Through the Bible – Day 299

Bible text(s)

The land dries up

1When there had been no rain for a long time, the LORD told me to say to the people:

2Judah and Jerusalem weep

as the land dries up.

3Rulers send their servants

to the storage pits for water.

But there's none to be found;

they return in despair

with their jars still empty.

4There has been no rain,

and farmers feel sick

as they watch cracks appear

in the dry ground.

5A deer gives birth in a field,

then abandons her newborn fawn

and leaves in search of grass.

6Wild donkeys go blind

from starvation.

So they stand on barren hilltops

and sniff the air,

hoping to smell green grass.

The LORD's people pray

7Our terrible sins may demand

that we be punished.

But if you rescue us, LORD,

everyone will see

how great you are.

8You're our only hope;

you alone can save us now.

You help us one day,

but you're gone the next.

9Did this disaster

take you by surprise?

Are you a warrior

with your hands tied?

You have chosen us,

and your temple is here.

Don't abandon us!

The LORD's answer

10My people,

you love to wander away;

you don't even try

to stay close to me.

So now I will reject you

and punish you for your sins.

I, the LORD, have spoken.

Lying prophets

11The LORD said, “Jeremiah, don't ask me to help these people. 12They may even go without eating and offer sacrifices to please me and to give thanks. But when they cry out for my help, I won't listen, and I won't accept their sacrifices. Instead, I'll send war, starvation, and disease to wipe them out.”

13I replied, “The other prophets keep telling everyone that you won't send starvation or war, and that you're going to give us peace.”

14The LORD answered:

They claim to speak for me, but they're lying! I didn't even speak to them, much less choose them to be my prophets. Their messages come from worthless dreams, useless fortune-telling, and their own imaginations.

15Those lying prophets say there will be peace and plenty of food. But I say that those same prophets will die from war and hunger. 16And everyone who listens to them will be killed, just as they deserve. Their dead bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, because their families will also be dead, and no one will be left to bury them.

17Jeremiah, go and tell the people how you feel about all this.

So I told them:

“Tears will flood my eyes

both day and night,

because my nation suffers

from a deadly wound.

18In the fields I see the bodies

of those killed in battle.

And in the towns I see crowds

dying of hunger.

But the prophets and priests

go about their business,

without understanding

what has happened.”

Jeremiah prays to the LORD

19Have you rejected Judah, LORD?

Do you hate Jerusalem?

Why did you strike down Judah

with a fatal wound?

We had hoped for peace

and a time of healing,

but all we got was terror.

20We and our ancestors are guilty

of rebelling against you.

21If you save us, it will show

how great you are.

Don't let our enemies

disgrace your temple,

your beautiful throne.

Don't forget that you promised

to rescue us.

22Idols can't send rain,

and showers don't fall

by themselves.

Only you control the rain,

so we put our trust in you,

the LORD our God.

The people of Judah will die

1The LORD said to me:

Even if Moses and Samuel were here, praying with you, I wouldn't change my mind. So send the people of Judah away. 2And when they ask where they are going, tell them that I, the LORD, have said:

Some of you are going to die

of horrible diseases.

Others are going to die in war

or from starvation.

The rest will be led away

to a foreign country.

3I will punish you

in four different ways:

You will be killed in war

and your bodies dragged off

by dogs,

your flesh will be eaten by birds,

and your bones will be chewed on

by wild animals.

4This punishment will happen

because of the horrible things

your King Manasseh did.

And you will be disgusting

to all nations on earth.

5People of Jerusalem,

who will feel sorry for you?

Will anyone bother

to ask if you are well?

6My people, you abandoned me

and walked away.

I am tired of showing mercy;

that's why I'll destroy you

7by scattering you like straw

blown by the wind.

I will punish you with sorrow

and death,

because you refuse

to change your ways.

8There will be more widows

in Judah

than grains of sand on a beach.

A surprise attack at midday!

And the mothers in Jerusalem

mourn for their children.

9A mother is in deep despair

and struggles for breath.

Her daylight has turned

to darkness—

she has suffered the loss

of her seven sons.

I will kill anyone who survives.

I, the LORD, have spoken.

Jeremiah complains

10I wish I had never been born!

I'm always in trouble

with everyone in Judah.

I never lend or borrow money,

but everyone curses me

just the same.

11Then the LORD replied,

“I promise to protect you,

and when disaster comes,

even your enemies

will beg you for help.”

The enemy cannot be defeated

The LORD told me to say:

12People of Judah,

just as you can't break iron

mixed with bronze,

you can't defeat the enemies

who will attack

from the north.

13I will give them

everything you own,

because you have sinned

everywhere in your country.

14My anger is a fire

that cannot be put out,

so I will make you slaves

of your enemies

in a foreign land.

Jeremiah complains again

15You can see how I suffer

insult after insult,

all because of you, LORD.

Don't be so patient

with my enemies;

take revenge on them

before they kill me.

16When you spoke to me,

I was glad to obey,

because I belong to you,

the LORD All-Powerful.

17I don't go to parties

and have a good time.

Instead, I keep to myself,

because you have filled me

with your anger.

18I am badly injured

and in constant pain.

Are you going to disappoint me,

like a stream that goes dry

in the heat of summer?

The LORD replies

19Then the LORD told me:

Stop talking like a fool!

If you turn back to me

and speak my message,

I will let you be my prophet

once again.

I hope the people of Judah

will accept what you say.

But you can ignore their threats,

20-21because I am making you strong,

like a bronze wall.

They are evil and violent,

but when they attack,

I will be there to rescue you.

I, the LORD, have spoken.

Jeremiah 14:1-15:21CEVOpen in Bible reader

Greetings and a prayer for Titus

1From Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ.

I encourage God's own people to have more faith and to understand the truth about religion. 2Then they will have the hope of eternal life that God promised long ago. And God never tells a lie! 3So, at the proper time, God our Saviour gave this message and told me to announce what he had said.

4Titus, because of our faith, you are like a son to me. I pray that God our Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!

Instructions for church officials

What Titus was to do in Crete

5I left you in Crete to do what had been left undone and to appoint leaders for the churches in each town. As I told you, 6they must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage. Their children must be followers of the Lord and not have a reputation for being wild and disobedient.

7Church officials are in charge of God's work, and so they must also have a good reputation. They must not be bossy, quick-tempered, heavy drinkers, bullies, or dishonest in business. 8Instead, they must be friendly to strangers and enjoy doing good things. They must also be sensible, fair, pure, and self-controlled. 9They must stick to the true message they were taught, so that their good teaching can help others and correct everyone who opposes it.

10There are many who don't respect authority, and they fool others by talking nonsense. This is especially true of some Jewish followers. 11But you must make them be quiet. They are after money, and they upset whole families by teaching what they should not. 12It is like one of their own prophets once said,

“The people of Crete

always tell lies.

They are greedy and lazy

like wild animals.”

13That is a true saying. And you should be hard on such people, so you can help them grow stronger in their faith. 14Don't pay any attention to any of those senseless Jewish stories and human commands. These are made up by people who won't obey the truth.

15Everything is pure for someone whose heart is pure. But nothing is pure for an unbeliever with a dirty mind. That person's mind and conscience are destroyed. 16Such people claim to know God, but their actions prove that they really don't. They are disgusting. They won't obey God, and they are too worthless to do anything good.

Titus 1:1-16CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.8
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