August 17: Anxiety and the Wilderness
Isaiah 35:1–37:13; Luke 12:22–59*; Job 8:11–22
Anxiety has a way of ruling over us. Although many of our concerns are legitimate—like having money to pay the rent and buy food—some of them are nonsensical. We envision future catastrophes and spend our days worrying about what might never happen, creating an emotional wilderness for ourselves.
Anxiety isn’t new. The prophet Isaiah addresses the problem: “Wilderness and dry land shall be glad, and desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus.… Say to those who are hasty of heart, ‘Be strong; you must not fear! Look! your God will come with vengeance, with divine retribution. He is the one who will come and save you’ ” (Isa 35:1, 4).
Isaiah realizes that there is a time and season for everything. He proclaims that God will bring the people out of the wilderness (their exile in Babylon) and back into their land. There is an answer to the anxiety, pain and worry that they feel about the future. His words ring with prophetic certainty because he knows them to be true—they are Yahweh’s words.
Jesus also addresses anxiety when He says to His disciples, “For this reason I tell you, do not be anxious for your life, what you will eat, or for your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, that they neither sow nor reap; to them there is neither storeroom nor barn, and God feeds them. How much more are you worth than the birds?” (Luke 12:22–24).
Why must we worry? Why must we strive over things we cannot change? Ultimately, everything in life is a matter of depending on God.
What anxieties can you hand over to God today?
JOHN D. BARRY
- The desert and the wilderness shall rejoice, and the waste ground shall be glad and flourish as the rose. It shall flourish abundantly, and shall greatly rejoice also and joy: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it: the beauty of Carmel, and of Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellence of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and comfort and feeble knees. Say unto them that are fearful, Be you strong, fear not: behold, your God cometh with vengeance: even God with a recompense, he will come and save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be lightened, and the ears of the deaf be opened. Then shall the same man leap as an hart, and the dumb man’s tongue shall sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and rivers in the desert. And the dry ground shall be a path and a way, and the way shall be called holy: the polluted shall not pass by it: for he shall be with them, and walk in the way and the fools shall not err. There shall be lion, or noisome beasts shall ascend by it, neither shall they be found there, that the redeemed may walk. Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with praise: and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. Now in the fourteenth years of King Hazekiah, Sennacherib King of Assyria came up against all the strong cities of Judah, and took them. And the King of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish toward Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah, with a great host, and he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the path of the fuller’s field. Then came forth unto Eliakim the son so Hilkiah the steward of the house, and Shebna the chancellor, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder. And Rabshakeh said unto them, Tell you Hezekiah, I pray you, Thus saith the great king, the King of Assyria, What confidence is this, wherein thou trusted? I say, Surely I have eloquence, but counsel and strength are for the war: on whom then dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? Lo, thou trustest in this broken staff of reed, on Egypt, whereupon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh King of Egypt unto all that trust in him. But if thou say unto me, We trust in the Lord our God, is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah took down, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar? Now therefore give hostages to my Lord the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them. For how canst thou despise any captain of the least of my lord’s servants? and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? And am I now come up without the Lord to this land to destroy it? The Lord said unto me, Go up against this land and destroy it. Then said Eliakim, and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Aramite’s language (for we understand it) and talk not with us in the Jews’ tongue, in the audience of the people that are on the wall. Then said Rabshakeh, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words, and not to the men that sit on the wall? that they may eat their own thing, and drink their own piss with you? So Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and said, Hear the words of the great King, of the King of Assyria. Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for the shall not be able to deliver you. Neither let Hezekiah make you to trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us: this city shall not be given over into the hand of the king of Assyria, Heaken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make appointment with me, and come out to me, that every man may eat of his own vine, and every man of his own fig tree, and drink every man the water of his own well, Till I come and bring you to a land like your own land, even a land of wheat and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, Lest Hezekiah deceive you, saying, The Lord will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where is the god of Hamath, and of Arpad? where is the god of Sepharvaim? or how have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who is he among all the gods of these lands, that hath delivered their country out of mine hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand? Then they kept silence, and answered him not a word: for the king’s commandment was, saying, Answer him not. Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah the steward of the house, and Shebna the chancellor, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, unto Hezekiah with rent clothes, and told him the words of Rabshakeh. And when the King Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth and came into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim the steward of the house, and Shebna the chancellor, with the Elders of the Priests, clothed in sackcloth unto Isaiah the Prophet the son of Amoz. And he said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of tribulation and of rebuke and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring forth. If so be the Lord thy God hath heard the words of Rabhakeh, whom the King of Assyria his master hath sent to rail on the living God, and to reproach him with words, which the Lord thy God hath heard, then lift thou up thy prayer for the remnant that are left. So the servants of the King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus say unto your master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the King of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a noise, and return to his own land, and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. So Rabshakeh returned, and found the King of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against thee: and when he heard it, he sent other messengers to Hezekiah, saying, Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah King of Judah, saying, Let not thy God deceive thee, in whom thou trustest, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the King of Assyria. Behold, thou hast heard what the Kings of Assyria have done to all lands in destroying them, and shalt thou be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed? as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden, which were at Telassar? Where is the king of Hamath, and the King of Arpad, and the King of the city of Sepharvaim, Hens, and Ivah? Isaiah 35:1–37:13
- Philip came and told Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man must be glorified. Verily, verily I say unto you, Except the wheat corn fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if die, it bringeth forth much fruit. Now is my soul troubled: and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but therefore came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy Name, Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have glorified it, and will glorify it again. Then said the people that stood by, and heard, that it was a thunder: others said, An Angel spake to him. Jesus answered, and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I were lift up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. Now this said he, signifying what death he should die. The people answered him, We have heard out of the Law, that that Christ bideth forever: and how sayest thou, that that Son of man must be lift up? Who is that Son of man? Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you: walk while ye have that light, lest the darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in the dark, knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have that light, believe in that light, that ye may be the children of the light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and hid himself from them. And though he had done so many miracles before them, yet believed they not in him, That the saying of Isaiah the Prophet might be fulfilled, that he said, Lord, who believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? Therefore could they not believe, because that Isaiah saith again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Isaiah when he saw his glory, and spake of him. Nevertheless, even among the chief rulers, many believed in him: but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be cast out of the Synagogue. For they loved the praise of men, more than the praise of God. And Jesus cried, and said, He that believeth in me, believeth not in me, but in him that sent me. And he that seeth me, seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in me, should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that refuseth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, it shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself: but the father which sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: the things thereof that I speak, I speak them so as Father said unto me. Luke 12:22–59 *EZC Geneva Lk 12 has total of 50 verses
- Can a rush grow without mire? or can the grass grow without water? Though it were in green and not cut down, yet shall it whither before any other herb. So are the paths of all that forget God, and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish. His confidence also shall be cut off, and his trust shall be as the house of a spider. He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold him fast by it, yet shall it not endure. The tree is green before the Sun, and the branches spread over the garden thereof. If any pick it from his place, and it deny, saying, I have not seen thee, Behold, it will rejoice by this means, that it may grow in another mold. Behold, God will not cast away an upright man, neither will he take the wicked by the hand, Till he have filled thy mouth with laughter, and thy lips with joy. They that hate thee, shall be clothed with shame, and the dwelling of the wicked shall not remain. Job 8:11–22
August 16: No Fear and Full Confidence
Isaiah 33:1–17; Luke 11:37–12:21; Job 8:1–10
Jesus didn’t exactly follow social niceties as a dinner guest. Once again while dining with a Pharisee, He exposed the hypocrisy that was rampant among those religious leaders: “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but your inside is full of greediness and wickedness” (Luke 11:39). The “woes” He followed with challenged His host and, by extension, the Pharisees in general.
