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Nocturne’s Reaping® : Intermezzo

Chapter 3

Takara made a lot of effort to get better. She ate well and tried walking back and forth down the hall in front of her room. Takara and her father had resided in a wing on the second floor of the Institute. There had been a guest room in this suite. This was the room that Patty was given. Patty didn’t sleep there overnight, but she used it as a sort of office when Takara didn’t need her during the day. Takara’s room was between Patty’s room and the room her father used to occupy.

As Takara walked down the halls, she noted her father’s room. At first, Takara purposefully didn’t look at the room. But on subsequent days her eyes would drift to the side and towards the room.

Eventually, Takara stopped in front of her father’s door. Her hand hesitated on the knob. She breathed. Finally, she turned the knob. She stepped inside then shut the door behind her. Unlike her room that seemed to be different somehow, her father’s room seemed the same. Of course, she hadn’t spent much time in there actually. Her memories of that room basically consisted of peeking into the room nearly every evening. She would take her father a cup a green tea. It was one of the few moments that Hayato Takahashi would actually stop his work and take a break. Dr. Takahashi would spend hours straight consumed with his work. Yet, he would never seem to be annoyed when Takara stepped in briefly; in fact, it ended up becoming part of their nightly routine. Once he even said this was the best part of his day. Takara wasn’t completely sure whether she believed that, but it made her feel good all the same.

Takara felt protective of her father. Even though he never let on, she could tell it bothered him being away from Takara’s mother, Ran. They had all planned to move to Colony 29 as a family. Dr. Takahashi had finally gotten the financing to open the Institute, and he concluded that Colony 29 was the ideal place to establish it. It had many qualified scientists that could be hired. It was merely days before they were to board the shuttle to Colony 29 that Takara’s mother got a phone call. Her boss had recommended her to replace the CFO of one of his subsidiaries. It was a tense few days. Takara’s parents talked a lot in soft subdued voices; then, they just stopped talking altogether. When it was time to board the plane, Ran Takahashi gave her daughter a hug and a message capsule, so they could exchange messages. Takara knew what that meant. Her parents had decided that, though Dr. Takahashi would work as much as Mrs. Takahashi, since Dr. Takahashi would be residing where he worked the Institute would be a better place for Takara to live. This would allow Dr. Takahashi to work from home in a manner of speaking. It was settled; Takara would live with him. So, Takara and her mother said they loved each other, and Takara and her father left. Takara looked back towards her mother until she disappeared from view.

No one asked Takara what she wanted. The fact was she was almost grateful for that. She wouldn’t have wanted to choose; she didn’t think she could have. She learned later in a communication with her mother that she was going to seek a transfer to Colony 29 as soon as it was available. That was nine years ago. No one said that the situation was definitely going to change back to the way it had been; no one said much of anything.

Takara decided she would come back to her father’s office again soon. She thought it would make her feel better. She had thought of something else to do right then. Takara stepped out of the room and carefully shut the door behind her. She remembered she had gotten a message from her mother before the accident. Takara hadn’t replied then. It seemed as though this would be a good time to respond — even if she dreaded being the one to announce her father’s death. No one said anything about her mother knowing about his death. Maybe they didn’t even know her mother existed. Either way, it would take some time for her mother to come to get her once she received word — if that was even possible.

As Takara stepped outside the door to her father’s office, she could see Patty’s form enter her room. She could hear Patty call her name. Takara quickened her pace to meet her. She didn’t want anyone to wonder where she’d been. She wanted to keep her visits to her father’s room a secret.

Patty stepped back into the hall just as Takara arrived.

“Oh, there you are. Oh good, you’ve been walking.”

Takara just smiled.

“Well, I’m supposed to take your vital signs as part of your discharge orders. Also, I wanted to know what you wanted for lunch.”

“Wow!” Takara exclaimed. “I’m not used to having such treatment!”

“Really? As great as this place is, I would have thought this was the lifestyle you were accustomed to.”

Takara frowned.

“Not really.” she said. “I helped my father cook dinner. I had lunch at school most days.”

“So, you go to school?”

“Yes. Grove Academy. I am at Level 7 — at least I was. I imagine I have a lot of catching up to do. I wonder whether I’ll have to repeat the year now.”

“Well, we can see whether they’ll give you some of your work to catch up on. Really though, we should just be grateful you survived given how bad the accident was.”

Something flashed through Takara’s mind then, and it caused her head to spin.

“Come on.” Patty said. “You shouldn’t be overdoing it.”

