Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Any power that we possess originates from our awesome God who can hold oceans in the palm of His hand, measure the heavens with his fingers, and weigh the mountains and the hills (Isaiah 40:12). He is a God so powerful that from His perspective the combined nations of the world are a mere "drop in the bucket" (v. 15). He knows the personal name of each and every one of the billions of stars (v. 26), and "no one can measure the depths of his understanding" (v. 28).

All the incomparable greatness of God is embodied in Jesus, and we are blessed with "every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). When we realize His great power, our perspective on our problems changes, and we move into heavenly places where God sits. The problems are not so big when viewed from that vantage point.

God is too wise to make a mistake, too powerful to fail, and too loving to hurt you. Call on Him today, for "He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak" (Isaiah 40:29).

Isaiah 39:1-41:16

Envoys From Babylon39:1-8pp — 2Ki 20:12-19

39 At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of BabylonS 2Ch 32:31 sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of his illness and recovery.Hezekiah received the envoys2Ch 32:31 gladly and showed them what was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold,S 2Ki 18:15 the spices, the fine olive oil—his entire armory and everything found among his treasures.2Ch 32:27-29 There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?”

“From a distant land,S Dt 28:49” Hezekiah replied. “They came to me from Babylon.”

The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”

“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the wordS Isa 38:4 of the Lord Almighty:The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon.S Jdg 6:4; S 2Ki 24:13 Nothing will be left, says the Lord.And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.S 2Ki 24:15; Da 1:1-7

“The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,S Jdg 10:15; Job 1:21; Ps 39:9” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.S 2Ch 32:26

Comfort for God’s People

40 Comfort, comfortIsa 12:1; 49:13; 51:3, 12; 52:9; 57:18; 61:2; 66:13; Jer 31:13; Zep 3:14-17; Zec 1:17; 2Co 1:3 my people,

says your God.

Speak tenderlyS Ge 34:3; S Isa 35:4 to Jerusalem,

and proclaim to her

that her hard serviceS Job 7:1 has been completed,Isa 41:11-13; 49:25

that her sin has been paid for,S Lev 26:41

that she has received from the Lord’s hand

doubleIsa 51:19; 61:7; Jer 16:18; 17:18; Zec 9:12; Rev 18:6 for all her sins.

A voice of one calling:

“In the wilderness prepare

the wayS Isa 11:16; 43:19; Mal 3:1 for the LordOr A voice of one calling in the wilderness: / “Prepare the way for the Lord;

make straightS Pr 3:5-6 in the desert

a highway for our God.Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our GodMt 3:3*; Mk 1:3*; Jn 1:23*

Every valley shall be raised up,Isa 49:11

every mountain and hillS Isa 2:14 made low;

the rough ground shall become level,S Ps 26:12; S Isa 26:7; 45:2, 13; Jer 31:9

the rugged places a plain.

And the gloryS Ex 16:7; S Nu 14:21; S Isa 59:19 of the Lord will be revealed,

and all people will see it together.Isa 52:10; 62:2; Lk 2:30; 3:4-6*

For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”S Isa 1:20; 58:14

A voice says, “Cry out.”

And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All people are like grass,S Ge 6:3; S Isa 29:5

and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.

The grass withersS Job 8:12; S Isa 15:6 and the flowers fall,

because the breathS Ex 15:10; S Job 41:21 of the Lord blowsS Ps 103:16; S Eze 22:21 on them.

Surely the people are grass.

The grass withers and the flowersS Isa 5:24; Jas 1:10 fall,

but the wordIsa 55:11; 59:21 of our God enduresS Pr 19:21; S Isa 7:7, 9; S Jer 39:16 forever.S Ps 119:89; S Mt 5:18; 1Pe 1:24-25*

You who bring good newsIsa 41:27; 44:28; 52:7-10; 61:1; Na 1:15; S Ac 13:32; Ro 10:15; 1Co 15:1-4 to Zion,

go up on a high mountain.

