2 Thessalonians 3 (Listen)

Pray for Us

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Warning Against Idleness

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

Benediction

16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

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Isaiah 38 (Listen)

Hezekiah's Sickness and Recovery

In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, and said, “Please, O LORD, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.

“This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he has promised: Behold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.

A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10   I said, In the middle of my days
    I must depart;
  I am consigned to the gates of Sheol
    for the rest of my years.
11   I said, I shall not see the LORD,
    the LORD in the land of the living;
  I shall look on man no more
    among the inhabitants of the world.
12   My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me
    like a shepherd's tent;
  like a weaver I have rolled up my life;
    he cuts me off from the loom;
  from day to night you bring me to an end;
13     I calmed myself until morning;
  like a lion he breaks all my bones;
    from day to night you bring me to an end.
14   Like a swallow or a crane I chirp;
    I moan like a dove.
  My eyes are weary with looking upward.
    O Lord, I am oppressed; be my pledge of safety!
15   What shall I say? For he has spoken to me,
    and he himself has done it.
  I walk slowly all my years
    because of the bitterness of my soul.
16   O Lord, by these things men live,
    and in all these is the life of my spirit.
    Oh restore me to health and make me live!
17   Behold, it was for my welfare
    that I had great bitterness;
  but in love you have delivered my life
    from the pit of destruction,
  for you have cast all my sins
    behind your back.
18   For Sheol does not thank you;
    death does not praise you;
  those who go down to the pit do not hope
    for your faithfulness.
19   The living, the living, he thanks you,
    as I do this day;
  the father makes known to the children
    your faithfulness.
20   The LORD will save me,
    and we will play my music on stringed instruments
  all the days of our lives,
    at the house of the LORD.

21 Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover.” 22 Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?”

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Proverbs 6 (Listen)

Practical Warnings

  My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
    have given your pledge for a stranger,
  if you are snared in the words of your mouth,
    caught in the words of your mouth,
  then do this, my son, and save yourself,
    for you have come into the hand of your neighbor:
    go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor.
  Give your eyes no sleep
    and your eyelids no slumber;
  save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
    like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
  Go to the ant, O sluggard;
    consider her ways, and be wise.
  Without having any chief,
    officer, or ruler,
  she prepares her bread in summer
    and gathers her food in harvest.
  How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
    When will you arise from your sleep?
10   A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest,
11   and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    and want like an armed man.
12   A worthless person, a wicked man,
    goes about with crooked speech,
13   winks with his eyes, signals with his feet,
    points with his finger,
14   with perverted heart devises evil,
    continually sowing discord;
15   therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
    in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.
16   There are six things that the LORD hates,
    seven that are an abomination to him:
17   haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
    and hands that shed innocent blood,
18   a heart that devises wicked plans,
    feet that make haste to run to evil,
19   a false witness who breathes out lies,
    and one who sows discord among brothers.

Warnings Against Adultery

20   My son, keep your father's commandment,
    and forsake not your mother's teaching.
21   Bind them on your heart always;
    tie them around your neck.
22   When you walk, they will lead you;
    when you lie down, they will watch over you;
    and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23   For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
    and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24   to preserve you from the evil woman,
    from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
25   Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
    and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26   for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
    but a married woman hunts down a precious life.
27   Can a man carry fire next to his chest
    and his clothes not be burned?
28   Or can one walk on hot coals
    and his feet not be scorched?
29   So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife;
    none who touches her will go unpunished.
30   People do not despise a thief if he steals
    to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
31   but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
    he will give all the goods of his house.
32   He who commits adultery lacks sense;
    he who does it destroys himself.
33   He will get wounds and dishonor,
    and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34   For jealousy makes a man furious,
    and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
35   He will accept no compensation;
    he will refuse though you multiply gifts.

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Psalm 130 (Listen)

My Soul Waits for the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

  Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
    O Lord, hear my voice!
  Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
  If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
  But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.
  I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
  my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.
  O Israel, hope in the LORD!
    For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
  And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.

(ESV)