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First Reading: Jeremiah Chapter 30 and 31

Jeremiah 30

30:1 Restoration of Israel and Judah

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 "Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: 'Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you. 3 For behold, the days are coming,' says the LORD, 'that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,' says the LORD.'And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.'"
4 Now these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah.
5 "For thus says the LORD:
'We have heard a voice of trembling,Of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask now, and see,Whether a man is ever in labor with child?So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor,And all faces turned pale? 7 Alas! For that day is great,So that none is like it;And it is the time of Jacob's trouble,But he shall be saved out of it.
8'For it shall come to pass in that day,'Says the LORD of hosts,'That I will break his yoke from your neck,And will burst your bonds;Foreigners shall no more enslave them. 9 But they shall serve the LORD their God,And David their king,Whom I will raise up for them.
10'Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,' says the LORD,'Nor be dismayed, O Israel;For behold, I will save you from afar,And your seed from the land of their captivity.Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet,And no one shall make him afraid. 11 For I am with you,' says the LORD, 'to save you;Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you,Yet I will not make a complete end of you.But I will correct you in justice,And will not let you go altogether unpunished.'
12 "For thus says the LORD:
'Your affliction is incurable,Your wound is severe. 13 There is no one to plead your cause,That you may be bound up;You have no healing medicines. 14 All your lovers have forgotten you;They do not seek you;For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy,With the chastisement of a cruel one,For the multitude of your iniquities,Because your sins have increased. 15 Why do you cry about your affliction?Your sorrow is incurable.Because of the multitude of your iniquities,Because your sins have increased,I have done these things to you.
16'Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured;And all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity;Those who plunder you shall become plunder,And all who prey upon you I will make a prey. 17 For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,' says the LORD,'Because they called you an outcast saying:"This is Zion;No one seeks her."'
18 "Thus says the LORD:
'Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob's tents,And have mercy on his dwelling places;The city shall be built upon its own mound,And the palace shall remain according to its own plan. 19 Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving And the voice of those who make merry;I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish;I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. 20 Their children also shall be as before,And their congregation shall be established before Me;And I will punish all who oppress them. 21 Their nobles shall be from among them,And their governor shall come from their midst;Then I will cause him to draw near,And he shall approach Me;For who is this who pledged his heart to approach Me?' says the LORD. 22'You shall be My people,And I will be your God.'"
23 Behold, the whirlwind of the LORDGoes forth with fury,A continuing whirlwind;It will fall violently on the head of the wicked. 24 The fierce anger of the LORD will not return until He has done it,And until He has performed the intents of His heart.
In the latter days you will consider it.

Jeremiah 31

31:1 The Remnant of Israel Saved

"At the same time," says the LORD,"I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people."
2 Thus says the LORD:
"The people who survived the sword Found grace in the wilderness — Israel, when I went to give him rest."
3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying:"Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. 4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,O virgin of Israel!You shall again be adorned with your tambourines,And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice. 5 You shall yet plant vines on the mountains of Samaria;The planters shall plant and eat them as ordinary food. 6 For there shall be a day When the watchmen will cry on Mount Ephraim,'Arise, and let us go up to Zion,To the LORD our God.'"
7 For thus says the LORD:
"Sing with gladness for Jacob,And shout among the chief of the nations;Proclaim, give praise, and say,'O LORD, save Your people,The remnant of Israel!' 8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country,And gather them from the ends of the earth,Among them the blind and the lame,The woman with child And the one who labors with child, together;A great throng shall return there. 9 They shall come with weeping,And with supplications I will lead them.I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters,In a straight way in which they shall not stumble;For I am a Father to Israel,And Ephraim is My firstborn.
10 "Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,And declare it in the isles afar off, and say,'He who scattered Israel will gather him,And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.' 11 For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,And ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he. 12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion,Streaming to the goodness of the LORD — For wheat and new wine and oil,For the young of the flock and the herd;Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden,And they shall sorrow no more at all.
13 "Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance,And the young men and the old, together;For I will turn their mourning to joy,Will comfort them,And make them rejoice rather than sorrow. 14 I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance,And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD."
15 Mercy on Ephraim

Thus says the LORD:
"A voice was heard in Ramah,Lamentation and bitter weeping,Rachel weeping for her children,Refusing to be comforted for her children,Because they are no more."
16 Thus says the LORD:
"Refrain your voice from weeping,And your eyes from tears;For your work shall be rewarded, says the LORD,And they shall come back from the land of the enemy. 17 There is hope in your future, says the LORD,That your children shall come back to their own border.
18 "I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself:'You have chastised me, and I was chastised,Like an untrained bull;Restore me, and I will return,For You are the LORD my God. 19 Surely, after my turning, I repented;And after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh;I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated,Because I bore the reproach of my youth.' 20 Is Ephraim My dear son?Is he a pleasant child?For though I spoke against him,I earnestly remember him still;Therefore My heart yearns for him;I will surely have mercy on him, says the LORD.
21 "Set up signposts,Make landmarks;Set your heart toward the highway,The way in which you went.Turn back, O virgin of Israel,Turn back to these your cities. 22 How long will you gad about,O you backsliding daughter?For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth — A woman shall encompass a man."
23 Future Prosperity of Judah

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "They shall again use this speech in the land of Judah and in its cities, when I bring back their captivity:'The LORD bless you, O home of justice, and mountain of holiness!' 24 And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all its cities together, farmers and those going out with flocks. 25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul."
26 After this I awoke and looked around, and my sleep was sweet to me.
27 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. 28 And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD. 29 In those days they shall say no more:
'The fathers have eaten sour grapes,And the children's teeth are set on edge.'
30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
31 A New Covenant

"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
35 Thus says the LORD,Who gives the sun for a light by day,The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,Who disturbs the sea,And its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name):
36 "If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the LORD,Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever."
37 Thus says the LORD:
"If heaven above can be measured,And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath,I will also cast off all the seed of IsraelFor all that they have done, says the LORD.
38 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that the city shall be built for the LORD from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 The surveyor's line shall again extend straight forward over the hill Gareb; then it shall turn toward Goath. 40 And the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields as far as the Brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be holy to the LORD. It shall not be plucked up or thrown down anymore forever."

Second Reading: 1 Peter Chapter 2

1 Peter 2

2:1 Our Inheritance Through Christ's Blood

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
4 The Chosen Stone and His Chosen People

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
"Behold, I lay in ZionA chief cornerstone, elect, precious,And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame."
7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
"The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,"
8 and
"A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense."
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
11 Living Before the World

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
13 Submission to Government
(cf. Rom 13:1-5)

Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men — 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
18 Submission to Masters
(Isa 53:7-9)

Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
22 "Who committed no sin,Nor was deceit found in His mouth";
23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Bible Background



Part 2 of 2

The first letter of Peter can be outlined as follows:

  1. The call to a living hope and a holy life - Chapter 1
  2. Jesus, chosen by God, and his chosen people - Chapter 2
  3. Living as a disciple of Christ - Chapter 3
  4. Living and suffering for Christ - Chapter 4
  5. Final warnings - Chapter 5

    "However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" I Peter 4:16-17


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