I will ponder your works;
and meditate on your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:12
No One is Just
1 “Run back and forth through the streets of Jerusalem. Look and see, searching in its wide places. If you can find one man, if there is anyone who acts justly, who seeks truth, then I will pardon the city. 2 Though they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’ surely they are swearing falsely.”
3 O Lord, your eyes look for truth. You struck them, but they were not grieved. You crushed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than a rock. They have refused to repent.
4 Then I said,
“Surely these people must be poor and foolish; for they do not know the way of the Lord, nor the law of their God. 5 I will go to the leaders and will speak to them, for they know the way of the Lord, and the law of their God.”
But they, in one accord, have broken the yoke of the Lord, and torn off the chains. 6 Therefore a lion from the forest will kill them. A wolf from the desert will destroy them. A leopard will be watching their cities to tear into pieces everyone who goes out, because their transgressions are many and their backsliding has increased.
7 “How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me, and sworn by what are not gods. When I had fed them full, they committed adultery, and assembled in troops at the house of prostitutes. 8 They were like fed horses roaming at large. Everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife. 9 Should I not punish them for these things?”
says the Lord. “Should I not be avenged on such a nation as this?
10 “Climb her walls, and destroy the vines; but do not destroy them completely. Strip away her branches, for they are not the Lord’s. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me,”
says the Lord.
12 They have denied the Lord, and said, “It is not he. Disaster will not come upon us. We will not see sword or famine. 13 The prophets are full of wind, and the word is not in them. Thus it will be done to them.”
The Lord Proclaims Judgment
14 Therefore the Lord, the God of Hosts says,
“Because you have spoken this word, I will make my words in your mouth fire, and these people wood, and it will devour them. 15 House of Israel: I will bring a nation on you from far away,”
says the Lord.
“It is a mighty nation. It is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you have never heard and you will not understand what they say. 16 Their quiver is an open tomb. They are all mighty men. 17 They will eat up your harvest and your bread, which your sons and your daughters should eat. They will eat up your flocks and your herds. They will eat up your vines and your fig trees. With the sword, they will tear down your fortified cities in which you trust. 18 “But even in those days,”
says the Lord,
“I will not completely destroy you. 19 It will happen when you say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ Then you shall say to them, ‘Just as you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’
20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob, and announce it in Judah, saying, 21 ‘Hear this now, foolish people without understanding, who have eyes, and do not see, who have ears, and do not hear: 22 Do you not fear me?’
says the Lord,
‘Will you not tremble at my presence, the One who has placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, as a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond? Though its waves toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail. Though they roar, they still cannot pass over it.’
23 “But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have rebelled and gone away. 24 They do not say in their heart, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives rain, in both spring and harvest, in its season, who reserves for us, the appointed weeks of the harvest.’
25 “Your iniquities have turned all these things away, and your sins have withheld good from you. 26 For wicked men are found among my people. They watch, as fowlers lie in wait. They set a trap. They catch men. 27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and grown rich. 28 They have grown fat. They shine; yes, they excel in deeds of wickedness. They do not plead the cause of the fatherless, that they may prosper; and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
29 “Should I not punish them for these things?”
says the Lord.
“Should not I be avenged on such a nation as this?
30 “An astonishing and horrible thing has happened in the land. 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority; and my people love to have it so. What will you do in the end of it?
Jerusalem’s Final Warning
1 “Flee for safety, you children of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in Tekoa and raise up a signal on Beth Haccherem, for disaster looks out from the north with a great destruction. 2 I will cut off the beautiful and delicate one, the daughter of Zion. 3 Shepherds with their flocks will come to her. They will pitch their tents against her, surrounding her. They will feed everyone in his place.”
4 “Prepare war against her! Arise! Let us go up at noon. Woe to us! For the day declines, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 5 Arise! Let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces.” 6 For the Lord of Hosts said,
“Cut down trees and cast up a siege ramp against Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, for she is full of oppression. 7 As a well produces its waters, so she produces her wickedness. Violence and destruction is heard in her. Sickness and wounds are continually before me. 8 Be instructed, Jerusalem, lest I be alienated from you, lest I make you a desolation, an uninhabited land.”
9 The Lord of Hosts says,
“Like a vine, they will thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel, like a grape gatherer, passing over once again, into into the baskets.”
