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.
4 Eternal One(to Jeremiah): Tell My people that these are My words: “When people stumble and fall, don’t they get up again? When people are lost, don’t they try to find their way back?
5 So why have these people turned away from Me and refused to come back? They hang onto lies that lead them further away instead of embracing the truth and coming home to Me. 6 I listen intently for someone, anyone, to speak the truth. But it never happens. No one corrects his lies. No one regrets his evil, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Instead, everyone keeps running farther down that path, away from Me, Like a horse charging into a battle. 7 Even the stork in the sky knows her time to migrate. The dove, the swallow, and the crane All take flight when the time is right. But not so with My people. They do not know or care about the Eternal’s commands.”
8 How can any of you say, “We are wise, because we have the Eternal’s law”? How little you care about the truth! A pen in the hand of your teachers drips nothing but lies. 9 The day is coming when these so-called wise teachers will be put to shame; their lives will be shattered when they are captured and taken away. Why will this happen? Because they have rejected and perverted My word. Are these the works of wise men? 10 This is why I will give their wives away to intruders and their property to invaders. Greed has corrupted this culture, from the least to the greatest: everyone is tainted with this lust for what they don’t deserve. The prophets and priests are no better. Their lives reek with deceit. 11 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. 12 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;
13 The harvest will soon be gone, a thing of the past. There will be no grapes on the vine, no figs in the tree; Even the leaves will wither and fall. For what I have given so generously, I will now take away.
28 The crowd goes wild with rage. They start chanting.
Crowd: Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!
29 Soon the whole city is filled with confusion, and a mob forms. They find Paul’s Macedonian travel companions, Gaius and Aristarchus, and drag them to the theater. 30 Paul wants to go confront the crowd and protect his friends, but the disciples hold him back. 31 Even some provincial officials of Asia who are friendly to Paul send him an urgent message, warning him to stay away from the theater.
32 Enraged voices are shouting on top of each other, some saying one thing, some saying something else. The crowd is completely out of control. Most of the people don’t even know what caused the commotion in the first place. 33 Some of the Jewish people push a man named Alexander to the front of the crowd, hoping he can calm the disturbance. He raises his hands to silence the crowd and gets a few sentences out; 34 but then the crowd realizes he’s a Jew, and once again they start chanting.
Crowd: Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!
For two solid hours they keep the chant going.
35 Finally the town clerk manages to calm the crowd.
Town Clerk: My fellow citizens of Ephesus, everyone in the world knows that our great city is the caretaker of the temple of Artemis! Everyone knows that we are the home of the great statue that fell from heaven! 36 Our status as the economic center of the idolmaking industry is not in danger, so please, calm down. Don’t do anything rash. 37 The men whom you have seized aren’t temple robbers, nor have they blasphemed our great goddess. 38 If Demetrius and the artisans who share his important trade have a legal complaint, don’t bring it here to the theater; take it to the courts—they’re open today. 39 If you need to charge someone with a crime or launch an inquiry, take the matter to the regional judges. 40 We need to do this according to regulations, or we’ll all be charged with rioting. This kind of behavior can’t be justified.
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