Jeremiah 2:31-4:18 31
You people of this generation, listen to what the Lord
says. “Have I been like a wilderness to you, Israel? Have I been like a dark and dangerous land to you?
Why then do you
say, ‘We are free to wander.
We will not come to you any more?’ 32
Does a young woman forget to put on her jewels? Does a bride forget to put on her bridal attire? But my people have forgotten me for more days than can even be counted. 33
“My, how good you have become at chasing after your lovers!
Why, you could even teach prostitutes a thing or two! 34
Even your clothes are stained with the lifeblood of the poor who had not done anything wrong; you did not catch them breaking into your homes.
Yet, in spite of all these things you have done, 35
you say, ‘I have not done anything wrong, so the Lord
cannot really be angry with me any more.’ But, watch out!
I will bring down judgment on you because you say, ‘I have not committed any sin.’ 36
Why do you constantly go about changing your political allegiances?
You will get no help from Egypt just as you got no help from Assyria. 37
Moreover, you will come away from Egypt with your hands covering your faces in sorrow and shame
because the Lord
will not allow your reliance on them to be successful and you will not gain any help from them. 1
“If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife, he may not take her back again.
Doing that would utterly defile the land.
But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods.
So what makes you think you can return to me?”
says the Lord
“Look up at the hilltops and consider this.
You have had sex with other gods on every one of them.
You waited for those gods like a thief lying in wait in the desert.
You defiled the land by your wicked prostitution to other gods. 3
That is why the rains have been withheld, and the spring rains have not come. Yet in spite of this you are obstinate as a prostitute.
You refuse to be ashamed of what you have done. 4
Even now you say to me, ‘You are my father!
You have been my faithful companion ever since I was young. 5
You will not always be angry with me, will you? You will not be mad at me forever, will you?’
That is what you say, but you continually do all the evil that you can.” 6
When Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord
said to me, “Jeremiah, you have no doubt seen what wayward Israel has done.
You have seen how she went up to every high hill and under every green tree to give herself like a prostitute to other gods. 7
Yet even after she had done all that, I thought that she might come back to me.
But she did not. Her sister, unfaithful Judah, saw what she did. 8
She also saw
that I gave wayward Israel her divorce papers and sent her away because of her adulterous worship of other gods.
Even after her unfaithful sister Judah had seen this,
she still was not afraid, and she too went and gave herself like a prostitute to other gods. 9
Because she took her prostitution so lightly, she defiled the land
through her adulterous worship of gods made of wood and stone. 10
In spite of all this,
Israel’s sister, unfaithful Judah, has not turned back to me with any sincerity; she has only pretended to do so,”
says the Lord
Then the Lord
said to me, “Under the circumstances, wayward Israel could even be considered less guilty than unfaithful Judah. 12
“Go and shout this message to my people in the countries in the north.
Tell them, ‘Come back to me, wayward Israel,’ says the Lord
. ‘I will not continue to look on you with displeasure.
For I am merciful,’ says the Lord
. ‘I will not be angry with you forever. 13
However, you must confess that you have done wrong,
and that you have rebelled against the Lord
your God. You must confess
that you have given yourself to
foreign gods under every green tree, and have not obeyed my commands,’ says the Lord
“Come back to me, my wayward sons,” says the Lord
, “for I am your true master.
If you do,
I will take one of you from each town and two of you from each family group, and I will bring you back to Zion. 15
I will give you leaders
who will be faithful to me.
They will lead you with knowledge and insight. 16
In those days, your population will greatly increase
in the land. At that time,” says the Lord
, “people will no longer talk about having the ark
that contains the Lord
’s covenant with us.
They will not call it to mind, remember it, or miss it. No, that will not be done any more! 17
At that time the city of Jerusalem
will be called the Lord
’s throne. All nations will gather there in Jerusalem to honor the Lord
They will no longer follow the stubborn inclinations of their own evil hearts. 18
At that time
the nation of Judah and the nation of Israel will be reunited.
Together they will come back from a land in the north to the land that I gave to your ancestors as a permanent possession. ” 19
“I thought to myself,
‘Oh what a joy it would be for me to treat you like a son!
What a joy it would be for me to give
you a pleasant land, the most beautiful piece of property there is in all the world!’
I thought you would call me, ‘Father’
and would never cease being loyal to me. 20
But, you have been unfaithful to me, nation of Israel,
like an unfaithful wife who has left her husband,”
says the Lord
“A noise is heard on the hilltops. It is the sound of the people of Israel crying and pleading to their gods. Indeed they have followed sinful ways;
they have forgotten to be true to the Lord
their God. 22
Come back to me, you wayward people. I want to cure your waywardness.
‘Here we are. We come to you because you are the Lord
our God. 23
We know our noisy worship of false gods on the hills and mountains did not help us.
We know that the Lord
our God is the only one who can deliver Israel. 24
From earliest times our worship of that shameful god, Baal, has taken away
all that our ancestors
worked for. It has taken away our flocks and our herds, and even our sons and daughters. 25
Let us acknowledge
our shame. Let us bear the disgrace that we deserve.
