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Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Silver must be purified seven times before it is perfectly pure. Dross and impurities lie hidden within the silver, and only heat can drive them out.

God knows that our imperfections, too, can only be removed by heat. Paul prayed that none of the Thessalonians would be unsettled by such trials. He told them, "But, of course, you know that such troubles are going to happen to us Christians" (1 Thessalonians 3:3).

Satan, our eternal enemy, seeks to stop us (1 Thessalonians 2:18) and tempt us (3:5) in an effort to steal our faith. But our faith is like the silver being refined. It is that precious thing that keeps us close to God during a trial and keeps us moving forward when Satan is trying to drive us backward.

Timothy's return and good report led Paul to say, "We have been greatly comforted, dear brothers and sisters, in all of our own crushing troubles and suffering, because you have remained strong in your faith" (1 Thessalonians 3:7). Every trial you encounter and walk through successfully only purifies your faith and refines it to a higher quality.

Stay in the fire, Christian. God knows that one day you will be "strong, blameless and holy when you stand before God our Father on that day when our Lord Jesus comes with all those who belong to him" (v. 13).

Jeremiah 14:11-16:15

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not prayS Ex 32:10; S 1Sa 2:25 for the well-being of this people.12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry;S Dt 1:45; S 1Sa 8:18; S Jer 11:11 though they offer burnt offeringsLev 1:1-17; Jer 7:21 and grain offerings,S Lev 2:1-16 I will not acceptAm 5:22 them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword,S Isa 51:19; S Jer 9:16 famineJer 15:2; 16:4 and plague.”Jer 21:6; 27:8, 13; 32:24; 34:17; Eze 14:21

13 But I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophetsDt 18:22; Jer 27:14; 37:19 keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine.S Jer 5:12 Indeed, I will give you lasting peaceS Isa 30:10; S Jer 4:10 in this place.’”

14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying liesS Jer 5:1; 23:25; 27:14; Eze 13:2 in my name. I have not sentJer 23:21, 32; 29:31; Eze 13:6 them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions,Jer 23:16; La 2:9 divinations,Eze 12:24 idolatriesOr visions, worthless divinations and the delusions of their own minds.15 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perishJer 20:6; Eze 14:9 by sword and famine.Jer 5:12-13; 16:4; La 1:1916 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to buryPs 79:3 them, their wives, their sons and their daughters.S Jer 7:33 I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.S Pr 1:31; S Jer 17:10

17 “Speak this word to them:

“‘Let my eyes overflow with tearsS Ps 119:136

night and day without ceasing;

for the VirginS 2Ki 19:21; S Isa 23:12 Daughter, my people,

has suffered a grievous wound,

a crushing blow.S Jer 8:21

18 If I go into the country,

I see those slain by the sword;

if I go into the city,

I see the ravages of famine.Eze 7:15

Both prophet and priest

have gone to a land they know not.S 2Ch 36:10; S Jer 13:17’”

19 Have you rejected Judah completely?Jer 7:29

Do you despise Zion?

Why have you afflicted us

so that we cannot be healed?S Isa 1:6; Jer 30:12-13

We hoped for peace

but no good has come,

for a time of healing

but there is only terror.S Job 19:8; S Jer 8:15

20 We acknowledgeS Jer 3:13 our wickedness, Lord,

and the guilt of our ancestors;S Lev 26:40; S 1Ki 8:47; S Ezr 9:6

we have indeed sinnedS Jdg 10:10; Da 9:7-8 against you.

21 For the sake of your namever 7; S Jos 7:9 do not despise us;

do not dishonor your glorious throne.Isa 62:7; Jer 3:17

Remember your covenantS Ex 2:24 with us

and do not break it.

22 Do any of the worthless idolsS Isa 41:24; S 44:10; Jer 10:15; 16:19; Hab 2:18 of the nations bring rain?S 1Ki 8:36; S Ps 135:7

Do the skies themselves send down showers?

No, it is you, Lord our God.

