in Christ and does his best to put you back under the "yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1 KJV). Don't give in to anything that is not in the truth of the Gospel. Stand your ground against the devil, and "he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

Isaiah 19:1-21:17

A Prophecy Against Egypt

19 A prophecyIsa 13:1 against Egypt:S Ex 12:12; Isa 20:3; S Jer 44:3; Joel 3:19

See, the Lord rides on a swift cloudS Dt 10:14; S 2Sa 22:10; S Rev 1:7

and is coming to Egypt.

The idols of Egypt tremble before him,

and the hearts of the Egyptians meltS Jos 2:11 with fear.

“I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian—

brother will fight against brother,S Jdg 7:22; S 12:4; Mt 10:21, 36

neighbor against neighbor,

city against city,

kingdom against kingdom.S 2Ch 15:6; 20:23; Mt 24:7; Mk 13:8; Lk 21:10

The Egyptians will lose heart,Ps 18:45

and I will bring their plansver 11; S Job 5:12 to nothing;1Ch 10:13

they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead,

the mediums and the spiritists.S Lev 19:31; Isa 47:13; Da 2:2, 10; 3:8; 5:7

I will hand the Egyptians over

to the power of a cruel master,

and a fierce kingIsa 20:4; Jer 46:26; Eze 29:19; 32:11 will rule over them,”

declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

The waters of the river will dry up,Isa 44:27; 50:2; Jer 50:38; 51:36

and the riverbed will be parched and dry.S 2Sa 14:14

The canals will stink;Ex 7:18

the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up.Isa 37:25; Eze 30:12

The reedsS Ge 41:2; S Job 8:11 and rushes will wither,Isa 15:6

also the plantsNu 11:5 along the Nile,

at the mouth of the river.

Every sown fieldDt 29:23; Isa 23:3 along the Nile

will become parched, will blow away and be no more.Zec 10:11

The fishermenNu 11:5; Eze 47:10 will groan and lament,

all who cast hooksAm 4:2; Hab 1:15 into the Nile;

those who throw nets on the water

will pine away.

Those who work with combed flaxS Jos 2:6 will despair,

the weavers of fine linenPr 7:16; Eze 16:10; 27:7 will lose hope.

10 The workers in cloth will be dejected,

and all the wage earners will be sick at heart.

11 The officials of ZoanS Nu 13:22 are nothing but fools;

the wise counselorsS Ge 41:37 of Pharaoh give senseless advice.S ver 3

How can you say to Pharaoh,

“I am one of the wise men,S 1Ki 4:30; Ac 7:22

a disciple of the ancient kings”?

12 Where are your wise men1Co 1:20 now?

Let them show you and make known

what the Lord Almighty

has plannedS Isa 14:24; Ro 9:17 against Egypt.

13 The officials of ZoanS Nu 13:22 have become fools,

the leaders of MemphisJer 2:16; 44:1; 46:14, 19; Eze 30:13, 16; Hos 9:6 are deceived;

the cornerstonesS Ps 118:22 of her peoples

have led Egypt astray.

14 The Lord has poured into them

a spirit of dizziness;S Pr 12:8; Mt 17:17

they make Egypt stagger in all that she does,

as a drunkard staggersS Ps 107:27 around in his vomit.

15 There is nothing Egypt can do—

head or tail, palm branch or reed.S Isa 9:14

16 In that dayIsa 2:17; 11:10 the Egyptians will become weaklings.Jer 50:37; 51:30; Na 3:13 They will shudder with fearS Dt 2:25; Heb 10:31 at the uplifted handS Isa 11:15 that the Lord Almighty raises against them.17 And the land of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be terrified,S Ge 35:5 because of what the Lord Almighty is planningS Isa 14:24 against them.

