Tuesday after Gaudete, The Third Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Isaiah 13-15 (NKJV)
13:1 The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
2 “Lift up a banner on the high mountain, raise your voice to them; Wave your hand, that they may enter the gates of the nobles.
3 “I have commanded My sanctified ones; I have also called My mighty ones for My anger—those who rejoice in My exaltation.”
4 The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like that of many people! A tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together! The LORD of hosts musters the army for battle.
5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven—the LORD and His weapons of indignation, to destroy the whole land.
6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore all hands will be limp, every man’s heart will melt,
8 And they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; They will be amazed at one another; Their faces will be like flames.
9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it.
10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.
11 “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12 “I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.
13 “Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger.
14 “It shall be as the hunted gazelle, and as a sheep that no man takes up; Every man will turn to his own people, and everyone will flee to his own land.
15 “Everyone who is found will be thrust through, and everyone who is captured will fall by the sword.
16 “Their children also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; Their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.
17 “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not regard silver; And as for gold, they will not delight in it.
18 “Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces, and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb; Their eye will not spare children.
19 “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
20 “It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation; Nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there.
21 “But wild beasts of the desert will lie there, and their houses will be full of owls; Ostriches will dwell there, and wild goats will caper there.
22 “The hyenas will howl in their citadels, and jackals in their pleasant palaces. Her time is near to come, and her days will not be prolonged.”
14:1 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob. 2 Then people will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them for servants and maids in the land of the LORD; they will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors.
3 It shall come to pass in the day the LORD gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve, 4 that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say:
“How the oppressor has ceased, the golden city ceased!
5 “The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers;
6 “He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he who ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted and no one hinders.
7 “The whole earth is at rest and quiet; They break forth into singing.
8 “Indeed the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, ‘Since you were cut down, no woodsman has come up against us.’
9 “Hell from beneath is excited about you, to meet you at your coming; It stirs up the dead for you, all the chief ones of the earth; It has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
10 “They all shall speak and say to you: ‘Have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us?
11 ‘Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your stringed instruments; The maggot is spread under you, and worms cover you.’
12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!
13 “For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north;
14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
15 “Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.
16 “Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,
17 ‘Who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?’
18 “All the kings of the nations, all of them, sleep in glory, Everyone in his own house;
19 “But you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, like the garment of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a corpse trodden underfoot.
20 “You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land and slain your people. The brood of evildoers shall never be named.
21 “Prepare slaughter for his children because of the iniquity of their fathers, lest they rise up and possess the land, and fill the face of the world with cities.”
22 “For I will rise up against them,” says the LORD of hosts, “And cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, and offspring and posterity,” says the LORD.
23 “I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, and marshes of muddy water; I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” says the LORD of hosts.
24 The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand:
25 “That I will break the Assyrian in My land, and on My mountains tread him underfoot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, and his burden removed from their shoulders.
26 “This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
27 “For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?”
28 This is the burden which came in the year that King Ahaz died.
29 “Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia, because the rod that struck you is broken; For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper, and its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.
30 “The firstborn of the poor will feed, and the needy will lie down in safety; I will kill your roots with famine, and it will slay your remnant.
31 “Wail, O gate! Cry, O city! All you of Philistia are dissolved; For smoke will come from the north, and no one will be alone in his appointed times.”
32 What will they answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD has founded Zion, and the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.
15:1 The burden against Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste and destroyed, because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste and destroyed,
2 He has gone up to the temple and Dibon, to the high places to weep. Moab will wail over Nebo and over Medeba; On all their heads will be baldness, and every beard cut off.
3 In their streets they will clothe themselves with sackcloth; On the tops of their houses and in their streets everyone will wail, weeping bitterly.
4 Heshbon and Elealeh will cry out, their voice shall be heard as far as Jahaz; Therefore the armed soldiers of Moab will cry out; His life will be burdensome to him.
5 “My heart will cry out for Moab; His fugitives shall flee to Zoar, like a three-year-old heifer. For by the Ascent of Luhith they will go up with weeping; For in the way of Horonaim they will raise up a cry of destruction,
6 “For the waters of Nimrim will be desolate, for the green grass has withered away; The grass fails, there is nothing green.
7 “Therefore the abundance they have gained, and what they have laid up, they will carry away to the Brook of the Willows.
8 “For the cry has gone all around the borders of Moab, its wailing to Eglaim and its wailing to Beer Elim.
9 “For the waters of Dimon will be full of blood; Because I will bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him who escapes from Moab, and on the remnant of the land.”
“For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land” (Isaiah 14:1).
O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, Who orderest all things mightily; To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan’s tyranny; From depths of hell Thy people save, and give them victory o’er the grave. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here; Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Key of David, come, and open wide our heavenly home; Make safe the way that leads on high, and close the path to misery. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
(Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel – Translation by John Mason Neale, 1851)
We pray: Most Merciful God, Who has given Your Eternal Word to be made incarnate of the Virgin, grant to Your people grace to put away fleshly lusts, so that we may be made ready for Your visitation; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.