Therefore our hope is in you,

for you are the one who does all this.S Isa 43:10

15 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if MosesS Ex 32:11; Nu 14:13-20 and SamuelS 1Sa 1:20; S 7:8 were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people.S 1Sa 2:25; S Jer 7:16 Send them away from my presence!S 2Ki 17:20; Jer 16:13 Let them go!And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘Those destined for death, to death;

those for the sword, to the sword;Jer 42:22; 43:11; 44:13

those for starvation, to starvation;S Dt 28:26; S Jer 14:12; La 4:9

those for captivity, to captivity.’Eze 12:11; Rev 13:10

“I will send four kinds of destroyersS Nu 33:4 against them,” declares the Lord, “the swordS Lev 26:25 to kill and the dogsS 1Ki 21:19; S 2Ki 9:36 to drag away and the birdsS Dt 28:26 and the wild animals to devour and destroy.S Lev 26:22; Eze 14:21; 33:27I will make them abhorrentJer 24:9; 29:18; 34:17 to all the kingdoms of the earthS Dt 28:25; S Job 17:6 because of what ManassehS 2Ki 21:2; 23:26-27 son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem.

“Who will have pityIsa 27:11; 51:19; S Jer 13:14; 16:13; 21:7; Na 3:7 on you, Jerusalem?

Who will mourn for you?

Who will stop to ask how you are?

You have rejectedS Dt 32:15; Jer 6:19 me,” declares the Lord.

“You keep on backsliding.

So I will reach outIsa 31:3; Zep 1:4 and destroy you;

I am tired of holding back.S Jer 7:20; Am 7:8

I will winnowS Isa 41:16 them with a winnowing fork

at the city gates of the land.

I will bring bereavementIsa 3:26 and destruction on my people,Jer 18:21

for they have not changed their ways.S 2Ch 28:22

I will make their widowsS Isa 47:9 more numerous

than the sand of the sea.

At midday I will bring a destroyerS Jer 4:7; S 6:4

against the mothers of their young men;

suddenly I will bring down on them

anguish and terror.S Job 18:11

The mother of seven will grow faint1Sa 2:5

and breathe her last.S Job 8:13

Her sun will set while it is still day;

she will be disgracedJer 7:19 and humiliated.

I will put the survivors to the swordJer 21:7; 25:31

before their enemies,”2Ki 25:7; Jer 19:7

declares the Lord.

10 Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth,S Job 3:1; S 10:18-19

a man with whom the whole land strives and contends!Jer 1:19

I have neither lentS Lev 25:36; Ne 5:1-12 nor borrowed,

yet everyone cursesS Jer 6:10 me.

11 The Lord said,

“Surely I will deliver youver 21; Jer 40:4 for a good purpose;

surely I will make your enemies pleadJer 21:1-2; 37:3; 42:1-3 with you

in times of disaster and times of distress.

12 “Can a man break iron—

iron from the northS Dt 28:48; Jer 28:14; La 1:14; Hos 10:11—or bronze?

13 “Your wealthS 2Ki 25:15 and your treasures

I will give as plunder,S 2Ki 24:13; Eze 38:12-13 without charge,S Ps 44:12

because of all your sins

throughout your country.Jer 17:3

14 I will enslave you to your enemies

inSome Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Syriac (see also 17:4); most Hebrew manuscripts I will cause your enemies to bring you / into a land you do not know,S Dt 28:36; S Jer 5:19

for my anger will kindle a fireS Ps 21:9

that will burn against you.”

15 Lord, you understand;

remember me and care for me.

Avenge me on my persecutors.Jdg 16:28; S Ps 119:84

You are long-sufferingS Ex 34:6—do not take me away;

think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.Ps 44:22; 69:7-9; S Jer 6:10

16 When your words came, I ateEze 2:8; 3:3; Rev 10:10 them;

they were my joy and my heart’s delight,S Job 15:11; Ps 119:72, 103

for I bear your name,S Isa 43:7; S Jer 14:9

Lord God Almighty.

17 I never satRu 3:3; Ps 1:1; 26:4-5; Jer 16:8 in the company of revelers,

never made merry with them;

I sat alone because your handS 2Ki 3:15 was on me

and you had filled me with indignation.

