The LORD the Only Redeemer

431 But now, says the Lord your Maker, O Jacob, and your life-giver, O Israel: have no fear, for I have taken up your cause; naming you by your name, I have made you mine. 2 When you go through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not go over you: when you go through the fire, you will not be burned; and the flame will have no power over you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your saviour; I have given Egypt as a price for you, Ethiopia and Seba for you. 4 Because of your value in my eyes, you have been honoured, and loved by me; so I will give men for you, and peoples for your life. 5 Have no fear, for I am with you: I will take your seed from the east, and get you together from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give them up; and to the south, Do not keep them back; send back my sons from far, and my daughters from the end of the earth; 7 Every one who is named by my name, and whom I have made for my glory, who has been formed and designed by me.

8 Send out the blind people who have eyes, and those who have ears, but they are shut. 9 Let all the nations come together, and let the peoples be present: who among them is able to make this clear, and give us word of earlier things? let their witnesses come forward, so that they may be seen to be true, and that they may give ear, and say, It is true. 10 You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I have taken for myself: so that you may see and have faith in me, and that it may be clear to you that I am he; before me there was no God formed, and there will not be after me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord; and there is no saviour but me. 12 I gave the word, and made it clear, and there was no strange god among you: for this reason you are my witnesses, says the Lord. 13 From time long past I am God, and from this day I am he: there is no one who is able to take you out of my hand: when I undertake a thing, by whom will my purpose be changed?

14 The Lord, who has taken up your cause, the Holy One of Israel, says, Because of you I have sent to Babylon, and made all their seers come south, and the Chaldaeans whose cry is in the ships. 15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Maker of Israel, your King. 16 This is the word of the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, and a road through the deep waters; 17 Who sends out the war-carriages and the horses, the army with all its force; they have come down, they will not get up again; like a feebly burning light they are put out. 18 Give no thought to the things which are past; let the early times go out of your minds. 19 See, I am doing a new thing; now it is starting; will you not take note of it? I will even make a way in the waste land, and rivers in the dry country. 20 The beasts of the field will give me honour, the jackals and the ostriches: because I send out waters in the waste land, and rivers in the dry country, to give drink to the people whom I have taken for myself: 21 Even the people whom I made to be the witnesses of my praise.

22 But you have made no prayer to me, O Jacob: and you have given no thought to me, O Israel. 23 You have not made me burned offerings of sheep, or given me honour with your offerings of beasts; I did not make you servants to give me an offering, and I did not make you tired with requests for perfumes. 24 You have not got me sweet-smelling plants with your money, or given me pleasure with the fat of your offerings: but you have made me a servant to your sins, and you have made me tired with your evil doings. 25 I, even I, am he who takes away your sins; and I will no longer keep your evil doings in mind. 26 Put me in mind of this; let us take up the cause between us: put forward your cause, so that you may be seen to be in the right. 27 Your first father was a sinner, and your guides have gone against my word. 28 Your chiefs have made my holy place unclean, so I have made Jacob a curse, and Israel a thing of shame.

The LORD the Only God

441 And now, give ear, O Jacob my servant, and Israel whom I have taken for myself: 2 The Lord who made you, forming you in your mother's body, the Lord, your helper, says, Have no fear, O Jacob my servant, and you, Jeshurun, whom I have taken for myself. 3 For I will send water on the land needing it, and streams on the dry earth: I will let my spirit come down on your seed, and my blessing on your offspring. 4 And they will come up like grass in a well-watered field, like water-plants by the streams. 5 One will say, I am the Lord's; and another will give himself the name, Jacob; another will put a mark on his hand, I am the Lord's, and another will take the name of Israel for himself. 6 The Lord, the King of Israel, even the Lord of armies who has taken up his cause, says, I am the first and the last, and there is no God but me. 7 If there is one like me, let him come forward and say it, let him make it clear and put it in order before me: who has made clear in the past the things to come? let him make clear the future to me. 8 Have no fear, be strong in heart; have I not made it clear to you in the past, and let you see it? and you are my witnesses. Is there any God but me, or a Rock of whom I have no knowledge?

