Tasks for this week:

  1. Watch all three parts of A Divine Encounter
  2. Complete daily Bible reading
  3. Memorize Proverbs 29:18 and Jeremiah 1:15

Week 24: Day 4

Today’s F260 Bible reading: Jeremiah 1-3:5

1:1 The following is a record of what Jeremiah son of Hilkiah prophesied. He was one of the priests who lived at Anathoth in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. 2The Lord’s message came to him in the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amon ruled over Judah. 3It also came in the days of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, and continued until the eleventh year of Zedekiah, son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the people of Jerusalem were taken into exile in the fifth month of that year. 4The Lord’s message came to me, 5“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.” 6I answered, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, Really I do not know how to speak well enough for that, for I am too young.” 7The Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ But go to whomever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 8Do not be afraid of those to whom I send you, for I will be with you to protect you,” says the Lord. 9Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I will most assuredly give you the words you are to speak for me. 10Know for certain that I hereby give you the authority to announce to nations and kingdoms that they will be uprooted and torn down, destroyed and demolished, rebuilt and firmly planted.” 11Later the Lord’s message came to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I answered, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 12Then the Lord said, “You have observed correctly. This means I am watching to make sure my threats are carried out.” 13The Lord’s message came to me a second time, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a pot of boiling water; it is tipped away from the north.” 14Then the Lord said, “From the north destruction will break out on all who live in the land. 15For I will soon summon all the peoples of the kingdoms of the north,” says the Lord. “They will come and their kings will set up their thrones near the entrances of the gates of Jerusalem. They will attack all the walls surrounding it and all the towns in Judah. 16In this way I will pass sentence on the people of Jerusalem and Judah because of all their wickedness. For they rejected me and offered sacrifices to other gods, worshiping what they made with their own hands. 17“But you, Jeremiah, get yourself ready! Go and tell these people everything I instruct you to say. Do not be terrified of them, or I will give you good reason to be terrified of them. 18I, the Lord, hereby promise to make you as strong as a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall. You will be able to stand up against all who live in the land, including the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and all the people of the land. 19They will attack you but they will not be able to overcome you, for I will be with you to rescue you,” says the Lord. 2:1 The Lord’s message came to me, 2“Go and declare in the hearing of the people of Jerusalem: ‘This is what the Lord says: “I have fond memories of you, how devoted you were to me in your early years. I remember how you loved me like a new bride; you followed me through the wilderness, through a land that had never been planted. 3Israel was set apart to the Lord; they were like the firstfruits of a harvest to him. All who tried to devour them were punished; disaster came upon them,” says the Lord.’” 4Now listen to the Lord’s message, you descendants of Jacob, all you family groups from the nation of Israel. 5This is what the Lord says: “What fault could your ancestors have possibly found in me that they strayed so far from me? They paid allegiance to worthless idols, and so became worthless to me. 6They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord who delivered us out of Egypt, who brought us through the wilderness, through a land of valleys and gorges, through a land of desert and deep darkness, through a land in which no one travels, and where no one lives?’ 7I brought you into a fertile land so you could enjoy its fruits and its rich bounty. But when you entered my land, you defiled it; you made the land I call my own loathsome to me. 8Your priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those responsible for teaching my law did not really know me. Your rulers rebelled against me. Your prophets prophesied in the name of the god Baal. They all worshiped idols that could not help them. 9“So, once more I will state my case against you,” says the Lord. “I will also state it against your children and grandchildren. 10Go west across the sea to the coasts of Cyprus and see. Send someone east to Kedar and have them look carefully. See if such a thing as this has ever happened: 11Has a nation ever changed its gods (even though they are not really gods at all)? But my people have exchanged me, their glorious God, for a god that cannot help them at all! 12Be amazed at this, O heavens. Be shocked and utterly dumbfounded,” says the Lord. 13“Do so because my people have committed a double wrong: They have rejected me, the fountain of life-giving water, and they have dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that cannot even hold water. 