Daily reading for Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Amos 1:1-3:15; Revelation 2:1-17; Psalms 129:1-8; Proverbs 29:19-20 (New International Version)

Amos 1-3

The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash[a] was king of Israel.

He said:

“The Lord roars from Zion
    and thunders from Jerusalem;
the pastures of the shepherds dry up,
    and the top of Carmel withers.”

Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Damascus,
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because she threshed Gilead
    with sledges having iron teeth,
I will send fire on the house of Hazael
    that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.
I will break down the gate of Damascus;
    I will destroy the king who is in[b] the Valley of Aven[c]
and the one who holds the scepter in Beth Eden.
    The people of Aram will go into exile to Kir,
says the Lord.

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Gaza,
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because she took captive whole communities
    and sold them to Edom,
I will send fire on the walls of Gaza
    that will consume her fortresses.
I will destroy the king[d] of Ashdod
    and the one who holds the scepter in Ashkelon.
I will turn my hand against Ekron,
    till the last of the Philistines are dead,”
says the Sovereign Lord.

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Tyre,
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom,
    disregarding a treaty of brotherhood,
10 I will send fire on the walls of Tyre
    that will consume her fortresses.

11 This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Edom,
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because he pursued his brother with a sword
    and slaughtered the women of the land,
because his anger raged continually
    and his fury flamed unchecked,
12 I will send fire on Teman
    that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah.

13 This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Ammon,
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead
    in order to extend his borders,
14 I will set fire to the walls of Rabbah
    that will consume her fortresses
amid war cries on the day of battle,
    amid violent winds on a stormy day.
15 Her king[e] will go into exile,
    he and his officials together,
says the Lord.

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Moab,
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because he burned to ashes
    the bones of Edom’s king,
I will send fire on Moab
    that will consume the fortresses of Kerioth.[f]
Moab will go down in great tumult
    amid war cries and the blast of the trumpet.
I will destroy her ruler
    and kill all her officials with him,”
says the Lord.

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Judah,
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because they have rejected the law of the Lord
    and have not kept his decrees,
because they have been led astray by false gods,[g]
    the gods[h] their ancestors followed,
I will send fire on Judah
    that will consume the fortresses of Jerusalem.

Judgment on Israel

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Israel,
    even for four, I will not relent.
They sell the innocent for silver,
    and the needy for a pair of sandals.
They trample on the heads of the poor
    as on the dust of the ground
    and deny justice to the oppressed.
Father and son use the same girl
    and so profane my holy name.
They lie down beside every altar
    on garments taken in pledge.
In the house of their god
    they drink wine taken as fines.

“Yet I destroyed the Amorites before them,
    though they were tall as the cedars
    and strong as the oaks.
I destroyed their fruit above
    and their roots below.
10 I brought you up out of Egypt
    and led you forty years in the wilderness
    to give you the land of the Amorites.

11 “I also raised up prophets from among your children
    and Nazirites from among your youths.
Is this not true, people of Israel?”
declares the Lord.
12 “But you made the Nazirites drink wine
    and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.

13 “Now then, I will crush you
    as a cart crushes when loaded with grain.
14 The swift will not escape,
    the strong will not muster their strength,
    and the warrior will not save his life.
15 The archer will not stand his ground,
    the fleet-footed soldier will not get away,
    and the horseman will not save his life.
16 Even the bravest warriors
    will flee naked on that day,”
declares the Lord.

Witnesses Summoned Against Israel

Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the Lord has spoken against you—against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:

“You only have I chosen
    of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
    for all your sins.

Do two walk together
    unless they have agreed to do so?
Does a lion roar in the thicket
    when it has no prey?
Does it growl in its den
    when it has caught nothing?
Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground
    when no bait is there?
Does a trap spring up from the ground
    if it has not caught anything?
When a trumpet sounds in a city,
    do not the people tremble?
When disaster comes to a city,
    has not the Lord caused it?

Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing
    without revealing his plan
    to his servants the prophets.

The lion has roared
    who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken—
    who can but prophesy?

Proclaim to the fortresses of Ashdod
    and to the fortresses of Egypt:
“Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria;
    see the great unrest within her
    and the oppression among her people.”

10 “They do not know how to do right,” declares the Lord,
    “who store up in their fortresses
    what they have plundered and looted.”

11 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“An enemy will overrun your land,
    pull down your strongholds
    and plunder your fortresses.

12 This is what the Lord says:

“As a shepherd rescues from the lion’s mouth
    only two leg bones or a piece of an ear,
so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued,
    with only the head of a bed
    and a piece of fabric[i] from a couch.[j]

13 “Hear this and testify against the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord, the Lord God Almighty.

14 “On the day I punish Israel for her sins,
    I will destroy the altars of Bethel;
the horns of the altar will be cut off
    and fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down the winter house
    along with the summer house;
the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed
    and the mansions will be demolished,
declares the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Amos 1:1 Hebrew Joash, a variant of Jehoash
  2. Amos 1:5 Or the inhabitants of
  3. Amos 1:5 Aven means wickedness.
  4. Amos 1:8 Or inhabitants
  5. Amos 1:15 Or / Molek
  6. Amos 2:2 Or of her cities
  7. Amos 2:4 Or by lies
  8. Amos 2:4 Or lies
  9. Amos 3:12 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  10. Amos 3:12 Or Israelites be rescued, / those who sit in Samaria / on the edge of their beds / and in Damascus on their couches.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Revelation 2:1-17

To the Church in Ephesus

“To the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

To the Church in Smyrna

“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

11 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.

To the Church in Pergamum

12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.

14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. 15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 2:1 Or messenger; also in verses 8, 12 and 18
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Psalm 129

Psalm 129

A song of ascents.

“They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,”
    let Israel say;
“they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
    but they have not gained the victory over me.
Plowmen have plowed my back
    and made their furrows long.
But the Lord is righteous;
    he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”

May all who hate Zion
    be turned back in shame.
May they be like grass on the roof,
    which withers before it can grow;
a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,
    nor one who gathers fill his arms.
May those who pass by not say to them,
    “The blessing of the Lord be on you;
    we bless you in the name of the Lord.”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Proverbs 29:19-20

19 Servants cannot be corrected by mere words;
    though they understand, they will not respond.

20 Do you see someone who speaks in haste?
    There is more hope for a fool than for them.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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