6 October 2017 Bible Reading
By inspiration, Paul confronted false teachers at Colossae who taught that Jesus was not God. The letter makes it clear that Jesus is God, Creator and Redeemer.
15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
at the time that I visit them, they shall be cast down,” says Yahweh.
16 Yahweh says, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, ‘Where is the good way?’ and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 17 I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen!’ 18 Therefore hear, you nations, and know, congregation, what is among them. 19 Hear, earth! Behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. 20 To what purpose comes there to me frankincense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.”
21 Therefore Yahweh says, “Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people. The fathers and the sons together shall stumble against them. The neighbor and his friend shall perish.” 22 Yahweh says, “Behold, a people comes from the north country. A great nation shall be stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth. 23 They take hold of bow and spear. They are cruel, and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, everyone set in array, as a man to the battle, against you, daughter of Zion.”
24 We have heard its report; our hands become feeble: anguish has taken hold of us, and pains as of a woman in labor. 25 Don’t go out into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and terror, are on every side. 26 Daughter of my people, clothe yourself with sackcloth, and wallow in ashes! Mourn, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for the destroyer shall suddenly come on us.
27 “I have made you a tester of metals and a fortress among my people; that you may know and try their way. 28 They are all grievous rebels, going about with slanders; they are brass and iron: they all of them deal corruptly. 29 The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed of the fire: in vain do they go on refining; for the wicked are not plucked away. 30 Men will call them rejected silver, because Yahweh has rejected them.”
7 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, 2 “Stand in the gate of Yahweh’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear Yahweh’s word, all you of Judah, who enter in at these gates to worship Yahweh.’”
3 Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel says, “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 Don’t trust in lying words, saying, ‘Yahweh’s temple, Yahweh’s temple, Yahweh’s temple, are these.’ 5 For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if you thoroughly execute justice between a man and his neighbor; 6 if you don’t oppress the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow, and don’t shed innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your own hurt: 7 then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, from of old even forever more. 8 Behold, you trust in lying words, that can’t profit. 9 Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known, 10 and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered;’ that you may do all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says Yahweh.
12 “But go now to my place which was in Shiloh, where I caused my name to dwell at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 Now, because you have done all these works,” says Yahweh, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you didn’t hear; and I called you, but you didn’t answer: 14 therefore will I do to the house which is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, even the whole offspring of Ephraim.
16 “Therefore don’t pray for this people, neither lift up a cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me; for I will not hear you. 17 Don’t you see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to make cakes to the queen of the sky, and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. 19 Do they provoke me to anger? says Yahweh. “Don’t they provoke themselves, to the confusion of their own faces?”
20 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Behold, my anger and my wrath shall be poured out on this place, on man, and on animal, and on the trees of the field, and on the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.”
21 Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel says: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat meat. 22 For I didn’t speak to your fathers, nor command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: 23 but this thing I commanded them, saying, ‘Listen to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 But they didn’t listen nor turn their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: 26 yet they didn’t listen to me, nor inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff: they did worse than their fathers.
27 “You shall speak all these words to them; but they will not listen to you: you shall also call to them; but they will not answer you. 28 You shall tell them, ‘This is the nation that has not listened to Yahweh their God’s voice, nor received instruction. Truth has perished, and is cut off from their mouth.’ 29 Cut off your hair, and throw it away, and take up a lamentation on the bare heights; for Yahweh has rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.
30 “For the children of Judah have done that which is evil in my sight,” says Yahweh. “They have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I didn’t command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore behold, the days come”, says Yahweh, “that it shall no more be called Topheth, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of Slaughter; for they shall bury in Topheth, until there is no place to bury. 33 The dead bodies of this people shall be food for the birds of the sky, and for the animals of the earth; and no one shall frighten them away. 34 Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land shall become a waste.”
8 “At that time,” says Yahweh, “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves; 2 and they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the army of the sky, which they have loved, and which they have served, and after which they have walked, and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried, they shall be for dung on the surface of the earth. 3 Death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue that remain of this evil family, that remain in all the places where I have driven them,” says Yahweh of Armies. 4 “Moreover you shall tell them, ‘Yahweh says:
“‘Shall men fall, and not rise up again?
Shall one turn away, and not return?
5 Why then have the people of Jerusalem fallen back by a perpetual backsliding?
They cling to deceit, they refuse to return.
6 I listened and heard, but they didn’t say what is right.
No one repents of his wickedness, saying, “What have I done?”
Everyone turns to his course,
as a horse that rushes headlong in the battle.
7 Yes, the stork in the sky knows her appointed times;
and the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane observe the time of their coming;
but my people don’t know Yahweh’s law.
8 Be careful that you don’t let anyone rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily, 10 and in him you are made full, who is the head of all principality and power; 11 in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross; 15 having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 Let no one therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or with respect to a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day, 17 which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ’s. 18 Let no one rob you of your prize by a voluntary humility and worshiping of the angels, dwelling in the things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding firmly to the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and ligaments, grows with God’s growth. 20 If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances, 21 “Don’t handle, nor taste, nor touch” 22 (all of which perish with use), according to the precepts and doctrines of men? 23 Which things indeed appear like wisdom in self-imposed worship, and humility, and severity to the body; but aren’t of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.
A contemplation by Asaph.
78 Hear my teaching, my people.
Turn your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable.
I will utter dark sayings of old,
3 Which we have heard and known,
and our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children,
telling to the generation to come the praises of Yahweh,
his strength, and his wondrous deeds that he has done.
5 For he established a testimony in Jacob,
and appointed a teaching in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers,
that they should make them known to their children;
6 that the generation to come might know, even the children who should be born;
who should arise and tell their children,
7 that they might set their hope in God,
and not forget God’s deeds,
but keep his commandments,
8 and might not be as their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation that didn’t make their hearts loyal,
whose spirit was not steadfast with God.
9 The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows,
turned back in the day of battle.
10 They didn’t keep God’s covenant,
and refused to walk in his law.
11 They forgot his doings,
his wondrous deeds that he had shown them.
12 He did marvelous things in the sight of their fathers,
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He split the sea, and caused them to pass through.
He made the waters stand as a heap.
14 In the daytime he also led them with a cloud,
and all night with a light of fire.
15 He split rocks in the wilderness,
and gave them drink abundantly as out of the depths.
16 He brought streams also out of the rock,
and caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 Yet they still went on to sin against him,
to rebel against the Most High in the desert.
18 They tempted God in their heart
by asking food according to their desire.
19 Yes, they spoke against God.
They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 Behold, he struck the rock, so that waters gushed out,
and streams overflowed.
Can he give bread also?
Will he provide flesh for his people?”
21 Therefore Yahweh heard, and was angry.
A fire was kindled against Jacob,
anger also went up against Israel,
22 because they didn’t believe in God,
and didn’t trust in his salvation.
23 Yet he commanded the skies above,
and opened the doors of heaven.
24 He rained down manna on them to eat,
and gave them food from the sky.
25 Man ate the bread of angels.
He sent them food to the full.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the sky.
By his power he guided the south wind.
27 He rained also flesh on them as the dust;
winged birds as the sand of the seas.
28 He let them fall in the middle of their camp,
around their habitations.
29 So they ate, and were well filled.
He gave them their own desire.
30 They didn’t turn from their cravings.
Their food was yet in their mouths,
31 when the anger of God went up against them,
killed some of their fattest,
and struck down the young men of Israel.
26 An honest answer
is like a kiss on the lips.