Daily devotional by Larry Stockstill
Pride is undoubtedly the deadliest of sins. It caused the downfall of Satan, and for centuries he has deceived countless men and women.
David, the greatest king of Israel, would not allow pride in his life. He declared, "Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don't concern myself with matters too great or awesome for me" (Psalm 131:1). Associating with the wealthy, the intellectual, or political "movers and shakers" causes some to consider themselves exalted, as did Haman in the book of Esther.
David, however, was willing to associate with anyone and still remained secure in who he was. He reminded himself that his soul was as quiet as a "weaned child with its mother" (v. 2, NIV). Weaned children do not struggle for position and nourishment, but rather are relaxed and content to lie on their mothers' laps. Prideful people, on the other hand, are always fidgety. They push for position and notoriety and work all the angles.
As though we were babies on God's lap, let us relax and allow Him to exalt us. We will live longer and go further as well!
Locusts, Fire and a Plumb Line
7 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me:
“This will not happen,” the Lord said.
4 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: The Sovereign Lord was calling for judgment by fire;
7 This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb,
“A plumb line,
9 “The high places
and the sanctuaries
Amos and Amaziah
10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel
“‘Jeroboam will die by the sword,
and Israel will surely go into exile,
away from their native land.’”
12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer!
14 Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet
and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.’
17 “Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“‘Your wife will become a prostitute
and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword.
Your land will be measured and divided up,
and you yourself will die in a pagan
And Israel will surely go into exile,
A Basket of Ripe Fruit
4 Hear this, you who trample the needy
“When will the New Moon
that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
skimping on the measure,
boosting the price
6 buying the poor
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and all who live in it mourn?
The whole land will rise like the Nile;
it will be stirred up and then sink
9 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
10 I will turn your religious festivals
I will make all of you wear sackcloth
I will make that time like mourning for an only son
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
13 “In that day
“the lovely young women and strong young men
14 Those who swear by the sin of Samaria
who say, ‘As surely as your god lives, Dan,’
or, ‘As surely as the god
Israel to Be Destroyed
9 I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said:
“Strike the tops of the pillars
so that the thresholds shake.
Bring them down on the heads
those who are left I will kill with the sword.
Not one will get away,
none will escape.
from there my hand will take them.
Though they climb up to the heavens above,
from there I will bring them down.
3 Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
there I will hunt them down and seize them.
Though they hide from my eyes at the bottom of the sea,
4 Though they are driven into exile by their enemies,
5 The Lord, the Lord Almighty—
he touches the earth and it melts,
and all who live in it mourn;
the whole land rises like the Nile,
then sinks like the river of Egypt;
6 he builds his lofty palace
and sets its foundation
he calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the land—
7 “Are not you Israelites
declares the Lord.
“Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt,
8 “Surely the eyes of the Sovereign Lord
are on the sinful kingdom.
I will destroy
from the face of the earth.
Yet I will not totally destroy
the descendants of Jacob,”
declares the Lord.
9 “For I will give the command,
and I will shake the people of Israel
among all the nations
10 All the sinners among my people
will die by the sword,
all those who say,
11 “In that day
I will repair its broken walls
12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom
declares the Lord, who will do these things.
and the planter by the one treading
and flow from all the hills,
They will plant vineyards
never again to be uprooted
A Vision of Locusts
7 The Sovereign Lord showed me a vision. I saw him preparing to send a vast swarm of locusts over the land. This was after the king’s share had been harvested from the fields and as the main crop was coming up.2 In my vision the locusts ate every green plant in sight. Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, please forgive us or we will not survive, for Israel
3 So the Lord relented from this plan. “I will not do it,” he said.
A Vision of Fire
4 Then the Sovereign Lord showed me another vision. I saw him preparing to punish his people with a great fire. The fire had burned up the depths of the sea and was devouring the entire land.5 Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, please stop or we will not survive, for Israel is so small.”
6 Then the Lord relented from this plan, too. “I will not do that either,” said the Sovereign Lord.
A Vision of a Plumb Line
7 Then he showed me another vision. I saw the Lord standing beside a wall that had been built using a plumb line. He was using a plumb line to see if it was still straight.8 And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?”
I answered, “A plumb line.”
And the Lord replied, “I will test my people with this plumb line. I will no longer ignore all their sins.9 The pagan shrines of your ancestors
Amos and Amaziah
10 Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent a message to Jeroboam, king of Israel: “Amos is hatching a plot against you right here on your very doorstep! What he is saying is intolerable.11 He is saying, ‘Jeroboam will soon be killed, and the people of Israel will be sent away into exile.’”
12 Then Amaziah sent orders to Amos: “Get out of here, you prophet! Go on back to the land of Judah, and earn your living by prophesying there!13 Don’t bother us with your prophecies here in Bethel. This is the king’s sanctuary and the national place of worship!”
14 But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one.
‘Don’t prophesy against Israel.
Stop preaching against my people.
17 But this is what the Lord says:
‘Your wife will become a prostitute in this city,
and your sons and daughters will be killed.
Your land will be divided up,
and you yourself will die in a foreign land.
And the people of Israel will certainly become captives in exile,
far from their homeland.’”
A Vision of Ripe Fruit
8 Then the Sovereign Lord showed me another vision. In it I saw a basket filled with ripe fruit.2 “What do you see, Amos?” he asked.
