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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 15 and 16 and 17

Isaiah 15

15:1 An oracle concerning Moab:
Ar in Moab is ruined,destroyed in a night!Kir in Moab is ruined,destroyed in a night! 2 Dibon goes up to its temple,to its high places to weep;Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba.Every head is shaved and every beard cut off. 3 In the streets they wear sackcloth;on the roofs and in the public squares they all wail,prostrate with weeping. 4 Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,their voices are heard all the way to Jahaz.Therefore the armed men of Moab cry out,and their hearts are faint.
5 My heart cries out over Moab;her fugitives flee as far as Zoar,as far as Eglath Shelishiyah.They go up the way to Luhith,weeping as they go;on the road to Horonaim they lament their destruction. 6 The waters of Nimrim are dried up and the grass is withered;the vegetation is gone and nothing green is left. 7 So the wealth they have acquired and stored up they carry away over the Ravine of the Poplars. 8 Their outcry echoes along the border of Moab;their wailing reaches as far as Eglaim,their lamentation as far as Beer Elim. 9 Dimon's waters are full of blood,but I will bring still more upon Dimon — a lion upon the fugitives of Moab and upon those who remain in the land.
Isaiah 16

Send lambs as tribute to the ruler of the land,from Sela, across the desert,to the mount of the Daughter of Zion. 2 Like fluttering birds pushed from the nest,so are the women of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.
3 "Give us counsel,render a decision.Make your shadow like night — at high noon.Hide the fugitives,do not betray the refugees. 4 Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you;be their shelter from the destroyer."
The oppressor will come to an end,and destruction will cease;the aggressor will vanish from the land. 5 In love a throne will be established;in faithfulness a man will sit on it — one from the house of David — one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.
6 We have heard of Moab's pride — her overweening pride and conceit,her pride and her insolence — but her boasts are empty. 7 Therefore the Moabites wail,they wail together for Moab.Lament and grieve for the men of Kir Hareseth. 8 The fields of Heshbon wither,the vines of Sibmah also.The rulers of the nations have trampled down the choicest vines,which once reached Jazer and spread toward the desert.Their shoots spread out and went as far as the sea. 9 So I weep, as Jazer weeps,for the vines of Sibmah.O Heshbon, O Elealeh,I drench you with tears!The shouts of joy over your ripened fruit and over your harvests have been stilled. 10 Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards;no one sings or shouts in the vineyards;no one treads out wine at the presses,for I have put an end to the shouting. 11 My heart laments for Moab like a harp,my inmost being for Kir Hareseth. 12 When Moab appears at her high place,she only wears herself out;when she goes to her shrine to pray,it is to no avail.
13 This is the word the LORD has already spoken concerning Moab. 14 But now the LORD says: "Within three years, as a servant bound by contract would count them, Moab's splendor and all her many people will be despised, and her survivors will be very few and feeble."

Isaiah 17

17:1 An oracle concerning Damascus:
"See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. 2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down,with no one to make them afraid. 3 The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,and royal power from Damascus;the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites," declares the LORD Almighty.
4 "In that day the glory of Jacob will fade;the fat of his body will waste away. 5 It will be as when a reaper gathers the standing grain and harvests the grain with his arm — as when a man gleans heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. 6 Yet some gleanings will remain,as when an olive tree is beaten,leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches,four or five on the fruitful boughs," declares the LORD, the God of Israel.
7 In that day men will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. 8 They will not look to the altars,the work of their hands,and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made.
9 In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation.
10 You have forgotten God your Savior;you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant imported vines, 11 though on the day you set them out, you make them grow,and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud,yet the harvest will be as nothing in the day of disease and incurable pain.
12 Oh, the raging of many nations — they rage like the raging sea!Oh, the uproar of the peoples — they roar like the roaring of great waters! 13 Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters,when he rebukes them they flee far away,driven before the wind like chaff on the hills,like tumbleweed before a gale. 14 In the evening, sudden terror!Before the morning, they are gone!This is the portion of those who loot us,the lot of those who plunder us.
Second Reading: Ephesians Chapter 6

Ephesians 6

6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother"-which is the first commandment with a promise- 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, 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, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
21 Tychicus, 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, and that he may encourage you.
23 Peace to the brothers, 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.

Bible Background



Part 2 of 2

The call of Isaiah is recorded in chapter 6. He records a vision that he sees and is convinced he has seen the glory of God. He is humbled and calls himself "a man of unclean lips." He expects to die because he is so unworthy to see this vision. But God sends a seraph to touch is lips with a live coal and God declares that his guilt is removed and his sin atoned for. After Isaiah goes through this experience God questions him: "Whom shall I send? and who will go for us?" Isaiah's immediate answer is:

"Here am I. Send me!"


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