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First Reading: Micah Chapter 6 and 7
6:1 God Pleads with Israel
Hear now what the LORD says:
"Arise, plead your case before the mountains,And let the hills hear your voice. 2 Hear, O you mountains, the LORD's complaint,And you strong foundations of the earth;For the LORD has a complaint against His people,And He will contend with Israel.
3 "O My people, what have I done to you?And how have I wearied you?Testify against Me. 4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,I redeemed you from the house of bondage;And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. 5 O My people, remember now What Balak king of Moab counseled,And what Balaam the son of Beor answered him,From Acacia Grove to Gilgal,That you may know the righteousness of the LORD."
6 With what shall I come before the LORD,And bow myself before the High God?Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,With calves a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,Ten thousand rivers of oil?Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly,To love mercy,And to walk humbly with your God?
9 Punishment of Israel's Injustice
The LORD's voice cries to the city Wisdom shall see Your name:
"Hear the rod!Who has appointed it? 10 Are there yet the treasures of wickedness In the house of the wicked,And the short measure that is an abomination? 11 Shall I count pure those with the wicked scales,And with the bag of deceitful weights? 12 For her rich men are full of violence,Her inhabitants have spoken lies,And their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
13 "Therefore I will also make you sick by striking you,By making you desolate because of your sins. 14 You shall eat, but not be satisfied;Hunger shall be in your midst.You may carry some away, but shall not save them;And what you do rescue I will give over to the sword.
15 "You shall sow, but not reap;You shall tread the olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;And make sweet wine, but not drink wine. 16 For the statutes of Omri are kept;All the works of Ahab's house are done;And you walk in their counsels,That I may make you a desolation,And your inhabitants a hissing.Therefore you shall bear the reproach of My people."
7:1 Sorrow for Israel's Sins
Woe is me!For I am like those who gather summer fruits,Like those who glean
vintage grapes;There is no cluster to eat Of the first-ripe fruit which my soul
desires. 2 The faithful man has perished from the earth,And there is no one
upright among men.They all lie in wait for blood;Every man hunts his brother
with a net.
3 That they may successfully do evil with both hands The prince asks for gifts,The judge seeks a bribe,And the great man utters his evil desire;So they scheme together. 4 The best of them is like a brier;The most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge;The day of your watchman and your punishment comes;Now shall be their perplexity.
5 Do not trust in a friend;Do not put your confidence in a companion;Guard the doors of your mouth From her who lies in your bosom. 6 For son dishonors father,Daughter rises against her mother,Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;A man's enemies are the men of his own household. 7 Therefore I will look to the LORD;I will wait for the God of my salvation;My God will hear me.
8 Israel's Confession and Comfort
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;When I fall, I will arise;When I sit in darkness,The
LORD will be a light to me. 9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD,Because
I have sinned against Him,Until He pleads my case And executes justice for me.He
will bring me forth to the light;I will see His righteousness. 10 Then she who
is my enemy will see,And shame will cover her who said to me,"Where is
the LORD your God?"My eyes will see her;Now she will be trampled down Like
mud in the streets.
11 In the day when your walls are to be built,In that day the decree shall go far and wide. 12 In that day they shall come to you From Assyria and the fortified cities, From the fortress to the River, From sea to sea,And mountain to mountain. 13 Yet the land shall be desolate Because of those who dwell in it,And for the fruit of their deeds.
14 God Will Forgive Israel
Shepherd Your people with Your staff,The flock of Your heritage,Who dwell solitarily in a woodland,In the midst of Carmel;Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,As in days of old.
15 "As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt,I will show them wonders."
16 The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;They shall put their hand over their mouth;Their ears shall be deaf. 17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent;They shall crawl from their holes like snakes of the earth.They shall be afraid of the LORD our God,And shall fear because of You. 18 Who is a God like You,Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?
He does not retain His anger forever,Because He delights in mercy. 19 He will again have compassion on us,And will subdue our iniquities.
You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. 20 You will give truth to JacobAnd mercy to Abraham,Which You have sworn to our fathers From days of old.
2 Thessalonians 1
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 God's Final Judgment and Glory
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because
your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward
each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for
your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure,
5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may
be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since
it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble
you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is
revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance
on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our
Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from
the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes,
in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those
who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
The theme of Paul's second letter to the Thessalonian believers is "Christ as our victory." A key verse is chapter 1:7-10:
This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
The main parts of the letter are:
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