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Jeremiah 12:1-14:10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Jeremiah Complains to God

12 You will be in the right, O Lord,
    when I lay charges against you;
    but let me put my case to you.
Why does the way of the guilty prosper?
    Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
You plant them, and they take root;
    they grow and bring forth fruit;
you are near in their mouths
    yet far from their hearts.
But you, O Lord, know me;
    You see me and test me—my heart is with you.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
    and set them apart for the day of slaughter.
How long will the land mourn,
    and the grass of every field wither?
For the wickedness of those who live in it
    the animals and the birds are swept away,
    and because people said, “He is blind to our ways.”[a]

God Replies to Jeremiah

If you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you,
    how will you compete with horses?
And if in a safe land you fall down,
    how will you fare in the thickets of the Jordan?
For even your kinsfolk and your own family,
    even they have dealt treacherously with you;
    they are in full cry after you;
do not believe them,
    though they speak friendly words to you.

I have forsaken my house,
    I have abandoned my heritage;
I have given the beloved of my heart
    into the hands of her enemies.
My heritage has become to me
    like a lion in the forest;
she has lifted up her voice against me—
    therefore I hate her.
Is the hyena greedy[b] for my heritage at my command?
    Are the birds of prey all around her?
Go, assemble all the wild animals;
    bring them to devour her.
10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard,
    they have trampled down my portion,
they have made my pleasant portion
    a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it a desolation;
    desolate, it mourns to me.
The whole land is made desolate,
    but no one lays it to heart.
12 Upon all the bare heights[c] in the desert
    spoilers have come;
for the sword of the Lord devours
    from one end of the land to the other;
    no one shall be safe.
13 They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns,
    they have tired themselves out but profit nothing.
They shall be ashamed of their[d] harvests
    because of the fierce anger of the Lord.

14 Thus says the Lord concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: I am about to pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again to their heritage and to their land, every one of them. 16 And then, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, “As the Lord lives,” as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17 But if any nation will not listen, then I will completely uproot it and destroy it, says the Lord.

The Linen Loincloth

13 Thus said the Lord to me, “Go and buy yourself a linen loincloth, and put it on your loins, but do not dip it in water.” So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “Take the loincloth that you bought and are wearing, and go now to the Euphrates,[e] and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates,[f] as the Lord commanded me. And after many days the Lord said to me, “Go now to the Euphrates,[g] and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates,[h] and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. But now the loincloth was ruined; it was good for nothing.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: Thus says the Lord: Just so I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own will and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. 11 For as the loincloth clings to one’s loins, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, in order that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. But they would not listen.

Symbol of the Wine-Jars

12 You shall speak to them this word: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Every wine-jar should be filled with wine. And they will say to you, “Do you think we do not know that every wine-jar should be filled with wine?” 13 Then you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness. 14 And I will dash them one against another, parents and children together, says the Lord. I will not pity or spare or have compassion when I destroy them.

Exile Threatened

15 Hear and give ear; do not be haughty,
    for the Lord has spoken.
16 Give glory to the Lord your God
    before he brings darkness,
and before your feet stumble
    on the mountains at twilight;
while you look for light,
    he turns it into gloom
    and makes it deep darkness.
17 But if you will not listen,
    my soul will weep in secret for your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears,
    because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.

18 Say to the king and the queen mother:
    “Take a lowly seat,
for your beautiful crown
    has come down from your head.”[i]
19 The towns of the Negeb are shut up
    with no one to open them;
all Judah is taken into exile,
    wholly taken into exile.

