Day 323 – Jeremiah 23-26; Psalm 114; Proverbs 24:35–39; Hebrews 12:28-13:25

Jeremiah 23-26

1 “Woe to the shepherds who scatter and destroy the sheep of My pasture!” 2 Therefore thus says the Lord against those who tend My people: “You have scattered My sheep and driven them out. You did not care for them. Behold, I shall punish you according to your evil practices. 3 I will receive the remnant of My people from every land where I have driven them. I will establish them in their pasture, and they shall increase and be multiplied. 4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them. They shall fear no more, nor be terrified,” says the Lord.
5 “Behold, days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will raise up for David the Righteous Orient, and a King shall reign. He will understand and bring about judgment and righteousness on the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel shall dwell in confidence. This is His name by which the Lord will call him: ‘The Lord Our Righteousness.’ ” 7 The Lord says, “Therefore behold, days are coming when they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the house of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but they will say, ‘The Lord lives who gathered all the descendants of Israel from the north country, from all the countries where He drove them, and restored them into their land.’ ”
False Prophets and Priests
9 Among the prophets, my heart is broken within me, and all my bones are shaken. I am as a broken-down man overcome with wine, because of the Lord’s presence and the excellence of His glory. 10 Because of these things, the land mourns and the pastures of the desert are dried up. Their way of life has become evil, and so has their strength.
  11 “For both prophet and priest are defiled, and I see their evils within My house,” says the Lord. 12 “Therefore let their way be to them as a fall into darkness; and they shall be tripped up and fall therein, because in the year of their visitation I will bring calamities upon them. 13 In the prophets of Samaria I have seen lawless actions. They prophesy through Baal and lead astray My people Israel. 14 Also in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen horrible things. They commit adultery and walk in lies. They strengthen the hands of evil men, so they might not turn back each from his evil path. They are to me like Sodom, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah.” 15 Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will feed them pain and give them bitter water to drink, because from the prophets of Jerusalem defilement goes out into all the land.”
16 Thus says the Lord Almighty: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets, for they invent a futile vision for themselves. They speak from their own heart, and not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They say to those who reject the word of the Lord, ‘You shall have peace.’ To those who walk according to their own wishes, and to everyone who walks in the error of his heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’ 18 For who stands in the camp of the Lord and sees His word? Who gives ear to His word and hears it? 19 Behold, there is an earthquake from the Lord, and wrath goes forth as an earthquake. It shall come violently on the ungodly. 20 The anger of the Lord shall not turn away until He establishes it, because of the undertaking of His heart. They shall understand this in the last days. 21 I did not send these prophets, but they went forth. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied. 22 If they had stood in My counsel and heard My words, then they would have turned my people away from their evil practices.
23 “I am a God who is near,” says the Lord, “and not a God afar off. 24 Can a man hide in secret, and I not see him? Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord. 25 “I heard what the prophets said, and what lies they prophesied in My name, saying falsely, ‘I have dreamed a dream.’ 26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, when they prophesy the wishes of their heart? 27 They reason by their dreams so men will forget My law. Each prophet tells his neighbor to forget Me, as their fathers forgot My name in their worship of Baal. 28 The prophet in whom there is a dream, let him tell his dream; and the prophet in whom there is My word, let him tell it truthfully. What is chaff in comparison to wheat? So are My words,” says the Lord. 29 “Are not My words like a blazing fire?” says the Lord. “Are they not like an ax striking a rock?
30 “Behold therefore, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord God, “who steal My words, each prophet from his neighbor. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets who are drowsy and put forth prophecies as mere words. 32 Behold, I am against the prophets who prophesy false dreams, and they relate them. They lead My people astray with their lies and in their deceits. Yet I did not send them or command them. Therefore, they shall not profit this people at all.”
33 The Lord says, “So if these people, or a prophet, or a priest, ask you, saying, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall then say to them, ‘You are the burden, and I will strike you down.’ 34 As for the prophet and the priest and the people who say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ then I will take vengeance on that man and his house. 35 Thus each shall say to his neighbor, and each to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered? What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 Do not mention the burden of the Lord anymore, for the burden on a man shall be his word. 37 ‘But why,’ you say, ‘has the Lord our God spoken?’ 38 Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you spoke this word: “The burden of the Lord”; therefore I instructed you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the Lord.’ ” 39 Therefore behold, I take and strike you, and the city I gave to you and to your fathers. 40 I will bring everlasting disgrace upon you, and a perpetual dishonor which shall not be forgotten.’
  41 “Therefore behold, days are coming,” says the Lord, “when they will no longer say, ‘The Lord lives who brought the house of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 42 but, ‘The Lord lives who brought all the seed of Israel from the north, and from all the countries where He banished them, and restored them to this land.’ ”
Two Baskets of Figs
1 The Lord showed me two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord, after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon carried away captive Jeconiah king of Judah, the son of Jehoiakim, and the rulers, the craftsmen, the prisoners, and the wealthy men from Jerusalem, and brought them to Babylon. 2 One basket was full of very good figs, like the first figs that ripened. The other basket was full of very bad figs which no one could eat, because they were rotten. 3 Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I replied, “Good figs, very good figs, and also bad figs, figs too rotten to eat.”
