Through the Bible – Day 295

Bible text(s)

Is anyone honest and faithful?

The LORD said to me:

1“Search Jerusalem

for honest people

who try to be faithful.

If you can find even one,

I'll forgive the whole city.

2Everyone breaks promises

made in my name.”

3I answered, “I know

that you look for truth.

You punished your people

for their lies,

but in spite of the pain,

they became more stubborn

and refused to turn back

to you.”

4Then I thought to myself,

“These common people

act like fools,

and they have never learnt

what the LORD their God

demands of them.

5I'll go and talk to the leaders.

They know what God demands.”

But even they had decided

not to obey the LORD.

6The people have rebelled

and rejected the LORD

too many times.

So enemies will attack

like lions from the forest

or wolves from the desert.

Those enemies will watch

the towns of Judah,

and like leopards

they will tear to pieces

whoever goes outside.

Enemies will punish Judah

The LORD said:

7People of Judah,

how can I forgive you?

I gave you everything,

but you abandoned me

and worshipped idols.

You men go to prostitutes

and are unfaithful

to your wives.

8You are no better than animals,

and you always want sex

with someone else's wife.

9Why shouldn't I punish

the people of Judah?

10I will tell their enemies,

“Go through my vineyard.

Don't destroy the vines,

but cut off the branches,

because they are the people

who don't belong to me.”

11In every way, Judah and Israel

have been unfaithful to me.

12-13Their prophets lie and say,

“The LORD won't punish us.

We will have peace

and plenty of food.”

They tell these lies in my name,

so now they will be killed in war

or starve to death.

14I am the LORD God All-Powerful.

Jeremiah, I will tell you

exactly what to say.

Your words will be a fire;

Israel and Judah

will be the fuel.

15People of Israel,

I have made my decision.

An army from a distant country

will attack you.

I've chosen an ancient nation,

and you won't understand

their language.

16All of them are warriors,

and their arrows bring death.

17This nation will eat your crops

and livestock;

they will leave no fruit

on your vines or trees.

And although you feel safe

behind thick walls,

your towns will be destroyed

and your children killed.

Israel refused to worship the LORD

18The LORD said:

Jeremiah, the enemy army won't kill everyone in Judah. 19And the people who survive will ask, “Why did the LORD our God do such terrible things to us?” Then tell them:

I am the LORD,

but you abandoned me

and worshipped other gods

in your own land.

Now you will be slaves

in a foreign country.

20Tell these things to each other,

you people of Judah,

you descendants of Jacob.

21You fools! Why don't you listen

when I speak?

Why can't you understand

22that you should worship me

with fear and trembling?

I'm the one who made the shore

to hold back the ocean.

Waves may crash on the beach,

but they can come no further.

23You stubborn people have rebelled

and turned your backs on me.

24You refuse to say,

“Let's worship the LORD!

He's the one who sends rain

in spring and autumn

and gives us a good harvest.”

25That's why I cannot bless you!

26-27A hunter traps birds

and puts them in a cage,

but some of you trap humans

and make them your slaves.

You are evil, and you lie and cheat

to make yourselves rich.

You are powerful

28and prosperous,

but you refuse to help the poor

get the justice they deserve.

29You need to be punished,

and so I will take revenge.

30Look at the terrible things

going on in this country.

I am shocked!

31Prophets give their messages

in the name of a false god,

my priests don't want

to serve me,

and you—my own people—

like it this way!

But on the day of disaster,

where will you turn for help?

A warning for the people of Jerusalem

The LORD said:

1Run for your lives,

people of Benjamin.

Get out of Jerusalem.

Sound a trumpet in Tekoa

and light a signal fire

in Beth-Haccherem.

Soon you will be struck

by disaster from the north.

2-3Jerusalem is a lovely pasture,

but shepherds will surround it

and divide it up,

then let their flocks

eat all the grass.

4Kings will tell their troops,

“If we reach Jerusalem

in the morning,

we'll attack at midday.

But if we arrive later,

5we'll attack after dark

and destroy its fortresses.”

6I am the LORD All-Powerful,

and I will command these armies

to chop down trees

and build a ramp up to the walls

of Jerusalem.

People of Jerusalem,

I must punish you

for your injustice.

7Evil pours from your city

like water from a spring.

Sounds of violent crimes

echo within your walls;

victims are everywhere,

wounded and dying.

8Listen to me,

you people of Jerusalem

and Judah.

I will abandon you,

and your land will become

an empty desert.

9I will tell your enemies

to leave your nation bare

like a vine stripped of grapes.

I, the LORD All-Powerful,

have spoken.

