November 13

Psalms 129

A Song of the going up.

1 Great have been my troubles from the time when I was young (let Israel now say);

2Great have been my troubles from the time when I was young, but my troubles have not overcome me.

3The ploughmen were ploughing on my back; long were the wounds they made.

4The Lord is true: the cords of the evil-doers are broken in two.

5Let all the haters of Zion be shamed and turned back.

6Let them be like the grass on the house-tops, which is dry before it comes to full growth.

7He who gets in the grain has no use for it; and they do not make bands of it for the grain-stems.

8And those who go by do not say, The blessing of the Lord be on you; we give you blessing in the name of the Lord.

Jeremiah 21

1The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur, the son of Malchiah, and Zephaniah, the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying,

2Will you get directions from the Lord for us; for Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, is making war against us; it may be that the Lord will do something for us like all the wonders he has done, and make him go away from us.

3Then Jeremiah said to them, This is what you are to say to Zedekiah:

4The Lord God of Israel has said, See, I am turning back the instruments of war in your hands, with which you are fighting against the king of Babylon and the Chaldaeans, who are outside the walls and shutting you in; and I will get them together inside this town.

5And I myself will be fighting against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even with angry feeling and passion and in great wrath.

6And I will send a great disease on the people living in this town, on man and on beast, causing their death.

7And after that, says the Lord, I will give up Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his servants and his people, even those in the town who have not come to their end from the disease and the sword and from need of food, into the hands of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, and into the hands of their haters, and into the hands of those desiring their death: he will put them to the sword; he will not let anyone get away, he will have no pity or mercy.

8And to this people you are to say, The Lord has said, See, I put before you the way of life and the way of death.

9He who keeps in this town will come to his death by the sword and through need of food and through disease; but he who goes out and gives himself up to the Chaldaeans who are shutting you in, will go on living, and will keep his life safe.

10For my face is turned to this town for evil and not for good, says the Lord: it will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will have it burned with fire.

11About the family of the king of Judah. Give ear to the word of the Lord;

12O family of David, this is what the Lord has said: Do what is right in the morning, and make free from the hands of the cruel one him whose goods have been violently taken away, or my wrath will go out like fire, burning so that no one may put it out, because of the evil of your doings.

13See, I am against you, you who are living on the rock of the valley, says the Lord; you who say, Who will come down against us? or who will get into our houses?

14I will send punishment on you in keeping with the fruit of your doings, says the Lord: and I will put a fire in her woodlands, burning up everything round about her.

Jeremiah 22

1This is what the Lord has said: Go down to the house of the king of Judah and there give him this word,

2And say, Give ear to the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, seated on the seat of David, you and your servants and your people who come in by these doors.

3This is what the Lord has said: Do what is right, judging uprightly, and make free from the hands of the cruel one him whose goods have been violently taken away: do no wrong and be not violent to the man from a strange country and the child without a father and the widow, and let not those who have done no wrong be put to death in this place.

4For if you truly do this, then there will come in through the doors of this house kings seated on the seat of David, going in carriages and on horseback, he and his servants and his people

5But if you do not give ear to these words, I give you my oath by myself, says the Lord, that this house will become a waste.

6For this is what the Lord has said about the family of the king of Judah: You are Gilead to me, and the top of Lebanon: but, truly, I will make you waste, with towns unpeopled.

7And I will make ready those who will send destruction on you, everyone armed for war: by them your best cedar-trees will be cut down and put in the fire.

8And nations from all sides will go past this town, and every man will say to his neighbour, Why has the Lord done such things to this great town?

9And they will say, Because they gave up the agreement of the Lord their God, and became worshippers and servants of other gods.

10Let there be no weeping for the dead, and make no songs of grief for him: but make bitter weeping for him who has gone away, for he will never come back or see again the country of his birth.

11For this is what the Lord has said about Shallum, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who became king in place of Josiah his father, who went out from this place: He will never come back there again:

12But death will come to him in the place where they have taken him away prisoner, and he will never see this land again.

13A curse is on him who is building his house by wrongdoing, and his rooms by doing what is not right; who makes use of his neighbour without payment, and gives him nothing for his work;

14Who says, I will make a wide house for myself, and rooms of great size, and has windows cut out, and has it roofed with cedar and painted with bright red.

15Are you to be a king because you make more use of cedar than your father? did not your father take food and drink and do right, judging in righteousness, and then it was well for him?

