Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Hezekiah commanded the people on the wall not to answer the taunting insults of the field commander of Sennacherib, king of Assyria. Our flesh, or sinful nature, is always talking to us, trying to convince us to give up and give in to our impulses. For the rest of our lives, we will have to listen to the voice of temptation that is the "opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants" (Galatians 5:17).

The discipline of godliness enables us to refuse to answer that voice, to simply ignore it through the power of the Holy Spirit. The people on the wall were totally submitted to the will of Hezekiah and refused even to acknowledge the field commander. Instead, they continued to think on Hezekiah's encouraging promise that the Lord would deliver them (Isaiah 36:18).

Which voice in Galatians 5:19-23 will you listen to: the voice of the flesh (immorality, hatred, jealousy, rage, envy, drunkenness) or the voice of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness)? You must learn to completely ignore and turn your back on the flesh, for "the Lord is our judge, our lawgiver, and our king. He will care for us and save us" (Isaiah 33:22).

Isaiah 33:10-36:22

10 “Now will I arise,S ver 3; Isa 2:21” says the Lord.

“Now will I be exalted;S Isa 5:16

now will I be lifted up.

11 You conceivePs 7:14; Isa 59:4; Jas 1:15 chaff,

you give birthS Isa 26:18 to straw;

your breath is a fireIsa 1:31 that consumes you.

12 The peoples will be burned to ashes;Am 2:1

like cut thornbushesS Isa 5:6 they will be set ablaze.S Isa 10:17; S 27:11

13 You who are far away,Ps 48:10; 49:1 hearIsa 34:1; 48:16; 49:1 what I have done;

you who are near, acknowledge my power!

14 The sinnersS Isa 1:28 in Zion are terrified;

tremblingS Isa 32:11 grips the godless:

“Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?S Isa 1:31; S 30:30; S Zec 13:9; Heb 12:29

Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?”

15 Those who walk righteouslyIsa 58:8

and speak what is right,Ps 15:2; 24:4

who reject gain from extortionEze 22:13; 33:31

and keep their hands from accepting bribes,S Pr 15:27

who stop their ears against plots of murder

and shut their eyesPs 119:37 against contemplating evil—

16 they are the ones who will dwell on the heights,S Dt 32:13

whose refugeS Ps 46:1; S Isa 25:4 will be the mountain fortress.Ps 18:1-2; Isa 26:1

Their bread will be supplied,

and water will not failIsa 48:21; 49:10; 65:13 them.

17 Your eyes will see the kingS Isa 6:5 in his beautyS Isa 4:2

and view a land that stretches afar.S Isa 26:15

18 In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror:S Isa 17:14

“Where is that chief officer?

Where is the one who took the revenue?

Where is the officer in charge of the towers?S Isa 2:15

19 You will see those arrogant peopleS Ps 5:5 no more,

people whose speech is obscure,

whose language is strange and incomprehensible.S Ge 11:7; S Isa 28:11

20 Look on Zion,S Ps 125:1 the city of our festivals;

your eyes will see Jerusalem,

a peaceful abode,S Isa 32:18 a tentS Ge 26:22 that will not be moved;ver 6; Ps 46:5

its stakes will never be pulled up,

nor any of its ropes broken.

21 There the Lord will be our MightyS Isa 10:34 One.

It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams.S Ex 17:6; S Ps 1:3; Isa 32:2; 41:18; 48:18; 49:10; 66:12; Na 3:8

No galley with oars will ride them,

no mighty shipIsa 23:1 will sail them.

22 For the Lord is our judge,Isa 11:4

the Lord is our lawgiver,S Isa 2:3; Jas 4:12

the Lord is our king;S Ps 89:18

it is he who will saveS Isa 25:9 us.

23 Your rigging hangs loose:

The mast is not held secure,

the sail is not spread.

