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Jeremiah 16:16-18:23Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Punishment of Exile

16 “I am about to send for many fishermen”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and they will fish for them. Then I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and out of the clefts of the rocks, 17 for My gaze takes in all their ways. They are not concealed from Me, and their guilt is not hidden from My sight. 18 I will first repay them double for their guilt and sin because they have polluted My land. They have filled My inheritance with the lifelessness of their detestable and abhorrent idols.”

19 Lord, my strength and my stronghold,
my refuge in a time of distress,
the nations will come to You
from the ends of the earth, and they will say,
“Our fathers inherited only lies,
worthless idols of no benefit at all.”
20 Can one make gods for himself?
But they are not gods.
21 “Therefore, I am about to inform them,
and this time I will make them know
My power and My might;
then they will know that My name is Yahweh.”

The Persistent Sin of Judah

17 The sin of Judah is written
with an iron stylus.
With a diamond point
it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts
and on the horns of their[a] altars,
while their children remember their altars
and their Asherah poles, by the green trees
on the high hills—
My mountains in the countryside.
I will give up your wealth
and all your treasures as plunder
because of the sin of your high places[b]
in all your borders.
You will, on your own, relinquish your inheritance
that I gave you.
I will make you serve your enemies
in a land you do not know,
for you have set My anger on fire;
it will burn forever.

Curse and Blessing

This is what the Lord says:

The man who trusts in mankind,
who makes human flesh his strength
and turns his heart from the Lord is cursed.
He will be like a juniper in the Arabah;
he cannot see when good comes
but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness,
in a salt land where no one lives.
The man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed.
He will be like a tree planted by water:
it sends its roots out toward a stream,
it doesn’t fear when heat comes,
and its foliage remains green.
It will not worry in a year of drought
or cease producing fruit.

The Deceitful Heart

The heart is more deceitful than anything else,
and incurable—who can understand it?
10 I, Yahweh, examine the mind,
I test the heart[c]
to give to each according to his way,
according to what his actions deserve.
11 He who makes a fortune unjustly
is like a partridge that hatches eggs it didn’t lay.
In the middle of his days
his riches will abandon him,
so in the end he will be a fool.

12 A throne of glory
on high from the beginning
is the place of our sanctuary.
13 Lord, the hope of Israel,
all who abandon You
will be put to shame.
All who turn away from Me
will be written in the dirt,
for they have abandoned
the Lord, the fountain of living water.

Jeremiah’s Plea

14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
save me, and I will be saved,
for You are my praise.
15 Hear how they keep challenging me,
“Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it come!”
16 But I have not run away from being Your shepherd,
and I have not longed for the fatal day.
You know my words were spoken in Your presence.
17 Don’t become a terror to me.
You are my refuge in the day of disaster.
18 Let my persecutors be put to shame,
but don’t let me be put to shame.
Let them be terrified, but don’t let me be terrified.
Bring on them the day of disaster;
shatter them with total[d] destruction.

Observing the Sabbath

19 This is what the Lord said to me, “Go and stand at the People’s Gate, through which the kings of Judah enter and leave, as well as at all the gates of Jerusalem. 20 Announce to them: Hear the word of the Lord, kings of Judah, all Judah, and all the residents of Jerusalem who enter through these gates. 21 This is what the Lord says: Watch yourselves; do not pick up a load and bring it in through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. 22 You must not carry a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day or do any work, but you must consecrate the Sabbath day, just as I commanded your ancestors. 23 They wouldn’t listen or pay attention but became obstinate, not listening or accepting discipline.

24 “However, if you listen to Me, says the Lord, and do not bring loads through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day and consecrate the Sabbath day and do no work on it, 25 kings and princes will enter through the gates of this city. They will sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses with their officials, the men of Judah, and the residents of Jerusalem. This city will be inhabited forever. 26 Then people will come from the cities of Judah and from the area around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the Judean foothills, from the hill country and from the Negev bringing burnt offerings and sacrifice, grain offerings and frankincense, and thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27 If you do not listen to Me to consecrate the Sabbath day by not carrying a load while entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, I will set fire to its gates, and it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem and not be extinguished.”

Parable of the Potter

18 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal My words to you.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel.[e] But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.

The word of the Lord came to me: “House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of Israel. At one moment I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot, tear down, and destroy it. However, if that nation I have made an announcement about turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it. At another time I announce that I will build and plant a nation or a kingdom. 10 However, if it does what is evil in My sight by not listening to My voice, I will relent concerning the good I had said I would do to it. 11 So now, say to the men of Judah and to the residents of Jerusalem: This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring harm to you and make plans against you. Turn now, each from your evil way, and correct your ways and your deeds. 12 But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless. We will continue to follow our plans, and each of us will continue to act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’”

Deluded Israel

13 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:

Ask among the nations,
Who has heard things like these?
Virgin Israel has done a most terrible thing.
14 Does the snow of Lebanon ever leave the highland crags?
Or does cold water flowing from a distance ever fail?
15 Yet My people have forgotten Me.
They burn incense to false idols
that make them stumble in their ways
on the ancient roads
and walk on new paths, not the highway.
16 They have made their land a horror,
a perpetual object of scorn;[f]
everyone who passes by it will be horrified
and shake his head.
17 I will scatter them before the enemy like the east wind.
I will show them[g] My back and not My face
on the day of their calamity.