Patty took Takara by the arm and led her to her bed.

“Thank you.” Takara offered.

“No problem.” Patty replied.

Patty suddenly started treating Takara like a young child.

“I’m going to go ahead and make you some of my homemade chicken noodle soup. It always made my kids feel better. I just wish there were someone to take over when I go home in the evenings.” she lamented.

Takara looked at Patty searchingly. Obviously, her dizzy spell had really frightened the woman. Then, a thought occurred to her.

“You don’t think I’ll have to go back to the hospital?” Takara questioned.

The woman looked at her in stunned silence. Obviously, that was what the woman had been thinking. Takara’s eyes began to water.

“No.” Patty was quick to offer. “But I do think it would be good for you to get in to see your doctor. I’m not a nurse. A professional needs to be keeping an eye on you.”

Takara nodded.

“Now let me get the soup.” She patted Takara on the arm. “It’ll be okay.” she reassured Takara.

Patty left, and Takara looked after her. Takara really wanted to confide in Patty about the message she was planning to send her mother — but she just couldn’t. Patty wasn’t wary of Mr. Tyler the way Takara was. Patty might, therefore, say something to him. Takara didn’t know whether Mr. Tyler would have a problem with Takara contacting her mother, but just in case he did she couldn’t chance him finding out. The relationship between Takara and her mother had been distant since the move. Takara couldn’t stand the possibility of being left wondering why if her mother never responded to the announcement of her father’s death. No, Takara would make contact with her mother once she was sure she was alone, so no one could stop her. In Takara’s mind that meant getting back to school and, therefore, out of the Institute as soon as possible.

Copyright © Jennifer Alice Chandler 2019

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Nocturne’s Reaping® : Intermezzo

Chapter 2

The next day was busy with one medical test after another. For some reason, Takara wasn’t too scared about the tests. Before the accident, Takara could remember being afraid of needles. The tuberculosis test she had had as a child had left her in tears. Now she felt numb – or at least she thought she did.

After she got back to her room after the MRI, the X-Rays, the CT scan, and the blood tests, Takara thought she was done. When she found out that there was yet another blood test, she grew agitated. Fortunately, the nurse mentioned her diet had been upgraded to normal foods. When Takara was handed a real menu, her mood improved significantly.

“I’d recommend the turkey.” Mrs. Taylor called from the other side of the curtain.

Takara looked at the curtain a moment.

“Thank you.” Takara called back.

Takara reached for the phone. She felt a jolt of enthusiasm that she hadn’t felt since she awakened. Then, Takara spied her teddy bear wedged in the crack between the mattress and the bedrail. She suddenly felt a bit bad for her teddy bear — that she hadn’t been more affectionate towards him. She patted him on the head. Room service answered the call, and Takara gave them a pretty large order. Then, she thought better of it; she reduced it by half. After all, Takara may have felt hungry, but she doubted her stomach could accommodate all that food. She did opt to keep Mrs. Taylor’s suggested turkey, so that Mrs. Taylor wouldn’t be offended. Besides, Takara liked turkey.

It seemed like forever before the meal arrived. Takara wasn’t sure she could stand the wait much longer. Finally, as the sun started to fall beneath the horizon, she could hear the familiar sound of the food cart as it rolled down the hall. Finally, it was coming with actual food for her! The food attendant went to Mrs. Taylor’s bedside first, and for a second she thought she heard the cart turning away. She gripped the blanket in her hands. Fortunately, the woman turned back around and headed for Takara’s bed.

“All right, Ta-ka-ra Ta-ka-ha-shee?”

“Yes.” Takara responded.

It was close enough anyway. She would take the shaky pronunciation if it meant keeping the food. The woman placed the plate on a tray and positioned the food in front of her. Takara thanked the woman, who nodded then left.

Takara unwrapped the silverware and placed the napkin in her lap. As she swallowed her first bite of the turkey, Mrs. Taylor asked, “So, how is the turkey?”

“It’s delicious!” Takara admitted.

“Yes, it’s great, isn’t it? I’m actually going to miss it tomorrow.”

“Why? What happens tomorrow?”

Takara thought Mrs. Taylor meant she was going to have another procedure tomorrow or the next day. She had just had one that morning.

“Oh, I’m going home tomorrow.” Mrs. Taylor stated.

Takara sat back and away from her meal. For some reason, she was afraid to have Mrs. Taylor leave. Suddenly, Mrs. Taylor pulled back the curtain.

“You’re going to miss me, aren’t you?” she asked.

“Yes.” Takara replied earnestly.

