Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

How easy it is for us to hear a word from the Lord and decide that it does not apply to our lives or that it is not for today!

Pashhur, the priest in charge of the temple of the Lord, despised Jeremiah's prophecies against the detestable practice of sacrificing children to Baal in the valley of Topheth (Jeremiah 20:1-2). This horrible ritual took place with the heathen priests of Baal beating drums to drown out the screams of little babies being burned alive. Jeremiah said that performing such atrocities never entered God's mind (19:5).

Humankind can stoop to some terrible deeds when there is no voice of reason. Jeremiah saw this dreadful scene of infant sacrifice and prophesied the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. When Pashhur threatened him, Jeremiah said, "I can't stop! If I say I'll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It's like a fire in my bones! I am weary of holding it in!" (20:9).

We should not despise prophecy, but invite it. We should pray for God to give us voices in our nation to proclaim the truth before it is too late. The lives we save may be our own.

Jeremiah 19:1-21:14

19 This is what the Lord says: “Go and buy a clay jar from a potter.Jer 18:2 Take along some of the eldersS Nu 11:17; 1Ki 8:1 of the people and of the priestsand go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom,S Jos 15:8 near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you,and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kingsJer 17:20 of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disasterS Jer 6:19 on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.S 1Sa 3:11For they have forsakenS Dt 31:16; Dt 28:20; S Isa 65:11 me and made this a place of foreign godsS Ex 20:3; S Jer 1:16; they have burned incenseS Lev 18:21 in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.S 2Ki 21:16They have built the high places of Baal to burn their childrenS Lev 18:21; S 2Ki 3:27; Ps 106:37-38 in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.S Jer 7:31; Eze 16:36So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call this place TophethS 2Ki 23:10 or the Valley of Ben Hinnom,S Jos 15:8 but the Valley of Slaughter.Jer 7:32

“‘In this place I will ruinThe Hebrew for ruin sounds like the Hebrew for jar (see verses 1 and 10). the plansPs 33:10-11 of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies,S ver 9; S Lev 26:17; S Dt 28:25 at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcassesS Jer 16:4; 34:20 as foodS Dt 28:26 to the birds and the wild animals.I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn;S Dt 28:37; S Jer 18:16; 25:9 all who pass by will be appalledS Lev 26:32; La 2:15-16 and will scoff because of all its wounds.S Dt 29:22I will make them eatS Lev 26:29; Dt 28:49-57; La 4:10 the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemiesS ver 7; Jer 21:7; 34:20 will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.’

10 “Then break the jarver 1; S Ps 2:9; Jer 13:14 while those who go with you are watching,11 and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I will smashPs 2:9; Isa 30:14 this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. They will buryJer 7:32 the dead in Topheth until there is no more room.12 This is what I will do to this place and to those who live here, declares the Lord. I will make this city like Topheth.13 The housesJer 32:29; 52:13; Eze 16:41 in Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah will be defiledPs 74:7 like this place, Topheth—all the houses where they burned incense on the roofsS 2Ki 23:12 to all the starry hostsDt 4:19; S 2Ki 17:16; S Job 38:32; Jer 8:2; Ac 7:42 and poured out drink offeringsS Isa 57:6; Eze 20:28 to other gods.’”

14 Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court2Ch 20:5; S Jer 7:2; 26:2 of the Lord’s temple and said to all the people,15 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disasterver 3; Jer 11:11 I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-neckedS Ne 9:16; Ac 7:51 and would not listenJer 22:21 to my words.’”

Jeremiah and Pashhur

20 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer,S 1Ch 24:14 the official2Ki 25:18; Lk 22:52 in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things,he had Jeremiah the prophet beatenDt 25:2-3; S Jer 1:19; 15:15; 37:15; 2Co 11:24 and put in the stocksS Job 13:27; Jer 29:26; Ac 16:24; Heb 11:36 at the Upper Gate of BenjaminS Job 29:7; Jer 37:13; 38:7; Zec 14:10 at the Lord’s temple.The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s nameHos 1:4 for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side.S ver 10; S Ps 31:13For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyesJer 29:21 you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will giveJer 21:10; 25:9 all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carryJer 13:19; 39:9; 52:27 them away to Babylon or put them to the sword.I will deliver all the wealthS 2Ki 25:15; Jer 17:3 of this city into the hands of their enemies—all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it awayS 2Ki 20:17 as plunder and carry it off to Babylon.And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesiedS Jer 14:15; La 2:14 lies.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

You deceivedOr persuadedS Ex 5:23; 22:16 me, Lord, and I was deceivedOr persuaded;

you overpoweredIsa 8:11; Am 3:8; 1Co 9:16 me and prevailed.

