Daily reading for Saturday, October 26, 2013

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Jeremiah 49:23-50:46; Titus 1:1-16; Psalms 97:1-98:9; Proverbs 26:13-16 (New International Version)

Jeremiah 49:23-50:46

A Message About Damascus

23 Concerning Damascus:

“Hamath and Arpad are dismayed,
    for they have heard bad news.
They are disheartened,
    troubled like[a] the restless sea.
24 Damascus has become feeble,
    she has turned to flee
    and panic has gripped her;
anguish and pain have seized her,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.
25 Why has the city of renown not been abandoned,
    the town in which I delight?
26 Surely, her young men will fall in the streets;
    all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”
declares the Lord Almighty.
27 “I will set fire to the walls of Damascus;
    it will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.

A Message About Kedar and Hazor

28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked:

This is what the Lord says:

“Arise, and attack Kedar
    and destroy the people of the East.
29 Their tents and their flocks will be taken;
    their shelters will be carried off
    with all their goods and camels.
People will shout to them,
    ‘Terror on every side!’

30 “Flee quickly away!
    Stay in deep caves, you who live in Hazor,
declares the Lord.
“Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has plotted against you;
    he has devised a plan against you.

31 “Arise and attack a nation at ease,
    which lives in confidence,”
declares the Lord,
“a nation that has neither gates nor bars;
    its people live far from danger.
32 Their camels will become plunder,
    and their large herds will be spoils of war.
I will scatter to the winds those who are in distant places[b]
    and will bring disaster on them from every side,”
declares the Lord.
33 “Hazor will become a haunt of jackals,
    a desolate place forever.
No one will live there;
    no people will dwell in it.”

A Message About Elam

34 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah:

35 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“See, I will break the bow of Elam,
    the mainstay of their might.
36 I will bring against Elam the four winds
    from the four quarters of heaven;
I will scatter them to the four winds,
    and there will not be a nation
    where Elam’s exiles do not go.
37 I will shatter Elam before their foes,
    before those who want to kill them;
I will bring disaster on them,
    even my fierce anger,”
declares the Lord.
“I will pursue them with the sword
    until I have made an end of them.
38 I will set my throne in Elam
    and destroy her king and officials,”
declares the Lord.

39 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Elam
    in days to come,”
declares the Lord.

A Message About Babylon

50 This is the word the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians[c]:

“Announce and proclaim among the nations,
    lift up a banner and proclaim it;
    keep nothing back, but say,
‘Babylon will be captured;
    Bel will be put to shame,
    Marduk filled with terror.
Her images will be put to shame
    and her idols filled with terror.’
A nation from the north will attack her
    and lay waste her land.
No one will live in it;
    both people and animals will flee away.

“In those days, at that time,”
    declares the Lord,
“the people of Israel and the people of Judah together
    will go in tears to seek the Lord their God.
They will ask the way to Zion
    and turn their faces toward it.
They will come and bind themselves to the Lord
    in an everlasting covenant
    that will not be forgotten.

“My people have been lost sheep;
    their shepherds have led them astray
    and caused them to roam on the mountains.
They wandered over mountain and hill
    and forgot their own resting place.
Whoever found them devoured them;
    their enemies said, ‘We are not guilty,
for they sinned against the Lord, their verdant pasture,
    the Lord, the hope of their ancestors.’

“Flee out of Babylon;
    leave the land of the Babylonians,
    and be like the goats that lead the flock.
For I will stir up and bring against Babylon
    an alliance of great nations from the land of the north.
They will take up their positions against her,
    and from the north she will be captured.
Their arrows will be like skilled warriors
    who do not return empty-handed.
10 So Babylonia[d] will be plundered;
    all who plunder her will have their fill,”
declares the Lord.

11 “Because you rejoice and are glad,
    you who pillage my inheritance,
because you frolic like a heifer threshing grain
    and neigh like stallions,
12 your mother will be greatly ashamed;
    she who gave you birth will be disgraced.
She will be the least of the nations—
    a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.
13 Because of the Lord’s anger she will not be inhabited
    but will be completely desolate.
All who pass Babylon will be appalled;
    they will scoff because of all her wounds.

14 “Take up your positions around Babylon,
    all you who draw the bow.
Shoot at her! Spare no arrows,
    for she has sinned against the Lord.
15 Shout against her on every side!
    She surrenders, her towers fall,
    her walls are torn down.
Since this is the vengeance of the Lord,
    take vengeance on her;
    do to her as she has done to others.
16 Cut off from Babylon the sower,
    and the reaper with his sickle at harvest.
Because of the sword of the oppressor
    let everyone return to their own people,
    let everyone flee to their own land.

17 “Israel is a scattered flock
    that lions have chased away.
The first to devour them
    was the king of Assyria;
the last to crush their bones
    was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.”

