Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The "old, godly way" is the path where we will find rest for our souls. This place is described in the New International Version of the Bible as the "ancient paths" and is called the "good way." Israel's journey through the wilderness as chronicled in Psalm 78 describes the path on which the people of God were instructed to walk.

First, the path was one of deliverance: "He divided the sea before them and led them through" (Psalm 78:13). The Lord knows how to deliver His people from all their enemies, even if the path leads in an unorthodox way!

Second, the path was one of guidance: "In the daytime he led them by a cloud, and at night by a pillar of fire" (v. 14). Because the Lord's path is always better than our own, we should ask Him to show us where the "cloud" is moving in our lives.

Finally, the path was one of provision: "He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them plenty of water, as from a gushing spring" (v. 15). If we keep walking in the paths of the Lord, there will be constant provision. We must remember the words of Psalm 23:1: "The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need."

With the promise of God's deliverance, guidance, and provision, why would we ever say of the path of the Lord, "No, that's not the road we want!" (Jeremiah 6:16)? Choose to walk in the godly way, and find rest for your soul.

Jeremiah 6:16-8:7

16 This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;

ask for the ancient paths,Jer 18:15

ask where the good wayS 1Ki 8:36; S Ps 119:3 is, and walk in it,

and you will find restS Jos 1:13; S Isa 11:10; Mt 11:29 for your souls.

But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

17 I appointed watchmenS Isa 52:8 over you and said,

‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’S Ex 20:18

But you said, ‘We will not listen.’Jer 11:7-8; Eze 33:4; Zec 1:4

18 Therefore hear, you nations;

you who are witnesses,

observe what will happen to them.

19 Hear, you earth:S Dt 4:26; Jer 22:29; Mic 1:2

I am bringing disasterS Jos 23:15; Jer 11:11; 19:3 on this people,

the fruit of their schemes,Pr 1:31

because they have not listened to my wordsJer 29:19

and have rejected my law.Jer 8:9; Eze 20:13; Am 2:4

20 What do I care about incense from ShebaS Ge 10:7

or sweet calamusS Ex 30:23 from a distant land?

Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;Am 5:22; Mal 1:9

your sacrificesPs 50:8-10; Jer 7:21; Mic 6:7-8 do not please me.”S Isa 1:11; Jer 14:12; Hos 8:13; 9:4

21 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“I will put obstacles before this people.

Parents and children alike will stumbleS Lev 26:37; S Isa 8:14 over them;

neighbors and friends will perish.”

22 This is what the Lord says:

“Look, an army is coming

from the land of the north;S Jer 4:6

a great nation is being stirred up

from the ends of the earth.S Dt 28:49

23 They are armed with bow and spear;

they are cruel and show no mercy.S Isa 13:18

They sound like the roaring seaS Ps 18:4; S 93:3

as they ride on their horses;S Jer 4:29

they come like men in battle formation

to attack you, Daughter Zion.S Isa 10:32

24 We have heard reports about them,

and our hands hang limp.Isa 13:7

AnguishS Jer 4:19 has gripped us,

pain like that of a woman in labor.S Jer 4:31; 50:41-43

25 Do not go out to the fields

or walk on the roads,

for the enemy has a sword,

and there is terror on every side.S Job 15:21; S Ps 31:13; Jer 49:29

26 Put on sackcloth,S Jer 4:8 my people,

and roll in ashes;S Job 2:8; Jer 25:34; Eze 27:30; Jnh 3:6

mourn with bitter wailingJer 9:1; 18:22; 20:16; 25:36

as for an only son,S Ge 21:16

for suddenly the destroyerS Ex 12:23; S Jer 4:7

will come upon us.

27 “I have made you a testerJer 9:7; Zec 13:9 of metals

and my people the ore,

that you may observe

and test their ways.

28 They are all hardened rebels,Jer 5:23

going about to slander.S Lev 19:16

They are bronze and iron;Eze 22:18

they all act corruptly.

