Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 131

Amos 6–9, Obadiah 1, Proverbs 10

Bible text(s)

The Destruction of Israel

1How terrible it will be for you that have such an easy life in Zion and for you that feel safe in Samaria — you great leaders of this great nation Israel, you to whom the people go for help! 2Go and look at the city of Calneh. Then go on to the great city of Hamath and on down to the Philistine city of Gath. Were they any better than the kingdoms of Judah and Israel? Was their territory larger than yours? 3You refuse to admit that a day of disaster is coming, but what you do only brings that day closer. 4How terrible it will be for you that stretch out on your luxurious couches, feasting on veal and lamb! 5You like to compose songs, as David did, and play them on harps. 6You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest perfumes, but you do not mourn over the ruin of Israel. 7So you will be the first to go into exile. Your feasts and banquets will come to an end.

8The Sovereign LORD Almighty has given this solemn warning: “I hate the pride of the people of Israel; I despise their luxurious mansions. I will give their capital city and everything in it to the enemy.”

9If there are ten men left in a family, they will die. 10The dead man's relative, the one in charge of the funeral, will take the body out of the house. The relative will call to whoever is still left in the house, “Is anyone else there with you?”

A voice will answer, “No!”

Then the relative will say, “Be quiet! We must be careful not even to mention the LORD's name.”

11When the LORD gives the command, houses large and small will be smashed to pieces. 12Do horses gallop on rocks? Does anyone plough the sea with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into poison, and right into wrong.

13You boast about capturing the town of Lodebar. You boast, “We were strong enough to take Karnaim.”

14The LORD God Almighty himself says, “People of Israel, I am going to send a foreign army to occupy your country. It will oppress you from Hamath Pass in the north to the brook of the Arabah in the south.”

A Vision of Locusts

1I had a vision from the Sovereign LORD. In it I saw him create a swarm of locusts just after the king's share of the hay had been cut and the grass was starting to grow again. 2In my vision I saw the locusts eat up every green thing in the land, and then I said, “Sovereign LORD, forgive your people! How can they survive? They are so small and weak!”

3The LORD changed his mind and said, “What you saw will not take place.”

A Vision of Fire

4I had another vision from the Sovereign LORD. In it I saw him preparing to punish his people with fire. The fire burnt up the great ocean under the earth, and started to burn up the land. 5Then I said, “Stop, Sovereign LORD! How can your people survive? They are so small and weak!”

6The LORD changed his mind again and said, “This will not take place either.”

A Vision of a Plumb Line

7I had another vision from the Lord. In it I saw him standing beside a wall that had been built with the help of a plumb line, and there was a plumb line in his hand. 8He asked me, “Amos, what do you see?”

“A plumb line,” I answered.

Then he said, “I am using it to show that my people are like a wall that is out of line. I will not change my mind again about punishing them. 9The places where Isaac's descendants worship will be destroyed. The holy places of Israel will be left in ruins. I will bring the dynasty of King Jeroboam to an end.”

Amos and Amaziah

10Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, then sent a report to King Jeroboam of Israel: “Amos is plotting against you among the people. His speeches will destroy the country. 11This is what he says: ‘Jeroboam will die in battle, and the people of Israel will be taken away from their land into exile.’ ”

12Amaziah then said to Amos, “That's enough, prophet! Go on back to Judah and do your preaching there. Let them pay you for it. 13Don't prophesy here at Bethel any more. This is the king's place of worship, the national temple.”

14Amos answered, “I am not the kind of prophet who prophesies for pay. I am a herdsman, and I take care of fig trees. 15But the LORD took me from my work as a shepherd and ordered me to come and prophesy to his people Israel. 16So now listen to what the LORD says. You tell me to stop prophesying, to stop raving against the people of Israel. 17And so, Amaziah, the LORD says to you, ‘Your wife will become a prostitute on the streets, and your children will be killed in war. Your land will be divided up and given to others, and you yourself will die in a heathen country. And the people of Israel will certainly be taken away from their own land into exile.’ ”

A Vision of a Basket of Fruit

1I had another vision from the Sovereign LORD. In it I saw a basket of fruit. 2The LORD asked, “Amos, what do you see?”

“A basket of fruit,” I answered.

The LORD said to me, “The end has come for my people Israel. I will not change my mind again about punishing them. 3On that day the songs in the palace will become cries of mourning. There will be dead bodies everywhere. They will be thrown out in silence.”

