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Bible Pathways - Sept. 23, 2008


September 23

Amos 6

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Refusal to be obedient to the Word of God inevitably is self-destructive. Chapter 7 has three visions of destruction. Chapter 8 describes the consequences of Israel's greed, dishonesty, and merciless brutality to the poor. Don't overlook 8:11. Then Obadiah prophesies against Edom. It is important that we avoid their sins.

The Edomites were descendents of Esau and blood brothers to the Jews who were descendents of Jacob (see Genesis 25:23-30; 27:41; 32:3; 36:8). The Edomites had been hostile to the Israelites for centuries from the time Esau (Edom) forfeited his family birthright and was replaced by his brother Jacob (Israel). The Edomites were always ready and willing to aid an attacking army against the Jews. For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee. . . . Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of My people in the day of their calamity. . . . For the Day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head (Obadiah 1:10-15). Obadiah foretold how Edom would be destroyed but that a remnant of Judah would remain.

High in the rocky, rugged mountains, Edom seemed to be an impregnable fortress. Its self-sufficiency and disinterest in the will of God led them to ignore Obadiah's warning. But within four years after Jerusalem was burned, Edom was destroyed by the same Babylonians they assisted in battle against Jerusalem.

Many proud thinkers reject the Word of God and are deluded into thinking they are secure in the "invincible" stronghold of philosophical wisdom, or in the fortifications of social position, wealth, or power. Those insidious high places (vs 3) are a fantasy fortress because it is only Christ the King who defends any nation.

The absolute justice of God and our assurance of His faithfulness encourage us to know that the principles of His right and wrong never change. Jesus expressed an inevitable spiritual law of life for everyone: As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise (Luke 6:31).

A modern-day “Edomite” may aid the forces that are opposed to the followers of Christ and engage in open hostilities against pastors or people. But the God of Jacob never fails to have the last word and can send confusion to the most astute intellect, emptiness to the wealthiest home, or failure to the greatest business. Eventually, the Edomites disappeared from history, just as Obadiah had foretold. In contrast to the prophecy against the Edomites, Obadiah foretold that Judah would recover and one day would again possess their possessions (Obadiah 1:15-17).

As then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now (Galatians 4:29).

Thought for Today:

A Christian should not criticize or belittle another Christian because all of us have our “imperfections” to deal with.

Christ Revealed:

As the Plumbline (Amos 7:7-8). A plumb line is an instrument used in measuring an absolutely straight vertical line. Christ alone is qualified to walk in the midst of His people, measuring and exposing good and bad, true and false (Revelation 2 and 3).

Word Studies:

Amos 6:8 excellency of Jacob =b> pride, arrogance (Jacob means the whole of Israel, including the palaces of Jerusalem and Samaria); 6:11 with breaches =b> into ruins; with clefts =b> fragments; 6:13 horns by our own strength =b> pride over their military power (Deuteronomy 33:17; I Kings 22:11).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Debbi Rutherford Belisle's birthday • Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Country: Ghana (19 million) in western Africa • Major languages: English and African languages • The government permits freedom to churches and missionaries that do not get involved in politics • 31% belief in spirits and witches; 22% Protestant; 17% Muslim; 11% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to deliver you from willful sins (Psa. 19:13).

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Timothy 2:12

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