The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday October 19, 2021 (NIV)

Jeremiah 33-34

Restoration Promised

33 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard, saying, “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is His name, ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and tell you [and even show you] great and mighty things, [things which have been confined and hidden], which you do not know and understand and cannot distinguish.’ For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah which are torn down to make a defense against the siege ramps and against the sword,(A) ‘While they (the besieged Jews) are coming to fight against the Chaldeans and to fill the houses with the dead bodies of men whom I have slain in My anger and in My wrath, for I have hidden My face [in disgust] from this city because of all their wickedness. Behold, [in the restored Jerusalem] I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace (prosperity, security, stability) and truth. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel and will rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all their wickedness (guilt) by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon (forgive) all their sins by which they rebelled against Me. Jerusalem will be to Me a name of joy, praise and glory before all the nations of the earth which will hear of all the good that I do for it, and they shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the peace (prosperity, security, stability) that I provide for it.’

10 “Thus says the Lord, ‘Yet again there will be heard in this place of which you say, “It is a [desolate] waste, without man and without animal”—even in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without animal— 11 the [sound of the] voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the [song-filled] voice of those who say,

“Give praise and thanks to the Lord of hosts,
For the Lord is good;
For His [steadfast] lovingkindness (mercy) endures forever”;

and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of the Lord. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first,’ says the Lord.

12 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘There will again be in this desolate place—[a place] without man or animal—and in all its cities, pastures for shepherds who rest their flocks. 13 In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the South (the Negev), in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem and in the cities of Judah, the flocks will again pass under the hand of the one who counts them,’ says the Lord.

The Davidic Kingdom

14 ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good word and promise which I have made regarding the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He (the Messiah) shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.(B) 16 In those days Judah will be saved and [the people of] Jerusalem will live in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the Lord Our Righteousness (Justice).’ 17 For thus says the Lord, ‘David shall never lack a man (descendant) to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; 18 and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man (descendant) to offer burnt offerings before Me and to burn grain offerings and to prepare sacrifices all day long.’”

19 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 20 “Thus says the Lord, ‘If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night do not take place at their appointed times, 21 then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant so that he will not have a son to reign on his throne, and [My covenant may also be broken] with the Levitical priests, My ministers. 22 As the host of [the stars of] heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’”

23 And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 24 “Have you not noticed what this people have spoken, saying, ‘The two families [Israel the northern kingdom, and Judah the southern kingdom] which the Lord chose, He has rejected’? Thus they despise My [chosen] people, no longer are they [considered] as a nation in their sight. 25 Thus says the Lord, ‘If My covenant with day and night does not stand, and if I have not established the fixed patterns of heaven and earth, [the whole order of nature,] 26 then I would [also] reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes, and will have mercy on them.’”(C)

A Prophecy against Zedekiah

34 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army, with all the kingdoms of the earth that were under his sovereignty and all the peoples, were fighting against Jerusalem and against all of its cities: “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will set it on fire and burn it down. You will not escape from his hand, for you will definitely be captured and handed over to him; you will see the king of Babylon eye to eye, and he will speak with you face to face; and you will go to Babylon.’”’ Yet hear the word of the Lord, O Zedekiah king of Judah! Thus says the Lord concerning you, ‘You will not die by the sword. You will die in peace; and as spices were burned for [the memory and honor of] your fathers, the former kings who reigned before you, so shall a [ceremonial] burning be made for you; and people will lament (grieve) for you, saying, “Alas, lord (master)!”’ For I have spoken the word,” says the Lord.

Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words to Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem when the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and against all the remaining cities of Judah, against Lachish and Azekah, for these were the [only] fortified cities among the cities of Judah.

The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after King Zedekiah had made a covenant (solemn pledge) with all the [Hebrew] people who were [slaves] in Jerusalem to proclaim liberty to them: that every man should let his Hebrew slaves, male and female, go free, so that no one should make a slave of a Jew, his brother. 10 So all the princes and all the people who had entered into the covenant agreed that everyone would let his male servant and his female servant go free, and that no one would keep them in bondage any longer; they obeyed, and set them free. 11 But afterward they backed out [of the covenant] and made the male servants and the female servants whom they had set free return [to them], and brought the male servants and the female servants again into servitude.

12 Therefore the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 13 “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I made a covenant (solemn pledge) with your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying, 14 “At the end of seven years each of you shall set free his Hebrew brother who has sold himself [into servitude] or who has been sold to you and has served you six years, you shall release him from [serving] you; but your forefathers did not listen [submissively] to Me or obey Me.(D) 15 So then you recently turned and repented, doing what was right in My sight, each man proclaiming release [from servitude] to his countryman [who was his bond servant]; and you had made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My [a]Name. 16 Yet you backed out [of the covenant] and profaned My Name, and each man took back his servants, male and female, whom had been set free in accordance with their desire, and you brought them into servitude [again] to be your male servants and your female servants.”’

17 “Therefore says the Lord, ‘You have not obeyed Me; you have not proclaimed liberty to your brother and your countryman. Behold (listen very carefully), I am proclaiming liberty to you—[liberty to be put] to the sword, [liberty] to [be ravaged by] the virulent disease, and [liberty] to [be decimated by] famine,’ says the Lord; ‘and I will make you a horror and a warning to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 The men who have violated My covenant, who have not kept the terms of the solemn pledge which they made before Me when they split the [sacrificial] calf in half, and then afterwards walked between its separated pieces [sealing their pledge to Me by placing a curse on themselves should they violate the covenant—those men I will make like the calf]!(E) 19 The princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the high officials, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf, 20 I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives. And [like the body of the calf] their dead bodies will be food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth. 21 Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes I will place into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life, and into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon which has withdrawn from you. 22 Behold, I am going to command [the Chaldeans who rule Babylon],’ says the Lord, ‘and I will bring them back to this city; and they will fight against it and take it and set it on fire. I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without inhabitant.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 34:15 See note Deut 12:5.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

1 Timothy 4

Apostasy

But the [Holy] Spirit explicitly and unmistakably declares that in later times some will turn away from the faith, paying attention instead to deceitful and seductive spirits and doctrines of demons, [misled] by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared as with a branding iron [leaving them incapable of ethical functioning], who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from [certain kinds of] foods which God has created to be gratefully shared by those who believe and have [a clear] knowledge of the truth. For everything God has created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified [set apart, dedicated to God] by means of the word of God and prayer.

A Good Minister’s Discipline

If you point out these instructions to the [a]brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished [through study] on the words of the faith and of the good [Christian] doctrine which you have closely followed. But have nothing to do with irreverent folklore and silly myths. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness [keeping yourself spiritually fit]. For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come. This is a faithful and trustworthy saying worthy of full acceptance and approval. 10 It is for this that we labor and strive [often called to account], because we have fixed our [confident] hope on the living God, who is the [b]Savior of all people, especially of those who believe [in Him, recognize Him as the Son of God, and accept Him as Savior and Lord].

11 Keep commanding and teaching these things. 12 Let no one look down on [you because of] your youth, but be an example and set a pattern for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in [moral] purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to public reading [of Scripture], to preaching and to teaching [the sound doctrine of God’s word]. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, [that special endowment] which was intentionally bestowed on you [by the Holy Spirit] through prophetic utterance when the [c]elders laid their hands on you [at your ordination]. 15 Practice and work hard on these things; be absorbed in them [completely occupied in your ministry], so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself [concentrate on your personal development] and to your teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Timothy 4:6 Lit brethren.
  2. 1 Timothy 4:10 God is the Savior of all mankind in the sense that Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient for the entire world (1 John 2:2); however, personal faith is essential for salvation.
  3. 1 Timothy 4:14 Or presbytery.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Psalm 89:1-13

The Lord’s Covenant with David, and Israel’s Afflictions.

A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of Ethan the Ezrahite.

89 I will sing of the goodness and lovingkindness of the Lord forever;
With my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness from generation to generation.

For I have said, “Goodness and lovingkindness will be built up forever;
In the heavens [unchangeable and majestic] You will establish Your faithfulness.”

[God has said] “I have made a covenant with My chosen one;
I have sworn to David My servant,

I will establish your seed forever
And I will build up your throne for all generations.”(A) Selah.


The heavens (angels) praise Your wonders, O Lord,
Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.

For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord?
Who among the divine beings is like the Lord,

A God greatly feared and reverently worshiped in the council of the holy [angelic] ones,
And awesome above all those who are around Him?

O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord?
Your faithfulness surrounds You [as an intrinsic, unchangeable part of Your very being].

You rule the swelling of the sea;
When its waves rise, You still them.(B)
10 
You have crushed Rahab (Egypt) like one who is slain;
You have scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm.

11 
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;
The world and all that is in it, You have founded and established them.(C)
12 
The north and the south, You have created them;
Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon shout for joy at Your name.
13 
You have a strong arm;
Mighty is Your hand, Your right hand is exalted.

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 25:23-24

23 
The north wind brings forth rain;
And a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance.
24 
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop [on the flat roof, exposed to the weather]
Than in a house shared with a quarrelsome (contentious) woman.(A)

Cross references:

  1. Proverbs 25:24 : Prov 21:9
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday October 18, 2021 (NIV)

Jeremiah 31:27-32:44

A New Covenant

27 “Behold (listen carefully), the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast. 28 It will be that as I have watched over them to uproot and to break down, to overthrow, destroy, and afflict with disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant [with good],” says the Lord.

29 
“In those days they will not say again,
‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’(A)

30 But everyone will die [only] for his own wickedness; every man who eats sour grapes—his [own] teeth shall be set on edge.

31 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the [a]house of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and with the house of Judah (the Southern Kingdom),(B) 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” says the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord, “I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. 34 And each man will no longer teach his neighbor and his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me [through personal experience], from the least of them to the greatest,” says the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness, and I will no longer remember their sin.”(C)

35 
Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for light by day
And the fixed order of the moon and of the stars for light by night,
Who stirs up the sea’s roaring billows or stills the waves when they roar;
The Lord of hosts is His name:
36 
“If this fixed order departs
From before Me,” says the Lord,
“Then the descendants of Israel also will cease
From being a nation before Me forever.”

37 Thus says the Lord,

“If the heavens above can be measured
And the foundations of the earth searched out below,
Then I will also cast off and abandon all the descendants of Israel
For all that they have done,” says the Lord.

