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Jeremiah 12:1-14:10

Jeremiah’s Complaint

12 You will be righteous, Lord,
even if I bring a case against You.
Yet, I wish to contend with You:
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all the treacherous live at ease?
You planted them, and they have taken root.
They have grown and produced fruit.
You are ever on their lips,[a]
but far from their conscience.[b]
As for You, Lord, You know me; You see me.
You test whether my heart is with You.
Drag the wicked away like sheep to slaughter
and set them apart for the day of killing.
How long will the land mourn
and the grass of every field wither?
Because of the evil of its residents,
animals and birds have been swept away,
for the people have said,
“He cannot see what our end will be.”[c]

The Lord’s Response

If you have raced with runners
and they have worn you out,
how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble[d] in a peaceful land,
what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?
Even your brothers—your own father’s household—
even they were treacherous to you;
even they have cried out loudly after you.
Do not have confidence in them,
though they speak well of you.

I have abandoned My house;
I have deserted My inheritance.
I have given the love of My life
into the hands of her enemies.
My inheritance has acted toward Me
like a lion in the forest.
She has roared against Me.
Therefore, I hate her.
Is My inheritance like a hyena[e] to Me?
Are birds of prey circling her?
Go, gather all the wild animals;
bring them to devour her.
10 Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard;
they have trampled My plot of land.
They have turned My desirable plot
into a desolate wasteland.
11 They have made it a desolation.
It mourns, desolate, before Me.
All the land is desolate,
but no one takes it to heart.
12 Over all the barren heights in the wilderness
the destroyers have come,
for the Lord has a sword that devours
from one end of the earth to the other.
No one has peace.
13 They have sown wheat but harvested thorns.
They have exhausted themselves but have no profit.
Be put to shame by your harvests
because of the Lord’s burning anger.

14 This is what the Lord says: “Concerning all My evil neighbors who attack the inheritance that I bequeathed to My people, Israel, I am about to uproot them from their land, and I will uproot the house of Judah from them. 15 After I have uprooted them, I will once again have compassion on them and return each one to his inheritance and to his land. 16 If they will diligently learn the ways of My people—to swear by My name, ‘As Yahweh lives,’ just as they taught My people to swear by Baal—they will be built up among My people. 17 However, if they will not obey, then I will uproot and destroy that nation.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

Linen Underwear

13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy yourself a linen undergarment and put it on,[f] but do not put it in water.” So I bought underwear as the Lord instructed me and put it on.

Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: “Take the underwear that you bought and are wearing,[g] and go at once to the Euphrates[h] and hide it in a rocky crevice.” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.

A long time later the Lord said to me, “Go at once to the Euphrates and get the underwear that I commanded you to hide there.” So I went to the Euphrates and dug up the underwear and got it from the place where I had hidden it, but it was ruined—of no use at all.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord says: Just like this I will ruin the great pride of both Judah and Jerusalem. 10 These evil people, who refuse to listen to Me, who follow the stubbornness of their own hearts, and who have followed other gods to serve and worship—they will be like this underwear, of no use at all. 11 Just as underwear clings to one’s waist, so I fastened the whole house of Israel and of Judah to Me”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“so that they might be My people for My fame, praise, and glory, but they would not obey.

The Wine Jars

12 “Say this to them: This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every jar should be filled with wine. Then they will respond to you, ‘Don’t we know that every jar should be filled with wine?’ 13 And you will say to them: This is what the Lord says: I am about to fill all who live in this land—the kings who reign for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets and all the residents of Jerusalem—with drunkenness. 14 I will smash them against each other, fathers and sons alike”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “I will allow no mercy, pity, or compassion to keep Me from destroying them.”

The Lord’s Warning

15 Listen and pay attention. Do not be proud,
for the Lord has spoken.
16 Give glory to the Lord your God
before He brings darkness,
before your feet stumble
on the mountains at dusk.
You wait for light,
but He brings darkest gloom[i]
and makes thick darkness.
17 But if you will not listen,
my innermost being will weep in secret
because of your pride.
My eyes will overflow with tears,
for the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.

18 Say to the king and the queen mother:
Take a humble seat,
for your glorious crowns
have fallen from your heads.
19 The cities of the Negev are under siege;
no one can help them.
All of Judah has been taken into exile,
taken completely into exile.
20 Look up and see
those coming from the north.
Where is the flock entrusted to you,
the sheep that were your pride?

The Destiny of Jerusalem

21 What will you say when He appoints
close friends as leaders over you,
ones you yourself trained?
Won’t labor pains seize you,
as they do a woman in labor?
22 And when you ask yourself,
“Why have these things happened to me?”
It is because of your great guilt
that your skirts have been stripped off,
your body exposed.[j]
23 Can the Cushite change his skin,
or a leopard his spots?
If so, you might be able to do what is good,
you who are instructed in evil.
24 I will scatter you[k] like drifting chaff
before the desert wind.
25 This is your lot,
what I have decreed for you—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
because you have forgotten Me
and trusted in Falsehood.[l]
26 I will pull your skirts up over your face
so that your shame might be seen.
27 Your adulteries and your lustful neighing,
your heinous prostitution
on the hills, in the fields—
I have seen your detestable acts.
Woe to you, Jerusalem!
You are unclean—
for how long yet?

