Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Paul challenged those who love the Lord not to be "arrogant or quick-tempered . . . a heavy drinker, violent, or greedy for money" (Titus 1:7). He expected those who loved God to live exemplary lives.

The challenge of controlling evil emotions, appetites, and greed is not an easy one. To serve in the position of an elder, a person "must enjoy having guests in his home and must love all that is good. He must live wisely and be fair. He must live a devout and disciplined life" (v. 8). The lives and characters of godly people must show that they hate evil and are committed to doing everything within their conscious power to remove it from their lives.

The opposite of such a person is the one who tolerates evil. "For there are many who rebel against right teaching; they engage in useless talk and deceive people" (v. 10). These types of people teach wrong doctrine, love money, lie, and turn others away from the truth (vv. 11-13). They so tolerate evil that "their minds and consciences are defiled" (v. 15).

These two kinds of people represent two different paths in life. If you intend to see God one day, remember that "righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne" (Psalm 97:2). Follow the upward path, for God "protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked" (v. 10).

Jeremiah 49:23-50:46

A Message About Damascus

23 Concerning Damascus:S Ge 14:15; 2Ki 14:28; 2Ch 16:2; Ac 9:2

“Hamath1Ki 8:65; Isa 10:9; Eze 47:16; Am 6:2; Zec 9:2 and ArpadS 2Ki 18:34; S 19:13 are dismayed,

for they have heard bad news.

They are disheartened,

troubled likeHebrew on or by the restless sea.S Ge 49:4

24 Damascus has become feeble,

she has turned to flee

and panic has gripped her;

anguish and pain have seized her,

pain like that of a woman in labor.Jer 13:21

25 Why has the city of renown not been abandoned,

the town in which I delight?

26 Surely, her young menS Isa 9:17; S 13:18 will fall in the streets;

all her soldiers will be silencedIsa 17:12-14 in that day,”

declares the Lord Almighty.

27 “I will set fireJer 21:14; 43:12; 50:32; Eze 30:8; 39:6; Am 1:4 to the walls of Damascus;S Ge 14:15

it will consumeIsa 17:1 the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.S 1Ki 15:18

A Message About Kedar and Hazor

28 Concerning KedarS Ge 25:13 and the kingdoms of Hazor,S Jos 11:1 which NebuchadnezzarS Jer 10:22 king of Babylon attacked:

This is what the Lord says:

“Arise, and attack Kedar

and destroy the people of the East.S Jdg 6:3

29 Their tents and their flocksver 32 will be taken;

their shelters will be carried off

with all their goods and camels.

People will shout to them,

‘TerrorS Jer 6:25 on every side!’

30 “Flee quickly away!

Stay in deep caves,S Jdg 6:2 you who live in Hazor,Jos 11:1

declares the Lord.

“NebuchadnezzarS Jer 10:22 king of Babylon has plotted against you;

he has devised a plan against you.

31 “Arise and attack a nation at ease,

which lives in confidence,”

declares the Lord,

“a nation that has neither gates nor bars;Eze 38:11

its people live far from danger.

32 Their camelsS Jdg 6:5 will become plunder,

and their large herdsver 29 will be spoils of war.

I will scatter to the windsver 36; Jer 13:24 those who are in distant placesOr who clip the hair by their foreheadsS Jer 9:26

and will bring disaster on them from every side,”

declares the Lord.

33 “HazorS Jos 11:1 will become a haunt of jackals,S Isa 13:22

a desolateJer 48:9 place forever.

No one will live there;

no people will dwellS ver 18; Jer 51:37 in it.”

A Message About Elam

34 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam,S Ge 10:22 early in the reign of Zedekiah2Ki 24:18 king of Judah:

35 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“See, I will break the bowS Ps 37:15; S Isa 22:6 of Elam,

the mainstay of their might.

36 I will bring against Elam the four windsS ver 32

from the four quarters of heaven;Da 11:4

I will scatter them to the four winds,

and there will not be a nation

where Elam’s exiles do not go.

37 I will shatter Elam before their foes,

before those who want to kill them;

I will bring disaster on them,

even my fierce anger,”Jer 30:24

declares the Lord.

“I will pursue them with the swordJer 9:16; Eze 32:24

until I have made an end of them.

38 I will set my throne in Elam

and destroy her king and officials,”

declares the Lord.

39 “Yet I will restoreS Jer 48:47 the fortunes of Elam

in days to come,”

declares the Lord.