I am ridiculedJob 12:4 all day long;

everyone mocksS Job 17:2; S Ps 119:21 me.

Whenever I speak, I cry out

proclaiming violence and destruction.Jer 6:7; 28:8

So the word of the Lord has brought me

insult and reproachS 2Ch 36:16; S Jer 6:10 all day long.

But if I say, “I will not mention his word

or speak anymore in his name,”Jer 44:16

his word is in my heart like a fire,S Ps 39:3; S Jer 4:19

a fire shut up in my bones.

I am weary of holding it in;S Job 4:2; S Jer 6:11; Am 3:8; Ac 4:20

indeed, I cannot.

10 I hear many whispering,

“TerrorJer 6:25 on every side!

DenounceNe 6:6-13; Isa 29:21 him! Let’s denounce him!”

All my friendsS Job 19:14; S Jer 13:21

are waiting for me to slip,S Ps 57:4; S Jer 18:22; Lk 11:53-54 saying,

“Perhaps he will be deceived;

then we will prevailS 1Ki 19:2 over him

and take our revengeS 1Sa 18:25; S Jer 11:19 on him.”

11 But the LordJer 1:8; Ro 8:31 is with me like a mighty warrior;

so my persecutorsJer 15:15; 17:18 will stumble and not prevail.S Ps 129:2

They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;S Jer 7:19; 23:40

their dishonor will never be forgotten.

12 Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous

and probe the heart and mind,S Ps 7:9; S Jer 17:10

let me see your vengeanceDt 32:35; S Ro 12:19 on them,

for to you I have committedPs 62:8; Jer 11:20 my cause.

13 SingS Isa 12:6 to the Lord!

Give praise to the Lord!

He rescuesPs 34:6; 35:10 the life of the needy

from the hands of the wicked.S Ps 97:10

14 Cursed be the day I was born!S Job 3:8, 16; Jer 15:10

May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!

15 Cursed be the man who brought my father the news,

who made him very glad, saying,

“A child is born to you—a son!”

16 May that man be like the townsS Ge 19:25

the Lord overthrew without pity.

May he hear wailingS Jer 6:26 in the morning,

a battle cry at noon.

17 For he did not kill me in the womb,S Job 3:16; S 10:18-19

with my mother as my grave,

her womb enlarged forever.

18 Why did I ever come out of the wombS Job 3:10-11; S Ecc 4:2

to see troubleS Ge 3:17; S Job 5:7 and sorrow

and to end my days in shame?S 1Ki 19:4; Ps 90:9; 102:3

God Rejects Zedekiah’s Request

21 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah2Ki 24:18; Jer 52:1 sent to him PashhurS 1Ch 9:12 son of Malkijah and the priest ZephaniahS 2Ki 25:18 son of Maaseiah. They said:“InquireS Ge 25:22; S 2Ki 22:18 now of the Lord for us because NebuchadnezzarHebrew Nebuchadrezzar, of which Nebuchadnezzar is a variant; here and often in Jeremiah and EzekielS 2Ki 25:1 king of BabylonS Ge 10:10 is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wondersPs 44:1-4; Jer 32:17 for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us.”

But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah,‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turnJer 32:5 against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the BabyloniansOr Chaldeans; also in verse 9 who are outside the wall besiegingJer 37:8-10 you. And I will gather them inside this city.I myself will fightS Jos 10:14; Eze 5:8 against you with an outstretched handS 2Ki 22:13; S Jer 6:12 and a mighty armS Ex 3:20 in furious anger and in great wrath.I will strikeS Jer 7:20 down those who live in this city—both man and beast—and they will die of a terrible plague.S Jer 14:12After that, declares the Lord, I will give ZedekiahS 2Ki 25:7; Jer 52:9; Eze 12:14 king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague,Jer 14:12; 27:8 sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of BabylonS 2Ch 36:10; Jer 27:6; 32:4; 34:3; 37:17; 38:18; 39:5; Eze 29:19 and to their enemiesS Lev 26:17; S Jer 19:9 who want to kill them.S Jer 11:21 He will put them to the sword;S Jer 15:9 he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.’S 2Ch 36:17; S Jer 15:5; Eze 7:9; Hab 1:6