38 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when the city [of Jerusalem] will be rebuilt for the Lord from the [b]Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 The measuring line will go out farther straight ahead to the hill Gareb; then it will turn to [c]Goah. 40 And the whole valley (Hinnom) of the dead bodies and [the hill] of the ashes [long dumped there from the temple sacrifices], and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be holy to the Lord. It (the city) will not be uprooted or overthrown anymore to the end of the age.”(D)

Jeremiah Imprisoned

32 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of [d]Nebuchadnezzar. Now at that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard, which was in the house of the king of Judah. For Zedekiah [the last] king of Judah had locked him up, saying, “Why do you prophesy [disaster] and say, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it; and Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape from the hand of the [e]Chaldeans, but he will surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye; and he will lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and he will be there until I visit him [for evaluation and judgment],” says the Lord. “If you fight against the Chaldeans, you will not succeed”’?”(E)

And Jeremiah [answered King Zedekiah and] said, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Behold (listen carefully), Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle is coming to you, saying, “Buy my field that is in [f]Anathoth, for you have the right of redemption to buy it [in accordance with the law].”’ Then Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the guard in accordance with the word of the Lord, and he said to me, ‘Please buy my field that is at Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin, for you have the right of inheritance and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.

“I bought the field that was at Anathoth from Hanamel my uncle’s son, and weighed out the money for him, seventeen shekels of silver. 10 I signed the deed and sealed it, and called in witnesses, and weighed out the money on the scales. 11 So I took the deeds of the purchase, both the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, and the unsealed copy; 12 and I gave the purchase deed to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the sight of Hanamel my uncle’s son and in sight of the witnesses who signed the purchase deed, in the presence of all the Jews who were sitting in the court of the guard. 13 And I commanded Baruch in their presence, saying, 14 ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Take these deeds, both this purchase deed which is sealed and this unsealed deed, and put them in an earthen jar, that they may last a long time.” 15 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Houses and fields and vineyards will again be purchased in this land.”’

Jeremiah Prays and God Explains

16 “Now when I had delivered the purchase deed to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, saying, 17 ‘Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too difficult or too wonderful for You— 18 You who show lovingkindness to thousands, but repay the wickedness (sin, guilt) of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers], O great and mighty God; the Lord of hosts is His name; 19 great [are You] in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to reward or repay each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds; 20 who set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and even to this day [continues to do so] both in Israel and among mankind; and You have made a name for Yourself, as at this day. 21 You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with great terror; 22 and gave them this land, which You swore to their forefathers to give them, a land [of plenty] [g]flowing with milk and honey. 23 They entered and took possession of it, but they did not obey Your voice or walk in Your law; they have done nothing of all that You commanded them to do. Therefore You have caused all this disaster and suffering to come upon them. 24 See the siege ramps [of mounded earth that the enemy has built against the walls]; they have come up to the city to capture it. And the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans [of Babylon] who fight against it, because of the sword, the famine and the virulent disease [that have overcome the people]. What You have spoken has come to pass, and behold, You see it. 25 Yet, O Lord God, You said to me, “Buy the field with money and get witnesses,” even though the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.’”

26 Then came the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, saying, 27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too difficult for Me?” 28 Therefore thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am about to give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will take it. 29 The Chaldeans who are fighting against this city will come in and set this city on fire and burn it, along with the houses on whose roofs incense has been offered to Baal and drink offerings have been poured out to other gods to provoke Me to anger.(F) 30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done only evil in My sight from their youth; for the children of Israel have been provoking Me to anger by the [idols that are the] work of their hands,” says the Lord. 31 “From the day that they built it [during the reign of [h]Solomon], even to this day, this city has been such a provocation of My anger and My wrath, that I must remove it from My sight,(G) 32 because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah which they have done to provoke Me to anger—they, their kings, their princes, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 33 They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them repeatedly, yet they would not listen and receive instruction. 34 But they put their detestable things (idols) in the house which is called by My [i]Name, to defile it. 35 They built the high places [for worship] of Baal in the Valley of Ben-hinnom (son of Hinnom) to make their sons and their daughters pass through the fire to [worship and honor] Molech—which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this repulsive thing, to cause Judah to sin.(H)

36 “Now therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning this city of which you say, ‘It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword and by famine and by virulent disease.’ 37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them live in safety. 38 They will be My people, and I will be their God; 39 and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may [reverently] fear Me forever, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will do them good and not turn away from them; and I will put in their heart a fear and reverential awe of Me, so that they will not turn away from Me.(I) 41 I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul. 42 For thus says the Lord, ‘Just as I have brought all this great disaster on this people, so I am going to bring on them all the good that I am promising them. 43 Fields will be bought in this land of which you say, “It is desolate, without man or animal; it is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.” 44 People will buy fields for money, sign deeds, seal them, and call in witnesses in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland, and in the cities of the South (the Negev); for I will restore their fortunes and release them from exile,’ says the Lord.”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 31:31 The kingdom was united under David and his successor, Solomon, but split after Solomon’s son, Rehoboam became king.
  2. Jeremiah 31:38 Many times after the days of the Old Testament, Jerusalem was destroyed. Travelers in later centuries reported it to be an almost deserted city—its buildings were ruins filled with rubble, its inhabitants were few. Yet not only did God’s word declare that it would be rebuilt, but also drew a detailed word map of the outline the city would follow—from a well-known tower to the gate at a certain corner, then on over a particular hill, coming now outside the walls of the original city and taking in a large area marked by familiar landmarks. Eight recognizable details are given here, and Zechariah adds another (14:10). Also, the city’s expansion was to be toward the northwest. Twenty-five hundred years later, in 1935, the prophecy had been fulfilled, as if indeed with God’s “measuring line” (v 39). So unlikely seemed this prophecy’s fulfillment that some early commentators suggested that it should be interpreted spiritually.
  3. Jeremiah 31:39 The exact location of Goah remains unknown.
  4. Jeremiah 32:1 In Hebrew there are two ways of spelling the name of the ruler of Babylon resulting in two English variations: Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuchadrezzar.
  5. Jeremiah 32:4 The ruling tribe in Babylonia.
  6. Jeremiah 32:7 See note 1:1.
  7. Jeremiah 32:22 This phrase referred to the abundant fertility of the land of Canaan. Milk (typically that of goats and sheep) was associated with abundance; “honey” referred mainly to syrups made from dates or grapes and was the epitome of sweetness. Bees’ honey was very rare and was considered the choicest of foods.
  8. Jeremiah 32:31 Solomon was the first king of Israel to participate in idolatry.
  9. Jeremiah 32:34 See note Deut 12:5.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

1 Timothy 3

Overseers and Deacons

This is a faithful and trustworthy saying: if any man [eagerly] seeks the office of [a]overseer (bishop, superintendent), he desires an excellent task. Now an overseer must be blameless and beyond reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine, not [b]a bully nor quick-tempered and hot-headed, but gentle and considerate, free from the love of money [not greedy for wealth and its inherent power—financially ethical]. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity [keeping them respectful and well-behaved] (for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?). and He must not be a new convert, so that he will not [behave stupidly and] become conceited [by appointment to this high office] and fall into the [same] condemnation incurred by the devil [for his arrogance and pride].(A) And he must have a good reputation and be well thought of by those outside the church, so that he will not be discredited and fall into the devil’s trap.

[c]Deacons likewise must be men worthy of respect [honorable, financially ethical, of good character], not double-tongued [speakers of half-truths], not addicted to wine, not greedy for dishonest gain, but upholding and fully understanding the mystery [that is, the true doctrine] of the [Christian] faith with a clear conscience [resulting from behavior consistent with spiritual maturity]. 10 These men must first be tested; then if they are found to be blameless and beyond reproach [in their Christian lives], let them serve as deacons. 11 [d]Women must likewise be worthy of respect, not malicious gossips, but self-controlled, [thoroughly] trustworthy in all things. 12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons gain a high standing [having a good reputation among the congregation], and great confidence in the faith which is [founded on and centered] in Christ Jesus.

14 I hope to come to you before long, but I am writing these instructions to you 15 in case I am delayed, so that you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 And great, we confess, is the mystery [the hidden truth] of godliness:

He (Jesus Christ) who was revealed in human flesh,
Was justified and vindicated in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the nations,
Believed on in the world,
Taken up in glory.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Timothy 3:1 Or bishop.
  2. 1 Timothy 3:3 I.e. like a bully.
  3. 1 Timothy 3:8 Though the Greek word for “deacon” does not occur in Acts (only Paul uses it), it is generally thought that the origin of the office or ministry is found in Acts 6:1-6, where Luke reports that seven men were appointed to assist the church leaders in serving and ministering to members of the congregation.
  4. 1 Timothy 3:11 In Greek, the same word is used for both woman and wife. This verse may refer specifically to either deacons’ wives or deaconesses, rather than the congregation in general.

Cross references:

  1. 1 Timothy 3:6 : Is 14:12-14
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Psalm 88

A Petition to Be Saved from Death.

A Song. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. To the Chief Musician; set to chant mournfully. A didactic or reflective poem of Heman the Ezrahite.

88 O Lord, the God of my salvation,
I have cried out [for help] by day and in the night before You.(A)

Let my prayer come before You and enter into Your presence;
Incline Your ear to my cry!

For my soul is full of troubles,
And my life draws near the grave (Sheol, the place of the dead).

I am counted among those who go down to the pit (grave);
I am like a man who has no strength [a mere shadow],

[a]Cast away [from the living] and abandoned among the dead,
Like the slain who lie in a [nameless] grave,
Whom You no longer remember,
And they are cut off from Your hand.

You have laid me in the lowest pit,
In dark places, in the depths.

Your wrath has rested heavily upon me,
And You have afflicted me with all Your waves.(B) Selah.

You have put my friends far from me;
You have made me an [b]object of loathing to them.
I am shut up and I cannot go out.

My eye grows dim with sorrow.
O Lord, I have called on You every day;
I have spread out my hands to You [in prayer].

10 
Will You perform wonders for the dead?
Shall the departed spirits arise and praise You? Selah.
11 
Will Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave
Or Your faithfulness in Abaddon (the underworld)?
12 
Will Your wonders be known in the darkness?
And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness [where the dead forget and are forgotten]?

13 
But I have cried out to You, O Lord, for help;
And in the morning my prayer will come to You.
14 
O Lord, why do You reject me?
Why do You hide Your face from me?(C)
15 
I was afflicted and close to death from my youth on;
I suffer Your terrors; I am overcome.
16 
Your fierce wrath has swept over me;
Your terrors have destroyed me.
17 
They have surrounded me like flood waters all day long;
They have completely encompassed me.
18 
Lover and friend You have placed far from me;
My familiar friends are in darkness.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 88:5 Lit Set free. The ancient rabbis understood this to mean that once a man is dead, he is free from all religious duties.
  2. Psalm 88:8 Lit abomination to them.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 25:20-22

20 
Like one who takes off a garment in cold weather, or like [a reactive, useless mixture of] vinegar on soda,
Is he who [thoughtlessly] sings [joyful] songs to a heavy heart.(A)
21 
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;(B)
22 
For in doing so, you will [a]heap coals of fire upon his head,
And the Lord will reward you.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 25:22 This expression may refer to an Egyptian custom in which a penitent man carried a pan of coals on his head as a sign of repentance. The message of these verses is the admonition to return good for evil in the hope that your enemy will be moved to repentance.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday October 17, 2021 (NIV)

Jeremiah 30:1-31:26

Freedom from Captivity Promised

30 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Write in a book all the words which I have spoken to you. For behold (hear this), the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will return them to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they will take possession of it.’”

