Baruch 1, 2
1 Now these are the words of the book written by Baruch, the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, the son of Zedekiah, the son of Hasadiah, the son of Hilkiah, while in Babylon, 2 in the fifth year, on the seventh day of the month, at the time the Chaldeans took Jerusalem and burned it with fire.
A Gathering of the Exiles in Babylon
3 And Baruch read the words of this book to Jechoniah the son of Joachim, king of Judah, and to all the people who came to hear the book: 4 to the nobles and the sons of the kings, to the elders and all the people from small to great, and to everyone dwelling in Babylon by the river Sud. 5 Then they wept and fasted and prayed before the Lord. 6 They took up a collection of silver, as each was able to give, 7 and sent it to Jerusalem to Joachim the high priest, son of Hilkiah, son of Salom, and to the priests and to all the people found with him in Jerusalem. 8 At the same time, on the tenth day of the month Sivan, Baruch took the silver vessels of the house of the Lord fashioned by Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in order to return them to the land of Judah, those vessels previously taken away from the temple 9 when Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away Jechoniah and the princes, along with the captives, the powerful men, and the people of the land, and had brought them from Jerusalem into exile in Babylon.
Gifts for Worship in Jerusalem
10 And they said, “Behold, we send you silver. With it, buy whole burnt offerings and sin offerings and incense, and prepare bread, and offer them upon the altar of the Lord our God. 11 And pray for the life of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his son Belshazzar, that their days on earth may be like the days of heaven. 12 And the Lord will give us strength and enlighten our eyes, and we will live under the shelter of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and under the shelter of Belshazzar his son, and we will serve them for many days and find mercy in their sight.
13 “Pray for us to the Lord our God, because we have sinned against the Lord our God. Even to this day the wrath of the Lord and His anger is not turned away from us. 14 And you shall read this book which we are sending to you, in order to make confession in the house of the Lord on the feast days and on the solemn days.
15 “And you shall say, ‘To the Lord our God belongs righteousness, but for us shame is on our faces, as it is this day for the people of Judah and to those inhabiting Jerusalem, 16 and for our kings, for our rulers, for our priests, for our prophets, and for our fathers, 17 who have sinned before the Lord. 18 We have disobeyed Him and have refused to heed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in the ordinances of the Lord, which He gave to us openly. 19 Since the day the Lord led our fathers out of the land of Egypt until this day, we have been disobedient toward Him and neglected to heed His voice.
The Consequences of Israel’s Sin
20 ‘So to this day evils cling to us, even the curse which the Lord set forth through His servant Moses in the day He led our fathers out of the land of Egypt to give us the land flowing with milk and honey. 21 We did not heed the voice of the Lord our God in all the words of the prophets whom He sent to us. 22 Instead, each one has followed the imaginations of his own wicked heart, to serve strange gods and to do evil deeds in the sight of the Lord our God.
1 ‘So the Lord confirmed His word which He proclaimed against us, and against our judges who judged Israel, and our kings and rulers, and against every man of Israel and Judah. 2 As can be seen in what was written in the law of Moses, there has been nothing comparable anywhere, under all the heavens, as to that which has been done in Jerusalem: 3 that a man eat the flesh of his son and the flesh of his daughter. 4 He put them under subjection to all the kingdoms around us, to be a reproach and a desolation among all the nations around about us where the Lord scattered them. 5 And because we sinned against the Lord our God and did not obey His voice, we have been brought low and have not been exalted.
6 ‘To the Lord our God belongs righteousness, but to us and our fathers shame on our faces, as at this day. 7 All these calamities that the Lord proclaimed against us have come upon us. 8 But we did not pray before the presence of the Lord, to turn each one away from the purposes of his wicked heart. 9 And the Lord has watched over the evils, and the Lord brings these upon us, for the Lord is righteous in all His works which He commands us. 10 But we have not obeyed His voice, to conduct our lives in those commandments of the Lord that He set before us.
A Plea for Mercy and Deliverance
11 ‘And now, O Lord God of Israel, who with a mighty hand led Your people out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with great power and with outstretched arm, and made a name for Yourself then, as it continues to this day, 12 we have sinned and acted ungodly, we have acted unrighteously, O Lord our God, against all Your commandments. 13 Let Your wrath turn away from us, for only a few of us remain within the nations where You scattered us. 14 O Lord, hear our prayer and our petition, and for Your own sake deliver us, and grant us mercy before those who have carried us into exile, 15 in order that the whole earth may come to know that You are the Lord our God, for Israel and his descendants are called by Your name.
