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Word for Today | October 31

 

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Read the Bible in a Year | October 31

Jeremiah 29-30

Jeremiah's Letter to the Exiles

29:1 These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem. The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. It said: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, [1] for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.

10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare [2] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

15 “Because you have said, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,’ 16 thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your kinsmen who did not go out with you into exile: 17 ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, behold, I am sending on them sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like vile figs that are so rotten they cannot be eaten. 18 I will pursue them with sword, famine, and pestilence, and will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, a terror, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, 19 because they did not pay attention to my words, declares the Lord, that I persistently sent to you by my servants the prophets, but you would not listen, declares the Lord.’ 20 Hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles whom I sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 21 ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying a lie to you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall strike them down before your eyes. 22 Because of them this curse shall be used by all the exiles from Judah in Babylon: “The Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,” 23 because they have done an outrageous thing in Israel, they have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and they have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them. I am the one who knows, and I am witness, declares the Lord.’”

Shemaiah's False Prophecy

24 To Shemaiah of Nehelam you shall say: 25 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You have sent letters in your name to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26 ‘The Lord has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, to have charge in the house of the Lord over every madman who prophesies, to put him in the stocks and neck irons. 27 Now why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who is prophesying to you? 28 For he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, “Your exile will be long; build houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat their produce.”’”

29 Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the hearing of Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 31 “Send to all the exiles, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord concerning Shemaiah of Nehelam: Because Shemaiah had prophesied to you when I did not send him, and has made you trust in a lie, 32 therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, I will punish Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants. He shall not have anyone living among this people, and he shall not see the good that I will do to my people, declares the Lord, for he has spoken rebellion against the Lord.’”

Restoration for Israel and Judah

30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. For behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it.”

These are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah:

“Thus says the Lord:
We have heard a cry of panic,
 of terror, and no peace.
Ask now, and see,
 can a man bear a child?
Why then do I see every man
 with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor?
 Why has every face turned pale?
Alas! That day is so great
 there is none like it;
it is a time of distress for Jacob;
 yet he shall be saved out of it.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and foreigners shall no more make a servant of him. [3] But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

10 “Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the Lord,
 nor be dismayed, O Israel;
for behold, I will save you from far away,
 and your offspring from the land of their captivity.
Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease,
 and none shall make him afraid.
11 For I am with you to save you,
declares the Lord;
I will make a full end of all the nations
 among whom I scattered you,
 but of you I will not make a full end.
I will discipline you in just measure,
 and I will by no means leave you unpunished.

12 “For thus says the Lord:
Your hurt is incurable,
 and your wound is grievous.
13 There is none to uphold your cause,
 no medicine for your wound,
 no healing for you.
14 All your lovers have forgotten you;
 they care nothing for you;
for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy,
 the punishment of a merciless foe,
because your guilt is great,
 because your sins are flagrant.
15 Why do you cry out over your hurt?
 Your pain is incurable.
Because your guilt is great,
 because your sins are flagrant,
 I have done these things to you.
16 Therefore all who devour you shall be devoured,
 and all your foes, every one of them, shall go into captivity;
those who plunder you shall be plundered,
 and all who prey on you I will make a prey.
17 For I will restore health to you,
 and your wounds I will heal,
declares the Lord,
because they have called you an outcast:
 ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’

18 “Thus says the Lord:
Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob
 and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city shall be rebuilt on its mound,
 and the palace shall stand where it used to be.
19 Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving,
 and the voices of those who celebrate.
I will multiply them, and they shall not be few;
 I will make them honored, and they shall not be small.
20 Their children shall be as they were of old,
 and their congregation shall be established before me,
 and I will punish all who oppress them.
21 Their prince shall be one of themselves;
 their ruler shall come out from their midst;
I will make him draw near, and he shall approach me,
 for who would dare of himself to approach me?
declares the Lord.
22 And you shall be my people,
 and I will be your God.”

23 Behold the storm of the Lord!
 Wrath has gone forth,
a whirling tempest;
 it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
24 The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back
 until he has executed and accomplished
 the intentions of his mind.
In the latter days you will understand this.

Titus 1

Greeting

1:1 Paul, a servant [4] of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began [5] and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;

To Titus, my true child in a common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Qualifications for Elders

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, [6] and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, [7] as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound [8] doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, [9] a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” [10] 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Footnotes

[1] 29:8 Hebrew your dreams, which you cause to dream
[2] 29:11 Or peace
[3] 30:8 Or serve him
[4] 1:1 Or slave; Greek bondservant
[5] 1:2 Greek before times eternal
[6] 1:6 Or a man of one woman
[7] 1:7 Or bishop; Greek episkopos
[8] 1:9 Or healthy; also verse 13
[9] 1:12 Greek One of them
[10] 1:12 Probably from Epimenides of Crete

(ESV)