Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The kingdom of darkness is a wicked organization of evil that unceasingly plots against the righteous. This kingdom's carefully crafted snares and weapons are individually tailored to destroy each child of God.

In Ephesians 6, Paul tells us that "we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms" (v. 12).

God, however, has provided us with a divine covering to protect us from every attack from the enemy. Commonly called "the armor of God," this protection listed in Ephesians 6:14-17 includes the following elements: "the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness" (v. 14), "for shoes . . . the peace that comes from the Good News" (v. 15), "faith as your shield," (v. 16), "salvation as your helmet," and "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (v. 17).

Standing in this mighty armor and wielding the powerful weapon of the Word of God, we have the strength to "pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit" (v. 18), positioning ourselves firmly upon the promises of God until the devil flees. No matter what weapon the enemy has forged against you, it will not prosper!

Isaiah 54:1-57:14

The Future Glory of Zion

54 “Sing, barren woman,S Ge 30:1

you who never bore a child;

burst into song, shout for joy,S Ge 21:6; S Ps 98:4

you who were never in labor;Isa 66:7

because more are the childrenIsa 49:20 of the desolateS Isa 49:19 woman

than of her who has a husband,S 1Sa 2:5; Gal 4:27*

says the Lord.

“Enlarge the place of your tent,S Ge 26:22; Isa 26:15; 49:19-20

stretch your tent curtains wide,

do not hold back;

lengthen your cords,

strengthen your stakes.Ex 35:18; 39:40

For you will spread out to the right and to the left;

your descendantsS Ge 13:14; S Isa 48:19 will dispossess nationsS Job 12:23; S Isa 14:2; 60:4-11

and settle in their desolateS Isa 49:19 cities.

“Do not be afraid;Jer 30:10; Joel 2:21 you will not be put to shame.S Isa 28:16; S 29:22

Do not fear disgrace;S Ge 30:23; S Ps 119:39; S Isa 41:11 you will not be humiliated.

You will forget the shame of your youthS Ps 25:7; S Jer 2:2; S 22:21

and remember no more the reproachS Isa 51:7 of your widowhood.S Isa 47:8

For your MakerS Ps 95:6; S 149:2; S Isa 51:13 is your husbandS SS 3:11; Jer 3:14; 31:32; Hos 2:7, 16

the Lord Almighty is his name—

the Holy OneS Isa 1:4; 49:7; 55:5; 60:9 of Israel is your Redeemer;S Isa 48:17

he is called the God of all the earth.S Isa 6:3; S 12:4

The Lord will call you backIsa 49:14-21

as if you were a wife desertedver 6-7; Isa 1:4; 50:1-2; 60:15; 62:4, 12; Jer 44:2; Hos 1:10 and distressed in spirit—

a wife who married young,S Ex 20:14; Mal 2:15

only to be rejected,” says your God.

“For a brief momentS Job 14:13; Isa 26:20 I abandonedS Ps 71:11; S Isa 27:8 you,

but with deep compassionS Ps 51:1 I will bring you back.S Isa 49:18

In a surge of angerIsa 9:12; 26:20; 60:10

I hidS Isa 1:15 my face from you for a moment,

but with everlasting kindnessver 10; S Ps 25:6; 92:2; Isa 55:3; 63:7

I will have compassionS Ps 102:13; S Isa 14:1; Hos 2:19 on you,”

says the Lord your Redeemer.S Isa 48:17

“To me this is like the days of Noah,

when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.S Ge 8:21

So now I have swornS Isa 14:24; S 49:18 not to be angryPs 13:1; 103:9; Isa 12:1; 57:16; Jer 3:5, 12; Eze 39:29; Mic 7:18 with you,

never to rebukeS Dt 28:20 you again.