A Message About Babylon51:15-19pp — Jer 10:12-16

50 This is the word the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning BabylonS Ge 10:10; S Ps 137:8 and the land of the BabyloniansOr Chaldeans; also in verses 8, 25, 35 and 45:

“Announce and proclaimS Dt 30:4; Jer 4:16 among the nations,

lift up a bannerS Ps 20:5; S Isa 13:2 and proclaim it;

keep nothing back, but say,

‘Babylon will be captured;ver 9; Jer 51:31

BelS Isa 21:9; S 46:1 will be put to shame,Ps 97:7; Jer 51:52

Mardukver 38; Isa 46:6; Jer 51:47 filled with terror.

Her images will be put to shame

and her idolsS Lev 26:30 filled with terror.’

A nation from the northS ver 26; S Isa 41:25; S Jer 25:26 will attack her

and lay waste her land.

No one will liveS ver 13; S Isa 14:22-23; S Jer 9:11 in it;

both people and animalsZep 1:3 will flee away.

“In those days, at that time,”

declares the Lord,

“the people of Israel and the people of Judah togetherS Jer 3:18; Eze 37:22

will go in tearsS Ezr 3:12 to seekS Isa 9:13; Eze 37:17; Hos 3:5 the Lord their God.

They will ask the wayS Isa 11:16; S Jer 31:21 to Zion

and turn their faces toward it.

They will comeS 1Sa 29:1; Jer 33:7 and bind themselves to the Lord

in an everlasting covenantS Dt 29:14; Isa 55:3; Jer 32:40; Heb 8:6-10

that will not be forgotten.

“My people have been lost sheep;S Ps 119:176; Mt 9:36; 10:6

their shepherdsS Jer 2:8; S 10:21 have led them astrayS Ps 95:10; Jer 23:32; Eze 13:10

and caused them to roam on the mountains.

They wandered over mountain and hillJer 3:6; Eze 34:6

and forgot their own resting place.ver 19

Whoever found them devouredS Jer 5:17; 10:25; Eze 35:12 them;

their enemies said, ‘We are not guilty,Jer 2:3

for they sinned against the Lord, their verdant pasture,

the Lord, the hopeS Jer 14:8 of their ancestors.’

“FleeS Isa 48:20 out of Babylon;ver 28

leave the land of the Babylonians,

and be like the goats that lead the flock.

For I will stirS Isa 13:17 up and bring against Babylon

an alliance of great nationsS Jer 25:14 from the land of the north.S Isa 41:25; S Jer 25:26

They will take up their positions against her,

and from the north she will be captured.S ver 2

Their arrowsS Isa 13:18 will be like skilled warriors

who do not return empty-handed.

10 So BabyloniaOr Chaldea will be plundered;Isa 47:11; S Jer 30:16

all who plunder her will have their fill,”

declares the Lord.

11 “Because you rejoice and are glad,

you who pillage my inheritance,S Isa 47:6

because you frolic like a heiferS Jer 31:18 threshing grain

and neigh like stallions,

12 your mother will be greatly ashamed;

she who gave you birth will be disgraced.Jer 51:47

She will be the least of the nations—

a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.ver 13; S Isa 21:1; Jer 25:12; 51:26

13 Because of the Lord’s anger she will not be inhabited

but will be completely desolate.ver 3,S 12; S Jer 9:11; 48:9; 51:62

All who pass Babylon will be appalled;Jer 51:41

they will scoffS Jer 18:16; 51:37; Eze 27:36; Hab 2:6 because of all her wounds.S Dt 29:22

14 “Take up your positions around Babylon,

all you who draw the bow.ver 29, 42

Shoot at her! Spare no arrows,S Isa 13:18

for she has sinned against the Lord.

15 ShoutJer 51:14 against her on every side!

She surrenders, her towers fall,

her wallsS 2Ki 25:4; S Jer 51:44, 58 are torn down.

Since this is the vengeancever 28; S Isa 10:3; 63:4; Jer 51:6 of the Lord,

take vengeance on her;

do to herver 29; Ps 137:8; Rev 18:6 as she has done to others.Jer 51:24; Hab 2:7-8

16 Cut off from Babylon the sower,

and the reaper with his sickle at harvest.

