July 11-12, Amos 6-9; 2 Chronicles 27; Isaiah 9-12

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Woe to those who are at ease in Zion
and to those who feel secure on the hill of Samaria—
the notable people in this first of the nations,
those the house of Israel comes to.
Cross over to Calneh and see;
go from there to great Hamath;
then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better than these kingdoms?
Is their territory larger than yours?
You dismiss any thought of the evil day
and bring in a reign of violence.

They lie on beds inlaid with ivory,
sprawled out on their couches,
and dine on lambs from the flock
and calves from the stall.
They improvise songs[a] to the sound of the harp
and invent[b] their own musical instruments like David.
They drink wine by the bowlful
and anoint themselves with the finest oils
but do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
Therefore, they will now go into exile
as the first of the captives,
and the feasting of those who sprawl out
will come to an end.

Israel’s Pride Judged

The Lord God has sworn by himself—this is the declaration of the Lord, the God of Armies:

I loathe Jacob’s pride
and hate his citadels,
so I will hand over the city and everything in it.

And if there are ten men left in one house, they will die. 10 A close relative[c] and burner[d] will remove his corpse[e] from the house. He will call to someone in the inner recesses of the house, “Any more with you?”

That person will reply, “None.”

Then he will say, “Silence, because the Lord’s name must not be invoked.”

11 For the Lord commands:

The large house will be smashed to pieces,
and the small house to rubble.

12 Do horses gallop on the cliffs?
Does anyone plow there with oxen?[f]
Yet you have turned justice into poison
and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood—
13 you who rejoice over Lo-debar
and say, “Didn’t we capture Karnaim
for ourselves by our own strength?”
14 But look, I am raising up a nation
against you, house of Israel—
this is the declaration of the Lord,
the God of Armies—
and they will oppress you
from the entrance of Hamath[g]
to the Brook of the Arabah.[h]

First Vision: Locusts

The Lord God showed me this: He was forming a swarm of locusts at the time the spring crop first began to sprout—after the cutting of the king’s hay. When the locusts finished eating the vegetation of the land, I said, “Lord God, please forgive! How will Jacob survive since he is so small?”

The Lord relented concerning this. “It will not happen,” he said.

Second Vision: Fire

The Lord God showed me this: The Lord God was calling for a judgment by fire. It consumed the great deep and devoured the land. Then I said, “Lord God, please stop! How will Jacob survive since he is so small?”

The Lord relented concerning this. “This will not happen either,” said the Lord God.

Third Vision: A Plumb Line

He showed me this: The Lord was standing there by a vertical wall with a plumb line in his hand. The Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?”

I replied, “A plumb line.”

Then the Lord said, “I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will no longer spare them:

Isaac’s high places will be deserted,
and Israel’s sanctuaries will be in ruins;
I will rise up against the house of Jeroboam
with a sword.”

Amaziah’s Opposition

10 Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent word to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you right here in the house of Israel. The land cannot endure all his words, 11 for Amos has said this: ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will certainly go into exile from its homeland.’”

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Go away, you seer! Flee to the land of Judah. Earn your living[i] and give your prophecies there, 13 but don’t ever prophesy at Bethel again, for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple.”

14 So Amos answered Amaziah, “I was[j] not a prophet or the son of a prophet;[k] rather, I was[l] a herdsman, and I took care of sycamore figs. 15 But the Lord took me from following the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”

16 Now hear the word of the Lord. You say:

Do not prophesy against Israel;
do not preach against the house of Isaac.

17 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:

Your wife will be a prostitute in the city,
your sons and daughters will fall by the sword,
and your land will be divided up
with a measuring line.
You yourself will die on pagan[m] soil,
and Israel will certainly go into exile
from its homeland.

Fourth Vision: A Basket of Summer Fruit

The Lord God showed me this: a basket of summer fruit. He asked me, “What do you see, Amos?”

I replied, “A basket of summer fruit.”[n]

The Lord said to me, “The end has come for my people Israel; I will no longer spare them. In that day the temple[o] songs will become wailing”—this is the Lord God’s declaration. “Many dead bodies, thrown everywhere! Silence!”

Hear this, you who trample on the needy
and do away with the poor of the land,
asking, “When will the New Moon be over
so we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath,
so we may market wheat?
We can reduce the measure
while increasing the price[p]
and cheat with dishonest scales.
We can buy the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals
and even sell the chaff!”

