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Jeremiah for Japan 日本のためのエレミヤ

Updated: 4 days ago

I've been praying and thinking a lot about the people of Japan. Joshua Project says there are over 123 million people there, and 98% of them are unreached! The Evangelical Annual Growth Rate is actually negative -0.4%. How sad.



Part of the reason they're on my mind is that I'm scheduled to visit Japan for the first in March with Trans World Radio, TWR. We're going to be passing out tracts--the gospel, info about TWR's local radio program and info about a local churches.


I think the Holy Spirit prompted me to read and meditate on the book of Jeremiah, a book written about 2600 years ago. It was written to the people of Israel and Judah, but God knew that one day, it would also be for the people of Japan. When I read of coming disaster, destruction and darkness, I think it could refer to two different things. First of all, Jesus warned us of the coming tribulation.


"For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive"... Matthew 24:21-22


Secondly, everyone who dies before repenting and believing the gospel is destined to eternal separation from Jesus, which is a fate too terrible to imagine.


Note: When you read Israel or Judah... think Japan. And read to the end... you don't want to miss the good news!



“Yes, we will come to you,    

for you are the Lord our God.

Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills

and mountains is a deception;

surely in the Lord our God    

is the salvation of Israel.

From our youth shameful gods have consumed    

the fruits of our ancestors’ labor—

their flocks and herds,    

their sons and daughters.

Let us lie down in our shame,    

and let our disgrace cover us.

We have sinned against the Lord our God,    

both we and our ancestors;

from our youth till this day    

we have not obeyed the Lord our God.” Jeremiah 3:23-25


エレミヤ書 3

23 丘の上で偶像を拝んだり、

山の上でお祭り騒ぎをするのはもううんざりです。

私たちは悪い夢を見ていました。

神だけに、イスラエルの助けと救いがあるのです。

24 私たちは子どものころから、

先祖のものであった羊や牛の群れ、それに息子、娘が、

偶像や異教の祭司の食い物になるのを見てきました。

25 私たちは恥と不名誉の中に伏しています。

私たちも先祖も、子どものころから神に罪を犯し、

従わなかったからです。」



The wise will be put to shame;    

they will be dismayed and trapped.

Since they have rejected the word of the Lord,    

what kind of wisdom do they have? Jeremiah 8:9


エレミヤ書 8

9 この賢い教師たちは、神のことばを変えた罪のために

遠い国へ流され、恥をさらす。

その時になっても、

変わることなく賢い者だと言えるだろうか。



This is what the Lord says:


“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom

   or the strong boast of their strength      

or the rich boast of their riches,

but let the one who boasts boast about this:

   that they have the understanding to know me,

that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,

   justice and righteousness on earth,

   for in these I delight,”

      declares the Lord. Jeremiah 9:23-24


エレミヤ書 9

23 主は命じます。

「知恵のある者は、知恵をひけらかしてはいけない。

力のある者は力を、金持ちは富を誇ってはいけない。

24 誇る者は、わたしをほんとうに知っていることと、

わたしが正義の主であって、

その愛は変わらないと知っていることを誇りなさい。



…the Lord is the true God;    

he is the living God, the eternal King.

When he is angry, the earth trembles;    

the nations cannot endure his wrath.


…’These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’”


But God made the earth by his power;    

he founded the world by his wisdom    

and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.

When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;    

he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.

He sends lightning with the rain    

and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

Jeremiah 10:10-13


エレミヤ書 10

10 しかし、主はただ一人の生けるまことの神、

永遠の王です。

ひとたび主が怒れば、全地は震えます。

このお方の不興を買えば、

世界は御前から隠れます。


11 ほかの神々を拝む者に言ってやりなさい。天と地を造らなかった神々は、地上から姿を消す運命にある、と。


12 しかし私たちの神は、


ご自分の力と知恵によって世界を造り、

すぐれた知性によって星を空間にちりばめ、

天を張り広げました。

13 嵐を運ぶ雲から聞こえる雷鳴は、御声の響きです。

神は地から霧を立ちのぼらせ、いなずまを送り、

雨を降らせ、倉から風を呼び出します。



Lord, my strength and my fortress,
    

my refuge in time of distress,


to you the nations will come
    

from the ends of the earth and say,


“Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods,
    

worthless idols that did them no good.

Do people make their own gods?
    

Yes, but they are not gods!”


“Therefore I will teach them—
    

this time I will teach them
    

my power and might.


Then they will know
    

that my name is the Lord. Jeremiah 16:19-21


エレミヤ書 16

19 主よ。私の力、私の要塞、悩みの日の私の隠れ家よ。


世界中の民がみもとに来て、こう言うでしょう。

「私たちの先祖はほんとうに愚かでした。

少しも価値のない偶像を拝んでいたのです。

20 神を作ることが人間にできるでしょうか。

人間の作る神々は本物の神ではありません。」

21 「彼らがこのような気持ちで

わたしのところへ来るとき、

わたしは彼らに力を示し、

わたしだけが神であることを悟らせる。



This is what the Lord says:


“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    

who draws strength from mere flesh
    

and whose heart turns away from the Lord.

That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    

they will not see prosperity when it comes.


They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    

in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    

whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water
    

that sends out its roots by the stream.


It does not fear when heat comes;
    

its leaves are always green.


It has no worries in a year of drought
    

and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:5-8


エレミヤ書 17

5 主はこう告げます。

「いつかは死ぬ人間を頼りとし、

心が神から離れている者は、のろわれる。

6 そのような者には、荒野の乾いた灌木のように、

将来の希望など少しもない。

古き良き時代から永久に見放された彼は、

草木も生えない、塩分の多い荒野に住む。

7 だがわたしを頼りとし、わたしを望みとする者は、

祝福される。

8 彼は川の土手に沿って植えられた木のように、

深く張った根で川から直接水分を吸収するので、

暑さにもしおれず、長いかんばつでも弱らない。

葉はいつも青々と茂り、

みずみずしくおいしい実をつける。



My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:6-7


エレミヤ書 24:6-7

6 わたしは、彼らが行った先で丁重に扱われるようにし、またこの地に連れ戻す。彼らを助けこそすれ、傷つけることはしない。彼らを植えて、二度と引き抜かない。 7 わたしに対して正しく応答する心を彼らに与える。彼らはわたしの民となり、わたしは彼らの神となる。彼らは大喜びで、わたしのもとに帰って来るからだ。



For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13


エレミヤ書 29:11-13

11 わたしは、おまえたちのために立てた計画をよく知っている。それは災いではなく祝福を与える計画で、将来と希望を約束する。 12 その時になったら、わたしはおまえたちの祈りに耳を傾ける。 13 真剣に探し求めるなら、おまえたちはわたしを見つけることができる。



“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel

after that time,” declares the LORD.

“I will put my law in their minds

and write it on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

No longer will they teach their neighbor,

or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest,”

declares the LORD.

“For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:33-34


エレミヤ書 31:33-34

33 新しい契約とはこうだ。わたしは、わたしのおきてを彼らの心に刻みつける。そのため彼らは、わたしをあがめたいという気持ちになる。こうして、彼らは文字どおりわたしの民となり、わたしは彼らの神となる。 34 その時はもう、主を知るようにと互いに忠告する必要はなくなる。身分の高い者も低い者も、だれもがわたしを心底から知るようになるからだ。わたしは彼らの罪を赦し、忘れる。」


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