Jeremiah 12–14; 2 Timothy 1

Jeremiah’s Complaint

12  mRighteous are you, O Lord,

when I complain to you;

yet I would plead my case before you.

nWhy does the way of the wicked prosper?

Why do all owho are treacherous thrive?

You plant them, and they take root;

they grow and produce fruit;

pyou are near in their mouth

and far from their heart.

qBut you, O Lord, know me;

ryou see me, and test my heart toward you.

sPull them out like sheep for the slaughter,

and set them apart for tthe day of slaughter.

uHow long will the land mourn

and the grass of every field wither?

vFor the evil of those who dwell in it

wthe beasts and the birds are swept away,

because they said, He will not see our latter end.

The Lord Answers Jeremiah

If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you,

how will you compete with horses?

And if in a safe land you are so trusting,

what will you do in xthe thicket of the Jordan?

For yeven your brothers and the house of your father,

oeven they have dealt treacherously with you;

they are in full cry after you;

zdo not believe them,

though they speak friendly words to you.

I have forsaken my house;

I have abandoned amy heritage;

I have given bthe beloved of my soul

into the hands of her enemies.

aMy heritage has become to me

like a lion in the forest;

she has lifted up her voice against me;

therefore I hate her.

Is amy heritage to me like ca hyena’s lair?

Are the cbirds of prey against her all around?

Go, dassemble all the wild beasts;

bring them to devour.

10  Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard;

ethey have trampled down my portion;

they have made my pleasant portion

a desolate wilderness.

11  They have made it a desolation;

desolate, uit mourns to me.

The whole land is made desolate,

fbut no man lays it to heart.

12  Upon all the bare heights in the desert

destroyers have come,

for the sword of the Lord devours

from one end of the land to the other;

no flesh has peace.

13  gThey have sown wheat and have reaped thorns;

hthey have tired themselves out but profit nothing.

They shall be ashamed of their1 harvests

ibecause of the fierce anger of the Lord.

14 Thus says the Lord concerning all jmy evil neighbors kwho touch the heritage that lI have given my people Israel to inherit: Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, mand I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, nto swear by my name, As the Lord lives, even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, othen they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17 pBut if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares the Lord.

The Ruined Loincloth

13 Thus says the Lord to me, Go and buy a linen loincloth and qput it around your waist, and do not dip it in water. So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it around my waist. And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, Take the loincloth that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, rgo to the Euphrates and hide it there in sa cleft of the rock. So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. And after many days the Lord said to me, Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there qthe loincloth that I commanded you to hide there. Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took qthe loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the loincloth was tspoiled; it was ugood for nothing.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: Thus says the Lord: vEven so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great wpride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, xwho stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is ugood for nothing. 11 For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the Lord, ythat they might be for me a people, za name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.

The Jars Filled with Wine

12 You shall speak to them this word: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, Every jar shall be filled with wine. And they will say to you, Do we not indeed know that aevery jar will be filled with wine? 13 Then you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord: bBehold, I will fill with drunkenness all the inhabitants of this land: cthe kings who sit on David’s throne, dthe priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 14 And I will edash them one against another, fathers and sons together, declares the Lord. I will not pity or spare or have compassion, that I should not destroy them.

Exile Threatened

15  Hear and give ear; be not proud,

for the Lord has spoken.

16  fGive glory to the Lord your God

gbefore he brings darkness,

before your feet stumble

on the twilight mountains,

and gwhile you look for light

he turns it into gloom

and makes it hdeep darkness.

17  But if you will not listen,

imy soul will weep in secret for your pride;

my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears,

because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.

18  Say to jthe king and jthe queen mother:

Take a lowly seat,

for kyour beautiful crown

has come down from your head.

19  lThe cities of the Negeb are shut up,

with none to open them;

all Judah is taken into exile,

wholly taken into exile.

20  Lift up your eyes mand see

those who come from the north.

Where is the flock that was given you,

your beautiful flock?

21  What will you say when they set as head over you

those whom you yourself have taught to be friends to you?

nWill not pangs take hold of you

like those of a woman in labor?

22  And if you say in your heart,

oWhy have these things come upon me?

it is for the greatness of your iniquity

that pyour skirts are lifted up

and you suffer violence.

23  qCan the Ethiopian change his skin

or qthe leopard his spots?

Then also you can do good

who are accustomed to do evil.

24  I will scatter you2 rlike chaff

driven by the wind from the desert.

