Daily Bible Readings


ESV: Through the Bible in a Year

Read through the Whole Bible

Enjoy daily readings for 365 days, each with one Old Testament reading, one New Testament reading, and one reading from the Psalms. Over the course of a year, you’ll read the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice.

This reading plan is featured in the ESV Journaling Bible.

© 2018 Crossway. All Rights Reserved.

Old Testament: Joel 1–3

Joel 1–3 (Listen)

The word of the LORD that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel:

An Invasion of Locusts

  Hear this, you elders;
    give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
  Has such a thing happened in your days,
    or in the days of your fathers?
  Tell your children of it,
    and let your children tell their children,
    and their children to another generation.
  What the cutting locust left,
    the swarming locust has eaten.
  What the swarming locust left,
    the hopping locust has eaten,
  and what the hopping locust left,
    the destroying locust has eaten.
  Awake, you drunkards, and weep,
    and wail, all you drinkers of wine,
  because of the sweet wine,
    for it is cut off from your mouth.
  For a nation has come up against my land,
    powerful and beyond number;
  its teeth are lions' teeth,
    and it has the fangs of a lioness.
  It has laid waste my vine
    and splintered my fig tree;
  it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down;
    their branches are made white.
  Lament like a virgin1 wearing sackcloth
    for the bridegroom of her youth.
  The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off
    from the house of the LORD.
  The priests mourn,
    the ministers of the LORD.
10   The fields are destroyed,
    the ground mourns,
  because the grain is destroyed,
    the wine dries up,
    the oil languishes.
11   Be ashamed,2 O tillers of the soil;
    wail, O vinedressers,
  for the wheat and the barley,
    because the harvest of the field has perished.
12   The vine dries up;
    the fig tree languishes.
  Pomegranate, palm, and apple,
    all the trees of the field are dried up,
  and gladness dries up
    from the children of man.

A Call to Repentance

13   Put on sackcloth and lament, O priests;
    wail, O ministers of the altar.
  Go in, pass the night in sackcloth,
    O ministers of my God!
  Because grain offering and drink offering
    are withheld from the house of your God.
14   Consecrate a fast;
    call a solemn assembly.
  Gather the elders
    and all the inhabitants of the land
  to the house of the LORD your God,
    and cry out to the LORD.
15   Alas for the day!
  For the day of the LORD is near,
    and as destruction from the Almighty3 it comes.
16   Is not the food cut off
    before our eyes,
  joy and gladness
    from the house of our God?
17   The seed shrivels under the clods;4
    the storehouses are desolate;
  the granaries are torn down
    because the grain has dried up.
18   How the beasts groan!
    The herds of cattle are perplexed
  because there is no pasture for them;
    even the flocks of sheep suffer.5
19   To you, O LORD, I call.
  For fire has devoured
    the pastures of the wilderness,
  and flame has burned
    all the trees of the field.
20   Even the beasts of the field pant for you
    because the water brooks are dried up,
  and fire has devoured
    the pastures of the wilderness.

The Day of the Lord

  Blow a trumpet in Zion;
    sound an alarm on my holy mountain!
  Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
    for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near,
  a day of darkness and gloom,
    a day of clouds and thick darkness!
  Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains
    a great and powerful people;
  their like has never been before,
    nor will be again after them
    through the years of all generations.
  Fire devours before them,
    and behind them a flame burns.
  The land is like the garden of Eden before them,
    but behind them a desolate wilderness,
    and nothing escapes them.
  Their appearance is like the appearance of horses,
    and like war horses they run.
  As with the rumbling of chariots,
    they leap on the tops of the mountains,
  like the crackling of a flame of fire
    devouring the stubble,
  like a powerful army
    drawn up for battle.
  Before them peoples are in anguish;
    all faces grow pale.
  Like warriors they charge;
    like soldiers they scale the wall.
  They march each on his way;
    they do not swerve from their paths.
  They do not jostle one another;
    each marches in his path;
  they burst through the weapons
    and are not halted.
  They leap upon the city,
    they run upon the walls,
  they climb up into the houses,
    they enter through the windows like a thief.
10   The earth quakes before them;
    the heavens tremble.
  The sun and the moon are darkened,
    and the stars withdraw their shining.
11   The LORD utters his voice
    before his army,
  for his camp is exceedingly great;
    he who executes his word is powerful.
  For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome;
    who can endure it?

Return to the Lord

12   “Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
    “return to me with all your heart,
  with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13     and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
  Return to the LORD your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
  slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
    and he relents over disaster.
14   Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
    and leave a blessing behind him,
  a grain offering and a drink offering
    for the LORD your God?
15   Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    consecrate a fast;
  call a solemn assembly;
16     gather the people.
  Consecrate the congregation;
    assemble the elders;
  gather the children,
    even nursing infants.
  Let the bridegroom leave his room,
    and the bride her chamber.
17   Between the vestibule and the altar
    let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep
  and say, “Spare your people, O LORD,
    and make not your heritage a reproach,
    a byword among the nations.6
  Why should they say among the peoples,
    ‘Where is their God?’”

