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Jeremiah 48:1-49:22; 2 Timothy 4:1-22; Psalms 95:1-96:13; Proverbs 26:9-12 (The Voice)

Jeremiah 48-49:22

48 This is what the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies and God of Israel, has to say about Moab.

Next is Moab, a familiar enemy of Israel. Despite Jeremiah’s warning they will answer for their trust in themselves, their material wealth, and their god Chemosh.

Eternal One: Woe to the city of Nebo, for she is in ruins.
        So, too, will Kiriathaim be put to shame when she is captured.
        The proud fortress of Moab will be humbled and shattered into pieces.
    No one will praise you, Moab—that time has gone.
        Instead, in places like Heshbon, men are planning your destruction.
        “Come,” they will say, “and let us finish off that nation.”
    Indeed, the town of Madmen will be silenced,
        for war will surely find you.
    Do you hear the voice from Horonaim—
        the cries rising up from the ruins and desolation?
    Moab is broken,
        and her little ones cry in desperation.
    The defeated make their way up Luhith, crying bitterly as they go;
        as they descend to Horonaim, they hear the anguished cries of destruction.
    Run for your lives! Save yourselves!
        Live in the desert like a juniper bush, alone and forsaken.
    You depended on your own works and your own wealth,
        and now you will be humbled and taken captive.
    Your so-called god, Chemosh, will go with you into exile
        along with his priests and officials.
    The destroyer is coming to each of your towns; none of them will escape.
        The valley will be ruined;
    The plateau will be destroyed
        because I, the Eternal One, have spoken.
    Give Moab wings so she can fly away.
        Her cities will be a wasteland with no one living in them.

10 A curse on any who do not finish the work I, the Eternal One, have given you! A curse on anyone who holds back his sword and refuses to shed blood.

11     Moab has been at rest since his early days—
        like wine that is carefully left to age,
    Not poured from jar to jar,
        not going from nation to nation in exile.
    And so his flavor has remained; his aroma has not faded.

12 But all of that will change. Look, in the coming days, I, the Eternal One, declare that I will send those who will upend him, stirring him up and pouring him out until his jars have nothing left. They will empty his jars and smash the empty jugs.

13 Then Moab will be ashamed of his powerless god, Chemosh, just as the people of Israel were ashamed of Bethel when they trusted in their false gods.

14 Eternal One: How can you still boast,
        “We are mighty warriors, brave in battle?”
15     Because Moab is destroyed;
        invaders have laid waste his towns.
    His best young men have gone down to slaughter.
        So say I, the King whose name is the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.
16     The fall of Moab is at hand;
        his disaster is coming quickly.
17     Grieve for him, you neighbors of Moab,
        all who know his name.
    Say, “Look how his mighty scepter is broken,
        how the splendor of his staff is gone!”
18     You people of Dibon, come down from your glory on the hills
        and sit on the dry, dusty ground and wait,
    For the same one who destroyed Moab
        is coming against you and will tear down your strongholds as well.
19     Stand by the road and watch closely,
        you people of Aroer.
    Call out to the refugees running from Moab.
        Ask them what happened!
20     And they will answer: “Moab has been humiliated and crushed.
        Weep for him, and cry out.
    Go down to the Arnon River and
        proclaim that Moab has been destroyed.”

21 Judgment has come to the cities of the plain: to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath; 22 to Dibon, Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim; 23 to Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon; 24 to Kerioth and Bozrah. To all the cities of Moab, far and near, judgment has come.

Eternal One: 25 The symbols of his strength are gone; the horn of Moab has been cut off, and his arm broken.

26 Make Moab drink deeply from this cup until he is drunk, for he has exalted himself above the Eternal. Make him drink until he wallows in his own vomit; then he will be ridiculed by all who see him. 27 Did you not ridicule Israel? Was he guilty of a crime? Was he caught among thieves? Is that why you, Moab, shake your head in contempt every time you speak of him?

28 Eternal One: Run from your towns and live in the wilderness,
        you citizens of Moab;
    Hide among the rocks
        like doves who nest among the cliffs.
29     We have all heard about the pride of Moab—
        so vain and so smug.
    We have all heard about her pride and arrogance
        and her overconfident heart.
30     I, too, know of the arrogant outbursts, but they are pointless;
        empty boasts accomplish nothing.
31     This is why I will mourn for Moab; for all her people, I will cry aloud;
        for the men of Kir-heres, I will moan.
32     You who tend the prolific vineyards in Sibmah,
        I will cry for you more than I did for Jazer.
    Your vines once spread as far as the sea, as far as the sea of Jazer.
        But now the destroyer has spoiled your summer harvest and sweet grapes.
33     The joy of the harvest is gone from Moab’s orchards and vineyards.
        For I have stopped the flow of wine; no one treads the grapes.
    The land is full of shouting, but they are not shouts of joy.

