But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

Jeremiah 37-38

Jeremiah 37

Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah

1 Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned as king, instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. 2 But neither he, nor his servants, nor the people of the land, listened to the words of the Lord, which he spoke through the prophet Jeremiah.

3 Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “Pray now to the Lord our God for us.”

4 Now Jeremiah came and went out among the people, for they had not put him into prison. 5 Pharaoh’s army had come out of Egypt, and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they broke off from Jerusalem.

6 Then the word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 7 “The Lord, the God of Israel, says: You shall tell the king of Judah, who sent you to me to inquire of me: Pharaoh’s army, which has come out to help you, will return to Egypt into their own land. 8 The Chaldeans will come back and fight against this city. They will capture it and burn it down.

9 The Lord says, ‘Do not deceive yourselves, saying: The Chaldeans will surely depart from us, for they will not depart. 10 For though you had struck the entire army of the Chaldeans who fight against you, and only wounded men remained among them, they would rise up, each man in his tent, and burn this city down.’ ”

Jeremiah Imprisoned

11 When the Chaldean army had broken off from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army, 12 Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin to receive his share of the property among the people. 13 When he was at Benjamin’s gate, a captain of the guard was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah, and he seized Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “You are defecting to the Chaldeans!”

14 Then Jeremiah said, “That is false! I am not defecting to the Chaldeans.” But Irijah did not listen to him, and he seized Jeremiah and brought him to the leaders. 15 The leaders were angry with Jeremiah and struck him and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe, for they had made that the prison.

16 When Jeremiah had come into the dungeon house and into the cells, and Jeremiah had remained there many days, 17 then Zedekiah the king sent for him and had him brought out.

The king asked him secretly in his house, “Is there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah said, “There is.” He also said, “You will be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.”

18 Moreover, Jeremiah said to king Zedekiah, “How have I sinned against you, against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Now where are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you, nor against this land?’ 20 Now please hear, my lord the king. Please let my request be presented before you and do not make me return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there.”

21 Then Zedekiah the king commanded it, and they committed Jeremiah into the court of the guard. They gave him daily a loaf of bread out of the bakers’ street, until all the bread in the city was gone. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.

Jeremiah 38

Jeremiah Cast Into the Cistern

1 Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchijah, heard the words that Jeremiah spoke to all the people, saying, 2 “The Lord says, ‘He who remains in this city will die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out to the Chaldeans will live, and he will escape with his life.’ 3 The Lord says, ‘This city will surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and he will overtake it.’ ”

4 Then the leaders said to the king, “Please let this man be put to death because he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words to them, for this man does not seek the welfare of this people, but harm.”

5 Zedekiah the king said, “He is in your hands, for the king cannot do anything to oppose you.”

6 Then they took Jeremiah and threw him into the dungeon of Malchijah the king’s son, that was in the court of the guard. They let Jeremiah down with cords. In the dungeon there was no water, but mire, and Jeremiah sank in the mire.

Jeremiah Rescued

7 Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, a eunuch, who was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon (the king was then sitting in Benjamin’s gate), 8 Ebedmelech went out from the king’s house and spoke to the king, saying, 9 “My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon. He is likely to die in the place where he is, because of the famine, for there is no more bread in the city.”

10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take from here 30 men with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon before he dies.”

11 So Ebedmelech took the men with him and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and taking rags and worn-out garments from there, he lowered the cords into the dungeon, to Jeremiah. 12 Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Now put these rags and worn-out garments under your armpits, under the cords.” Jeremiah did so. 13 So they drew up Jeremiah with the cords and pulled him up out of the dungeon, and Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.

Jeremiah Again Warns Zedekiah

14 Then Zedekiah the king sent for Jeremiah the prophet to bring him to himself in the third entry that is in the house of the Lord. Then the king said to Jeremiah, “I will ask you something. Hide nothing from me.”

15 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I declare it to you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I advise you, you will not listen to me.”

16 So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, “As the Lord lives, who made us, I will not put you to death, nor will I give you into the hands of these men who seek your life.”

17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “The Lord, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel, says, ‘If you will go out to the king of Babylon’s leaders, then you will live, and this city will not be burned down. You will live, along with your household. 18 But if you will not go out to the king of Babylon’s leaders, then this city will be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they will burn it down, and you will not escape from their hand.’ ”

19 Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have defected to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hands, and they mock me.”

20 But Jeremiah said, “They will not deliver you. Obey, I beg you, the voice of the Lord, that which I am speaking to you, so it will be well with you, and you will live. 21 But if you refuse to go out, this is the word that the Lord has shown me: 22 ‘All the women who are left in the king of Judah’s house will be brought out to the king of Babylon’s leaders, and those women will say:

Your trusted friends have turned on you,
and have prevailed over you.
Your feet have sunk in the mire,
and they have turned away from you.

23 They will bring out all your wives and your children to the Chaldeans. You will not escape from their hand, but will be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon. You will cause this city to be burned down.’ ”

24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no man know of these words, and you will not die. 25 But if the leaders hear that I have spoken with you, and they come to you and tell you, ‘Declare to us now what you have said to the king. Do not hide it from us, and we will not put you to death. Also tell us what the king said to you,’ 26 Then you shall tell them, ‘I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not make me return to Jonathan’s house, to die there.’ ”

27 Then all the leaders came to Jeremiah, asking him questions, and he told them all the words that the king had commanded. So they stopped speaking with him, for the matter was still unknown.

28 So Jeremiah stayed in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.

1 Timothy 6

Instructions to Servants

1 Let as many as are bondservants under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of the Lord and the doctrine not be blasphemed. 2 Those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brothers, but rather let them serve them, because those who partake of the benefit are believing and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.

Reject False Doctrines

3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not consent to sound words, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, 4 he is conceited, knowing nothing, but obsessed with arguments, disputes, and word battles, from which come envy, strife, insulting, evil suspicions, 5 constant friction of people of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. Withdraw yourself from such.

Contentment in Godliness

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything out. 8 But having food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation, a snare, and many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Fight the Good Fight

11 But you, man of God, flee from these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses.

13 I command you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate testified the good confession, 14 that you keep the commandment without spot, blameless, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which in its own times he will show, who is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. 16 He alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen, nor can see, to whom be honor and eternal power. Amen.

A Charge to the Rich

17 Charge those who are rich in this present world that they not be arrogant, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on the living God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 Let them do good and be rich in good works, so that they are ready to distribute, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life.

Final Guidance

20 Timothy, guard that which is committed to you, turning away from the empty chatter and oppositions of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some profess, and thus have wandered from the faith.

Grace be with you. Amen.

Psalm 90

Lord, You Have Been Our Dwelling Place

A Prayer by Moses, the man of God.

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place for all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born,
before you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.

3 You turn man to destruction, saying,
“Return, you children of men.”
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are just like yesterday when it is past,
like a watch in the night.
5 You sweep them away as they sleep.
In the morning they sprout like new grass.
6 In the morning it sprouts and springs up.
By evening, it is withered and dry.

7 For we are consumed in your anger.
We are troubled in your wrath.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 For all our days have passed away in your wrath.
We bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The days of our years are 70,
or by strength, 80 years;
yet their pride is but labor and sorrow,
for it passes quickly, and we fly away.

11 Who knows the power of your anger,
your wrath according to the fear that is due to you?
12 So teach us to count our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, Lord!
How long?
Have compassion on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 Let your work appear to your servants,
your glory to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us.
Establish the work of our hands for us.
Yes, establish the work of our hands.

Proverbs 25:28

28 Like a city that is broken down and without walls
is a man whose spirit is without restraint.

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