The Lord Had Pity

18   Then the LORD became jealous for his land
    and had pity on his people.
19   The LORD answered and said to his people,
  “Behold, I am sending to you
    grain, wine, and oil,
    and you will be satisfied;
  and I will no more make you
    a reproach among the nations.
20   “I will remove the northerner far from you,
    and drive him into a parched and desolate land,
  his vanguard7 into the eastern sea,
    and his rear guard8 into the western sea;
  the stench and foul smell of him will rise,
    for he has done great things.
21   “Fear not, O land;
    be glad and rejoice,
    for the LORD has done great things!
22   Fear not, you beasts of the field,
    for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
  the tree bears its fruit;
    the fig tree and vine give their full yield.
23   “Be glad, O children of Zion,
    and rejoice in the LORD your God,
  for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
    he has poured down for you abundant rain,
    the early and the latter rain, as before.
24   “The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
    the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25   I will restore9 to you the years
    that the swarming locust has eaten,
  the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
    my great army, which I sent among you.
26   “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
    and praise the name of the LORD your God,
    who has dealt wondrously with you.
  And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27   You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
    and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else.
  And my people shall never again be put to shame.

The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit

28   10 “And it shall come to pass afterward,
    that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
  your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    your old men shall dream dreams,
    and your young men shall see visions.
29   Even on the male and female servants
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

The Lord Judges the Nations

“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.

“What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will return your payment on your own head swiftly and speedily. For you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples.11 You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their own border. Behold, I will stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and I will return your payment on your own head. I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far away, for the LORD has spoken.”

  Proclaim this among the nations:
  Consecrate for war;12
    stir up the mighty men.
  Let all the men of war draw near;
    let them come up.
10   Beat your plowshares into swords,
    and your pruning hooks into spears;
    let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”
11   Hasten and come,
    all you surrounding nations,
    and gather yourselves there.
  Bring down your warriors, O LORD.
12   Let the nations stir themselves up
    and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
  for there I will sit to judge
    all the surrounding nations.
13   Put in the sickle,
    for the harvest is ripe.
  Go in, tread,
    for the winepress is full.
  The vats overflow,
    for their evil is great.
14   Multitudes, multitudes,
    in the valley of decision!
  For the day of the LORD is near
    in the valley of decision.
15   The sun and the moon are darkened,
    and the stars withdraw their shining.
16   The LORD roars from Zion,
    and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
    and the heavens and the earth quake.
  But the LORD is a refuge to his people,
    a stronghold to the people of Israel.

The Glorious Future of Judah

17   “So you shall know that I am the LORD your God,
    who dwells in Zion, my holy mountain.
  And Jerusalem shall be holy,
    and strangers shall never again pass through it.
18   “And in that day
  the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
    and the hills shall flow with milk,
  and all the streambeds of Judah
    shall flow with water;
  and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD
    and water the Valley of Shittim.
19   “Egypt shall become a desolation
    and Edom a desolate wilderness,
  for the violence done to the people of Judah,
    because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
20   But Judah shall be inhabited forever,
    and Jerusalem to all generations.
21   I will avenge their blood,
    blood I have not avenged,13
    for the LORD dwells in Zion.”

Footnotes

[1] 1:8 Or young woman
[2] 1:11 The Hebrew words for dry up and be ashamed in verses 10–12, 17 sound alike
[3] 1:15 Destruction sounds like the Hebrew for Almighty
[4] 1:17 The meaning of the Hebrew line is uncertain
[5] 1:18 Or are made desolate
[6] 2:17 Or reproach, that the nations should rule over them
[7] 2:20 Hebrew face
[8] 2:20 Hebrew his end
[9] 2:25 Or pay back
[10] 2:28 Ch 3:1 in Hebrew
[11] 3:5 Or palaces
[12] 3:9 Or Consecrate a war
[13] 3:21 Or I will acquit their bloodguilt that I have not acquitted

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 139

Psalm 139 (Listen)

Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

139   O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
  You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
  You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
  Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
  You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.
  Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
  If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10   even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11   If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12   even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.
13   For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14   I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.1
  Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15   My frame was not hidden from you,
  when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16   Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
  in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.
17   How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18   If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you.
19   Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
    O men of blood, depart from me!
20   They speak against you with malicious intent;
    your enemies take your name in vain.2
21   Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22   I hate them with complete hatred;
    I count them my enemies.
23   Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!3
24   And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!4

Footnotes

[1] 139:14 Or for I am fearfully set apart
[2] 139:20 Hebrew lacks your name
[3] 139:23 Or cares
[4] 139:24 Or in the ancient way (compare Jeremiah 6:16)

(ESV)

New Testament: 1 John 1–2

1 John 1–2 (Listen)

The Word of Life

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our1 joy may be complete.

Walking in the Light

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Christ Our Advocate

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

The New Commandment

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because2 the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him3 there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

12   I am writing to you, little children,
    because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.
13   I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
  I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome the evil one.
  I write to you, children,
    because you know the Father.
14   I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
  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.

Do Not Love the World

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life4—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Warning Concerning Antichrists

18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.5 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us6—eternal life.

