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Bible Reading Plan

Daily Bible Reading

August 20 - Straight Thru the Bible

 

Isaiah 55:1-60:9

Chapter 55

Invitation to the Thirsty

1 "Come, all you who are thirsty,(a)
     come to the waters;(b)
and you who have no money,
     come, buy(c) and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk(d)
     without money and without cost.(e)
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
     and your labor on what does not satisfy?(f)
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,(g)
     and you will delight in the richest(h) of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
     listen,(i) that you may live.(j)
I will make an everlasting covenant(k) with you,
     my faithful love(l) promised to David.(m)
4 See, I have made him a witness(n) to the peoples,
     a ruler and commander(o) of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations(p) you know not,
     and nations you do not know will come running to you,(q)
because of the Lord your God,
     the Holy One(r) of Israel,
     for he has endowed you with splendor."(s)

6 Seek(t) the Lord while he may be found;(u)
     call(v) on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake(w) their ways
     and the unrighteous their thoughts.(x)
Let them turn(y) to the Lord , and he will have mercy(z) on them,
     and to our God, for he will freely pardon.(aa)

8 "For my thoughts(ab) are not your thoughts,
     neither are your ways my ways,"(ac)
declares the Lord .
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,(ad)
     so are my ways higher than your ways
     and my thoughts than your thoughts.(ae)
10 As the rain(af) and the snow
     come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
     without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,(ag)
     so that it yields seed(ah) for the sower and bread for the eater,(ai)
11 so is my word(aj) that goes out from my mouth:
     It will not return to me empty,(ak)
but will accomplish what I desire
     and achieve the purpose(al) for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy(am)
     and be led forth in peace;(an)
the mountains and hills
     will burst into song(ao) before you,
and all the trees(ap) of the field
     will clap their hands.(aq)
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
     and instead of briers(ar) the myrtle(as) will grow.
This will be for the Lord 's renown,(at)
     for an everlasting sign,
     that will endure forever."

Chapter 56

Salvation for Others

1 This is what the Lord says:

"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)

Chapter 57

1 The righteous perish,(a)
     and no one takes it to heart;(b)
the devout are taken away,
     and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
     to be spared from evil.(c)
2 Those who walk uprightly(d)
     enter into peace;
     they find rest(e) as they lie in death.

3 "But you—come here, you children of a sorceress,(f)
     you offspring of adulterers(g) and prostitutes!(h)
4 Who are you mocking?
     At whom do you sneer
     and stick out your tongue?
Are you not a brood of rebels,(i)
     the offspring of liars?
5 You burn with lust among the oaks(j)
     and under every spreading tree;(k)
you sacrifice your children(l) in the ravines
     and under the overhanging crags.
6 The idols(m) among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion;
     indeed, they are your lot.
Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings(n)
     and offered grain offerings.
     In view of all this, should I relent?(o)
7 You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill;(p)
     there you went up to offer your sacrifices.(q)
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,(r)
     and you looked with lust on their naked bodies.(s)
9 You went to Molek[a](t) with olive oil
     and increased your perfumes.(u)
You sent your ambassadors[b](v) far away;
     you descended to the very realm of the dead!(w)
10 You wearied(x) yourself by such going about,
     but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.'(y)
You found renewal of your strength,(z)
     and so you did not faint.

11 "Whom have you so dreaded and feared(aa)
     that you have not been true to me,
and have neither remembered(ab) me
     nor taken this to heart?(ac)
Is it not because I have long been silent(ad)
     that you do not fear me?
12 I will expose your righteousness and your works,(ae)
     and they will not benefit you.
13 When you cry out(af) for help,
     let your collection of idols save(ag) you!
The wind will carry all of them off,
     a mere breath will blow(ah) them away.
But whoever takes refuge(ai) in me
     will inherit the land(aj)
     and possess my holy mountain."(ak)

Comfort for the Contrite

14 And it will be said:

"Build up, build up, prepare the road!(al)
     Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people."(am)
15 For this is what the high and exalted(an) One says—
     he who lives forever,(ao) whose name is holy:
"I live in a high(ap) and holy place,
     but also with the one who is contrite(aq) and lowly in spirit,(ar)
to revive the spirit of the lowly
     and to revive the heart of the contrite.(as)
16 I will not accuse(at) them forever,
     nor will I always be angry,(au)
for then they would faint away because of me—
     the very people(av) I have created.
17 I was enraged by their sinful greed;(aw)
     I punished them, and hid(ax) my face in anger,
     yet they kept on in their willful ways.(ay)
18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal(az) them;
     I will guide(ba) them and restore comfort(bb) to Israel's mourners,
19       creating praise on their lips.(bc)
Peace, peace,(bd) to those far and near,"(be)
     says the Lord . "And I will heal them."
20 But the wicked(bf) are like the tossing sea,(bg)
     which cannot rest,
     whose waves cast up mire(bh) and mud.
21 "There is no peace,"(bi) says my God, "for the wicked."(bj)

Chapter 58

True Fasting

1 "Shout it aloud,(a) do not hold back.
     Raise your voice like a trumpet.(b)
Declare to my people their rebellion(c)
     and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.(d)
2 For day after day they seek(e) me out;
     they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
     and has not forsaken(f) the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
     and seem eager for God to come near(g) them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,'(h) they say,
     ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled(i) ourselves,
     and you have not noticed?'(j)

"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please(k)
     and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,(l)
     and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
     and expect your voice to be heard(m) on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast(n) I have chosen,
     only a day for people to humble(o) themselves?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed(p)
     and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?(q)
Is that what you call a fast,
     a day acceptable to the Lord ?