18 Why is my pain unending

and my wound grievous and incurable?S Job 6:4; S Jer 10:19; 30:12; Mic 1:9

You are to me like a deceptive brook,

like a spring that fails.S Job 6:15; S Ps 9:10

19 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“If you repent, I will restore you

that you may serveZec 3:7 me;

if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,

you will be my spokesman.S Ex 4:16

Let this people turn to you,

but you must not turn to them.

20 I will make you a wallS Isa 50:7 to this people,

a fortified wall of bronze;

they will fight against you

but will not overcomeS Ps 129:2 you,

for I am with you

to rescue and save you,”S Jer 1:8; 20:11; 42:11; Eze 3:8

declares the Lord.

21 “I will saveS Jer 1:8 you from the hands of the wickedS Ps 97:10

and deliverJer 50:34 you from the grasp of the cruel.”S Ge 48:16

Day of Disaster

16 Then the word of the Lord came to me:“You must not marryMt 19:12; 1Co 7:26-27 and have sons or daughters in this place.”For this is what the Lord says about the sons and daughters born in this land and about the women who are their mothers and the men who are their fathers:Jer 6:21“They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buriedver 6; Jer 25:33 but will be like dung lying on the ground.S Jer 9:22 They will perish by sword and famine,S Jer 14:15 and their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.”S Dt 28:26; Ps 79:1-3; S Jer 14:12; 19:7

For this is what the Lord says: “Do not enter a house where there is a funeral meal; do not go to mourn or show sympathy, because I have withdrawn my blessing, my love and my pityS Jer 15:5 from this people,” declares the Lord.“Both high and low will die in this land.Jer 9:21; Eze 9:5-6 They will not be buried or mourned,S ver 4 and no one will cutS Lev 19:28 themselves or shaveS Lev 21:5; S Job 1:20 their head for the dead.No one will offer foodS 2Sa 3:35 to comfort those who mournJer 22:10; Eze 24:17; Hos 9:4 for the dead—not even for a father or a mother—nor will anyone give them a drink to consoleLa 1:9, 16 them.

“And do not enter a house where there is feasting and sit down to eat and drink.S Ex 32:6; S Ecc 7:2-4; S Jer 15:17For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Before your eyes and in your days I will bring an end to the soundsS Isa 24:8; S 51:3; Eze 26:13; Am 6:4-7 of joy and gladness and to the voices of brideS Ps 78:63 and bridegroom in this place.Isa 22:12-14; Rev 18:23

10 “When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?’S Dt 29:24; Jer 5:1911 then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshipedS Job 31:27 them. They forsook me and did not keep my law.Dt 29:25-26; S 1Ki 9:9; Ps 106:35-4312 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors.S Ex 32:8; S Jer 7:26; Eze 20:30; Am 2:4 See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil heartsS Ecc 9:3; S Jer 3:17 instead of obeying me.13 So I will throw you out of this landS 2Ch 7:20 into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known,S Dt 28:36; S Jer 5:19 and there you will serve other godsS Dt 4:28; S 1Ki 9:9 day and night, for I will show you no favor.’S Jer 15:5

14 “However, the days are coming,”Jer 29:10; 30:3; 31:27, 38 declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’S Dt 15:1515 but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the northS Jer 3:18 and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’S Isa 11:11; Jer 23:8 For I will restorePs 53:6; S Isa 11:12; Jer 30:3; 32:44; Eze 38:14; Joel 3:1 them to the land I gave their ancestors.S Dt 30:3; S Isa 14:1

The Lord Forbids Jeremiah to Intercede

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for these people anymore.12 When they fast, I will pay no attention. When they present their burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease.”

13 Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, their prophets are telling them, ‘All is well—no war or famine will come. The Lord will surely send you peace.’”

14 Then the Lord said, “These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts.15 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine!16 As for the people to whom they prophesy—their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and war. There will be no one left to bury them. Husbands, wives, sons, and daughters—all will be gone. For I will pour out their own wickedness on them.17 Now, Jeremiah, say this to them:

“Night and day my eyes overflow with tears.