10 Though the mountains be shakenS Ps 46:2; Rev 6:14

and the hills be removed,

yet my unfailing loveS Ps 6:4 for you will not be shakenS Isa 51:6; Heb 12:27

nor my covenantS Ge 9:16; Ex 34:10; Ps 89:34; S Isa 42:6 of peaceS Nu 25:12 be removed,”

says the Lord, who has compassionver 8; S Isa 14:1; 55:7 on you.

11 “AfflictedS Isa 14:32 city, lashed by stormsIsa 28:2; 29:6 and not comforted,S Isa 51:19

I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.1Ch 29:2; Rev 21:18

your foundationsS Isa 28:16; Rev 21:19-20 with lapis lazuli.S Ex 24:10; S Job 28:6

12 I will make your battlements of rubies,

your gatesRev 21:21 of sparkling jewels,

and all your walls of precious stones.

13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,S Isa 28:9; Mic 4:2; Jn 6:45*; Heb 8:11

and great will be their peace.S Lev 26:6; S Isa 48:18

14 In righteousnessS Isa 26:2 you will be established:Jer 30:20

TyrannyS 2Sa 7:10; S Isa 9:4 will be far from you;

you will have nothing to fear.Zep 3:15; Zec 9:8

TerrorS Isa 17:14 will be far removed;

it will not come near you.

15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;

whoever attacks you will surrenderIsa 41:11-16 to you.

16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmithS Isa 44:12

who fans the coals into flame

and forges a weaponS Isa 10:5 fit for its work.

And it is I who have created the destroyerS Isa 13:5 to wreak havoc;

17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,S Isa 29:8

and you will refuteS Isa 41:11 every tongue that accuses you.

This is the heritage of the servantsIsa 56:6-8; 63:17; 65:8, 9, 13-15; 66:14 of the Lord,

and this is their vindicationS Ps 17:2; Zec 1:20-21 from me,”

declares the Lord.

Invitation to the Thirsty

55 “Come, all you who are thirsty,S Pr 9:5; S Isa 35:7; Mt 5:6; Lk 6:21; Jn 4:14; 7:37

come to the waters;Jer 2:13; Eze 47:1, 12; Zec 14:8

and you who have no money,

come, buyLa 5:4; Mt 13:44; Rev 3:18 and eat!

Come, buy wine and milkS SS 5:1; 1Pe 2:2

without money and without cost.Hos 14:4; Mt 10:8; Rev 21:6; 22:17

Why spend money on what is not bread,

and your labor on what does not satisfy?Ps 22:26; Ecc 6:2; Isa 49:4; Jer 12:13; Hos 4:10; 8:7; Mic 6:14; Hag 1:6

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,S Isa 1:19

and you will delight in the richestS Isa 30:23 of fare.

Give ear and come to me;

listen,S Ps 78:1 that you may live.S Lev 18:5; S Jn 6:27; Ro 10:5

I will make an everlasting covenantS Ge 9:16; S Isa 54:10; S Heb 13:20 with you,

my faithful loveS Isa 54:8 promised to David.Ac 13:34*

See, I have made him a witnessRev 1:5 to the peoples,

a ruler and commanderS 1Sa 13:14; S 2Ch 7:18; S Isa 32:1 of the peoples.

Surely you will summon nationsS Isa 49:6 you know not,

and nations you do not know will come running to you,S Isa 2:3

because of the Lord your God,

the Holy OneS Isa 12:6; S 54:5 of Israel,

for he has endowed you with splendor.”S Isa 44:23

SeekS Dt 4:29; S 2Ch 15:2; S Isa 9:13 the Lord while he may be found;Ps 32:6; Isa 49:8; Ac 17:27; 2Co 6:1-2

callS Ps 50:15; Isa 65:24; Jer 29:12; 33:3 on him while he is near.