25  sThis is your lot,

the portion I have measured out to you, declares the Lord,

because tyou have forgotten me

and trusted in lies.

26  pI myself will lift up your skirts over your face,

and your shame will be seen.

27  I have seen uyour abominations,

your adulteries and vneighings, your lewd whorings,

won the hills in the field.

Woe to you, O Jerusalem!

How long will it be xbefore you are made clean?

Famine, Sword, and Pestilence

14 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning ythe drought:

zJudah mourns,

and aher gates languish;

her people lament on the ground,

and bthe cry of Jerusalem goes up.

Her nobles send their servants for water;

they come to the cisterns;

they find no water;

they return with their vessels empty;

they are cashamed and confounded

and dcover their heads.

Because of the ground that is dismayed,

since there is eno rain on the land,

the farmers are ashamed;

they cover their heads.

Even fthe doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn

because there is no grass.

gThe wild donkeys stand on the bare heights;

they pant for air like jackals;

their eyes fail

because there is no vegetation.

Though our iniquities testify against us,

act, O Lord, hfor your name’s sake;

ifor our backslidings are many;

jwe have sinned against you.

kO you hope of Israel,

its savior in time of trouble,

why should you be like a stranger in the land,

like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night?

Why should you be like a man confused,

llike a mighty warrior who cannot save?

Yet myou, O Lord, are in the midst of us,

and nwe are called by your name;

odo not leave us.

10  Thus says the Lord concerning this people:

They have loved to wander thus;

they have not restrained their feet;

ptherefore the Lord does not accept them;

qnow he will remember their iniquity

and punish their sins.

11 The Lord said to me: rDo not pray for the welfare of this people. 12 Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, sand though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them tby the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.

Lying Prophets

13 Then I said: Ah, Lord God, behold, the prophets usay to them, You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place. 14 And the Lord said to me: The vprophets are prophesying lies in my name. wI did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, xworthless divination, and ythe deceit of their own minds. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although wI did not send them, and who say, tSword and famine shall not come upon this land: zBy sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed. 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, awith none to bury themthem, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their evil upon them.

17  You shall say to them this word:

bLet my eyes run down with tears night and day,

and let them not cease,

for the virgin cdaughter of my people is shattered with a great wound,

dwith a very grievous blow.

18  eIf I go out into the field,

behold, those pierced by the sword!

eAnd if I enter the city,

behold, the diseases of famine!

fFor both prophet and priest ply their trade through the land

and have no knowledge.

19  gHave you utterly rejected Judah?

Does your soul loathe Zion?

Why have you struck us down

hso that there is no healing for us?

iWe looked for peace, but no good came;

ifor a time of healing, but behold, terror.

20  jWe acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord,

and the iniquity of our fathers,

jfor we have sinned against you.

21  Do not spurn us, kfor your name’s sake;

do not dishonor your glorious throne;

lremember and do not break your covenant with us.

22  Are there any among mthe false gods of the nations nthat can bring rain?

Or can the heavens give showers?

Are you not he, O Lord our God?

We set our hope on you,

ofor you do all these things.


2 Timothy Illustration

2 Timothy

Greeting

Paul, aan apostle of Christ Jesus bby the will of God according to cthe promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, dmy beloved child:

eGrace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You

fI thank God gwhom I serve, as did my ancestors, hwith a clear conscience, as I remember you iconstantly in my prayers night and day. jAs I remember your tears, kI long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of lyour sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and myour mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you nto fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us oa spirit not of fear but pof power and love and self-control.

Therefore qdo not be ashamed of rthe testimony about our Lord, nor of sme his prisoner, but tshare in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, uwho saved us and vcalled us to1 a holy calling, wnot because of our works but because of vhis own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus xbefore the ages began,2 10 and which now has ybeen manifested through zthe appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, awho abolished death and bbrought life and cimmortality to light through the gospel, 11 dfor which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 ewhich is why I suffer as I do. But fI am not ashamed, for gI know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until hthat day iwhat has been entrusted to me.3 13 jFollow kthe pattern of lthe sound4 words mthat you have heard from me, in nthe faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit owho dwells within us, guard ithe good deposit entrusted to you.

15 You are aware that pall who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to qthe household of Onesiphorus, for he often rrefreshed me and was not ashamed of smy chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome the searched for me earnestly and found me 18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on uthat day!and you well know all the service he vrendered at Ephesus.