Day 327 – November 23, 2022

Jeremiah 36-38; Psalm 118:1–16; Proverbs 25:17–21; James 4

Jeremiah 36-38

1 These are the words of the letter Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the elders of the captivity, and to the priests and false prophets. 2 (He sent it to Babylon for the captivity and for all the people, after the departure from Jerusalem of Jeconiah the king, the queen mother, the eunuchs, and every freeman, bondman, and craftsman.) 3 Jeremiah sent the letter to Babylon by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon, to the king of Babylon), saying,
4 Thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the captivity which I caused to be carried away from Jerusalem: 5 Build houses and dwell in them. Plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands; and be multiplied and not diminished. 7 Seek the peace of the land into which I carried you captive. Pray to the Lord for them, for in its peace you shall have peace. 8 For thus says the Lord: Do not let the false prophets in your midst deceive you; and do not let your diviners persuade you, nor heed the dreams you dream. 9 For they prophesy wrongfully to you in My name, but I did not send them.
10 For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are about to be fulfilled in Babylon, I will visit you and confirm My words to you, to return your people to this place. 11 For I shall consider a plan of peace for you, to give you good things and not calamities. 12 Therefore, pray to Me, and I will hear you. 13 Seek Me, and you will find Me, because you seek Me with all your heart. 14 I will appear to you, 15 for you said, “The Lord established prophets for us in Babylon.”
16 Thus says the Lord against Achiab and Zedekiah: Behold, I will deliver them into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he shall smite them in your sight. 17 They shall make of them a curse among all the captivity of Judah in Babylon, saying, “May the Lord do to you as He did to Zedekiah and as He did to Achiab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,” 18 because they committed lawlessness in Israel, committed adultery with the wives of their fellow-citizens, and spoke a word in My name which I did not command them; and I am a witness, says the Lord.
19 To Shemaiah the Nehelamite, you shall say, 20 “I did not send you in My name,” and to Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying,
21 “The Lord made you priest in the place of Jehoiada the priest, to be an overseer in the house of the Lord over every prophet and every man who is insane, and you shall put them in prison or into the dungeon. 22 Now therefore, why have you joined in mocking Jeremiah of Anathoth, who prophesied to you? 23 Did he not send you into Babylon for this purpose, saying, ‘It is far off. Build a house and dwell in it, and plant a garden and eat its fruit.’ ” 24 Thus Zephaniah read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah. 25 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 26 “Send to the captivity, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah prophesied to you, although I did not send him, and causes you to trust in wrongdoings; 27 therefore, thus says the Lord: Behold, I will visit Shemaiah and his family. There shall not be a man of them in your midst to see the good things I will do for you. They shall not see it.’ ”
Israel and Judah Will Be Reduced
1 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. 3 For behold, the days will come,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will return the captives of My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord, ‘and I shall return them to the land I gave to their fathers, and they shall have dominion over it.’ ”
  4 Now these are the words the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah, saying, 5 “Thus says the Lord: ‘You shall hear a sound of fear. There is fear, and there is not peace. 6 Ask and see if a male gives birth, and ask concerning fear in which they shall hold fast their loins and look for safety; for I see every man, and his hands are on his loins. Their faces have turned to paleness. 7 For that day is great, and there is no other like it. There is little time for Jacob, and because of this, he will be saved. 8 In that day,’ says the Lord, ‘I will break the yoke from their neck and break their chains; and they shall no longer work for foreigners. 9 But they shall work for the Lord their God, and I will raise up for them David their king.’
10 “Thus says the Lord: ‘I brought about your destruction. Your blow was painful. 11 There was no one to judge your cause. You were painfully treated for healing, but this was no benefit to you. 12 All your friends forgot you. They do not ask about you, for I struck you with the blow of your enemy, even firm correction. Your sins have multiplied because of all your wrongdoing. 13 Therefore, all who devour you shall be consumed, for all your enemies shall devour themselves. Your sins multiplied because of the abundance of your wrongdoings, thus they did these things to you. But those who tore you to pieces shall be as prey, and I will give all who plundered you as plunder. 14 For I will bring about your healing from a painful wound. I will heal you,’ says the Lord. ‘For you were called Dispersed, for they said, “She is your prey, because no one seeks her.’ ”
15 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will turn back the captivity of Jacob and have mercy upon his captives. The city shall be built upon her summit, and the temple shall remain according to His judgment. 16 Singers shall go forth from them. I will multiply them, and they shall not be diminished. 17 Their children shall enter as before, and their testimonies shall be established before Me. I will visit those who afflict them. 18 His mighty ones shall be over them, and his ruler shall go forth of himself, and I will gather them. They shall return to Me, for who is this who sets his heart to return to Me?’ says the Lord. 19 ‘For the wrath of the Lord goes out; a whirlwind of anger goes forth. It shall come against the ungodly. 20 The fierce wrath of the Lord will not turn away until He executes it, and until He establishes the undertaking of His heart. In the last days, you will come to know these things.’ ”