You who bring good news to Jerusalem,Or Zion, bringer of good news, / go up on a high mountain. / Jerusalem, bringer of good newsS Isa 1:1

lift up your voice with a shout,

lift it up, do not be afraid;

say to the towns of Judah,

“Here is your God!”Isa 25:9

10 See, the Sovereign Lord comesIsa 35:4; 59:20; Mt 21:5; Rev 22:7 with power,Isa 28:2

and he rulesIsa 9:6-7 with a mighty arm.S Ps 44:3; S Isa 30:30; S 33:2

See, his rewardS Isa 35:4; Rev 22:12 is with him,

and his recompense accompanies him.

11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:S Ge 48:15; S Ps 28:9; S Mic 5:4; S Jn 10:11

He gathers the lambs in his armsS Nu 11:12

and carries them close to his heart;S Dt 26:19

he gently leadsIsa 49:10 those that have young.S Ge 33:13; S Dt 30:4

12 Who has measured the watersS Job 12:15; S 38:10 in the hollow of his hand,Pr 30:4

or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?S Job 38:5; Heb 1:10-12

Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,

or weighed the mountains on the scales

and the hills in a balance?S Job 38:18; Pr 16:11

13 Who can fathom the SpiritOr mindIsa 11:2; 42:1 of the Lord,

or instruct the Lord as his counselor?S Job 15:8; Ro 11:34*; 1Co 2:16*

14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,

and who taught him the right way?

Who was it that taught him knowledge,Job 21:22; Col 2:3

or showed him the path of understanding?S Job 12:13; S 34:13; Isa 55:9

15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;

they are regarded as dust on the scales;S Ps 62:9

he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.S Dt 9:21; Isa 2:22

16 LebanonIsa 33:9; 37:24 is not sufficient for altar fires,

nor its animalsPs 50:9-11; Mic 6:7; Heb 10:5-9 enough for burnt offerings.

17 Before him all the nationsIsa 30:28 are as nothing;S Job 12:19; Isa 29:7

they are regarded by him as worthless

and less than nothing.S Isa 37:19; Da 4:35

18 With whom, then, will you compare God?S Ex 8:10; S 1Sa 2:2

To what imageS Dt 4:15; Ac 17:29 will you liken him?

19 As for an idol,S Ex 20:4; Ps 115:4; S Isa 37:19; 42:17; Jer 2:8, 28; 10:8; 16:19; Hab 2:18; Zec 10:2 a metalworker casts it,

and a goldsmithIsa 41:7; 46:6; Jer 10:3 overlays it with goldIsa 2:20; 31:7

and fashions silver chains for it.

20 A person too poor to present such an offering

selects woodIsa 44:19 that will not rot;

they look for a skilled worker

to set up an idolS 1Sa 12:21 that will not topple.S 1Sa 5:3

21 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?ver 28; 2Ki 19:25; Isa 41:22; 42:9; 44:8; 48:3, 5

Has it not been toldPs 19:1; 50:6; Ac 14:17 you from the beginning?S Ge 1:1

Have you not understoodRo 1:19 since the earth was founded?Isa 48:13; 51:13

22 He sits enthronedS 2Ch 6:18; S Ps 2:4 above the circle of the earth,

and its people are like grasshoppers.S Nu 13:33

He stretches out the heavensS Ge 1:1; S Isa 48:13 like a canopy,S Ge 1:8; S Job 22:14

and spreads them out like a tentS Job 36:29 to live in.S Job 26:7

23 He brings princesS Job 12:18; S Isa 34:12 to naught

and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.S Job 12:19; Am 2:3

24 No sooner are they planted,

no sooner are they sown,

no sooner do they take rootS Job 5:3 in the ground,

than he blowsS 2Sa 22:16; S Isa 11:4; 41:16 on them and they wither,S Job 8:12; S 18:16

and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.S Job 24:24; S Isa 41:2

25 “To whom will you compare me?S 1Sa 2:2; S 1Ch 16:25

Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.Isa 1:4; 37:23

26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:Isa 51:6

Who createdver 28; Ps 89:11-13; Isa 42:5; 66:2 all these?

He who brings out the starry hostS 2Ki 17:16; S Ne 9:6; S Job 38:32 one by one

and calls forth each of them by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength,S Job 9:4; S Isa 45:24; Eph 1:19

not one of them is missing.S Isa 34:16

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?