Now these are the words the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah:

“Thus says the Lord,

‘We have heard a terrified voice
Of panic and dread, and there is no peace.

‘Ask now, and see
Whether a man can give birth [to a child].
Why then do I see every man
With his hands on his [a]loins, as a woman in labor?
Why have all faces turned pale?

‘Alas! for that day is great,
There is none like it;
It is the time of Jacob’s [unequaled] trouble,
But he will be saved from it.(A)

‘It shall come about on that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘that I will break the yoke off your neck and I will tear off your bonds and force apart your shackles; and strangers will no longer make slaves of the people [of Israel]. But they shall serve the Lord their God and [the descendant of] David their King, whom I will raise up for them.(B)

10 
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant,’ says the Lord,
‘Nor be dismayed or downcast, O Israel;
For behold, I will save you from a distant land [of exile]
And your descendants from the land of their captivity.
Jacob will return and will be quiet and at ease,
And no one will make him afraid.
11 
‘For I am with you,’ says the Lord, ‘to save you;
For I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you,
But I will not destroy you completely.
But I will judge and discipline you fairly
And will by no means regard you as guiltless and leave you unpunished.’

12 
“For thus says the Lord,
‘Your wound is incurable
And your injury is beyond healing.
13 
‘There is no one to plead your cause;
No [device to close and allow the] healing of your wound,
No recovery for you.
14 
‘All your lovers (allies) have forgotten you;
They do not seek and long for you.
For I have injured you with the wound of an enemy,
With the punishment of a cruel and merciless foe,
Because your guilt is great
And your sins are glaring and innumerable.
15 
‘Why do you cry out over your injury [since it is the natural result of your sin]?
Your pain is incurable (deadly).
Because your guilt is great
And your sins are glaring and innumerable,
I have done these things to you.
16 
‘Therefore all who devour you will be devoured;
And all your adversaries, every one of them, will go into captivity.
And they who plunder you will become plunder,
And all who prey upon you I will give for prey.
17 
‘For I will restore health to you
And I will heal your wounds,’ says the Lord,
‘Because they have called you an outcast, saying:
“This is Zion; no one seeks her and no one cares for her.”’

Restoration of Jacob

18 
“Thus says the Lord,
‘Behold (hear this), I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob
And have mercy on his dwelling places;
The city will be rebuilt on its [old, mound-like] ruin,
And the palace will stand on its rightful place.
19 
‘From them (city, palace) will come [songs of] thanksgiving
And the voices of those who dance and celebrate.
And I will multiply them and they will not be diminished [in number];
I will also honor them and they will not be insignificant.
20 
‘Their children too will be as in former times,
And their congregation will be established before Me;
And I will punish all their oppressors.
21 
‘Their prince will be one of them,
And their ruler will come forward from among them.
I will bring him near and he shall approach Me,
For who is he who would have the boldness and would dare [on his own initiative] to risk his life to approach Me?’ says the Lord.
22 
‘Then you shall be My people,
And I will be your God.’”(C)

23 
Behold, the tempest of the Lord!
Wrath has gone forth,
A sweeping and gathering tempest;
It will burst on the head of the wicked.
24 
The fierce (righteous) anger of the Lord will not turn back
Until He has fulfilled and until He has accomplished
The intent of His heart (mind);
In the latter days you will understand this.

Israel’s Mourning Turned to Joy

31 “At that time,” says the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.”


Thus says the Lord,
“The people who survived the sword
Found grace in the wilderness [of exile]—
Israel (the Northern Kingdom), when it went to find its rest.”

The Lord appeared to me ([b]Israel) from ages past, saying,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.(D)

“Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt,
O Virgin Israel!
You will again be adorned with your tambourines and [c]timbrels
And go out to the dances of those who celebrate.(E)

“Again you will plant vineyards
On the mountains of Samaria;
The planters will plant
And enjoy the [abundant] fruit [in peace].

“For there will be a day when the watchmen
On the hills of Ephraim cry out,
‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
To the Lord our God.’”


For thus says the Lord,
“Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
And shout for the first and foremost of the nations [the chosen people, Israel];
Proclaim, give praise and say,
‘O Lord save Your people,
The remnant of Israel!’

“Behold, I am bringing them from the north country,
And I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth,
Among them [will be] the blind and the lame,
The woman with child and she who labors in childbirth, together;
A great company, they will return here [to Jerusalem].

“They will come with weeping [in repentance and for joy],
And by [their] prayer [for the future] I will lead them;
I will make them walk by streams of waters,
On a straight path in which they will not stumble,
For I am a Father to Israel,
And Ephraim (Israel) is My firstborn.”

10 
Hear the word of the Lord, O you nations,
And declare it in the isles and coastlands far away,
And say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him
And will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.”
11 
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob
And has redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he.
12 
“They will come and sing aloud and shout for joy on the height of Zion,
And will be radiant [with joy] over the goodness of the Lord
For the grain, for the new wine, for the oil,
And for the young of the flock and the herd.
And their life will be like a watered garden,
And they shall never sorrow or languish again.
13 
“Then the virgin will rejoice in the dance,
And the young men and old, together,
For I will turn their mourning into joy
And will comfort them and make them rejoice after their sorrow.
14 
“I will fully satisfy the soul of the priests with abundance,
And My people will be satisfied with My goodness,” says the Lord.

15 
Thus says the Lord,
“A [d]voice is heard in Ramah,
Lamentation (songs of mourning) and bitter weeping.
Rachel (Israel) is weeping for her children;
She refuses to be comforted for her children,
Because they are gone.”(F)

16 Thus says the Lord,

“Restrain your voice from weeping
And your eyes from tears,
For your work will be rewarded,” says the Lord;
“And your children will return from the enemy’s land.
17 
“There is [confident] hope for your future,” says the Lord;
“Your children will come back to their own country.
18 
“I have surely heard Ephraim (Israel) moaning and grieving,
‘You have chastised me, and I was chastised,
Like a bull unaccustomed to the yoke or an untrained calf;
Bring me back that I may be restored,
For You are the Lord my God.
19 
‘After I turned away [from You], I repented;
After I was instructed, I struck my thigh [in remorse];
I was ashamed and even humiliated
Because I carried the disgrace of my youth [as a nation].’
20 
“Is Ephraim My dear son?
Is he a darling and beloved child?
For as often as I have spoken against him,
I certainly still remember him.
Therefore My affection is renewed and My heart longs for him;
I will surely have mercy on him,” says the Lord.

21 
“Place for yourself road signs [toward Canaan],
Make for yourself guideposts;
Turn your thought and attention to the highway,
To the way by which you went [into exile].
Retrace your steps, O virgin of Israel,
Return to these your cities.
22 
“How long will you hesitate [to return],
O you faithless and renegade daughter?
For the Lord has created a [e]new thing in the land [of Israel]:
A woman will encompass (tenderly love) a man.”

23 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Once more they will speak these words in the land of Judah (the Southern Kingdom) and in her cities when I restore their fortunes and release them from exile,

‘The Lord bless you, O habitation of justice and righteousness,
O holy mountain!’

24 And [the people of] Judah and all its cities will live there together—the farmer and they who wander about with flocks. 25 For I [fully] satisfy the weary soul, and I replenish every languishing and sorrowful person.” 26 At this I (Jeremiah) awoke and looked, and my [trancelike] sleep was sweet [in the assurance it gave] to me.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 30:6 The midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips.
  2. Jeremiah 31:3 Also referred to as Samaria, Ephraim, Jacob, and Rachel in this chapter.
  3. Jeremiah 31:4 Small one-headed drums.
  4. Jeremiah 31:15 The mourning at Ramah is associated with the cry of the mothers of the boy babies and toddlers of Bethlehem who would be killed by Herod the Great during his attempt to destroy young Jesus (Matt 2:17, 18). Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife, was the mother of Joseph (Gen 35:24). The tribes descended from Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, were the most powerful in the Northern Kingdom.
  5. Jeremiah 31:22 This passage probably personifies Israel as an erring but deeply penitent wife, who will devote herself to winning back and being worthy of the love of her divine husband and Lord, who had rejected her.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

1 Timothy 2

A Call to Prayer

First of all, then, I urge that petitions (specific requests), prayers, intercessions (prayers for others) and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all people, for [a]kings and all who are in [positions of] high authority, so that we may live a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This [kind of praying] is good and acceptable and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who [b]wishes all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge and recognition of the [divine] truth. For there is [only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and mankind, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom [a substitutionary sacrifice to atone] for all, the testimony given at the right and proper time. And for this matter I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying [when I say this]—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger and disputing or quarreling or doubt [in their mind].

Women Instructed

Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves modestly and appropriately and discreetly in proper clothing, not with [elaborately] braided hair and gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but instead adorned by good deeds [helping others], as is proper for women who profess to worship God. 11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with all submissiveness. 12 I do not allow a woman to [c]teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet [in the congregation]. 13 For Adam was formed first [by God from the earth], then Eve;(A) 14 and it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman who was led astray and [d]fell into sin.(B) 15 But women will be [e]preserved (saved) through [the pain and dangers of] the bearing of children [f]if they continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control and discretion.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Timothy 2:2 Nero ruled as emperor of Rome at this time.
  2. 1 Timothy 2:4 Salvation is offered to everyone, but each individual must choose to accept or reject God’s gracious offer.
  3. 1 Timothy 2:12 The early church evidently followed Jewish practices in religious education. In Israel, mothers taught their daughters, and it was the father’s responsibility to teach his sons in all areas, including religious education. So Paul’s prohibitions here are consistent with the practices of his day.
  4. 1 Timothy 2:14 Lit has come to be in.
  5. 1 Timothy 2:15 This is considered one of the more difficult verses in the NT to interpret. Part of the difficulty is that the Greek verb rendered “preserved” is literally “saved,” which could refer either to physical preservation or to salvation. Some expositors interpret the verb as referring to the blessings of a woman’s role as wife and mother, especially in regard to raising godly children. However, the wording of the verse seen here reflects the interpretation that Paul is speaking, in broad terms, of protection from the dangers of childbirth.
  6. 1 Timothy 2:15 The blessings on a woman are the result of her adherence to the virtues listed.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Psalm 87

The Privileges of Citizenship in Zion.

A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song.

87 His foundation is on the holy mountain.

The Lord loves the gates of Zion
More than all the dwellings of Jacob (Israel).