29 The bellows blow fiercely

to burn away the lead with fire,

but the refiningMal 3:3 goes on in vain;

the wicked are not purged out.

30 They are called rejected silver,Pr 17:3; Eze 22:18

because the Lord has rejected them.”Ps 53:5; 119:119; Jer 7:29; La 5:22; Hos 9:17

False Religion Worthless

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:“StandJer 17:19 at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message:

“‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord.This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your waysJer 18:11; 26:13; 35:15 and your actions, and I will let you livever 7 in this place.Do not trustS Job 15:31 in deceptivever 8; Jer 28:15; Mic 3:11 words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”If you really changever 3; Jer 18:11; 26:13; 35:15 your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly,S Ex 22:22; S Lev 25:17; S Isa 1:17if you do not oppressS Jer 5:28; Eze 22:7 the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent bloodS 2Ki 21:16; Jer 2:34; 19:4; 22:3 in this place, and if you do not follow other godsS Ex 20:3; S Dt 8:19 to your own harm,then I will let you live in this place, in the landS Dt 4:40 I gave your ancestorsS Jos 1:6 for ever and ever.But look, you are trustingS Job 15:31 in deceptiveS ver 4 words that are worthless.

“‘Will you stealEx 20:15 and murder,Ex 20:13 commit adulteryEx 20:14; S Nu 25:1 and perjury,Or and swear by false godsEx 20:16; S Lev 19:12; Zec 8:17; Mal 3:5 burn incense to BaalS Isa 1:13; Jer 11:13, 17; 32:29 and follow other godsS Ex 20:3; Hos 2:13 you have not known,10 and then come and standS Isa 48:1 before me in this house,ver 30; 2Ki 21:4-5; Jer 23:11; 32:34; Eze 23:38-39 which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things?Eze 33:2511 Has this house,Isa 56:7 which bears my Name, become a den of robbersMt 21:13*; Mk 11:17*; Lk 19:46* to you? But I have been watching!Ge 31:50; Jdg 11:10; Jer 29:23; 42:5 declares the Lord.

12 “‘Go now to the place in ShilohS Jos 18:1; S 1Sa 2:32 where I first made a dwellingS Ex 40:2; S Jos 18:10 for my Name,Da 9:18 and see what I didS 1Sa 4:10-11, 22; Ps 78:60-64 to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel.13 While you were doing all these things, declares the Lord, I spokePs 71:17; Isa 48:17; Jer 32:33 to you again and again,S 2Ch 36:15 but you did not listen;S ver 26; S Isa 65:12 I calledS Pr 1:24 you, but you did not answer.Jer 35:1714 Therefore, what I did to ShilohS Jdg 18:31; S 1Sa 2:32 I will now do to the house that bears my Name,S 1Ki 9:7 the templever 4; Eze 24:21 you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors.15 I will thrust you from my presence,S Ge 4:14; S Ex 33:15; S 2Ki 17:20; Jer 23:39 just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.’S Ps 78:67

16 “So do not pray for this people nor offer any pleaS Ex 32:10; Dt 9:14; Jer 15:1 or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listenS Nu 23:19 to you.17 Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?18 The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven.Jer 44:17-19 They pour out drink offeringsS Isa 57:6 to other gods to arouseS Dt 31:17; S 1Ki 14:9 my anger.19 But am I the one they are provoking?Dt 32:21; Jer 44:3 declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?S Job 7:20; Jer 9:19; 20:11; 22:22

20 “‘Therefore this is what the SovereignS Isa 30:15 Lord says: My angerS Job 40:11; Jer 42:18; La 2:3-5 and my wrath will be pouredJer 6:11-12; La 4:11 out on this place—on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land—and it will burn and not be quenched.S Isa 1:31; Jer 11:16; 13:14; 15:6, 14; 17:4, 27; Eze 20:47-48

