Even before we become Christians, many of us think we are "good." The Word of God, however, clearly states the contrary. At one time, all of us "were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy. We hated others, and they hated us" (Titus 3:3).
In His kindness and love, God saved us, washed us in His blood, and renewed us in the Holy Spirit. His goodness to us made us good. Now, because of that goodness living in us, we devote our lives to doing what is good (v. 8).
Doing good includes submitting to those in authority, and living an obedient, gentle, humble, and peaceable life (v. 2). As we follow these guidelines, we will live productive lives, devoting ourselves to providing for daily necessities and the needs of others (v. 14).
The central theme of the Psalms is the goodness of the Lord. Psalm 100:5 puts it this way: "For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation."
Let us enjoy His goodness today and rejoice that He has changed us into someone "good." God is good all the time, and so should we be!
54 “The sound of a cry
the sound of great destruction
from the land of the Babylonians.
55 The Lord will destroy Babylon;
he will silence
the roar of their voices will resound.
her warriors will be captured,
and their bows will be broken.
For the Lord is a God of retribution;
her governors, officers and warriors as well;
declares the King,
58 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
and her high gates
the nations’ labor is only fuel for the flames.”
59 This is the message Jeremiah the prophet gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah,
The words of Jeremiah end
Now Zedekiah rebelled
4 So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth
6 By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat.
He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah
12 On the tenth day of the fifth
17 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars,
20 The bronze from the two pillars, the Sea and the twelve bronze bulls
24 The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah
in the seventh year, 3,023 Jews;
29 in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year,
832 people from Jerusalem;
30 in his twenty-third year,
745 Jews taken into exile
There were 4,600 people in all.
31 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin
54 “Listen! Hear the cry of Babylon,
the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians.
55 For the Lord is destroying Babylon.
He will silence her loud voice.
Waves of enemies pound against her;
the noise of battle rings through the city.
56 Destroying armies come against Babylon.
Her mighty men are captured,
and their weapons break in their hands.
For the Lord is a God who gives just punishment;
he always repays in full.
57 I will make her officials and wise men drunk,
along with her captains, officers, and warriors.
They will fall asleep
and never wake up again!”
says the King, whose name is
the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
58 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“The thick walls of Babylon will be leveled to the ground,
and her massive gates will be burned.
The builders from many lands have worked in vain,
for their work will be destroyed by fire!”
59 The prophet Jeremiah gave this message to Seraiah son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah, a staff officer, when Seraiah went to Babylon with King Zedekiah of Judah. This was during the fourth year of Zedekiah’s reign.
This is the end of Jeremiah’s messages.
52 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah.2 But Zedekiah did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Jehoiakim had done.3 These things happened because of the Lord’s anger against the people of Jerusalem and Judah, until he finally banished them from his presence and sent them into exile.
Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.4 So on January 15,
6 By July 18 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign,
8 But the Babylonian troops chased King Zedekiah and overtook him on the plains of Jericho, for his men had all deserted him and scattered.9 They captured the king and took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath. There the king of Babylon pronounced judgment upon Zedekiah.10 The king of Babylon made Zedekiah watch as he slaughtered his sons. He also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at Riblah.11 Then he gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in bronze chains, and the king of Babylon led him away to Babylon. Zedekiah remained there in prison until the day of his death.
12 On August 17 of that year,
17 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars in front of the Lord’s Temple, the bronze water carts, and the great bronze basin called the Sea, and they carried all the bronze away to Babylon.18 They also took all the ash buckets, shovels, lamp snuffers, basins, dishes, and all the other bronze articles used for making sacrifices at the Temple.19 The captain of the guard also took the small bowls, incense burners, basins, pots, lampstands, ladles, bowls used for liquid offerings, and all the other articles made of pure gold or silver.
20 The weight of the bronze from the two pillars, the Sea with the twelve bronze oxen beneath it, and the water carts was too great to be measured. These things had been made for the Lord’s Temple in the days of King Solomon.21 Each of the pillars was 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference.
24 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took with him as prisoners Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the priest of the second rank, and the three chief gatekeepers.25 And from among the people still hiding in the city, he took an officer who had been in charge of the Judean army; seven of the king’s personal advisers; the army commander’s chief secretary, who was in charge of recruitment; and sixty other citizens.26 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took them all to the king of Babylon at Riblah.27 And there at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king of Babylon had them all put to death. So the people of Judah were sent into exile from their land.
28 The number of captives taken to Babylon in the seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign
31 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, Evil-merodach ascended to the Babylonian throne. He was kind to
54 A sound of a cry cometh from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans:
55 Because the Lord hath spoiled Babylon, and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered:
56 Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the Lord God of recompences shall surely requite.
57 And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
58 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.
59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah into Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And this Seraiah was a quiet prince.
60 So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon.
61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words;
62 Then shalt thou say, O Lord, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever.
63 And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:
64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
52 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
2 And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.
3 For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
4 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built forts against it round about.
5 So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
6 And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land.
7 Then the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled, and went forth out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king's garden; (now the Chaldeans were by the city round about:) and they went by the way of the plain.
8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him.
9 Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave judgment upon him.
10 And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he slew also all the princes of Judah in Riblah.
11 Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.
12 Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem,
13 And burned the house of the Lord, and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire:
14 And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down all the walls of Jerusalem round about.
15 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive certain of the poor of the people, and the residue of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude.
16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for husbandmen.
17 Also the pillars of brass that were in the house of the Lord, and the bases, and the brasen sea that was in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans brake, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon.
18 The caldrons also, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the bowls, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.
19 And the basons, and the firepans, and the bowls, and the caldrons, and the candlesticks, and the spoons, and the cups; that which was of gold in gold, and that which was of silver in silver, took the captain of the guard away.
20 The two pillars, one sea, and twelve brasen bulls that were under the bases, which king Solomon had made in the house of the Lord: the brass of all these vessels was without weight.
21 And concerning the pillars, the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a fillet of twelve cubits did compass it; and the thickness thereof was four fingers: it was hollow.
22 And a chapiter of brass was upon it; and the height of one chapiter was five cubits, with network and pomegranates upon the chapiters round about, all of brass. The second pillar also and the pomegranates were like unto these.
23 And there were ninety and six pomegranates on a side; and all the pomegranates upon the network were an hundred round about.
24 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:
25 He took also out of the city an eunuch, which had the charge of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the king's person, which were found in the city; and the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land; and threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city.
26 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah.
27 And the king of Babylon smote them, and put them to death in Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his own land.
28 This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand Jews and three and twenty:
29 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty and two persons:
30 In the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadrezzar Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and five persons: all the persons were four thousand and six hundred.
31 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison.
32 And spake kindly unto him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon,
33 And changed his prison garments: and he did continually eat bread before him all the days of his life.
34 And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.
3 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities,
3 At one time
9 But avoid
12 As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus
15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.
3 Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.2 They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.4 But—
When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love,5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.
8 This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.
9 Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees
12 I am planning to send either Artemas or Tychicus to you. As soon as one of them arrives, do your best to meet me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to stay there for the winter.13 Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos with their trip. See that they are given everything they need.14 Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.
15 Everybody here sends greetings. Please give my greetings to the believers—all who love us.
May God’s grace be with you all.
3 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.
13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.
14 And let our's also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
1 Shout for joy
2 Worship the Lord
come before him
It is he who made us,
1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
100 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
18 Like a maniac shooting
flaming arrows of death
19 is one who deceives their neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”
18 Just as damaging
as a madman shooting a deadly weapon
19 is someone who lies to a friend
and then says, “I was only joking.”
18 As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?