Jeremiah 1-2 | 2 Thessalonians 2
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah, 3 and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.
The Call of Jeremiah
4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. 12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
13 The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?” “I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.” 14 The Lord said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord. “Their kings will come and set up their thrones in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem they will come against all her surrounding walls and against all the towns of Judah.
16 I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made. 17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand 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 will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Israel Forsakes God
2 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:
“This is what the Lord says:
“‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown. 3 Israel was holy to the Lord, the firstfruits of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,’” declares the Lord.
4 Hear the word of the Lord, you descendants of Jacob, all you clans of Israel. 5 This is what the Lord says: “What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. 6 They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and ravines, a land of drought and utter darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives?’
7 I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable. 8 The priests did not ask ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols.9 “Therefore I bring charges against you again,”declares the Lord. “And I will bring charges against your children’s children.
10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus and look, send to Kedar[c] and observe closely; see if there has ever been anything like this: 11 Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all. But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. 12 Be appalled at this, you heavens, and shudder with great horror,” declares the Lord. 13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
14 Is Israel a servant, a slave by birth? Why then has he become plunder? 15 Lions have roared; they have growled at him. They have laid waste his land; his towns are burned and deserted. 16 Also, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have cracked your skull. 17 Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the Lord your God when he led you in the way? 18 Now why go to Egypt to drink water from the Nile[d]. And why go to Assyria to drink water from the Euphrates?
19 Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty. 20 “Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, ‘I will not serve you!’
Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute. 21 I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock.
How then did you turn against me into a corrupt, wild vine? 22 Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me,” declares the Sovereign Lord.
23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals’?
See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done.
You are a swift she-camel running here and there, 24 a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving, in her heat who can restrain her?
Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her. 25 Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.’
26 “As a thief is disgraced when he is caught, so the people of Israel are disgraced they, their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets. 27 They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’ 28 Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! For you, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns.
29 “Why do you bring charges against me? You have all rebelled against me,”
declares the Lord. 30 “In vain I punished your people; they did not respond to correction. Your sword has devoured your prophets like a ravenous lion. 31 “You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord:
“Have I been a desert to Israel or a land of great darkness? Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam; we will come to you no more’? 32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number. 33 How skilled you are at pursuing love! Even the worst of women can learn from your ways. 34 On your clothes is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in.
Yet in spite of all this 35 you say, ‘I am innocent; he is not angry with me.’ But I will pass judgment on you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ 36 Why do you go about so much, changing your ways? You will be disappointed by Egypt as you were by Assyria. 37 You will also leave that place with your hands on your head,
for the Lord has rejected those you trust; you will not be helped by them.
2 THESSALONIANS 2
2 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed,whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits[b] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings[c] we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved usand by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
Read through the Bible in 2023
This year we will "Read Through the Bible" from the Old Testament and New Testament each day and take them in the order we have in our Bibles. Average reading time is 15 minutes per day.
A NOTE FROM MICHELE
Reading the Scriptures is as old as the Scriptures themselves (obviously, right?). They impart words of life. They show us the path to salvation. They teach us how to receive forgiveness of sins and point us to eternal life. They draw us ever closer to a loving God. They grow us in the grace and knowledge of His Son. In short, they change us!
Ten Reasons to Read Every Day
So, I have ten reasons that I believe make Bible reading, Bible understanding, Bible memory essential to the Christian life. Resist feelings of self-sufficiency that say, “I don’t need the Scripture every day.” Here are my ten reasons.
1. Scripture saves.
Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:16
“God saves us daily by Scripture.” Salvation has happened to God’s people, salvation is — at this moment — happening to God’s people, and salvation will happen completely at the resurrection of God’s people, and it is happening now by means. Paul says to hold fast to the teaching and thereby save yourself. God saves us daily by Scripture.
2. Scripture frees from Satan.
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
And the context is that Jesus is showing the Jewish leaders that, though they think they are not slaves, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires” (John 8:44). Satan is your enemy, young Christian. He is a thousand times stronger than you are. So, John writes to the young believers,
I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:14
This is our only hope for defeating a supernatural enemy. Every time Jesus was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1–11; Mark 1:12–13; Luke 4:1–13), he struck back with “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17), and he had it memorized, so he didn’t have to carry a book in the wilderness.
3. Scripture imparts grace and peace.
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:2
Knowledge of God gained through Scripture is not identical with grace, but Peter says it is a means of grace. If we want to be made peaceful and powerful through divine grace, Peter says, it happens “in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” That knowledge is found in one place: Scripture.
4. Scripture sanctifies.
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
“We’re all assigned in some measure to handle the word of God.” Sanctification is the process of becoming holy — that is, becoming more like Christ and like God, who is perfectly holy. This is not optional. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Strive . . . for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
We don’t become perfect in this life, but we do become holy. God sanctifies his people. And Jesus prays to his Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” It couldn’t be more plain, or more important.
5. Scripture gives joy.
You received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 1:6
His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2
Life without joy is unbearable. The Christian life is a life of many afflictions. But in them all, God sustains joy, and he does it by the Scriptures.
6. Scripture protects us from destructive error.
Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God . . . so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine. Ephesians 4:13–14
How do young Christians stop being leaves blown around by cultural and theological winds and opinions? Answer: “the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” — knowledge that they experience not as the opinion of man, but as the word of God. That’s found in one place: the Scriptures.
7. Scripture is the hope of heaven.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
The knowledge of God — all the fullness that a created being can properly comprehend and enjoy — will not be withheld from us indefinitely. The frustrations of our present limitations of understanding and enjoyment will be removed. How fitting it is, then, that we be ever growing now in what will be our final joy in the age to come.
8. Scripture will be resisted by some.
The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. 2 Timothy 4:3
In other words, we need to know the Scriptures so that we’re not taken off guard or knocked off balance or led away by false teachers. We need to receive the Scriptures regularly to be ready to meet those who refuse to receive the Scriptures.
9. The right handling of Scripture is approved by God.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
It is a precious thing to be assigned to do a very important task, and then to find the master worker approving of what he’s asked you to do. We’re all assigned in some measure to handle the word of God. And what a wonderful opportunity to be pleasing to the Lord.
10. Scripture gives and sustains life.
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
Spiritual life — eternal life — just like physical life, must be fed, not by bread, but by the word of God.