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Amos 7The Message (MSG)

To Die Homeless and Friendless

1-2 God, my Master, showed me this vision: He was preparing a locust swarm. The first cutting, which went to the king, was complete, and the second crop was just sprouting. The locusts ate everything green. Not even a blade of grass was left.

I called out, “God, my Master! Excuse me, but what’s going to come of Jacob? He’s so small.”

God gave in.

“It won’t happen,” he said.

God showed me this vision: Oh! God, my Master God was calling up a firestorm. It burned up the ocean. Then it burned up the Promised Land.

I said, “God, my Master! Hold it—please! What’s going to come of Jacob? He’s so small.”

God gave in.

“All right, this won’t happen either,” God, my Master, said.

God showed me this vision: My Master was standing beside a wall. In his hand he held a plumb line.

8-9 God said to me, “What do you see, Amos?”

I said, “A plumb line.”

Then my Master said, “Look what I’ve done. I’ve hung a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel. I’ve spared them for the last time. This is it!

“Isaac’s sex-and-religion shrines will be smashed,
Israel’s unholy shrines will be knocked to pieces.
I’m raising my sword against the royal family of Jeroboam.”

10 Amaziah, priest at the shrine at Bethel, sent a message to Jeroboam, king of Israel:

“Amos is plotting to get rid of you; and he’s doing it as an insider, working from within Israel. His talk will destroy the country. He’s got to be silenced. Do you know what Amos is saying?

11 ‘Jeroboam will be killed.
    Israel is headed for exile.’

12-13 Then Amaziah confronted Amos: “Seer, be on your way! Get out of here and go back to Judah where you came from! Hang out there. Do your preaching there. But no more preaching at Bethel! Don’t show your face here again. This is the king’s chapel. This is a royal shrine.”

14-15 But Amos stood up to Amaziah: “I never set up to be a preacher, never had plans to be a preacher. I raised cattle and I pruned trees. Then God took me off the farm and said, ‘Go preach to my people Israel.’

16-17 “So listen to God’s Word. You tell me, ‘Don’t preach to Israel. Don’t say anything against the family of Isaac.’ But here’s what God is telling you:

Your wife will become a whore in town.
Your children will get killed.
Your land will be auctioned off.
You will die homeless and friendless.
And Israel will be hauled off to exile, far from home.

The Message (MSG)

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

Amos 8The Message (MSG)

You Who Give Little and Take Much

My Master God showed me this vision: A bowl of fresh fruit.

He said, “What do you see, Amos?”

I said, “A bowl of fresh, ripe fruit.”

God said, “Right. So, I’m calling it quits with my people Israel. I’m no longer acting as if everything is just fine.”

“The royal singers will wail when it happens.”
    My Master God said so.
“Corpses will be strewn here, there, and everywhere.
    Hush!”

4-6 Listen to this, you who walk all over the weak,
    you who treat poor people as less than nothing,
Who say, “When’s my next paycheck coming
    so I can go out and live it up?
How long till the weekend
    when I can go out and have a good time?”
Who give little and take much,
    and never do an honest day’s work.
You exploit the poor, using them—
    and then, when they’re used up, you discard them.

7-8 God swears against the arrogance of Jacob:
    “I’m keeping track of their every last sin.”
God’s oath will shake earth’s foundations,
    dissolve the whole world into tears.
God’s oath will sweep in like a river that rises,
    flooding houses and lands,
And then recedes,
    leaving behind a sea of mud.

9-10 “On Judgment Day, watch out!”
    These are the words of God, my Master.
“I’ll turn off the sun at noon.
    In the middle of the day the earth will go black.
I’ll turn your parties into funerals
    and make every song you sing a dirge.
Everyone will walk around in rags,
    with sunken eyes and bald heads.
Think of the worst that could happen
    —your only son, say, murdered.
That’s a hint of Judgment Day
    —that and much more.

11-12 “Oh yes, Judgment Day is coming!”
    These are the words of my Master God.
“I’ll send a famine through the whole country.
    It won’t be food or water that’s lacking, but my Word.
People will drift from one end of the country to the other,
    roam to the north, wander to the east.
They’ll go anywhere, listen to anyone,
    hoping to hear God’s Word—but they won’t hear it.

13-14 “On Judgment Day,
    lovely young girls will faint of Word-thirst,
    robust young men will faint of God-thirst,
Along with those who take oaths at the Samaria Sin-and-Sex Center,
    saying, ‘As the lord god of Dan is my witness!’
    and ‘The lady goddess of Beer-sheba bless you!’
Their lives will fall to pieces.
    They’ll never put it together again.”

The Message (MSG)

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

Amos 9The Message (MSG)

Israel Thrown into a Sieve

1-4 I saw my Master standing beside the altar at the shrine. He said:

“Hit the tops of the shrine’s pillars,
    make the floor shake.
The roof’s about to fall on the heads of the people,
    and whoever’s still alive, I’ll kill.
No one will get away,
    no runaways will make it.
If they dig their way down into the underworld,
    I’ll find them and bring them up.
If they climb to the stars,
    I’ll find them and bring them down.
If they hide out at the top of Mount Carmel,
    I’ll find them and bring them back.
If they dive to the bottom of the ocean,
    I’ll send Dragon to swallow them up.
If they’re captured alive by their enemies,
    I’ll send Sword to kill them.
I’ve made up my mind
    to hurt them, not help them.”

