Isaiah 41–42; 1 Thessalonians 1

Fear Not, for I Am with You

41  nListen to me in silence, oO coastlands;

let the peoples renew their strength;

let them approach, then let them speak;

let us together draw near for judgment.

pWho stirred up one from the east

whom victory meets at every qstep?1

rHe gives up nations before him,

so that he tramples kings underfoot;

he makes them like dust with his sword,

slike driven stubble with his bow.

He pursues them and passes on safely,

by paths his feet have not trod.

tWho has performed and done this,

calling the generations from the beginning?

uI, the Lord, the first,

and with the last; I am he.

vThe 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!

wThe 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 xso that it cannot be moved.

But you, Israel, ymy servant,

Jacob, zwhom I have chosen,

the offspring of Abraham, amy friend;

you whom I took from the ends of the earth,

and called bfrom its farthest corners,

saying to you, You are ymy servant,

zI have chosen you and not cast you off;

10  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 cmy righteous right hand.

11  dBehold, 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.

12  eYou shall seek those who contend with you,

but you shall not find them;

fthose who war against you

shall be as nothing at all.

13  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.

14  Fear not, you gworm Jacob,

you men of Israel!

I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord;

your hRedeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

15  iBehold, I make of you a threshing sledge,

new, sharp, and having teeth;

you shall thresh jthe mountains and crush them,

and you shall make the hills like chaff;

16  kyou shall winnow them, and lthe wind shall carry them away,

and the tempest shall scatter them.

mAnd you shall rejoice in the Lord;

in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

17  nWhen 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.

18  oI will open rivers on the bare heights,

and fountains in the midst of the valleys.

pI will make the wilderness a pool of water,

and the dry land springs of water.

19  qI will put in the wilderness the cedar,

the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.

I will set in the desert rthe cypress,

the plane and the pine together,

20  that they may see and know,

may consider and understand together,

that sthe hand of the Lord has done this,

the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The Futility of Idols

21  Set forth your case, says the Lord;

bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.

22  Let them bring them, and ttell 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.

23  tTell us what is to come hereafter,

that we may know that you are gods;

udo good, or do harm,

that we may be dismayed and terrified.2

24  Behold, vyou are nothing,

and your work is less than nothing;

an abomination is he who chooses you.

25  wI stirred up one from the north, and he has come,

xfrom the rising of the sun, yand he shall call upon my name;

he shall trample on rulers as on mortar,

as the potter treads clay.

26  zWho 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.

27  aI was the first to say3 to Zion, Behold, here they are!

and bI give to Jerusalem a herald of good news.

28  cBut when I look, there is no one;

among these there is no counselor

who, when I ask, gives an answer.

29  dBehold, they are all a delusion;

their works are nothing;

their metal images are empty wind.

The Lord’s Chosen Servant

42  eBehold fmy servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen, gin whom my soul delights;

hI have put my Spirit upon him;

ihe will bring forth justice to the nations.

He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,

or make it heard in the street;

ja bruised reed he will not break,

and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;

khe will faithfully bring forth justice.

He will not grow faint or be discouraged4

till he has established justice in the earth;

and lthe coastlands wait for his law.

Thus says God, the Lord,

who created the heavens mand stretched them out,

who spread out the earth and what comes from it,

nwho gives breath to the people on it

and spirit to those who walk in it:

I am the Lord; oI have called you5 in righteousness;

I will take you by the hand and keep you;

I will give you pas a covenant for the people,

qa light for the nations,

rto open the eyes that are blind,

to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,

sfrom the prison those who sit in darkness.

I am the Lord; that is my name;

tmy glory I give to no other,

nor my praise to carved idols.

Behold, the former things have come to pass,

uand new things I now declare;

before they spring forth

I tell you of them.

Sing to the Lord a New Song

10  vSing to the Lord a new song,

his praise from the end of the earth,

wyou who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,

lthe coastlands and their inhabitants.

11  Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,

the villages that xKedar inhabits;

let the habitants of ySela sing for joy,

let them shout from the top of the mountains.

12  Let them give glory to the Lord,

and declare his praise in lthe coastlands.

13  zThe Lord goes out like a mighty man,

like a man of war ahe stirs up his zeal;

he cries out, bhe shouts aloud,

he shows himself mighty against his foes.

14  For a long time I have held my peace;

I have kept still and restrained myself;

now I will cry out clike a woman in labor;

I will gasp and pant.

15  dI will lay waste mountains and hills,

and dry up all their vegetation;

I will turn the rivers into islands,6

and dry up the pools.

16  eAnd 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,

fthe rough places into level ground.

These are the things I do,

and I do not forsake them.

17  gThey 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

18  Hear, you deaf,

and look, you blind, that you may see!

19  Who is blind but my servant,

or deaf as my messenger whom I send?

Who is blind as my dedicated one,7

or blind as the servant of the Lord?

20  hHe sees many things, but does not observe them;

ihis ears are open, but he does not hear.

21  The Lord was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake,

to magnify his law and make it glorious.

22  But this is a people plundered and looted;

they are all of them trapped in holes

jand hidden in prisons;

they have become plunder with none to rescue,

spoil with none to say, Restore!

23  Who among you will give ear to this,

will attend and listen for the time to come?

24  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?

25  So he poured on him the heat of his anger

and the might of battle;

it set him on fire all around, kbut he did not understand;

it burned him up, lbut he did not take it to heart.


1 Thessalonians Illustration

1 Thessalonians

Greeting

Paul, aSilvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the bThessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

cGrace to you and peace.

The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example

dWe give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly1 ementioning you in our prayers, remembering before four God and Father gyour work of faith and labor of hlove and isteadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, jbrothers2 loved by God, kthat he has chosen you, because lour gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and min the Holy Spirit and with full nconviction. You know owhat kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And pyou became imitators of us qand of the Lord, for ryou received the word in much affliction, swith the tjoy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord usounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth veverywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of wreception we had among you, and how xyou turned to God yfrom idols to serve the living and ztrue God, 10 and ato wait for his Son bfrom heaven, cwhom he raised from the dead, Jesus dwho delivers us from ethe wrath to come.