1 Can you, panel of judges, get anything right?
When you judge people, do you tell the truth and pursue justice?
2 No, your real selves have been revealed. You have wickedness in your heart,
and many people have suffered by your hands.
3 Evildoers are naturally offensive, wayward at birth!
They were born telling lies and willfully wandering from the truth.
4 Their bite is painful; their venom is like the deadly poison of a snake;
they are like a cobra that closes up its ears
5 To escape the voice of the charmers,
no matter how enchanting the spells may be.
6 O God, shatter their teeth in their mouths!
Render the young lions harmless; break out their fangs, O Eternal One.
7 Let them run off like the waters of a flood,
and though they aim their arrows, let them fly without their heads.
8 Let them melt like a snail that oozes along;
may they be like a stillborn that never catches its first breath, never sees the sun.
9 Before your cook pots know the furious flame of a fire of thorns—
whether green or burning—He will blow the wicked away.
10 Cheers will rise as the right-living watch Him settle the score,
their feet washed in the blood after the onslaught of the wicked.
11 And it will be heard, “Those who seek justice will be rewarded.
Indeed, there is a God who brings justice to the earth!”
15 “Then I will give you shepherds who trust and know Me, wise teachers who will impart knowledge and understanding to you. 16 In those days, after your people have grown and increased in the land, they will no longer talk about the covenant chest of the Eternal. They won’t think about it, remember it, or even miss it. There will be no need for it to be made again. 17 In this coming age, Jerusalem will be known as the throne of the Eternal. All the nations of the world will be drawn there to her, to honor the name of the Eternal. The days of people insisting on their own stubborn ways dictated by their own evil hearts will be gone. 18 In that day, the split between My people will be mended. Judah and Israel will walk together again. From a land to the north, they will come to this land I gave only to your ancestors.
19 “I thought to Myself how much I wanted to welcome you home as children
and bless you with a good land and a future to be envied by all the world.
I hoped for the day when you would call Me ‘My Father,’
and no longer pull away from Me and My ways.
20 But just as an unfaithful wife betrays her husband,
so have you betrayed Me, O house of Israel.”
Jeremiah tells the people what could happen, if only they will repent. The prophet hopes for dialogue between Israel and the God who has never stopped loving her.
21 A sound now echoes from the deserted hills
where Israel betrayed her God.
It is the sound of bitter tears mixed with the prayers
of the lost and rebellious people of Israel
who have forgotten the Eternal, their True God.
22 Eternal One: Come back to Me, My faithless ones,
and I will heal your faithlessness.
Israel: Look! We come to You now,
because You are the Eternal our God.
23 The idols we worshiped on the hills,
the rituals we performed on the mountains were based on a lie.
You, the Eternal, our one True God,
are the only hope of Israel’s rescue.
24 Everything our parents worked for—their livestock and even their families—has been devoured by the worship of the shameful god. 25 Let us fall on our faces in shame, covered in our humiliation. Ours is a legacy of rebellion, for we and those before us have sinned against the Eternal our God. From the time we were young to this very day, we have refused to obey His voice.
Guest: 15 Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!
Jesus: 16 A man once hosted a huge banquet and invited many guests. 17 When the time came, he sent his servant to tell the guests who had agreed to come, “We’re ready! Come now!” 18 But then every single guest began to make excuses. One said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I just bought some land, and I need to go see it. Please excuse me.” 19 Another said, “So sorry. I just bought five pairs of oxen. I need to go check them out. Please excuse me.” 20 Another said, “I just got married, so I can’t come.”
21 The servant returned and reported their responses to his master. His master was angry and told the servant, “Go out quickly to the streets and alleys around town and bring the poor, the amputees, the blind, and the cripples.”
22 The servant came back again: “Sir, I’ve done as you said, but there is still more room.” 23 And the host said, “Well then, go out to the highways and hedges and bring in the complete strangers you find there, until my house is completely full. 24 One thing is for sure, not one single person on the original guest list shall enjoy this banquet.”