“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of lifeS Dt 30:15 and the way of death.Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague.Jer 14:12; Eze 5:12 But whoever goes out and surrendersJer 27:11; 40:9 to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives.Jer 27:12; 38:2, 17; 39:18; 45:510 I have determined to do this city harmJer 44:11, 27; Am 9:4 and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the handsS Jer 20:4; 32:28; 38:2-3 of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’S 2Ki 25:9; S 2Ch 36:19

11 “Moreover, say to the royal houseS Jer 13:18 of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord.12 This is what the Lord says to you, house of David:

“‘Administer justiceS Ex 22:22; S Lev 25:17 every morning;

rescue from the hand of the oppressorS Ps 27:11

the one who has been robbed,

or my wrath will break out and burn like fireS Isa 42:25; S Jer 10:10

because of the evilJer 23:2 you have done—

burn with no one to quenchS Isa 1:31 it.

13 I am againstJer 23:30; 50:31; 51:25; Eze 5:8; 13:8; 21:3; 29:10; 34:10; Na 2:13; 3:5 you, Jerusalem,

you who live above this valleyPs 125:2

on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord

you who say, “Who can come against us?

Who can enter our refuge?”2Sa 5:6-7; Jer 49:4; La 4:12; Ob 1:3-4

14 I will punish you as your deedsS Pr 1:31; S Isa 3:10-11; S Jer 17:10 deserve,

declares the Lord.

I will kindle a fireS 2Ch 36:19; La 2:3 in your forestsS 2Ki 19:23; Eze 20:47

that will consume everything around you.’”

Jeremiah’s Shattered Jar

19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a clay jar. Then ask some of the leaders of the people and of the priests to follow you.Go out through the Gate of Broken Pots to the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and give them this message.Say to them, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord, you kings of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem! This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will bring a terrible disaster on this place, and the ears of those who hear about it will ring!

“‘For Israel has forsaken me and turned this valley into a place of wickedness. The people burn incense to foreign gods—idols never before acknowledged by this generation, by their ancestors, or by the kings of Judah. And they have filled this place with the blood of innocent children.They have built pagan shrines to Baal, and there they burn their sons as sacrifices to Baal. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!So beware, for the time is coming, says the Lord, when this garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.

“‘For I will upset the careful plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will allow the people to be slaughtered by invading armies, and I will leave their dead bodies as food for the vultures and wild animals.I will reduce Jerusalem to ruins, making it a monument to their stupidity. All who pass by will be astonished and will gasp at the destruction they see there.I will see to it that your enemies lay siege to the city until all the food is gone. Then those trapped inside will eat their own sons and daughters and friends. They will be driven to utter despair.’

10 “As these men watch you, Jeremiah, smash the jar you brought.11 Then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: As this jar lies shattered, so I will shatter the people of Judah and Jerusalem beyond all hope of repair. They will bury the bodies here in Topheth, the garbage dump, until there is no more room for them.12 This is what I will do to this place and its people, says the Lord. I will cause this city to become defiled like Topheth.13 Yes, all the houses in Jerusalem, including the palace of Judah’s kings, will become like Topheth—all the houses where you burned incense on the rooftops to your star gods, and where liquid offerings were poured out to your idols.’”

14 Then Jeremiah returned from Topheth, the garbage dump where he had delivered this message, and he stopped in front of the Temple of the Lord. He said to the people there,15 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will bring disaster upon this city and its surrounding towns as I promised, because you have stubbornly refused to listen to me.’”

Jeremiah and Pashhur

20 Now Pashhur son of Immer, the priest in charge of the Temple of the Lord, heard what Jeremiah was prophesying.So he arrested Jeremiah the prophet and had him whipped and put in stocks at the Benjamin Gate of the Lord’s Temple.

The next day, when Pashhur finally released him, Jeremiah said, “Pashhur, the Lord has changed your name. From now on you are to be called ‘The Man Who Lives in Terror.’Hebrew Magor-missabib, which means “surrounded by terror”; also in 20:10.For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will send terror upon you and all your friends, and you will watch as they are slaughtered by the swords of the enemy. I will hand the people of Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will take them captive to Babylon or run them through with the sword.And I will let your enemies plunder Jerusalem. All the famed treasures of the city—the precious jewels and gold and silver of your kings—will be carried off to Babylon.As for you, Pashhur, you and all your household will go as captives to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you prophesied that everything would be all right.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

O Lord, you misled me,

and I allowed myself to be misled.

