Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The church in Sardis suffered from spiritual slumber. It's easy for us to walk around and look spiritually correct when, in fact, our vital relationship with God is dead. The Lord said to the Sardis church, "Now wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is at the point of death. Your deeds are far from right in the sight of God" (Revelation 3:2).

If we are not careful, sleep can sneak up on us, even at the wheel of a car. The psalmist said, "I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn" (Psalm 130:6). The watchman's entire occupation is based upon staying awake, intently gazing at the darkness for any sign of the enemy. If he falls asleep, disastrous consequences can result for the entire city.

Instead of sleeping, the watchman eagerly looks to the eastern sky for signs of the morning sun. In the same way, our souls should have an eager expectation for God, a quickened excitement every time we spend time alone with Him.

Amos said, "How terrible it will be for you who lounge in luxury and think you are secure. . . ." (Amos 6:1). Stir yourself up, for the Lord "will come upon you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief" (Revelation 3:3).

Amos 4:1-6:14

Israel Has Not Returned to God

Hear this word, you cows of BashanS Ps 22:12 on Mount Samaria,S Am 3:9

you women who oppress the poorS Isa 58:6; S Eze 18:12 and crush the needyS Dt 24:14

and say to your husbands,Jer 44:19 “Bring us some drinks!S Am 2:8; 5:11; 8:6

The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his holiness:

“The timeJer 31:31 will surely come

when you will be taken awayAm 6:8 with hooks,S 2Ki 19:28; S 2Ch 33:11; S Isa 19:8

the last of you with fishhooks.Or away in baskets, / the last of you in fish baskets

You will each go straight out

through breaches in the wall,S Eze 12:5

and you will be cast out toward Harmon,Masoretic Text; with a different word division of the Hebrew (see Septuagint) out, you mountain of oppression

declares the Lord.

“Go to BethelS Jos 7:2 and sin;

go to GilgalS Hos 4:15 and sin yet more.

Bring your sacrifices every morning,S Nu 28:3

your tithesDt 14:28 every three years.Or daysS Eze 20:39; Am 5:21-22

Burn leavened breadS Lev 7:13 as a thank offering

and brag about your freewill offeringsS Lev 22:18-21

boast about them, you Israelites,

for this is what you love to do,”

declares the Sovereign Lord.

“I gave you empty stomachs in every city

and lack of bread in every town,

yet you have not returned to me,”

declares the Lord.S Isa 3:1; S 9:13; S Jer 5:3; Hag 2:17

“I also withheldS Jer 3:3; Zec 14:17 rain from you

when the harvest was still three months away.

I sent rain on one town,

but withheld it from another.Ex 9:4, 26; Dt 11:17; S 2Ch 7:13; S Isa 5:6

One field had rain;

another had none and dried up.

People staggered from town to town for waterS Eze 4:16-17

but did not get enoughHag 1:6 to drink,

yet you have not returnedS Jer 3:7 to me,”

declares the Lord.S Job 36:31; S Jer 14:4

“Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards,

destroying them with blight and mildew.S Dt 28:22

LocustsS Ex 10:13; S Joel 2:25 devoured your fig and olive trees,Joel 1:7

yet you have not returnedS Isa 9:13; S Jer 3:10 to me,”

declares the Lord.

10 “I sent plaguesS Ex 9:3 among you

as I did to Egypt.Ex 11:5

I killed your young menS Isa 9:17 with the sword,

along with your captured horses.

I filled your nostrils with the stenchS Isa 34:3 of your camps,

yet you have not returned to me,”S Dt 28:21

declares the Lord.S Isa 9:13

11 “I overthrew some of you

as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.S Ge 19:24; S Jer 23:14

You were like a burning stickS Isa 7:4; Jude 1:23 snatched from the fire,

yet you have not returned to me,”

declares the Lord.S Job 36:13

12 “Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel,

and because I will do this to you, Israel,

prepare to meet your God.”

