14 October 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s reading includes the 84th Psalm. Psalm 84 consists of two halves. The first half focuses on the idea of pilgrimage to the House of God. The second half focuses on how much better it is to dwell with God than apart from Him. These lessons are as applicable to Christians today as they were to Old Testament believers traveling to the tabernacle or temple of God in Shiloh or Jerusalem. Indeed, the main theme of this psalm is finding our home with God.
21 I sent not these prophets, yet they ran: I didn’t speak to them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, then had they caused my people to hear my words, and had turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. 23 Am I a God at hand, says Yahweh, and not a God afar off? 24 Can any hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him? says Yahweh. Don’t I fill heaven and earth? says Yahweh. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said, who prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. 26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, even the prophets of the deceit of their own heart? 27 who think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers forgot my name for Baal. 28 The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the straw to the wheat? says Yahweh. 29 Isn’t my word like fire? says Yahweh; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore behold, I am against the prophets, says Yahweh, who steal my words everyone from his neighbor. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, says Yahweh, who use their tongues, and say, He says. 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says Yahweh, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their vain boasting: yet I didn’t send them, nor commanded them; neither do they profit this people at all, says Yahweh. 33 When this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask you, saying, What is the burden of Yahweh? Then you shall tell them, What burden! I will cast you off, says Yahweh. 34 As for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, who shall say, The burden of Yahweh, I will even punish that man and his house. 35 You shall say everyone to his neighbor, and everyone to his brother, What has Yahweh answered? and, What has Yahweh spoken? 36 You shall mention the burden of Yahweh no more: for every man’s own word shall be his burden; for you have perverted the words of the living God, of Yahweh of Armies our God. 37 You shall say to the prophet, What has Yahweh answered you? and, What has Yahweh spoken? 38 But if you say, The burden of Yahweh; therefore Yahweh says: Because you say this word, The burden of Yahweh, and I have sent to you, saying, You shall not say, The burden of Yahweh; 39 therefore, behold, I will utterly forget you, and I will cast you off, and the city that I gave to you and to your fathers, away from my presence: 40 and I will bring an everlasting reproach on you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.
24 Yahweh showed me, and behold, two baskets of figs set before Yahweh’s temple, after that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the craftsmen and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. 2 One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are first-ripe; and the other basket had very bad figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. 3 Then Yahweh said to me, What do you see, Jeremiah? I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the bad, very bad, that can’t be eaten, they are so bad. 4 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 5 Yahweh, the God of Israel says: Like these good figs, so will I regard the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans, for good. 6 For I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am Yahweh: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return to me with their whole heart. 8 As the bad figs, which can’t be eaten, they are so bad, surely Yahweh says, So will I give up Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt, 9 I will even give them up to be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth for evil; to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places where I shall drive them. 10 I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, until they be consumed from off the land that I gave to them and to their fathers.
25 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (the same was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), 2 which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying: 3 From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years, Yahweh’s word has come to me, and I have spoken to you, rising up early and speaking; but you have not listened. 4 Yahweh has sent to you all his servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them (but you have not listened, nor inclined your ear to hear) 5 saying, Return now everyone from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that Yahweh has given to you and to your fathers, from of old and even forever more; 6 and don’t go after other gods to serve them or worship them, and don’t provoke me to anger with the work of your hands; and I will do you no harm. 7 Yet you have not listened to me, says Yahweh; that you may provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own hurt. 8 Therefore Yahweh of Armies says: Because you have not heard my words, 9 behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, says Yahweh, and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against its inhabitants, and against all these nations around; and I will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and a hissing, and perpetual desolations. 10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 It shall happen, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, says Yahweh, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it desolate forever. 13 I will bring on that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations. 14 For many nations and great kings shall make bondservants of them, even of them; and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the work of their hands. 15 For Yahweh says, the God of Israel, to me: take this cup of the wine of wrath at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it. 16 They shall drink, and reel back and forth, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. 17 Then took I the cup at Yahweh’s hand, and made all the nations to drink, to whom Yahweh had sent me: 18 Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and its kings, and its princes, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, a hissing, and a curse, as it is today; 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people; 20 and all the mixed people, and all the kings of the land of the Uz, and all the kings of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Gaza, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod; 21 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon; 22 and all the kings of Tyre, and all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the isle which is beyond the sea; 23 Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all who have the corners of their beard cut off; 24 and all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mixed people who dwell in the wilderness; 25 and all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes; 26 and all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another; and all the kingdoms of the world, which are on the surface of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them. 27 You shall tell them, Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel says: Drink, and be drunk, vomit, fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you. 28 It shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at your hand to drink, then you shall tell them, Yahweh of Armies says: You shall surely drink. 29 For, behold, I begin to work evil at the city which is called by my name; and should you be utterly unpunished? You shall not be unpunished; for I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth, says Yahweh of Armies. 30 Therefore prophesy you against them all these words, and tell them, Yahweh will roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he will mightily roar against his fold; he will give a shout, as those who tread grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. 31 A noise shall come even to the end of the earth; for Yahweh has a controversy with the nations; he will enter into judgment with all flesh: as for the wicked, he will give them to the sword, says Yahweh. 32 Yahweh of Armies says, Behold, evil shall go out from nation to nation, and a great storm shall be raised up from the uttermost parts of the earth. 33 The slain of Yahweh shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung on the surface of the ground. 34 Wail, you shepherds, and cry; and wallow in dust, you principal of the flock; for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are fully come, and you shall fall like a goodly vessel. 35 The shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape. 36 A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and the wailing of the principal of the flock! for Yahweh lays waste their pasture. 37 The peaceable folds are brought to silence because of the fierce anger of Yahweh. 38 He has left his covert, as the lion; for their land has become an astonishment because of the fierceness of the oppression, and because of his fierce anger.
2 Thessalonians 2
2 Now, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to him, we ask you 2 not to be quickly shaken in your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by letter as from us, saying that the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the departure comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God. 5 Don’t you remember that, when I was still with you, I told you these things? 6 Now you know what is restraining him, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only there is one who restrains now, until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth, and destroy by the manifestation of his coming; 9 even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 and with all deception of wickedness for those who are being lost, because they didn’t receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 Because of this, God sends them a working of error, that they should believe a lie; 12 that they all might be judged who didn’t believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth; 14 to which he called you through our Good News, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm, and hold the traditions which you were taught by us, whether by word, or by letter.
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good work and word.
For the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath. A Psalm by the sons of Korah.
84 How lovely are your dwellings,
Yahweh of Armies!
2 My soul longs, and even faints for the courts of Yahweh.
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Yes, the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young,
near your altars, Yahweh of Armies, my King, and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house.
They are always praising you.
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you;
who have set their hearts on a pilgrimage.
6 Passing through the valley of Weeping, they make it a place of springs.
Yes, the autumn rain covers it with blessings.
7 They go from strength to strength.
Everyone of them appears before God in Zion.
8 Yahweh, God of Armies, hear my prayer.
Listen, God of Jacob.
9 Behold, God our shield,
look at the face of your anointed.
10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God,
than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For Yahweh God is a sun and a shield.
Yahweh will give grace and glory.
He withholds no good thing from those who walk blamelessly.
12 Yahweh of Armies,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.
15 By patience a ruler is persuaded.
A soft tongue breaks the bone.