4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘As these good figs, so will I acknowledge that for good things I settled the tribe of Judah in a far land, whom I sent from this place into the land of Chaldea. 6 For I will set My eyes on them for good things, and restore them to this land for good things. I will build them up, and not tear them down. I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7 Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord, and they shall be to Me as a people, and I will be to them as God. They shall return to Me with their whole heart.
8 ‘As for the bad figs, too rotten to eat’—surely thus says the Lord—‘I shall deliver them to Zedekiah the king of Judah, his nobles, and the remnant of Jerusalem, those left in this land, and those dwelling in Egypt. 9 I will cause them to be dispersed into all the kingdoms of the earth, and they will be for a disgrace, for a parable, for a hatred, and for a curse in every place where I drive them. 10 I will send famine, death, and the sword to them, until they come to an end in the land I gave to them.’ ”
Seventy Years of Disgrace
1 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim king of Judah, the son of Josiah, the word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, 2 which he spoke to all the people of Judah and all inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, 3 “In the thirteenth year of Josiah king of Judah, the son of Amos, even to this day, in the twenty-third year, I spoke to you early in the morning, saying, 4 ‘I sent My servants the prophets to you, sending them early in the morning (but you did not listen, nor did you incline your ear to hear), saying, 5 “Let each of you turn away from his evil way and evil practices, and dwell in the land I gave to you and your fathers from ages past and forever. 6 Do not go after foreign gods to serve and worship them, so you may not provoke Me with the works of your hands, to harm you.” 7 Yet you have not listened to Me.’ ”
8 Therefore thus says the Lord: “Because you have not believed My words, 9 behold, I shall even send a family from the north and lead them against this land, and against those living in it, and against all the nations round about her. I will make it desolate and give it up to destruction. I will render it a hissing and a perpetual disgrace. 10 I will destroy from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, and the fragrance of ointment and the light of the lamp. 11 All the land shall be for desolation, and for seventy years they shall serve among the Gentiles. 12 When the seventy years are fulfilled, I will take vengeance on that nation, and I will appoint them for perpetual destruction. 13 I will bring upon that land all My words I pronounced against it, and all things written in this book.”
  14 What Jeremiah prophesied against the nations of Elam:
15 Thus says the Lord: “Let the bow of Elam, the beginning of their power, be broken. 16 For I shall bring against Elam the four winds from the four extremities of heaven, and I will scatter them by all these winds. There will not be a nation that will not come there to drive out Elam. 17 I will terrify them before the enemies who seek their life. I will bring calamities upon them according to the wrath of My anger, and send My sword after them until I have utterly destroyed them. 18 Then I will set My throne in Elam, and from there send forth the king and his nobles. 19 It shall come to pass in the last days that I will bring back the captivity of Elam,” says the Lord. 20 This word concerning Elam came in the beginning of King Zedekiah’s reign.
1 Concerning Egypt, against the army of Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, who was by the River Euphrates in Carchemish and whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, king of Judah.
2 “Take up weapons and shields, and draw near for war. 3 Saddle the horses and mount up, you horsemen. Stand ready with your helmets, advance the spears, and put on your breastplates. 4 Why are they terrified and turn back? Because their mighty ones, surrounded on all sides, will be struck as they flee in panic, and not live,” says the Lord.
5 “Let not the swift flee. Let not the mighty man escape to the north. The forces alongside the Euphrates grow weak and fall. 6 Who is this that shall come up like a river, and like rivers flood their waters? 7 The waters of Egypt will come up like a river, for he said, ‘I will go up and cover the earth, and will destroy its inhabitants.’ 8 Mount the horses and prepare the chariots. Come forth, you warriors of Ethiopia, and you of Libya armed with weapons, and you Lydians, arise and bend the bow. 9 That shall be the day of the Lord our God, the day of vengeance to avenge His enemies. The sword of the Lord shall devour and be fully satisfied, drunken with their blood; for the Lord of Hosts has a sacrifice from the land of the north at the Euphrates. 10 Go up, Gilead, and take balm for the virgin daughter of Egypt. In vain you multiply your medicines, but they are of no benefit to you. 11 The nations heard your voice, and the land is filled with your cry; for warrior to warrior grows weak, and both fall together.”
12 What the Lord spoke by the hand of Jeremiah concerning the coming of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon to strike the land of Egypt.
13 “Declare in Migdol and proclaim in Memphis, and say, ‘Stand up and prepare yourselves, for the sword devours your bow.’ 14 Why did Apis flee from you? Your chosen calf did not remain, because the Lord utterly weakened him. 15 Your multitude grew weak and fell. Each said to his neighbor, ‘Let us arise and return to our people and to the land of our nativity, from the presence of the Greek sword.’ 16 They cried there, ‘Pharaoh is but a noise. He has passed by the appointed time.’ 17 As I live,” says the Lord God, “Tabor is among the mountains and Carmel is by the sea, he shall come. 18 O daughter of Egypt who dwell at home, prepare for yourself goods for captivity, for Memphis shall be for destruction, and be called, ‘Woe!’ because no one will dwell in it.
19 “Egypt is a heifer made beautiful; a rage from the north comes against her. 20 Her mercenaries in her midst are as fatted calves, well fed by her, because with one accord they also turned and fled. They did not stand, for the day of destruction and the time of their retribution came upon them. 21 Their voice is like that of a hissing serpent, for they will proceed upon the sand. They shall come against her with axes, as if cutting wood. 22 They shall cut down her oak groves,” says the Lord God, “for their number cannot at all be conjectured, since they abound more than locust trees.
  23 “The daughter of Egypt is put to shame. She is delivered into the hands of people from the north. 24 Behold, I will avenge Ammon her son against Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 25 But do not fear, My servant Jacob, neither be terrified, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, and be at ease, and sleep; for there will be no one to trouble him. 26 Do not fear, O Jacob, My servant,” says the Lord, “for I am with you. I will bring an end to every nation where I drove you, but I will not cause you to cease. However, I will chasten you in the way of judgment, and not leave you wholly unpunished.”

