Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

What we look at shapes our lives. David said he would not set before his eyes any vile thing. In this world we live in, our minds are bombarded daily with vile and vulgar images. From television, magazines, movies, and even the daily lives of others comes the constant portrayal of the perverse, proud, deceptive, profane, and slanderous.

What can we do about it? We can do as David did and be totally intolerant of filth. Whenever something from the enemy came before David's eyes, he immediately cast it from his mind. We cannot afford to meditate passively on unclean and worthless things that our minds conceive. Rather, we must follow Paul's instructions to "take captive every thought" (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV) and David's admonishment to "stay away from every evil" (Psalm 101:4).

Analyze your environment. Conduct spiritual housecleaning, if necessary, and do not let evil enter your presence (Psalm 101:7). Your mind will clear, temptation will lift, and you will dwell in safety.

Lamentations 1:1-2:22

This chapter is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.How desertedS Lev 26:43 lies the city,

once so full of people!S Jer 42:2

How like a widowS Isa 47:8 is she,

who once was greatS 1Ki 4:21 among the nations!

She who was queen among the provinces

has now become a slave.Isa 3:26; S Jer 40:9; Eze 5:5

Bitterly she weepsPs 6:6 at night,

tears are on her cheeks.

Among all her loversS Jer 3:1

there is no one to comfort her.

All her friends have betrayedS Jer 4:30; Mic 7:5 her;

they have become her enemies.ver 16; S Jer 30:14

After affliction and harsh labor,

Judah has gone into exile.S Jer 13:19

She dwells among the nations;

she finds no resting place.Dt 28:65

All who pursue her have overtaken herS Ex 15:9

in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn,S Ps 137:1

for no one comes to her appointed festivals.

All her gateways are desolate,S Isa 27:10; S Jer 9:11

her priests groan,

her young women grieve,

and she is in bitter anguish.ver 21; Joel 1:8-13

Her foes have become her masters;

her enemies are at ease.

The Lord has brought her griefS Isa 22:5; S Jer 30:15

because of her many sins.S Ps 5:10

Her children have gone into exile,S Jer 10:20; S 39:9; 52:28-30

captive before the foe.S Ps 137:3; La 2:17

All the splendor has departed

from Daughter Zion.S Ps 9:14; Jer 13:18

Her princes are like deer

that find no pasture;

in weakness they have fledS Lev 26:36

before the pursuer.

In the days of her affliction and wandering

Jerusalem remembers all the treasures

that were hers in days of old.

When her people fell into enemy hands,

there was no one to help her.S 2Ki 14:26; S Jer 37:7; La 4:17

Her enemies looked at her

and laughedS Jer 2:26 at her destruction.

Jerusalem has sinnedver 20; Isa 59:2-13 greatly

and so has become unclean.S Jer 2:22

All who honored her despise her,

for they have all seen her naked;S Jer 13:22, 26

she herself groansver 21, 22; S Ps 6:6; S 38:8

and turns away.

Her filthiness clung to her skirts;

she did not consider her future.Dt 32:28-29; Eze 24:13

Her fallJer 13:18 was astounding;

there was none to comfortS Ecc 4:1; S Jer 16:7 her.

“Look, Lord, on my affliction,Ps 25:18

for the enemy has triumphed.”

10 The enemy laid hands

on all her treasures;S Isa 64:11

she saw pagan nations

enter her sanctuaryPs 74:7-8; 79:1; Jer 51:51

those you had forbiddenDt 23:3

to enter your assembly.

11 All her people groanS Ps 6:6; S 38:8

as they search for bread;S Jer 37:21; S 52:6

they barter their treasures for food

to keep themselves alive.

“Look, Lord, and consider,

for I am despised.”

12 “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?S Jer 18:16

Look around and see.

Is any suffering like my sufferingver 18

that was inflicted on me,

that the Lord brought on me

in the day of his fierce anger?S Isa 10:4; 13:13; S Jer 30:24

13 “From on high he sent fire,

sent it down into my bones.S Job 30:30; Ps 102:3

He spread a netS Job 18:8 for my feet

and turned me back.

He made me desolate,S Jer 44:6

faintHab 3:16 all the day long.