34 The anguish of their cries rises from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz, from Zoar all the way to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah; for even the waters of Nimrim will dry up.

Eternal One: 35 I will put an end to idol worship in Moab, to those who make offerings on shrines in high places and burn incense to so-called gods.

36 Like the somber sound of a flute, my heart mourns for Moab. My heart mourns for the men of Kir-heres, for everything they had is gone.

37 For every head is shaved, and every beard is cut short;
    every hand is cut, and every waist is wrapped in sackcloth.

38 Eternal One: On every rooftop in Moab and on every street corner,
        there is nothing but mourning
    Because I have smashed Moab like a jar that no one wants.

39 How broken he is! How the people wail!
    How the once-proud Moab turns away in shame!
See how Moab has become a laughingstock
    and a horror to all his neighbors.

40 Eternal One: Look in the distance: an eagle will swoop down
        and spread his wings over Moab, his prey.
41     The cities will be captured and the strongholds seized.
        On that day the heart of Moab’s warriors
    Will be like the heart of a woman in labor—helpless and vulnerable.

42 The nation of Moab will be no more
    because he dares to defy the Eternal.
43 Terror and traps and snares lie ahead, O citizens of Moab.

44 Eternal One: If you run from the terror, you will fall into a pit.
        If you climb out of the pit, you will be caught in a trap.
    There is no escape, for I will bring these disasters against Moab;
        the year of their judgment has come at last.

45     Run if you will, but in Heshbon’s shadow the refugees are helpless.
        Look! A fire rages from Heshbon; destroying flames leap from Sihon;
    They consume the northern regions of Moab
        and destroy his clamoring rebels.
46     Woe to you, O Moab! Worshipers of Chemosh are destroyed;
        your sons are sent away, your daughters taken captive.
47     But even so, in latter times the day will come
        when I will restore the fortunes of Moab.

This is the end of Jeremiah’s oracle of judgment against Moab.

49 Now concerning the Ammonites. This is what the Eternal has to say:

Long is the history between Ammon and Israel, and many are the conflicts between them. In Jeremiah’s day, Ammonite raiders have taken land originally meant for Israel, specifically the tribe of Gad. Along with other nations, the Ammonites have conspired against Babylon. After the fall of Jerusalem, the king of Ammon hires the assassin, Ishmael, to kill Gedaliah at a pivotal moment in the relationship between Judah and Babylon. Time and again, this proud nation defies the God of Israel and His people. They put their trust in their god, Malcam, and they find security in the mountainous region where they live.

Eternal One: Does Israel have no sons?
        Is there no one to inherit the land I gave her?
    Is that why Ammon’s god, Malcam, has taken the land of Gad?
        Why would his people be living in her cities?
    I, the Eternal, tell you the days are coming
        when you will hear the shout of war raised against Rabbah, Ammon’s capital.
    On that day it will be reduced to a pile of ruins,
        and the villages surrounding the city will be burned.
    Then Israel will take back what was taken from her.
    Weep, O Heshbon, for the town of Ai is destroyed!
        Cry out, O citizens of Rabbah!
    Put on sackcloth and mourn your losses.
        Run back and forth inside your city walls
    Because your so-called god, Malcam, will be carried into exile
        along with his priests and officials.
    You boast of your abundant valleys, you faithless daughter,
        but they are fading away.
    You trusted in your own wealth and thought,
        “Who could ever attack me?”
    Watch! I will surround you with terror.
        I, the Eternal Lord, Commander of heavenly armies, declare this.
    You will be driven out of the land in single file,
        with no one to keep your exiles together.
    But after this, there will come a day
        when I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites.

So says the Eternal.

Like the relationship between Esau and Isaac—the twin ancestors from whom Edom and Israel descend—relations are often stormy between these two peoples. It is no secret that the Edomites hate the Israelites and often rejoice in their troubles. But it is pride that ultimately is Edom’s undoing, for they cannot imagine any enemy penetrating their mountain fortresses. They, too, are part of the council of nations that consider standing against Babylon (Jeremiah 27). As always, Jeremiah instructs that such resistance is an affront to the God of Israel who is using Babylon to accomplish His purposes in history.

Here now is the oracle concerning Edom, the descendants of Esau, spoken by the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.

