Isaiah 52:1-15 NLT
Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer. Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem. Sit in a place of honor. Remove the chains of slavery from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For this is what the L ord says: “When I sold you into exile, I received no payment. Now I can redeem you without having to pay for you.” This is what the Sovereign L ord says: “Long ago my people chose to live in Egypt. Now they are oppressed by Assyria. What is this?” asks the L ord . “Why are my people enslaved again? Those who rule them shout in exultation. My name is blasphemed all day long. But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them.” How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the L ord returning to Jerusalem. Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song, for the L ord has comforted his people. He has redeemed Jerusalem. The L ord has demonstrated his holy power before the eyes of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the victory of our God. Get out! Get out and leave your captivity, where everything you touch is unclean. Get out of there and purify yourselves, you who carry home the sacred objects of the L ord . You will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives. For the L ord will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind. See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about.
Ezekiel 20:30-44 NLT
“Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign L ord : Do you plan to pollute yourselves just as your ancestors did? Do you intend to keep prostituting yourselves by worshiping vile images? For when you offer gifts to them and give your little children to be burned as sacrifices, you continue to pollute yourselves with idols to this day. Should I allow you to ask for a message from me, O people of Israel? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign L ord , I will tell you nothing. “You say, ‘We want to be like the nations all around us, who serve idols of wood and stone.’ But what you have in mind will never happen. As surely as I live, says the Sovereign L ord , I will rule over you with an iron fist in great anger and with awesome power. And in anger I will reach out with my strong hand and powerful arm, and I will bring you back from the lands where you are scattered. I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will judge you face to face. I will judge you there just as I did your ancestors in the wilderness after bringing them out of Egypt, says the Sovereign L ord . I will examine you carefully and hold you to the terms of the covenant. I will purge you of all those who rebel and revolt against me. I will bring them out of the countries where they are in exile, but they will never enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the L ord . “As for you, O people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign L ord says: Go right ahead and worship your idols, but sooner or later you will obey me and will stop bringing shame on my holy name by worshiping idols. For on my holy mountain, the great mountain of Israel, says the Sovereign L ord , the people of Israel will someday worship me, and I will accept them. There I will require that you bring me all your offerings and choice gifts and sacrifices. When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch. Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know that I am the L ord . You will look back on all the ways you defiled yourselves and will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. You will know that I am the L ord , O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign L ord , have spoken!”
Zephaniah 3:9-20 NLT
“Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the L ord together. My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia will come to present their offerings. On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed, for you will no longer be rebels against me. I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you. There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain. Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the L ord . The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will never tell lies or deceive one another. They will eat and sleep in safety, and no one will make them afraid.” Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! For the L ord will remove his hand of judgment and will disperse the armies of your enemy. And the L ord himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last your troubles will be over, and you will never again fear disaster. On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, “Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! For the L ord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” “I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will be disgraced no more. And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed. On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction, among all the nations of the earth, as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the L ord , have spoken!”
This gives me hope. I was reading about Apollo & Daphne the other night. The verses above give me strength to continue living my life the right way. Staying away from drama is a choice to improve my future & that of any children I may bring into this world. Thank God I was raised in the spirit. Strong foundation means everything. No matter what I do or where I go, it goes with me. My roots run deep. “Like a tree planted by the water I shall not be moved”
Nature & Its Symbols - Lucia Impelluso