14 “My sins have been bound into a yokeMost Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint He kept watch over my sins;S Dt 28:48; S Isa 47:6; S Jer 15:12

by his hands they were woven together.

They have been hung on my neck,

and the Lord has sapped my strength.

He has given me into the handsS Jer 32:5

of those I cannot withstand.

15 “The Lord has rejected

all the warriors in my midst;Jer 37:10

he has summoned an armyIsa 41:2 against me

toOr has set a time for me / when he will crush my young men.Isa 28:18; S Jer 18:21

In his winepressS Jdg 6:11 the Lord has trampledS Isa 5:5

Virgin DaughterJer 14:17 Judah.

16 “This is why I weep

and my eyes overflow with tears.S Job 7:3; S Ps 119:136; S Isa 22:4; La 2:11, 18; 3:48-49

No one is near to comfortS Ps 69:20; Ecc 4:1; S Jer 16:7 me,

no one to restore my spirit.

My children are destitute

because the enemy has prevailed.”S ver 2; Jer 13:17; 14:17

17 Zion stretches out her hands,S Jer 4:31

but there is no one to comfort her.

The Lord has decreed for Jacob

that his neighbors become his foes;S Ex 23:21

Jerusalem has become

an uncleanJer 2:22 thingS Lev 18:25-28 among them.

18 “The Lord is righteous,S Ex 9:27; S Ezr 9:15

yet I rebelledS 1Sa 12:14 against his command.

Listen, all you peoples;

look on my suffering.ver 12

My young men and young women

have gone into exile.Dt 28:32, 41

19 “I called to my alliesS Jer 22:20

but they betrayed me.

My priests and my elders

perishedS Jer 14:15; La 2:20 in the city

while they searched for food

to keep themselves alive.

20 “See, Lord, how distressedS Jer 4:19 I am!

I am in tormentLa 2:11 within,

and in my heart I am disturbed,S Job 20:2

for I have been most rebellious.S ver 8

Outside, the sword bereaves;

inside, there is only death.S Dt 32:25; Eze 7:15

21 “People have heard my groaning,S ver 8; S Ps 6:6; S 38:8

but there is no one to comfort me.ver 4

All my enemies have heard of my distress;

they rejoiceLa 2:15 at what you have done.

May you bring the dayIsa 47:11; Jer 30:16 you have announced

so they may become like me.

22 “Let all their wickedness come before you;

deal with them

as you have dealt with me

because of all my sins.Ne 4:5

My groansS ver 8; S Ps 6:6 are many

and my heart is faint.”

This chapter is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.How the Lord has covered Daughter Zion

with the cloud of his angerOr How the Lord in his anger / has treated Daughter Zion with contempt!La 3:44

He has hurled down the splendor of Israel

from heaven to earth;

he has not remembered his footstoolPs 99:5; 132:7

in the day of his anger.S Jer 12:7

Without pityver 17; La 3:43 the Lord has swallowedPs 21:9 up

all the dwellings of Jacob;

in his wrath he has torn down

the strongholdsPs 89:39-40; Mic 5:11 of Daughter Judah.

He has brought her kingdom and its princes

down to the groundS Isa 25:12 in dishonor.

In fierce anger he has cut off

every hornOr off / all the strength; or every kingHorn here symbolizes strength.Ps 75:5, 10 of Israel.

He has withdrawn his right handPs 74:11

at the approach of the enemy.

He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire

that consumes everything around it.S Isa 42:25; Jer 21:4-5, 14

Like an enemy he has strung his bow;S Job 3:23; 16:13; La 3:12-13

his right hand is ready.

Like a foe he has slain

all who were pleasing to the eye;S Ps 48:2; Eze 24:16, 25

he has poured out his wrathS 2Ch 34:21; Eze 20:34 like fireIsa 42:25; S Jer 7:20

on the tentS Jer 4:20 of Daughter Zion.

The Lord is like an enemy;S Job 13:24

he has swallowed up Israel.

