Day 199 of the One Year Audio Bible Experience. God uses a plum line, Locusts, and Fire to describe Israel to Amos. Romans 4: Made Right With God
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Israel’s Good Times Will Be Taken Away
Watch out, you people enjoying life in Zion,
and you who feel so safe on Mount Samaria!
You are such important leaders of a most important nation.
The family of Israel comes to you for advice.
2 Go and look at Calneh.
From there, go to the large city Hamath. Go to the Philistine city of Gath.*
Are you better than these kingdoms? Their countries are larger than yours.
3 You people push away any thought of
a day of judgment;
you bring near the rule of violence.
4 But now you lie on ivory beds and stretch out on your couches.
You eat tender young lambs from the flock
and young calves from the stable.
5 You love to make up songs and, as David did,
sing them as you play your harps. 6 Instead of showing your sorrow for the ruin of Israel,
you put on the best perfumes for a celebration,
and you drink bowls full of wine.
7 You people are stretched out on your couches now,
but your good times will end.
So you will be taken away as captives to a foreign country,
and you will be some of the first people taken.
8 The Lord GOD used his own name
and made an oath. The LORD God All-Powerful said:
“I hate what Jacob is proud of.
I hate his fortresses.
So I will let an enemy take his city and everything in it.”
There Will Be Few Israelites Left Alive
9 Ten people might be left alive in a house, but they too will all die. 10 And then a close relative will come with an- other person to get the bodies so that they can be taken out and burned.* The relative will call to the helper inside the house, “Are there any other dead bodies in there with you?”
That person will answer, “No, ….”
But the relative will interrupt and say, “Stop! We must not mention the name of the LORD.”
11 Look, the LORD will give the command,
and the large houses will be broken to pieces,
and the small houses will be broken to bits.
12 Do horses run over big rocks?
No, and you cannot plough the sea with oxen.
But you turned everything upside down. You changed justice and goodness to bitter poison.
13 You are so excited about defeating Lo Debar.
And you boast, “We have taken Kar- naim‡ by our own strength.”
14 “But Israel, I will bring a nation against you
that will bring troubles to your whole country
from Lebo Hamath to Arabah Brook.”
This is what the LORD God All-Powerful said.
A Vision of Locusts
This is what the Lord GOD showed me: he was forming a swarm of locusts. This was at the time the second crop began to grow, after the king’s peo- ple had cut the first crop. 2 Before the lo- custs could eat all the grass in the coun- try, I said, “Lord GOD, I beg you, forgive us! Jacob cannot survive! He is so small and weak!”
3 Then the LORD changed his mind about this. The LORD said, “It will not happen.”
A Vision of Fire
4 This is what the Lord GOD showed me: I saw the Lord GOD calling for a shower of fire. The fire destroyed the ocean and was beginning to eat up the land. 5 But I said, “Lord GOD, stop, I beg you! Jacob cannot survive! He is so small and weak!”
6 Then the LORD changed his mind about this. The Lord GOD said, “It will not happen either.”
A Vision of a Plumb Line
7 This is what the Lord showed me: he stood by a wall that had been built straight using a plumb line.¶ He had a plumb line in his hand. 8 The LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?”
I said, “A plumb line.”
Then the Lord said to me, “See, I will use a plumb line to show that my people are like a wall that is crooked. I will not ignore their ‘crooked ways’ any more. 9 Isaac’s places of worship will be de- stroyed. Israel’s holy places will be made into a pile of rocks. I will attack and kill Jeroboam’s family.”
Amaziah Tries to Stop Amos
10 Amaziah, a priest at Bethel, sent this message to King Jeroboam of Israel: “Amos is making plans with others against you right here in the heart of your kingdom. What he is saying will destroy the country! 11 Amos has said, ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and the people of Israel will be taken as prisoners out of their country.’”
12 Amaziah also said to Amos, “You
seer, go down to Judah and earn your living by prophesying there. 13 But don’t prophesy any more here at Bethel. This is King Jeroboam’s holy place. This is Is- rael’s temple.”
14 Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I was never a prophet. I was not trained to be a prophet. I was tending sheep and taking care of sycamore trees. 15 But then the LORD took me away from my flock. The LORD said to me, ‘Go and tell my message to my people in Israel.’ 16 So listen to the LORD’s message. You tell me, ‘Don’t prophesy against Israel. Don’t speak against Isaac’s family.’ 17 So that is why the LORD says:
“Your wife will become a prostitute in the city.
Your sons and daughters will be killed with swords.
Other people will take your land and divide it among themselves,
and you will die in a foreign† country.
The people of Israel will definitely be taken
from this country as prisoners.”
16 So people get what God promised by putting their faith in him. This happens so that the promise can be a free gift. And if the promise is a free gift, then all of Abraham’s people will get that promise. The promise is not just for those who live under the Law of Moses. It is for all who put their faith in God as Abraham did. He is the father of us all. 17 As the Scriptures say, “I have made you a father of many nations.” When Abraham heard this promise, he put his faith in God. It is God who gives life to the dead and with his command creates what does not yet exist.
18 There was no hope that Abraham would have children, but Abraham put his faith in God and continued to hope. And that is why he became the father of many nations. As God told him, “You will have many descendants.”† 19 Abra- ham was almost 100 years old, so he was past the age for having children. Also, Sarah could not have children. Abraham was well aware of this, but his faith in God never became weak. 20 He never doubted that God would do what he promised. He never stopped believing. In fact, he grew stronger in his faith. He honored God 21 and felt sure that God was able to do what he promised. 22 So that’s why “he was accepted as one who is right with God”.‡ 23 These words, “he was accepted”, were written not only for Abraham. 24 They were also written for us. God will also accept us because we believe. We believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from death. 25 Je- sus was handed over to die for our sins, and he was raised from death to make us right with God.
Made Right With God
Yes, we have been made right with God because of faith. So we have¶ peace with God through our Lord Je- sus Christ. 2 Through our faith, Christ has opened the door for us to God’s grace, which we now enjoy. And we celebrate because we look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 And we even celebrate the troubles we suffer. Why? Because we know that suffering teaches us to be courageous in the face of difficulties. 4 And this courage is proof that we are strong. And this proof gives us hope. 5 And with this hope we will never be disappointed. We know this because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts through the Holy Spirit he gave us.
6 This is all true because of what Christ did. At a time when we were unable to help ourselves, he died for us, people who showed no respect for God. 7 Very few people will die to save the life of someone else, even if it is for a good person. Someone might be willing to die for an especially good person. 8 But think about how God showed his great love for us: it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us.
9 We have been made right with God by the blood sacrifice of Christ. So through him, it is even more certain that we will be saved from God’s anger. 10 I mean that while we were God’s ene- mies, he made friends with us through his Son’s death. And the fact that we are now God’s friends makes it even more certain that he will save us through his Son’s life. 11 Not only will we be saved, but we also rejoice right now in what God has done for us through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is because of Jesus that we are now God’s friends.
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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