28 October 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s Bible reading concludes Titus. This letter seeks to produce right living through the careful attention to theological truth. The churches on Crete were just as susceptible to false teachers as any other church, so Paul directed Titus to establish a group of faithful elders to oversee the doctrinal purity and good conduct of the believers on Crete. Paul exhorted Titus to “speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1).
When a body of believers embraces sound doctrine, the result is changed and purified lives that produce “good deeds” (mentioned in Titus 2:7, 14; 3:8, 14). God’s grace is the motivation for all good deeds. Paul gave instructions to Titus about the roles of specific groups of people—older men, older women, young women, young men, and slaves—as well as general instructions to all believers about their conduct. Right living was essential because Christ “gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed,” saving us “by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 2:14; 3:5).
54 The sound of a cry from Babylon, and of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans! 55 For Yahweh lays Babylon waste, and destroys out of her the great voice; and their waves roar like many waters; the noise of their voice is uttered: 56 for the destroyer has come on her, even on Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, their bows are broken in pieces; for Yahweh is a God of recompenses, he will surely requite. 57 I will make drunk her princes and her wise men, her governors and her deputies, and her mighty men; and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake up, says the King, whose name is Yahweh of Armies. 58 Yahweh of Armies says: The wide walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the peoples shall labor for vanity, and the nations for the fire; and they shall be weary. 59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. Now Seraiah was chief quartermaster. 60 Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come on Babylon, even all these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61 Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When you come to Babylon, then see that you read all these words, 62 and say, Yahweh, you have spoken concerning this place, to cut it off, that no one shall dwell therein, neither man nor animal, but that it shall be desolate forever. 63 It shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall bind a stone to it, and cast it into the middle of the Euphrates: 64 and you shall say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise again because of the evil that I will bring on her; and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
52 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2 He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 3 For through Yahweh’s anger this happened in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 In the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and encamped against it; and they built forts against it round about. 5 So the city was besieged to the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 6 In the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was severe in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land. 7 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled, and went out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king’s garden; (now the Chaldeans were against the city all around;) and they went toward the Arabah. 8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. 9 Then they took the king, and carried him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he gave judgment on him. 10 The king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he killed also all the princes of Judah in Riblah. 11 He put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in fetters, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison until the day of his death. 12 Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, who stood before the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem: 13 and he burned Yahweh’s house, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great house, he burned with fire. 14 All the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls of Jerusalem all around. 15 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the poorest of the people, and the residue of the people who were left in the city, and those who fell away, who fell to the king of Babylon, and the residue of the multitude. 16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poorest of the land to be vineyard keepers and farmers. 17 The Chaldeans broke the pillars of brass that were in Yahweh’s house, and the bases and the bronze sea that were in Yahweh’s house in pieces, and carried all of their brass to Babylon. 18 They also took away the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the basins, the spoons, and all the vessels of brass with which they ministered. 19 The captain of the guard took away the cups, the fire pans, the basins, the pots, the lamp stands, the spoons, and the bowls; that which was of gold, in gold, and that which was of silver, in silver. 20 They took the two pillars, the one sea, and the twelve bronze bulls that were under the bases, which king Solomon had made for Yahweh’s house. The brass of all these vessels was without weight. 21 As for the pillars, the height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a line of twelve cubits encircled it; and its thickness was four fingers. It was hollow. 22 A capital of brass was on it; and the height of the one capital was five cubits, with network and pomegranates on the capital all around, all of brass: and the second pillar also had like these, and pomegranates. 23 There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates were one hundred on the network all around. 24 The captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the threshold: 25 and out of the city he took an officer who was set over the men of war; and seven men of those who saw the king’s face, who were found in the city; and the scribe of the captain of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the middle of the city. 26 Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah. 27 The king of Babylon struck them, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away captive out of his land. 28 This is the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand twenty-three Jews; 29 in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty-two persons; 30 in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty-five persons: all the persons were four thousand and six hundred. 31 In the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the twenty-fifth day of the month, Evilmerodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and released him from prison; 32 and he spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon, 33 and changed his prison garments. Jehoiachin ate bread before him continually all the days of his life: 34 and for his allowance, there was a continual allowance given him by the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.
3 Remind them to be in subjection to rulers and to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing all humility toward all men. 3 For we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This saying is faithful, and concerning these things I desire that you affirm confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men; 9 but shun foolish questionings, genealogies, strife, and disputes about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 Avoid a factious man after a first and second warning; 11 knowing that such a one is perverted and sins, being self-condemned.
12 When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me to Nicopolis, for I have determined to winter there. 13 Send Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollos on their journey speedily, that nothing may be lacking for them. 14 Let our people also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they may not be unfruitful.
15 All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
A Psalm of thanksgiving.
100 Shout for joy to Yahweh, all you lands!
2 Serve Yahweh with gladness.
Come before his presence with singing.
3 Know that Yahweh, he is God.
It is he who has made us, and we are his.
We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, and bless his name.
5 For Yahweh is good.
His loving kindness endures forever,
his faithfulness to all generations.
18 Like a madman who shoots torches, arrows, and death,
19 is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “Am I not joking?”