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Jeremiah 23:21-25:38; 2 Thessalonians 2; Psalm 84; Proverbs 25:15 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Jeremiah 23:21-25:38

21 I didn’t send these prophets,
    yet they ran with their message.
I didn’t speak to them,
    yet they prophesied.
22 If they had been in my inner circle,
    they would have announced my words to my people.
        They would have turned back from their evil ways
            and the evil they have done.

23 “I am a God who is near.
    I am also a God who is far away,” declares the Lord.
24 “No one can hide so that I can’t see him,” declares the Lord.
    “I fill heaven and earth!” declares the Lord.

25 “I’ve heard the prophets who speak lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ 26 How long will these prophets continue to lie and deceive? 27 They tell each other the dreams they had, because they want to make my people forget my name, as their ancestors forgot my name because of Baal. 28 The prophet who has a dream should tell his dream. However, the person who has my word should honestly speak my word. What does grain have to do with straw?” asks the Lord. 29 “Isn’t my word like fire or like a hammer that shatters a rock?” asks the Lord. 30 “I’m against the prophets who steal my words from each other,” declares the Lord. 31 “I’m against the prophets who speak their own thoughts and say that they speak for me. 32 I’m against those who prophesy dreams they made up,” declares the Lord. “They tell the dreams they made up and lead my people astray with their lies and their wild talk. I didn’t send them or command them to go. They don’t help these people at all,” declares the Lord.

33 “When these people, the prophets, or the priests ask you, ‘What revelation has the Lord burdened you with now?’ say to them, ‘You are the burden! I will abandon you, declares the Lord.’ 34 Suppose the prophets, the priests, or these people say, ‘This is the Lord’s revelation!’ I will punish them and their families. 35 They should ask their neighbors and their relatives, ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’ and ‘What did the Lord say?’ 36 They should never again say, ‘This is the Lord’s revelation,’ because each person’s word becomes the revelation. They will twist the words of the living God, the Lord of Armies, our God.

37 “Jeremiah, say this to the prophets, ‘What was the Lord’s answer to you?’ and ‘What did the Lord say?’ 38 Suppose they say, ‘This is the Lord’s revelation!’ Then say, ‘This is what the Lord says: Because you have said, “This is the Lord’s revelation!” even though I commanded you not to repeat this saying, 39 I will certainly forget you. I will throw you out of my presence and out of the city that I gave you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring eternal disgrace and shame on you. It will never be forgotten.’”

The Two Fig Baskets

24 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took Jehoiakin[a] (son of King Jehoiakim of Judah), the princes of Judah, the skilled workers, and the builders from Jerusalem into captivity and brought them to Babylon. After this, the Lord showed me two baskets of figs set in front of the Lord’s temple. One basket had very good figs, like figs that ripen first. The other basket had very bad figs. These figs were so bad that they couldn’t be eaten.

Then the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

I answered, “Figs. Figs that are very good. I also see figs that are very bad, so bad that they can’t be eaten.”

The Lord spoke his word to me, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: The captives of Judah, whom I sent away from here to Babylon, are like these good figs. I will look kindly on them. I will watch over them for their own good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them the desire to know that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, because they will wholeheartedly come back to me.

“But this is what the Lord says about the bad figs that are so bad that they can’t be eaten. The Lord says, ‘Like these bad figs, I will abandon King Zedekiah of Judah, his princes, the remaining few in Jerusalem who stayed behind in this land, and those who are living in Egypt. I will make them a horrifying sight to all the kingdoms of the earth. They will be a disgrace and an example. They will become something ridiculed and cursed wherever I scatter them. 10 I will send wars, famines, and plagues until they disappear from the land that I gave to them and their ancestors.’”

Judgment on Judah and the Nations

25 The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah about all the people of Judah when Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, was in his fourth year as king. (This was the first year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon.) The prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah and to everyone who lived in Jerusalem. He said, “For 23 years, from the time that Josiah, son of Amon, was in his thirteenth year as king of Judah until today, the Lord continued to speak his word to me. So I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.

“Even though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you, you haven’t listened or paid attention to them. The prophets said, ‘Turn from your evil ways and the evil you have done, and live in the land that the Lord permanently gave to you and your ancestors. Don’t follow other gods to serve and worship them. Don’t make me furious about the idols your hands have shaped. Then I won’t harm you. But you haven’t listened to me, declares the Lord. You have made me furious about the idols your hands have shaped and have brought harm upon yourselves.’

“This is what the Lord of Armies says: You did not listen to my words, so I’m going to send for all the families from the north. I will also send for my servant King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, declares the Lord. I will bring the families from the north to attack this land, its people, and all these surrounding nations. I’m going to destroy them and turn them into something terrible, something ridiculed, and something permanently ruined. 10 I will take from them the sounds of joy and happiness, the sounds of brides and grooms, the sound of mills, and the light of lamps. 11 This whole land will be ruined and become a wasteland. These nations will serve the king of Babylon for 70 years.

12 “When the 70 years are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation for their crimes, declares the Lord. I will turn Babylon into a permanent wasteland. 13 I will bring on that land all the disasters I threatened to do to it, everything that Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations, everything written in this book. 14 Many nations and great kings will make slaves of the people of Babylon, and I will pay them back for what they have done.”

15 This is what the Lord God of Israel said to me: Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my fury, and make all the nations to whom I’m sending you drink from it. 16 When they drink from it, they will stagger and go insane because of the wars that I’m going to send them.

17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand. I made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink from it: 18 Jerusalem and the cities of Judah as well as its kings and officials. When they drank from it, they became wastelands and ruins, something ridiculed and cursed, until today.