Then an abundance of spoils will be divided

and even the lameS 2Ki 7:8 will carry off plunder.S 2Ki 7:16

24 No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”;S Isa 30:26

and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.S Nu 23:21; S 2Ch 6:21; Isa 43:1; 48:20; Jer 31:34; 33:8; 1Jn 1:7-9

Judgment Against the Nations

34 Come near, you nations, and listen;S Isa 33:13

pay attention, you peoples!Isa 41:1; 43:9

Let the earthS Dt 4:26; Ps 49:1 hear, and all that is in it,

the world, and all that comes out of it!Ps 24:1

The Lord is angry with all nations;

his wrathS Isa 10:25 is on all their armies.

He will totally destroyThe Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 5.S Isa 13:5; S Zec 5:3 them,

he will give them over to slaughter.S Isa 30:25

Their slainS Isa 5:25; S 10:4 will be thrown out,

their dead bodiesS Ps 110:6; Eze 39:11 will stink;Joel 2:20; Am 4:10

the mountains will be soaked with their blood.ver 7; S 2Sa 1:22; Isa 63:6; Eze 5:17; 14:19; 32:6; 35:6; 38:22

All the stars in the sky will be dissolvedS Job 9:7; S Isa 13:13; 2Pe 3:10

and the heavens rolled upIsa 38:12; Heb 1:12 like a scroll;

all the starry host will fallS Mt 24:29*; Mk 13:25*

like witheredS Job 8:12; S Isa 15:6; Mt 21:19 leaves from the vine,

like shriveled figs from the fig tree.

My swordDt 32:41-42; Jer 47:6; Eze 21:5; Zec 13:7 has drunk its fill in the heavens;

see, it descends in judgment on Edom,S 2Sa 8:13-14; S 2Ch 28:17; Am 1:11-12

the people I have totally destroyed.S Dt 13:15; S Jos 6:17; Isa 24:6; Am 3:14-15; 6:11

The swordS Dt 32:41; S Isa 27:1 of the Lord is bathed in blood,

it is covered with fat—

the blood of lambs and goats,

fat from the kidneys of rams.

For the Lord has a sacrificeS Lev 3:9 in BozrahS Ge 36:33

and a great slaughterS Isa 30:25; S Jer 25:34; Rev 19:17 in the land of Edom.

And the wild oxenS Nu 23:22 will fall with them,

the bull calves and the great bulls.S Ps 68:30

Their land will be drenched with blood,S 2Sa 1:22

and the dust will be soaked with fat.

For the Lord has a dayS Isa 2:12 of vengeance,S Isa 1:24; 35:4; 47:3; 63:4

a year of retribution,Isa 59:18; Eze 25:12-17; Joel 3:4; Am 1:6-8, 9-10 to uphold Zion’s cause.

Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch,

her dust into burning sulfur;S Ge 19:24

her land will become blazing pitch!

10 It will not be quenchedS Isa 1:31 night or day;

its smoke will rise forever.Rev 14:10-11; 19:3

From generation to generationver 17 it will lie desolate;Isa 13:20; 24:1; Jer 49:18; Eze 29:12; 35:3; Mal 1:3

no one will ever pass through it again.

11 The desert owlThe precise identification of these birds is uncertain.S Lev 11:16-18; S Dt 14:15-17; Rev 18:2 and screech owlThe precise identification of these birds is uncertain. will possess it;

the great owlThe precise identification of these birds is uncertain. and the ravenS Ge 8:7 will nest there.

God will stretch out over EdomIsa 21:11; Eze 35:15; Joel 3:19; Ob 1:1; Mal 1:4

the measuring line of chaosS Ge 1:2

and the plumb lineS 2Ki 21:13; Am 7:8 of desolation.

12 Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom,

all her princesJob 12:21; Ps 107:40; Isa 40:23; Jer 21:7; 27:20; 39:6; Eze 24:5 will vanishIsa 29:20; 41:11-12 away.

13 ThornsS Isa 5:6; S 7:19 will overrun her citadels,

nettles and brambles her strongholds.S Isa 13:22

She will become a haunt for jackals,Ps 44:19; S Isa 13:22; Jer 9:11; 10:22

a home for owls.S Lev 11:16-18

14 Desert creaturesS Ps 74:14 will meet with hyenas,Isa 13:22

and wild goats will bleat to each other;

there the night creaturesRev 18:2 will also lie down

and find for themselves places of rest.

