September 8 – Read Jonah 2
Jonah had fallen deeply into sin by rejecting the command God gave him to preach at Nineveh, but in this chapter we see his spiritual strength. Even as he was in the fish’s belly, Jonah praised God with the words of the Psalms. He begins verse 2 similarly to how David begins Psalm 120, where he says, “In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.” David used the phrase “all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me” in Psalm 42:7, which Jonah quoted at the end of verse 3. Similarities can be seen in Psalm 5:8 and 69:2 to verses 4 and 5 of the chapter. In Psalm 142:4 David says, “refuge failed me,” which is parallel to “my soul fainted” in verse 7. Jonah says that “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy” in verse 8, which is the flipside of “I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy” in Psalm 31:7. Jonah ends his prayer in thankfulness and praise, very like Psalm 50:14, which reads, “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High.”
Sing or pray Psalter #138.
September 9 – Read Jonah 3
Kids, can you imagine that your sibling does something really mean to you? Then, when your parent finds out what they did, they hardly discipline them! How does that make you feel? Angry? Frustrated? You wanted your sibling to be punished for the wrong they did you, right?
Well, that’s just how Jonah felt. After his initial rejection of the command, Jonah went willingly to preach in Nineveh, but he went there with the understanding that the city would be destroyed. Jonah’s own people didn’t listen to him, so of course these wicked Ninevites wouldn’t. However, much to Jonah’s surprise the Ninevites listen to him and show signs of repentance. This makes Jonah angry with God. Why was he doing this? These people deserve to die for all the wickedness they’d committed in the world. Jonah begins to feel that he knows how to do God’s work better than God does. By nature, we are all prone to foolish pride and must fight against this temptation ourselves.
Sing or pray Psalter #139.
September 10 – Read Jonah 4
Jonah is very angry with God here. We begin with Jonah asking God to take his life, to which God replies, “Doest thou well to be angry?” Jonah responds by giving God the silent treatment and making a booth to sit in and pout while he dares God not to destroy the city. After God raises and kills the gourd that provided shade, Jonah is boiling. When he again says he wants to die, God repeats his question back. This time Jonah responds, “I do well to be angry, even unto death.”
How often do we tend to think we are justified in our anger? After all, how can you not be angry against someone who has mistreated you? However, that’s exactly what the Bible teaches. It’s true there is a time for righteous anger, but usually our anger is anything but righteous. We think we’ve earned the right to be angry with this or that person because of their actions. We want to see them pay, as discussed yesterday. We, like Jonah, need to put off this sinful anger and embrace the truth that God is in complete control and will work all things for our good.
Sing or pray Psalter #145.
September 11 – Read 2 Kings 15
After Israel and Judah split, the ten tribes immediately began to spiral downward, but Judah continued to worship God for a short time. This chapter provides a contrast between the two sides. The first king mentioned is Azariah, king of Judah. He reigned for a long time and obeyed God’s commandments, although he failed to remove the high places and died of leprosy because of his sin. Around the same time, we are told that Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, and Hoshea all reigned in Israel. Did you happen to notice what the “How To” book on becoming a king of Israel looks like? It’s a pretty quick read: “Kill the current king.” Nearly every one of these guys became ruler by murdering the guy before them. Interestingly it’s Menahem, the guy who ripped up pregnant women like the Ammonites were judged for, that dies peacefully. The chapter ends by going back to Judah and the reign of Jotham, who again did what was right with the exception of the high places. By this time Israel had fallen so far that they were even seeking to destroy their brethren in Judah.
Sing or pray Psalter #156.
September 12 – Read 2 Chronicles 26
I’ve talked before about how the same thing in the Bible can picture opposing ideas. I was struck by that again as I read this chapter about Uzziah being smitten with leprosy. Why do you think God made leprosy, a disease mentioned often in the Bible, to be white? According to biblestudy.org, white is the most frequently mentioned color in the Bible. It typically symbolizes righteousness, purity, wisdom, holiness, and joy. In Revelation 19 we read of Christ himself riding a white horse. Interestingly, though, we also read of another white horse in Revelation 6:2, which reads, “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Biblestudy.org says that this horse actually “represents the ability of Satan to deceive and SEEM like he represents God,” as supported by the fact that he needs to be given the crown and fight for control. Could this have any connection with the reason for leprosy being white, a color typically used to symbolize good?