13 He who forms the mountains,Ps 65:6

who creates the wind,Ps 135:7

and who reveals his thoughtsS Da 2:28 to mankind,

who turns dawn to darkness,

and treads on the heights of the earthMic 1:3

the Lord God Almighty is his name.S Isa 47:4; Am 5:8, 27; 9:6

A Lament and Call to Repentance

Hear this word, Israel, this lamentS Jer 4:8; S Eze 19:1 I take up concerning you:

“Fallen is VirginS 2Ki 19:21; Jer 14:17 Israel,

never to rise again,

deserted in her own land,

with no one to lift her up.Jer 50:32; Am 8:14

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel:

“Your city that marches out a thousand strong

will have only a hundred left;

your town that marches out a hundred strong

will have only ten left.Isa 6:13; Am 6:9

This is what the Lord says to Israel:

“SeekS Dt 4:29 me and live;Dt 32:46-47; Isa 55:3; Jer 29:13; S Eze 18:9

do not seek Bethel,

do not go to Gilgal,1Sa 11:14; S Hos 4:15

do not journey to Beersheba.Ge 21:31; Am 8:14

For Gilgal will surely go into exile,

and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.Hebrew aven, a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see Hosea 4:15.S 1Sa 7:16; S 8:2

SeekPs 22:26; 105:4; S Isa 31:1; 55:6; Zep 2:3 the Lord and live,ver 14; S Lev 18:5

or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;Dt 4:24

it will devour them,

and BethelS Am 3:14 will have no one to quench it.S Jer 4:4

There are those who turn justice into bitternessIsa 5:20; Am 6:12

and cast righteousnessS Am 3:10 to the ground.S Hos 10:4

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,S Ge 1:16; S Job 38:31

who turns midnight into dawnS Job 38:12; Isa 42:16

and darkens day into night,S Ps 104:20; Am 8:9

who calls for the waters of the sea

and pours them out over the face of the land—

the Lord is his name.Ps 104:6-9; Jer 16:21; S Am 4:13

With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold

and brings the fortified city to ruin.Mic 5:11

10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in courtS Isa 29:21

and detest the one who tells the truth.1Ki 22:8; Gal 4:16

11 You levy a straw tax on the poorAm 8:6

and impose a tax on their grain.

Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,S Am 3:15

you will not live in them;S Dt 28:30; Mic 1:6

though you have planted lush vineyards,

you will not drink their wine.S Jdg 9:27; S Am 4:1; 9:14; Mic 6:15; Zep 1:13

12 For I know how many are your offenses

and how great your sins.Hos 5:3

There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribesS Job 36:18; S Isa 1:23; S Eze 22:12

and deprive the poorS Jer 5:28 of justice in the courts.S Job 5:4; S Isa 5:23; S Am 2:6-7

13 Therefore the prudent keep quietS Est 4:14 in such times,

for the times are evil.Mic 2:3

14 Seek good, not evil,

that you may live.S ver 6

Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,

just as you say he is.

15 Hate evil,S Ps 52:3; S 97:10; Ro 12:9 love good;S Ge 18:25

maintain justice in the courts.S Isa 1:17; S 29:21; Zec 8:16

PerhapsS Jer 36:3 the Lord God Almighty will have mercyS Joel 2:14

on the remnantMic 5:7, 8; 7:18 of Joseph.

16 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says:

“There will be wailingJer 9:17; Am 8:3; Zep 1:10 in all the streetsJer 7:34

and cries of anguish in every public square.

The farmersS Joel 1:11 will be summoned to weep

and the mourners to wail.

17 There will be wailingS Ex 11:6 in all the vineyards,

for I will pass throughEx 12:12 your midst,”

says the Lord.Isa 16:10; S Jer 48:33

The Day of the Lord

18 Woe to you who long

for the day of the Lord!S Isa 2:12; S Joel 1:15

Why do you long for the day of the Lord?S Jer 30:5

That day will be darkness,S 1Sa 2:9; S Joel 2:2 not light.S Job 20:28; Isa 5:19, 30; Jer 30:7

19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion

only to meet a bear,S La 3:10

as though he entered his house

and rested his hand on the wall

only to have a snake bite him.S Dt 32:24; Job 20:24; S Ecc 10:8; Isa 24:17-18; Jer 15:2-3; 48:44

20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness,S 1Sa 2:9 not light—

pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?S Isa 13:10; S Eze 7:7; Ob 1:15; Zep 1:15

21 “I hate,Jer 44:4 I despise your religious festivals;S Lev 26:31; S Hos 2:11

your assembliesS Eze 23:18 are a stench to me.

