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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 5 and 6

Isaiah 5

5:1 God's Disappointing Vineyard

Now let me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard:
My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill. 2 He dug it up and cleared out its stones,And planted it with the choicest vine.He built a tower in its midst,And also made a winepress in it;So He expected it to bring forth good grapes,But it brought forth wild grapes.
3 "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard. 4 What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it?Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,Did it bring forth wild grapes? 5 And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard:I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned;And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. 6 I will lay it waste;It shall not be pruned or dug,But there shall come up briers and thorns.I will also command the clouds That they rain no rain on it."
7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.
8 Impending Judgment on Excesses

Woe to those who join house to house;They add field to field,Till there is no place Where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land! 9 In my hearing the LORD of hosts said,"Truly, many houses shall be desolate,Great and beautiful ones, without inhabitant. 10 For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath,And a homer of seed shall yield one ephah."
11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning,That they may follow intoxicating drink;Who continue until night, till wine inflames them! 12 The harp and the strings,The tambourine and flute,And wine are in their feasts;But they do not regard the work of the LORD,Nor consider the operation of His hands.
13 Therefore my people have gone into captivity,Because they have no knowledge;Their honorable men are famished,And their multitude dried up with thirst. 14 Therefore Sheol has enlarged itself And opened its mouth beyond measure;Their glory and their multitude and their pomp,And he who is jubilant, shall descend into it. 15 People shall be brought down,Each man shall be humbled,And the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled. 16 But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment,And God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness. 17 Then the lambs shall feed in their pasture,And in the waste places of the fat ones strangers shall eat.
18 Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity,And sin as if with a cart rope; 19 That say, "Let Him make speed and hasten His work,That we may see it;And let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come,That we may know it."
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,And prudent in their own sight!
22 Woe to men mighty at drinking wine,Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, 23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe,And take away justice from the righteous man!
24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble,And the flame consumes the chaff,So their root will be as rottenness,And their blossom will ascend like dust;Because they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. 25 Therefore the anger of the LORD is aroused against His people;He has stretched out His hand against them And stricken them,And the hills trembled.Their carcasses were as refuse in the midst of the streets.
For all this His anger is not turned away,But His hand is stretched out still.
26 He will lift up a banner to the nations from afar,And will whistle to them from the end of the earth;Surely they shall come with speed, swiftly. 27 No one will be weary or stumble among them,No one will slumber or sleep;Nor will the belt on their loins be loosed,Nor the strap of their sandals be broken; 28 Whose arrows are sharp,And all their bows bent;Their horses' hooves will seem like flint,And their wheels like a whirlwind. 29 Their roaring will be like a lion,They will roar like young lions;Yes, they will roar And lay hold of the prey;They will carry it away safely,And no one will deliver. 30 In that day they will roar against them Like the roaring of the sea.And if one looks to the land,Behold, darkness and sorrow;And the light is darkened by the clouds.

Isaiah 6

6:1 Isaiah Called to Be a Prophet
(cf. Ezek 1:4-28)

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;The whole earth is full of His glory!"
4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 So I said:
"Woe is me, for I am undone!Because I am a man of unclean lips,And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;For my eyes have seen the King,The LORD of hosts."
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said:
"Behold, this has touched your lips;Your iniquity is taken away,And your sin purged."
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
"Whom shall I send,And who will go for Us?"
Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."
9 And He said, "Go, and tell this people:
'Keep on hearing, but do not understand;Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.'
10 "Make the heart of this people dull,And their ears heavy,And shut their eyes;Lest they see with their eyes,And hear with their ears,And understand with their heart,And return and be healed."
11 Then I said, "Lord, how long?"
And He answered:
"Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant,The houses are without a man,The land is utterly desolate, 12 The LORD has removed men far away,And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. 13 But yet a tenth will be in it,And will return and be for consuming,As a terebinth tree or as an oak,Whose stump remains when it is cut down.So the holy seed shall be its stump."

Second Reading: Ephesians Chapter 1

Ephesians 1

1:1 Greeting

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Redemption in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth — in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
15 Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease 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 to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His 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 age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Bible Background



Part 3 of 4

Isaiah is one of the most quoted Old Testaments books by New Testament writers. Many verses in Isaiah concern the coming Messiah:


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