Why do you say, Israel,

“My way is hidden from the Lord;

my cause is disregarded by my God”?S Job 6:29; S 27:2; Lk 18:7-8

28 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?S ver 21

The Lord is the everlastingS Dt 33:27; S Ps 90:2 God,

the CreatorS ver 26 of the ends of the earth.S Isa 37:16

He will not grow tired or weary,Isa 44:12

and his understanding no one can fathom.S Ps 147:5; Ro 11:33

29 He gives strengthS Ge 18:14; S Ps 68:35; S 119:28 to the wearyIsa 50:4; 57:19; Jer 31:25

and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young menIsa 9:17; Jer 6:11; 9:21 stumble and fall;S Ps 20:8; Isa 5:27

31 but those who hopeS Ps 37:9; 40:1; S Isa 30:18; Lk 18:1 in the Lord

will renew their strength.S 1Sa 2:4; S 2Ki 6:33; S 2Co 4:16

They will soar on wings like eagles;S Ex 19:4

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.2Co 4:1; Heb 12:1-3

The Helper of Israel

41 “Be silentPs 37:7; Hab 2:20; Zep 1:7; Zec 2:13 before me, you islands!S Isa 11:11

Let the nations renew their strength!S 1Sa 2:4

Let them come forwardIsa 48:16; 57:3 and speak;

let us meet togetherS Isa 1:18; 34:1; 50:8 at the place of judgment.

“Who has stirredS Ezr 1:2 up one from the east,ver 25; Isa 13:4, 17; 44:28; 45:1, 13; 48:14; Jer 50:3; 51:11

calling him in righteousnessIsa 45:8, 13 to his serviceOr east, / whom victory meets at every step?Isa 44:28; Jer 25:9

He hands nations over to him

and subdues kings before him.

He turns them to dustS 2Sa 22:43 with his sword,

to windblown chaffPs 1:4; Isa 40:24 with his bow.S Isa 13:18

He pursues them and moves on unscathed,Da 8:4

by a path his feet have not traveled before.

Who has done this and carried it through,

callingver 9; Isa 43:7 forth the generations from the beginning?ver 26; S Ge 1:1; Isa 46:10

I, the Lord—with the first of them

and with the lastIsa 44:6; 48:12; Rev 1:8, 17—I am he.S Dt 32:39

The islandsS Isa 11:11; Eze 26:17-18 have seen it and fear;

the ends of the earthS Dt 30:4; S Isa 11:12 tremble.

They approach and come forward;

they help each other

and say to their companions, “Be strong!S Jos 1:6

The metalworkerIsa 44:13; Jer 10:3-5 encourages the goldsmith,S Isa 40:19

and the one who smooths with the hammer

spurs on the one who strikes the anvil.

One says of the welding, “It is good.”

The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.S 1Sa 5:3; Isa 46:7

“But you, Israel, my servant,S Ps 136:22; S Isa 27:11

Jacob, whom I have chosen,S Isa 14:1

you descendants of AbrahamS Isa 29:22; 51:2; 63:16 my friend,2Ch 20:7; Jas 2:23

I took you from the ends of the earth,Isa 11:12; S 37:16

from its farthest corners I calledS ver 4 you.

I said, ‘You are my servant’;S Isa 20:3

I have chosenS Dt 7:6 you and have not rejected you.

10 So do not fear,S Ge 15:1 for I am with you;S Dt 3:22; Jos 1:9; Isa 43:2, 5; Jer 30:10; 46:27-28; Ro 8:31

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthenS Ps 68:35; S 119:28 you and helpver 13-14; Isa 44:2; 49:8; 50:7, 9 you;

I will uphold youS Ps 18:35; S 119:117 with my righteous right hand.S Ex 3:20; S Job 40:14

11 “All who rageS Isa 17:12 against you

will surely be ashamed and disgraced;Isa 29:22; 45:24; 54:17

those who opposeS Ex 23:22 you

will be as nothing and perish.S Isa 29:8; S Jer 2:3

12 Though you search for your enemies,

you will not find them.Ps 37:35-36; S Isa 34:12

Those who wage war against you

will be as nothingS Job 7:8; Isa 17:14; 29:20 at all.

