||To hear Brian Hardin read today’s Scripture selection, click here and then click the audio button in the top right.
1 These are the words of Jeremiah, Hilkiah’s son, who was one of the priests from Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. 2 The Lord’s word came to Jeremiah in the thirteenth year of Judah’s King Josiah, Amon’s son, 3 and throughout the rule of Judah’s King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, until the fifth month of the eleventh year of King Zedekiah, Josiah’s son, when the people of Jerusalem were taken into exile.
Call of Jeremiah
4 The Lord’s word came to me:
5 “Before I created you in the womb I knew you;
before you were born I set you apart;
I made you a prophet to the nations.”
6 “Ah, Lord God,” I said, “I don’t know how to speak
because I’m only a child.”
7 The Lord responded,
“Don’t say, ‘I’m only a child.’
Where I send you, you must go;
what I tell you, you must say.
8 Don’t be afraid of them,
because I’m with you to rescue you,”
declares the Lord.
9 Then the Lord stretched out his hand,
touched my mouth, and said to me,
“I’m putting my words in your mouth.
10 This very day I appoint you over nations and empires,
to dig up and pull down,
to destroy and demolish,
to build and plant.”
Jeremiah’s mission confirmed
11 The Lord asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
I said, “A branch of an almond tree.”
12 The Lord then said, “You are right, for I’m watching over my word until it is fulfilled.” 13 The Lord asked me again, “What do you see?”
I said, “A pot boiling over from the north.”
14 The Lord said to me, “Trouble will erupt from the north against the people of this land.”
15 I’m calling for all the tribes of great nations from the north, says the Lord, and they will set up their rulers by the entrances of Jerusalem, on its walls, and in every city of Judah. 16 I will declare my judgment against them for doing evil: for abandoning me, worshipping other gods, and trusting in the works of their hands. 17 But you must prepare for battle and be ready to utter every word I command you. Don’t be frightened before them, or I will frighten you before them. 18 Today I have made you an armed city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall against the entire land—the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and all its people. 19 They will attack you, but they won’t defeat you, because I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord.
God’s people abandon their God
2 The Lord’s word came to me:
2 Go and proclaim to the people of Jerusalem,
The Lord proclaims:
I remember your first love,
your devotion as a young bride,
how you followed me in the wilderness,
in an unplanted land.
3 Israel was devoted to the Lord,
the early produce of the harvest.
Whoever ate from it became guilty;
disaster overtook them,
declares the Lord.
4 Listen to the Lord’s word,
people of Judah,
all you families of the Israelite household.
5 This is what the Lord says:
What wrong did your ancestors find in me
that made them wander so far?
They pursued what was worthless
and became worthless.
6 They didn’t ask,
“Where’s the Lord who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
who led us through the wilderness,
in a land of deserts and ravines,
in a land of drought and darkness,
in a land of no return,
where no one survives?”
7 I brought you into a land of plenty,
to enjoy its gifts and goodness,
but you ruined my land;
you disgraced my heritage.
8 The priests didn’t ask,
“Where’s the Lord?”
Those responsible for the Instruction didn’t know me;
the leaders rebelled against me;
the prophets spoke in the name of Baal,
going after what has no value.
9 That is why I will take you to court
and charge even your descendants,
declares the Lord.
10 Look to the west as far as the shores of Cyprus
and to the east as far as the land of Kedar.
Ask anyone there:
Has anything this odd ever taken place?
11 Has a nation switched gods,
though they aren’t really gods at all?
Yet my people have exchanged their glory
for what has no value.
12 Be stunned at such a thing, you heavens;
shudder and quake,
declares the Lord.
13 My people have committed two crimes:
They have forsaken me, the spring of living water.
And they have dug wells, broken wells that can’t hold water.
14 Is Israel a slave,
a servant by birth?
If not, why then has he become prey?
15 Lions roar at him; they growl.
They destroy his land
and make his towns desolate
until nothing is left.
16 As well, the people of Memphis and Tahpanhes
lay open your scalp.
17 Haven’t you brought this on yourself
by abandoning the Lord your God,
who has directed your paths?
18 So why take the path to Egypt
to drink water from the Nile?
Why travel the path to Assyria
to drink water from the Euphrates?
19 Your wrongdoing will punish you.
Your acts of unfaithfulness will find you out.
Don’t you understand how terribly bitter
it is to abandon the Lord your God
and not fear me?
declares the Lord of heavenly forces.
