May the Lord make you to increase and abound in love toward one another, and toward all men, even as we also do toward you. 1 Thessalonians 3:12

Jeremiah 15-16

Jeremiah 15

Judgement Will Continue

1 Then the Lord said to me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind would not turn toward this people. Cast them out of my sight, and let them go out! 2 It will happen, when they ask you, ‘Where shall we go out?’ then you shall tell them, ‘The Lord says:

“Such as are for death, to death;
such as are for the sword, to the sword;
such as are for the famine, to the famine;
and such as are for captivity, to captivity.” ’

3 “I will appoint over them four kinds,” says the Lord: “The sword to kill, the dogs to tear, the birds of the sky, and the animals of the earth, to devour and to destroy. 4 I will cause them to be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem.

5 For who will have pity on you, Jerusalem?
Who will mourn you?
Who will come to ask of your welfare?
6 You have rejected me,” says the Lord.
“You have gone backward.
Therefore I have stretched out my hand against you
and destroyed you.
I am weary of showing compassion.

7 I have winnowed them with a fan in the gates of the land.
I have bereaved them of children.
I have destroyed my people.
They did not return from their ways.
8 Their widows are increased more than the sand of the seas.
I have brought on them against the mother of the young men a destroyer at noonday.
I have caused anguish and terrors to fall on her suddenly.

9 She who has borne seven languishes.
She has given up the spirit.
Her sun has gone down while it was yet day.
She has been disappointed and confounded.
I will deliver their residue to the sword before their enemies,”

says the Lord.

The Woes of Jeremiah

10 Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me, a man of strife,
and a man of contention to the whole earth!
I have not lent, neither have men lent to me;
yet every one of them curses me.

11 The Lord said,

“Most certainly I will strengthen you for good.
Most certainly I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you in the time of disaster and in the time of affliction.
12 Can one break iron,
iron from the north, and bronze?
13 I will give your substance and your treasures as plunder without price,
and that for all your sins,
in all your borders.
14 I will make them to pass with your enemies into a land which you do not know;
for a fire is kindled in my anger,
which will burn on you.”

15 Lord, you know.
Remember me, visit me,
and avenge me of my persecutors.
You are patient, so do not take me away.
Know that for your sake I have suffered reproach.
16 Your words were found,
and I ate them.
Your words were to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart,
for I am called by your name, Lord, God of Armies.
17 I did not sit in the assembly of those who celebrate and rejoice.
I sat alone because of your hand,
for you have filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain perpetual,
and my wound incurable,
which refuses to be healed?
Will you indeed be to me like a deceitful brook,
like waters that fail?

The Lord’s Promise

19 Therefore the Lord says,

“If you return, then I will bring you back,
that you may stand before me;
and if you take out the precious from the vile,
you will be as my mouth.
They will return to you,
but you will not return to them.
20 I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall.
They will fight against you,
but they will not prevail against you;
for I am with you to save you
and to deliver you,”

says the Lord.

21 “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked,
and I will redeem you out of the hand of the terrible.”

Jeremiah 16

Disaster Predicted

1 The word of the Lord came also to me, saying, 2 “You shall not take a wife, neither shall you have sons or daughters, in this place.”

3 For the Lord says, concerning the sons and concerning the daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them, and concerning their fathers who became their father in this land: 4 “They will die grievous deaths. They will not be lamented, neither will they be buried. They will be as dung on the surface of the ground. They will be consumed by the sword and by famine. Their dead bodies will be food for the birds of the sky and for the animals of the earth.”

5 For the Lord says,

“Do not enter into the house of mourning. Do not go to lament. Do not bemoan them, for I have taken away my peace from this people,” says the Lord, “even loving kindness and tender mercies.

6 Both great and small will die in this land. They will not be buried. Men will not lament for them, cut themselves, or make themselves bald for them. 7 Men will not break bread for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead. Men will not give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother.

8 “You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and to drink.” 9 For the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel says: “I will cause to cease out of this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.

10 It will happen, when you tell this people all these words, and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us?’ or ‘What is our iniquity? or ‘What is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’

11 Then you shall tell them, ‘Because your fathers have forsaken me,’ says the Lord, ‘and have walked after other gods, have served them, have worshiped them, have forsaken me, and have not kept my law. 12 You have done evil more than your fathers, for you each walk after the stubbornness of his evil heart, so that you do not listen to me. 13 Therefore I will cast you out of this land into the land that you have not known, neither you nor your fathers. There you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’

God Will Restore Israel

14 The Lord says,

“Therefore the days are coming that it will no more be said, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the Israelites out of the land of Egypt;’ 15 but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the Israelites from the land of the north, and from all the countries where he had driven them.’ I will bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers.

16 “I will send for many fishermen,” says the Lord, “and they will fish them up. Afterward I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain, from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from my face. Their iniquity is not concealed from my eyes. 18 First I will repay their iniquity and their sin double, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable things, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.”

19 Lord, my strength, and my stronghold,
and my refuge in the day of affliction,
the nations will come to you from the ends of the earth,
and will say,
“Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies,
vanity and things in which there is no profit.
20 Should a man make to himself gods
which yet are no gods?”

21 “Therefore, I will cause them to know,
this once I will cause them to know my hand and my might.
Then they will know that my name is the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 3

Timothy’s Visit

1 Therefore when we could not stand it any longer, we thought it good to be left behind at Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and God’s servant in the Good News of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith, 3 that no one would be moved by these afflictions. For you know that we are appointed to this task. 4 For most certainly, when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we are to suffer affliction, even as it happened, and you know. 5 For this reason I also, when I could not stand it any longer, sent that I might know your faith, for fear that by any means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor would have been in vain.

Timothy’s Encouraging Report

6 But when Timothy came just now to us from you, and brought us glad news of your faith and love, and that you have good memories of us always, longing to see us, just as we also long to see you, 7 for this reason, brothers, we were comforted over you in all our distress and affliction through your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.

9 For what thanksgiving can we render back to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sakes before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face, and may perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 May the Lord make you to increase and abound in love toward one another, and toward all men, even as we also do toward you, 13 to the end he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Psalm 80

For the Chief Musician. To the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant.” A Psalm by Asaph.

1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock,
you who sit above the cherubim, shine out.
2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might!
Come to save us!
3 Turn to us again, Lord.
Cause your face to shine,
and we will be saved.

4 Lord, God of Hosts,
how long will you be angry against the prayer of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears,
and given them tears to drink in large measure.
6 You make us a source of contention to our neighbors.
Our enemies laugh among themselves.
7 Turn to us again, Lord of Hosts.
Cause your face to shine,
and we will be saved.

8 You brought a vine out of Egypt.
You drove out the nations, and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it.
It took deep root, and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shadow.
Its boughs were like God’s cedars.
11 It sent out its branches to the Sea,
its shoots to the River.

12 Why have you broken down its walls,
so that all those who pass by the way pluck it?
13 The boar out of the wood ravages it.
The wild animals of the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, we beg you, God of Hosts.
Look down from heaven, and see, and visit this vine,
15 the stock which your right hand planted,
the branch that you made strong for yourself.

16 It is burned with fire.
It is cut down.
They perish at your rebuke.
17 Let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
on the son of man whom you made strong for yourself.
18 So we will not turn away from you.
Revive us, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, Lord God of Armies.
Cause your face to shine, and we will be saved.

Proverbs 25:1-5

1 These also are proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing,
but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
3 As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.
4 Take away the dross from the silver,
and material comes out for the refiner;
5 Take away the wicked from the king’s presence,
and his throne will be established in righteousness.

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