Monday, August 9, 2010

August Nine

~Good Morning~
Camping right now in the awesome mountains. Love that they are about 35 miles from my house.


Today's Scripture:
Jeremiah 12-15:21 (New Living Translation)
Jeremiah 12
Jeremiah Questions the Lord's Justice
1 Lord, you always give me justice
      when I bring a case before you.
   So let me bring you this complaint:
   Why are the wicked so prosperous?
      Why are evil people so happy?
 2 You have planted them,
      and they have taken root and prospered.
   Your name is on their lips,
      but you are far from their hearts.
 3 But as for me, Lord, you know my heart.
      You see me and test my thoughts.
   Drag these people away like sheep to be butchered!
      Set them aside to be slaughtered!
4 How long must this land mourn?
      Even the grass in the fields has withered.
   The wild animals and birds have disappeared
      because of the evil in the land.
   For the people have said,
      "The Lord doesn't see what's ahead for us!"
The Lord's Reply to Jeremiah
5 "If racing against mere men makes you tired,
      how will you race against horses?
   If you stumble and fall on open ground,
      what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?
 6 Even your brothers, members of your own family,
      have turned against you.
      They plot and raise complaints against you.
   Do not trust them,
      no matter how pleasantly they speak.
7 "I have abandoned my people, my special possession.
      I have surrendered my dearest ones to their enemies.
 8 My chosen people have roared at me like a lion of the forest,
      so I have treated them with contempt.
 9 My chosen people act like speckled vultures,
      but they themselves are surrounded by vultures.
      Bring on the wild animals to pick their corpses clean!
10 "Many rulers have ravaged my vineyard,
      trampling down the vines
      and turning all its beauty into a barren wilderness.
 11 They have made it an empty wasteland;
      I hear its mournful cry.
   The whole land is desolate,
      and no one even cares.
 12 On all the bare hilltops,
      destroying armies can be seen.
   The sword of the Lord devours people
      from one end of the nation to the other.
      No one will escape!
 13 My people have planted wheat
      but are harvesting thorns.
   They have worn themselves out,
      but it has done them no good.
   They will harvest a crop of shame
      because of the fierce anger of the Lord."
A Message for Israel's Neighbors
14 Now this is what the Lord says: "I will uproot from their land all the evil nations reaching out for the possession I gave my people Israel. And I will uproot Judah from among them. 15 But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. I will bring them home to their own lands again, each nation to its own possession. 16 And if these nations truly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the Lord lives' (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people. 17 But any nation who refuses to obey me will be uprooted and destroyed. I, the Lord, have spoken!"
Jeremiah 13
Jeremiah's Linen Loincloth
1 This is what the Lord said to me: "Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it on, but do not wash it." 2 So I bought the loincloth as the Lorddirected me, and I put it on.
3 Then the Lord gave me another message: 4 "Take the linen loincloth you are wearing, and go to the Euphrates River. Hide it there in a hole in the rocks." 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as the Lord had instructed me.
6 A long time afterward the Lord said to me, "Go back to the Euphrates and get the loincloth I told you to hide there." 7 So I went to the Euphrates and dug it out of the hole where I had hidden it. But now it was rotting and falling apart. The loincloth was good for nothing.
8 Then I received this message from the Lord: 9 "This is what the Lord says: This shows how I will rot away the pride of Judah and Jerusalem. 10 These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship other gods. Therefore, they will become like this loincloth—good for nothing! 11 As a loincloth clings to a man's waist, so I created Judah and Israel to cling to me, says the Lord. They were to be my people, my pride, my glory—an honor to my name. But they would not listen to me.
12 "So tell them, 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: May all your jars be filled with wine.' And they will reply, 'Of course! Jars are made to be filled with wine!'
13 "Then tell them, 'No, this is what the Lord means: I will fill everyone in this land with drunkenness—from the king sitting on David's throne to the priests and the prophets, right down to the common people of Jerusalem. 14 I will smash them against each other, even parents against children, says the Lord. I will not let my pity or mercy or compassion keep me from destroying them.'"