I cannot stop weeping,

for my virgin daughter—my precious people—

has been struck down

and lies mortally wounded.

18 If I go out into the fields,

I see the bodies of people slaughtered by the enemy.

If I walk the city streets,

I see people who have died of starvation.

The prophets and priests continue with their work,

but they don’t know what they’re doing.”

A Prayer for Healing

19 Lord, have you completely rejected Judah?

Do you really hate Jerusalem?Hebrew Zion?

Why have you wounded us past all hope of healing?

We hoped for peace, but no peace came.

We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.

20 Lord, we confess our wickedness

and that of our ancestors, too.

We all have sinned against you.

21 For the sake of your reputation, Lord, do not abandon us.

Do not disgrace your own glorious throne.

Please remember us,

and do not break your covenant with us.

22 Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain?

Does it fall from the sky by itself?

No, you are the one, O Lord our God!

Only you can do such things.

So we will wait for you to help us.

Judah’s Inevitable Doom

15 Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn’t help them. Away with them! Get them out of my sight!And if they say to you, ‘But where can we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘Those who are destined for death, to death;

those who are destined for war, to war;

those who are destined for famine, to famine;

those who are destined for captivity, to captivity.’

“I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” says the Lord. “I will send the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the vultures to devour, and the wild animals to finish up what is left.Because of the wicked things Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem, I will make my people an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.

“Who will feel sorry for you, Jerusalem?

Who will weep for you?

Who will even bother to ask how you are?

You have abandoned me

and turned your back on me,”

says the Lord.

“Therefore, I will raise my fist to destroy you.

I am tired of always giving you another chance.

I will winnow you like grain at the gates of your cities

and take away the children you hold dear.

I will destroy my own people,

because they refuse to change their evil ways.

There will be more widows

than the grains of sand on the seashore.

At noontime I will bring a destroyer

against the mothers of young men.

I will cause anguish and terror

to come upon them suddenly.

The mother of seven grows faint and gasps for breath;

her sun has gone down while it is still day.

She sits childless now,

disgraced and humiliated.

And I will hand over those who are left

to be killed by the enemy.

I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

10 Then I said,

“What sorrow is mine, my mother.

Oh, that I had died at birth!

I am hated everywhere I go.

I am neither a lender who threatens to foreclose

nor a borrower who refuses to pay—

yet they all curse me.”

11 The Lord replied,

“I will take care of you, Jeremiah.

Your enemies will ask you to plead on their behalf

in times of trouble and distress.

12 Can a man break a bar of iron from the north,

or a bar of bronze?

13 At no cost to them,

I will hand over your wealth and treasures

as plunder to your enemies,

for sin runs rampant in your land.

14 I will tell your enemies to take you

as captives to a foreign land.

For my anger blazes like a fire

that will burn forever.As in some Hebrew manuscripts (see also 17:4); most Hebrew manuscripts read will burn against you.

15 Then I said,

Lord, you know what’s happening to me.

Please step in and help me. Punish my persecutors!

Please give me time; don’t let me die young.

It’s for your sake that I am suffering.

16 When I discovered your words, I devoured them.

They are my joy and my heart’s delight,

for I bear your name,

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.

17 I never joined the people in their merry feasts.

I sat alone because your hand was on me.

I was filled with indignation at their sins.

18 Why then does my suffering continue?

Why is my wound so incurable?

Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook,

like a spring that has gone dry.”

19 This is how the Lord responds:

“If you return to me, I will restore you

so you can continue to serve me.

If you speak good words rather than worthless ones,

you will be my spokesman.

You must influence them;

do not let them influence you!

20 They will fight against you like an attacking army,

but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze.

They will not conquer you,

for I am with you to protect and rescue you.

I, the Lord, have spoken!

21 Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men.

I will rescue you from their cruel hands.”

Jeremiah Forbidden to Marry

16 The Lord gave me another message. He said,“Do not get married or have children in this place.For this is what the Lord says about the children born here in this city and about their mothers and fathers:They will die from terrible diseases. No one will mourn for them or bury them, and they will lie scattered on the ground like manure. They will die from war and famine, and their bodies will be food for the vultures and wild animals.”