Sing or pray Psalter #144.
September 13 – Read Isaiah 1
In John Calvin’s preface to this book, he says that the law is divided into three parts: the doctrine of life, threatenings and promises, and the covenant of grace. He explains that the Old Testament prophets just better explained these different aspects of the law, especially the parts that had been misunderstood. For example, they explained that outward adherence wasn’t enough, one had to obey from the heart.
Calvin brings out the fact that Isaiah’s dad was Amoz, a brother of Azariah, king of Judah, yet Isaiah was treated like the lowest of the low. In this, he is a picture of Christ, the king of kings, who was rejected in the city of his birth. As Jesus himself said in Luke 4:24, “No prophet is accepted in his own country.” Still, Isaiah continued to prophesy for at least 64 years, which is a great lesson for us to trust in God and persevere even in the face of extreme hardship.
Sing or pray Psalter #142.
September 14 – Read Isaiah 2
We had a sermon this morning on the command not to murder. Our pastor used a story from his days as an emergency medical technician (EMT) to illustrate the extreme prevalence of murder today. He said they arrived on the scene of a stabbing. The victim, although bleeding profusely, refused treatment, because he was only concerned about finding and murdering the one who had injured him. As the EMTs tried to coax the man to let them help him a large crowd began to gather. Then, a police car came speeding to the scene. The policeman jumped out and foolishly used a racial slur as he demanded to know what was going on. This riled the entire crowd up, and they began to close in on the officer, one even leveling a gun at him. The horrible scene was only brought back under control when cop cars started pouring in from all directions.
As Calvin puts it, “Nothing is more desirable than peace; but while all imagine that they desire it, every one disturbs it by the madness of his lusts.” As Isaiah 2:4 brings out, true peace is only attainable when we get to our heavenly home.
Sing or pray Psalter #150.
September 15 – Read Isaiah 3
Isaiah 3:16 talks about how Judah had become like a foolish woman, who danced around haughtily in her flashy attire, giving seductive glances as she went. As judgment, her beauty is taken away, and she is made a disgrace in verse 17. As we often read in the Bible, women are commanded to pursue inner beauty, and not to be consumed with their outward appearance. 1 Timothy 2:9–10 makes this clear by stating, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” Of course, this doesn’t only apply to the women in the church. Being concerned with outward appearance can be broadened to loving the things of this world, something which we all struggle with. Just as this was happening in and to Judah during the time of Isaiah, so the church today is constantly being tempted to seek an earthly kingdom. God has given man so many abilities today that sometimes we can fall asleep spiritually and forget that this is not our home.
Sing or pray Psalter #161.
September 16 – Read Isaiah 4
There is a stark contrast between the first verse of this chapter and the ones that follow. The chapter begins by continuing the previous chapter’s revelation of God’s judgment on the foolish women of Judah. However, things quickly turn around in verse 2. Here Isaiah begins talking about the blessings on the remnant and the coming of Christ. The vineyard was destroyed, but a fruitful branch remains. That fruitful branch, which is Christ, will “be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel” (Isa. 4:2). This remnant that “escaped” destruction is said, in verse 5, to be led by a “cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night.” These visible manifestations of God’s presence were the way in which he led his people through the wilderness, which was a picture of how we are perfectly led through every step of our lives.
Sing or pray Psalter #160.
September 17 – Read Isaiah 5
My study Bible summarizes Isaiah 5: 8–30 as the “six woes on the worldly hedonists.” These woes are said to be “selfishness, hedonism, self-sufficiency, perverted thinking, arrogance, and a perverted legal system.” These six woes are even more prevalent today than they were then. They keep man from accomplishing his goal of making this world a better place. There is much talk about stewardship and caring for the environment, but that continually falls by the wayside as everyone seeks his own benefit. Hedonism refers to the constant pursuit of pleasure, which companies prey on in their advertising. With all the technology of the day, man thinks himself self-sufficient and in control of his own destiny. Perverted thinking is seen everywhere, from applauding outright murder to instituting marriage between two people of the same sex. Arrogance manifests itself in the belittling and hateful comments everywhere on the internet and in social media. It’s evident that our legal system is perverted when one can be on death row for most of his life, and many are not put to death for murdering others. As we see these woes around us, may it cause us to set our eyes more Christ, our Deliverer.
