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Seek Good, Hate Evil

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Today's lesson brings us to a funeral song in Amos 5:1-15. As you read, note what Amos promised would happen to the Israelites should they persist in evil.

Amos 5:1-15 New International Version (NIV)

Hear this word, Israel, this lament I take up concerning you:

2 "Fallen is Virgin Israel,never to rise again,deserted in her own land,with no one to lift her up."3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel:"Your city that marches out a thousand strongwill have only a hundred left;your town that marches out a hundred strongwill have only ten left."4 This is what the Lord says to Israel:

"Seek me and live;5 do not seek Bethel,do not go to Gilgal,do not journey to Beersheba.For Gilgal will surely go into exile,and Bethel will be reduced to nothing."6 Seek the Lord and live,or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;it will devour them,and Bethel will have no one to quench it.7 There are those who turn justice into bitterness

and cast righteousness to the ground.8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion,who turns midnight into dawnand darkens day into night,who calls for the waters of the seaand pours them out over the face of the land—the Lord is his name.9 With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold

and brings the fortified city to ruin.10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in courtand detest the one who tells the truth.11 You levy a straw tax on the poorand impose a tax on their grain.Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,you will not live in them;though you have planted lush vineyards,you will not drink their wine.12 For I know how many are your offenses

and how great your sins.There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes

and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.13 Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times,for the times are evil.14 Seek good, not evil,that you may live.Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,just as you say he is.15 Hate evil, love good;maintain justice in the courts.Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercyon the remnant of Joseph."

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