15 The owl will nest there and lay eggs,

she will hatch them, and care for her young

under the shadow of her wings;S Ps 17:8

there also the falconsDt 14:13 will gather,

each with its mate.

16 Look in the scrollIsa 30:8 of the Lord and read:

None of these will be missing,Isa 40:26; 48:13

not one will lack her mate.

For it is his mouthIsa 1:20; 58:14 that has given the order,S Isa 1:20

and his Spirit will gather them together.

17 He allots their portions;Isa 17:14; Jer 13:25

his hand distributes them by measure.

They will possess it forever

and dwell there from generation to generation.ver 10

Joy of the Redeemed

35 The desertIsa 27:10; 32:15, 16; 41:18-19 and the parched land will be glad;

the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.Isa 27:6; 51:3

Like the crocus,SS 2:1it will burst into bloom;

it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.S Ge 21:6; Ps 105:43; Isa 12:6; S 25:9; 44:23; 51:11; 52:9; 55:12

The glory of LebanonS Ezr 3:7; S Isa 33:9 will be given to it,

the splendor of CarmelSS 7:5 and Sharon;S 1Ch 27:29; Isa 65:10

they will see the gloryS Ex 16:7; S Isa 4:5; S 59:19 of the Lord,

the splendor of our God.S Isa 25:9

Strengthen the feeble hands,

steady the kneesS Job 4:4; Heb 12:12 that give way;

say2Ch 32:6; Isa 40:2; Zec 1:13 to those with fearful hearts,S Dt 20:3; S Isa 21:4

“Be strong, do not fear;S Jos 1:9; S Isa 7:4; Da 10:19

your God will come,Isa 40:9, 10-11; 51:5; 62:11; Rev 22:12

he will come with vengeance;S Isa 1:24; S 34:8

with divine retribution

he will come to saveS Isa 25:9 you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be openedS Ps 146:8; Jn 9:6-7; Ac 26:18

and the ears of the deafIsa 29:18; 42:18; 50:4 unstopped.

Then will the lameMt 15:30; Lk 7:22; Jn 5:8-9; Ac 3:8 leap like a deer,S 2Sa 22:34

and the mute tongueIsa 32:4; Mt 9:32-33; 12:22; Mk 7:35; Lk 11:14 shout for joy.Ps 20:5

Water will gush forth in the wilderness

and streamsS Ex 17:6; Jn 7:38 in the desert.

The burning sand will become a pool,

the thirsty groundS Ps 68:6; Isa 41:17; 44:3; 55:1 bubbling springs.Ps 107:35; Isa 49:10; 58:11

In the haunts where jackalsS Isa 13:22 once lay,

grass and reedsS Job 8:11; S 40:21 and papyrus will grow.

And a highwayS Isa 11:16; S 33:8; S Jer 31:21; Mt 7:13-14 will be there;

it will be called the Way of Holiness;Isa 4:3; 1Pe 1:15

it will be for those who walk on that Way.

The uncleanIsa 52:1 will not journey on it;

wicked fools will not go about on it.

No lionS Isa 30:6 will be there,

nor any ravenous beast;Isa 11:6; 13:22; 34:14

they will not be found there.

But only the redeemedS Ex 6:6; Lev 25:47-55; Isa 51:11; 62:12; 63:4 will walk there,

10 and those the Lord has rescuedS Job 19:25; S Isa 1:27 will return.

They will enter Zion with singing;Isa 30:29

everlasting joyS Ps 4:7; S 126:5; S Isa 25:9 will crown their heads.