Sing or pray Psalter #162.
September 18 – Read Isaiah 6
Verses 9 and 10 of this chapter are interesting. God tells Isaiah to “Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” This wording makes it sound like God is trying to deceive the people and keep them from believing, but we must remember to interpret scripture with scripture. Throughout the previous chapters, God has made it known that the blame for this blindness lies with the people. In chapter 3 we read of the foolish women who rejected spiritual things and lived for the pleasures of this word, and in chapter 5 we heard about the six woes being committed by the people of Judah. One thing we can learn from these verses, though, is that the preaching is never wasted. The gospel is a two-edged sword, so even if no one believes the word that’s preached, the cause of the gospel to harden some has been accomplished.
Sing or pray Psalter #201.
September 19 – Read Isaiah 7
In verse 17, Isaiah begins speaking to Ahaz of God’s judgment that’s going to come upon the false church. Judah has started to place their trust in wicked nations, so God is going to give even the weak countries the power to destroy them. Theses “flies” and “bees” will “shave” Judah, indicating their disgrace. Land that used to be fertile will now be nothing more than thorns and thistles.
Bleak though this sounds, at first glance the situation appears to change in verse 22. Here we read that there will be an abundance of milk, butter, and honey. Is this now a blessing? My study Bible says the point here is just that there will be so few people left that those who remain will have plenty. This is consistent with the passage, for it goes on to talk about bows and arrows being needed for defense and killing food. Matthew Henry summarizes the passage by reminding us that the earth changes quickly, but our heavenly home does not.
Sing or pray Psalter #158.
September 20 – Read Isaiah 8
Isaiah 8:17 reads, “And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.” There are two things I’d like to mention here. First, notice the strong faith that’s required to wait here. Isaiah continues waiting even though God is hiding his face. Our sinful nature tells us that we only need to fulfill our duties if others are watching. We only need to act kindly to someone if they act kind to us. We only need to respect those in authority if they show care for us. We only need to wait on God if he’s responding to us the way we want. In contrast, true faith is shown in waiting perseverance, even when God hides his face. Secondly, the waiting requires action. We don’t just sit back and let what happens happen. We have a responsibility to work, to “look for him,” as the verse says. It is when we look for him daily that God gives us the grace to continue that waiting.
Sing or pray Psalter #164.
September 21 – Read Amos 1
The book begins, “The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.” Amos was from Judah, but God called him to preach to Israel. My study Bible says that Tekoa was known for its rich pastureland, so Amos probably left a lucrative business in answering this call. We read that he prophesied during the days of Uzziah and Jeroboam II, whose reign saw much prosperity. In fact, Israel became so large during the days in which Jeroboam II was the king that it even rivaled the kingdom during the days of Solomon. This prosperity gave the Israelites false confidence that God was with them, which Amos addresses directly throughout the book. Finally, we read that this was two years before the earthquake. We don’t know much about this earthquake, but we also read of it in Zechariah 14:5, so it must have been a major event.
Sing or pray Psalter #168.
September 22 – Read Amos 2
A phrase often seen throughout the first two chapters of this book is, “Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof.” The verse or verses that follow usually indicate one or two sins committed by these people, so what are these four transgressions spoken of? A couple of commentaries I looked at seemed to agree that this is more a figure of speech than an exact list of sins committed. Three represents a full array of sins, and four indicates that the wickedness is overflowing and the time for judgment has come.
Although most of the places have one or two sins mentioned, Israel actually has seven. First, they sold their brethren into slavery. Second, they take advantage of the poor. Third, they reject the meek and are proud. Fourth, adultery is become commonplace. Fifth, they gather around altars and drink wine in the worship of their idols. Sixth and seventh, they blatantly disobeyed God’s commandments by giving Nazarites wine and silencing the prophets. Because of all these sins the cup of Israel’s iniquity was overflowing and they were ripe for judgment.
