December 4th, 2018

John of Damascus, Theologian and Hymnwriter

First Reading: Is. 10:12-27; Is. 10:33-34

12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.” 13 For he says:
      “ By the strength of my hand I have done it,
      And by my wisdom, for I am prudent;
      Also I have removed the boundaries of the people,
      And have robbed their treasuries;
      So I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man.
       14 My hand has found like a nest the riches of the people,
      And as one gathers eggs that are left,
      I have gathered all the earth;
      And there was no one who moved his wing,
      Nor opened his mouth with even a peep.”
       15 Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it?
      Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it?
      As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up,
      Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!
       16 Therefore the Lord, the Lord[a] of hosts,
      Will send leanness among his fat ones;
      And under his glory
      He will kindle a burning
      Like the burning of a fire.
       17 So the Light of Israel will be for a fire,
      And his Holy One for a flame;
      It will burn and devour
      His thorns and his briers in one day.
       18 And it will consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field,
      Both soul and body;
      And they will be as when a sick man wastes away.
       19 Then the rest of the trees of his forest
      Will be so few in number
      That a child may write them.

The Returning Remnant of Israel
    20 And it shall come to pass in that day
      That the remnant of Israel,
      And such as have escaped of the house of Jacob,
      Will never again depend on him who defeated them,
      But will depend on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
       21 The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob,
      To the Mighty God.
       22 For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea,
      A remnant of them will return;
      The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
       23 For the Lord GOD of hosts
      Will make a determined end
      In the midst of all the land. 24 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: “O My people, who dwell in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrian. He shall strike you with a rod and lift up his staff against you, in the manner of Egypt. 25 For yet a very little while and the indignation will cease, as will My anger in their destruction.” 26 And the LORD of hosts will stir up a scourge for him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; as His rod was on the sea, so will He lift it up in the manner of Egypt.
       27 It shall come to pass in that day
      That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder,
      And his yoke from your neck,
      And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.

Footnotes:Isaiah 10:16 Following Bomberg; Masoretic Text and Dead Sea Scrolls read YHWH (the Lord).

33 Behold, the Lord,
      The LORD of hosts,
      Will lop off the bough with terror;
      Those of high stature will be hewn down,
      And the haughty will be humbled.
       34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron,
      And Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One.

Second Reading: 2 Pt. 1:1-21

Greeting the Faithful

 1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Fruitful Growth in the Faith

    5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Peter’s Approaching Death

    12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.

The Trustworthy Prophetic Word

    16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed,[a] which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,[b] 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God[c] spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Footnotes:2 Peter 1:19 Or We also have the more sure prophetic word. 2 Peter 1:20 Or origin 2 Peter 1:21 NU-Text reads but men spoke from God.


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