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Jeremiah 10

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 1 Hear you the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel:

 2 Thus says the Lord, "Do not learn the way of the heathen, and do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

 3 For the customs of the people are vain. One cuts a tree out of the forest, and through the work of the hands of the workman he shapes with his axe.

 4 Then they deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it upright with nails and with hammers, so that it doesn't fall over.

 5 They [man made gods] are like a scarecrow in field. They do not speak. They need to be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither is anything in them to do good."

 6 For there is none like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is great and mighty in power.

 7 Who would not fear you, O King of nations? You deserve to be feared. Among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like you.

 8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish; they are taught by a piece of wood and have a doctrine of vanities.

 9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz to be fastened by the hands of the craftsman; then they are clothed with blue and purple by the work of cunning men.

 10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king. At his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

 11 "Thus shall you say to them, 'The gods, which have not made the heavens and the earth, shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.'"

 12 He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

 13 When he utters his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings with rain, and brings forth the wind out of his treasures.

 14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge. Every image maker is shamed by his graven image for his molten images are a fraud, and there is no breath in them.

 15 They are vanity, and the work of errors. In the time of their judgment they shall perish.

 16 The portion of Jacob is not like them for he is the Maker of all things, and Israel is the rod of his inheritance. The LORD of hosts is his name.

 17 Gather up your possessions out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress.

 18 For thus says the Lord, "Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may experience the distress.

 19 Woe is me for my hurt! My wound is grievous; but I said, 'Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it.'

 20 My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken. My children are gone forth of me, and they are not. There is no one to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.

 21 For the pastors have become brutish, and have not sought the LORD. Therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.

 22 Behold, the noise of the brute is coming, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.

 23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in a man to direct his own steps.1

 24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.

 25 Pour out your fury upon the heathen that do not know you, and upon the families that do not call on your name for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.


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1 it is not in a man to direct his own steps. Without listening to God's voice, telling a man what to do, a man is hopelessly stumbling in the dark. The best he can do is choose the least evil, and each man might choose differently. When man is restored to the image of God, as Adam was before he fell, his steps are directed by God; he follows virtue, thinking, saying, and doing as he is led by God.

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