The Lord has sworn by the Pride of Jacob:[q]

I will never forget all their deeds.
Because of this, won’t the land quake
and all who dwell in it mourn?
All of it will rise like the Nile;
it will surge and then subside
like the Nile in Egypt.

And in that day—
this is the declaration of the Lord God—
I will make the sun go down at noon;
I will darken the land in the daytime.
10 I will turn your feasts into mourning
and all your songs into lamentation;
I will cause everyone[r] to wear sackcloth
and every head to be shaved.
I will make that grief
like mourning for an only son
and its outcome like a bitter day.

11 Look, the days are coming—
this is the declaration of the Lord God—
when I will send a famine through the land:
not a famine of bread or a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
and roam from north to east
seeking the word of the Lord,
but they will not find it.
13 In that day the beautiful young women,
the young men also, will faint from thirst.
14 Those who swear by the guilt of Samaria
and say, “As your god lives, Dan,”
or, “As the way[s][t] of Beer-sheba lives”—
they will fall, never to rise again.

Fifth Vision: The Lord beside the Altar

I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said:

Strike the capitals of the pillars
so that the thresholds shake;
knock them down on the heads of all the people.
Then I will kill the rest of them with the sword.
None of those who flee will get away;
none of the fugitives will escape.
If they dig down to Sheol,
from there my hand will take them;
if they climb up to heaven,
from there I will bring them down.
If they hide
on the top of Carmel,
from there I will track them down
and seize them;
if they conceal themselves
from my sight on the sea floor,
from there I will command
the sea serpent to bite them.
And if they are driven
by their enemies into captivity,
from there I will command
the sword to kill them.
I will keep my eye on them
for harm and not for good.

The Lord, the God of Armies—
he touches the earth;
it melts, and all who dwell in it mourn;
all of it rises like the Nile
and subsides like the Nile of Egypt.
He builds his upper chambers
in the heavens
and lays the foundation of his vault
on the earth.
He summons the water of the sea
and pours it out over the surface of the earth.
The Lord is his name.

Announcement of Judgment

Israelites, are you not like the Cushites to me?
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Didn’t I bring Israel from the land of Egypt,
the Philistines from Caphtor,[u]
and the Arameans from Kir?
Look, the eyes of the Lord God
are on the sinful kingdom,
and I will obliterate it
from the face of the earth.
However, I will not totally destroy
the house of Jacob—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
for I am about to give the command,
and I will shake the house of Israel
among all the nations,
as one shakes a sieve,
but not a pebble will fall to the ground.
10 All the sinners among my people
who say, “Disaster will never overtake[v]
or confront us,”
will die by the sword.

Announcement of Restoration

11 In that day
I will restore the fallen shelter of David:
I will repair its gaps,
restore its ruins,
and rebuild it as in the days of old,
12 so that they may possess
the remnant of Edom
and all the nations
that bear my name[w]
this is the declaration of the Lord; he will do this.

13 Look, the days are coming—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
when the plowman will overtake the reaper
and the one who treads grapes,
the sower of seed.
The mountains will drip with sweet wine,
and all the hills will flow with it.
14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel.[x]
They will rebuild and occupy ruined cities,
plant vineyards and drink their wine,
make gardens and eat their produce.
15 I will plant them on their land,
and they will never again be uprooted
from the land I have given them.
The Lord your God has spoken.

2 Chronicles 27

27 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerushah daughter of Zadok. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his father Uzziah had done. In addition, he didn’t enter the Lord’s sanctuary, but the people still behaved corruptly.

Jotham built the Upper Gate of the Lord’s temple, and he built extensively on the wall of Ophel. He also built cities in the hill country of Judah and fortresses and towers in the forests. He waged war against the king of the Ammonites. He overpowered the Ammonites, and that year they gave him 7,500 pounds[a] of silver, 60,000 bushels[b] of wheat, and 60,000 bushels of barley. They paid him the same in the second and third years. So Jotham strengthened his position because he did not waver in obeying[c] the Lord his God.

As for the rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, along with all his wars and his ways, note that they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. Jotham rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David. His son Ahaz became king in his place.

