Matthew 24 (Listen)

Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple

Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Signs of the End of the Age

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The Abomination of Desolation

15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

The Coming of the Son of Man

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

No One Knows That Day and Hour

36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know 51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

(ESV)

Jeremiah 50 (Listen)

Judgment on Babylon

The word that the LORD spoke concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldeans, by Jeremiah the prophet:

  “Declare among the nations and proclaim,
    set up a banner and proclaim,
    conceal it not, and say:
  ‘Babylon is taken,
    Bel is put to shame,
    Merodach is dismayed.
  Her images are put to shame,
    her idols are dismayed.’

“For out of the north a nation has come up against her, which shall make her land a desolation, and none shall dwell in it; both man and beast shall flee away.

“In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the LORD their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.’

“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold. All who found them have devoured them, and their enemies have said, ‘We are not guilty, for they have sinned against the LORD, their habitation of righteousness, the LORD, the hope of their fathers.’

“Flee from the midst of Babylon, and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as male goats before the flock. For behold, I am stirring up and bringing against Babylon a gathering of great nations, from the north country. And they shall array themselves against her. From there she shall be taken. Their arrows are like a skilled warrior who does not return empty-handed. 10 Chaldea shall be plundered; all who plunder her shall be sated, declares the LORD.

11   “Though you rejoice, though you exult,
    O plunderers of my heritage,
  though you frolic like a heifer in the pasture,
    and neigh like stallions,
12   your mother shall be utterly shamed,
    and she who bore you shall be disgraced.
  Behold, she shall be the last of the nations,
    a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.
13   Because of the wrath of the LORD she shall not be inhabited
    but shall be an utter desolation;
  everyone who passes by Babylon shall be appalled,
    and hiss because of all her wounds.
14   Set yourselves in array against Babylon all around,
    all you who bend the bow;
  shoot at her, spare no arrows,
    for she has sinned against the LORD.
15   Raise a shout against her all around;
    she has surrendered;
  her bulwarks have fallen;
    her walls are thrown down.
  For this is the vengeance of the LORD:
    take vengeance on her;
    do to her as she has done.
16   Cut off from Babylon the sower,
    and the one who handles the sickle in time of harvest;
  because of the sword of the oppressor,
    every one shall turn to his own people,
    and every one shall flee to his own land.

17 “Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has gnawed his bones. 18 Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria. 19 I will restore Israel to his pasture, and he shall feed on Carmel and in Bashan, and his desire shall be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and in Gilead. 20 In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.

21   “Go up against the land of Merathaim,
    and against the inhabitants of Pekod.
  Kill, and devote them to destruction,
      declares the LORD,
    and do all that I have commanded you.
22   The noise of battle is in the land,
    and great destruction!
23   How the hammer of the whole earth
    is cut down and broken!
  How Babylon has become
    a horror among the nations!
24   I set a snare for you and you were taken, O Babylon,
    and you did not know it;
  you were found and caught,
    because you opposed the LORD.
25   The LORD has opened his armory
    and brought out the weapons of his wrath,
  for the Lord GOD of hosts has a work to do
    in the land of the Chaldeans.
26   Come against her from every quarter;
    open her granaries;
  pile her up like heaps of grain, and devote her to destruction;
    let nothing be left of her.
27   Kill all her bulls;
    let them go down to the slaughter.
  Woe to them, for their day has come,
    the time of their punishment.

28 “A voice! They flee and escape from the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, vengeance for his temple.

29 “Summon archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. Encamp around her; let no one escape. Repay her according to her deeds; do to her according to all that she has done. For she has proudly defied the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. 30 Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed on that day, declares the LORD.

31   “Behold, I am against you, O proud one,
    declares the Lord GOD of hosts,
  for your day has come,
    the time when I will punish you.
32   The proud one shall stumble and fall,
    with none to raise him up,
  and I will kindle a fire in his cities,
    and it will devour all that is around him.

33 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah with them. All who took them captive have held them fast; they refuse to let them go. 34 Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon.