A Warning against Pride
15 Listen and pay attention!
      Do not be arrogant, for the Lord has spoken.
 16 Give glory to the Lord your God
      before it is too late.
   Acknowledge him before he brings darkness upon you,
      causing you to stumble and fall on the darkening mountains.
   For then, when you look for light,
      you will find only terrible darkness and gloom.
 17 And if you still refuse to listen,
      I will weep alone because of your pride.
   My eyes will overflow with tears,
      because the Lord's flock will be led away into exile.
18 Say to the king and his mother,
   "Come down from your thrones
      and sit in the dust,
   for your glorious crowns
      will soon be snatched from your heads."
 19 The towns of the Negev will close their gates,
      and no one will be able to open them.
   The people of Judah will be taken away as captives.
      All will be carried into exile.
20 Open up your eyes and see
      the armies marching down from the north!
   Where is your flock—
      your beautiful flock—
      that he gave you to care for?
 21 What will you say when the Lord takes the allies you have cultivated
      and appoints them as your rulers?
   Pangs of anguish will grip you,
      like those of a woman in labor!
 22 You may ask yourself,
   "Why is all this happening to me?"
      It is because of your many sins!
   That is why you have been stripped
      and raped by invading armies.
 23 Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin?
      Can a leopard take away its spots?
   Neither can you start doing good,
      for you have always done evil.
24 "I will scatter you like chaff
      that is blown away by the desert winds.
 25 This is your allotment,
      the portion I have assigned to you,"
      says the Lord,
   "for you have forgotten me,
      putting your trust in false gods.
 26 I myself will strip you
      and expose you to shame.
 27 I have seen your adultery and lust,
      and your disgusting idol worship out in the fields and on the hills.
   What sorrow awaits you, Jerusalem!
      How long before you are pure?"
Jeremiah 14
Judah's Terrible Drought
1 This message came to Jeremiah from the Lord, explaining why he was holding back the rain:
2 "Judah wilts;
      commerce at the city gates grinds to a halt.
   All the people sit on the ground in mourning,
      and a great cry rises from Jerusalem.
 3 The nobles send servants to get water,
      but all the wells are dry.
   The servants return with empty pitchers,
      confused and desperate,
      covering their heads in grief.
 4 The ground is parched
      and cracked for lack of rain.
   The farmers are deeply troubled;
      they, too, cover their heads.
 5 Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn
      because there is no grass in the field.
 6 The wild donkeys stand on the bare hills
      panting like thirsty jackals.
   They strain their eyes looking for grass,
      but there is none to be found."
7 The people say, "Our wickedness has caught up with us, Lord,
      but help us for the sake of your own reputation.
   We have turned away from you
      and sinned against you again and again.
 8 O Hope of Israel, our Savior in times of trouble,
      why are you like a stranger to us?
   Why are you like a traveler passing through the land,
      stopping only for the night?
 9 Are you also confused?
      Is our champion helpless to save us?
   You are right here among us, Lord.
      We are known as your people.
      Please don't abandon us now!"
10 So this is what the Lord says to his people:
   "You love to wander far from me
      and do not restrain yourselves.
   Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my people.
      Now I will remember all your wickedness
      and will punish you for your sins."
The Lord Forbids Jeremiah to Intercede
11 Then the Lord said to me, "Do not pray for these people anymore. 12 When they fast, I will pay no attention. When they present their burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease."
13 Then I said, "O Sovereign Lord, their prophets are telling them, 'All is well—no war or famine will come. The Lord will surely send you peace.'"
14 Then the Lord said, "These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts. 15 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine! 16 As for the people to whom they prophesy—their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and war. There will be no one left to bury them. Husbands, wives, sons, and daughters—all will be gone. For I will pour out their own wickedness on them. 17 Now, Jeremiah, say this to them:
"Night and day my eyes overflow with tears.
      I cannot stop weeping,
   for my virgin daughter—my precious people—
      has been struck down
      and lies mortally wounded.
