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Word for Today | October 13


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Read the Bible in a Year | October 13

Isaiah 44-45

Israel the Lord's Chosen

44:1 “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.”

Besides Me There Is No God

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. [1]
 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.”

The Folly of Idolatry

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. 10 Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? 11 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.

12 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. 13 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. 14 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. 15 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. 16 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!” 17 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!”

18 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. 19 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?” 20 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?”

The Lord Redeems Israel

21 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.
22 I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
 and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.

23 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 [2] in Israel.

24 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,
25 who frustrates the signs of liars
 and makes fools of diviners,
who turns wise men back
 and makes their knowledge foolish,
26 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’;
27 who says to the deep, ‘Be dry;
 I will dry up your rivers’;
28 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.’”

Cyrus, God's Instrument

45:1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
 whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
 and to loose the belts of kings,
to open doors before him
 that gates may not be closed:
“I will go before you
 and level the exalted places, [3]
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
 and cut through the bars of iron,
I 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, who call you by your name.
For the sake of my servant Jacob,
 and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
 I name you, though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
 besides me there is no God;
 I equip you, though you do not know me,
that 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 create calamity,
 I am the Lord, who does all these things.

“Shower, O heavens, from above,
 and let 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.

“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
 a pot among earthen pots!
Does 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 the Lord,
 the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:
“Ask me of things to come;
 will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands? [4]
12 I made the earth
 and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
 and I commanded all their host.
13 I have stirred him up in righteousness,
 and I will make all his ways level;
he shall build my city
 and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,”
 says the Lord of hosts.

The Lord, the Only Savior

14 Thus says the Lord:
“The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
 and the Sabeans, men of stature,
shall come over to you and 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 Truly, you are a God who hides himself,
 O God of Israel, the Savior.
16 All 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;
you shall not be put to shame or confounded
 to all eternity.

18 For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
 (he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
 (he established it;
he did not create it empty,
 he formed it to be inhabited!):
“I am the Lord, and there is no other.
19 I did not speak in secret,
 in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
 ‘Seek me in vain.’ [5]
I the Lord speak the truth;
 I declare what is right.

20 “Assemble yourselves and come;
 draw near together,
 you survivors of the nations!
They have no knowledge
 who carry about their wooden idols,
and keep on praying to a god
 that cannot save.
21 Declare 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 and a Savior;
 there is none besides me.

22 “Turn to me and be saved,
 all the ends of the earth!
 For I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn;
 from my mouth has gone out in righteousness
 a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
 every tongue shall swear allegiance.’ [6]

24 “Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
 are righteousness and strength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
 all who were incensed against him.
25 In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
 shall be justified and shall glory.”

Psalm 96

Worship in the Splendor of Holiness

96:1 Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
 sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
 tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
 his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
 he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
 but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
 strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
 bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; [7]
 tremble before him, all the earth!

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
 Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
 he will judge the peoples with equity.”

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
 let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
 12 let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
 13 before the Lord, for he comes,
 for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
 and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Acts 20

Paul in Macedonia and Greece

20:1 After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. These went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas, but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days.

Eutychus Raised from the Dead

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.

13 But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. 15 And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and [8] the day after that we went to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.

Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders

17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them:

“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by [9] the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, [10] which he obtained with his own blood. [11] 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.


[1] 44:7 Or Who like me can proclaim it?
[2] 44:23 Or will display his beauty
[3] 45:2 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint level the mountains
[4] 45:11 A slight emendation yields will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands?
[5] 45:19 Hebrew in emptiness
[6] 45:23 Septuagint every tongue shall confess to God
[7] 96:9 Or in holy attire
[8] 20:15 Some manuscripts add after remaining at Trogyllium
[9] 20:22 Or bound in
[10] 20:28 Some manuscripts of the Lord
[11] 20:28 Or with the blood of his Own