22 Even though you bring me burnt offeringsLev 26:31 and grain offerings,

I will not accept them.S Ps 40:6; S Jer 7:21

Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,

I will have no regard for them.Isa 1:11-16; S Isa 66:3; Jer 14:12; S Am 4:4; Mic 6:6-7

23 Away with the noise of your songs!

I will not listen to the music of your harps.Am 6:5

24 But let justiceS Jer 22:3 roll on like a river,

righteousnessS Isa 45:8 like a never-failing stream!Mic 6:8

25 “Did you bring me sacrificesS Isa 43:23 and offerings

forty yearsS Ex 16:35 in the wilderness, people of Israel?

26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king,

the pedestal of your idols,S Eze 18:6; S 20:16

the star of your godOr lifted up Sakkuth your king / and Kaiwan your idols, / your star-gods; Septuagint lifted up the shrine of Molek / and the star of your god Rephan, / their idols

which you made for yourselves.

27 Therefore I will send you into exileAm 6:7; 7:11, 17; Mic 1:16 beyond Damascus,”

says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.Dt 32:17-19; Jer 38:17; S Am 4:13; Ac 7:42-43*

Woe to the Complacent

Woe to youLk 6:24 who are complacentZep 1:12 in Zion,

and to you who feel secureS Job 24:23 on Mount Samaria,S Am 3:9

you notable men of the foremost nation,

to whom the people of Israel come!Isa 32:9-11

Go to KalnehS Ge 10:10 and look at it;

go from there to great Hamath,S 2Ki 17:24; S Jer 49:23

and then go down to GathS Jos 11:22; 2Ch 26:6 in Philistia.

Are they better off thanNa 3:8 your two kingdoms?

Is their land larger than yours?

You put off the day of disaster

and bring near a reign of terror.S Isa 56:12; S Eze 12:22; Am 9:10

You lie on beds adorned with ivory

and lounge on your couches.S Est 1:6; S Pr 7:17

You dine on choice lambs

and fattened calves.S Isa 1:11; S Eze 34:2-3; S Am 3:12

You strum away on your harpsS Ps 137:2; S Isa 14:11; Am 5:23 like David

and improvise on musical instruments.S 1Ch 15:16

You drink wineS Isa 28:1; S Am 2:8 by the bowlful

and use the finest lotions,

but you do not grieveS Eze 9:4 over the ruin of Joseph.S Eze 16:49

Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;S Am 5:27

your feasting and lounging will end.S Jer 16:9; S La 4:5

The Lord Abhors the Pride of Israel

The Sovereign Lord has sworn by himselfS Ge 22:16; Heb 6:13—the Lord God Almighty declares:

“I abhorS Lev 26:30 the pride of JacobS Ps 47:4

and detest his fortresses;S Jer 12:8

I will deliver upAm 4:2 the city

and everything in it.S Lev 26:19; Dt 32:19

If tenS Am 5:3 people are left in one house, they too will die.10 And if the relative who comes to carry the bodies out of the house to burn themOr to make a funeral fire in honor of the deadS 1Sa 31:12 asks anyone who might be hiding there, “Is anyone else with you?” and he says, “No,” then he will go on to say, “Hush!Am 8:3 We must not mention the name of the Lord.”

11 For the Lord has given the command,

and he will smashS Isa 34:5 the great houseS Am 3:15 into pieces

and the small house into bits.Isa 55:11

12 Do horses run on the rocky crags?

Does one plow the seaWith a different word division of the Hebrew; Masoretic Text plow there with oxen?

But you have turned justice into poisonHos 10:4

and the fruit of righteousnessS Am 3:10 into bitternessS Isa 1:21; S Am 5:7

13 you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo DebarLo Debar means nothing.

and say, “Did we not take KarnaimKarnaim means horns; horn here symbolizes strength. by our own strength?S Job 8:15; Isa 28:14-15

14 For the Lord God Almighty declares,

“I will stir up a nationJer 5:15 against you, Israel,

that will oppress you all the way

from Lebo HamathS Nu 13:21 to the valley of the Arabah.S Am 3:11

Israel’s Failure to Learn

Listen to me, you fat cowsHebrew you cows of Bashan.

living in Samaria,

you women who oppress the poor

and crush the needy,

and who are always calling to your husbands,

“Bring us another drink!”

