Peace, Divine In Ot
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The LORD God commanded the man: "You may freely eat from every tree of the garden, but you are not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because you will certainly die during the day that you eat from it."
But then his servants approached him and spoke with him. They said, "My father, had the prophet only asked of you something great, you would have done it, wouldn't you? Yet he told you, "Bathe, and be clean"!'" So he went down and plunged himself into the Jordan River seven times, just as the man of God had said, and his flesh rejuvenated like the flesh of a newborn child. And he was clean. Naaman went back to the man of God, along with his entire entourage, and stood before him. "Please look!" he said. "I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel! So please, take a present from your servant."read more.
But Elisha replied, "As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will not receive anything from you." Though Naaman urged him to take it, Elisha declined. So Naaman asked, "No? Then please let your servant load two mules with dirt from Israel, because your servant will no longer offer any burnt offering or sacrifice to any other god but the LORD. In this one area may the LORD pardon your servant: Whenever my master enters the temple of Rimmon to worship there, he will lean on my hand while I bow down in the temple of Rimmon. So may the LORD pardon your servant in this one area." "Go in peace," he said. So Naaman left.
"Get to know God, and you'll be at peace with him, and then prosperity will come to you. Accept what he has to teach you, and treasure his words in your heart.
Then all your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's prosperity.
"After he had spoken to me like this, I bowed my face to the ground, unable to speak. But suddenly someone who resembled a human being touched my lips, so addressing the one who was standing in front of me, I opened my mouth and said, "Sir, I'm overwhelmed with anguish by this vision. I have no strength left. So how can a servant of my lord talk with someone like you, sir? And as for me, there's no strength left in me, and I can hardly breathe.'read more.
"Then this person who looked like a man touched me again and strengthened me and said, "Don't be afraid, man highly regarded. Be at peace, and be strong.' "As soon as he spoke to me, I gained strength and replied, "Sir, please speak, now that you've strengthened me.'
"Look! Today I have set before you life and what is good, along with death and what is evil. That's why I'm commanding you today to love the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by observing his commands, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live long, increase, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in the land that you are about to enter to possess.
Now this commandment is for you priests: "If you don't listen, and if you don't choose to give honor to my name," says the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, "then I'll curse both you and your blessings. I've even cursed them already, because none of you are taking it to heart. Look! I'm rebuking your descendants because of you, and I'll spread waste on your faces, the waste of your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it.read more.
"You will know that I sent this commandment to you in order to continue my covenant with Levi," says the LORD of the Heavenly Armies. "My covenant with him was for life and peace, and I gave the commandments to him so he would fear me. He did fear me as he stood in my presence. True teachings were in his mouth, and falsehood was not found on his lips. He walked with me peacefully and righteously, and he turned many from sin.
"If you live by my statutes, obey my commands, and observe them, then I'll send your rain in its season so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will yield their fruit. Threshing will extend to the time of vintage and the vintage will extend to the time of sowing, so that you'll eat your bread to your satisfaction and live securely in your land. read more.
I'll give peace in the land so that you'll lie down without fear. I'll remove wild beasts from the land, and not even war will come to your land. Instead, you'll pursue your enemies and they'll die by the sword before you. Five of you will chase a hundred, a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you. "I'll look after you, ensuring that you'll be fruitful. I'll increase your number and keep my covenant with you. When you have consumed what was stored of the old, then you'll take out the old and replace it with what's new. I'll set up my tent in your midst and I won't loathe you. I'll walk among you. I will be your God, and you'll be my people.
"Indeed, if you diligently obey the LORD your God to carry out all his commands that I'm giving you today, then the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. Moreover, all these blessings will come upon you in abundance, if you obey the LORD your God: "Blessed will you be in the city and blessed will you be in the country.read more.
"Blessed will your children be, as well as the produce of your land, the offspring of your beasts and cattle, and the offspring of your flock. "Blessed will be your grain basket and your kneading bowl. "Blessed will you be in your comings and goings. "The LORD will make your enemies, who rise against you and attack from one direction, to flee from you in seven directions.
Asa practiced what the LORD his God considered to be right by removing the foreign altars and high places, tearing down the sacred pillars, cutting down the Asherim, and commanding Judah to seek the LORD God of their ancestors and to keep the Law and the commandments. read more.
He also removed the high places and incense altars from all of the cities of Judah. As a result, the kingdom enjoyed rest under Asa's leadership. Asa built fortified cities throughout Judah while the land lay undisturbed, because the LORD had given him peace so that no one went to war against him during those years. He had told Judah, "Let's build up these cities, surrounding them with walls, towers, gates, and bars. The land still belongs to us, because we have kept on seeking the LORD our God. We have sought him out, and he has given us rest all around us." So the people built and prospered.
Wait on the LORD, Keep faithful to his way, and he will exalt you to possess the land. You will see the wicked cut off. I once observed a wicked and oppressive person, flourishing like a green tree in native soil. But then he passed away; in fact, he simply was not there. When I looked for him, he could not be found.read more.
Observe the blameless! Take note of the upright! Indeed, the future of that man is peace. Sinners will be destroyed together; the future of the wicked will be cut off.