Eternal One: What happened to the wise men of Teman?
        Has their insight failed them?
        Has their wisdom merely vanished into thin air?
    You who live in Dedan,
        run and hide deep in the caves,
    For I will bring a disaster on Esau’s descendants
        when I come to punish him.
    When workers harvest the grapes,
        do they not leave some on the vine for those who are poor?
    Even when thieves enter your home in the middle of the night,
        do they not destroy and steal only what they need?
10     But I will treat Esau’s descendants differently:
        I will strip them bare, exposing their secret places—no place to hide.
    Their children, their families, and even their neighbors will die,
        and this nation will be no more.
11     Leave your orphans to Me, for I will protect them.
        Leave your widows as well, for they can trust Me.

12 This is what I, the Eternal, have to say: “If the innocent must drink of this cup of wrath, why do you think you should escape punishment? You will not escape, for you will surely drink from this cup! 13 I swear by My own name, the Eternal, that Bozrah, Edom’s capital, will become a wasteland, an object of horror, of scorn and cursing; Edom’s towns will forever lie in ruins.”

14 I have heard a message from the Eternal.
    An envoy was sent to the nations to say,
“Assemble your troops to attack Edom!
    Rise up, and prepare for battle!”

15 Eternal One (to Edom): Look! I will humiliate you among the nations,
        make you small and insignificant, despised by all.
16     The terror you inspire in others
        and your ingrained arrogance have deceived you!
    You think you are safe in your mountain hideaways;
        you hold the high ground above your enemies.
    You may build your fortress as high as an eagle’s nest,
        but I can still bring you down from there.

17 Edom will become an object of horror; all who pass by and see what I have done will shudder and gasp at all of his wounds. 18 Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and all their neighbors were destroyed, never to rise again, I, the Eternal One, declare that no one will live there; no one will dare to make Edom their home. 19 Like a lion that suddenly emerges from the dense undergrowth beside the Jordan to attack a flock feeding in the lush pasture, so in an instant I will arrive and chase the people of Edom from their land. Then I will put in place a leader of My choosing. For who is like Me, and who can challenge Me? What shepherd can stand against Me?

20 That is why you must hear the plan that the Eternal has for Edom, and what He intends to do to those who live in the city of Teman.

Eternal One: The little ones will be dragged away from the flock.
        All will scatter when their pasture is left desolate.
21     The sound of Edom’s fall will cause the earth to shake.
        Their anguished cry will echo to the Red Sea.[a]
22     Look, an eagle is rising, spreading its wings!
        Soon it will swoop down and attack Bozrah.
    On that day, the heart of Edom’s warriors
        will be like the heart of a woman in labor—helpless and vulnerable.

Footnotes:

  1. 49:21 Hebrew, Sea of Reeds
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

2 Timothy 4

And now I bring you this charge before God and Jesus the Anointed, the one destined to judge the living and the dead, at His glorious appearance and His kingdom: go out and preach the word! Go whether it’s an opportune time or not! Reprove, warn, and encourage; but do so with all the patience and instruction needed to fulfill your calling because a time will come when some will no longer tolerate sound teaching. Instead, they will live by their own desires; they’ll scratch their itching ears by surrounding themselves with teachers who approve of their lifestyles and tell them what they want to hear. They will turn away from the real truth you have to offer because they prefer the sound of fables and myths. But you must stay focused and be alert at all times. Tolerate suffering. Accomplish the good work of an evangelist, and complete the ministry to which you have been called.

Paul’s message: stay focused, suffer hardships, be confident, do the work. The church has always progressed by faithfulness of her saints.

For I am already being poured out, and the last drops of this drink offering are all that remain; it’s almost time for me to leave. I have fought the good fight, I have stayed on course and finished the race, and through it all, I have kept believing. I look forward to what’s in store for me: a crown of righteousness that the Lord—the always right and just judge—will give me that day (but it is not only for me, but for all those who love and long for His appearing).

Come to me, Timothy, as soon as you can. 10 You see, Demas has fallen for this world, abandoned me, and headed off to Thessalonica. Crescens took off for Galatia. Titus has gone to Dalmatia. 11 Luke is the only one left. Bring Mark with you because he is useful in this work and will help look after me. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 On your way here, pick up the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, and bring the scrolls—especially the parchments.

14 Keep your eye out for Alexander the coppersmith! He came against me with all sorts of evil—may the Lord pay him back accordingly— 15 so watch your back because he has gone overboard to oppose our message.

