26 September 2016

Today's Readings and Stuff -- Monday, 26 September 2016

The very last Monday in September.  In just a few days, we are scheduled to enter the month of --brrrrrrrrrrr! -- October.  To those in better climates in the USA, that's not such a big deal.  But it is not unknown to have that evil thing, snow,  make an appearance in October!.  I hate winter.  I hate cold.  I despise snow.  I hate the months whose names end in "--ber" and the ones whose names end in "--ary".  Loathe and despise and hate.  Always have.  Always will.

===   brief interlude here.  The gray cat, Brutus by name, chose to pick this time to throw up all over the mat we have just inside the back door to wipe muddy and snowy feet on.  Now bearing a pile of semi-used cat food, the stuff we buy particularly to be suitable for cats with sensitive digestions.  Of course, it might simply be that he hogged more than his gut will hold.  So, Yours Truly "got" the "joy" of taking the mat outside onto the far end of the drive and hosing the stuff off and hanging it over a garden rail to dry. 

================  Today's high is expected to be around 70, which is not frigid.  But last night saw us at around 40 degrees.  8 weeks from now, that 40 degrees will seem like a tropical climate, higher than the "high" we will see for the day. Or the week.

Dear Wife is on the recliner.  She just too her week's shot of the "biologic" that is intended to help with the psoriatic arthritis as well as some of the effects of the range of autoimmune disorders that are inexorably destroying her body and making her miserable every day. 

Tomorrow, we're scheduled to take Beloved Great Niece to some sort of a Little Kids event held weekly at the local branch of the public library.  Should be A Wonderful Time.  I've spent much of my life, particularly up to around age 30, in libraries.  Being poor was part of that: the library is free to use (overdue fines being a separate matter), and both Dear Wife and I, and my family, and our daughters, are all Readers.  Doesn't hurt to infect the Little One with that.  Her parents, and theirs as well, aren't.  Perhaps we can effect some change there.

And we've just had an un-predicted rain hit.  Some was predicted for around 2 p.m., but we're well short of that.  I think of such things as self-appointed All Wise Superior Beings confidently tell us what the  world's climate will Surely Be in 50 years if we don't bow to their superior wisdom.


The Old Testament reading today is chapters 7, 8, and 9 of Isaiah.  Worth reading and re-reading very frequently.

Isaiah 7
1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. 
 2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind. 
3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field;  
4 And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. 
5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,  
6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal:  
7 Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.  
8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people. 
9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.  
10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,  
11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.  
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.  
13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?  
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  
15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.  
16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.  
17 The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.  
18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 
19 And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.  
20 In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.  
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep;  
22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.  
23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns. 
24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.  
25 And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.

Isaiah 8
1 Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz. 
2 And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.  
3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.  
4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.  
5 The LORD spake also unto me again, saying,  
6 Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son; 
7 Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:  
8 And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.  
9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.  
10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.  
11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,  
12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.  
13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.  
14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  
15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.  
16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. 
17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.  
18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.  
19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? 
20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.  
21 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. 22 And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.

Isaiah 9
1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.  
2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 
3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.  
4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.  
5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.  
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. 
8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. 
9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,  
10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.  
11 Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;  
12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. 
13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.  
14 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.  
15 The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.  
16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.  
17 Therefore the LORD shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. 
18 For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.  
19 Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.  
20 And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm:  
21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.


The New Testament reading for this evening is chapter 4 of the  Epistle to the Galatians.

Galatians 4
1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. 12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. 13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. 14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. 16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? 17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. 18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, 20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. 21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

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