Let the wicked forsakeS 2Ch 7:14; S 30:9; Eze 18:27-28 their ways

and the unrighteous their thoughts.Isa 32:7; 59:7

Let them turnS Isa 44:22; S Jer 26:3; S Eze 18:32 to the Lord, and he will have mercyS Isa 54:10 on them,

and to our God, for he will freely pardon.S 2Ch 6:21; Isa 1:18; 40:2

“For my thoughtsPhp 2:5; 4:8 are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”Isa 53:6; Mic 4:12

declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,S Job 11:8; Ps 103:11

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.S Nu 23:19; S Isa 40:13-14

10 As the rainIsa 30:23 and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,S Lev 25:19; S Job 14:9; S Ps 67:6

so that it yields seedS Ge 47:23 for the sower and bread for the eater,2Co 9:10

11 so is my wordS Dt 32:2; Jn 1:1 that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,Isa 40:8; 45:23; S Mt 5:18; Heb 4:12

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purposeS Pr 19:21; S Isa 44:26; Eze 12:25 for which I sent it.

12 You will go out in joyS Ps 98:4; S Isa 35:2

and be led forth in peace;Isa 54:10, 13

the mountains and hills

will burst into songS Ps 65:12-13; S 96:12-13 before you,

and all the treesS 1Ch 16:33 of the field

will clap their hands.Ps 98:8

13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,

and instead of briersS Nu 33:55; S Isa 5:6 the myrtleIsa 41:19 will grow.

This will be for the Lord’s renown,S Ps 102:12; Isa 63:12; Jer 32:20; 33:9

for an everlasting sign,

that will endure forever.”

Salvation for Others

56 This is what the Lord says:

“Maintain justiceS Ps 11:7; S Isa 1:17; S Jer 22:3

and do what is right,S Isa 26:8

for my salvationS Ps 85:9 is close at hand

and my righteousnessJer 23:6; Da 9:24 will soon be revealed.

BlessedS Ps 119:2 is the one who does this—

the person who holds it fast,

who keeps the SabbathS Ex 20:8, 10 without desecrating it,

and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”

Let no foreignerS Ex 12:43; S 1Ki 8:41; S Isa 11:10; Zec 8:20-23 who is bound to the Lord say,

“The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”Dt 23:3

And let no eunuchS Lev 21:20; Jer 38:7 fn; Ac 8:27 complain,

“I am only a dry tree.”

For this is what the Lord says:

“To the eunuchsJer 38:7 fn who keep my Sabbaths,

who choose what pleases me

and hold fast to my covenantS Ex 31:13

to them I will give within my temple and its wallsIsa 26:1; 60:18

a memorialS Nu 32:42; 1Sa 15:12 and a name

better than sons and daughters;

I will give them an everlasting nameS Isa 43:7

that will endure forever.S Isa 48:19; 55:13

And foreignersS Ex 12:43; S 1Ki 8:41 who bind themselves to the Lord

to ministerS 1Ch 22:2; Isa 60:7, 10; 61:5 to him,

to love the nameMal 1:11 of the Lord,

and to be his servants,

all who keep the Sabbathver 2, 4 without desecrating it

and who hold fast to my covenant—

these I will bring to my holy mountainS Isa 2:2; Eze 20:40

and give them joy in my house of prayer.

Their burnt offerings and sacrificesS Isa 19:21; Ro 12:1; Php 4:18; Heb 13:15

will be accepted on my altar;

for my house will be called

a house of prayer for all nations.Mt 21:13*; Lk 19:46*Mk 11:17*

The Sovereign Lord declares—

he who gathers the exiles of Israel:

“I will gatherS Dt 30:4; S Isa 1:9; S 11:12; 60:3-11; Eze 34:12; Jn 10:16 still others to them

besides those already gathered.”

God’s Accusation Against the Wicked

Come, all you beasts of the field,Isa 18:6; Jer 12:9; Eze 34:5, 8; 39:17-20

come and devour, all you beasts of the forest!

