Isaiah 45–46; 1 Thessalonians 3

Cyrus, God’s Instrument

45  Thus says the Lord to phis anointed, to Cyrus,

qwhose right hand I have grasped,

to subdue nations before him

and rto loose the belts of kings,

to open doors before him

that gates may not be closed:

I will go before you

and slevel the exalted places,1

tI will break in pieces the doors of bronze

and cut through the bars of iron,

uI will give you the treasures of darkness

and the hoards in secret places,

that you may know that it is I, the Lord,

the God of Israel, vwho call you by your name.

For the sake of my servant Jacob,

and Israel my chosen,

vI call you by your name,

wI name you, though you do not know me.

xI am the Lord, and there is no other,

besides me there is no God;

yI equip you, though you do not know me,

zthat people may know, from the rising of the sun

and from the west, that there is none besides me;

I am the Lord, and there is no other.

I form light and create darkness;

I make well-being and acreate calamity;

I am the Lord, who does all these things.

bShower, O heavens, from above,

and clet the clouds rain down righteousness;

let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;

let the earth cause them both to sprout;

I the Lord have created it.

dWoe to him who strives with him who formed him,

a pot among earthen pots!

eDoes the clay say to him who forms it, What are you making?

or Your work has no handles?

10  Woe to him who says to a father, What are you begetting?

or to a woman, With what are you in labor?

11  Thus says fthe Lord,

the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:

gAsk me of things to come;

will you command me hconcerning my children and ithe work of my hands?2

12  jI made the earth

and created man on it;

it was my hands kthat stretched out the heavens,

and lI commanded all their host.

13  mI have stirred him up in righteousness,

nand I will make all his ways level;

ohe shall build my city

pand set my exiles free,

not for price or reward,

says the Lord of hosts.

The Lord, the Only Savior

14  Thus says the Lord:

qThe wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,

and the Sabeans, men of stature,

shall come over to you rand be yours;

they shall follow you;

they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.

They will plead with you, saying:

Surely God is in you, and there is no other,

no god besides him.

15  sTruly, you are a God who hides himself,

O God of Israel, the Savior.

16  tAll of them are put to shame and confounded;

the makers of idols go in confusion together.

17  But Israel is saved by the Lord

with everlasting salvation;

uyou shall not be put to shame or confounded

to all eternity.

18  vFor thus says the Lord,

who created the heavens

(he is God!),

who formed the earth and made it

(he established it;

he wdid not create it empty,

xhe formed it to be inhabited!):

I am the Lord, and there is no other.

19  yI did not speak in secret,

in a land of darkness;

I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,

zSeek me in vain.3

I the Lord speak athe truth;

I declare what is right.

20  bAssemble yourselves and come;

draw near together,

you survivors of the nations!

cThey have no knowledge

who dcarry about their wooden idols,

eand keep on praying to a god

that cannot save.

21  fDeclare and present your case;

let them take counsel together!

Who told this long ago?

Who declared it of old?

Was it not I, the Lord?

And there is no other god besides me,

a righteous God gand a Savior;

there is none besides me.

22  Turn to me and be saved,

hall the ends of the earth!

For I am God, and there is no other.

23  iBy myself I have sworn;

from my mouth has gone out in jrighteousness

a word that shall not return:

kTo me every knee shall bow,

every tongue shall swear allegiance.4

24  lOnly in the Lord, it shall be said of me,

are righteousness and mstrength;

to him shall come and be ashamed

nall who were incensed against him.

25  In the Lord all the offspring of Israel

shall be justified and shall glory.

The Idols of Babylon and the One True God

46  oBel bows down; Nebo stoops;

their idols are on beasts and livestock;

these things you carry are borne

as burdens on weary beasts.

They stoop; they bow down together;

they cannot save the burden,

but pthemselves go into captivity.

Listen to me, O house of Jacob,

all the remnant of the house of Israel,

qwho have been borne by me from before your birth,

carried from the womb;

reven to your old age I am he,

and to gray hairs I will carry you.

I have made, and I will bear;

I will carry and will save.

sTo whom will you liken me and make me equal,

and compare me, that we may be alike?

tThose who lavish gold from the purse,

and weigh out silver in the scales,

hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;

uthen they fall down and worship!

vThey lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,

they set it in its place, and it stands there;

wit cannot move from its place.

If one cries to it, it does not answer

or save him from his trouble.

Remember this and stand firm,

recall it to mind, xyou transgressors,

remember the former things of old;

for I am God, and there is no other;

I am God, and there is none like me,

10  ydeclaring the end from the beginning

and from ancient times things not yet done,

saying, zMy counsel shall stand,

and I will accomplish all my purpose,

11  acalling a bird of prey from the east,

the man of my counsel from a far country.

bI have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;

I have purposed, and I will do it.

12  Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,

you who are far from righteousness:

13  cI bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,

and my salvation will not delay;

dI will put salvation in Zion,

for Israel my glory.


Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing dto be left behind at Athens alone, and we esent Timothy, four brother and God’s coworker1 in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that gwe are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, hjust as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, iwhen I could bear it no longer, iI sent to learn about your faith, jfor fear that somehow kthe tempter had tempted you and lour labor would be in vain.

Timothy’s Encouraging Report

But mnow that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of nyour faith and love and reported othat you always remember us kindly and plong to see us, as we long to see you for this reason, brothers,2 in all our distress and affliction qwe have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you rare standing fast in the Lord. For swhat thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly tnight and day uthat we may see you face to face and vsupply what is lacking in your faith?

11 Now may wour God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, xdirect our way to you, 12 and may the Lord ymake you increase and abound in love zfor one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may aestablish your hearts blameless in holiness before wour God and Father, at bthe coming of our Lord Jesus cwith all his saints.