A fool vents all of his anger, but a wise man brings himself under control. Proverbs 29:11
God Charges Against Israel
1 Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites,
for the Lord has a charge against the inhabitants of the land:
“Indeed there is no truth, nor goodness,
nor knowledge of God in the land.
2 There is cursing, lying,
murder, stealing, and committing adultery.
They break boundaries,
and bloodshed leads to more bloodshed.
3 Therefore the land mourns,
and everyone who dwells in it will waste away,
with all living things in her,
even the animals of the field and the birds of the sky.
Yes, the fish of the sea also die.
4 Yet let no man bring a charge,
nor let any man accuse,
for your people are like those who bring charges against a priest.
5 You will stumble by day,
and the prophet stumbles with you by night,
and I will destroy your mother.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I will also reject you as my priests.
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I will also forget your children.
7 The more the priests multiplied,
the more they sinned against me.
They changed their glory into disgrace.
8 They feed on the sins of my people,
and set their heart on iniquity.
9 It will be, for the people and the priest alike,
and I will punish them for their ways,
and will repay them for their deeds.
10 They will eat, and not have enough.
They will be promiscuous, but will not multiply,
because they have abandoned fidelity to the Lord.
11 Prostitution, wine, and new wine take away understanding.
12 My people consult with their wooden idol,
and answer to a stick of wood.
Indeed the spirit of prostitution has led them astray,
and they have been unfaithful to their God.
13 They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains,
and burn incense on the hills,
under oaks and poplars and terebinths,
because its shade is good.
Therefore your daughters play the prostitute,
and your brides commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters
when they play the prostitute,
nor your brides when they commit adultery,
because the men consort with prostitutes
and they sacrifice with the shrine prostitutes,
so the people without understanding will come to ruin.
15 Though you, Israel, play the prostitute,
yet do not let Judah offend
and do not come to Gilgal,
nor go up to Beth Aven,
nor swear, ‘As the Lord lives.’
16 For Israel has behaved extremely stubbornly,
like a stubborn heifer.
Then how will the Lord feed them
like a lamb in a meadow.
17 Ephraim is joined to idols.
Leave him alone!
18 Their drink has become sour.
They play the prostitute continually.
Her rulers dearly love their shameful way.
19 The wind has wrapped her up in its wings,
and their sacrifices shall bring them shame.”
God’s Judgement on Israel and Judah
1 “Listen to this, you priests!
Listen, house of Israel,
and give ear, house of the king!
For this judgment is against you,
for you have been a snare at Mizpah,
and a net spread over Tabor.
2 The rebels are deep in slaughter,
but I will discipline all of them.
3 I know of Ephraim,
and Israel is not hidden from me.
For now, Ephraim, you have played the prostitute.
Israel is defiled.
4 Their deeds will not allow them
to return to their God,
for the spirit of promiscuity is within them,
and they do not know the Lord.
5 The pride of Israel testifies to his face.
Therefore Israel and Ephraim
will stumble in their iniquity.
Judah also will stumble with them.
6 They will go with their flocks and their herds
to seek the Lord,
but they will not find him.
He has withdrawn himself from them.
7 They are unfaithful to the Lord,
for they have borne illegitimate children.
Now the new moon will devour them
along with their fields.
8 Blow the cornet in Gibeah,
and the trumpet in Ramah!
Sound a battle cry at Beth Aven,
behind you, Benjamin!
9 Ephraim will be laid waste
on the day of rebuke.
Among the tribes of Israel,
I have made known that which will surely be.
10 The princes of Judah
are like those who remove a landmark.
I will pour out my wrath on them like water.
11 Ephraim is oppressed,
he is crushed in judgment,
because he is intent in his pursuit of idols.
12 Therefore I am to Ephraim like a moth,
and to the house of Judah like decay.
13 When Ephraim saw his sickness,
and Judah his wound,
then Ephraim went to Assyria,
and sent to king Jareb,
but he is not able to heal you,
nor will he cure you of your wound.
14 For I will be to Ephraim like a lion,
and like a young lion to the house of Judah.
I myself will tear them to pieces and leave.
I will them carry off,
and there will be no one to deliver them.
15 I will go and return to my place,
until they acknowledge their offense,
and seek my face.
In their affliction they will seek me earnestly.”
2 John 1
Greetings from the Elder
1 The elder,
To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only I, but also all those who have come to know the truth, 2 because of the truth, which remains in us and will be with us forever.
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
Walking in the Truth
4 I rejoice greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. 5 Now I beg you, dear lady, not as a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 This is love, that we should walk according to his commandments. This is the commandment that you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in love.
Beware of Deceivers
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that we do not lose the things which we have accomplished, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whoever transgresses and does not remain in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. He who remains in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house and do not welcome him, 11 for he who welcomes him participates in his evil deeds.
12 Having many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink, but I hope to come to you and to speak face to face, that our joy may be made full.
13 The children of your chosen sister greet you. Amen.
The Lord Surrounds His People
A Song of Ascents.
1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but remains forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
from this time forward and forever more.
3 For the scepter of the wicked will not remain
over the land allotted to the righteous,
so that the righteous will not use their hands to do evil.
4 Do good, Lord, to those who are good,
to those who are upright in their hearts.
5 But as for those who turn away to their crooked ways,
the Lord will lead them away with the workers of iniquity.
Peace be on Israel.
9 If a wise man goes to court with a foolish man,
the fool rages or scoffs, and there is no peace.
10 The bloodthirsty hate a man of integrity,
and they seek the life of the upright.
11 A fool vents all of his anger,
but a wise man brings himself under control.