October 25, 2007

Jeremiah 14-16 - Utter What is Precious

From today's Bible reading:

Jeremiah 14:

The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

Judah mourns,
and her gates languish;
her people lament on the ground,
and the cry of Jerusalem goes up.

Because of the ground that is dismayed,
since there is no rain on the land,
the farmers are ashamed;
they cover their heads.

Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn
because there is no grass.
The wild donkeys stand on the bare heights;
they pant for air like jackals;
their eyes fail
because there is no vegetation.

(Man's sin affects the animals.)

Though our iniquities testify against us,
act, O LORD, for your name's sake;
for our backslidings are many;
we have sinned against you.

O 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,
like a mighty warrior who cannot save?

Yet you, O LORD, are in the midst of us,
and we are called by your name;
do not leave us.

We looked for peace, but no good came;
for a time of healing, but behold, terror.

We acknowledge our wickedness, O LORD,
and the iniquity of our fathers,
for we have sinned against you.

Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain?
Or can the heavens give showers?

Are you not he, O LORD our God?
We set our hope on you,
for you do all these things.

Jeremiah 15:

Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land!

I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me.

(Debt isn't the only curse.)

Why is my pain unceasing,
my wound incurable,
refusing to be healed?

Will you be to me like a deceitful brook,
like waters that fail?

Therefore thus says the LORD:

If you return, I will restore you,
and you shall stand before me.

If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
you shall be as my mouth.

I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.

Jeremiah 16:

The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will silence in this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.

Israel: Why has the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?

Jeremiah: Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the LORD, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, and because you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me.

Therefore I will hurl you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.

Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it shall no longer be said,
As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,
As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.
For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers.

(This is a huge transition point both for Israel and in Scripture. It's what divides the first half of the Old Testament/Israel's history from the second.)

For my eyes are on all their ways.

They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes.

O LORD, my strength and my stronghold,
my refuge in the day of trouble,
to you shall the nations come
from the ends of the earth and say:

Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies,
worthless things in which there is no profit.

Can man make for himself gods?
Such are not gods!

Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power (masculine) and my might (feminine), and they shall know that my name is the LORD.

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