21 “‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrificesS Jer 6:20; Am 5:21-22 and eatS 1Sa 2:12-17; Hos 8:13 the meat yourselves!22 For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commandsIsa 43:23 about burnt offerings and sacrifices,S 1Sa 15:2223 but I gave them this command:1Jn 3:23 ObeyS Ex 19:5 me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.S Lev 26:12; S Isa 51:16 Walk in obedience to allS 1Ki 8:36; S Ps 119:3 I command you, that it may go wellS Dt 5:33 with you.24 But they did not listenS Jer 6:10 or pay attention;Jer 11:8; 17:23; 34:14 instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts.S Jer 3:17 They went backwardS Jer 2:19; Eze 37:23 and not forward.25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and againS 2Ch 36:15 I sent you my servantsS Isa 20:3 the prophets.S Nu 11:29; Jer 25:4; 35:1526 But they did not listen to me or pay attention.ver 13, 24; S 2Ch 36:16; Ps 81:11; Jer 13:11; 22:21; 25:3; 35:15; Eze 20:8, 21 They were stiff-neckedS Ex 32:9; Ac 7:51 and did more evil than their ancestors.’Jer 16:12; Mal 3:7; Lk 11:47

27 “When you tellEze 2:7 them all this, they will not listenver 13; Eze 3:7; Zec 7:13 to you; when you call to them, they will not answer.S Isa 65:1228 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction.S Lev 26:23; Zep 3:7 TruthS Ps 15:2; S Isa 59:15 has perished; it has vanished from their lips.

29 “‘Cut offS Lev 21:5; S Job 1:20 your hair and throw it away; take up a lamentS Jer 4:8; S Eze 19:1 on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandonedS Jer 6:30; 12:7; Hos 11:8; Mic 5:3 this generation that is under his wrath.

The Valley of Slaughter

30 “‘The people of Judah have done evilS ver 10; S Lev 18:21 in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idolsS Jer 2:7; S 4:1; Eze 7:20-22 in the house that bears my Name and have defiledS Lev 20:3; Jer 32:34 it.31 They have built the high places of TophethS 2Ki 23:10 in the Valley of Ben HinnomS Jos 15:8; 2Ch 33:6 to burn their sons and daughtersS Lev 18:21; Eze 16:20 in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.Jer 19:5; 32:35; Eze 20:31; Mic 6:732 So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter,Jer 19:6 for they will buryJer 19:11 the dead in Topheth until there is no more room.33 Then the carcassesS Ge 15:11 of this people will become foodS Dt 28:26; Eze 29:5 for the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away.Jer 6:11; 14:1634 I will bring an end to the soundsS Isa 24:8 of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroomRev 18:23 in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem,Isa 24:7-12; Jer 33:10 for the land will become desolate.S Lev 26:34; Zec 7:14; Mt 23:38

“‘At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings and officials of Judah, the bones of the priests and prophets, and the bonesS Ps 53:5 of the people of Jerusalem will be removedS Isa 14:19 from their graves.They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and servedS 2Ki 23:5; Jer 19:13; Zep 1:5; Ac 7:42 and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped.S Job 31:27 They will not be gathered up or buried,Jer 14:16; Eze 29:5; 37:1 but will be like dung lying on the ground.S 2Ki 9:37; Jer 31:40; 36:30Wherever I banish them,Dt 29:28 all the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life,S Job 3:22; Rev 9:6 declares the Lord Almighty.’

Sin and Punishment

“Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘When people fall down, do they not get up?Pr 24:16; Mic 7:8

When someone turns away,Ps 119:67; Jer 31:19 do they not return?

Why then have these people turned away?

Why does Jerusalem always turn away?

They cling to deceit;S Jer 5:27

they refuse to return.Zec 7:11

I have listenedMal 3:16 attentively,

but they do not say what is right.

None of them repentRev 9:20 of their wickedness,

saying, “What have I done?”