Mrs. Taylor seemed surprised by the response.

“I mean, I’m happy for you.” Takara added.

“Well, don’t worry. You’ll be let out soon.”

“Yes.” Takara said. “I hope so … I hope so.”

 

***

 

Just like every test she had been given while she had been unconscious, when the latest test results came back they showed nothing that would explain why she had been in a coma all this time. The doctors would have to be satisfied with the explanation that comas were hard to understand. Fortunately, the fact that the test results didn’t indicate a problem allowed Takara to be discharged the following day. On that day, she was given instructions to take along with her so that she could deal with a few issues: she was anemic and a bit malnourished. She also had muscle atrophy.

“That would explain the weakness I feel.” Takara told her doctor.

“Yes.”

“Will I get better?”

“There’s no reason to think that you won’t. The tests don’t show any permanent damage.”

Takara nodded. Dr. Thatcher noticed the girl seemed a bit down. That seemed odd given how much she had wanted to go home. So, Dr. Thatcher took the opportunity to ask, “Do you have any concerns you need to ask me about?”

“No,” Takara considered. “I don’t think so.”

“So, you feel ready to go home?”

“I think so. I mean, it won’t be the same without my father.”

“That must be it.” Dr. Thatcher concluded to himself. “Well, do you have a family doctor you can follow up with?” he asked her.

“Yes.”

“Are you comfortable making an appointment?”

“Yes, I will.”

“Well, I’ll give you my card. If you need anything or start to experience any odd symptoms, feel free to call my office. I specialize in neurology.”

Takara took the card from him.

“All right.”

“I wish I had more answers for you.” the doctor admitted.

“That’s okay.”

Dr. Thatcher smiled. He reminded himself that this was the outcome he had hoped for; this was a success story. He had done everything he could for her. Yet, something was troubling him. Dr. Thatcher decided to dismiss the concern. It was important to maintain some professional distance; he wouldn’t do any of his patients any good if he didn’t.

“Well, I’ll have the nurse call your contact information. And I’ll get that paperwork filled out for you.”

He offered her his hand, and she took it.

“It was nice meeting you, Takara.”

“Yes. Thank you for your help.”

Dr. Thatcher left. It wasn’t all that long afterward that a nurse came in to remove Takara’s IV. Next, Takara was wheeled out toward the nurse’s station where a young woman Takara vaguely remembered seeing at her father’s office was waiting for her.

“Hello, Takara.” The woman smiled with a large grin on her face.

“Hi.” Takara returned in a more reserved tone.

The woman seemed surprised. It was true that Takara had been more of an extrovert before the accident. Maybe it was the loss of her father or her current weakness, but she didn’t have the energy to be enthusiastic with people right now.

“Well.” she said, placing her hand on Takara’s shoulder. Takara looked down at the hand for a moment. “Let’s get you home, shall we?”

Takara managed a smile.

The woman, Angela Barts, looked at the orderly who was pushing the wheelchair for a moment.

“If you’ll follow me, I’ll take you to the car.”

Angela Barts turned abruptly and headed toward the door. The orderly began pushing Takara in that direction right away. Takara suddenly wished she could slow the journey down, but then what good would that do? Takara couldn’t stay at the hospital; she’d have to go home eventually.

The “car” that was waiting for her was actually a limousine from the Institute. Takara gripped the arms of her wheelchair. The limo was just like the one she and her father were riding in on the day of the crash.

“Whatever happened to the driver?” Takara asked aloud.

Angela turned toward her; she looked at Takara with curiosity.

“I’m not sure.” she said. “I believe he’s fine, though, and has moved on to another company.”

“I can’t recall his name.” Takara admitted.

“Well, you don’t need to, Takara. As I’ve said, he’s fine. And he wasn’t at fault for the accident.”

Takara looked up at Angela Barts quizzically. Why did she assume Takara meant something like that?

“Well, let’s get you in the car, all right?”

Takara noted that there was an edge to Angela’s voice. The orderly helped Takara into the back seat. Takara thanked him. Angela sat across from her then pulled the door shut; next, she tapped on the glass behind her. The car pulled forward and headed off. Angela Barts then made a short phone call on her cell phone. During the conversation, she basically just confirmed what the other speaker was saying. After the call was over, Angela stared off into space toward the window on her side. Takara could tell that the woman was avoiding eye contact with her. Had what Takara asked really bothered her that much? Just as Takara was going to speak again, Angela received a call. This time she talked a lot more. By the sound of it, the conversation seemed more personal in nature, and it was almost as though Takara wasn’t even present anymore. Takara decided to look out her window lest the woman remember she was there and think she was purposely eavesdropping.