Because of the swordS Jer 25:38 of the oppressor

let everyone return to their own people,S Isa 13:14

let everyone flee to their own land.Jer 51:9

17 “Israel is a scattered flockS Lev 26:33; S Ps 119:176

that lionsS 2Ki 24:1; S Jer 2:15 have chased away.

The first to devourS Jer 5:17 them

was the kingS Dt 4:27; S 2Ki 15:29 of Assyria;

the last to crush their bonesS Nu 24:8; La 3:4

was NebuchadnezzarJer 51:34 kingS 2Ki 24:17; S 25:7 of Babylon.”

18 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“I will punish the king of Babylon and his land

as I punished the kingS Isa 10:12 of Assyria.Eze 31:3; Zep 2:13

19 But I will bringS Jer 31:10; Eze 34:13 Israel back to their own pasture,

and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan;

their appetite will be satisfiedJer 31:14

on the hillsS Jer 31:5 of Ephraim and Gilead.Mic 7:14; Zec 10:10

20 In those days, at that time,”

declares the Lord,

“search will be made for Israel’s guilt,

but there will be none,S Ps 17:3

and for the sinsPs 103:12; S Isa 38:17; Eze 33:16; Mic 7:18, 19; Zec 3:4, 9 of Judah,

but none will be found,

for I will forgiveS Isa 33:24 the remnantS Ge 45:7; Isa 1:9; 10:20-22; S Ro 9:27 I spare.

21 “Attack the land of Merathaim

and those who live in Pekod.Eze 23:23

Pursue, kill and completely destroyThe Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 26. them,”

declares the Lord.

“Do everything I have commanded you.

22 The noiseJer 4:19-21; 51:54 of battle is in the land,

the noise of great destruction!

23 How broken and shattered

is the hammerS Isa 10:5 of the whole earth!Jer 51:25

How desolateS Isa 14:16 is Babylon

among the nations!

24 I set a trapJer 51:12 for you, Babylon,

and you were caught before you knew it;

you were found and capturedJer 51:31

because you opposedJob 9:4 the Lord.

25 The Lord has opened his arsenal

and brought out the weaponsS Isa 13:5 of his wrath,

for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do

in the land of the Babylonians.Jer 51:25, 55

26 Come against her from afar.ver 3, 41; Jer 51:11

Break open her granaries;

pile her up like heaps of grain.S Ru 3:7

Completely destroyS Isa 14:22-23 her

and leave her no remnant.

27 Kill all her young bulls;S Ps 68:30; Jer 48:15

let them go down to the slaughter!S Isa 30:25; S Jer 25:34

Woe to them! For their dayS Job 18:20 has come,

the timeJer 51:6 for them to be punished.

28 Listen to the fugitivesver 8 and refugees from Babylon

declaring in ZionIsa 48:20; Jer 51:10

how the Lord our God has taken vengeance,S ver 15

vengeance for his temple.2Ki 24:13; Jer 51:11; 52:13

29 “Summon archers against Babylon,

all those who draw the bow.S ver 14

Encamp all around her;

let no one escape.S Isa 13:18; Jer 51:3

RepayS Dt 32:41; S Job 21:19; S Jer 51:6; Rev 18:6 her for her deeds;Eze 35:11; Ob 1:15

do to her as she has done.

For she has defiedS Isa 14:13-14; 47:10; Da 5:23 the Lord,

the Holy OnePs 78:41; Isa 41:20; Jer 51:5 of Israel.

30 Therefore, her young menS Isa 13:18 will fall in the streets;

all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”

declares the Lord.

31 “See, I am againstS Jer 21:13 you, you arrogant one,”

declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,

“for your dayS Job 18:20; Rev 18:7-8 has come,

the time for you to be punished.

32 The arrogantS Ps 119:21 one will stumble and fallS Ps 20:8

and no one will help her up;Am 5:2

I will kindle a fireS Jer 49:27 in her towns

that will consume all who are around her.”

33 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“The people of Israel are oppressed,Isa 58:6

and the people of Judah as well.

All their captors hold them fast,

refusing to let them go.S Isa 14:17

34 Yet their RedeemerS Ex 6:6; S Job 19:25 is strong;

the Lord AlmightyJer 31:35; 51:19 is his name.

He will vigorously defend their causeS Ps 119:154; S Isa 49:25; Jer 15:21; 51:36; La 3:58

so that he may bring restS Isa 14:7 to their land,

but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

35 “A swordS Jer 47:6 against the Babylonians!”S Isa 45:1

declares the Lord

“against those who live in Babylon

and against her officials and wiseDa 5:7 men!

