Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: Isaiah 45,49,52
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. This is what the Lord says to his chosen one, to Cyrus, whose right hand I hold in order to subdue nations before him, and disarm kings, to open doors before him, so gates remain unclosed:
2. “I will go before you and level mountains. Bronze doors I will shatter and iron bars I will hack through.
3. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stashed away in secret places, so you may recognize that I am the Lord, the one who calls you by name, the God of Israel.
4. For the sake of my servant Jacob, Israel, my chosen one, I call you by name and give you a title of respect, even though you do not recognize me.
5. I am the Lord, I have no peer, there is no God but me. I arm you for battle, even though you do not recognize me.
6. I do this so people will recognize from east to west that there is no God but me; I am the Lord, I have no peer.
7. I am the one who forms light and creates darkness; the one who brings about peace and creates calamity. I am the Lord, who accomplishes all these things.
8. O sky, rain down from above! Let the clouds send down showers of deliverance! Let the earth absorb it so salvation may grow, and deliverance may sprout up along with it. I, the Lord, create it.
The Lord Gives a Warning
9. One who argues with his creator is in grave danger, one who is like a mere shard among the other shards on the ground! The clay should not say to the potter, “What in the world are you doing? Your work lacks skill!”
10. Danger awaits one who says to his father, “What in the world are you fathering?” and to his mother, “What in the world are you bringing forth?”
11. This is what the Lord says, the Holy One of Israel, the one who formed him, concerning things to come: “How dare you question me about my children! How dare you tell me what to do with the work of my own hands!
12. I made the earth, I created the people who live on it. It was me – my hands stretched out the sky, I give orders to all the heavenly lights.
13. It is me – I stir him up and commission him; I will make all his ways level. He will rebuild my city; he will send my exiled people home, but not for a price or a bribe,” says the Lord who commands armies.
The Lord is the Nations’ Only Hope
14. This is what the Lord says: “The profit of Egypt and the revenue of Ethiopia, along with the Sabeans, those tall men, will be brought to you and become yours. They will walk behind you, coming along in chains. They will bow down to you and pray to you: ‘Truly God is with you; he has no peer; there is no other God!’”
15. Yes, you are a God who keeps hidden, O God of Israel, deliverer!
16. They will all be ashamed and embarrassed; those who fashion idols will all be humiliated.
17. Israel will be delivered once and for all by the Lord; you will never again be ashamed or humiliated.
18. For this is what the Lord says, the one who created the sky – he is the true God, the one who formed the earth and made it; he established it, he did not create it without order, he formed it to be inhabited – “I am the Lord, I have no peer.
19. I have not spoken in secret, in some hidden place. I did not tell Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain!’ I am the Lord, the one who speaks honestly, who makes reliable announcements.
20. Gather together and come! Approach together, you refugees from the nations! Those who carry wooden idols know nothing, those who pray to a god that cannot deliver.
21. Tell me! Present the evidence! Let them consult with one another! Who predicted this in the past? Who announced it beforehand? Was it not I, the Lord? I have no peer, there is no God but me, a God who vindicates and delivers; there is none but me.
22. Turn to me so you can be delivered, all you who live in the earth’s remote regions! For I am God, and I have no peer.
23. I solemnly make this oath – what I say is true and reliable: ‘Surely every knee will bow to me, every tongue will solemnly affirm;
24. they will say about me, “Yes, the Lord is a powerful deliverer.”’” All who are angry at him will cower before him.
25. All the descendants of Israel will be vindicated by the Lord and will boast in him.
Ideal Israel Delivers the Exiles
1. Listen to me, you coastlands! Pay attention, you people who live far away! The Lord summoned me from birth; he commissioned me when my mother brought me into the world.
2. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, he hid me in the hollow of his hand; he made me like a sharpened arrow, he hid me in his quiver.
3. He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, through whom I will reveal my splendor.”
4. But I thought, “I have worked in vain; I have expended my energy for absolutely nothing.” But the Lord will vindicate me; my God will reward me.
5. So now the Lord says, the one who formed me from birth to be his servant – he did this to restore Jacob to himself, so that Israel might be gathered to him; and I will be honored in the Lord’s sight, for my God is my source of strength –
6. he says, “Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant, to reestablish the tribes of Jacob, and restore the remnant of Israel? I will make you a light to the nations, so you can bring my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.”
7. This is what the Lord, the protector of Israel, their Holy One, says to the one who is despised and rejected by nations, a servant of rulers: “Kings will see and rise in respect, princes will bow down, because of the faithful Lord, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.”