13 For I am the Lord your God

who takes hold of your right handPs 73:23; Isa 42:6; 45:1; 51:18

and says to you, Do not fear;

I will helpver 10 you.

14 Do not be afraid,S Ge 15:1 you wormS Job 4:19; S Ps 22:6 Jacob,

little Israel, do not fear,

for I myself will helpS ver 10 you,” declares the Lord,

your Redeemer,S Ex 15:13; S Job 19:25; S Isa 1:27 the Holy Onever 16, 20; S Isa 1:4 of Israel.

15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,S Job 41:30; S Isa 10:5; S 21:10

new and sharp, with many teeth.

You will thresh the mountainsS Ex 19:18; S Ps 107:33; Jer 9:10; Eze 33:28 and crush them,

and reduce the hills to chaff.S ver 2

16 You will winnowJer 15:7; 51:2 them, the wind will pick them up,

and a galeIsa 40:24 will blow them away.Da 2:35

But you will rejoiceS Isa 25:9 in the Lord

and gloryIsa 45:25; 60:19 in the Holy OneS ver 14; S Mk 1:24 of Israel.

Envoys from Babylon

39 Soon after this, Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent Hezekiah his best wishes and a gift. He had heard that Hezekiah had been very sick and that he had recovered.Hezekiah was delighted with the Babylonian envoys and showed them everything in his treasure-houses—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the aromatic oils. He also took them to see his armory and showed them everything in his royal treasuries! There was nothing in his palace or kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did those men want? Where were they from?”

Hezekiah replied, “They came from the distant land of Babylon.”

“What did they see in your palace?” asked Isaiah.

“They saw everything,” Hezekiah replied. “I showed them everything I own—all my royal treasuries.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to this message from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies:‘The time is coming when everything in your palace—all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now—will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left,’ says the Lord.‘Some of your very own sons will be taken away into exile. They will become eunuchs who will serve in the palace of Babylon’s king.’”

Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “This message you have given me from the Lord is good.” For the king was thinking, “At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime.”

Comfort for God’s People

40 “Comfort, comfort my people,”

says your God.

“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.

Tell her that her sad days are gone

and her sins are pardoned.

Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over

for all her sins.”

Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,

“Clear the way through the wilderness

for the Lord!

Make a straight highway through the wasteland

for our God!

Fill in the valleys,

and level the mountains and hills.

Straighten the curves,

and smooth out the rough places.

Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,

and all people will see it together.

The Lord has spoken!”Greek version reads He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, / “Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! / Clear a road for our God! / Fill in the valleys, / and level the mountains and hills. / And then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, / and all people will see the salvation sent from God. / The Lord has spoken!” Compare Matt 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6.

A voice said, “Shout!”

I asked, “What should I shout?”

“Shout that people are like the grass.

Their beauty fades as quickly

as the flowers in a field.

The grass withers and the flowers fade

beneath the breath of the Lord.

And so it is with people.

The grass withers and the flowers fade,

but the word of our God stands forever.”

O Zion, messenger of good news,

shout from the mountaintops!

Shout it louder, O Jerusalem.Or O messenger of good news, shout to Zion from the mountaintops! Shout it louder to Jerusalem.

Shout, and do not be afraid.

Tell the towns of Judah,

“Your God is coming!”

10 Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power.

He will rule with a powerful arm.

See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.

11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd.

He will carry the lambs in his arms,

holding them close to his heart.

He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.

The Lord Has No Equal

12 Who else has held the oceans in his hand?

Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?

Who else knows the weight of the earth

or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?

13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord?Greek version reads Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Compare Rom 11:34; 1 Cor 2:16.

Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?

14 Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice?

Does he need instruction about what is good?

Did someone teach him what is right

or show him the path of justice?

15 No, for all the nations of the world

are but a drop in the bucket.

They are nothing more

than dust on the scales.

He picks up the whole earth

as though it were a grain of sand.