36 A sword against her false prophets!

They will become fools.

A sword against her warriors!S Jer 49:22

They will be filled with terror.Jer 51:30, 32

37 A sword against her horses and chariotsS 2Ki 19:23; Jer 51:21

and all the foreigners in her ranks!

They will become weaklings.S Isa 19:16

A sword against her treasures!S Isa 45:3

They will be plundered.

38 A drought onOr A sword against her waters!Ps 137:1; Jer 51:13

They will dryS Isa 11:15; Jer 51:36 up.

For it is a land of idols,S ver 2

idols that will go mad with terror.

39 “So desert creaturesS Ps 74:14 and hyenas will live there,

and there the owl will dwell.

It will never again be inhabited

or lived in from generation to generation.Isa 13:19-22; 34:13-15; Jer 51:37; Rev 18:2

40 As I overthrew Sodom and GomorrahS Ge 19:24; S Mt 10:15

along with their neighboring towns,”

declares the Lord,

“so no one will live there;

no people will dwell in it.Jer 51:62

41 “Look! An army is coming from the north;S ver 26; S Isa 41:25

a great nation and many kings

are being stirredS Isa 13:17 up from the ends of the earth.S Isa 13:4; Jer 51:22-28

42 They are armed with bowsS ver 14 and spears;

they are cruelS Job 30:21 and without mercy.S Isa 13:18

They sound like the roaring seaS Isa 5:30

as they ride on their horses;

they come like men in battle formation

to attack you, Daughter Babylon.S Isa 47:1

43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about them,

and his hands hang limp.S Jer 47:3

Anguish has gripped him,

pain like that of a woman in labor.Jer 6:22-24

44 Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thicketsS Jer 12:5

to a rich pastureland,

I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant.

Who is the chosenS Nu 16:5 one I will appoint for this?

Who is like me and who can challenge me?S Job 41:10; Isa 46:9; S Jer 49:19

And what shepherd can stand against me?”

45 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon,

what he has purposedPs 33:11; Jer 51:11 against the land of the Babylonians:S Isa 48:14

The young of the flock will be dragged away;

their pasture will be appalled at their fate.

46 At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble;S Jdg 5:4; S Jer 49:21

its cryS Job 24:12; Rev 18:9-10 will resound among the nations.

A Message about Damascus

23 This message was given concerning Damascus. This is what the Lord says:

“The towns of Hamath and Arpad are struck with fear,

for they have heard the news of their destruction.

Their hearts are troubled

like a wild sea in a raging storm.

24 Damascus has become feeble,

and all her people turn to flee.

Fear, anguish, and pain have gripped her

as they grip a woman in labor.

25 That famous city, a city of joy,

will be forsaken!

26 Her young men will fall in the streets and die.

Her soldiers will all be killed,”

says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

27 “And I will set fire to the walls of Damascus

that will burn up the palaces of Ben-hadad.”

A Message about Kedar and Hazor

28 This message was given concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which were attacked by King NebuchadnezzarHebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar; also in 49:30. of Babylon. This is what the Lord says:

“Advance against Kedar!

Destroy the warriors from the East!

29 Their flocks and tents will be captured,

and their household goods and camels will be taken away.

Everywhere shouts of panic will be heard:

‘We are terrorized at every turn!’

30 Run for your lives,” says the Lord.

“Hide yourselves in deep caves, you people of Hazor,

for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has plotted against you

and is preparing to destroy you.

31 “Go up and attack that complacent nation,”

says the Lord.

“Its people live alone in the desert

without walls or gates.

32 Their camels and other livestock will all be yours.

I will scatter to the winds these people

who live in remote places.Or who clip the corners of their hair.

I will bring calamity upon them

from every direction,” says the Lord.

33 “Hazor will be inhabited by jackals,

and it will be desolate forever.

No one will live there;

no one will inhabit it.”

A Message about Elam

34 This message concerning Elam came to the prophet Jeremiah from the Lord at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah.35 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:

“I will destroy the archers of Elam—

the best of their forces.

36 I will bring enemies from all directions,

and I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds.

They will be exiled to countries around the world.

37 I myself will go with Elam’s enemies to shatter it.

In my fierce anger, I will bring great disaster

upon the people of Elam,” says the Lord.

“Their enemies will chase them with the sword

until I have destroyed them completely.

