Day 297 October 24
When Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he became angry and raged. He mocked the Jews, 2 saying in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria: “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore things themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the piles of rubble, even though they are burned?”
3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was beside him, added: “If even a fox climbs on whatever they build, their wall of stones will crumble.”
4 Listen, God; we are despised! Turn their insults to us back on their heads and make them like plunder in a captive land. 5 Don’t forgive their iniquity or blot out their sins from your sight. They have thrown insults at the builders!
6 We continued to build the wall. All of it was joined together, and it reached half of its intended height because the people were eager to work. 7 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the people of Ashdod heard that the work on the walls was progressing and the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8 They plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to create a disturbance in it. 9 So we prayed to our God and set a guard as protection against them day and night.
10 But in Judah it was said,
“The carrier’s strength is failing,
for there is too much rubble.
We are unable to rebuild the wall!”
25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. On the earth, there will be dismay among nations in their confusion over the roaring of the sea and surging waves. 26 The planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken, causing people to faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world. 27 Then they will see the Human One coming on a cloud with power and great splendor. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, stand up straight and raise your heads, because your redemption is near.”
29 Jesus told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that God’s kingdom is near. 32 I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until everything has happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.
34 “Take care that your hearts aren’t dulled by drinking parties, drunkenness, and the anxieties of day-to-day life. Don’t let that day fall upon you unexpectedly, 35 like a trap. It will come upon everyone who lives on the face of the whole earth. 36 Stay alert at all times, praying that you are strong enough to escape everything that is about to happen and to stand before the Human One.”
37 Every day Jesus was teaching in the temple, but he spent each night on the Mount of Olives. 38 All the people rose early in the morning to hear him in the temple area.
7 If the first covenant had been without fault, it wouldn’t have made sense to expect a second. 8 But God did find fault with them, since he says,
Look, the days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a covenant with the house of Israel,
and I will make a new covenant with the house of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors
on the day I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt,
because they did not continue to keep my covenant,
and I lost interest in them, says the Lord.
10 This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord.
I will place my laws in their minds,
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 And each person won’t ever teach a neighbor
or their brother or sister, saying, “Know the Lord,”
because they will all know me,
from the least important of them to the most important;
12 because I will be lenient toward their unjust actions,
and I won’t remember their sins anymore.
13 When it says new, it makes the first obsolete. And if something is old and outdated, it’s close to disappearing.
Comment: the quote comes from, among other things, Jeremiah 31:31-34, a prophecy from Jeremiah offering Israel the hope and restoration you are reading about in Nehemiah.
Prayer: into your hands do I trust my heart, my mind, and my soul. Amen.