Thursday, September 29 - Scripture Reading

Zephaniah 1:1-3:20, Philippians 1:1-26, Proverbs 23:29-24:4

Read along:

Zephaniah 1-3:20

Zephaniah 1

 1 The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah:  2 "I will sweep away everything
   from the face of the earth,"
            declares the LORD.
3 "I will sweep away both men and animals;
   I will sweep away the birds of the air
   and the fish of the sea.
The wicked will have only heaps of rubble
   when I cut off man from the face of the earth,"
            declares the LORD.  4 "I will stretch out my hand against Judah
   and against all who live in Jerusalem.
I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal,
   the names of the pagan and the idolatrous priests—
5 those who bow down on the roofs
   to worship the starry host,
those who bow down and swear by the LORD
   and who also swear by Molech,
6 those who turn back from following the LORD
   and neither seek the LORD nor inquire of him.
7 Be silent before the Sovereign LORD,
   for the day of the LORD is near.
The LORD has prepared a sacrifice;
   he has consecrated those he has invited.
8 On the day of the LORD's sacrifice
   I will punish the princes
   and the king's sons
and all those clad
   in foreign clothes.
9 On that day I will punish
   all who avoid stepping on the threshold,
who fill the temple of their gods
   with violence and deceit.

 10 "On that day," declares the LORD,
   "a cry will go up from the Fish Gate,
   wailing from the New Quarter,
   and a loud crash from the hills.
11 Wail, you who live in the market district;
   all your merchants will be wiped out,
   all who trade with silver will be ruined.
12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps
   and punish those who are complacent,
   who are like wine left on its dregs,
who think, "˜The LORD will do nothing,
   either good or bad.'
13 Their wealth will be plundered,
   their houses demolished.
They will build houses
   but not live in them;
they will plant vineyards
   but not drink the wine.  14 "The great day of the LORD is near—
   near and coming quickly.
Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter,
   the shouting of the warrior there.
15 That day will be a day of wrath,
   a day of distress and anguish,
a day of trouble and ruin,
   a day of darkness and gloom,
   a day of clouds and blackness,
16 a day of trumpet and battle cry
   against the fortified cities
   and against the corner towers.
17 I will bring distress on the people
   and they will walk like blind men,
   because they have sinned against the LORD.
Their blood will be poured out like dust
   and their entrails like filth.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold
   will be able to save them
   on the day of the LORD's wrath.
In the fire of his jealousy
   the whole world will be consumed,
for he will make a sudden end
   of all who live in the earth."

Zephaniah 2

 1 Gather together, gather together,
   O shameful nation,
2 before the appointed time arrives
   and that day sweeps on like chaff,
before the fierce anger of the LORD comes upon you,
   before the day of the LORD's wrath comes upon you.
3 Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land,
   you who do what he commands.
Seek righteousness, seek humility;
   perhaps you will be sheltered
   on the day of the LORD's anger.  4 Gaza will be abandoned
   and Ashkelon left in ruins.
At midday Ashdod will be emptied
   and Ekron uprooted.
5 Woe to you who live by the sea,
   O Kerethite people;
the word of the LORD is against you,
   O Canaan, land of the Philistines.

   "I will destroy you,
   and none will be left."

 6 The land by the sea, where the Kerethites dwell,
   will be a place for shepherds and sheep pens.
7 It will belong to the remnant of the house of Judah;
   there they will find pasture.
In the evening they will lie down
   in the houses of Ashkelon.
The LORD their God will care for them;
   he will restore their fortunes.  8 "I have heard the insults of Moab
   and the taunts of the Ammonites,
who insulted my people
   and made threats against their land.
9 Therefore, as surely as I live,"
   declares the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel,
"surely Moab will become like Sodom,
   the Ammonites like Gomorrah—
a place of weeds and salt pits,
   a wasteland forever.
The remnant of my people will plunder them;
   the survivors of my nation will inherit their land."