38 I will set my throne in Elam,” says the Lord,

“and I will destroy its king and officials.

39 But I will restore the fortunes of Elam

in days to come.

I, the Lord, have spoken!”

A Message about Babylon

50 The Lord gave Jeremiah the prophet this message concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians.Or Chaldeans; also in 50:8, 25, 35, 45.This is what the Lord says:

“Tell the whole world,

and keep nothing back.

Raise a signal flag

to tell everyone that Babylon will fall!

Her images and idolsThe Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung. will be shattered.

Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced.

For a nation will attack her from the north

and bring such destruction that no one will live there again.

Everything will be gone;

both people and animals will flee.

Hope for Israel and Judah

“In those coming days,”

says the Lord,

“the people of Israel will return home

together with the people of Judah.

They will come weeping

and seeking the Lord their God.

They will ask the way to JerusalemHebrew Zion; also in 50:28.

and will start back home again.

They will bind themselves to the Lord

with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten.

“My people have been lost sheep.

Their shepherds have led them astray

and turned them loose in the mountains.

They have lost their way

and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold.

All who found them devoured them.

Their enemies said,

‘We did nothing wrong in attacking them,

for they sinned against the Lord,

their true place of rest,

and the hope of their ancestors.’

“But now, flee from Babylon!

Leave the land of the Babylonians.

Like male goats at the head of the flock,

lead my people home again.

For I am raising up an army

of great nations from the north.

They will join forces to attack Babylon,

and she will be captured.

The enemies’ arrows will go straight to the mark;

they will not miss!

10 BabyloniaOr Chaldea. will be looted

until the attackers are glutted with loot.

I, the Lord, have spoken!

Babylon’s Sure Fall

11 “You rejoice and are glad,

you who plundered my chosen people.

You frisk about like a calf in a meadow

and neigh like a stallion.

12 But your homelandHebrew your mother. will be overwhelmed

with shame and disgrace.

You will become the least of nations—

a wilderness, a dry and desolate land.

13 Because of the Lord’s anger,

Babylon will become a deserted wasteland.

All who pass by will be horrified

and will gasp at the destruction they see there.

14 “Yes, prepare to attack Babylon,

all you surrounding nations.

Let your archers shoot at her; spare no arrows.

For she has sinned against the Lord.

15 Shout war cries against her from every side.

Look! She surrenders!

Her walls have fallen.

It is the Lord’s vengeance,

so take vengeance on her.

Do to her as she has done to others!

16 Take from Babylon all those who plant crops;

send all the harvesters away.

Because of the sword of the enemy,

everyone will run away and rush back to their own lands.

Hope for God’s People

17 “The Israelites are like sheep

that have been scattered by lions.

First the king of Assyria ate them up.

Then King NebuchadnezzarHebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar. of Babylon cracked their bones.”

18 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,

the God of Israel, says:

“Now I will punish the king of Babylon and his land,

just as I punished the king of Assyria.

19 And I will bring Israel home again to its own land,

to feed in the fields of Carmel and Bashan,

and to be satisfied once more

in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead.

20 In those days,” says the Lord,

“no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah,

for I will forgive the remnant I preserve.

The Lord’s Judgment on Babylon

21 “Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim

and against the people of Pekod.

Pursue, kill, and completely destroyThe Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering. them,

as I have commanded you,” says the Lord.

22 “Let the battle cry be heard in the land,

a shout of great destruction.

23 Babylon, the mightiest hammer in all the earth,

lies broken and shattered.

Babylon is desolate among the nations!

24 Listen, Babylon, for I have set a trap for you.

You are caught, for you have fought against the Lord.

25 The Lord has opened his armory

and brought out weapons to vent his fury.

The terror that falls upon the Babylonians

will be the work of the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

26 Yes, come against her from distant lands.

Break open her granaries.

Crush her walls and houses into heaps of rubble.

Destroy her completely, and leave nothing!

27 Destroy even her young bulls—

it will be terrible for them, too!

Slaughter them all!

For Babylon’s day of reckoning has come.

28 Listen to the people who have escaped from Babylon,

as they tell in Jerusalem

how the Lord our God has taken vengeance

against those who destroyed his Temple.

29 “Send out a call for archers to come to Babylon.

Surround the city so none can escape.

Do to her as she has done to others,

for she has defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.

30 Her young men will fall in the streets and die.

Her soldiers will all be killed,”

says the Lord.

