Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: Isaiah 1-3
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
1. Here is the message about Judah and Jerusalem that was revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz during the time when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah reigned over Judah.
Obedience, not Sacrifice
2. Listen, O heavens, pay attention, O earth! For the Lord speaks: “I raised children, I brought them up, but they have rebelled against me!
3. An ox recognizes its owner, a donkey recognizes where its owner puts its food; but Israel does not recognize me, my people do not understand.”
4. The sinful nation is as good as dead, the people weighed down by evil deeds. They are offspring who do wrong, children who do wicked things. They have abandoned the Lord, and rejected the Holy One of Israel. They are alienated from him.
5. Why do you insist on being battered? Why do you continue to rebel? Your head has a massive wound, your whole body is weak.
6. From the soles of your feet to your head, there is no spot that is unharmed. There are only bruises, cuts, and open wounds. They have not been cleansed or bandaged, nor have they been treated with olive oil.
7. Your land is devastated, your cities burned with fire. Right before your eyes your crops are being destroyed by foreign invaders. They leave behind devastation and destruction.
8. Daughter Zion is left isolated, like a hut in a vineyard, or a shelter in a cucumber field; she is a besieged city.
9. If the Lord who commands armies had not left us a few survivors, we would have quickly become like Sodom, we would have become like Gomorrah.
10. Listen to the Lord’s word, you leaders of Sodom! Pay attention to our God’s rebuke, people of Gomorrah!
11. “Of what importance to me are your many sacrifices?” says the Lord. “I am stuffed with burnt sacrifices of rams and the fat from steers. The blood of bulls, lambs, and goats I do not want.
12. When you enter my presence, do you actually think I want this – animals trampling on my courtyards?
13. Do not bring any more meaningless offerings; I consider your incense detestable! You observe new moon festivals, Sabbaths, and convocations, but I cannot tolerate sin-stained celebrations!
14. I hate your new moon festivals and assemblies; they are a burden that I am tired of carrying.
15. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I look the other way; when you offer your many prayers, I do not listen, because your hands are covered with blood.
16. Wash! Cleanse yourselves! Remove your sinful deeds from my sight. Stop sinning!
17. Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate! Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow!
18. Come, let’s consider your options,” says the Lord. “Though your sins have stained you like the color red, you can become white like snow; though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet, you can become white like wool.
19. If you have a willing attitude and obey, then you will again eat the good crops of the land.
20. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” Know for certain that the Lord has spoken.
21. How tragic that the once-faithful city has become a prostitute! She was once a center of justice, fairness resided in her, but now only murderers.
22. Your silver has become scum, your beer is diluted with water.
23. Your officials are rebels, they associate with thieves. All of them love bribery, and look for payoffs. They do not take up the cause of the orphan, or defend the rights of the widow.
24. Therefore, the sovereign Lord who commands armies, the powerful ruler of Israel, says this: “Ah, I will seek vengeance against my adversaries, I will take revenge against my enemies.
25. I will attack you; I will purify your metal with flux. I will remove all your slag.
26. I will reestablish honest judges as in former times, wise advisers as in earlier days. Then you will be called, ‘The Just City, Faithful Town.’”
27. Zion will be freed by justice, and her returnees by righteousness.
28. All rebellious sinners will be shattered, those who abandon the Lord will perish.
29. Indeed, they will be ashamed of the sacred trees you find so desirable; you will be embarrassed because of the sacred orchards where you choose to worship.
30. For you will be like a tree whose leaves wither, like an orchard that is unwatered.
31. The powerful will be like a thread of yarn, their deeds like a spark; both will burn together, and no one will put out the fire.
The Future Glory of Jerusalem
1. Here is the message about Judah and Jerusalem that was revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz.
2. In the future the mountain of the Lord’s temple will endure as the most important of mountains, and will be the most prominent of hills. All the nations will stream to it,
3. many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the temple of the God of Jacob, so he can teach us his requirements, and we can follow his standards.” For Zion will be the center for moral instruction; the Lord will issue edicts from Jerusalem.
4. He will judge disputes between nations; he will settle cases for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not take up the sword against other nations, and they will no longer train for war.
5. O descendants of Jacob, come, let us walk in the Lord’s guiding light.
The Lord’s Day of Judgment
6. Indeed, O Lord, you have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. For diviners from the east are everywhere; they consult omen readers like the Philistines do. Plenty of foreigners are around.