Israel’s Rebellion and God’s Wrath
10 To whom should I speak and testify,
that they may hear? Their ear is uncircumcised,
and they cannot listen.
The word of the Lord has become a reproach to them.
They have no delight in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the Lord’s wrath.
I am weary of holding it in.
“Pour it out on the children in the street,
and on the assembly of young men together:
the husband and wife will be taken,
the elderly with him, who are very aged.
12 Their houses will be turned over to others,
their fields and their wives together;
for I will stretch out my hand on the inhabitants of the land,
says the Lord.”
13 “For from their least to their greatest,
everyone is given to covetousness.
From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.
14 They have healed the hurt of my people superficially,
saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they had committed this abomination?
No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush.
Therefore they will fall among those who fall.
When I visit them, they will be cast down,” says the Lord.
16 The Lord says,
“Stand in the crossroads and look,
and ask for the old paths, ‘Where is the good way?’
and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 I set watchmen over you, saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen!’
18 Therefore hear, you nations, and see, congregation,
what is among them.
19 Hear, earth! I will bring disaster on these people,
even the fruit of their thoughts,
because they have not listened to my words;
and as for my law, they have rejected it.
20 To what purpose does frankincense from Sheba come to me,
and the sweet cane from a far country?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
and your sacrifices are not pleasing to me.”
21 Therefore the Lord says,
“I will lay stumbling blocks before these people.
The fathers and the sons together will stumble against them.
The neighbor and his friend will perish.”
An Invasion from the North
22 The Lord says,
“A people comes from the north country.
A great nation will be stirred up
from the uttermost parts of the earth.
23 They take hold of bow and spear.
They are cruel and without mercy.
Their voices are roaring like the sea,
and they come riding on horses,
all arrayed for battle, against you, daughter of Zion.”
24 We have heard its report.
Our hands have become feeble.
Anguish has taken hold of us,
and pains as of a woman in labor.
25 Do not go out into the field
or walk in the street;
for the sword of the enemy
and terror are on every side.
26 Daughter of my people,
clothe yourself with sackcloth,
and wallow in ashes!
Mourn, as for an only son,
most bitter lamentation, for the destroyer
will suddenly come on us.
27 “I have made you a tester of metals among my people,
that you may know and try their ways.
28 They are all grievous rebels,
going around to slander.
They are bronze and iron.
All of them deal corruptly.
29 The bellows blow fiercely.
The lead is consumed in the fire.
In vain they go on refining,
for the wicked are not plucked away.
30 Men will call them rejected silver,
because the Lord has rejected them.”
The Supremacy of Christ
21 You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil deeds, 22 yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without defect and blameless before him, 23 if it is so that you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Good News which you heard, which is being proclaimed in all creation under heaven, of which I, Paul, was made a servant.
Paul’s Suffering for the Church
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the assembly, 25 of which I was made a servant according to the stewardship of God which was given me toward you to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints, 27 to whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; 29 for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.
For the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm by Asaph.
1 My cry goes out to God!
Indeed, I cry to God for help,
and for him to listen to me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord.
My hand was stretched out through the night, and didn’t get tired.
My heart could not be comforted.
3 I remember God, and I groan.
I complain, and my spirit is overwhelmed.
4 You hold my eyelids open.
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I have pondered on the days of old,
the years of ancient times.
6 I remember my song in the night.
I consider in my own heart;
my spirit diligently inquires:
7 “Will the Lord reject us forever?
Is his favor gone?
8 Has his loving kindness vanished forever?
Does his promise fail for generations?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he, in anger, withheld his compassion?”
10 Then I thought, “I will appeal to this:
the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
and remember your past miracles.
12 I will ponder your works;
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who does wonders.
You have made your strength known among the peoples.
15 You have redeemed your people with your arm,
the sons of Jacob and Joseph.
16 The waters saw you, God.
The waters saw you, and they writhed.
The depths also convulsed.
17 The clouds poured out water.
The skies resounded with thunder.
Your arrows also flashed around.
18 The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind.
The lightning lit up the world.
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea;
your paths through the great waters.
Your footsteps were not known.
20 You led your people like a flock,
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
23 These also are sayings of the wise.
To show partiality in judgment is not good.
24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
peoples will curse him, and nations will abhor him—
25 but it will go well with those who convict the guilty,
and a rich blessing will come on them.