10 Israel’s watchmenS Isa 52:8; 62:6; Jer 6:17; 31:6; Eze 3:17; 33:7 are blind,

they all lack knowledge;Jer 2:8; 10:21; 14:13-14

they are all mute dogs,

they cannot bark;

they lie around and dream,

they love to sleep.Na 3:18

11 They are dogs with mighty appetites;

they never have enough.

They are shepherdsJer 23:1; Eze 34:2 who lack understanding;Isa 1:3

they all turn to their own way,S Isa 53:6; Hos 4:7-8

they seek their own gain.Isa 57:17; Jer 6:13; 8:10; 22:17; Eze 13:19; Mic 3:11

12 “Come,” each one cries, “let me get wine!S Lev 10:9; S Pr 23:20; S Isa 22:13

Let us drink our fill of beer!

And tomorrow will be like today,

or even far better.”Ps 10:6; Lk 12:18-19

57 The righteous perish,S Ps 12:1; Eze 21:3

and no one takes it to heart;S Isa 42:25

the devout are taken away,

and no one understands

that the righteous are taken away

to be spared from evil.S 2Ki 22:20

Those who walk uprightlyIsa 26:7

enter into peace;

they find restDa 12:13 as they lie in death.

“But you—come here, you children of a sorceress,S Ex 22:18; Mal 3:5

you offspring of adulterersver 7-8; Mt 16:4; Jas 4:4 and prostitutes!Isa 1:21; Jer 2:20

Who are you mocking?

At whom do you sneer

and stick out your tongue?

Are you not a brood of rebels,S Isa 1:2

the offspring of liars?

You burn with lust among the oaksS Isa 1:29

and under every spreading tree;S Dt 12:2; 2Ki 16:4

you sacrifice your childrenS Lev 18:21; S Dt 18:10; Ps 106:37-38; Eze 16:20 in the ravines

and under the overhanging crags.

The idolsS 2Ki 17:10; Jer 3:9; Hab 2:19 among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion;

indeed, they are your lot.

Yes, to them you have poured out drink offeringsJer 7:18; 19:13; 44:18

and offered grain offerings.

In view of all this, should I relent?Jer 5:9, 29; 9:9

You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill;Jer 3:6; Eze 6:3; 16:16; 20:29

there you went up to offer your sacrifices.Isa 65:7; Jer 13:27; Eze 6:13; 20:27-28

Behind your doors and your doorposts

you have put your pagan symbols.

Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed,

you climbed into it and opened it wide;

you made a pact with those whose beds you love,Eze 16:26; 23:7

and you looked with lust on their naked bodies.Eze 16:15, 36; 23:18

You went to MolekOr to the kingS Lev 18:21; S 1Ki 11:5 with olive oil

and increased your perfumes.S SS 4:10

You sent your ambassadorsOr idolsEze 23:16, 40 far away;

you descended to the very realm of the dead!S Isa 8:19

10 You weariedS Isa 47:13 yourself by such going about,

but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’Jer 2:25; 18:12; Mal 3:14

You found renewal of your strength,S 1Sa 2:4

and so you did not faint.

11 “Whom have you so dreaded and fearedS 2Ki 1:15; Pr 29:25; Isa 7:2

that you have not been true to me,

and have neither rememberedS Isa 17:10; Jer 2:32; 3:21; 13:25; 18:15; Eze 22:12 me

nor taken this to heart?S Isa 42:23

Is it not because I have long been silentS Est 4:14; S Ps 50:21; S 83:1

that you do not fear me?

12 I will expose your righteousness and your works,Isa 29:15; 58:1; 59:6, 12; 65:7; 66:18; Eze 16:2; Mic 3:2-4, 8

and they will not benefit you.

13 When you cry outJer 22:20; 30:15 for help,

let your collection of idols saveS Jdg 10:14 you!

The wind will carry all of them off,

a mere breath will blowIsa 40:7, 24 them away.

