March 31, 2017
“This is what the Lord says—
the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Concerning things to come,
do you question me about my children,
or give me orders about the work of my hands?
It is I who made the earth
and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
I marshaled their starry hosts.
I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness:
I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
says the Lord Almighty.”
This is what the Lord says:
“The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
and those tall Sabeans—
they will come over to you
and will be yours;
they will trudge behind you,
coming over to you in chains.
They will bow down before you
and plead with you, saying,
‘Surely God is with you, and there is no other;
there is no other god.’”
Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself,
the God and Savior of Israel.
All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced;
they will go off into disgrace together.
But Israel will be saved by the Lord
with an everlasting salvation;
you will never be put to shame or disgraced,
to ages everlasting.
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge
and puts up security for a neighbor.
Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin;
whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.
One whose heart is corrupt does not prosper;
one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.
To have a fool for a child brings grief;
there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.
A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
The wicked accept bribes in secret
to pervert the course of justice.
A discerning person keeps wisdom in view,
but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
A foolish son brings grief to his father
and bitterness to the mother who bore him.
If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good,
surely to flog honest officials is not right.
The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
and discerning if they hold their tongues.
An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.
Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.
When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
and with shame comes reproach.
The words of the mouth are deep waters,
but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.
It is not good to be partial to the wicked
and so deprive the innocent of justice.