September 29: Isaiah 5–7; Hebrews 4:14–5:10; Psalm 83; Proverbs 24:19–20


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Isaiah 5–7

The Vineyard of the Lord Destroyed

  Let me sing for my beloved
    my love song concerning his vineyard:
  My beloved had a vineyard
    on a very fertile hill.
  He dug it and cleared it of stones,
    and planted it with choice vines;
  he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
    and hewed out a wine vat in it;
  and he looked for it to yield grapes,
    but it yielded wild grapes.

  And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem
    and men of Judah,
  judge between me and my vineyard.
  What more was there to do for my vineyard,
    that I have not done in it?
  When I looked for it to yield grapes,
    why did it yield wild grapes?

  And now I will tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard.
  I will remove its hedge,
    and it shall be devoured;Or grazed over; compare Exodus 22:5′>1
  I will break down its wall,
    and it shall be trampled down.
  I will make it a waste;
    it shall not be pruned or hoed,
    and briers and thorns shall grow up;
  I will also command the clouds
    that they rain no rain upon it.

  For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts
    is the house of Israel,
  and the men of Judah
    are his pleasant planting;
  and he looked for justice,
    but behold, bloodshed;The Hebrew words for justice and bloodshed sound alike’>2
  for righteousness,
    but behold, an outcry!The Hebrew words for righteous and outcry sound alike’>3

Woe to the Wicked

  Woe to those who join house to house,
    who add field to field,
  until there is no more room,
    and you are made to dwell alone
    in the midst of the land.
  The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing:
  “Surely many houses shall be desolate,
    large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.
10   For ten acresHebrew ten yoke, the area ten yoke of oxen can plow in a day’>4 of vineyard shall yield but one bath,
    and a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.”A bath was about 6 gallons or 22 liters; a homer was about 6 bushels or 220 liters; an ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters’>5

11   Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
    that they may run after strong drink,
  who tarry late into the evening
    as wine inflames them!
12   They have lyre and harp,
    tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,
  but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD,
    or see the work of his hands.

13   Therefore my people go into exile
    for lack of knowledge;Or without their knowledge‘>6
  their honored men go hungry,Or die of hunger‘>7
    and their multitude is parched with thirst.
14   Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite
    and opened its mouth beyond measure,
  and the nobility of JerusalemHebrew her nobility‘>8 and her multitude will go down,
    her revelers and he who exults in her.
15   Man is humbled, and each one is brought low,
    and the eyes of the haughtyHebrew high‘>9 are brought low.
16   But the LORD of hosts is exaltedHebrew high‘>10 in justice,
    and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.
17   Then shall the lambs graze as in their pasture,
    and nomads shall eat among the ruins of the rich.

18   Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
    who draw sin as with cart ropes,
19   who say: “Let him be quick,
    let him speed his work
    that we may see it;
  let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,
    and let it come, that we may know it!”
20   Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
  who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
  who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
21   Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!
22   Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
23   who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right!

24   Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
    and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
  so their root will be as rottenness,
    and their blossom go up like dust;
  for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,
    and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25   Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people,
    and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,
    and the mountains quaked;
  and their corpses were as refuse
    in the midst of the streets.
  For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.

26   He will raise a signal for nations far away,
    and whistle for them from the ends of the earth;
  and behold, quickly, speedily they come!
27   None is weary, none stumbles,
    none slumbers or sleeps,
  not a waistband is loose,
    not a sandal strap broken;
28   their arrows are sharp,
    all their bows bent,
  their horses’ hoofs seem like flint,
    and their wheels like the whirlwind.
29   Their roaring is like a lion,
    like young lions they roar;
  they growl and seize their prey;
    they carry it off, and none can rescue.
30   They will growl over it on that day,
    like the growling of the sea.
  And if one looks to the land,
    behold, darkness and distress;
  and the light is darkened by its clouds.

Isaiah’s Vision of the Lord

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the trainOr hem‘>11 of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

  “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
  the whole earth is full of his glory!”Or may his glory fill the whole earth‘>12

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

Isaiah’s Commission from the Lord

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

  “‘Keep on hearing,Or Hear indeed‘>13 but do not understand;
  keep on seeing,Or see indeed‘>14 but do not perceive.’
10   Make the heart of this people dull,Hebrew fat‘>15
    and their ears heavy,
    and blind their eyes;
  lest they see with their eyes,
    and hear with their ears,
  and understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.”
11   Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
  And he said:
  “Until cities lie waste
    without inhabitant,
  and houses without people,
    and the land is a desolate waste,
12   and the LORD removes people far away,
    and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13   And though a tenth remain in it,
    it will be burnedOr purged‘>16 again,
  like a terebinth or an oak,
    whose stump remains
    when it is felled.”
  The holy seedOr offspring‘>17 is its stump.

Isaiah Sent to King Ahaz

In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not yet mount an attack against it. When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league withHebrew Syria has rested upon‘>18 Ephraim,” the heart of AhazHebrew his heart‘>19 and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

And the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-jashubShear-jashub means A remnant shall return‘>20 your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field. And say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying, “Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer itHebrew let us split it open‘>21 for ourselves, and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,” thus says the Lord GOD:

  “‘It shall not stand,
    and it shall not come to pass.
  For the head of Syria is Damascus,
    and the head of Damascus is Rezin.
  And within sixty-five years
    Ephraim will be shattered from being a people.
  And the head of Ephraim is Samaria,
    and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
  If youThe Hebrew for you is plural in verses 9, 13, 14′>22 are not firm in faith,
    you will not be firm at all.’”

The Sign of Immanuel

10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the LORD yourThe Hebrew for you and your is singular in verses 11, 16, 17′>23 God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.” 13 And heThat is, Isaiah’>24 said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.Immanuel means God is with us‘>25 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. 17 The LORD will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria!”

18 In that day the LORD will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 19 And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.Or watering holes, or brambles‘>26

20 In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired beyond the RiverThat is, the Euphrates’>27—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.

21 In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep, 22 and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat curds and honey.

23 In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekelsA shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams’>28 of silver, will become briers and thorns. 24 With bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns. 25 And as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.

Hebrews 4:14–5:10

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,

  “You are my Son,
    today I have begotten you”;

as he says also in another place,

  “You are a priest forever,
    after the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, JesusGreek he‘>1 offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

Psalm 83

O God, Do Not Keep Silence

A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.

83   O God, do not keep silence;
    do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
  For behold, your enemies make an uproar;
    those who hate you have raised their heads.
  They lay crafty plans against your people;
    they consult together against your treasured ones.
  They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
    let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”
  For they conspire with one accord;
    against you they make a covenant—
  the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
    Moab and the Hagrites,
  Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
    Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
  Asshur also has joined them;
    they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah

  Do to them as you did to Midian,
    as to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10   who were destroyed at En-dor,
    who became dung for the ground.
11   Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
    all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12   who said, “Let us take possession for ourselves
    of the pastures of God.”

13   O my God, make them like whirling dust,Or like a tumbleweed‘>1
    like chaff before the wind.
14   As fire consumes the forest,
    as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15   so may you pursue them with your tempest
    and terrify them with your hurricane!
16   Fill their faces with shame,
    that they may seek your name, O LORD.
17   Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
    let them perish in disgrace,
18   that they may know that you alone,
    whose name is the LORD,
    are the Most High over all the earth.

Proverbs 24:19–20

19   Fret not yourself because of evildoers,
    and be not envious of the wicked,
20   for the evil man has no future;
    the lamp of the wicked will be put out.


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