The Sovereign Lord has sworn this by his holiness:

“The time will come when you will be led away

with hooks in your noses.

Every last one of you will be dragged away

like a fish on a hook!

You will be led out through the ruins of the wall;

you will be thrown from your fortresses,Or thrown out toward Harmon, possibly a reference to Mount Hermon.

says the Lord.

“Go ahead and offer sacrifices to the idols at Bethel.

Keep on disobeying at Gilgal.

Offer sacrifices each morning,

and bring your tithes every three days.

Present your bread made with yeast

as an offering of thanksgiving.

Then give your extra voluntary offerings

so you can brag about it everywhere!

This is the kind of thing you Israelites love to do,”

says the Sovereign Lord.

“I brought hunger to every city

and famine to every town.

But still you would not return to me,”

says the Lord.

“I kept the rain from falling

when your crops needed it the most.

I sent rain on one town

but withheld it from another.

Rain fell on one field,

while another field withered away.

People staggered from town to town looking for water,

but there was never enough.

But still you would not return to me,”

says the Lord.

“I struck your farms and vineyards with blight and mildew.

Locusts devoured all your fig and olive trees.

But still you would not return to me,”

says the Lord.

10 “I sent plagues on you

like the plagues I sent on Egypt long ago.

I killed your young men in war

and led all your horses away.Or and slaughtered your captured horses.

The stench of death filled the air!

But still you would not return to me,”

says the Lord.

11 “I destroyed some of your cities,

as I destroyedHebrew as when God destroyed. Sodom and Gomorrah.

Those of you who survived

were like charred sticks pulled from a fire.

But still you would not return to me,”

says the Lord.

12 “Therefore, I will bring upon you all the disasters I have announced.

Prepare to meet your God in judgment, you people of Israel!”

13 For the Lord is the one who shaped the mountains,

stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind.

He turns the light of dawn into darkness

and treads on the heights of the earth.

The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies is his name!

A Call to Repentance

Listen, you people of Israel! Listen to this funeral song I am singing:

“The virgin Israel has fallen,

never to rise again!

She lies abandoned on the ground,

with no one to help her up.”

The Sovereign Lord says:

“When a city sends a thousand men to battle,

only a hundred will return.

When a town sends a hundred,

only ten will come back alive.”

Now this is what the Lord says to the family of Israel:

“Come back to me and live!

Don’t worship at the pagan altars at Bethel;

don’t go to the shrines at Gilgal or Beersheba.

For the people of Gilgal will be dragged off into exile,

and the people of Bethel will be reduced to nothing.”

Come back to the Lord and live!

Otherwise, he will roar through IsraelHebrew the house of Joseph. like a fire,

devouring you completely.

Your gods in Bethel

won’t be able to quench the flames.

You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the oppressed.

You treat the righteous like dirt.

It is the Lord who created the stars,

the Pleiades and Orion.

He turns darkness into morning

and day into night.

He draws up water from the oceans

and pours it down as rain on the land.

The Lord is his name!

With blinding speed and power he destroys the strong,

crushing all their defenses.

10 How you hate honest judges!

How you despise people who tell the truth!

11 You trample the poor,

stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent.

Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses,

you will never live in them.

Though you plant lush vineyards,

you will never drink wine from them.

12 For I know the vast number of your sins

and the depth of your rebellions.

You oppress good people by taking bribes

and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.

13 So those who are smart keep their mouths shut,

for it is an evil time.

14 Do what is good and run from evil

so that you may live!

Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper,

just as you have claimed.

15 Hate evil and love what is good;

turn your courts into true halls of justice.

Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies

will have mercy on the remnant of his people.Hebrew the remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, says:

“There will be crying in all the public squares

and mourning in every street.

Call for the farmers to weep with you,

and summon professional mourners to wail.

17 There will be wailing in every vineyard,

for I will destroy them all,”

says the Lord.

Warning of Coming Judgment

18 What sorrow awaits you who say,

“If only the day of the Lord were here!”

You have no idea what you are wishing for.

That day will bring darkness, not light.

