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bible reading nov 17-18



Bible reading for Nov 17 -- 18

Nov 17 -- Amos 6 and Luke 1:39-80

Nov 18 -- Amos 7 and Luke 2

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"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...'" (Amos 7:8) 

THE LEISURE CLASS (ch 6). It seems Amos' generation had the same mindset as our advertisers today, that is, "You deserve the best!" Note how the people of Israel are described: idle, taking it easy, self-secure, partying, and enjoying the best beauty products (vv 1-7). This sinful lifestyle was rooted in pride (v 8) and injustice (v 12). Not all prosperity is bad, for example, we may enjoy what God gives when it is something permissible, prayed about, and used with gratitude and humility (2 Tim 4:4-5). But much luxury can come at the cost of spiritual compromise (idolatry), self-indulgence, and from taking advantage of vulnerable people (injustice). 

CANCELLING AMOS (ch 7). In compassion and mercy, Amos intercedes on behalf of the people (vv 1-6). Mediation is a key theme throughout the Bible, and our salvation comes through the divinely-sent Mediator (1 Tim 2:5-6), who also  continually intercedes for us (Heb 7:25). Yet, God's law is a plumb line (vv 7-9), designed to reveal all things that are out of line with God's character and his new creation (see photo above). The Israelite priest Amaziah seeks to silence Amos' preaching (vv 10-13), but God declares that Amaziah and his family will suffer humiliation and death in exile (vv 14-17). Those who try to cancel God's word may find one day that they themselves have been cancelled by God.  

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"And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man." (Luke 2:51-52) 

BLESSED MARY (ch 1). Read here Don Carson's reflection on the role and example of Mary the mother of Jesus.  

JESUS' BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD (ch 2). Along with the Nativity story, Luke gives us a glimpse into the only reported childhood event of Christ. What parent could not identify with Mary and Joseph's fear and frustration at losing their son?  (What an irony!) And yet, here in the house of God, the son of Mary shows that he is aware that he is truly the Son of God. And even so, as the Son of God, he returns to Nazareth and continues in submission as a child to his earthly parents. How do you put that together? No wonder Mary "treasured up all these things."  Luke tells us that Jesus grew physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially. What a mystery!  His perfect Deity is joined to a sinless, growing, and learning human nature. This is also a theme in the book of Hebrews: "Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered" (Heb 5:8). James Montgomery Boice once wrote, "With the exception of being sinful, everything that can be said about a man can be said about Jesus Christ." I love how Graham Kendrick put this together in song: "Meekness and majesty, manhood and deity In perfect harmony the Man who is God. Lord of eternity dwells in humanity, Kneels in humility and washes our feet."  Hear Kendrick's acoustic version of this song here.  

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Image credit: photo source unknown. 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 Buttondown.email/Sandy. 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 netbible.org.  


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