GladnessS Ps 51:8; S Isa 51:3 and joy will overtake them,

and sorrow and sighing will flee away.S Isa 30:19; Rev 7:17; 21:4

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem36:1-22pp — 2Ki 18:13, 17-37; 2Ch 32:9-19

36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’sS 2Ki 18:9 reign, SennacheribS 2Ch 32:1 king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.S Ps 109:11Then the king of Assyria sent his field commander with a large army from LachishS Jos 10:3 to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. When the commander stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field,S Isa 7:3EliakimIsa 22:20-21; 37:2 son of Hilkiah the palace administrator,S Ge 41:40 ShebnaS 2Ki 18:18 the secretary,S 2Sa 8:17 and Joahver 11 son of Asaph the recorderS 2Sa 8:16 went out to him.

The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:

“‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours?You say you have counsel and might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebelS 2Ki 18:7 against me?Look, I know you are dependingS 2Ki 17:4; S Isa 8:12 on Egypt,S Isa 30:2, 5; Eze 17:17 that splintered reedIsa 42:3; 58:5; Eze 29:6-7 of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him.But if you say to me, “We are dependingPs 22:8; Mt 27:43 on the Lord our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed,S 2Ki 18:4 saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar”?Dt 12:2-5; S 2Ch 31:1

“‘Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horsesS Ps 20:7; S Isa 30:16—if you can put riders on them!How then can you repulse one officer of the least of my master’s officials, even though you are depending on EgyptS Isa 31:3 for chariotsIsa 37:24 and horsemenOr charioteers?S Ps 20:7; Isa 30:2-510 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this land without the Lord? The Lord himself toldS 1Ki 13:18; Isa 10:5-7 me to march against this country and destroy it.’”

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joahver 3 said to the field commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic,S Ezr 4:7 since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.”

12 But the commander replied, “Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the people sitting on the wall—who, like you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?2Ki 6:25; Eze 4:12

13 Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew,S 2Ch 32:18 “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!Isa 37:414 This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceiveS 2Ch 32:15 you. He cannot deliver you!15 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliverS Ps 3:2, 7 us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’Isa 37:10

16 “Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig treeS 1Ki 4:25 and drink water from your own cistern,Pr 5:1517 until I come and take you to a land like your ownS 2Ki 15:29—a land of grain and new wine,S Ge 27:28; S Dt 28:51 a land of bread and vineyards.

18 “Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Have the gods of any nations ever delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria?19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad?S 2Ki 18:34 Where are the gods of Sepharvaim?S 2Ki 17:24 Have they rescued SamariaS 2Ki 15:29 from my hand?20 Who of all the godsS 1Ki 20:23 of these countries have been able to save their lands from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”Ex 5:2; 2Ch 25:15; Isa 10:8-11; 37:10-13, 18-20; 40:18; Da 3:15

21 But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.”Pr 9:7-8; S 26:4

22 Then EliakimS 2Ki 18:18 son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and Joah son of Asaph the recorderS 2Sa 8:16 went to Hezekiah, with their clothes torn,S Ge 37:29; S 2Ch 34:19 and told him what the field commander had said.

10 But the Lord says: “Now I will stand up.

Now I will show my power and might.

11 You Assyrians produce nothing but dry grass and stubble.

Your own breath will turn to fire and consume you.

12 Your people will be burned up completely,

like thornbushes cut down and tossed in a fire.

13 Listen to what I have done, you nations far away!

And you that are near, acknowledge my might!”

14 The sinners in Jerusalem shake with fear.

Terror seizes the godless.

“Who can live with this devouring fire?” they cry.

“Who can survive this all-consuming fire?”

15 Those who are honest and fair,

who refuse to profit by fraud,

who stay far away from bribes,

who refuse to listen to those who plot murder,

who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong—

16 these are the ones who will dwell on high.

The rocks of the mountains will be their fortress.

Food will be supplied to them,

and they will have water in abundance.

17 Your eyes will see the king in all his splendor,

and you will see a land that stretches into the distance.

18 You will think back to this time of terror, asking,

“Where are the Assyrian officers

who counted our towers?

Where are the bookkeepers

who recorded the plunder taken from our fallen city?”

19 You will no longer see these fierce, violent people

with their strange, unknown language.