16 ‘O Lord, look down from Your holy house and consider us. O Lord, incline Your ear and hear us. 17 O Lord, open Your eyes and behold, for the dead who are in Hades, whose spirit is taken from their bodies, will not ascribe glory and righteousness to the Lord; 18 but the person who is greatly distressed, who walks bent over, who is ailing and going blind, and the person who hungers—these will give glory and righteousness to You, O Lord. 19 It is not because of the righteous acts of our fathers or our kings that we lay before You our humble plea, O Lord our God, 20 for You sent down Your anger and wrath upon us, as You have said through the hand of Your servants the prophets, saying, 21 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Bend your shoulder and serve the king of Babylon, and remain in the land I gave to your fathers. 22 But if you do not heed the voice of the Lord, to serve the king of Babylon, 23 I shall cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from outside Jerusalem the sound of gladness, the voice of joyfulness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. The whole land will become desolate of inhabitants.’ ”
24 ‘But we did not obey Your voice, to serve the king of Babylon, and You carried out Your words which you spoke by Your servants the prophets, that the bones of our kings and the bones of our fathers would be carried out from their place. 25 And behold, they have been cast forth in the heat of the day and the frost of the night, and they died in grievous pains by famine and by the sword and by pestilence. 26 And You laid to waste the house called by Your name, as it is this day, because of the wickedness of the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
Recalling the Promises of God
27 ‘Even so, O Lord our God, You have dealt with us according to all Your goodness and great mercy, 28 just as You spoke through Your servant Moses on the day You commanded him to write Your law in the presence of the sons of Israel, saying, 29 “If you do not obey My voice, truly this very great multitude of people will become a small number amidst all the nations where I shall scatter them. 30 For I knew they would not obey Me, because they are a stiff-necked people. But in the land of their exile their hearts will turn back, 31 and they will know that I am the Lord their God, and I will give them a heart and ears that obey; 32 and they will praise Me in the land of their exile and will remember My name. 33 They will turn from their stubbornness and their evil deeds; for they shall remember the way of their fathers, who sinned against the Lord. 34 And I shall bring them again to the land I swore to their fathers—to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—and they will rule over it, and I will multiply their numbers, and they will not be diminished. 35 And I shall establish an everlasting covenant with them to be their God, and they will be My people; I shall never again remove My people Israel from the land I give to them.”
81 My soul earnestly longs for Your salvation,
And I hope in Your word.
82 My eyes strained to look at Your teaching,
Saying, “When will You comfort me?”
83 I am like a leather bag in a frost;
I did not forget Your ordinances.
84 How many are the days of Your servant?
When will You execute judgment for me upon those who persecute me?
85 Transgressors described their meditations to me,
But these are not like Your law, O Lord.
86 All Your commandments are truth;
They persecuted me unjustly; help me.
87 They almost ended my life on earth,
But I did not forsake Your commandments.
88 Give me life according to Your mercy,
And I shall keep the testimonies of Your mouth.
89 Forever, O Lord,
Your word continues in heaven.
90 Your truth continues from generation to generation;
You laid the foundation of the earth, and it continues.
91 By Your arrangement each day continues,
For all things are Your servants.
92 If Your law were not my meditation,
I would have perished in my humiliation.
93 I will never forget Your ordinances,
For in them You give me life, O Lord.
94 I am Yours; save me,
For I search Your ordinances.
95 Sinners waited for me to kill me;
I understood Your testimonies.
96 I saw the limit of every accomplishment;
Your commandment is exceedingly broad.
10 All flesh of men without discernment grievously suffers many things,
For their illusion is brought to nothing.
11 As when a dog returns to his own vomit and becomes despicable,
So is a man without discernment who returns to his own evil by his own sin.
12 There is shame that brings on sin,
And there is shame that is glory and grace.
13 I saw a man who seemed to himself to be wise,
But a man without discernment has more hope than he.
1 Peter 4
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.
5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
Serving for God’s Glory
7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Suffering for God’s Glory
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.
16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
“If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.