Day 197 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. Amos gives warnings to Israel from God. Romans 3: What makes people right with God.
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Warning to All Israel
People of Israel, listen to this message! This is what the LORD says
about you, about all the people he led out of Egypt:
2 “There are many families on earth,
10 I was the one who brought you out of Egypt.
For 40 years I led you through the desert so you could have the land of the Amorites.
11 I made some of your sons prophets
and some of your young men Nazirites. People of Israel, isn’t this the truth?” These are the LORD’s own words.
12 But you made the Nazirites break their vow,
and you told my prophets not to prophesy.
13 “Now you will groan under my punishment,
like a cart full of grain straining under the weight.
14 No one will escape, not even the fastest runner.
but you are the only one I chose to be mine.
So you deserve the punishment I will give you
for all the wrong things you have done.”
There Is a Reason for All That Happens
3 If two people walk together, it’s because they agreed to.
4 If a lion roars in the forest,
it means he has found an animal to kill. If a young lion growls in his cave,
it means he has caught something to eat.
5 Will a bird fly into a trap
if there is no food in it for bait?
And will the trap snap shut if nothing has flown inside?
6 When a trumpet warns the city of an attack,
who will not shake with fear? When disaster comes to a city,
who doesn’t know it was the LORD who planned it?
7 Yes, and before the Lord GOD does anything,
he lets his servants the prophets know his plan.
8 When a lion roars,
how can anyone not be afraid?
And now that the Lord GOD has spoken, how can anyone refuse to tell what he said?
9–10 Go to the fortresses in Ashdod and in Egypt
and announce this message from the LORD:
“Come together on the hills around Samaria.
See the great confusion there
and how cruel they are to each other. They don’t know how to do what is right.
They have filled their fortresses with things they have stolen or taken by force.”
11 So this is what the Lord GOD says:
“An enemy will surround your land. They will break down your strong walls and take the things you have hidden in your fortresses.”
12 This is what the LORD says:
“Israel will be like a lamb eaten by a lion. All that is left for the shepherd to save are a couple of leg bones and a piece of an ear.
In the same way, all that will be ‘saved’ of those in Samaria
will be a part of a couch and a piece of a bed.”
13 The Lord GOD All-Powerful says:
“Listen to this, and then tell the descendants of Jacob what I say:
14 “When I punish the people of Israel for their sins,
I will also destroy the altars at Bethel. The corners of every altar will be cut off and will fall to the ground.
15 I will destroy all their houses,
the winter houses, and the summer houses.
Their houses decorated with ivory will be ruined.
All their mansions will be destroyed.” These are the LORD’s own words.
The Women Who Love Pleasure
Listen to this message,
you cows of Bashan† on Samaria’s mountain:
You mistreat the poor and crush those in need. Then you tell your husbands to bring you another drink!
2 The Lord GOD has made a promise,
a promise as sure as he is holy:
“Your enemies will catch you and drag you away,
all of you as helpless as a fish on a hook.
3 They will drag you through breaks in the wall
and throw you out towards Harmon.‡
This message is from the LORD.
4 “Go to Bethel and sin against me!
Go to Gilgal¶ and sin again and again! Bring your sacrifices in the morning,
and offer a tenth of your crops the third day.
5 Bring an offering of thanksgiving of
bread made with yeast,
and bring extra offerings to boast about.
This is something you Israelites love to do!”
This is what the Lord GOD says.
6 “I took away the food* from your cities.
There was no food anywhere in your land.
But you did not come back to me.” This is what the LORD says.
7 “I stopped giving you rain
three months before harvest time. Then I let it rain on one city,
but not on another. One field got rain,
but another field dried up.
8 The people from two or three towns would wander to another town for water,
but there was not enough for everyone. But you still did not come back to me.” These are the LORD’s own words.
9 “I made your crops die from heat and disease.
I destroyed your gardens and your vineyards.
Locusts ate your fig and olive trees, but you still did not come back to me.” This is what the LORD says.
10 “I sent diseases against you, as I did to Egypt.
I killed your young men in war. I took away your horses.
The smell of death in your camp was awful,
but you still did not come back to me.” These are the LORD’s own words.
11 “I destroyed some of you
the same way I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
And the rest of you were almost destroyed,
like a burning stick pulled from a fire, but you still did not come back to me.” These are the LORD’s own words.
12 “So, Israel, this is what I will do to you.
You people of Israel, prepare to meet your God.”
13 He is the one who formed the mountains,
causes the wind to blow,
and lets people know his thoughts.
He changes the dawn into darkness
and walks over the earth on mountain tops.
His name is the LORD God All-Powerful.
9 So are we Jews better than everyone else? No, I have already shown that all people, whether they are Jews or non- Jews, are under the power of sin.
All People Are Guilty
10 As the Scriptures say,
“There is no one who does what is right, not even one.
11 There is no one who understands,
no one who wants to follow God.
12 All have turned away from him,
and now they are of no use to anyone. There is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their words are as dangerous as an open grave.
They use their tongues for telling lies.”
“Their words are like the poison of snakes.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and angry words.”
15 “They are always ready to kill someone.
16 Everywhere they go they cause trouble and ruin.
17 They don’t know how to live in peace.”
18 “They have no fear or respect for God.”
19 We know that what the law says is for those the law was given to. This means that all people, Jews as well as non-Jews, have no excuse for what they have done. So the whole world stands before God and must answer to him. 20 Why? Because following the law can- not make anyone right before God.†† In fact, it is the law that shows us our sin.
How God Makes People Right
21 But now God has shown us how good and faithful he is. The way he did this has nothing to do with the law, al- though the law and the prophets told us this would happen. 22 God’s faithful goodness has been made known through faith in‡‡ Jesus Christ. He does this for all who believe in Christ. Everyone is the same. 23 Yes, all people have sinned and no longer share in God’s divine great- ness. 24 But God has ordered that we all be released from sin. This free gift of his grace came to us by what Christ Jesus did to make us free. 25–26 God offered Jesus as a way to forgive people’s sins through their faith in him. God can for- give them because the blood sacrifice of Jesus frees them from their sins. God gave Jesus to show that he always does what is right and fair. He was right in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins. And in our own time he still does what is right. God worked all this out in a way that allows him to judge people fairly and still make right any person who has faith in Jesus. 27 So what do we Jews have to be proud of? Nothing. God has shut the door on Jewish pride. What law says that? The law that calls for works? No, it’s the law that calls for faith. 28 I mean we are made right with God through faith, not through what we have done to follow the law. This is what we believe. 29 Is God only the God of the Jews? Don’t you think he is the God of other people too? Yes, he is also the God of non-Jews. 30 There is only one God. He will make Jews* right with him by their faith, and he will also make non-Jews† right with him through their faith. 31 So are we re- placing the law with this faith? Not at all! In fact, what I am saying supports what the law says.
8 I want to hear what the LORD God will say.
Surely he will promise peace to his faithful people,
but they must not go back to their foolish way of living.*
9 He will soon come to save those who honour him,
and his glory will again live in our land.
10 God’s love will come together with his faithful people.
Goodness and peace will greet them with a kiss.
11 People on earth will be loyal to God,
and God in heaven will be good to them.†
12 The LORD will give us many good things.
The ground will grow many good crops.
13 Justice will lead the way before the Lord,
preparing a path for his coming.
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