35   “A sword against the Chaldeans, declares the LORD,
    and against the inhabitants of Babylon,
    and against her officials and her wise men!
36   A sword against the diviners,
    that they may become fools!
  A sword against her warriors,
    that they may be destroyed!
37   A sword against her horses and against her chariots,
    and against all the foreign troops in her midst,
    that they may become women!
  A sword against all her treasures,
    that they may be plundered!
38   A drought against her waters,
    that they may be dried up!
  For it is a land of images,
    and they are mad over idols.

39 “Therefore wild beasts shall dwell with hyenas in Babylon, and ostriches shall dwell in her. She shall never again have people, nor be inhabited for all generations. 40 As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares the LORD, so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her.

41   “Behold, a people comes from the north;
    a mighty nation and many kings
    are stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
42   They lay hold of bow and spear;
    they are cruel and have no mercy.
  The sound of them is like the roaring of the sea;
    they ride on horses,
  arrayed as a man for battle
    against you, O daughter of Babylon!
43   “The king of Babylon heard the report of them,
    and his hands fell helpless;
  anguish seized him,
    pain as of a woman in labor.

44 “Behold, like a lion coming up from the thicket of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make them run away from her, and I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me? 45 Therefore hear the plan that the LORD has made against Babylon, and the purposes that he has formed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the little ones of their flock shall be dragged away; surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate. 46 At the sound of the capture of Babylon the earth shall tremble, and her cry shall be heard among the nations.”

(ESV)

Proverbs 15 (Listen)

  A soft answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
    but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
  The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
    keeping watch on the evil and the good.
  A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
    but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
  A fool despises his father's instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
  In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,
    but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.
  The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
    not so the hearts of fools.
  The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
    but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.
  The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
    but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
10   There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
    whoever hates reproof will die.
11   Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD;
    how much more the hearts of the children of man!
12   A scoffer does not like to be reproved;
    he will not go to the wise.
13   A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
    but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.
14   The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
    but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
15   All the days of the afflicted are evil,
    but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
16   Better is a little with the fear of the LORD
    than great treasure and trouble with it.
17   Better is a dinner of herbs where love is
    than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
18   A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
    but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
19   The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns,
    but the path of the upright is a level highway.
20   A wise son makes a glad father,
    but a foolish man despises his mother.
21   Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense,
    but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
22   Without counsel plans fail,
    but with many advisers they succeed.
23   To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
    and a word in season, how good it is!
24   The path of life leads upward for the prudent,
    that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.
25   The LORD tears down the house of the proud
    but maintains the widow's boundaries.
26   The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD,
    but gracious words are pure.
27   Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household,
    but he who hates bribes will live.
28   The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
    but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
29   The LORD is far from the wicked,
    but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30   The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
    and good news refreshes the bones.
31   The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
    will dwell among the wise.
32   Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
    but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
33   The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom,
    and humility comes before honor.

(ESV)

Psalm 77 (Listen)

In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord

To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.

  I cry aloud to God,
    aloud to God, and he will hear me.
  In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
    in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
    my soul refuses to be comforted.
  When I remember God, I moan;
    when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah
  You hold my eyelids open;
    I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
  I consider the days of old,
    the years long ago.
  I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
    let me meditate in my heart.”
    Then my spirit made a diligent search:
  “Will the Lord spurn forever,
    and never again be favorable?
  Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
    Are his promises at an end for all time?
  Has God forgotten to be gracious?
    Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah
10   Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
    to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11   I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
    yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12   I will ponder all your work,
    and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13   Your way, O God, is holy.
    What god is great like our God?
14   You are the God who works wonders;
    you have made known your might among the peoples.
15   You with your arm redeemed your people,
    the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16   When the waters saw you, O God,
    when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
    indeed, the deep trembled.
17   The clouds poured out water;
    the skies gave forth thunder;
    your arrows flashed on every side.
18   The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
    your lightnings lighted up the world;
    the earth trembled and shook.
19   Your way was through the sea,
    your path through the great waters;
    yet your footprints were unseen.
20   You led your people like a flock
    by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

(ESV)