1 Corinthians 8 (Listen)

Food Offered to Idols

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

(ESV)

Jeremiah 5 (Listen)

Jerusalem Refused to Repent

  Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
    look and take note!
  Search her squares to see
    if you can find a man,
  one who does justice
    and seeks truth,
  that I may pardon her.
  Though they say, “As the LORD lives,”
    yet they swear falsely.
  O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth?
  You have struck them down,
    but they felt no anguish;
  you have consumed them,
    but they refused to take correction.
  They have made their faces harder than rock;
    they have refused to repent.
  Then I said, “These are only the poor;
    they have no sense;
  for they do not know the way of the LORD,
    the justice of their God.
  I will go to the great
    and will speak to them,
  for they know the way of the LORD,
    the justice of their God.”
  But they all alike had broken the yoke;
    they had burst the bonds.
  Therefore a lion from the forest shall strike them down;
    a wolf from the desert shall devastate them.
  A leopard is watching their cities;
    everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces,
  because their transgressions are many,
    their apostasies are great.
  “How can I pardon you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and have sworn by those who are no gods.
  When I fed them to the full,
    they committed adultery
    and trooped to the houses of whores.
  They were well-fed, lusty stallions,
    each neighing for his neighbor's wife.
  Shall I not punish them for these things?
      declares the LORD;
    and shall I not avenge myself
    on a nation such as this?
10   “Go up through her vine rows and destroy,
    but make not a full end;
  strip away her branches,
    for they are not the LORD's.
11   For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
    have been utterly treacherous to me,
      declares the LORD.
12   They have spoken falsely of the LORD
    and have said, ‘He will do nothing;
  no disaster will come upon us,
    nor shall we see sword or famine.
13   The prophets will become wind;
    the word is not in them.
  Thus shall it be done to them!’”

The Lord Proclaims Judgment

14   Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts:
  “Because you have spoken this word,
  behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire,
    and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.
15   Behold, I am bringing against you
    a nation from afar, O house of Israel,
      declares the LORD.
  It is an enduring nation;
    it is an ancient nation,
  a nation whose language you do not know,
    nor can you understand what they say.
16   Their quiver is like an open tomb;
    they are all mighty warriors.
17   They shall eat up your harvest and your food;
    they shall eat up your sons and your daughters;
  they shall eat up your flocks and your herds;
    they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;
  your fortified cities in which you trust
    they shall beat down with the sword.”

18 “But even in those days, declares the LORD, I will not make a full end of you. 19 And when your people say, ‘Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?’ you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.’”

20   Declare this in the house of Jacob;
    proclaim it in Judah:
21   “Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
    who have eyes, but see not,
    who have ears, but hear not.
22   Do you not fear me? declares the LORD.
    Do you not tremble before me?
  I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea,
    a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
  though the waves toss, they cannot prevail;
    though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
23   But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
    they have turned aside and gone away.
24   They do not say in their hearts,
    ‘Let us fear the LORD our God,
  who gives the rain in its season,
    the autumn rain and the spring rain,
  and keeps for us
    the weeks appointed for the harvest.’
25   Your iniquities have turned these away,
    and your sins have kept good from you.
26   For wicked men are found among my people;
    they lurk like fowlers lying in wait.
  They set a trap;
    they catch men.
27   Like a cage full of birds,
    their houses are full of deceit;
  therefore they have become great and rich;
28     they have grown fat and sleek.
  They know no bounds in deeds of evil;
    they judge not with justice
  the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper,
    and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
29   Shall I not punish them for these things?
      declares the LORD,
    and shall I not avenge myself
    on a nation such as this?”
30   An appalling and horrible thing
    has happened in the land:
31   the prophets prophesy falsely,
    and the priests rule at their direction;
  my people love to have it so,
    but what will you do when the end comes?

(ESV)

Proverbs 13 (Listen)

  A wise son hears his father's instruction,
    but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
  From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good,
    but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
  Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
    he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
  The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
    while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
  The righteous hates falsehood,
    but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.
  Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless,
    but sin overthrows the wicked.
  One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
    another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
  The ransom of a man's life is his wealth,
    but a poor man hears no threat.
  The light of the righteous rejoices,
    but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
10   By insolence comes nothing but strife,
    but with those who take advice is wisdom.
11   Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
    but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
12   Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
13   Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself,
    but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
14   The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    that one may turn away from the snares of death.
15   Good sense wins favor,
    but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.
16   Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
    but a fool flaunts his folly.
17   A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18   Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
19   A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
    but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.
20   Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
    but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
21   Disaster pursues sinners,
    but the righteous are rewarded with good.
22   A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children,
    but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.
23   The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food,
    but it is swept away through injustice.
24   Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
    but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
25   The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite,
    but the belly of the wicked suffers want.

(ESV)

Psalm 14 (Listen)

The Fool Says, There Is No God

To the choirmaster. Of David.

  The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
    there is none who does good.
  The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man,
    to see if there are any who understand,
    who seek after God.
  They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
    there is none who does good,
    not even one.
  Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
    who eat up my people as they eat bread
    and do not call upon the LORD?
  There they are in great terror,
    for God is with the generation of the righteous.
  You would shame the plans of the poor,
    but the LORD is his refuge.
  Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people,
    let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

(ESV)