18 In that dayS Isa 10:20 five citiesJer 44:1 in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiancePs 22:27; S 63:11; Isa 48:1; Jer 4:2; Zep 3:9 to the Lord Almighty. One of them will be called the City of the Sun.Some manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls, Symmachus and Vulgate; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text City of DestructionIsa 17:1; 24:12; 32:19; fn Jer 43:13

19 In that dayS Isa 10:20 there will be an altarS Jos 22:10 to the Lord in the heart of Egypt,S Ps 68:31 and a monumentS Ge 28:18 to the Lord at its border.20 It will be a sign and witnessS Ge 21:30 to the Lord Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, he will send them a saviorS Dt 28:29; S Jdg 2:18; S Isa 25:9 and defender, and he will rescueIsa 49:24-26 them.21 So the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledgeS Isa 11:9; S 43:10 the Lord. They will worshipver 19; S Ge 27:29; S Ps 86:9; Isa 56:7; 60:7; Mal 1:11 with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and keep them.S Nu 30:2; S Dt 23:2122 The Lord will strikeEx 12:23; Heb 12:11 Egypt with a plague;Ex 11:10 he will strike them and heal them. They will turnIsa 45:14; Eze 33:11; Hos 6:1; 10:12; 12:6; 14:1; Joel 2:13 to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and healS Dt 32:39 them.

23 In that dayS ver 16, 24; Isa 20:6 there will be a highwayS Isa 11:16 from Egypt to Assyria.Mic 7:12 The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worshipS Ge 27:29; Isa 2:3; 27:13; 66:23 together.24 In that dayS ver 23 Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria,S Isa 11:11 a blessingOr Assyria, whose names will be used in blessings (see Gen. 48:20); or Assyria, who will be seen by others as blessedS Ge 12:2 on the earth.25 The Lord Almighty will blessS Ge 12:3; Eph 2:11-14 them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people,Ps 87:4; S 100:3 Assyria my handiwork,Isa 29:23; 43:7; 45:11; 60:21; 64:8; Eph 2:10 and Israel my inheritance.S Ex 34:9; Jer 30:22; Hos 2:23

A Prophecy Against Egypt and Cush

20 In the year that the supreme commander,2Ki 18:17 sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to AshdodS Jos 11:22; S 13:3 and attacked and captured it—at that time the Lord spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz.S Isa 13:1 He said to him, “Take off the sackcloth2Ki 1:8; S Isa 3:24; Zec 13:4; Mt 3:4 from your body and the sandalsEze 24:17, 23 from your feet.” And he did so, going around strippedS 1Sa 19:24 and barefoot.Eze 4:1-12; Mic 1:8

Then the Lord said, “Just as my servantIsa 22:20; 41:8-9; 42:1; 43:10; 49:3, 5-7; 50:10; 52:13; 53:11; Jer 7:25; Hag 2:23; Zec 4:14 Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years,S Isa 16:14 as a signS Ex 3:12; S Isa 8:18; 37:30; 38:7; Ac 21:11 and portentS Dt 28:46 against EgyptS Isa 19:1 and Cush,That is, the upper Nile region; also in verse 5ver 5; S Ge 10:6; Isa 37:9; 43:3so the kingS Isa 19:4 of Assyria will lead away strippedS Job 12:17 and barefoot the Egyptian captivesJer 46:19; Na 3:10 and CushiteIsa 18:1; Zep 2:12 exiles, young and old, with buttocks baredS Isa 3:24—to Egypt’s shame.Isa 47:3; Jer 13:22, 26; Na 3:5Those who trustedS Isa 8:12 in CushS ver 3 and boasted in EgyptS 2Ki 18:21; S Isa 30:5 will be dismayed and put to shame.Eze 29:16In that dayIsa 2:11; S 19:23 the people who live on this coast will say, ‘See what has happenedS 2Ki 18:21 to those we relied on,Jer 46:25 those we fled to for helpS Isa 10:3 and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?Jer 30:15-17; 31:2; Mt 23:33; 1Th 5:3; Heb 2:3’”

A Prophecy Against Babylon

21 A prophecyS Isa 13:1 against the DesertIsa 13:21; Jer 50:12; 51:43 by the Sea:

Like whirlwindsS Job 1:19 sweeping through the southland,Da 11:40; Zec 9:14

an invader comes from the desert,

from a land of terror.