16 All the wood in Lebanon’s forests

and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough

to make a burnt offering worthy of our God.

17 The nations of the world are worth nothing to him.

In his eyes they count for less than nothing—

mere emptiness and froth.

18 To whom can you compare God?

What image can you find to resemble him?

19 Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold,

overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains?

20 Or if people are too poor for that,

they might at least choose wood that won’t decay

and a skilled craftsman

to carve an image that won’t fall down!

21 Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand?

Are you deaf to the words of God—

the words he gave before the world began?

Are you so ignorant?

22 God sits above the circle of the earth.

The people below seem like grasshoppers to him!

He spreads out the heavens like a curtain

and makes his tent from them.

23 He judges the great people of the world

and brings them all to nothing.

24 They hardly get started, barely taking root,

when he blows on them and they wither.

The wind carries them off like chaff.

25 “To whom will you compare me?

Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.

26 Look up into the heavens.

Who created all the stars?

He brings them out like an army, one after another,

calling each by its name.

Because of his great power and incomparable strength,

not a single one is missing.

27 O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?

O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?

28 Have you never heard?

Have you never understood?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary.

No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

29 He gives power to the weak

and strength to the powerless.

30 Even youths will become weak and tired,

and young men will fall in exhaustion.

31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.

They will soar high on wings like eagles.

They will run and not grow weary.

They will walk and not faint.

God’s Help for Israel

41 “Listen in silence before me, you lands beyond the sea.

Bring your strongest arguments.

Come now and speak.

The court is ready for your case.

“Who has stirred up this king from the east,

rightly calling him to God’s service?

Who gives this man victory over many nations

and permits him to trample their kings underfoot?

With his sword, he reduces armies to dust.

With his bow, he scatters them like chaff before the wind.

He chases them away and goes on safely,

though he is walking over unfamiliar ground.

Who has done such mighty deeds,

summoning each new generation from the beginning of time?

It is I, the Lord, the First and the Last.

I alone am he.”

The lands beyond the sea watch in fear.

Remote lands tremble and mobilize for war.

The idol makers encourage one another,

saying to each other, “Be strong!”

The carver encourages the goldsmith,

and the molder helps at the anvil.

“Good,” they say. “It’s coming along fine.”

Carefully they join the parts together,

then fasten the thing in place so it won’t fall over.

“But as for you, Israel my servant,

Jacob my chosen one,

descended from Abraham my friend,

I have called you back from the ends of the earth,

saying, ‘You are my servant.’

For I have chosen you

and will not throw you away.

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.

Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you.

I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

11 “See, all your angry enemies lie there,

confused and humiliated.

Anyone who opposes you will die

and come to nothing.

12 You will look in vain

for those who tried to conquer you.

Those who attack you

will come to nothing.

13 For I hold you by your right hand—

I, the Lord your God.

And I say to you,

‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.

14 Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob,

don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you.

I am the Lord, your Redeemer.

I am the Holy One of Israel.’

15 You will be a new threshing instrument

with many sharp teeth.

You will tear your enemies apart,

making chaff of mountains.

16 You will toss them into the air,

and the wind will blow them all away;

a whirlwind will scatter them.

Then you will rejoice in the Lord.

You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.

39 At that time Merodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered.

And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.

Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country unto me, even from Babylon.

Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.

Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord of hosts:

Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the Lord.

And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.

40 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

10 Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him?

14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?

15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.

17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?

19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.

20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.

21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

23 That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.

24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.

25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?

28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

41 Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.

Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.

Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he.

The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came.

They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.

So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.

But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.

13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.

16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.