16 When it was time for my first defense, no one showed up to support me. Everyone abandoned me (may it not be held against them) 17 except the Lord. He stood by me, strengthened me, and backed the truth I proclaimed with power so it may be heard by all the non-Jews. He rescued me, pried open the lion’s jaw, and snatched me from its teeth. 18 And I know the Lord will continue to rescue me from every trip, trap, snare, and pitfall of evil and carry me safely to His heavenly kingdom. May He be glorified throughout eternity. Amen.

19 Give my regards to Prisca, Aquila, and everyone over at Onesiphorus’s house. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus in Miletus because he was sick. 21 Try your best to come before winter blows in. Eubulus says hello and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters. 22 May the Lord be with your spirit, and may His grace be with you. [Amen.][a]

Footnotes:

  1. 4:22 The earliest manuscripts omit this word.
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 95-96

Psalm 95

Come, let us worship in song, a joyful offering to the Eternal.
    Shout! Shout with joy to the rock of our liberation.
Come face-to-face with God, and give thanks;
    with loud and joyful voices, praise Him in songs.
For the Eternal is a great God,
    and a great King, supreme over all gods.
Within His control are the very depths of the earth;
    the mountaintops too—they all belong to Him.
The sea belongs to Him, for He created it—scooped and filled it—
    with His hands He made the dry land—every valley and mountain.

Come, let us worship Him. Everyone bow down;
    kneel before the Eternal who made us.
For He is our God
    and we are His people, the flock of His pasture,
    His sheep protected and nurtured by His hand.

Today, if He speaks, hear His voice.
    “Don’t harden your hearts the way they did in the bitter uprising at Meribah
    or like that day they complained in the wilderness of Massah.
Your ancestors tested Me,
    wanted Me to prove Myself though they had seen that nothing was too great for Me.
10 For 40 years I despised that grumbling generation
    and said, ‘Their hearts are unfaithful;
    they no longer walk in My ways; though I call, they do not listen to My voice.’
11 That is why in My anger I swore,
    ‘They will never enter into My rest.’”

Psalm 96

Sing a new song to the Eternal;
    sing in one voice to the Eternal, all the earth.
Sing to the Eternal of all the good things He’s done.
    Bless His name;
    broadcast the good news of His salvation each and every day.
Enlighten the nations to His splendor;
    describe His wondrous acts to all people.
For the Eternal is great indeed and praiseworthy;
    feared and reverenced above all gods, the True God shall be.
For all human-made, lifeless gods are worthless idols,
    but the Eternal plotted the vast heavens, shaped every last detail.
Honor and majesty precede Him;
    strength and beauty infuse His holy sanctuary.

One of the great themes of Scripture and Psalms is the kingship of God. While lesser kings come and go, God is the One who ultimately rules and reigns over His people, and by extension over the rest of creation. Psalm 96 and others in the collection are often referred to as “enthronement” psalms because they declare boldly and unequivocally that the Eternal is King. There is evidence to suggest that an annual festival at the beginning of the year provided an opportunity to reaffirm the people’s loyalty to the one True God. Psalm 96 calls for new songs to be composed and sung to God and about God as a witness. The enthronement psalms call the world and all its inhabitants to come and recognize His beauty and majesty.

Give all credit to the Eternal, families of the world!
    Credit Him with glory, honor, and strength!
Credit Him with the glory worthy of His magnificent name;
    gather your sacrifice, and present it at His temple.
Bow down to the Eternal, adorned in holiness;
    lay awestruck before Him, trembling, all people of the earth.

10 Shout out to the nations, “The Eternal reigns!
    Yes, indeed, the world is anchored and will not shake loose.
    He governs all people with a fair hand.”
11 And so, let the heavens resound in gladness!
    Let joy be the earth’s rhythm as the sea and all its creatures roar.
12 Let the fields grow in triumph, a grand jubilee for all that live there.
Let all the trees of the forest dig in and reach high with songs of joy before the Eternal,
13 For the Eternal is on His way:
    yes, He is coming to judge the earth.
He will set the world right by His standards,
    and by His faithfulness, He will examine the people.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 26:9-12

Like a thorn in the hand of a drunkard,
    so is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
10 Like an archer who shoots at random and injures everyone,
    so is a person who hires a fool or someone off the street.[a]
11 Like a dog who goes back to his own vomit,[b]
    so is a fool who always returns to his foolishness.

12 Have you seen a person who is wise in his own sight?
    Know that there is more hope for a fool than for him.

Footnotes:

  1. 26:10 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  2. 26:11 2 Peter 2:22
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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