Day 278 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. The idols of Judah. Colossians 2: The Lord's Secret Revealed
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Jeremiah 11: 1-17
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17 This is what the LORD All-Powerful says:
“Now think about these things!
Call for the women who get paid to cry at funerals.
Send for the people who are good at that job.”
18 The people say:
“Let those women come quickly and cry for us.
Then our eyes will fill with tears
until they stream down our faces.”
19 The sound of loud crying is heard from Zion:
“We are ruined!
We are so ashamed!
We must leave our land,
because our houses have been torn down.”
20 Now, women of Judah, listen to the
message from the LORD. Pay attention to what he says.
Teach your daughters how to mourn. Teach each other this funeral song:
21 “Death has climbed in through our windows
and has come into our palaces.
Death has come to our children who play in the streets
and to the young men who meet in the public places.”
22 Tell everyone that this is what the
“Dead bodies will lie in the fields like piles of animal waste.
They will look like bundles of grain a farmer has cut,
but no one will gather them.” 23 This is what the LORD says: “The wise must not boast
about their wisdom.
The strong must not boast about their strength.
The rich must not boast about their wealth.
24 But if someone wants to boast,
they should boast that they know and understand me.
I am the LORD who acts with faithful love
and always does what is right and fair on earth.
These are the things that please me,” says the LORD.
25 This is what the LORD says: “The
time is coming when I will punish all those who are circumcised only in the body. 26 I am talking about the people of the nations of Egypt, Judah, Edom, Am- mon, Moab and all those who live in the desert. Their circumcision is not the kind
the Lord wants. But the people of Israel are not really circumcised either. They are not circumcised in their hearts.”*
The Lord and the Idols
People of Israel, listen to the LORD! He is speaking to you.
2 This is what the LORD says:
“Don’t live like people from other nations.
Don’t be afraid of special signs in the sky.†
The other nations are afraid of what they see in the sky,
but you must not be afraid of them.
3 The customs of other people are worth nothing.
Their idols are nothing but wood from the forest,
made by workers with their chisels.‡
4 They make their idols beautiful with silver and gold.
They use hammers and nails to fasten their idols down
so they will not fall over.
5 The idols of the other nations are like a scarecrow in a cucumber field.
They cannot talk.
They cannot walk, so people must carry them.
So don’t be afraid of their idols. They cannot hurt you,
and they cannot help you either.” 6 LORD, there is no one like you. You are great!
Your name is great and powerful!
7 Everyone should respect you, King of all the nations.
You deserve their respect.
There are many wise men among the nations,
but not one of them is as wise as you.
8 They are all stupid and foolish.
The only teaching they get is from the useless wooden idols they worship!
9 These idols are covered with silver
and gold from the city of Uphaz.
They are the work of craftsmen and goldsmiths.
They are dressed in royal blue and purple robes,
all made by skilled workers.
10 But the LORD is the only true God. He is the only God who is alive.
He is the King who rules forever. The earth shakes when he is angry.
The people of the nations cannot stop his anger.
11 Tell them this message: “These false
gods did not make heaven and earth. They will be destroyed and disappear from heaven and earth.”¶
12 God is the one who used his power to make the earth.
He used his wisdom to create the world.
With his understanding
he stretched the sky over the earth.
13 When he speaks, it sounds like thunder.
The waters in the sky roar.
He makes clouds appear from far away. He sends lightning with the rain.
He brings out the wind from his storehouses.
14 But people are too stupid
to understand God’s power.
Goldsmiths make idols that bring them shame,
because the idols they make are false gods.
They have no life in them.
15 These worthless idols are nothing but a joke.
When it is time for judgment, they will be destroyed.
16 But Jacob’s God* is not like those idols.
He is the one who created everything.
And Israel is the family that he chose to be his own people.
His name is the LORD All-Powerful.
Destruction Is Coming
17 Get everything you own and prepare to leave.
People of Judah, you are trapped in the city,
and the enemy is all around it.
18 This is what the LORD says:
“Now I will throw out all who live in this land.
I will bring pain and trouble to them.
I will do this so that they will learn their lesson.”†
19 Jerusalem says: “I am hurt badly. I am injured and cannot be healed.
But I told myself, ‘This is my sickness; I must suffer through it.’
20 My tent is ruined.
All its ropes are broken. My children have left me.
They are gone.
No one is left to put up my tent.
No one is left to set up a shelter for me.”
21 The shepherds are stupid. They don’t try to find the LORD. They are not wise,
so their flocks are scattered and lost.
