Day 325 – Jeremiah 29-31; Psalm 117:1–16; Proverbs 25:6–11; James 2

Jeremiah 29-31

1 Against the Philistines:
2 Thus says the Lord: “Behold, waters come up from the north and shall be a flooding torrent, which will flood the land, the entire city, and those dwelling in it. The men will cry out, and all those inhabiting the land will wail loudly, 3 because of the sound of his attack, the hoofs of his horses, and the rumblings of his chariots, at the noise of his wheels. Because of the weakness of their hands, the fathers did not return to their sons, 4 to destroy all the Philistines in the day to come. I shall utterly destroy Tyre and Sidon and all the rest of their allies, because the Lord will put to death the remaining people of the islands. 5 Baldness is come upon Gaza, and Ashkelon is cast out, along with the rest of the Enakim. 6 How long will you strike, O sword of the Lord? How long will it be until you rest? Return to your sheath, rest and be exalted. 7 How shall it be quiet, for the Lord has given it a commission against Ashkelon and the regions of the seacoast, to be stirred up against the remaining countries?”
1 Against Edom:
Thus says the Lord: “Wisdom is no longer in Teman. Counsel perished from the intelligent; their wisdom is gone. 2 Their place is deceived. Those dwelling in Dedan dig deep for a place to dwell, for you caused troubles. So I brought troubles upon him in the time I visited him. 3 For those who gather grapes shall come to you, and they will not leave you a remnant. Like thieves by night, they will lay their hands upon your possessions. 4 For I pulled down Esau and uncovered their secret places. They shall be unable to hide themselves. They perished, each by the hand of his brother and his neighbor, 5 and it is not possible for the orphan to remain alive; but I shall live, and the widows will trust in Me.”
6 For thus says the Lord: “Those not appointed to drink the cup drank it, and you shall not remain unpunished, nor without blame, for you will certainly drink it.” 7 For the Lord says, “I swore by Myself that you shall become impassable and a disgrace, and you shall become a curse in her midst. All her cities shall be a perpetual desert.” 8 I heard a report from the Lord, and He sent messengers to the nations, saying, “Assemble yourselves and come against her. Rise up for war. 9 I made you small among nations, contemptible among men. 10 Your insolence has risen up against you. The rashness of your heart has broken up the holes of the rocks, and has seized the strength of the lofty hill. For like an eagle he has set his nest on high, but from there I will bring you down. 11 Edom shall be inaccessible, and everyone who passes by will hiss at it.
  12 “As Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown, along with their sojourners,” says the Lord Almighty, “so no man shall sit there, nor shall any son of man dwell there. 13 Behold, one will come up like a lion from the midst of the Jordan to the place of Aitham, for I will quickly drive them out from it. Do you set young men against her? For who is like Me? Who will oppose Me? Who is this shepherd who will stand against Me?”
14 Therefore hear the counsel of the Lord which He purposed against Edom, and His plan which He calculated against the inhabitants of Teman. Surely the least of the sheep are swept away; surely their dwelling place shall be laid waste for them. 15 For at the sound of their fall the earth shook, and your outcry was heard in the sea. 16 Behold, He shall look upon her as an eagle, and spread forth His wings over her stronghold. In that day, the heart of the strong men of Edom shall be as the heart of a woman with pains of childbirth.
17 Against the sons of Ammon:
Thus says the Lord: “Are there no sons in Israel? Or have they no one to succeed them? Why then did Malcom receive Gad, and why will their people dwell in their cities? 18 Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will cause an uproar of war to be heard in Rabbah. They shall be impassable and in utter ruin. Her altars shall burn with fire. Then Israel shall take possession of his dominion. 19 Wail loudly, O Heshbon, for Gai has perished. Cry out, you daughters of Rabbah, and gird yourselves with sackcloth. Be frenzied and lament over Malcom, for he shall go into captivity, together with his priests and rulers. 20 Why, O haughty daughter, do you rejoice exceedingly in the plains of Enakim? You who trusted in your own treasures, saying, ‘Who shall come against me?’ 21 Behold, I will bring fear upon you from all who live around you. Each of you shall be scattered before his face, and there will be no one to gather you.”
22 Against Kedar, queen of the court, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon struck:
Thus says the Lord: “Arise, go up to Kedar, and fill the sons of Kedem. 23 They will seize their tents and their sheep. They shall take their garments, all their vessels, and their camels for themselves. Summon destruction against them from every side. 24 Flee! Dig very deep for a dwelling place, you who sit in the court, for the king of Babylon counsels against you and prepares a plan against you.
25 “Rise up and go against a nation settled and dwelling at ease, who have neither gates, nor pins and bars, and who dwell alone. 26 Their camels shall be for booty, and the multitude of their cattle for destruction. I will scatter them as chaff with every wind, having their hair cut about their foreheads. I will bring their overthrow from every side. 27 The court shall be a resting place for sparrows and untrodden forever. No man shall settle there, nor shall a son of man dwell in it,” says the Lord.
28 Against Damascus:
“Hamath and Arpad are put to shame, for they heard the evil report. They are surprised. They are so angry they are unable to rest. 29 Damascus is utterly weakened. She is put to flight. Trembling has seized her. 30 How has she not abandoned My city in their love for the village? 31 Therefore the young men shall fall in your streets, and all your warriors shall fall. 32 For I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall engulf the streets of Ben-Hadad,” says the Lord.
  ​1 Against Moab:
Thus says the Lord: “Woe to Nebo, for they are undone. Kirjathaim is taken. Amath is dishonored in its shame and defeated. 2 There is no longer any healing for Moab, nor insolence in Heshbon. He has planned evils against her. We cut her off from being a nation, and she will cease completely. A sword will go after you, 3 for a voice cries out of Horonaim, death and great destruction. 4 Moab is crushed; proclaim the destruction to Zogora. 5 For Luhith is filled with weeping. One will go up weeping on the road of Horonaim. You have heard a cry of destruction.
6 “Flee and save your lives, for you shall be like a wild donkey in the desert! 7 Since you trusted in your strongholds, therefore you will be taken, and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity, together with his priests and rulers. 8 Destruction shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape. The valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be utterly destroyed, as the Lord said. 9 Set a sign on Moab, for she shall be set ablaze; and all her cities shall be inaccessible. From what place shall they come to inhabit her?
10 “Cursed is the man who does the work of the Lord carelessly, keeping back his sword from blood. 11 Moab has been at ease from his youth and trusted in his glory. He has not been poured out from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into exile. Therefore his taste is established within himself, and the smell of it does not cease.
12 “Therefore behold, days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will send him those who put others to flight, and they will put him to flight. They shall thrash his possessions and cut up his horns. 13 Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their hope, having trusted in them. 14 How will you say, ‘We are strong, a people skilled in war’? 15 Moab, his city, is ruined, and his choice young men have gone down to the slaughter. 16 The day of Moab is near at hand, and the evil he did moves swiftly to judgment. 17 All you who surround him, move against him. All you who know his name, say, ‘How is the renowned staff broken, the rod of might?’
18 “Come down from your glory, and sit down in a damp place. Be utterly destroyed, O Dibon, because Moab is ruined. One has gone up against you to ravage your stronghold. 19 You that sit in Aroer, stand by the road and look. Ask him who flees and the one who escapes, and say, ‘What happened?’ 20 Moab is put to shame, for he is broken. Wail and cry! Proclaim in Arnon that Moab is ruined. 21 Judgment comes upon the land of Misor, and upon Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath, 22 and upon Dibon, Nebo and the house of Diblathaim, 23 and upon Kirjathaim and the houses of Gamul and Meon, 24 and upon Kerioth and Bozrah, and the houses of Moab, those far and near.
25 “The horn of Moab is crushed, and his arm is broken. 26 Make him drunk, for he exalted himself against the Lord. Moab shall clap with his hand, but he himself will be a laughingstock. 27 For surely, was not Israel a laughingstock to you? Was he not found to be one of your stolen things, because you fought against him? 28 The inhabitants of Moab have abandoned their cities and now dwell in the rocks. They have become like doves nestling in the rocks at the mouth of a cave. 29 I heard about the insolence of Moab, how he greatly increased his insolence and arrogance, and exalted his heart. 30 But I know his works, how they are not yet sufficient for him, to satisfy his haughtiness.
31 “Therefore, cry aloud on all sides against Moab. Cry out against the men of Kirheres, a dried-up place. 32 I mourn deeply for you, O vine of Sibmah, as with the weeping of Jazer. Your branches reached across the sea and touched Jazer. Destruction came upon your fruit and upon those who gather your grapes. 33 Joyfulness and gladness are swept away from the land of Moab, for there is no wine in your winepresses. In the morning, there are none to trample the grapes, neither in the evening any to shout at the joy of harvest. 34 From the crying of Heshbon even to Elealeh, and from Zogor as far as Horonaim and Aglath-Salisia, their cities uttered their voice, for the water of Nimrim shall be dried up.
  35 “I will destroy Moab,” says the Lord, “as he comes up to the altar and burns incense to his gods. 36 Therefore, the heart of Moab shall make a humming noise like flutes. My heart will hum like a flute for the men of Kirheres, for whatever each man has gained has perished from him. 37 They will shave every head in every place, and every beard will be shaved. All hands will beat their chests, and sackcloth shall be over every back. 38 There will be mourning in all the houses of Moab and on his streets, for I have broken Moab in pieces,” says the Lord, “like a useless vessel. 39 How did Moab change? How did he turn about? Moab is put to shame, and he became a laughingstock and an object of anger to all round about him.”
40 For thus says the Lord: 41 “Kerioth is taken, and the strongholds are seized. 42 Moab shall perish from being a multitude, because he exalted himself against the Lord. 43 A snare, fear, and a pit are upon you, O inhabitant of Moab. 44 He who flees before the fear shall fall into the pit, and he who gets out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For I will bring these things upon Moab in the year of his visitation.”

