November 19

Psalms 135

1Let the Lord be praised. O you servants of the Lord, give praise to the name of the Lord.

2You who are in the house of the Lord, and in the open spaces of the house of our God,

3Give praise to Jah, for he is good: make melody to his name, for it is pleasing.

4For the Lord has taken Jacob for himself, and Israel for his property.

5I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is greater than all other gods.

6The Lord has done whatever was pleasing to him, in heaven, and on the earth, in the seas and in all the deep waters.

7He makes the mists go up from the ends of the earth; he makes thunder-flames for the rain; he sends out the winds from his store-houses.

8He put to death the first-fruits of Egypt, of man and of beast.

9He sent signs and wonders among you, O Egypt, on Pharaoh, and on all his servants.

10He overcame great nations, and put strong kings to death;

11Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan;

12And gave their land for a heritage, even for a heritage to Israel his people.

13O Lord, your name is eternal; and the memory of you will have no end.

14For the Lord will be judge of his people’s cause; his feelings will be changed to his servants.

15The images of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.

16They have mouths, but no voice, they have eyes, but they do not see;

17They have ears, but no hearing; and there is no breath in their mouths.

18Those who make them are like them; and so is everyone who puts his hope in them.

19Give praise to the Lord, O children of Israel: give praise to the Lord, O sons of Aaron:

20Give praise to the Lord, O sons of Levi: let all the worshippers of the Lord give him praise.

21Praise be to the Lord out of Zion, even to the Lord whose house is in Jerusalem, Let the Lord be praised.

Jeremiah 33

1Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still shut up in the place of the armed watchmen, saying,

2These are the words of the Lord, who is doing it, the Lord who is forming it, to make it certain; the Lord is his name;

3Let your cry come to me, and I will give you an answer, and let you see great things and secret things of which you had no knowledge.

4For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said about the houses of this town and the houses of the kings of Judah, which have been broken down to make earthworks and …;

5… and to make them full of the dead bodies of men whom I have put to death in my wrath and in my passion, and because of whose evil-doing I have kept my face covered from this town.

6See, I will make it healthy and well again, I will even make them well; I will let them see peace and good faith in full measure.

7And I will let the fate of Judah and of Israel be changed, building them up as at first.

8And I will make them clean from all their sin, with which they have been sinning against me; I will have forgiveness for all their sins, with which they have been sinning against me, and with which they have done evil against me.

9And this town will be to me for a name of joy, for a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth, who, hearing of all the good which I am doing for them, will be shaking with fear because of all the good and the peace which I am doing for it.

10This is what the Lord has said: There will again be sounding in this place, of which you say, It is a waste, without man and without beast; even in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem which are waste and unpeopled, without man and without beast,

11Happy sounds, the voice of joy, the voice of the newly-married man and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who say, Give praise to the Lord of armies, for the Lord is good, for his mercy is unchanging for ever: the voices of those who go with praise into the house of the Lord. For I will let the land come back to its first condition, says the Lord.

12This is what the Lord of armies has said: Again there will be in this place, which is a waste, without man and without beast, and in all its towns, a resting-place where the keepers of sheep will make their flocks take rest.

13In the towns of the hill-country, in the towns of the lowland, and in the towns of the South and in the land of Benjamin and in the country round Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, the flocks will again go under the hand of him who is numbering them, says the Lord.

14See, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will give effect to the good word which I have said about the people of Israel and the people of Judah.

15In those days and at that time, I will let a Branch of righteousness come up for David; and he will be a judge in righteousness in the land.

16In those days, Judah will have salvation and Jerusalem will be safe: and this is the name which will be given to her: The Lord is our righteousness.

17For the Lord has said, David will never be without a man to take his place on the seat of the kingdom of Israel;

18And the priests and the Levites will never be without a man to come before me, offering burned offerings and perfumes and meal offerings and offerings of beasts at all times.

19And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying,

20The Lord has said: If it is possible for my agreement of the day and the night to be broken, so that day and night no longer come at their fixed times,

21Then my agreement with my servant David may be broken, so that he no longer has a son to take his place on the seat of the kingdom; and my agreement with the Levites, the priests, my servants.

22As it is not possible for the army of heaven to be numbered, or the sand of the sea measured, so will I make the seed of my servant David, and the Levites my servants.

23And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying,

24Have you taken note of what these people have said, The two families, which the Lord took for himself, he has given up? This they say, looking down on my people as being, in their eyes, no longer a nation.

25The Lord has said, If I have not made day and night, and if the limits of heaven and earth have not been fixed by me,

26Then I will give up caring for the seed of Jacob and of David my servant, so that I will not take of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will let their fate be changed and will have mercy on them.

Jeremiah 34

1The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth which were under his rule, and all the peoples, were fighting against Jerusalem and all its towns, saying,

2The Lord, the God of Israel, has said, Go and say to Zedekiah, king of Judah, This is what the Lord has said: See, I will give this town into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will have it burned with fire:

3And you will not get away from him, but will certainly be taken and given up into his hands; and you will see the king of Babylon, eye to eye, and he will have talk with you, mouth to mouth, and you will go to Babylon.

