This devotional tool is an excellent way to learn the Bible, immerse yourself in the entirety of Scripture and gain spiritual wisdom throughout the entire year. Each day, we will feature a 10- to 15-minute excerpt from The Listener’s Bible (NIV 1984), narrated by Max McLean, which will culminate in a complete reading of the entire Bible over 12 months.

Scripture for Wednesday, September 20
Isaiah 47:1-49:7, Galatians 5:7-26, Psalm 109:1-20

Read along:

Isaiah 47-49:7

Isaiah 47

 1 "Go down, sit in the dust,
   Virgin Daughter of Babylon;
sit on the ground without a throne,
   Daughter of the Babylonians.
No more will you be called
   tender or delicate.
2 Take millstones and grind flour;
   take off your veil.
Lift up your skirts, bare your legs,
   and wade through the streams.
3 Your nakedness will be exposed
   and your shame uncovered.
I will take vengeance;
   I will spare no one."

 4 Our Redeemer—the LORD Almighty is his name—
   is the Holy One of Israel.

 5 "Sit in silence, go into darkness,
   Daughter of the Babylonians;
no more will you be called
   queen of kingdoms.
6 I was angry with my people
   and desecrated my inheritance;
I gave them into your hand,
   and you showed them no mercy.
Even on the aged
   you laid a very heavy yoke.
7 You said, "˜I will continue forever—
   the eternal queen!'
But you did not consider these things
   or reflect on what might happen.

 8 "Now then, listen, you wanton creature,
   lounging in your security
and saying to yourself,
   "˜I am, and there is none besides me.
I will never be a widow
   or suffer the loss of children.'
9 Both of these will overtake you
   in a moment, on a single day:
   loss of children and widowhood.
They will come upon you in full measure,
   in spite of your many sorceries
   and all your potent spells.
10 You have trusted in your wickedness
   and have said, "˜No one sees me.'
Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you
   when you say to yourself,
   "˜I am, and there is none besides me.'
11 Disaster will come upon you,
   and you will not know how to conjure it away.
A calamity will fall upon you
   that you cannot ward off with a ransom;
a catastrophe you cannot foresee
   will suddenly come upon you.

 12 "Keep on, then, with your magic spells
   and with your many sorceries,
   which you have labored at since childhood.
Perhaps you will succeed,
   perhaps you will cause terror.
13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out!
   Let your astrologers come forward,
those stargazers who make predictions month by month,
   let them save you from what is coming upon you.
14 Surely they are like stubble;
   the fire will burn them up.
They cannot even save themselves
   from the power of the flame.
Here are no coals to warm anyone;
   here is no fire to sit by.
15 That is all they can do for you—
   these you have labored with
   and trafficked with since childhood.
Each of them goes on in his error;
   there is not one that can save you.

Isaiah 48

 1 "Listen to this, O house of Jacob,
   you who are called by the name of Israel
   and come from the line of Judah,
you who take oaths in the name of the LORD
   and invoke the God of Israel—
   but not in truth or righteousness—
2 you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city
   and rely on the God of Israel—
   the LORD Almighty is his name:
3 I foretold the former things long ago,
   my mouth announced them and I made them known;
   then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
4 For I knew how stubborn you were;
   the sinews of your neck were iron,
   your forehead was bronze.
5 Therefore I told you these things long ago;
   before they happened I announced them to you
so that you could not say,
   "˜My idols did them;
   my wooden image and metal god ordained them.'
6 You have heard these things; look at them all.
   Will you not admit them?

   "From now on I will tell you of new things,
   of hidden things unknown to you.
7 They are created now, and not long ago;
   you have not heard of them before today.
So you cannot say,
   "˜Yes, I knew of them.'
8 You have neither heard nor understood;
   from of old your ear has not been open.
Well do I know how treacherous you are;
   you were called a rebel from birth.
9 For my own name's sake I delay my wrath;
   for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you,
   so as not to cut you off.
10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
   I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
   How can I let myself be defamed?
   I will not yield my glory to another.  12 "Listen to me, O Jacob,
   Israel, whom I have called:
I am he;
   I am the first and I am the last.
13 My own hand laid the foundations of the earth,
   and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I summon them,
   they all stand up together.

 14 "Come together, all of you, and listen:
   Which of the idols has foretold these things?
The LORD's chosen ally
   will carry out his purpose against Babylon;
   his arm will be against the Babylonians.
15 I, even I, have spoken;
   yes, I have called him.
I will bring him,
   and he will succeed in his mission.

 16 "Come near me and listen to this:

   "From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret;
   at the time it happens, I am there."

   And now the Sovereign LORD has sent me,
   with his Spirit.

 17 This is what the LORD says—
   your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
"I am the LORD your God,
   who teaches you what is best for you,
   who directs you in the way you should go.
18 If only you had paid attention to my commands,
   your peace would have been like a river,
   your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
19 Your descendants would have been like the sand,
   your children like its numberless grains;
their name would never be cut off
   nor destroyed from before me."

 20 Leave Babylon,
   flee from the Babylonians!
Announce this with shouts of joy
   and proclaim it.
Send it out to the ends of the earth;
   say, "The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob."
21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
   he made water flow for them from the rock;
he split the rock
   and water gushed out.

 22 "There is no peace," says the LORD, "for the wicked."

Isaiah 49

 1 Listen to me, you islands;
   hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was born the LORD called me;
   from my birth he has made mention of my name.
2 He made my mouth like a sharpened sword,
   in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrow
   and concealed me in his quiver.
3 He said to me, "You are my servant,
   Israel, in whom I will display my splendor."
4 But I said, "I have labored to no purpose;
   I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.
Yet what is due me is in the LORD's hand,
   and my reward is with my God."

 5 And now the LORD says—
   he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
   and gather Israel to himself,
for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD
   and my God has been my strength—
6 he says:
"It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
   to restore the tribes of Jacob
   and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
   that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."

 7 This is what the LORD says—
   the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—
to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation,
   to the servant of rulers:
"Kings will see you and rise up,
   princes will see and bow down,
because of the LORD, who is faithful,
   the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."


Galatians 5:7-26

 7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 11 Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

 13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.  16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


Psalm 109:1-20

Psalm 109

   

 1 O God, whom I praise,
   do not remain silent,
2 for wicked and deceitful men
   have opened their mouths against me;
   they have spoken against me with lying tongues.
3 With words of hatred they surround me;
   they attack me without cause.
4 In return for my friendship they accuse me,
   but I am a man of prayer.
5 They repay me evil for good,
   and hatred for my friendship.

 6 Appoint an evil man to oppose him;
   let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7 When he is tried, let him be found guilty,
   and may his prayers condemn him.
8 May his days be few;
   may another take his place of leadership.
9 May his children be fatherless
   and his wife a widow.
10 May his children be wandering beggars;
   may they be driven from their ruined homes.
11 May a creditor seize all he has;
   may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
12 May no one extend kindness to him
   or take pity on his fatherless children.
13 May his descendants be cut off,
   their names blotted out from the next generation.
14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD;
   may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.
15 May their sins always remain before the LORD,
   that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

 16 For he never thought of doing a kindness,
   but hounded to death the poor
   and the needy and the brokenhearted.
17 He loved to pronounce a curse—
   may it come on him;
he found no pleasure in blessing—
   may it be far from him.
18 He wore cursing as his garment;
   it entered into his body like water,
   into his bones like oil.
19 May it be like a cloak wrapped about him,
   like a belt tied forever around him.
20 May this be the LORD's payment to my accusers,
   to those who speak evil of me.