Jeremiah 19-21New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
19 The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. Take along some of the elders of the people. Also tell some of the priests to go with you. 2 Go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom. Stand near the entrance of the gate where broken pieces of pottery are thrown away. There announce the message I give you. 3 Tell the people, ‘Listen to the Lord’s message, you kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem. The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, “Listen! I am going to bring trouble on Jerusalem. It will be so horrible that it will make the ears of everyone who hears about it ring. 4 My people have deserted me. They have made this city a place where other gods are worshiped. They have burned incense to them here. They, their people of long ago and the kings of Judah had never known these gods. My people have also filled this place with the blood of those who aren’t guilty. 5 They have built the high places where they worship Baal. There they sacrifice their children in the fire as offerings to Baal. That is something I did not command or talk about. It did not even enter my mind. 6 So watch out!” announces the Lord. “The days are coming when people will not call this place Topheth anymore. And they will not call it the Valley of Ben Hinnom either. Instead, they will call it the Valley of Death.
7 “ ‘ “In this place I will make the plans of Judah and Jerusalem as useless as a broken jar. I will use their enemies to kill my people by swords. They will die at the hands of those who want to take their lives. I will give their dead bodies as food to the birds and the wild animals. 8 I will completely destroy this city. I will make it a horrible thing. People will make fun of it. All those who pass by it will be shocked. They will laugh at its people because of all their wounds. 9 I will make the people of this city eat their sons and daughters. And they will eat one another. They will do this because things will be so bad during the attack. The enemies who want to take their lives will bring all this trouble on them.” ’
10 “Jeremiah, break the jar while those who go with you are watching. 11 Tell them, ‘Here is what the Lord who rules over all says. “This potter’s jar is smashed and can’t be repaired. And I will smash this nation and this city. People will bury their dead in Topheth. But they will run out of room. 12 Here is what I will do to Jerusalem and those who live here,” ’ announces the Lord. ‘ “I will make this city like Topheth. 13 The houses in Jerusalem will be made ‘unclean’ like Topheth. So will the houses of the kings of Judah. All these people burned incense on their roofs to all the stars. They poured out drink offerings to other gods.” ’ ”
14 Then Jeremiah returned from Topheth. That’s where the Lord had sent him to prophesy. Jeremiah stood in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. He spoke to all the people. He said, 15 “The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, ‘Listen! I am going to punish this city and all the villages around it. I am going to bring against them all the trouble I have announced. That’s because my people were stubborn. They would not listen to what I said.’ ”
Jeremiah and Pashhur
20 Pashhur the priest was the official in charge of the Lord’s temple. He was the son of Immer. Pashhur heard Jeremiah prophesying that Jerusalem would be destroyed. 2 So he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten. Then Pashhur put him in prison at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the Lord’s temple. 3 The next day Pashhur set him free. Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s name for you isn’t Pashhur. The Lord’s name for you is Terror on Every Side. 4 The Lord says to you, ‘I will make you a terror to yourself. You will also be a terror to all your friends. With your own eyes you will see them die. Their enemies will kill them with swords. I will hand over all the people of Judah to the king of Babylon. He will carry them away to Babylon or kill them with swords. 5 I will hand over all the wealth of this city to Judah’s enemies. I will give them all its products and everything of value. I will turn over to them all the treasures that belonged to the kings of Judah. They will take these things and carry them off to Babylon. 6 Pashhur, you and everyone who lives in your house will also be forced to go there. You have prophesied lies to all your friends. So all of you will die and be buried in Babylon.’ ”
Jeremiah Complains to the Lord
7 You tricked me, Lord, and I was tricked.
8 Every time I speak, I cry out.
11 But you are with me like a mighty warrior.
12 Lord, you rule over all.
13 Sing to the Lord, you people!
14 May the day I was born be cursed!
The Lord Refuses Zedekiah’s Appeal
21 A message from the Lord came to Jeremiah. It came when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur to Jeremiah. Pashhur was the son of Malkijah. Zedekiah sent Zephaniah the priest along with him. Zephaniah was the son of Maaseiah. They said to Jeremiah, 2 “Ask the Lord to help us. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. In the past the Lord did wonderful things for us. Maybe he’ll do them again. Then Nebuchadnezzar will pull his armies back from us.”
3 But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah and his people, 4 ‘The Lord is the God of Israel. He says, “The king of Babylon and his armies are all around this city. They are getting ready to attack you. You have weapons of war in your hands to fight against them. But I am about to turn your weapons against you. And I will bring your enemies inside this city. 5 I myself will fight against you. I will reach out my powerful hand and mighty arm. I will come against you with all my great anger. 6 I will strike down those who live in this city. I will kill people and animals alike. They will die of a terrible plague. 7 After that, I will hand you over to your enemies. They want to kill you,” announces the Lord. “I will hand over Zedekiah, the king of Judah, and his officials. I will also hand over the people in this city who live through the plague, war and hunger. All of them will be handed over to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. He will kill them with swords. He will show them no mercy. He will not feel sorry for them. In fact, he will not have any concern for them at all.” ’
8 “Tell the people, ‘The Lord says, “I am offering you a choice. You can choose the way that leads to life. Or you can choose the way that leads to death. 9 Those who stay in this city will die of war, hunger or plague. But suppose some go out and give themselves up to the Babylonians attacking you. They will live. They will escape with their lives. 10 I have decided to do this city harm and not good,” announces the Lord. “It will be handed over to the king of Babylon. And he will destroy it with fire.” ’
11 “Also speak to Judah’s royal family. Tell them, ‘Listen to the Lord’s message. 12 Here is what the Lord says to you who belong to David’s royal house.
“ ‘ “Every morning do what is right and fair.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-28New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
4 Brothers and sisters, you are not in darkness. So that day should not surprise you as a thief would. 5 All of you are children of the light. You are children of the day. We don’t belong to the night. We don’t belong to the darkness. 6 So let us not be like the others. They are asleep. Instead, let us be wide awake and in full control of ourselves. 7 Those who sleep, sleep at night. Those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But we belong to the day. So let us control ourselves. Let us put on our chest the armor of faith and love. Let us put on the hope of salvation like a helmet. 9 God didn’t choose us to receive his anger. He chose us to receive salvation because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done. 10 Jesus died for us. Some will be alive when he comes. Others will be dead. Either way, we will live together with him. 11 So encourage one another with the hope you have. Build each other up. In fact, that’s what you are doing.
12 Brothers and sisters, we ask you to accept the godly leaders who work hard among you. They care for you in the Lord. They correct you. 13 Have a lot of respect for them. Love them because of what they do. Live in peace with one another. 14 Brothers and sisters, we are asking you to warn certain people. These people don’t want to work. Instead, they make trouble. We are also asking you to encourage those who have lost hope. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that no one pays back one wrong act with another. Instead, always try to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.
19 Don’t try to stop what the Holy Spirit is doing. 20 Don’t treat prophecies as if they weren’t important. 21 But test all prophecies. Hold on to what is good. 22 Say no to every kind of evil.
23 God is the God who gives peace. May he make you holy through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept free from blame. May you be without blame from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes. 24 The God who has chosen you is faithful. He will do all these things.
25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us.
26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss.
27 While the Lord is watching, here is what I command you. Have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.
28 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Psalm 82New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
A psalm of Asaph.
1 God takes his place at the head of a large gathering of leaders.
2 He says, “How long will you stand up for those who aren’t fair to others?
5 “You leaders don’t know anything.
6 “I said, ‘You leaders are like gods.
8 God, rise up. Judge the earth.
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