20 Long ago I broke your yoke;
I shattered your chains.
But even then you said, “I won’t serve you.”
On every high hill and under every lush tree,
you have acted like a prostitute.
21 Yet it was I who planted you, a precious vine of fine quality;
how could you turn into a wild vine
and become good for nothing?
22 Even though you scrub yourself with soap or strong powder,
the stain of your sin is still before me,
declares the Lord God.
23 How can you say,
“I’m not dirty;
I haven’t gone after Baals.”
Look what you have done in the valley;
consider what you have done there.
You are like a frenzied young camel,
24 a wild donkey in the wilderness,
lustfully sniffing the wind.
Who can restrain such passion?
Those who desire her need not give up;
with little effort they will find her in heat.
25 Don’t run about until your feet are blistered
and your throat is parched.
But you say, “What’s the use?
I have fallen in love with foreign gods,
and I must pursue them.”
26 As a thief is ashamed when caught in his tracks,
so the people of Israel are ashamed—
their kings, officials, priests, and prophets—
27 when they say to a piece of wood, “You are my father,”
and to a stone, “You gave me birth.”
They have turned their backs to me
and not their faces.
Yet in their time of trouble they say,
“Arise and save us!”
28 Where are the gods
you have made for yourselves?
Let’s see if they will come through for you in your time of trouble.
You have as many gods, Judah,
as you have towns.
29 Why would you bring charges against me?
You have all rebelled against me,
declares the Lord.
30 I have disciplined your children in vain;
they have rejected my correction.
You have devoured your prophets
like a hungry lion.
Stand firm in the Lord
4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters whom I love and miss, who are my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord.
Loved ones, 2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to come to an agreement in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I’m also asking you, loyal friend, to help these women who have struggled together with me in the ministry of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my coworkers whose names are in the scroll of life.
4 Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! 5 Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. 7 Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.
8 From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. 9 Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.
Paul’s thanks for gifts
10 I was very glad in the Lord because now at last you have shown concern for me again. (Of course you were always concerned but had no way to show it.) 11 I’m not saying this because I need anything, for I have learned how to be content in any circumstance. 12 I know the experience of being in need and of having more than enough; I have learned the secret to being content in any and every circumstance, whether full or hungry or whether having plenty or being poor. 13 I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength. 14 Still, you have done well to share my distress.
15 You Philippians know from the time of my first mission work in Macedonia how no church shared in supporting my ministry except you. 16 You sent contributions repeatedly to take care of my needs even while I was in Thessalonica. 17 I’m not hoping for a gift, but I am hoping for a profit that accumulates in your account. 18 I now have plenty and it is more than enough. I am full to overflowing because I received the gifts that you sent from Epaphroditus. Those gifts give off a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice that pleases God. 19 My God will meet your every need out of his riches in the glory that is found in Christ Jesus. 20 Let glory be given to God our Father forever and always. Amen.
21 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters with me send you their greeting. 22 All God’s people here, especially those in Caesar’s household, send you their greeting. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits.
For the music leader. Do not destroy. A psalm of Asaph. A song.
75 We give thanks to you, God. Yes, we give thanks!
Your name is near. Your marvelous deeds are declared.
2 God says, “When I decide the time is right,
I will establish justice just so.
3 The earth and all its inhabitants will melt,
but I will keep its pillars steady.” Selah
4 I said to the arrogant,
“Don’t be arrogant!”
To the wicked I said,
“Don’t exalt your strength!
5 Don’t exalt your strength so highly.
Don’t speak so arrogantly against the rock.”
6 Because what exalts someone
doesn’t come from the east or west;
it’s not from the south either.
7 Rather it is God who is the judge.
He brings this person down,
but that person he lifts up.
8 Indeed, there’s a cup in the Lord’s hand
full of foaming wine, mixed with spice.
He will pour it out,
and all of the earth’s wicked people
must drink it;
they must drink every last drop!
9 But I will rejoice always;
I will sing praises to Jacob’s God!
10 God says:
“I will demolish every bit of the wicked’s power,
but the strength of the righteous will be lifted up.”
17 When your enemies fall, don’t rejoice.
When they stumble, don’t let your heart be glad,
18 or the Lord will see it and be displeased,
and he will turn his anger from them.
19 Don’t get fighting mad at evil people;
don’t be envious of the wicked.
20 Indeed, there is no future for the evil;
the lamp of the wicked will be put out.