Isaiah 9-12

Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in the future he will bring honor to the way of the sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations.

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased its joy.[a]
The people have rejoiced before you
as they rejoice at harvest time
and as they rejoice when dividing spoils.
For you have shattered their oppressive yoke
and the rod on their shoulders,
the staff of their oppressor,
just as you did on the day of Midian.
For every trampling boot of battle
and the bloodied garments of war
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David
and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it
with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.

The Hand Raised against Israel

The Lord sent a message against Jacob;
it came against Israel.
All the people—
Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—will know it.
They will say with pride and arrogance,
10 “The bricks have fallen,
but we will rebuild with cut stones;
the sycamores have been cut down,
but we will replace them with cedars.”
11 The Lord has raised up Rezin’s adversaries against him
and stirred up his enemies.
12 Aram from the east and Philistia from the west
have consumed Israel with open mouths.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.

13 The people did not turn to him who struck them;
they did not seek the Lord of Armies.
14 So the Lord cut off Israel’s head and tail,
palm branch and reed in a single day.
15 The head is the elder, the honored one;
the tail is the prophet, the one teaching lies.
16 The leaders of the people mislead them,
and those they mislead are swallowed up.[b]
17 Therefore the Lord does not rejoice
over[c] Israel’s young men
and has no compassion
on its fatherless and widows,
for everyone is a godless evildoer,
and every mouth speaks folly.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.

18 For wickedness burns like a fire
that consumes thorns and briers
and kindles the forest thickets
so that they go up in a column of smoke.
19 The land is scorched
by the wrath of the Lord of Armies,
and the people are like fuel for the fire.
No one has compassion on his brother.
20 They carve meat on the right,
but they are still hungry;
they have eaten on the left,
but they are still not satisfied.
Each one eats the flesh of his arm.
21 Manasseh eats Ephraim,
and Ephraim, Manasseh;
together, both are against Judah.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.

10 Woe to those enacting crooked statutes
and writing oppressive laws
to keep the poor from getting a fair trial
and to deprive the needy among my people of justice,
so that widows can be their spoil
and they can plunder the fatherless.
What will you do on the day of punishment
when devastation comes from far away?
Who will you run to for help?
Where will you leave your wealth?
There will be nothing to do
except crouch among the prisoners
or fall among the slain.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.

Assyria, the Instrument of Wrath

Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger—
the staff in their hands is my wrath.
I will send him against a godless nation;
I will command him to go
against a people destined for my rage,
to take spoils, to plunder,
and to trample them down like clay in the streets.
But this is not what he intends;
this is not what he plans.
It is his intent to destroy
and to cut off many nations.
For he says,
“Aren’t all my commanders kings?
Isn’t Calno like Carchemish?
Isn’t Hamath like Arpad?
Isn’t Samaria like Damascus?[d]
10 As my hand seized the kingdoms of worthless images,
kingdoms whose idols exceeded those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 and as I did to Samaria and its worthless images
will I not also do to Jerusalem and its idols?”

Judgment on Assyria

12 But when the Lord finishes all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I[e] will punish the king of Assyria for his arrogant acts and the proud look in his eyes.” 13 For he said:

I have done this by my own strength
and wisdom, for I am clever.
I abolished the borders of nations
and plundered their treasures;
like a mighty warrior, I subjugated the inhabitants.[f]
14 My hand has reached out, as if into a nest,
to seize the wealth of the nations.
Like one gathering abandoned eggs,
I gathered the whole earth.
No wing fluttered;
no beak opened or chirped.

15 Does an ax exalt itself
above the one who chops with it?
Does a saw magnify itself
above the one who saws with it?
It would be like a rod waving the ones who lift[g] it!
It would be like a staff lifting the one who isn’t wood!
16 Therefore the Lord God of Armies
will inflict an emaciating disease
on the well-fed of Assyria,
and he will kindle a burning fire
under its glory.
17 Israel’s Light will become a fire,
and its Holy One, a flame.
In one day it will burn and consume Assyria’s thorns and thistles.
18 He will completely destroy
the glory of its forests and orchards
as a sickness consumes a person.
19 The remaining trees of its forest
will be so few in number
that a child could count them.

The Remnant Will Return

20 On that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no longer depend on the one who struck them, but they will faithfully depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.