19 In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion—

only to meet a bear.

Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house—

and he’s bitten by a snake.

20 Yes, the day of the Lord will be dark and hopeless,

without a ray of joy or hope.

21 “I hate all your show and pretense—

the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.

22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.

I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.

23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise!

I will not listen to the music of your harps.

24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice,

an endless river of righteous living.

25 “Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, Israel?26 No, you served your pagan gods—Sakkuth your king god and Kaiwan your star god—the images you made for yourselves.27 So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus,Greek version reads No, you carried your pagan gods—the shrine of Molech, the star of your god Rephan, and the images you made for yourselves. So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus. Compare Acts 7:43.” says the Lord, whose name is the God of Heaven’s Armies.

What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury in Jerusalem,Hebrew in Zion.

and you who feel secure in Samaria!

You are famous and popular in Israel,

and people go to you for help.

But go over to Calneh

and see what happened there.

Then go to the great city of Hamath

and down to the Philistine city of Gath.

You are no better than they were,

and look at how they were destroyed.

You push away every thought of coming disaster,

but your actions only bring the day of judgment closer.

How terrible for you who sprawl on ivory beds

and lounge on your couches,

eating the meat of tender lambs from the flock

and of choice calves fattened in the stall.

You sing trivial songs to the sound of the harp

and fancy yourselves to be great musicians like David.

You drink wine by the bowlful

and perfume yourselves with fragrant lotions.

You care nothing about the ruin of your nation.Hebrew of Joseph.

Therefore, you will be the first to be led away as captives.

Suddenly, all your parties will end.

The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his own name, and this is what he, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, says:

“I despise the arrogance of Israel,Hebrew Jacob. See note on 3:13.

and I hate their fortresses.

I will give this city

and everything in it to their enemies.”

(If there are ten men left in one house, they will all die.10 And when a relative who is responsible to dispose of the deadOr to burn the dead. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. goes into the house to carry out the bodies, he will ask the last survivor, “Is anyone else with you?” When the person begins to swear, “No, by . . . ,” he will interrupt and say, “Stop! Don’t even mention the name of the Lord.”)

11 When the Lord gives the command,

homes both great and small will be smashed to pieces.

12 Can horses gallop over boulders?

Can oxen be used to plow them?

But that’s how foolish you are when you turn justice into poison

and the sweet fruit of righteousness into bitterness.

13 And you brag about your conquest of Lo-debar.Lo-debar means “nothing.”

You boast, “Didn’t we take KarnaimKarnaim means “horns,” a term that symbolizes strength. by our own strength?”

14 “O people of Israel, I am about to bring an enemy nation against you,”

says the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.

“They will oppress you throughout your land—

from Lebo-hamath in the north

to the Arabah Valley in the south.”

Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.

The Lord God hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.

And ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the Lord.

Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:

And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God.

And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.

So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts, is his name.

Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.

The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.

For thus saith the Lord God; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.

For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:

But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.

Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.

Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name:

That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.

10 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.

11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.

12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.

13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.

14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.

15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.

17 And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the Lord.

18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.

19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.

20 Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.

22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.

23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

25 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?

26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.

27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, whose name is The God of hosts.

Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!

Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?

Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;

That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;

That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;

That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.

The Lord God hath sworn by himself, saith the Lord the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.

And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die.

10 And a man's uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with thee? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of the Lord.

11 For, behold, the Lord commandeth, and he will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts.

12 Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock:

13 Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength?

14 But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the Lord the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness.

Revelation 2:18-3:6

To the Church in Thyatira

18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatiraver 24; Ac 16:14; Rev 1:11 write:

These are the words of the Son of God,S Mt 4:3 whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.S Rev 1:14, 1519 I know your deeds,S ver 2 your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel,1Ki 16:31; 21:25; 2Ki 9:7 who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.ver 14; S Ac 15:2021 I have given her timeRo 2:4; 2Pe 3:9 to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.Ro 2:5; Rev 9:20; 16:9, 1122 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adulteryRev 17:2; 18:9 with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds,1Sa 16:7; 1Ki 8:39; Ps 139:1, 2, 23; Pr 21:2; Jer 17:10; Lk 16:15; Ro 8:27; 1Th 2:4 and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.S Mt 16:27

24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you,Ac 15:2825 except to hold on to what you haveRev 3:11 until I come.’S Mt 16:27

26 To the one who is victoriousS Jn 16:33 and does my will to the end,Mt 10:22 I will give authority over the nationsPs 2:8; Rev 3:2127 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepterRev 12:5; 19:15 and will dash them to pieces like pottery’Psalm 2:9Ps 2:9; Isa 30:14; Jer 19:11—just as I have received authority from my Father.28 I will also give that one the morning star.Rev 22:1629 Whoever has ears, let them hearS ver 7 what the Spirit says to the churches.

