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Isaiah 20:1–22:25 (LEB)

A Sign regarding Egypt and Cush

20 In the year the commander-in-chief came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and he took it, at that time, Yahweh had spoken by the hand of Isaiah son of Amoz, saying,

“Go and loosen the sackcloth from your loins,

and take off your sandals from your feet,”

and he had done so, walking naked and barefoot.

Then Yahweh said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush, so shall the king of Assyria lead the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old, naked and barefoot, with bared buttocks, the shame of Egypt.

And they shall be dismayed,

and they shall be ashamed

because of Cush, their hope,

and because of Egypt, their pride.

And the inhabitant of the coastland will say this on that day:

‘Look! This is our hope to whom we fled for help, to be delivered from the king of Assyria, and how shall we escape?’ ”

The Fall of Babylon

21 The oracle of the wilderness of the sea:

As storm winds passing over in the Negev,

it comes from the desert,

from a frightful land.

A hard revelation is told to me;

the treacherous deals treacherously,

and the destroyer destroys.

Go up, Elam;

lay siege, Media!

I put an end to all of her sighing.

Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;

pangs have seized me, like the pangs of a woman giving birth.

I am too bent to hear,

I am too dismayed to see.

My mind staggers; fear terrifies me;

the twilight I desired brought me fear.

Set out the table in order!

Spread out the rugs!

Eat! drink!

Rise up, commanders;

smear the shield!

For the Lord said this to me:

“Go, set a watchman in position.

He must announce what he sees.

When he sees riders,

a pair of horsemen,

riders of donkeys,

riders of camels,

then he must listen attentively,

paying attention, paying special attention.”

Then the watchman called,

“Lord, I am standing on the watchtower continually by day,

and I am standing at my post throughout the night.

And look at this! A man’s chariot is coming,

a pair of horsemen!”

Then he responded and said,

“It has fallen! Babylon has fallen!

And all the images of her gods are smashed on the ground!”

10 My downtrodden people

and the son of my threshing floor,

I will announce to you what I have heard from Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel.

Oracle regarding Dumah

11 The oracle of Dumah:

One is calling to me from Seir,

“Watchman, what of the night?

Watchman, what of the night?”

12 The watchman says,

“Morning comes,

and also the night.

If you will inquire, inquire;

come back again.”

Oracle against Arabia

13 An oracle concerning Arabia:

You will spend the night in the thicket in a desert-plateau,

caravans of Dedanites.

14 When you happen to meet the thirsty, bring water.

Inhabitants of the land of Tema came to meet the fugitive with his bread.

15 For they have fled from the swords,

from the drawn sword and the bent bow,

and from the heaviness of the battle.

16 For the Lord said this to me:

In one more year, like the years of a hired worker,

all the glory of Kedar will come to an end.

17 And the remainder of the number of the bows of the warriors of the sons of Kedar will be few.”

For Yahweh, the God of Israel, has spoken.

Oracle against Jerusalem

22 The oracle of the valley of vision:

What business do you have going up, all of you, to the roofs,

noisy, tumultuous city,

exultant town?

Your slain are not slain by the sword,

nor are they dead from battle.

All of your rulers have fled together without a bow;

all of you who were found were captured.

They were captured together;

they had fled far away.

Therefore I said,

“Look away from me,

let me weep bitterly;

you must not insist on comforting me

for the destruction of the daughter of my people.”

For the Lord Yahweh of hosts has a day of tumult and trampling and confusion in the valley of vision,

a tearing down of walls and a cry for help to the mountains.

And Elam lifted up the quiver,

with chariots of men and cavalry.

And Kir uncovered the shield.

And this happened:

the choicest of your valleys were full of chariots,

and the cavalry confidently stood at the gate.

And he uncovered the covering of Judah.

And you looked, on that day, to the weapons of the House of the Forest,

and you saw that the breaches in the walls of the city of David were many,

and you gathered the waters of the lower pool.

10 And you counted the houses of Jerusalem,

and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall.

11 And you made a reservoir between the walls for the waters of the old pool,

but you did not look to its maker,

and you did not see the one who created it long ago.

12 And the Lord, Yahweh of hosts, called on that day

for weeping and mourning,

and for baldness and girding with sackcloth.

13 But look! Joy and gladness,

the killing of oxen and the slaughtering of sheep,

the eating of meat and the drinking of wine!

“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

14 And it was revealed in my ears by Yahweh of hosts:

“Surely this sin will not be atoned for you until you die!”

says the Lord, Yahweh of hosts.

Oracle regarding Shebna

15 The Lord, Yahweh of hosts, says this:

“Go! Go to this steward, to Shebna,

who is over the house:

16 ‘What business do you have here,

and who do you have here,

that you have cut a grave cutting here for yourself,

carving his grave on the height,

a dwelling place for him in the rock?

17 Look! Yahweh is about to really hurl you, man!

And he is about to grasp you firmly;

18 he will wind a winding tightly around you like a ball, to a wide land.

There you shall die,

and there the chariots of your splendor will be,

disgrace to your master’s house!

19 And I will push you from your office,

and he will throw you down from your position.

20 And this shall happen:

On that day I will call to my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah,

21 and I will clothe him with your tunic,

and I will bind your sash firmly about him,

and I will put your authority into his hand,

and he shall be like a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem

and to the house of Judah.