Psalm 117:1–16

1 Alleluia.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His mercy endures forever.
2 Let the house of Israel say that He is good,
For His mercy endures forever.
3 Let the house of Aaron say that He is good,
For His mercy endures forever.
4 Let all who fear the Lord say that He is good,
For His mercy endures forever.
5 In affliction I called upon the Lord,
And He heard me in a broad place.
6 The Lord is my helper;
I shall not be afraid of what man will do to me.
7 The Lord is my helper;
I shall look upon my enemies.
8 It is good to trust in the Lord
Rather than to trust in man;
9 It is good to hope in the Lord
Rather than to hope in rulers.
10 All the nations surrounded me,
But in the name of the Lord I defended myself against them;
11 They circled and surrounded me,
But in the name of the Lord I defended myself against them;
12 They surrounded me like bees around a honeycomb,
And they were inflamed like fire in a thorn bush;
But in the name of the Lord I defended myself against them.
13 I was shoved and disheartened, that I might fall,
But the Lord took hold of me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my song,
And He became my salvation.
15 The sound of exceeding joy and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the Lord worked its power;
16 The right hand of the Lord exalted me;
The right hand of the Lord worked its power.

Proverbs 25:6–11

6 Do not brag on yourself in the presence of the king,
Neither stand in the places of princes;
7 For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up to me,”
Than for you to be humbled in the presence of a prince.
8 Speak the things your eyes see.
9 Do not enter into a quarrel quickly,
That you may not be sorry in the end.
10 When your friend reproaches you,
Retreat and do not despise him,
11 Lest your friend continue to reproach you,
And your quarrel and enmity shall not depart,
But be equal to death for you.

James 2

1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.
2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes,
3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,”
4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?
7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;
9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Faith Without Works Is Dead
(cf. Gen. 22; Josh. 2)
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
  18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.
24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

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