He has swallowed up all her palaces

and destroyed her strongholds.ver 2

He has multiplied mourning and lamentationS Isa 29:2

for Daughter Judah.S Jer 7:20; 9:17-20

He has laid waste his dwelling like a garden;

he has destroyed2Ch 36:19 his place of meeting.S Jer 52:13

The Lord has made Zion forget

her appointed festivals and her Sabbaths;Zep 3:18

in his fierce anger he has spurned

both king and priest.Isa 43:28; S Jer 7:14; La 4:16; 5:12

The Lord has rejected his altar

and abandoned his sanctuary.S Lev 26:31; S Eze 7:24

He has given the walls of her palacesPs 74:7-8; S Isa 64:11; Jer 33:4-5; Eze 7:21-22

into the hands of the enemy;

they have raised a shout in the house of the Lord

as on the day of an appointed festival.Jer 21:4; 52:13

The Lord determined to tear down

the wall around Daughter Zion.ver 18

He stretched out a measuring lineS 2Ki 21:13

and did not withhold his hand from destroying.

He made rampartsS Ps 48:13 and walls lament;

together they wasted away.Isa 3:26; S Jer 39:8; S 52:14

Her gatesS Ne 1:3 have sunk into the ground;

their barsS Isa 45:2; Hos 11:6 he has broken and destroyed.

Her king and her princes are exiledDt 28:36; S 2Ki 24:15; Jer 16:13; Hos 3:4 among the nations,

the lawS 2Ch 15:3 is no more,

and her prophetsS 1Sa 3:1 no longer find

visionsS Jer 14:14 from the Lord.

10 The elders of Daughter Zion

sit on the ground in silence;La 3:28

they have sprinkled dustS Jos 7:6 on their headsJob 2:12

and put on sackcloth.S Isa 3:24

The young women of Jerusalem

have bowed their heads to the ground.S Job 2:13; S Isa 3:26; Eze 27:30-31

11 My eyes fail from weeping,S Ps 119:82; S Isa 15:3; S La 1:16; 3:48-51

I am in torment withinS Job 30:27; La 1:20;

my heartS Isa 1:5 is poured outver 19; Ps 22:14 on the ground

because my people are destroyed,S Jer 9:1

because children and infants faintLa 4:4

in the streets of the city.

12 They say to their mothers,

“Where is bread and wine?”Isa 24:11

as they faint like the wounded

in the streets of the city,

as their lives ebb awayS Job 3:24

in their mothers’ arms.La 4:4

13 What can I say for you?S Isa 1:6

With what can I compare you,

DaughterS 2Ki 19:21 Jerusalem?

To what can I liken you,

that I may comfort you,

Virgin Daughter Zion?Isa 37:22

Your wound is as deep as the sea.Jer 14:17; 30:12-15; La 1:12

Who can heal you?

14 The visions of your prophets

were falseS Jer 28:15 and worthless;

they did not expose your sin

to ward off your captivity.Jer 8:11

The prophecies they gave you

were false and misleading.Jer 2:8; S 20:6; 23:25-32, 33-40; S 29:9; Eze 13:3; 22:28

15 All who pass your way

clap their hands at you;S Nu 24:10; Eze 25:6

they scoffS Dt 28:37; S Isa 28:22; Jer 19:8; S Na 3:19 and shake their headsS Job 16:4

at Daughter Jerusalem:S La 1:21

“Is this the city that was called

the perfection of beauty,Ps 45:11; S 48:2; 50:2; Eze 16:14

the joy of the whole earth?”Ps 48:2

16 All your enemies open their mouths

wide against you;Ps 22:13; La 3:46

they scoff and gnash their teethS Job 16:9

and say, “We have swallowed her up.S Ps 35:25

This is the day we have waited for;

we have lived to see it.”Eze 36:3; Mic 4:11

17 The Lord has done what he planned;

he has fulfilledS Jer 39:16 his word,

which he decreed long ago.Dt 28:15-45

He has overthrown you without pity,S ver 2; Eze 5:11; 7:9; 8:18

he has let the enemy gloat over you,S Ps 22:17

he has exalted the hornHorn here symbolizes strength. of your foes.Ps 89:42; S Isa 44:26; S La 1:5; Zec 1:6

18 The hearts of the people

cry out to the Lord.S Ps 119:145

You walls of Daughter Zion,ver 8

let your tearsS La 1:16 flow like a river

day and night;S Jer 9:1

give yourself no relief,

your eyes no rest.La 3:49

19 Arise, cry out in the night,

as the watches of the night begin;

pour out your heart1Sa 1:15 like water

in the presence of the Lord.S ver 11; Isa 26:9

Lift up your handsS Ps 28:2 to him

for the lives of your children,

who faintS Isa 51:20 from hunger

at every street corner.

