Isaiah 55:12-13

55:12 Indeed you will go out with joy;

you will be led along in peace;

the mountains and hills will give a joyful shout before you,

and all the trees in the field will clap their hands.

55:13 Evergreens will grow in place of thorn bushes,

firs will grow in place of nettles;

they will be a monument to the Lord,

a permanent reminder that will remain.

Isaiah 55:1

The Lord Gives an Invitation

55:1 “Hey, all who are thirsty, come to the water!

You who have no money, come!

Buy and eat!

Come! Buy wine and milk

without money and without cost!

Isaiah 5:1-30

A Love Song Gone Sour

5:1 I will sing to my love –

a song to my lover about his vineyard.

My love had a vineyard

on a fertile hill.

5:2 He built a hedge around it, removed its stones,

and planted a vine.

He built a tower in the middle of it,

and constructed a winepress.

He waited for it to produce edible grapes,

but it produced sour ones instead.

5:3 So now, residents of Jerusalem,

people of Judah,

you decide between me and my vineyard!

5:4 What more can I do for my vineyard

beyond what I have already done?

When I waited for it to produce edible grapes,

why did it produce sour ones instead?

5:5 Now I will inform you

what I am about to do to my vineyard:

I will remove its hedge and turn it into pasture,

I will break its wall and allow animals to graze there.

5:6 I will make it a wasteland;

no one will prune its vines or hoe its ground,

and thorns and briers will grow there.

I will order the clouds

not to drop any rain on it.

5:7 Indeed Israel is the vineyard of the Lord who commands armies,

the people of Judah are the cultivated place in which he took delight.

He waited for justice, but look what he got – disobedience!

He waited for fairness, but look what he got – cries for help!

Disaster is Coming

5:8 Those who accumulate houses are as good as dead,

those who also accumulate landed property

until there is no land left,

and you are the only landowners remaining within the land.

5:9 The Lord who commands armies told me this:

“Many houses will certainly become desolate,

large, impressive houses will have no one living in them.

5:10 Indeed, a large vineyard will produce just a few gallons,

and enough seed to yield several bushels will produce less than a bushel.”

5:11 Those who get up early to drink beer are as good as dead,

those who keep drinking long after dark

until they are intoxicated with wine.

5:12 They have stringed instruments, tambourines, flutes,

and wine at their parties.

So they do not recognize what the Lord is doing,

they do not perceive what he is bringing about.

5:13 Therefore my people will be deported

because of their lack of understanding.

Their leaders will have nothing to eat,

their masses will have nothing to drink.

5:14 So Death will open up its throat,

and open wide its mouth;

Zion’s dignitaries and masses will descend into it,

including those who revel and celebrate within her.

5:15 Men will be humiliated,

they will be brought low;

the proud will be brought low.

5:16 The Lord who commands armies will be exalted when he punishes,

the sovereign God’s authority will be recognized when he judges.

5:17 Lambs will graze as if in their pastures,

amid the ruins the rich sojourners will graze.

5:18 Those who pull evil along using cords of emptiness are as good as dead,

who pull sin as with cart ropes.

5:19 They say, “Let him hurry, let him act quickly,

so we can see;

let the plan of the Holy One of Israel take shape and come to pass,

then we will know it!”

5:20 Those who call evil good and good evil are as good as dead,

who turn darkness into light and light into darkness,

who turn bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter.

5:21 Those who think they are wise are as good as dead,

those who think they possess understanding.

5:22 Those who are champions at drinking wine are as good as dead,

who display great courage when mixing strong drinks.

5:23 They pronounce the guilty innocent for a payoff,

they ignore the just cause of the innocent.

5:24 Therefore, as flaming fire devours straw,

and dry grass disintegrates in the flames,

so their root will rot,

and their flower will blow away like dust.

For they have rejected the law of the Lord who commands armies,

they have spurned the commands of the Holy One of Israel.

5:25 So the Lord is furious with his people;

he lifts his hand and strikes them.

The mountains shake,

and corpses lie like manure in the middle of the streets.

Despite all this, his anger does not subside,

and his hand is ready to strike again.

5:26 He lifts a signal flag for a distant nation,

he whistles for it to come from the far regions of the earth.

Look, they come quickly and swiftly.

5:27 None tire or stumble,

they don’t stop to nap or sleep.

They don’t loosen their belts,

or unstrap their sandals to rest.

5:28 Their arrows are sharpened,

and all their bows are prepared.

The hooves of their horses are hard as flint,

and their chariot wheels are like a windstorm.

5:29 Their roar is like a lion’s;

they roar like young lions.

They growl and seize their prey;

they drag it away and no one can come to the rescue.

5:30 At that time they will growl over their prey,

it will sound like sea waves crashing against rocks.

One will look out over the land and see the darkness of disaster,

clouds will turn the light into darkness.

Isaiah 61:1-3

The Lord Will Rejuvenate His People

61:1 The spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me,

because the Lord has chosen me.

He has commissioned me to encourage the poor,

to help the brokenhearted,

to decree the release of captives,

and the freeing of prisoners,

61:2 to announce the year when the Lord will show his favor,

the day when our God will seek vengeance,

to console all who mourn,

61:3 to strengthen those who mourn in Zion,

by giving them a turban, instead of ashes,

oil symbolizing joy, instead of mourning,

a garment symbolizing praise, instead of discouragement.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,

trees planted by the Lord to reveal his splendor.

Isaiah 61:10-11

61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;

I will be overjoyed because of my God.

For he clothes me in garments of deliverance;

he puts on me a robe symbolizing vindication.

I look like a bridegroom when he wears a turban as a priest would;

I look like a bride when she puts on her jewelry.

61:11 For just as the ground produces its crops

and a garden yields its produce,

so the sovereign Lord will cause deliverance to grow,

and give his people reason to praise him in the sight of all the nations.

Revelation 3:7-13

To the Church in Philadelphia

3:7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write the following:

“This is the solemn pronouncement of the Holy One, the True One, who holds the key of David, who opens doors no one can shut, and shuts doors no one can open: 3:8 ‘I know your deeds. (Look! I have put in front of you an open door that no one can shut.) I know that you have little strength, but you have obeyed my word and have not denied my name. 3:9 Listen! I am going to make those people from the synagogue of Satan – who say they are Jews yet are not, but are lying – Look, I will make them come and bow down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 3:10 Because you have kept my admonition to endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one can take away your crown. 3:12 The one who conquers I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never depart from it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from my God), and my new name as well. 3:13 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Psalms 84:10

84:10 Certainly spending just one day in your temple courts is better

than spending a thousand elsewhere.

I would rather stand at the entrance to the temple of my God

than live in the tents of the wicked.

Psalms 92:12-15

92:12 The godly grow like a palm tree;

they grow high like a cedar in Lebanon.

92:13 Planted in the Lord’s house,

they grow in the courts of our God.

92:14 They bear fruit even when they are old;

they are filled with vitality and have many leaves.

92:15 So they proclaim that the Lord, my protector,

is just and never unfair.