Glorious things are spoken of you,
O city of God [Jerusalem]. Selah.

“I will mention Rahab (Egypt) and Babylon among those who know Me—
Behold, Philistia and Tyre with Ethiopia (Cush)—
‘This one was born there.’”

But of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her,”
And the Most High Himself will establish her.

The Lord will count, when He registers the peoples,
“This one was born there.” Selah.

The singers as well as the players of flutes will say,
“All my springs and sources of joy are in you [Jerusalem, city of God].”

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 25:18-19

18 
Like a club and a sword and a piercing arrow
Is a man who testifies falsely against his neighbor (acquaintance).
19 
Like a broken tooth or an unsteady foot
Is confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble.

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday October 16, 2021 (NIV)

Jeremiah 28-29

Jeremiah Condemns Hananiah

28 One day in late summer[a] of that same year—the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah—Hananiah son of Azzur, a prophet from Gibeon, addressed me publicly in the Temple while all the priests and people listened. He said, “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will remove the yoke of the king of Babylon from your necks. Within two years I will bring back all the Temple treasures that King Nebuchadnezzar carried off to Babylon. And I will bring back Jehoiachin[b] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the other captives that were taken to Babylon. I will surely break the yoke that the king of Babylon has put on your necks. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”

Jeremiah responded to Hananiah as they stood in front of all the priests and people at the Temple. He said, “Amen! May your prophecies come true! I hope the Lord does everything you say. I hope he does bring back from Babylon the treasures of this Temple and all the captives. But listen now to the solemn words I speak to you in the presence of all these people. The ancient prophets who preceded you and me spoke against many nations, always warning of war, disaster, and disease. So a prophet who predicts peace must show he is right. Only when his predictions come true can we know that he is really from the Lord.”

10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke off Jeremiah’s neck and broke it in pieces. 11 And Hananiah said again to the crowd that had gathered, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Just as this yoke has been broken, within two years I will break the yoke of oppression from all the nations now subject to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.’” With that, Jeremiah left the Temple area.

12 Soon after this confrontation with Hananiah, the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: 13 “Go and tell Hananiah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but you have replaced it with a yoke of iron. 14 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I have put a yoke of iron on the necks of all these nations, forcing them into slavery under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I have put everything, even the wild animals, under his control.’”

15 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, but the people believe your lies. 16 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: ‘You must die. Your life will end this very year because you have rebelled against the Lord.’”

17 Two months later[c] the prophet Hananiah died.

A Letter to the Exiles

29 Jeremiah wrote a letter from Jerusalem to the elders, priests, prophets, and all the people who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. This was after King Jehoiachin,[d] the queen mother, the court officials, the other officials of Judah, and all the craftsmen and artisans had been deported from Jerusalem. He sent the letter with Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah when they went to Babylon as King Zedekiah’s ambassadors to Nebuchadnezzar. This is what Jeremiah’s letter said:

This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”

This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the Lord.

10 This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

15 You claim that the Lord has raised up prophets for you in Babylon. 16 But this is what the Lord says about the king who sits on David’s throne and all those still living here in Jerusalem—your relatives who were not exiled to Babylon. 17 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “I will send war, famine, and disease upon them and make them like bad figs, too rotten to eat. 18 Yes, I will pursue them with war, famine, and disease, and I will scatter them around the world. In every nation where I send them, I will make them an object of damnation, horror, contempt, and mockery. 19 For they refuse to listen to me, though I have spoken to them repeatedly through the prophets I sent. And you who are in exile have not listened either,” says the Lord.

20 Therefore, listen to this message from the Lord, all you captives there in Babylon. 21 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says about your prophets—Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah—who are telling you lies in my name: “I will turn them over to Nebuchadnezzar[e] for execution before your eyes. 22 Their terrible fate will become proverbial, so that the Judean exiles will curse someone by saying, ‘May the Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned alive!’ 23 For these men have done terrible things among my people. They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have lied in my name, saying things I did not command. I am a witness to this. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

A Message for Shemaiah

24 The Lord sent this message to Shemaiah the Nehelamite in Babylon: 25 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: You wrote a letter on your own authority to Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, the priest, and you sent copies to the other priests and people in Jerusalem. You wrote to Zephaniah,

26 “The Lord has appointed you to replace Jehoiada as the priest in charge of the house of the Lord. You are responsible to put into stocks and neck irons any crazy man who claims to be a prophet. 27 So why have you done nothing to stop Jeremiah from Anathoth, who pretends to be a prophet among you? 28 Jeremiah sent a letter here to Babylon, predicting that our captivity will be a long one. He said, ‘Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce.’”

29 But when Zephaniah the priest received Shemaiah’s letter, he took it to Jeremiah and read it to him. 30 Then the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: 31 “Send an open letter to all the exiles in Babylon. Tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Since he has prophesied to you when I did not send him and has tricked you into believing his lies, 32 I will punish him and his family. None of his descendants will see the good things I will do for my people, for he has incited you to rebel against me. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”

Footnotes:

  1. 28:1 Hebrew In the fifth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. The fifth month in the fourth year of Zedekiah’s reign occurred within the months of August and September 593 B.c. Also see note on 1:3.
  2. 28:4 Hebrew Jeconiah, a variant spelling of Jehoiachin.
  3. 28:17 Hebrew In the seventh month of that same year. See 28:1 and the note there.
  4. 29:2 Hebrew Jeconiah, a variant spelling of Jehoiachin.
  5. 29:21 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


1 Timothy 1

Greetings from Paul

This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope.

I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith.

May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.

Warnings against False Teachings

When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations,[a] which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.[b]

The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.

We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. 10 The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders,[c] liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching 11 that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.

Paul’s Gratitude for God’s Mercy

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, 13 even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. 14 Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.

15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.

Timothy’s Responsibility

18 Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. 19 Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. 20 Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:4a Greek in myths and endless genealogies, which cause speculation.
  2. 1:4b Greek a stewardship of God in faith.
  3. 1:10 Or kidnappers.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 86

Psalm 86

A prayer of David.

Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer;
answer me, for I need your help.
Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
Save me, for I serve you and trust you.
You are my God.
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
for I am calling on you constantly.
Give me happiness, O Lord,
for I give myself to you.
O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord;
hear my urgent cry.
I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble,
and you will answer me.

No pagan god is like you, O Lord.
None can do what you do!
All the nations you made
will come and bow before you, Lord;
they will praise your holy name.
10 For you are great and perform wonderful deeds.
You alone are God.

11 Teach me your ways, O Lord,
that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you.
12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
I will give glory to your name forever,
13 for your love for me is very great.
You have rescued me from the depths of death.[a]

14 O God, insolent people rise up against me;
a violent gang is trying to kill me.
You mean nothing to them.
15 But you, O Lord,
are a God of compassion and mercy,
slow to get angry
and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
16 Look down and have mercy on me.
Give your strength to your servant;
save me, the son of your servant.
17 Send me a sign of your favor.
Then those who hate me will be put to shame,
for you, O Lord, help and comfort me.

Footnotes:

  1. 86:13 Hebrew of Sheol.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 25:17

17 Don’t visit your neighbors too often,
or you will wear out your welcome.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday October 15, 2021 (NIV)

Jeremiah 26-27

Jeremiah’s Escape from Death

26 This message came to Jeremiah from the Lord early in the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah,[a] king of Judah. “This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard in front of the Temple of the Lord, and make an announcement to the people who have come there to worship from all over Judah. Give them my entire message; include every word. Perhaps they will listen and turn from their evil ways. Then I will change my mind about the disaster I am ready to pour out on them because of their sins.

“Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you will not listen to me and obey my word I have given you, and if you will not listen to my servants, the prophets—for I sent them again and again to warn you, but you would not listen to them— then I will destroy this Temple as I destroyed Shiloh, the place where the Tabernacle was located. And I will make Jerusalem an object of cursing in every nation on earth.’”

The priests, the prophets, and all the people listened to Jeremiah as he spoke in front of the Lord’s Temple. But when Jeremiah had finished his message, saying everything the Lord had told him to say, the priests and prophets and all the people at the Temple mobbed him. “Kill him!” they shouted. “What right do you have to prophesy in the Lord’s name that this Temple will be destroyed like Shiloh? What do you mean, saying that Jerusalem will be destroyed and left with no inhabitants?” And all the people threatened him as he stood in front of the Temple.

10 When the officials of Judah heard what was happening, they rushed over from the palace and sat down at the New Gate of the Temple to hold court. 11 The priests and prophets presented their accusations to the officials and the people. “This man should die!” they said. “You have heard with your own ears what a traitor he is, for he has prophesied against this city.”

12 Then Jeremiah spoke to the officials and the people in his own defense. “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this Temple and this city,” he said. “The Lord gave me every word that I have spoken. 13 But if you stop your sinning and begin to obey the Lord your God, he will change his mind about this disaster that he has announced against you. 14 As for me, I am in your hands—do with me as you think best. 15 But if you kill me, rest assured that you will be killing an innocent man! The responsibility for such a deed will lie on you, on this city, and on every person living in it. For it is absolutely true that the Lord sent me to speak every word you have heard.”

16 Then the officials and the people said to the priests and prophets, “This man does not deserve the death sentence, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.”

17 Then some of the wise old men stood and spoke to all the people assembled there. 18 They said, “Remember when Micah of Moresheth prophesied during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah. He told the people of Judah,

‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field;
Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins!
A thicket will grow on the heights
where the Temple now stands.’[b]

19 But did King Hezekiah and the people kill him for saying this? No, they turned from their sins and worshiped the Lord. They begged him for mercy. Then the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had pronounced against them. So we are about to do ourselves great harm.”

20 At this time Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim was also prophesying for the Lord. And he predicted the same terrible disaster against the city and nation as Jeremiah did. 21 When King Jehoiakim and the army officers and officials heard what he was saying, the king sent someone to kill him. But Uriah heard about the plan and escaped in fear to Egypt. 22 Then King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan son of Acbor to Egypt along with several other men to capture Uriah. 23 They took him prisoner and brought him back to King Jehoiakim. The king then killed Uriah with a sword and had him buried in an unmarked grave.

24 Nevertheless, Ahikam son of Shaphan stood up for Jeremiah and persuaded the court not to turn him over to the mob to be killed.

Jeremiah Wears an Ox Yoke

27 This message came to Jeremiah from the Lord early in the reign of Zedekiah[c] son of Josiah, king of Judah.

This is what the Lord said to me: “Make a yoke, and fasten it on your neck with leather straps. Then send messages to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon through their ambassadors who have come to see King Zedekiah in Jerusalem. Give them this message for their masters: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: With my great strength and powerful arm I made the earth and all its people and every animal. I can give these things of mine to anyone I choose. Now I will give your countries to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who is my servant. I have put everything, even the wild animals, under his control. All the nations will serve him, his son, and his grandson until his time is up. Then many nations and great kings will conquer and rule over Babylon. So you must submit to Babylon’s king and serve him; put your neck under Babylon’s yoke! I will punish any nation that refuses to be his slave, says the Lord. I will send war, famine, and disease upon that nation until Babylon has conquered it.