The city streets started becoming less crowded, and the trees began to increase in number as they headed toward the Institute. It wasn’t long before the massive building surrounded by a tall, wrought iron fence came into view. It was actually quite intimidating all of a sudden.

Takara had thought her fear would have left her when she returned home. Only it seemed to have followed her there. Takara realized when her father was alive the Institute felt like home; now it didn’t. Instead, Takara wondered whether she really had a place here anymore. What would stop them from kicking her out tomorrow? It seemed to her that they owed her next to nothing. Takara wasn’t even aware how her father provided for her in his will. All she knew was that Mr. Tyler was in control of her father’s estate … and her. Speaking of Mr. Tyler, Takara was surprised to find him standing at the entrance to the Institute waiting for them when the limousine pulled into the circular drive. Takara suspected that at least one of the calls Angela had made had more than likely been made to him.

Takara hesitated as Angela slid out of the back seat and opened the door. It occurred to Takara that Angela appeared to be very comfortable with the limousine. Angela flounced up to Mr. Tyler.

“We’ve brought Takara home safely.” Angela then turned back toward the limo and finally noticed that Takara hadn’t left the vehicle. She looked at Takara with a confused and annoyed look on her face.

“Come on.” She waived Takara out of the vehicle.

Takara slowly pulled herself out of the back seat. She pulled her bear along with her as she exited.

“She hasn’t been herself since …” Takara heard Angela say.

Takara stopped short and glared at Angela. Takara wouldn’t have presumed to say personal things about Angela; she hardly knew the woman. And to Takara’s knowledge the woman hardly knew her. Takara climbed the rest of the way out of the vehicle.

“Well, are you going to thank Mr. Tyler for all he’s done for you?” Angela asked in a condescending tone as though Takara was a mere child.

“That’s fine. That’s not necessary, Miss Barts. Takara has been through a lot. I’m just happy to see she’s all right.”

Takara just looked blankly at Mr. Tyler for a moment.

“Well, Patty should be here any minute. Ah, here she is.”

An older woman came upon them then.

“Takara, this will be your nanny.”

“Nanny?”

“Yes, she will take care of all your needs.”

“You can come shake her hand, Takara.” Angela directed her.

Takara hesitated. She decided she didn’t like Angela. Still, because she didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot with her new caretaker, she decided to do as Angela instructed. That didn’t mean Takara trusted Patty. After all, she didn’t trust Mr. Tyler or Angela, and it seemed obvious that Patty would be reporting to one of them. Takara reached out to shake the woman’s hand. Patty looked at the hand for a moment.

“She’s not contagious.” Angela reassured her.

Patty looked as though she felt a bit ashamed but then reached out for Takara’s hand. Takara’s heart sank a bit.

“Well, let’s get you to your room.” Patty suggested.

“Is it the same one?” Takara asked.

Everyone looked at Takara funny. Patty seemed confused. Angela and Mr. Tyler appeared to be insulted.

“Don’t worry.” Patty assured the other two. “Let’s go, Takara.”

Takara was glad to follow the woman just to get away from the other two. When they were alone on their way to her room, Patty said, “I’m sorry for before. They didn’t tell me why you were in the hospital, and my daughter and her kids live with me.”

“That’s fine.” Takara smiled at her. Something about this woman seemed sincere. Patty smiled at her. Takara was relieved when they got to her room. It was the same one. Takara opened the door. For the first time, it occurred to her that her room had a lock on the door. Funny, it had never occurred to her to want one before.

“Well, if you need anything.” Patty handed Takara a portable intercom. “Just let me know.”

“Thank you.” Takara stated.

Patty smiled again then left. Takara shut her door. The room looked exactly the same, but it didn’t feel the same. Takara went and lay down on her bed with her bear. It felt good to be in her own bed again, and yet she couldn’t wait for the sun to go down. Somehow, it felt as though people could see her.

Copyright © Jennifer Alice Chandler 2019

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PSALM 36

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD.

 

The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.

The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.

He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.

Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; Thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, Thou preservest man and beast.

How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings.

They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures.

For with Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy light shall we see light.

O continue Thy lovingkindness unto them that know Thee; and Thy righteousness to the upright in heart.

Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.

There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

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Romans 11

I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew. Wot ye not what the Scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,

“LORD, THEY HAVE KILLED THY PROPHETS, AND DIGGED DOWN THINE ALTARS; AND I AM LEFT ALONE, AND THEY SEEK MY LIFE.”