Psalm 114

1 Alleluia.
I have loved, because the Lord
Shall hear the voice of my supplication;
2 For He inclined His ear to me,
And in my days I shall call upon Him.
3 The pains of death surrounded me;
The dangers of Hades found me;
I found affliction and grief.
4 Then I called upon the Lord’s name,
“O Lord, save my soul.”
5 The Lord is merciful and righteous,
And our God has mercy.
6 The Lord is He who watches over children;
I was humbled, and He saved me.
7 Return, O my soul, to your rest,
Because the Lord showed you kindness;
8 For He delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from slipping.
9 I shall be well pleasing before the Lord in the land of the living.

Proverbs 24:35–39

35 A man without discernment is like a field,
And a man in need of discernment is like a vineyard;
36 If you leave it alone, it will remain dry and barren,
Altogether covered with grass and forsaken,
And its stone walls will be razed to the ground.
37 Afterward, I repented;
I observed that I might choose instruction.
38 I doze a little, and I sleep a little,
And I fold my arms across my chest a little.
39 If you do this, your poverty shall go before you,
And want, like a strong runner.

Hebrews 12:28-13:25

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Concluding Moral Directions
1 Let brotherly love continue.
2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.
3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
6 So we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
Concluding Religious Directions
7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.
11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp.
12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.
15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
Prayer Requested
18 Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably.
19 But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
Benediction, Final Exhortation, Farewell
20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
22 And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words.
  23 Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly.
24 Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.
25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

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