21 The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob,
to the Mighty God.
22 Israel, even if your people were as numerous
as the sand of the sea,
only a remnant of them will return.
Destruction has been decreed;
justice overflows.
23 For throughout the land
the Lord God of Armies
is carrying out a destruction that was decreed.

24 Therefore, the Lord God of Armies says this: “My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear Assyria, though they strike you with a rod and raise their staff over you as the Egyptians did. 25 In just a little while my wrath will be spent and my anger will turn to their destruction.” 26 And the Lord of Armies will brandish a whip against him as he did when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb; and he will raise his staff over the sea as he did in Egypt.

God Will Judge Assyria

27 On that day
his burden will fall from your shoulders,
and his yoke from your neck.
The yoke will be broken because your neck will be too large.[h]
28 Assyria has come to Aiath
and has gone through Migron,
storing their equipment at Michmash.
29 They crossed over at the ford, saying,
“We will spend the night at Geba.”
The people of Ramah are trembling;
those at Gibeah of Saul have fled.
30 Cry aloud, daughter of Gallim!
Listen, Laishah!
Anathoth is miserable.
31 Madmenah has fled.
The inhabitants of Gebim have sought refuge.
32 Today the Assyrians will stand at Nob,
shaking their fists at the mountain of Daughter Zion,
the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Look, the Lord God of Armies
will chop off the branches with terrifying power,
and the tall trees will be cut down,
the high trees felled.
34 He is clearing the thickets of the forest with an ax,
and Lebanon with its majesty will fall.

Reign of the Davidic King

11 Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
a Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
a Spirit of counsel and strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
His delight will be in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge
by what he sees with his eyes,
he will not execute justice
by what he hears with his ears,
but he will judge the poor righteously
and execute justice for the oppressed of the land.
He will strike the land
with a scepter[i] from his mouth,
and he will kill the wicked
with a command[j] from his lips.
Righteousness will be a belt around his hips;
faithfulness will be a belt around his waist.

The wolf will dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard will lie down with the goat.
The calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf will be together,
and a child will lead them.
The cow and the bear will graze,
their young ones will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like cattle.
An infant will play beside the cobra’s pit,
and a toddler will put his hand into a snake’s den.
They will not harm or destroy each other
on my entire holy mountain,
for the land will be as full
of the knowledge of the Lord
as the sea is filled with water.

Israel Regathered

10 On that day the root of Jesse
will stand as a banner for the peoples.
The nations will look to him for guidance,
and his resting place will be glorious.

11 On that day the Lord will extend his hand a second time to recover the remnant of his people who survive—from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the coasts and islands of the west.

12 He will lift up a banner for the nations
and gather the dispersed of Israel;
he will collect the scattered of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.
13 Ephraim’s envy will cease;
Judah’s harassing will end.
Ephraim will no longer be envious of Judah,
and Judah will not harass Ephraim.
14 But they will swoop down
on the Philistine flank to the west.
Together they will plunder the people of the east.
They will extend their power over Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites will be their subjects.
15 The Lord will divide[k][l] the Gulf of Suez.[m]
He will wave his hand over the Euphrates
with his mighty wind
and will split it into seven streams,
letting people walk through on foot.
16 There will be a highway for the remnant of his people
who will survive from Assyria,
as there was for Israel
when they came up from the land of Egypt.

A Song of Praise

12 On that day you will say:
“I will give thanks to you, Lord,
although you were angry with me.
Your anger has turned away,
and you have comforted me.
Indeed, God is my salvation;
I will trust him and not be afraid,
for the Lord, the Lord himself,
is my strength and my song.
He has become my salvation.”
You will joyfully draw water
from the springs of salvation,
and on that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the Lord; proclaim his name!
Make his works known among the peoples.
Declare that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things.
Let this be known throughout the earth.
Cry out and sing, citizen of Zion,
for the Holy One of Israel is among you
in his greatness.”

In Isaiah 9 we read about one of the great prophecies of the coming Messiah. It speaks of a child that would be born and the government shall rest on his shoulders. We know Jesus began to fulfill that prophecy when He was born that first Christmas day several thousand years ago. One day Jesus is coming again and the government will rest on his shoulders. His Kingdom will be on earth. And for the believer, that will be the most glorious day one could ever imagine.

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