January 30th, 2019

Wednesday of Epiphany 3

First Reading: Zech. 9:1-17

Judgment on Israel's Enemies

An Oracle

 1 The word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach
       and will rest upon Damascus—
       for the eyes of men and all the tribes of Israel
       are on the LORD—[a]

 2 and upon Hamath too, which borders on it,
       and upon Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skillful.

 3 Tyre has built herself a stronghold;
       she has heaped up silver like dust,
       and gold like the dirt of the streets.

 4 But the Lord will take away her possessions
       and destroy her power on the sea,
       and she will be consumed by fire.

 5 Ashkelon will see it and fear;
       Gaza will writhe in agony,
       and Ekron too, for her hope will wither.
       Gaza will lose her king
       and Ashkelon will be deserted.

 6 Foreigners will occupy Ashdod,
       and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.

 7 I will take the blood from their mouths,
       the forbidden food from between their teeth.
       Those who are left will belong to our God
       and become leaders in Judah,
       and Ekron will be like the Jebusites.

 8 But I will defend my house
       against marauding forces.
       Never again will an oppressor overrun my people,
       for now I am keeping watch.

The Coming of Zion's King

 9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
       Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
       See, your king [b] comes to you,
       righteous and having salvation,
       gentle and riding on a donkey,
       on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

 10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
       and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
       and the battle bow will be broken.
       He will proclaim peace to the nations.
       His rule will extend from sea to sea
       and from the River [c] to the ends of the earth. [d]

 11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
       I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.

 12 Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope;
       even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

 13 I will bend Judah as I bend my bow
       and fill it with Ephraim.
       I will rouse your sons, O Zion,
       against your sons, O Greece,
       and make you like a warrior's sword.

The LORD Will Appear

 14 Then the LORD will appear over them;
       his arrow will flash like lightning.
       The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet;
       he will march in the storms of the south,

 15 and the LORD Almighty will shield them.
       They will destroy
       and overcome with slingstones.
       They will drink and roar as with wine;
       they will be full like a bowl
       used for sprinkling [e] the corners of the altar.

 16 The LORD their God will save them on that day
       as the flock of his people.
       They will sparkle in his land
       like jewels in a crown.

 17 How attractive and beautiful they will be!
       Grain will make the young men thrive,
       and new wine the young women.

Footnotes:Zechariah 9:1 Or Damascus. / For the eye of the LORD is on all mankind, / as well as on the tribes of Israel, Zechariah 9:9 Or King Zechariah 9:10 That is, the Euphrates Zechariah 9:10 Or the end of the land Zechariah 9:15 Or bowl, / like

Second Reading: 2 Tim. 2:1-26

 1You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. 3Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. 5Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules. 6The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

 8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

 11Here is a trustworthy saying:
   If we died with him,
      we will also live with him;
 12if we endure,
      we will also reign with him.
   If we disown him,
      he will also disown us;
 13if we are faithless,
      he will remain faithful,
      for he cannot disown himself.

A Workman Approved by God
 14Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his,"[a] and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

 20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

 22Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Footnotes:2 Timothy 2:19 Num. 16:5 (see Septuagint)


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