31 “See, I am your enemy, you arrogant people,”

says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“Your day of reckoning has arrived—

the day when I will punish you.

32 O land of arrogance, you will stumble and fall,

and no one will raise you up.

For I will light a fire in the cities of Babylon

that will burn up everything around them.”

33 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:

“The people of Israel and Judah have been wronged.

Their captors hold them and refuse to let them go.

34 But the one who redeems them is strong.

His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

He will defend them

and give them rest again in Israel.

But for the people of Babylon

there will be no rest!

35 “The sword of destruction will strike the Babylonians,”

says the Lord.

“It will strike the people of Babylon—

her officials and wise men, too.

36 The sword will strike her wise counselors,

and they will become fools.

The sword will strike her mightiest warriors,

and panic will seize them.

37 The sword will strike her horses and chariots

and her allies from other lands,

and they will all become like women.

The sword will strike her treasures,

and they all will be plundered.

38 A droughtOr sword; the Hebrew words for drought and sword are very similar. will strike her water supply,

causing it to dry up.

And why? Because the whole land is filled with idols,

and the people are madly in love with them.

39 “Soon Babylon will be inhabited by desert animals and hyenas.

It will be a home for owls.

Never again will people live there;

it will lie desolate forever.

40 I will destroy it as IHebrew as God. destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah

and their neighboring towns,” says the Lord.

“No one will live there;

no one will inhabit it.

41 “Look! A great army is coming from the north.

A great nation and many kings

are rising against you from far-off lands.

42 They are armed with bows and spears.

They are cruel and show no mercy.

As they ride forward on horses,

they sound like a roaring sea.

They are coming in battle formation,

planning to destroy you, Babylon.

43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about the enemy,

and he is weak with fright.

Pangs of anguish have gripped him,

like those of a woman in labor.

44 “I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan,

leaping on the sheep in the pasture.

I will chase Babylon from its land,

and I will appoint the leader of my choice.

For who is like me, and who can challenge me?

What ruler can oppose my will?”

45 Listen to the Lord’s plans against Babylon

and the land of the Babylonians.

Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep,

and their homes will be destroyed.

46 The earth will shake with the shout, “Babylon has been taken!”

and its cry of despair will be heard around the world.

23 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.

24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail.

25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!

26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the Lord of hosts.

27 And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad.

28 Concerning Kedar, and concerning the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon shall smite, thus saith the Lord; Arise ye, go up to Kedar, and spoil the men of the east.

29 Their tents and their flocks shall they take away: they shall take to themselves their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels; and they shall cry unto them, Fear is on every side.

30 Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the Lord; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you.

31 Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the Lord, which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone.

32 And their camels shall be a booty, and the multitude of their cattle a spoil: and I will scatter into all winds them that are in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all sides thereof, saith the Lord.

33 And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it.

34 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,

35 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.

36 And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.

37 For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the Lord; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them:

38 And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the Lord.

39 But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the Lord.

50 The word that the Lord spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.

Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.

For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.

In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God.

They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.

My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.

All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the Lord, the habitation of justice, even the Lord, the hope of their fathers.

Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks.

For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.

10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the Lord.

11 Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;

12 Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.

13 Because of the wrath of the Lord it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.

14 Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the Lord.

15 Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the Lord: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her.

16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.

17 Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.

18 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.

19 And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead.

20 In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.

21 Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the Lord, and do according to all that I have commanded thee.

22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction.

23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!

24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the Lord.

25 The Lord hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

26 Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.

27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.

28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of his temple.

29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel.

30 Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the Lord.

31 Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord God of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee.

32 And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.

33 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go.

34 Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.

35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.

36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.

37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed.

38 A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.

40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the Lord; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.

41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.

42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.

43 The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.

44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?

45 Therefore hear ye the counsel of the Lord, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them.

46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.

