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Jeremiah 16:16-18:23 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

16 “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, says the Lord, and they shall catch them; and afterwards 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 upon all their ways; they are not hid from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. 18 And[a] I will doubly recompense 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 thee shall the nations come
    from the ends of the earth and say:
“Our fathers have inherited nought but lies,
    worthless things in which there is no profit.
20 Can man make for himself gods?
    Such are no gods!”

21 “Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know 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 a pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars, while their children remember their altars and their Ashe′rim, 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[b] throughout all your territory. You shall loosen your hand[c] from your heritage which I gave to you, and I will make you serve your enemies in a land which you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled which shall burn for ever.”

Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
    and makes flesh his arm,
    whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
    and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
    in an uninhabited salt land.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately corrupt;
    who can understand it?
10 “I the Lord search the mind
    and try the heart,
to give every man according to his ways,
    according to the fruit of his doings.”

11 Like the partridge that gathers a brood which she did not hatch,
    so is he who gets riches but not by right;
in the midst of his days they will leave him,
    and at his end he will be a fool.

12 A glorious throne set on high from the beginning
    is the place of our sanctuary.
13 O Lord, the hope of Israel,
    all who forsake thee shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from thee[d] shall be written in the earth,
    for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water.

Jeremiah Prays for Vindication

14 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
    save me, and I shall be saved;
    for thou art my praise.
15 Behold, they say to me,
    “Where is the word of the Lord?
    Let it come!”
16 I have not pressed thee to send evil,
    nor have I desired the day of disaster,
    thou knowest;
that which came out of my lips
    was before thy face.
17 Be not a terror to me;
    thou art my refuge in the day of evil.
18 Let those be put to shame who persecute me,
    but let me not be put to shame;
let them be dismayed,
    but let me not be dismayed;
bring upon them the day of evil;
    destroy them with double destruction!

Hallow the Sabbath Day

19 Thus said the Lord to me: “Go and stand in the Benjamin[e] Gate, by which the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, 20 and say: ‘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: Take heed for the sake of your lives, and 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 fathers. 23 Yet they did not listen or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck, that they might not hear and 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[f] who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall be inhabited for ever. 26 And people shall come from the cities of Judah and the places round about Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the Shephe′lah, from the hill country, and from the Negeb, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, cereal 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 not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and 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: “Arise, and 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. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? says the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will repent of the evil that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will repent of the good which I had intended to do to it. 11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.’

Israel’s Stubborn Idolatry

12 “But they say, ‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

13 “Therefore thus says the Lord:
Ask among the nations,
    who has heard the like of this?
The virgin Israel
    has done a very horrible thing.
14 Does the snow of Lebanon leave
    the crags of Si′rion?[g]
Do the mountain[h] waters run dry,[i]
    the cold flowing streams?
15 But my people have forgotten me,
    they burn incense to false gods;
they have stumbled[j] 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 for ever.
Every one who passes by it is horrified
    and shakes his head.
17 Like the east wind 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 the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not heed any of his words.”

19 Give heed to me, O Lord,
    and hearken to my plea.[k]
20 Is evil a recompense for good?
    Yet they have dug a pit for my life.
Remember how I stood before thee
    to speak good for them,
    to turn away thy wrath from them.
21 Therefore deliver up their children to famine;
    give them over 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 thou bringest the marauder suddenly upon them!
For they have dug a pit to take me,
    and laid snares for my feet.
23 Yet, thou, O Lord, knowest
    all their plotting to slay me.
Forgive not their iniquity,
    nor blot out their sin from thy sight.
Let them be overthrown before thee;
    deal with them in the time of thine anger.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 16:18 Gk: Heb And first
  2. Jeremiah 17:3 Cn: Heb your high places for sin
  3. Jeremiah 17:4 Cn: Heb and in you
  4. Jeremiah 17:13 Heb me
  5. Jeremiah 17:19 Cn: Heb sons of people
  6. Jeremiah 17:25 Cn: Heb kings and princes
  7. Jeremiah 18:14 Cn: Heb the field
  8. Jeremiah 18:14 Cn: Heb foreign
  9. Jeremiah 18:14 Cn: Heb Are . . . plucked up?
  10. Jeremiah 18:15 Gk Syr Vg: Heb they made them stumble
  11. Jeremiah 18:19 Gk Compare Syr Tg: Heb my adversaries
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

A Life Pleasing to God

Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, you 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 unchastity; that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself[a] in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God; that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in this matter,[b] because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we solemnly forewarned you. For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

But concerning love of the brethren you have no need to have any one write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do love all the brethren throughout Macedo′nia. But we exhort you, brethren, 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 charged you; 12 so that you may command the respect of outsiders, and be dependent on nobody.

The Coming of the Lord

13 But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, 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 fallen asleep. 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, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

But as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or how to control his own body
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:6 Or defraud his brother in business
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

God’s Appeal to Stubborn Israel

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of Asaph.

81 Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
Raise a song, sound the timbrel,
    the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
    at the full moon, on our feast 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 delivered you;
    I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
    I tested you at the waters of Mer′ibah.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 have none of 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 I would soon subdue their enemies,
    and turn my hand against their foes.
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him,
    and their fate would last for ever.
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
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

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 the prince.

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 lest
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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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