Day 283 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. The Lord grows a new branch of David. 1 Thessalonians 2: Timothy helps out

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Jeremiah 21

Jeremiah 22

Jeremiah 23:1-8

1 Thessalonians 2:17-19

1 Thessalonians 3

Psalm 119:9-16

You're listening to the "Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE" with Master Storyteller, Michael Wood. Featuring the Holy Bible Easy-to-Read version and used by permission from Bible League International

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Jeremiah 21

God Rejects King Zedekiah’s Request

This is the message that came to Jeremiah from the LORD. This was when King Zedekiah of Judah sent Pashhur* son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to Jeremiah. They brought a message for Jeremiah. 2 They said to Jeremiah, “Pray to the LORD for us. Ask him what will happen. We want to know because King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is attacking us. Maybe the LORD will do great things for us, as he did in the past. Maybe he will make Nebuchadnezzar stop attacking us and leave.”

3 Then Jeremiah answered Pashhur and Zephaniah: “Tell King Zedekiah, 4 ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: You have weapons of war in your hands that you are using to de- fend yourselves from the Babylonians and their king. But I will make those weapons worthless.

“‘The army from Babylon is outside the wall all around the city. Soon I will bring that army into Jerusalem. 5 I myself will fight against you people of Ju- dah. I will fight against you with all my strength and power, with all my violent anger and fury! 6 I will kill everything living in Jerusalem, both people, and animals. They will die from a terrible disease that will spread all through the city. 7 After that happens, says the LORD, I will let King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon capture King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials. And I will let him capture all the people who remain alive in Jerusalem—the people who did not die from the terrible disease and the people who did not die in war or from hunger. I will give them all to King Nebuchadnezzar and his army, their enemies who want to kill them. And his army will kill them without showing any mercy or pity.’

8 “Also tell the people of Jerusalem:

‘This is what the LORD says: Understand that I will let you choose to live or die. 9 Anyone who stays in Jerusalem will die in war or from hunger or from a terrible disease. But anyone who goes out of Jerusalem and surrenders to the Babylonians attacking the city will live. Only those who leave the city will escape with their lives! 10 I have decided to make trouble for the city of Jerusalem. I will not help this city! I will give it to the king of Babylon, who will burn it with fire.’ This message is from the LORD.

11 “Say this to Judah’s royal family: ‘Listen to the message from the LORD. 12 Family of David, this is what the LORD says:

“‘You must judge people fairly every day.

Save people from those who rob them. If you don’t do that, I will be angry.

My anger will be like a fire that no one can put out.

This will happen because you have done evil things.

13 “‘Jerusalem, I am against you.

You sit on top of the mountain.

You sit like a queen over this valley.

You people of Jerusalem say, “No one can attack us.

No one can come into our strong city,” says the LORD.

14 You will get the punishment you deserve.

Jeremiah 22

Judgement Against Evil Kings

The LORD said to Jeremiah: “Go down to the palace of the king

of Judah and tell him this: 2 ‘Listen to this message from the LORD, you king of Judah, you who rule from David’s throne. You, your officials, and all your people must listen to this message from the Lord. 3 This is what the LORD says: Do what is right and fair. Protect those who have been robbed from the ones who robbed them. Don’t take advantage of orphans, widows or immigrants living among you. Don’t kill innocent people. 4 If you obey these commands, then those who rule Judah as kings will continue to be from David’s family. They and their officials, together with their people, will come riding through the gates of this palace on horses or in chariots. 5 But I, the LORD, tell you that if you don’t obey these commands, then I promise with an oath in my own name that this king’s palace will be destroyed—it will become a pile of rocks.’”

6 This is what the LORD says about the palace where the king of Judah lives: “The palace is tall like the forests of Gilead,

like the mountains of Lebanon. But I will make it like a desert, as empty as a city where no one lives.

7 I will send men to destroy the palace, each armed with weapons.

They will cut up your strong, beautiful cedar beams and throw them into the fire.

8 “People from many nations will pass by this city. They will ask each other, ‘Why has the LORD done such a terrible thing to Jerusalem? Jerusalem was such a great city.’ 9 This will be the answer to that question: ‘God destroyed Jerusalem because the people of Judah stopped following the agreement of the LORD their God. They worshipped and served other gods.’”

Judgement Against King Jehoahaz

10 Don’t cry for the king who has died. Don’t mourn for him.

But cry loudly for the king who must leave this place.

Cry for him because he will never return or see his homeland again.

11 This is what the LORD says about Jehoahaz son of Josiah, who became king of Judah after his father Josiah died: “Jehoahaz has gone away from Jerusalem. He will never return. 12 He will die in the place where he has been taken,¶ and he will not see this land again.”

Judgement Against King Jehoiakim

13 “It will be very bad for King Jehoiakim.

He is doing wrong so that he can build his palace.

He is cheating people so that he can build rooms upstairs.

He is not paying his own people.

He is making them work for nothing.

14 “Jehoiakim says:

‘I will build myself a great palace, with huge rooms upstairs.’

So he built it with large windows.

He used cedar wood for panelling, and he painted it red.

15 “Jehoiakim, having a lot of cedar in your house

does not make you a great king.

Your father Josiah was satisfied to have food and drink.

He did what was right and fair, so everything went well for him.

16 Josiah cared for people who were poor

and needed help,

so everything went well for him.

He was an example of what it means to know me,”

says the LORD.

17 “Jehoiakim, you look only for what benefits you.

You think of ways to get more by cheating others.

You are willing to kill innocent people.

You use force and violence to get more for yourself.”

18 So this is what the LORD says to

King Jehoiakim son of Josiah:

“The people of Judah will not be sorry he died.