Judah’s Coming Punishment

This is what the Lord says: “Do not go to funerals to mourn and show sympathy for these people, for I have removed my protection and peace from them. I have taken away my unfailing love and my mercy.Both the great and the lowly will die in this land. No one will bury them or mourn for them. Their friends will not cut themselves in sorrow or shave their heads in sadness.No one will offer a meal to comfort those who mourn for the dead—not even at the death of a mother or father. No one will send a cup of wine to console them.

“And do not go to their feasts and parties. Do not eat and drink with them at all.For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: In your own lifetime, before your very eyes, I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in this land. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard.

10 “When you tell the people all these things, they will ask, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such terrible things against us? What have we done to deserve such treatment? What is our sin against the Lord our God?’

11 “Then you will give them the Lord’s reply: ‘It is because your ancestors were unfaithful to me. They worshiped other gods and served them. They abandoned me and did not obey my word.12 And you are even worse than your ancestors! You stubbornly follow your own evil desires and refuse to listen to me.13 So I will throw you out of this land and send you into a foreign land where you and your ancestors have never been. There you can worship idols day and night—and I will grant you no favors!’

Hope despite the Disaster

14 “But the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when people who are taking an oath will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’15 Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.’ For I will bring them back to this land that I gave their ancestors.

11 Then said the Lord unto me, Pray not for this people for their good.

12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.

13 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.

14 Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

15 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.

16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.

17 Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.

18 If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine! yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not.

19 Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul lothed Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble!

20 We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.

21 Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.

22 Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O Lord our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.

15 Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.

And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the Lord; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.

And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the Lord: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy.

And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem.

For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest?

Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.

And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people since they return not from their ways.

Their widows are increased to me above the sand of the seas: I have brought upon them against the mother of the young men a spoiler at noonday: I have caused him to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city.

She that hath borne seven languisheth: she hath given up the ghost; her sun is gone down while it was yet day: she hath been ashamed and confounded: and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, saith the Lord.

10 Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.

11 The Lord said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.

12 Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?

13 Thy substance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil without price, and that for all thy sins, even in all thy borders.

14 And I will make thee to pass with thine enemies into a land which thou knowest not: for a fire is kindled in mine anger, which shall burn upon you.

15 O Lord, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke.

16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.

17 I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.

18 Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?

19 Therefore thus saith the Lord, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.

20 And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the Lord.

21 And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.

16 The word of the Lord came also unto me, saying,

Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place.

For thus saith the Lord concerning the sons and concerning the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begat them in this land;

They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.

For thus saith the Lord, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the Lord, even lovingkindness and mercies.

Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them:

Neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother.

Thou shalt not also go into the house of feasting, to sit with them to eat and to drink.

For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.

10 And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?

11 Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the Lord, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law;

12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:

13 Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.

14 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

15 But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.

1 Thessalonians 2:9-3:13

Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we workedS Ac 18:3 night and day in order not to be a burden to anyoneS 2Co 11:9; 2Th 3:8 while we preached the gospel of God to you.10 You are witnesses,1Th 1:5 and so is God,ver 5; S Ro 1:9 of how holy,2Co 1:12 righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,ver 7; 1Co 4:14; Gal 4:19; S 1Ti 1:2; Phm 10; S 1Jn 2:112 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthyS Eph 4:1 of God, who callsS Ro 8:28 you into his kingdom and glory.

13 And we also thank God continually1Th 1:2; S Ro 1:8 because, when you received the word of God,S Heb 4:12 which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators1Th 1:6 of God’s churches in Judea,Gal 1:22 which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own peopleAc 17:5; 2Th 1:4 the same things those churches suffered from the Jews15 who killed the Lord JesusLk 24:20; Ac 2:23 and the prophetsS Mt 5:12 and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the GentilesAc 13:45, 50; 17:5; S 20:3; 21:27; 24:9 so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit.Mt 23:32 The wrath of God has come upon them at last.Or them fully

Paul’s Longing to See the Thessalonians

17 But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought),1Co 5:3; Col 2:5 out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.1Th 3:1018 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but SatanS Mt 4:10 blocked our way.Ro 1:13; 15:2219 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crownIsa 62:3; Php 4:1 in which we will glory2Co 1:14 in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?S Mt 16:27; S Lk 17:30; S 1Co 1:7; 4:5; 1Th 3:13; 2Th 1:8-10; 1Pe 1:7; 1Jn 2:28; S Rev 1:7 Is it not you?20 Indeed, you are our glory2Co 1:14 and joy.