His boldness is a trait He wanted to pass on to His disciples: “But nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, and secret that will not be made known” (Luke 12:2). The gospel message will not be kept secret; the new kingdom is coming into being.
Jesus wanted the disciples to be fearless among people because it is God who is in charge, not the Pharisees; they had built up a false construct of authority. And although they may have exercised authority—they could kill and spread fear—they weren’t ultimately in charge.
God is in charge: “But I will show you whom you should fear: fear the one who has authority, after the killing, to throw you into hell! Yes, I tell you, fear this one! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten in the sight of God. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered! Do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:5–7).
When we’re overwhelmed by rampant sin and evil around us—even in us—it’s comforting to maintain this sure knowledge. It is God who both judges and gives life. If we confess Jesus as God, we have nothing to fear. We can be bold in trials and have confidence in Him.
What confidence do you have in your trials? How can you place your trust in God rather than people?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- Woe to thee that spoilest, and wast not spoiled: and doest wickedly, and they did not wickedly against thee: when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled: when thou shalt make an end of doing wickedly, they shall do wickedly against thee. O Lord, have mercy upon us, we have waited for thee: be thou, which wast their arm in the morning, our help also in time of trouble. At the noise of the tumult, the people fled: at thine exalting the nations were scattered. And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of caterpillars: and he shall go against him like the leaping of grasshoppers. The Lord is exalted: for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and justice. And there shall be stability of the times, strength, salvation, wisdom, and knowledge: for the fear of the Lord shall be his treasure. Behold, their messengers shall cry without, and the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly. The paths are waste: the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant: he hath contemned the cities: he regardeth no man. The earth mourneth and fainteth: Lebanon is ashamed, and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness, and Bashan is shaken and Carmel. Now will I arise, saith the Lord: now will I be exalted, now will I lift up myself. Ye shall conceive chaff, and bring forth stubble: the fire of your breath shall devour you. And the people shall be as the burning of lime: and as the thorns cut up, shall they be burnt in the fire. Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done, and ye that are near, know my power. The sinners in Zion are afraid: a fear is come upon the hypocrites: who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with the everlasting burnings? He that walketh in justice, and speaketh righteous things, refusing gain of oppression, shaking his hands from taking of gifts, stopping his ears from hearing of blood, and shutting his eyes from seeing evil, He shall dwell on high: his defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him, and his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the King in his glory: they shall behold the land far off. Isaiah 33:1–17
- And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down at the table. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner. And the Lord said to him, Indeed ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup, and of the platter: but the inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without, make that which is within also? Therefore, give alms of those things which you have, and behold, all things shall be clean unto you. But woe be to you, Pharisees: for ye tithe the mine and the rue, and all manner herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to have left the other undone. Woe be unto you, Pharisees: for ye love the uppermost seats in the Synagogues, and greetings in the markets. Woe be unto you, Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites: for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them, perceive not. Then answered one of the Lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou puttest us to rebuke also. And he said, Woe be to you also, ye Lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou puttest us to rebuke also. And he said, Woe be unto you also, ye Lawyers: for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe be to you: for ye build the sepulchers of the Prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness, and allow the deeds of your fathers: for they killed them, and ye build their sepulchers. Therefore said the wisdom of God, I will send them Prophets and Apostles, and of them they shall slay, and persecute away, That the blood of all the Prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation, From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zechariah, which was slain between the altar and the Temple: verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation. Woe be unto you, Lawyers: for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that came in, ye forbade. And as he said these things unto them, the Scribes and Pharisees began to urge him sore, and to provoke him to speak of many things. Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something of his mouth, whereby they might accuse him. In the meantime, there gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, so that they trod one another: and he began to say unto his disciples first, Take heed to yourselves of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed: nothing hid, that shall not be known. Wherefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness, it shall be heard in the light: and that which ye have spoken in the ear, in secret places, shall be preached on the houses. And I say unto you, my friends, be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that are not able to do anymore. But I will forewarn you, whom ye shall fear: fear him which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, him fear. Are not five sparrows bought for two farthings, and yet not one of them is forgotten before God? Yea, and all the hairs of your head are numbered: fear not therefore: ye are more of value than many sparrows. Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man confess also before the Angels of God. But he that shall deny me before men, shall be denied before the Angels of God. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that shall blaspheme the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven. And when they shall bring you unto the Synagogues, and unto the rulers and Princes, take no thought how, or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall speak. For the holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour, what ye ought to say. And one of the company said unto him, Master, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge, or a divider over you? Wherefore he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for though a man have abundance, yet his life standeth not in his riches. And he put forth a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth fruits plenteously. Therefore he thought with himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where I may lay up my fruits? And he said, This will I do, I will pull down my barns, and build greater, and therein will I gather all my fruits, and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, live at ease, eat, drink, and take thy pastime. But God said unto him, O fool, this night will they fetch away thy soul from thee: then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided? So is he that gathereth riches to himself, and is not rich in God. Luke 11:37–12:21
- Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, How long wilt thou talk of these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be as a mighty wind? Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty subvert justice? If thy sons have sinned against him, and he hath send them into the place of their iniquity, Yet if thou wilt early seek unto God, and pray to the Almighty, If thou be pure and upright, then surely he will awake up unto thee, and he will make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. And though thy beginning be small, yet thy latter end shall greatly increase. And though thy beginning be small, yet thy latter end shall greatly increase. Inquire therefore, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to search of their fathers. (For we are but of yesterday, and are ignorant: for our days upon earth are but a shadow) Shall not they teach thee and tell thee, and utter the words of their heart? Job 8:1–10
August 15: Lethal Planning
Isaiah 30:18–32:20; Luke 11:1–36; Job 7:11–21
I’m a planner. I love schedules. The trouble is I sometimes make plans without consulting God. While I often think of this as a modern problem, I’ve discovered that, like many other modern issues, the Bible regularly addresses it. For example, in Isaiah 30:1 Yahweh declares, “Oh rebellious children!… to make a plan, but not from me, and pour out a libation, but not from my Spirit, so as to add sin to sin.”
Apparently, God’s people had been offering libations—a type of drink offering—in the ways of the Egyptians rather than in the ways of Yahweh. We make the same mistake in our lives. We seek wisdom in books or from people before consulting Yahweh. We ask our colleagues what they think before turning to our God. We look to our parents or friends instead of waiting patiently on God’s resolve. We look to our own strength or influence instead of relying on the God who created us.
In our demeanor toward God, we are so much like Israel relying on Egypt—we look to others and to ourselves for salvation rather than to God. We have removed the miraculous from our faith. Instead of asserting that God will change the course of history, we determine that we will do it. Although God certainly uses us in this work, salvation doesn’t come from our efforts—it comes from Yahweh. Rather than seeking to align our already formed plans with God’s, we must approach Him with an open mind and a willing heart. We must find the answers we seek in Him.
How can you seek God today in all that you do? How can you look to Him first and make Him foremost?