“‘Do not listen to your false prophets, fortune-tellers, interpreters of dreams, mediums, and sorcerers who say, “The king of Babylon will not conquer you.” 10 They are all liars, and their lies will lead to your being driven out of your land. I will drive you out and send you far away to die. 11 But the people of any nation that submits to the king of Babylon will be allowed to stay in their own country to farm the land as usual. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”

12 Then I repeated this same message to King Zedekiah of Judah. “If you want to live, submit to the yoke of the king of Babylon and his people. 13 Why do you insist on dying—you and your people? Why should you choose war, famine, and disease, which the Lord will bring against every nation that refuses to submit to Babylon’s king? 14 Do not listen to the false prophets who keep telling you, ‘The king of Babylon will not conquer you.’ They are liars. 15 This is what the Lord says: ‘I have not sent these prophets! They are telling you lies in my name, so I will drive you from this land. You will all die—you and all these prophets, too.’”

16 Then I spoke to the priests and the people and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not listen to your prophets who claim that soon the gold articles taken from my Temple will be returned from Babylon. It is all a lie! 17 Do not listen to them. Surrender to the king of Babylon, and you will live. Why should this whole city be destroyed? 18 If they really are prophets and speak the Lord’s messages, let them pray to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Let them pray that the articles remaining in the Lord’s Temple and in the king’s palace and in the palaces of Jerusalem will not be carried away to Babylon!’

19 “For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has spoken about the pillars in front of the Temple, the great bronze basin called the Sea, the water carts, and all the other ceremonial articles. 20 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon left them here when he exiled Jehoiachin[d] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to Babylon, along with all the other nobles of Judah and Jerusalem. 21 Yes, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says about the precious things still in the Temple, in the palace of Judah’s king, and in Jerusalem: 22 ‘They will all be carried away to Babylon and will stay there until I send for them,’ says the Lord. ‘Then I will bring them back to Jerusalem again.’”

Footnotes:

  1. 26:1 The first year of Jehoiakim’s reign was 608 B.c.
  2. 26:18 Mic 3:12.
  3. 27:1 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac version (see also 27:3, 12); most Hebrew manuscripts read Jehoiakim.
  4. 27:20 Hebrew Jeconiah, a variant spelling of Jehoiachin.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


2 Thessalonians 3

Paul’s Request for Prayer

Finally, dear brothers and sisters,[a] we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.[b] And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.

An Exhortation to Proper Living

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers[c] who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received[d] from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. 10 Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”

11 Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. 12 We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. 13 As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.

14 Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. 15 Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister.[e]

Paul’s Final Greetings

16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.

17 HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL. I DO THIS IN ALL MY LETTERS TO PROVE THEY ARE FROM ME.

18 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:1 Greek brothers; also in 3:6, 13.
  2. 3:3 Or from evil.
  3. 3:6a Greek from every brother.
  4. 3:6b Some manuscripts read you received.
  5. 3:15 Greek as a brother.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 85

Psalm 85

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

Lord, you poured out blessings on your land!
You restored the fortunes of Israel.[a]
You forgave the guilt of your people—
yes, you covered all their sins. Interlude
You held back your fury.
You kept back your blazing anger.

Now restore us again, O God of our salvation.
Put aside your anger against us once more.
Will you be angry with us always?
Will you prolong your wrath to all generations?
Won’t you revive us again,
so your people can rejoice in you?
Show us your unfailing love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying,
for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
But let them not return to their foolish ways.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
so our land will be filled with his glory.

10 Unfailing love and truth have met together.
Righteousness and peace have kissed!
11 Truth springs up from the earth,
and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
12 Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings.
Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.
13 Righteousness goes as a herald before him,
preparing the way for his steps.

Footnotes:

  1. 85:1 Hebrew of Jacob. See note on 44:4.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 25:16

16 Do you like honey?
Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday October 14, 2021 (NIV)

Jeremiah 23:21-25:38

21 “I have not sent these prophets,
yet they run around claiming to speak for me.
I have given them no message,
yet they go on prophesying.
22 If they had stood before me and listened to me,
they would have spoken my words,
and they would have turned my people
from their evil ways and deeds.
23 Am I a God who is only close at hand?” says the Lord.
“No, I am far away at the same time.
24 Can anyone hide from me in a secret place?
Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?”
says the Lord.

25 “I have heard these prophets say, ‘Listen to the dream I had from God last night.’ And then they proceed to tell lies in my name. 26 How long will this go on? If they are prophets, they are prophets of deceit, inventing everything they say. 27 By telling these false dreams, they are trying to get my people to forget me, just as their ancestors did by worshiping the idols of Baal.

28 “Let these false prophets tell their dreams,
but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word.
There is a difference between straw and grain!
29 Does not my word burn like fire?”
says the Lord.
“Is it not like a mighty hammer
that smashes a rock to pieces?

30 “Therefore,” says the Lord, “I am against these prophets who steal messages from each other and claim they are from me. 31 I am against these smooth-tongued prophets who say, ‘This prophecy is from the Lord!’ 32 I am against these false prophets. Their imaginary dreams are flagrant lies that lead my people into sin. I did not send or appoint them, and they have no message at all for my people. I, the Lord, have spoken!

False Prophecies and False Prophets

33 “Suppose one of the people or one of the prophets or priests asks you, ‘What prophecy has the Lord burdened you with now?’ You must reply, ‘You are the burden![a] The Lord says he will abandon you!’

34 “If any prophet, priest, or anyone else says, ‘I have a prophecy from the Lord,’ I will punish that person along with his entire family. 35 You should keep asking each other, ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’ or ‘What is the Lord saying?’ 36 But stop using this phrase, ‘prophecy from the Lord.’ For people are using it to give authority to their own ideas, turning upside down the words of our God, the living God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

37 “This is what you should say to the prophets: ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’ or ‘What is the Lord saying?’ 38 But suppose they respond, ‘This is a prophecy from the Lord!’ Then you should say, ‘This is what the Lord says: Because you have used this phrase, “prophecy from the Lord,” even though I warned you not to use it, 39 I will forget you completely.[b] I will expel you from my presence, along with this city that I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 And I will make you an object of ridicule, and your name will be infamous throughout the ages.’”

Good and Bad Figs

24 After King Nebuchadnezzar[c] of Babylon exiled Jehoiachin[d] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to Babylon along with the officials of Judah and all the craftsmen and artisans, the Lord gave me this vision. I saw two baskets of figs placed in front of the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem. One basket was filled with fresh, ripe figs, while the other was filled with bad figs that were too rotten to eat.

Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

I replied, “Figs, some very good and some very bad, too rotten to eat.”

Then the Lord gave me this message: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah to the land of the Babylonians.[e] I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.

“But the bad figs,” the Lord said, “represent King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, all the people left in Jerusalem, and those who live in Egypt. I will treat them like bad figs, too rotten to eat. I will make them an object of horror and a symbol of evil to every nation on earth. They will be disgraced and mocked, taunted and cursed, wherever I scatter them. 10 And I will send war, famine, and disease until they have vanished from the land of Israel, which I gave to them and their ancestors.”

Seventy Years of Captivity

25 This message for all the people of Judah came to Jeremiah from the Lord during the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign over Judah.[f] This was the year when King Nebuchadnezzar[g] of Babylon began his reign.

Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people in Judah and Jerusalem, “For the past twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon,[h] king of Judah, until now—the Lord has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened.

“Again and again the Lord has sent you his servants, the prophets, but you have not listened or even paid attention. Each time the message was this: ‘Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the Lord gave to you and your ancestors forever. Do not provoke my anger by worshiping idols you made with your own hands. Then I will not harm you.’

“But you would not listen to me,” says the Lord. “You made me furious by worshiping idols you made with your own hands, bringing on yourselves all the disasters you now suffer. And now the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Because you have not listened to me, I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy. I will bring them all against this land and its people and against the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy[i] you and make you an object of horror and contempt and a ruin forever. 10 I will take away your happy singing and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard. Your millstones will fall silent, and the lights in your homes will go out. 11 This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years.

12 “Then, after the seventy years of captivity are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his people for their sins,” says the Lord. “I will make the country of the Babylonians[j] a wasteland forever. 13 I will bring upon them all the terrors I have promised in this book—all the penalties announced by Jeremiah against the nations. 14 Many nations and great kings will enslave the Babylonians, just as they enslaved my people. I will punish them in proportion to the suffering they cause my people.”

The Cup of the Lord’s Anger

15 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled to the brim with my anger, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink from it. 16 When they drink from it, they will stagger, crazed by the warfare I will send against them.”

17 So I took the cup of anger from the Lord and made all the nations drink from it—every nation to which the Lord sent me. 18 I went to Jerusalem and the other towns of Judah, and their kings and officials drank from the cup. From that day until this, they have been a desolate ruin, an object of horror, contempt, and cursing. 19 I gave the cup to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials, and all his people, 20 along with all the foreigners living in that land. I also gave it to all the kings of the land of Uz and the kings of the Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what remains of Ashdod. 21 Then I gave the cup to the nations of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, 22 and the kings of Tyre and Sidon, and the kings of the regions across the sea. 23 I gave it to Dedan, Tema, and Buz, and to the people who live in distant places.[k] 24 I gave it to the kings of Arabia, the kings of the nomadic tribes of the desert, 25 and to the kings of Zimri, Elam, and Media. 26 And I gave it to the kings of the northern countries, far and near, one after the other—all the kingdoms of the world. And finally, the king of Babylon[l] himself drank from the cup of the Lord’s anger.

27 Then the Lord said to me, “Now tell them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Drink from this cup of my anger. Get drunk and vomit; fall to rise no more, for I am sending terrible wars against you.’ 28 And if they refuse to accept the cup, tell them, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: You have no choice but to drink from it. 29 I have begun to punish Jerusalem, the city that bears my name. Now should I let you go unpunished? No, you will not escape disaster. I will call for war against all the nations of the earth. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!’

30 “Now prophesy all these things, and say to them,

“‘The Lord will roar against his own land
from his holy dwelling in heaven.
He will shout like those who tread grapes;
he will shout against everyone on earth.
31 His cry of judgment will reach the ends of the earth,
for the Lord will bring his case against all the nations.
He will judge all the people of the earth,
slaughtering the wicked with the sword.
I, the Lord, have spoken!’”

32 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“Look! Disaster will fall upon nation after nation!
A great whirlwind of fury is rising
from the most distant corners of the earth!”

