Jeremiah 17

1“The sins of the people of Judah are written down in a place where they can’t be erased. Those sins were cut into stone with an iron pen. Their sins were cut into stone with a diamond tipped pen. And that stone is their heart. Those sins were cut into the horns of their altars. 2Their children remember the altars that were dedicated to false gods. They remember the wooden poles that were dedicated to Asherah. They remember those things under the green trees and on the hills. 3They remember those things on the mountains in the open country. The people of Judah have many treasures. I will give those things to other people. People will destroy all the high places in your country. You worshiped at those places. And that was a sin. 4You will lose the land I gave you. I will let your enemies take you to be their slaves. Why? Because I am very angry. My anger is like a hot fire, and you will be burned forever.” 5The Lord says these things: “Bad things will happen to people that trust only other people. Bad things will happen to people that depend on other people for strength. Why? Because those people have stopped trusting the Lord. 6Those people are like a bush in a desert. That bush is in a land where no people live. That bush is in a hot and dry land. That bush is in a bad soil. That bush does not know about the good things that God can give. 7But the person that trusts in the Lord will be blessed. Why? Because the Lord will show him that the Lord can be trusted. 8That person will be strong like a tree planted near water. That tree has large roots that find the water. That tree is not afraid when the days are hot. Its leaves are always green. It does not worry in a year when no rain comes. That tree always produces fruit. 9“A person’s mind is very tricky! The mind can be very sick, and no person truly understands it. 10But I am the Lord, and I can look into a person’s heart. I can test a person’s mind. I can decide what each person should have. I can give each person the right payment for the things he does. 11Sometimes a bird will hatch an egg that it did not lay. A person that cheats to get money is like that bird. When that man’s life is half finished, he will lose the money. At the end of his life, it will be clear that he was a foolish person.” 12From the very beginning, our temple has been a glorious throne for God. It is a very important place. 13Lord, you are the hope of Israel. Lord, you are like a spring of living water. If a person quits following the Lord, then his life will be very short. 14Lord, if you heal me, I truly will be healed. Save me, and I truly will be saved. Lord, I praise you! 15The people of Judah continue to ask me questions. They say, ”Jeremiah, what about the message from the Lord? Let’s see that message come true.” 16Lord, I did not run away from you. I followed you. I became the shepherd you wanted. I did not want the terrible day to come. Lord, you know the things I said. You see all that is happening. 17Lord, don’t ruin me. I depend on you in times of trouble. 18People are hurting me. Make those people ashamed. But don’t disappoint me. Let those people be scared. But don’t scare me. Bring the terrible day of disaster to my enemies. Break them. And break them again. 19The Lord said these things to me: “Jeremiah, go and stand at the People’s Gate, where the kings of Judah go in and out. ˻Tell the people my message, and then˼ go to all the other gates of Jerusalem and do the same things.” 20Say to those people: “Listen to the message of the Lord. Listen, kings of Judah. Listen, all you people of Judah. All you people that come through these gates into Jerusalem, listen to me! 21The Lord says these things: Be careful that you don’t carry a load on the Sabbath day. And don’t bring a load through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. 22Don’t bring a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day. Don’t do any work on that day. You must make the Sabbath day a holy day. I gave this same command to your ancestors. 23But your ancestors did not obey me. They did not pay attention to me. Your ancestors were very stubborn. I punished them, but it did not do any good. They did not listen to me. 24But you must be careful to obey me.” This message is from the Lord. “You must not bring a load through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath. You must make the Sabbath day a holy day. You will do this by not doing any work on that day. 25“If you obey this command, then kings that sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of Jerusalem. Those kings will come riding on chariots and on horses. The leaders of the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be with those kings. And Jerusalem will have people living in it forever! 26People will come to Jerusalem from the towns of Judah. People will come to Jerusalem from the little villages that are around it. People will come from the land where the family group of Benjamin lives. People will come from the western foothills and from the hill country. And people will come from the Negev. All those people will bring burnt offerings, sacrifices, grains offerings, incense, and thank offerings. They will bring those offerings and sacrifices to the temple of the Lord. 27“But if you don’t listen to me and obey me, then bad things will happen. If you carry loads into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then you are not keeping it a holy day. So I will start a fire that can’t be put out. That fire will start at the gates of Jerusalem, and it will burn until it burns even the palaces.”

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