But whoever takes refugeS Ps 118:8 in me

will inherit the landS Ps 37:9

and possess my holy mountain.”Isa 2:2-3; 56:7; 65:9-11

Comfort for the Contrite

14 And it will be said:

“Build up, build up, prepare the road!S Isa 11:16

Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”Isa 62:10; Jer 18:15

Future Glory for Jerusalem

54 “Sing, O childless woman,

you who have never given birth!

Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem,

you who have never been in labor.

For the desolate woman now has more children

than the woman who lives with her husband,”

says the Lord.

“Enlarge your house; build an addition.

Spread out your home, and spare no expense!

For you will soon be bursting at the seams.

Your descendants will occupy other nations

and resettle the ruined cities.

“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame.

Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you.

You will no longer remember the shame of your youth

and the sorrows of widowhood.

For your Creator will be your husband;

the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name!

He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,

the God of all the earth.

For the Lord has called you back from your grief—

as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband,”

says your God.

“For a brief moment I abandoned you,

but with great compassion I will take you back.

In a burst of anger I turned my face away for a little while.

But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”

says the Lord, your Redeemer.

“Just as I swore in the time of Noah

that I would never again let a flood cover the earth,

so now I swear

that I will never again be angry and punish you.

10 For the mountains may move

and the hills disappear,

but even then my faithful love for you will remain.

My covenant of blessing will never be broken,”

says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

11 “O storm-battered city,

troubled and desolate!

I will rebuild you with precious jewels

and make your foundations from lapis lazuli.

12 I will make your towers of sparkling rubies,

your gates of shining gems,

and your walls of precious stones.

13 I will teach all your children,

and they will enjoy great peace.

14 You will be secure under a government that is just and fair.

Your enemies will stay far away.

You will live in peace,

and terror will not come near.

15 If any nation comes to fight you,

it is not because I sent them.

Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat.

16 “I have created the blacksmith

who fans the coals beneath the forge

and makes the weapons of destruction.

And I have created the armies that destroy.

17 But in that coming day

no weapon turned against you will succeed.

You will silence every voice

raised up to accuse you.

These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord;

their vindication will come from me.

I, the Lord, have spoken!

Invitation to the Lord’s Salvation

55 “Is anyone thirsty?

Come and drink—

even if you have no money!

Come, take your choice of wine or milk—

it’s all free!

Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?

Why pay for food that does you no good?

Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.

You will enjoy the finest food.

“Come to me with your ears wide open.

Listen, and you will find life.

I will make an everlasting covenant with you.

I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.

See how I used him to display my power among the peoples.

I made him a leader among the nations.

You also will command nations you do not know,

and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey,

because I, the Lord your God,

the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”

Seek the Lord while you can find him.

Call on him now while he is near.

Let the wicked change their ways

and banish the very thought of doing wrong.

Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.

Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.

“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so my ways are higher than your ways

and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens

and stay on the ground to water the earth.

They cause the grain to grow,

producing seed for the farmer

and bread for the hungry.

11 It is the same with my word.

I send it out, and it always produces fruit.

It will accomplish all I want it to,

and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

12 You will live in joy and peace.

The mountains and hills will burst into song,

and the trees of the field will clap their hands!

13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.

Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.

These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name;

they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

Blessings for All Nations

56 This is what the Lord says:

“Be just and fair to all.

Do what is right and good,

for I am coming soon to rescue you

and to display my righteousness among you.

Blessed are all those

who are careful to do this.

Blessed are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest

and keep themselves from doing wrong.

“Don’t let foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord say,

‘The Lord will never let me be part of his people.’

And don’t let the eunuchs say,

‘I’m a dried-up tree with no children and no future.’

For this is what the Lord says:

I will bless those eunuchs

who keep my Sabbath days holy

and who choose to do what pleases me

and commit their lives to me.

I will give them—within the walls of my house—

a memorial and a name

far greater than sons and daughters could give.

For the name I give them is an everlasting one.

It will never disappear!

“I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord,

who serve him and love his name,

who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest,

and who hold fast to my covenant.

