Amos 4-6The Message (MSG)
You Never Got Hungry for God
4 “Listen to this, you cows of Bashan
2-3 “This is serious—I, God, have sworn by my holiness!
4-5 “Come along to Bethel and sin!
6 “You know, don’t you, that I’m the One
7-8 “Yes, and I’m the One who stopped the rains
9 “I hit your crops with disease
10 “I revisited you with the old Egyptian plagues,
11 “I hit you with earthquake and fire,
12 “All this I have done to you, Israel,
13 Look who’s here: Mountain-Shaper! Wind-Maker!
All Show, No Substance
5 Listen to this, family of Israel,
2 “Virgin Israel has fallen flat on her face.
3 This is the Message, God’s Word:
“The city that marches out with a thousand
4-5 God’s Message to the family of Israel:
“Seek me and live.
6 So seek God and live! You don’t want to end up
Raw Truth Is Never Popular
7-9 Woe to you who turn justice to vinegar
10-12 People hate this kind of talk.
13 Justice is a lost cause. Evil is epidemic.
14 Seek good and not evil—
15 Hate evil and love good,
16-17 Now again, my Master’s Message, God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
“Go out into the streets and lament loudly!
Time to Face Hard Reality, Not Fantasy
18-20 Woe to all of you who want God’s Judgment Day!
21-24 “I can’t stand your religious meetings.
25-27 “Didn’t you, dear family of Israel, worship me faithfully for forty years in the wilderness, bringing the sacrifices and offerings I commanded? How is it you’ve stooped to dragging gimcrack statues of your so-called rulers around, hauling the cheap images of all your star-gods here and there? Since you like them so much, you can take them with you when I drive you into exile beyond Damascus.” God’s Message, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
Those Who Live Only for Today
6 1-2 Woe to you who think you live on easy street in Zion,
3-6 Woe to you who are rushing headlong to disaster!
7 But here’s what’s really coming:
You’ve Made a Shambles of Justice
8 God, the Master, has sworn, and solemnly stands by his Word.
“I hate the arrogance of Jacob.
9-10 Ten men are in a house, all dead. A relative comes and gets the bodies to prepare them for a decent burial. He discovers a survivor huddled in a closet and asks, “Are there any more?” The answer: “Not a soul. But hush! God must not be mentioned in this desecrated place.”
11 Note well: God issues the orders.
12-13 Do you hold a horse race in a field of rocks?
14 “Enjoy it while you can, you Israelites.
Revelation 7The Message (MSG)
The Servants of God
7 Immediately I saw Four Angels standing at the four corners of earth, standing steady with a firm grip on the four winds so no wind would blow on earth or sea, not even rustle a tree.
2-3 Then I saw another Angel rising from where the sun rose, carrying the seal of the Living God. He thundered to the Four Angels assigned the task of hurting earth and sea, “Don’t hurt the earth! Don’t hurt the sea! Don’t so much as hurt a tree until I’ve sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads!”
4-8 I heard the count of those who were sealed: 144,000! They were sealed out of every Tribe of Israel: 12,000 sealed from Judah, 12,000 from Reuben, 12,000 from Gad, 12,000 from Asher, 12,000 from Naphtali, 12,000 from Manasseh, 12,000 from Simeon, 12,000 from Levi, 12,000 from Issachar, 12,000 from Zebulun, 12,000 from Joseph, 12,000 sealed from Benjamin.
9-12 I looked again. I saw a huge crowd, too huge to count. Everyone was there—all nations and tribes, all races and languages. And they were standing, dressed in white robes and waving palm branches, standing before the Throne and the Lamb and heartily singing:
Salvation to our God on his Throne!
All who were standing around the Throne—Angels, Elders, Animals—fell on their faces before the Throne and worshiped God, singing:
13-14 Just then one of the Elders addressed me: “Who are these dressed in white robes, and where did they come from?” Taken aback, I said, “O Sir, I have no idea—but you must know.”
14-17 Then he told me, “These are those who come from the great tribulation, and they’ve washed their robes, scrubbed them clean in the blood of the Lamb. That’s why they’re standing before God’s Throne. They serve him day and night in his Temple. The One on the Throne will pitch his tent there for them: no more hunger, no more thirst, no more scorching heat. The Lamb on the Throne will shepherd them, will lead them to spring waters of Life. And God will wipe every last tear from their eyes.”