Through The Bible Wednesday 12-12-18 Devotions
1 The Lord gave this message to Micah of Moresheth during the years when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. The visions he saw concerned both Samaria and Jerusalem.
Grief over Samaria and Jerusalem
2 Attention! Let all the people of the world listen!
Let the earth and everything in it hear.
The Sovereign Lord is making accusations against you;
the Lord speaks from his holy Temple.
3 Look! The Lord is coming!
He leaves his throne in heaven
and tramples the heights of the earth.
4 The mountains melt beneath his feet
and flow into the valleys
like wax in a fire,
like water pouring down a hill.
5 And why is this happening?
Because of the rebellion of Israel[a]—
yes, the sins of the whole nation.
Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion?
Samaria, its capital city!
Where is the center of idolatry in Judah?
In Jerusalem, its capital!
6 “So I, the Lord, will make the city of Samaria
a heap of ruins.
Her streets will be plowed up
for planting vineyards.
I will roll the stones of her walls into the valley below,
exposing her foundations.
7 All her carved images will be smashed.
All her sacred treasures will be burned.
These things were bought with the money
earned by her prostitution,
and they will now be carried away
to pay prostitutes elsewhere.”
8 Therefore, I will mourn and lament.
I will walk around barefoot and naked.
I will howl like a jackal
and moan like an owl.
9 For my people’s wound
is too deep to heal.
It has reached into Judah,
even to the gates of Jerusalem.
10 Don’t tell our enemies in Gath[b];
don’t weep at all.
You people in Beth-leaphrah,[c] roll in the dust to show your despair.
11 You people in Shaphir,[d] go as captives into exile—naked and ashamed.
The people of Zaanan[e] dare not come outside their walls.
The people of Beth-ezel[f] mourn,
for their house has no support.
12 The people of Maroth[g] anxiously wait for relief,
but only bitterness awaits them
as the Lord’s judgment reaches
even to the gates of Jerusalem.
13 Harness your chariot horses and flee,
you people of Lachish.[h] You were the first city in Judah
to follow Israel in her rebellion,
and you led Jerusalem[i] into sin.
14 Send farewell gifts to Moresheth-gath[j];
there is no hope of saving it.
The town of Aczib[k] has deceived the kings of Israel.
15 O people of Mareshah,[l] I will bring a conqueror to capture your town.
And the leaders[m] of Israel
will go to Adullam.
16 Oh, people of Judah, shave your heads in sorrow,
for the children you love will be snatched away.
Make yourselves as bald as a vulture,
for your little ones will be exiled to distant lands.
Judgment against Wealthy Oppressors
2 What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night,
thinking up evil plans.
You rise at dawn and hurry to carry them out,
simply because you have the power to do so.
2 When you want a piece of land,
you find a way to seize it.
When you want someone’s house,
you take it by fraud and violence.
You cheat a man of his property,
stealing his family’s inheritance.
3 But this is what the Lord says:
“I will reward your evil with evil;
you won’t be able to pull your neck out of the noose.
You will no longer walk around proudly,
for it will be a terrible time.”
4 In that day your enemies will make fun of you
by singing this song of despair about you:
“We are finished,
God has confiscated our land,
taking it from us.
He has given our fields
to those who betrayed us.[n]”
5 Others will set your boundaries then,
and the Lord’s people will have no say
in how the land is divided.
True and False Prophets
6 “Don’t say such things,”
the people respond.[o] “Don’t prophesy like that.
Such disasters will never come our way!”
7 Should you talk that way, O family of Israel?
If you would do what is right,
you would find my words comforting.
8 Yet to this very hour
my people rise against me like an enemy!
You steal the shirts right off the backs
of those who trusted you,
making them as ragged as men
returning from battle.
9 You have evicted women from their pleasant homes
and forever stripped their children of all that God would give them.
10 Up! Begone!
This is no longer your land and home,
for you have filled it with sin
and ruined it completely.
11 Suppose a prophet full of lies would say to you,
“I’ll preach to you the joys of wine and alcohol!”
That’s just the kind of prophet you would like!
Hope for Restoration
12 “Someday, O Israel, I will gather you;
I will gather the remnant who are left.
I will bring you together again like sheep in a pen,
like a flock in its pasture.
Yes, your land will again
be filled with noisy crowds!
13 Your leader will break out
and lead you out of exile,
out through the gates of the enemy cities,
back to your own land.
Your king will lead you;
the Lord himself will guide you.”
Judgment against Israel’s Leaders
3 I said, “Listen, you leaders of Israel!
You are supposed to know right from wrong,
2 but you are the very ones
who hate good and love evil.
You skin my people alive
and tear the flesh from their bones.