26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

Children of God

28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

Footnotes

[1] 1:4 Some manuscripts your
[2] 2:8 Or that
[3] 2:10 Or it
[4] 2:16 Or pride in possessions
[5] 2:20 Some manuscripts you know everything
[6] 2:25 Some manuscripts you

(ESV)

Author: Crossway
Posted: December 19, 2018, 5:00 am

Old Testament: Hosea 10–14

Hosea 10–14 (Listen)

10   Israel is a luxuriant vine
    that yields its fruit.
  The more his fruit increased,
    the more altars he built;
  as his country improved,
    he improved his pillars.
  Their heart is false;
    now they must bear their guilt.
  The LORD1 will break down their altars
    and destroy their pillars.
  For now they will say:
    “We have no king,
  for we do not fear the LORD;
    and a king—what could he do for us?”
  They utter mere words;
    with empty2 oaths they make covenants;
  so judgment springs up like poisonous weeds
    in the furrows of the field.
  The inhabitants of Samaria tremble
    for the calf3 of Beth-aven.
  Its people mourn for it, and so do its idolatrous priests—
    those who rejoiced over it and over its glory—
    for it has departed4 from them.
  The thing itself shall be carried to Assyria
    as tribute to the great king.5
  Ephraim shall be put to shame,
    and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol.6
  Samaria's king shall perish
    like a twig on the face of the waters.
  The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel,
    shall be destroyed.
  Thorn and thistle shall grow up
    on their altars,
  and they shall say to the mountains, “Cover us,”
    and to the hills, “Fall on us.”
  From the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel;
    there they have continued.
    Shall not the war against the unjust7 overtake them in Gibeah?
10   When I please, I will discipline them,
    and nations shall be gathered against them
    when they are bound up for their double iniquity.
11   Ephraim was a trained calf
    that loved to thresh,
    and I spared her fair neck;
  but I will put Ephraim to the yoke;
    Judah must plow;
    Jacob must harrow for himself.
12   Sow for yourselves righteousness;
    reap steadfast love;
    break up your fallow ground,
  for it is the time to seek the LORD,
    that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
13   You have plowed iniquity;
    you have reaped injustice;
    you have eaten the fruit of lies.
  Because you have trusted in your own way
    and in the multitude of your warriors,
14   therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people,
    and all your fortresses shall be destroyed,
  as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle;
    mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.
15   Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
    because of your great evil.
  At dawn the king of Israel
    shall be utterly cut off.

The Lord's Love for Israel

11   When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.
  The more they were called,
    the more they went away;
  they kept sacrificing to the Baals
    and burning offerings to idols.
  Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
    I took them up by their arms,
    but they did not know that I healed them.
  I led them with cords of kindness,8
    with the bands of love,
  and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
    and I bent down to them and fed them.
  They shall not9 return to the land of Egypt,
    but Assyria shall be their king,
    because they have refused to return to me.
  The sword shall rage against their cities,
    consume the bars of their gates,
    and devour them because of their own counsels.
  My people are bent on turning away from me,
    and though they call out to the Most High,
    he shall not raise them up at all.
  How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
    How can I hand you over, O Israel?
  How can I make you like Admah?
    How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
  My heart recoils within me;
    my compassion grows warm and tender.
  I will not execute my burning anger;
    I will not again destroy Ephraim;
  for I am God and not a man,
    the Holy One in your midst,
    and I will not come in wrath.10
10   They shall go after the LORD;
    he will roar like a lion;
  when he roars,
    his children shall come trembling from the west;
11   they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt,
    and like doves from the land of Assyria,
    and I will return them to their homes, declares the LORD.
12   11 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
    and the house of Israel with deceit,
  but Judah still walks with God
    and is faithful to the Holy One.
12   Ephraim feeds on the wind
    and pursues the east wind all day long;
  they multiply falsehood and violence;
    they make a covenant with Assyria,
    and oil is carried to Egypt.

The Lord's Indictment of Israel and Judah

  The LORD has an indictment against Judah
    and will punish Jacob according to his ways;
    he will repay him according to his deeds.
  In the womb he took his brother by the heel,
    and in his manhood he strove with God.
  He strove with the angel and prevailed;
    he wept and sought his favor.
  He met God12 at Bethel,
    and there God spoke with us—
  the LORD, the God of hosts,
    the LORD is his memorial name:
  “So you, by the help of your God, return,
    hold fast to love and justice,
    and wait continually for your God.”
  A merchant, in whose hands are false balances,
    he loves to oppress.
  Ephraim has said, “Ah, but I am rich;
    I have found wealth for myself;
  in all my labors they cannot find in me iniquity or sin.”
  I am the LORD your God
    from the land of Egypt;
  I will again make you dwell in tents,
    as in the days of the appointed feast.
10   I spoke to the prophets;
    it was I who multiplied visions,
    and through the prophets gave parables.
11   If there is iniquity in Gilead,
    they shall surely come to nothing:
  in Gilgal they sacrifice bulls;
    their altars also are like stone heaps
    on the furrows of the field.
12   Jacob fled to the land of Aram;
    there Israel served for a wife,
    and for a wife he guarded sheep.
13   By a prophet the LORD brought Israel up from Egypt,
    and by a prophet he was guarded.
14   Ephraim has given bitter provocation;
    so his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him
    and will repay him for his disgraceful deeds.