I replied, “A basket full of ripe fruit.”
Then the Lord said, “Like this fruit, Israel is ripe for punishment! I will not delay their punishment again.3 In that day the singing in the Temple will turn to wailing. Dead bodies will be scattered everywhere. They will be carried out of the city in silence. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
4 Listen to this, you who rob the poor
and trample down the needy!
5 You can’t wait for the Sabbath day to be over
and the religious festivals to end
so you can get back to cheating the helpless.
You measure out grain with dishonest measures
and cheat the buyer with dishonest scales.
6 And you mix the grain you sell
with chaff swept from the floor.
Then you enslave poor people
for one piece of silver or a pair of sandals.
7 Now the Lord has sworn this oath
by his own name, the Pride of Israel
“I will never forget
the wicked things you have done!
8 The earth will tremble for your deeds,
and everyone will mourn.
The ground will rise like the Nile River at floodtime;
it will heave up, then sink again.
9 “In that day,” says the Sovereign Lord,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth while it is still day.
10 I will turn your celebrations into times of mourning
and your singing into weeping.
You will wear funeral clothes
and shave your heads to show your sorrow—
as if your only son had died.
How very bitter that day will be!
11 “The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign Lord,
“when I will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread or water
but of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from border to border
searching for the word of the Lord,
but they will not find it.
13 Beautiful girls and strong young men
will grow faint in that day,
thirsting for the Lord’s word.
14 And those who swear by the shameful idols of Samaria—
who take oaths in the name of the god of Dan
and make vows in the name of the god of Beersheba
they will all fall down,
never to rise again.”
A Vision of God at the Altar
9 Then I saw a vision of the Lord standing beside the altar. He said,
“Strike the tops of the Temple columns,
so that the foundation will shake.
Bring down the roof
on the heads of the people below.
I will kill with the sword those who survive.
No one will escape!
2 “Even if they dig down to the place of the dead,
I will reach down and pull them up.
Even if they climb up into the heavens,
I will bring them down.
3 Even if they hide at the very top of Mount Carmel,
I will search them out and capture them.
Even if they hide at the bottom of the ocean,
I will send the sea serpent after them to bite them.
4 Even if their enemies drive them into exile,
I will command the sword to kill them there.
I am determined to bring disaster upon them
and not to help them.”
5 The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
touches the land and it melts,
and all its people mourn.
The ground rises like the Nile River at floodtime,
and then it sinks again.
6 The Lord’s home reaches up to the heavens,
while its foundation is on the earth.
He draws up water from the oceans
and pours it down as rain on the land.
The Lord is his name!
7 “Are you Israelites more important to me
than the Ethiopians?
“I brought Israel out of Egypt,
but I also brought the Philistines from Crete
and led the Arameans out of Kir.
8 “I, the Sovereign Lord,
am watching this sinful nation of Israel.
I will destroy it
from the face of the earth.
But I will never completely destroy the family of Israel,
says the Lord.
9 “For I will give the command
and will shake Israel along with the other nations
as grain is shaken in a sieve,
yet not one true kernel will be lost.
10 But all the sinners will die by the sword—
all those who say, ‘Nothing bad will happen to us.’
A Promise of Restoration
11 “In that day I will restore the fallen house
I will repair its damaged walls.
From the ruins I will rebuild it
and restore its former glory.
12 And Israel will possess what is left of Edom
and all the nations I have called to be mine.
The Lord has spoken,
and he will do these things.
13 “The time will come,” says the Lord,
“when the grain and grapes will grow faster
than they can be harvested.
Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel
will drip with sweet wine!
14 I will bring my exiled people of Israel
back from distant lands,
and they will rebuild their ruined cities
and live in them again.
They will plant vineyards and gardens;
they will eat their crops and drink their wine.
15 I will firmly plant them there
in their own land.
They will never again be uprooted
from the land I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.
7 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings.
2 And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
3 The Lord repented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord.
4 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord God called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.
5 Then said I, O Lord God, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
6 The Lord repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord God.
7 Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.
8 And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:
9 And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.
10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.
11 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.
12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:
13 But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court.
14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
15 And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.
16 Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac.
17 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.
8 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.
2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.
3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.
4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,
5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?
7 The Lord hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.
8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.
9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:
10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.
11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:
12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.
13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.
9 I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.
2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:
3 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:
4 And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.
5 And the Lord God of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.
6 It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name.
7 Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the Lord. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?
8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord.
9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.
11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
12 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.
13 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.
To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia
These are the words of him who is holy
11 I am coming soon.
To the Church in Laodicea
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness,
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.
21 To the one who is victorious,
The Message to the Church in Philadelphia
7 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia.
This is the message from the one who is holy and true,
the one who has the key of David.
What he opens, no one can close;
and what he closes, no one can open:
8 “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.9 Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.
10 “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.11 I am coming soon.
13 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
The Message to the Church in Laodicea
14 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning
15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
22 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
A song of ascents. Of David.
I do not concern myself with great matters
2 But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of David.
1 Lord, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great
or too awesome for me to grasp.
2 Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, put your hope in the Lord—
now and always.
131 Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.
3 Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and for ever.
23 Pride brings a person low,
23 Pride ends in humiliation,
while humility brings honor.
23 A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.