Day 328 – November 24, 2022

Jeremiah 39-41; Psalm 118:17–32; Proverbs 25:22–26; James 5

Jeremiah 39-41

1 The word came from the Lord to Jeremiah in the tenth year of King Zedekiah of Judah. This was the eighteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. 2 The forces of the king of Babylon’s army made a fortification against Jerusalem, and Jeremiah was kept in the court of the prison which was in the king’s house, 3 in which King Zedekiah shut him up, saying, “Why do you prophesy, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it. 4 Zedekiah shall not escape from the hand of the Chaldeans, for he shall surely be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon. He shall speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye. 5 Then Zedekiah shall go to Babylon and dwell there.” ’ ”
6 Again the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 7 “Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum, your father’s brother, will come to you, saying, ‘Buy yourself my field in Anathoth, for you have the right to receive it as a possession.’ ” 8 So Hanamel the son of Shallum, my father’s brother, came to me in the court of the prison and said to me, “Buy my field in Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin. The right to buy it is yours and you are the elder.” So I knew this was the word of the Lord. 9 Thus I bought the field from Hanamel, the son of my father’s brother, and weighed him seventeen shekels of silver. 10 I wrote it in a book, sealed it, took the testimony of witnesses, and weighed the money on the scales. 11 Then I took the book of the purchase that was sealed 12 and gave it to Baruch the son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, in the sight of Hanamel, the son of my father’s brother, and in the sight of the men who stood by and who signed the purchase deed, and in the sight of those Jews in the court of the prison.
13 Then I charged Baruch in their sight, saying, 14 “Thus says the Lord Almighty: ‘Take this purchase deed and the deed that was read aloud and put it in an earthen vessel, that it may remain many days.’ 15 For thus says the Lord: ‘Even fields, houses, and vineyards shall be possessed in this land.’ ”
Jeremiah’s Prayer Acknowledges God’s Faithfulness
16 After I gave the book of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, saying, 17 “O Lord, You made heaven and earth by Your great strength and by Your high and uplifted arm. There is nothing hidden from You. 18 You grant mercy to thousands, and repay the sins of the fathers into the bosoms of their children after them, the Great and Mighty God, 19 the Lord of great counsel and powerful in deeds, the Great God, the Almighty and the Lord of great name. Your eyes are upon the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his way. 20 You did signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even to this day, and in Israel and among the inhabitants of the earth. You made Yourself a name, as it is this day. 21 You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and a high arm, and with great visions. 22 You gave them this land, which You swore to their fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 They went in and took it; but they did not listen to Your voice or walk in Your commandments. They did none of the things You commanded them to do, and it caused all of these calamities to happen to them. 24 Behold, a multitude comes against this city, and the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans who wage war against it, with the power of sword and famine. As You have spoken, thus it has happened. 25 You did say to me, ‘Buy for yourself the field for silver.’ So I wrote the book, sealed it, and took the testimony of witnesses. Yet the city has been given into the hand of the Chaldeans.”
  Jerusalem Will Fall
26 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 27 “I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Shall anything be hidden from Me? 28 Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘This city shall certainly be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it. 29 For the Chaldeans shall come and wage war against this city. They shall burn this city with fire, and burn up the houses in which they burnt incense to Baal on their housetops, and poured drink offerings to other gods to provoke Me. 30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah alone did evil in My sight from their youth. 31 For this city provoked My wrath and anger from the day they built it even to this day, so I removed it from My presence, 32 because of all the evils of the children of Israel and Judah which they did to provoke Me—they and their kings, and their rulers, priests and prophets, and the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem. 33 They turned their back to Me and not their face. I taught them early in the morning, yes I taught them, but they did not listen to take hold of the instruction. 34 Instead, they put their unclean defilements in the house in which My name is called. 35 They built altars to Baal in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to offer their sons and daughters to King Molech, which things I did not command; nor did such things come into My heart, for them to do this abomination to cause Judah to sin.’
God Reaffirms His Covenant
36 “Now thus says the Lord God of Israel against this city of which you say, ‘It shall be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon by sword, famine, and banishment’: 37 ‘Behold, I will gather them out of every land where I scattered them in My wrath and anger and in great provocation. I will bring them back to this place and will cause them to dwell in confidence. 38 They shall be to Me as a people, and I shall be as God to them. 39 I will give them another way and a different heart, to fear Me all their days, for their good and for the good of their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them, by which I will not turn away from them. I will put My fear into their heart so they may not depart from Me. 41 I will visit them to do good to them, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, and with all My heart and soul.’
42 “For thus says the Lord: ‘As I have brought all these great calamities upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good things I have spoken. 43 Fields will yet be bought in the land of which you say, “It is impassable for men and cattle, for they were delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans.” 44 But they shall buy fields with money, and you will write a book, seal it, and take the testimony of witnesses in the land of Benjamin and round about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah and the mountains, and in the cities of the lowland, and the south; for I will turn back their captivity.’ ”
The Nation Will Be Restored
1 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time when he was yet bound in the court of the prison, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord, He who made the earth and formed it to establish it—the Lord is His name: 3 ‘Cry out to Me, and I will answer you. I will proclaim to you great and mighty things which you do not know.’
4 “For thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the king of Judah, which were pulled down and made into entrenchments and outer fortifications, 5 to fight against the Chaldeans and to fill the city with dead men, whom I struck in My wrath and anger, and I turned away My face from them because of all their evils: 6 ‘Behold, I bring her health and healing for her wounds, and I will show them how to obey. Yes, I will heal this city and bring about peace and faithfulness. 7 I shall return the captives of Judah and Israel and will restore them, even as before. 8 I will cleanse them from all their wrongdoings by which they sinned against Me. I will not remember their sins by which they sinned against Me and withdrew from Me. 9 This shall be for the gladness, praise, and majesty of all the people of the earth, who shall hear all the good things I will do. They shall fear and be provoked concerning all the good things and the peace I shall bring upon them.’
10 “Thus says the Lord: ‘There shall yet be heard in this place, in which you say, “It is destitute of people and cattle,” in the cities of Judah and outside of Jerusalem, in the places made desolate, without man and cattle, 11 the voice of gladness and joyfulness, the voice of the bridegroom and the bride, the voice of those saying, “Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good, for His mercy endures forever.” They will bring gifts into the house of the Lord, for I shall bring back all the captives of that land as it was before,’ says the Lord.
  12 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘There shall yet be in this place of desolation without man and cattle, and in all its cities, resting places for the shepherds to bed down their sheep. 13 In the cities of the hill country and the valley, and in the cities of the south and the land of Benjamin, and in the cities around Jerusalem and Judah, sheep shall again pass under the hand of him who counts them,’ says the Lord.”
God Warns Zedekiah
1 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army and every land of his dominion warred against Jerusalem and all the cities of Judah, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Go to Zedekiah king of Judah, and you shall tell him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘This city shall certainly be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon; and he shall take it and burn it with fire. 3 You shall not escape from his hand, but shall certainly be taken and delivered into his hands. Your eyes shall see his eyes, and you will speak with him face to face. You shall enter Babylon.’ 4 But hear the word of the Lord, O Zedekiah king of Judah. Thus says the Lord: 5 ‘You shall die in peace, and as they wept for your fathers who reigned before you, they shall also weep for you, saying, “Alas, lord!” They shall mourn for you, for I spoke the word,’ says the Lord.” ’ ”
6 So Jeremiah spoke all these words to King Zedekiah in Jerusalem. 7 Then the army of the king of Babylon waged war against Jerusalem and against the cities of Judah, and against Lachish and Azekah, for these strong cities were left among the cities of Judah.
Failure to Free the Slaves
8 The word came from the Lord to Jeremiah, after King Zedekiah concluded a covenant with all the people, to proclaim a remission: 9 that every man should set his servant free—each male and female servant of his, the Hebrew man and the Hebrew woman—that no man of Judah should be a servant. 10 Then all the princes and all the people who entered into the covenant to set free each male and female servant of his, 11 again forced them to be male and female servants.
12 Therefore the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 13 “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I made a covenant with your fathers in the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying, 14 “When six years are complete, you shall set free your Hebrew brother who will be sold to you, for he shall serve you six years, then you will send him forth a free man.” But they did not listen to Me, nor inclined their ear. 15 Even today, they turned to do what is right in My sight, to proclaim remission to each neighbor of his. So they concluded a covenant before Me in the house called by My name. 16 But you turned away and profaned My name to bring back each male and female servant of his, whom you set free in their soul, to be once again your male and female servants.’
17 “Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘You did not listen to Me to proclaim remission to each neighbor of his. Behold, I proclaim a remission to you for the sword, and for death and famine. I will deliver you as a dispersion among all the kingdoms of the land. 18 I will deliver the men who transgressed My covenant, who did not keep My covenant they made before Me, with the young bull they offered as a sacrifice: 19 the rulers of Judah and the mighty men, and the priests and the people, 20 I will deliver them to their enemies, and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the earth. 21 I will deliver Zedekiah the king of Judah and their rulers into the hands of their enemies, and the army of the king of Babylon shall chase those who run away from them. 22 Behold, I shall command them,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will turn them to this land, and they will fight against it. They shall take it and burn it with fire, even the cities of Judah, which I will cause to be desolate and without inhabitant.’ ”