18 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“I will punish the king of Babylon and his land
    as I punished the king of Assyria.
19 But I will bring Israel back to their own pasture,
    and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan;
their appetite will be satisfied
    on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.
20 In those days, at that time,”
    declares the Lord,
“search will be made for Israel’s guilt,
    but there will be none,
and for the sins of Judah,
    but none will be found,
    for I will forgive the remnant I spare.

21 “Attack the land of Merathaim
    and those who live in Pekod.
Pursue, kill and completely destroy[e] them,”
declares the Lord.
    “Do everything I have commanded you.
22 The noise of battle is in the land,
    the noise of great destruction!
23 How broken and shattered
    is the hammer of the whole earth!
How desolate is Babylon
    among the nations!
24 I set a trap for you, Babylon,
    and you were caught before you knew it;
you were found and captured
    because you opposed the Lord.
25 The Lord has opened his arsenal
    and brought out the weapons of his wrath,
for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do
    in the land of the Babylonians.
26 Come against her from afar.
    Break open her granaries;
    pile her up like heaps of grain.
Completely destroy her
    and leave her no remnant.
27 Kill all her young bulls;
    let them go down to the slaughter!
Woe to them! For their day has come,
    the time for them to be punished.
28 Listen to the fugitives and refugees from Babylon
    declaring in Zion
how the Lord our God has taken vengeance,
    vengeance for his temple.

29 “Summon archers against Babylon,
    all those who draw the bow.
Encamp all around her;
    let no one escape.
Repay her for her deeds;
    do to her as she has done.
For she has defied the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
30 Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets;
    all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”
declares the Lord.
31 “See, I am against you, you arrogant one,”
    declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
“for your day has come,
    the time for you to be punished.
32 The arrogant one will stumble and fall
    and no one will help her up;
I will kindle a fire in her towns
    that will consume all who are around her.”

33 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“The people of Israel are oppressed,
    and the people of Judah as well.
All their captors hold them fast,
    refusing to let them go.
34 Yet their Redeemer is strong;
    the Lord Almighty is his name.
He will vigorously defend their cause
    so that he may bring rest to their land,
    but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

35 “A sword against the Babylonians!”
    declares the Lord
“against those who live in Babylon
    and against her officials and wise men!
36 A sword against her false prophets!
    They will become fools.
A sword against her warriors!
    They will be filled with terror.
37 A sword against her horses and chariots
    and all the foreigners in her ranks!
    They will become weaklings.
A sword against her treasures!
    They will be plundered.
38 A drought on[f] her waters!
    They will dry up.
For it is a land of idols,
    idols that will go mad with terror.

39 “So desert creatures and hyenas will live there,
    and there the owl will dwell.
It will never again be inhabited
    or lived in from generation to generation.
40 As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah
    along with their neighboring towns,”
declares the Lord,
“so no one will live there;
    no people will dwell in it.

41 “Look! An army is coming from the north;
    a great nation and many kings
    are being stirred up from the ends of the earth.
42 They are armed with bows and spears;
    they are cruel and without mercy.
They sound like the roaring sea
    as they ride on their horses;
they come like men in battle formation
    to attack you, Daughter Babylon.
43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about them,
    and his hands hang limp.
Anguish has gripped him,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.
44 Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets
    to a rich pastureland,
I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant.
    Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this?
Who is like me and who can challenge me?
    And what shepherd can stand against me?”

45 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon,
    what he has purposed against the land of the Babylonians:
The young of the flock will be dragged away;
    their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
46 At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble;
    its cry will resound among the nations.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 49:23 Hebrew on or by
  2. Jeremiah 49:32 Or who clip the hair by their foreheads
  3. Jeremiah 50:1 Or Chaldeans; also in verses 8, 25, 35 and 45
  4. Jeremiah 50:10 Or Chaldea
  5. Jeremiah 50:21 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 26.
  6. Jeremiah 50:38 Or A sword against
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Titus 1

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

To Titus, my true son in our common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Appointing Elders Who Love What Is Good

The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Rebuking Those Who Fail to Do Good

10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”[c] 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

Footnotes:

  1. Titus 1:5 Or ordain
  2. Titus 1:6 Or children are trustworthy
  3. Titus 1:12 From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Psalm 97-98

Psalm 97

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
    let the distant shores rejoice.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him
    and consumes his foes on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
    the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
    and all peoples see his glory.

All who worship images are put to shame,
    those who boast in idols
    worship him, all you gods!

Zion hears and rejoices
    and the villages of Judah are glad
    because of your judgments, Lord.
For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
    you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
    for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
    and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines[a] on the righteous
    and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
    and praise his holy name.

Psalm 98

A psalm.

Sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
    and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
    and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 97:11 One Hebrew manuscript and ancient versions (see also 112:4); most Hebrew manuscripts Light is sown
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Proverbs 26:13-16

13 A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road,
    a fierce lion roaming the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
    so a sluggard turns on his bed.
15 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
    he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
16 A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
    than seven people who answer discreetly.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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