Sunday, December 5, 2021
Second Sunday of Heesnag
I Thessalonians 4:1-11
 Then Eli’akim the son of Hilki’ah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Jo’ah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezeki’ah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of the Rab’shakeh.
 When King Hezeki’ah heard it, he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.
 And he sent Eli’akim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, clothed with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz.
 They said to him, “Thus says Hezeki’ah, `This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth.
 It may be that the LORD your God heard the words of the Rab’shakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words which the LORD your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’”
 When the servants of King Hezeki’ah came to Isaiah,
 Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, `Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me.
 Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’”
 The Rab’shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah; for he had heard that the king had left Lachish.
 Now the king heard concerning Tirha’kah king of Ethiopia, “He has set out to fight against you.” And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezeki’ah, saying,
 “Thus shall you speak to Hezeki’ah king of Judah: `Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.
 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. And shall you be delivered?
I Thessalonians 4:1-11
 Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, you do so more and more.
 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from unchastity;
 that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor,
 not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God;
 that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we solemnly forewarned you.
 For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness.
 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
 But concerning love of the brethren you have no need to have any one write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another;
 and indeed you do love all the brethren throughout Macedo’nia. But we exhort you, brethren, to do so more and more,
 to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you;
 There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus?
 I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
 Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Silo’am fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?
 I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
 And he said to the vinedresser, `Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’
 And he answered him, `Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure.
 And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America