33 In that day those the Lord has slaughtered will fill the earth from one end to the other. No one will mourn for them or gather up their bodies to bury them. They will be scattered on the ground like manure.

34 Weep and moan, you evil shepherds!
Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock!
The time of your slaughter has arrived;
you will fall and shatter like a fragile vase.
35 You will find no place to hide;
there will be no way to escape.
36 Listen to the frantic cries of the shepherds.
The leaders of the flock are wailing in despair,
for the Lord is ruining their pastures.
37 Peaceful meadows will be turned into a wasteland
by the Lord’s fierce anger.
38 He has left his den like a strong lion seeking its prey,
and their land will be made desolate
by the sword[m] of the enemy
and the Lord’s fierce anger.

Footnotes:

  1. 23:33 As in Greek version and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads What burden?
  2. 23:39 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek version read I will surely lift you up.
  3. 24:1a Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar.
  4. 24:1b Hebrew Jeconiah, a variant spelling of Jehoiachin.
  5. 24:5 Or Chaldeans.
  6. 25:1a The fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign and the accession year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign was 605 B.c.
  7. 25:1b Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar; also in 25:9.
  8. 25:3 The thirteenth year of Josiah’s reign was 627 B.c.
  9. 25:9 The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
  10. 25:12 Or Chaldeans.
  11. 25:23 Or who clip the corners of their hair.
  12. 25:26 Hebrew of Sheshach, a code name for Babylon.
  13. 25:38 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek version; Masoretic Text reads by the anger.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


2 Thessalonians 2

Events prior to the Lord’s Second Coming

Now, dear brothers and sisters,[a] let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness[b] is revealed—the one who brings destruction.[c] He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.

Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.

This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12 Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.

Believers Should Stand Firm

13 As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first[d] to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth. 14 He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, 17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:1 Greek brothers; also in 2:13, 15.
  2. 2:3a Some manuscripts read the man of sin.
  3. 2:3b Greek the son of destruction.
  4. 2:13 Some manuscripts read chose you from the very beginning.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 84

Psalm 84

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.[a]

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises. Interlude

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,[b]
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.[c]

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer.
Listen, O God of Jacob. Interlude

O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield!
Show favor to the one you have anointed.

10 A single day in your courts
is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.
12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
what joy for those who trust in you.

Footnotes:

  1. 84:Title Hebrew according to the gittith.
  2. 84:6 Or Valley of Poplars; Hebrew reads valley of Baca.
  3. 84:7 Hebrew Zion.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 25:15

15 Patience can persuade a prince,
and soft speech can break bones.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday October 13, 2021 (NIV)

Jeremiah 22:1-23:20

A Message for Judah’s Kings

22 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go over and speak directly to the king of Judah. Say to him, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord, you king of Judah, sitting on David’s throne. Let your attendants and your people listen, too. This is what the Lord says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent! If you obey me, there will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem. The king will ride through the palace gates in chariots and on horses, with his parade of attendants and subjects. But if you refuse to pay attention to this warning, I swear by my own name, says the Lord, that this palace will become a pile of rubble.’”

A Message about the Palace

Now this is what the Lord says concerning Judah’s royal palace:

“I love you as much as fruitful Gilead
and the green forests of Lebanon.
But I will turn you into a desert,
with no one living within your walls.
I will call for wreckers,
who will bring out their tools to dismantle you.
They will tear out all your fine cedar beams
and throw them on the fire.

“People from many nations will pass by the ruins of this city and say to one another, ‘Why did the Lord destroy such a great city?’ And the answer will be, ‘Because they violated their covenant with the Lord their God by worshiping other gods.’”

A Message about Jehoahaz

10 Do not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss.
Instead, weep for the captive king being led away!
For he will never return to see his native land again.

11 For this is what the Lord says about Jehoahaz,[a] who succeeded his father, King Josiah, and was taken away as a captive: “He will never return. 12 He will die in a distant land and will never again see his own country.”

A Message about Jehoiakim

13 And the Lord says, “What sorrow awaits Jehoiakim,[b]
who builds his palace with forced labor.[c]
He builds injustice into its walls,
for he makes his neighbors work for nothing.
He does not pay them for their labor.
14 He says, ‘I will build a magnificent palace
with huge rooms and many windows.
I will panel it throughout with fragrant cedar
and paint it a lovely red.’
15 But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king!
Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink.
But he was just and right in all his dealings.
That is why God blessed him.
16 He gave justice and help to the poor and needy,
and everything went well for him.
Isn’t that what it means to know me?”
says the Lord.
17 “But you! You have eyes only for greed and dishonesty!
You murder the innocent,
oppress the poor, and reign ruthlessly.”

18 Therefore, this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah:

“The people will not mourn for him, crying to one another,
‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’
His subjects will not mourn for him, crying,
‘Alas, our master is dead! Alas, his splendor is gone!’
19 He will be buried like a dead donkey—
dragged out of Jerusalem and dumped outside the gates!
20 Weep for your allies in Lebanon.
Shout for them in Bashan.
Search for them in the regions east of the river.[d]
See, they are all destroyed.
Not one is left to help you.
21 I warned you when you were prosperous,
but you replied, ‘Don’t bother me.’
You have been that way since childhood—
you simply will not obey me!
22 And now the wind will blow away your allies.
All your friends will be taken away as captives.
Surely then you will see your wickedness and be ashamed.
23 It may be nice to live in a beautiful palace
paneled with wood from the cedars of Lebanon,
but soon you will groan with pangs of anguish—
anguish like that of a woman in labor.

A Message for Jehoiachin

24 “As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “I will abandon you, Jehoiachin[e] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Even if you were the signet ring on my right hand, I would pull you off. 25 I will hand you over to those who seek to kill you, those you so desperately fear—to King Nebuchadnezzar[f] of Babylon and the mighty Babylonian[g] army. 26 I will expel you and your mother from this land, and you will die in a foreign country, not in your native land. 27 You will never again return to the land you yearn for.

28 “Why is this man Jehoiachin like a discarded, broken jar?
Why are he and his children to be exiled to a foreign land?
29 O earth, earth, earth!
Listen to this message from the Lord!
30 This is what the Lord says:
‘Let the record show that this man Jehoiachin was childless.
He is a failure,
for none of his children will succeed him on the throne of David
to rule over Judah.’

The Righteous Descendant

23 “What sorrow awaits the leaders of my people—the shepherds of my sheep—for they have destroyed and scattered the very ones they were expected to care for,” says the Lord.

Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to these shepherds: “Instead of caring for my flock and leading them to safety, you have deserted them and driven them to destruction. Now I will pour out judgment on you for the evil you have done to them. But I will gather together the remnant of my flock from the countries where I have driven them. I will bring them back to their own sheepfold, and they will be fruitful and increase in number. Then I will appoint responsible shepherds who will care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one will be lost or missing. I, the Lord, have spoken!

“For the time is coming,”
says the Lord,
“when I will raise up a righteous descendant[h]
from King David’s line.
He will be a King who rules with wisdom.
He will do what is just and right throughout the land.
And this will be his name:
‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’[i]
In that day Judah will be saved,
and Israel will live in safety.

“In that day,” says the Lord, “when people are taking an oath, they will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’ Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.’ Then they will live in their own land.”

Judgment on False Prophets

My heart is broken because of the false prophets,
and my bones tremble.
I stagger like a drunkard,
like someone overcome by wine,
because of the holy words
the Lord has spoken against them.
10 For the land is full of adultery,
and it lies under a curse.
The land itself is in mourning—
its wilderness pastures are dried up.
For they all do evil
and abuse what power they have.

11 “Even the priests and prophets
are ungodly, wicked men.
I have seen their despicable acts
right here in my own Temple,”
says the Lord.
12 “Therefore, the paths they take
will become slippery.
They will be chased through the dark,
and there they will fall.
For I will bring disaster upon them
at the time fixed for their punishment.
I, the Lord, have spoken!

13 “I saw that the prophets of Samaria were terribly evil,
for they prophesied in the name of Baal
and led my people of Israel into sin.
14 But now I see that the prophets of Jerusalem are even worse!
They commit adultery and love dishonesty.
They encourage those who are doing evil
so that no one turns away from their sins.
These prophets are as wicked
as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah once were.”

15 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says concerning the prophets:

“I will feed them with bitterness
and give them poison to drink.
For it is because of Jerusalem’s prophets
that wickedness has filled this land.”

16 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to his people:

“Do not listen to these prophets when they prophesy to you,
filling you with futile hopes.
They are making up everything they say.
They do not speak for the Lord!
17 They keep saying to those who despise my word,
‘Don’t worry! The Lord says you will have peace!’
And to those who stubbornly follow their own desires,
they say, ‘No harm will come your way!’

18 “Have any of these prophets been in the Lord’s presence
to hear what he is really saying?
Has even one of them cared enough to listen?
19 Look! The Lord’s anger bursts out like a storm,
a whirlwind that swirls down on the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger of the Lord will not diminish
until it has finished all he has planned.
In the days to come
you will understand all this very clearly.

Footnotes:

  1. 22:11 Hebrew Shallum, another name for Jehoahaz.
  2. 22:13a The brother and successor of the exiled Jehoahaz. See 22:18.
  3. 22:13b Hebrew by unrighteousness.
  4. 22:20 Or in Abarim.
  5. 22:24 Hebrew Coniah, a variant spelling of Jehoiachin; also in 22:28.
  6. 22:25a Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar.
  7. 22:25b Or Chaldean.
  8. 23:5 Hebrew a righteous branch.
  9. 23:6 Hebrew Yahweh Tsidqenu.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


2 Thessalonians 1

Greetings from Paul

This letter is from Paul, Silas,[a] and Timothy.

We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

May God our Father[b] and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

Encouragement during Persecution

Dear brothers and sisters,[c] we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you.

And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. 10 When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him.

11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 12 Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.[d]

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 Greek Silvanus, the Greek form of the name.
  2. 1:2 Some manuscripts read God the Father.
  3. 1:3 Greek Brothers.
  4. 1:12 Or of our God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 83

Psalm 83

A song. A psalm of Asaph.