I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem

and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer.

I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices,

because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.

For the Sovereign Lord,

who brings back the outcasts of Israel, says:

I will bring others, too,

besides my people Israel.”

Sinful Leaders Condemned

Come, wild animals of the field!

Come, wild animals of the forest!

Come and devour my people!

10 For the leaders of my people—

the Lord’s watchmen, his shepherds—

are blind and ignorant.

They are like silent watchdogs

that give no warning when danger comes.

They love to lie around, sleeping and dreaming.

11 Like greedy dogs, they are never satisfied.

They are ignorant shepherds,

all following their own path

and intent on personal gain.

12 “Come,” they say, “let’s get some wine and have a party.

Let’s all get drunk.

Then tomorrow we’ll do it again

and have an even bigger party!”

57 Good people pass away;

the godly often die before their time.

But no one seems to care or wonder why.

No one seems to understand

that God is protecting them from the evil to come.

For those who follow godly paths

will rest in peace when they die.

Idolatrous Worship Condemned

“But you—come here, you witches’ children,

you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!

Whom do you mock,

making faces and sticking out your tongues?

You children of sinners and liars!

You worship your idols with great passion

beneath the oaks and under every green tree.

You sacrifice your children down in the valleys,

among the jagged rocks in the cliffs.

Your gods are the smooth stones in the valleys.

You worship them with liquid offerings and grain offerings.

They, not I, are your inheritance.

Do you think all this makes me happy?

You have committed adultery on every high mountain.

There you have worshiped idols

and have been unfaithful to me.

You have put pagan symbols

on your doorposts and behind your doors.

You have left me

and climbed into bed with these detestable gods.

You have committed yourselves to them.

You love to look at their naked bodies.

You have gone to MolechOr to the king.

with olive oil and many perfumes,

sending your agents far and wide,

even to the world of the dead.Hebrew to Sheol.

10 You grew weary in your search,

but you never gave up.

Desire gave you renewed strength,

and you did not grow weary.

11 “Are you afraid of these idols?

Do they terrify you?

Is that why you have lied to me

and forgotten me and my words?

Is it because of my long silence

that you no longer fear me?

12 Now I will expose your so-called good deeds.

None of them will help you.

13 Let’s see if your idols can save you

when you cry to them for help.

Why, a puff of wind can knock them down!

If you just breathe on them, they fall over!

But whoever trusts in me will inherit the land

and possess my holy mountain.”

God Forgives the Repentant

14 God says, “Rebuild the road!

Clear away the rocks and stones

so my people can return from captivity.”

54 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.

Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.

For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.

13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.

16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

55 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

56 Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.

Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.

Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.

For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;

Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;

Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

The Lord God, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.

All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest.

10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

12 Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.

57 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.

But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.

Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood.

Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks?

Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?

Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice.

Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it.

And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.

10 Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved.

11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not?

12 I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.

13 When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;

14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.

Ephesians 6:1-24

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.Pr 6:20; Col 3:20“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”Deut. 5:16Ex 20:12; Dt 5:16

Fathers,Or Parents do not exasperate your children;Col 3:21 instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.Ge 18:19; Dt 6:7; Pr 13:24; 22:6

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect1Ti 6:1; Tit 2:9; 1Pe 2:18 and fear, and with sincerity of heart,Col 3:22 just as you would obey Christ.Eph 5:22Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ,S Ro 6:22 doing the will of God from your heart.Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,Col 3:23because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do,S Mt 16:27; Col 3:24 whether they are slave or free.

And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yoursJob 31:13, 14 is in heaven, and there is no favoritismS Ac 10:34 with him.

