for those who despise wisdom and instruction are miserable. Their hope is vain, their labours are unprofitable, and their works are useless. Their wives are foolish, and their children evil;
their offspring are accursed.
For blessed is the barren woman who is undefiled, who has not entered into a sinful union; she will have fruit when God examines souls. Blessed also is the eunuch whose hands have done no lawless deed,
and who has not devised wicked things against the Lord; for special favour will be shown him for his faithfulness, and a place of great delight in the temple of the Lord. For the fruit of good labours is renowned, and the root of understanding does not fail. But children of adulterers will not come to maturity, and the offspring of an unlawful union will perish. Even if they live long they will be held of no account, and finally their old age will be without honour.
Thus says your Sovereign, the Lord, your God who pleads the cause of his people: See, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering; you shall drink no more from the bowl of my wrath. And I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you, ‘Bow down, that we may walk on you’; and you have made your back like the ground and like the street for them to walk on.
Let Zion Rejoice
Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion! Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city;
for the uncircumcised and the unclean shall enter you no more. Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
O captive Jerusalem; loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter Zion! For thus says the Lord: You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.
1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you suffered the same things from your own compatriots as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out; they displease God and oppose everyone by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. Thus they have constantly been filling up the measure of their sins; but God’s wrath has overtaken them at last.
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.