Day 108

Zephaniah 2-3
Judgment on Judah’s Enemies
Gather together, yes, gather,
O shameless nation,
2    before the decree takes effect
—before the day passes away like chaff—
       before there comes upon you
the burning anger of the Lord,
       before there comes upon you
the day of the anger of the Lord.
3    Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,
who do his just commands;
       seek righteousness; seek humility;
perhaps you may be hidden
on the day of the anger of the Lord.
4    For Gaza shall be deserted,
and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;
       Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon,
and Ekron shall be uprooted.
5    Woe to you inhabitants of the seacoast,
you nation of the Cherethites!
       The word of the Lord is against you,
O Canaan, land of the Philistines;
and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left.
6    And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures,
with meadows for shepherds
and folds for flocks.
7    The seacoast shall become the possession
of the remnant of the house of Judah,
on which they shall graze,
       and in the houses of Ashkelon
they shall lie down at evening.
       For the Lord their God will be mindful of them
and restore their fortunes.
8    “I have heard the taunts of Moab
and the revilings of the Ammonites,
       how they have taunted my people
and made boasts against their territory.
9    Therefore, as I live,” declares the Lord of hosts,
the God of Israel,
       “Moab shall become like Sodom,
and the Ammonites like Gomorrah,
       a land possessed by nettles and salt pits,
and a waste forever.
       The remnant of my people shall plunder them,
and the survivors of my nation shall possess them.”
10    This shall be their lot in return for their pride,
because they taunted and boasted
against the people of the Lord of hosts.
11    The Lord will be awesome against them;
for he will famish all the gods of the earth,
       and to him shall bow down,
each in its place,
all the lands of the nations.
12    You also, O Cushites,
shall be slain by my sword.
13    And he will stretch out his hand against the north
and destroy Assyria,
       and he will make Nineveh a desolation,
a dry waste like the desert.
14    Herds shall lie down in her midst,
all kinds of beasts;
       even the owl and the hedgehog
shall lodge in her capitals;
       a voice shall hoot in the window;
devastation will be on the threshold;
for her cedar work will be laid bare.
15    This is the exultant city
that lived securely,
       that said in her heart,
“I am, and there is no one else.”
       What a desolation she has become,
a lair for wild beasts!
       Everyone who passes by her
hisses and shakes his fist.
Judgment on Jerusalem and the Nations
Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled,
the oppressing city!
2    She listens to no voice;
she accepts no correction.
       She does not trust in the Lord;
she does not draw near to her God.
3    Her officials within her
are roaring lions;
       her judges are evening wolves
that leave nothing till the morning.
4    Her prophets are fickle, treacherous men;
       her priests profane what is holy;
they do violence to the law.
5    The Lord within her is righteous;
he does no injustice;
       every morning he shows forth his justice;
each dawn he does not fail;
but the unjust knows no shame.
6    “I have cut off nations;
their battlements are in ruins;
       I have laid waste their streets
so that no one walks in them;
       their cities have been made desolate,
without a man, without an inhabitant.
7    I said, ‘Surely you will fear me;
you will accept correction.
       Then your dwelling would not be cut off
according to all that I have appointed against you.’
       But all the more they were eager
to make all their deeds corrupt.
8    “Therefore wait for me,” declares the Lord,
“for the day when I rise up to seize the prey.
       For my decision is to gather nations,
to assemble kingdoms,
       to pour out upon them my indignation,
all my burning anger;
       for in the fire of my jealousy
all the earth shall be consumed.
The Conversion of the Nations
9    “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples
to a pure speech,
       that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord
and serve him with one accord.
10    From beyond the rivers of Cush
my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones,
shall bring my offering.
11    “On that day you shall not be put to shame
because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me;
       for then I will remove from your midst
your proudly exultant ones,
       and you shall no longer be haughty
in my holy mountain.
12    But I will leave in your midst
a people humble and lowly.
       They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord,
13        those who are left in Israel;
       they shall do no injustice
and speak no lies,
       nor shall there be found in their mouth
a deceitful tongue.
       For they shall graze and lie down,
and none shall make them afraid.”
Israel’s Joy and Restoration
14    Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
       Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15    The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
       The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
16    On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
       “Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
17    The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
       he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
       he will exult over you with loud singing.
18    I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19    Behold, at that time I will deal
with all your oppressors.
       And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
       and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
20    At that time I will bring you in,
at the time when I gather you together;
       for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
       when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes,” says the Lord. [1]