Sing or pray Psalter #166.
September 23 – Read Amos 3
In verse 14 we read that God will cut off the horns of the altar, which were made of acacia wood covered in brass (Ex. 27:2), as part of Israel’s judgment. They were often touched with sacrificial blood, as seen in Exodus 29:12 and Leviticus 4:30, as a sign of the salvation and safety we have in Christ. Therefore, the horns on the altar of burnt offering were seen as a place of refuge. We see this in 1 Kings 1:50, where Adonijah grabbed hold of the altar’s horns as he pleaded for his life. Solomon agreed not to kill him if he showed himself to be righteous. In the next chapter Joab, who had sided with Adonijah, tried the same thing, but Solomon commanded he be killed there anyway. Joab deserved no mercy, for he had murdered multiple people and needed to be put to death. Now Israel found themselves in the same predicament as Joab, without the possibility of escape from judgment.
Sing or pray Psalter #165.
September 24 – Read Amos 4
The second part of this chapter talks about all the ways God afflicted Israel in their sin, yet they still refused to repent. First, he sent great drought. Then, he sent diseases and pests that killed their crops. Third, Israel’s mighty army had been destroyed in battle. Some of their houses were even burnt to the ground, yet they still continued in their sin.
This spiritual blindness reminded me of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, recounted in Luke 16. At the end of this story, the rich man asks God to send Lazarus to warn his family, so they don’t end up in hell as he did. God responds that they have Moses and the prophets to warn them, but the rich man insists they will only listen if someone is sent from the dead. The chapter ends with God saying, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
Sing or pray Psalter #300.
September 25 – Read Amos 5
Amos 5:18 reads, “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.” Aren’t we supposed to desire that day? Why does this verse call it darkness? The answer is that this is directed at the wicked in Israel who were ripe for judgment. They were foolish to think that the day of the Lord would be good for them. They were not God’s children, so all it meant for them was the beginning of everlasting fire and torment. Israel didn’t understand this, and neither did the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. They thought heaven was a lock-in for them because Abraham was their father and they obeyed all these special rules they made for themselves. We can think this way sometimes too. We think that since we have grown up in a good church and attended faithfully, we are assured a place in heaven. However, the Bible clearly states that only those who obey from the heart by God’s grace will enter those pearly gates. As Romans 9:6 states, “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.”
Sing or pray Psalter #279.
September 26 – Read Amos 6
I believe I’ve brought this out before, but isn’t it stunning to see the world’s reaction to horrific events, such as school shootings and other terrorist attacks? Suddenly huge masses of people are gathering together for prayer. Some who only go to church on Christmas and Easter are now addressing God as a good friend.
In the last part of Amos 6:10 we read that in the day of judgment an uncle will say to his nephew, “Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of the Lord.” They won’t be able to call on God for help, because he’s the one sending the judgment.
Just as those who haven’t been given faith today are unworthy to make mention of God’s name, so it will be at the end of time. In Matthew 7:21–23, Jesus says that in the last day the wicked will cry to God asking him to remember all the good works they did, but he will respond, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Sing or pray Psalter #297.
September 27 – Read Amos 7
There’s an interesting exchange in this chapter between Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, and Amos. Amaziah doesn’t like the word that Amos has been bringing, so he tattles to Jeroboam and tells Amos to return to Judah. His reasoning for this is found in verse 13, where he says, “But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court.” This is significant because Amaziah is clearly stating Israel has rejected God as their king. He has no place there because the king they have chosen is earthly. Amos’s response in verse 17 is biting. “Therefore thus saith the Lord; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.” What’s the judgment for rejecting God? His wife would become a whore, his children would be slaughtered, his possessions would be stripped from him, and he would die in a wasteland. Our God is holy, and as the holy one, he demands worship.
Sing or pray Psalter #302.
