Day 252 – September 9
For Zion’s sake I won’t keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I won’t sit still
until her righteousness shines out like a light,
and her salvation blazes like a torch.
2 Nations will see your righteousness,
all kings your glory.
You will be called by a new name,
which the Lord’s own mouth will determine.
3 You will be a splendid garland in the Lord’s hand,
a royal turban in the palm of God’s hand.
4 You will no longer be called Abandoned,
and your land will no longer be called Deserted.
Instead, you will be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land, Married.
Because the Lord delights in you,
your land will be cared for once again.
5 As a young man marries a young woman,
so your sons will marry you.
With the joy of a bridegroom because of his bride,
so your God will rejoice because of you.
6 Upon your walls, Jerusalem,
I have appointed sentinels.
Continually, all day and all night,
they won’t keep silent.
You who call on the Lord, don’t rest,
7 and don’t allow God to rest
until he establishes Jerusalem,
and makes it the praise of the earth.
8 The Lord has promised
with raised hand and strong arm:
I will never again give your grain
as food for your enemies.
Foreigners won’t drink your wine
for which you labored.
9 Those who harvest will eat it
and will praise the Lord;
those who gather will drink it
in my holy courtyards.
10 Pass through, pass through the gates;
prepare the way for the people!
Build, build the road;
clear away the stones!
Raise up a signal for the peoples.
11 This is what the Lord announced
to the earth’s distant regions:
Say to Daughter Zion, “Look! Your deliverer arrives,
bringing reward and payment!”
12 They will be called The Holy People,
Redeemed By the Lord.
And you will be called Sought After—
A City That Is Not Abandoned.
28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus[f] took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 36 When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38 Just then a man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. 39 Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he[j] shrieks. It convulses him until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. 40 I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41 Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 And all were astounded at the greatness of God.
While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, he said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.” 45 But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
Comment: Look! Your deliverer arrives, the city is not abandoned.
24-25 Now this true story is an illustration of God’s two ways of helping people. One way was by giving them his laws to obey. He did this on Mount Sinai, when he gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. Mount Sinai, by the way, is called “Mount Hagar” by the Arabs—and in my illustration, Abraham’s slave-wife Hagar represents Jerusalem, the mother-city of the Jews, the center of that system of trying to please God by trying to obey the Commandments; and the Jews, who try to follow that system, are her slave children. 26 But our mother-city is the heavenly Jerusalem, and she is not a slave to Jewish laws.
27 That is what Isaiah meant when he prophesied, “Now you can rejoice, O childless woman; you can shout with joy though you never before had a child. For I am going to give you many children—more children than the slave-wife has.”
28 You and I, dear brothers, are the children that God promised, just as Isaac was. 29 And so we who are born of the Holy Spirit are persecuted now by those who want us to keep the Jewish laws, just as Isaac, the child of promise, was persecuted by Ishmael, the slave-wife’s son.
30 But the Scriptures say that God told Abraham to send away the slave-wife and her son, for the slave-wife’s son could not inherit Abraham’s home and lands along with the free woman’s son. 31 Dear brothers, we are not slave children, obligated to the Jewish laws, but children of the free woman, acceptable to God because of our faith.
Prayer: You are the way, the truth, and our life, lead us in your pathways of peace and righteousness. Amen.