Ephesians 1:1-23

Paul, an apostleS 1Co 1:1 of Christ Jesus by the will of God,S 2Co 1:1

To God’s holy peopleS Ac 9:13 in Ephesus,Some early manuscripts do not have in Ephesus.S Ac 18:19 the faithfulCol 1:2 in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.S Ro 1:7

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,2Co 1:3; 1Pe 1:3 who has blessed us in the heavenly realmsver 20; Eph 2:6; 3:10; 6:12 with every spiritual blessing in Christ.For he chose us2Th 2:13 in him before the creation of the worldS Mt 25:34 to be holy and blamelessLev 11:44; 20:7; 2Sa 22:24; Ps 15:2; Eph 5:27; Col 1:22 in his sight. In loveEph 4:2, 15, 16heOr sight in love. He predestinedver 11; Ro 8:29, 30 us for adoption to sonshipThe Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.S Ro 8:14, 15 through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasureLk 12:32; 1Co 1:21; Col 1:19 and will—to the praise of his glorious grace,ver 12, 14 which he has freely given us in the One he loves.Mt 3:17In him we have redemptionver 14; S Ro 3:24 through his blood,S Ro 3:25 the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the richesS Ro 2:4 of God’s gracethat he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,heOr us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mysteryS Ro 16:25 of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposedS ver 11 in Christ,10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillmentMk 1:15; Ro 5:6; Gal 4:4—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.Col 1:20

11 In him we were also chosen,Or were made heirs having been predestinedver 5; Ro 8:29, 30 according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purposever 9; Ro 8:28; Eph 3:11; Heb 6:17 of his will,12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.ver 6, 1413 And you also were included in ChristS Ro 16:3 when you heard the message of truth,Eph 4:21; Col 1:5 the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal,Eph 4:30 the promised Holy Spirit,Jn 14:16, 1714 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritanceS Ac 20:32; S 2Co 5:5 until the redemptionver 7; S Ro 3:24 of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.ver 6, 12

Thanksgiving and Prayer

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord JesusS Ac 20:21 and your love for all God’s people,S Col 1:416 I have not stopped giving thanks for you,S Ro 1:8 remembering you in my prayers.S Ro 1:1017 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,Jn 20:17; Ro 15:6; Rev 1:6 may give you the SpiritOr a spirit of wisdomEx 28:3; Isa 11:2; Php 1:9; Col 1:9 and revelation, so that you may know him better.18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightenedJob 42:5; 2Co 4:6; Heb 6:4 in order that you may know the hope to which he has calledS Ro 8:28 you, the richesver 7; S Ro 2:4 of his glorious inheritancever 11 in his holy people,Col 1:1219 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That powerEph 3:7; Col 1:29 is the same as the mighty strengthIsa 40:26; Eph 6:1020 he exerted when he raised Christ from the deadS Ac 2:24 and seated him at his right handS Mk 16:19 in the heavenly realms,S ver 321 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion,Eph 3:10; Col 1:16 and every namePhp 2:9, 10 that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.S Mt 12:3222 And God placed all things under his feetS Mt 22:44; S 28:18 and appointed him to be head1Co 11:3; Eph 4:15; 5:23; Col 1:18; 2:19 over everything for the church,23 which is his body,S 1Co 12:27 the fullness of himS Jn 1:16; Eph 3:19 who fills everything in every way.Eph 4:10

Greetings from Paul

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.

I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus,The most ancient manuscripts do not include in Ephesus. who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

Spiritual Blessings

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.Greek to us in the beloved.He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan.10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God,Or we have become God’s inheritance. for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his ownOr he put his seal on you. by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom

15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,Some manuscripts read your faithfulness to the Lord Jesus and to God’s people everywhere.16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly,17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdomOr to give you the Spirit of wisdom. and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.Or called, and the rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his holy people.

19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Psalm 66:1-20

Psalm 66

For the director of music. A song. A psalm.

Shout for joy to God, all the earth!Ps 81:1; 84:8; 95:1; 98:4; 100:1

Sing the glory of his name;Ps 79:9; 86:9

make his praise glorious.Isa 42:8, 12; 43:21

Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!S Dt 7:21; S 10:21; Ps 65:5; 106:22; 111:6; 145:6

So great is your power

that your enemies cringeS 2Sa 22:45 before you.

All the earth bows downPs 22:27 to you;

they sing praisePs 7:17; 67:3 to you,

they sing the praises of your name.”The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 7 and 15.

Come and see what God has done,

his awesome deedsver 3; Ps 106:22 for mankind!

He turned the sea into dry land,S Ge 8:1; S Ex 14:22

they passed through1Co 10:1 the waters on foot—

come, let us rejoiceS Lev 23:40 in him.