20 Instead, you will see Zion as a place of holy festivals.

You will see Jerusalem, a city quiet and secure.

It will be like a tent whose ropes are taut

and whose stakes are firmly fixed.

21 The Lord will be our Mighty One.

He will be like a wide river of protection

that no enemy can cross,

that no enemy ship can sail upon.

22 For the Lord is our judge,

our lawgiver, and our king.

He will care for us and save us.

23 The enemies’ sails hang loose

on broken masts with useless tackle.

Their treasure will be divided by the people of God.

Even the lame will take their share!

24 The people of Israel will no longer say,

“We are sick and helpless,”

for the Lord will forgive their sins.

A Message for the Nations

34 Come here and listen, O nations of the earth.

Let the world and everything in it hear my words.

For the Lord is enraged against the nations.

His fury is against all their armies.

He will completely destroyThe Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; similarly in 34:5. them,

dooming them to slaughter.

Their dead will be left unburied,

and the stench of rotting bodies will fill the land.

The mountains will flow with their blood.

The heavens above will melt away

and disappear like a rolled-up scroll.

The stars will fall from the sky

like withered leaves from a grapevine,

or shriveled figs from a fig tree.

And when my sword has finished its work in the heavens,

it will fall upon Edom,

the nation I have marked for destruction.

The sword of the Lord is drenched with blood

and covered with fat—

with the blood of lambs and goats,

with the fat of rams prepared for sacrifice.

Yes, the Lord will offer a sacrifice in the city of Bozrah.

He will make a mighty slaughter in Edom.

Even men as strong as wild oxen will die—

the young men alongside the veterans.

The land will be soaked with blood

and the soil enriched with fat.

For it is the day of the Lord’s revenge,

the year when Edom will be paid back for all it did to Israel.Hebrew to Zion.

The streams of Edom will be filled with burning pitch,

and the ground will be covered with fire.

10 This judgment on Edom will never end;

the smoke of its burning will rise forever.

The land will lie deserted from generation to generation.

No one will live there anymore.

11 It will be haunted by the desert owl and the screech owl,

the great owl and the raven.The identification of some of these birds is uncertain.

For God will measure that land carefully;

he will measure it for chaos and destruction.

12 It will be called the Land of Nothing,

and all its nobles will soon be gone.The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

13 Thorns will overrun its palaces;

nettles and thistles will grow in its forts.

The ruins will become a haunt for jackals

and a home for owls.

14 Desert animals will mingle there with hyenas,

their howls filling the night.

Wild goats will bleat at one another among the ruins,

and night creaturesHebrew Lilith, possibly a reference to a mythical demon of the night. will come there to rest.

15 There the owl will make her nest and lay her eggs.

She will hatch her young and cover them with her wings.

And the buzzards will come,

each one with its mate.

16 Search the book of the Lord,

and see what he will do.

Not one of these birds and animals will be missing,

and none will lack a mate,

for the Lord has promised this.

His Spirit will make it all come true.

17 He has surveyed and divided the land

and deeded it over to those creatures.

They will possess it forever,

from generation to generation.

Hope for Restoration

35 Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.

The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.

Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers

and singing and joy!

The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,

as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.

There the Lord will display his glory,

the splendor of our God.

With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,

and encourage those who have weak knees.

Say to those with fearful hearts,

“Be strong, and do not fear,

for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.

He is coming to save you.”

And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind

and unplug the ears of the deaf.

The lame will leap like a deer,

and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!

Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,

and streams will water the wasteland.

The parched ground will become a pool,

and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.

Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish

where desert jackals once lived.

And a great road will go through that once deserted land.

It will be named the Highway of Holiness.

Evil-minded people will never travel on it.

It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways;

fools will never walk there.

Lions will not lurk along its course,

nor any other ferocious beasts.

There will be no other dangers.

Only the redeemed will walk on it.

10 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.

They will enter JerusalemHebrew Zion. singing,

crowned with everlasting joy.