The Lord's Relentless Judgment on Israel

13   When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;
    he was exalted in Israel,
    but he incurred guilt through Baal and died.
  And now they sin more and more,
    and make for themselves metal images,
  idols skillfully made of their silver,
    all of them the work of craftsmen.
  It is said of them,
    “Those who offer human sacrifice kiss calves!”
  Therefore they shall be like the morning mist
    or like the dew that goes early away,
  like the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor
    or like smoke from a window.
  But I am the LORD your God
    from the land of Egypt;
  you know no God but me,
    and besides me there is no savior.
  It was I who knew you in the wilderness,
    in the land of drought;
  but when they had grazed,13 they became full,
    they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
    therefore they forgot me.
  So I am to them like a lion;
    like a leopard I will lurk beside the way.
  I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs;
    I will tear open their breast,
  and there I will devour them like a lion,
    as a wild beast would rip them open.
  He destroys14 you, O Israel,
    for you are against me, against your helper.
10   Where now is your king, to save you in all your cities?
    Where are all your rulers—
  those of whom you said,
    “Give me a king and princes”?
11   I gave you a king in my anger,
    and I took him away in my wrath.
12   The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up;
    his sin is kept in store.
13   The pangs of childbirth come for him,
    but he is an unwise son,
  for at the right time he does not present himself
    at the opening of the womb.
14   I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol;
    I shall redeem them from Death.15
  O Death, where are your plagues?
    O Sheol, where is your sting?
    Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
15   Though he may flourish among his brothers,
    the east wind, the wind of the LORD, shall come,
    rising from the wilderness,
  and his fountain shall dry up;
    his spring shall be parched;
  it shall strip his treasury
    of every precious thing.
16   16 Samaria shall bear her guilt,
    because she has rebelled against her God;
  they shall fall by the sword;
    their little ones shall be dashed in pieces,
    and their pregnant women ripped open.

A Plea to Return to the Lord

14   Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God,
    for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
  Take with you words
    and return to the LORD;
  say to him,
    “Take away all iniquity;
  accept what is good,
    and we will pay with bulls
    the vows17 of our lips.
  Assyria shall not save us;
    we will not ride on horses;
  and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
    to the work of our hands.
  In you the orphan finds mercy.”
  I will heal their apostasy;
    I will love them freely,
    for my anger has turned from them.
  I will be like the dew to Israel;
    he shall blossom like the lily;
    he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
  his shoots shall spread out;
    his beauty shall be like the olive,
    and his fragrance like Lebanon.
  They shall return and dwell beneath my18 shadow;
    they shall flourish like the grain;
  they shall blossom like the vine;
    their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
  O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
    It is I who answer and look after you.19
  I am like an evergreen cypress;
    from me comes your fruit.
  Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
    whoever is discerning, let him know them;
  for the ways of the LORD are right,
    and the upright walk in them,
    but transgressors stumble in them.

Footnotes

[1] 10:2 Hebrew He
[2] 10:4 Or vain (see Exodus 20:7)
[3] 10:5 Or calves
[4] 10:5 Or has gone into exile
[5] 10:6 Or to King Jareb
[6] 10:6 Or counsel
[7] 10:9 Hebrew the children of injustice
[8] 11:4 Or humaneness; Hebrew man
[9] 11:5 Or surely
[10] 11:9 Or into the city
[11] 11:12 Ch 12:1 in Hebrew
[12] 12:4 Hebrew him
[13] 13:6 Hebrew according to their pasture
[14] 13:9 Or I will destroy
[15] 13:14 Or Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death?
[16] 13:16 Ch 14:1 in Hebrew
[17] 14:2 Septuagint, Syriac pay the fruit
[18] 14:7 Hebrew his
[19] 14:8 Hebrew him

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 138

Psalm 138 (Listen)

Give Thanks to the Lord

Of David.

138   I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
  I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted above all things
    your name and your word.1
  On the day I called, you answered me;
    my strength of soul you increased.2
  All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth,
  and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
    for great is the glory of the LORD.
  For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,
    but the haughty he knows from afar.
  Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life;
  you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    and your right hand delivers me.
  The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Footnotes

[1] 138:2 Or you have exalted your word above all your name
[2] 138:3 Hebrew you made me bold in my soul with strength

(ESV)

New Testament: 2 Peter 1–3

2 Peter 1–3 (Listen)

Greeting

Simeon1 Peter, a servant2 and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Confirm Your Calling and Election

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to3 his own glory and excellence,4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,5 and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities6 are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers,7 be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body,8 to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

Christ's Glory and the Prophetic Word

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son,9 with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

False Prophets and Teachers

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell10 and committed them to chains11 of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;12 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,13 and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge14 in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions,15 while they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery,16 insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves17 of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

The Day of the Lord Will Come

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,18 not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies19 will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.20

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Final Words

14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Footnotes

[1] 1:1 Some manuscripts Simon
[2] 1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
[3] 1:3 Or by
[4] 1:3 Or virtue
[5] 1:5 Or excellence; twice in this verse
[6] 1:8 Greek these things; also verses 9, 10, 12
[7] 1:10 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
[8] 1:13 Greek tent; also verse 14
[9] 1:17 Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved
[10] 2:4 Greek Tartarus
[11] 2:4 Some manuscripts pits
[12] 2:6 Some manuscripts an example to those who were to be ungodly
[13] 2:9 Or temptations
[14] 2:10 Greek who go after the flesh
[15] 2:13 Some manuscripts love feasts
[16] 2:14 Or eyes full of an adulteress
[17] 2:19 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
[18] 3:9 Some manuscripts on your account
[19] 3:10 Or elements; also verse 12
[20] 3:10 Greek found; some manuscripts will be burned up

(ESV)

