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27 October 2017 Bible Reading

Paul wrote his letter to Titus from Nicopolis in AD 63, after release from his first Roman imprisonment. Upon leaving Timothy in Ephesus to minister there, Paul accompanied Titus to the island of Crete, where he intended Titus to lead and organize the island’s churches in their early years of existence. While the gospel had no doubt spread to Crete soon after Peter’s sermon at Pentecost, Paul and Titus likely did a good deal of evangelism on the island in the weeks before Paul commissioned Titus to a leadership position there.

Jeremiah 51:1-53
51 Yahweh says: Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against those who dwell in Lebkamai, a destroying wind. 2 I will send to Babylon strangers, who shall winnow her; and they shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her around. 3 Against him who bends let the archer bend his bow, and against him who lifts himself up in his coat of mail: and don’t spare her young men; utterly destroy all her army. 4 They shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans, and thrust through in her streets. 5 For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, of his God, of Yahweh of Armies; though their land is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel. 6 Flee out of the middle of Babylon, and save every man his life; don’t be cut off in her iniquity: for it is the time of Yahweh’s vengeance; he will render to her a recompense. 7 Babylon has been a golden cup in Yahweh’s hand, who made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunk of her wine; therefore the nations are mad. 8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: wail for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. 9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go everyone into his own country; for her judgment reaches to heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies. 10 Yahweh has produced our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of Yahweh our God. 11 Make sharp the arrows; hold firm the shields: Yahweh has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes; because his purpose is against Babylon, to destroy it: for it is the vengeance of Yahweh, the vengeance of his temple. 12 Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set the watchmen, prepare the ambushes; for Yahweh has both purposed and done that which he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon. 13 You who dwell on many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come, the measure of your covetousness. 14 Yahweh of Armies has sworn by himself, saying, Surely I will fill you with men, as with the canker worm; and they shall lift up a shout against you. 15 He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding has he stretched out the heavens: 16 when he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightning for the rain, and brings the wind out of his treasuries. 17 Every man has become brutish without knowledge. Every goldsmith is disappointed by his image; for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. 18 They are vanity, a work of delusion: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. 19 The portion of Jacob is not like these; for he is the former of all things; and is the tribe of his inheritance: Yahweh of Armies is his name. 20 You are my battle ax and weapons of war: and with you will I break in pieces the nations; and with you will I destroy kingdoms; 21 and with you will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; 22 and with you will I break in pieces the chariot and him who rides therein; and with you will I break in pieces man and woman; and with you will I break in pieces the old man and the youth; and with you will I break in pieces the young man and the virgin; 23 and with you will I break in pieces the shepherd and his flock; and with you will I break in pieces the farmer and his yoke; and with you will I break in pieces governors and deputies. 24 I will render to Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, says Yahweh. 25 Behold, I am against you, destroying mountain, says Yahweh, which destroys all the earth; and I will stretch out my hand on you, and roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burnt mountain. 26 They shall not take of you a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but you shall be desolate for ever, says Yahweh. 27 Set up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz: appoint a marshal against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough canker worm. 28 Prepare against her the nations, the kings of the Medes, its governors, and all its deputies, and all the land of their dominion. 29 The land trembles and is in pain; for the purposes of Yahweh against Babylon do stand, to make the land of Babylon a desolation, without inhabitant. 30 The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight, they remain in their strongholds; their might has failed; they are become as women: her dwelling places are set on fire; her bars are broken. 31 One runner will run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken on every quarter: 32 and the passages are seized, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are frightened. 33 For Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel says: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time when it is trodden; yet a little while, and the time of harvest shall come for her. 34 Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me, he has made me an empty vessel, he has, like a monster, swallowed me up, he has filled his maw with my delicacies; he has cast me out. 35 The violence done to me and to my flesh be on Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and, My blood be on the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. 36 Therefore Yahweh says: Behold, I will plead your cause, and take vengeance for you; and I will dry up her sea, and make her fountain dry. 37 Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for jackals, an astonishment, and a hissing, without inhabitant. 38 They shall roar together like young lions; they shall growl as lions’ cubs. 39 When they are heated, I will make their feast, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, says Yahweh. 40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with male goats. 41 How is Sheshach taken! and the praise of the whole earth seized! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations! 42 The sea has come up on Babylon; she is covered with the multitude of its waves. 43 Her cities are become a desolation, a dry land, and a desert, a land in which no man dwells, neither does any son of man pass thereby. 44 I will execute judgment on Bel in Babylon, and I will bring out of his mouth that which he has swallowed up; and the nations shall not flow any more to him: yes, the wall of Babylon shall fall. 45 My people, go away from the middle of her, and save yourselves every man from the fierce anger of Yahweh. 46 Don’t let your heart faint, neither fear for the news that shall be heard in the land; for news shall come one year, and after that in another year shall come news, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler. 47 Therefore behold, the days come, that I will execute judgment on the engraved images of Babylon; and her whole land shall be confounded; and all her slain shall fall in the middle of her. 48 Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for joy over Babylon; for the destroyers shall come to her from the north, says Yahweh. 49 As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the land. 50 You who have escaped the sword, go, don’t stand still; remember Yahweh from afar, and let Jerusalem come into your mind. 51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach; confusion has covered our faces: for strangers have come into the sanctuaries of Yahweh’s house. 52 Therefore behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will execute judgment on her engraved images; and through all her land the wounded shall groan. 53 Though Babylon should mount up to the sky, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall destroyers come to her, says Yahweh.

Titus 2
2 But say the things which fit sound doctrine, 2 that older men should be temperate, sensible, sober minded, sound in faith, in love, and in patience: 3 and that older women likewise be reverent in behavior, not slanderers nor enslaved to much wine, teachers of that which is good; 4 that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sober minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that God’s word may not be blasphemed. 6 Likewise, exhort the younger men to be sober minded; 7 in all things showing yourself an example of good works; in your teaching showing integrity, seriousness, incorruptibility, 8 and soundness of speech that can’t be condemned; that he who opposes you may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say about us. 9 Exhort servants to be in subjection to their own masters, and to be well-pleasing in all things; not contradicting; 10 not stealing, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things. 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; 13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ; 14 who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works. 15 Say these things and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no man despise you.

Psalm 99
99 Yahweh reigns! Let the peoples tremble.
He sits enthroned among the cherubim.
Let the earth be moved.
2 Yahweh is great in Zion.
He is high above all the peoples.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name.
He is Holy!
4 The King’s strength also loves justice.
You do establish equity.
You execute justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt Yahweh our God.
Worship at his footstool.
He is Holy!
6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel among those who call on his name;
they called on Yahweh, and he answered them.
7 He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud.
They kept his testimonies,
the statute that he gave them.
8 You answered them, Yahweh our God.
You are a God who forgave them,
although you took vengeance for their doings.
9 Exalt Yahweh, our God.
Worship at his holy hill,
for Yahweh, our God, is holy!

Proverbs 26:17
17 Like one who grabs a dog’s ears
is one who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own.

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