A direPs 60:3 vision has been shown to me:

The traitor betrays,Isa 24:16; 33:1 the looter takes loot.

Elam,S Ge 10:22; Isa 22:6 attack! Media,S Isa 13:3; Jer 25:25; 51:28 lay siege!

I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused.

At this my body is racked with pain,S Job 14:22

pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor;S Ge 3:16; Ps 48:6; Isa 26:17; 37:3; Jer 30:6; 48:41; 49:22; Jn 16:21

I am staggered by what I hear,

I am bewilderedDa 7:28; 8:27; 10:16 by what I see.

My heartIsa 7:4; 35:4 falters,

fear makes me tremble;S Isa 13:8; Da 5:9

the twilight I longed for

has become a horrorS Ps 55:5 to me.

They set the tables,

they spread the rugs,

they eat, they drink!Isa 5:12; 22:2, 13; 23:7; 24:8; 32:13; Jer 25:16, 27; 51:39, 57; Da 5:2

Get up, you officers,

oil the shields!2Sa 1:21; 1Ki 10:16-17; Jer 46:3; 51:11

This is what the Lord says to me:

“Go, post a lookoutS 2Ki 9:17

and have him report what he sees.

When he sees chariotsver 9

with teams of horses,

riders on donkeys

or riders on camels,S Jdg 6:5

let him be alert,

fully alert.”

And the lookoutDead Sea Scrolls and Syriac; Masoretic Text A lionMic 7:7; Hab 2:1 shouted,

“Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower;

every night I stay at my post.

Look, here comes a man in a chariotver 7

with a team of horses.

And he gives back the answer:

‘BabylonS Isa 13:1; 47:1, 5; S Rev 14:8 has fallen,Isa 47:11; Jer 51:8; Da 5:30 has fallen!

All the images of its godsS Lev 26:30; Isa 46:1; Jer 50:2; 51:44

lie shatteredS Isa 2:18 on the ground!’”

10 My people who are crushed on the threshing floor,Isa 27:12; 28:27, 28; 41:15; Jer 51:33; Mic 4:13; Hab 3:12; Mt 3:12

I tell you what I have heard

from the Lord Almighty,

from the God of Israel.

A Prophecy Against Edom

11 A prophecy against DumahDumah, a wordplay on Edom, means silence or stillness.:S Ge 25:14; S Isa 34:11

Someone calls to me from Seir,Ge 32:3

“Watchman, what is left of the night?

Watchman, what is left of the night?”

12 The watchman replies,

“Morning is coming, but also the night.

If you would ask, then ask;

and come back yet again.”

A Prophecy Against Arabia

13 A prophecyIsa 13:1 against Arabia:S 2Ch 9:14

You caravans of Dedanites,S Ge 10:7; S 25:3

who camp in the thickets of Arabia,

14 bring water for the thirsty;

you who live in Tema,S Ge 25:15

bring food for the fugitives.

15 They fleeS Isa 13:14 from the sword,Isa 31:8

from the drawn sword,

from the bent bow

and from the heat of battle.

16 This is what the Lord says to me: “Within one year, as a servant bound by contractS Lev 25:50 would count it, all the splendorS Isa 17:3 of KedarS Ge 25:13 will come to an end.17 The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.S Dt 4:27; S Isa 10:19” The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.S Isa 1:20; 16:14

A Message about Egypt

19 This message came to me concerning Egypt:

Look! The Lord is advancing against Egypt,

riding on a swift cloud.

The idols of Egypt tremble.

The hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.

“I will make Egyptian fight against Egyptian—

brother against brother,

neighbor against neighbor,

city against city,

province against province.