September 28 – Read Amos 8
In chapter 7 Amos saw a plumbline and in Amos 8:2 he saw a basket of summer fruit. In both visions, God says of Israel, “I will not again pass by them any more.” What’s the connection between this plumbline and basket of fruit? According to my study Bible, some think this word “plumbline,” which is rare in Hebrew, actually refers to tin to symbolize the military strength that would defeat Israel. However, the word probably refers to a lead weight at the end of a line to measure straightness. Israel would be found crooked, fail the test, and be judged. The vision of the summer fruit also has to do with their impending judgment. Just as a basket of summer fruit becomes ripe and ready to eat, so Israel was ripe and ready for judgment. God will not pass by them anymore because he has forsaken the people that forsook him. Without God, they are like Samson without his amazing strength, and they will be quickly consumed by their enemies.
Sing or pray Psalter #308.
September 29 – Read Amos 9
Most of this book is very negative, but Amos does end on a positive note. This really begins in verse 11, but something else should be noted from verses 8–10. Here we see that one of the purposes of judgment is to identify the remnant. As we already discussed, the same event that means destruction for the wicked is a blessing on the righteous. These difficult times are used by God try the saints and strengthen them more to put their trust in him.
In verse 12 we read, “That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this.” This verse speaks about the glorious church gathered from all nations. Wicked Balaam was also used by God in Numbers 24:18 to prophesy of Edom, as the representative of the Gentile world, being included in the New Testament church. The apostle James also quotes this section in support of his argument that the gospel was now to the Gentiles, to us.
Sing or pray Psalter #307.
September 30 – Read 2 Chronicles 27
Verse 2 reads, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the Lord. And the people did yet corruptly.” Jotham was a good king like his father, but he didn’t fall into the same grievous sin his father did. In 2 Chronicles 26, we are told that Uzziah became proud and went into the temple to burn incense, even though he knew that was only for the priests to do. Those there implored the king to leave, but he only responded with anger, and God struck him with leprosy in the forehead before their eyes.
The last part of this verse tells a sad truth. Judah was beginning to slide into apostasy. Here they still had a God-fearing king, but the people didn’t follow his example. It’s a very difficult trial when children in the church go wayward, despite sound instruction. In such trials we’re comforted by Jesus’ words: “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matt. 12:50).
Sing or pray Psalter #275.
October 1 – Read Isaiah 9
In verse 20 of this chapter, we read that those who are ripe for judgment “shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm.” The next verse continues that Ephraim and Manasseh do this to one another, and both turn against Judah. This is the sad state of affairs for those who are ripe for judgment. They self-destruct by fighting amongst themselves and eating their own arm. We need to hear this word as we live in the final days. As hatred for the truth abounds around us, it’s more important than ever that we are united. The devil is always striving to cause division in our midst, so he can tear apart the bond of friendship we have in Christ Jesus. An army that’s split up is much easier to defeat than an army that bands together. We should be mindful of this in the disagreements that arise in the church and deal with one another in love, lest we aid the devil in his cause.
Sing or pray Psalter #265.
October 2 – Read Isaiah 10
God tells us in this chapter how he has given Sennacherib king of Assyria the power to destroy Israel for their wicked ways. Sennacherib’s own words are included in verses 8–11. He starts off by saying, “Are not my princes altogether kings?” According to Matthew Henry, this could mean that those under him were once kings of other nations, that his subjects lived like kings, or that his princes had been made kings of nations which he conquered. He continues his boasting by talking about the cities he has defeated, although it was actually his predecessor that destroyed Samaria, as Henry points out.
Many interpret the last few verses of the chapter to be a reversal. Where the topic had been Assyria’s destruction of Israel, now it talks about God’s judgment on Assyria. John Calvin, however, disagreed. He believed that these verses are still referring to the judgment on Israel. In support, he points to the mention of Lebanon in the concluding verse and the fact that the next chapter begins with the branch that comes out of that destruction.
Sing or pray Psalter #361.