So when we could stand it no longer,ver 5 we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens.S Ac 17:15We sent Timothy,S Ac 16:1 who is our brother and co-workerS 1Co 3:9 in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ,S 2Co 2:12 to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,so that no one would be unsettled by these trials.Mk 4:17; Jn 16:33; Ro 5:3; 2Co 1:4; 4:17; 2Ti 3:12 For you know quite well that we are destined for them.S Ac 9:16; 14:22In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.1Th 2:14For this reason, when I could stand it no longer,ver 1 I sent to find out about your faith.ver 2 I was afraid that in some way the tempterMt 4:3 had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.Gal 2:2; Php 2:16

Timothy’s Encouraging Report

But TimothyS Ac 16:1 has just now come to us from youAc 18:5 and has brought good news about your faith and love.1Th 1:3 He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.1Th 2:17, 18Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.For now we really live, since you are standing firmS 1Co 16:13 in the Lord.How can we thank God enough for you1Th 1:2 in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?1Th 2:19, 2010 Night and day we pray2Ti 1:3 most earnestly that we may see you again1Th 2:17 and supply what is lacking in your faith.

11 Now may our God and Fatherver 13; S Php 4:20 himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you.12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each otherPhp 1:9; 1Th 4:9, 10; 2Th 1:3 and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blamelessPs 15:2; 1Co 1:8; Php 2:15; 1Th 5:23; 1Ti 6:14; 2Pe 3:14 and holy in the presence of our God and Fatherver 11; S Php 4:20 when our Lord Jesus comesS 1Th 2:19 with all his holy ones.Mt 25:31; 2Th 1:7

Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you.10 You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers.11 And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children.12 We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory.

13 Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.

14 And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God’s churches in Judea who, because of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their own people, the Jews.15 For some of the Jews killed the prophets, and some even killed the Lord Jesus. Now they have persecuted us, too. They fail to please God and work against all humanity16 as they try to keep us from preaching the Good News of salvation to the Gentiles. By doing this, they continue to pile up their sins. But the anger of God has caught up with them at last.

Timothy’s Good Report about the Church

17 Dear brothers and sisters, after we were separated from you for a little while (though our hearts never left you), we tried very hard to come back because of our intense longing to see you again.18 We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us.19 After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you!20 Yes, you are our pride and joy.

Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in Athens,and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-workerOther manuscripts read and God’s servant; still others read and a co-worker, or and a servant and co-worker for God, or and God’s servant and our co-worker. in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith,and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles.Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come—and they did, as you well know.That is why, when I could bear it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out whether your faith was still strong. I was afraid that the tempter had gotten the best of you and that our work had been useless.

But now Timothy has just returned, bringing us good news about your faith and love. He reports that you always remember our visit with joy and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you.So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters,Greek brothers. because you have remained strong in your faith.It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord.

How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence.10 Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith.

11 May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon.12 And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.13 May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.

For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:

16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.

18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

20 For ye are our glory and joy.

Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;

And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.

But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:

Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:

For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;

10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Psalm 80:1-19

Psalm 80In Hebrew texts 80:1-19 is numbered 80:2-20.

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant.” Of Asaph. A psalm.

Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,

you who lead Joseph like a flock.Ps 77:20

You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,S Ex 25:22

shine forthbefore Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.Nu 2:18-24

AwakenS Ps 35:23 your might;

come and save us.Ps 54:1; 69:1; 71:2; 109:26; 116:4; 119:94

RestoreS Ps 71:20; 85:4; Jer 31:18; La 5:21 us,S Nu 6:25 O God;

make your face shine on us,

that we may be saved.ver 7, 19

How long,S Ps 74:10 Lord God Almighty,

will your anger smolderS Dt 29:20

against the prayers of your people?