The Drought

14 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

Judah mourns;
her gates languish.
Her people are on the ground in mourning;
Jerusalem’s cry rises up.
Their nobles send their servants[m] for water.
They go to the cisterns;
they find no water;
their containers return empty.
They are ashamed and humiliated;
they cover their heads.
The ground is cracked
since no rain has fallen on the land.
The farmers are ashamed;
they cover their heads.
Even the doe in the field
gives birth and abandons her fawn
since there is no grass.
Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights
panting for air like jackals.
Their eyes fail
because there are no green plants.
Though our guilt testifies against us,
Yahweh, act for Your name’s sake.
Indeed, our rebellions are many;
we have sinned against You.
Hope of Israel,
its Savior in time of distress,
why are You like a foreigner in the land,
like a traveler stopping only for the night?
Why are You like a helpless man,
like a warrior unable to save?
Yet You are among us, Yahweh,
and we are called by Your name.
Don’t leave us!

10 This is what the Lord says concerning these people:

Truly they love to wander;
they never rest their feet.
So the Lord does not accept them.
Now He will remember their guilt
and punish their sins.


  1. Jeremiah 12:2 Lit are near in their mouth
  2. Jeremiah 12:2 Lit kidneys
  3. Jeremiah 12:4 LXX reads see our ways
  4. Jeremiah 12:5 Or you are secure
  5. Jeremiah 12:9 Hb obscure
  6. Jeremiah 13:1 Lit around your waist
  7. Jeremiah 13:4 Lit wearing around your waist
  8. Jeremiah 13:4 Perhaps a place near Anathoth with the same spelling as river
  9. Jeremiah 13:16 Or brings a shadow of death
  10. Jeremiah 13:22 Lit your heels have suffered violence
  11. Jeremiah 13:24 Lit them
  12. Jeremiah 13:25 = Baal
  13. Jeremiah 14:3 Lit little ones
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1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:12


Paul, Silvanus,[a] and Timothy:

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace to you and peace.[b]


We always thank God for all of you, remembering you constantly in our prayers. We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing your election, brothers loved by God. For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with much assurance. You know what kind of men we were among you for your benefit, and you became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with joy from the Holy Spirit. As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. For the Lord’s message rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place that your faith[c] in God has gone out. Therefore, we don’t need to say anything, for they themselves report[d] what kind of reception we had from you: how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

Paul’s Conduct

For you yourselves know, brothers, that our visit with you was not without result. On the contrary, after we had previously suffered, and we were treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition. For our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive. Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but rather God, who examines our hearts. For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives—God is our witness and we didn’t seek glory from people, either from you or from others. Although we could have been a burden as Christ’s apostles, instead we were gentle[e] among you, as a nursing mother nurtures her own children. We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember our labor and hardship, brothers. Working night and day so that we would not burden any of you, we preached God’s gospel to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how devoutly, righteously, and blamelessly we conducted ourselves with you believers. 11 As you know, like a father with his own children, 12 we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.


  1. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 Or Silas; Ac 15:22-32; 16:19-40; 17:1-16
  2. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 Other mss add from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
  3. 1 Thessalonians 1:8 Or in every place news of your faith
  4. 1 Thessalonians 1:9 Lit report about us
  5. 1 Thessalonians 2:7 Other mss read infants
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Psalm 79

Psalm 79

Faith amid Confusion

A psalm of Asaph.

God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance,
desecrated Your holy temple,
and turned Jerusalem into ruins.
They gave the corpses of Your servants
to the birds of the sky for food,
the flesh of Your godly ones
to the beasts of the earth.
They poured out their blood
like water all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
We have become an object of reproach
to our neighbors,
a source of mockery and ridicule
to those around us.

How long, Yahweh? Will You be angry forever?
Will Your jealousy keep burning like fire?
Pour out Your wrath on the nations
that don’t acknowledge You,
on the kingdoms that don’t call on Your name,
for they have devoured Jacob
and devastated his homeland.
Do not hold past sins[a] against us;
let Your compassion come to us quickly,
for we have become weak.

God of our salvation, help us
for the glory of Your name.
Deliver us and atone for[b] our sins,
because of Your name.
10 Why should the nations ask,
“Where is their God?”
Before our eyes,
let vengeance for the shed blood of Your servants
be known among the nations.
11 Let the groans of the prisoners reach You;
according to Your great power,
preserve those condemned to die.

12 Pay back sevenfold to our neighbors
the reproach they have hurled at You, Lord.
13 Then we, Your people, the sheep of Your pasture,
will thank You forever;
we will declare Your praise
to generation after generation.


  1. Psalm 79:8 Or hold the sins of past generations
  2. Psalm 79:9 Or and wipe out, or and forgive
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Proverbs 24:30-34

30 I went by the field of a slacker
and by the vineyard of a man lacking sense.
31 Thistles had come up everywhere,
weeds covered the ground,
and the stone wall was ruined.
32 I saw, and took it to heart;
I looked, and received instruction:
33 a little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the arms to rest,
34 and your poverty will come like a robber,
your need, like a bandit.

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