July 15 - Isaiah 49.1-13
The Work of the LORD's ServantIsaiah 49 Everyone, listen, even you foreign nations
across the sea.
The LORD chose me and gave me a name
before I was born.
2He made my words pierce like a sharp sword
or a pointed arrow;
he kept me safely hidden in the palm of his hand.
3The LORD said to me, "Israel, you are my servant;
and because of you I will be highly honored."
4I said to myself, "I'm completely worn out;
my time has been wasted.
But I did it for the LORD God,
and he will reward me."
5Even before I was born, the LORD God chose me
to serve him and to lead back the people of Israel.
So the LORD has honored me and made me strong.
6Now the LORD says to me, "It isn't enough for you
to be merely my servant.
You must do more than lead back survivors
from the tribes of Israel.
I have placed you here as a light for other nations;
you must take my saving power to everyone on earth."
The LORD Will Rescue His People7Israel, I am the holy LORD God,
the one who rescues you.
You are slaves of rulers
and of a nation who despises you.
Now this is what I promise:
Kings and rulers will honor you
by kneeling at your feet.
You can trust me! I am your LORD,
the holy God of Israel,
and you are my chosen ones.
The LORD Will Lead His People Home8This is what the LORD says: I will answer your prayers
because I have set a time when I will help
by coming to save you.
I have chosen you to take my promise of hope
to other nations.
You will rebuild the country from its ruins,
then people will come and settle there.
9You will set prisoners free from dark dungeons
to see the light of day.
On their way home, they will find plenty to eat,
even on barren hills.
10They won't go hungry or get thirsty;
they won't be bothered by the scorching sun
or hot desert winds.
I will be merciful while leading them along
to streams of water.
11I will level the mountains and make roads.
12Then my people will return from distant lands
in the north and the west
and from the city of Syene.
The LORD's Mercy13Tell the heavens and the earth to celebrate and sing;
command every mountain to join in the song.
The LORD's people have suffered,
but he has shown mercy and given them comfort.
This reading is from The
Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American
Bible Society, 1995.
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