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Amos 1The Message (MSG)

The Message of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa, that he received on behalf of Israel. It came to him in visions during the time that Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam II son of Joash was king of Israel, two years before the big earthquake.

Swallowing the Same Old Lies

The Message:

God roars from Zion,
    shouts from Jerusalem!
The thunderclap voice withers the pastures tended by shepherds,
    shrivels Mount Carmel’s proud peak.

3-5 God’s Message:

“Because of the three great sins of Damascus
    —make that four—I’m not putting up with her any longer.
She pounded Gilead to a pulp, pounded her senseless
    with iron hammers and mauls.
For that, I’m setting the palace of Hazael on fire.
    I’m torching Ben-hadad’s forts.
I’m going to smash the Damascus gates
    and banish the crime king who lives in Sin Valley,
    the vice boss who gives orders from Paradise Palace.
The people of the land will be sent back
    to where they came from—to Kir.”
        God’s Decree.

6-8 God’s Message:

“Because of the three great sins of Gaza
    —make that four—I’m not putting up with her any longer.
She deported whole towns
    and then sold the people to Edom.
For that, I’m burning down the walls of Gaza,
    burning up all her forts.
I’ll banish the crime king from Ashdod,
    the vice boss from Ashkelon.
I’ll raise my fist against Ekron,
    and what’s left of the Philistines will die.”
        God’s Decree.

9-10 God’s Message:

“Because of the three great sins of Tyre
    —make that four—I’m not putting up with her any longer.
She deported whole towns to Edom,
    breaking the treaty she had with her kin.
For that, I’m burning down the walls of Tyre,
    burning up all her forts.”

11-12 God’s Message:

“Because of the three great sins of Edom
    —make that four—I’m not putting up with her any longer.
She hunts down her brother to murder him.
    She has no pity, she has no heart.
Her anger rampages day and night.
    Her meanness never takes a timeout.
For that, I’m burning down her capital, Teman,
    burning up the forts of Bozrah.”

13-15 God’s Message:

“Because of the three great sins of Ammon
    —make that four—I’m not putting up with her any longer.
She ripped open pregnant women in Gilead
    to get more land for herself.
For that, I’m burning down the walls of her capital, Rabbah,
    burning up her forts.
Battle shouts! War whoops!
    with a tornado to finish things off!
The king has been carted off to exile,
    the king and his princes with him.”
        God’s Decree.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Amos 2The Message (MSG)

1-3 God’s Message:

“Because of the three great sins of Moab
    —make that four—I’m not putting up with her any longer.
She violated the corpse of Edom’s king,
    burning it to cinders.
For that, I’m burning down Moab,
    burning down the forts of Kerioth.
Moab will die in the shouting,
    go out in the blare of war trumpets.
I’ll remove the king from the center
    and kill all his princes with him.”
        God’s Decree.

4-5 God’s Message:

“Because of the three great sins of Judah
    —make that four—I’m not putting up with them any longer.
They rejected God’s revelation,
    refused to keep my commands.
But they swallowed the same old lies
    that got their ancestors onto dead-end roads.
For that, I’m burning down Judah,
    burning down all the forts of Jerusalem.”

Destroyed from the Roots Up

6-8 God’s Message:

“Because of the three great sins of Israel
    —make that four—I’m not putting up with them any longer.
They buy and sell upstanding people.
    People for them are only things—ways of making money.
They’d sell a poor man for a pair of shoes.
    They’d sell their own grandmother!
They grind the penniless into the dirt,
    shove the luckless into the ditch.
Everyone and his brother sleeps with the ‘sacred whore’—
    a sacrilege against my Holy Name.
Stuff they’ve extorted from the poor
    is piled up at the shrine of their god,
While they sit around drinking wine
    they’ve conned from their victims.

9-11 “In contrast, I was always on your side.
    I destroyed the Amorites who confronted you,
Amorites with the stature of great cedars,
    tough as thick oaks.
I destroyed them from the top branches down.
    I destroyed them from the roots up.
And yes, I’m the One who delivered you from Egypt,
    led you safely through the wilderness for forty years
And then handed you the country of the Amorites
    like a piece of cake on a platter.
I raised up some of your young men to be prophets,
    set aside your best youth for training in holiness.
Isn’t this so, Israel?”
    God’s Decree.

12-13 “But you made the youth-in-training break training,
    and you told the young prophets, ‘Don’t prophesy!’
You’re too much for me.
    I’m hard-pressed—to the breaking point.
I’m like a wagon piled high and overloaded,
    creaking and groaning.

14-15 “When I go into action, what will you do?
    There’s no place to run no matter how fast you run.
The strength of the strong won’t count.
    Fighters won’t make it.
Skilled archers won’t make it.
    Fast runners won’t make it.
Chariot drivers won’t make it.
    Even the bravest of all your warriors
Won’t make it.
    He’ll run off for dear life, stripped naked.”
        God’s Decree.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Amos 3The Message (MSG)

The Lion Has Roared

Listen to this, Israel. God is calling you to account—and I mean all of you, everyone connected with the family that he delivered out of Egypt. Listen!