3 Yes, you eat my people’s flesh,
strip off their skin,
and break their bones.
You chop them up
like meat for the cooking pot.
4 Then you beg the Lord for help in times of trouble!
Do you really expect him to answer?
After all the evil you have done,
he won’t even look at you!”
5 This is what the Lord says:
“You false prophets are leading my people astray!
You promise peace for those who give you food,
but you declare war on those who refuse to feed you.
6 Now the night will close around you,
cutting off all your visions.
Darkness will cover you,
putting an end to your predictions.
The sun will set for you prophets,
and your day will come to an end.
7 Then you seers will be put to shame,
and you fortune-tellers will be disgraced.
And you will cover your faces
because there is no answer from God.”
8 But as for me, I am filled with power—
with the Spirit of the Lord.
I am filled with justice and strength
to boldly declare Israel’s sin and rebellion.
9 Listen to me, you leaders of Israel!
You hate justice and twist all that is right.
10 You are building Jerusalem
on a foundation of murder and corruption.
11 You rulers make decisions based on bribes;
you priests teach God’s laws only for a price;
you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid.
Yet all of you claim to depend on the Lord.
“No harm can come to us,” you say,
“for the Lord is here among us.”
12 Because of you, Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field;
Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins!
A thicket will grow on the heights
where the Temple now stands.
1:5 Hebrew Jacob; also in 1:5b. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
1:10a Gath sounds like the Hebrew term for “tell.”
1:10b Beth-leaphrah means “house of dust.”
1:11a Shaphir means “pleasant.”
1:11b Zaanan sounds like the Hebrew term for “come out.”
1:11c Beth-ezel means “adjoining house.”
1:12 Maroth sounds like the Hebrew term for “bitter.”
1:13a Lachish sounds like the Hebrew term for “team of horses.”
1:13b Hebrew the daughter of Zion.
1:14a Moresheth sounds like the Hebrew term for “gift” or “dowry.”
1:14b Aczib means “deception.”
1:15a Mareshah sounds like the Hebrew term for “conqueror.”
1:15b Hebrew the glory.
2:4 Or to those who took us captive.
2:6 Or the prophets respond; Hebrew reads they prophesy.
2:7 Hebrew O house of Jacob? See note on 1:5a.
27 Don’t brag about tomorrow,
since you don’t know what the day will bring.
2 Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth—
a stranger, not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty,
but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.
4 Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood,
but jealousy is even more dangerous.
5 An open rebuke
is better than hidden love!
6 Wounds from a sincere friend
are better than many kisses from an enemy.
7 A person who is full refuses honey,
but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.
8 A person who strays from home
is like a bird that strays from its nest.
9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense.
10 Never abandon a friend—
either yours or your father’s.
When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance.
It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.
11 Be wise, my child,[a] and make my heart glad.
Then I will be able to answer my critics.
12 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
13 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt.
Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.[b] Footnotes:
27:11 Hebrew my son.
27:13 As in Greek and Latin versions (see also 20:16); Hebrew reads for a promiscuous woman.
The Angel and the Small Scroll
10 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, surrounded by a cloud, with a rainbow over his head. His face shone like the sun, and his feet were like pillars of fire. 2 And in his hand was a small scroll[a] that had been opened. He stood with his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land. 3 And he gave a great shout like the roar of a lion. And when he shouted, the seven thunders answered.
4 When the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write. But I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Keep secret[b] what the seven thunders said, and do not write it down.”
5 Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand toward heaven. 6 He swore an oath in the name of the one who lives forever and ever, who created the heavens and everything in them, the earth and everything in it, and the sea and everything in it. He said, “There will be no more delay. 7 When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled. It will happen just as he announced it to his servants the prophets.”
8 Then the voice from heaven spoke to me again: “Go and take the open scroll from the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. “Yes, take it and eat it,” he said. “It will be sweet as honey in your mouth, but it will turn sour in your stomach!” 10 So I took the small scroll from the hand of the angel, and I ate it! It was sweet in my mouth, but when I swallowed it, it turned sour in my stomach.
11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.”
10:2 Or book; also in 10:8, 9, 10.
10:4 Greek Seal up.
A psalm of David.
1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will sing your praises before the gods.
2 I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.
I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed
by all the honor of your name.
3 As soon as I pray, you answer me;
you encourage me by giving me strength.
4 Every king in all the earth will thank you, Lord,
for all of them will hear your words.
5 Yes, they will sing about the Lord’s ways,
for the glory of the Lord is very great.
6 Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble,
but he keeps his distance from the proud.
7 Though I am surrounded by troubles,
you will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out your hand,
and the power of your right hand saves me.
8 The Lord will work out his plans for my life—
for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for you made me.
Thursday, December 13, 2018