October 3 – Read Isaiah 11
In chapter 9 we talked about the sad division that existed within the church as their judgment began to unfold. Instead of joining together to fight the forces of evil they destroyed each other, as Israel’s enemies did in 2 Chronicles 20. This division is contrasted with the beautiful unity displayed in this chapter. In verses 6–8 we read that there will be peace between the wolf and lamb, the leopard and the kid, the lion and the calf, the bear and the cow, and the snake and the child.
This last one is especially interesting because the snake was cursed at the fall. I believe it’s commonly taught that the snake is the one creature that won’t exist in heaven. Isaiah 65:25 seems to support this when it says, “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat.” If that’s true, though, why do you think Isaiah 11 mentions peace between the snake and the child as an example of heavenly glory? Is there a distinction to be made between the snake before the fall and the one that exists today?
Sing or pray Psalter #371.
October 4 – Read Isaiah 12
My study Bible asks, “What motives does this chapter give believers to stir a desire to praise God and declare his great works to others?” There are a couple of great motives for this already in the first verse. We read here that God’s anger has been turned away and he comforts us. Experiencing God’s wrath is a terrible thing. Jesus experienced this infinitely more than any of us as he hung on the cross for our sakes, and in the depths of that anger he cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The wicked will also experience the full force of this wrath at the end of time and will ask the mountains to fall on them because of it, as we read in Revelation 6:16. However, the wonderful thing for us is that, instead of this perfect anger, we experience comfort. God comforts us in every situation of life so that we can say with Paul in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Following this verse, there are other motives for praise mentioned in the chapter. Which ones do you see?
Sing or pray Psalter #347.
October 5 – Read Micah 1
According to my study Bible Micah’s name means, “Who is like Jehovah?” He was alive during the same time as Isaiah and appears to have written the book himself. The prophecies of Amos, which we just considered, and Micah are very similar, because many of the same sins needed to be addressed. Both prophets needed to address the love of money, which had become exalted above truth. The rich were taking advantage of the poor and living very immorally. In other words, the situation for Amos and Micah is very like the one in which we find ourselves today. The theme of the book is said to be, “Penalty of judgment and promise of restoration.” The theme of Amos was similar again, but the restoration not as pronounced. One key difference between the two, however, is that Amos’ message was to Israel, while Micah was sent to preach in Judah. Whereas Amos spoke of judgment that came almost immediately, the judgment Micah spoke of in Judah was more delayed.
Sing or pray Psalter #216.
October 6 – Read Micah 2
Remember the story of Naboth and Ahab in 1 Kings 21? Ahab sat in his summer palace and looked out over Naboth’s vineyard. It was a beautiful place, and Ahab decided he wanted it. When he proposed purchasing it, however, Naboth said he couldn’t sell his inheritance. This surprised and frustrated Ahab, and he returned to his palace to sulk. When Jezebel heard about this, she rebuked Ahab for forgetting who he was and said she’d get the vineyard for him. She hired men to lie about Naboth, which ultimately led to his execution, after which Ahab took the land for himself. At the time it would have seemed Ahab had won, but we know he was judged for it later.
I thought of this story when 1 read Micah 2:2 about the rich stealing the fields and houses of the poor. Ahab was judged for this sin more than a hundred years before, and now it had become something that Judah would be judged for in the future. Stealing one’s property is bad enough, but what made this especially grievous is that these homes and fields that were being stolen were a picture of their place in heaven.
Sing or pray Psalter #219.
October 7 – Read Micah 3
Verse 11 talks about how the priests and prophets had become mercenaries who worked simply to make themselves rich. This idea brought two things to mind. The first is the story of Balaam who was hired by Balak, king of Moab, to curse Israel. Balaam was a very wicked man who loved riches, but lustful though he was he could only speak the words that God put in his mouth. The result was a beautiful prophecy of the coming Messiah in Numbers 24. The second thing that came to mind is how this verse applies to the Roman Catholic Church. As we learned in Ancient World History, during the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church was more powerful than the kings were. They had blasphemously used God’s name to gain for themselves huge amounts of land and wealth. They, like the wicked prophets and priests of Micah’s day, still claimed God was with them and would protect them. Micah speaks out against that foolish thinking. God blesses those who seek him by faith, not those who put down roots in this earth.
Sing or pray Psalter #245.