16He was judge in the cause of the poor and those in need; then it was well. Was not this to have knowledge of me? says the Lord.

17But your eyes and your heart are fixed only on profit for yourself, on causing the death of him who has done no wrong, and on violent and cruel acts.

18So this is what the Lord has said about Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah: They will make no weeping for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! they will make no weeping for him, saying, Ah lord! or, Ah his glory!

19They will do to him what they do to the dead body of an ass; his body will be pulled out and placed on the earth outside the doors of Jerusalem.

20Go up to Lebanon and give a cry; let your voice be loud in Bashan, crying out from Abarim; for all your lovers have come to destruction

21My word came to you in the time of your well-being; but you said, I will not give ear. This has been your way from your earliest years, you did not give attention to my voice.

22All the keepers of your sheep will be food for the wind, and your lovers will be taken away prisoners: truly, then you will be shamed and unhonoured because of all your evil-doing.

23O you who are living in Lebanon, making your living-place in the cedars, how greatly to be pitied will you be when pains come on you, as on a woman in childbirth!

24By my life, says the Lord, even if Coniah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, was the ring on my right hand, even from there I would have you pulled off;

25And I will give you into the hands of those desiring your death, and into the hands of those whom you are fearing, even into the hands of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, and into the hands of the Chaldaeans.

26I will send you out, and your mother who gave you birth, into another country not the land of your birth; and there death will come to you.

27But to the land on which their soul’s desire is fixed, they will never come back.

28Is this man Coniah a broken vessel of no value? is he a vessel in which there is no pleasure? why are they violently sent out, he and his seed, into a land which is strange to them?

29O earth, earth, earth, give ear to the word of the Lord!

30The Lord has said, Let this man be recorded as having no children, a man who will not do well in all his life: for no man of his seed will do well, seated on the seat of the kingdom of David and ruling again in Judah.

James 1

1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, sends words of love to the twelve tribes of the Jews living in all parts of the earth.

2Let it be all joy to you, my brothers, when you undergo tests of every sort;

3Because you have the knowledge that the testing of your faith gives you the power of going on in hope;

4But let this power have its full effect, so that you may be made complete, needing nothing.

5But if any man among you is without wisdom, let him make his request to God, who gives freely to all without an unkind word, and it will be given to him.

6Let him make his request in faith, doubting nothing; for he who has doubt in his heart is like the waves of the sea, which are troubled by the driving of the wind.

7Let it not seem to such a man that he will get anything from the Lord;

8For there is a division in his mind, and he is uncertain in all his ways.

9But let the brother of low position be glad that he is lifted up;

10But the man of wealth, that he is made low; because like the flower of the grass he will come to his end.

11For when the sun comes up with its burning heat, the grass gets dry and the grace of its form is gone with the falling flower; so the man of wealth comes to nothing in his ways.

12There is a blessing on the man who undergoes testing; because, if he has God’s approval, he will be given the crown of life, which the Lord has said he will give to those who have love for him.

13Let no man say when he is tested, I am tested by God; for it is not possible for God to be tested by evil, and he himself puts no man to such a test:

14But every man is tested when he is turned out of the right way by the attraction of his desire.

15Then when its time comes, desire gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is of full growth, gives birth to death.

16Do not be turned from the right way, dear brothers.

17Every good and true thing is given to us from heaven, coming from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change or any shade made by turning.

18Of his purpose he gave us being, by his true word, so that we might be, in a sense, the first-fruits of all the things which he had made.

19You have knowledge of this, dear brothers. But let every man be quick in hearing, slow in words, slow to get angry;

20For the righteousness of God does not come about by the wrath of man.

21For this reason, putting away all dirty behaviour and the overweight of evil, take into your souls without pride the word which, being planted there, is able to give you salvation.

22But be doers of the word, and not only hearers of it, blinding yourselves with false ideas.

23Because if any man is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a glass;

24For after looking at himself he goes away, and in a short time he has no memory of what he was like.

25But he who goes on looking into the true law which makes him free, being not a hearer without memory but a doer putting it into effect, this man will have a blessing on his acts.

26If a man seems to have religion and has no control over his tongue but lets himself be tricked by what is false, this man’s religion is of no value.

27The religion which is holy and free from evil in the eyes of our God and Father is this: to take care of children who have no fathers and of widows who are in trouble, and to keep oneself untouched by the world.

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