Day 280 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. God sends four destroyers to Judah. Colossians 3: Your New Life in Christ
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Drought and False Prophets
This is the LORD’s message to Jeremiah about the time of no rain:
2 “The nation of Judah cries for people who have died.
The people in the cities grow weaker and weaker.
They lie on the ground in their sorrow.
The people in Jerusalem cry out to God for help.
3 The leaders send their servants to get water.
The servants go to the water wells, but they find them empty.
The servants come back with empty jars, so they are ashamed and embarrassed. They cover their heads from shame.
4 No one prepares the ground for crops.†
No rain falls on the land. The farmers are depressed.
So they cover their heads from shame.
5 Even the mother deer in the field leaves her newborn fawn alone,
because there is no grass.
6 Wild donkeys stand on the bare hills. They sniff the wind like jackals.
But their eyes cannot find any food, because there are no plants to eat.” 7 We know that this is our fault.
We are now suffering because of our sins.
LORD, do something to help us for the good of your name.
We admit that we have left you many times.
We have sinned against you.
8 God, you are the hope of Israel! You save Israel in times of trouble.
But now it seems like you are a stranger in the land,
like a traveler who only stays one night.
9 You seem like a man who has been taken by surprise,
like a soldier who does not have the power to save anyone.
But, LORD, you are with us. We are called by your name,
so don’t leave us without help!
10 This is what the LORD says about the people of Judah: “The people of Ju- dah love nothing more than to wander away from me. They don’t hesitate to leave me. So now the LORD will not ac- cept them. Now he will remember the evil they do. He will punish them for their sins.”
11 Then the LORD said to me: “Jeremiah, don’t pray for good things to happen to the people of Judah. 12 They might begin to fast and pray to me, but I will not listen to their prayers. Even if they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept them. I will destroy the people of Judah with war. I will take away their food, and they will starve. And I will destroy them with terrible diseases.”
13 But I said, “Lord GOD, the prophets
were telling the people something different. They were telling the people of Judah, ‘You will not suffer from war or from hunger. The Lord will give you peace in this land.’”
14 Then the LORD said to me:
“Jeremiah, those prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them, order them to speak or tell them what to say. Their prophecies come from false visions, useless fortune-telling and their own imagination. 15 So this is what I, the LORD, say about the prophets who are speaking in my name. I did not send them. But they say, ‘No enemy will ever attack this country. There will never be a famine in this land.’ So those prophets will die from hunger or by an enemy’s sword. 16 And the people they spoke to will be thrown into the streets. The people will die from hunger and
from an enemy’s sword. I will punish them, and no one will be there to bury them, their wives, their sons or their daughters. 17 Now, Jeremiah, take this message to the people of Judah:
My eyes fill with tears
night and day without stopping.
I will cry for my dear people,*
because someone struck them and crushed them.
They have been hurt very badly.
18 If I go into the country,
I see the bodies of those killed in war. If I go into the city,
I see people starving to death.
The priests and prophets continue their work,
but they don’t understand what is happening.”
19 Lord, have you completely rejected
the nation of Judah?
Do you hate Zion?
You hurt us so badly that we cannot be made well again.
Why did you do that?
We were hoping for peace, but nothing good has come.
We were hoping for a time of healing, but only terror came.
20 LORD, we know that we are wicked.
We know that our ancestors did evil things.
Yes, we sinned against you.
21 For the good of your name, don’t push us away.
Don’t take away the honour from your glorious throne.
Remember your agreement with us and do not break it.
22 Do foreign idols have the power to
Does the sky have the power to send down showers?
You, the LORD our God, are our only hope.
You are the one who does all these things.
The LORD said to me: “Jeremiah, even if Moses and Samuel were
here to pray for the people of Judah, I would not feel sorry for them. Send the people of Judah away from me! Tell them to go! 2 If they ask you, ‘Where will we go?’ Tell them that this is what the LORD says:
“I have chosen some people to die. They will die.
I have chosen some to be killed with swords.
They will be killed with swords.
I have chosen some to die from hunger. They will die from hunger.
I have chosen some to be taken away to a foreign country.
They will be prisoners there.
3 “I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” says the LORD. “I will send the enemy with a sword to kill. I will send the dogs to drag their bodies away. I will send birds and wild animals to eat and destroy their bodies. 4 I will make what happens to the people of Ju- dah something horrible for all the nations on earth to see or hear about. I will do this because of what Hezekiah’s son Manasseh,* king of Judah, did in Jerusalem.
5 “No one will feel sorry for you, city of Jerusalem.
No one will be sad and cry for you.
No one will go out of their way to even ask how you are.
6 Jerusalem, you left me,”
says the LORD.
“Again and again you left me!
So I will punish and destroy you.
I am tired of being patient with you.
7 In every city throughout the land,
I will scatter my people like chaff in the wind.
They have not changed the way they live,
so I will destroy them.
I will take away their children.
8 There will be more widows in Judah than grains of sand on the seashore.
In full daylight an attack will come against the young men
that will cause their mothers to suffer.
I will bring pain and fear on the people of Judah.
It will come upon them suddenly.