Sorrow and mourning will disappear,

and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

Assyria Invades Judah

36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign,The fourteenth year of Hezekiah’s reign was 701 B.c. King Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack the fortified towns of Judah and conquered them.Then the king of Assyria sent his chief of staffOr the rabshakeh; also in 36:4, 11, 12, 22. from Lachish with a huge army to confront King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. The Assyrians took up a position beside the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed.Or bleached.

These are the officials who went out to meet with them: Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator; Shebna the court secretary; and Joah son of Asaph, the royal historian.

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem

Then the Assyrian king’s chief of staff told them to give this message to Hezekiah:

“This is what the great king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?Do you thinkAs in Dead Sea Scrolls (see also 2 Kgs 18:20); Masoretic Text reads Do I think. that mere words can substitute for military skill and strength? Who are you counting on, that you have rebelled against me?On Egypt? If you lean on Egypt, it will be like a reed that splinters beneath your weight and pierces your hand. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is completely unreliable!

“But perhaps you will say to me, ‘We are trusting in the Lord our God!’ But isn’t he the one who was insulted by Hezekiah? Didn’t Hezekiah tear down his shrines and altars and make everyone in Judah and Jerusalem worship only at the altar here in Jerusalem?

“I’ll tell you what! Strike a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I will give you 2,000 horses if you can find that many men to ride on them!With your tiny army, how can you think of challenging even the weakest contingent of my master’s troops, even with the help of Egypt’s chariots and charioteers?10 What’s more, do you think we have invaded your land without the Lord’s direction? The Lord himself told us, ‘Attack this land and destroy it!’”

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Assyrian chief of staff, “Please speak to us in Aramaic, for we understand it well. Don’t speak in Hebrew,Hebrew in the dialect of Judah; also in 36:13. for the people on the wall will hear.”

12 But Sennacherib’s chief of staff replied, “Do you think my master sent this message only to you and your master? He wants all the people to hear it, for when we put this city under siege, they will suffer along with you. They will be so hungry and thirsty that they will eat their own dung and drink their own urine.”

13 Then the chief of staff stood and shouted in Hebrew to the people on the wall, “Listen to this message from the great king of Assyria!14 This is what the king says: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you. He will never be able to rescue you.15 Don’t let him fool you into trusting in the Lord by saying, ‘The Lord will surely rescue us. This city will never fall into the hands of the Assyrian king!’

16 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah! These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your own grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your own well.17 Then I will arrange to take you to another land like this one—a land of grain and new wine, bread and vineyards.

18 “Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you by saying, ‘The Lord will rescue us!’ Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria?19 What happened to the gods of Hamath and Arpad? And what about the gods of Sepharvaim? Did any god rescue Samaria from my power?20 What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the Lord can rescue Jerusalem from me?”

21 But the people were silent and did not utter a word because Hezekiah had commanded them, “Do not answer him.”

22 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator; Shebna the court secretary; and Joah son of Asaph, the royal historian, went back to Hezekiah. They tore their clothes in despair, and they went in to see the king and told him what the Assyrian chief of staff had said.

10 Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself.

11 Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you.

12 And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.

13 Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.

14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?

15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

18 Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?

19 Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand.

20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.

21 But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.

22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.

23 Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail: then is the prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey.

24 And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

34 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it.

For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.

Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.

And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.

The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.

And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.

And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.

10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.

11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.

12 They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing.

13 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.

14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.

15 There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.

16 Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.

17 And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.

35 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.

Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

36 Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.

And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field.

Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah's son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph's son, the recorder.

And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?

I say, sayest thou, (but they are but vain words) I have counsel and strength for war: now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me?

Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him.

But if thou say to me, We trust in the Lord our God: is it not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar?

Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.

How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?

10 And am I now come up without the Lord against this land to destroy it? the Lord said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.

11 Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and speak not to us in the Jews' language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.

12 But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

13 Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.

14 Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you.

15 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.

16 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern;

17 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.

18 Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, the Lord will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?

19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?

20 Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?