To the Church in Sardis

“To the angelOr messenger; also in verses 7 and 14 of the church in SardisRev 1:11 write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven spiritsThat is, the sevenfold SpiritS Rev 1:4 of God and the seven stars.S Rev 1:16 I know your deeds;S Rev 2:2 you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.1Ti 5:6Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent.S Rev 2:5 But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief,S Lk 12:39 and you will not know at what timeLk 12:39 I will come to you.

Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes.Jude 23 They will walk with me, dressed in white,ver 5, 18; Rev 4:4; 6:11; 7:9, 13, 14; 19:14 for they are worthy.The one who is victoriousS Jn 16:33 will, like them, be dressed in white.S ver 4 I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life,S Rev 20:12 but will acknowledge that name before my FatherMt 10:32 and his angels.Whoever has ears, let them hearS Rev 2:7 what the Spirit says to the churches.

The Message to the Church in Thyatira

18 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze:

19 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.

20 “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols.21 I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.

22 “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering,Greek a bed. and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds.23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.

24 “But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you25 except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come.26 To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end,

To them I will give authority over all the nations.

27 They will rule the nations with an iron rod

and smash them like clay pots.Ps 2:8-9 (Greek version).

28 They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!

29 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

The Message to the Church in Sardis

“Write this letter to the angelOr the messenger; also in 3:7, 14. of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold SpiritGreek the seven spirits. of God and the seven stars:

“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead.Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.

“Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.

“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Psalm 130:1-8

Psalm 130

A song of ascents.

Out of the depthsS Job 30:19; Ps 42:7; La 3:55 I cry to you,Ps 22:2; 55:17; 142:5 Lord;

Lord, hear my voice.S Ps 27:7; 28:2

Let your ears be attentiveS 2Ch 6:40

to my cry for mercy.S Ps 28:6; 31:22; 86:6; 140:6

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,

Lord, who could stand?S 1Sa 6:20; S Ezr 9:15; Ps 143:2; Na 1:6; Rev 6:17

But with you there is forgiveness,S Ex 34:7; S 2Sa 24:14; S Jer 31:34

so that we can, with reverence, serve you.S 1Ki 8:40

I wait for the Lord,S Ps 27:14; Isa 8:17; 26:8; 30:18; 49:23 my whole being waits,S Ps 5:3

and in his wordS Ps 119:74 I put my hope.

I wait for the Lord

more than watchmenPs 63:6 wait for the morning,

more than watchmen wait for the morning.S 2Sa 23:4

Israel, put your hopeS Ps 25:5; S 71:14 in the Lord,

for with the Lord is unfailing loveS 1Ch 21:13

and with him is full redemption.S Ps 111:9; S Ro 3:24

He himself will redeemLk 1:68 Israel

from all their sins.S Ex 34:7; S Mt 1:21

Psalm 130

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From the depths of despair, O Lord,

I call for your help.

Hear my cry, O Lord.

Pay attention to my prayer.

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,

who, O Lord, could ever survive?

But you offer forgiveness,

that we might learn to fear you.

I am counting on the Lord;

yes, I am counting on him.

I have put my hope in his word.

I long for the Lord

more than sentries long for the dawn,

yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;

for with the Lord there is unfailing love.

His redemption overflows.

He himself will redeem Israel

from every kind of sin.

130 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.

Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.

And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Proverbs 29:21-22

21 A servant pampered from youth

will turn out to be insolent.

22 An angry person stirs up conflict,

and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.S Pr 14:17

21 A servant pampered from childhood

will become a rebel.

22 An angry person starts fights;

a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.

21 He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length.

22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.

Dec 10 Dec 12
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