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ESV — Through the Bible in a Year: Day 294
294
Morning
Jeremiah 3-4

Evening
2 Thessalonians 3

g“If1 a man divorces his wife

and she goes from him

and becomes another man's wife,

will he return to her?

hWould not that land be greatly polluted?

iYou have played the whore with many lovers;

and would you return to me?

declares the Lord.

Lift up your eyes to jthe bare heights, and see!

Where have you not been ravished?

kBy the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers

like an Arab in the wilderness.

hYou have polluted the land

with your vile whoredom.

lTherefore the showers have been withheld,

and the spring rain has not come;

yet you have mthe forehead of a whore;

you refuse to be ashamed.

Have you not just now ncalled to me,

‘My father, you are the friend of my youth—

owill he be angry forever,

will he be indignant to the end?’

Behold, you have spoken,

but you have done all the evil that you could.”

Faithless Israel Called to Repentance

The Lord said to me in the days of pKing Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, qhow she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there iplayed the whore? And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous rsister Judah saw it. She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, sI had sent her away with ta decree of divorce. uYet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went iand played the whore. Because she took her whoredom lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with vstone and tree. 10 Yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me wwith her whole heart, but in pretense, declares the Lord.”

11 And the Lord said to me, x“Faithless Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward ythe north, and say,

z“‘Return, faithless Israel,

declares the Lord.

I will not look on you in anger,

for aI am merciful,

declares the Lord;

bI will not be angry forever.

13  cOnly acknowledge your guilt,

that you rebelled against the Lord your God

and scattered your favors among foreigners under devery green tree,

and that you have not obeyed my voice,

declares the Lord.

14  eReturn, O faithless children,

declares the Lord;

ffor I am your master;

I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,

and I will bring you to Zion.

15 “‘And gI will give you shepherds after my own heart, hwho will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. 17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, iand all nations shall gather to it, jto the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. 18 kIn those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land lof the north to mthe land that I gave your fathers for a heritage.

19  “‘I said,

How I would set you among my sons,

and give you a pleasant land,

a heritage most beautiful of all nations.

And I thought you would ncall me, My Father,

and would not turn from following me.

20  oSurely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband,

so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel,

declares the Lord.’”

21  A voice on the pbare heights is heard,

qthe weeping and pleading of Israel's sons

because they have perverted their way;

they have forgotten the Lord their God.

22  r“Return, O faithless sons;

sI will heal your faithlessness.”

“Behold, we come to you,

for you are the Lord our God.

23  Truly tthe hills are a delusion,

the orgies2 on the mountains.

uTruly in the Lord our God

is the salvation of Israel.

24 “But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 vLet us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For wwe have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”

“If you return, O Israel,

declares the Lord,

xto me you should return.

If you remove your detestable things from my presence,

yand do not waver,

zand if you swear, ‘As the Lord lives,’

in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,

then anations shall bless themselves in him,

band in him shall they glory.”

For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem:

c“Break up your fallow ground,

and dsow not among thorns.

eCircumcise yourselves to the Lord;

remove the foreskin of your hearts,

O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem;

flest my wrath go forth like fire,

and burn with none to quench it,

gbecause of the evil of your deeds.”

Disaster from the North

Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,

h“Blow the trumpet through the land;

cry aloud and say,

i‘Assemble, and let us go

into the fortified cities!’

jRaise a standard toward Zion,

flee for safety, stay not,

for I bring disaster from kthe north,

land great destruction.

mA lion has gone up from his thicket,

a destroyer of nations has set out;

he has gone out from his place

to make your land a waste;

your cities will be ruins

nwithout inhabitant.

For this oput on sackcloth,

lament and wail,

for pthe fierce anger of the Lord

has not turned back from us.”

“In that day, declares the Lord, qcourage shall fail both king and officials. The priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded.” 10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God, rsurely you have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ whereas the sword has reached their very life.”

11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A hot wind from sthe bare heights in the desert toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow or cleanse, 12 a wind too full for this comes for me. Now it is I who tspeak in judgment upon them.”

13  Behold, he comes up like clouds;

uhis chariots like the whirlwind;

his horses are vswifter than eagles—

woe to us, wfor we are ruined!

14  O Jerusalem, xwash your heart from evil,

that you may be saved.

How long shall your wicked thoughts

lodge within you?

15  For a voice ydeclares from Dan

and proclaims trouble from zMount Ephraim.

16  Warn the nations that he is coming;

announce to Jerusalem,

“Besiegers come afrom a distant land;

they shout against the cities of Judah.

17  Like keepers of a field bare they against her all around,

because she has rebelled against me,

declares the Lord.

18  Your ways and your deeds

have brought this upon you.

This is your doom, and cit is bitter;

it has reached your very heart.”

Anguish over Judah's Desolation

19  dMy anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!

Oh the walls of my heart!

My heart is beating wildly;

I cannot keep silent,

for I hear the sound of the trumpet,

the alarm of war.

20  eCrash follows hard on crash;

the whole land is laid waste.

fSuddenly my tents are laid waste,

my curtains in a moment.

21  How long must I see the standard

and hear the sound of the trumpet?

22  “For gmy people are foolish;

they know me not;

they are stupid children;

they have no understanding.

hThey are ‘wise’—in doing evil!

But how to do good they know not.”

23  I looked on the earth, and behold, it was iwithout form and void;

jand to the heavens, and they had no light.

24  I looked on kthe mountains, and behold, they were quaking,

and all the hills moved to and fro.

25  lI looked, and behold, there was no man,

and all the birds of the air had fled.

26  I looked, and behold, the mfruitful land was a desert,

and all its cities were laid in ruins

before the Lord, before nhis fierce anger.

27 For thus says the Lord, “The whole land shall be a desolation; oyet I will not make a full end.

28  p“For this the earth shall mourn,

qand the heavens above be dark;

for I have spoken; I have purposed;

rI have not relented, nor will I turn back.”

29  At the noise of horseman and archer

every city takes to flight;

they enter thickets; they climb among rocks;

all the cities are forsaken,

and sno man dwells in them.

30  And you, O desolate one,

what do you mean that you dress in scarlet,

tthat you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,

uthat you enlarge your eyes with paint?

In vain you beautify yourself.

vYour lovers despise you;

they seek your life.

31  For I heard wa cry as of a woman in labor,

anguish as of one giving birth to her first child,

the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath,

xstretching out her hands,

“Woe is me! I am fainting before murderers.”

Footnotes

[1] 3:1 Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew Saying, “If
[2] 3:23 Hebrew commotion


Pray for Us

Finally, brothers,1 jpray for us, that kthe word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored,2 as happened among you, and lthat we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For mnot all have faith. But nthe Lord is faithful. He will establish you and oguard you against pthe evil one.3 And qwe have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord rdirect your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Warning Against Idleness

Now we command you, brothers, sin the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, tthat you keep away from any ubrother vwho is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know whow you ought to imitate us, because xwe were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but ywith toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was znot because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves aan example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: bIf anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you cwalk in idleness, not busy at work, but dbusybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.4

13 As for you, brothers, edo not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and fhave nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 gDo not regard him as an enemy, but hwarn him as a brother.

Benediction

16 Now may ithe Lord of peace himself jgive you peace at all times in every way. kThe Lord be with you all.

17 I, Paul, write lthis greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. 18 mThe grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Footnotes

[1] 3:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 6, 13
[2] 3:1 Or glorified
[3] 3:3 Or evil
[4] 3:12 Greek to eat their own bread