“Out of all the families on earth,
    I picked you.
Therefore, because of your special calling,
    I’m holding you responsible for all your sins.”

3-7 Do two people walk hand in hand
    if they aren’t going to the same place?
Does a lion roar in the forest
    if there’s no carcass to devour?
Does a young lion growl with pleasure
    if he hasn’t caught his supper?
Does a bird fall to the ground
    if it hasn’t been hit with a stone?
Does a trap spring shut
    if nothing trips it?
When the alarm goes off in the city,
    aren’t people alarmed?
And when disaster strikes the city,
    doesn’t God stand behind it?
The fact is, God, the Master, does nothing
    without first telling his prophets the whole story.

The lion has roared—
    who isn’t frightened?
God has spoken—
    what prophet can keep quiet?

9-11 Announce to the forts of Assyria,
    announce to the forts of Egypt—
Tell them, “Gather on the Samaritan mountains, take a good, hard look:
    what a snake pit of brutality and terror!
They can’t—or won’t—do one thing right.” God said so.
    “They stockpile violence and blight.
Therefore”—this is God’s Word—“an enemy will surround the country.
    He’ll strip you of your power and plunder your forts.”

12 God’s Message:

“In the same way that a shepherd
    trying to save a lamb from a lion
Manages to recover
    just a pair of legs or the scrap of an ear,
So will little be saved of the Israelites
    who live in Samaria—
A couple of old chairs at most,
    the broken leg of a table.

13-15 “Listen and bring witness against Jacob’s family”—
    this is God’s Word, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
“Note well! The day I make Israel pay for its sins,
    pay for the sin-altars of worship at Bethel,
The horned altars will all be dehorned
    and scattered around.
I’ll tear down the winter palace,
    smash the summer palace—all your fancy buildings.
The luxury homes will be demolished,
    all those pretentious houses.”
        God’s Decree.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Psalm 80The Message (MSG)

An Asaph Psalm

80 1-2 Listen, Shepherd, Israel’s Shepherd—
    get all your Joseph sheep together.
Throw beams of light
    from your dazzling throne
So Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh
    can see where they’re going.
Get out of bed—you’ve slept long enough!
    Come on the run before it’s too late.

God, come back!
    Smile your blessing smile:
    That will be our salvation.

4-6 God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    how long will you smolder like a sleeping volcano
    while your people call for fire and brimstone?
You put us on a diet of tears,
    bucket after bucket of salty tears to drink.
You make us look ridiculous to our friends;
    our enemies poke fun day after day.

God-of-the-Angel-Armies, come back!
    Smile your blessing smile:
        That will be our salvation.

8-18 Remember how you brought a young vine from Egypt,
    cleared out the brambles and briers
    and planted your very own vineyard?
You prepared the good earth,
    you planted her roots deep;
    the vineyard filled the land.
Your vine soared high and shaded the mountains,
    even dwarfing the giant cedars.
Your vine ranged west to the Sea,
    east to the River.
So why do you no longer protect your vine?
    Trespassers pick its grapes at will;
Wild pigs crash through and crush it,
    and the mice nibble away at what’s left.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies, turn our way!
    Take a good look at what’s happened
    and attend to this vine.
Care for what you once tenderly planted—
    the vine you raised from a shoot.
And those who dared to set it on fire—
    give them a look that will kill!
Then take the hand of your once-favorite child,
    the child you raised to adulthood.
We will never turn our back on you;
    breathe life into our lungs so we can shout your name!

19 God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, come back!
    Smile your blessing smile:
    That will be our salvation.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

2 Timothy 4The Message (MSG)

1-2 I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.

3-5 You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.

6-8 You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.

9-13 Get here as fast as you can. Demas, chasing fads, went off to Thessalonica and left me here. Crescens is in Galatia province, Titus in Dalmatia. Luke is the only one here with me. Bring Mark with you; he’ll be my right-hand man since I’m sending Tychicus to Ephesus. Bring the winter coat I left in Troas with Carpus; also the books and parchment notebooks.

14-15 Watch out for Alexander the coppersmith. Fiercely opposed to our Message, he caused no end of trouble. God will give him what he’s got coming.

16-18 At my preliminary hearing no one stood by me. They all ran like scared rabbits. But it doesn’t matter—the Master stood by me and helped me spread the Message loud and clear to those who had never heard it. I was snatched from the jaws of the lion! God’s looking after me, keeping me safe in the kingdom of heaven. All praise to him, praise forever! Oh, yes!

19-20 Say hello to Priscilla and Aquila; also, the family of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed behind in Corinth. I had to leave Trophimus sick in Miletus.

21 Try hard to get here before winter.

Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all your friends here send greetings.

22 God be with you. Grace be with you.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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