 10 This is what they will get in return for their pride,
   for insulting and mocking the people of the LORD Almighty.
11 The LORD will be awesome to them
   when he destroys all the gods of the land.
The nations on every shore will worship him,
   every one in its own land.  12 "You too, O Cushites,
   will be slain by my sword."  13 He will stretch out his hand against the north
   and destroy Assyria,
leaving Nineveh utterly desolate
   and dry as the desert.
14 Flocks and herds will lie down there,
   creatures of every kind.
The desert owl and the screech owl
   will roost on her columns.
Their calls will echo through the windows,
   rubble will be in the doorways,
   the beams of cedar will be exposed.
15 This is the carefree city
   that lived in safety.
She said to herself,
   "I am, and there is none besides me."
What a ruin she has become,
   a lair for wild beasts!
All who pass by her scoff
   and shake their fists.

Zephaniah 3

 1 Woe to the city of oppressors,
   rebellious and defiled!
2 She obeys no one,
   she accepts no correction.
She does not trust in the LORD,
   she does not draw near to her God.
3 Her officials are roaring lions,
   her rulers are evening wolves,
   who leave nothing for the morning.
4 Her prophets are arrogant;
   they are treacherous men.
Her priests profane the sanctuary
   and do violence to the law.
5 The LORD within her is righteous;
   he does no wrong.
Morning by morning he dispenses his justice,
   and every new day he does not fail,
   yet the unrighteous know no shame.

 6 "I have cut off nations;
   their strongholds are demolished.
I have left their streets deserted,
   with no one passing through.
Their cities are destroyed;
   no one will be left—no one at all.
7 I said to the city,
   "˜Surely you will fear me
   and accept correction!'
Then her dwelling would not be cut off,
   nor all my punishments come upon her.
But they were still eager
   to act corruptly in all they did.
8 Therefore wait for me," declares the LORD,
   "for the day I will stand up to testify.
I have decided to assemble the nations,
   to gather the kingdoms
and to pour out my wrath on them—
   all my fierce anger.
The whole world will be consumed
   by the fire of my jealous anger.

 9 "Then will I purify the lips of the peoples,
   that all of them may call on the name of the LORD
   and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
10 From beyond the rivers of Cush
   my worshipers, my scattered people,
   will bring me offerings.
11 On that day you will not be put to shame
   for all the wrongs you have done to me,
because I will remove from this city
   those who rejoice in their pride.
Never again will you be haughty
   on my holy hill.
12 But I will leave within you
   the meek and humble,
   who trust in the name of the LORD.
13 The remnant of Israel will do no wrong;
   they will speak no lies,
   nor will deceit be found in their mouths.
They will eat and lie down
   and no one will make them afraid."

 14 Sing, O Daughter of Zion;
   shout aloud, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
   O Daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The LORD has taken away your punishment,
   he has turned back your enemy.
The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you;
   never again will you fear any harm.
16 On that day they will say to Jerusalem,
   "Do not fear, O Zion;
   do not let your hands hang limp.
17 The LORD your God is with you,
   he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
   he will quiet you with his love,
   he will rejoice over you with singing."

 18 "The sorrows for the appointed feasts
   I will remove from you;
   they are a burden and a reproach to you.
19 At that time I will deal
   with all who oppressed you;
I will rescue the lame
   and gather those who have been scattered.
I will give them praise and honor
   in every land where they were put to shame.
20 At that time I will gather you;
   at that time I will bring you home.
I will give you honor and praise
   among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes
   before your very eyes,"
            says the LORD.

Philippians 1:1-26

Philippians 1

 1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

   To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:

 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.  12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

 15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

   Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.

Proverbs 23:29-24:4

 29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
   Who has strife? Who has complaints?
   Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
   who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
   when it sparkles in the cup,
   when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
   and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights
   and your mind imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
   lying on top of the rigging.
35 "They hit me," you will say, "but I'm not hurt!
   They beat me, but I don't feel it!
When will I wake up
   so I can find another drink?"

Proverbs 24

 1 Do not envy wicked men,
   do not desire their company;
2 for their hearts plot violence,
   and their lips talk about making trouble.
3 By wisdom a house is built,
   and through understanding it is established;
4 through knowledge its rooms are filled
   with rare and beautiful treasures.