21 But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him not.

22 Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

Galatians 5:13-26

Life by the Spirit

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.S ver 1 But do not use your freedom to indulge the fleshIn contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verses 16, 17, 19 and 24; and in 6:8.;S ver 24; 1Co 8:9; 1Pe 2:16 rather, serve one another1Co 9:19; 2Co 4:5; Eph 5:21 humbly in love.14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”Lev. 19:18Lev 19:18; S Mt 5:43; Gal 6:215 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit,ver 18, 25; Ro 8:2, 4-6, 9, 14; S 2Co 5:17 and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.S ver 2417 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.Ro 8:5-8 They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whateverOr you do not do what you want.Ro 7:15-2318 But if you are led by the Spirit,S ver 16 you are not under the law.S Ro 2:12; 1Ti 1:9

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality,S 1Co 6:18 impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.Mt 15:19; Ro 13:13 I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.S Mt 25:34

22 But the fruitMt 7:16-20; Eph 5:9 of the Spirit is love,Col 3:12-15 joy, peace,Mal 2:6 forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control.S Ac 24:25 Against such things there is no law.ver 1824 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the fleshver 13, 16-21; S Ro 6:6; 7:5, 18; 8:3-5, 8, 9, 12, 13; 13:14; Gal 6:8; Col 2:11 with its passions and desires.ver 16, 1725 Since we live by the Spirit,S ver 16 let us keep in step with the Spirit.26 Let us not become conceited,Php 2:3 provoking and envying each other.

13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”Lev 19:18.15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

Living by the Spirit’s Power

16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Psalm 64:1-10

Psalm 64In Hebrew texts 64:1-10 is numbered 64:2-11.

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;Ps 142:2

protect my life from the threat of the enemy.Ps 140:1

Hide me from the conspiracyS Ex 1:10 of the wicked,Ps 56:6; 59:2

from the plots of evildoers.

They sharpen their tongues like swordsS Ps 55:21; Isa 49:2

and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.S Ps 7:13; S 58:7

They shoot from ambush at the innocent;S Job 9:23; Ps 10:8; 11:2

they shoot suddenly, without fear.S Ps 55:19

They encourage each other in evil plans,

they talk about hiding their snares;Ps 91:3; 119:110; 140:5; 141:9

they say, “Who will see itOr us?”S Job 22:13

They plot injustice and say,

“We have devised a perfect plan!”

Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.

But God will shoot them with his arrows;

they will suddenly be struck down.

He will turn their own tongues against themS Ps 59:12; Pr 18:7

and bring them to ruin;

all who see them will shake their headsS 2Ki 19:21; Ps 109:25 in scorn.S Dt 28:37

All people will fear;S Ps 40:3

they will proclaim the works of God

and ponder what he has done.Jer 51:10

10 The righteous will rejoice in the LordS Job 22:19

and take refuge in him;Ps 11:1; 25:20; 31:2

all the upright in heart will glory in him!Ps 32:11

Psalm 64

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O God, listen to my complaint.

Protect my life from my enemies’ threats.

Hide me from the plots of this evil mob,

from this gang of wrongdoers.

They sharpen their tongues like swords

and aim their bitter words like arrows.

They shoot from ambush at the innocent,

attacking suddenly and fearlessly.

They encourage each other to do evil

and plan how to set their traps in secret.

“Who will ever notice?” they ask.

As they plot their crimes, they say,

“We have devised the perfect plan!”

Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning.

But God himself will shoot them with his arrows,

suddenly striking them down.

Their own tongues will ruin them,

and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.

Then everyone will be afraid;

they will proclaim the mighty acts of God

and realize all the amazing things he does.

10 The godly will rejoice in the Lord

and find shelter in him.

And those who do what is right

will praise him.

64 Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.

Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:

Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:

That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.

They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?

They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.

But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.

So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.

And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.

10 The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

Proverbs 23:23

23 Buy the truth and do not sell it—

wisdom, instruction and insight as well.Pr 4:7; 17:16

23 Get the truth and never sell it;

also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.

23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

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