The Egyptians will lose heart,

and I will confuse their plans.

They will plead with their idols for wisdom

and call on spirits, mediums, and those who consult the spirits of the dead.

I will hand Egypt over

to a hard, cruel master.

A fierce king will rule them,”

says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

The waters of the Nile will fail to rise and flood the fields.

The riverbed will be parched and dry.

The canals of the Nile will dry up,

and the streams of Egypt will stink

with rotting reeds and rushes.

All the greenery along the riverbank

and all the crops along the river

will dry up and blow away.

The fishermen will lament for lack of work.

Those who cast hooks into the Nile will groan,

and those who use nets will lose heart.

There will be no flax for the harvesters,

no thread for the weavers.

10 They will be in despair,

and all the workers will be sick at heart.

11 What fools are the officials of Zoan!

Their best counsel to the king of Egypt is stupid and wrong.

Will they still boast to Pharaoh of their wisdom?

Will they dare brag about all their wise ancestors?

12 Where are your wise counselors, Pharaoh?

Let them tell you what God plans,

what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is going to do to Egypt.

13 The officials of Zoan are fools,

and the officials of MemphisHebrew Noph. are deluded.

The leaders of the people

have led Egypt astray.

14 The Lord has sent a spirit of foolishness on them,

so all their suggestions are wrong.

They cause Egypt to stagger

like a drunk in his vomit.

15 There is nothing Egypt can do.

All are helpless—

the head and the tail,

the noble palm branch and the lowly reed.

16 In that day the Egyptians will be as weak as women. They will cower in fear beneath the upraised fist of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.17 Just to speak the name of Israel will terrorize them, for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has laid out his plans against them.

18 In that day five of Egypt’s cities will follow the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. They will even begin to speak Hebrew, the language of Canaan. One of these cities will be Heliopolis, the City of the Sun.Or will be the City of Destruction.

19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, and there will be a monument to the Lord at its border.20 It will be a sign and a witness that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is worshiped in the land of Egypt. When the people cry to the Lord for help against those who oppress them, he will send them a savior who will rescue them.21 The Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians. Yes, they will know the Lord and will give their sacrifices and offerings to him. They will make a vow to the Lord and will keep it.22 The Lord will strike Egypt, and then he will bring healing. For the Egyptians will turn to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas and heal them.

23 In that day Egypt and Assyria will be connected by a highway. The Egyptians and Assyrians will move freely between their lands, and they will both worship God.24 In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth.25 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will say, “Blessed be Egypt, my people. Blessed be Assyria, the land I have made. Blessed be Israel, my special possession!”

A Message about Egypt and Ethiopia

20 In the year when King Sargon of Assyria sent his commander in chief to capture the Philistine city of Ashdod,Ashdod was captured by Assyria in 711 B.c.the Lord told Isaiah son of Amoz, “Take off the burlap you have been wearing, and remove your sandals.” Isaiah did as he was told and walked around naked and barefoot.

Then the Lord said, “My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. This is a sign—a symbol of the terrible troubles I will bring upon Egypt and Ethiopia.Hebrew Cush; also in 20:5.For the king of Assyria will take away the Egyptians and EthiopiansHebrew Cushites. as prisoners. He will make them walk naked and barefoot, both young and old, their buttocks bared, to the shame of Egypt.Then the Philistines will be thrown into panic, for they counted on the power of Ethiopia and boasted of their allies in Egypt!They will say, ‘If this can happen to Egypt, what chance do we have? We were counting on Egypt to protect us from the king of Assyria.’”

A Message about Babylon

21 This message came to me concerning Babylon—the desert by the seaHebrew concerning the desert by the sea.:

Disaster is roaring down on you from the desert,

like a whirlwind sweeping in from the Negev.

I see a terrifying vision:

I see the betrayer betraying,

the destroyer destroying.

Go ahead, you Elamites and Medes,

attack and lay siege.

