Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



"Present your argument," says the Lord. "Produce your evidence," says Jacob's king. "Let them produce evidence! Let them tell us what will happen! Tell us about your earlier predictive oracles, so we may examine them and see how they were fulfilled. Or decree for us some future events! Predict how future events will turn out, so we might know you are gods. Yes, do something good or bad, so we might be frightened and in awe. read more.
Look, you are nothing, and your accomplishments are nonexistent; the one who chooses to worship you is disgusting.

Now, this is what the Lord says, the one who created you, O Jacob, and formed you, O Israel: "Don't be afraid, for I will protect you. I call you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I am with you; when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your deliverer. I have handed over Egypt as a ransom price, Ethiopia and Seba in place of you. read more.
Since you are precious and special in my sight, and I love you, I will hand over people in place of you, nations in place of your life. Don't be afraid, for I am with you. From the east I will bring your descendants; from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, 'Hand them over!' and to the south, 'Don't hold any back!' Bring my sons from distant lands, and my daughters from the remote regions of the earth, everyone who belongs to me, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed -- yes, whom I made! Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes, those who are deaf, even though they have ears! All nations gather together, the peoples assemble. Who among them announced this? Who predicted earlier events for us? Let them produce their witnesses to testify they were right; let them listen and affirm, 'It is true.' You are my witnesses," says the Lord, "my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may consider and believe in me, and understand that I am he. No god was formed before me, and none will outlive me. I, I am the Lord, and there is no deliverer besides me. I decreed and delivered and proclaimed, and there was no other god among you. You are my witnesses," says the Lord, "that I am God. From this day forward I am he; no one can deliver from my power; I will act, and who can prevent it?" This is what the Lord says, your protector, the Holy One of Israel: "For your sake I send to Babylon and make them all fugitives, turning the Babylonians' joyful shouts into mourning songs. I am the Lord, your Holy One, the one who created Israel, your king." This is what the Lord says, the one who made a road through the sea, a pathway through the surging waters, the one who led chariots and horses to destruction, together with a mighty army. They fell down, never to rise again; they were extinguished, put out like a burning wick: "Don't remember these earlier events; don't recall these former events. "Look, I am about to do something new. Now it begins to happen! Do you not recognize it? Yes, I will make a road in the desert and paths in the wilderness.

"I made myself available to those who did not ask for me; I appeared to those who did not look for me. I said, 'Here I am! Here I am!' to a nation that did not invoke my name. I spread out my hands all day long to my rebellious people, who lived in a way that is morally unacceptable, and who did what they desired. These people continually and blatantly offend me as they sacrifice in their sacred orchards and burn incense on brick altars. read more.
They sit among the tombs and keep watch all night long. They eat pork, and broth from unclean sacrificial meat is in their pans. They say, 'Keep to yourself! Don't get near me, for I am holier than you!' These people are like smoke in my nostrils, like a fire that keeps burning all day long. Look, I have decreed: I will not keep silent, but will pay them back; I will pay them back exactly what they deserve, for your sins and your ancestors' sins," says the Lord. "Because they burned incense on the mountains and offended me on the hills, I will punish them in full measure." This is what the Lord says: "When juice is discovered in a cluster of grapes, someone says, 'Don't destroy it, for it contains juice.' So I will do for the sake of my servants -- I will not destroy everyone. I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah people to take possession of my mountains. My chosen ones will take possession of the land; my servants will live there. Sharon will become a pasture for sheep, and the Valley of Achor a place where cattle graze; they will belong to my people, who seek me. But as for you who abandon the Lord and forget about worshiping at my holy mountain, who prepare a feast for the god called 'Fortune,' and fill up wine jugs for the god called 'Destiny' -- I predestine you to die by the sword, all of you will kneel down at the slaughtering block, because I called to you, and you did not respond, I spoke and you did not listen. You did evil before me; you chose to do what displeases me." So this is what the sovereign Lord says: "Look, my servants will eat, but you will be hungry! Look, my servants will drink, but you will be thirsty! Look, my servants will rejoice, but you will be humiliated! Look, my servants will shout for joy as happiness fills their hearts! But you will cry out as sorrow fills your hearts; you will wail because your spirits will be crushed. Your names will live on in the curse formulas of my chosen ones. The sovereign Lord will kill you, but he will give his servants another name. Whoever pronounces a blessing in the earth will do so in the name of the faithful God; whoever makes an oath in the earth will do so in the name of the faithful God. For past problems will be forgotten; I will no longer think about them.

"If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and becomes another man's wife, he may not take her back again. Doing that would utterly defile the land. But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods. So what makes you think you can return to me?" says the Lord. "Look up at the hilltops and consider this. You have had sex with other gods on every one of them. You waited for those gods like a thief lying in wait in the desert. You defiled the land by your wicked prostitution to other gods. That is why the rains have been withheld, and the spring rains have not come. Yet in spite of this you are obstinate as a prostitute. You refuse to be ashamed of what you have done. read more.
Even now you say to me, 'You are my father! You have been my faithful companion ever since I was young. You will not always be angry with me, will you? You will not be mad at me forever, will you?' That is what you say, but you continually do all the evil that you can." When Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord said to me, "Jeremiah, you have no doubt seen what wayward Israel has done. You have seen how she went up to every high hill and under every green tree to give herself like a prostitute to other gods. Yet even after she had done all that, I thought that she might come back to me. But she did not. Her sister, unfaithful Judah, saw what she did. She also saw that I gave wayward Israel her divorce papers and sent her away because of her adulterous worship of other gods. Even after her unfaithful sister Judah had seen this, she still was not afraid, and she too went and gave herself like a prostitute to other gods. Because she took her prostitution so lightly, she defiled the land through her adulterous worship of gods made of wood and stone. In spite of all this, Israel's sister, unfaithful Judah, has not turned back to me with any sincerity; she has only pretended to do so," says the Lord. Then the Lord said to me, "Under the circumstances, wayward Israel could even be considered less guilty than unfaithful Judah. "Go and shout this message to my people in the countries in the north. Tell them, 'Come back to me, wayward Israel,' says the Lord. 'I will not continue to look on you with displeasure. For I am merciful,' says the Lord. 'I will not be angry with you forever. However, you must confess that you have done wrong, and that you have rebelled against the Lord your God. You must confess that you have given yourself to foreign gods under every green tree, and have not obeyed my commands,' says the Lord. "Come back to me, my wayward sons," says the Lord, "for I am your true master. If you do, I will take one of you from each town and two of you from each family group, and I will bring you back to Zion. I will give you leaders who will be faithful to me. They will lead you with knowledge and insight.

