Thursday, May 28, 2015

Amos, Day 4 Readings

Special Judgment on Holy Places and Summer Fruit in Winter 

Today's first reading is an oracle of destruction that promises complete devastation.  There are particularly harsh words against the holy places of Israel -- altars, pillars, sanctuaries -- that will be completely destroyed by God.

This specific prophecy was repeated to the king of Israel, Jeroboam, and the king's adviser tried to force Amos to stop saying such things and return to his home in the southern kingdom of Judah.  Amos' response was rather surprising -- he claimed not to be a prophet.  Instead, he was a simple shepherd given this prophecy for Israel, which he felt compelled to do.

Read Amos 7:1-17  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Today's second reading repeats the prophecy of destruction against Israel.  Amos has a vision of summer fruit, which God says is Israel.  However, it quickly becomes clear that the summer season has ended, which means that the fruit will spoil.  The misbehavior -- the greed, the breaking of the Sabbath, the scamming of the poor, the worship of false gods -- will be harshly punished.  Worse, the people of Israel will be completely destroyed -- not even a small remnant of them will be preserved.

Read Amos 8:1-14  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Amos 7-8 today.