Day 198 of the One Year Audio Bible Experience. Amos describes a sad song for Israel. Romans 4: Abraham an example of Faith, not Works
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A Sad Song for Israel
People of Israel, listen to this message! It is a funeral song that I will
sing about you:
2 I see Israel as a young woman who has been struck down,
and she will never get up again. Abandoned in her own land,
there is no one to lift her up.
3 This is what the Lord GOD says:
“A city in Israel that sends out 1000 soldiers
will see only 100 return.
And a town that sends out 100 soldiers will see only 10 return.”
4 This is what the LORD says to the nation of Israel:
“Come back to me and live.
5 But don’t look for help in Bethel.
And don’t go to Gilgal
or down south to Beersheba.
The people of Gilgal will be taken away as prisoners,
and Bethel will be destroyed.”† 6 Turn to the LORD and live,
or he will come against the people of Joseph‡ like a fire—
a fire that will destroy the whole nation. No one in Bethel will be able to stop it. 7 You people change justice to bitterness. You throw away fairness like trash.
8 The Lord is the one who made the stars. He created the Pleiades and Orion.¶
He changes darkness into dawn and the day into night.
He calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the earth. His name is YAHWEH!
9 He brings swift destruction on the strongest city,
tearing down the walls that protect it.
10 You hate anyone who speaks against evil in public
or anyone who tells the truth.
11 You take unfair taxes from the poor, making them pay from the crops they grew.
That is why you will never get to enjoy the fancy stone houses you have built.
You will never drink the wine
from the beautiful vineyards you have planted.
12 Yes, I know all the bad things you do,
your terrible sins.
You hurt people who do right,
you accept money to do wrong,
and you keep the poor from getting justice in court.
13 In such evil times as these,
anyone who is smart will keep quiet.
14 You say that God is with you, so you should do good, not evil. Then you will live,
and the LORD God All-Powerful will be with you.
15 Hate evil and love goodness;
bring justice back into the courts.
Maybe then the LORD God All-Powerful will be kind to those from Joseph’s family who are still alive.
A Time of Great Sadness Is Coming
16 This is what the Lord, the LORD God All-Powerful says:
“People will be crying in the public places.
They will be mourning in the streets.
They will even call farm workers to come and mourn along with the hired mourners.
17 People will be crying in the vineyards because I will pass through and punish you.”
These are the LORD’s own words.
The Lord’s Day of Judgement
18 Why are you people eager for the day of the LORD to come?
You are just asking for trouble!
Why do you want that day to come? It will be a day of darkness, not light.
19 You will be like someone who escapes from a lion,
only to be attacked by a bear. He runs to his house, leans against the wall
and is bitten by a snake.
20 The day of the LORD will bring darkness, not light.
It will be a day of gloom, without a ray of light.
The Lord Rejects Israel’s Worship
21 “I hate your festivals; I will not accept them.
I don’t enjoy your religious meetings.
22 Even if you offer me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
I will not even look at the fat animals you give as fellowship offerings.
23 Take your noisy songs away from here.
I will not listen to the music from your harps.
24 But let justice flow like a river,
and let goodness flow like a stream that never becomes dry.
25 Israel, you had no sacrifices or offerings to bring me
during the 40 years you wandered in the desert.
26 But now I will make you take with you
those idols you made—Sakkuth, your king, and Kaiwan, your star god.
27 I will make you go away as captives
far beyond Damascus.”
These are the LORD’s own words. His name is God All-Powerful.
The Example of Abraham
What does the law tell us about Abraham,‡ the great ancestor of our people? 2 If Abraham was made right because of what he did, that is something to be proud of! But, as God sees it, he had no reason to be proud. 3 This is clear from what the Scriptures say, “Abraham believed God. And because he believed,
God accepted him as one who has done what is right.”
4 When people work, their pay is not considered to be a gift. It is something owed to them for working. 5 But people cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him. Then he accepts their faith, and that makes them right with him. He is the one who makes even evil people right. 6 David said the same thing when he wrote about the blessing people have when God accepts them as right without looking at what they have done:
7 It is a great blessing for people
when they are forgiven for the wrongs they have done,
when their sins are pardoned!
8 It is a great blessing for people when the Lord removes their sin from his record!
9 Is this blessing only for those who are circumcised? Or is it also for those who are not circumcised? We have already said that it was because of Abraham’s faith that he was accepted as one who is right with God. 10 So how did this happen? Did God accept Abraham before or after he was circumcised? God accepted him before his circumcision. 11 Abraham was circumcised later to show that God had accepted him as right. Abraham was accepted because he put his faith in God. And this was before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the father of all those who believe in God but are not circumcised. Like Abraham, they are accepted as people who are right with God because of their faith. 12 And Abraham is the father of those who are circumcised, but not just because they are circumcised. He is their father because they put their faith in God in the same way Abraham did before he was circumcised.
God’s Promise Received Through Faith
13 God made a promise to Abraham and his descendants to give them the whole world. But Abraham did not re- ceive that promise because he followed the law. He received that promise because he was right with God through his faith. 14 If people could get God’s promise by following the law, then faith is worthless. And God’s promise to Abra- ham is worthless, 15 because the law can only bring God’s anger on those who disobey it. But if there is no law, then there is nothing to disobey.
A prayer of David.
I am a poor, helpless man.
LORD, please listen to me and answer my prayer!
2 I am faithful to you, so please protect me.
I am your servant, and you are my God. I trust in you, so save me.
3 My Lord, be kind to me.
I have been praying to you all day.
4 My Lord, I offer up this prayer to you. I am your servant, so make me happy.
5 My Lord, you are kind and merciful.
You love all those who call to you for help.
6 LORD, hear my prayer.
Listen to my cry for mercy.
7 I am praying to you in my time of trouble.
I know you will answer me.
8 My Lord, there is no God like you. No one can do what you have done. 9 My Lord, you made everyone.
All the nations will come worship you and honor your name.
10 You are great and do amazing things.
You and you alone are God.
11 LORD, teach me your ways,
and I will live and obey your truths.
Help me make worshipping you
the most important thing in my life.
12 My Lord God, I will praise you with all my heart.
I will honor your name forever!
13 You have such great love for me.
You will save me from the place of death. 14 Proud people are attacking me, God. A gang of cruel men is trying to kill me. They don’t respect you.
15 My Lord, you are a kind and merciful God.
You are patient, full of unfailing love and faithful.
16 Show that you hear me and be kind to me.
I am your servant, so give me strength.
I am your slave, as my mother was, so save me!
17 LORD, show me a sign that you care for me.
My enemies will see it and be disappointed,
because you helped and comforted me.
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