22 And I will put the key of the house of David on his shoulder,

and he shall open and no one will be able to shut;

and he shall shut and no one will be able to open.

23 And I will drive him in like a peg into a secure place,

and he will become like a throne of glory to the house of his father.

24 And they will hang all of the heaviness of his father’s house on him,

the offspring and the offshoot,

all of the small vessels,

from the bowls to the jars.

25 On that day, declares Yahweh of hosts, the peg that was driven will move away into a secure place, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on her will be cut off. For Yahweh has spoken.’ ”

Luke 7:36–8:15 (LEB)

A Sinful Woman Anoints Jesus’ Feet

36 Now one of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he entered into the house of the Pharisee and​ reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman in the town who was a sinner, when she​ learned that he was dining in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of perfumed oil, 38 and standing behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and was wiping them​ with the hair of her head and was kissing his feet and anointing them​ with the perfumed oil. 39 Now when​ the Pharisee who invited him saw this,​ he spoke to himself, saying, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answered and​ said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he said, “Teacher, say it.”​ 41 “There were two debtors who owed a certain creditor. One owed five hundred denarii and the other fifty. 42 When​ they were not able to repay him,​ he forgave the debts​ of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and​ said, “I suppose that it is the one to whom he forgave more.” And he said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 And turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house. You did not give me water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them​ with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but from the time I entered, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with olive oil, but she anointed my feet with perfumed oil. 47 For this reason I tell you, her sins—which were many—have been forgiven, for she loved much. But the one to whom little is forgiven loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 And those who were reclining at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Some Women Accompany Jesus

8 And it happened that afterward also he was going about from one town and village to another preaching and proclaiming the good news concerning the kingdom of God, and the twelve were with him, and some women who had been healed of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (who was called Magdalene), from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza (Herod’s household manager), and Susanna, and many others who were helping to support them from their possessions.

The Parable of the Sower

And while​ a large crowd was gathering and they were going to him from town after town, he spoke by means of a parable: “The sower went out to sow his seed, and while he was sowing, some seed fell on the side of the path and was trampled under foot, and the birds of the sky devoured it. And other seed fell on the rock, and when it​ came up, it withered, because it did not have moisture. And other seed fell in the midst of the thorn plants, and the thorn plants grew up with itand​ choked it. And other seed fell on the good soil, and when it​ came up, it produced a hundred times as much grain.” As he​ said these things, he called out, “The one who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The Reason for the Parables

And his disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 And he said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest they are in parables, so that

‘Seeing they may not see,

and hearing they may not understand.’

The Parable of the Sower Interpreted

11 Now the parable means this: the seed is the word of God, 12 and those beside the path are the ones who have heard. Then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and​ be saved. 13 And those on the rock are those who receive the word with joy when they hear it,​ and these do not have enough root, who believe for a time and in a time of testing fall away. 14 And the seed that fell into the thorn plants—these are the ones who hear and as they​ go along are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life, and they do not bear fruit to maturity. 15 But the seed on the good soil—these are the ones who, after​ hearing the word, hold fast to it​ with a noble and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.

Job 5:8–16 (LEB)

“But I myself will seek God,

and to God I would commit my cause.

He is doing great and unsearchable things,

marvelous things without number

10 the one who is giving rain on the surface of the earth

and is sending water on the surface of the fields,

11 to set the lowly on high,

and those mourning are lifted to safety.

12 He is frustrating the devices of the crafty,

and their hands do not achieve success.

13 He is capturing the wise in their craftiness,

and the schemes of the wily are rushed.

14 In the daytime they meet with darkness,

and they grope at noon as in the night.

15 And he saves from the sword of their mouth,

even the poor from the hand of the strong.

16 So there is hope for the powerless,

and wickedness shuts its mouth.

August 10

Our praise for God is often directly connected to accepting and confessing our brokenness. Our capacity to love Him is tied to the realization of how much He has forgiven us.

The woman in Luke 7 who anointed Jesus’ feet is described with one phrase: She was a sinner. We’re not given clarifying detail, but we do know her sin was notorious and, as a result, she was marginalized by society. She was not only weighed down by her sin; her public identity was grounded in it, and she could not hide it. She knew that she needed to receive forgiveness from the only one who could provide it. Her necessity made her bold: She came to Simon the Pharisee’s house to wash and anoint Jesus’ feet.

Her behavior created quite a spectacle. Simon the Pharisee was quick to condemn her actions and question Jesus’ decision to show her compassion. But Jesus turned the tables on him. While the woman was aware of her brokenness—and was all the more grateful for forgiveness—Simon ran with those who had built up a charade of holiness.

Jesus told Simon, “For this reason I tell you, her sins—which were many—have been forgiven, for she loved much. But the one to whom little is forgiven loves little” (Luke 7:47).

Our praise for Jesus—the way we speak of Him and the way we speak of our sin and forgiveness—is a reflection of the state of our hearts. Because our hearts are inclined to be prideful, it’s often easier for us to defend our sin than to confess it. It’s easier to go about our religious activities while rationalizing our sin. But unless we drop the charade and confess the true state of our hearts, we’ll never honor Him as we should.

Do you “love little”? What holds you back from expressing praise?

Rebecca Van Noord is editor-in-chief of Bible Study Magazine. She has developed content for several Bible reference products, including Lexham Bible Dictionary and Faithlife Study Bible.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord

Publisher: Lexham Press

Publication Date: 2012

This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.