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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 59 and 60

Isaiah 59

59:1 Separated from God

Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened,That it cannot save;Nor His ear heavy,That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God;And your sins have hidden 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 has muttered perversity.
4 No one calls for justice,Nor does any plead for truth.They trust in empty words and speak lies;They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. 5 They hatch vipers' eggs and weave the spider's web;He who eats of their eggs dies,And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.
6 Their webs will not become garments,Nor will 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;Wasting and destruction are in their paths. 8 The way of peace they have not known,And there is no justice in their ways;They have made themselves crooked paths;Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.
9 Sin Confessed

Therefore justice is far from us,Nor does righteousness overtake us;We look for light, but there is darkness!For brightness, but we walk in blackness! 10 We grope for the wall like the blind,And we grope as if we had no eyes;We stumble at noonday as at twilight;We are as dead men in desolate places. 11 We all growl like bears,And moan sadly like doves;We look for justice, but there is none;For salvation, but it is far from us. 12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You,And our sins testify against us;For our transgressions are with us,And as for our iniquities, we know them: 13 In transgressing and lying against the LORD,And departing from our God,Speaking oppression and revolt,Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. 14 Justice is turned back,And righteousness stands afar off;For truth is fallen in the street,And equity cannot enter. 15 So truth fails,And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
The Redeemer of Zion

Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him That there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man,And wondered that there was no intercessor;Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;And His own righteousness, it sustained Him. 17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,And a helmet of salvation on His head;He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,And was clad with zeal as a cloak. 18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay,Fury to His adversaries,Recompense to His enemies;The coastlands He will fully repay. 19 So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west,And His glory from the rising of the sun;When the enemy comes in like a flood,The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.
20 "The Redeemer will come to Zion,And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,"Says the LORD.
21 "As for Me," says the LORD, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says the LORD, "from this time and forevermore."

Isaiah 60

60:1 The Gentiles Bless Zion

Arise, shine;For your light has come!And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,And deep darkness the people;But the LORD will arise over you,And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light,And kings to the brightness of your rising.
4 "Lift up your eyes all around, and see:They all gather together, they come to you;Your sons shall come from afar,And your daughters shall be nursed at your side. 5 Then you shall see and become radiant,And your heart shall swell with joy;Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you. 6 The multitude of camels shall cover your land,The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;All those from Sheba shall come;They shall bring gold and incense,And they shall proclaim the praises of the LORD. 7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you,The rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;They shall ascend with acceptance on My altar,And I will glorify the house of My glory.
8 "Who are these who fly like a cloud,And like doves to their roosts? 9 Surely the coastlands shall wait for Me;And the ships of Tarshish will come first,To bring your sons from afar,Their silver and their gold with them,To the name of the LORD your God,And to the Holy One of Israel,Because He has glorified you.
10 "The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls,And their kings shall minister to you;For in My wrath I struck you,But in My favor I have had mercy on you. 11 Therefore your gates shall be open continually;They shall not be shut day or night,That men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles,And their kings in procession. 12 For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish,And those nations shall be utterly ruined.
13 "The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,The cypress, 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 Also the sons of those who afflicted you Shall come bowing to you,And all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet;And they shall call you The City of the LORD,Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15 "Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,So that no one went through you,I will make you an eternal excellence,A joy of many generations. 16 You shall drink the milk of the Gentiles,And milk the breast of kings;You shall know that I, the LORD, am your SaviorAnd your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
17 "Instead of bronze I will bring gold,Instead of iron I will bring silver,Instead of wood, bronze,And instead of stones, iron.I will also make your officers peace,And your magistrates righteousness. 18 Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,Neither wasting nor destruction within your borders;But you shall call your walls Salvation,And your gates Praise.
19 God the Glory of His People

"The sun shall no longer be your light by day,Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you;But the LORD will be to you an everlasting light,And your God your glory. 20 Your sun shall no longer go down,Nor shall your moon withdraw itself;For the LORD will be your everlasting light,And the days of your mourning shall be ended. 21 Also your people shall all be righteous;They shall inherit the land forever,The branch of My planting,The work of My hands,That I may be glorified. 22 A little one shall become a thousand,And a small one a strong nation.I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time."

Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 86

Psalms 86

86:1 Prayer for Mercy, with Meditation on the Excellencies of the LORD

A Prayer of David.
Bow down Your ear, O LORD, hear me;For I am poor and needy. 2 Preserve my life, for I am holy;You are my God;Save Your servant who trusts in You! 3 Be merciful to me, O Lord,For I cry to You all day long. 4 Rejoice the soul of Your servant,For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;And attend to the voice of my supplications. 7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon You,For You will answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;Nor are there any works like Your works. 9 All nations whom You have made Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,And shall glorify Your name. 10 For You are great, and do wondrous things;You alone are God.
11 Teach me Your way, O LORD;I will walk in Your truth;Unite my heart to fear Your name. 12 I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,And I will glorify Your name forevermore. 13 For great is Your mercy toward me,And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
14 O God, the proud have risen against me,And a mob of violent men have sought my life,And have not set You before them. 15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.
16 Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me!Give Your strength to Your servant,And save the son of Your maidservant. 17 Show me a sign for good,That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,Because You, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

Bible Background

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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