Each pursues their own coursePs 14:1-3

like a horse charging into battle.

Even the stork in the sky

knows her appointed seasons,

and the dove, the swift and the thrush

observe the time of their migration.

But my people do not knowS Dt 32:28; S Jer 4:22

the requirements of the Lord.

Judah Rejects the Lord’s Way

16 This is what the Lord says:

“Stop at the crossroads and look around.

Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.

Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.

But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’

17 I posted watchmen over you who said,

‘Listen for the sound of the alarm.’

But you replied,

‘No! We won’t pay attention!’

18 “Therefore, listen to this, all you nations.

Take note of my people’s situation.

19 Listen, all the earth!

I will bring disaster on my people.

It is the fruit of their own schemes,

because they refuse to listen to me.

They have rejected my word.

20 There’s no use offering me sweet frankincense from Sheba.

Keep your fragrant calamus imported from distant lands!

I will not accept your burnt offerings.

Your sacrifices have no pleasing aroma for me.”

21 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:

“I will put obstacles in my people’s path.

Fathers and sons will both fall over them.

Neighbors and friends will die together.”

An Invasion from the North

22 This is what the Lord says:

“Look! A great army coming from the north!

A great nation is rising against you from far-off lands.

23 They are armed with bows and spears.

They are cruel and show no mercy.

They sound like a roaring sea

as they ride forward on horses.

They are coming in battle formation,

planning to destroy you, beautiful Jerusalem.Hebrew daughter of Zion.

24 We have heard reports about the enemy,

and we wring our hands in fright.

Pangs of anguish have gripped us,

like those of a woman in labor.

25 Don’t go out to the fields!

Don’t travel on the roads!

The enemy’s sword is everywhere

and terrorizes us at every turn!

26 Oh, my people, dress yourselves in burlap

and sit among the ashes.

Mourn and weep bitterly, as for the loss of an only son.

For suddenly the destroying armies will be upon you!

27 “Jeremiah, I have made you a tester of metals,As in Greek version; Hebrew reads a tester of my people a fortress.

that you may determine the quality of my people.

28 They are the worst kind of rebel,

full of slander.

They are as hard as bronze and iron,

and they lead others into corruption.

29 The bellows fiercely fan the flames

to burn out the corruption.

But it does not purify them,

for the wickedness remains.

30 I will label them ‘Rejected Silver,’

for I, the Lord, am discarding them.”

Jeremiah Speaks at the Temple

The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said,“Go to the entrance of the Lord’s Temple, and give this message to the people: ‘O Judah, listen to this message from the Lord! Listen to it, all of you who worship here!This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says:

“‘Even now, if you quit your evil ways, I will let you stay in your own land.But don’t be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the Lord’s Temple is here. They chant, “The Lord’s Temple is here! The Lord’s Temple is here!”But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice;only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols.Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever.

“‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie!Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours,10 and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again?11 Don’t you yourselves admit that this Temple, which bears my name, has become a den of thieves? Surely I see all the evil going on there. I, the Lord, have spoken!

12 “‘Go now to the place at Shiloh where I once put the Tabernacle that bore my name. See what I did there because of all the wickedness of my people, the Israelites.13 While you were doing these wicked things, says the Lord, I spoke to you about it repeatedly, but you would not listen. I called out to you, but you refused to answer.14 So just as I destroyed Shiloh, I will now destroy this Temple that bears my name, this Temple that you trust in for help, this place that I gave to you and your ancestors.15 And I will send you out of my sight into exile, just as I did your relatives, the people of Israel.Hebrew of Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel.

Judah’s Persistent Idolatry

16 “Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, and don’t beg me to help them, for I will not listen to you.17 Don’t you see what they are doing throughout the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?18 No wonder I am so angry! Watch how the children gather wood and the fathers build sacrificial fires. See how the women knead dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. And they pour out liquid offerings to their other idol gods!19 Am I the one they are hurting?” asks the Lord. “Most of all, they hurt themselves, to their own shame.”