20 Lift up your eyes and see
    those who come from the north.
Where is the flock that was given you,
    your beautiful flock?
21 What will you say when they set as head over you
    those whom you have trained
    to be your allies?
Will not pangs take hold of you,
    like those of a woman in labor?
22 And if you say in your heart,
    “Why have these things come upon me?”
it is for the greatness of your iniquity
    that your skirts are lifted up,
    and you are violated.
23 Can Ethiopians[j] change their skin
    or leopards their spots?
Then also you can do good
    who are accustomed to do evil.
24 I will scatter you[k] like chaff
    driven by the wind from the desert.
25 This is your lot,
    the portion I have measured out to you, says the Lord,
because you have forgotten me
    and trusted in lies.
26 I myself will lift up your skirts over your face,
    and your shame will be seen.
27 I have seen your abominations,
    your adulteries and neighings, your shameless prostitutions
    on the hills of the countryside.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
    How long will it be
    before you are made clean?

The Great Drought

14 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

Judah mourns
    and her gates languish;
they lie in gloom on the ground,
    and the cry of Jerusalem goes up.
Her nobles send their servants for water;
    they come to the cisterns,
they find no water,
    they return with their vessels empty.
They are ashamed and dismayed
    and cover their heads,
because the ground is cracked.
    Because there has been no rain on the land
the farmers are dismayed;
    they cover their heads.
Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn
    because there is no grass.
The wild asses stand on the bare heights,[l]
    they pant for air like jackals;
their eyes fail
    because there is no herbage.

Although our iniquities testify against us,
    act, O Lord, for your name’s sake;
our apostasies indeed are many,
    and we have sinned against you.
O hope of Israel,
    its savior in time of trouble,
why should you be like a stranger in the land,
    like a traveler turning aside for the night?
Why should you be like someone confused,
    like a mighty warrior who cannot give help?
Yet you, O Lord, are in the midst of us,
    and we are called by your name;
    do not forsake us!

10 Thus says the Lord concerning this people:
Truly they have loved to wander,
    they have not restrained their feet;
therefore the Lord does not accept them,
    now he will remember their iniquity
    and punish their sins.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 12:4 Gk: Heb to our future
  2. Jeremiah 12:9 Cn: Heb Is the hyena, the bird of prey
  3. Jeremiah 12:12 Or the trails
  4. Jeremiah 12:13 Heb your
  5. Jeremiah 13:4 Or to Parah; Heb perath
  6. Jeremiah 13:5 Or by Parah; Heb perath
  7. Jeremiah 13:6 Or to Parah; Heb perath
  8. Jeremiah 13:7 Or to Parah; Heb perath
  9. Jeremiah 13:18 Gk Syr Vg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. Jeremiah 13:23 Or Nubians; Heb Cushites
  11. Jeremiah 13:24 Heb them
  12. Jeremiah 14:6 Or the trails
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Salutation

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace.

The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example

We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters[a] beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. For the people of those regions[b] report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

Paul’s Ministry in Thessalonica

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters,[c] that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle[d] among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 Gk brothers
  2. 1 Thessalonians 1:9 Gk For they
  3. 1 Thessalonians 2:1 Gk brothers
  4. 1 Thessalonians 2:7 Other ancient authorities read infants
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Psalm 79 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 79

Plea for Mercy for Jerusalem

A Psalm of Asaph.

O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
    they have defiled your holy temple;
    they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the bodies of your servants
    to the birds of the air for food,
    the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water
    all around Jerusalem,
    and there was no one to bury them.
We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
    mocked and derided by those around us.

How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?
    Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?
Pour out your anger on the nations
    that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms
    that do not call on your name.
For they have devoured Jacob
    and laid waste his habitation.

Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;
    let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
    for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation,
    for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and forgive our sins,
    for your name’s sake.
10 Why should the nations say,
    “Where is their God?”
Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants
    be known among the nations before our eyes.

11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
    according to your great power preserve those doomed to die.
12 Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors
    the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord!
13 Then we your people, the flock of your pasture,
    will give thanks to you forever;
    from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 24:30-34 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

30 I passed by the field of one who was lazy,
    by the vineyard of a stupid person;
31 and see, it was all overgrown with thorns;
    the ground was covered with nettles,
    and its stone wall was broken down.
32 Then I saw and considered it;
    I looked and received instruction.
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest,
34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    and want, like an armed warrior.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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