Daily reading for Thursday, December 12, 2013

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Amos 7:1-9:15; Revelation 3:7-22; Psalms 131:1-3; Proverbs 29:23 (New International Version)

Amos 7-9

Locusts, Fire and a Plumb Line

This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!

So the Lord relented.

“This will not happen,” the Lord said.

This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: The Sovereign Lord was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. Then I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!

So the Lord relented.

“This will not happen either,” the Sovereign Lord said.

This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb,[a] with a plumb line[b] in his hand. And the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?

“A plumb line,” I replied.

Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

“The high places of Isaac will be destroyed
    and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined;
    with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam.

Amos and Amaziah

10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. 11 For this is what Amos is saying:

“‘Jeroboam will die by the sword,
    and Israel will surely go into exile,
    away from their native land.’”

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. 13 Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.

14 Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now then, hear the word of the Lord. You say,

“‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
    and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.’

17 “Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city,
    and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword.
Your land will be measured and divided up,
    and you yourself will die in a pagan[c] country.
And Israel will surely go into exile,
    away from their native land.’”

A Basket of Ripe Fruit

This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. “What do you see, Amos?” he asked.

“A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered.

Then the Lord said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

“In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing.[d] Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!

Hear this, you who trample the needy
    and do away with the poor of the land,

saying,

“When will the New Moon be over
    that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
    that we may market wheat?”
skimping on the measure,
    boosting the price
    and cheating with dishonest scales,
buying the poor with silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals,
    selling even the sweepings with the wheat.

The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.

“Will not the land tremble for this,
    and all who live in it mourn?
The whole land will rise like the Nile;
    it will be stirred up and then sink
    like the river of Egypt.

“In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord,

“I will make the sun go down at noon
    and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your religious festivals into mourning
    and all your singing into weeping.
I will make all of you wear sackcloth
    and shave your heads.
I will make that time like mourning for an only son
    and the end of it like a bitter day.

11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
    “when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
    but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
    and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
    but they will not find it.

13 “In that day

“the lovely young women and strong young men
    will faint because of thirst.
14 Those who swear by the sin of Samaria
    who say, ‘As surely as your god lives, Dan,’
    or, ‘As surely as the god[e] of Beersheba lives’—
    they will fall, never to rise again.

Israel to Be Destroyed

I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said:

“Strike the tops of the pillars
    so that the thresholds shake.
Bring them down on the heads of all the people;
    those who are left I will kill with the sword.
Not one will get away,
    none will escape.
Though they dig down to the depths below,
    from there my hand will take them.
Though they climb up to the heavens above,
    from there I will bring them down.
Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
    there I will hunt them down and seize them.
Though they hide from my eyes at the bottom of the sea,
    there I will command the serpent to bite them.
Though they are driven into exile by their enemies,
    there I will command the sword to slay them.

“I will keep my eye on them
    for harm and not for good.

The Lord, the Lord Almighty—
he touches the earth and it melts,
    and all who live in it mourn;
the whole land rises like the Nile,
    then sinks like the river of Egypt;
he builds his lofty palace[f] in the heavens
    and sets its foundation[g] on the earth;
he calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out over the face of the land—
    the Lord is his name.

“Are not you Israelites
    the same to me as the Cushites[h]?”
declares the Lord.
“Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt,
    the Philistines from Caphtor[i]
    and the Arameans from Kir?

“Surely the eyes of the Sovereign Lord
    are on the sinful kingdom.
I will destroy it
    from the face of the earth.
Yet I will not totally destroy
    the descendants of Jacob,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will give the command,
    and I will shake the people of Israel
    among all the nations
as grain is shaken in a sieve,
    and not a pebble will reach the ground.
10 All the sinners among my people
    will die by the sword,
all those who say,
    ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’

Israel’s Restoration

11 “In that day

“I will restore David’s fallen shelter
    I will repair its broken walls
    and restore its ruins
    and will rebuild it as it used to be,
12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom
    and all the nations that bear my name,[j]
declares the Lord, who will do these things.

13 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,

“when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman
    and the planter by the one treading grapes.
New wine will drip from the mountains
    and flow from all the hills,
14     and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.[k]

“They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
    They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
    they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant Israel in their own land,
    never again to be uprooted
    from the land I have given them,”

says the Lord your God.

Footnotes:

  1. Amos 7:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  2. Amos 7:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain; also in verse 8.
  3. Amos 7:17 Hebrew an unclean
  4. Amos 8:3 Or “the temple singers will wail
  5. Amos 8:14 Hebrew the way
  6. Amos 9:6 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  7. Amos 9:6 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  8. Amos 9:7 That is, people from the upper Nile region
  9. Amos 9:7 That is, Crete
  10. Amos 9:12 Hebrew; Septuagint so that the remnant of people / and all the nations that bear my name may seek me
  11. Amos 9:14 Or will restore the fortunes of my people Israel
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 3:7-22

To the Church in Philadelphia

“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

To the Church in Laodicea

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

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 131

Psalm 131

A song of ascents. Of David.

My heart is not proud, Lord,
    my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
    or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself,
    I am like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord
    both now and forevermore.

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 29:23

23 Pride brings a person low,
    but the lowly in spirit gain honor.

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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