I will make an end

to all the groaning Babylon caused.

My stomach aches and burns with pain.

Sharp pangs of anguish are upon me,

like those of a woman in labor.

I grow faint when I hear what God is planning;

I am too afraid to look.

My mind reels and my heart races.

I longed for evening to come,

but now I am terrified of the dark.

Look! They are preparing a great feast.

They are spreading rugs for people to sit on.

Everyone is eating and drinking.

But quick! Grab your shields and prepare for battle.

You are being attacked!

Meanwhile, the Lord said to me,

“Put a watchman on the city wall.

Let him shout out what he sees.

He should look for chariots

drawn by pairs of horses,

and for riders on donkeys and camels.

Let the watchman be fully alert.”

Then the watchmanAs in Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac version; Masoretic Text reads a lion. called out,

“Day after day I have stood on the watchtower, my lord.

Night after night I have remained at my post.

Now at last—look!

Here comes a man in a chariot

with a pair of horses!”

Then the watchman said,

“Babylon is fallen, fallen!

All the idols of Babylon

lie broken on the ground!”

10 O my people, threshed and winnowed,

I have told you everything the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has said,

everything the God of Israel has told me.

A Message about Edom

11 This message came to me concerning EdomHebrew Dumah, which means “silence” or “stillness.” It is a wordplay on the word Edom.:

Someone from EdomHebrew Seir, another name for Edom. keeps calling to me,

“Watchman, how much longer until morning?

When will the night be over?”

12 The watchman replies,

“Morning is coming, but night will soon return.

If you wish to ask again, then come back and ask.”

A Message about Arabia

13 This message came to me concerning Arabia:

O caravans from Dedan,

hide in the deserts of Arabia.

14 O people of Tema,

bring water to these thirsty people,

food to these weary refugees.

15 They have fled from the sword,

from the drawn sword,

from the bent bow

and the terrors of battle.

16 The Lord said to me, “Within a year, counting each day,Hebrew Within a year, as a servant bound by contract would count it. Some ancient manuscripts read Within three years, as in 16:14. all the glory of Kedar will come to an end.17 Only a few of its courageous archers will survive. I, the Lord, the God of Israel, have spoken!”

19 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.

And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.

And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.

And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts.

And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.

And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither.

The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more.

The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish.

Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded.

10 And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish.

11 Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?

12 Where are they? where are thy wise men? and let them tell thee now, and let them know what the Lord of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt.

13 The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof.

14 The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.

15 Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, which the head or tail, branch or rush, may do.

16 In that day shall Egypt be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which he shaketh over it.

17 And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts, which he hath determined against it.

18 In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.

19 In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord.

20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.

21 And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it.

22 And the Lord shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the Lord, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them.

23 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians.

24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:

25 Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.

20 In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;

At the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;

So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.

And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.

And the inhabitant of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape?

21 The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.

A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.

Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.

My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.

Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.

For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.

And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:

And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:

And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

10 O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.

11 The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?

12 The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.

13 The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.

14 The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled.

15 For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war.

16 For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail:

17 And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the Lord God of Israel hath spoken it.

Galatians 2:1-16

Paul Accepted by the Apostles

Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem,Ac 15:2 this time with Barnabas.S Ac 4:36 I took TitusS 2Co 2:13 along also.I went in response to a revelationS 1Co 2:10 and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles.Ac 15:4, 12 I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my raceS 1Co 9:24 in vain.Yet not even Titus,ver 1; S 2Co 2:13 who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.Ac 16:3; 1Co 9:21This matter arose because some false believersS Ac 1:16; 2Co 11:26 had infiltrated our ranks to spy onJude 4 the freedomGal 5:1, 13 we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospelver 14 might be preserved for you.

