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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 59 and 60
1 Behold, Jehovah's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue muttereth wickedness.
4 None sueth in righteousness, and none pleadeth in truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
5 They hatch adders' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth; and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their paths.
8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no justice in their goings: they have made them crooked paths; whosoever goeth therein doth not know peace.
9 Therefore is justice far from us, neither doth righteousness overtake us: we look for light, but, behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in obscurity.
10 We grope for the wall like the blind; yea, we grope as they that have no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the twilight; among them that are lusty we are as dead men.
11 We roar all like bears, and moan sore like doves: we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know them:
13 transgressing and denying Jehovah, and turning away from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
14 And justice is turned away backward, and righteousness standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and uprightness cannot enter.
15 Yea, truth is lacking; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. And Jehovah saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.
16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his own arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it upheld him.
17 And he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a mantle.
18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, wrath to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense.
19 So shall they fear the name of Jehovah from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come as a rushing stream, which the breath of Jehovah driveth.
20 And a Redeemer will come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith Jehovah.
21 And as for me, this is my covenant with them, saith Jehovah: my Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith Jehovah, from henceforth and for ever.
1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee.
2 For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but Jehovah will arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3 And nations shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: they all gather themselves together, they come to thee; thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be carried in the arms.
5 Then thou shalt see and be radiant, and thy heart shall thrill and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned unto thee, the wealth of the nations shall come unto thee.
6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praises of Jehovah.
7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee; they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar; and I will glorify the house of my glory.
8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, for the name of Jehovah thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
10 And foreigners shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee.
11 Thy gates also shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the wealth of the nations, and their kings led captive.
12 For that nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine, and the box-tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
14 And the sons of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee The city of Jehovah, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15 Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man passed through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the nations, and shalt suck the breast of kings; and thou shalt know that I, Jehovah, am thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron. I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.
18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, desolation nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but Jehovah will be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
20 Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for Jehovah will be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
21 Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
22 The little one shall become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation; I, Jehovah, will hasten it in its time.
Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 86
1 Bow down thine ear, O Jehovah, and answer me; For I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my soul; for I am godly: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.
3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord; For unto thee do I cry all the day long.
4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant; For unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness unto all them that call upon thee.
6 Give ear, O Jehovah, unto my prayer; And hearken unto the voice of my supplications.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee; For thou wilt answer me.
8 There is none like unto thee among the gods, O Lord; Neither `are there any works' like unto thy works.
9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; And they shall glorify thy name.
10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone.
11 Teach me thy way, O Jehovah; I will walk in thy truth: Unite my heart to fear thy name.
12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart; And I will glorify thy name for evermore.
13 For great is thy lovingkindness toward me; And thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest Sheol.
14 O God, the proud are risen up against me, And a company of violent men have sought after my soul, And have not set thee before them.
15 But thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
16 Oh turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; Give thy strength unto thy servant, And save the son of thy handmaid.
17 Show me a token for good, That they who hate me may see it, and be put to shame, Because thou, Jehovah, hast helped me, and comforted me. Psalm 87 A Psalm of the sons of Korah; a Song.
WHO IS GOD?
THE WORD OF GOD
The word of God is described in Hebrews 4:12 - "The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
The Bible is the word of God. But it is only one manifestation of the "word" of God. Listen to these verses:
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