Titus 1:1-16

Paul, a servant of GodRo 1:1; Jas 1:1 and an apostleS 1Co 1:1 of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truthS 1Ti 2:4 that leads to godlinessS 1Ti 2:2in the hope of eternal life,Tit 3:7; 2Ti 1:1 which God, who does not lie,Nu 23:19; Heb 6:18 promised before the beginning of time,2Ti 1:9and which now at his appointed season1Ti 2:6; 6:15 he has brought to light2Ti 1:10 through the preaching entrusted to meS 1Ti 1:11 by the command of GodS 2Co 1:1; 1Ti 1:1 our Savior,S Lk 1:47

To Titus,S 2Co 2:13 my true sonS 1Ti 1:2 in our common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.S Ro 1:7

Appointing Elders Who Love What Is Good1:6-8Ref — 1Ti 3:2-4

The reason I left you in CreteAc 27:7 was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appointOr ordain eldersS Ac 11:30 in every town, as I directed you.An elder must be blameless,S 1Th 3:13; 1Ti 3:2 faithful to his wife, a man whose children believeOr children are trustworthy and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.Since an overseerS 1Ti 3:1 manages God’s household,1Co 4:1 he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.S 1Ti 3:3, 8Rather, he must be hospitable,S Ro 12:13 one who loves what is good,2Ti 3:3 who is self-controlled,Tit 2:2, 5, 6, 12 upright, holy and disciplined.He must hold firmlyS 1Co 16:13; 1Ti 1:19; 2Ti 1:13; 3:14 to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrineS 1Ti 1:10 and refute those who oppose it.

Rebuking Those Who Fail to Do Good

10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk1Ti 1:6 and deception, especially those of the circumcision group.Ac 10:45; 11:211 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households1Ti 5:13 by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.12 One of Crete’s own prophetsAc 17:28 has said it: “CretansAc 2:11 are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides13 This saying is true. Therefore rebukeS 1Ti 5:20 them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faithTit 2:214 and will pay no attention to Jewish mythsS 1Ti 1:4 or to the merely human commandsS Col 2:22 of those who reject the truth.2Ti 4:415 To the pure, all things are pure,Ps 18:26; Mt 15:10, 11; Mk 7:14-19; Ac 10:9-16, 28; Col 2:20-22 but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.Ro 14:14, 23 In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.1Ti 6:516 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.Jer 5:2; 12:2; 1Jn 2:4 They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.Hos 8:2, 3

Greetings from Paul

This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith toOr to strengthen the faith of. those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives.This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began.And now at just the right time he has revealed this message, which we announce to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him.

I am writing to Titus, my true son in the faith that we share.

May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior give you grace and peace.

Titus’s Work in Crete

I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you.An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife,Or must have only one wife, or must be married only once; Greek reads must be the husband of one wife. and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious.A church leaderOr An overseer, or A bishop. is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker,Greek must not drink too much wine. violent, or dishonest with money.

Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life.He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.

10 For there are many rebellious people who engage in useless talk and deceive others. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation.11 They must be silenced, because they are turning whole families away from the truth by their false teaching. And they do it only for money.12 Even one of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, “The people of Crete are all liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons.”This quotation is from Epimenides of Knossos.13 This is true. So reprimand them sternly to make them strong in the faith.14 They must stop listening to Jewish myths and the commands of people who have turned away from the truth.

15 Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted.16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Psalm 97:1-98:9

Psalm 97

The Lord reigns,Ex 15:18; Ps 93:1; 96:10; 99:1; Isa 24:23; 52:7 let the earth be glad;S Ps 96:11

let the distant shoresS Est 10:1 rejoice.

CloudsS Job 22:14 and thick darknessS Ex 19:9 surround him;

righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.Ps 89:14

FireIsa 9:19; Da 7:10; Joel 1:19; 2:3 goes beforeHab 3:5 him

and consumesS 2Sa 22:9 his foes on every side.

His lightningS Job 36:30 lights up the world;

the earthS 2Sa 22:8 sees and trembles.S Ps 18:7; 104:32; S Rev 6:12

The mountains meltS Ps 46:2, 6 like waxS Ps 22:14 before the Lord,

before the Lord of all the earth.S Jos 3:11

The heavens proclaim his righteousness,Ps 50:6; 98:2

and all peoples see his glory.S Ps 19:1

All who worship imagesS Lev 26:1 are put to shame,Isa 42:17; Jer 10:14

those who boast in idolsS Dt 5:8

worship him,Heb 1:6 all you gods!Ex 12:12; Ps 16:4

Zion hears and rejoices

and the villages of Judah are gladS Ps 9:2

because of your judgments,Ps 48:11 Lord.

For you, Lord, are the Most HighPs 7:8 over all the earth;S Job 34:29

you are exaltedS Ps 47:9 far above all gods.

