July 13 - Isaiah 48.12-22

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12Israel, my chosen people, listen to me.
I alone am the LORD, the first and the last.
13With my own hand I created the earth
and stretched out the sky.
They obey my every command.

The LORD Speaks to the Nations

14Gather around me, all of you! Listen to what I say.
Did any of your idols predict this would happen?
Did they say that my friend would do
what I want done to Babylonia?
15I was the one who chose him. I have brought him this far,
and he will be successful.
16Come closer and listen!
I have never kept secret the things I have said,
and I was here before time began.

It Is Best To Obey the LORD

By the power of his Spirit the LORD God has sent me
17with this message:
People of Israel, I am the holy LORD God,
the one who rescues you.
For your own good, I teach you,
and I lead you along the right path.
18How I wish that you had obeyed my commands!
Your success and good fortune
would then have overflowed like a flooding river.
19Your nation would be blessed with more people
than there are grains of sand along the seashore.
And I would never have let your country be destroyed.

20Now leave Babylon! Celebrate as you go.
Be happy and shout for everyone to hear,
"The LORD has rescued his servant Israel!
21He led us through the desert
and made water flow from a rock
to satisfy our thirst.
22But the LORD has promised that none who are evil
will live in peace."

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This reading is from The Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society, 1995.

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