C2C Sep. 25 – Oct. 1

September 25 — True Satisfaction — Hos. 9-11.  Like Hosea’s promiscuous wife, Gomer, the people of Israel were attracted to the pleasure involved in ritual prostitution at the pagan shrines of Baal.  Baal was also thought of as the controller of agriculture, providing abundant crops.  But God’s judgment on Ephraim (Israel) brought the opposite effect: “Their root is dried up; they shall bear no fruit” (9:16).  God did not want to punish them (“How can I give you up, O Ephraim?  How can I hand you over, O Israel?”—11:8).  His heart cried out for their return (“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you”—10:12).  That same divine heart longs for us today to turn from sin and seek His face.  Far greater satisfaction is found in relationship to God than in sinful pleasure.

September 26 — The Helper — Hos. 12-14.  Hosea closes with God’s final plea for Israel to turn back to Him.  God not only wanted them to repent but He would also help them do it.  “By the help of your God, return …” (12:6).  Incredibly, however, Israel rejected His help: “… you are against me, against your helper” (13:9).  In the last paragraph of the prophecy, God lists the blessings they would miss out on by rejecting His help: “I will heal … I will love … he shall blossom … take root … shoots … beauty … fragrance … flourish … fame” (14:4-7).  Why do we hesitate to repent?!  Blessings from the Helper await the humble, repentant heart.

September 27 — Joel — Joel 1-3.  The phrase “the day of the LORD,” a major theme in this prophetic book, is used five times, more than in any other book of the Bible.  It refers here basically to the End Times, which began with the coming of the Church, as Peter said in Acts 2:17ff (quoting Joel 2:28ff).  Near the very end, judgment will be delivered on nations opposing God’s people.  So, we are now living in “the day of the LORD” and should rejoice constantly today that He dwells with us and in us.  This is also “the day of Ben” in a way because I am adding a year today on my birthday.  Do you want to give me a gift?  Then, just keep up with your reading every day!

September 28 — Amos Accountability — Amos 1-3.  Amos was a simple shepherd from a town south of Bethlehem who delivered sobering messages to both Judah and Israel, probably just a few decades before Israel’s destruction by Assyria.  As God’s chosen people, the Jews tended to think that God was obligated to bless them and that they were immune to His punishment.  What Amos told them, however, is that they were to be judged by a higher standard because of the special knowledge of God they had received.  To Judah, God said that “they have rejected the law of the LORD” (2:4), and to Israel: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for your iniquities” (3:2).  We Christians are not immune to God’s discipline, either.  We have been given His Word and His Spirit, so we are held to a high standard of obedience.

September 29 — Heeding Warnings — Amos 4-6.  These chapters are a continued warning for Israel to repent.  Although they were warned, “Prepare to meet your God” (4:12), “yet you did not return to me” (an expression used five times in chapter 4).  Do you heed God’s warnings?  Marv Christenson was a friend I knew in seminary who told the story of when he and five other young friends were joy-riding on a country road after a night of partying.  Suddenly the car headlights went out just as they approached a turn in the road at high speed.  They went bouncing off the road, finally coming to a stop with a thud.  Just then, the headlights came on again, only to illuminate a billboard sign that said, “Prepare to meet your God.”  All of those young guys broke down with tears.  Marv heeded the warning and ended up becoming a pastor.

September 30 — Hard of Hearing — Amos 7-9.  Amos was a shepherd whom God called to deliver a message of warning to Israel but it was not accepted.  The compromised priest complained about Amos to King Jeroboam II saying, “The land is not able to bear all his words” (7:10).  In response, God said that He would “send a famine on the land … a famine … of hearing the words of the LORD” (8:11).  Rejecting one part of God’s message hardens the heart for hearing other parts.  On the other hand, obedience to what God has said acts like a hearing aid for the rest of His Word.

October 1 — Obadiah — Obad. 1.  You got a break today, reading only Obadiah, the shortest book in the OT.  It was written primarily against Edom, the people living in the mountainous desert area southeast of the Dead Sea, who were descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau.  It was written after Jerusalem had fallen to Babylon but before Edom was also conquered.  Edom hated the Jews, aided Babylon, and celebrated Jerusalem’s defeat.  Sound familiar?  The many Muslim nations surrounding Israel today also hate Israel and would delight in seeing it wiped out.  Dream on!  The name Obadiah means “one who serves Yahweh,” rather like the collective name “Christian” for those of us who serve Christ.

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

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