9 A mother of seven children will lose them.
She will cry until she becomes too weak to breathe.
She will be upset and confused,
because her bright day has become dark.
I will let the enemy soldiers kill all who are left alive,”
says the LORD.
Jeremiah Complains Again
10 Mother, I am sorry that you gave birth to me.
Everyone argues with me.
The whole country is against me.
I have not lent or borrowed anything, but everyone curses me.
11 Surely, LORD,† I have served you well.
In times of disaster and trouble, I prayed to you for my enemies.
God Answers Jeremiah
12 “Judah is like ordinary iron
that cannot break that stronger iron from the north.*
And it cannot break you, a bronze wall.† 13 The people of Judah have many treasures.
I will give these riches to other people. They will not have to buy them, because Judah has many sins.
The people sinned in every part of Judah.
14 People of Judah, I will make you
slaves of your enemies.
You will be slaves in a land that you never knew.
I am very angry.
My anger is like a hot fire, and you will be burned.”
15 LORD, you understand me.
Think about me and take care of me. People are hurting me.
Give them the punishment they deserve. You are being patient with them,
but don’t destroy me while you remain patient with them.
Think about me
and the pain I suffer for you.
16 Your words came to me, and I ate them up.
They made me very happy.
I was glad to be called by your name, LORD God All-Powerful.
17 I never sat with the crowd
as they laughed and had fun.
I sat by myself because I am under your control.
You filled me with anger at the evil around me.
18 I don’t understand why I am still suffering.
Why is my wound still hurting and not healing?
I’m not sure I can depend on you.
Are you like a stream that dries up or a spring that stops flowing?
19 Then the LORD said:
“Jeremiah, if you change and come back to me,
I will not punish you.
If you change and come back to me, then you may serve me.
If you speak important things, not worthless words,
then you may speak for me.
The people of Judah should change and come back to you,
but don’t you change and be like them.
20 I will make you strong.
To them you will be a bronze wall.
The people of Judah will fight against you,
but they will not defeat you. They will not defeat you, because I am with you.
I will help you,
and I will save you,” says the LORD.
21 “I will save you from these evil people.
They frighten you, but I will save you from them.”
Your New Life
You were raised from death with Christ. So live for what is in heaven, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Think only about what is up there, not what is here on earth. 3 The old life you had here is gone, and the new life you share with Christ is kept safe for you by God. 4 When Christ, the center of your life, comes again, you will share in all his glory.
5 So put an end to any of the sinful things you use your bodies for: committing sexual sin, being indecent, letting sinful desires control you and wanting things that are wrong. And don’t keep wanting more and more for yourself, which is the same as worshipping a false god. 6 God will show his anger against those who don’t obey him, because they do these evil things. 7 You also did these things in the past, when you lived like them.
8 But now put these things out of your
life: anger, losing your temper, doing or saying things to hurt others and say- ing shameful things. 9 Don’t lie to each other. You have taken off those old clothes—the person you once were and the bad things you did then. 10 Now you are wearing a new life, a life that is new every day. You are growing in your understanding of the one who made you. You are becoming more and more like him. 11 In this new life it doesn’t matter if you are a Greek or a Jew, circumcised or not. It doesn’t matter if you speak a different language or even if you are a Scythian.† It doesn’t matter if you are a slave or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
Your New Life With Each Other
12 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So your new life should be like this: Show mercy to others. Be kind, humble, gentle and patient. 13 Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, for- give them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. 14 Together with these things, the most important part of your
new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace that comes from Christ control your thinking. It is for peace that you were chosen to be together in one body.‡ And always be thankful.
16 Let the teaching of Christ live inside you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Everything you say and everything you do should be done for Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.
Your New Life at Home
18 Wives, be willing to serve your husbands. This is the right thing to do in following the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and
don’t be angry with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything. This pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, don’t upset your children.
If you are too hard to please, they might want to stop trying.
22 Slaves, obey your masters in every-
thing. Obey all the time, even when they can’t see you. Don’t just pretend to work hard so that they will treat you well. No, you must serve your masters sincerely because you respect the Lord. 23 In all the work you are given, do the best you can. Work as though you are working for the Lord, not any earthly master. 24 Re- member that you will receive your re- ward from the Lord, who will give you what he promised his people. Yes, you are serving Christ. He is your real Master.
25 Remember that anyone who does wrong will be punished for that wrong. And God judges everyone the same.
Masters, give what is good and fair to your servants. Remember that you
have a Master in heaven.
15 Don’t be like a criminal who makes plans to rob those who are good.
Don’t attack their homes.
16 Good people might fall again and again, but they always get up.
It is the wicked who are defeated by their troubles.
— 28 —
17 Don’t be happy when your enemy has troubles.
Don’t be glad when they fall.
18 The LORD will see this, and he might be upset with you
and decide not to punish your enemy.
— 29 —
19 Don’t let those who are evil upset you,
and don’t be jealous of them.
20 They have no hope. Their light will burn out.
— 30 —
21 Son, respect the LORD and the king, and don’t join with those who are
22 because people like that can quickly be destroyed.
You have no idea how much trouble God and the king can make for their enemies.
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