Through The Bible Thursday 12-06-18 Devotions

Click here to read Amos 4-6
Click here to read Proverbs 25:11-20
Click here to read Revelation 6
Click here to read Psalm 134

Amos 4-6
New Living Translation (NLT)
Through The Bible Thursday 12-06-18 Devotions

Israel’s Failure to Learn
4 Listen to me, you fat cows[a] living in Samaria,
you women who oppress the poor
and crush the needy,
and who are always calling to your husbands,
“Bring us another drink!”
2 The Sovereign Lord has sworn this by his holiness:
“The time will come when you will be led away
with hooks in your noses.
Every last one of you will be dragged away
like a fish on a hook!
3 You will be led out through the ruins of the wall;
you will be thrown from your fortresses,[b]”
says the Lord.
4 “Go ahead and offer sacrifices to the idols at Bethel.
Keep on disobeying at Gilgal.
Offer sacrifices each morning,
and bring your tithes every three days.
5 Present your bread made with yeast
as an offering of thanksgiving.
Then give your extra voluntary offerings
so you can brag about it everywhere!
This is the kind of thing you Israelites love to do,”
says the Sovereign Lord.
6 “I brought hunger to every city
and famine to every town.
But still you would not return to me,”
says the Lord.
7 “I kept the rain from falling
when your crops needed it the most.
I sent rain on one town
but withheld it from another.
Rain fell on one field,
while another field withered away.
8 People staggered from town to town looking for water,
but there was never enough.
But still you would not return to me,”
says the Lord.
9 “I struck your farms and vineyards with blight and mildew.
Locusts devoured all your fig and olive trees.
But still you would not return to me,”
says the Lord.
10 “I sent plagues on you
like the plagues I sent on Egypt long ago.
I killed your young men in war
and led all your horses away.[c] The stench of death filled the air!
But still you would not return to me,”
says the Lord.
11 “I destroyed some of your cities,
as I destroyed[d] Sodom and Gomorrah.
Those of you who survived
were like charred sticks pulled from a fire.
But still you would not return to me,”
says the Lord.
12 “Therefore, I will bring upon you all the disasters I have announced.
Prepare to meet your God in judgment, you people of Israel!”
13 For the Lord is the one who shaped the mountains,
stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind.
He turns the light of dawn into darkness
and treads on the heights of the earth.
The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies is his name!
A Call to Repentance
5 Listen, you people of Israel! Listen to this funeral song I am singing:

2 “The virgin Israel has fallen,
never to rise again!
She lies abandoned on the ground,
with no one to help her up.”
3 The Sovereign Lord says:

“When a city sends a thousand men to battle,
only a hundred will return.
When a town sends a hundred,
only ten will come back alive.”
4 Now this is what the Lord says to the family of Israel:

“Come back to me and live!
5 Don’t worship at the pagan altars at Bethel;
don’t go to the shrines at Gilgal or Beersheba.
For the people of Gilgal will be dragged off into exile,
and the people of Bethel will be reduced to nothing.”
6 Come back to the Lord and live!
Otherwise, he will roar through Israel[e] like a fire,
devouring you completely.
Your gods in Bethel
won’t be able to quench the flames.
7 You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the oppressed.
You treat the righteous like dirt.
8 It is the Lord who created the stars,
the Pleiades and Orion.
He turns darkness into morning
and day into night.
He draws up water from the oceans
and pours it down as rain on the land.
The Lord is his name!
9 With blinding speed and power he destroys the strong,
crushing all their defenses.
10 How you hate honest judges!
How you despise people who tell the truth!
11 You trample the poor,
stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent.
Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses,
you will never live in them.
Though you plant lush vineyards,
you will never drink wine from them.
12 For I know the vast number of your sins
and the depth of your rebellions.
You oppress good people by taking bribes
and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.
13 So those who are smart keep their mouths shut,
for it is an evil time.
14 Do what is good and run from evil
so that you may live!
Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper,
just as you have claimed.
15 Hate evil and love what is good;
turn your courts into true halls of justice.
Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies
will have mercy on the remnant of his people.[f] 16 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, says:

“There will be crying in all the public squares
and mourning in every street.
Call for the farmers to weep with you,
and summon professional mourners to wail.
17 There will be wailing in every vineyard,
for I will destroy them all,”
says the Lord.
Warning of Coming Judgment
18 What sorrow awaits you who say,
“If only the day of the Lord were here!”
You have no idea what you are wishing for.
That day will bring darkness, not light.
19 In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion—
only to meet a bear.
Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house—
and he’s bitten by a snake.
20 Yes, the day of the Lord will be dark and hopeless,
without a ray of joy or hope.
21 “I hate all your show and pretense—
the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.
22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.
23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice,
an endless river of righteous living.
25 “Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, Israel? 26 No, you served your pagan gods—Sakkuth your king god and Kaiwan your star god—the images you made for yourselves. 27 So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus,[g]” says the Lord, whose name is the God of Heaven’s Armies.