20 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “I will pour out my terrible fury on this place. Its people, animals, trees, and crops will be consumed by the unquenchable fire of my anger.”

21 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Take your burnt offerings and your other sacrifices and eat them yourselves!22 When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, it was not burnt offerings and sacrifices I wanted from them.23 This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!’

24 “But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward.25 From the day your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have continued to send my servants, the prophets—day in and day out.26 But my people have not listened to me or even tried to hear. They have been stubborn and sinful—even worse than their ancestors.

27 “Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond.28 Say to them, ‘This is the nation whose people will not obey the Lord their God and who refuse to be taught. Truth has vanished from among them; it is no longer heard on their lips.29 Shave your head in mourning, and weep alone on the mountains. For the Lord has rejected and forsaken this generation that has provoked his fury.’

The Valley of Slaughter

30 “The people of Judah have sinned before my very eyes,” says the Lord. “They have set up their abominable idols right in the Temple that bears my name, defiling it.31 They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!32 So beware, for the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when that garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. They will bury the bodies in Topheth until there is no more room for them.33 The bodies of my people will be food for the vultures and wild animals, and no one will be left to scare them away.34 I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in the streets of Jerusalem. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard in the towns of Judah. The land will lie in complete desolation.

“In that day,” says the Lord, “the enemy will break open the graves of the kings and officials of Judah, and the graves of the priests, prophets, and common people of Jerusalem.They will spread out their bones on the ground before the sun, moon, and stars—the gods my people have loved, served, and worshiped. Their bones will not be gathered up again or buried but will be scattered on the ground like manure.And the people of this evil nation who survive will wish to die rather than live where I will send them. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!

Deception by False Prophets

“Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘When people fall down, don’t they get up again?

When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?

Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path?

Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back?

They cling tightly to their lies

and will not turn around.

I listen to their conversations

and don’t hear a word of truth.

Is anyone sorry for doing wrong?

Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”?

No! All are running down the path of sin

as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle!

Even the stork that flies across the sky

knows the time of her migration,

as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane.The identification of some of these birds is uncertain.

They all return at the proper time each year.

But not my people!

They do not know the Lord’s laws.

16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.

18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.

19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.

21 Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.

22 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.

23 They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.

24 We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail.

25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side.

26 O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.

27 I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way.

28 They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters.

29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.

30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.

Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.

For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;

If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:

Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.

Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;

10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?

11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord.

12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.

13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;

14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.

15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.

16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.

17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?

18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.

19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the Lord: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?

20 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.

21 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.

22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:

23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:

26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.

27 Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.

28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.

29 Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.

30 For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the Lord: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.

31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

32 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.

33 And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away.

34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.

At that time, saith the Lord, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves:

And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.

And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the Lord of hosts.

Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return?

Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.

I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.

Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord.

Colossians 2:8-23

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,1Ti 6:20 which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forcesOr the basic principles; also in verse 20 of this worldver 20; Gal 4:3 rather than on Christ.

For in Christ all the fullnessS Jn 1:16 of the Deity lives in bodily form,10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the headS Eph 1:22 over every power and authority.S Mt 28:1811 In him you were also circumcisedRo 2:29; Php 3:3 with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the fleshIn contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verse 13.S Gal 5:24 was put off when you were circumcised byOr put off in the circumcision of Christ,12 having been buried with him in baptism,S Mt 28:19 in which you were also raised with himS Ro 6:5 through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.S Ac 2:24

13 When you were dead in your sinsEph 2:1, 5 and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made youSome manuscripts us aliveEph 2:5 with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,Eph 4:3214 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness,Eph 2:15 which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.1Pe 2:2415 And having disarmed the powers and authorities,ver 10; Eph 6:12 he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over themMt 12:29; Lk 10:18; Jn 12:31 by the cross.Or them in him