Psalm 118:17–32

17 Reward Your servant;
I shall live, and keep Your words.
18 Unveil my eyes,
And I shall understand the wonders in Your law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.
20 My soul longed to desire
Your judgments in every season.
21 You rebuke the arrogant;
Those who turn aside from Your commandments are accursed.
22 Take away reproach and contempt from me,
For I searched Your testimonies.
23 For rulers sat and spoke against me,
But Your servant meditated on Your ordinances.
24 For Your testimonies are my meditation,
And Your ordinances are my counsels.
25 My soul cleaves to the earth;
Give me life according to Your word.
26 I made known my ways and You heard me;
Teach me Your ordinances.
27 Cause me to understand the way of Your ordinances,
And I shall meditate on Your wonders.
28 My soul fainted because of its listlessness;
  Establish me in Your words.
29 Remove the way of unrighteousness from me,
And with Your law have mercy on me.
30 I chose the way of truth;
I have not forgotten Your judgments.
31 I cleave to Your testimonies;
O Lord, do not disappoint me.
32 I ran on the path of Your commandments,
When You enlarged my heart.

Proverbs 25:22–26

22 As vinegar is bad for a festering wound,
So calamity befalling the body grieves the heart.
23 As a moth in a garment and a worm in wood,
So the grief of a man damages the heart.
24 If your enemy is hungry, feed him,
And if he is thirsty, give him drink.
25 For by doing this, you shall heap coals of fire on his head,
And the Lord will reward you with good things.
26 The north wind stirs up clouds,
And a shameless face provokes the tongue.

James 5

1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you!
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.
  3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.
4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.
6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.
Be Patient and Persevering
7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.
8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.
11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.
Meeting Specific Needs
(cf. 1 Kin. 18:41–46)
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
Bring Back the Erring One
19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,
20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

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