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Jeremiah 16:16-18:23 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

16 I am now sending for many fishermen, says the Lord, and they shall catch them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from my presence, nor is their iniquity concealed from my sight. 18 And[a] I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.

19 O Lord, my strength and my stronghold,
    my refuge in the day of trouble,
to you shall the nations come
    from the ends of the earth and say:
Our ancestors have inherited nothing but lies,
    worthless things in which there is no profit.
20 Can mortals make for themselves gods?
    Such are no gods!

21 “Therefore I am surely going to teach them, this time I am going to teach them my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the Lord.”

Judah’s Sin and Punishment

17 The sin of Judah is written with an iron pen; with a diamond point it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts, and on the horns of their altars, while their children remember their altars and their sacred poles,[b] beside every green tree, and on the high hills, on the mountains in the open country. Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your sin[c] throughout all your territory. By your own act you shall lose the heritage that I gave you, and I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled[d] that shall burn forever.

Thus says the Lord:
Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
    and make mere flesh their strength,
    whose hearts turn away from the Lord.
They shall be like a shrub in the desert,
    and shall not see when relief comes.
They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,
    in an uninhabited salt land.

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
They shall be like a tree planted by water,
    sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
    and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
    and it does not cease to bear fruit.

The heart is devious above all else;
    it is perverse—
    who can understand it?
10 I the Lord test the mind
    and search the heart,
to give to all according to their ways,
    according to the fruit of their doings.

11 Like the partridge hatching what it did not lay,
    so are all who amass wealth unjustly;
in mid-life it will leave them,
    and at their end they will prove to be fools.

12 O glorious throne, exalted from the beginning,
    shrine of our sanctuary!
13 O hope of Israel! O Lord!
    All who forsake you shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from you[e] shall be recorded in the underworld,[f]
    for they have forsaken the fountain of living water, the Lord.

Jeremiah Prays for Vindication

14 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
    save me, and I shall be saved;
    for you are my praise.
15 See how they say to me,
    “Where is the word of the Lord?
    Let it come!”
16 But I have not run away from being a shepherd[g] in your service,
    nor have I desired the fatal day.
You know what came from my lips;
    it was before your face.
17 Do not become a terror to me;
    you are my refuge in the day of disaster;
18 Let my persecutors be shamed,
    but do not let me be shamed;
let them be dismayed,
    but do not let me be dismayed;
bring on them the day of disaster;
    destroy them with double destruction!

Hallow the Sabbath Day

19 Thus said the Lord to me: Go and stand in the People’s Gate, by which the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, 20 and say to them: Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. 21 Thus says the Lord: For the sake of your lives, take care that you do not bear a burden on the sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. 22 And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the sabbath or do any work, but keep the sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors. 23 Yet they did not listen or incline their ear; they stiffened their necks and would not hear or receive instruction.

24 But if you listen to me, says the Lord, and bring in no burden by the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but keep the sabbath day holy and do no work on it, 25 then there shall enter by the gates of this city kings[h] who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall be inhabited forever. 26 And people shall come from the towns of Judah and the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the Shephelah, from the hill country, and from the Negeb, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27 But if you do not listen to me, to keep the sabbath day holy, and to carry in no burden through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates; it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.

The Potter and the Clay

18 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it. And at another moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10 but if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will change my mind about the good that I had intended to do to it. 11 Now, therefore, say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord: Look, I am a potter shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Turn now, all of you from your evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.

Israel’s Stubborn Idolatry

12 But they say, “It is no use! We will follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of our evil will.”

13 Therefore thus says the Lord:
Ask among the nations:
    Who has heard the like of this?
The virgin Israel has done
    a most horrible thing.
14 Does the snow of Lebanon leave
    the crags of Sirion?[i]
Do the mountain[j] waters run dry,[k]
    the cold flowing streams?
15 But my people have forgotten me,
    they burn offerings to a delusion;
they have stumbled[l] in their ways,
    in the ancient roads,
and have gone into bypaths,
    not the highway,
16 making their land a horror,
    a thing to be hissed at forever.
All who pass by it are horrified
    and shake their heads.
17 Like the wind from the east,
    I will scatter them before the enemy.
I will show them my back, not my face,
    in the day of their calamity.

