December 16, 2007

Amos 7-9 - When the Plowman Overtakes the Reaper

From today's Bible reading:

Amos 7:

This is what the Lord GOD showed me:

Behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.

And the LORD said to me, Amos, what do you see?

And I said, A plumb line.

Then the Lord said,

Behold, I am setting a plumb line
in the midst of my people Israel;
I will never again pass by them;
the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said,

Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
and Israel must go into exile
away from his land.

And Amaziah said to Amos, O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.

Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.

Now therefore hear the word of the LORD.

You say, Do not prophesy against Israel,
and do not preach against the house of Isaac.

Therefore thus says the LORD:

Your wife shall be a prostitute in the city,
and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,
and your land shall be divided up with a measuring line;
you yourself shall die in an unclean land,
and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.

Amos 8:

This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amos, what do you see?

And I said, A basket of summer fruit.

Then the LORD said to me,

The end has come upon my people Israel;
I will never again pass by them.
The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,
declares the Lord GOD.

So many dead bodies!

They are thrown everywhere!

Silence!

Hear this, you who trample on the needy
and bring the poor of the land to an end,
saying,

When will the new moon be over,
that we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
that we may offer wheat for sale,
that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great
and deal deceitfully with false balances,
that we may buy the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals
and sell the chaff of the wheat?

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord GOD,
when I will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the LORD.
They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD,
but they shall not find it.

Amos 9:

Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom,
and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground,
except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,
declares the LORD.

For behold, I will command,
and shake the house of Israel among all the nations
as one shakes with a sieve,
but no pebble shall fall to the earth.
All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
who say, Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.

Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD,
when the plowman shall overtake the reaper
and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed;
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
and all the hills shall flow with it.

I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
I will plant them on their land,
and they shall never again be uprooted
out of the land that I have given them,
says the LORD your God.

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