19 I also made these people drink from it: Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, officials, all his people, 20 and all the foreign people living among them; all the kings of the land of Uz; all the kings of Philistia, those from the cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, and Ekron, and the people left in Ashdod; 21 Edom, Moab, and the people of Ammon; 22 all the kings of Tyre and Sidon, and the kings on the seacoast; 23 Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who shave the hair on their foreheads; 24 all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the foreign people living in the desert; 25 all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media; 26 all the kings of the north, near and far, one after another—all the kingdoms of the earth. Last of all, the king of Sheshach will drink from the cup.

27 The Lord said, “Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk, vomit, fall down, and don’t get up because of the wars that I’m going to send you.’ 28 But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink from it, say to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies says: You must drink from it! 29 I am going to bring disaster on the city that is named after me. Do you think you’ll go unpunished? You will not go unpunished! I’m declaring war on all those who live on earth, declares the Lord of Armies.’

30 “That is why you will prophesy all these things to them and say,

‘The Lord roars from above.
    He thunders from his holy dwelling place.
    He roars against his land.
    He shouts like those who stomp grapes.
    He shouts against all those who live on earth.
31         The sound is echoing to the ends of the earth
            because the Lord has brought charges against the nations.
    He will judge all humans.
    He will kill the wicked, declares the Lord.’

32 “This is what the Lord of Armies says:

Disaster is spreading from nation to nation.
A great storm is brewing from the distant corners of the earth.”

33 On that day those killed by the Lord will stretch from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned, taken away, or buried. They will become like manure on the ground.

34 Mourn, you shepherds, and cry.
Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock.
    The time has come for you to be slaughtered.
    The time has come for you to be scattered,
        and you will break like fine pottery.
35 There will be no place for the shepherds to flee,
    no escape for the leaders of the flock.
36 The shepherds are crying
    and the leaders of the flock are mourning
        because the Lord is stripping their pasture.
37 The peaceful pastures are destroyed by the Lord’s burning anger.
38 He has left his lair like a lion.
    Their land has been ruined
        because of the heat of the oppressor,
        because of the fury of his anger.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 24:1 Masoretic Text “Jeconiah,” an alternate form of Jehoiakin.
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2 Thessalonians 2

Don’t Be Deceived about the Day of the Lord

Brothers and sisters, we have this request to make of you about our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming and our gathering to meet him. Don’t get upset right away or alarmed when someone claims that we said through some spirit, conversation, or letter that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you about this in any way. That day cannot come unless a revolt takes place first, and the man of sin, the man of destruction, is revealed. He opposes every so-called god or anything that is worshiped and places himself above them, sitting in God’s temple and claiming to be God.

Don’t you remember that I told you about these things when I was still with you? You know what it is that now holds him back, so that he will be revealed when his time comes. The mystery of this sin is already at work. But it cannot work effectively until the person now holding it back gets out of the way. Then the man of sin will be revealed and the Lord Jesus will destroy him by what he says. When the Lord Jesus comes, his appearance will put an end to this man.

The man of sin will come with the power of Satan. He will use every kind of power, including miraculous and wonderful signs. But they will be lies. 10 He will use everything that God disapproves of to deceive those who are dying, those who refused to love the truth that would save them. 11 That’s why God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe a lie. 12 Then everyone who did not believe the truth, but was delighted with what God disapproves of, will be condemned.

Paul Encourages the Thessalonians

13 We always have to thank God for you, brothers and sisters. You are loved by the Lord and we thank God that in the beginning he chose you to be saved through a life of spiritual devotion and faith in the truth. 14 With this in mind he called you by the Good News which we told you so that you would obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 Then, brothers and sisters, firmly hold on to the traditions we taught you either when we spoke to you or in our letter.

16 God our Father loved us and by his kindness[a] gave us everlasting encouragement and good hope. Together with our Lord Jesus Christ, 17 may he encourage and strengthen you to do and say everything that is good.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Thessalonians 2:16 Or “grace.”
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Psalm 84

Psalm 84

For the choir director; on the gittith; a psalm by Korah’s descendants.

Your dwelling place is lovely, O Lord of Armies!
    My soul longs and yearns
        for the Lord’s courtyards.
    My whole body shouts for joy to the living God.
        Even sparrows find a home,
            and swallows find a nest for themselves.
                There they hatch their young
                    near your altars, O Lord of Armies,
                        my king and my God.
Blessed are those who live in your house.
    They are always praising you. Selah

Blessed are those who find strength in you.
    Their hearts are on the road that leads to you.[a]
        As they pass through a valley where balsam trees grow,[b]
            they make it a place of springs.
                The early rains cover it with blessings.[c]
                    Their strength grows as they go along
                        until each one of them appears
                            in front of God in Zion.

O Lord God, commander of armies, hear my prayer.
Open your ears, O God of Jacob. Selah
    Look at our shield, O God.
    Look with favor on the face of your anointed one.
10 One day in your courtyards is better than a thousand anywhere else.
I would rather stand in the entrance to my God’s house
    than live inside wicked people’s homes.
11 The Lord God is a sun and shield.
The Lord grants favor and honor.
He does not hold back any blessing
    from those who live innocently.

12 O Lord of Armies, blessed is the person who trusts you.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 84:5 Hebrew meaning of this line uncertain.
  2. Psalm 84:6 Or “As they pass through the valley of Weeping.”
  3. Psalm 84:6 Or “pools.”
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Proverbs 25:15

15 With patience you can persuade a ruler,
    and a soft tongue can break bones.

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GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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