A Father for Israel
1 “At that time,” says the Lord, “I will be as God to the family of Israel, and they shall be as My people.”
2 Thus says the Lord: “I found him alive in the desert with those slain by the sword. Go and do not destroy Israel.” 3 The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I drew you in compassion. 4 O virgin of Israel, I shall build you, and you will be restored. You shall again take your tambourine and go forth with the assembly of those who rejoice. 5 Moreover, plant a vineyard on the mountains of Samaria. Plant and praise, 6 for it is a day of calling, when those who defend you on the mountains of Ephraim will say, ‘Arise and go up to Zion to the Lord our God.’ ”
7 For thus says the Lord to Jacob: “Rejoice and exult in the Head of the nations. Make a proclamation and praise Him. Say, ‘The Lord saved His people, the remnant of Israel.’ 8 Behold, I will bring them from the north, and gather them from the ends of the earth to the feast of Passover. You shall beget a great multitude, and they shall return here. 9 They went forth with weeping, but I will gather them with consolation. I will cause them to lodge by the channels of waters in an upright way, and they will not be led astray; for I have become as a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn.
  10 “Hear the word of the Lord, you nations. Proclaim it to the islands far distant and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will also gather and protect him, as one who feeds his flock.’ 11 For the Lord redeemed Jacob. He redeemed him from the hand of those stronger than he. 12 They shall come and be glad in the mountain of Zion, and they shall come to the goodness of the Lord; to the land of wheat, wine, and fruit, and of cattle and sheep. Their soul shall be like a fruitful tree, and they shall hunger no more. 13 Then shall the virgins rejoice in the assembly of young men, and the old men shall rejoice. I will turn their mourning into joy, and I will make them glad. 14 I will magnify and cheer with wine the soul of these priests, the sons of Levi, and My people shall be satisfied with My good things.”
Mercy for Ephraim
15 Thus says the Lord: “A voice of lamentation, weeping, and mourning was heard in Ramah. Rachel does not wish to cease mourning deeply over her children, because they are no more.” 16 Thus says the Lord: “Let your voice cease from its bitter weeping and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your works, and they shall return from the land of their enemies. 17 There shall be an abiding home for your children.
18 “I heard the news of Ephraim, lamenting, ‘You chastised me, and I was chastised. Like a calf, I was not taught, but turn me back, and I shall return; for You are the Lord my God. 19 For after my captivity I repented, and after I knew, I groaned because of the day of shame, and showed You that I bore the reproach of my youth.’ 20 Ephraim is a beloved son and a child who is a delight to Me, because My words are in him. I will surely remember him; therefore I hastened to help him. I will surely have mercy upon him,” says the Lord.
21 “Rouse yourself, O Zion, and bring about vengeance. Be strong in your heart and return by the way you went, O virgin of Israel. Return to your cities and mourn. 22 How long, O dishonored daughter, will you turn away? For the Lord has created safety by a new planting. Men will travel about in security.”
23 Thus says the Lord: “They will say this word in the land of Judah and its cities when I bring back the host of captives: ‘Blessed is the Lord on His righteous and holy mountain.’ 24 There shall be those who dwell in the cities of Judah and in all its land, together with the farmer, and the shepherd shall go forth with his flock. 25 For I have satiated every thirsty soul and filled every hungry soul.” 26 Therefore, I awoke and beheld, and my sleep was pleasant to me.
27 “Therefore, behold, days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will sow Israel and Judah with the seed of man and the seed of cattle. 28 It shall come to pass, as I watched over them to overthrow and afflict, so too, I will watch over them to build and plant,” says the Lord. 29 “In those days, they shall not say, ‘The fathers ate sour grapes, and the children’s teeth were set on edge.’ 30 But rather, each shall die in his own sin, and the teeth of him who eats the sour grapes shall be set on edge.
The New Covenant
31 “Behold, days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I shall make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not according to the covenant I made with their fathers in the day I took hold of their hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not abide in My covenant, and I disregarded them,” says the Lord. 33 “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will surely put My laws into their mind and write them on their hearts. I will be as God to them, and they shall be as My people. 34 Each shall not teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their wrongdoings, and I will no longer remember their sins.
  35 “Though the sky should be raised to a greater height,” says the Lord, “and though the ground of the earth should be sunk lower beneath, yet I would not reject the family of Israel,” says the Lord, “for all they have done.” 36 Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun as a light by day, and the moon and the stars as a light by night; and who makes the sea roar so its waves make a crashing sound. The Lord Almighty is His name. 37 “If these laws cease from before Me,” says the Lord, “the family of Israel shall also cease to be a nation before Me forever.
38 “Behold, days are coming,” says the Lord, “when the city shall be built for the Lord from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 The measure of the city shall proceed in front of them as far as the hills of Gareb, and it shall be encircled round about by choice stones. 40 All Hasaremoth as far as the Kidron River, to the corner of the Horse Gate eastward, shall be a sanctuary to the Lord. It shall not fail or be destroyed anymore forever.”