20 “Look, Lord, and consider:

Whom have you ever treated like this?

Should women eat their offspring,S Dt 28:53; Jer 19:9; Eze 5:10

the children they have cared for?La 4:10

Should priest and prophet be killedPs 78:64; S Jer 14:15; 23:11-12

in the sanctuary of the Lord?S La 1:19

21 “Young and old lie together

in the dust of the streets;

my young men and young women

have fallen by the sword.S Dt 32:25; S 2Ch 36:17; Ps 78:62-63; Jer 6:11

You have slain them in the day of your anger;

you have slaughtered them without pity.S Jer 13:14; La 3:43; Zec 11:6

22 “As you summon to a feast day,

so you summoned against me terrorsS Ps 31:13; S Jer 20:10 on every side.

In the day of the Lord’s anger

no one escapedS Jer 11:11 or survived;

those I cared for and rearedJob 27:14; Hos 9:13

my enemy has destroyed.”

Sorrow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, once so full of people,

is now deserted.

She who was once great among the nations

now sits alone like a widow.

Once the queen of all the earth,

she is now a slave.

She sobs through the night;

tears stream down her cheeks.

Among all her lovers,

there is no one left to comfort her.

All her friends have betrayed her

and become her enemies.

Judah has been led away into captivity,

oppressed with cruel slavery.

She lives among foreign nations

and has no place of rest.

Her enemies have chased her down,

and she has nowhere to turn.

The roads to JerusalemHebrew Zion; also in 1:17. are in mourning,

for crowds no longer come to celebrate the festivals.

The city gates are silent,

her priests groan,

her young women are crying—

how bitter is her fate!

Her oppressors have become her masters,

and her enemies prosper,

for the Lord has punished Jerusalem

for her many sins.

Her children have been captured

and taken away to distant lands.

All the majesty of beautiful JerusalemHebrew of the daughter of Zion.

has been stripped away.

Her princes are like starving deer

searching for pasture.

They are too weak to run

from the pursuing enemy.

In the midst of her sadness and wandering,

Jerusalem remembers her ancient splendor.

But now she has fallen to her enemy,

and there is no one to help her.

Her enemy struck her down

and laughed as she fell.

Jerusalem has sinned greatly,

so she has been tossed away like a filthy rag.

All who once honored her now despise her,

for they have seen her stripped naked and humiliated.

All she can do is groan

and hide her face.

She defiled herself with immorality

and gave no thought to her future.

Now she lies in the gutter

with no one to lift her out.

Lord, see my misery,” she cries.

“The enemy has triumphed.”

10 The enemy has plundered her completely,

taking every precious thing she owns.

She has seen foreigners violate her sacred Temple,

the place the Lord had forbidden them to enter.

11 Her people groan as they search for bread.

They have sold their treasures for food to stay alive.

“O Lord, look,” she mourns,

“and see how I am despised.

12 “Does it mean nothing to you, all you who pass by?

Look around and see if there is any suffering like mine,

which the Lord brought on me

when he erupted in fierce anger.

13 “He has sent fire from heaven that burns in my bones.

He has placed a trap in my path and turned me back.

He has left me devastated,

racked with sickness all day long.

14 “He wove my sins into ropes

to hitch me to a yoke of captivity.

The Lord sapped my strength and turned me over to my enemies;

I am helpless in their hands.

15 “The Lord has treated my mighty men

with contempt.

At his command a great army has come

to crush my young warriors.

The Lord has trampled his beloved cityHebrew the virgin daughter of Judah.

like grapes are trampled in a winepress.

16 “For all these things I weep;

tears flow down my cheeks.

No one is here to comfort me;

any who might encourage me are far away.

My children have no future,

for the enemy has conquered us.”

17 Jerusalem reaches out for help,

but no one comforts her.

Regarding his people Israel,Hebrew Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.

the Lord has said,

“Let their neighbors be their enemies!