Author: Crossway
Posted: December 18, 2018, 5:00 am

Old Testament: Hosea 6–9

Hosea 6–9 (Listen)

Israel and Judah Are Unrepentant

  “Come, let us return to the LORD;
    for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
    he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
  After two days he will revive us;
    on the third day he will raise us up,
    that we may live before him.
  Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
    his going out is sure as the dawn;
  he will come to us as the showers,
    as the spring rains that water the earth.”
  What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?
    What shall I do with you, O Judah?
  Your love is like a morning cloud,
    like the dew that goes early away.
  Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets;
    I have slain them by the words of my mouth,
    and my judgment goes forth as the light.
  For I desire steadfast love1 and not sacrifice,
    the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
  But like Adam they transgressed the covenant;
    there they dealt faithlessly with me.
  Gilead is a city of evildoers,
    tracked with blood.
  As robbers lie in wait for a man,
    so the priests band together;
  they murder on the way to Shechem;
    they commit villainy.
10   In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing;
    Ephraim's whoredom is there; Israel is defiled.
11   For you also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed.
  When I restore the fortunes of my people,
  when I would heal Israel,
    the iniquity of Ephraim is revealed,
    and the evil deeds of Samaria,
  for they deal falsely;
    the thief breaks in,
    and the bandits raid outside.
  But they do not consider
    that I remember all their evil.
  Now their deeds surround them;
    they are before my face.
  By their evil they make the king glad,
    and the princes by their treachery.
  They are all adulterers;
    they are like a heated oven
  whose baker ceases to stir the fire,
    from the kneading of the dough
    until it is leavened.
  On the day of our king, the princes
    became sick with the heat of wine;
    he stretched out his hand with mockers.
  For with hearts like an oven they approach their intrigue;
    all night their anger smolders;
    in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
  All of them are hot as an oven,
    and they devour their rulers.
  All their kings have fallen,
    and none of them calls upon me.
  Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples;
    Ephraim is a cake not turned.
  Strangers devour his strength,
    and he knows it not;
  gray hairs are sprinkled upon him,
    and he knows it not.
10   The pride of Israel testifies to his face;2
    yet they do not return to the LORD their God,
    nor seek him, for all this.
11   Ephraim is like a dove,
    silly and without sense,
    calling to Egypt, going to Assyria.
12   As they go, I will spread over them my net;
    I will bring them down like birds of the heavens;
    I will discipline them according to the report made to their congregation.
13   Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!
    Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me!
  I would redeem them,
    but they speak lies against me.
14   They do not cry to me from the heart,
    but they wail upon their beds;
  for grain and wine they gash themselves;
    they rebel against me.
15   Although I trained and strengthened their arms,
    yet they devise evil against me.
16   They return, but not upward;3
    they are like a treacherous bow;
  their princes shall fall by the sword
    because of the insolence of their tongue.
  This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.

Israel Will Reap the Whirlwind

  Set the trumpet to your lips!
    One like a vulture is over the house of the LORD,
  because they have transgressed my covenant
    and rebelled against my law.
  To me they cry,
    “My God, we—Israel—know you.”
  Israel has spurned the good;
    the enemy shall pursue him.
  They made kings, but not through me.
    They set up princes, but I knew it not.
  With their silver and gold they made idols
    for their own destruction.
  I have4 spurned your calf, O Samaria.
    My anger burns against them.
  How long will they be incapable of innocence?
  For it is from Israel;
  a craftsman made it;
    it is not God.
  The calf of Samaria
    shall be broken to pieces.5
  For they sow the wind,
    and they shall reap the whirlwind.
  The standing grain has no heads;
    it shall yield no flour;
  if it were to yield,
    strangers would devour it.
  Israel is swallowed up;
    already they are among the nations
    as a useless vessel.
  For they have gone up to Assyria,
    a wild donkey wandering alone;
    Ephraim has hired lovers.
10   Though they hire allies among the nations,
    I will soon gather them up.
  And the king and princes shall soon writhe
    because of the tribute.
11   Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning,
    they have become to him altars for sinning.
12   Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands,
    they would be regarded as a strange thing.
13   As for my sacrificial offerings,
    they sacrifice meat and eat it,
    but the LORD does not accept them.
  Now he will remember their iniquity
    and punish their sins;
    they shall return to Egypt.
14   For Israel has forgotten his Maker
    and built palaces,
  and Judah has multiplied fortified cities;
    so I will send a fire upon his cities,
    and it shall devour her strongholds.