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord2Sa 10:12; Ps 27:14; Hag 2:4; 1Co 16:13; 2Ti 2:1 and in his mighty power.Eph 1:1911 Put on the full armor of God,ver 13; Ro 13:12; 1Th 5:8 so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,1Co 15:50; Heb 2:14 but against the rulers, against the authorities,Eph 1:21; 3:10 against the powersRo 8:38 of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.S Eph 1:313 Therefore put on the full armor of God,ver 11; S 2Co 6:7 so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,Isa 11:5 with the breastplate of righteousness in place,Ps 132:9; Isa 59:17; 1Th 5:815 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.Isa 52:7; Ro 10:1516 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,1Jn 5:4 with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.S Mt 5:3717 Take the helmet of salvationIsa 59:17 and the sword of the Spirit,Isa 49:2 which is the word of God.S Heb 4:12

18 And pray in the SpiritRo 8:26, 27 on all occasionsS Lk 18:1 with all kinds of prayers and requests.Mt 26:41; Php 1:4; 4:6 With this in mind, be alert and always keep on prayingS Ac 1:14; Col 1:3 for all the Lord’s people.19 Pray also for me,S 1Th 5:25 that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlesslyS Ac 4:29 make known the mysteryS Ro 16:25 of the gospel,20 for which I am an ambassador2Co 5:20 in chains.S Ac 21:33 Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Final Greetings

21 Tychicus,S Ac 20:4 the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing.22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are,Col 4:7-9 and that he may encourage you.Col 2:2; 4:8

23 PeaceGal 6:16; 2Th 3:16; 1Pe 5:14 to the brothers and sisters,The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family. and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.Or Grace and immortality to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.

Children and Parents

Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord,Or Children, obey your parents who belong to the Lord; some manuscripts read simply Children, obey your parents. for this is the right thing to do.“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise:If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”Exod 20:12; Deut 5:16.

Fathers,Or Parents. do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Slaves and Masters

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart.Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.

Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.

The Whole Armor of God

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.12 For weSome manuscripts read you. are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.Or For shoes, put on the readiness to preach the Good News of peace with God.16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.Greek the evil one.17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.Greek all of God’s holy people.

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.Greek explain the mystery of the Good News; some manuscripts read simply explain the mystery.20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

Final Greetings

21 To bring you up to date, Tychicus will give you a full report about what I am doing and how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper in the Lord’s work.22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.

23 Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters,Greek brothers. and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness.24 May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Psalm 70:1-5

Psalm 70In Hebrew texts 70:1-5 is numbered 70:2-6.70:1-5pp — Ps 40:13-17

For the director of music. Of David. A petition.

Hasten, O God, to save me;

come quickly, Lord, to help me.Ps 22:19; 71:12

May those who want to take my lifePs 35:4

be put to shame and confusion;

may all who desire my ruin

be turned back in disgrace.Ps 6:10; 35:26; 71:13; 109:29; 129:5

May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”S Ps 35:21

turn back because of their shame.

But may all who seek youPs 9:10

rejoice and be gladPs 31:6-7; 32:11; 118:24 in you;

may those who long for your saving help always say,

“The Lord is great!”Ps 35:27

But as for me, I am poor and needy;Ps 86:1; 109:22

come quickly to me,Ps 141:1 O God.

You are my helpPs 30:10; 33:20 and my deliverer;Ps 18:2

Lord, do not delay.Ps 119:60

Psalm 70

For the choir director: A psalm of David, asking God to remember him.

Please, God, rescue me!

Come quickly, Lord, and help me.

May those who try to kill me

be humiliated and put to shame.

May those who take delight in my trouble

be turned back in disgrace.

Let them be horrified by their shame,

for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”

But may all who search for you

be filled with joy and gladness in you.

May those who love your salvation

repeatedly shout, “God is great!”

But as for me, I am poor and needy;

please hurry to my aid, O God.

You are my helper and my savior;

O Lord, do not delay.

70 Make haste, o God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord.

Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.

Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.

Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.

But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying.

Proverbs 24:8

Saying 24

Whoever plots evil

will be known as a schemer.

A person who plans evil

will get a reputation as a troublemaker.

He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.

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