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First Reading: Jeremiah Chapter 9 and 10

Jeremiah 9

9:1 Disobedience Brings God's Judgment

Oh, that my head were waters,And my eyes a fountain of tears,That I might weep day and night For the slain of the daughter of my people! 2 Oh, that I had in the wilderness A lodging place for travelers;That I might leave my people,And go from them!For they are all adulterers,An assembly of treacherous men.
3 "And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies.They are not valiant for the truth on the earth.For they proceed from evil to evil,And they do not know Me," says the LORD. 4 "Everyone take heed to his neighbor,And do not trust any brother;For every brother will utterly supplant,And every neighbor will walk with slanderers. 5 Everyone will deceive his neighbor,And will not speak the truth;They have taught their tongue to speak lies;They weary themselves to commit iniquity. 6 Your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit;Through deceit they refuse to know Me," says the LORD.
7 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts:
"Behold, I will refine them and try them;For how shall I deal with the daughter of My people? 8 Their tongue is an arrow shot out;It speaks deceit;One speaks peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth,But in his heart he lies in wait. 9 Shall I not punish them for these things?" says the LORD."Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?"
10 I will take up a weeping and wailing for the mountains,And for the dwelling places of the wilderness a lamentation,Because they are burned up,So that no one can pass through;Nor can men hear the voice of the cattle.Both the birds of the heavens and the beasts have fled;They are gone.
11 "I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a den of jackals.I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant."
12 Who is the wise man who may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it? Why does the land perish and burn up like a wilderness, so that no one can pass through?
13 And the LORD said, "Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, 14 but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them," 15 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. 16 I will scatter them also among the Gentiles, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them."
17 The People Mourn in Judgment

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
"Consider and call for the mourning women,That they may come;And send for skillful wailing women,That they may come. 18 Let them make haste And take up a wailing for us,That our eyes may run with tears,And our eyelids gush with water. 19 For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion:'How we are plundered!We are greatly ashamed,Because we have forsaken the land,Because we have been cast out of our dwellings.'"
20 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O women,And let your ear receive the word of His mouth;Teach your daughters wailing,And everyone her neighbor a lamentation. 21 For death has come through our windows,Has entered our palaces,To kill off the children — no longer to be outside!And the young men — no longer on the streets!
22 Speak, "Thus says the LORD:
'Even the carcasses of men shall fall as refuse on the open field,Like cuttings after the harvester,And no one shall gather them.'"
23 Thus says the LORD:
"Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,Let not the mighty man glory in his might,Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this,That he understands and knows Me,That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.For in these I delight," says the LORD.
25 "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "that I will punish all who are circumcised with the uncircumcised — 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab, and all who are in the farthest corners, who dwell in the wilderness. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart."

Jeremiah 10

10:1 Idols and the True God

Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel.
2 Thus says the LORD:
"Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are futile;For one cuts a tree from the forest,The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold;They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple. 5 They are upright, like a palm tree,And they cannot speak;They must be carried,Because they cannot go by themselves.Do not be afraid of them,For they cannot do evil,Nor can they do any good."
6 Inasmuch as there is none like You, O LORD(You are great, and Your name is great in might), 7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?For this is Your rightful due.For among all the wise men of the nations,And in all their kingdoms,There is none like You. 8 But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish;A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine. 9 Silver is beaten into plates;It is brought from Tarshish,And gold from Uphaz,The work of the craftsman And of the hands of the metalsmith;Blue and purple are their clothing;They are all the work of skillful men. 10 But the LORD is the true God;He is the living God and the everlasting King.At His wrath the earth will tremble,And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.
11 Thus you shall say to them:"The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens."
12 He has made the earth by His power,He has established the world by His wisdom,And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. 13 When He utters His voice,There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:"And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth.He makes lightning for the rain,He brings the wind out of His treasuries."
14 Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge;Every metalsmith is put to shame by an image;For his molded image is falsehood,And there is no breath in them. 15 They are futile, a work of errors;In the time of their punishment they shall perish. 16 The Portion of Jacob is not like them,For He is the Maker of all things,And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance;The LORD of hosts is His name.
17 The Coming Captivity of Judah

Gather up your wares from the land,O inhabitant of the fortress!
18 For thus says the LORD:
"Behold, I will throw out at this time The inhabitants of the land,And will distress them,That they may find it so."
19 Woe is me for my hurt!My wound is severe.But I say,"Truly this is an infirmity,And I must bear it." 20 My tent is plundered,And all my cords are broken;My children have gone from me,And they are no more.There is no one to pitch my tent anymore,Or set up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds have become dull-hearted,And have not sought the LORD;Therefore they shall not prosper,And all their flocks shall be scattered. 22 Behold, the noise of the report has come,And a great commotion out of the north country,To make the cities of Judah desolate, a den of jackals.
23 O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself;It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. 24 O LORD, correct me, but with justice;Not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing. 25 Pour out Your fury on the Gentiles, who do not know You,And on the families who do not call on Your name;For they have eaten up Jacob,Devoured him and consumed him,And made his dwelling place desolate.

Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 119:97-120

Psalm 119:97-120
97 MEM
Oh, how I love Your law!It is my meditation all the day. 98 You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies;For they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,For Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients,Because I keep Your precepts. 101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way,That I may keep Your word. 102 I have not departed from Your judgments,For You Yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are Your words to my taste,Sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through Your precepts I get understanding;Therefore I hate every false way.
105 NUN
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. 106 I have sworn and confirmed That I will keep Your righteous judgments. 107 I am afflicted very much;Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word. 108 Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD,And teach me Your judgments. 109 My life is continually in my hand,Yet I do not forget Your law. 110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts. 111 Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever,For they are the rejoicing of my heart. 112 I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, to the very end.
I hate the double-minded,But I love Your law. 114 You are my hiding place and my shield;I hope in Your word. 115 Depart from me, you evildoers,For I will keep the commandments of my God! 116 Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live;And do not let me be ashamed of my hope. 117 Hold me up, and I shall be safe,And I shall observe Your statutes continually. 118 You reject all those who stray from Your statutes,For their deceit is falsehood. 119 You put away all the wicked of the earth like dross;Therefore I love Your testimonies. 120 My flesh trembles for fear of You,And I am afraid of Your judgments.

Bible Background


Part 4 of 4


Romans 6 likens the Christian baptism as being buried with Christ and then raised with him to a new life:

Verses 4-5 " We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection."

Baptism is a symbol of the death of old selves--being crucified with Christ. It is only after we are buried that a resurrection to a new life can occur. The gift of life is given and we are no longer slaves of sin but slaves of righteousness:

Verse 23 " For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."


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