You are stronger than I am,

and you overpowered me.

Now I am mocked every day;

everyone laughs at me.

When I speak, the words burst out.

“Violence and destruction!” I shout.

So these messages from the Lord

have made me a household joke.

But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord

or speak in his name,

his word burns in my heart like a fire.

It’s like a fire in my bones!

I am worn out trying to hold it in!

I can’t do it!

10 I have heard the many rumors about me.

They call me “The Man Who Lives in Terror.”

They threaten, “If you say anything, we will report it.”

Even my old friends are watching me,

waiting for a fatal slip.

“He will trap himself,” they say,

“and then we will get our revenge on him.”

11 But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior.

Before him my persecutors will stumble.

They cannot defeat me.

They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated.

Their dishonor will never be forgotten.

12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,

you test those who are righteous,

and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets.

Let me see your vengeance against them,

for I have committed my cause to you.

13 Sing to the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

For though I was poor and needy,

he rescued me from my oppressors.

14 Yet I curse the day I was born!

May no one celebrate the day of my birth.

15 I curse the messenger who told my father,

“Good news—you have a son!”

16 Let him be destroyed like the cities of old

that the Lord overthrew without mercy.

Terrify him all day long with battle shouts,

17 because he did not kill me at birth.

Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb,

that her body had been my grave!

18 Why was I ever born?

My entire life has been filled

with trouble, sorrow, and shame.

No Deliverance from Babylon

21 The Lord spoke through Jeremiah when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur son of Malkijah and Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, the priest, to speak with him. They begged Jeremiah,“Please speak to the Lord for us and ask him to help us. King NebuchadnezzarHebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar; also in 21:7. of Babylon is attacking Judah. Perhaps the Lord will be gracious and do a mighty miracle as he has done in the past. Perhaps he will force Nebuchadnezzar to withdraw his armies.”

Jeremiah replied, “Go back to King Zedekiah and tell him,‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will make your weapons useless against the king of Babylon and the BabyloniansOr Chaldeans; also in 21:9. who are outside your walls attacking you. In fact, I will bring your enemies right into the heart of this city.I myself will fight against you with a strong hand and a powerful arm, for I am very angry. You have made me furious!I will send a terrible plague upon this city, and both people and animals will die.And after all that, says the Lord, I will hand over King Zedekiah, his staff, and everyone else in the city who survives the disease, war, and famine. I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and to their other enemies. He will slaughter them and show them no mercy, pity, or compassion.’

“Tell all the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: Take your choice of life or death!Everyone who stays in Jerusalem will die from war, famine, or disease, but those who go out and surrender to the Babylonians will live. Their reward will be life!10 For I have decided to bring disaster and not good upon this city, says the Lord. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, and he will reduce it to ashes.’

Judgment on Judah’s Kings

11 “Say to the royal family of Judah, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord!12 This is what the Lord says to the dynasty of David:

“‘Give justice each morning to the people you judge!

Help those who have been robbed;

rescue them from their oppressors.

Otherwise, my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire

because of all your sins.

13 I will personally fight against the people in Jerusalem,

that mighty fortress—

the people who boast, “No one can touch us here.

No one can break in here.”

14 And I myself will punish you for your sinfulness,

says the Lord.

I will light a fire in your forests

that will burn up everything around you.’”

19 Thus saith the Lord, Go and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests;

And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee,

And say, Hear ye the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.

Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;

They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.

And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.

And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.

And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.

10 Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee,

11 And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury.

12 Thus will I do unto this place, saith the Lord, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet:

13 And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods.

14 Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither the Lord had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the Lord's house; and said to all the people,

15 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.

20 Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things.

Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the Lord.

And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The Lord hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magormissabib.

For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword.

Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon.

And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies.

O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.

For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.

Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.

11 But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

12 But, O Lord of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause.

13 Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.

15 Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad.

16 And let that man be as the cities which the Lord overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide;

17 Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me.

18 Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?

21 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying,

Enquire, I pray thee, of the Lord for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the Lord will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us.

Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah:

Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city.

And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.

And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.

And afterward, saith the Lord, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.

And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.

He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.

10 For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

11 And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the Lord;

12 O house of David, thus saith the Lord; Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

13 Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith the Lord; which say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?

