1 Thus says the Lord God to Cyrus, My anointed, whose right hand I hold that nations might be obedient before him, and I will break the strength of kings: I will open doors before him, and the cities will not be closed.†
2 “I will go before you and level mountains; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and shatter the bars of iron.
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, and I shall open unseen secret things to you, so you may know I, the Lord God, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.
4 For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel My elect, I will call you by your name; I will accept you, though you have not known Me.
5 For I am the Lord God. There is no God besides Me, and you have not known Me.
6 I will call you by name and accept you, so those who come from the east and the west may know there is none besides Me. I am the Lord God, and there is no other.†
7 I am He who prepared light and made darkness, who makes peace and creates troublesome things. I am the Lord God who does all these things.
8 Let heaven above be glad, and let the clouds sprinkle righteousness. Let the earth bring forth mercy and righteousness together. I am the Lord who created you.
9 “As the clay of a potter, what better thing have I created? Will the one plowing plow all day? Shall the clay say to the potter who forms it, ‘What are you making, for you neither work nor have hands?’†
10 As though one should say to his father, ‘What will you beget?’ Or to his mother, ‘What will you bring forth?’ ”
11 Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, who made the things that are to come: “Ask Me concerning My sons and daughters; and command Me concerning the works of My hands.
12 I made the earth and mankind upon it. With My hand I established heaven and commanded all the stars.
13 I raised him up to be a king with righteousness, and all his ways are right. He shall build My city and return the captivity of My people, not with ransoms or gifts,” says the Lord of hosts.
14 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Egypt labored for you, and the merchandise of the Ethiopians and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall pass over to you. They shall be your servants and follow behind you, bound with handcuffs. They shall bow down and make supplication to you, because God is with you; and they shall say, ‘There is no God besides You.
15 For You are God, the God of Israel, the Savior, yet we knew it not.’
16 All who oppose him shall be ashamed and disgraced and shall walk in shame. Be restored to Me, O coastlands.
17 Israel is saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation. They will not be ashamed or disgraced forever.”
18 For thus says the Lord, who made heaven—this is the God who formed the earth and made it. He established it, and did not make it in vain, but formed it to be inhabited—“I Am, and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in secret, nor in a dark place of the earth. I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in vain.’ I Am, I am the Lord who speaks righteousness and declares the truth.
20 Assemble yourselves and come. Take counsel together, you who are saved from among the nations. Those who set up the wood of their carved image have no knowledge, and pray to gods who do not save.
21 If they will declare, let them draw near, so as to know together who caused these things to be heard from the beginning. At that time it was told you, ‘I am God, and there is no other besides Me; there is no righteous God and Savior in addition to Me.’
22 Return to Me, and you shall be saved, you who are from the ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is no other.
23 I swore by Myself: righteousness will truly proceed from my mouth; My words shall not be turned away, that to Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess to God,
24 saying, ‘Righteousness and glory shall come to Him, and all who separate themselves from Him shall be put to shame.’
25 All the seed of the children of Israel shall be made righteous by the Lord, and glorified in God.”†
39 But You pushed him away and scorned him; You rejected Your anointed;
40 You overturned the covenant of Your servant; You profaned his sanctuary to the ground.
41 You pulled down all his walls; You put cowardice in his stronghold;
42 All who traveled through there robbed him; He was a disgrace to his neighbors.
43 You exalted the right hand of his enemies; You delighted all his adversaries;
44 You turned away Your help from his sword, And did not support him in his war.
45 You deprived him of purification; You broke his throne to pieces on the ground;
46 You shortened the days of his time; You poured down shame upon him. (Pause)
47 How long, O Lord: will You turn away to the end? Will Your wrath always burn like fire?
48 Let my substance be remembered, as to what sort it is, For did You create all the sons of men in vain?
49 What kind of man is there who will live and not see death? Will he deliver his soul from the hand of Hades? (Pause)
50 Where, O Lord, are Your mercies of old, Which in Your truth You swore to David?
51 Remember, O Lord, the reproach of Your servants I bore in my bosom, The reproach of many nations,
52 Wherewith Your enemies scorned, O Lord, Wherewith they scorned the change of Your anointed.
53 Blessed is the Lord forever. Amen! Amen!
Proverbs of Solomon 19
7 He who does many evil things perfects wickedness, And he who provokes with words, He shall not be saved.
8 He who gains discernment loves himself, And he who guards discernment will find good things.†
9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, And he who kindles evil will perish by it.
10 Luxury is not profitable for a man without discernment, And it is not good if a servant begins to rule with arrogance.
11 A merciful man is longsuffering, And his boast goes against the lawless.
12 The anger of a king is like the roar of a lion, But as dew upon the grass, thus is his grace.
1 Thessalonians 3
Timothy’s Visit in Paul’s Stead
1 Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone,†
2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith,†
3 that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.
4 For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.
5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.
Timothy’s Report, Paul’s Joy
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you—†
7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith.
8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God,
10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?
11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you.
12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,
13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.†