He rules foreverS Ex 15:18; Ps 145:13 by his power,

his eyes watchS Ex 3:16; S Ps 11:4 the nations—

let not the rebelliousS Nu 17:10; Ps 112:10; 140:8 rise up against him.

PraiseS Ps 22:23 our God, all peoples,

let the sound of his praise be heard;

he has preserved our livesPs 30:3

and kept our feet from slipping.S Dt 32:35; S Job 12:5

10 For you, God, testedS Ex 15:25 us;

you refined us like silver.S Job 6:29; S 28:1; S Ps 12:6

11 You brought us into prisonPs 142:7; 146:7; Isa 42:7, 22; 61:1

and laid burdensS Ge 3:17; S Ex 1:14; Ps 38:4; Isa 10:27 on our backs.

12 You let people ride over our heads;Isa 51:23

we went through fire and water,

but you brought us to a place of abundance.Ps 18:19

13 I will come to your temple with burnt offeringsS Ps 51:19

and fulfill my vowsPs 22:25; 50:14; 116:14; Ecc 5:4; Jnh 2:9 to you—

14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke

when I was in trouble.

15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you

and an offering of rams;

I will offer bulls and goats.S Lev 16:5; Ps 51:19

16 Come and hear,Ps 34:11 all you who fear God;

let me tellPs 71:15, 24 you what he has done for me.

17 I cried out to him with my mouth;

his praise was on my tongue.

18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,

the Lord would not have listened;S Dt 1:45; S 1Sa 8:18; Jas 4:3

19 but God has surely listened

and has heardS Ps 18:6 my prayer.

20 Praise be to God,

who has not rejectedPs 22:24 my prayer

or withheld his love from me!

Psalm 66

For the choir director: A song. A psalm.

Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!

Sing about the glory of his name!

Tell the world how glorious he is.

Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!

Your enemies cringe before your mighty power.

Everything on earth will worship you;

they will sing your praises,

shouting your name in glorious songs.” Interlude

Come and see what our God has done,

what awesome miracles he performs for people!

He made a dry path through the Red Sea,Hebrew the sea.

and his people went across on foot.

There we rejoiced in him.

For by his great power he rules forever.

He watches every movement of the nations;

let no rebel rise in defiance. Interlude

Let the whole world bless our God

and loudly sing his praises.

Our lives are in his hands,

and he keeps our feet from stumbling.

10 You have tested us, O God;

you have purified us like silver.

11 You captured us in your net

and laid the burden of slavery on our backs.

12 Then you put a leader over us.Or You made people ride over our heads.

We went through fire and flood,

but you brought us to a place of great abundance.

13 Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings

to fulfill the vows I made to you—

14 yes, the sacred vows that I made

when I was in deep trouble.

15 That is why I am sacrificing burnt offerings to you—

the best of my rams as a pleasing aroma,

and a sacrifice of bulls and male goats. Interlude

16 Come and listen, all you who fear God,

and I will tell you what he did for me.

17 For I cried out to him for help,

praising him as I spoke.

18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,

the Lord would not have listened.

19 But God did listen!

He paid attention to my prayer.

20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer

or withdraw his unfailing love from me.

66 Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.

He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:

Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.

10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,

14 Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.

15 I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

16 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

17 I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.

18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

Proverbs 23:25-28

25 May your father and mother rejoice;

may she who gave you birth be joyful!S Pr 10:1

Saying 18

26 My son,Pr 5:1-6 give me your heart

and let your eyes delight in my ways,S Ps 18:21

27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,S Pr 22:14

and a wayward wife is a narrow well.

28 Like a bandit she lies in waitPr 7:11-12

and multiplies the unfaithful among men.

25 So give your father and mother joy!

May she who gave you birth be happy.

26 O my son, give me your heart.

May your eyes take delight in following my ways.

27 A prostitute is a dangerous trap;

a promiscuous woman is as dangerous as falling into a narrow well.

28 She hides and waits like a robber,

eager to make more men unfaithful.

25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

28 She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

Sep 21 Sep 23
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