Let them be thrown away like a filthy rag!”

18 “The Lord is right,” Jerusalem says,

“for I rebelled against him.

Listen, people everywhere;

look upon my anguish and despair,

for my sons and daughters

have been taken captive to distant lands.

19 “I begged my allies for help,

but they betrayed me.

My priests and leaders

starved to death in the city,

even as they searched for food

to save their lives.

20 Lord, see my anguish!

My heart is broken

and my soul despairs,

for I have rebelled against you.

In the streets the sword kills,

and at home there is only death.

21 “Others heard my groans,

but no one turned to comfort me.

When my enemies heard about my troubles,

they were happy to see what you had done.

Oh, bring the day you promised,

when they will suffer as I have suffered.

22 “Look at all their evil deeds, Lord.

Punish them,

as you have punished me

for all my sins.

My groans are many,

and I am sick at heart.”

God’s Anger at Sin

The Lord in his anger

has cast a dark shadow over beautiful Jerusalem.Hebrew the daughter of Zion; also in 2:8, 10, 18.

The fairest of Israel’s cities lies in the dust,

thrown down from the heights of heaven.

In his day of great anger,

the Lord has shown no mercy even to his Temple.Hebrew his footstool.

Without mercy the Lord has destroyed

every home in Israel.Hebrew Jacob; also in 2:3b. See note on 1:17.

In his anger he has broken down

the fortress walls of beautiful Jerusalem.Hebrew the daughter of Judah; also in 2:5.

He has brought them to the ground,

dishonoring the kingdom and its rulers.

All the strength of Israel

vanishes beneath his fierce anger.

The Lord has withdrawn his protection

as the enemy attacks.

He consumes the whole land of Israel

like a raging fire.

He bends his bow against his people,

as though he were their enemy.

His strength is used against them

to kill their finest youth.

His fury is poured out like fire

on beautiful Jerusalem.Hebrew on the tent of the daughter of Zion.

Yes, the Lord has vanquished Israel

like an enemy.

He has destroyed her palaces

and demolished her fortresses.

He has brought unending sorrow and tears

upon beautiful Jerusalem.

He has broken down his Temple

as though it were merely a garden shelter.

The Lord has blotted out all memory

of the holy festivals and Sabbath days.

Kings and priests fall together

before his fierce anger.

The Lord has rejected his own altar;

he despises his own sanctuary.

He has given Jerusalem’s palaces

to her enemies.

They shout in the Lord’s Temple

as though it were a day of celebration.

The Lord was determined

to destroy the walls of beautiful Jerusalem.

He made careful plans for their destruction,

then did what he had planned.

Therefore, the ramparts and walls

have fallen down before him.

Jerusalem’s gates have sunk into the ground.

He has smashed their locks and bars.

Her kings and princes have been exiled to distant lands;

her law has ceased to exist.

Her prophets receive

no more visions from the Lord.

10 The leaders of beautiful Jerusalem

sit on the ground in silence.

They are clothed in burlap

and throw dust on their heads.

The young women of Jerusalem

hang their heads in shame.

11 I have cried until the tears no longer come;

my heart is broken.

My spirit is poured out in agony

as I see the desperate plight of my people.

Little children and tiny babies

are fainting and dying in the streets.

12 They cry out to their mothers,

“We need food and drink!”

Their lives ebb away in the streets

like the life of a warrior wounded in battle.

They gasp for life

as they collapse in their mothers’ arms.

13 What can I say about you?

Who has ever seen such sorrow?

O daughter of Jerusalem,

to what can I compare your anguish?

O virgin daughter of Zion,

how can I comfort you?

For your wound is as deep as the sea.

Who can heal you?

14 Your prophets have said

so many foolish things, false to the core.

They did not save you from exile

by pointing out your sins.

Instead, they painted false pictures,

filling you with false hope.

15 All who pass by jeer at you.

They scoff and insult beautiful Jerusalem,Hebrew the daughter of Jerusalem. saying,

“Is this the city called ‘Most Beautiful in All the World’

and ‘Joy of All the Earth’?”

16 All your enemies mock you.

They scoff and snarl and say,

“We have destroyed her at last!

We have long waited for this day,

and it is finally here!”

