Through The Bible Friday 12-07-18 Devotions
A Vision of Locusts
7 The Sovereign Lord showed me a vision. I saw him preparing to send a vast swarm of locusts over the land. This was after the king’s share had been harvested from the fields and as the main crop was coming up. 2 In my vision the locusts ate every green plant in sight. Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, please forgive us or we will not survive, for Israel[a] is so small.”
3 So the Lord relented from this plan. “I will not do it,” he said.
A Vision of Fire
4 Then the Sovereign Lord showed me another vision. I saw him preparing to punish his people with a great fire. The fire had burned up the depths of the sea and was devouring the entire land. 5 Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, please stop or we will not survive, for Israel is so small.”
6 Then the Lord relented from this plan, too. “I will not do that either,” said the Sovereign Lord.
A Vision of a Plumb Line
7 Then he showed me another vision. I saw the Lord standing beside a wall that had been built using a plumb line. He was using a plumb line to see if it was still straight. 8 And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?”
I answered, “A plumb line.”
And the Lord replied, “I will test my people with this plumb line. I will no longer ignore all their sins. 9 The pagan shrines of your ancestors[b] will be ruined, and the temples of Israel will be destroyed; I will bring the dynasty of King Jeroboam to a sudden end.”
Amos and Amaziah
10 Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent a message to Jeroboam, king of Israel: “Amos is hatching a plot against you right here on your very doorstep! What he is saying is intolerable. 11 He is saying, ‘Jeroboam will soon be killed, and the people of Israel will be sent away into exile.’”
12 Then Amaziah sent orders to Amos: “Get out of here, you prophet! Go on back to the land of Judah, and earn your living by prophesying there! 13 Don’t bother us with your prophecies here in Bethel. This is the king’s sanctuary and the national place of worship!”
14 But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one.[c] I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’ 16 Now then, listen to this message from the Lord:
‘Don’t prophesy against Israel.
Stop preaching against my people.[d]’
17 But this is what the Lord says:
‘Your wife will become a prostitute in this city,
and your sons and daughters will be killed.
Your land will be divided up,
and you yourself will die in a foreign land.
And the people of Israel will certainly become captives in exile,
far from their homeland.’”
A Vision of Ripe Fruit
8 Then the Sovereign Lord showed me another vision. In it I saw a basket filled with ripe fruit. 2 “What do you see, Amos?” he asked.
I replied, “A basket full of ripe fruit.”
Then the Lord said, “Like this fruit, Israel is ripe for punishment! I will not delay their punishment again. 3 In that day the singing in the temple will turn to wailing. Dead bodies will be scattered everywhere. They will be carried out of the city in silence. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
4 Listen to this, you who rob the poor
and trample down the needy!
5 You can’t wait for the Sabbath day to be over
and the religious festivals to end
so you can get back to cheating the helpless.
You measure out grain with dishonest measures
and cheat the buyer with dishonest scales.[e] 6 And you mix the grain you sell
with chaff swept from the floor.
Then you enslave poor people
for one piece of silver or a pair of sandals.
7 Now the Lord has sworn this oath
by his own name, the Pride of Israel[f]:
“I will never forget
the wicked things you have done!
8 The earth will tremble for your deeds,
and everyone will mourn.
The ground will rise like the Nile River at floodtime;
it will heave up, then sink again.
9 “In that day,” says the Sovereign Lord,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth while it is still day.
10 I will turn your celebrations into times of mourning
and your singing into weeping.
You will wear funeral clothes
and shave your heads to show your sorrow—
as if your only son had died.
How very bitter that day will be!
11 “The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign Lord,
“when I will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread or water
but of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from border to border[g] searching for the word of the Lord,
but they will not find it.
13 Beautiful girls and strong young men
will grow faint in that day,
thirsting for the Lord’s word.
14 And those who swear by the shameful idols of Samaria—
who take oaths in the name of the god of Dan
and make vows in the name of the god of Beersheba[h]—
they will all fall down,
never to rise again.”
A Vision of God at the Altar
9 Then I saw a vision of the Lord standing beside the altar. He said,
“Strike the tops of the Temple columns,
so that the foundation will shake.
Bring down the roof
on the heads of the people below.
I will kill with the sword those who survive.
No one will escape!
2 “Even if they dig down to the place of the dead,[i] I will reach down and pull them up.
Even if they climb up into the heavens,
I will bring them down.
3 Even if they hide at the very top of Mount Carmel,
I will search them out and capture them.
Even if they hide at the bottom of the ocean,
I will send the sea serpent after them to bite them.
4 Even if their enemies drive them into exile,
I will command the sword to kill them there.
I am determined to bring disaster upon them
and not to help them.”
5 The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
touches the land and it melts,
and all its people mourn.
The ground rises like the Nile River at floodtime,
and then it sinks again.
6 The Lord’s home reaches up to the heavens,
while its foundation is on the earth.
He draws up water from the oceans
and pours it down as rain on the land.
The Lord is his name!
7 “Are you Israelites more important to me
than the Ethiopians?[j]” asks the Lord.
