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bible reading nov 12-14

Bible reading for weekend Nov 12 -- 14

Nov 11 -- Amos 1 and Psalm 144

Nov 12 -- Amos 2 and Psalm 145

Nov 13 -- Amos 3 and Psalms 146-147 


"'I will strike the winter house along with the summer house, and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall come to an end,' declares the LORD." (Amos 3:15).  

FOR THREE TRANSGRESSIONS, AND FOUR (ch 1-2). Amos (along with his contemporary, Isaiah) was one of the earliest writing prophets in Israel. It was an affluent time in both Judah and Israel (ca 790-750 BC), but there was also violence and oppression. Border conflicts among the nearby nations resulted in land seizure, enslavement, and unjust treatment of prisoners. Each of these nations, along with Judah and Israel, are called out. "For three transgressions, and four..." was a poetic way of saying, "I've got three things against you... no, wait, make that four." In other words, God had a list of their sins and it was plenty serious. The bottom line for Judah was, the people had rejected God's law and disobeyed his commandments (v 5). In addition, the people of the northern kingdom of Israel were censoring the prophets who brought God's word to them (v 12). The judgment against Israel is the longest passage against the nations in this section (vv 6-16). 

DO THINGS HAPPEN FOR NO REASON (ch 3)? The rhetorical questions of vv 3-6 emphasize the truth that events are happening just as God said, and with good reason. The people had tried to silence God's prophets, but through them God had made his will known (v 7). Those were affluent times with "houses of ivory" and dual residences (vacation homes!)(v 15). Archeologists have uncovered ivory-inlaid furniture from this period in Israel. One big lesson we learn from Amos is that whenever we find ourselves in affluence, we should ask ourselves, does our luxury come at the cost of dishonoring God and doing injustice to our neighbor? 

QUOTE. "But the true and living God speaks, not only in the past but in the present also, for he has inscripturated his Word in the Bible. The Bible does not become out of date. It is the Word of God to the present-day reader, for what was spoken, for example, to Moses, was spoken by God not only to Moses, but also to us. Thus Jesus, quoting from Exodus, asked the Sadducees, 'Have you not read that which was spoken to you by God?'” (Broughton Knox, The Everlasting God)


"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 

He determines the number of the stars; 

he gives to all of them their names." (Psalm 147:3-4) 

TRAINED FOR WAR (Ps 144). King David is thankful that God has equipped him to fight and to be able to protect his kingdom (vv 1-2). "What is man...?" (v 3) echoes Psalm 8:4, but the emphasis here is on human mortality rather than human dignity. Twice we hear the phrase, "whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood" (vv 8, 11). The threat is not their foreignness but their deceptiveness. Foreign kings and their armies would not only threaten the security of Israel but also introduce idolatrous religions. Kings were always tempted to compromise religious convictions for the sake of peace with the neighboring nations. David prays for God's protection and concludes, "Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord" (v 15). 

MADE FOR PRAISE (Ps 145)! This is a wonderful psalm of praise written by David, naming all the reasons for which we should thank and praise God. We learn that our worship of God should be mental (involving the thought life), verbal (involving our speech both private and public), and inter-generational: "One generation shall commend your works to another..." (v 4) and, "to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom" (v 12). In your journal, or in your family discussion time, go through this psalm and list every reason we should praise God.   

MORE SONGS OF PRAISE (Ps 146-147). We are drawing to a conclusion in the Psalms and we are called -- all of us, every creature -- to sing and praise God. Psalm 146 tells us not to trust in princes, that is, in political leaders and rulers who boast of great things, and promise much, but cannot even guarantee that they will be alive tomorrow (146:3-4)! The Lord is not impressed with powerful rulers, but he loves justice and desires it to prevail in the land. Psalm 147 tells us that God has created and named the stars (147:4). We cannot even number them! The Lord is not impressed with creaturely strength (=military strength, 147:10), but he lifts up the humble and heals the brokenhearted (Isa 57:15). In grace he has granted to his people the knowledge of his will through verbal revelation, namely, the Scriptures (147:19-20). These are wonderful psalms to read aloud. 

THE GREAT AND THE SMALL. When considering the size of our universe some people feel that there must not be a God, since our planet is a small and insignificant speck in space. Or, if there is a God, then surely he wouldn't have concern for our little world. But the Bible affirms repeatedly that God is both immense (infinite) and immanent (near to us). He is the God of galaxies and sparrows, who names the stars and numbers the hairs upon our head. Nothing is too great or hard for him, and nothing is too small for him to overlook.    


Image credit: photo of the Andromeda galaxy, from Wikimedia Commons. About this newsletter: I'm Sandy Young, and I post three times a week on my Bible reading, following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Subscribe for email at Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. A very helpful resource is the NET Bible with its excellent notes at  


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