17 But it is the Lord who did just as he planned.

He has fulfilled the promises of disaster

he made long ago.

He has destroyed Jerusalem without mercy.

He has caused her enemies to gloat over her

and has given them power over her.

18 Cry aloudHebrew Their heart cried. before the Lord,

O walls of beautiful Jerusalem!

Let your tears flow like a river

day and night.

Give yourselves no rest;

give your eyes no relief.

19 Rise during the night and cry out.

Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord.

Lift up your hands to him in prayer,

pleading for your children,

for in every street

they are faint with hunger.

20 “O Lord, think about this!

Should you treat your own people this way?

Should mothers eat their own children,

those they once bounced on their knees?

Should priests and prophets be killed

within the Lord’s Temple?

21 “See them lying in the streets—

young and old,

boys and girls,

killed by the swords of the enemy.

You have killed them in your anger,

slaughtering them without mercy.

22 “You have invited terrors from all around,

as though you were calling them to a day of feasting.

In the day of the Lord’s anger,

no one has escaped or survived.

The enemy has killed all the children

whom I carried and raised.”

How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.

The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness.

Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.

And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer.

Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.

Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.

Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O Lord, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself.

10 The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation.

11 All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: see, O Lord, and consider; for I am become vile.

12 Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.

13 From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate and faint all the day.

14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, and come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up.

15 The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a winepress.

16 For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.

17 Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her: the Lord hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them.

18 The Lord is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.

19 I called for my lovers, but they deceived me: my priests and mine elders gave up the ghost in the city, while they sought their meat to relieve their souls.

20 Behold, O Lord; for I am in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is as death.

21 They have heard that I sigh: there is none to comfort me: all mine enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that thou hast done it: thou wilt bring the day that thou hast called, and they shall be like unto me.

22 Let all their wickedness come before thee; and do unto them, as thou hast done unto me for all my transgressions: for my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.

How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!

The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof.

He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about.

He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire.

The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.

And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the Lord hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.

The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the Lord, as in the day of a solemn feast.

The Lord hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together.

Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the Lord.

10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.

11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.

12 They say to their mothers, Where is corn and wine? when they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into their mothers' bosom.

13 What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?

14 Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment.

15 All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?

16 All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.

17 The Lord hath done that which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.

18 Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease.

19 Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.

20 Behold, O Lord, and consider to whom thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21 The young and the old lie on the ground in the streets: my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword; thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger; thou hast killed, and not pitied.

22 Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the Lord's anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.

Philemon 1-25

Paul, a prisonerver 9, 23; S Eph 3:1 of Christ Jesus, and TimothyS Ac 16:1 our brother,2Co 1:1

To Philemon our dear friend and fellow workerS Php 2:25also to Apphia our sister and ArchippusCol 4:17 our fellow soldierPhp 2:25—and to the church that meets in your home:S Ro 16:5

Grace and peace to youThe Greek is plural; also in verses 22 and 25; elsewhere in this letter “you” is singular. from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.S Ro 1:7

Thanksgiving and Prayer

I always thank my GodS Ro 1:8 as I remember you in my prayers,S Ro 1:10because I hear about your love for all his holy peopleS Col 1:4; 1Th 3:6 and your faith in the Lord Jesus.S Ac 20:21I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.Your love has given me great joy and encouragement,2Co 7:4, 13 because you, brother, have refreshedver 20; Ro 15:32; 1Co 16:18 the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,yet I prefer to appeal to you1Co 1:10 on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisonerver 1, 23; S Eph 3:1 of Christ Jesus—10 that I appeal to you for my sonS 1Th 2:11 Onesimus,Onesimus means useful.Col 4:9 who became my son while I was in chains.S Ac 21:3311 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.

12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you.13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chainsver 10; S Ac 21:33 for the gospel.14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced2Co 9:7; 1Pe 5:2 but would be voluntary.15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever—16 no longer as a slave,1Co 7:22 but better than a slave, as a dear brother.Mt 23:8; S Ac 1:16; 1Ti 6:2 He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.

17 So if you consider me a partner,2Co 8:23 welcome him as you would welcome me.18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.Ge 43:919 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand.S 1Co 16:21 I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self.20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refreshver 7; 1Co 16:18 my heart in Christ.21 ConfidentS 2Co 2:3 of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.

