September 9 – Isaiah 31 thru 33 from the Old Testament

Isaiah 31 thru 33 – Egypt Will Disappoint

31:1 Those who go down to Egypt for help are as good as dead,

those who rely on war horses,

and trust in Egypt’s many chariots

and in their many, many horsemen.

But they do not rely on the Holy One of Israel

and do not seek help from the Lord.

31:2 Yet he too is wise and he will bring disaster;

he does not retract his decree.

He will attack the wicked nation,

and the nation that helps those who commit sin.

31:3 The Egyptians are mere humans, not God;

their horses are made of flesh, not spirit.

The Lord will strike with his hand;

the one who helps will stumble

and the one being helped will fall.

Together they will perish.

The Lord Will Defend Zion

31:4 Indeed, this is what the Lord says to me:

“The Lord will be like a growling lion,

like a young lion growling over its prey.

Though a whole group of shepherds gathers against it,

it is not afraid of their shouts

or intimidated by their yelling.

In this same way the Lord who commands armies will descend

to do battle on Mount Zion and on its hill.

31:5 Just as birds hover over a nest,

so the Lord who commands armies will protect Jerusalem.

He will protect and deliver it;

as he passes over he will rescue it.

31:6 You Israelites! Return to the one against whom you have so blatantly rebelled! 31:7 For at that time everyone will get rid of the silver and gold idols your hands sinfully made.

31:8Assyria will fall by a sword, but not one human-made;

a sword not made by humankind will destroy them.

They will run away from this sword

and their young men will be forced to do hard labor.

31:9 They will surrender their stronghold because of fear;

their officers will be afraid of the Lord’s battle flag.”

This is what the Lord says –

the one whose fire is in Zion,

whose firepot is in Jerusalem.

Justice and Wisdom Will Prevail

32:1 Look, a king will promote fairness;

officials will promote justice.

32:2 Each of them will be like a shelter from the wind

and a refuge from a rainstorm;

like streams of water in a dry region

and like the shade of a large cliff in a parched land.

32:3 Eyes will no longer be blind

and ears will be attentive.

32:4 The mind that acts rashly will possess discernment

and the tongue that stutters will speak with ease and clarity.

32:5 A fool will no longer be called honorable;

a deceiver will no longer be called principled.

32:6 For a fool speaks disgraceful things;

his mind plans out sinful deeds.

He commits godless deeds

and says misleading things about the Lord;

he gives the hungry nothing to satisfy their appetite

and gives the thirsty nothing to drink.

32:7 A deceiver’s methods are evil;

he dreams up evil plans

to ruin the poor with lies,

even when the needy are in the right.

32:8 An honorable man makes honorable plans;

his honorable character gives him security.

The Lord Will Give True Security

32:9 You complacent women,

get up and listen to me!

You carefree daughters,

pay attention to what I say!

32:10 In a year’s time

you carefree ones will shake with fear,

for the grape harvest will fail,

and the fruit harvest will not arrive.

32:11 Tremble, you complacent ones!

Shake with fear, you carefree ones!

Strip off your clothes and expose yourselves –

put sackcloth on your waist!

32:12 Mourn over the field,

over the delightful fields

and the fruitful vine!

32:13 Mourn over the land of my people,

which is overgrown with thorns and briers,

and over all the once-happy houses

in the city filled with revelry.

32:14 For the fortress is neglected;

the once-crowded city is abandoned.

Hill and watchtower

are permanently uninhabited.

Wild donkeys love to go there,

and flocks graze there.

32:15 This desolation will continue until new life is poured out on us from heaven.

Then the desert will become an orchard

and the orchard will be considered a forest.

32:16 Justice will settle down in the desert

and fairness will live in the orchard.

32:17 Fairness will produce peace

and result in lasting security.

32:18 My people will live in peaceful settlements,

in secure homes,

and in safe, quiet places.

32:19 Even if the forest is destroyed

and the city is annihilated,

32:20 you will be blessed,

you who plant seed by all the banks of the streams,

you who let your ox and donkey graze.

The Lord Will Restore Zion

33:1 The destroyer is as good as dead,

you who have not been destroyed!

The deceitful one is as good as dead,

the one whom others have not deceived!

When you are through destroying, you will be destroyed;

when you finish deceiving, others will deceive you!

33:2 Lord, be merciful to us! We wait for you.

Give us strength each morning!

Deliver us when distress comes.

33:3 The nations run away when they hear a loud noise;

the nations scatter when you spring into action!

33:4 Your plunder disappears as if locusts were eating it;

they swarm over it like locusts!

33:5 The Lord is exalted,

indeed, he lives in heaven;

he fills Zion with justice and fairness.

33:6 He is your constant source of stability;

he abundantly provides safety and great wisdom;

he gives all this to those who fear him.

33:7 Look, ambassadors cry out in the streets;

messengers sent to make peace weep bitterly.

33:8 Highways are empty,

there are no travelers.

Treaties are broken,

witnesses are despised,

human life is treated with disrespect.

33:9 The land dries up and withers away;

the forest of Lebanon shrivels up and decays.

Sharon is like the desert;

Bashan and Carmel are parched.

33:10 “Now I will rise up,” says the Lord.

“Now I will exalt myself;

now I will magnify myself.

33:11 You conceive straw,

you give birth to chaff;

your breath is a fire that destroys you.

33:12 The nations will be burned to ashes;

like thorn bushes that have been cut down, they will be set on fire.

33:13 You who are far away, listen to what I have done!

You who are close by, recognize my strength!”

33:14 Sinners are afraid in Zion;

panic grips the godless.

They say, ‘Who among us can coexist with destructive fire?

Who among us can coexist with unquenchable fire?’

33:15 The one who lives uprightly

and speaks honestly;

the one who refuses to profit from oppressive measures

and rejects a bribe;

the one who does not plot violent crimes

and does not seek to harm others –

33:16 This is the person who will live in a secure place;

he will find safety in the rocky, mountain strongholds;

he will have food

and a constant supply of water.

33:17 You will see a king in his splendor;

you will see a wide land.

33:18 Your mind will recall the terror you experienced,

and you will ask yourselves, “Where is the scribe?

Where is the one who weighs the money?

Where is the one who counts the towers?”

33:19 You will no longer see a defiant people

whose language you do not comprehend,

whose derisive speech you do not understand.

33:20 Look at Zion, the city where we hold religious festivals!

You will see Jerusalem,

a peaceful settlement,

a tent that stays put;

its stakes will never be pulled up;

none of its ropes will snap in two.

33:21 Instead the Lord will rule there as our mighty king.

Rivers and wide streams will flow through it;

no war galley will enter;

no large ships will sail through.

33:22 For the Lord, our ruler,

the Lord, our commander,

the Lord, our king –

he will deliver us.

33:23 Though at this time your ropes are slack,

the mast is not secured,

and the sail is not unfurled,

at that time you will divide up a great quantity of loot;

even the lame will drag off plunder.

33:24 No resident of Zion will say, “I am ill”;

the people who live there will have their sin forgiven.

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