Jer 22, 23, 26; Psalm 77; James 2
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
Jer 22, 23, 26
Thus says the LORD: ”Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word,
and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O King of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates.
Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.
For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people.
But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.
For thus says the LORD concerning the house of the king of Judah: ”’You are like Gilead to me, like the summit of Lebanon, yet surely I will make you a desert, an uninhabited city.
I will prepare destroyers against you, each with his weapons, and they shall cut down your choicest cedars and cast them into the fire.
”And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbor, ”Why has the LORD dealt thus with this great city?”
And they will answer, ”Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God and worshiped other gods and served them.””’
Weep not for him who is dead, nor grieve for him, but weep bitterly for him who goes away, for he shall return no more to see his native land.
For thus says the LORD concerning Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, and who went away from this place: ”He shall return here no more,
but in the place where they have carried him captive, there shall he die, and he shall never see this land again.”
‘Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages,
who says, ‘I will build myself a great house with spacious upper rooms,’ who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and painting it with vermilion.
Do you think you are a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him.
He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? declares the LORD.
But you have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence.”
Therefore thus says the LORD concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: ”They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Ah, my brother!’ or ‘Ah, sister!’ They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Ah, lord!’ or ‘Ah, his majesty!’
With the burial of a donkey he shall be buried, dragged and dumped beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”
‘Go up to Lebanon, and cry out, and lift up your voice in Bashan; cry out from Abarim, for all your lovers are destroyed.
I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, ‘I will not listen.’ This has been your way from your youth, that you have not obeyed my voice.
The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds, and your lovers shall go into captivity; then you will be ashamed and confounded because of all your evil.
O inhabitant of Lebanon, nested among the cedars, how you will be pitied when pangs come upon you, pain as of a woman in labor!”
‘As I live, declares the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet ring on my right hand, yet I would tear you off
and give you into the hand of those who seek your life, into the hand of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans.
I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die.
But to the land to which they will long to return, there they shall not return.”
Is this man Coniah a despised, broken pot, a vessel no one cares for? Why are he and his children hurled and cast into a land that they do not know?
O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the LORD: ”Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days, for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David and ruling again in Judah.”
‘Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD.
Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: ”You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD.
Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.
I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD.
‘Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’
‘Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’
but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”
Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and because of his holy words.
For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course is evil, and their might is not right.
‘Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their evil, declares the LORD.
Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness, into which they shall be driven and fall, for I will bring disaster upon them in the year of their punishment, declares the LORD.
In the prophets of Samaria I saw an unsavory thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.
But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets: ”Behold, I will feed them with bitter food and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”
Thus says the LORD of hosts: ”Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.
They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.”’
For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened?
Behold, the storm of the LORD! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly.
‘I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.
‘Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God afar off?
Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.
I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’
How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart,
who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?
Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD.
Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another.
Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the LORD.’
Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.
‘When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the LORD?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden, and I will cast you off, declares the LORD.’
And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the LORD,’ I will punish that man and his household.
Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What has the LORD answered?’ or ‘What has the LORD spoken?’
But ‘the burden of the LORD’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man’s own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God.
Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the LORD answered you?’ or ‘What has the LORD spoken?’
But if you say, ‘The burden of the LORD,’ thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have said these words, ”The burden of the LORD,” when I sent to you, saying, ”You shall not say, ‘The burden of the LORD,”’
therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up and cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers.
And I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.”’
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the LORD:
‘Thus says the LORD: Stand in the court of the LORD’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the LORD all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word.
It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them because of their evil deeds.
You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you,
and to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently, though you have not listened,
then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.”’
The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.
And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, ”You shall die!
Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant’?” And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the LORD and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the LORD.
Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, ”This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”
Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, ”The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard.
Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you.
But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you.
Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the LORD sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.”
Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, ”This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God.”
And certain of the elders of the land arose and spoke to all the assembled people, saying,
‘Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and said to all the people of Judah: ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, ”’Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.’
Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, and did not the LORD relent of the disaster that he had pronounced against them? But we are about to bring great disaster upon ourselves.”
There was another man who prophesied in the name of the LORD, Uriah the son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words like those of Jeremiah.
And when King Jehoiakim, with all his warriors and all the officials, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death. But when Uriah heard of it, he was afraid and fled and escaped to Egypt.
Then King Jehoiakim sent to Egypt certain men, Elnathan the son of Achbor and others with him,
and they took Uriah from Egypt and brought him to King Jehoiakim, who struck him down with the sword and dumped his dead body into the burial place of the common people.
But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over to the people to be put to death.
I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.
When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah
You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old, the years long ago.
I said, ”Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search:
‘Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah
Then I said, ”I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled.
The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side.
The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen.
You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,
and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ”You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, ”You stand over there,” or, ”Sit down at my feet,”
have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?
But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?
Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ”You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
For he who said, ”Do not commit adultery,” also said, ”Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.
For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,
and one of you says to them, ”Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, ”You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder!
Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?
You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;
and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, ”Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”–and he was called a friend of God.
You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
The reading plan I’ve chosen is from Bible Class Material and it’s a 5 day plan, with weekend days to catch up or get ahead or just take a break!