Israel's Doom

4Listen to this, you that trample on the needy and try to destroy the poor of the country. 5You say to yourselves, “We can hardly wait for the holy days to be over so that we can sell our corn. When will the Sabbath end, so that we can start selling again? Then we can overcharge, use false measures, and tamper with the scales to cheat our customers. 6We can sell worthless wheat at a high price. We'll find a poor person who can't pay his debts, not even the price of a pair of sandals, and we'll buy him as a slave.”

7The LORD, the God of Israel, has sworn, “I will never forget their evil deeds. 8And so the earth will quake, and everyone in the land will be in distress. The whole country will be shaken; it will rise and fall like the River Nile. 9The time is coming when I will make the sun go down at noon and the earth grow dark in daytime. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken. 10I will turn your festivals into funerals and change your glad songs into cries of grief. I will make you shave your heads and wear sackcloth, and you will be like parents mourning for their only child. That day will be bitter to the end.

11“The time is coming when I will send famine on the land. People will be hungry, but not for bread; they will be thirsty, but not for water. They will hunger and thirst for a message from the LORD. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken. 12People will wander from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean and then on from the north to the east. They will look everywhere for a message from the LORD, but they will not find it. 13On that day even healthy young men and women will collapse from thirst. 14Those who swear by the idols of Samaria, who say, ‘By the god of Dan,’ or, ‘By the god of Beersheba’ — those people will fall and not rise again.”

The Lord's Judgements

1I saw the Lord standing by the altar. He gave the command: “Strike the tops of the temple columns so hard that the whole porch will shake. Break them off and let them fall on the heads of the people. I will kill the rest of the people in war. No one will get away; not one will escape. 2Even if they dig their way down to the world of the dead, I will catch them. Even if they climb up to heaven, I will bring them down. 3If they hide on the top of Mount Carmel, I will search for them and catch them. If they hide from me at the bottom of the sea, I will command the sea monster to bite them. 4If they are taken away into captivity by their enemies, I will order them to be put to death. I am determined to destroy them, not to help them.”

5The Sovereign LORD Almighty touches the earth,

and it quakes;

all who live there mourn.

The whole world rises and falls like the River Nile.

6The LORD builds his home in the heavens,

and over the earth he puts the dome of the sky.

He calls for the waters of the sea

and pours them out on the earth.

His name is the LORD!

7The LORD says, “People of Israel, I think as much of the people of Ethiopia as I do of you. I brought the Philistines from Crete and the Syrians from Kir, just as I brought you from Egypt. 8I, the Sovereign LORD, am watching this sinful kingdom of Israel, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth. But I will not destroy all the descendants of Jacob.

9“I will give the command and shake the people of Israel like corn in a sieve. I will shake them among the nations to remove all who are worthless. 10The sinners among my people will be killed in war — all those who say, ‘God will not let any harm come near us.’ ”

The Future Restoration of Israel

11The LORD says, “A day is coming when I will restore the kingdom of David, which is like a house fallen into ruins. I will repair its walls and restore it. I will rebuild it and make it as it was long ago. 12And so the people of Israel will conquer what is left of the land of Edom and all the nations that were once mine,” says the LORD, who will cause this to happen.

13“The days are coming,” says the LORD,

“when corn will grow faster than it can be harvested,

and grapes will grow faster than the wine can be made.

The mountains will drip with sweet wine,

and the hills will flow with it.

14I will bring my people back to their land.

They will rebuild their ruined cities and live there;

they will plant vineyards and drink the wine;

they will plant gardens and eat what they grow.

15I will plant my people on the land I gave them,

and they will not be pulled up again.”

The LORD your God has spoken.

1This is the prophecy of Obadiah — what the Sovereign LORD said about the nation of Edom.

The LORD will Punish Edom

The LORD has sent his messenger to the nations,

and we have heard his message:

“Get ready! Let us go to war against Edom!”

2The LORD says to Edom,

“I will make you weak;

everyone will despise you.

3Your pride has deceived you.

Your capital is a fortress of solid rock;

your home is high in the mountains,

and so you say to yourself,

‘Who can ever pull me down?’

4Even though you make your home

as high as an eagle's nest,

so that it seems to be among the stars,

yet I will pull you down.

5“When thieves come at night,

they take only what they want.

When people gather grapes,

they always leave a few.

But your enemies have wiped you out completely.

6Descendants of Esau, your treasures have been looted.

7Your allies have deceived you;

they have driven you from your country.