6 "Is not this the kind of fasting(r) I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice(s)
     and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed(t) free
     and break every yoke?(u)
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry(v)
     and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter(w)
when you see the naked, to clothe(x) them,
     and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?(y)
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,(z)
     and your healing(aa) will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a](ab) will go before you,
     and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.(ac)
9 Then you will call,(ad) and the Lord will answer;(ae)
     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(af) and malicious talk,(ag)
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
     and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,(ah)
then your light(ai) will rise in the darkness,
     and your night will become like the noonday.(aj)
11 The Lord will guide(ak) you always;
     he will satisfy your needs(al) in a sun-scorched land(am)
     and will strengthen(an) your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,(ao)
     like a spring(ap) whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins(aq)
     and will raise up the age-old foundations;(ar)
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,(as)
     Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath(at)
     and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight(au)
     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,(av)
14 then you will find your joy(aw) in the Lord ,
     and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights(ax) of the land
     and to feast on the inheritance(ay) of your father Jacob."
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.(az)

Chapter 59

Sin, Confession and Redemption

1 Surely the arm(a) of the Lord is not too short(b) to save,
     nor his ear too dull to hear.(c)
2 But your iniquities have separated(d)
     you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
     so that he will not hear.(e)
3 For your hands are stained with blood,(f)
     your fingers with guilt.(g)
Your lips have spoken falsely,(h)
     and your tongue mutters wicked things.
4 No one calls for justice;(i)
     no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely(j) on empty arguments, they utter lies;(k)
     they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.(l)
5 They hatch the eggs of vipers(m)
     and spin a spider's web.(n)
Whoever eats their eggs will die,
     and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
6 Their cobwebs are useless for clothing;
     they cannot cover themselves with what they make.(o)
Their deeds are evil deeds,
     and acts of violence(p) are in their hands.
7 Their feet rush into sin;
     they are swift to shed innocent blood.(q)
They pursue evil schemes;(r)
     acts of violence mark their ways.(s)
8 The way of peace they do not know;(t)
     there is no justice in their paths.
They have turned them into crooked roads;(u)
     no one who walks along them will know peace.(v)

9 So justice is far from us,
     and righteousness does not reach us.
We look for light, but all is darkness;(w)
     for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
10 Like the blind(x) we grope along the wall,
     feeling our way like people without eyes.
At midday we stumble(y) as if it were twilight;
     among the strong, we are like the dead.(z)
11 We all growl like bears;
     we moan mournfully like doves.(aa)
We look for justice, but find none;
     for deliverance, but it is far away.

12 For our offenses(ab) are many in your sight,
     and our sins testify(ac) against us.
Our offenses are ever with us,
     and we acknowledge our iniquities:(ad)
13 rebellion(ae) and treachery against the Lord ,
     turning our backs(af) on our God,
inciting revolt and oppression,(ag)
     uttering lies(ah) our hearts have conceived.
14 So justice(ai) is driven back,
     and righteousness(aj) stands at a distance;
truth(ak) has stumbled in the streets,
     honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth(al) is nowhere to be found,
     and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.

The Lord looked and was displeased
     that there was no justice.(am)
16 He saw that there was no one,(an)
     he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;(ao)
so his own arm achieved salvation(ap) for him,
     and his own righteousness(aq) sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate,(ar)
     and the helmet(as) of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments(at) of vengeance(au)
     and wrapped himself in zeal(av) as in a cloak.
18 According to what they have done,
     so will he repay(aw)
wrath to his enemies
     and retribution to his foes;
     he will repay the islands(ax) their due.
19 From the west,(ay) people will fear the name of the Lord ,
     and from the rising of the sun,(az) they will revere his glory.(ba)
For he will come like a pent-up flood
     that the breath(bb) of the Lord drives along.[a]

20 "The Redeemer(bc) will come to Zion,(bd)
     to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,"(be)
declares the Lord .

21 "As for me, this is my covenant(bf) with them," says the Lord . "My Spirit,(bg) who is on you, will not depart from you,(bh) and my words that I have put in your mouth(bi) will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever," says the Lord .

Chapter 60

The Glory of Zion

1 "Arise,(a) shine, for your light(b) has come,
     and the glory(c) of the Lord rises upon you.
2 See, darkness(d) covers the earth
     and thick darkness(e) is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
     and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations(f) will come to your light,(g)
     and kings(h) to the brightness of your dawn.

4 "Lift up your eyes and look about you:
     All assemble(i) and come to you;
your sons come from afar,(j)
     and your daughters(k) are carried on the hip.(l)
5 Then you will look and be radiant,(m)
     your heart will throb and swell with joy;(n)
the wealth(o) on the seas will be brought to you,
     to you the riches of the nations will come.
6 Herds of camels(p) will cover your land,
     young camels of Midian(q) and Ephah.(r)
And all from Sheba(s) will come,
     bearing gold and incense(t)
     and proclaiming the praise(u) of the Lord .
7 All Kedar's(v) flocks will be gathered to you,
     the rams of Nebaioth will serve you;
they will be accepted as offerings(w) on my altar,(x)
     and I will adorn my glorious temple.(y)

8 "Who are these(z) that fly along like clouds,(aa)
     like doves to their nests?
9 Surely the islands(ab) look to me;
     in the lead are the ships of Tarshish,[a](ac)
bringing(ad) your children from afar,
     with their silver and gold,(ae)
to the honor(af) of the Lord your God,
     the Holy One(ag) of Israel,
     for he has endowed you with splendor.(ah)

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