Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Thirtieth Day of Great Lent
 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,
 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”
 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.”
 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?
 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman’u-el.
 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.
 For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.
 The LORD will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that E’phraim departed from Judah — the king of Assyria.”
 In that day the LORD will whistle for the fly which is at the sources of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee which is in the land of Assyria.
 And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.
 In that day the Lord will shave with a razor which is hired beyond the River — with the king of Assyria — the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.
 In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep;
 and because of the abundance of milk which they give, he will eat curds; for every one that is left in the land will eat curds and honey.
 In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels of silver, will become briers and thorns.
 With bow and arrows men will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns;
 and as for all the hills which used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns; but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.
 Then the LORD said to me, “Take a large tablet and write upon it in common characters, `Belonging to Ma’her-shal’al-hash-baz.’”
 And I got reliable witnesses, Uri’ah the priest and Zechari’ah the son of Jeberechi’ah, to attest for me.
 And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the LORD said to me, “Call his name Ma’her-shal’al-hash-baz;
 for before the child knows how to cry `My father’ or `My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Sama’ria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”
 The LORD spoke to me again:
 “Because this people have refused the waters of Shilo’ah that flow gently, and melt in fear before Rezin and the son of Remali’ah;
 therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory; and it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks;
 and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck; and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Imman’u-el.”
 Be broken, you peoples, and be dismayed;
give ear, all you far countries;
gird yourselves and be dismayed;
gird yourselves and be dismayed.
 Take counsel together, but it will come to nought;
speak a word, but it will not stand,
for God is with us.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America