14 But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the Lord: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-28

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darknessS Ac 26:18; 1Jn 2:8 so that this day should surprise you like a thief.ver 2You are all children of the lightS Lk 16:8 and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep,Ro 13:11 but let us be awakeS Mt 25:13 and sober.S Ac 24:25For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.Ac 2:15; Ro 13:13; 2Pe 2:13But since we belong to the day,ver 5 let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate,S Eph 6:14 and the hope of salvationRo 8:24 as a helmet.Isa 59:17; Eph 6:17For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath1Th 1:10 but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.2Th 2:13, 1410 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.Ro 14:9; 2Co 5:1511 Therefore encourage one another1Th 4:18 and build each other up,Eph 4:29 just as in fact you are doing.

Final Instructions

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hardRo 16:6, 12; 1Co 15:10 among you, who care for you in the Lord1Ti 5:17; Heb 13:17 and who admonish you.13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.S Mk 9:5014 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle2Th 3:6, 7, 11 and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak,Ro 14:1; 1Co 8:7-12 be patient with everyone.15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong,Ro 12:17; 1Pe 3:9 but always strive to do what is good for each otherEph 4:32 and for everyone else.

16 Rejoice always,Php 4:417 pray continually,S Lk 18:118 give thanks in all circumstances;S Eph 5:20 for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not quench the Spirit.Eph 4:3020 Do not treat prophecies1Co 14:1-40 with contempt21 but test them all;1Co 14:29; 1Jn 4:1 hold on to what is good,Ro 12:922 reject every kind of evil.

23 May God himself, the God of peace,S Ro 15:33 sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soulHeb 4:12 and body be kept blamelessS 1Th 3:13 at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.S 1Th 2:1924 The one who callsS Ro 8:28 you is faithful,S 1Co 1:9 and he will do it.Nu 23:19; Php 1:6

25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us.Eph 6:19; Col 4:3; 2Th 3:1; Heb 13:1826 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss.S Ro 16:1627 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.2Th 3:14; S 1Ti 4:13

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.S Ro 16:20

But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief.Some manuscripts read comes upon you as if you were thieves.For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk.But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Paul’s Final Advice

12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.

14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.

16 Always be joyful.17 Never stop praying.18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.20 Do not scoff at prophecies,21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.22 Stay away from every kind of evil.

Paul’s Final Greetings

23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

25 Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a sacred kiss.

27 I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the brothers and sisters.

28 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

25 Brethren, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Psalm 82:1-8

Psalm 82

A psalm of Asaph.

God presides in the great assembly;

he renders judgmentPs 7:8; 58:11; Isa 3:13; 66:16; Joel 3:12 among the “gods”:S Job 21:22

“How long will youThe Hebrew is plural. defend the unjust

and show partialityDt 1:17 to the wicked?The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.Ps 58:1-2; Pr 18:5

Defend the weak and the fatherless;S Dt 24:17

uphold the cause of the poorPs 140:12; Jer 5:28; 22:16 and the oppressed.

Rescue the weak and the needy;

deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.S Ps 14:4; S 53:2

They walk about in darkness;Job 30:26; Isa 5:30; 8:21-22; 9:2; 59:9; 60:2; Jer 13:16; 23:12; La 3:2

all the foundationsS Jdg 5:4; S Ps 11:3 of the earth are shaken.

“I said, ‘You are “gods”;Jn 10:34*

you are all sons of the Most High.’

But you will diePs 49:12; Eze 31:14 like mere mortals;

you will fall like every other ruler.”

Rise up,Ps 12:5 O God, judgeS Ps 76:9 the earth,

for all the nations are your inheritance.Ps 2:8

Psalm 82

A psalm of Asaph.

God presides over heaven’s court;

he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings:

“How long will you hand down unjust decisions

by favoring the wicked? Interlude

“Give justice to the poor and the orphan;

uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.

Rescue the poor and helpless;

deliver them from the grasp of evil people.

But these oppressors know nothing;

they are so ignorant!

They wander about in darkness,

while the whole world is shaken to the core.

I say, ‘You are gods;

you are all children of the Most High.

But you will die like mere mortals

and fall like every other ruler.’”

Rise up, O God, and judge the earth,

for all the nations belong to you.

82 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

Proverbs 25:9-10

If you take your neighbor to court,

do not betray another’s confidence,

10 or the one who hears it may shame you

and the charge against you will stand.

When arguing with your neighbor,

don’t betray another person’s secret.

10 Others may accuse you of gossip,

and you will never regain your good reputation.

Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:

10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.

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