Jeremiah 1-3
The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
The Call of Jeremiah
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
       and before you were born I consecrated you;
       I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me,
       “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
       for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
       and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8    Do not be afraid of them,
       for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”
Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,
       “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
10    See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
       to pluck up and to break down,
       to destroy and to overthrow,
       to build and to plant.”
11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”
13 The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “Out of the north disaster shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the Lord, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”
Israel Forsakes the Lord
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord,
       “I remember the devotion of your youth,
your love as a bride,
       how you followed me in the wilderness,
in a land not sown.
3    Israel was holy to the Lord,
the firstfruits of his harvest.
       All who ate of it incurred guilt;
disaster came upon them,
declares the Lord.”
Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the Lord:
       “What wrong did your fathers find in me
that they went far from me,
       and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?
6    They did not say, ‘Where is the Lord
who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
       who led us in the wilderness,
in a land of deserts and pits,
       in a land of drought and deep darkness,
in a land that none passes through,
where no man dwells?’
7    And I brought you into a plentiful land
to enjoy its fruits and its good things.
       But when you came in, you defiled my land
and made my heritage an abomination.
8    The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who handle the law did not know me;
       the shepherds transgressed against me;
the prophets prophesied by Baal
and went after things that do not profit.
9    “Therefore I still contend with you,
declares the Lord,
and with your children’s children I will contend.
10    For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see,
or send to Kedar and examine with care;
see if there has been such a thing.
11    Has a nation changed its gods,
even though they are no gods?
       But my people have changed their glory
for that which does not profit.
12    Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the Lord,
13    for my people have committed two evils:
       they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
       and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.
14    “Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?
Why then has he become a prey?
15    The lions have roared against him;
they have roared loudly.
       They have made his land a waste;
his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant.
16    Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
have shaved the crown of your head.
17    Have you not brought this upon yourself
by forsaking the Lord your God,
when he led you in the way?
18    And now what do you gain by going to Egypt
to drink the waters of the Nile?
       Or what do you gain by going to Assyria
to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
19    Your evil will chastise you,
and your apostasy will reprove you.
       Know and see that it is evil and bitter
for you to forsake the Lord your God;
the fear of me is not in you,
declares the Lord God of hosts.
20    “For long ago I broke your yoke
and burst your bonds;
but you said, ‘I will not serve.’
       Yes, on every high hill
and under every green tree
you bowed down like a whore.
21    Yet I planted you a choice vine,
wholly of pure seed.
       How then have you turned degenerate
and become a wild vine?
22    Though you wash yourself with lye
and use much soap,
the stain of your guilt is still before me,
declares the Lord God.
23    How can you say, ‘I am not unclean,
I have not gone after the Baals’?
       Look at your way in the valley;
know what you have done—
       a restless young camel running here and there,
24        a wild donkey used to the wilderness,
       in her heat sniffing the wind!
Who can restrain her lust?
       None who seek her need weary themselves;
in her month they will find her.
25    Keep your feet from going unshod
and your throat from thirst.
       But you said, ‘It is hopeless,
for I have loved foreigners,
and after them I will go.’
26    “As a thief is shamed when caught,
so the house of Israel shall be shamed:
       they, their kings, their officials,
their priests, and their prophets,
27    who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
       For they have turned their back to me,
and not their face.
       But in the time of their trouble they say,
‘Arise and save us!’
28    But where are your gods
that you made for yourself?
       Let them arise, if they can save you,
in your time of trouble;
       for as many as your cities
are your gods, O Judah.
29    “Why do you contend with me?
You have all transgressed against me,
declares the Lord.
30    In vain have I struck your children;
they took no correction;
       your own sword devoured your prophets
like a ravening lion.
31    And you, O generation, behold the word of the Lord.
       Have I been a wilderness to Israel,
or a land of thick darkness?
       Why then do my people say, ‘We are free,
we will come no more to you’?
32    Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
or a bride her attire?
       Yet my people have forgotten me
days without number.
33    “How well you direct your course
to seek love!
       So that even to wicked women
you have taught your ways.
34    Also on your skirts is found
the lifeblood of the guiltless poor;
       you did not find them breaking in.
Yet in spite of all these things
35    you say, ‘I am innocent;
surely his anger has turned from me.’
       Behold, I will bring you to judgment
for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’
36    How much you go about,
changing your way!
       You shall be put to shame by Egypt
as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37    From it too you will come away
with your hands on your head,
       for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust,
and you will not prosper by them.
“If a man divorces his wife
and she goes from him
       and becomes another man’s wife,
will he return to her?
       Would not that land be greatly polluted?
       You have played the whore with many lovers;
and would you return to me?
declares the Lord.
2    Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see!
Where have you not been ravished?
       By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers
like an Arab in the wilderness.
       You have polluted the land
with your vile whoredom.
3    Therefore the showers have been withheld,
and the spring rain has not come;
       yet you have the forehead of a whore;
you refuse to be ashamed.
4    Have you not just now called to me,
‘My father, you are the friend of my youth—
5    will he be angry forever,
will he be indignant to the end?’
       Behold, you have spoken,
but you have done all the evil that you could.”
Faithless Israel Called to Repentance
The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore? 7 And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. 9 Because she took her whoredom lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10 Yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, declares the Lord.”
11 And the Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say,
       “ ‘Return, faithless Israel,
declares the Lord.
       I will not look on you in anger,
for I am merciful,
declares the Lord;
       I will not be angry forever.
13    Only acknowledge your guilt,
that you rebelled against the Lord your God
       and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree,
and that you have not obeyed my voice,
declares the Lord.
14    Return, O faithless children,
declares the Lord;
for I am your master;
       I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
and I will bring you to Zion.
15 “ ‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. 17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage.
19    “ ‘I said,
How I would set you among my sons,
       and give you a pleasant land,
a heritage most beautiful of all nations.
       And I thought you would call me, My Father,
and would not turn from following me.
20    Surely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband,
so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel,
declares the Lord.’ ”
21    A voice on the bare heights is heard,
the weeping and pleading of Israel’s sons
       because they have perverted their way;
they have forgotten the Lord their God.
22    “Return, O faithless sons;
I will heal your faithlessness.”
       “Behold, we come to you,
for you are the Lord our God.
23    Truly the hills are a delusion,
the orgies on the mountains.
       Truly in the Lord our God
is the salvation of Israel.
24 “But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.” [2]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Zep 2:1–3:20.
[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Je 1–3:25.

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