You have fed them with the bread of tears;S Job 3:24

you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.Isa 30:20

You have made us an object of derisionProbable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text contention to our neighbors,

and our enemies mock us.S Ps 79:4

Restore us, God Almighty;

make your face shine on us,

that we may be saved.ver 3

You transplanted a vineIsa 5:1-2; Jer 2:21; Mt 21:33-41 from Egypt;

you drove outEx 23:28-30; S Jos 13:6; Ac 7:45 the nations and plantedS Ex 15:17 it.

You cleared the ground for it,

and it took root and filled the land.

10 The mountains were covered with its shade,

the mighty cedars with its branches.

11 Its branches reached as far as the Sea,Probably the Mediterranean

its shoots as far as the River.That is, the EuphratesPs 72:8

12 Why have you broken down its wallsPs 89:40; Isa 5:5; 30:13; Jer 39:8

so that all who pass by pick its grapes?

13 Boars from the forest ravageJer 5:6 it,

and insects from the fields feed on it.

14 Return to us, God Almighty!

Look down from heaven and see!S Dt 26:15

Watch over this vine,

15 the root your right hand has planted,

the sonOr branch you have raised up for yourself.

16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire;Ps 79:1

at your rebukeS Dt 28:20 your people perish.

17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,

the son of manS Job 25:6 you have raised up for yourself.

18 Then we will not turn away from you;

revivePs 85:6; Isa 57:15; Hos 6:2 us, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty;

make your face shine on us,

that we may be saved.

Psalm 80

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be sung to the tune “Lilies of the Covenant.”

Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel,

you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock.

O God, enthroned above the cherubim,

display your radiant glory

to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.

Show us your mighty power.

Come to rescue us!

Turn us again to yourself, O God.

Make your face shine down upon us.

Only then will we be saved.

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies,

how long will you be angry with our prayers?

You have fed us with sorrow

and made us drink tears by the bucketful.

You have made us the scornAs in Syriac version; Hebrew reads the strife. of neighboring nations.

Our enemies treat us as a joke.

Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies.

Make your face shine down upon us.

Only then will we be saved.

You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine;

you drove away the pagan nations and transplanted us into your land.

You cleared the ground for us,

and we took root and filled the land.

10 Our shade covered the mountains;

our branches covered the mighty cedars.

11 We spread our branches west to the Mediterranean Sea;

our shoots spread east to the Euphrates River.Hebrew west to the sea, . . . east to the river.

12 But now, why have you broken down our walls

so that all who pass by may steal our fruit?

13 The wild boar from the forest devours it,

and the wild animals feed on it.

14 Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies.

Look down from heaven and see our plight.

Take care of this grapevine

15 that you yourself have planted,

this son you have raised for yourself.

16 For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies.

May they perish at the sight of your frown.

17 Strengthen the man you love,

the son of your choice.

18 Then we will never abandon you again.

Revive us so we can call on your name once more.

19 Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.

Make your face shine down upon us.

Only then will we be saved.

80 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.

Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.

Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?

Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.

Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.

Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.

Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.

10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.

11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.

12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?

13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.

14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;

15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.

16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.

17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.

18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

19 Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Proverbs 25:1-5

More Proverbs of Solomon

25 These are more proverbsS 1Ki 4:32 of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:S Pr 1:1

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;

to search out a matter is the glory of kings.Pr 16:10-15

As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,

so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.

Remove the dross from the silver,

and a silversmith can produce a vessel;

remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,S Pr 20:8

and his throne will be establishedS 2Sa 7:13 through righteousness.S Pr 16:12; 29:14

More Proverbs of Solomon

25 These are more proverbs of Solomon, collected by the advisers of King Hezekiah of Judah.

It is God’s privilege to conceal things

and the king’s privilege to discover them.

No one can comprehend the height of heaven, the depth of the earth,

or all that goes on in the king’s mind!

Remove the impurities from silver,

and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith.

Remove the wicked from the king’s court,

and his reign will be made secure by justice.

25 These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.

Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

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