Jeremiah's anger

10I have told the people

that you, LORD,

will punish them,

but they just laugh

and refuse to listen.

11Your anger against Judah

flames up inside me,

and I can't hold it in

much longer.

The LORD's anger will sweep everyone away

The LORD answered:

Don't hold back my anger!

Let it sweep away everyone—

the children at play

and all adults,

young and old alike.

12I'll punish the people of Judah

and give to others

their houses and fields,

as well as their wives.

I, the LORD, have spoken.

13Everyone is greedy and dishonest,

whether poor or rich.

Even the prophets and priests

cannot be trusted.

14All they ever offer

to my deeply wounded people

are empty hopes for peace.

15They should be ashamed

of their disgusting sins,

but they don't even blush.

And so, when I punish Judah,

they will end up on the ground,

dead like everyone else.

I, the LORD, have spoken.

The people of Judah rejected God's way of life

16The LORD said:

My people, when you stood

at the crossroads,

I told you, “Follow the road

your ancestors took,

and you will find peace.”

But you refused.

17I also sent prophets

to warn you of danger,

but when they sounded the alarm,

you paid no attention.

18-19So I tell all nations on earth,

“Watch what I will do!

My people ignored me

and rejected my laws.

They planned to do evil,

and now the evil they planned

will happen to them.”

20People of Judah,

you bring me incense from Sheba

and spices from distant lands.

You offer sacrifices of all kinds.

But why bother?

I hate these gifts of yours!

21So I will put stumbling blocks

in your path,

and everyone will die,

including parents and children,

neighbours and friends.

An army from the north

22The LORD said,

“Look towards the north,

where a powerful nation

has prepared for war.

23Its well armed troops are cruel

and never show mercy.

Their galloping horses sound

like ocean waves

pounding on the shore.

This army will attack you,

lovely Jerusalem.”

24Then the people said,

“Just hearing about them

makes us tremble with fear,

and we twist and turn in pain

like a woman giving birth.”

25The LORD said,

“Don't work in your fields

or walk along the roads.

It's too dangerous.

The enemy is well armed

26and attacks without warning.

So mourn, my people, as though

your only child had died.

Wear clothes made of sackcloth

and roll in the ash heap.”

The LORD's people must be tested

The LORD said:

27Jeremiah, test my people

as though they were metal.

28And you'll find they are hard

like bronze and iron.

They are stubborn rebels,

always spreading lies.

29-30Silver can be purified

in a fiery furnace,

but my people are too wicked

to be made pure,

and so I have rejected them.

Jeremiah 5:1-6:30CEVOpen in Bible reader

Greetings and prayer for Timothy

1From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus.

God himself chose me to be an apostle, and he gave me the promised life that Jesus Christ makes possible.

2Timothy, you are like a dear child to me. I pray that God our Father and our Lord Christ Jesus will be kind and merciful to you and will bless you with peace!

Do not be ashamed of the Lord

3Night and day I mention you in my prayers. I am always grateful for you, as I pray to the God my ancestors and I have served with a clear conscience. 4I remember how you cried, and I want to see you, because that will make me truly happy. 5I also remember the genuine faith of your mother Eunice. Your grandmother Lois had the same sort of faith, and I am sure that you have it as well. 6So I ask you to make full use of the gift that God gave you when I placed my hands on you. Use it well. 7God's Spirit doesn't make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control.

8Don't be ashamed to speak for our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, just because I am in jail for serving him. Use the power that comes from God and join with me in suffering for telling the good news.

9God saved us and chose us

to be his holy people.

We did nothing

to deserve this,

but God planned it

because he is so kind.

Even before time began

God planned for Christ Jesus

to show kindness to us.

10Now Christ Jesus has come

to show us the kindness

of God.

Christ our Saviour defeated death

and brought us

the good news.

It shines like a light

and offers life

that never ends.

11My work is to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher. 12That's why I am suffering now. But I am not ashamed! I know the one I have faith in, and I am sure that he can guard until the last day what he has trusted me with. 13Now follow the example of the correct teaching I gave you, and let the faith and love of Christ Jesus be your model. 14You have been trusted with a wonderful treasure. Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives within you.

15You know that everyone in Asia has turned against me, especially Phygelus and Hermogenes.

16I pray that the Lord will be kind to the family of Onesiphorus. He often cheered me up and wasn't ashamed of me when I was put in jail. 17Then after he arrived in Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. 18I pray that the Lord Jesus will ask God to show mercy to Onesiphorus on the day of judgment. You know how much he helped me in Ephesus.

2 Timothy 1:1-18CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
Follow us on: