Amos 4-6; Psalm 55; Matt 14
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
‘Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, ‘Bring, that we may drink!’
The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness that, behold, the days are coming upon you, when they shall take you away with hooks, even the last of you with fishhooks.
And you shall go out through the breaches, each one straight ahead; and you shall be cast out into Harmon,” declares the LORD.
‘Come to Bethel, and transgress; to Gilgal, and multiply transgression; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days;
offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them; for so you love to do, O people of Israel!” declares the Lord GOD.
‘I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places, yet you did not return to me,” declares the LORD.
‘I also withheld the rain from you when there were yet three months to the harvest; I would send rain on one city, and send no rain on another city; one field would have rain, and the field on which it did not rain would wither;
so two or three cities would wander to another city to drink water, and would not be satisfied; yet you did not return to me,” declares the LORD.
‘I struck you with blight and mildew; your many gardens and your vineyards, your fig trees and your olive trees the locust devoured; yet you did not return to me,” declares the LORD.
‘I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt; I killed your young men with the sword, and carried away your horses, and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils; yet you did not return to me,” declares the LORD.
‘I overthrew some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were as a brand plucked out of the burning; yet you did not return to me,” declares the LORD.
‘Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought, who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth–the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name!
Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:
‘Fallen, no more to rise, is the virgin Israel; forsaken on her land, with none to raise her up.”
For thus says the Lord GOD: ”The city that went out a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went out a hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel.”
For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel: ”Seek me and live;
but do not seek Bethel, and do not enter into Gilgal or cross over to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and Bethel shall come to nothing.”
Seek the LORD and live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
O you who turn justice to wormwood and cast down righteousness to the earth!
He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the LORD is his name;
who makes destruction flash forth against the strong, so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth.
Therefore because you trample on the poor and you exact taxes of grain from him, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.
For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins–you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate.
Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time.
Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said.
Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord: ”In all the squares there shall be wailing, and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They shall call the farmers to mourning and to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,
and in all vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through your midst,” says the LORD.
Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light,
as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him.
Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?
‘I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them.
Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
‘Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
You shall take up Sikkuth your king, and Kiyyun your star-god–your images that you made for yourselves,
and I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.
‘Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria, the notable men of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel comes!
Pass over to Calneh, and see, and from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory,
O you who put far away the day of disaster and bring near the seat of violence?
‘Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall,
who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
Therefore they shall now be the first of those who go into exile, and the revelry of those who stretch themselves out shall pass away.”
The Lord GOD has sworn by himself, declares the LORD, the God of hosts: ”I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his strongholds, and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”
And if ten men remain in one house, they shall die.
And when one’s relative, the one who anoints him for burial, shall take him up to bring the bones out of the house, and shall say to him who is in the innermost parts of the house, ”Is there still anyone with you?” he shall say, ”No”; and he shall say, ”Silence! We must not mention the name of the LORD.”
For behold, the LORD commands, and the great house shall be struck down into fragments, and the little house into bits.
Do horses run on rocks? Does one plow there with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood–
you who rejoice in Lo-debar, who say, ”Have we not by our own strength captured Karnaim for ourselves?”
‘For behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel,” declares the LORD, the God of hosts; ”and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath to the Brook of the Arabah.”
Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me.
My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, ”Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.”
Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues; for I see violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around it on its walls, and iniquity and trouble are within it;
ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its marketplace.
For it is not an enemy who taunts me–then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me–then I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend.
We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng.
Let death steal over them; let them go down to Sheol alive; for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.
But I call to God, and the LORD will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.
God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, Selah because they do not change and do not fear God.
My companion stretched out his hand against his friends; he violated his covenant.
His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
But you, O God, will cast them down into the pit of destruction; men of blood and treachery shall not live out half their days. But I will trust in you.
At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus,
and he said to his servants, ”This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.”
For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,
because John had been saying to him, ”It is not lawful for you to have her.”
And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.
But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod,
so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
Prompted by her mother, she said, ”Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.”
And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given.
He sent and had John beheaded in the prison,
and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus.
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ”This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
But Jesus said, ”They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”
They said to him, ”We have only five loaves here and two fish.”
And he said, ”Bring them here to me.”
Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.
And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.
But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ”It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ”Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, ”Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, ”Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ”Lord, save me.”
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ”O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ”Truly you are the Son of God.”
And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.
And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick
and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.
The reading plan I’ve chosen is from Bible Class Material and it’s a 5 day plan, with weekend days to catch up or get ahead or just take a break!