People who were at peace with you have now conquered you.

Those friends who ate with you have laid a trap for you;

they say of you, ‘Where is all that cleverness he had?’

8“On the day I punish Edom,

I will destroy their clever men

and wipe out all their wisdom.

9The fighting men of Teman will be terrified,

and every soldier in Edom will be killed.

Reasons for Edom's Punishment

10“Because you robbed and killed

your brothers, the descendants of Jacob,

you will be destroyed and dishonoured for ever.

11You stood aside on that day

when enemies broke down their gates.

You were as bad as those strangers

who carried off Jerusalem's wealth

and divided it among themselves.

12You should not have gloated

over the misfortune of your brothers in Judah.

You should not have been glad

on the day of their ruin.

You should not have laughed at them

in their distress.

13You should not have entered the city of my people

to gloat over their suffering

and to seize their riches

on the day of their disaster.

14You should not have stood at the crossroads

to catch those trying to escape.

You should not have handed them over to the enemy

on the day of their distress.

God will Judge the Nations

15“The day is near when I, the LORD,

will judge all nations.

Edom, what you have done

will be done to you.

You will get back what you have given.

16My people have drunk a bitter cup of punishment

on my sacred hill.

But all the surrounding nations will drink

a still more bitter cup of punishment;

they will drink it all and vanish away.

The Victory of Israel

17“But on Mount Zion some will escape,

and it will be a sacred place.

The people of Jacob will possess

the land that is theirs by right.

18The people of Jacob and of Joseph will be like fire;

they will destroy the people of Esau

as fire burns stubble.

No descendant of Esau will survive.

I, the LORD, have spoken.

19“People from southern Judah will occupy Edom;

those from the western foothills will capture Philistia;

Israelites will possess the territory of Ephraim and Samaria;

the people of Benjamin will take Gilead.

20The army of exiles from northern Israel

will return and conquer Phoenicia

as far north as Zarephath.

The exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sardis

will capture the towns of southern Judah.

21The victorious men of Jerusalem

will attack Edom and rule over it.

And the LORD himself will be King.”

Solomon's Proverbs

1These are Solomon's proverbs:

Wise children make their fathers proud of them; foolish ones bring their mothers grief.

2Wealth that you get by dishonesty will do you no good, but honesty can save your life.

3The LORD will not let good people go hungry, but he will keep the wicked from getting what they want.

4Being lazy will make you poor, but hard work will make you rich.

5A sensible person gathers the crops when they are ready; it is a disgrace to sleep through the time of harvest.

6Good people will receive blessings. The words of the wicked hide a violent nature.

7Good people will be remembered as a blessing, but the wicked will soon be forgotten.

8Sensible people accept good advice. People who talk foolishly will come to ruin.

9Honest people are safe and secure, but the dishonest will be caught.

10Someone who holds back the truth causes trouble, but one who openly criticizes works for peace.

11A good person's words are a fountain of life, but a wicked person's words hide a violent nature.

12Hate stirs up trouble, but love overlooks all offences.

13Intelligent people talk sense, but stupid people need to be punished.

14The wise get all the knowledge they can, but when fools speak, trouble is not far off.

15Wealth protects the rich; poverty destroys the poor.

16The reward for doing good is life, but sin leads only to more sin.

17People who listen when they are corrected will live, but those who will not admit that they are wrong are in danger.

18Anyone who hides hatred is a liar. Anyone who spreads gossip is a fool.

19The more you talk, the more likely you are to sin. If you are wise, you will keep quiet.

20A good person's words are like pure silver; a wicked person's ideas are worthless.

21A good person's words will benefit many people, but you can kill yourself with stupidity.

22It is the LORD's blessing that makes you wealthy. Hard work can make you no richer.

23It is foolish to enjoy doing wrong. Intelligent people take pleasure in wisdom.

24The righteous get what they want, but the wicked will get what they fear most.

25Storms come, and the wicked are blown away, but honest people are always safe.

26Never get a lazy person to do something for you; he will be as irritating as vinegar on your teeth or smoke in your eyes.

27Obey the LORD, and you will live longer. The wicked die before their time.

28The hopes of good people lead to joy, but wicked people can look forward to nothing.

29The LORD protects honest people, but destroys those who do wrong.

30Righteous people will always have security, but the wicked will not survive in the land.

31Righteous people speak wisdom, but the tongue that speaks evil will be stopped.

32Righteous people know the kind thing to say, but the wicked are always saying things that hurt.

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