Psalm 118:1–16

1 Alleluia.
Blessed are the blameless in the way
Who walk in the law of the Lord.
2 Blessed are those who search out His testimonies;
They shall search for Him with their whole heart.
3 For those who work lawlessness
Do not walk in His ways.
4 You commanded us regarding Your commandments,
That we should be very diligent to keep them.
5 Would that my ways were led,
That I might keep Your ordinances.
6 Then I would not be ashamed
When I regard all Your commandments.
7 I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with an upright heart,
When I learn the judgments of Your righteousness.
8 I shall keep Your ordinances;
Do not utterly forsake me.
9 How shall a young man keep his way straight?
When he keeps Your words.
10 I searched for You with my whole heart;
Do not drive me away from Your commandments.
11 I hid Your teachings in my heart
So as not to sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord;
Teach me Your ordinances.
13 With my lips I declared
All the judgments of Your mouth.
14 I delight in the way of Your testimonies
As much as in all riches.
15 I shall meditate on Your commandments,
And I shall understand Your ways.
16 I shall meditate on Your ordinances;
I shall not forget Your words.

Proverbs 25:17–21

17 There is prosperity for kings in patience,
And a mild tongue breaks bones.
18 When you find honey, eat what is sufficient,
Lest being filled, you should vomit it up.
19 Seldom visit your own friend’s house,
Lest he become fed up with your company and hate you.
20 As a club, a sword, and a pointed arrow,
So also is the man who testifies as a false witness against his friend.
21 The tooth of an evil man and the foot of a lawless man
Shall perish in an evil day.

James 4

1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?
2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Humility Cures Worldliness
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Do Not Judge a Brother
11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
Do Not Boast About Tomorrow
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;
14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

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