Freedom From Human Rules

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge youRo 14:3, 4 by what you eat or drink,Mk 7:19; Ro 14:17 or with regard to a religious festival,Lev 23:2; Ro 14:5 a New Moon celebration1Ch 23:31 or a Sabbath day.Mk 2:27, 28; Gal 4:1017 These are a shadow of the things that were to come;Heb 8:5; 10:1 the reality, however, is found in Christ.18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humilityver 23 and the worship of angels disqualify you.1Co 9:24; Php 3:14 Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.19 They have lost connection with the head,S Eph 1:22 from whom the whole body,S 1Co 12:27 supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.Eph 4:16

20 Since you died with ChristS Ro 6:6 to the elemental spiritual forces of this world,ver 8; Gal 4:3, 9 why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:ver 14, 1621 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish1Co 6:13 with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.Isa 29:13; Mt 15:9; Tit 1:1423 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humilityver 18 and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powersOr the spiritual principles; also in 2:20. of this world, rather than from Christ.For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.Or in him dwells all the completeness of the Godhead bodily.10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

11 When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.Greek the cutting away of the body of the flesh.12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.15 In this way, he disarmedOr he stripped off. the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels,Or or worshiping with angels. saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud,19 and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.

20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as,21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”?22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them.23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Psalm 78:1-31

Psalm 78

A maskilTitle: Probably a literary or musical term of Asaph.

My people, hear my teaching;Isa 51:4; 55:3

listen to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth with a parable;S Ps 49:4; S Mt 13:35*

I will utter hidden things, things from of old—

things we have heard and known,

things our ancestors have told us.S Jdg 6:13

We will not hide them from their descendants;S Dt 11:19

we will tell the next generationS Dt 32:7; S Ps 71:18

the praiseworthy deedsPs 26:7; 71:17 of the Lord,

his power, and the wondersS Job 5:9 he has done.

He decreed statutesPs 19:7; 81:5 for JacobPs 147:19

and established the law in Israel,

which he commanded our ancestors

to teach their children,

so the next generation would know them,

even the children yet to be born,S Ps 22:31

and they in turn would tell their children.

Then they would put their trust in God

and would not forgetS Dt 6:12 his deeds

but would keep his commands.S Dt 5:29

They would not be like their ancestorsS 2Ch 30:7

a stubbornS Ex 32:9 and rebelliousS Ex 23:21; S Dt 21:18; Isa 30:9; 65:2 generation,

whose hearts were not loyal to God,

whose spirits were not faithful to him.

The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows,ver 57; 1Ch 12:2; Hos 7:16

turned back on the day of battle;S Jdg 20:39

10 they did not keep God’s covenantS Jos 7:11; S 2Ki 17:15

and refused to live by his law.S Ex 16:28; S Jer 11:8

11 They forgot what he had done,Ps 106:13

the wonders he had shown them.

12 He did miraclesS Ne 9:17; Ps 106:22 in the sight of their ancestors

in the land of Egypt,Ex 11:9 in the region of Zoan.S Nu 13:22

13 He divided the seaS Ex 14:21; Ps 66:6; 136:13 and led them through;

he made the water stand up like a wall.S Ex 14:22; S 15:8

14 He guided them with the cloud by day

and with light from the fire all night.Ex 13:21; Ps 105:39

15 He split the rocksS Nu 20:11; 1Co 10:4 in the wilderness

and gave them water as abundant as the seas;

16 he brought streams out of a rocky crag

and made water flow down like rivers.

17 But they continued to sinver 32, 40; Dt 9:22; Isa 30:1; 63:10; Heb 3:16 against him,

rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.

18 They willfully put God to the testS Ex 17:2; 1Co 10:9

by demanding the food they craved.S Ex 15:24; Nu 11:4

19 They spoke against God;Nu 21:5

they said, “Can God really

spread a table in the wilderness?

20 True, he struck the rock,

and water gushed out,S Nu 20:11; S Isa 35:6

streams flowed abundantly,

but can he also give us bread?