The Lord Will Punish Israel

  Rejoice not, O Israel!
    Exult not like the peoples;
  for you have played the whore, forsaking your God.
    You have loved a prostitute's wages
    on all threshing floors.
  Threshing floor and wine vat shall not feed them,
    and the new wine shall fail them.
  They shall not remain in the land of the LORD,
    but Ephraim shall return to Egypt,
    and they shall eat unclean food in Assyria.
  They shall not pour drink offerings of wine to the LORD,
    and their sacrifices shall not please him.
  It shall be like mourners' bread to them;
    all who eat of it shall be defiled;
  for their bread shall be for their hunger only;
    it shall not come to the house of the LORD.
  What will you do on the day of the appointed festival,
    and on the day of the feast of the LORD?
  For behold, they are going away from destruction;
    but Egypt shall gather them;
    Memphis shall bury them.
  Nettles shall possess their precious things of silver;
    thorns shall be in their tents.
  The days of punishment have come;
    the days of recompense have come;
    Israel shall know it.
  The prophet is a fool;
    the man of the spirit is mad,
  because of your great iniquity
    and great hatred.
  The prophet is the watchman of Ephraim with my God;
  yet a fowler's snare is on all his ways,
    and hatred in the house of his God.
  They have deeply corrupted themselves
    as in the days of Gibeah:
  he will remember their iniquity;
    he will punish their sins.
10   Like grapes in the wilderness,
    I found Israel.
  Like the first fruit on the fig tree
    in its first season,
    I saw your fathers.
  But they came to Baal-peor
    and consecrated themselves to the thing of shame,
    and became detestable like the thing they loved.
11   Ephraim's glory shall fly away like a bird—
    no birth, no pregnancy, no conception!
12   Even if they bring up children,
    I will bereave them till none is left.
  Woe to them
    when I depart from them!
13   Ephraim, as I have seen, was like a young palm6 planted in a meadow;
    but Ephraim must lead his children out to slaughter.7
14   Give them, O LORD—
    what will you give?
  Give them a miscarrying womb
    and dry breasts.
15   Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal;
    there I began to hate them.
  Because of the wickedness of their deeds
    I will drive them out of my house.
  I will love them no more;
    all their princes are rebels.
16   Ephraim is stricken;
    their root is dried up;
    they shall bear no fruit.
  Even though they give birth,
    I will put their beloved children to death.
17   My God will reject them
    because they have not listened to him;
    they shall be wanderers among the nations.

Footnotes

[1] 6:6 Septuagint mercy
[2] 7:10 Or in his presence
[3] 7:16 Or to the Most High
[4] 8:5 Hebrew He has
[5] 8:6 Or shall go up in flames
[6] 9:13 Or like Tyre
[7] 9:13 Hebrew to him who slaughters

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 137

Psalm 137 (Listen)

How Shall We Sing the Lord's Song?

137   By the waters of Babylon,
    there we sat down and wept,
    when we remembered Zion.
  On the willows1 there
    we hung up our lyres.
  For there our captors
    required of us songs,
  and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
    “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
  How shall we sing the LORD's song
    in a foreign land?
  If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
    let my right hand forget its skill!
  Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
    if I do not remember you,
  if I do not set Jerusalem
    above my highest joy!
  Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites
    the day of Jerusalem,
  how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare,
    down to its foundations!”
  O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
    blessed shall he be who repays you
    with what you have done to us!
  Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
    and dashes them against the rock!

Footnotes

[1] 137:2 Or poplars

(ESV)

New Testament: 1 Peter 3–5

1 Peter 3–5 (Listen)

Wives and Husbands

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you1 of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Suffering for Righteousness' Sake

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For

  “Whoever desires to love life
    and see good days,
  let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit;
11   let him turn away from evil and do good;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.
12   For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
  But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.

18 For Christ also suffered2 once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which3 he went and proclaimed4 to the spirits in prison, 20 because5 they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

Stewards of God's Grace

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,6 arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Suffering as a Christian

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory7 and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And

  “If the righteous is scarcely saved,
    what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”8

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

Shepherd the Flock of God

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,9 not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;10 not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Footnotes

[1] 3:7 Some manuscripts since you are joint heirs
[2] 3:18 Some manuscripts died
[3] 3:19 Or the Spirit, in whom
[4] 3:19 Or preached
[5] 3:20 Or when
[6] 4:1 Some manuscripts add for us; some for you
[7] 4:14 Some manuscripts insert and of power
[8] 4:18 Greek where will the ungodly and sinner appear?
[9] 5:2 Some manuscripts omit exercising oversight
[10] 5:2 Some manuscripts omit as God would have you

(ESV)

Author: Crossway
Posted: December 17, 2018, 5:00 am

Old Testament: Hosea 2–5

Hosea 2–5 (Listen)

Israel's Unfaithfulness Punished

Say to your brothers, “You are my people,”1 and to your sisters, “You have received mercy.”2

  “Plead with your mother, plead—
    for she is not my wife,
    and I am not her husband—
  that she put away her whoring from her face,
    and her adultery from between her breasts;
  lest I strip her naked
    and make her as in the day she was born,
  and make her like a wilderness,
    and make her like a parched land,
    and kill her with thirst.
  Upon her children also I will have no mercy,
    because they are children of whoredom.
  For their mother has played the whore;
    she who conceived them has acted shamefully.
  For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
    who give me my bread and my water,
    my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’
  Therefore I will hedge up her3 way with thorns,
    and I will build a wall against her,
    so that she cannot find her paths.
  She shall pursue her lovers
    but not overtake them,
  and she shall seek them
    but shall not find them.
  Then she shall say,
    ‘I will go and return to my first husband,
    for it was better for me then than now.’
  And she did not know
    that it was I who gave her
    the grain, the wine, and the oil,
  and who lavished on her silver and gold,
    which they used for Baal.
  Therefore I will take back
    my grain in its time,
    and my wine in its season,
  and I will take away my wool and my flax,
    which were to cover her nakedness.
10   Now I will uncover her lewdness
    in the sight of her lovers,
    and no one shall rescue her out of my hand.
11   And I will put an end to all her mirth,
    her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths,
    and all her appointed feasts.
12   And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,
    of which she said,
  ‘These are my wages,
    which my lovers have given me.’
  I will make them a forest,
    and the beasts of the field shall devour them.
13   And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals
    when she burned offerings to them
  and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry,
    and went after her lovers
    and forgot me, declares the LORD.