They will not say to each other, ‘Brother, I’m so sad to lose him! Sister, I’m so sorry!’

No one will cry out and say, ‘Poor King Jehoiakim!

My lord, I will miss you!’

19 The people of Jerusalem will bury Jehoiakim like a donkey.

They will drag his body away and throw it outside the gates of Jerusalem.

20 “Judah, go up to the mountains of Lebanon and cry out.

Let your voice be heard in the mountains of Bashan.

Cry out in the mountains of Abarim, because all your lovers will be destroyed.

21 “Judah, I warned you when you felt safe,

but you refused to listen.

That’s how you have been since you were young.

You have never obeyed me.

22 Now my punishment will carry away your leaders like a storm.

The nations you trusted to help you will also be taken into captivity.

Then you will be disgraced and ashamed because of all the evil you have done.

23 “King, you seem so safe in your palace of cedar.

It’s as if you live in Lebanon!*

But when your punishment comes, you will groan.

You will be in pain like a woman giving birth!

Judgement Against King Jehoiachin

24 “As surely as I live,” says the LORD, “I will do this to you, Jehoiachin† son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Even if you were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25 Jehoiachin, I will give you to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonians. Those are the people you are afraid of. They want to kill you. 26 I will throw you and your mother into another country where neither of you was born. Both of you will die there. 27 Jehoiachin, you will want to return to your land, but you will never be allowed to come back.”

28 Jehoiachin is like a broken pot that someone threw away.

He is like a pot that no one wants.

Why will Jehoiachin and his children be thrown out

and sent away into a foreign land?

29 Land, land, land of Judah!

Listen to this message from the LORD!

30 This is what the LORD says: “Write this down about Jehoiachin: He does not have children any more!

Jehoiachin will not be successful because none of his children will sit on the throne of David.

Jeremiah 23:1-8

None of his children will rule in Judah.” “It will be very bad for the leaders of my people. I wanted them

to be like shepherds who would take care of my sheep. But they are letting my sheep be destroyed and scattered.” This message is from the LORD.

2 So this is what the LORD, the God

of Israel, says to these leaders who were supposed to take care of his people: “You shepherds have not taken care of my sheep. Instead, you have caused them to be scattered and forced to go away. So now I will punish you for the evil you have done.” This message is from the LORD. 3 “Then I will gather my people who are still alive from all the countries where I scattered them. And I will bring them back home, like sheep to their own pasture. There they will have many chil- dren and grow in number. 4 I will place new leaders over my people. They will take care of them like good shepherds. And my people will never again feel afraid. None of my sheep will be lost.” This message is from the LORD.

The Good “Branch”

5 This message is from the LORD:

“The time is coming, when I will raise up a good ‘branch’ from David’s family.

He will be a king who will rule in a wise way.

He will do what is fair and right in the land.

6 When he rules, Judah will be safe,

and Israel will live in safety. This will be the king’s name: The LORD Is Our Victory.*

7 “So the time is coming,” says the LORD, “when people will not begin their promises by saying, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, the one who brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.’ 8 Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, the one who brought the Israelites out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had sent them.’ At that time the people of Israel will live in their own land.”

1 Thessalonians 2:17-19

Paul’s Desire to Visit Them Again

17 Brothers and sisters, we were separated from you for a short time. But even though we were not there, our thoughts were still with you. We wanted very much to see you, and we tried very hard to do this. 18 Yes, we wanted to come to you. I, Paul, tried more than once to come, but Satan stopped us. 19 More than anyone, you are the ones who give us hope and joy. You are the reason we will celebrate victory when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. 20 Yes, you bring us hon- our and joy.

1 Thessalonians 3

1–2 We could not come to you, but it was very hard to wait any longer.

So we decided to send Timothy to you and stay in Athens alone. Timothy is our brother. He works with us for God to tell people the Good News about Christ. We sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage you in your faith. 3 We sent him so that none of you would be upset by the troubles we have now. You yourselves know that we must have these troubles. 4 Even when we were with you, we told you that we would all have to suffer. And you know that it happened just as we said. 5 That is why I sent Timothy to you. I could not wait any longer. I had to know that you remain faithful. I was afraid that the devil might have defeated you with his temptations. Then our hard work would have been wasted.

6 But now Timothy has come back from his visit with you and told us good news about your faithfulness and love. He told us that you always remember us in a good way. He told us that you want very much to see us again. And it is the same with us—we want very much to see you. 7 So, brothers and sisters, in this time of so much trouble and suffering, we are encouraged. The fact that you remain faithful makes us feel so much better about you. 8 Our life is re- ally full if your faith in the Lord remains strong. 9 We have so much joy before our God because of you! So we thank God for you. But we cannot thank him enough for all the joy we feel. 10 Night and day we continue praying with all our heart that we can come there and see you again. We want to give you everything you need to make your faith strong.

11 We pray that our God and Father

and our Lord Jesus will prepare the way for us to come to you. 12 We pray that the Lord will make your love grow. We pray that he will give you more and more love for each other and for all people. We pray that you will love every- one in the same way we love you. 13 This will strengthen your desire to do what is right, and you will be holy and without fault before our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.*

Psalm 119:9-16

9 How can a young person live a pure life?

By using your word as a guard against sin,

10 I have tried with all my heart to serve you.

11 I have stored your word in my memory

so that I will not sin against you.

12 LORD, you are worthy of praise! Teach me your laws.

13 My lips have repeated all the laws

from your mouth.

14 I have enjoyed following your rules as much as others enjoy great riches. 15 I will study your instructions

and pay attention to your way of life.

16 I enjoy your laws,

and I will not forget your word.