Friday, July 30, 2010

July Thirty

~Good Morning~

I am just soooo happy it is Friday!



Today's Scripture:

Jeremiah 2:23-5:19 (New Living Translation)

Israel, an Unfaithful Wife

23 "You say, 'That'not true!
      I haven't worshiped the images of Baal!'
   But how can you say that?
      Go and look in any valley in the land!
   Face the awful sins you have done.
      You are like a restless female camel
      desperately searching for a mate.
 24 You are like a wild donkey,
      sniffing the wind at mating time.
   Who can restrain her lust?
      Those who desire her don't need to search,
      for she goes running to them!
 25 When will you stop running?
      When will you stop panting after other gods?
   But you say, 'Save your breath.
      I'm in love with these foreign gods,
      and I can't stop loving them now!'

26 "Israel is like a thief
      who feels shame only when he gets caught.
   They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets—
      all are alike in this.
 27 To an image carved from a piece of wood they say,
      'You are my father.'
   To an idol chiseled from a block of stone they say,
      'You are my mother.'
   They turn their backs on me,
      but in times of trouble they cry out to me,
      'Come and save us!'
 28 But why not call on these gods you have made?
      When trouble comes, let them save you if they can!
   For you have as many gods
      as there are towns in Judah.
 29 Why do you accuse me of doing wrong?
      You are the ones who have rebelled,"
      says the Lord.
 30 "I have punished your children,
      but they did not respond to my discipline.
   You yourselves have killed your prophets
      as a lion kills its prey.

31 "O my people, listen to the words of the Lord!
      Have I been like a desert to Israel?
      Have I been to them a land of darkness?
   Why then do my people say, 'At last we are free from God!
      We don't need him anymore!'
 32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry?
      Does a bride hide her wedding dress?
   Yet for years on end
      my people have forgotten me.

33 "How you plot and scheme to win your lovers.
      Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you!
 34 Your clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor,
      though you didn't catch them breaking into your houses!
 35 And yet you say,
   'I have done nothing wrong.
      Surely God isn't angry with me!'
   But now I will punish you severely
      because you claim you have not sinned.
 36 First here, then there—
      you flit from one ally to another asking for help.
   But your new friends in Egypt will let you down,
      just as Assyria did before.
 37 In despair, you will be led into exile
      with your hands on your heads,
   for the Lord has rejected the nations you trust.
      They will not help you at all.

Jeremiah 3

1 "If a man divorces a woman
      and she goes and marries someone else,
   he will not take her back again,
      for that would surely corrupt the land.
   But you have prostituted yourself with many lovers,
      so why are you trying to come back to me?"
      says the Lord.
 2 "Look at the shrines on every hilltop.
      Is there any place you have not been defiled
      by your adultery with other gods?
   You sit like a prostitute beside the road waiting for a customer.
      You sit alone like a nomad in the desert.
   You have polluted the land with your prostitution
      and your wickedness.
 3 That's why even the spring rains have failed.
      For you are a brazen prostitute and completely shameless.
 4 Yet you say to me,
      'Father, you have been my guide since my youth.
 5 Surely you won't be angry forever!
      Surely you can forget about it!'
   So you talk,
      but you keep on doing all the evil you can."

Judah Follows Israel's Example

6 During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, "Have you seen what fickle Israel has done? Like a wife who commits adultery, Israel has worshiped other gods on every hill and under every green tree. 7 I thought, 'After she has done all this, she will return to me.' But she did not return, and her faithless sister Judah saw this. 8 She saw that I divorced faithless Israel because of her adultery. But that treacherous sister Judah had no fear, and now she, too, has left me and given herself to prostitution. 9 Israel treated it all so lightly—she thought nothing of committing adultery by worshiping idols made of wood and stone. So now the land has been polluted. 10 But despite all this, her faithless sister Judah has never sincerely returned to me. She has only pretended to be sorry. I, the Lord, have spoken!"

Hope for Wayward Israel

11 Then the Lord said to me, "Even faithless Israel is less guilty than treacherous Judah! 12 Therefore, go and give this message to Israel.This is what the Lord says:

"O Israel, my faithless people,
      come home to me again,
   for I am merciful.
      I will not be angry with you forever.
 13 Only acknowledge your guilt.
      Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God
   and committed adultery against him
      by worshiping idols under every green tree.
   Confess that you refused to listen to my voice.
      I, the Lord, have spoken!