6 What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury in Jerusalem,[h] and you who feel secure in Samaria!
You are famous and popular in Israel,
and people go to you for help.
2 But go over to Calneh
and see what happened there.
Then go to the great city of Hamath
and down to the Philistine city of Gath.
You are no better than they were,
and look at how they were destroyed.
3 You push away every thought of coming disaster,
but your actions only bring the day of judgment closer.
4 How terrible for you who sprawl on ivory beds
and lounge on your couches,
eating the meat of tender lambs from the flock
and of choice calves fattened in the stall.
5 You sing trivial songs to the sound of the harp
and fancy yourselves to be great musicians like David.
6 You drink wine by the bowlful
and perfume yourselves with fragrant lotions.
You care nothing about the ruin of your nation.[i] 7 Therefore, you will be the first to be led away as captives.
Suddenly, all your parties will end.
8 The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his own name, and this is what he, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, says:

“I despise the arrogance of Israel,[j] and I hate their fortresses.
I will give this city
and everything in it to their enemies.”
9 (If there are ten men left in one house, they will all die. 10 And when a relative who is responsible to dispose of the dead[k] goes into the house to carry out the bodies, he will ask the last survivor, “Is anyone else with you?” When the person begins to swear, “No, by . . . ,” he will interrupt and say, “Stop! Don’t even mention the name of the Lord.”)

11 When the Lord gives the command,
homes both great and small will be smashed to pieces.
12 Can horses gallop over boulders?
Can oxen be used to plow them?
But that’s how foolish you are when you turn justice into poison
and the sweet fruit of righteousness into bitterness.
13 And you brag about your conquest of Lo-debar.[l] You boast, “Didn’t we take Karnaim[m] by our own strength?”
14 “O people of Israel, I am about to bring an enemy nation against you,”
says the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.
“They will oppress you throughout your land—
from Lebo-hamath in the north
to the Arabah Valley in the south.”

4:1 Hebrew you cows of Bashan.
4:3 Or thrown out toward Harmon, possibly a reference to Mount Hermon.
4:10 Or and slaughtered your captured horses.
4:11 Hebrew as when God destroyed.
5:6 Hebrew the house of Joseph.
5:15 Hebrew the remnant of Joseph.
5:26-27 Greek version reads No, you carried your pagan gods—the shrine of Molech, the star of your god Rephan, and the images you made for yourselves. So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus. Compare Acts 7:43.
6:1 Hebrew in Zion.
6:6 Hebrew of Joseph.
6:8 Hebrew Jacob. See note on 3:13.
6:10 Or to burn the dead. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
6:13a Lo-debar means “nothing.”
6:13b Karnaim means “horns,” a term that symbolizes strength.

Proverbs 25:11-20
New Living Translation (NLT)
Through The Bible Thursday 12-06-18 Devotions

11 Timely advice is lovely,
like golden apples in a silver basket.
12 To one who listens, valid criticism
is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.
13 Trustworthy messengers refresh like snow in summer.
They revive the spirit of their employer.
14 A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it
is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
15 Patience can persuade a prince,
and soft speech can break bones.
16 Do you like honey?
Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!
17 Don’t visit your neighbors too often,
or you will wear out your welcome.
18 Telling lies about others
is as harmful as hitting them with an ax,
wounding them with a sword,
or shooting them with a sharp arrow.
19 Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble
is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.
20 Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart
is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather
or pouring vinegar in a wound.[a] Footnotes:

25:20 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads pouring vinegar on soda.

Revelation 6
New Living Translation (NLT)
Through The Bible Thursday 12-06-18 Devotions

The Lamb Breaks the First Six Seals
6 As I watched, the Lamb broke the first of the seven seals on the scroll.[a] Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and gain the victory.

3 When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.

5 When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay.[b] And don’t waste[c] the olive oil and wine.”

7 When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living being say, “Come!” 8 I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pale green. Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave.[d] These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease[e] and wild animals.

9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. 10 They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters[f]—their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them.

12 I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. 13 Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. 14 The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places.

15 Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”


6:1 Or book.
6:6a Greek A choinix [1 quart or 1 liter] of wheat for a denarius, and 3 choinix of barley for a denarius. A denarius was equivalent to a laborer’s full day’s wage.
6:6b Or harm.
6:8a Greek was Hades.
6:8b Greek death.
6:11 Greek their brothers.

Psalm 134
New Living Translation (NLT)
Through The Bible Thursday 12-06-18 Devotions

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

1 Oh, praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
you who serve at night in the house of the Lord.
2 Lift your hands toward the sanctuary,
and praise the Lord.
3 May the Lord, who made heaven and earth,
bless you from Jerusalem.[a] Footnotes:

134:3 Hebrew Zion.

Friday, December 07, 2018