Plot against Jeremiah

18 Then certain ones said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah, for instruction will never be lost from the priest, or counsel from the wise, or an oracle from the prophet. Come, let’s denounce him[h] and pay no attention to all his words.”

19 Pay attention to me, Lord.
Hear what my opponents are saying!
20 Should good be repaid with evil?
Yet they have dug a pit for me.
Remember how I stood before You
to speak good on their behalf,
to turn Your anger from them.
21 Therefore, hand their children over to famine,
and pour the sword’s power on them.
Let their wives become childless and widowed,
their husbands slain by deadly disease,[i]
their young men struck down by the sword in battle.
22 Let a cry be heard from their houses
when You suddenly bring raiders against them,
for they have dug a pit to capture me
and have hidden snares for my feet.
23 But You, Lord, know
all their deadly plots against me.
Do not wipe out their guilt;
do not blot out their sin before You.
Let them be forced to stumble before You;
deal with them in the time of Your anger.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 17:1 Some Hb mss, Syr, Vg; other Hb mss read your
  2. Jeremiah 17:3 Lit plunder, your high places because of sin
  3. Jeremiah 17:10 Lit kidneys
  4. Jeremiah 17:18 Lit double
  5. Jeremiah 18:3 Lit pair of stones
  6. Jeremiah 18:16 Lit hissing
  7. Jeremiah 18:17 LXX, Lat, Syr, Tg; MT reads will look at them
  8. Jeremiah 18:18 Lit let’s strike him with the tongue
  9. Jeremiah 18:21 Lit by death

1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Call to Sanctification

Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God—as you are doing[a]—do so even more. For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality, so that each of you knows how to control his own body[b] in sanctification and honor, not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God. This means one must not transgress against and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses,[c] as we also previously told and warned you. For God has not called us to impurity but to sanctification. Therefore, the person who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who also gives you His Holy Spirit.

Loving and Working

About brotherly love: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. 10 In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers in the entire region of Macedonia. But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more, 11 to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business,[d] and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 so that you may walk properly[e] in the presence of outsiders[f] and not be dependent on anyone.[g]

The Comfort of Christ’s Coming

13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through[h] Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord:[i] We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over[j] those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout,[k] with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage[l] one another with these words.

The Day of the Lord

About the times and the seasons: Brothers, you do not need anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains come on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Lit walking
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or to acquire his own wife; lit to possess his own vessel
  3. 1 Thessalonians 4:6 Lit things
  4. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 Lit to practice one’s own things
  5. 1 Thessalonians 4:12 Or may live respectably
  6. 1 Thessalonians 4:12 Non-Christians
  7. 1 Thessalonians 4:12 Or not need anything, or not be in need
  8. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 Or in
  9. 1 Thessalonians 4:15 Or a word of the Lord
  10. 1 Thessalonians 4:15 Or certainly not precede
  11. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 Or command
  12. 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Or comfort

Psalm 81Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 81

A Call to Obedience

For the choir director: on the Gittith. Of Asaph.

Sing for joy to God our strength;
shout in triumph to the God of Jacob.
Lift up a song—play the tambourine,
the melodious lyre, and the harp.
Blow the horn on the day of our feasts[a][b]
during the new moon
and during the full moon.
For this is a statute for Israel,
a judgment of the God of Jacob.
He set it up as an ordinance for Joseph
when He went throughout[c] the land of Egypt.

I heard an unfamiliar language:
“I relieved his shoulder from the burden;
his hands were freed from carrying the basket.
You called out in distress, and I rescued you;
I answered you from the thundercloud.
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.Selah
Listen, My people, and I will admonish you.
Israel, if you would only listen to Me!
There must not be a strange god among you;
you must not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am Yahweh your God,
who brought you up from the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11 “But My people did not listen to Me;
Israel did not obey Me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
to follow their own plans.
13 If only My people would listen to Me
and Israel would follow My ways,
14 I would quickly subdue their enemies
and turn My hand against their foes.”
15 Those who hate the Lord
would pretend submission to Him;
their doom would last forever.
16 But He would feed Israel[d] with the best wheat.
“I would satisfy you with honey from the rock.”

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 81:3 Lit feast
  2. Psalm 81:3 Either Passover or Tabernacles
  3. Psalm 81:5 LXX, Syr, Jer read out of
  4. Psalm 81:16 Lit him

Proverbs 25:6-8Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Don’t brag about yourself before the king,
and don’t stand in the place of the great;
for it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here!”
than to demote you in plain view of a noble.[a]

Don’t take a matter to court hastily.
Otherwise, what will you do afterward
if your opponent[b] humiliates you?

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 25:7 Lit you before a noble whom your eyes see
  2. Proverbs 25:8 Or neighbor

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