Read the Bible | October 9th
Fear Not, for I Am with You
 Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;
let the peoples renew their strength;
let them approach, then let them speak;
let us together draw near for judgment.
 Who stirred up one from the east
whom victory meets at every step?
He gives up nations before him,
so that he tramples kings underfoot;
he makes them like dust with his sword,
like driven stubble with his bow.
 He pursues them and passes on safely,
by paths his feet have not trod.
 Who has performed and done this,
calling the generations from the beginning?
I, the LORD, the first,
and with the last; I am he.
 The coastlands have seen and are afraid;
the ends of the earth tremble;
they have drawn near and come.
 Everyone helps his neighbor
and says to his brother, “Be strong!”
 The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith,
and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil,
saying of the soldering, “It is good”;
and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved.
 But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
 you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
 Behold, all who are incensed against you
shall be put to shame and confounded;
those who strive against you
shall be as nothing and shall perish.
 You shall seek those who contend with you,
but you shall not find them;
those who war against you
shall be as nothing at all.
 For I, the LORD your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”
 Fear not, you worm Jacob,
you men of Israel!
I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD;
your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
 Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,
new, sharp, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
and you shall make the hills like chaff;
 you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,
and the tempest shall scatter them.
And you shall rejoice in the LORD;
in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.
 When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the LORD will answer them;
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
 I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
 I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together,
 that they may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.
The Futility of Idols
 Set forth your case, says the LORD;
bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
 Let them bring them, and tell us
what is to happen.
Tell us the former things, what they are,
that we may consider them,
that we may know their outcome;
or declare to us the things to come.
 Tell us what is to come hereafter,
that we may know that you are gods;
do good, or do harm,
that we may be dismayed and terrified.
 Behold, you are nothing,
and your work is less than nothing;
an abomination is he who chooses you.
 I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,
from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name;
he shall trample on rulers as on mortar,
as the potter treads clay.
 Who declared it from the beginning, that we might know,
and beforehand, that we might say, “He is right”?
There was none who declared it, none who proclaimed,
none who heard your words.
 I was the first to say to Zion, “Behold, here they are!”
and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good news.
 But when I look, there is no one;
among these there is no counselor
who, when I ask, gives an answer.
 Behold, they are all a delusion;
their works are nothing;
their metal images are empty wind. (ESV)
The LORD’s Chosen Servant
 Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
 He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.
 Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
 “I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
 to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
 I am the LORD; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
 Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”
Sing to the LORD a New Song
 Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,
the coastlands and their inhabitants.
 Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,
the villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the habitants of Sela sing for joy,
let them shout from the top of the mountains.
 Let them give glory to the LORD,
and declare his praise in the coastlands.
 The LORD goes out like a mighty man,
like a man of war he stirs up his zeal;
he cries out, he shouts aloud,
he shows himself mighty against his foes.
 For a long time I have held my peace;
I have kept still and restrained myself;
now I will cry out like a woman in labor;
I will gasp and pant.
 I will lay waste mountains and hills,
and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn the rivers into islands,
and dry up the pools.
 And I will lead the blind
in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I do,
and I do not forsake them.
 They are turned back and utterly put to shame,
who trust in carved idols,
who say to metal images,
“You are our gods.”
Israel’s Failure to Hear and See
 Hear, you deaf,
and look, you blind, that you may see!
 Who is blind but my servant,
or deaf as my messenger whom I send?
Who is blind as my dedicated one,
or blind as the servant of the LORD?
 He sees many things, but does not observe them;
his ears are open, but he does not hear.
 The LORD was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake,
to magnify his law and make it glorious.
 But this is a people plundered and looted;
they are all of them trapped in holes
and hidden in prisons;
they have become plunder with none to rescue,
spoil with none to say, “Restore!”
 Who among you will give ear to this,
will attend and listen for the time to come?
 Who gave up Jacob to the looter,
and Israel to the plunderers?
Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned,
in whose ways they would not walk,
and whose law they would not obey?
 So he poured on him the heat of his anger
and the might of battle;
it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand;
it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart. (ESV)
Rules for Christian Households
 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.  Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.  Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.  For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. (ESV)
 Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.  At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.  I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts,  and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him),  and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.  Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.  For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.  Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.  Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.  And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.  And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. (ESV)