As for those who were held in high esteemver 2—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritismS Ac 10:34; S Rev 2:23—they added nothing to my message.1Co 15:11On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task1Th 2:4; 1Ti 1:11 of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,That is, GentilesS Ac 9:15 just as Peterver 9, 11, 14 had been to the circumcised.That is, Jews; also in verses 8 and 9For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostleAc 1:25 to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostleS 1Co 1:1 to the Gentiles.James,S Ac 15:13 CephasThat is, Peter; also in verses 11 and 14ver 7, 11, 14 and John, those esteemed as pillars,1Ti 3:15; Rev 3:12 gave me and Barnabasver 1; S Ac 4:36 the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me.S Ro 12:3 They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles,S Ac 9:15 and they to the circumcised.10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor,S Ac 24:17 the very thing I had been eager to do all along.

Paul Opposes Cephas

11 When Cephasver 7, 9, 14 came to Antioch,S Ac 11:19 I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.12 For before certain men came from James,S Ac 15:13 he used to eat with the Gentiles.Ac 11:3 But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.Ac 10:45; 11:213 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabasver 1; S Ac 4:36 was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel,ver 5 I said to Cephasver 7, 9, 11 in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew.Ac 10:28 How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?ver 12

15 “We who are Jews by birthPhp 3:4, 5 and not sinful Gentiles1Sa 15:18; Lk 24:716 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law,S Ro 3:28 but by faith in Jesus Christ.S Ro 9:30 So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith inOr but through the faithfulness of … justified on the basis of the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.S Ro 3:28; S 4:25

The Apostles Accept Paul

Then fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas; and Titus came along, too.I went there because God revealed to me that I should go. While I was there I met privately with those considered to be leaders of the church and shared with them the message I had been preaching to the Gentiles. I wanted to make sure that we were in agreement, for fear that all my efforts had been wasted and I was running the race for nothing.And they supported me and did not even demand that my companion Titus be circumcised, though he was a Gentile.Greek a Greek.

Even that question came up only because of some so-called believers there—false ones, reallyGreek some false brothers.—who were secretly brought in. They sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations.But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the gospel message for you.

And the leaders of the church had nothing to add to what I was preaching. (By the way, their reputation as great leaders made no difference to me, for God has no favorites.)Instead, they saw that God had given me the responsibility of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as he had given Peter the responsibility of preaching to the Jews.For the same God who worked through Peter as the apostle to the Jews also worked through me as the apostle to the Gentiles.

In fact, James, Peter,Greek Cephas; also in 2:11, 14. and John, who were known as pillars of the church, recognized the gift God had given me, and they accepted Barnabas and me as their co-workers. They encouraged us to keep preaching to the Gentiles, while they continued their work with the Jews.10 Their only suggestion was that we keep on helping the poor, which I have always been eager to do.

Paul Confronts Peter

11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong.12 When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision.13 As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.

14 When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions?

15 “You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles.16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”Some translators hold that the quotation extends through verse 14; others through verse 16; and still others through verse 21.

Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Psalm 59:1-17

Psalm 59In Hebrew texts 59:1-17 is numbered 59:2-18.

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam.Title: Probably a literary or musical term When Saul had sent men to watch David’s house1Sa 19:11 in order to kill him.

Deliver me from my enemies, O God;Ps 143:9

be my fortress against those who are attacking me.S Ps 20:1

Deliver me from evildoersPs 14:4; 36:12; 53:4; 92:7; 94:16

and save me from those who are after my blood.S Ps 26:9; 139:19; Pr 29:10

See how they lie in wait for me!

Fierce men conspireS Ps 56:6 against me

for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.

I have done no wrong,Ps 119:3 yet they are ready to attack me.Mt 5:11

Arise to help me; look on my plight!S Ps 13:3

You, Lord God Almighty,

you who are the God of Israel,Ps 69:6; 80:4; 84:8

rouse yourselfS Ps 44:23 to punish all the nations;S Ps 9:5; S Isa 10:3

show no mercy to wicked traitors.The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 13.Jer 18:23

They return at evening,

snarling like dogs,ver 14; Ps 22:16

and prowl about the city.