14 "Return home, you wayward children,"
      says the Lord,
      "for I am your master.
   I will bring you back to the land of Israel—
      one from this town and two from that family—
      from wherever you are scattered.
 15 And I will give you shepherds after my own heart,
      who will guide you with knowledge and understanding.

16 "And when your land is once more filled with people," says the Lord, "you will no longer wish for 'the good old days' when you possessed the Ark of the Lord's Covenant. You will not miss those days or even remember them, and there will be no need to rebuild the Ark. 17 In that day Jerusalem will be known as 'The Throne of the Lord.' All nations will come there to honor the Lord. They will no longer stubbornly follow their own evil desires. 18 In those days the people of Judah and Israel will return together from exile in the north. They will return to the land I gave their ancestors as an inheritance forever.

19 "I thought to myself,
      'I would love to treat you as my own children!'
   I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land—
      the finest possession in the world.
   I looked forward to your calling me 'Father,'
      and I wanted you never to turn from me.
 20 But you have been unfaithful to me, you people of Israel!
      You have been like a faithless wife who leaves her husband.
      I, the Lord, have spoken."

21 Voices are heard high on the windswept mountains,
      the weeping and pleading of Israel's people.
   For they have chosen crooked paths
      and have forgotten the Lord their God.

22 "My wayward children," says the Lord,
      "come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts."

"Yes, we're coming," the people reply,
      "for you are the Lord our God.
 23 Our worship of idols on the hills
      and our religious orgies on the mountains
      are a delusion.
   Only in the Lord our God
      will Israel ever find salvation.
 24 From childhood we have watched
      as everything our ancestors worked for—
   their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters—
      was squandered on a delusion.
 25 Let us now lie down in shame
      and cover ourselves with dishonor,
   for we and our ancestors have sinned
      against the Lord our God.
   From our childhood to this day
      we have never obeyed him."

Jeremiah 4

1 "O Israel," says the Lord,
      "if you wanted to return to me, you could.
   You could throw away your detestable idols
      and stray away no more.
 2 Then when you swear by my name, saying,
      'As surely as the Lord lives,'
   you could do so
      with truth, justice, and righteousness.
   Then you would be a blessing to the nations of the world,
      and all people would come and praise my name."

Coming Judgment against Judah

3 This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:

"Plow up the hard ground of your hearts!
      Do not waste your good seed among thorns.
 4 O people of Judah and Jerusalem,
      surrender your pride and power.
   Change your hearts before the Lord,
      or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire
      because of all your sins.

5 "Shout to Judah, and broadcast to Jerusalem!
      Tell them to sound the alarm throughout the land:
   'Run for your lives!
      Flee to the fortified cities!'
 6 Raise a signal flag as a warning for Jerusalem:
      'Flee now! Do not delay!'
   For I am bringing terrible destruction upon you
      from the north."

7 A lion stalks from its den,
      a destroyer of nations.
   It has left its lair and is headed your way.
      It's going to devastate your land!
   Your towns will lie in ruins,
      with no one living in them anymore.
 8 So put on clothes of mourning
      and weep with broken hearts,
   for the fierce anger of the Lord
      is still upon us.

9 "In that day," says the Lord,
      "the king and the officials will tremble in fear.
   The priests will be struck with horror,
      and the prophets will be appalled."

10 Then I said, "O Sovereign Lord,
      the people have been deceived by what you said,
   for you promised peace for Jerusalem.
      But the sword is held at their throats!"

11 The time is coming when the Lord will say
      to the people of Jerusalem,
   "My dear people, a burning wind is blowing in from the desert,
      and it's not a gentle breeze useful for winnowing grain.
 12 It is a roaring blast sent by me!
      Now I will pronounce your destruction!"

13 Our enemy rushes down on us like storm clouds!
      His chariots are like whirlwinds.
   His horses are swifter than eagles.
      How terrible it will be, for we are doomed!
 14 O Jerusalem, cleanse your heart
      that you may be saved.
   How long will you harbor
      your evil thoughts?
 15 Your destruction has been announced
      from Dan and the hill country of Ephraim.

16 "Warn the surrounding nations
      and announce this to Jerusalem:
   The enemy is coming from a distant land,
      raising a battle cry against the towns of Judah.
 17 They surround Jerusalem like watchmen around a field,
      for my people have rebelled against me,"
      says the Lord.
 18 "Your own actions have brought this upon you.
      This punishment is bitter, piercing you to the heart!"

