Friday after Populus Sion, The Second Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Isaiah 1-3 (NKJV)
1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken:
“I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me;
3 The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.”
4 Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward.
5 Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment.
7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; Strangers devour your land in your presence; And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
8 So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a hut in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
9 Unless the LORD of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah:
11 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats.
12 “When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand, to trample My courts?
13 “Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
14 “Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.
15 “When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.
16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,
17 “Learn to do good; Seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
20 “But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
21 How the faithful city has become a harlot! It was full of justice; Righteousness lodged in it, but now murderers.
22 Your silver has become dross, your wine mixed with water.
23 Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, and follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widow come before them.
24 Therefore the Lord says, the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, “Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries, and take vengeance on My enemies.
25 “I will turn My hand against you, and thoroughly purge away your dross, and take away all your alloy.
26 “I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”
27 Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and her penitents with righteousness.
28 The destruction of transgressors and of sinners shall be together, and those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
29 For they shall be ashamed of the terebinth trees which you have desired; And you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens which you have chosen.
30 For you shall be as a terebinth whose leaf fades, and as a garden that has no water.
31 The strong shall be as tinder, and the work of it as a spark; Both will burn together, and no one shall quench them.
2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.
3 Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
5 O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of the LORD.
6 For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with eastern ways; They are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they are pleased with the children of foreigners.
7 Their land is also full of silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; Their land is also full of horses, and there is no end to their chariots.
8 Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.
9 People bow down, and each man humbles himself; Therefore do not forgive them.
10 Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty.
11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, And the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up—and it shall be brought low—
13 Upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan;
14 Upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up;
15 Upon every high tower, and upon every fortified wall;
16 Upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all the beautiful sloops.
17 The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; The LORD alone will be exalted in that day,
18 But the idols He shall utterly abolish.
19 They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.
20 In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made, each for himself to worship, to the moles and bats,
21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the crags of the rugged rocks, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.
22 Sever yourselves from such a man, whose breath is in his nostrils; For of what account is he?
3:1 For behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stock and the store, the whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water;
2 The mighty man and the man of war, the judge and the prophet, and the diviner and the elder;
3 The captain of fifty and the honorable man, the counselor and the skillful artisan, and the expert enchanter.
4 “I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
5 “The people will be oppressed, every one by another and every one by his neighbor; The child will be insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable.”
6 When a man takes hold of his brother In the house of his father, saying, “You have clothing; You be our ruler, and let these ruins be under your power,”
7 In that day he will protest, saying, “I cannot cure your ills, for in my house is neither food nor clothing; Do not make me a ruler of the people.”
8 For Jerusalem stumbled, and Judah is fallen, because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of His glory.
9 The look on their countenance witnesses against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom; They do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves.
10 “Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
11 “Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
12 “As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths.”
13 The LORD stands up to plead, and stands to judge the people.
14 The LORD will enter into judgment with the elders of His people and His princes: “For you have eaten up the vineyard; The plunder of the poor is in your houses.
15 “What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the faces of the poor?” says the Lord GOD of hosts.
16 Moreover the LORD says: “Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with outstretched necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, making a jingling with their feet,
17 “Therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will uncover their secret parts.”
18 “In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents;
19 “The pendants, the bracelets, and the veils;
20 “The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; The perfume boxes, the charms,
21 “and the rings; The nose jewels,
22 “the festal apparel, and the mantles; The outer garments, the purses,
23 “and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes.
24 “And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; Instead of a sash, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, baldness; Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty.
25 “Your men shall fall by the sword, and your mighty in the war.
26 “Her gates shall lament and mourn, and she being desolate shall sit on the ground.”
“After the Babylonian captivity a part of the kingdom of Judah was preserved in order that it might be the seed of the coming reign of Christ, to whom it was bound. Therefore, this people could not be completely rejected until the lawful reign of Christ had come. And this is why the prophets move over from the physical kingdom to the spiritual, even though they are regarded as fanatics for not preserving the order. But he who sees the continuance of those two kingdoms will also see that the prophets have written in the best way.
“Accordingly, in the previous chapter Isaiah dealt with the punishments of the physical kingdom because of the sin and ungodliness of those people. Later he dealt with limited restoration after the captivity. Now follows the prophecy concerning the kingdom of Christ that is to come after the return from the captivity. But these words must be carefully noted, because the prophet speaks spiritually when he describes the church of Christ and skillfully depicts it, namely, that this kingdom is ruled by one scepter, which is the Gospel. Wherever this Gospel is proclaimed with sincerity, there this kingdom of Christ is.” (Luther’s Works, vol. 16: Lectures on Isaiah: Chapters 1-39)
We pray: Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Thine Only-Begotten Son, so that by His coming we may be enabled to serve Thee with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ. Amen.