But what saith the answer of God unto him? “I HAVE RESERVED TO MYSELF SEVEN THOUSAND MEN, WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO THE IMAGE OF BAAL.”

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

(According as it is written, “GOD HATH GIVEN THEM THE SPIRIT OF SLUMBER [Or, remorse], EYES THAT THEY SHOULD NOT SEE, AND EARS THAT THEY SHOULD NOT HEAR;) UNTO THIS DAY.”

And David saith, “LET THEIR TABLE BE MADE A SNARE, AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLINGBLOCK, AND A RECOMPENCE UNTO THEM:

“LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED, THAT THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND BOW DOWN THEIR BACK ALWAY.”

I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee.

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, “THERE SHALL COME OUT OF SION THE DELIVERER, AND SHALL TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB”:

“FOR THIS IS MY COVENANT UNTO THEM, WHEN I SHALL TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”

As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!

“FOR WHO HATH KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD? OR WHO HATH BEEN HIS COUNSELLOR?

“OR WHO HATH FIRST GIVEN TO HIM, AND IT SHALL BE RECOMPENSED UNTO HIM AGAIN?”

For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen (Romans 11: 1-36).

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Isaiah 66

Thus saith the LORD, “The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool: where is the house that ye build unto Me? and where is the place of My rest?

“For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been,” saith the LORD: “but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.

“He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb [Or, kid], as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.

“I also will choose their delusions [Or, devices], and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before Mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.”

Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at His word; “Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified’: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

“A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to His enemies.

“Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.

“Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

“Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth [Or, beget]?” saith the LORD: “shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb?” saith thy God.

“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for her with her, all ye that mourn for her:

“That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance [Or, brightness] of her glory.”

For thus saith the LORD, “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.

“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward His servants, and His indignation toward His enemies.

For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.

For by fire and by His sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

“They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together,” saith the LORD.

“For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see My glory.

“And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.

“And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” saith the LORD, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.

“And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites,” saith the LORD.

“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me,” saith the LORD, “so shall your seed and your name remain.

“And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me,” saith the LORD.

“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against Me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” (Isaiah 66: 1-24)

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Isaiah 16

Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela [Or, Petra] to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.

For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest [Or, a nest forsaken], so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon.

Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth.

Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioners is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.

And in mercy shall the throne be established [Or, prepared]: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.

We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud: even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath: but his lies shall not be so.

Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every one shall howl: for the foundations of Kir-hareseth shall ye mourn; surely they are stricken.

For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah: the lords of the heathen have broken down the principal plants thereof, they are come even unto Jazer, they wandered through the wilderness: her branches are stretched out [Or, plucked up], they are gone over the sea.

Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah: I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh: for the shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is fallen.

And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field; and in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither shall there be shouting: the treaders shall tread out no wine in their presses; I have made their vintage shouting to cease.

Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kir-haresh.

And it shall come to pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, that he shall come to his sanctuary to pray; but he shall not prevail.

This is the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning Moab since that time.

But now the LORD hath spoken, saying, “Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with all that great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small and feeble.” (Isaiah 16: 1-14)

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Mark 4

And He began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto Him a great multitude, so that He entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

And He taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in His doctrine,

“Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

“And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

“And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

“But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

“And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

“And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.”

And He said unto them, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

And when He was alone, they that were about Him with the twelve asked of Him the parable.

And He said unto them, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

“That ‘SEEING THEY MAY SEE, AND NOT PERCEIVE; AND HEARING THEY MAY HEAR, AND NOT UNDERSTAND; LEST AT ANY TIME THEY SHOULD BE CONVERTED, AND THEIR SINS SHOULD BE FORGIVEN THEM.’ ”

And He said unto them, “Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

“The sower soweth the word.

“And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

“And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

“And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

“And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

“And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

“And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.”

And He said unto them, “Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

“For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.”

And He said unto them, “Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

“For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.”

And He said, “So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

“And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

“For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

“But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.”

And He said, “Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:

“But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.”

And with many such parables spake He the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.

But without a parable spake He not unto them: and when they were alone, He expounded all things to His disciples.

And the same day, when the even was come, He saith unto them, “Let us pass over unto the other side.”

And when they had sent away the multitude, they took Him even as He was in the ship. And there were also with Him other little ships.

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, Master, carest Thou not that we perish?

And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, “Peace, be still.” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

And He said unto them, “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”

And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him? (Mark 4: 1-41)

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