Can he supply meatNu 11:18 for his people?”

21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious;

his fire broke outS Nu 11:1 against Jacob,

and his wrath rose against Israel,

22 for they did not believe in God

or trustS Dt 1:32; Heb 3:19 in his deliverance.

23 Yet he gave a command to the skies above

and opened the doors of the heavens;Ge 7:11; S 2Ki 7:2

24 he rained down mannaEx 16:4; Jn 6:31* for the people to eat,

he gave them the grain of heaven.

25 Human beings ate the bread of angels;

he sent them all the food they could eat.

26 He let loose the east windS Nu 11:31 from the heavens

and by his power made the south wind blow.

27 He rained meat down on them like dust,

birdsS Ex 16:13; Nu 11:31 like sand on the seashore.

28 He made them come down inside their camp,

all around their tents.

29 They ate till they were gorged—S Nu 11:20

he had given them what they craved.

30 But before they turned from what they craved,

even while the food was still in their mouths,S Nu 11:33

31 God’s anger rose against them;

he put to death the sturdiestIsa 10:16 among them,

cutting down the young men of Israel.

Psalm 78

A psalmHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term. of Asaph.

O my people, listen to my instructions.

Open your ears to what I am saying,

for I will speak to you in a parable.

I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—

stories we have heard and known,

stories our ancestors handed down to us.

We will not hide these truths from our children;

we will tell the next generation

about the glorious deeds of the Lord,

about his power and his mighty wonders.

For he issued his laws to Jacob;

he gave his instructions to Israel.

He commanded our ancestors

to teach them to their children,

so the next generation might know them—

even the children not yet born—

and they in turn will teach their own children.

So each generation should set its hope anew on God,

not forgetting his glorious miracles

and obeying his commands.

Then they will not be like their ancestors—

stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,

refusing to give their hearts to God.

The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows,

turned their backs and fled on the day of battle.

10 They did not keep God’s covenant

and refused to live by his instructions.

11 They forgot what he had done—

the great wonders he had shown them,

12 the miracles he did for their ancestors

on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt.

13 For he divided the sea and led them through,

making the water stand up like walls!

14 In the daytime he led them by a cloud,

and all night by a pillar of fire.

15 He split open the rocks in the wilderness

to give them water, as from a gushing spring.

16 He made streams pour from the rock,

making the waters flow down like a river!

17 Yet they kept on sinning against him,

rebelling against the Most High in the desert.

18 They stubbornly tested God in their hearts,

demanding the foods they craved.

19 They even spoke against God himself, saying,

“God can’t give us food in the wilderness.

20 Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out,

but he can’t give his people bread and meat.”

21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious.

The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob.

Yes, his anger rose against Israel,

22 for they did not believe God

or trust him to care for them.

23 But he commanded the skies to open;

he opened the doors of heaven.

24 He rained down manna for them to eat;

he gave them bread from heaven.

25 They ate the food of angels!

God gave them all they could hold.

26 He released the east wind in the heavens

and guided the south wind by his mighty power.

27 He rained down meat as thick as dust—

birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore!

28 He caused the birds to fall within their camp

and all around their tents.

29 The people ate their fill.

He gave them what they craved.

30 But before they satisfied their craving,

while the meat was yet in their mouths,

31 the anger of God rose against them,

and he killed their strongest men.

He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.

78 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:

That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:

That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.

10 They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;

11 And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.

12 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.

13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.

14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.

15 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.

16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.

17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.

18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.

19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?

20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?

21 Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;

22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:

23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,

24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.

25 Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full.

26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.

27 He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:

28 And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations.

29 So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire;

30 They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths,

31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.

Proverbs 24:26

26 An honest answer

is like a kiss on the lips.

26 An honest answer

is like a kiss of friendship.

26 Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.

Oct 5 Oct 7
Bible Gateway