O God, do not be silent!
Do not be deaf.
Do not be quiet, O God.
Don’t you hear the uproar of your enemies?
Don’t you see that your arrogant enemies are rising up?
They devise crafty schemes against your people;
they conspire against your precious ones.
“Come,” they say, “let us wipe out Israel as a nation.
We will destroy the very memory of its existence.”
Yes, this was their unanimous decision.
They signed a treaty as allies against you—
these Edomites and Ishmaelites;
Moabites and Hagrites;
Gebalites, Ammonites, and Amalekites;
and people from Philistia and Tyre.
Assyria has joined them, too,
and is allied with the descendants of Lot. Interlude

Do to them as you did to the Midianites
and as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River.
10 They were destroyed at Endor,
and their decaying corpses fertilized the soil.
11 Let their mighty nobles die as Oreb and Zeeb did.
Let all their princes die like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 for they said, “Let us seize for our own use
these pasturelands of God!”
13 O my God, scatter them like tumbleweed,
like chaff before the wind!
14 As a fire burns a forest
and as a flame sets mountains ablaze,
15 chase them with your fierce storm;
terrify them with your tempest.
16 Utterly disgrace them
until they submit to your name, O Lord.
17 Let them be ashamed and terrified forever.
Let them die in disgrace.
18 Then they will learn that you alone are called the Lord,
that you alone are the Most High,
supreme over all the earth.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 25:11-14

11 Timely advice is lovely,
like golden apples in a silver basket.

12 To one who listens, valid criticism
is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.

13 Trustworthy messengers refresh like snow in summer.
They revive the spirit of their employer.

14 A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it
is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday October 12, 2021 (NIV)

Jeremiah 19-21

Jeremiah’s Shattered Jar

19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a clay jar. Then ask some of the leaders of the people and of the priests to follow you. Go out through the Gate of Broken Pots to the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and give them this message. Say to them, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord, you kings of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem! This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will bring a terrible disaster on this place, and the ears of those who hear about it will ring!

“‘For Israel has forsaken me and turned this valley into a place of wickedness. The people burn incense to foreign gods—idols never before acknowledged by this generation, by their ancestors, or by the kings of Judah. And they have filled this place with the blood of innocent children. They have built pagan shrines to Baal, and there they burn their sons as sacrifices to Baal. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing! So beware, for the time is coming, says the Lord, when this garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.

“‘For I will upset the careful plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will allow the people to be slaughtered by invading armies, and I will leave their dead bodies as food for the vultures and wild animals. I will reduce Jerusalem to ruins, making it a monument to their stupidity. All who pass by will be astonished and will gasp at the destruction they see there. I will see to it that your enemies lay siege to the city until all the food is gone. Then those trapped inside will eat their own sons and daughters and friends. They will be driven to utter despair.’

10 “As these men watch you, Jeremiah, smash the jar you brought. 11 Then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: As this jar lies shattered, so I will shatter the people of Judah and Jerusalem beyond all hope of repair. They will bury the bodies here in Topheth, the garbage dump, until there is no more room for them. 12 This is what I will do to this place and its people, says the Lord. I will cause this city to become defiled like Topheth. 13 Yes, all the houses in Jerusalem, including the palace of Judah’s kings, will become like Topheth—all the houses where you burned incense on the rooftops to your star gods, and where liquid offerings were poured out to your idols.’”

14 Then Jeremiah returned from Topheth, the garbage dump where he had delivered this message, and he stopped in front of the Temple of the Lord. He said to the people there, 15 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will bring disaster upon this city and its surrounding towns as I promised, because you have stubbornly refused to listen to me.’”

Jeremiah and Pashhur

20 Now Pashhur son of Immer, the priest in charge of the Temple of the Lord, heard what Jeremiah was prophesying. So he arrested Jeremiah the prophet and had him whipped and put in stocks at the Benjamin Gate of the Lord’s Temple.

The next day, when Pashhur finally released him, Jeremiah said, “Pashhur, the Lord has changed your name. From now on you are to be called ‘The Man Who Lives in Terror.’[a] For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will send terror upon you and all your friends, and you will watch as they are slaughtered by the swords of the enemy. I will hand the people of Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will take them captive to Babylon or run them through with the sword. And I will let your enemies plunder Jerusalem. All the famed treasures of the city—the precious jewels and gold and silver of your kings—will be carried off to Babylon. As for you, Pashhur, you and all your household will go as captives to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you prophesied that everything would be all right.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

O Lord, you misled me,
and I allowed myself to be misled.
You are stronger than I am,
and you overpowered me.
Now I am mocked every day;
everyone laughs at me.
When I speak, the words burst out.
“Violence and destruction!” I shout.
So these messages from the Lord
have made me a household joke.
But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord
or speak in his name,
his word burns in my heart like a fire.
It’s like a fire in my bones!
I am worn out trying to hold it in!
I can’t do it!
10 I have heard the many rumors about me.
They call me “The Man Who Lives in Terror.”
They threaten, “If you say anything, we will report it.”
Even my old friends are watching me,
waiting for a fatal slip.
“He will trap himself,” they say,
“and then we will get our revenge on him.”

11 But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior.
Before him my persecutors will stumble.
They cannot defeat me.
They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated.
Their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
you test those who are righteous,
and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets.
Let me see your vengeance against them,
for I have committed my cause to you.
13 Sing to the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
For though I was poor and needy,
he rescued me from my oppressors.

14 Yet I curse the day I was born!
May no one celebrate the day of my birth.
15 I curse the messenger who told my father,
“Good news—you have a son!”
16 Let him be destroyed like the cities of old
that the Lord overthrew without mercy.
Terrify him all day long with battle shouts,
17 because he did not kill me at birth.
Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb,
that her body had been my grave!
18 Why was I ever born?
My entire life has been filled
with trouble, sorrow, and shame.

No Deliverance from Babylon

21 The Lord spoke through Jeremiah when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur son of Malkijah and Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, the priest, to speak with him. They begged Jeremiah, “Please speak to the Lord for us and ask him to help us. King Nebuchadnezzar[b] of Babylon is attacking Judah. Perhaps the Lord will be gracious and do a mighty miracle as he has done in the past. Perhaps he will force Nebuchadnezzar to withdraw his armies.”

Jeremiah replied, “Go back to King Zedekiah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will make your weapons useless against the king of Babylon and the Babylonians[c] who are outside your walls attacking you. In fact, I will bring your enemies right into the heart of this city. I myself will fight against you with a strong hand and a powerful arm, for I am very angry. You have made me furious! I will send a terrible plague upon this city, and both people and animals will die. And after all that, says the Lord, I will hand over King Zedekiah, his staff, and everyone else in the city who survives the disease, war, and famine. I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and to their other enemies. He will slaughter them and show them no mercy, pity, or compassion.’

“Tell all the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: Take your choice of life or death! Everyone who stays in Jerusalem will die from war, famine, or disease, but those who go out and surrender to the Babylonians will live. Their reward will be life! 10 For I have decided to bring disaster and not good upon this city, says the Lord. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, and he will reduce it to ashes.’

Judgment on Judah’s Kings

11 “Say to the royal family of Judah, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord! 12 This is what the Lord says to the dynasty of David:

“‘Give justice each morning to the people you judge!
Help those who have been robbed;
rescue them from their oppressors.
Otherwise, my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire
because of all your sins.
13 I will personally fight against the people in Jerusalem,
that mighty fortress—
the people who boast, “No one can touch us here.
No one can break in here.”
14 And I myself will punish you for your sinfulness,
says the Lord.
I will light a fire in your forests
that will burn up everything around you.’”

Footnotes:

  1. 20:3 Hebrew Magor-missabib, which means “surrounded by terror”; also in 20:10.
  2. 21:2 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar; also in 21:7.
  3. 21:4 Or Chaldeans; also in 21:9.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


1 Thessalonians 5:4-28

But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief.[a] For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Paul’s Final Advice

12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.

14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.

16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.

Paul’s Final Greetings

23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

25 Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a sacred kiss.

27 I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the brothers and sisters.

28 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Footnotes:

  1. 5:4 Some manuscripts read comes upon you as if you were thieves.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 82

Psalm 82

A psalm of Asaph.

God presides over heaven’s court;
he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings:
“How long will you hand down unjust decisions
by favoring the wicked? Interlude

“Give justice to the poor and the orphan;
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
Rescue the poor and helpless;
deliver them from the grasp of evil people.
But these oppressors know nothing;
they are so ignorant!
They wander about in darkness,
while the whole world is shaken to the core.
I say, ‘You are gods;
you are all children of the Most High.
But you will die like mere mortals
and fall like every other ruler.’”

Rise up, O God, and judge the earth,
for all the nations belong to you.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 25:9-10

When arguing with your neighbor,
don’t betray another person’s secret.
10 Others may accuse you of gossip,
and you will never regain your good reputation.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday October 11, 2021 (NIV)

Jeremiah 16:16-18:23

16 “But now I am sending for many fishermen who will catch them,” says the Lord. “I am sending for hunters who will hunt them down in the mountains, hills, and caves. 17 I am watching them closely, and I see every sin. They cannot hope to hide from me. 18 I will double their punishment for all their sins, because they have defiled my land with lifeless images of their detestable gods and have filled my territory with their evil deeds.”

Jeremiah’s Prayer of Confidence

19 Lord, you are my strength and fortress,
my refuge in the day of trouble!
Nations from around the world
will come to you and say,
“Our ancestors left us a foolish heritage,
for they worshiped worthless idols.
20 Can people make their own gods?
These are not real gods at all!”

21 The Lord says,
“Now I will show them my power;
now I will show them my might.
At last they will know and understand
that I am the Lord.

Judah’s Sin and Punishment

17 “The sin of Judah
is inscribed with an iron chisel—
engraved with a diamond point on their stony hearts
and on the corners of their altars.
Even their children go to worship
at their pagan altars and Asherah poles,
beneath every green tree
and on every high hill.
So I will hand over my holy mountain—
along with all your wealth and treasures
and your pagan shrines—
as plunder to your enemies,
for sin runs rampant in your land.
The wonderful possession I have reserved for you
will slip from your hands.
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.”

Wisdom from the Lord

This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength
and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land.

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is?
10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts
and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve.”

Jeremiah’s Trust in the Lord

11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs she has not laid,
so are those who get their wealth by unjust means.
At midlife they will lose their riches;
in the end, they will become poor old fools.
12 But we worship at your throne—
eternal, high, and glorious!
13 O Lord, the hope of Israel,
all who turn away from you will be disgraced.
They will be buried in the dust of the earth,
for they have abandoned the Lord, the fountain of living water.

14 O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed;
if you save me, I will be truly saved.
My praises are for you alone!
15 People scoff at me and say,
“What is this ‘message from the Lord’ you talk about?
Why don’t your predictions come true?”

16 Lord, I have not abandoned my job
as a shepherd for your people.
I have not urged you to send disaster.
You have heard everything I’ve said.
17 Lord, don’t terrorize me!
You alone are my hope in the day of disaster.
18 Bring shame and dismay on all who persecute me,
but don’t let me experience shame and dismay.
Bring a day of terror on them.
Yes, bring double destruction upon them!

