March 20, 2017
The Lord Almighty has sworn,
“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,
and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
I will crush the Assyrian in my land;
on my mountains I will trample him down.
His yoke will be taken from my people,
and his burden removed from their shoulders.”
This is the plan determined for the whole world;
this is the hand stretched out over all nations.
For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?
His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
This prophecy came in the year King Ahaz died:
Do not rejoice, all you Philistines,
that the rod that struck you is broken;
from the root of that snake will spring up a viper,
its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.
The poorest of the poor will find pasture,
and the needy will lie down in safety.
But your root I will destroy by famine;
it will slay your survivors.
Wail, you gate! Howl, you city!
Melt away, all you Philistines!
A cloud of smoke comes from the north,
and there is not a straggler in its ranks.
What answer shall be given
to the envoys of that nation?
“The Lord has established Zion,
and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.”
The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
“As long as the earth endures,
seed time and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
“But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.
“Whoever sheds human blood,
by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made mankind.
As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”
Truly the righteous attain life,
but whoever pursues evil finds death.
The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,
but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.
Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
but those who are righteous will go free.
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.
One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
People curse the one who hoards grain,
but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.
Whoever seeks good finds favor,
but evil comes to one who searches for it.
Those who trust in their riches will fall,
but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and the one who is wise saves lives.
If the righteous receive their due on earth,
how much more the ungodly and the sinner!
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.
Good people obtain favor from the Lord,
but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.
No one can be established through wickedness,
but the righteous cannot be uprooted.
A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,
but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
The plans of the righteous are just,
but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.
The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the speech of the upright rescues them.