Through the Bible – Day 297

Bible text(s)

The LORD answers Jeremiah

3The LORD replied:

Lies come from the mouths

of my people,

like arrows from a bow.

With each dishonest deed

their power increases,

and not one of them will admit

that I am God.

4Jeremiah, all your friends

and relatives

tell lies about you,

so don't trust them.

5They wear themselves out,

always looking for a new way

to cheat their friends.

6Everyone takes advantage

of everyone else,

and no one will admit

that I am God.

7And so I will purify

the hearts of my people

just as gold is purified

in a furnace.

I have no other choice.

8They say they want peace,

but this lie is deadly,

like an arrow that strikes

when you least expect it.

9Give me one good reason

not to punish them

as they deserve.

I, the LORD All-Powerful,

have spoken.

Jeremiah weeps for his people

10I weep for the pasture land

in the hill country.

It's so barren and scorched

that no one travels there.

No cattle can be found there,

and birds and wild animals

have all disappeared.

11I heard the LORD reply,

“When I have finished,

Jerusalem and the towns of Judah

will be piles of ruins

where only jackals live.”

Why the land was destroyed

12I said to the LORD, “None of us can understand why the land has become like an uncrossable desert. Won't you explain why?”

13The LORD said:

I destroyed the land because the people disobeyed me and rejected my laws and teachings. 14They were stubborn and worshipped Baal, just as their ancestors did. 15So I, the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, promise them poison to eat and drink. 16I'll scatter them in foreign countries that they and their ancestors have never even heard of. Finally, I will send enemy soldiers to kill every last one of them.

The women who are paid to weep

17The LORD All-Powerful said,

“Send for the women

who are paid to weep

at funerals,

especially the women

who can cry the loudest.”

18The people answered,

“Let them come quickly

and cry for us,

until our own eyes

are flooded with tears.

19Now those of us on Zion cry,

‘We are ruined!

We can't stand the shame.

Our homes have been destroyed,

and we must leave our land.’

20“We ask you women

to pay attention

to what the LORD says.

We will teach you a funeral song

that you can teach

your daughters and friends:

21‘We were in our fortress,

but death sneaked in

through our windows.

It even struck down

children at play

and our strongest young men.’

22“The LORD has told us

the ground will be covered

with dead bodies,

like stalks of ungathered grain

or like manure.”

What the LORD likes best

23The LORD says:

Don't boast about your wisdom

or strength or wealth.

24If you feel you must boast,

then have enough sense

to boast about worshipping me,

the LORD.

What I like best

is showing kindness,

justice, and mercy

to everyone on earth.

25-26Some day I will punish the nations of Egypt, Edom, Ammon, and Moab, and the tribes of the desert. The men of these nations are circumcised, but they don't worship me. And it's the same with you people of Judah. Your bodies are circumcised, but your hearts are unchanged.

The LORD talks about idols

1-2The LORD said:

Listen to me,

you people of Israel.

Don't follow the customs

of those nations

who become frightened

when they see something strange

happen in the sky.

3Their religion is worthless!

They chop down a tree,

carve the wood into an idol,

4cover it with silver and gold,

and then nail it down

so it won't fall over.

5An idol is no better

than a scarecrow.

It can't speak,

and it has to be carried,

because it can't walk.

Why worship an idol

that can't help or harm you?

Jeremiah praises the LORD

6Our LORD, great and powerful,

you alone are God.

7You are King of the nations.

Everyone should worship you.

No human anywhere on earth

is wiser than you.

8Idols are worthless,

and anyone who worships them

is a fool!

9Idols are made by humans.

A carver shapes the wood.

A metalworker hammers out

a covering of gold from Uphaz

or of silver from Tarshish.

Then the idol is dressed

in blue and purple clothes.

10You, LORD, are the only true

and living God.

You will rule for all time.

When you are angry

the earth shakes,

and nations are destroyed.

11You told me to say

that idols did not create

the heavens and the earth,

and that you, the LORD,

will destroy every idol.

12With your wisdom and power

you created the earth

and spread out the heavens.

13The waters in the heavens roar

at your command.

You make clouds appear—

you send the winds

from your storehouse

and make lightning flash

in the rain.

14People who make idols

are so stupid!

They will be disappointed,

because their false gods

are not alive.

15Idols are merely a joke,

and when the time is right,

they will be destroyed.

16But you, Israel's God,

created all things,

and you chose Israel

to be your very own.

Your name is the LORD

All-Powerful.

Judah will be thrown from its land

17I said to the people of Judah,

“Gather your things;

you are surrounded.

18The LORD said these troubles

will lead to your capture,

and he will throw you

from this land

like a stone from a sling.”

19The people answered,

“We are wounded

and doomed to die.

Why did we say

we could stand the pain?

20Our homes are destroyed;

our children are dead.

No one is left

to help us find shelter.”

21But I told them,

“Our leaders were stupid failures,

because they refused

to listen to the LORD.

And so we've been scattered

like sheep.

22“Sounds of destruction

rumble from the north

like distant thunder.

Soon our towns will be ruins

where jackals live.”

Jeremiah prays

23I know, LORD, that we humans

are not in control

of our own lives.

24Correct me, as I deserve,

but not in your anger,

or I will be dead.

25Our enemies refuse

to admit that you are God

or to worship you.

They have wiped out our people

and left our nation

lying in ruins.

So get angry

and sweep them away!

Jeremiah 9:3-10:25CEVOpen in Bible reader

What people will be like in the last days

1You can be certain that in the last days there will be some very hard times. 2People will love only themselves and money. They will be proud, stuck-up, rude, and disobedient to their parents. They will also be ungrateful, godless, 3heartless, and hateful. Their words will be cruel, and they will have no self-control or pity. These people will hate everything that is good. 4They will be sneaky, reckless, and puffed up with pride. Instead of loving God, they will love pleasure. 5Even though they will make a show of being religious, their religion won't be real. Don't have anything to do with such people.

6Some men fool whole families, just to get power over those women who are slaves of sin and are controlled by all sorts of desires. 7These women always want to learn something new, but they never can discover the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, these people are enemies of the truth. Their minds are sick, and their faith isn't real. 9But they won't get very far with their foolishness. Soon everyone will know the truth about them, just as Jannes and Jambres were found out.

Keep being faithful

Paul's last instructions to Timothy

10Timothy, you know what I teach and how I live. You know what I want to do and what I believe. You have seen how patient and loving I am, and how in the past I put up with 11trouble and suffering in the cities of Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. Yet the Lord rescued me from all those terrible troubles. 12Anyone who belongs to Christ Jesus and wants to live right will have trouble from others. 13But evil people who pretend to be what they are not will become worse than ever, as they fool others and are fooled themselves.

14Keep on being faithful to what you were taught and to what you believed. After all, you know who taught you these things. 15Since childhood, you have known the Holy Scriptures that are able to make you wise enough to have faith in Christ Jesus and be saved. 16Everything in the Scriptures is God's Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. 17The Scriptures train God's servants to do all kinds of good deeds.

2 Timothy 3:1-17CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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