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First Reading: Jeremiah Chapter 47 and 48

Jeremiah 47

47:1 Judgment on Philistia

The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Philistines, before Pharaoh attacked Gaza.
2 Thus says the LORD:
"Behold, waters rise out of the north,And shall be an overflowing flood;They shall overflow the land and all that is in it,The city and those who dwell within;Then the men shall cry,And all the inhabitants of the land shall wail. 3 At the noise of the stamping hooves of his strong horses,At the rushing of his chariots,At the rumbling of his wheels,The fathers will not look back for their children,Lacking courage, 4 Because of the day that comes to plunder all the Philistines,To cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper who remains;For the LORD shall plunder the Philistines,The remnant of the country of Caphtor. 5 Baldness has come upon Gaza,Ashkelon is cut off With the remnant of their valley.How long will you cut yourself?
6 "O you sword of the LORD,How long until you are quiet?Put yourself up into your scabbard,Rest and be still! 7 How can it be quiet,Seeing the LORD has given it a charge Against Ashkelon and against the seashore?There He has appointed it."

Jeremiah 48

48:1 Judgment on Moab

Against Moab.
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
"Woe to Nebo!For it is plundered,Kirjathaim is shamed and taken;The high stronghold is shamed and dismayed — 2 No more praise of Moab.In Heshbon they have devised evil against her:'Come, and let us cut her off as a nation.'You also shall be cut down, O Madmen! The sword shall pursue you; 3 A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim:'Plundering and great destruction!'
4 "Moab is destroyed;Her little ones have caused a cry to be heard; 5 For in the Ascent of Luhith they ascend with continual weeping;For in the descent of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction.
6 "Flee, save your lives!And be like the juniper in the wilderness. 7 For because you have trusted in your works and your treasures,You also shall be taken.And Chemosh shall go forth into captivity,His priests and his princes together. 8 And the plunderer shall come against every city;No one shall escape.The valley also shall perish,And the plain shall be destroyed,As the LORD has spoken.
9 "Give wings to Moab,That she may flee and get away;For her cities shall be desolate,Without any to dwell in them. 10 Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD deceitfully,And cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood.
11 "Moab has been at ease from his youth;He has settled on his dregs,And has not been emptied from vessel to vessel,Nor has he gone into captivity.Therefore his taste remained in him,And his scent has not changed.
12 "Therefore behold, the days are coming," says the LORD,"That I shall send him wine-workers Who will tip him over And empty his vessels And break the bottles. 13 Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh,As the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.
14 "How can you say,'We are mighty And strong men for the war'? 15 Moab is plundered and gone up from her cities;Her chosen young men have gone down to the slaughter," says the King,Whose name is the LORD of hosts.
16 "The calamity of Moab is near at hand,And his affliction comes quickly. 17 Bemoan him, all you who are around him;And all you who know his name,Say,'How the strong staff is broken,The beautiful rod!'
18 "O daughter inhabiting Dibon,Come down from your glory,And sit in thirst;For the plunderer of Moab has come against you,He has destroyed your strongholds. 19 O inhabitant of Aroer,Stand by the way and watch;Ask him who flees And her who escapes;Say, 'What has happened?' 20 Moab is shamed, for he is broken down.Wail and cry!Tell it in Arnon, that Moab is plundered.
21 "And judgment has come on the plain country:On Holon and Jahzah and Mephaath, 22 On Dibon and Nebo and Beth Diblathaim, 23 On Kirjathaim and Beth Gamul and Beth Meon, 24 On Kerioth and Bozrah,On all the cities of the land of Moab,Far or near. 25 The horn of Moab is cut off,And his arm is broken," says the LORD.
26 "Make him drunk,Because he exalted himself against the LORD.Moab shall wallow in his vomit,And he shall also be in derision. 27 For was not Israel a derision to you?Was he found among thieves?For whenever you speak of him,You shake your head in scorn. 28 You who dwell in Moab,Leave the cities and dwell in the rock,And be like the dove which makes her nest In the sides of the cave's mouth.
29 "We have heard the pride of Moab(He is exceedingly proud),Of his loftiness and arrogance and pride,And of the haughtiness of his heart."
30 "I know his wrath," says the LORD,"But it is not right;His lies have made nothing right. 31 Therefore I will wail for Moab,And I will cry out for all Moab;I will mourn for the men of Kir Heres. 32 O vine of Sibmah! I will weep for you with the weeping of Jazer.Your plants have gone over the sea,They reach to the sea of Jazer.The plunderer has fallen on your summer fruit and your vintage. 33 Joy and gladness are taken From the plentiful field And from the land of Moab;I have caused wine to fail from the winepresses;No one will tread with joyous shouting — Not joyous shouting!
34 "From the cry of Heshbon to Elealeh and to JahazThey have uttered their voice,From Zoar to Horonaim,Like a three-year-old heifer; For the waters of Nimrim also shall be desolate.
35 "Moreover," says the LORD,"I will cause to cease in MoabThe one who offers sacrifices in the high places And burns incense to his gods. 36 Therefore My heart shall wail like flutes for Moab,And like flutes My heart shall wail For the men of Kir Heres.Therefore the riches they have acquired have perished.
37 "For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped;On all the hands shall be cuts, and on the loins sackcloth — 38 A general lamentation On all the housetops of Moab,And in its streets;For I have broken Moab like a vessel in which is no pleasure," says the LORD. 39 "They shall wail:'How she is broken down!How Moab has turned her back with shame!'So Moab shall be a derision And a dismay to all those about her."
40 For thus says the LORD:
"Behold, one shall fly like an eagle,And spread his wings over Moab. 41 Kerioth is taken,And the strongholds are surprised;The mighty men's hearts in Moab on that day shall be Like the heart of a woman in birth pangs. 42 And Moab shall be destroyed as a people,Because he exalted himself against the LORD. 43 Fear and the pit and the snare shall be upon you,O inhabitant of Moab," says the LORD. 44 "He who flees from the fear shall fall into the pit,And he who gets out of the pit shall be caught in the snare.For upon Moab, upon it I will bring The year of their punishment," says the LORD.
45 "Those who fled stood under the shadow of HeshbonBecause of exhaustion.But a fire shall come out of Heshbon,A flame from the midst of Sihon,And shall devour the brow of Moab,The crown of the head of the sons of tumult. 46 Woe to you, O Moab!The people of Chemosh perish;For your sons have been taken captive,And your daughters captive.
47 "Yet I will bring back the captives of MoabIn the latter days," says the LORD.
Thus far is the judgment of Moab.

Second Reading: 2 Peter Chapter 1

2 Peter 1

1:1 Greeting the Faithful

Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 Fruitful Growth in the Faith

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12 Peter's Approaching Death

For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.
16 The Trustworthy Prophetic Word
(Matt 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35)

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory:"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Bible Background



Part 4 of 4


When reading the New Testament it is impossible to miss the constant references to the nation of Israel. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven the disciples asked: "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" Peter in Chapter 3 of Acts stated that Jesus must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. Paul, towards the end of his life, in the last chapter of Acts states that it is because of the hope of Israel that he is bound with a chain.

God's promises to the patriarchs and his working with the nation of Israel did not end with their disobedience. The work that Jesus did 2000 years ago was the beginning. He offered the sacrifice of himself and opened the way through that curtain to the Most Holy Place. He is the sacrifice and the High Priest. Ephesians 2 tells us that through the blood of Christ we have been brought near, no longer excluded from citizenship in Israel nor foreigners to the covenants of the promise. Now we are members of God's household. The apostles and prophets are the foundations of God's house and Jesus is its chief cornerstone. "In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."


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