The Lord's Mercy on Israel

14   “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
    and bring her into the wilderness,
    and speak tenderly to her.
15   And there I will give her her vineyards
    and make the Valley of Achor4 a door of hope.
  And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
    as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

16 “And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17 For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. 18 And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish5 the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. 19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.

21   “And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD,
    I will answer the heavens,
    and they shall answer the earth,
22   and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,
    and they shall answer Jezreel,6
23     and I will sow her for myself in the land.
  And I will have mercy on No Mercy,7
    and I will say to Not My People,8 ‘You are my people’;
    and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”

Hosea Redeems His Wife

And the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech9 of barley. And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days.

The Lord Accuses Israel

  Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel,
    for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land.
  There is no faithfulness or steadfast love,
    and no knowledge of God in the land;
  there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery;
    they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
  Therefore the land mourns,
    and all who dwell in it languish,
  and also the beasts of the field
    and the birds of the heavens,
    and even the fish of the sea are taken away.
  Yet let no one contend,
    and let none accuse,
    for with you is my contention, O priest.10
  You shall stumble by day;
    the prophet also shall stumble with you by night;
    and I will destroy your mother.
  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
    because you have rejected knowledge,
    I reject you from being a priest to me.
  And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
    I also will forget your children.
  The more they increased,
    the more they sinned against me;
    I will change their glory into shame.
  They feed on the sin11 of my people;
    they are greedy for their iniquity.
  And it shall be like people, like priest;
    I will punish them for their ways
    and repay them for their deeds.
10   They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
    they shall play the whore, but not multiply,
  because they have forsaken the LORD
    to cherish 11 whoredom, wine, and new wine,
    which take away the understanding.
12   My people inquire of a piece of wood,
    and their walking staff gives them oracles.
  For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray,
    and they have left their God to play the whore.
13   They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains
    and burn offerings on the hills,
  under oak, poplar, and terebinth,
    because their shade is good.
  Therefore your daughters play the whore,
    and your brides commit adultery.
14   I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore,
    nor your brides when they commit adultery;
  for the men themselves go aside with prostitutes
    and sacrifice with cult prostitutes,
  and a people without understanding shall come to ruin.
15   Though you play the whore, O Israel,
    let not Judah become guilty.
  Enter not into Gilgal,
    nor go up to Beth-aven,
    and swear not, “As the LORD lives.”
16   Like a stubborn heifer,
    Israel is stubborn;
  can the LORD now feed them
    like a lamb in a broad pasture?
17   Ephraim is joined to idols;
    leave him alone.
18   When their drink is gone, they give themselves to whoring;
    their rulers12 dearly love shame.
19   A wind has wrapped them13 in its wings,
    and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

Punishment Coming for Israel and Judah

  Hear this, O priests!
    Pay attention, O house of Israel!
  Give ear, O house of the king!
    For the judgment is for you;
  for you have been a snare at Mizpah
    and a net spread upon Tabor.
  And the revolters have gone deep into slaughter,
    but I will discipline all of them.
  I know Ephraim,
    and Israel is not hidden from me;
  for now, O Ephraim, you have played the whore;
    Israel is defiled.
  Their deeds do not permit them
    to return to their God.
  For the spirit of whoredom is within them,
    and they know not the LORD.
  The pride of Israel testifies to his face;14
    Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in his guilt;
    Judah also shall stumble with them.
  With their flocks and herds they shall go
    to seek the LORD,
  but they will not find him;
    he has withdrawn from them.
  They have dealt faithlessly with the LORD;
    for they have borne alien children.
    Now the new moon shall devour them with their fields.
  Blow the horn in Gibeah,
    the trumpet in Ramah.
  Sound the alarm at Beth-aven;
    we follow you,15 O Benjamin!
  Ephraim shall become a desolation
    in the day of punishment;
  among the tribes of Israel
    I make known what is sure.
10   The princes of Judah have become
    like those who move the landmark;
  upon them I will pour out
    my wrath like water.
11   Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment,
    because he was determined to go after filth.16
12   But I am like a moth to Ephraim,
    and like dry rot to the house of Judah.
13   When Ephraim saw his sickness,
    and Judah his wound,
  then Ephraim went to Assyria,
    and sent to the great king.17
  But he is not able to cure you
    or heal your wound.
14   For I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
    and like a young lion to the house of Judah.
  I, even I, will tear and go away;
    I will carry off, and no one shall rescue.
15   I will return again to my place,
    until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face,
    and in their distress earnestly seek me.

