73 Your strong hands formed me and established me; give me understanding so I can learn Your commands. 74 Let those who fear You see me and rejoice because I hope in Your word. 75 I know, O Eternal One, Your rulings are right, and when You humbled me, You did so out of faithfulness. 76 Now let Your unfailing love be my comfort, in keeping with Your promise to Your servant. 77 Shower me with Your compassion so that I may live because I find great joy in Your law. 78 Let the proud be humiliated, for they sabotage me with a lie; still I will fix my mind on Your directives. 79 Let those who fear You and know Your testimonies come back and find me. 80 Let my heart be whole, my record according to what You require so that I will not be humiliated.
10 To whom should I speak and give this warning? Who will listen to what I say? Their ears are closed; they cannot hear. They’re deaf to anything about God. The Eternal’s word is offensive to them. They take no delight in it. 11 But I am welling up with His anger. I’m too tired to try to hold it in any longer.
Eternal One: Pour it out on children playing in the streets, on young men meeting together. Husbands and wives, old and even the very old— let each of them know they will be taken. 12 Their homes will be seized and lived in by others; so, too, will their fields and wives be taken from them and given to others when I reach out against the people of this land.
13 Greed has corrupted this culture, from the least to the greatest: all are tainted with this lust for what they don’t deserve. The prophets and priests are no better. Their lives reek with deceit. 14 To heal the brokenness of My people, they offer superficial words. They say, “Peace, peace,” as if all is well. But there is no peace. 15 Do they feel any shame for their disgraceful deeds? Absolutely not. My very own have forgotten how to blush. And so it is that they will fall among the fallen and be defeated; when the time comes, they will stumble beneath the weight of My punishment; They will know soon enough what they have done.
This is what the Eternal decrees:
16 Eternal One(to the people): Stand at the crossing, and consider the ancient path, for it is good and it leads to Me. Walk on this path, and you will find rest for your souls. But they have said, “We will not walk upon this road.”
17 Even then I sent watchmen to warn you of what is to come. “Listen for the blaring of the trumpet,” I warned. But the people did not listen. They said, “We will not pay attention.”
18 Now listen to Me, nations of the earth. Learn, O congregation, what is about to happen to My people. 19 Listen, O Earth, for I am bringing this disaster upon Judah. This is the fruit of their own scheming. For My people would not listen to My instructions; They have rejected My guidance—My law—to go their own way.
21 Eventually Paul felt he should move on again. The Holy Spirit confirmed that he should first travel through Macedonia and Achaia and then return to Jerusalem.
Paul: I must eventually see Rome.
22 So he sent Timothy and Erastus, two of his helpers, ahead to Macedonia while he stayed a while longer in Asia. 23 It was during this time that a major incident occurred involving the Way.
In most cities, the Jews stand in opposition to the Way; but in this instance, the outsiders cause the disturbance.
24 An idol maker named Demetrius had a profitable business, for himself and for others, making silver shrines for Artemis (also known as Diana by the Romans), one of the deities worshiped in Ephesus.
25 Picture this: Demetrius calls a meeting of all the artisans who are similarly employed in idol making. Everyone in the idol industry comes together.
Demetrius: Men, we are all colleagues in this fine line of work. We’re making a good living doing what we’re doing. But we’d better wake up, or we’re all going to go broke.
26 You’ve heard about this fellow Paul. Here in Ephesus, he’s already convinced a large number of people to give up using idols. He tells them that our products are worthless. He’s been doing this same kind of thing almost everywhere in Asia. 27 It’s bad enough that he is slandering our fine and honorable profession, but do you see where this will lead? If his lies catch on, the temple of Artemis itself will be called a fraud. The great goddess of our region, the majestic deity who is revered here in Asia and around the world, will be disgraced.
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