4But give ear to the word of the Lord, O Zedekiah, king of Judah; this is what the Lord has said about you: Death will not come to you by the sword:

5You will come to your end in peace; and such burnings as they made for your fathers, the earlier kings before you, will be made for you; and they will be weeping for you and saying, Ah lord! for I have said the word, says the Lord.

6Then Jeremiah the prophet said all these things to Zedekiah, king of Judah, in Jerusalem,

7When the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and against all the towns of Judah which had not been taken, against Lachish and against Azekah; for these were the last of the walled towns of Judah.

8The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after King Zedekiah had made an agreement with all the people in Jerusalem, to give news in public that servants were to be made free;

9That every man was to let his Hebrew man-servant and his Hebrew servant-girl go free; so that no one might make use of a Jew, his countryman, as a servant:

10And this was done by all the rulers and the people who had taken part in the agreement, and every one let his man-servant and his servant-girl go free, not to be used as servants any longer; they did so, and let them go.

11But later, they took back again the servants and the servant-girls whom they had let go free, and put them again under the yoke as servants and servant-girls.

12For this reason the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

13The Lord, the God of Israel, has said, I made an agreement with your fathers on the day when I took them out of Egypt, out of the prison-house, saying,

14At the end of seven years every man is to let go his countryman who is a Hebrew, who has become yours for a price and has been your servant for six years; you are to let him go free: but your fathers gave no attention and did not give ear.

15And now, turning away from evil, you had done what is right in my eyes, giving a public undertaking for every man to make his neighbour free; and you had made an agreement before me in the house which is named by my name:

16But again you have put shame on my name, and you have taken back, every one his man-servant and his servant-girl, whom you had sent away free, and you have put them under the yoke again to be your servants and servant-girls.

17And so the Lord has said, You have not given ear to me and undertaken publicly, every man to let loose his countryman and his neighbour: see, I undertake to let loose against you the sword and disease and need of food; and I will send you wandering among all the kingdoms of the earth.

18And I will give the men who have gone against my agreement and have not given effect to the words of the agreement which they made before me, when the ox was cut in two and they went between the parts of it,

19The rulers of Judah and the rulers of Jerusalem, the unsexed servants and the priests and all the people of the land who went between the parts of the ox,

20Even these I will give up into the hands of their haters and into the hands of those who have designs against their lives: and their dead bodies will become food for the birds of heaven and the beasts of the earth.

21And Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his rulers I will give into the hands of their haters and into the hands of those who have designs against their lives, and into the hands of the king of Babylon’s army which has gone away from you.

22See, I will give orders, says the Lord, and make them come back to this town; and they will make war on it and take it and have it burned with fire: and I will make the towns of Judah waste and unpeopled.

1 Peter 2

1So putting away all wrongdoing, and all tricks and deceits and envies and evil talk,

2Be full of desire for the true milk of the word, as babies at their mothers’ breasts, so that you may go on to salvation;

3If you have had a taste of the grace of the Lord:

4To whom you come, as to a living stone, not honoured by men, but of great and special value to God;

5You, as living stones, are being made into a house of the spirit, a holy order of priests, making those offerings of the spirit which are pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.

6Because it is said in the Writings, See, I am placing a keystone in Zion, of great and special value; and the man who has faith in him will not be put to shame.

7And the value is for you who have faith; but it is said for those without faith, The very stone which the builders put on one side, was made the chief stone of the building;

8And, A stone of falling, a rock of trouble; the word is the cause of their fall, because they go against it, and this was the purpose of God.

9But you are a special people, a holy nation, priests and kings, a people given up completely to God, so that you may make clear the virtues of him who took you out of the dark into the light of heaven.

10In the past you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; then there was no mercy for you, but now mercy has been given to you.

11My loved ones, I make this request with all my heart, that, as those for whom this world is a strange country, you will keep yourselves from the desires of the flesh which make war against the soul;

12Being of good behaviour among the Gentiles; so that though they say now that you are evil-doers, they may see your good works and give glory to God when he comes to be their judge.

13Keep all the laws of men because of the Lord; those of the king, who is over all,

14And those of the rulers who are sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers and for the praise of those who do well.

15Because it is God’s pleasure that foolish and narrow-minded men may be put to shame by your good behaviour:

16As those who are free, not using your free position as a cover for wrongdoing, but living as the servants of God;

17Have respect for all, loving the brothers, fearing God, honouring the king.

18Servants, take orders from your masters with all respect; not only if they are good and gentle, but even if they are bad-humoured.

19For it is a sign of grace if a man, desiring to do right in the eyes of God, undergoes pain as punishment for something which he has not done.

20What credit is it if, when you have done evil, you take your punishment quietly? but if you are given punishment for doing right, and take it quietly, this is pleasing to God.

21This is God’s purpose for you: because Jesus himself underwent punishment for you, giving you an example, so that you might go in his footsteps:

22Who did no evil, and there was no deceit in his mouth:

23To sharp words he gave no sharp answer; when he was undergoing pain, no angry word came from his lips; but he put himself into the hands of the judge of righteousness:

24He took our sins on himself, giving his body to be nailed on the tree, so that we, being dead to sin, might have a new life in righteousness, and by his wounds we have been made well.

25Because, like sheep, you had gone out of the way; but now you have come back to him who keeps watch over your souls.

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