Reading for December 17th

Isaiah 25-27 (Listen)

God Will Swallow Up Death Forever

O Lord, you are my God;

I will exalt you; I will praise your name,

for you have done wonderful things,

plans formed of old, faithful and sure.

For you have made the city a heap,

the fortified city a ruin;

the foreigners' palace is a city no more;

it will never be rebuilt.

Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;

cities of ruthless nations will fear you.

For you have been a stronghold to the poor,

a stronghold to the needy in his distress,

a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;

for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,

like heat in a dry place.

You subdue the noise of the foreigners;

as heat by the shade of a cloud,

so the song of the ruthless is put down.

 

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples

a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,

of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.

And he will swallow up on this mountain

the covering that is cast over all peoples,

the veil that is spread over all nations.

He will swallow up death forever;

and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,

and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,

for the Lord has spoken.

It will be said on that day,

“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.

This is the Lord; we have waited for him;

let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain,

and Moab shall be trampled down in his place,

as straw is trampled down in a dunghill.

And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it

as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim,

but the Lord will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands.

And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down,

lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.

 

You Keep Him in Perfect Peace

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

 

“We have a strong city;

he sets up salvation

as walls and bulwarks.

Open the gates,

that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.

You keep him in perfect peace

whose mind is stayed on you,

because he trusts in you.

Trust in the Lord forever,

for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

For he has humbled

the inhabitants of the height,

the lofty city.

He lays it low, lays it low to the ground,

casts it to the dust.

The foot tramples it,

the feet of the poor,

the steps of the needy.”

 

The path of the righteous is level;

you make level the way of the righteous.

In the path of your judgments,

O Lord, we wait for you;

your name and remembrance

are the desire of our soul.

My soul yearns for you in the night;

my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.

For when your judgments are in the earth,

the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

If favor is shown to the wicked,

he does not learn righteousness;

in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly

and does not see the majesty of the Lord.

O Lord, your hand is lifted up,

but they do not see it.

Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed.

Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.

O Lord, you will ordain peace for us,

for you have indeed done for us all our works.

O Lord our God,

other lords besides you have ruled over us,

but your name alone we bring to remembrance.

They are dead, they will not live;

they are shades, they will not arise;

to that end you have visited them with destruction

and wiped out all remembrance of them.

But you have increased the nation, O Lord,

you have increased the nation; you are glorified;

you have enlarged all the borders of the land.

 

O Lord, in distress they sought you;

they poured out a whispered prayer

when your discipline was upon them.

Like a pregnant woman

who writhes and cries out in her pangs

when she is near to giving birth,

so were we because of you, O Lord;

we were pregnant, we writhed,

but we have given birth to wind.

We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth,

and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.

Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.

You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!

For your dew is a dew of light,

and the earth will give birth to the dead.

 

Come, my people, enter your chambers,

and shut your doors behind you;

hide yourselves for a little while

until the fury has passed by.

For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place

to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,

and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,

and will no more cover its slain.

 

The Redemption of Israel

In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.

 

In that day,

“A pleasant vineyard, sing of it!

I, the Lord, am its keeper;

every moment I water it.

Lest anyone punish it,

I keep it night and day;

I have no wrath.

Would that I had thorns and briers to battle!

I would march against them,

I would burn them up together.

Or let them lay hold of my protection,

let them make peace with me,

let them make peace with me.”

 

In days to come Jacob shall take root,

Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots

and fill the whole world with fruit.

 

Has he struck them as he struck those who struck them?

Or have they been slain as their slayers were slain?

Measure by measure, by exile you contended with them;

he removed them with his fierce breath in the day of the east wind.

Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be atoned for,

and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:

when he makes all the stones of the altars

like chalkstones crushed to pieces,

no Asherim or incense altars will remain standing.

For the fortified city is solitary,

a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness;

there the calf grazes;

there it lies down and strips its branches.

When its boughs are dry, they are broken;

women come and make a fire of them.

For this is a people without discernment;

therefore he who made them will not have compassion on them;

he who formed them will show them no favor.

 

In that day from the river Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt the Lord will thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one by one, O people of Israel. And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.