Select: First Reading Second Reading Bible Background
First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 47 and 48
1 Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.
2 Take the millstones, and grind meal; remove thy veil, strip off the train, uncover the leg, pass through the rivers.
3 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and will spare no man.
4 Our Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel.
5 Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt no more be called The mistress of kingdoms.
6 I was wroth with my people, I profaned mine inheritance, and gave them into thy hand: thou didst show them no mercy; upon the aged hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke.
7 And thou saidst, I shall be mistress for ever; so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end thereof.
8 Now therefore hear this, thou that art given to pleasures, that sittest securely, that sayest in thy heart, I am, and there is none else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:
9 but these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood; in their full measure shall they come upon thee, in the multitude of thy sorceries, and the great abundance of thine enchantments.
10 For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness; thou hast said, None seeth me; thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee, and thou hast said in thy heart, I am, and there is none else besides me.
11 Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know the dawning thereof: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it away: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou knowest not.
12 Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast labored from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.
13 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels: let now the astrologers, the star-gazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from the things that shall come upon thee.
14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: it shall not be a coal to warm at, nor a fire to sit before.
15 Thus shall the things be unto thee wherein thou hast labored: they that have trafficked with thee from thy youth shall wander every one to his quarter; there shall be none to save thee.
1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah; who swear by the name of Jehovah, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness.
2 (for they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; Jehovah of hosts is his name):
3 I have declared the former things from of old; yea, they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them: suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.
4 Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;
5 therefore I have declared it to thee from of old; before it came to pass I showed it thee; lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.
6 Thou hast heard it; behold all this; and ye, will ye not declare it? I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, which thou hast not known.
7 They are created now, and not from of old; and before this day thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them.
8 Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from of old thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou didst deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.
9 For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.
10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not as silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
11 For mine own sake, for mine own sake, will I do it; for how should `my name' be profaned? and my glory will I not give to another.
12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob, and Israel my called: I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
13 Yea, my hand hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spread out the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.
14 Assemble yourselves, all ye, and hear; who among them hath declared these things? He whom Jehovah loveth shall perform his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm `shall be on' the Chaldeans.
15 I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him; I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.
16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; from the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord Jehovah hath sent me, and his Spirit.
17 Thus saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am Jehovah thy God, who teacheth thee to profit, who leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
18 Oh that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
19 thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the grains thereof: his name would not be cut off nor destroyed from before me.
20 Go ye forth from Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth: say ye, Jehovah hath redeemed his servant Jacob.
21 And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts; he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out.
22 There is no peace, saith Jehovah, to the wicked.
Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 84
1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Jehovah of hosts!
2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of Jehovah; My heart and my flesh cry out unto the living God.
3 Yea, the sparrow hath found her a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even thine altars, O Jehovah of hosts, My King, and my God.
4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: They will be still praising thee. Selah
5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; In whose heart are the highways `to Zion'.
6 Passing through the valley of Weeping they make it a place of springs; Yea, the early rain covereth it with blessings.
7 They go from strength to strength; Every one of them appeareth before God in Zion.
8 O Jehovah God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah
9 Behold, O God our shield, And look upon the face of thine anointed.
10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, Than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For Jehovah God is a sun and a shield: Jehovah will give grace and glory; No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
12 O Jehovah of hosts, Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. Psalm 85 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO ABRAHAM
Part 5 of 5
SECTION IV - THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM
The gospel or good news of God's promises and His plans for the future were definitely
preached to Abraham. And Abraham believed. The message and the promise has not
changed. Abraham was willing to leave his country and his family because he was
looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
He died not receiving the land promised but knowing there would be time that he
would receive it. He was willing to sacrifice his promised son because he "reasoned
that God could raise him from the dead."
The Bible, in several places, very carefully traces the physical lineage of the seed of the women, finally coming to Jesus. The lineage involved can be traced from the first sinners to faith filled believers. And all through the physical lineage, it is the lineage of faith that stands out. Abraham was not just the father of many nations, he is much more the father of the faithful. He believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. From the beginning of the scriptures it was not law that saved or brought righteousness, but faith and belief and the grace of God.
How did Abraham understand concerning the future plans of God and of the resurrection of the dead. The promises certainly tell of land given "forever" and untold blessings to all the world but did he know and understand the details? Was he told a lot more than we have record of? It's possible. Or did he simply take God at his word whether he completely understood it or not? That's possible also. What we do know is that he believed God and acted on that belief.
James (chapter 2:20-24) testifies to Abraham's faith: "You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did."
The lineage passes from Eve down through Jesus on a physical level. The true seed and the receiving of the promises are passed through faith and through Christ: "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise."For more information see Galatians 3, Romans 4, Hebrews 11, and Acts 7.
Select: First Reading Second Reading Bible Background