7. Their land is full of gold and silver; there is no end to their wealth. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots.
8. Their land is full of worthless idols; they worship the product of their own hands, what their own fingers have fashioned.
9. Men bow down to them in homage, they lie flat on the ground in worship. Don’t spare them!
10. Go up into the rocky cliffs, hide in the ground. Get away from the dreadful judgment of the Lord, from his royal splendor!
11. Proud men will be brought low, arrogant men will be humiliated; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
12. Indeed, the Lord who commands armies has planned a day of judgment, for all the high and mighty, for all who are proud – they will be humiliated;
13. for all the cedars of Lebanon, that are so high and mighty, for all the oaks of Bashan;
14. for all the tall mountains, for all the high hills,
15. for every high tower, for every fortified wall,
16. for all the large ships, for all the impressive ships.
17. Proud men will be humiliated, arrogant men will be brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
18. The worthless idols will be completely eliminated.
19. They will go into caves in the rocky cliffs and into holes in the ground, trying to escape the dreadful judgment of the Lord and his royal splendor, when he rises up to terrify the earth.
20. At that time men will throw their silver and gold idols, which they made for themselves to worship, into the caves where rodents and bats live,
21. so they themselves can go into the crevices of the rocky cliffs and the openings under the rocky overhangs, trying to escape the dreadful judgment of the Lord and his royal splendor, when he rises up to terrify the earth.
22. Stop trusting in human beings, whose life’s breath is in their nostrils. For why should they be given special consideration?
A Coming Leadership Crisis
1. Look, the sovereign Lord who commands armies is about to remove from Jerusalem and Judah every source of security, including all the food and water,
2. the mighty men and warriors, judges and prophets, omen readers and leaders,
3. captains of groups of fifty, the respected citizens, advisers and those skilled in magical arts, and those who know incantations.
4. The Lord says, “I will make youths their officials; malicious young men will rule over them.
5. The people will treat each other harshly; men will oppose each other; neighbors will fight. Youths will proudly defy the elderly and riffraff will challenge those who were once respected.
6. Indeed, a man will grab his brother right in his father’s house and say, ‘You own a coat – you be our leader! This heap of ruins will be under your control.’
7. At that time the brother will shout, ‘I am no doctor, I have no food or coat in my house; don’t make me a leader of the people!’”
8. Jerusalem certainly stumbles, Judah falls, for their words and their actions offend the Lord; they rebel against his royal authority.
9. The look on their faces testifies to their guilt; like the people of Sodom they openly boast of their sin. Too bad for them! For they bring disaster on themselves.
10. Tell the innocent it will go well with them, for they will be rewarded for what they have done.
11. Too bad for the wicked sinners! For they will get exactly what they deserve.
12. Oppressors treat my people cruelly; creditors rule over them. My people’s leaders mislead them; they give you confusing directions.
13. The Lord takes his position to judge; he stands up to pass sentence on his people.
14. The Lord comes to pronounce judgment on the leaders of his people and their officials. He says, “It is you who have ruined the vineyard! You have stashed in your houses what you have stolen from the poor.
15. Why do you crush my people and grind the faces of the poor?” The sovereign Lord who commands armies has spoken.
Washing Away Impurity
16. The Lord says, “The women of Zion are proud. They walk with their heads high and flirt with their eyes. They skip along and the jewelry on their ankles jingles.
17. So the sovereign master will afflict the foreheads of Zion’s women with skin diseases, the Lord will make the front of their heads bald.”
18. At that time the sovereign master will remove their beautiful ankle jewelry, neck ornaments, crescent shaped ornaments,
19. earrings, bracelets, veils,
20. headdresses, ankle ornaments, sashes, sachets, amulets,
21. rings, nose rings,
22. festive dresses, robes, shawls, purses,
23. garments, vests, head coverings, and gowns.
24. A putrid stench will replace the smell of spices, a rope will replace a belt, baldness will replace braided locks of hair, a sackcloth garment will replace a fine robe, and a prisoner’s brand will replace beauty.
25. Your men will fall by the sword, your strong men will die in battle.
26. Her gates will mourn and lament; deprived of her people, she will sit on the ground.