Isa 41-44; 1 Cor 12
Discuss in the comments section.
The following text is from the English Standard Version.
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.
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.
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, 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.”
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.
But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ”Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.
I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears!
All the nations gather together, and the peoples assemble. Who among them can declare this, and show us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right, and let them hear and say, It is true.
‘You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, ”and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.
I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.
I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, ”and I am God.
Also henceforth I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can turn it back?”
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ”For your sake I send to Babylon and bring them all down as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.
I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”
Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters,
who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
‘Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.
‘Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings, or honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, or wearied you with frankincense.
You have not bought me sweet cane with money, or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins; you have wearied me with your iniquities.
‘I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
Put me in remembrance; let us argue together; set forth your case, that you may be proved right.
Your first father sinned, and your mediators transgressed against me.
Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary, and deliver Jacob to utter destruction and Israel to reviling.
‘But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen!
Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams.
This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’s,’ another will call on the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’ and name himself by the name of Israel.”
Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ”I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.”
All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame.
Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing?
Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint.
The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house.
He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it.
Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it.
Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, ”Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!”
And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, ”Deliver me, for you are my god!”
They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand.
No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, ”Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?”
He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, ”Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.
Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: ”I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,
who frustrates the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners, who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish,
who confirms the word of his servant and fulfills the counsel of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’ and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built, and I will raise up their ruins’;
who says to the deep, ‘Be dry; I will dry up your rivers’;
who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose’; saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.”’
1 Cor 12
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.
You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says ”Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say ”Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
If the foot should say, ”Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
And if the ear should say, ”Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?
But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
If all were a single member, where would the body be?
As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, ”I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, ”I have no need of you.”
On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,
that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
But earnestly desire the higher gifts.And I will show you a still more excellent way.
The reading plan I’ve chosen is from Bible Class Material and it’s a 5 day plan, with weekend days to catch up or get ahead or just take a break!