 18 If I go out into the fields,
      I see the bodies of people slaughtered by the enemy.
   If I walk the city streets,
      I see people who have died of starvation.
   The prophets and priests continue with their work,
      but they don't know what they're doing."
A Prayer for Healing
19 Lord, have you completely rejected Judah?
      Do you really hate Jerusalem?
   Why have you wounded us past all hope of healing?
      We hoped for peace, but no peace came.
      We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.
 20 Lord, we confess our wickedness
      and that of our ancestors, too.
      We all have sinned against you.
 21 For the sake of your reputation, Lord, do not abandon us.
      Do not disgrace your own glorious throne.
   Please remember us,
      and do not break your covenant with us.
22 Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain?
      Does it fall from the sky by itself?
   No, you are the one, O Lord our God!
      Only you can do such things.
      So we will wait for you to help us.
Jeremiah 15
Judah's Inevitable Doom
1 Then the Lord said to me, "Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn't help them. Away with them! Get them out of my sight! 2 And if they say to you, 'But where can we go?' tell them, 'This is what the Lord says:
"'Those who are destined for death, to death;
      those who are destined for war, to war;
   those who are destined for famine, to famine;
      those who are destined for captivity, to captivity.'
3 "I will send four kinds of destroyers against them," says the Lord. "I will send the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the vultures to devour, and the wild animals to finish up what is left. 4 Because of the wicked things Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem, I will make my people an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.
5 "Who will feel sorry for you, Jerusalem?
      Who will weep for you?
      Who will even bother to ask how you are?
 6 You have abandoned me
      and turned your back on me,"
      says the Lord.
   "Therefore, I will raise my fist to destroy you.
      I am tired of always giving you another chance.
 7 I will winnow you like grain at the gates of your cities
      and take away the children you hold dear.
   I will destroy my own people,
      because they refuse to change their evil ways.
 8 There will be more widows
      than the grains of sand on the seashore.
   At noontime I will bring a destroyer
      against the mothers of young men.
   I will cause anguish and terror
      to come upon them suddenly.
 9 The mother of seven grows faint and gasps for breath;
      her sun has gone down while it is still day.
   She sits childless now,
      disgraced and humiliated.
   And I will hand over those who are left
      to be killed by the enemy.
      I, the Lord, have spoken!"
Jeremiah's Complaint
10 Then I said,
"What sorrow is mine, my mother.
      Oh, that I had died at birth!
      I am hated everywhere I go.
   I am neither a lender who threatens to foreclose
      nor a borrower who refuses to pay—
      yet they all curse me."
11 The Lord replied,
"I will take care of you, Jeremiah.
      Your enemies will ask you to plead on their behalf
      in times of trouble and distress.
 12 Can a man break a bar of iron from the north,
      or a bar of bronze?
 13 At no cost to them,
      I will hand over your wealth and treasures
   as plunder to your enemies,
      for sin runs rampant in your land.
 14 I will tell your enemies to take you
      as captives to a foreign land.
   For my anger blazes like a fire
      that will burn forever."
15 Then I said,
"Lord, you know what's happening to me.
      Please step in and help me. Punish my persecutors!
   Please give me time; don't let me die young.
      It's for your sake that I am suffering.
 16 When I discovered your words, I devoured them.
      They are my joy and my heart's delight,
   for I bear your name,
      O Lord God of Heaven's Armies.
 17 I never joined the people in their merry feasts.
      I sat alone because your hand was on me.
      I was filled with indignation at their sins.
 18 Why then does my suffering continue?
      Why is my wound so incurable?
   Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook,
      like a spring that has gone dry."
19 This is how the Lord responds:
"If you return to me, I will restore you
      so you can continue to serve me.
   If you speak good words rather than worthless ones,
      you will be my spokesman.
   You must influence them;
      do not let them influence you!
 20 They will fight against you like an attacking army,
      but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze.
   They will not conquer you,
      for I am with you to protect and rescue you.
      I, the Lord, have spoken!
 21 Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men.
      I will rescue you from their cruel hands."



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