"Yet you say, 'The Lord's conduct is unjust!' Hear, O house of Israel: Is my conduct unjust? Is it not your conduct that is unjust? When a righteous person turns back from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing, he will die for it; because of the wrongdoing he has done, he will die. When a wicked person turns from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will preserve his life. read more.
Because he considered and turned from all the sins he had done, he will surely live; he will not die. Yet the house of Israel says, 'The Lord's conduct is unjust!' Is my conduct unjust, O house of Israel? Is it not your conduct that is unjust? "Therefore I will judge each person according to his conduct, O house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord. Repent and turn from all your wickedness; then it will not be an obstacle leading to iniquity. Throw away all your sins you have committed and fashion yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why should you die, O house of Israel? For I take no delight in the death of anyone, declares the sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

"And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, 'This is what you have said: "Our rebellious acts and our sins have caught up with us, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?"' Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but prefer that the wicked change his behavior and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil deeds! Why should you die, O house of Israel?' "And you, son of man, say to your people, 'The righteousness of the righteous will not deliver him if he rebels. As for the wicked, his wickedness will not make him stumble if he turns from it. The righteous will not be able to live by his righteousness if he sins.' read more.
Suppose I tell the righteous that he will certainly live, but he becomes confident in his righteousness and commits iniquity. None of his righteous deeds will be remembered; because of the iniquity he has committed he will die. Suppose I say to the wicked, 'You must certainly die,' but he turns from his sin and does what is just and right. He returns what was taken in pledge, pays back what he has stolen, and follows the statutes that give life, committing no iniquity. He will certainly live -- he will not die. None of the sins he has committed will be counted against him. He has done what is just and right; he will certainly live. "Yet your people say, 'The behavior of the Lord is not right,' when it is their behavior that is not right. When a righteous man turns from his godliness and commits iniquity, he will die for it. When the wicked turns from his sin and does what is just and right, he will live because of it. Yet you say, 'The behavior of the Lord is not right.' House of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his behavior."

Listen to what the Lord says: "Get up! Defend yourself before the mountains! Present your case before the hills!" Hear the Lord's accusation, you mountains, you enduring foundations of the earth! For the Lord has a case against his people; he has a dispute with Israel! "My people, how have I wronged you? How have I wearied you? Answer me! read more.
In fact, I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I delivered you from that place of slavery. I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you. My people, recall how King Balak of Moab planned to harm you, how Balaam son of Beor responded to him. Recall how you journeyed from Shittim to Gilgal, so you might acknowledge that the Lord has treated you fairly." With what should I enter the Lord's presence? With what should I bow before the sovereign God? Should I enter his presence with burnt offerings, with year-old calves? Will the Lord accept a thousand rams, or ten thousand streams of olive oil? Should I give him my firstborn child as payment for my rebellion, my offspring -- my own flesh and blood -- for my sin? He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God. Listen! The Lord is calling to the city! It is wise to respect your authority, O Lord! Listen, O nation, and those assembled in the city!

From the days of your ancestors you have ignored my commandments and have not kept them! Return to me, and I will return to you," says the Lord who rules over all. "But you say, 'How should we return?' Can a person rob God? You indeed are robbing me, but you say, 'How are we robbing you?' In tithes and contributions! You are bound for judgment because you are robbing me -- this whole nation is guilty. read more.
"Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my temple. Test me in this matter," says the Lord who rules over all, "to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all. Then I will stop the plague from ruining your crops, and the vine will not lose its fruit before harvest," says the Lord who rules over all. "All nations will call you happy, for you indeed will live in a delightful land," says the Lord who rules over all. "You have criticized me sharply," says the Lord, "but you ask, 'How have we criticized you?' You have said, 'It is useless to serve God. How have we been helped by keeping his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord who rules over all? So now we consider the arrogant to be happy; indeed, those who practice evil are successful. In fact, those who challenge God escape!'"



"The rebellious children are as good as dead," says the Lord, "those who make plans without consulting me, who form alliances without consulting my Spirit, and thereby compound their sin.

"Son of man, you are living in the midst of a rebellious house. They have eyes to see, but do not see, and ears to hear, but do not hear, because they are a rebellious house.


They refused to obey and did not recall your miracles that you had performed among them. Instead, they rebelled and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in Egypt. But you are a God of forgiveness, merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and unfailing in your loyal love. You did not abandon them,

You have been rebelling against him from the very first day I knew you!

He said to me, "Son of man, I am sending you to the house of Israel, to rebellious nations who have rebelled against me; both they and their fathers have revolted against me to this very day.


I will go to the leaders and speak with them. Surely they know what the Lord demands. Surely they know what their God requires of them." Yet all of them, too, have rejected his authority and refuse to submit to him.






For these are rebellious people -- they are lying children, children unwilling to obey the Lord's law.