How joyful is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding, because her profit is better than the profit of silver, and her yield than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire compares with her.read more.
Long life is in her right hand, and in her left are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peaceful.
Now if only you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your success like the waves of the sea.
I've set my rainbow in the sky to symbolize the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow becomes visible in the clouds, I'll remember my covenant between me and you and every living creature, so that water will never again become a flood to destroy all living beings. read more.
When the rainbow is in the clouds, I will observe it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living beings on the earth."
The LORD went in front of them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so they could travel both day and night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
Whenever the cloud was lifted up from the tent, the Israelis would set out on their journey, but if the cloud was not lifted up, they would not set out until it was lifted up, since the cloud of the LORD was over the tent by day, and the fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel in all their journeys.
When Gideon realized that he had seen the angel of the LORD himself, he cried out, "Oh no! Lord GOD! I've been looking right at the angel of the LORD and face-to-face at that!" "Calm down! Don't be afraid." the LORD replied. "You're not going to die!" So Gideon built an altar right there to the LORD and called it "The LORD is peace." (To this very day it still stands in Ophrah, which belongs to the descendants of Abiezer.)
The Philistines were subdued, and they did not continue to enter the territory of Israel. The LORD continued to oppose the Philistines all during Samuel's life time. The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel were returned to Israel, from Ekron to Gath, and Israel delivered their territory from Philistine control. There was also peace between Israel and the Amorites.
They discovered abundant and excellent grazing lands there, where the land was very broad, secure, and tranquil, because the former inhabitants there were descendants of Ham.
"Look at Zion, city of our festivals! Your eyes will see Jerusalem, an undisturbed abode, an immovable tent; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor will any of its ropes be broken. But there the LORD in majesty will be for us our source of broad rivers and streams, where no galley with oars can go, where no stately ship can sail. For the LORD is our judge, and the LORD is our lawgiver; and the LORD is our king, and it is he who will save us.read more.
"Your rigging hangs loose; it cannot reliably hold the mast in its place, and the sail cannot spread out. Then an abundance of spoils will be divided even the lame will carry off plunder. And no one living there will say, "I am ill.' The people living there will have their sins forgiven."
Pray for peace for Jerusalem: "May those who love you be at peace! May peace be within your ramparts, and prosperity within your fortresses." For the sake of my relatives and friends I will now say, "May there be peace within you."
"Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be happy for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in gladness, all you who mourn over her, so that you may nurse and be satisfied at her consoling breasts, and so that you may drink deeply and take delight from her glorious bosom." This is what the LORD says: "See, I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; and you will nurse, and you will be carried on her hip, and bounced upon her knees.read more.
Like a child whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.
""Look, I'll bring restoration and healing to it, and I'll heal them. I'll reveal to them an abundance of peace and faithfulness. I'll restore the security of Judah and Israel and rebuild them as they were at first. I'll cleanse them from all their sin that they have committed against me, and I'll forgive all their sins that they committed against me and by which they rebelled against me. read more.
Jerusalem will be for me a name of joy, praise, and glory to all the nations of the earth that hear about all the good that I'm doing for them. They'll fear and tremble because of all the good and because of all the peace that I'm bringing to Jerusalem.'
"Therefore this is what the LORD says: "I have returned to Jerusalem with compassionate intentions. My Temple will be rebuilt there," declares the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, "and the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem."'" "Also announce the following: "This is what the LORD of the Heavenly Armies says: "My cities will again overflow with prosperity. The LORD will comfort Zion once more and will choose Jerusalem again."'"
"The glory of this present house will be greater than was the former," declares the LORD of the Heavenly Armies. "And in this place I will grant peace," declares the LORD of the Heavenly Armies."
Later, David called for his son Solomon and directed him to build a temple to the LORD God of Israel. David addressed Solomon: "I have attempted to build a temple to the name of the LORD my God. But this message from the LORD came to me, telling meread more.
"You have shed a lot of blood and fought great battles. You won't be building a house for my name, since you have shed so much blood on the earth in my sight. But look! A son born to you will live comfortably, because I will give him rest from all his enemies that surround him on every side, since his name will be "Solomon" - I will give peace and quiet for Israel during his lifetime. He will build a temple to my name. He will be a son to me, I myself will be a father to him, and I will secure his royal throne in Israel forever.'
"""My servant King David will be there for them, and one shepherd will be appointed for them. They will live according to my decrees, keep my regulations, and practice them. They will live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob and on which your ancestors lived. They will live in that land, along with their children and grandchildren, forever. David my servant will be their everlasting leader. I'll make a secure covenant with them, one that will last forever. I will establish them, make them increase in population, and will place my sanctuary in their midst forever. read more.
I will pitch my tent among them and will be their God. They will be my people, and the nations will learn that I, the LORD, am the sanctifier of Israel when I place my sanctuary in their midst forever."'"
