Titus 1; Jeremiah 13; Jeremiah 14; Psalm 125

Titus 1

Greeting

1 Paul, a slave of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness, 2 in the hope of eternal life that God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 and has in His own time revealed His message in the proclamation that I was entrusted with by the command of God our Savior: 4 To Titus, my true child in our common faith. Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Titus' Ministry in Crete

5 The reason I left you in Crete was to set right what was left undone and, as I directed you, to appoint elders in every town: 6 someone who is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of wildness or rebellion. 7 For an overseer, as God's manager, must be blameless, not arrogant, not quick tempered, not addicted to wine, not a bully, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it. 10 For there are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those from Judaism. 11 It is necessary to silence them; they overthrow whole households by teaching for dishonest gain what they should not. 12 One of their very own prophets said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.). 13 This testimony is true. So, rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith 14 and may not pay attention to Jewish myths and the commandments of men who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.

Jeremiah 13

Linen Underwear

1 This is what the Lord said to me: "Go and buy yourself linen underwear and put it on, but don't get it wet." 2 So I bought underwear as the Lord instructed me and put it on. 3 Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: 4 "Take the underwear that you bought and are wearing, and go at once to the Euphrates River and hide it in a rocky crevice." 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. 6 A long time later the Lord said to me, "Go at once to the Euphrates and get the underwear that I commanded you to hide there." 7 So I went to the Euphrates and dug up the underwear and got it from the place where I had hidden it, but it was ruined-of no use whatsoever. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9 "This is what the Lord says: Just like this I will ruin the great pride of both Judah and Jerusalem. 10 These evil people, who refuse to listen to Me, who walk in the stubbornness of their own hearts, and who have followed other gods to serve and worship-they will be like this underwear, of no use whatsoever. 11 Just as underwear clings to one's waist, so I fastened the whole house of Israel and of Judah to Me"-[this is the Lord's declaration]-"so that they might be My people for My fame, praise, and glory, but they would not obey.

The Wine Jars

12 "Say this to them: This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every jar should be filled with wine. Then they will respond to you: Don't we know that every jar should be filled with wine? 13 And you will say to them, This is what the Lord says: I am about to fill all who live in this land-the kings who reign for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets and all the residents of Jerusalem-with drunkenness. 14 I will smash them against each other, fathers and sons alike"-the Lord's declaration. "I will allow no mercy, pity, or compassion [to keep Me] from destroying them."

The Lord's Warning

15 Listen and pay attention. Do not be proud, for the Lord has spoken. 16 Give glory to the Lord your God before He brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the mountains at dusk. You wait for light, but He brings darkest gloom and makes thick darkness. 17 But if you will not listen, my innermost being will weep in secret because of your pride. My eyes will overflow with tears, for the Lord's flock has been taken captive. 18 Say to the king and the queen mother: Take a humble seat, for your glorious crowns have fallen from your heads. 19 The cities of the Negev are under siege; no one can help [them]. All of Judah has been taken into exile, taken completely into exile. 20 Look up and see those coming from the north. Where is the flock entrusted to you, the sheep [that were] your pride?

The Destiny of Jerusalem

21 What will you say when He appoints close friends as leaders over you, ones you yourself trained? Won't labor pains seize you, as [they do] a woman in labor? 22 And when you ask yourself: Why have these things happened to me?- it is because of your great guilt that your skirts have been stripped off, your body ravished. 23 Can the Cushite change his skin, or a leopard his spots? If so, you might be able to do what is good, you who are instructed in evil. 24 I will scatter you like drifting chaff before the desert wind. 25 This is your lot, what I have decreed for you- [this is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration- because you have forgotten Me and trusted in Falsehood. 26 I will pull your skirts up over your face so that your shame might be seen. 27 Your adulteries and your [lustful] neighings, your heinous prostitution on the hills, in the fields- I have seen your detestable acts. Woe to you, Jerusalem! You are unclean- for how long yet?

Jeremiah 14

The Drought

1 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought: 2 Judah mourns; her gates languish. [Her people] are on the ground in mourning; Jerusalem's cry rises up. 3 Their nobles send their servants for water. They go to the cisterns; they find no water; their containers return empty. They are ashamed and humiliated; they cover their heads. 4 The ground is cracked since no rain [has fallen] on the land. The farmers are ashamed; they cover their heads. 5 Even the doe in the field gives birth and abandons [her fawn] since there is no grass. 6 Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights panting for air like jackals. Their eyes fail because there are no green plants. 7 Though our guilt testifies against us, Lord, act for Your name's sake. Indeed, our rebellions are many; we have sinned against You. 8 Hope of Israel, its Savior in time of distress, why are You like an alien in the land, like a traveler stopping only for the night? 9 Why are You like a helpless man, like a warrior unable to save? Yet You are among us, Lord, and we are called by Your name. Don't leave us! 10 This is what the Lord says concerning these people: Truly they love to wander; they never rest their feet. So the Lord does not accept them. Now He will remember their guilt and punish their sins.

False Prophets to be Punished

11 Then the Lord said to me, "Do not pray for the well-being of these people. 12 If they fast, I will not hear their cry of despair. If they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. Rather, I will finish them off by sword, famine, and plague." 13 And I replied, "Oh no, Lord God ! The prophets are telling them, 'You won't see sword or suffer famine. I will certainly give you true peace in this place.' " 14 But the Lord said to me, "These prophets are prophesying a lie in My name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, worthless divination, the deceit of their own minds. 15 "Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, though I did not send them, and who say: There will never be sword or famine in this land: By sword and famine these prophets will meet their end. 16 The people they are prophesying to will be thrown into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword. There will be no one to bury them-they, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. I will pour out their own evil on them."

Jeremiah's Request

17 You are to speak this word to them: Let my eyes overflow with tears; day and night may [they] not stop, for the virgin daughter of my people has been destroyed by a great disaster, an extremely severe wound. 18 If I go out to the field, look-those slain by the sword! If I enter the city, look-those ill from famine! For both prophet and priest travel to a land they do not know. 19 Have You completely rejected Judah? Do You detest Zion? Why do You strike us with no hope of healing for us? We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good; for a time of healing, but there was only terror. 20 We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord, the guilt of our fathers; indeed, we have sinned against You. 21 Because of Your name, don't despise [us]. Don't disdain Your glorious throne. Remember Your covenant with us; do not break it. 22 Can any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Or can the skies alone give showers? Are You not the Lord our God? We therefore put our hope in You, for You have done all these things.

Psalm 125

Israel's Stability

A song of ascents.

1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion. It cannot be shaken; it remains forever. 2 Jerusalem-the mountains surround her. And the Lord surrounds His people, both now and forever. 3 The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, so that the righteous will not apply their hands to injustice. 4 Do what is good, Lord, to the good, to those whose hearts are upright. 5 But as for those who turn aside to crooked ways, the Lord will banish them with the evildoers. Peace be with Israel.
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