“I brought Israel out of Egypt,
but I also brought the Philistines from Crete[k] and led the Arameans out of Kir.
8 “I, the Sovereign Lord,
am watching this sinful nation of Israel.
I will destroy it
from the face of the earth.
But I will never completely destroy the family of Israel,[l]”
says the Lord.
9 “For I will give the command
and will shake Israel along with the other nations
as grain is shaken in a sieve,
yet not one true kernel will be lost.
10 But all the sinners will die by the sword—
all those who say, ‘Nothing bad will happen to us.’
A Promise of Restoration
11 “In that day I will restore the fallen house[m] of David.
I will repair its damaged walls.
From the ruins I will rebuild it
and restore its former glory.
12 And Israel will possess what is left of Edom
and all the nations I have called to be mine.[n]”
The Lord has spoken,
and he will do these things.
13 “The time will come,” says the Lord,
“when the grain and grapes will grow faster
than they can be harvested.
Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel
will drip with sweet wine!
14 I will bring my exiled people of Israel
back from distant lands,
and they will rebuild their ruined cities
and live in them again.
They will plant vineyards and gardens;
they will eat their crops and drink their wine.
15 I will firmly plant them there
in their own land.
They will never again be uprooted
from the land I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.
7:2 Hebrew Jacob; also in 7:5. See note on 3:13.
7:9 Hebrew of Isaac.
7:14 Or I’m not a prophet nor the son of a prophet.
7:16 Hebrew against the house of Isaac.
8:5 Hebrew You make the ephah [a unit for measuring grain] small and the shekel [a unit of weight] great, and you deal falsely by using deceitful balances.
8:7 Hebrew the pride of Jacob. See note on 3:13.
8:12 Hebrew from north to east.
8:14 Hebrew the way of Beersheba.
9:2 Hebrew to Sheol.
9:7a Hebrew the Cushites?
9:7b Hebrew Caphtor.
9:8 Hebrew the house of Jacob. See note on 3:13.
9:11a Or kingdom; Hebrew reads tent.
9:11b-12 Greek version reads and restore its former glory, / so that the rest of humanity, including the Gentiles— / all those I have called to be mine—might seek me. Compare Acts 15:16-17.
21 If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat.
If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
22 You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads,
and the Lord will reward you.
23 As surely as a north wind brings rain,
so a gossiping tongue causes anger!
24 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic
than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
25 Good news from far away
is like cold water to the thirsty.
26 If the godly give in to the wicked,
it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.
27 It’s not good to eat too much honey,
and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself.
28 A person without self-control
is like a city with broken-down walls.
God’s People Will Be Preserved
7 Then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds so they did not blow on the earth or the sea, or even on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel coming up from the east, carrying the seal of the living God. And he shouted to those four angels, who had been given power to harm land and sea, 3 “Wait! Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.”
4 And I heard how many were marked with the seal of God—144,000 were sealed from all the tribes of Israel:
5 from Judah 12,000
from Reuben 12,000
from Gad 12,000
6 from Asher 12,000
from Naphtali 12,000
from Manasseh 12,000
7 from Simeon 12,000
from Levi 12,000
from Issachar 12,000
8 from Zebulun 12,000
from Joseph 12,000
from Benjamin 12,000
Praise from the Great Crowd
9 After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. 10 And they were shouting with a great roar,
“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne
and from the Lamb!”
11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. 12 They sang,
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and strength belong to our God
forever and ever! Amen.”
13 Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?”
14 And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”
Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in[a] the great tribulation.[b] They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.
15 “That is why they stand in front of God’s throne
and serve him day and night in his Temple.
And he who sits on the throne
will give them shelter.
16 They will never again be hungry or thirsty;
they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun.
17 For the Lamb on the throne[c] will be their Shepherd.
He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
7:14a Greek who came out of.
7:14b Or the great suffering.
7:17 Greek on the center of the throne.
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the name of the Lord!
Praise him, you who serve the Lord,
2 you who serve in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
celebrate his lovely name with music.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel for his own special treasure.
5 I know the greatness of the Lord—
that our Lord is greater than any other god.
6 The Lord does whatever pleases him
throughout all heaven and earth,
and on the seas and in their depths.
7 He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth.
He sends the lightning with the rain
and releases the wind from his storehouses.
8 He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home,
both people and animals.
9 He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt
against Pharaoh and all his people.
10 He struck down great nations
and slaughtered mighty kings—
11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
Og king of Bashan,
and all the kings of Canaan.
12 He gave their land as an inheritance,
a special possession to his people Israel.
13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever;
your fame, O Lord, is known to every generation.
14 For the Lord will give justice to his people
and have compassion on his servants.
15 The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold,
shaped by human hands.
16 They have mouths but cannot speak,
and eyes but cannot see.
17 They have ears but cannot hear,
and mouths but cannot breathe.
18 And those who make idols are just like them,
as are all who trust in them.
19 O Israel, praise the Lord!
O priests—descendants of Aaron—praise the Lord!
20 O Levites, praise the Lord!
All you who fear the Lord, praise the Lord!
21 The Lord be praised from Zion,
for he lives here in Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
Monday, December 10, 2018