Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he told them. “The Lord is right, and my people and I are wrong.”
“You steal, murder, commit adultery, lie when you take oaths, burn incense as an offering to Baal, and run after other gods that you do not know. Then you stand in my presence in the house that is called by my name. You think that you’re safe to do all these disgusting things. The house that is called by my name has become a gathering place for thieves. I have seen what you are doing,” declares the Lord.
When you fast, stop looking sad like hypocrites. They put on sad faces to make it obvious that they’re fasting. I can guarantee this truth: That will be their only reward. When you fast, wash your face and comb your hair. Then your fasting won’t be obvious. Instead, it will be obvious to your Father who is with you in private. Your Father sees what you do in private. He will reward you.
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.”
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD‘s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” . . . say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
~Isaiah 40:1-5, 9
[S]ay to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for
them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.
Go and announce directly to Jerusalem that this is what the LORD says:
“I remember the loyalty of your youth,
your love as a bride—
how you followed Me in the wilderness,
in a land not sown.”
The LORD told me to stand by the gate of the temple and to tell the people who were going in that the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, had said: “Pay attention, people of Judah! Change your ways and start living right, then I will let you keep on living in your own country. Don’t fool yourselves! My temple is here in Jerusalem, but that doesn’t mean I will protect you. I will keep you safe only if you change your ways.”
“Then he told his slaves, ‛The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore, go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.’ So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests.”
When the three men got ready to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked part of the way with them. The LORD said to himself, “I should tell Abraham what I am going to do, since his family will become a great and powerful nation that will be a blessing to all other nations on earth. I have chosen him to teach his family to obey me forever and to do what is right and fair. Then I will give Abraham many descendants, just as I promised.”
You, LORD, are my God!
I will praise you
for doing the wonderful things
you had planned and promised
since ancient times.
For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the LORD’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.
“You are saying about this city, ‘By the sword, famine and plague it will be handed over to the king of Babylon’; but this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says:
“I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety.”
I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.
When Pharaoh’s horses with his chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought the waters of the sea back over them. But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her with tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang to them:
“Sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea.”
David was dancing with all his might before the LORD wearing a linen ephod. He and the whole house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of the ram’s horn.
–2 Samuel 6:14-15
Again I will build you so that you will be rebuilt,
You will take up your tambourines again
and go forth in joyful dancing.
If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.
“Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it,” declares the LORD.
As robbers lie in wait for a man,
so the priests band together;
they murder on the way to Shechem;
they commit villainy.