The Folly of Idolatry

9 Those who make a pictured image are all of them as nothing, and the things of their desire will be of no profit to them: and their servants see not, and have no knowledge; so they will be put to shame. 10 Whoever makes a god, makes nothing but a metal image in which there is no profit. 11 Truly, all those who make use of secret arts will be put to shame, and their words of power are only words of men: let them all come forward together; they will all be in fear and be put to shame. 12 The iron-worker is heating the metal in the fire, giving it form with his hammers, and working on it with his strong arm: then for need of food his strength gives way, and for need of water he becomes feeble. 13 The woodworker is measuring out the wood with his line, marking it out with his pencil: after smoothing it with his plane, and making circles on it with his instrument, he gives it the form and glory of a man, so that it may be placed in the house. 14 He has cedars cut down for himself, he takes an oak and lets it get strong among the trees of the wood; he has an ash-tree planted, and the rain gives it growth. 15 Then it will be used to make a fire, so that a man may get warm; he has the oven heated with it and makes bread: he makes a god with it, to which he gives worship: he makes a pictured image out of it, and goes down on his face before it. 16 With part of it he makes a fire, and on the fire he gets meat cooked and takes a full meal: he makes himself warm, and says, Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire: 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, even his pictured image: he goes down on his face before it, giving worship to it, and making prayer to it, saying, Be my saviour; for you are my god. 18 They have no knowledge or wisdom; for he has put a veil over their eyes, so that they may not see; and on their hearts, so that they may not give attention. 19 And no one takes note, no one has enough knowledge or wisdom to say, I have put part of it in the fire, and made bread on it; I have had a meal of the flesh cooked with it: and am I now to make the rest of it into a false god? am I to go down on my face before a bit of wood? 20 As for him whose food is the dust of a dead fire, he has been turned from the way by a twisted mind, so that he is unable to keep himself safe by saying, What I have here in my hand is false.

The LORD the Redeemer of Israel

21 Keep these things in mind, O Jacob; and you Israel, for you are my servant: I have made you; you are my servant; O Israel, I will not let you go out of my memory. 22 I have put your evil doings out of my mind like a thick cloud, and your sins like a mist: come back to me; for I have taken up your cause. 23 Make a song, O heavens, for the Lord has done it: give a loud cry, you deep parts of the earth: let your voices be loud in song, you mountains, and you woods with all your trees: for the Lord has taken up the cause of Jacob, and will let his glory be seen in Israel. 24 The Lord, who has taken up your cause, and who gave you life in your mother's body, says, I am the Lord who makes all things; stretching out the heavens by myself, and giving the earth its limits; who was with me? 25 Who makes the signs of those who give word of the future come to nothing, so that those who have knowledge of secret arts go off their heads; turning the wise men back, and making their knowledge foolish: 26 Who makes the word of his servants certain, and gives effect to the purposes of his representatives; who says of Jerusalem, Her people will come back to her; and of the towns of Judah, I will give orders for their building, and will make her waste places fertile again: 27 Who says to the deep, Be dry, and I will make your rivers dry: 28 Who says of Cyrus, He will take care of my sheep, and will do all my pleasure: who says of Jerusalem, I will give the word for your building; and of the Temple, Your bases will be put in place.

Paul's Ministry in Thessalonica

21 For you yourselves, brothers, are conscious that our coming among you was not without effect: 2 But after we had first undergone much pain and been cruelly attacked as you saw, at Philippi, by the help of God we gave you the good news without fear, though everything was against us. 3 For our witness does not come from error or from an unclean heart or from deceit: 4 But even as the good news was given to us by the approval of God, so we give it out; not as pleasing men, but God by whom our hearts are tested. 5 For it is common knowledge among you that we never made use of smooth-sounding false words, and God is witness that at no time were we secretly desiring profit for ourselves, 6 Or looking for glory from men, from you or from others, when we might have made ourselves a care to you as Apostles of Christ.

7 But we were gentle among you, like a woman caring for her little ones: 8 Even so, being full of loving desire for you, we took delight in giving you not only God's good news, but even our lives, because you were dear to us. 9 For you have the memory, my brothers, of our trouble and care; how, working night and day, so that we might not be a trouble to any of you, we gave you the good news of God. 10 You are witnesses, with God, how holy and upright and free from all evil was our way of life among you who have faith; 11 Even as you saw how, like a father with his children, we were teaching and comforting you all, and giving witness, 12 So that your lives might be pleasing to God, who has given you a part in his kingdom and his glory.

13 And for this cause we still give praise to God, that, when the word came to your ears through us, you took it, not as the word of man, but, as it truly is, the word of God, which has living power in you who have faith. 14 For you, my brothers, took as your examples the churches of God which are in Judaea in Christ Jesus; because you underwent the same things from your countrymen as they did from the Jews; 15 Who put to death the Lord Jesus and the prophets, violently driving us out; who are unpleasing to God and against all men; 16 Who, to make the measure of their sins complete, kept us from giving the word of salvation to the Gentiles: but the wrath of God is about to come on them in the fullest degree.

Paul's Absence and Concern

17 But we, my brothers, being away from you for a short time, in body but not in heart, had all the more desire to see your face; 18 For which reason we made attempts to come to you, even I, Paul, once and again; but Satan kept us from coming. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of glory? Are not even you, before our Lord Jesus, at his coming? 20 For you are our glory and our joy.