8. This is what the Lord says: “At the time I decide to show my favor, I will respond to you; in the day of deliverance I will help you; I will protect you and make you a covenant mediator for people, to rebuild the land and to reassign the desolate property.
9. You will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ and to those who are in dark dungeons, ‘Emerge.’ They will graze beside the roads; on all the slopes they will find pasture.
10. They will not be hungry or thirsty; the sun’s oppressive heat will not beat down on them, for one who has compassion on them will guide them; he will lead them to springs of water.
11. I will make all my mountains into a road; I will construct my roadways.”
12. Look, they come from far away! Look, some come from the north and west, and others from the land of Sinim!
13. Shout for joy, O sky! Rejoice, O earth! Let the mountains give a joyful shout! For the Lord consoles his people and shows compassion to the oppressed.
The Lord Remembers Zion
14. “Zion said, ‘The Lord has abandoned me, the sovereign master has forgotten me.’
15. Can a woman forget her baby who nurses at her breast? Can she withhold compassion from the child she has borne? Even if mothers were to forget, I could never forget you!
16. Look, I have inscribed your name on my palms; your walls are constantly before me.
17. Your children hurry back, while those who destroyed and devastated you depart.
18. Look all around you! All of them gather to you. As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “you will certainly wear all of them like jewelry; you will put them on as if you were a bride.
19. Yes, your land lies in ruins; it is desolate and devastated. But now you will be too small to hold your residents, and those who devoured you will be far away.
20. Yet the children born during your time of bereavement will say within your hearing, ‘This place is too cramped for us, make room for us so we can live here.’
21. Then you will think to yourself, ‘Who bore these children for me? I was bereaved and barren, dismissed and divorced. Who raised these children? Look, I was left all alone; where did these children come from?’”
22. This is what the sovereign Lord says: “Look I will raise my hand to the nations; I will raise my signal flag to the peoples. They will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders.
23. Kings will be your children’s guardians; their princesses will nurse your children. With their faces to the ground they will bow down to you and they will lick the dirt on your feet. Then you will recognize that I am the Lord; those who wait patiently for me are not put to shame.
24. Can spoils be taken from a warrior, or captives be rescued from a conqueror?
25. Indeed,” says the Lord, “captives will be taken from a warrior; spoils will be rescued from a conqueror. I will oppose your adversary and I will rescue your children.
26. I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will get drunk on their own blood, as if it were wine. Then all humankind will recognize that I am the Lord, your deliverer, your protector, the powerful ruler of Jacob.”
1. Wake up! Wake up! Clothe yourself with strength, O Zion! Put on your beautiful clothes, O Jerusalem, holy city! For uncircumcised and unclean pagans will no longer invade you.
2. Shake off the dirt! Get up, captive Jerusalem! Take off the iron chains around your neck, O captive daughter Zion!
3. For this is what the Lord says: “You were sold for nothing, and you will not be redeemed for money.”
4. For this is what the sovereign Lord says: “In the beginning my people went to live temporarily in Egypt; Assyria oppressed them for no good reason.
5. And now, what do we have here?” says the Lord. “Indeed my people have been carried away for nothing, those who rule over them taunt,” says the Lord, “and my name is constantly slandered all day long.
6. For this reason my people will know my name, for this reason they will know at that time that I am the one who says, ‘Here I am.’”
7. How delightful it is to see approaching over the mountains the feet of a messenger who announces peace, a messenger who brings good news, who announces deliverance, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
8. Listen, your watchmen shout; in unison they shout for joy, for they see with their very own eyes the Lord’s return to Zion.
9. In unison give a joyful shout, O ruins of Jerusalem! For the Lord consoles his people; he protects Jerusalem.
10. The Lord reveals his royal power in the sight of all the nations; the entire earth sees our God deliver.
11. Leave! Leave! Get out of there! Don’t touch anything unclean! Get out of it! Stay pure, you who carry the Lord’s holy items!
12. Yet do not depart quickly or leave in a panic. For the Lord goes before you; the God of Israel is your rear guard.
The Lord Will Vindicate His Servant
13. “Look, my servant will succeed! He will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted –
14. (just as many were horrified by the sight of you) he was so disfigured he no longer looked like a man;
15. his form was so marred he no longer looked human – so now he will startle many nations. Kings will be shocked by his exaltation, for they will witness something unannounced to them, and they will understand something they had not heard about.