A Plot against Jeremiah

18 Then they said, “Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah—for instruction shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us bring charges against him,[m] and let us not heed any of his words.”

19 Give heed to me, O Lord,
    and listen to what my adversaries say!
20 Is evil a recompense for good?
    Yet they have dug a pit for my life.
Remember how I stood before you
    to speak good for them,
    to turn away your wrath from them.
21 Therefore give their children over to famine;
    hurl them out to the power of the sword,
let their wives become childless and widowed.
    May their men meet death by pestilence,
    their youths be slain by the sword in battle.
22 May a cry be heard from their houses,
    when you bring the marauder suddenly upon them!
For they have dug a pit to catch me,
    and laid snares for my feet.
23 Yet you, O Lord, know
    all their plotting to kill me.
Do not forgive their iniquity,
    do not blot out their sin from your sight.
Let them be tripped up before you;
    deal with them while you are angry.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 16:18 Gk: Heb And first
  2. Jeremiah 17:2 Heb Asherim
  3. Jeremiah 17:3 Cn: Heb spoil your high places for sin
  4. Jeremiah 17:4 Two Mss Theodotion: you kindled
  5. Jeremiah 17:13 Heb me
  6. Jeremiah 17:13 Or in the earth
  7. Jeremiah 17:16 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  8. Jeremiah 17:25 Cn: Heb kings and officials
  9. Jeremiah 18:14 Cn: Heb of the field
  10. Jeremiah 18:14 Cn: Heb foreign
  11. Jeremiah 18:14 Cn: Heb Are . . . plucked up?
  12. Jeremiah 18:15 Gk Syr Vg: Heb they made them stumble
  13. Jeremiah 18:18 Heb strike him with the tongue
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 4:1-5:3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

A Life Pleasing to God

Finally, brothers and sisters,[a] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; that each one of you know how to control your own body[b] in holiness and honor, not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one wrong or exploit a brother or sister[c] in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters,[d] you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters[e] throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved,[f] to do so more and more, 11 to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, 12 so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and be dependent on no one.

The Coming of the Lord

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,[g] about those who have died,[h] so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.[i] 15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died.[j] 16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters,[k] you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Gk brothers
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or how to take a wife for himself
  3. 1 Thessalonians 4:6 Gk brother
  4. 1 Thessalonians 4:9 Gk brothers
  5. 1 Thessalonians 4:10 Gk brothers
  6. 1 Thessalonians 4:10 Gk brothers
  7. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Gk brothers
  8. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Gk fallen asleep
  9. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 Gk fallen asleep
  10. 1 Thessalonians 4:15 Gk fallen asleep
  11. 1 Thessalonians 5:1 Gk brothers
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 81 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 81

God’s Appeal to Stubborn Israel

To the leader: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.

Sing aloud to God our strength;
    shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
    the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
    at the full moon, on our festal day.
For it is a statute for Israel,
    an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
He made it a decree in Joseph,
    when he went out over[a] the land of Egypt.

I hear a voice I had not known:
“I relieved your[b] shoulder of the burden;
    your[c] hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you;
    I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah.Selah
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
    O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;
    you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
    Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

11 “But my people did not listen to my voice;
    Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
    to follow their own counsels.
13 O that my people would listen to me,
    that Israel would walk in my ways!
14 Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
    and turn my hand against their foes.
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
    and their doom would last forever.
16 I would feed you[d] with the finest of the wheat,
    and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 81:5 Or against
  2. Psalm 81:6 Heb his
  3. Psalm 81:6 Heb his
  4. Psalm 81:16 Cn Compare verse 16b: Heb he would feed him
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 25:6-8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence
    or stand in the place of the great;
for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
    than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

What your eyes have seen
    do not hastily bring into court;
for[a] what will you do in the end,
    when your neighbor puts you to shame?

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 25:8 Cn: Heb or else
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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