5-6 My Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    touches the earth, a mere touch, and it trembles.
    The whole world goes into mourning.
Earth swells like the Nile at flood stage;
    then the water subsides, like the great Nile of Egypt.
God builds his palace—towers soaring high in the skies,
    foundations set on the rock-firm earth.
He calls ocean waters and they come,
    then he ladles them out on the earth.
        God, your God, does all this.

7-8 “Do you Israelites think you’re any better than the far-off Cushites?” God’s Decree.

“Am I not involved with all nations? Didn’t I bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor, the Arameans from Qir? But you can be sure that I, God, the Master, have my eye on the Kingdom of Sin. I’m going to wipe it off the face of the earth. Still, I won’t totally destroy the family of Jacob.” God’s Decree.

9-10 “I’m still giving the orders around here. I’m throwing Israel into a sieve among all the nations and shaking them good, shaking out all the sin, all the sinners. No real grain will be lost, but all the sinners will be sifted out and thrown away, the people who say, ‘Nothing bad will ever happen in our lifetime. It won’t even come close.’

Blessings Like Wine Pouring off the Mountains

11-12 “But also on that Judgment Day I will restore David’s house that has fallen to pieces. I’ll repair the holes in the roof, replace the broken windows, fix it up like new. David’s people will be strong again and seize what’s left of enemy Edom, plus everyone else under my sovereign judgment.” God’s Decree. He will do this.

13-15 “Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” God’s Decree.

“Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I’ll make everything right again for my people Israel:

“They’ll rebuild their ruined cities.
They’ll plant vineyards and drink good wine.
They’ll work their gardens and eat fresh vegetables.
And I’ll plant them, plant them on their own land.
They’ll never again be uprooted from the land I’ve given them.”
God, your God, says so.

The Message (MSG)

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

Psalm 104The Message (MSG)

104 1-14 O my soul, bless God!

God, my God, how great you are!
    beautifully, gloriously robed,
Dressed up in sunshine,
    and all heaven stretched out for your tent.
You built your palace on the ocean deeps,
    made a chariot out of clouds and took off on wind-wings.
You commandeered winds as messengers,
    appointed fire and flame as ambassadors.
You set earth on a firm foundation
    so that nothing can shake it, ever.
You blanketed earth with ocean,
    covered the mountains with deep waters;
Then you roared and the water ran away—
    your thunder crash put it to flight.
Mountains pushed up, valleys spread out
    in the places you assigned them.
You set boundaries between earth and sea;
    never again will earth be flooded.
You started the springs and rivers,
    sent them flowing among the hills.
All the wild animals now drink their fill,
    wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Along the riverbanks the birds build nests,
    ravens make their voices heard.
You water the mountains from your heavenly cisterns;
    earth is supplied with plenty of water.
You make grass grow for the livestock,
    hay for the animals that plow the ground.

14-23 Oh yes, God brings grain from the land,
    wine to make people happy,
Their faces glowing with health,
    a people well-fed and hearty.
God’s trees are well-watered—
    the Lebanon cedars he planted.
Birds build their nests in those trees;
    look—the stork at home in the treetop.
Mountain goats climb about the cliffs;
    badgers burrow among the rocks.
The moon keeps track of the seasons,
    the sun is in charge of each day.
When it’s dark and night takes over,
    all the forest creatures come out.
The young lions roar for their prey,
    clamoring to God for their supper.
When the sun comes up, they vanish,
    lazily stretched out in their dens.
Meanwhile, men and women go out to work,
    busy at their jobs until evening.

24-30 What a wildly wonderful world, God!
    You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,
    made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.
Oh, look—the deep, wide sea,
    brimming with fish past counting,
    sardines and sharks and salmon.
Ships plow those waters,
    and Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them.
All the creatures look expectantly to you
    to give them their meals on time.
You come, and they gather around;
    you open your hand and they eat from it.
If you turned your back,
    they’d die in a minute—
Take back your Spirit and they die,
    revert to original mud;
Send out your Spirit and they spring to life—
    the whole countryside in bloom and blossom.

31-32 The glory of God—let it last forever!
    Let God enjoy his creation!
He takes one look at earth and triggers an earthquake,
    points a finger at the mountains, and volcanoes erupt.

33-35 Oh, let me sing to God all my life long,
    sing hymns to my God as long as I live!
Oh, let my song please him;
    I’m so pleased to be singing to God.
But clear the ground of sinners—
    no more godless men and women!

O my soul, bless God!

The Message (MSG)

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

Titus 2The Message (MSG)

A God-Filled Life

1-6 Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives.

7-8 But mostly, show them all this by doing it yourself, incorruptible in your teaching, your words solid and sane. Then anyone who is dead set against us, when he finds nothing weird or misguided, might eventually come around.

9-10 Guide slaves into being loyal workers, a bonus to their masters—no back talk, no petty thievery. Then their good character will shine through their actions, adding luster to the teaching of our Savior God.

11-14 God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.

15 Tell them all this. Build up their courage, and discipline them if they get out of line. You’re in charge. Don’t let anyone put you down.

The Message (MSG)

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

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