Footnotes

[1] 2:1 Hebrew ammi, which means my people
[2] 2:1 Hebrew ruhama, which means she has received mercy
[3] 2:6 Hebrew your
[4] 2:15 Achor means trouble; compare Joshua 7:26
[5] 2:18 Hebrew break
[6] 2:22 Jezreel means God will sow
[7] 2:23 Hebrew Lo-ruhama
[8] 2:23 Hebrew Lo-ammi
[9] 3:2 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams; a homer was about 6 bushels or 220 liters; a lethech was about 3 bushels or 110 liters
[10] 4:4 Or for your people are like those who contend with the priest
[11] 4:8 Or sin offering
[12] 4:18 Hebrew shields
[13] 4:19 Hebrew her
[14] 5:5 Or in his presence
[15] 5:8 Or after you
[16] 5:11 Or to follow human precepts
[17] 5:13 Or to King Jareb

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 136

Psalm 136 (Listen)

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

136   Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
10   to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
11   and brought Israel out from among them,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
12   with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
13   to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
14   and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
15   but overthrew1 Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
16   to him who led his people through the wilderness,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
17   to him who struck down great kings,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
18   and killed mighty kings,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
19   Sihon, king of the Amorites,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
20   and Og, king of Bashan,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
21   and gave their land as a heritage,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
22   a heritage to Israel his servant,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
23   It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
24   and rescued us from our foes,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
25   he who gives food to all flesh,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
26   Give thanks to the God of heaven,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

Footnotes

[1] 136:15 Hebrew shook off

(ESV)

New Testament: 1 Peter 1–2

1 Peter 1–2 (Listen)

Greeting

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Born Again to a Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time1 the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Called to Be Holy

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,2 and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for

  “All flesh is like grass
    and all its glory like the flower of grass.
  The grass withers,
    and the flower falls,
25   but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

A Living Stone and a Holy People

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

  “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
    a cornerstone chosen and precious,
  and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

  “The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone,”3

and

  “A stone of stumbling,
    and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Submission to Authority

13 Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution,4 whether it be to the emperor5 as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants6 of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Footnotes

[1] 1:11 Or what time or circumstances
[2] 1:13 Greek girding up the loins of your mind
[3] 2:7 Greek the head of the corner
[4] 2:13 Or every institution ordained for people
[5] 2:13 Or king; also verse 17
[6] 2:16 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface

(ESV)

Author: Crossway
Posted: December 16, 2018, 5:00 am

Old Testament: Hosea 1

Hosea 1 (Listen)

The word of the LORD that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.

Hosea's Wife and Children

When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.” So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

And the LORD said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”

She conceived again and bore a daughter. And the LORD said to him, “Call her name No Mercy,1 for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel, to forgive them at all. But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the LORD their God. I will not save them by bow or by sword or by war or by horses or by horsemen.”

When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son. And the LORD said, “Call his name Not My People,2 for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”3

10  Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it shall be said to them, “Children4 of the living God.” 11 And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head. And they shall go up from the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

Footnotes

[1] 1:6 Hebrew Lo-ruhama, which means she has not received mercy
[2] 1:9 Hebrew Lo-ammi, which means not my people
[3] 1:9 Hebrew I am not yours
[4] 1:10 Or Sons

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 135

Psalm 135 (Listen)

Your Name, O Lord, Endures Forever

135   Praise the LORD!
  Praise the name of the LORD,
    give praise, O servants of the LORD,
  who stand in the house of the LORD,
    in the courts of the house of our God!
  Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
    sing to his name, for it is pleasant!1
  For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself,
    Israel as his own possession.
  For I know that the LORD is great,
    and that our Lord is above all gods.
  Whatever the LORD pleases, he does,
    in heaven and on earth,
    in the seas and all deeps.
  He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
    who makes lightnings for the rain
    and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
  He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    both of man and of beast;
  who in your midst, O Egypt,
    sent signs and wonders
    against Pharaoh and all his servants;
10   who struck down many nations
    and killed mighty kings,
11   Sihon, king of the Amorites,
    and Og, king of Bashan,
    and all the kingdoms of Canaan,
12   and gave their land as a heritage,
    a heritage to his people Israel.
13   Your name, O LORD, endures forever,
    your renown,2 O LORD, throughout all ages.
14   For the LORD will vindicate his people
    and have compassion on his servants.
15   The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
    the work of human hands.
16   They have mouths, but do not speak;
    they have eyes, but do not see;
17   they have ears, but do not hear,
    nor is there any breath in their mouths.
18   Those who make them become like them,
    so do all who trust in them.
19   O house of Israel, bless the LORD!
    O house of Aaron, bless the LORD!
20   O house of Levi, bless the LORD!
    You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
21   Blessed be the LORD from Zion,
    he who dwells in Jerusalem!
  Praise the LORD!

Footnotes

[1] 135:3 Or for he is beautiful
[2] 135:13 Or remembrance

(ESV)

New Testament: James 3–5

James 3–5 (Listen)

Taming the Tongue

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,1 and set on fire by hell.2 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,3 these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Wisdom from Above

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Warning Against Worldliness

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions4 are at war within you?5 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people!6 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.7 The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

Boasting About Tomorrow

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Warning to the Rich

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

Patience in Suffering

Be patient, therefore, brothers,8 until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

The Prayer of Faith

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.9 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Footnotes

[1] 3:6 Or wheel of birth
[2] 3:6 Greek Gehenna
[3] 3:10 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 12
[4] 4:1 Greek pleasures; also verse 3
[5] 4:1 Greek in your members
[6] 4:4 Or You adulteresses!
[7] 4:11 Or brothers and sisters
[8] 5:7 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 9, 10, 12, 19
[9] 5:16 Or The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power

(ESV)

Author: Crossway
Posted: December 15, 2018, 5:00 am