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ACAD – Injustice: Hosea 10

Israel Will Pay for Sin

Israel is like a large vine
    that produced plenty of fruit.
As the people became richer,
    they built more altars for idols.
As their land became better,
    they put up better stone pillars to honor gods.
Their heart was false,
    and now they must pay for their guilt.
The Lord will break down their altars;
    he will destroy their holy stone pillars.

Then they will say, “We have no king,
    because we didn’t honor the Lord.
As for the king,
    he couldn’t do anything for us.”
They make many false promises
    and agreements which they don’t keep.
So people sue each other in court;
    they are like poisonous weeds growing in a plowed field.
The people from Israel are worried about
    the calf-shaped idol at Beth Aven.
The people will cry about it,
    and the priests will cry about it.
    They used to shout for joy about its glory,
but it will be carried off to Assyria
    as a gift to the great king.
Israel will be disgraced,
    and the people will be ashamed for not obeying.
Israel will be destroyed;
    its king will be like a chip of wood floating on the water.
The places of false worship will be destroyed,
    the places where Israel sins.
Thorns and weeds will grow up
    and cover their altars.
Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!”
    and to the hills, “Fall on us!”

“Israel, you have sinned since the time of Gibeah,[a]
    and the people there have continued sinning.
But war will surely overwhelm them in Gibeah,
    because of the evil they have done there.
When I am ready,
    I will come to punish them.
Nations will come together against them,
    and they will be punished for their double sins.
Israel is like a well-trained young cow
    that likes to thresh grain.
I will put a yoke on her neck
    and make her work hard in the field.
Israel will plow,
    and Judah will break up the ground.
I said, ‘Plant goodness,
    harvest the fruit of loyalty,
    plow the new ground of knowledge.
Look for the Lord until he comes
    and pours goodness on you like water.’
But you have plowed evil [iniquity]
    and harvested trouble [reaped injustice];
    you have eaten the fruit of your lies.
Because you have trusted in your own power
    and your many soldiers,
your people will hear the noise of battle,
    and all your strong, walled cities will be destroyed.
It will be like the time King Shalman
    destroyed Beth Arbel in battle,
    when mothers and their children were bashed to death.
The same will happen to you, people of Bethel,
    because you did so much evil.
When the sun comes up,
    the king of Israel will die.

Footnotes:

  1. a. 10:9 Gibeah The sins of the people of Gibeah caused a civil war. See Judges 19–21.

New Century Version (NCV)The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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ACAD – Praise: James 5

Warning to the Rich

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire.You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

Patience in Suffering

Be patient, therefore, brothers,[1] until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

The Prayer of Faith

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.[2] Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Footnotes:

  1. James 5:7 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 9, 10, 12, 19
  2. James 5:16 Or The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power