10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,S Job 28:28; Am 5:15; Ro 12:9

for he guardsPs 145:20 the lives of his faithful onesPs 31:23; 37:28; Pr 2:8

and deliversS Ps 34:7; Da 3:28; 6:16 them from the hand of the wicked.Ps 37:40; Jer 15:21; 20:13

11 Light shinesOne Hebrew manuscript and ancient versions (see also 112:4); most Hebrew manuscripts Light is sownS Job 22:28 on the righteousPs 11:5

and joy on the upright in heart.Ps 7:10

12 Rejoice in the Lord,S Job 22:19; Ps 104:34; Isa 41:16; Php 4:4 you who are righteous,

and praise his holy name.S Ex 3:15; S Ps 99:3

Psalm 98

A psalm.

Sing to the LordPs 30:4 a new song,S Ps 96:1

for he has done marvelous things;Ex 15:1; Ps 96:3; Isa 12:5; Lk 1:51

his right handS Ex 15:6 and his holy armS Jos 4:24; Job 40:9; Isa 51:9; 52:10; 53:1; 63:5

have worked salvationS Ps 44:3; Isa 59:16 for him.

The Lord has made his salvation knownIsa 52:10; Lk 3:6

and revealed his righteousnessS Ps 97:6 to the nations.S Ps 67:2

He has rememberedS 1Ch 16:15 his love

and his faithfulness to Israel;

all the ends of the earthS Ge 49:10; S Ps 48:10 have seen

the salvation of our God.S Ps 50:23

Shout for joyPs 20:5; Isa 12:6; 44:23; 52:9; 54:1; 55:12 to the Lord, all the earth,

burst into jubilant song with music;

make music to the Lord with the harp,Ps 33:2; 92:3; 147:7

with the harp and the sound of singing,Isa 51:3

with trumpetsS Nu 10:2; S 2Sa 6:15 and the blast of the ram’s hornS Ex 19:13

shout for joyPs 20:5; 100:1; Isa 12:6 before the Lord, the King.Ps 2:6; 47:7

Let the seaS Ps 93:3 resound, and everything in it,

the world, and all who live in it.S Ps 24:1

Let the rivers clap their hands,S 2Ki 11:12

let the mountainsPs 148:9; Isa 44:23; 55:12 sing together for joy;

let them sing before the Lord,

for he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world in righteousness

and the peoples with equity.S Ps 96:10

Psalm 97

The Lord is king!

Let the earth rejoice!

Let the farthest coastlands be glad.

Dark clouds surround him.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

Fire spreads ahead of him

and burns up all his foes.

His lightning flashes out across the world.

The earth sees and trembles.

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,

before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness;

every nation sees his glory.

Those who worship idols are disgraced—

all who brag about their worthless gods—

for every god must bow to him.

JerusalemHebrew Zion. has heard and rejoiced,

and all the towns of Judah are glad

because of your justice, O Lord!

For you, O Lord, are supreme over all the earth;

you are exalted far above all gods.

10 You who love the Lord, hate evil!

He protects the lives of his godly people

and rescues them from the power of the wicked.

11 Light shines on the godly,

and joy on those whose hearts are right.

12 May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord

and praise his holy name!

Psalm 98

A psalm.

Sing a new song to the Lord,

for he has done wonderful deeds.

His right hand has won a mighty victory;

his holy arm has shown his saving power!

The Lord has announced his victory

and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!

He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.

The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth;

break out in praise and sing for joy!

Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp,

with the harp and melodious song,

with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.

Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!

Let the earth and all living things join in.

Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!

Let the hills sing out their songs of joy

before the Lord,

for he is coming to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with justice,

and the nations with fairness.

97 The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.

Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.

A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.

His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.

The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.

Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.

Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O Lord.

For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.

10 Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

12 Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

98 O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

The Lord hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.

He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.

With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together

Before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

Proverbs 26:13-16

13 A sluggard says,Pr 6:6-11; 24:30-34 “There’s a lion in the road,

a fierce lion roaming the streets!”Pr 22:13

14 As a door turns on its hinges,

so a sluggard turns on his bed.S Pr 6:9

15 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;

he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.Pr 19:24

16 A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes

than seven people who answer discreetly.

13 The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road!

Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”

14 As a door swings back and forth on its hinges,

so the lazy person turns over in bed.

15 Lazy people take food in their hand

but don’t even lift it to their mouth.

16 Lazy people consider themselves smarter

than seven wise counselors.

13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

14 As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.

15 The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.

16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

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