Observing the Sabbath

19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand in the gates of Jerusalem, first in the gate where the king goes in and out, and then in each of the other gates. 20 Say to all the people, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord, you kings of Judah and all you people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem. 21 This is what the Lord says: Listen to my warning! Stop carrying on your trade at Jerusalem’s gates on the Sabbath day. 22 Do not do your work on the Sabbath, but make it a holy day. I gave this command to your ancestors, 23 but they did not listen or obey. They stubbornly refused to pay attention or accept my discipline.

24 “‘But if you obey me, says the Lord, and do not carry on your trade at the gates or work on the Sabbath day, and if you keep it holy, 25 then kings and their officials will go in and out of these gates forever. There will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem. Kings and their officials will always ride in and out among the people of Judah in chariots and on horses, and this city will remain forever. 26 And from all around Jerusalem, from the towns of Judah and Benjamin, from the western foothills[a] and the hill country and the Negev, the people will come with their burnt offerings and sacrifices. They will bring their grain offerings, frankincense, and thanksgiving offerings to the Lord’s Temple.

27 “‘But if you do not listen to me and refuse to keep the Sabbath holy, and if on the Sabbath day you bring loads of merchandise through the gates of Jerusalem just as on other days, then I will set fire to these gates. The fire will spread to the palaces, and no one will be able to put out the roaring flames.’”

The Potter and the Clay

18 The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.

Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. And if I announce that I will plant and build up a certain nation or kingdom, 10 but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless it as I said I would.

11 “Therefore, Jeremiah, go and warn all Judah and Jerusalem. Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am planning disaster for you instead of good. So turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right.’”

12 But the people replied, “Don’t waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires.”

13 So this is what the Lord says:

“Has anyone ever heard of such a thing,
even among the pagan nations?
My virgin daughter Israel
has done something terrible!
14 Does the snow ever disappear from the mountaintops of Lebanon?
Do the cold streams flowing from those distant mountains ever run dry?
15 But my people are not so reliable, for they have deserted me;
they burn incense to worthless idols.
They have stumbled off the ancient highways
and walk in muddy paths.
16 Therefore, their land will become desolate,
a monument to their stupidity.
All who pass by will be astonished
and will shake their heads in amazement.
17 I will scatter my people before their enemies
as the east wind scatters dust.
And in all their trouble I will turn my back on them
and refuse to notice their distress.”

A Plot against Jeremiah

18 Then the people said, “Come on, let’s plot a way to stop Jeremiah. We have plenty of priests and wise men and prophets. We don’t need him to teach the word and give us advice and prophecies. Let’s spread rumors about him and ignore what he says.”

19 Lord, hear me and help me!
Listen to what my enemies are saying.
20 Should they repay evil for good?
They have dug a pit to kill me,
though I pleaded for them
and tried to protect them from your anger.
21 So let their children starve!
Let them die by the sword!
Let their wives become childless widows.
Let their old men die in a plague,
and let their young men be killed in battle!
22 Let screaming be heard from their homes
as warriors come suddenly upon them.
For they have dug a pit for me
and have hidden traps along my path.
23 Lord, you know all about their murderous plots against me.
Don’t forgive their crimes and blot out their sins.
Let them die before you.
Deal with them in your anger.

Footnotes:

  1. 17:26 Hebrew the Shephelah.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3

Live to Please God

Finally, dear brothers and sisters,[a] we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body[b] and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife,[c] for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other,[d] for God himself has taught you to love one another. 10 Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers[e] throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.

11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. 12 Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.

The Hope of the Resurrection

13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died[f] so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.[g] 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died[h] will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.

Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters,[i] we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1 Greek brothers; also in 4:10, 13.
  2. 4:4 Or will know how to take a wife for himself; or will learn to live with his own wife; Greek reads will know how to possess his own vessel.
  3. 4:6 Greek Never harm or cheat a brother in this matter.
  4. 4:9 Greek about brotherly love.
  5. 4:10 Greek the brothers.
  6. 4:13 Greek those who have fallen asleep; also in 4:14.
  7. 4:15 Greek those who have fallen asleep.
  8. 4:16 Greek the dead in Christ.
  9. 5:1 Greek brothers; also in 5:4, 12, 14, 25, 26, 27.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 81

Psalm 81

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.[a]

Sing praises to God, our strength.
Sing to the God of Jacob.
Sing! Beat the tambourine.
Play the sweet lyre and the harp.
Blow the ram’s horn at new moon,
and again at full moon to call a festival!
For this is required by the decrees of Israel;
it is a regulation of the God of Jacob.
He made it a law for Israel[b]
when he attacked Egypt to set us free.

I heard an unknown voice say,
“Now I will take the load from your shoulders;
I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.
You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you;
I answered out of the thundercloud
and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah. Interlude

“Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings.
O Israel, if you would only listen to me!
You must never have a foreign god;
you must not bow down before a false god.
10 For it was I, the Lord your God,
who rescued you from the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.

11 “But no, my people wouldn’t listen.
Israel did not want me around.
12 So I let them follow their own stubborn desires,
living according to their own ideas.
13 Oh, that my people would listen to me!
Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths!
14 How quickly I would then subdue their enemies!
How soon my hands would be upon their foes!
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him;
they would be doomed forever.
16 But I would feed you with the finest wheat.
I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.”

Footnotes:

  1. 81:Title Hebrew according to the gittith.
  2. 81:5 Hebrew for Joseph.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 25:6-8

Don’t demand an audience with the king
or push for a place among the great.
It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table
than to be sent away in public disgrace.

Just because you’ve seen something,
don’t be in a hurry to go to court.
For what will you do in the end
if your neighbor deals you a shameful defeat?

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday October 10, 2021 (NIV)

Jeremiah 14:11-16:15

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?[a]
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.

Judah’s Inevitable Doom

15 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! 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.’

“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. 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.

“Who will feel sorry for you, Jerusalem?
Who will weep for you?
Who will even bother to ask how you are?
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.
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.
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.
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.[b]

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.”

Jeremiah Forbidden to Marry

16 The Lord gave me another message. He said, “Do not get married or have children in this place. For this is what the Lord says about the children born here in this city and about their mothers and fathers: They will die from terrible diseases. No one will mourn for them or bury them, and they will lie scattered on the ground like manure. They will die from war and famine, and their bodies will be food for the vultures and wild animals.”

Judah’s Coming Punishment

This is what the Lord says: “Do not go to funerals to mourn and show sympathy for these people, for I have removed my protection and peace from them. I have taken away my unfailing love and my mercy. Both the great and the lowly will die in this land. No one will bury them or mourn for them. Their friends will not cut themselves in sorrow or shave their heads in sadness. No one will offer a meal to comfort those who mourn for the dead—not even at the death of a mother or father. No one will send a cup of wine to console them.

“And do not go to their feasts and parties. Do not eat and drink with them at all. For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: In your own lifetime, before your very eyes, I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in this land. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard.

10 “When you tell the people all these things, they will ask, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such terrible things against us? What have we done to deserve such treatment? What is our sin against the Lord our God?’

11 “Then you will give them the Lord’s reply: ‘It is because your ancestors were unfaithful to me. They worshiped other gods and served them. They abandoned me and did not obey my word. 12 And you are even worse than your ancestors! You stubbornly follow your own evil desires and refuse to listen to me. 13 So I will throw you out of this land and send you into a foreign land where you and your ancestors have never been. There you can worship idols day and night—and I will grant you no favors!’

Hope despite the Disaster

14 “But the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when people who are taking an oath will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’ 15 Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.’ For I will bring them back to this land that I gave their ancestors.

Footnotes:

  1. 14:19 Hebrew Zion?
  2. 15:14 As in some Hebrew manuscripts (see also 17:4); most Hebrew manuscripts read will burn against you.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


1 Thessalonians 2:9-3:13

Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you. 10 You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. 11 And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. 12 We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory.

13 Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.

14 And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God’s churches in Judea who, because of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their own people, the Jews. 15 For some of the Jews killed the prophets, and some even killed the Lord Jesus. Now they have persecuted us, too. They fail to please God and work against all humanity 16 as they try to keep us from preaching the Good News of salvation to the Gentiles. By doing this, they continue to pile up their sins. But the anger of God has caught up with them at last.

Timothy’s Good Report about the Church

17 Dear brothers and sisters, after we were separated from you for a little while (though our hearts never left you), we tried very hard to come back because of our intense longing to see you again. 18 We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us. 19 After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! 20 Yes, you are our pride and joy.

Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in Athens, and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker[a] in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles. Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come—and they did, as you well know. That is why, when I could bear it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out whether your faith was still strong. I was afraid that the tempter had gotten the best of you and that our work had been useless.

But now Timothy has just returned, bringing us good news about your faith and love. He reports that you always remember our visit with joy and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you. So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters,[b] because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord.

How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence. 10 Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith.

11 May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. 12 And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. 13 May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:2 Other manuscripts read and God’s servant; still others read and a co-worker, or and a servant and co-worker for God, or and God’s servant and our co-worker.
  2. 3:7 Greek brothers.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 80

Psalm 80

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be sung to the tune “Lilies of the Covenant.”

Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock.
O God, enthroned above the cherubim,
display your radiant glory
to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.
Show us your mighty power.
Come to rescue us!

Turn us again to yourself, O God.
Make your face shine down upon us.
Only then will we be saved.
O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies,
how long will you be angry with our prayers?
You have fed us with sorrow
and made us drink tears by the bucketful.
You have made us the scorn[a] of neighboring nations.
Our enemies treat us as a joke.

Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies.
Make your face shine down upon us.
Only then will we be saved.
You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine;
you drove away the pagan nations and transplanted us into your land.
You cleared the ground for us,
and we took root and filled the land.
10 Our shade covered the mountains;
our branches covered the mighty cedars.
11 We spread our branches west to the Mediterranean Sea;
our shoots spread east to the Euphrates River.[b]
12 But now, why have you broken down our walls
so that all who pass by may steal our fruit?
13 The wild boar from the forest devours it,
and the wild animals feed on it.

14 Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies.
Look down from heaven and see our plight.
Take care of this grapevine
15 that you yourself have planted,
this son you have raised for yourself.
16 For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies.
May they perish at the sight of your frown.
17 Strengthen the man you love,
the son of your choice.
18 Then we will never abandon you again.
Revive us so we can call on your name once more.

19 Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.
Make your face shine down upon us.
Only then will we be saved.

Footnotes:

  1. 80:6 As in Syriac version; Hebrew reads the strife.
  2. 80:11 Hebrew west to the sea, . . . east to the river.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 25:1-5

More Proverbs of Solomon

25 These are more proverbs of Solomon, collected by the advisers of King Hezekiah of Judah.

It is God’s privilege to conceal things
and the king’s privilege to discover them.

No one can comprehend the height of heaven, the depth of the earth,
or all that goes on in the king’s mind!

Remove the impurities from silver,
and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith.
Remove the wicked from the king’s court,
and his reign will be made secure by justice.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.