As you’re reading, try asking these questions:
1. What does the passage actually say?
2. What are some lessons from it?
3. What might God be saying to me in it?
Daily Reading for October 22, 2021
2 Corinthians 9
9Now it is not necessary for me to write you about the ministry to the saints, 2for I know your eagerness, which is the subject of my boasting about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you may not prove to have been empty in this case, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be; 4otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliatedto say nothing of youin this undertaking. 5So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you, and arrange in advance for this bountiful gift that you have promised, so that it may be ready as a voluntary gift and not as an extortion.
6The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 9As it is written, He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. 10He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; 12for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. 13Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, 14while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. 15Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
2The word of the Lord came to me, saying: 2Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord: I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. 3Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest. All who ate of it were held guilty; disaster came upon them, says the Lord. 4Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. 5Thus says the Lord: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves? 6They did not say, Where is the Lord who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that no one passes through, where no one lives? 7I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination. 8The priests did not say, Where is the Lord? Those who handle the law did not know me; the rulers transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after things that do not profit.
9Therefore once more I accuse you, says the Lord, and I accuse your childrens children. 10Cross to the coasts of Cyprus and look, send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has ever been such a thing. 11Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for something that does not profit. 12Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the Lord, 13for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.
14Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become plunder? 15The lions have roared against him, they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant. 16Moreover, the people of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head. 17Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the Lord your God, while he led you in the way? 18What then do you gain by going to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates? 19Your wickedness will punish you, and your apostasies will convict you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you, says the Lord God of hosts.
20For long ago you broke your yoke and burst your bonds, and you said, I will not serve! On every high hill and under every green tree you sprawled and played the whore. 21Yet I planted you as a choice vine, from the purest stock. How then did you turn degenerate and become a wild vine? 22Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, says the Lord God. 23How can you say, I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baals? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done a restive young camel interlacing her tracks, 24a wild ass at home in the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her. 25Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, It is hopeless, for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go. 26As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, 27who say to a tree, You are my father, and to a stone, You gave me birth. For they have turned their backs to me, and not their faces. But in the time of their trouble they say, Come and save us! 28But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them come, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah.
29Why do you complain against me? You have all rebelled against me, says the Lord. 30In vain I have struck down your children; they accepted no correction. Your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion. 31And you, O generation, behold the word of the Lord! Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, We are free, we will come to you no more? 32Can a girl forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number. 33How well you direct your course to seek lovers! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways. 34Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things 35you say, I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me. Now I am bringing you to judgment for saying, I have not sinned. 36How lightly you gad about, changing your ways! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria. 37From there also you will come away with your hands on your head; for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper through them.