"Now these are the commands, decrees, and ordinances that the LORD commanded me to teach you. Obey them in the land you are entering to possess, so that you, your children, and your grandchildren may fear the LORD your God. Keep all his decrees and commandments that I'm giving you every day of your life, so you may live a long time. Listen, Israel! Be careful to obey, so that life may go well for you and that you may increase greatly. Just as the LORD God of your ancestors told you, you'll have a land flowing with milk and honey.
Don't be afraid, because I'm with you; don't be anxious, because I am your God. I keep on strengthening you; I'm truly helping you. I'm surely upholding you with my victorious right hand."
I've commanded you, haven't I? Be strong and courageous. Don't be fearful or discouraged, because the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
The LORD is the one who is shepherding me; I lack nothing. He causes me to lie down in pastures of green grass; he guides me beside quiet waters. He revives my life; he leads me in pathways that are righteous for the sake of his name.read more.
Even when I walk through a valley of deep darkness, I will not be afraid because you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
The LORD will give strength to his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. A Davidic Psalm for the dedication of the Temple.
"My servant Jacob, don't be afraid,' declares the LORD, "and Israel, don't be dismayed. For I'll deliver you from a distant place and your descendants from the land of their captivity. Jacob will return. He will be undisturbed and secure, and no one will cause him to fear. For I'll be with you to save you,' declares the LORD. "For I'll put an end to all the nations where I scattered you; but I won't make an end of you. I'll discipline you justly, but I certainly won't leave you unpunished.'
Seek the welfare of the city to which I've exiled you and pray to the LORD for it, for your welfare depends on its welfare.'
Then Joseph, all his brothers, and that entire generation died. But the Israelis were fruitful and increased abundantly. They multiplied in numbers and became very, very strong. As a result, the land was filled with them. Eventually a new king who was unacquainted with Joseph came to power in Egypt. read more.
He told his people, "Look, the Israeli people are more numerous and more powerful than we are. Come on, let's be careful how we treat them, so that when they grow numerous, if a war breaks out they won't join our enemies, fight against us, and leave our land." So the Egyptians placed supervisors over them, oppressing them with heavy burdens. The Israelis built the supply cities of Pithom and Rameses for Pharaoh. But the more the Egyptians afflicted the Israelis, the more they multiplied and flourished, so that the Egyptians became terrified of the Israelis.
"At that time," declares the LORD, "I'll be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people." This is what the LORD says: "The people who survived the sword, found favor in the desert while Israel was seeking rest.
This is what comforts me in my troubles: that what you say revives me.
"The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed and to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a mantle of praise instead of a spirit of despair." "Then people will call them "Oaks of Righteousness", "The Planting of the LORD", in order to display his splendor.read more.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins; they will restore the places long devastated; they will build again the ruined cities, they will build again the places devastated for many generations.
This is the message that came to Jeremiah from the LORD while king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, all his army, all the kingdoms of the earth that were under his authority, along with all the people were fighting against Jerusalem and all its towns: "This is what the LORD God of Israel says: "Go and speak to king Zedekiah of Judah. Say to him, "This is what the LORD says: "Look, I'm giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will set it on fire. You won't escape from him. You will certainly be captured and given into his control. You will see the king of Babylon eye to eye, he will speak to you face to face, and you will go to Babylon.'"' read more.
Yet, hear this message from the LORD, king Zedekiah of Judah. This is what the LORD says to you, "You won't die by the sword. You will die peacefully, and as they burned fires for your ancestors, the former kings who were before you, so they'll burn fires for you, wailing, "Oh how terrible, your majesty!"' For I've spoken the message," declares the LORD.
The LORD kills and gives life, he brings people down to where the dead are and he raises them up. The LORD makes people poor and he makes people rich, he brings them low, and he also exalts them. He raises the poor up from the dust, he lifts up the needy from the trash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. Indeed the pillars of the earth belong to the LORD, and he has set the world on them.read more.
He guards the steps of his faithful ones, while the wicked are made silent in darkness. He grants the request of the one who prays. He blesses the year of the righteous. Indeed it's not by strength that a person prevails.
A father to orphans and an advocate for widows is God in his holy dwelling place. God causes the lonely to dwell in families. He leads prisoners into prosperity, but rebels live on parched land. God, when you led out your people, when you marched through the desert, Interluderead more.
the land quaked. Indeed, the heavens poured down rain from the presence of God, this God of Sinai, from the presence of God, the God of Israel. God, you poured out abundant rain on your inheritance. When Israel was weary, you sustained her. Your people live there; you sustain the needy with your goodness, God.
David addressed Solomon: "I have attempted to build a temple to the name of the LORD my God. But this message from the LORD came to me, telling me "You have shed a lot of blood and fought great battles. You won't be building a house for my name, since you have shed so much blood on the earth in my sight. But look! A son born to you will live comfortably, because I will give him rest from all his enemies that surround him on every side, since his name will be "Solomon" - I will give peace and quiet for Israel during his lifetime.
"This is what the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the exiles who were taken from Jerusalem into exile to Babylon, "Build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and father sons and daughters. Take wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so they may have sons and daughters. Increase in numbers there, don't decrease. read more.
Seek the welfare of the city to which I've exiled you and pray to the LORD for it, for your welfare depends on its welfare.'