14“Israel is not a slave, is he? He was not born into slavery, was he? If not, why then is he being carried off? 15Like lions his enemies roar victoriously over him; they raise their voices in triumph. They have laid his land waste; his cities have been burned down and deserted. 16Even the soldiers from Memphis and Tahpanhes have cracked your skulls, people of Israel. 17You have brought all this on yourself, Israel, by deserting the Lord your God when he was leading you along the right path. 18What good will it do you then to go down to Egypt to seek help from the Egyptians? What good will it do you to go over to Assyria to seek help from the Assyrians? 19Your own wickedness will bring about your punishment. Your unfaithful acts will bring down discipline on you. Know, then, and realize how utterly harmful it was for you to reject me, the Lord your God, to show no respect for me,” says the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 20“Indeed, long ago you threw off my authority and refused to be subject to me. You said, ‘I will not serve you.’ Instead, you gave yourself to other gods on every high hill and under every green tree, like a prostitute sprawls out before her lovers. 21I planted you in the land like a special vine of the very best stock. Why in the world have you turned into something like a wild vine that produces rotten, foul-smelling grapes? 22You can try to wash away your guilt with a strong detergent. You can use as much soap as you want. But the stain of your guilt is still there for me to see,” says the Sovereign Lord. 23“How can you say, ‘I have not made myself unclean. I have not paid allegiance to the gods called Baal.’ Just look at the way you have behaved in the Valley of Hinnom! Think about the things you have done there! You are like a flighty, young female camel that rushes here and there, crisscrossing its path. 24You are like a wild female donkey brought up in the wilderness. In her lust she sniffs the wind to get the scent of a male. No one can hold her back when she is in heat. None of the males need wear themselves out chasing after her. At mating time she is easy to find. 25Do not chase after other gods until your shoes wear out and your throats become dry. But you say, ‘It is useless for you to try and stop me because I love those foreign gods and want to pursue them!’ 26Just as a thief has to suffer dishonor when he is caught, so the people of Israel will suffer dishonor for what they have done. So will their kings and officials, their priests and their prophets. 27They say to a wooden idol, ‘You are my father.’ They say to a stone image, ‘You gave birth to me.’ Yes, they have turned away from me instead of turning to me. Yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’ 28But where are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them save you when you are in trouble. The sad fact is that you have as many gods as you have towns, Judah. 29Why do you try to refute me? All of you have rebelled against me,” says the Lord. 30“It did no good for me to punish your people. They did not respond to such correction. You slaughtered your prophets like a voracious lion.” 31You people of this generation, listen to the Lord’s message: “Have I been like a wilderness to you, Israel? Have I been like a dark and dangerous land to you? Why then do you say, ‘We are free to wander. We will not come to you anymore?’ 32Does a young woman forget to put on her jewels? Does a bride forget to put on her bridal attire? But my people have forgotten me for more days than can even be counted. 33“My, how good you have become at chasing after your lovers! Why, you could even teach prostitutes a thing or two! 34Even your clothes are stained with the lifeblood of the poor who had not done anything wrong; you did not catch them breaking into your homes. Yet, in spite of all these things you have done, 35you say, ‘I have not done anything wrong, so the Lord cannot really be angry with me any more.’ But, watch out! I will bring down judgment on you because you say, ‘I have not committed any sin.’ 36Why do you constantly go about changing your political allegiances? You will get no help from Egypt just as you got no help from Assyria. 37Moreover, you will come away from Egypt with your hands covering your faces in sorrow and shame because the Lord will not allow your reliance on them to be successful and you will not gain any help from them. (NET Bible) 3:1 “If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife, he may not take her back again. Doing that would utterly defile the land. But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods. So what makes you think you can return to me?” says the Lord. 2“Look up at the hilltops and consider this. Where have you not been ravished? You waited for those gods like a thief lying in wait in the wilderness. You defiled the land by your wicked prostitution to other gods. 3That is why the rains have been withheld and the spring rains have not come. Yet in spite of this you are obstinate as a prostitute. You refuse to be ashamed of what you have done. 4Even now you say to me, ‘You are my father! You have been my faithful companion ever since I was young. 5You will not always be angry with me, will you? You will not be mad at me forever, will you?’ That is what you say, but you continually do all the evil that you can.” (NET Bible)

Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB),
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1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission. www.Lockman.org