JOHN D. BARRY
- Yet therefore will the Lord wait, that he may have mercy upon you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have compassion upon you: for the Lord is the God of judgment. Blessed are all they that wait for him. Surely a people shall dwell in Zion, and in Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will certainly have mercy upon thee at the voice of thy cry: when he heareth thee, he will answer thee. And when the Lord hath given you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, thy rain shall be no more kept back, but thine eyes shall see thy rain. And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when thou turnest to the right hand, and when thou turnest to the left. And ye shall pollute the covering of the images of silver, and the rich ornament of thine images of gold, and cast them away as a menstrous cloth, and thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence. Then shall he give rain unto thy seed, when thou shalt sow the ground, and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and as oil: in that day shall thy cattle be fed in large pastures. The oxen also and the young asses, that till the ground, shall eat clean provender, which is winnowed with the shovel and with the fan. And upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill shall there be rivers, and streams of waters, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers shall fall. Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun, and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, and like the light of seven days in the day that the Lord shall bind up the breach of his people, and heal the stroke of their wound. Behold, the Name of the Lord cometh from far, his face is burning, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue is as a devouring fire. And his spirit is as a river that overfloweth up to the neck: it divideth asunder, to fan the nations with the fan of vanity, and there shall be a bridle to cause them to err in the jaws of the people. But there shall be a song unto you as in the night, when a solemn feast is kept; and gladness of heart, as he that cometh with a pipe to go unto the mount of the Lord, to the Mighty one of Israel. And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall declare the lightning down of his arm with the anger of his countenance, and flame of a devouring fire, with scattering and tempest, and hailstones. For with the voice of the Lord shall Assyria be destroyed, which smote with the rod. And in every place that the staff shall pass, it shall cleave fast, which the Lord shall lay upon him with tabrets and beards and with battles, and lifting up of hands shall he fight against it. For Tophet is prepared of old, it is even prepared for the King; he hath made it deep and large: the burning thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the lord, like a river of brimstone, doth kindle it. Woe unto them that go down into Egypt for help, and stay upon horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many, and in horsemen, because they be very strong; but they look not unto the Holy one of Israel, nor seek unto the Lord. But he yet is wisest; therefore he will bring evil, and not turn back his word, but he will arise against the house of the wicked, and against die help of them that work vanity. Now the Egyptians are men and not God, and their horses flesh, and not spirit; and when the Lord shall stretch out his hand, the helper shall fall, and he that is helped shall fall, and they shall altogether fail. For this hath the Lord spoken unto me, As the lion or lion’s whelp roareth upon his prey, against whom if a multitude of shepherds be called, he will not be afraid at their voice, neither will humble himself at their noise: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. As birds that fly, so shall the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem by defending and delivering, by passing through and preserving it. O ye children of Israel, turn again, in as much as ye are sunken deep in rebellion. For in that day every man shall cast out his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your hands have made you, even a sin. then shall Assyria fall by the sword, not of man, neither shall the sword of man devour him, and he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall faint. And he shall go for fear to his tower, and his princes shall be afraid of the standard, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem. Behold, a King shall reign in justice, and the princes shall rule in judgment. And that man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and as a refuge for the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. The eyes of the seeing shall not be shut, and the ears of them that hear, shall hearken. And the heart of the foolish shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stutters shall be ready to speak distinctly. A niggard shall no more be called liberal, nor the churl rich. But the niggard shall speak of niggardness, and his heart will work iniquity, and do wickedly, and speak falsely against the Lord, to make empty the hungry soul, and to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. For the weapons of the churl are wicked: he deviseth wicked counsels to undo the poor with lying words, and to speak against the poor in judgment. But the liberal man will devise of liberal things, and he will continue his liberality. Rise up ye women that are at ease: hear my voice, ye careless daughters, hearken to my words. Ye women that are careless, shall be in fear above a year in days, for the vintage shall fail, and the gatherings shall come no more. Ye women that are at ease, be astonied; fear, O ye careless women: put off the clothes; make bare, and gird sackcloth upon the loins. Men shall lament for the tears, even for the pleasant fields, and for the fruitful vine. Upon the land of my people shall grow thorns and briers: yea, upon all the houses of joy in the city of rejoicing. Because the palace shall be forsaken, and the noise of the city shall be left: the tower and fortress shall be dense forever, and the delight of wild asses, and a pasture for flocks. Until the Spirit be poured upon us from above, and the wilderness become a fruitful field, and the plenteous field be counted as a forest. And judgment shall dwell in the desert, and justice shall remain in the fruitful field. And the work of justice shall be peace, even the work of justice and quietness, and assurance forever. And my people shall dwell in the tabernacle of peace, and in sure dwellings, and in safe resting places. When it haileth, it shall fall on the forest, and the city shall be in the low place. Blessed are ye that sow upon all waters, and drive thither the feet of the ox and the ass . Isaiah 30:18–32:20
