Abram’s Descendants Numerous as the Stars
Isaiah 40:18-31 (from the Sixth Hour BDO Prayers)
18 To whom can you liken God? With what likeness can you confront him?
19 An idol? An artisan casts it, the smith plates it with gold, fits it with silver chains.
20 Is mulberry wood the offering? A skilled artisan picks ou a wood that will not rot, Seeks to set up for himself an idol that will not totter.
21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Was it not told you from the beginning? Have you no understood from the founding of the earth?
22 The one who is enthroned above the vault of the earth, its inhabitants like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a veil and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in,
23 Who brings princes to nought and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely their stem rooted in the earth, When He breathes upon them and they wither, and the storm wind carries them awa like straw.
25 To whom can you liken me as an equal? Says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see who created these: He leads out their army and numbers them, calling them all by name. By His great might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing!
27 Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God?”
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is God from of old, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, and His knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
29 He gives power to the faint, abundant strength to the weak.
30 Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall,
31 They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.
1 “Some time afterward, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: Do not fear, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great.
2 But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what can you give me, if I die childless and have only a servant of my household, Eliezer of Damascus?”
3 Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a servant of my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: No, that one will not be your heir; your own offspring will be your heir.
5 He took him outside and said: Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so, he added, will your descendants be.
6 Abram put his faith in the LORD, who attributed it to him as an act of righteousness.
7 He then said to him: I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as a possession.
8 “Lord GOD,” he asked, “how will I know that I will possess it?”
9 He answered him: Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
10 He brought him all these, split them in two, and placed each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not cut up.
11 Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram scared them away.
12 As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a great, dark dread descended upon him.
13 Then the LORD said to Abram: Know for certain that your descendants will reside as aliens in a land not their own, where they shall be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years.
14 But I will bring judgment on the nation they must serve, and after this they will go out with great wealth.
15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace; you will be buried at a ripe old age.”
7 “The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the heart of fools is not steadfast.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but he loves one who pursues justice.
10 Discipline seems bad to those going astray; one who hates reproof will die.
111 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD; how much more the hearts of mortals!
12 Scoffers do not love reproof; to the wise they will not go.
13 A glad heart lights up the face, but an anguished heart breaks the spirit.
14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on folly.
15 All the days of the poor are evil, but a good heart is a continual feast.
16 Better a little with fear of the LORD than a great fortune with anxiety.
17 Better a dish of herbs where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it.
18 The ill-tempered stir up strife, but the patient settle disputes.
19 The way of the sluggard is like a thorn hedge, but the path of the diligent is a highway.”