See what they spew from their mouthsPs 94:4; Pr 10:32; 12:23; 15:2, 28

the words from their lips are sharp as swords,S Ps 55:21

and they think, “Who can hear us?”S Job 22:13

But you laugh at them, Lord;Ps 37:13; Pr 1:26

you scoff at all those nations.Ps 2:4

You are my strength,S Ps 18:1 I watch for you;

you, God, are my fortress,Ps 9:9; 18:2; 62:2; 71:3

10 my God on whom I can rely.

God will go before me

and will let me gloat over those who slander me.

11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,Or sovereignPs 3:3; 84:9

or my people will forget.Dt 4:9; 6:12

In your might uproot them

and bring them down.Ps 89:10; 106:27; 144:6; Isa 33:3

12 For the sins of their mouths,Ps 10:7

for the words of their lips,Ps 64:8; Pr 10:14; 12:13

let them be caught in their pride.Isa 2:12; 5:15; Zep 3:11

For the curses and lies they utter,

13 consume them in your wrath,

consume them till they are no more.Ps 104:35

Then it will be known to the ends of the earth

that God rules over Jacob.Ps 83:18

14 They return at evening,

snarling like dogs,

and prowl about the city.

15 They wander about for foodJob 15:23

and howl if not satisfied.

16 But I will singPs 108:1 of your strength,S 1Sa 2:10

in the morningPs 5:3; 88:13 I will sing of your love;Ps 101:1

for you are my fortress,S 2Sa 22:3

my refuge in times of trouble.S Dt 4:30

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;

you, God, are my fortress,

my God on whom I can rely.ver 10

Psalm 59

For the choir director: A psalmHebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term. of David, regarding the time Saul sent soldiers to watch David’s house in order to kill him. To be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”

Rescue me from my enemies, O God.

Protect me from those who have come to destroy me.

Rescue me from these criminals;

save me from these murderers.

They have set an ambush for me.

Fierce enemies are out there waiting, Lord,

though I have not sinned or offended them.

I have done nothing wrong,

yet they prepare to attack me.

Wake up! See what is happening and help me!

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,

wake up and punish those hostile nations.

Show no mercy to wicked traitors. Interlude

They come out at night,

snarling like vicious dogs

as they prowl the streets.

Listen to the filth that comes from their mouths;

their words cut like swords.

“After all, who can hear us?” they sneer.

But Lord, you laugh at them.

You scoff at all the hostile nations.

You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me,

for you, O God, are my fortress.

10 In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me.

He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies.

11 Don’t kill them, for my people soon forget such lessons;

stagger them with your power, and bring them to their knees,

O Lord our shield.

12 Because of the sinful things they say,

because of the evil that is on their lips,

let them be captured by their pride,

their curses, and their lies.

13 Destroy them in your anger!

Wipe them out completely!

Then the whole world will know

that God reigns in Israel.Hebrew in Jacob. See note on 44:4. Interlude

14 My enemies come out at night,

snarling like vicious dogs

as they prowl the streets.

15 They scavenge for food

but go to sleep unsatisfied.Or and growl if they don’t get enough.

16 But as for me, I will sing about your power.

Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.

For you have been my refuge,

a place of safety when I am in distress.

17 O my Strength, to you I sing praises,

for you, O God, are my refuge,

the God who shows me unfailing love.

59 Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.

Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.

For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O Lord.

They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.

Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.

They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.

Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear?

But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.

Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.

10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.

11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.

13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.

14 And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.

15 Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.

16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

Proverbs 23:13-14

Saying 13

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;

if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.

14 Punish them with the rod

and save them from death.S Pr 13:24; S 19:18

13 Don’t fail to discipline your children.

The rod of punishment won’t kill them.

14 Physical discipline

may well save them from death.Hebrew from Sheol.

13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Sep 14 Sep 16
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