“Maintain justice(A) and do what is right,(B) for my salvation(C) is close at hand and my righteousness(D) will soon be revealed. 2 Blessed(E) is the one who does this— the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath(F) without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”
3 Let no foreigner(G) who is bound to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”(H) And let no eunuch(I) complain, “I am only a dry tree.”
4 For this is what the Lord says:
“To the eunuchs(J) who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant(K)— 5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls(L) a memorial(M) and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name(N) that will endure forever.(O) 6 And foreigners(P) who bind themselves to the Lord to minister(Q) to him, to love the name(R) of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath(S) without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain(T) and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices(U) will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.(V)”(W) 8 The Sovereign Lord declares— he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather(X) still others to them besides those already gathered.”
God’s Accusation Against the Wicked
9 Come, all you beasts of the field,(Y) come and devour, all you beasts of the forest! 10 Israel’s watchmen(Z) are blind, they all lack knowledge;(AA) they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep.(AB) 11 They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds(AC) who lack understanding;(AD) they all turn to their own way,(AE) they seek their own gain.(AF) 12 “Come,” each one cries, “let me get wine!(AG) Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better.”(AH)
57 The righteous perish,(AI) and no one takes it to heart;(AJ) the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.(AK) 2 Those who walk uprightly(AL) enter into peace; they find rest(AM) as they lie in death.
3 “But you—come here, you children of a sorceress,(AN) you offspring of adulterers(AO) and prostitutes!(AP) 4 Who are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels,(AQ) the offspring of liars? 5 You burn with lust among the oaks(AR) and under every spreading tree;(AS) you sacrifice your children(AT) in the ravines and under the overhanging crags. 6 The idols(AU) among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion; indeed, they are your lot. Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings(AV) and offered grain offerings. In view of all this, should I relent?(AW) 7 You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill;(AX) there you went up to offer your sacrifices.(AY) 8 Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love,(AZ) and you looked with lust on their naked bodies.(BA) 9 You went to Molek[a](BB) with olive oil and increased your perfumes.(BC) You sent your ambassadors[b](BD) far away; you descended to the very realm of the dead!(BE) 10 You wearied(BF) yourself by such going about, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’(BG) You found renewal of your strength,(BH) and so you did not faint.
11 “Whom have you so dreaded and feared(BI) that you have not been true to me, and have neither remembered(BJ) me nor taken this to heart?(BK) Is it not because I have long been silent(BL) that you do not fear me? 12 I will expose your righteousness and your works,(BM) and they will not benefit you. 13 When you cry out(BN) for help, let your collection of idols save(BO) you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow(BP) them away. But whoever takes refuge(BQ) in me will inherit the land(BR) and possess my holy mountain.”(BS)
Comfort for the Contrite
14 And it will be said:
“Build up, build up, prepare the road!(BT) Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”(BU) 15 For this is what the high and exalted(BV) One says— he who lives forever,(BW) whose name is holy: “I live in a high(BX) and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite(BY) and lowly in spirit,(BZ) to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.(CA) 16 I will not accuse(CB) them forever, nor will I always be angry,(CC) for then they would faint away because of me— the very people(CD) I have created. 17 I was enraged by their sinful greed;(CE) I punished them, and hid(CF) my face in anger, yet they kept on in their willful ways.(CG) 18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal(CH) them; I will guide(CI) them and restore comfort(CJ) to Israel’s mourners, 19 creating praise on their lips.(CK) Peace, peace,(CL) to those far and near,”(CM) says the Lord. “And I will heal them.” 20 But the wicked(CN) are like the tossing sea,(CO) which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire(CP) and mud. 21 “There is no peace,”(CQ) says my God, “for the wicked.”(CR)
58 “Shout it aloud,(CS) do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.(CT) Declare to my people their rebellion(CU) and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.(CV) 2 For day after day they seek(CW) me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken(CX) the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near(CY) them. 3 ‘Why have we fasted,’(CZ) they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled(DA) ourselves, and you have not noticed?’(DB)
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please(DC) and exploit all your workers. 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,(DD) and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard(DE) on high. 5 Is this the kind of fast(DF) I have chosen, only a day for people to humble(DG) themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed(DH) and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?(DI) Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting(DJ) I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice(DK) and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed(DL) free and break every yoke?(DM) 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry(DN) and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter(DO)— when you see the naked, to clothe(DP) them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?(DQ) 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,(DR) and your healing(DS) will quickly appear; then your righteousness[c](DT) will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.(DU) 9 Then you will call,(DV) and the Lord will answer;(DW) you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger(DX) and malicious talk,(DY) 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,(DZ) then your light(EA) will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.(EB) 11 The Lord will guide(EC) you always; he will satisfy your needs(ED) in a sun-scorched land(EE) and will strengthen(EF) your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden,(EG) like a spring(EH) whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins(EI) and will raise up the age-old foundations;(EJ) you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,(EK) Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath(EL) and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight(EM) and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,(EN) 14 then you will find your joy(EO) in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights(EP) of the land and to feast on the inheritance(EQ) of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.(ER)
2 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ(A) and our being gathered to him,(B) we ask you, brothers and sisters,2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter(C)—asserting that the day of the Lord(D) has already come.(E)3 Don’t let anyone deceive you(F) in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion(G) occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed,(H) the man doomed to destruction.4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God(I) or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.(J)
5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?(K)6 And now you know what is holding him back,(L) so that he may be revealed at the proper time.7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back(M) will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.8 And then the lawless one will be revealed,(N) whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth(O) and destroy by the splendor of his coming.(P)9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan(Q) works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders(R) that serve the lie,10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing.(S) They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.(T)11 For this reason God sends them(U) a powerful delusion(V) so that they will believe the lie(W)12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.(X)
13 But we ought always to thank God for you,(Y) brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits[b](Z) to be saved(AA) through the sanctifying work of the Spirit(AB) and through belief in the truth.14 He called you(AC) to this through our gospel,(AD) that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm(AE) and hold fast to the teachings[c] we passed on to you,(AF) whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,(AG) who loved us(AH) and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,17 encourage(AI) your hearts and strengthen(AJ) you in every good deed and word.
Morrinsville Baptist is a church of 250-300 people from all ages and all walks of life who live or work in and around Morrinsville, New Zealand. Our faith in Jesus Christ is our common bond, and we are committed to living by the values and principles taught by Jesus, as we actively promote his Kingdom through our shared life as a church as well as through our personal daily lives.