22 And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to bePhp 1:25; 2:24; Heb 13:19 restored to you in answer to your prayers.2Co 1:11; Php 1:19

23 Epaphras,Col 1:7 my fellow prisonerver 1; Ro 16:7; Col 4:10 in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings.24 And so do Mark,S Ac 12:12 Aristarchus,S Ac 19:29 DemasCol 4:14; 2Ti 4:10 and Luke, my fellow workers.ver 1

25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.S Gal 6:18

Greetings from Paul

This letter is from Paul, a prisoner for preaching the Good News about Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.

I am writing to Philemon, our beloved co-worker,and to our sister Apphia, and to our fellow soldier Archippus, and to the church that meets in yourThroughout this letter, you and your are singular except in verses 3, 22, and 25. house.

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

Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer

I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon,because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people.And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.

Paul’s Appeal for Onesimus

That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do.But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this as a request from me—Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus.Or a prisoner of Christ Jesus.

10 I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison.11 OnesimusOnesimus means “useful.” hasn’t been of much use to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us.12 I am sending him back to you, and with him comes my own heart.

13 I wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf.14 But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent. I wanted you to help because you were willing, not because you were forced.15 It seems you lost Onesimus for a little while so that you could have him back forever.16 He is no longer like a slave to you. He is more than a slave, for he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.

17 So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.18 If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me.19 I, PAUL, WRITE THIS WITH MY OWN HAND: I WILL REPAY IT. AND I WON’T MENTION THAT YOU OWE ME YOUR VERY SOUL!

20 Yes, my brother, please do me this favorGreek onaimen, a play on the name Onesimus. for the Lord’s sake. Give me this encouragement in Christ.

21 I am confident as I write this letter that you will do what I ask and even more!22 One more thing—please prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that God will answer your prayers and let me return to you soon.

Paul’s Final Greetings

23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings.24 So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my co-workers.

25 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,

And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:

Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,

Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,

Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:

12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:

13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:

14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;

16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?

17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.

18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;

19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.

20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.

21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;

24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.

25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Psalm 101:1-8

Psalm 101

Of David. A psalm.

I will sing of your lovePs 33:1; 51:14; 89:1; 145:7 and justice;

to you, Lord, I will sing praise.

I will be careful to lead a blameless lifeS Ge 17:1; Php 1:10

when will you come to me?

I will conduct the affairsS 1Ki 3:14 of my house

with a blameless heart.

I will not look with approval

on anything that is vile.Jer 16:18; Eze 11:21; Hos 9:10

I hate what faithless people do;S Ps 5:5

I will have no part in it.

The perverse of heartPr 3:32; 6:16-19; 11:20 shall be far from me;

I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

Whoever slanders their neighborS Ex 20:16; S Lev 19:16 in secret,

I will put to silence;

whoever has haughty eyesS Ps 10:5 and a proud heart,

I will not tolerate.

My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,

that they may dwell with me;

the one whose walk is blamelessver 2; Ps 119:1

will minister to me.

No one who practices deceit

will dwell in my house;

no one who speaks falsely

will stand in my presence.

Every morningPs 5:3; Jer 21:12 I will put to silence

all the wickedPs 75:10 in the land;

I will cut off every evildoerS 2Sa 3:39; Ps 118:10-12

from the city of the Lord.S Ps 46:4

Psalm 101

A psalm of David.

I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.

I will praise you with songs.

I will be careful to live a blameless life—

when will you come to help me?

I will lead a life of integrity

in my own home.

I will refuse to look at

anything vile and vulgar.

I hate all who deal crookedly;

I will have nothing to do with them.

I will reject perverse ideas

and stay away from every evil.

I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.

I will not endure conceit and pride.

I will search for faithful people

to be my companions.

Only those who are above reproach

will be allowed to serve me.

I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,

and liars will not stay in my presence.

My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked

and free the city of the Lord from their grip.

101 I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.

I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.

Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord.

Proverbs 26:20

20 Without wood a fire goes out;

without a gossip a quarrel dies down.Pr 22:10

20 Fire goes out without wood,

and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.

20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

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