- And so it was, that as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come: Let thy will be done, even in earth, as it is in heaven: Our daily bread give us for the day. And forgive us our sins: for even we forgive every man that is indebted to us: And lead us not into temptation: but deliver us from evil. Moreover he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves? For a friend of mine is come out of the way to me, and I have nothing to set before him: And he within should answer, and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed: I cannot rise and give them to thee. I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he as an egg, will he give him a scorpion? If ye then which are evil, can give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy Ghost to them that desire him? Then he cast out a devil which was dumb: and when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake, and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. And others tempted him, seeking of him a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself, shall be desolate, and an house divided against an house, falleth. So if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand, because ye say that I cast out devil through Beelzebub? If I through Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore shall they be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out devils, doubtless the kingdom of God is come unto you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, the things that he possesseth, are in peace. But when a stronger than he cometh upon him, and overcometh him: he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest: and when he findeth none, he saith, I will return unto mine house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits worse than himself: and they enter in, and dwell there: so the last state of that man is worse than the first. And it came to pass as he said these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is a wicked generation: they seek a sign, and there shall no sign be given them, but the sign of Jonah the Prophet. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites: so shall also the son of man be to this generation. The Queen of the South shall rise in judgment, with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah: and behold, a greater than Jonah is here. No man when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a privy place, neither under a bushel: but on a candlestick, that they which come in, may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, then is thy whole body light: but if thine eye be evil, then thy body is dark. Take heed therefore, that the light which is in thee, be not darkness. If therefore thy whole body shall be light, having no part dark, then shall all be light, even as when a candle doth light thee with the brightness. And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down at the table. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed for dinner. And the Lord said to him, Indeed ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup, and of the platter: but the inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without, make that which is within also? Therefore, give alms of those things which you have, and behold, all things shall be clean unto you. But woe be to you, Pharisees: for ye tithe the mint and the rue, and all manner herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to have left the other undone. Woe be to you, Scribes and Pharisees: for ye love the uppermost seats in the Synagogues, and greetings in the markets. Woe be to you, Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites: for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them, perceive not. then answered one of the Lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou puttest us to rebuke also. And he said, Woe be to you also, ye Lawyers: for ye lade men with burdens grevious to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe be to you: for ye build the sepulchers of the Prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness, and allow the deeds of your fathers: for they killed them, and ye build their sepulchers. Therefore said the wisdom of God, I will send them Prophets and Apostles, and of them they shall slay, and persecute away, That the blood of all the Prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation, From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zechariah, which was slain between the altar and the Temple: verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation, From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zechariah, which was slain between the altar and the Temple: verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation. Woe be to you, Lawyers: for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that came in, ye forbade. And as he said these things unto them, the Scribes and Pharisees began to urge him sore, and to provoke him to speak of many things, Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something of his mouth, whereby they might accuse him. Luke 11:1–36
- Therefore I will not spare my mouth, but will speak in the trouble of my spirit, and muse in the bitterness of my mind. Am I a sea or a whalefish, that thou keepest me in ward? When I say, My couch shall relieve me, and my bed shall bring comfort in my meditation, Then fearest thou me with dreams, and astonishest me with visions. Therefore my soul chooseth rather to be strangled and to die, than to be in my bones. I abhor it: I shall not live always: spare me then, for my days are but vanity. What is man, that thou dost magnify him, and that thou settest thine heart upon him? And dost visit him every morning, and triest him every moment? How long will it be ere thou depart from me? thou wilt not let me alone while I may swallow my spittle. I have sinned, what shall I do unto thee? O thou preserver of men, why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden unto myself? And why dost thou not pardon my trespass? and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust, and if thou seek me in th morning, I shall not be found. Job 7:11–21