Jeremiah 9: 23Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.
Pride is one of the easiest sins into which we slip. The acknowledgment of the Lord in public is great to see when it occurs on television by an athlete, but how well do we do at acknowledging the source of our own accomplishments? How much of a source of a delight for Him are we?
Message at the Temple Gate
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2“Stand in the gate of the LORD’S house and proclaim there this word and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah, who enter by these gates to worship the LORD!’” 3Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4“Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’ 5“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, 6if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, 7then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.
8“Behold, you are trusting in deceptive words to no avail. 9“Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known, 10then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—that you may do all these abominations? 11“Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” declares the LORD.
12“But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13“And now, because you have done all these things,” declares the LORD, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, 14therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15“I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim.
16“As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you. 17“Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18“The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me. 19“Do they spite Me?” declares the LORD. “Is it not themselves they spite, to their own shame?” 20Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.”
21Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh. 22“For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24“Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward. 25“Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent you all My servants the prophets, daily rising early and sending them. 26“Yet they did not listen to Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck; they did more evil than their fathers.
27“You shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you; and you shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28“You shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God or accept correction; truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.
29 ‘Cut off your hair and cast it away,
And take up a lamentation on the bare heights;
For the LORD has rejected and forsaken
The generation of His wrath.’
30“For the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in My sight,” declares the LORD, “they have set their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. 31“They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.
32“Therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when it will no longer be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of the Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place. 33“The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34“Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin.
The Sin and Treachery of Judah
1“At that time,” declares the LORD, “they will bring out the bones of the kings of Judah and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves. 2“They will spread them out to the sun, the moon and to all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served, and which they have gone after and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered or buried; they will be as dung on the face of the ground. 3“And death will be chosen rather than life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family, that remains in all the places to which I have driven them,” declares the LORD of hosts.
4 “You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD,
“Do men fall and not get up again?
Does one turn away and not repent?
5 “Why then has this people, Jerusalem,
Turned away in continual apostasy?
They hold fast to deceit,
They refuse to return.
6 “I have listened and heard,
They have spoken what is not right;
No man repented of his wickedness,
Saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turned to his course,
Like a horse charging into the battle.
7 “Even the stork in the sky
Knows her seasons;
And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush
Observe the time of their migration;
But My people do not know
The ordinance of the LORD.
8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise,
And the law of the LORD is with us’?
But behold, the lying pen of the scribes
Has made it into a lie.
9 “The wise men are put to shame,
They are dismayed and caught;
Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD,
And what kind of wisdom do they have?
10 “Therefore I will give their wives to others,
Their fields to new owners;
Because from the least even to the greatest
Everyone is greedy for gain;
From the prophet even to the priest
Everyone practices deceit.
11 “They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.
12 “Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done?
They certainly were not ashamed,
And they did not know how to blush;
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time of their punishment they shall be brought down,”
Says the LORD.
13 “I will surely snatch them away,” declares the LORD;
“There will be no grapes on the vine
And no figs on the fig tree,
And the leaf will wither;
And what I have given them will pass away.”’”
14 Why are we sitting still?
Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities
And let us perish there,
Because the LORD our God has doomed us
And given us poisoned water to drink,
For we have sinned against the LORD.
15 We waited for peace, but no good came;
For a time of healing, but behold, terror!
16 From Dan is heard the snorting of his horses;
At the sound of the neighing of his stallions
The whole land quakes;
For they come and devour the land and its fullness,
The city and its inhabitants.
17 “For behold, I am sending serpents against you,
Adders, for which there is no charm,
And they will bite you,” declares the LORD.
18 My sorrow is beyond healing,
My heart is faint within me!
19 Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land:
“Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not within her?”
“Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?”
20 “Harvest is past, summer is ended,
And we are not saved.”
21 For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken;
I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?
A Lament over Zion
1 Oh that my head were waters
And my eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night
For the slain of the daughter of my people!
2 Oh that I had in the desert
A wayfarers’ lodging place;
That I might leave my people
And go from them!
For all of them are adulterers,
An assembly of treacherous men.
3 “They bend their tongue like their bow;
Lies and not truth prevail in the land;
For they proceed from evil to evil,
And they do not know Me,” declares the LORD.
4 “Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor,
And do not trust any brother;
Because every brother deals craftily,
And every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
5 “Everyone deceives his neighbor
And does not speak the truth,
They have taught their tongue to speak lies;
They weary themselves committing iniquity.
6 “Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit;
Through deceit they refuse to know Me,” declares the LORD.
7 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts,
“Behold, I will refine them and assay them;
For what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people?
8 “Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
It speaks deceit;
With his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor,
But inwardly he sets an ambush for him.
9 “Shall I not punish them for these things?” declares the LORD.
“On a nation such as this
Shall I not avenge Myself?
10 “For the mountains I will take up a weeping and wailing,
And for the pastures of the wilderness a dirge,
Because they are laid waste so that no one passes through,
And the lowing of the cattle is not heard;
Both the birds of the sky and the beasts have fled; they are gone.
11 “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
A haunt of jackals;
And I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.”
12Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined, laid waste like a desert, so that no one passes through? 13The LORD said, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it, 14but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them,” 15therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink. 16“I will scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them until I have annihilated them.”
17 Thus says the LORD of hosts,
“Consider and call for the mourning women, that they may come;
And send for the wailing women, that they may come!
18 “Let them make haste and take up a wailing for us,
That our eyes may shed tears
And our eyelids flow with water.
19 “For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion,
‘How are we ruined!
We are put to great shame,
For we have left the land,
Because they have cast down our dwellings.’”
20 Now hear the word of the LORD, O you women,
And let your ear receive the word of His mouth;
Teach your daughters wailing,
And everyone her neighbor a dirge.
21 For death has come up through our windows;
It has entered our palaces
To cut off the children from the streets,
The young men from the town squares.
22 Speak, “Thus says the LORD,
‘The corpses of men will fall like dung on the open field,
And like the sheaf after the reaper,
But no one will gather them.’”
23Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.
25“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised— 26Egypt and Judah, and Edom and the sons of Ammon, and Moab and all those inhabiting the desert who clip the hair on their temples; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised of heart.”
Psalm 109: 21 But You, O GOD, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name’s sake;
Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me;
22 For I am afflicted and needy,
And my heart is wounded within me.
23 I am passing like a shadow when it lengthens;
I am shaken off like the locust.
24 My knees are weak from fasting,
And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness.
25 I also have become a reproach to them;
When they see me, they wag their head.
26 Help me, O LORD my God;
Save me according to Your lovingkindness.
27 And let them know that this is Your hand;
You, LORD, have done it.
28 Let them curse, but You bless;
When they arise, they shall be ashamed,
But Your servant shall be glad.
29 Let my accusers be clothed with dishonor,
And let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe.
30 With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the LORD;
And in the midst of many I will praise Him.
31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy,
To save him from those who judge his soul.