22 Listen! A loud noise!
The noise is coming from the north.‡ It will destroy the cities of Judah.
Judah will become an empty desert. It will be a home for jackals.
23 LORD, I know that our lives do not be-
long to us.
We have no control over what happens.
24 So correct us, LORD! But please be fair.
Don’t punish us in anger, or you will destroy us!
25 If you are angry,
then punish the other nations. They don’t know or respect you. They don’t worship you.
Those nations destroyed Jacob’s family. They destroyed Israel completely;
they destroyed Israel’s homeland.
Jeremiah 11: 1-17
The Agreement Is Broken
This is the message from the LORD: 2 “Jeremiah, listen to the
words of this agreement and tell them to the people living in Jerusalem and the rest of Judah. 3 Tell them that this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Bad things will happen to any- one who does not obey the commands of this agreement. 4 I am talking about the agreement I made with your ancestors when I brought them out of that furnace called Egypt.’ At that time I told them, ‘Listen to me and obey all the commands I give you. Then you will be my people, and I will be your God.’
5 “I did this to keep the promise that I had made to your ancestors. I promised to give them a very rich land—a land filled with many good things.† And you are living in that country today.”
I answered, “Amen, LORD.”
6 The LORD said to me: “Jeremiah, tell this message in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the words of this agreement, and do every- thing it commands. 7 I gave a warning to your ancestors at the time I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I have warned them again and again to this day. I told them to obey me. 8 But your ancestors did not listen to me. They were stubborn and did what their own evil hearts wanted. So I made them suffer all the bad things described in the agree- ment as punishment for those who do not obey its commands.’”
9 Then the LORD said to me:
“Jeremiah, I know that the people of Judah and the people living in Jerusalem have made secret plans. 10 They are committing the same sins that their ancestors did. Their ancestors refused to listen to my message. They followed and worshipped other gods. The people of Israel and Judah have broken the agreement I made with their ancestors.”
11 So this is what the LORD says: “I will
soon make something terrible happen to the people of Judah. They will not be
able to escape. They will be sorry and cry to me for help, but I will not listen to them. 12 The people in the towns of Judah and in the city of Jerusalem will go and pray to their idols for help. They burn incense to those idols. But their idols will not be able to help the peo- ple of Judah when that terrible disaster comes.
13 “People of Judah, you have many
idols—there are as many idols as there are towns in Judah. You have built many altars for worshipping that shameful god Baal—there are as many altars as there are streets in Jerusalem.
14 “As for you, Jeremiah, don’t pray
for these people of Judah. Don’t beg for them. Don’t say prayers for them. I will not listen. They will suffer and then call to me for help, but I will not listen.
15 “Judah is the one I love, but why is she in my Temple?
She has done too many evil things.
Judah, do you think vows and sacrifices will keep you from being destroyed?
Will I then allow you to enjoy your evil ways?
16 I, the LORD, gave you a name.
I called you, ‘A green olive tree, beautiful to look at’.
But with a powerful storm, I will set that tree on fire,
and its branches will be burned up.
17 “I, the LORD All-Powerful, planted you and said that disaster will come to you. That is because the people of Israel and Judah have done evil things. They offered sacrifices to Baal, and that made me angry!”
Paul’s Work for the Church
24 I am happy in my sufferings for you. There is much that Christ must still suffer. And I gladly accept my part of those sufferings in my body for the good of his body, the church. 25 I became a servant of the church because God gave me a special work to do. This work helps you. My work is to tell the complete message of God. 26 This message is the secret truth that was hidden since the beginning of time. It was hidden from every- one for ages, but now it has been made known to God’s holy people. 27 God decided to let his people know just how rich and glorious that truth is. That secret truth, which is for all people, is that Christ lives among you. He is your hope for sharing in God’s glory. 28 So we continue to tell people about Christ. We use all wisdom to counsel every person and teach every person. We are trying to bring everyone before God as people who have grown to be spiritually mature in Christ. 29 To do this, I work and struggle using the great strength that Christ gives me. That strength is working in my life.
I want you to know how much concern I have for you and for those
in Laodicea and others who have never seen me. 2 I want them all to be encouraged and joined together in love and to have the full confidence that comes from understanding. I want them to know completely the secret truth that God has made known. That truth is Christ himself. 3 He is the only place people can find all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 I tell you this so that no one can fool you with ideas that sound good but are wrong. 5 Even though I am far away, my thoughts are always with you. I am happy to see how well you work together and your strong faith in Christ.
Praise the LORD, all you nations.
Praise him, all you people.
2 His love for us has never failed!
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