For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.
For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”
~1 Timothy 5:18
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Then Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out in the fields.” When they were out in the fields, Cain turned on his brother and killed him.
The Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
He answered, “I don’t know. Am I supposed to take care of my brother?”
Then the Lord said,
“Why have you done this terrible thing? Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground, like a voice calling for revenge.”
Even if you washed with the strongest soap,
I would still see the stain of your guilt.
It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.
He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice their son or daughter in the fire to Molech.
–2 Kings 23:10
At Topheth in Hinnom Valley you have built altars where you kill your children and burn them as sacrifices to other gods. I would never think of telling you to do this.
In the valley of Ben Hinnom they built worship sites for Baal to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech. I didn’t ask them to do this. It never entered my mind. I didn’t make Judah sin.
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.