For we have sinned against the Lord
our God, both we and our ancestors. From earliest times to this very day we have not obeyed the Lord
our God.’ 1
“If you, Israel, want to come back,” says the Lord,
“if you want to come back to me
you must get those disgusting idols
out of my sight and must no longer go astray. 2
You must be truthful, honest and upright when you take an oath saying, ‘As surely as the Lord
If you do,
the nations will pray to be as blessed by him as you are and will make him the object of their boasting.” 3
has this to say to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: “Like a farmer breaking up hard unplowed ground, you must break your rebellious will and make a new beginning; just as a farmer must clear away thorns lest the seed is wasted, you must get rid of the sin that is ruining your lives. 4
Just as ritual circumcision cuts away the foreskin as an external symbol of dedicated covenant commitment, you must genuinely dedicate yourselves to the Lord
and get rid of everything that hinders your commitment to me,
people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. If you do not,
my anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you that no one will be able to extinguish. That will happen because of the evil you have done.” 5
this in Judah and proclaim it in Jerusalem:
‘Sound the trumpet
throughout the land!’ Shout out loudly, ‘Gather together! Let us flee into the fortified cities!’ 6
Raise a signal flag that tells people to go to Zion.
Run for safety! Do not delay! For I am about to bring disaster out of the north. It will bring great destruction. 7
Like a lion that has come up from its lair
the one who destroys nations has set out from his home base.
He is coming out to lay your land waste. Your cities will become ruins and lie uninhabited. 8
So put on sackcloth! Mourn and wail, saying, ‘The fierce anger of the Lord
has not turned away from us!’” 9
“When this happens,”
says the Lord
, “the king and his officials will lose their courage. The priests will be struck with horror, and the prophets will be speechless in astonishment.” 10
In response to all this
I said, “Ah, Lord God
you have surely allowed
the people of Judah and Jerusalem
to be deceived by those who say, ‘You will be safe!’
But in fact a sword is already at our throats.” 11
“At that time the people of Judah and Jerusalem
will be told, ‘A scorching wind will sweep down from the hilltops in the desert on
my dear people.
It will not be a gentle breeze for winnowing the grain and blowing away the chaff. 12
a wind too strong for that will come at my bidding. Yes, even now I, myself, am calling down judgment on them.’ 13
Look! The enemy is approaching like gathering clouds.
The roar of his chariots is like that of a whirlwind.
His horses move more swiftly than eagles.” I cry out,
“We are doomed,
for we will be destroyed!” 14
“Oh people of Jerusalem, purify your hearts from evil
so that you may yet be delivered. How long will you continue to harbor up wicked schemes within you? 15
For messengers are coming, heralding disaster, from the city of Dan and from the hills of Ephraim. 16
They are saying,
‘Announce to the surrounding nations,
“The enemy is coming!”
Proclaim this message
to Jerusalem: “Those who besiege cities
are coming from a distant land. They are ready to raise the battle cry against
the towns in Judah.”’ 17
They will surround Jerusalem
like men guarding a field
because they have rebelled against me,” says the Lord
“The way you have lived and the things you have done
will bring this on you. This is the punishment you deserve, and it will be painful indeed.
The pain will be so bad it will pierce your heart.” Context (NET)
Colossians 1:1-17 1
an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2
to the saints, the faithful
brothers and sisters
in Christ, at Colossae. Grace and peace to you
from God our Father! 3
give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4
we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints. 5
Your faith and love have arisen
from the hope laid up
for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel 6
that has come to you. Just as in the entire world this gospel
is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing
among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth. 7
You learned the gospel
from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave
faithful minister of Christ on our
behalf – 8
who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9
For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you,
have not ceased praying for you and asking God
you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10
so that you may live
worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects
– bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 11
being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of
all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 12
giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share
in the saints’
inheritance in the light. 13
He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14
in whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of sins. 15
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn
over all creation, 16
for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions,
whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him. 17
He himself is before all things and all things are held together
in him. Context (NET)
Psalm 76:1-12 1
For the music director; to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm of Asaph, a song. God has revealed himself in Judah;
in Israel his reputation
is great. 2
He lives in Salem;
he dwells in Zion. 3
There he shattered the arrows,
the shield, the sword, and the rest of the weapons of war.
You shine brightly and reveal your majesty, as you descend from the hills where you killed your prey. 5
they “fell asleep.”
All the warriors were helpless. 6
At the sound of your battle cry,
O God of Jacob, both rider
and horse “fell asleep.” 7
You are awesome! Yes, you! Who can withstand your intense anger? 8
From heaven you announced what their punishment would be.
was afraid and silent 9
when God arose to execute judgment, and to deliver all the oppressed of the earth. (Selah) 10
your angry judgment upon men will bring you praise;
you reveal your anger in full measure. 11
Make vows to the Lord
your God and repay them! Let all those who surround him
bring tribute to the awesome one! 12
He humbles princes;
the kings of the earth regard him as awesome. Context (NET)
Proverbs 24:21-22 21
Fear the Lord
, my child,
as well as the king, and do not associate
with rebels, 22
for suddenly their destruction will overtake them,
and who knows the ruinous judgment both the Lord
and the king can bring? Context (NET)
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