Jeremiah Weeps for His People

19 My heart, my heart—I writhe in pain!
      My heart pounds within me! I cannot be still.
   For I have heard the blast of enemy trumpets
      and the roar of their battle cries.
 20 Waves of destruction roll over the land,
      until it lies in complete desolation.
   Suddenly my tents are destroyed;
      in a moment my shelters are crushed.
 21 How long must I see the battle flags
      and hear the trumpets of war?

22 "My people are foolish
      and do not know me," says the Lord.
   "They are stupid children
      who have no understanding.
   They are clever enough at doing wrong,
      but they have no idea how to do right!"

Jeremiah's Vision of Coming Disaster

23 I looked at the earth, and it was empty and formless.
      I looked at the heavens, and there was no light.
 24 I looked at the mountains and hills,
      and they trembled and shook.
 25 I looked, and all the people were gone.
      All the birds of the sky had flown away.
 26 I looked, and the fertile fields had become a wilderness.
      The towns lay in ruins,
      crushed by the Lord's fierce anger.

27 This is what the Lord says:
   "The whole land will be ruined,
      but I will not destroy it completely.
 28 The earth will mourn
      and the heavens will be draped in black
   because of my decree against my people.
      I have made up my mind and will not change it."

29 At the noise of charioteers and archers,
      the people flee in terror.
   They hide in the bushes
      and run for the mountains.
   All the towns have been abandoned—
      not a person remains!
 30 What are you doing,
      you who have been plundered?
   Why do you dress up in beautiful clothing
      and put on gold jewelry?
   Why do you brighten your eyes with mascara?
      Your primping will do you no good!
   The allies who were your lovers
      despise you and seek to kill you.

31 I hear a cry, like that of a woman in labor,
      the groans of a woman giving birth to her first child.
   It is beautiful Jerusalem
      gasping for breath and crying out,
      "Help! I'm being murdered!"

Jeremiah 5

The Sins of Judah

1 "Run up and down every street in Jerusalem," says the Lord.
      "Look high and low; search throughout the city!
   If you can find even one just and honest person,
      I will not destroy the city.
 2 But even when they are under oath,
      saying, 'As surely as the Lord lives,'
      they are still telling lies!"

3 Lord, you are searching for honesty.
   You struck your people,
      but they paid no attention.
   You crushed them,
      but they refused to be corrected.
   They are determined, with faces set like stone;
      they have refused to repent.

4 Then I said, "But what can we expect from the poor?
      They are ignorant.
   They don't know the ways of the Lord.
      They don't understand God's laws.
 5 So I will go and speak to their leaders.
      Surely they know the ways of the Lord
      and understand God's laws."
   But the leaders, too, as one man,
      had thrown off God's yoke
      and broken his chains.
 6 So now a lion from the forest will attack them;
      a wolf from the desert will pounce on them.
   A leopard will lurk near their towns,
      tearing apart any who dare to venture out.
   For their rebellion is great,
      and their sins are many.

7 "How can I pardon you?
      For even your children have turned from me.
   They have sworn by gods that are not gods at all!
      I fed my people until they were full.
   But they thanked me by committing adultery
      and lining up at the brothels.
 8 They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
      each neighing for his neighbor's wife.
 9 Should I not punish them for this?" says the Lord.
      "Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?

10 "Go down the rows of the vineyards and destroy the grapevines,
      leaving a scattered few alive.
   Strip the branches from the vines,
      for these people do not belong to the Lord.
 11 The people of Israel and Judah
      are full of treachery against me,"
      says the Lord.
 12 "They have lied about the Lord
      and said, 'He won't bother us!
   No disasters will come upon us.
      There will be no war or famine.
 13 God's prophets are all windbags
      who don't really speak for him.
      Let their predictions of disaster fall on themselves!'"

14 Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Heaven's Armies says:

"Because the people are talking like this,
      my messages will flame out of your mouth
      and burn the people like kindling wood.
 15 O Israel, I will bring a distant nation against you,"
      says the Lord.
   "It is a mighty nation,
      an ancient nation,
   a people whose language you do not know,
      whose speech you cannot understand.
 16 Their weapons are deadly;
      their warriors are mighty.
 17 They will devour the food of your harvest;
      they will devour your sons and daughters.
   They will devour your flocks and herds;
      they will devour your grapes and figs.
   And they will destroy your fortified towns,
      which you think are so safe.

18 "Yet even in those days I will not blot you out completely," says the Lord. 19 "And when your people ask, 'Why did the Lord our God do all this to us?' you must reply, 'You rejected him and gave yourselves to foreign gods in your own land. Now you will serve foreigners in a land that is not your own.'




All comments welcome!! It is how I get my questions answered.